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Monday, June 27, 2016

Meet the Staff: Megan J.

Posted by Megan J. 

How long have you worked at the library? I’ve been working here almost 2 ½ years—I got hired on January 10, 2014, which I still remember because it was my 24th birthday!

How many items do you have checked out right now? 13

How many items are on your hold list? 7

What aspects of the library do you think are underutilized?
I’m always telling people about our DVD selection, especially the TV series. I have lots of friends who get frustrated with series being unavailable online, and we provide such an easy (and CHEAP) solution.

What is your favorite aspect of working at the library?
I really love all the people I get to see. This is such a friendly and supportive environment, and I’m really thankful for the friends I’ve made working here.


What book can you read again and again without losing interest? Why do you still read it?
The Harry Potter series is my go-to rereading material simply because they’re such important books to me. I started reading the books when I was 9, and then the series ended when I was seventeen (the same age was in the last book), so I was really one of the many readers who really grew up with the series. It was also a big point of bonding for my family—all of us, parents included, were big fans and we would have to purchase multiple books when new ones were released so that we wouldn’t fight over them.

If you were a literary character, who would you be and why?
In the same vein as my previous answer, I’d have to say Hermione Granger. She is so smart, funny, and honestly hardcore. Those boys would have died by the end of book one without her.

What is your favorite book format (book, audio, mp3, e-reader, etc.)?
I am still a fan of traditional printed books, mostly so that I can show them all off on my bookcase. However, I also really love audio books because I can listen to them while I’m getting ready in the morning, driving to work, or running errands. I especially love using 3M and downloading them onto my phone.

What is your guilty reading (or listening) pleasure?
Fan-fiction, especially for Doctor Who and Game of Thrones.

What books do you feel guilty for not having read?
SO MANY. As an English teacher, there are a ton of books that everyone expects you have already read, but for one reason or another I haven’t gotten around to them. I’m probably most guilty about never having read ANY Charles Dickens—yet.

Have your reading habits changed since working at the library? If so, how?
I think my reading choices have widened. Being around other heavy readers has expanded the kinds of recommendations I get, and so I don’t limit myself to one or two genres anymore.

What is your perfect reading environment?
Lying in bed, with a bottle of tea and chips/cookies to snack on.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what single genre of books would you want with you?
My favorite genre is always YA. There’s so much variety within the genre itself, and I think that even in the “serious” books you still get a lot of comic relief.


What was your favorite children’s book when you were a child? What is your favorite children’s book now?
I don’t think I had a favorite picture book, but my favorite chapter book was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Today L’Engle’s novel is still probably my favorite children’s chapter book, but now I also have a favorite picture book: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.

Before you worked here, what was your worst library transgression?
I was a library SAINT. When I was young, I considered the library to be sacred ground, so I think the worst that I ever did was rack up a fifty cent fine, and even that I felt SUPER guilty about it.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Love It, Like It, or Leave It!

Posted by Jill S.

Have you heard of the Hogarth Shakespeare Project?  Starting in October 2015, well-known authors began taking Shakespeare's works and retelling them.  Here's a short video describing which plays and which authors are participating.


Staff Reviews of this Week's New Releases 


Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (release date: June 21)

This book is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Project. It is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.

Goodreads Description:

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

Jill's Review:

(2.5 out of 5 stars) Kate’s relationships with her father, her sister and her love interest were just not believable for me. Maybe it's too ambitious to expect someone can retell Shakespeare's stories while making them both current and interesting. I'm not sure it succeeded in either the faithful retelling or as being an interesting stand alone story.

Friday, June 17, 2016

You CAN Handle the Truth: June Nonfiction Book Picks

Posted by the Information Services Department (Gwen B., Amanda E., Lisa E., Joyce D., & Zach H.)

Here's the latest list of our new nonfiction book picks! Listed below, along with their Dewey Decimal classification, are our top picks of the nonfiction books that looked most interesting, ultra-informative, or just plain fun. Many of these are so new that we're still working on getting them out on the shelf, but you can request them now by clicking on the titles and placing a hold.

158.1 LAK The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani
What if you questioned everything you know and threw out all the pieces that hold you back? With The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, you can.

Learn to think like the greatest creative minds of our era—to question, challenge, and create new rules for your ideas of love, education, spirituality, work, happiness, and meaning. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind is a blueprint for retraining our minds to hack everything—how we work, love, parent, and heal—and learn to succeed on our own terms.


523.1 GAL The Universe in Your Hand by Christophe Galford
Quantum physics, black holes, string theory, the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, parallel universes: even if we are interested in these fundamental concepts of our world, their language is the language of math. Which means that despite our best intentions of finally grasping, say, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, most of us are quickly brought up short by a snarl of nasty equations or an incomprehensible graph.

Christophe Galfard's mission in life is to spread modern scientific ideas to the general public in entertaining ways. Using his considerable skills as a brilliant theoretical physicist and successful young adult author, The Universe in Your Hand employs the immediacy of simple, direct language to show us, not explain to us, the theories that underpin everything we know about our universe. To understand what happens to a dying star, we are asked to picture ourselves floating in space in front of it. To get acquainted with the quantum world, we are shrunk to the size of an atom and then taken on a journey. Employing everyday similes and metaphors, addressing the reader directly, and writing stories rather than equations renders these astoundingly complex ideas in an immediate and visceral way.

616.399 GRE Gluten Exposed by Peter H.R. Green
In recent years, gluten has become a villain, getting blamed for anything and everything from heart disease and dementia to neuralgia and fatigue. Droves of people are adopting a gluten-free lifestyle, believing it’s healthier or that it will help them lose weight and increase their energy. The diet, a regimen once followed only by those diagnosed with celiac disease (a serious autoimmune disorder caused by gluten), has become a cure-all, “prescribed” not only by gastroenterologists but also by dietitians, nutritionists, naturopaths, trainers, psychiatrists, and neurologists, as well as by celebrities and media personalities. Yet as Gluten Exposed reveals, there is little scientific evidence to justify this trend. The latest medical findings have shown that the majority of the information available about the effects of gluten on the body is only partly correct, or almost wholly incorrect.


636.08 PAC The Humane Economy by Wayne Pacelle
In The Humane Economy, Wayne Pacelle, President/CEO of the Human Society of the United States, explores how our everyday economic decisions impact the survival and wellbeing of animals, and how we can make choices that better support them. Though most of us have never harpooned a sea creature, clubbed a seal, or killed an animal for profit, we are all part of an interconnected web that has a tremendous impact on animal welfare, and the decisions we make—whether supporting local, not industrial, farming; adopting a rescue dog or a shelter animal instead of one from a “puppy mill”; avoiding products that compromise the habitat of wild species; or even seeing Cirque du Soleil instead of Ringling Brothers—do matter. The Humane Economy shows us how what we do everyday as consumers can benefit animals, the environment, and human society, and why these decisions can make economic sense as well.

641.5 CAR 200 Low-Carb High-Fat Recipes by Dana Carpender
You've hit it before - the dreaded weight-loss plateau that you just can't break through. No matter what, the pounds won't go even with calorie counting and traditional low-carb diets. Turns out there is a secret weapon to losing weight - fat (and lots of it). After decades of taking butter, bacon, eggs, and avocados off the table, it turns out that fats are far better for beating the battle of the bulge than "healthy whole grains" and high protein diets. Backed up by science, the LCHF diet is quickly becoming the hottest way to shed pounds and jumpstart a stalled metabolism.

In 200 Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes you get tips for creating low-carb/high-fat meals, and find out why three meals a day may not be needed! With 200 recipes, including soups, breakfasts, appetizers, sides and sauces, you'll never be cooked for delicious ideas! 

641.76 GOL Meathead by Meathead Goldwyn
For succulent results every time, nothing is more crucial than understanding the science behind the interaction of food, fire, heat, and smoke. This is the definitive guide to the concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories of barbecue and grilling. The founder and editor of the world's most popular BBQ and grilling website,, “Meathead” Goldwyn applies the latest research to backyard cooking and 118 thoroughly tested recipes.

He explains why dry brining is better than wet brining; how marinades really work; why rubs shouldn't have salt in them; how heat and temperature differ; the importance of digital thermometers; why searing doesn't seal in juices; how salt penetrates but spices don't; when charcoal beats gas and when gas beats charcoal; how to calibrate and tune a grill or smoker; how to keep fish from sticking; cooking with logs; the strengths and weaknesses of the new pellet cookers; tricks for rotisserie cooking; why cooking whole animals is a bad idea, which grill grates are best;and why beer-can chicken is a waste of good beer and nowhere close to the best way to cook a bird.

650.1 GAL Self Made by Nely Galan
What does it mean to be self-made? It’s not just about having money, but financial empowerment is where it begins. It means getting out of survival mode, where you are one problem away from catastrophe. It means changing your mindset from instant gratification to goal orientation. It means being able to sleep at night without worry. It means being rich in every way: rich in money, rich in family, rich in love, rich in time—abundant!


796.343092 TOO A Different Kind of Daughter by Maria Toorpakai
A Different Kind of Daughter tells of Maria's harrowing journey to play the sport she knew was her destiny, first living as a boy and roaming the violent back alleys of the frontier city of Peshawar, rising to become the number one female squash player in Pakistan. For Maria, squash was more than liberation-it was salvation. But it was also a death sentence, thrusting her into the national spotlight and the crosshairs of the Taliban, who wanted Maria and her family dead. Maria knew her only chance of survival was to flee the country.


B Aldrin No Dream is Too High by Buzz Aldrin
Beloved American hero Buzz Aldrin reflects on the wisdom, guiding principles, and irreverent anecdotes he's gathered through his event-filled life—both in outer space and on earth—in this inspiring guide-to-life for the next generation.

Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to meet Buzz Aldrin. He is a world-class hero, a larger-than-life figurehead, best known of a generation of astronauts whose achievements surged in just a few years from first man in space to first men on the moon. Now he pauses to reflect and share what he has learned, from the vantage point not only of outer space but also of time: still a non-stop traveler and impassioned advocate for space exploration, Aldrin will be 86 in 2016.