I love getting a glimpse of what happens before I receive the final product of something. Case in point, this time-lapse video that shows how a book cover was designed. It goes by so fast, it is almost hard to take in, but you can tell how much thought goes into not only catching the reader’s eye but capturing a true sense of the book’s setting and protagonist:
p.s. We own the first in this series, Soulless, if you want to check it out!
Ah the end of the year. In the world of reading, the month of December sets off a frenzy of “best of” lists for every conceivable genre and style of book. If you like to compare these to your own reading list, one good website is the Largehearted Boy blog. If there’s a “best of” list online, it’s sure to be there!
The other thing that usually happens at the end of the December is queries as to “Reading Resolutions” for the following year. I recall my most successful resolution was the year I determined to read 2 nonfiction for every fiction title. It was a long, slow year of reading, but I must say it was more enjoyable than I anticipated (reading poetry isn’t “cheating” is it?) and I found a new appreciation for nonfiction writing. Of course I’ve had other resolutions that I haven’t kept up, like the year I decided to “read through the alphabet” (i.e. read a book by an author whose last name begins with “A”, then “B” and so forth). I know I didn’t make it to Z. And then just a few years ago I tried to limit myself to just checking out one book at a time, but I quickly found the lack of variety in my reading choices to be stifling so that didn’t last more than a few weeks.
I don’t really have a resolution for 2010 – do you? If nothing else, I hope you resolve to spend more time here with us at the Library!
Here’s an online gem! The American Antiquarian Society has digitized one of just two known copies of The Children’s Friend: A New Year’s Present which is “believed to be the first American Christmas picture book.”
You can find it on their website (scroll down to see the book; open in “full screen” mode to really enjoy!)
I love this line about what Santa Claus will not leave children:
“No crackers, cannons, squibs or rockets
To blow their eyes up or their pockets.”
While good girls and boys might receive (among other items), “pretty books to store their mind, with knowledge of each various kind” -confirming once again that books always make great Christmas presents!
Heading upstairs to the Mezzanine? Don’t miss our new display area especially for teens, now regularly featuring titles selected with young adult readers in mind. Just look for the frog sculpture and you will find items with the lavender “YA DISPLAY” label on the spine. Please feel free to check these materials out anytime. Our popular November display profiled nonfiction books for teens…keep watching for more featured collections!
In 1895, Swedish scientist and pacifist, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament presenting the largest share of his fortune for a series of prizes including the Peace Prize, to be awarded to the person “who has done the most for fraternity between nations…within the preceding year.”
* 90 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901…none were presented during World War I and II.
*120 Laureates have been awarded the Prize…97 to individuals and 23 to organizations.
*One Award has been shared among three persons: Yasser Arafat, Shimon Perez and Yitzhak Rabin.
*Mairead Corrigan at 32 years of age (1976) was the youngest person awarded the Nobel, and Joseph Rotblat at 87, the eldest. ( 1995)
*Of 97 individuals, only 12 were women: Bertha von Suttner (1905), Jane Addams (1931), Emily Greene Balch (1946), Betty Williams( 1976), Mairead Corrigan (1976), Mother Teresa (1979), Alva Myrdal (1982), Aung San Suu Kyi (1991), Rigoberta Mechu Tum (1992), Jody Williams (1997), Shirin Ebadi (2003) and Wangari Maathal ( 2004).
*The International Red Cross has been honored three times( the most for any organization), and its founder Henry Dunant was the first Nobel winner (1901).
*Vietnamese politician Le Duc Tho is the only person who declined the prize.( 1973) Henry Kissinger also awarded the prize in the same year did accept his gift. Le Duc Tho refused the prize because of the situation in Viet Nam at the time.
*The only Peace Award presented posthumously was to Dag Hammarskjold in 1961.
*Each year the Norwegian Nobel Committee sends thousands of letters to ” qualified and a select number of people requesting nominees.” Though names of the latter are not revealed for 50 years, the number of nominees for any given year is announced.
*205 names for the 2009 Peace Prize were submitted: of that number 33 were organizations.
*Among the more famous statesmen nominated but not awarded the prize were:
Stalin, Anthony Eden, Churchill, FDR, Truman, Dwight David Eisenhower, Konrad Adenauer, Juan and Eva Peron, Gandhi, Nehru, and Mussonlini.
*Artists nominated but not awarded the Peace Prize were Tolstoy, Erich Maria Remarque and Pablo Casals.
*Jane Addams was nominated 91 times before she actually received the prize.
*The Nobel Peace Prize is presented in Oslo, Norway; all others are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden.
During Nobel’s lifetime Sweden and Norway were a united kingdom until 1905, the year Norway gained its independence.
***For a complete list of Nobel Prize winners and examples of their works, stop by our NOBEL DISPLAY in the Readers Services Area.
The Strand is a quarterly mystery-themed magazine that was England’s most popular literary periodical from 1891-1950…until low circulation closed it down. (Sound familiar?) Contributors included such literary giants as Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie, Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, and its most prolific (and famous?) contributor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In his autobiography, Doyle admits he created the serialized Holmes/Watson short stories to become established in The Strand. How fortunate for current mystery lovers that managing editor Andrew Gulli hopes to revive The Strand’s former status as one of the best known magazines in the world. P. D. James, Elmore Leonard, Peter Lovesey, Mary Higgins Clark, Anne Perry, Michael Connelly and Alexander McCall Smith are among its featured authors. And a recently discovered unfinished Graham Greene mystery which Gulli obtained the rights to will soon to be published in the magazine. Gulli hopes to offer a contest to complete the Greene’s last chapter!
P.S. You can look for the magazine to join our shelves in Readers Services in the near future! In the meantime, take a look at The Strand’s terrific website with links to current and older print issues, book reviews, short stories, author interviews and many other fascinating features.
It’s not exactly your everyday comic book, but rather a combination of words and illustrations (sequential art) that tell a story. Reading a graphic novel is a bit like watching a film with words included in the frames. The St. Charles PublicLibrary has a great collection of graphic novels whose storylines are as varied as “standard novels.” Check them out to see what this format looks like and why it has become so popular! Below are a few titles discussed recently by Library staff (with comments from the person who read the book) or see our online booklist.
The Quitter Harvey Pekar 741.5 PEK
Pekar, a non-conformist, tells an autobiographical tale of his growing up in the 50s-70s, always trying to find something to “be the best” at – but since he doesn’t, he keeps quitting. Engrossing story that may appeal to Young Adults. The author also wrote American Splendor. Isadora Duncan: A Graphic Biography by Sabrina Jones B DUNCAN
Interesting story of this pioneering, modern dancer’s life and death, although I found the illustrations distracting, and they seem to trivialize the dramatic impact of Duncan’s life. The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert OVERSIZE 958.1045 GUI
This documentary is the photo/journal (Graphic Novel) of Didier Lefevre’s three week trek across the mountains of Northern Afghanistan in 1986, with Doctors Without Borders. Hired by Doctors to record the human cost of war, Lefevre and Emmanuel Gilbert used their photos and drawings, respectively, to illustrate the wonderful Afghani people, the heroism of the health care workers and the daily struggles of all to survive in a dangerous and extremely hostile world. Translated from the French, this book has sold thousands of copies in Europe. The book is wonderful, but is long, has small font, and can be tiring to read. Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz YA 741.5 HOR
Based on the Alex Rider series in which a teenage British agent infiltrates an exclusive boys school in France to solve the mysterious deaths of some parents. A creepy castle setting with death-defying escapades and suspense that keeps mounting till the novel’s end. Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story by Ari Folman 956.92044 FOL
Recounts the experiences of a 19-year-old Israeli soldier who repressed his memories of being sent to Beirut in 1982. Although it has interesting artwork, it has an emotionally flat tone that made it hard to enjoy. Book was made into award-winning animated documentary. Stitches: A Memoir by David Small ONORDER
Memoir about a dysfunctional family that doesn’t really communicate with one another. For example, the author had surgery as a child and for years didn’t know it was for cancer. Dark humor, compelling and disturbing. Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan 741.5 VAU
During the American bombing of Baghdad in 2003, lions escaped from the Baghdad Zoo. This is the story of the animals’ escape as well as surrounding events from the point of view of the lions. Explores themes of trust, betrayal and the true cost of freedom.
Writers love to write… so to give them even more time to do what they love best, the May/June 2009 Writer’s Digest presents its 11th Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers. Selecting the “best of the best” from more than 2,700 nominations, the 2009 list (eight categories) includes more blogs and free market listings than ever before! This exhaustive resource for writers covers agent blogs, publishers, jobs and markets, writing commun- ities, genres and much more. Symbols make it easy for users to identify what a particular site offers such as workshops, contests, forums, e-newsletters, podcasts and critiques. Article author Brian A. Klems has really done a terrific favor for writers by gathering so much practical, interesting and fun material. There’s even information for young writers. So whether you’re a novice or an author of great stature, this List has something for just about everyone.(Even the non-writers among us) You can even check out the 2009 May/June Writer’s Digest plus many other writers’ resources from your St. Charles Public Library!
(A few are listed below)
Literary Market Place: LMP
READY REF 070.5025 LIT Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market
Alice Pope, ed. 808.068 CHI Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
Luaren Mosko, ed. 808.02 NOV Poet’s Market
Nancy Breen, ed. 808.02 POE
Mothers, graduates, workers, Cinco de Mayo…popular May honorees, to name a few. But did you know there are many other remarkable events to celebrate during May?
Just to name a few…
May 1, 1939 Debut of Detective Comics#27 highlighting Bob Kane’s caped crime fighter Batman
May 1, 1893 Opening of The Columbian Exposition in Chicago
May 1, 1884 First skyscraper was erected (The Home Insurance Building) Chicago
May 3, 1999 Dow Jones tops 11,000 for the first time
May 4 International Respect for Chickens Day
May 13 Root Canal Appreciation Day
May 19, 1536 The Execution of Anne Boleyn
May 20, 1932 Amelia Earhart’s Atlantic Crossing
May 22, 1967 Premier of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
May 25, 1977 Premier of Star Wars
May 29, 1953 Mt. Everest Summit reached by Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay
May 30, 1783 First American newspaper published ~ The Pennsylvania Evening Post
Intrigued? I hope so.
The rest of the “iceberg” (750 pages) can be found in Chase’s Calendar of Events, 2009 ( 394.26 CHA).
Wonderful information is arranged according to the calendar year and commemorates international events (sports, holidays, special occurrences, anniversaries). Best of all, Chase features brief, historical descriptions for the majority of entries. So, if you’re intrigued by facts and appreciate them in small doses ( at your leisure!), check out this fascinating book. Begin with your birth month and discover lots of days to celebrate!
Book lovers certainly do love quotes about books, reading, libraries – you name it! I grew up with a poster of this famous quote by Henry Ward Beecher in my room:
A library is not a luxury but a necessity of life.
Hmmm, wonder if that influenced my choice of career?
I recently checked out some books of quotations and sayings related to all things book-ish, and found some new quotes to savor and share:
Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
Jorge Luis Borges:
A good reader is rarer than a good writer.
Let our books have some of the qualities of music. But they must be the qualities that music has for the unmusical, what we want are dreams, and sound without sense.
And my new favorite, from Oliver Wendell Holmes:
When I want a book, it is as a tiger wants a sheep. I must have it with one spring, and, if I miss it, go away defeated and hungry.
I’m always open to adding new quotes to my collection so send your favorites in!