LibraryPoint Blog

Keep up-to-date with the latest news about the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.
Wed, 05/30/2018 - 12:12pm

January 30, 1649, was chosen to be King Charles’ death day. Among the sober observers were tall, flaxen-haired Gideon Jukes, musketeer and spy for Cromwell’s New Army, and lovely Juliana Lovell, the still loyal though seemingly abandoned wife of a Cavalier officer.

Juliana has crisscrossed wartorn England and now lives in London on the brink of starvation with her two young boys. She has a lady’s manners but has had to develop cunning to survive her years alone while her husband serves in the King’s army. Her path crosses with Gideon’s when they both flee the Tower in the aftermath of the King's execution.
 
Their lives before the war were so very different. Gideon, rebellious son of a wealthy merchant, nonetheless was cheerfully apprenticed to a printer of many things, including seditious literature. When the call came to join Parliament’s cause with the London trained bands, he quickly volunteered, eager to get away from a strange and unpleasant marriage. Without family and in need of a protector, Juliana had wed a trickster, a lesser noble, who fascinated her and kept her true to him despite their years apart.
 
Rebels and Traitors is a massive novel—nearly 750 pages—set in a time most Americans know little about. But they should, and this story is an engrossing way to immerse oneself in a time every bit as exciting and compelling as the American Civil War or the French Revolution. Those who enjoy James Michener’s historical sagas and Bernard Cornwell’s military tales of the British past should find summer solace in this lengthy tale. The pacing fluctuates between battles and sackings of towns--punctuated with periods of domestic normality, friendships, love, and even humor.
Wed, 05/30/2018 - 9:25am
Teetotalers and Moonshiners Exhibit at Howell

“Now the temp’rance army’s marching,
Wives and sisters in the throng,
Shouting ‘Total Prohibition’
As we bravely march along!” - from the Temperance Army song

Did you know it was never illegal to drink during Prohibition? The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, also known as the Volstead Act, made the production, sale, and transport of intoxicating beverages illegal but said nothing about actually drinking the stuff. It contained some exceptions, too. For example, a doctor could prescribe medicinal whiskey to his patients. The production and distribution of liquor, once handled by legitimate businesses, became the province of criminal gangs. Can you say, Al Capone? Respectable folk patronized illegal speakeasies. New York City alone had an estimated 30,000 speakeasies! As organized crime grew, and drinking gained more social acceptance, support for Prohibition waned, and in 1933 the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th.  

Virginia was ahead of its time, banning alcoholic drinks more than three years before national prohibition was enacted was enacted in 1920. Learn more about this fascinating period in Virginia’s history, including the long-lasting effects still felt today. With support from the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the Virginia Distillers Association, Howell Branch will host the Library of Virginia's exhibit, "Teetotalers & Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled," June 11 - July 21, during regular library operating hours.

Wed, 05/30/2018 - 9:24am
Be Safer and More Prepared for Emergencies

Emergencies can spring up when they are least expected - and at the worst possible moments. Quick thinking and action can minimize the damage an emergency could cause. You can become better prepared to handle almost any crisis from natural disasters to minor injuries. Salem Church Branch is hosting a series of information tables where you can pick up tips and techniques from safety experts. Stop by to chat with the friendly staff of local organizations on Tuesdays in July, beginning July 10, 11:00-2:00.

Tue, 05/29/2018 - 11:36am
Cover to Sidekicks by Dan Santat

Metro City’s very own superhero Captain Amazing is getting too old for his job, so he’s going to need some backup. Sidekicks is the journey of some die-hard hero wannabes who wish to join the captain for one very simple reason: They are his pets, and he hasn’t been paying them any attention lately.

It seems like a good idea, and Roscoe the dog (hero name Metal Mutt) seems like a shoe-in. Who would be a better superhero sidekick than man’s best friend? Unfortunately, ever since an incident with Amazing’s last animal sidekick, he’s adopted a strict no-pet policy.

Sure, all of these guys bring something to the table. Roscoe is big and strong; Shifty the Chameleon has powers of camouflage. Manny the cat has actual experience in the field. But what can tiny hamster Fluffy possibly do? At least he has a teeny, tiny Captain America costume.

Tue, 05/29/2018 - 3:19pm

Award-winning author Sharon Creech wove a lot of her own life into her books for young adults, including her first one, Absolutely Normal Chaos. Written as a journal as are many of her novels, what strikes a reader immediately are her humor and casual way of storytelling. Everything is told offhand, as if it doesn’t really matter—just a 13-year-old chattering. Until what happens does matter and things get serious. That’s when readers are grateful for the humor, and having a strong if strange family really becomes important.

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 9:02am
If you like Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form, and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

Fahrenheit 451 is an upcoming 2018 dystopian television film written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, based on the book of the same name, set to premiere on HBO, Saturday, May 19. It will star Michael B. Jordan as Guy Montag, Michael Shannon as Captain Beatty, and Sofia Boutella as Clarisse. See the first trailer for the TV movie below.

Looking for other titles similar to Fahrenheit 451? Check out these recommended novels. See also the book matches for Brave New World and The Handmaid's Tale, both similar dystopian novels.

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:58am
Snakes Galore!

Join us on our journey to meet the snakes of Virginia!  Virginia is home to more than 30 different species of snakes. They live in all corners of the state and in all different habitats. Some snakes live high up in the trees; others live on the forest floor. Some snakes like to swim, while others prefer to dig into sandy soil along the river banks.

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 9:02am
Cover to Show Off

I don't care if you are a kid, teen or adult - it feels great to be able to do some impressive tricks for your family and friends at the next backyard barbecue, like blowing a bubble within a bubble or slicing an unpeeled banana. If you want to move beyond mere parlor tricks, you can learn how to identify clouds, ride a boogie board or fold fortune cookies thanks to the super-easy directions in Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything One Step at a Time, by Sarah Hines Stephens and Bethany Mann.

What makes "Show Off" a fantastic book are the step-by-step picture directions. Since I am a graphic learner, this makes it so much easier for me than trying to decipher a page of text describing how to fold a ninja star. The ingredient lists tend to be very slight, which is a bonus for parents. If you want to learn more about an activity, several of them have longer descriptions in the back under "tell me more." The 224 activities are grouped under the categories of "amaze," "investigate," "create," "explore," "cook," and "move." Most of these are easy to do by yourself if you're at least 10 years old, while others will require adult help.

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 10:41am
Keeping a Writer's Journal

Sylvia Plath kept a journal. So did Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Madeleine L’Engle. What did these and many other writers find valuable about journaling?

According to Virginia Woolf, a writer’s journal or notebook is a place to practice writing regularly. She said, “But what is more to the point is my belief that the habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and the stumbles...I believe that during the past year I can trace some increase of ease in my professional writing which I attribute to my casual half hours after tea.”

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:27pm
5 Hot New Titles for June

Mysteries abound within the hot new titles for June! Check out these five popular adult titles that have hit the shelves this month. To see more fresh titles, check out the booklist New June 2018 Books You'll Want to Read and our recent arrivals page.

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