Lee Criscuolo

02/25/2017 - 1:08pm
Starting Seeds Indoors

Get Your Garden Off to a Great Start!

If you're like me, you're looking forward to warm weather, flowers, and delicious homegrown produce. You can give your garden a head start by sprouting and growing seedlings indoors. Horticulturist Holly Schemmer will take the mystery out of starting vegetables, herbs, and flowers from seed. Seed selection, sowing techniques, materials, and timing will be discussed and demonstrated to give you the skills to grow your own spring garden plants. We guarantee you'll go home with a green thumb.

01/26/2017 - 3:06pm
Foreign Films in February

Need a break from Hollywood special effects blockbusters? Want to travel the world without leaving town? Join us at England Run Branch for a series of international films Saturdays in February, 2:00–4:00. These will be shown in their original language with English subtitles.

February 4, we'll head to Denmark for a very special meal with Babette's Feast. In a remote village in 19th-century Denmark, a French refugee, Babette, is taken in at the local pastor's house as a servant. When the stern pastor dies, his daughters decide to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth with a dinner. With Babette in charge of the meal, the little community will get the meal of their lives! Rated G 

12/15/2016 - 3:56pm
Bob Gramann playing guitar before an audience

This winter, you can take the chill off in England Run Branch's cozy living room setting, complete with fireplace, at the Fireside Concert Series, held on the second and fourth Saturdays at 2:00.

January 14: Local favorite Harvey Sandler sings classic rock, folk, and pop.
January 28: Award-winning singer/songwriter Bob Gramann is back with more lively, funny, & thought-provoking original songs. Bob’s been voted Fredericksburg’s best acoustic act and has performed at the Washington Folk Festival.
February 11: Bruce Callander, master of the sing-along, entertains with a mix of classic folk, Americana, and rock.
February 25: Accomplished guitarist Robbie Keelin finishes off the series with a great mix of classic rock and folk as well as his own original songs.
 
10/31/2016 - 9:29am
We Have a Butterfly Garden!

“The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.” ― George Carlin

In May 2016, Master Gardeners Pat Brown and Annette Leach, along with England Run Branch staff members, prepared soil and planted a butterfly garden. We included both nectar and host plants to attract butterflies and support their life cycles. The nectar plants feed adult butterflies, and, just as important, the host plants support the caterpillars that will turn into butterflies. Stop by, and take a look! The garden is located near England Run Branch's drive-up window. The picture below was taken in the England Run Branch garden. Our garden includes:

08/19/2016 - 10:20am
If you like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life. (catalog summary)

 

If you enjoy The Fault in Our Stars, you may enjoy these other Adult and Teen titles too: 

 

100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi
What would you do if you knew you only had 100 days left to live? So begins the last hundred days of Lucio's life, as he attempts to care for his family, win back his wife (the love of his life and afterlife), and spend the next three months enjoying every moment with a zest he hasn't felt in years. From helping his hopelessly romantic, widowed father-in-law find love, discovering comfort in enduring friendships, and finding new ones, Lucio becomes, at last, the man he's always meant to be. In 100 epigrammatic chapters, one for each of Lucio's remaining days on earth, it is as delicious as a hot doughnut and a morning cappuccino. (catalog summary)

 


Alice & Oliver
by Charles Bock
Alice Culvert is a force: passionate, independent, smart, and gorgeous, she--to her delight--attracts attention wherever she goes, even amid the buzz of mid-90s New York. In knee-high boots, with her newborn daughter, Doe, strapped to her chest, Alice is one of those people who just seem so vividly alive, which makes her cancer diagnosis feel almost incongruous. How could such a being not go on? But all at once, Alice's existence, and that of her husband Oliver, is reduced to a single purpose: survival. As they combat the disease, the couple must also face off against the serpentine healthcare system, the good intentions of loved ones, and the deep, dangerous stressors that threaten to push the two of them apart. (catalog summary)

 

01/30/2015 - 5:03pm
If you like books by Debbie Macomber

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.

Debbie Macomber's books "brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber's novels have spent over 750 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list." (debbiemacomber.com)

If you like Debbie Macomber, you might also like these titles:
 

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes
Fate is on its way to the tenants of 66 Star Street, bringing with it love and tragedy, friendship and heartbreak, and the power to change lives ... One of them is falling in love; another is torn between two lovers. For some, secrets they want to stay buried will come to light and for others the unveiling of those secrets will have tragic consequences.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler
​Two families awaiting the arrival of their adopted infant daughters from Korea meet at the airport. The families lives become interwined after the Donaldsons, a young American couple invite the Yazdan's, Maryam, her son and his Iranian American wife to an arrival party, which becomes an annual event. A penetrating light on the American way as seen from two perspectives, those who are born here and those who are still struggling to fit in.

07/10/2014 - 3:00pm

What do nannies, billies, and kids have in common? They're all goats! Nannies are the moms, billies are the dads, and of course, kids are the kids!

07/02/2014 - 12:37pm

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

--Isaac Watts, Against Idleness and Mischief

 

 Do you like honey on your toast? Thank a bee! Actually thank about 100,000 bees. That's how many can live in one hive! "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you…" (It would take you about 27 hours of non-stop thanking to thank each bee in one hive.) Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers and carrying it back to their hive. They put it in a little wax cell. Then bees fan their wings over the nectar to help the water evaporate from it. When most of the water has evaporated, what's left is honey. They cover the cell with wax to save the honey for later. When a beekeeper's hive has more honey than the bees need to eat, the beekeeper harvests it.

09/26/2012 - 11:17am
Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab

If you’ve never managed to make it all the way through this “great American classic,” NOW is the time to give it one more go! Wait, don’t click away! Hear me out! I’ve tried at least three times in the past to read Moby Dick & always get bogged down after a few chapters. All that whaling! All that boiling down of blubber! And, what is Ahab’s problem anyway?! So I’ve never “gotten” Moby Dick & never finished the book. I always abandon the Pequod, Ishmael, Ahab, & the gang and leave them floating in the middle of the ocean somewhere.

But NOT this time! You may have heard recently that writer, Philip Hoare, is leading a "big read" of Moby Dick, or, in this case, more like a “big listen.” He’s offering a chapter per day in free downloadable audio. There’s a different reader and a different artist’s illustration for each chapter.  I know about this because I have been reading, not a chapter per day, but a PAGE per day, of Moby Dick since August 9th , 2012, and writing a blog about it.  So, several people who’ve been following my blog have told me about the big read project. “This guy stole your idea!” they say indignantly.

12/03/2010 - 11:18am

This readalike is in response to a patron'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.

In “The Tenderness of Wolves” by Stef Penney 
The year is 1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on Dove River, a tiny isolated settlement in the Northern Territory, when a man is brutally murdered… A local woman, Mrs. Ross, stumbles upon the crime scene and sees the tracks leading from the dead man's cabin north toward the forest and the tundra beyond. It is Mrs. Ross's knock on the door of the largest house in Caulfield that launches the investigation. Within hours she will regret that knock with a mother's love -- for soon she makes another discovery: her seventeen-year-old son Francis has disappeared and is now considered a prime suspect.
 
One by one… searchers set out from Dove River following the tracks across a desolate landscape -- home to only wild animals, madmen, and fugitives -- variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for seventeen years, and a forgotten Native American culture before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good.
An exhilarating thriller; a panoramic historical romance, and a gripping murder mystery. – from the publisher’s description
 
If you enjoyed The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney, you may also like the following:
 
The Dead Lie Down” by Sophie Hannah
Ruth Bussey once did something wrong-horribly wrong-and was nearly destroyed by her punishment. Now, she has tentatively rebuilt her life and unexpectedly found love with a man named Aidan Seed. But Aidan also has a secret-he killed someone years ago, a woman named Mary Trelease. Ruth's horror turns to confusion when she realizes that she knows Mary Trelease, and Mary is very much alive. – publisher’s description


 
The Devil in the White City” by Eric Larsen
(Non-fiction) Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men--the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction. - publisher’s description
 

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