It's lunchtime, and students carrying lunch boxes and cafeteria trays begin filing into the school library and finding seats. Librarians from the school and public libraries eagerly await their arrival. Once everyone's settled, they facilitate student discussion of 16 recently published teen titles, reminding students to start with what they liked and guiding them to elaborate on any concerns, beyond simply "It was boring." After meeting, reading, and discussing for an entire semester, teens vote for their favorites. The results become each school's "Top Teen Picks" list. The public library's copies get an award sticker, and these books become the most sought-after titles on our shelves. The semester wraps up with a visit to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, where the students continue their tradition of lunching in the library while also touring the building, answering trivia questions based on the books, and cheering for their school's winners.
In Georgette Heyer’s The Unfinished Clue, it becomes evident that whilst some marriages end happily, others end in murder. Sir Arthur Billington-Smith was dead, and he probably deserved it. He had been chuffing and harrumphing at his male guests, leering--and perhaps a bit more--at the female ones, all the while being quite revolting to his wife.
Aren’t English country house parties entertaining? Well, they are when penned by a master craftsman such as Georgette Heyer. Her thoroughly modern (for the early twentieth century) heroine Dinah, sister to the beleaguered soon-to-be widow, has a clever wit and no intention whatsoever of being set down by her blowhard brother-in-law.
We are honored to have artist Johnny Johnson join us at the England Run Branch on September 10, at 6:00, for a lively discussion. He will be joined by Sue Henderson, local artist and member of the Fredericksburg Arts Commission. They will be talking about Fredericksburg and the rich community of artists that has flourished over the past 50 years.
Johnny Johnson is well known in the Fredericksburg area as an artist, educator, and humanitarian. He witnessed the Fredericksburg arts community grow from a single gallery to the robust and active network of galleries and artists that it is today. For a full biography and gallery of Johnny’s work, please visit his website.
Video games? Check. Alien invaders? Check. Special appearances from world-renowned scientists? Triple-check! Armada, by Ernest Cline, has it all. He is back on our radar with another chart-topping classic for geeks and muggles alike. If you are a fan of Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, and The Last Starfighter, this is the book for you. So, grab your Game Boys, tablets and keyboards. It is time to save the world.
"Don't Push the Button!" exclaims a purple creature named Larry in Bill Cotter's tempting picture book. Despite this rule, even Larry seems pretty intrigued by what would happen if someone were to touch that big, red button. No one is looking, so maybe we should give it a try.
With the push of a button and the turn of the page, Larry turns completely yellow! Another push and he is covered in polka dots. A third try leads to two Larrys on the same page. After that, things become even stranger.
Since moving to Fredericksburg, I’ve discovered the joys of NPR, and, in particular, Fresh Air, with Terry Gross. The combination of driving the area’s picturesque roads and listening to a variety of scintillating interviews never fails to brighten my day. Whether it’s mushroom hunters searching for the holy grail of fungi, a discussion about the after-death experience, or a conversation with today’s in-vogue actor, singer or writer, I’m hooked.
Recently on my way to work at the Headquarters branch, I tuned in to hear Terry interviewing Vendela Vida about her latest fiction work, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty. The book’s unusual premise immediately grabbed me. And I was equally intrigued to learn that Vida is married to Dave Eggers, a prolific author of many titles, including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
It did not surprise her entirely. His advancing cancer had been their secret, allowing him to go about his usual routine as best he could. But now, on the other end of a bad phone connection, her grandmother is frantic. Why was her husband in a tiny village no one has heard of? What happened to his very personal belongings which were not returned with his body? Furthermore, she bitterly accuses Natalie (correctly) of having conspired to hide his illness.
Remember when no one knew what a “staycation” was? Now many of us regularly enjoy these less expensive opportunities to explore our community without the added expense of hotels and a long car ride. We are lucky to live in an area rich with history, activities and walking trails to keep us entertained, but dreaming about future explorations that might take us farther afield is fun too. Whether you hope to take a cross country train ride, travel around the world, or experience a different culture, books are another way to explore the world from the comfort of your own home.
I love Batman. I remember watching the old, cheesy shows when I was a kid. Now, Batman is much more about kicking butt and taking names. Look at all the gadgets! Look at the revamped Batmobile.. err.. Bat Tank? And, oh-my-gosh, the video games. I love the Arkham video game series and am very sad that it has come to an end with its latest installment. I just want it to keep going.
So, if you’re like me and love the elements of the Arkham Batman games—the martial arts, the riddles, the toxins, and the betrayal, check out these books filled with all those delightful, Batman-y characteristics.
Matt Miller’s mother is dead. Every day, he wakes up and puts on the same suit that he wore to her funeral. At work, at school…everywhere he goes, Matt is The Boy in the Black Suit.