LibraryPoint Blog

12/16/2011 - 3:31am

It's never too early to start raising a reader, and the library has a number of early-literacy programs to help. We offer...

Storytimes (see our program page for exact time and branch information):

  • Mother Goose for babies
  • Toddler Time for 2 and 3 year olds
  • Alphabet Soup for all ages
  • Books Before Bedtime in the evenings
  • Saturday Tales on the weekend for working families.

Early Literacy Activity Centers @ England Run, Headquarters, Porter and Salem Church. Kids learn when they're having fun! Children and their caregivers are invited to explore the toys, blocks and letters that enhance the library experience and teach early reading skills through play and self-discovery.

The LEEP librarian visits daycares providing preschool storytimes and delivering books

Our Kids Jr. page has a number of booklists to help you find the right book for your child's age/stage and interests.

12/15/2011 - 3:12pm
Best Books of 2011

Library staff members read and discuss books all year long. See what they consider the "Best Books of 2011" for adults, teens, and children.

Some of the "starred picks" (chosen by more than one staff member) include:

Bossypants by Tina Fey, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain for adults;

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, and Divergent by Veronica Roth for teens;

and Press Here by Herve Tullet and Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean.

Check out the lists linked above to browse all the selections.

12/15/2011 - 10:29am
The Muppet Christmas Carol

What a wonderful introduction to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for the young (or a reminder of the message for the young at heart) to receive by watching A Muppet Christmas Carol with friends and family this holiday season.  Muppet Gonzo the Great, as author Charles Dickens, and his friend Rizzo the Rat, as himself, narrate and add some Muppet mayhem to this classic tale.  With music by Paul Williams and Michael Caine as a bemused Scrooge, this movie is sweet, funny, and heartwarming. I am a lifelong Muppet fan, and, like Jason Segal in his new Muppet Movie this year, want to save the Muppets from being forgotten. So suspend your disbelief and enjoy Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy as the Cratchits!

Jacob and Robert Marley (Muppets Statler and Waldorf) are the ghosts who haunt and heckle Scrooge in song about his avarice and greed. The chains Marley & Marley show Scrooge, which he has forged in his life, rattle his black soul and he starts his journey of self-discovery.  Scrooge, of course, is haunted by Muppet ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Gonzo and Rizzo go along for the ride and add a little slapstick humor. Mixing the classic Muppet repertoire with Charles Dickens’ story is done seamlessly, such as the party at Fozziwig’s (played by Fozzie Bear) Rubber Chicken Factory with Animal jamming on the drums--a delight.

12/15/2011 - 3:30am
Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem

Billy Twitters is your average, run-of-the-mill elementary school-age kid. Sometimes he doesn’t clean his room; sometimes he doesn’t brush his teeth and at times such as these his parents threaten him with punishment of the most unusual sort. “Billy, finish your baked peas…or we’re buying you a blue whale.”

The boy thinks his parents are bluffing. A blue whale? Impossible! It wouldn't fit in the house! But one should never underestimate the power of mom and dad. When Billy awakes the next morning, a ginormous fin blocks the front door. By this point, you’ll be more than consumed by the tale of Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem.

12/14/2011 - 3:31am
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed is the story of veteran journalist Barbara Ehrenreich’s investigation into low-wage America. Before she left her normal life to pursue this project, she already knew something of the problems that these workers endure because of her research into other social issues. Ehrenreich had suggested to the editor of Harper’s Magazine that someone should do an investigative piece about this group, but she never thought at the time that she would be the person to dig deep into the lives of the working poor in America.

12/13/2011 - 11:05am
Gingerbread Library

This outstanding gingerbread replica of the Headquarters Library, made by Sue Rupert of Stafford  and Pam Kinney of Spotsylvania, won Best in Show at the 2011 Ferry Farm Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit.

See if you can spot some of your favorite characters from Christmas favorites like The Polar Express, The Nutcracker, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman.

The 25th Annual Gingerbread Exhibit is open through December 30, 10am to 4pm, at Ferry Farm (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children, and kids under 6 are free.

12/13/2011 - 11:51am
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

When Jodi Linder was three, the unbearable happened.  As told in Nancy Pickard's The Scent of Rain and Lightning, one Saturday night, her father was murdered and her mother disappeared.  Jodi grew up in the small town of Rose, Kansas, wrapped in the fierce protective circle of her three uncles, safe and cherished, but distrustful of happiness.

When Jodi Linder was 26, the unthinkable happened. Billy Crosby, the man convicted of killing her father, has been released from prison and returns to Rose, loudly protesting his innocence of the murder.  In a small town, it’s hard to keep your distance from anyone, and Jodi finds that she starts to run into Billy’s son Collin just about everywhere.  Collin is a lawyer who wants to live peacefully in Rose and wants to prove his father’s innocence.

12/12/2011 - 11:10am
Charles McDaniel

This interview airs beginning Wednesday, December 14.
Charles McDaniel is easily recognized as the president and CEO of the Hilldrup Companies, but he is also outstanding as a community leader in historic preservation. His meticulously restored 18th century home, the Sentry Box, is a magnificent example of his continuous effort to assure that attention and care will be given to remnants of our vital past. Debby Klein learns more when she visits him on CRRL Presents, a Central Rappahannock Regional Library production.

12/12/2011 - 3:30am
Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science

Phineas Gage was truly a man with a hole in his head.  Phineas, a railroad construction foreman, was blasting rock near Cavendish, Vermont, in 1848 when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain.  Miraculously, he survived to live another eleven years and become a textbook case in brain science.  

What an amazing story!  The pictures and illustrations add to the narrative, and the cover photograph of his skull is very thought-provoking.  Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story, by John Fleischman, approaches Phineas’s life after the accident from a scientific and psychological viewpoint. Fleischman includes interviews with people who knew Gage before his accident as well as after and observed the changes in his behavior.  The author also presents notes from the doctors who treated him over the eleven years following his accident. It is an amazing story of survival and the resilience of the human brain. Who would have thought that anyone could have survived even a little while--let alone talk, walk and function after such an event? 

12/09/2011 - 8:47am
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

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.  You can browse the book matches here.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier: Based on local history and family stories passed down by the author's great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded soldier Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war and back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. Inman's odyssey through the devastated landscape of the soon-to-be-defeated South interweaves with Ada's struggle to revive her father's farm, with the help of an intrepid young drifter named Ruby. As their long-separated lives begin to converge at the close of the war, Inman and Ada confront the vastly transformed world they've been delivered." (Book description)

If you like Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, you might like these titles:

Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
The Colleys are farmers in the Missouri Ozarks. Although Southerners, the family tries to remain neutral, a fact ignored by the Union militia who confiscate their livestock and arrest their daughter, Adair, on charges of "enemy collaboration." Yet as Adair soon discovers, fate can be a double-edged sword. (Catalog summary)
 


 

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
With ravishing beauty & unsettling intelligence, Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel traces the intersection of four damaged lives in an Italian villa at the end of World War II. Hana, the exhausted nurse; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burned man who lies in an upstairs room & whose memories of passion, betrayal, & rescue illuminates this book like flashes of heat lightening. (Catalog summary)

 

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