Block was born in Los Angeles, sometimes known as "Shangri-L.A.," other times "Hell-A," depending on how the day is going. The daughter of a poet and painter, she attended the University of California at Berkeley. Francesca was a riot grrrl before the term was coined. She read the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez while at college; his magical realism became a major influence. Block's work is grounded in urban realities, though she sees pixies and genies in that "jasmine-scented, jacaranda-purple, neon sparked city." She missed Los Angeles and wrote her first novel to cure homesickness. That novel was Weetzie Bat, and it made a big, wet splash in young adult literature.
For those of us who love books and reading, there are few things more pleasurable than meeting other readers and bibliophiles. Swapping books, book suggestions, and perhaps even going on a reading retreat are all a thrill to those of us who are avid readers.
There are times, though, when a fellow book lover isn’t available, or you are tired and just want to be alone, but yet you’d still love to discuss books. Did you know that there is an entire genre written for those times? I like to call them books about books, and there are many that have been written, both fiction and nonfiction, just for people like us.
I sound like a broken record sometimes about the power of books, but I think one of the most magical things about reading is how it can sweep us up and transport us to other worlds and times and help us experience something without actually being there. Reading stories set in the past can help us understand that time, bringing the past alive to show us what it was like to live in a different time by putting us right in the middle of a story. As a reader, I like having some excitement in the stories to make them even more enjoyable. Here is a selection of books set in the past with page-turning drama, including mystery, murder, and adventure.
The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis
In early 1900s Canada, the neighboring communities of Buxton and Chatham share the legend of the “Madman of Piney Woods.” When Benji of Buxton, a descendant of American slaves, and Red of Chatham, a descendant of Irish immigrants, meet at a school event and strike up a friendship, they find they have much in common, including feeling the strange presence of the Madman of Piney Woods.
"Revenge is a dish best served cold." I always thought this meant that if you waited until you cooled off the need for exacting revenge would lessen or maybe go away altogether. I guess I'm just way too naïve and forgiving because, when I actually looked up the meaning of the phrase, it seems to mean to wait until the person who wronged you has forgotten all about it, and thus your revenge will be in cold blood—and all the sweeter. Who knew?
What are you doing reading this article? Go take a hike! No, seriously. Take a Hike Day is on November 17, so you should go take a hike. Not only is Virginia filled with a variety of trails for all levels of hikers and all interests, but local trails are plentiful, too.
CRRL has earned the Library Journal four-star Star Library rating for the third year in a row. CRRL has received a star rating every year since Library Journal began publication of the Index of Public Library Service nine years ago. This year, CRRL is one of only three Virginia libraries to receive a star rating.
The Library Journal index groups U.S. public libraries by operating expenditures, then rates them based on physical materials circulation, electronic circulation, branch visits, program attendance, and public computer use. The 2016 Library Journal index is based on Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) data for FY14.
Kathryn Miller, Chair of the Library Board of Trustees congratulated CRRL Director Martha Hutzel, saying "CRRL continues to set the bar for public libraries in Virginia."
If you are struggling with a homework assignment or need a little help getting started on a project, the library is here to assist you! Central Rappahannock Regional Library has one-stop shopping for students of all ages, with resources available online and in our branches. Our trained research staff is committed to connecting students with the information they need, with our print and eBooks, the many databases we have available, and our knowledge of children’s and teens' literature. Whether you need online tutoring through the Literati Public database or a personalized recommendation for a reading assignment, CRRL has got you covered.
- Born on December 8, 1940, in Washington, D.C. to L.G. and Eleanor Schneider
- Received a B.A. in art from Smith College in 1963
- Married Tomas Azarian, a musician, that same year
- Mother of three sons—Ethan, Jesse, and Timothy
- Now resides in Plainfield, Vermont
Mary was raised on a small farm in Virginia, yet her life's road would take her into the New England countryside where she would create folk art that celebrates the region's traditional farming culture. She has illustrated more than 50 books and written several of her own, often employing a 19th-century hand press to create her woodcut designs.
"I certainly never imagined that when I opened Nourishing Traditions at our local library almost nine years ago that in less than a decade I would open the doors to a natural foods store, but I am certainly glad that I did." — Kathy Craddock, owner of Kickshaws Downtown and Kickshaws Kitchen
Kathy lives in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, with her husband, two kids, chickens and three dogs. She and her husband, Richard, own Kickshaws Downtown Market and Kickshaws Kitchen in downtown Fredericksburg, focusing on local, organic products and foods for special dietary needs. Here, she shares her thoughts on some of her favorite books:
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an annual Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November, challenging participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel. If you're thinking of participating, you’ll find plenty of helpful writing tips at the library and on nanowrimo.org.