Reading Room Blog
St. Patrick's Day may have passed, but you can continue to celebrate at home by stocking up on Irish stories and lore from the library. Edna Barth’s “Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs” provides quirky facts and legends associated with the holiday. Did you know that St. Patrick was not Irish himself but was born in Scotland? Or that Americans have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day since 1737? (That year’s gala was held in Boston, of course.) Along with fascinating details about Irish harps, Irish poetry and St. Patrick’s Day parades, Barth weaves in much of the history of Ireland for readers nine and up.
If you liked Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Born of Ice" for the romantic SF, see what you think of these selections, which range from the more serious to the lighthearted:
by L A Banks
"All Damali Richards ever wanted to do was create music and bring it to the people. Now she is a top act ... But come nightfall, she hunts vampires and demons - predators that people tend to dismiss as myth or fantasy. Damali and her team cannot afford such delusions, especially now, when a group of rogue vampires has been striking down other musicians. When strange attacks erupt ... Damali realizes these killings are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. Instead of neat puncture marks in the neck showing where the blood has been drained from the body, these corpses are mutilated beyond recognition, indicating a blood lust and thirst for destruction that surpasses any Damali has encountered before. Soon she discovers that behind these brutal murders is the most powerful vampire Damali has ever met - a seductive beast who is coming for her next...."-catalog summary
If you like books such as those written by Kurt Vonnegut or Jonathan Safran Foer, satirical, with "beautiful and intriguing use of language," here are some suggestions:
TC Boyle - The Road to Wellville
On Thursday, March 18, 2010, Mark Hamilton Lytle of Bard College and author of The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement, will give a talk on the scientist. The lecture, part of the University's Great Lives series, is free and open to the public.
She took the throne as a young and somewhat malleable girl, married for love, and spent the greater part of her reign as the formidable Widow of Windsor. Her children and grandchildren held thrones throughout Europe, and the Age of Victoria was known for both domestic reform and colonial conquest. Her long and fascinating life has been the subject of numerous books, films, and television series.
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
These days are brim full of bad news about our economy—businesses closing, people losing their houses, their jobs. If there’s any comfort in a situation like this, it’s in the fact that there’s a big community of sufferers. Here’s a poem by Dana Bisignani, who lives in Indiana, that describes what it feels like to sit through a bankruptcy hearing.
What made Jay Leno crave an audience? What lesson did Steve Forbes learn early and never forget? What influenced Steve Wozniak?
Children’s literature specialist Anita Silvey conducted interviews with these three and over 100 other people in the arts, business, and sciences to discover what inspired and influenced them as children. The result is her new book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book, Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life.”
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
This marks the fourth time we’ve published a poem by David Baker, one of my favorite writers. Baker lives in Granville, Ohio, and teaches at Denison University. He is also the poetry editor for the distinguished Kenyon Review.
Old Man Throwing a Ball
Some books seem to fly under the radar. They don’t garner the big awards or make the bestseller lists, they’re just quietly checked out of libraries over and over again. One of my new favorites in this category is “The Thumb in the Box” by Ken Roberts.
It begins, “This is a story about a fire truck being driven into the ocean and two people taking off their thumbs. Don’t worry, though. Nobody gets hurt.” No self-respecting third grade audience will let you stop reading after that!