Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New for 2010!

The Reader Services Department is excited to announce two new policies that will take effect in the New Year.

Beginning on January 5, Glenview Public Library cardholders will be able to place reserves on Fiction DVDs. Like other library materials, reserves on DVDs can be placed in person, by phone or through the library catalog. When the Fiction DVD is ready, we will let you know via phone or email (depending on your preference) and the DVD will be held at the Circulation Desk for three days.

Another change to note is that we are increasing the limit on the number of DVDs that can be checked out per library card. Starting January 5, library patrons will be able to check out up to 10 DVDs (previously 5), including fiction and non-fiction titles. The loan period for DVD's is 7 days. You'll want to be sure to return them on time to avoid a $1.50 per day late fee.

Happy New Year from the Reader Services Department!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Genre Fiction Books of 2009

There are many lists created for best books of the year. Here are some highlights of Library Journal's annual list.


Server Down: A Mad Dog & Englishman Mystery by J.M. Hayes
Half-Cheyenne shaman Mad Dog attends Yaqui tribal Easter ceremonies in Tucson, Arizona, where he is framed for the murder of a local policeman, while back in Kansas, Sheriff English investigates the bombing of Mad Dog's home.

The Shanghai Moon: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Mystery by S.J. Rozan
Estranged for months from fellow P.I. Smith, Chinese-American private investigator Chin is brought in by former mentor Joel Pilarsky to help with a case that involves tracking down a valuable brooch, the Shanghai Moon, which disappeared during WWII.


Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz
Reluctantly paired for a murder investigation by the paranormal Arcane Society, former cop Luther Malone and aura-reading librarian Grace Renquist find their mutual disgust dissolving into a powerful attraction, during a case that is further complicated by operatives for a ruthless underground psychic group.

What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
When actress Georgie York's film career hits rock bottom along with her marriage, the paparazzi has a field day with her misfortune, which is only complicated by the reappearance of her sexy, unscrupulous former costar, Bramwell Shepard.

Science Ficton/Fantasy:

Flood by Stephen Baxter
Four hostages are finally released, but they face a world suddenly inundated as vast amounts of water is released from the earth's mantle. As the world's cities and countries disappear under the rising seas, humanity faces unimaginable global disaster.

Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
In a tale that stretches from Renaissance Italy to the future colonization of the moons of Jupiter, a renegade colonist named Ganymede brings Galileo into the future to alter the history of the human race.


The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
Pursuing a big story in anticipation of his imminent layoff, Los Angeles reporter Jack McEvoy investigates the murder confession of a teen drug dealer and realizes that the youth may be innocent, a discovery that pits him against a killer operating belowpolice radar.

The Doomsday Key by James Rollins
The Sigma Force must solve a centuries-old secret involving coded prophecies about dark events leading to a future apocalypse.

The full article can be read online at Library Journal's website.

Other best of 2009 lists:

New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2009
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2009
NPR's Best Books of 2009
Goodreads Best Books of 2009 (User voted)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Honor in Space

On Basilisk Station

A young naval officer has embarrassed some important high-ranking people and is banished to a distant outpost. Crew morale is low, smuggling and corruption is commonplace, and the native population is threatening to rise up. While politicians meddle, merchants complain, and two powerful nations edge closer to war, the crew of the Fearless will do their duty to protect their kingdom.

Yes it is a naval story. However, while the commander in question’s initials are “HH”, this is not Horatio Hornblower, but Honor Harrington. The Fearless is a light cruiser of the Star Kingdom of Manticore’s navy. The outpost in question is Basilisk Station, located near a wormhole of strategic importance to both Manticore and its enemy, the People’s Republic of Haven.

On Basilisk Station by David Weber is the first book in the ongoing Honor Harrington series. It is of course reminiscent of C. S. Forrester’s Hornblower stories as well as the Napoleonic Wars and other historical events. The cast list is quite large and varied. Some are quite decent. Some “allies” you would not want to turn your back on. Honor herself is honest and courageous, though has a temper that gets her in trouble. The technology, while futuristic, is not fanciful or particularly hard to believe, given how far into the future the story is being projected.

The Honor Harrington series currently numbers eleven novels and four short story anthologies. Two spinoff series are also being written; the Saganami Island series and The Wages of Sin series (the latter being co written with Eric Flint).


Monday, December 21, 2009

A Hawaiian Discovery

I recently returned from my first trip to Hawaii, the islands of Aloha. The islands are rich in history, diverse in culture, and overwhelmingly beautiful. The islands named Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii Big Island were born of earth, wind and fire, millions of years ago and then left alone to cultivate their natural splendor. The earliest settlers followed the stars that guided their canoes to these islands of impressive natural beauty. Over time, each chapter of Hawaii's history -- the arrival of Captain Cook, the reign of the Hawaiian Monarchs, the influx of the missionaries, the development of a plantation economy, the impact of World War II and statehood, multi-cultural contributions from later waves of immigrants -- added much to the islands' cultural heritage.

This trip sparked a keen interest in all things Hawaiian, especially Hawaiian historical fiction writing. I discovered James A. Michener's most ambitious book, Hawaii. Here is the story of Hawaii, told in terms of the peoples who made it -- and the forces of nature that held it together. It chronicles Hawaii's prehistory and history through the eyes of its natives, and then the missionaries a thousand years later, and the Asians after that who came to influence it. This is an enormously interesting story of human beings at many levels of struggle.

Kiana Davenport, herself Hawaiian, brings Michener's 1959 Hawaii up-to-date with Shark Dialogues (1995). This novel explores the past and present of Hawaii through the family of a Yankee sailor and the Tahitian princess he marries in Hawaii in 1834. Davenport's descriptions are more poetic and her stories are filled with more folklore and myth than Michener, but yet she includes factual history and digressions about politics, disease and race into her Hawaiian saga. She writes in a vivid prose style and clearly depicts Hawaii's past and present. Shark Dialogues is a favorite with book discussion groups and a solid read for Michener fans. Her Song of the Exile, also set in Hawaii, traces the saga of a Hawaiian jazz musician and a Korean-Hawaiian beauty who narrowly survive the punishments of World War II. She writes profoundly of human relationships and insightfully of racial issues.

New in 2009 is Alan Brennert's Honolulu: a Novel. In this sweeping epic novel, Brennert chronicles the lives of Asian immigrants in and around Hawaii's early 20th-century glamour days. He creates an encyclopedic portrait of Hawaii. As the tale begins, Korean-born Jin journeys to 1914 Hawaii as a mail-order bride only to find her hopes devastated by the realities of a rushed marriage to a callous plantation worker with drinking and gambling problems. Throughout this situation, Jin and her fellow picture brides discover their own ways to prosper in America and find that camaraderie and faith in themselves goes a long way.

Another carefully developed historical fiction novel is Bird of Another Heaven by James D. Houston which engages the theme of knowing our personal heritage and understanding our ancestors as individuals. The main character, Sheridan Brody, sets out to rediscover his family through the journals of his great-grandmother, Nani Keala, a half-Indian, half-Hawaiian woman who became a consort and confidant to the last king of Hawaii. Houston alternates his narrative between a past and present period of time which enables his readers to draw meaningful parallels between historical and present-day events and to appreciate the past's influence on our present-day choices.

Possibly the most memorable and unexpected thing I discovered on my trip was a new reading genre.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Interview With Greg Mortenson

An Interview With Greg Mortenson

Humanitarians such as Greg Mortenson wage wars of ideas. In his best-seller Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson told of how he built a school in a remote village in Pakistan. He has since founded more than 130 schools in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, hoping to replace extremism with literacy, especially for girls.
In an interview with Goodreads, a website for book lovers Mortenson explains why girls’ education in these areas is so crucial: “…(T)he first thing that happens is that girls teach their mothers how to read and write. Boys tend to just learn for themselves. Girls immediately start teaching their mothers. It spreads like wildfire….When women have an education…they are much less likely to encourage their sons to participate in violence or terrorism or to join the Taliban.” Throughout the interview, Mortenson displays his unique courage, perseverance and selflessness.
Mortenson’s new book, Stones Into Schools, describes his recent progress in Afghanistan and how women are using education to better their communities. It’s hard not to be inspired by this account of how one person can make a profound difference in the lives of thousands of people.
You have to join Goodreads to see the entire interview, which is FREE, but it’s well worth the effort. Plus, you’ll see all the other great things on this social networking site for readers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors

On Sunday, December 6, 2009, five outstanding individuals were honored, on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, for their lifetime contributions to the cultural life of the nation and the world in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television. It was also Dave Brubeck's 89th birthday.

Honored were:
Mel Brooks - writer, composer, actor, director and producer - born June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York
Dave Brubeck, pianist and composer - born December 6, 1920 in Concord, California
Grace Bumbry, opera singer - born January 4, 1937 in St. Louis, Missouri
Robert De Niro, actor, director and producer - born August 17, 1943 in New York, New York
Bruce Springsteen, singer and songwriter - born September 23, 1949 in Freehold, New Jersey

Presenters included Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, Herbie Hancock, Carl Reiner, Frank Langella, Martin Short, Aretha Franklin, Jon Stewart and Ron Kovic.

Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman states, "With his hilarious movies and musicals, Mel Brooks has created comedic gems that will keep us laughing for years to come. Dave Brubeck's genius has dazzled us for six decades and has helped to define an American art form. Grace Bumbry helped to break the color barrier on her way to one of the most illustrious operatic careers in the 20th century. One of America's greatest cinematic actors, Robert De Niro has demonstrated a legendary commitment ot his characters and has co-founded one of the world's major film festivals. With his gritty and honest songs that speak to the everyman, Bruce Springteen has always had his finger on the pulse of America."

The show will broadcast on Tuesday, December 30 on CBS 8:00pm (CT)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

100 Notable Books of 2009

Are you looking for a good book to read? Or are you looking to purchase the gift of reading for someone? A great place to get ideas is the New York Times 100 Notable Books list. Every year in December, The New York Times puts out it's coveted list, which includes both fiction and nonfiction. The list is further broken down to The 10 Best Books of 2009, Notable Children's Books of 2009, 2009 Graphic Novels, Art and Architecture Books, Coffee Table Books, and more. Take a look and let us know which titles you think are deserving - or not!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Large Type Books

Located on the west side of the first floor near the fiction collection, is the popular large type collection. Large type books are popular with older adults and patrons with vision loss. The collection contains approximately 6,000 fiction and non fiction titles and is growing by leaps and bounds, with the addition of over 400 new titles per year. Check out the “Just Arrived” book display featuring our newest titles, just opposite this display is a rotating display highlighting a specific genre or special collection within the large type collection. A common misconception about large type books is that they are heavier than the regular print edition. Actually most large type books weigh less then the regular print edition! Publishers use lighter weight paper and most books have narrower margins. Some of our newest titles include; Nevada Barr’s 13 1/2, Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving, Debbie Macomber’s Bride on the Loose and Cheating Death by Sanjay Gupta. Give weary eyes a rest and try a large type book.