Monday, November 29, 2010

Spotlight on Teen Programming: Cookies in a Jar

Last year I was lucky enough to participate in the program called Cookies in a Jar, which is for students in Grades 6-12. It required plenty of preparation on our part, but the end result was a lot of fun! 

Cookies to sample were baked ahead of time and were shared with the participants.  All the ingredients were supplied by the Library: flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips, salt, etc, along with the jars to put the ingredients in and a gift tag. Each person got a copy of the recipes and all they had to do was measure each ingredient and layer them into the jars. Everything they needed all in one place! Take a look at the pictures of the happy participants – it’s worth a thousand words!!
By popular demand, this program will be back on Saturday, December 18 at 2:00 P.M. There is a limit of 25 participants, so register as soon as you can. Make this to give as a present or for yourself to bake at home! Come alone, bring a friend or make a new friend, and share the good time!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Spotlight on International Fiction: Australia

Our next international stop is Australia! Check out some of these titles which take place "down under", from mysteries to historical fiction to travelogues.

The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas
At a festive barbecue in a Melbourne suburb a man slaps the child of another couple, triggering a court case and a variety of confrontations within the lives of the the families and friends present.

Rifling Paradise - Jem Poster
Moving to Australia, naturalist Charles Redbourne finds his life changing dramatically when he meets the artistic daughter of his host and embarks on an expedition to the Blue Mountains.

Carpentaria - a novel - Alexis Wright
A tale inspired by the plight of the Australian Aborigines follows a clash between a powerful family, tribe leaders, and mobsters in a sparsely populated northern Queensland town, a conflict marked by the machinations of a religious zealot, a murderous politician, and an activist.

Seven Mile Beach - Tom Gilling
It was just a harmless lie -- to say he was driving Danny Grogan's car when it was caught speeding down the Sydney streets on New Year's Eve -- and Danny's father, a billionaire real estate tycoon, had promised to make it worth his while. But when former reporter Nick Carmody stands up in court, it becomes clear that he doesn't know what he's admitting to -- until it's too late.

Wallaby Track - Aaron Fletcher
Vowing to use his doctoring skills to help other settlers survive in the beloved outback territory of his forebears, Stephen Brendell meets Deirdre Kerrick, a courageous young woman determined to preserve her family's destiny.

In armchair travel:

In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson
Travel writer and humorist author takes readers on a tour of the land Down Under that goes far beyond packaged-tour routes.

Keep Australia on your Left: a true story of an attempt to circumnavigate Australia by kayak - Eric Stiller
Narrates the journey of two men circumventing Australia by means of a two-man kayak, describing their dangerous encounters with strong currents, rough surf, crocodiles, and sharks.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Entertaining

With all one must accomplish during the holiday season, everyone is looking for a way to make entertaining easy, yet elegant.  What better resource to utilize than the woman who invented the concept herself, Martha Stewart.

According to, the secret to easy entertaining is organization.  By following her easy to follow Party Planning Checklist, your celebration will be a night to remember for both you and your guests.  Below are a few of Stewart’s party planning musts:

First, set the date.  Informal parties do not require an invitation.  Begin contacting guests several weeks in advance.   Invitations for formal parties can be sent out three to four weeks in advance.

Next, create a guest list.  Make sure that your entertaining space accommodates the number of people on your guest list.

Decide what type of celebration it is going to be.  Something as simple as cocktails and hors d'oeuvres can be chic and effortless.  Music and entertainment can truly set the mood.  Take the time to select the type of entertainment that will suit your guests and the event.

Looking for more great entertaining tips, or Stewart’s complete Party Planning Checklist? Visit her website. or stop in the library, relax by our fireplace, and browse through our Martha Stewart magazines. Martha Stewart ideas may also be found some of her books such as: Great parties: recipes, menus and ideas for perfect Gathering: the best of Martha Stewart living or Martha Stewart’s menus for entertaining

The library also has a selection of Martha Stewart DVD’s which includes Martha's Classic Thanksgiving and Martha's Homemade Holidays.

- BO

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mystery Writers of America 2011 "Grand Master"

The Mystery Writers of America have named author Sara Paretsky as their 2011 Grand Master Award recipient. The Grand Master Award was established to recognize authors' important contributions to the mystery genre.

Chicago based Paretsky introduced the popular V.I. Warshawski detective series in 1985 with the novel Indemnity Only.

The Mystery Writers of America is the premier organization for mystery and crime writers and fans of the genre. The MWA is also responsible for nominating and awarding the famous Edgar Awards since 1946.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Scene Stealers

Everyone has a favorite holiday but I have never met anyone who didn't like Thanksgiving. It must be the food. I can't think of a more enjoyable meal than the menu usually reserved for this holiday. People travel great distances to be home for Thanksgiving and the airports claim the highest travel times. So this Thanksgiving gather around to watch some films with a Thanksgiving appeal.

Home for the Holidays - Based on a short story by Chris Radant, starring Holly Hunter and Dylan McDermott

Pieces of April - Starring Katie Holmes before she was famous

Planes, Trains and Automobiles - A classic John Candy film

Hannah and Her Sisters - A Woody Allen film about 3 sisters and the men they love

Raising Arizona - May be Nicolas Cage's best movie ever; funny and cute

About Last Night - Great Thanksgiving scene and takes place in Chicago

Scent of a Woman - Best Al Pacino movie ever and Chicagoan Chris O'Donnell's first movie role

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cozy Mysteries

Fall is in the air – cool crisp mornings, the scent of wood burning, the leaves turning colors…doesn’t it make you want to sit by the fireplace and knit an afghan? Not so crafty? Then how about just reading a “cozy” mystery from one of the Needlecraft series, Someday Quilts series or the Home Crafting series, to name a few.
Monica Ferris started writing the Needlecraft series in 1999 with Crewel World. She has since written 12 more, the latest of which, Buttons and Bones, will be published later this year.

The Someday Quilts series is written by Clare O’Donohue. At the moment there are only 3 books in the series: The Lover’s Knot published in 2008, A Drunkard’s Path (2009) and The Double Cross (2010).

The first book in the Home Crafting Series, written by Sophie Mae Reynolds, is Lye in Wait, published in 2007. There are 3 subsequent titles, the most recent, Something Borrowed, Something Bleu was published in July.

However, if you do want to knit 1, purl 2 and drop 3…we can also recommend some of those titles.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Aaron Copland

When you think about composers that conjure up images of America, Aaron Copland comes to mind. His life spanned most of the 20th century: November 14, 1900 - December 2, 1990. In the twenties, he was trying to find a serious style which sounded American, rather than European. In this period, his music conveyed the image of energy and power.

In the thirties, Copland wanted music to reach those who weren't interested in modern music. He wrote music for theater, ballet, and films and used folk influences. His most popular works were Billy the Kid and Rodeo for the ballet. He wrote music for Irwin Shaw's play Quiet City, and the film scores for Our Town and The Red Pony. He also wrote music for the full-length opera The Tender Land, Fanfare for the Common Man, Lincoln Portrait for speaker and orchestra, Quiet City, Concerto for Clarinet, Strings, Harp and Piano, the Old American Songs, and Appalachian Spring. You can find these on The Music of America. Watch Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony explore the music of Copland and the cityscapes, landscapes and political developments that shaped it.

In addition, he became an impressario of modern music, establishing the composition department at Tanglewood, helping young composers, and writing and lecturing on a wide range of modern music. He also wrote a music appreciation book, What to Listen for in Music.

Copland retired from composing in 1965, although occasionally he wrote short pieces. He did, however, decided to conduct, specializing in his own scores.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Attention Anna Quindlen Devotees

Anna Quindlen has a devoted following of readers. She wrote five best-selling novels as well as books of nonfiction. There are also movies based on her fiction. She writes columns in Newsweek and her New York Times column, "Public and Private" was awarded the Pulitzer in 1991. Moreover, she has appeared in high school literature and anthologies. She is a gifted writer who uses prose that appears simple. She has an ear for dialogue and an ability to tell a story. She engages readers on a variety of challenging topics from difficult career choices to domestic violence. Her novels feature complex family relationships and mainstream female protagonists struggling with personal crises and grappling for self-awareness. Quindlen's novels are loved for their all-too-human characters and universal conditions. Black and Blue, for example, dealt with family violence. Her most recent novel, Every Last One, delves into a social issue theme.

Every Last One is an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seems like inconsequential actions. Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife of a doctor. Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount. And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed, Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence. What happens afterward is a testament to the power of a woman's love and determination. Mary Beth must face "every last one" of her fears as she holds onto love and pursues hope and healing.

So, for her devoted readers, Every Last One, is about facing every last one of the things we fear most, about finding ways to traverse an unintended path, and to be brave enough to try to live a life we never dreamed we'd have to live.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Talking Books

Do you or someone you know have difficulty reading conventional print materials due to a visual or physical disability?  Voices of Vision Talking Book Center (VOV) provides FREE library services to eligible readers. VOV provides: books, playback equipment, Braille books, recorded and Braille magazines, recorded and Braille books and magazines for children. All books and equipment are mailed to and from your home postage free as “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped”.  There is no longer a waiting list for the new digital players; they are now available to everyone who requests one.  The digital players are much easier to use and do not require a computer in order to use. For more information or an application, please contact Janet McIntyre, Outreach Librarian, at the Readers Services desk. Applications are also available online at the Voices of Vision Talking Book Center.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Looking for a Good Book to Read?

Everybody knows that the libary has books, but did you know that we also have several resources to use when you are looking for a good book to read?
If you are at home and looking for recommendations, visit our What to Read webpage. There are several different links that feature award winning books, read-a-likes and staff picks. You will also find a link to Novelist which is a database created by librarians for readers. Take a look at this tutorial to see how you can use Novelist to find recommended books. Please note that in order to access Novelist you will need to enter your Glenview Public Library card number.

Next time you visit the library, ask about BookPage. BookPage is a monthly newspaper that you can take home with you free of charge. Each month, newly released books are featured, for adults and kids in fiction and non-fiction.

I often recommend browsing the shelves to find a good book. Areas in the collection which are perfect for browsing include the New Book area, which features new fiction and non-fiction, the Book Discussion area, which has titles that have been discussed by library book groups and the topical displays that greet you on your left when you walk into the library.

And, if you still can't find something good to read, please ask for a suggestion at the Reader Services Desk. In addition to our many years of reading experience, we have a variety of tools at our disposal in order to help us make reading suggestions to our patrons. We don't want you to go home empty handed!