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Getting To Know You: Standalone SF Reads

Well, It's 2013, and the planet still appears to be in one piece. Time for a new blog entry!

Many people will tell you that good things (and bad luck) come in threes. Speculative fiction stories frequently do; the genre has a strong predilection for trilogies.  But many authors don't even stop there-- there are SF series and sagas that run to double-digits and represent decades of writing.  Some writers don't even finish their story arc within their lifetimes (ahem, Robert Jordan), leaving devoted readers to hope for a worthy successor (and copious notes left by the original author) to finish out the series.

What's Cooking?: Shape Up!

The overindulgent holiday feasting is finally over and the New Year projects the familiar resolutions we’ve come to know every year in regard to our health and fitness.  Where we recently were enticed by the seductive sweets that surrounded us during the holiday gluttony without any guilt, we must now discipline ourselves to withdrawn from this temptation.  After stepping on the scale to see the damage, there will be no delay in cutting out the homemade cookies, banana breads, chocolates, and apple pie that are all sitting in the kitchen within reach.  It is certainly the right time to go back to eating smaller portions to whip us into shape. The bounty of nourishing healthy recipes provides variety and interests.  Never a dull selection.  Although correcting our eating habits to maintain a healthier diet is not easy, there are many sources to help us support a healthy lifestyle eating. 

Blizzard of Good Wishes!

Many thanks to all who donated to the project.  Sandy Hook has been overwhelmed with snowflakes from everywhere!  We have mailed out what was already donated and won't be collecting any more.

To quote a recent Newtown Patch article:

"Connecticut PTSA is deeply saddened by the tragedy that has struck our Newtown community.  We have met with the PTA and community leaders in Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary to offer our assistance at this very difficult time.  They have asked us to spearhead the following efforts on their behalf......Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.  Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school!  Get creative!" This is just one project on the list.

What's Cooking?: Holiday Wintry Drinks

As the holidays approach, preparations get underway as we think about what to serve at seasonal get-togethers.  We check our menu list of appetizers, main and side dishes and desserts.  We tend to overlook those inviting wintry drinks to welcome family and guests, taking the bite out of the cold.  There’s nothing like being greeted with yuletide cheer of toasty mugs filled with spiced cider, mulled wine, or a hot toddy.  Before my guests arrive, I prepare a big pot of mulled spiced cider simmering ready on the stove filled with rich apple cider, cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and whole cloves inserted in wheels of orange slices.  The aroma fills the house luring travelers to the comfort of home.

This Is How the World Ends: Apocalyptic SF

WARNING: This may be my last blog.  No, of course I'm not leaving my position.   It's just that... well, haven't you heard?  The world is scheduled to end this week.  Oh dear, you haven't heard, have you? According to the ancient Maya calendar, the end is due on December 21, 2012 (at 11:11 a.m. precisely, in case you need to schedule a few last appointments or polish off your bucket list before the Last Trump).  But wait, there's no cause for panic!

Because I am a librarian to the end, I've made sure that you, my loyal readers, will be properly prepared for Judgement Day (as much as I can, anyway-- your soul is your own affair).  I've thoroughly researched the topic and compiled a few reading lists on the incipient Apocalypse and what to do afterward (if you survive).  I expect you'll have many demands on your time before the big day, but it's important to stay informed!  Knowledge is power, particularly when the world is plunging into limitless chaos.  (And episodes of The Walking Dead will only save you in the case of a zombie apocalypse.)

Smooth Criminals

The pages of romance are populated by any number of gamblers, rakes, mercenaries, courtesans, femme fatales, hoydens, and other scapegraces who don't care to play by society's starchy rules.  This month's ne'er-do-wells, though, take their roguishness a step further.  They don't just bend the rules; they break the law.

What is it about bad boys? (And wicked women too-- I wouldn't leave them out!)  As much as we condemn their actions, we have a strange fascination with outlaws.  For centuries, we've made celebrities of them-- turned them into legends, even.  (I'm looking at you, Robin Hood! Rebel against an oppressive king, yes, but a robber all the same.)  Granted, to the ancient Greeks a clever thief was a legitimate hero (just look at Odysseus), but we've romanticized our fair share of criminals since that time.

There and Back Again: Journeys in Speculative Fiction

A certain highly anticipated fantasy film about a long journey "there and back again" will see its world-wide release in less than a month.  Closer to home, many are making trips of their own today to be with family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  The roads, rail lines, and airways of this country are jam-packed with travelers.  (And before the weekend is over, they'll get to do the whole thing over again in reverse, hooray!)

College freshmen, many of them back home for the first time since the start of school, might feel a particular kinship with Mr. Baggins in the ending chapters of The Hobbit.  The place to which they've returned may look the same (if their mothers haven't turned their rooms into craft spaces or storage cubbies), but for some, it won't feel quite like the home they left a few short months ago.  Though it's been more years than I'd care to admit since I was a freshman, I can still recall that odd feeling of displacement on my first Thanksgiving back, of being a guest in my own home.  

Better Than Google

 

Like it or not, the Journal News is the major newspaper in Rockland and Westchester counties, and we rely on it as our primary local news source.  Librarians are often asked for help in retrieving news articles and obituaries from the Journal News.  Unfortunately, for the greatest part of its existence, the Journal News has not been indexed!  So, for example, a genealogist looking for an obituary must have some idea of the date of death, or they will be endlessly searching the microfilm.  The same grim scenario exists for anyone searching the microfilm without a date.

What kid wants to watch educational DVDs???

Maybe yours!  Tired of viewing those same old cartoon DVDs again and again?  Sitting in front of the game system fighting the aliens getting old?  We have a huge selection in the children's DVD section covering topics from home safety to how the rides at Disney World work.  Among our collection of more than 350 titles are several series.  We all love Bill Nye the Science Guy's way of introducing complex topics to young viewers using humor and sight gags.  Families of the World series shows the traditional cultures of many countries, each with its own DVD.  We have recently added Families of Guatemala, Families of Russia, and Families of Israel.  The titles in this series that we don't own in our collection can be borrowed through inter-library loan and picked up right here for your convenience.  Another excellent series is Global Wonders, which shows a culturally-diverse group of young friends how their traditions have impacted the arts, sciences, etc.  For more adventure, take a look at

Intrepid Museum Closed

The Intrepid Museum is currently closed due to damage caused by hurricane Sandy.  Please consult their website for information updates.  

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