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Mystery Monday

Pity the poor first time author!  After years of painstaking writing and re-writing, possibly years of rejections, somehow a book is published.  It will be reviewed, publicized, and ordered by bookstores and libraries.  Now what?  Does it remain hopefully on the shelf, while its better known brethren (yes, you Janet Evanovich and Mary Higgins Clark) are eagerly snatched up?  Is the author's creation doomed to languish on the shelf, unread, ignored, and eventually discarded?  As the librarian who orders the mysteries, I struggle between satisfying enormous popular demand for bestsellers, and purchasing the quiet, well-reviewed gems which the public may not even notice.  To rectify this situation, I want to take this opportunity to introduce some authors who have just published their first mysteries and deserve a wide readership. Try one today!

ONCE UPON A TIME: FAIRY TALES RETOLD

There are certain stories that we never forget.  Fairy tales sleep inside of us, waiting to be rediscovered like flowers that have been dried and pressed between the pages of a book.  No matter how long it's been since we left our childhood behind, these stories lie ready to live and bloom again in our imaginations.  With the smallest reminder, we are magically transported back to a place out of time where anything is possible: serving girls can become princesses, princes can become monsters, animals can speak, true love can break any curse, and one always, always gets exactly what one deserves.  Is it any wonder, then, that the "fairy tale retold" is such a popular motif in fantasy fiction? 

Magazines for the Researcher

Researching genealogy and historical information at the New City Library does not have to be limited to books or the Internet. Have you looked at the periodicals we offer? Two of my favorites are Prologue, a quarterly publication from the National Archives.  The winter issue devotes pages to President Eisenhower and Cold War strategy along with a discussion on the Archives' preservation project of early 20th- century photographs.  Another favorite is  Archives , New York State’s look at its history. This publication is always filled with something of interest for the reader.  We offer other publications such as the popular circulating Family Chronicles that always offers different genealogy researching methods and current Internet sites. This magazine is the only one in the AV department. For all others, stop in at the Rockland Room and take a look.

Dreams of Sun and Surf

 

The bone-chilling cold has traveled all the way to Florida this month and I will be returning to that "little Paradise on Earth," Captiva, in February. I hope the temperatures will be more seasonable.  While I'm taking my annual pilgrimage to Florida, I love to listen to something tropical such as a Doc Ford mystery by Randy Wayne White.  His hero lives on near-by Sanibel island. Carl Hiaasen is my choice for a good laugh. My favorite title is Native Tongue.   If I want a psychopathic serial killer creatively dispatching nefarious villains, I listen to Tim Dorsey's novels featuring that anti-hero Serge A. Storms.  Whether you travel to the Sunshine State in winter or just dream of palm trees, azure ocean and heated swimming pools, I recommend the above authors to fuel your dreams of sun and warmth.

New Circulation Desk and Lobby

Lobby Under Construction

The Library’s latest remodeling project is customer focused in providing a new circulation desk and a new lobby.  The design incorporates a number of new and exciting concepts for customer service.  Drop off slots directly into the circulation office will be incorporated.  Self service holds will also be introduced and the latest technology in self checkout stations will be available.

This renovation is expected to take less than two months.  A temporary circulation desk has been set up in the reference area. Books can also be checked out at the A/V desk on the lower level.  Throughout the construction all services will be maintained

What's Cooking?: Hot and Steamy...

 

After the gluttonous escapades of holiday eating, it is natural to look for ways to detox and trim down.  Yet when it is bitterly cold outdoors, my body seeks that nourishing warmth to coat me inside out.  What cries out to me?   No cold salads, low carb diets or nonfat foods will satiate me!  Hopefully what awaits me as I walk through the door is a bowl of steamy hot soup or chili with a nice crusty baguette, or a pot of chunky beef stew simmering over the stove, or even better the aroma of whatever went into the slow cooker prepared hours before.  I received a new slow cooking cookbook from my son this Christmas.  There is a great selection of delicious meals with little preparation.  Those slow-cooked Asian Red Glazed baby back ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender.  It is ready as soon as I get home from work and when the mouth-watering aroma hits me…wow!  If you haven’t used a slow cooker, give it a try.  It sure comes in handy in a busy household.

OH, THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL...

Alright, let's face it: unless you've gone the way of the snowbirds for your winter vacation, it's COLD out there!  As much as I love skiing and skating, there's something about deep-freeze cold that just makes me want to curl up with a fuzzy blanket, a hot cup of tea, and a nice, cozy read. 

It's a bit chilly between the covers of this month's titles, too, and the characters are-- well, they're with me on the fuzzy blanket part, at least.  (I'm sure they're only sharing to conserve warmth.)  If you're looking for a good book for your own winter snuggle, I recommend one from the list below.  Whether they warm your heart or heat your cheeks, these winter romances will help keep you toasty!

Every Day is a Good Day

This phrase was said in a conversation with some friends recently.  It really hit home.  The circulation staff tries its best to insure the time you spend checking out books or taking care of other transactions at our desk is a good experience.  Resolving your concerns, answering your question or just having a chat about a good read gives us a good feeling; we hope it's a positive experience for you.  During the month of January this goal will be tested.  The lobby area is being renovated and the circulation desk moved to a temporary location near the reference desk.  We'll be there for you, just a bit differently than usual.  Just knowing we can continue to meet your expectations will make each day a good day for us and help us help you.

Mystery Monday

Have yourself a merry little...murder?

No matter what holiday we celebrate we all have our special traditions.  Decorating the tree, frying latkes, wearing gaudy holiday sweaters, baking Christmas cookies, lighting a unity candle, endless shopping and family get togethers all help to make this time of year meaningful.   Ideally, the holidays are a time to reflect on the year gone by and a time to cherish friends and relatives. But even if your family reunions are strained, no one really wants a grisly murder to occur right before the turkey is served.  However, you may want to read about one and if you don’t mind a little blood with your egg nog, here are just a few mystery holiday favorites:

THE HEAT IS ON: SF LOOKS AT OUR (POSSIBLE) FUTURE

Science fiction is not all alien planets and galaxies far, far away.  Often, the strange new world at the heart of the plot is this one-- Earth.  What unknown terrain could be more fascinating to us than what our own home might look like in the distant (or not-so-distant) future?  What species could be more compelling than the one we might become?  Through science fiction, we can explore how humanity might affect its own future and how that future could in turn affect us. 

But it's not always about looking forward; future-Earth sci fi is often as much a commentary on our present as it is an exploration of our future.  A popular plot concept is to take a current trend or issue, project a future in which it has become commonplace (or has run amok!), and examine how humanity might adapt to the changes it brings about.  Looking at an issue in this way can sometimes offer us a bit of perspective when otherwise we might be too close to examine it objectively.  (Of course, it can also be sheer escapist entertainment, but hey, that's fun, too.) 

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