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'Tis the season... for romance!

Glowing lights and cozy fires, sleigh rides and cold-pinked cheeks, evergreens and mistletoe and gifts under the tree... as soon as the last Thanksgiving float goes by, people's thoughts are already turning to the next holiday season.  Christmas holds a strong romantic appeal for many, regardless of religious inclination.  In Japan, for example, Christmas is not celebrated as a family holiday-- it's traditionally the season for lovers!  Since the Christmas season is all about anticipation, I thought I'd start early with a list of books full of the Christmas spirit.  As always, romance authors stand ready to get you in the mood!

Mystery Monday

Why do we read mysteries?  If you are reading this blog, it can be assumed that you like mysteries.  An interesting thread on Librarything discussed why people read mysteries, and there were some interesting theories.

1. We love to see people being punished for their evil deeds, and generally, mysteries accomplish this with the guilty being punished, or at least, arrested.

2. We love puzzles, figuring thngs out, and mysteries certainly contain puzzles.

3. Many mystery writers are superb at characterization, as well as plotting, and are just some of the best writers around.

4. In a long running series we become invested in our favorite characters like Stephanie Plum, Peter Decker and Alan Banks.

5. Mysteries explore the mind and actions of people who do terrible things and it satisfies our need to understand the human condition.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you?  Maybe you just like to settle in with any engrossing book and here are a few you mignt want to check out.

Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell.  Inspector Wexford returns and we get some intriguing looks into his past.

BENEATH OUR FEET

We often look to speculative fiction to take us on journeys to distant galaxies, to transport us to far, fey kingdoms or realms of nightmare.  But there's a strange, lost land hiding much closer than we might suspect-- every day, in cities all around the world, humanity treads unthinkingly over it.  Those seemingly solid streets we drive on every day?  Hollow.  Buildings, sidewalks, even parks stretch over spacious caverns of air.  Although this sounds fantastical, I haven't even gotten to the "fiction" part yet-- read on! 

What's Cooking?: Thanksgiving

The autumn holidays are here!  Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  It is a special time to gather with families and friends around the table.  With the blustery fall weather, there is nothing like the comforting aroma of a steamy pot of soup or stew braising on the stove, or meat and root vegetables roasting in the oven.  I can still remember my dad's pork & shrimp wonton dumplings in a hot clear broth and how it took the chill out from the cold.  Soups are great comfort foods.

Short term pain...long term gain

New Steps at the New City Library If you have been to the library in recent weeks you know we are getting new front steps. The Library needed to close its front doors in order to complete this project in a timely manner.    Both doors are now open.   The steps will remain unavailable until the handrails are installed.  Please use the ramp and avoid spills by NOT walking through the flower bed. 

Also in laying new sidewalk, the drive through bookdrops were closed over the past weekend.  NO FINES WERE CHARGED on materials returned through Monday morning.  The library is sorry for the inconvenience and hopes you appreciate our beutiful new entrance.

HAUNTING ROMANCE

Looking for something to stir your spirits on a dark and chilly October night?  You might think that supernatural romances aren't your cup of tea, but ghosts can turn up in almost any type of romance-- from sweets to Gothics to hard-boiled romantic suspense.  As phantom lovers, spectral matchmakers, or the ultimate in unearthly villains, ghosts can add something a little out of the usual way.  If the idea of a haunting romance intrigues you, check out one of these titles!

Library Challenges

The library has met with several challenges lately that have hampered delivery of quality service.   On Saturday, October 25, during one of our more severe thunderstorms, the sump pump failed and staff were greeted the next morning with more than an inch of water in our lower level.  The only good news is that no materials were damaged. 

In a library environment it is critical that the water and moisture be addressed immediately.   The collection is the library’s most valuable asset.  Through having knowledgeable experienced staff, we were able to have a disaster recovery team onsite by Monday morning. 

Unfortunately, we needed to close the area, and the major part of the DVD collection, part of the non-fiction collection and our entire collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror are inaccessible.  It currently appears that the area will be opened up again on Monday or Tuesday.

What We Leave Behind

The circulation department checks in thousands of books every month.  One thing of which we are certain is finding something someone unintentionally left behind.  We returned lottery tickets (no winners), discarded used boarding passes and wondered if a recipe was a keeper.  Often we are able to return items to the rightful owner; money, bookmarks, bills, prescriptions or doctor's instructions.  If the item falls out of the book or there is nothing to identify the owner, it's added to our lost and found or the picture box on the circulation desk.  If only your pictures could talk we'd reunite Grandpa with his grandson, the graduate with prom pictures or the bridal party with the happy couple.  We keep pictures for a long time hoping someone will recognize a friend.  It has happened a few times, but it saddens us when pictures go unclaimed.  So check the pages before you return books, a picture is worth a thousand words but the ones you leave behind are silent. 

Nonfiction Chronicles: Marathon Sunday

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

Think the New York City Marathon is a grueling test of endurance?  Well, to the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyons of Mexico, it’s a walk in the park.  This reclusive tribe of super-runners can go hundreds of miles on desert terrain clad only in thin sandals after an all-night party drinking homemade tequila.   Author McDougall goes on a quest to discover the secrets to their peace-loving, cooperative, and very physical lifestyle by seeking out the mythical Caballo Blanco, an American ex-pat who earned their trust and serves as intermediary.  Using the Tarahumara as a backdrop, McDougall digresses into interesting topics such as the biomechanical superiority of barefoot running, reasons for the decline of U.S. distance running, and how evolutionary evidence points to the fact that the human body was, in fact, built for running.

Large Print: Cozy Up to a Good Mystery

October is a perfect month to read something spooky.  Do you like mysteries, but don’t like a lot of gore or violence? Cozy mysteries may be just right for you!  Jessica Fletcher, the heroine of the Murder, She Wrote series, leads off this list of recommendations, followed by other plucky woman detectives and even a cat!

A Little Yuletide Murder by Donald Bain
Santa’s been murdered! Actually, it’s farmer Rory Brent, who's played St. Nick at Cabot Cove's annual holiday event for years. Now Jessica has to track down the humbug that did it!

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