Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Discussion with Elise Barack 1/6/2011

Elise Barack will lead a discussion of the novel Wanting by Richard Flanagan Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm in the downstairs programming room.

Plot Summary:
Wanting , a story about civility and savagery, revolves around the 19th-century Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin and his family. When Franklin becomes the governor of the penal colony on Tasmania his wife, barren and desperate for a child, adopts an orphaned aboriginal girl named Mathinna. Lady Franklin, burdened with the legacy of Enlightenment ideas and the biases of British Imperialism, sets out to raise her new daughter as a proper Englishwoman, even as she yearns for a child to love.

Civility and savagery are juxtaposed again many years later when Lady Franklin seeks to defend her late husband's honor from accusations of cannibalism after Sir John and his crew starve to death during an Arctic expedition. She contacts Charles Dickens, another famous Victorian, to write a play that will absolve the explorers. The result, “The Frozen Deep,” not only addresses the widow’s concerns but forces Dickens to face his own suffering after the death of a beloved daughter.

Author’s Biography:Richard Flanagan was born in 1961 in the mining town of Rosebery, Tasmania. After finishing school he won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, where he earned a Master of Letters degree. He has written several histories and four other novels including The Unknown Terrorist and Gould's Book of Fish. Today he continues to live in Tasmania with his wife and three children

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season

Once the decorations are hung, the presents wrapped and the food prepared, take some time to sit by the fire and enjoy a good holiday story. Below are a few suggestions that range from a tried and true classic to a recently published mystery:

Busy Body by M.C. Beaton.  The latest in a popular, “cozy mystery” series set in the little village of Carsely featuring private detective Agatha Raisin.  Although Agatha isn't overly fond of Christmas her community usually celebrates in style.  But this year an overbearing health and safety inspector is trying to stop the decorating, declaring it to be unsafe.  When he turns up dead Agatha is called upon to clear the name of a wealthy woman who is the prime suspect in the stabbing. Also available in large print and on CD.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. What would Christmas be without Christmas ghosts, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchett and Scrooge? This enduring tale from Victorian England made Dickens famous and has never been out of print since it was first published in 1843. Make this an annual tradition. Also available in large print and on CD. And check out the 2009 movie, A Christmas Carol  starring Jim Carey.

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck. Based on a personal true story, Beck examines the place of childhood memories in our lives, the importance of difficult life lessons, and the enduring meaning of gifts given from the heart. Also available on CD.

Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg. A little redbird named Jack is the center of this holiday tale about a small town in southern Alabama and the real miracles that happen when people look for the best in one another. Also available on CD.

Or if you prefer a true Christmas story, try Les Standiford’sThe Man Who Invented Christmas. In 1843 Charles Dickens wrote a small book called A Christmas Carol, hoping to make enough money to pay off his creditors. The book became an instant sensation and helped to reinvigorate a holiday that had fallen into disfavor in Puritan England.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Library Adds Freegal Music Service

If you are a Lake Forest Library cardholder, you can now download three free MP3 music tracks per week through the Freegal Music link at the library's home page.  The Freegal Music service provides access to Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog of thousands of artists and over 100 genres of music.

Once logged in with your Lake Forest Library card number, a usage counter in the upper right corner of the page shows how many downloads you have used.  This counter is reset every Monday morning.  You can listen to a 30-second clip of a track before deciding to download it.  To download, just select "download now," and save the track to your desktop.  Once the track is on your desktop, it can be played or moved to iTunes or another MP3 library for transferring to your MP3 player.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lake County's Winter Wildlife

The Lake County Forest Preserves publish a Phenology Calendar for Lake County listing what animal and plant life you can see as you visit the preserves in different seasons.  According to that calendar, birds that can be seen countywide all winter long include cardinals, woodpeckers, chickadees, goldfinches, and many different kinds of owls.  Among the mammals active countywide are the Eastern gray squirrel, American beaver, red fox, coyote, and the white-tailed deer. To read more about wintering animals, animal tracks, and the birds and mammals active in winter in Lake County, you can choose among the titles below or call the Reference Desk at 847-810-4610 and let us help you find others.

Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich
Mammal Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species by Mark Elbroch
American Goldfinch by Alex L. A. Middleton
Beavers: A Wildlife Handbook by Kim Long
Foxes by David Macdonald
Natural History of Otters by Paul Chanin
North American Tree Squirrels by Michael A. Steele and John L. Koprowski
Owls of North America by Frances Backhouse
White-Tailed Deer by Mark Raycroft
Woodpeckers of North America by Frances Backhouse
Northern Cardinal by Gary
The World of the Coyote by Wayne Grady