Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Discussion-Thursday, February 3

Elise Barack will lead a discussion of February -- the popular, well-received novel  by Lisa Moore, a Canadian author who won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her first novel, Alligator.  We will meet at 7:15 pm on Thursday, February 3 in the library's Programming Room downstairs.

February has been described as a quiet, evocative novel that offers a philosophical examination of key human experiences—death, grief, survival, life. It was on the long list for the 2010 Man Booker prize.

On February 15th, 1982 the Ocean Ranger, a semi-submersible oil rig touted as unsinkable and able to drill in dangerous areas, sunk off the coast of Newfoundland in what is considered the worst offshore drilling accident in Canadian history. All 84 crew members died. This is the backdrop for Lisa Moore’s novel which tells the story of one widow, Helen O’Mara, who is left behind with four young children.

The narrative moves back and forth in time; much as we revisit the past in our memories while living in the present and hoping for the future. We learn of Helen’s courtship and marriage, the horrifying details of her husband’s death, and her struggles to raise her children and build her dressmaking business. The story opens in 2008 with Helen enrolled in a yoga class, worrying about her grown son who is expecting his first child, the product of a brief affair. Helen has never come to terms with her husband’s death, and the tragedy of over 20 years ago continues to resound through her family’s life.

For more information on the author's life and works visit:

Please plan to join us for what promises to be an interesting discussion.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MIX Me Up, Please!

If you like word games, logic puzzles, or ciphers, then you might find a title or link of interest here.  If solving is no salve for you, try not to stray, because prizes are involved.

The title of this posting is a specific variety of word formation in which letters that stand out are also Roman numerals.  When you put the Roman numerals in descending numeric order, they form a number of some significance.  Figuring out the number is the easy part, but do you know or can you find the name of the word formation?  If so, visit the Reference Desk by February 28th and tell us your answer.  If it's correct, you'll receive a book bag and card holder with keychain. 

Here are some hints:  The answer has ten letters ending in g-r-a-m and can be found in Chapter 10 of The Oxford Guide to Word Games by Tony Augarde.  In that chapter, English essayist and journalist Joseph Addison (1672-1719) is quoted saying this about _ _ _ _ _ _ g-r-a-m-s:  "When therefore we meet with any of these inscriptions, we are not so much to look in 'em for the thought, as for the year of the Lord."  (If you care to work on any puzzles under Mr. Addison's watchful eye, his portrait hangs at the north end of the library's Reference area.)

Here are some other puzzling titles from our collection:

Cracking Codes & Cryptograms for Dummies  by Denise Sutherland and Mark E. Koltko-Rivera

Infuriating Lateral Thinking Puzzles by Paul Sloane and Des Machale

This link lists selected websites from the IPL2 index:  Word Game Websites.

We hope to hand you a prize at the Reference Desk soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Discussion-Thursday, January 20

Judy Levin will lead a discussion of "The Leopard" by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa this Thursday 1/20/11 at 12:30 pm. Please join us in the Programming Room downstairs.

The Leopard (Il Gattopardo), written by the last in a line of minor Sicilian princes,  was first published posthumously in 1958. The novel is set in Sicily during the Nineteenth Century's il Risorgimento period when Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of Italian unification, swept through the southern island with his forces.  The story is loosely based on the author’s great-grandfather’s life. Tomasi began writing the novel after his family palace was bombed and pillaged by the Allied Forces during World War II. It was rejected by two major Italian publishing houses before going on to become one of the most important books in 20th century Italian literature.  This is Tomasi's only novel.

"The Leopard" was made into a film in 1963 and won the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Luchino Visconti, it stars Burt Lancaster as Prince Don Fabrizio Salina.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

QR Code Scavenger Hunt Begins
Monday, January 10th

Scan this Code for the Hunt 
Calendar Event info.

Beginning Monday, you can bring your mobile device with a downloaded QR code reader app to the Lake Forest Library Reference Desk to begin the QR Code Scavenger Hunt. The first code of the hunt will be there along with a sheet of questions for you to answer as you scan the codes along the hunt. Once you’ve answered all the questions, turn your sheet in to the Reference Desk to receive your prize.  Anyone who can independently answer the questions can participate.  And if you don't own a mobile device, you can still participate. Just come to the Reference Desk and ask for the tip sheet for doing the hunt without a smart phone.  Prizes are a Lake Forest Library book bag and card holder with key chain.  The hunt begins Monday, January 10th and runs through Monday, February 28th during the library's normal hours. 

What are QR Codes? QR or Quick Response Codes are two-dimensional codes (such as the one above) that link to websites, text, documents, SMS addresses for text messaging, or video clips. The codes can be read or scanned by mobile devices having both camera and web-browsing features and having a code reader app downloaded. There are many free apps that work with a device’s camera to scan codes. They can be found by searching “QR” in your device’s app store.  Red Laser is a free code-reading app that we have found to work well with the I Phone and I Pod Touch.

Why Use QR codes?  They are an easy way for mobile device users to download information or links that they’d like to keep or view without having to type text or a website address, which can be difficult to do accurately on a mobile device.  You have probably seen QR codes in magazines and newspapers where they link to additional text or visual information to supplement an article's content. Many people's business cards now include QR codes which can be scanned to save all of their contact information.

QR Code Video Tutorial: Here’s a link to a 3-minute video showing how QR Codes and readers work.

Add the Hunt to Your Calendar!  You can scan the code above to download information about the QR Code Scavenger Hunt to your mobile device.  The information is in Calendar Event format for easy transfer to your device's calendar.  We hope to see you hunting soon at the library.