Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Your Travel :: Travel Your Book

Whether your travel is real or imaginary, via plane or armchair, these books can help you find literature set in your destination or choose your destination based on the literature and authors you love.

Off the Beaten Page : The Best Trips for Lit Lovers, Book Clubs, and Girls on Getaways by Terri Peterson Smith (Chicago Review Press, 2013).

The author identifies a literary theme for each of fifteen U.S. destination cities and gives background information on the theme, an annotated reading list of the city's literature, and a detailed itinerary appropriate for book groups visiting over a long weekend.  You can visit the author's blog for updates to the cities in the book and for new destinations.

Reading on Location: Great Books Set in Top Travel Destinations by Luisa Moncada and Scala Quin (New Holland, 2011). 

Organized by continent and then by country, this guide lists and briefly describes titles (fiction or non-fiction) set in the countries and their states, major cities, or regions.  It also includes some information about authors' homes and museums.

 Book Lust To Go by Nancy Pearl (Sasquatch Books, 2010).

This guide's similar in scope to Reading on Location but with a narrative approach.  Pearl shares historical tidbits, anecdotes and sometimes personal information while telling about a place and its literature, including fiction and non-fiction titles.  

Traveling Literary America: A Complete Guide to Literary Landmarks by B. J. Welborn (Jefferson Press, 2005).

This guide includes authors' homes and museums, literary monuments, and walks in all 50 states.  For each site, Welborn gives a brief frame of reference and a longer discussion of the significance of the site and its related author or works.  She also includes recommendations for nearby places of interest and further reading for each landmark.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Celebrating Earth Day!

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

                                                  -- Native American Proverb

Check out the 15 Facts About Our Planet for Earth Day, take advantage of the warm weather and schedule a trip to the Wild Life Discovery Center this week, or check out a Museum Pass to the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Enjoy the Green Resources page from our library and celebrate Earth Day!

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Poem is a Poem is a Poem

Poetry has a long history, rooted back with the foundation of literature and alive today as both public performance and published work. It is resistant to formal definition and can be found in long and short form, humorous and serious, can brighten a day or crush the ego, . And while we may not read as much poetry as past generations, it can be the perfect fit for modern times.

We fill those small spots in the day by checking Facebook or playing a game on our phone. Why not try out National Poetry month and read Ode to a Nightengale instead of playing Angry Birds? Smartphone apps and games are tailor made to take up time while waiting for a train, in line for coffee, or when you beat your friend to the restaurant. But change that for a month (at least) and read a poem while you wait. It couldn't hurt to have a new source of entertainment and education.

Need some help finding great poetry? Try these:

For the tech-minded who want an excellent poetry app, try the Poetry Foundation's POETRY.

Those that want truly epic and classic works should look to Homer, Virgil, and Dante.


If you enjoy traditional and romantic poetry, try John Keats, William Blake, or Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Want some great American poets who have stood the test of time? Read Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, or Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Linguists and modernists will enjoy the Imagist movement headed by T.S. Eliot, H.D., and Ezra Pound.

And for more contemporary poets, read Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, and Feng Sun Chen.

What other poets do you enjoy reading? Let us know in the comments!
Or you could read these cat poems...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Modern Masters at the Lake County Discovery Museum

The Modern Masters touring exhibit opened Saturday and continues through Aug. 25 at the Lake County Discovery Museum.  It includes works of Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism and artists such as Calder, Chagall, Dali, and Magritte.  Below are some of the library's titles on the art movements in the exhibit.  For exhibit details and hours, please follow the museum's link above.   

If you plan to visit the exhibit and have a Lake Forest Library card, you could receive museum passes through the Museum Adventure program, which the library participates in.  Just read the Program Guidelines to learn how.  We welcome comments on the exhibit here!  

by Barbara Hess, 2011

Abstract Expressionism "a style of abstract painting intended primarily to express the artist's emotions or state of mind during a creative experience, as by freely splattering or staining the canvas with paint"  [from World Book Online Reference Center]

by Guillaume Apollinaire, 2010
Cubism: "a style of painting, drawing, and sculpture, developed in the early 1900’s, in which objects are represented by cubes and other geometrical forms rather than by realistic details" [from World Book Online Reference Center]

by Leah Dickerman, 200

Dadaism: "a movement in modern art and literature rejecting the standards and values of society by proposing unrestrained expression in behavior and artistic  form"  [from World Book Online Reference Center]

Surrealism: "a modern movement in painting, sculpture, literature, motion pictures, and other forms of art, that tries to show what takes place in dreams and in the subconscious mind. Surrealism is characterized by unexpected arrangements and distortions of  images" [from World Book Online Reference Center]

Friday, April 5, 2013

And the Winner is...

February may be the month for Oscars© but March is the month when the best in children’s books are announced by the ALA and ISLMA.  Some awards are given after review by a panel of professionals; others are favorites voted on by school children.  Award winners for 2013 include :

Rebecca Caudill Award ,  voted on by grades 5-9: Smile by Raina Telgemeier.  Humorous and upbeat, it  must have struck a chord with the audience.
Blue Stem Award ,  voted on by grades 3-5: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.
Bluestem Award winner

Monarch Award,  voted on by K-3: Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
Monarch Award winner

Caldecott Medal winner

Caldecott Medal for illustration: This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen.
The committee describes  Klassen’s controlled palette, opposing narratives and subtle cues [that] compel  readers to follow the fish and imagine the consequence. “With minute changes in eyes and the slightest displacement of seagrass, Klassen’s masterful illustrations tell the story the narrator doesn’t know.”  Klassen also received an Honorable Mention for illustrating Extra Yarn.

Newbery Medal for children’s literature : The One and Only Ivan.
Sibert Medal winner
Newbery Medal winner
“Katherine Applegate gives readers a unique and unforgettable gorilla’s-eye-view of the world that challenges the way we look at animals and at ourselves.”  For ages 8-12.

Sibert Medal for an informational book. : Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s 
Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin.“Sheinkin’s page-turning narrative is a thrilling introduction to the science, history, politics and intrigue behind events that changed our world forever.”  This book also won an Honorable Mention as a Newbery winner.

Coretta Scott King Award for African American authors and illustrators : Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by  Andrea Davis Pinkney and Bryan Collier for illustrating Langston Hughes’ poem I Too Am America  as personified by a Pullman porter.
Coretta Scott King Award winner

You might also be interested in - 
Pura Belpre Award for Latino literature and illustrators
Theodore Seuss Geisel Award for beginning readers.
Abraham Lincoln  (Abe) Award, voted on by high school students

Monday, April 1, 2013

The New Radio

Consider the Podcast. Many of us have heard about them, but never really bothered to explore further. But think of a Podcast as a pre-recorded radio show available on a vast array of subjects and available whenever you are ready to listen to them. Even popular shows like This American Life and Radiolab are available from their websites and podcast services. Seem much more interesting now, eh?

Lets look at a few Podcast programs and tie them together with books in the library's collection.

Short Story Collections

Short stories are becoming even more popular with recent releases like This is How You Lose Her, Tenth of December, We Live in Water.
  • The Moth: Dedicated to the art of story-telling, the Moth is an event that features both well-known storytellers (Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Cho, etc) and story-telling competitions open to all. George Lombardi's story about being whisked away to India to treat Mother Teresa is especially great.
  • True Story: Similar to the Moth, True Story hosts themed get-togethers where guests tell stories. You can hear the laughs and comments of other party goers making it a much more intimate story-telling experience. 

Popular science books are an important link between specialized knowledge and the lay person. Books like Universe Within, Palette of Particles,  and A Little History of Science try to bridge that gap. These podcasts do the same work with great hosts and interesting topics.
  • Star Talk: Neil deGrasse Tyson's radio show about all things stellar. Alone, his knowledge may be intimidating, but Neil is joined by comedienne Lynne Koplitz who asks all those clarifying questions we want to ask.
  • Radiolab: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich host this wonderful NPR radio show. Well-edited and researched, Radiolab explores everything from DNA to raising cranes to the science behind a Slinky (much more interesting than you may expect).

For those who have enjoyed Super Immunity, Sugar Blockers Diet, or Mark Bittman's cook books, try out these podcasts:
  • The Restaurant Guys: The owners and operators of a restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ, these guys have been described as Car Talk for Foodies. Definitely worth a listen for everything restaurant related.
  • Nutrition Diva: Monica Reinagel is a licensed nutrition with the book Inflamation-Free Diet Plan. Her podcasts are short episodes that offer great nutrition and diet tips for everyone.
  • The Minimalist: Watch quick videos hosted by Mark Bittman for great tips on recipes.

Got another podcast that you want to recommend? Let us know in the comments!