Monday, April 28, 2014

Picture this Garden


Picture Books are not just for children. Gardens and nature have been the subject of artists from Monet to Ansel Adams.  The Lake Forest Library has a large collection of oversize "coffee table" books featuring gardens from all over the world, traditional and modern, small and large.If you simply want to relax and curl up with a beautiful garden or be inspired to design your own please ask at The Adult Service desk.

Take a journey through Marie-Antoinette's private kingdom. This garden, Petit Trianon was a gift presented to the Dauphine by her husband Louis XVI: "To you who love flowers so, I present this bouquet". Stroll through beautiful botanical illustrations from the royal court artist accompanied by entertaining anecdotes, medicinal recipes and stories from The Court .  From Marie-Antoinette's Garden:An Eighteenth-Century Horticultural Album by Elisabeth De Feydeau.

 From Marie Antoinette's Garden                                                                                 From Marie Antoinette's Garden
Step across the channel and into twenty five significant English Gardens, lushly photographed and open to all via Tim Richardson's artistic eye. The tree house designed for Princes William and Harry at Highgrove, a Sunken Mediterranean garden at Packwood House, walled gardens with whimsical topiary at Daylesford House. Contrast the traditional with Througham Court's edgy unconventional art and design and Crockmore House's modern aesthetic. The New English Garden by Tim Richardson.
                                                                                                                The New English Garden
Expand your view of the garden: look up.The Vertical Garden:From Nature to the City by Patrick Blanc is filled with stunning photos of vertical gardens in nature and vertical gardens in architecture. These living walls defy gravity, they are ever changing works in progress: indoors and out, hotels, cafes and homes and even an underground car park.

The Vertical Garden                                 .

Step right in and join the party. Lisa Newsom's  Veranda:The Art of Outdoor Living is not just about the garden: the architecture, the design details and the story behind them will draw you in. Whether it's a garden in the Cotswolds, Charlote Moss's East Hampton garden, or a Kathy Ireland's French country farmhouse on 30 acres in Los Angeles  the vibrant photography will instill your senses just in time for Spring.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

West Side Stories: Titles to Accompany Lake Forest - Lake Bluff Historical Society Exhibit

West Lake Forest is the subject of the West Side Stories exhibit opening tomorrow at the Lake Forest - Lake Bluff Historical Society.  To accompany that exhibit, we are displaying many books on west Lake Forest people and places and have prepared a reading list that includes books, articles, and web pages.

Here's a sampling of titles on featured people from the exhibit:

Albert D. Lasker,
advertising pioneer and owner of Mill Road Farm and golf course:
Cruikshank, Jeffrey L. and Arthur W. Schultz.   
The Man Who Sold America: 
The Amazing (but True!) Story of Albert D. Lasker 
and the Creation of the Advertising Century  
Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2010.  
Picture Source:
Orphans of the Storm

Irene Castle

dancer, animal lover, 
and founder of Orphans of the Storm:
Castle, Irene.  Castles in the Air.  
Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1958.  

Ginevra King, F. Scott Fitzgerald's first love:  
West, Lames L. W., III.  
The Perfect Hour: 
The Romance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ginevra King, His First Love.  
New York: Random House, 2005.

Arthur Meeker, Jr.
columnist, novelist, owner of Arcaday Farm: 
Meeker, Arthur.  Chicago, with Love: 
New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1955.  977.311 MEE

Picture Source:
The University of Chicago Library

Helen Culver, Hull House Donor:
Goodspeed, Thomas Wakefield.  
“Helen Culver” pages 77-99 in 
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1922.  
REF 920.077

Monday, April 21, 2014

20 Feet from Stardom

Chances are you've never heard of Merry Clayton, but we know you've heard of The Rolling Stones!  One of our favorite new movies in the library's collection is this year's Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom -- a fascinating look at the talented singers who back-up some of the biggest and best bands in the world.  This entertaining film shines a well-deserved spotlight on the wonderful performers you hear but rarely see.

 We've highlighted two of the performers featured in the film below:  the aforementioned Clayton and Darlene Love.  You may not know their names, but both are considered legends inside the world of rock and roll.  We've also provided links to a few albums available through the library that feature several of their best-known performances.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2011)

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, Darlene Love began her career in the 1960's all-girl group The Blossoms.  Under legendary music producer Phil Spector, the group provided background vocals in some of the biggest hits of the era for the  'R & B' groups The Ronettes and The Crystals, as well as for solo performers such as Betty Everett (It's in His Kiss).  Although her lead performances in songs such as A Fine, Fine Boy and the holiday classic Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) were hits in their own right, Love was ultimately exploited by Spector when he credited, without her knowledge, several of her other lead performances to The Crystals.  Despite such unfair practices and other career setbacks, Love recorded several studio albums of her own and continues to perform today at age 73. 

You can hear Love's magnificent voice on the following albums:

Love (center) and The Blossoms
Wall of Sound -- The Very Best of Phil Spector:  includes lead performances by Love in A Fine, Fine Boy and Today I Met the Boy I'm Going to Marry; uncredited lead performances in He's a Rebel and He's Sure the Boy I Love (credited to The Crystals); and background vocals with The Blossoms on Be My Baby and Baby, I Love You (by the Ronettes) -- and Da Doo Ron Ron (by The Crystals). 

A Christmas Gift to You from Phil Spector:  this iconic holiday album features Love's lead vocals on Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home); Winter Wonderland; and White Christmas.

The Sound of Love -- The Very Best of Darlene Love:  studio album of Love's greatest hits, including a mix of original releases and songs recorded later in her career.

Merry Clayton
Merry Clayton's professional career began when she was just a teenager, and she soon graduated to singing back-up for a huge variety of recording artists, including Bobby Darin, Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, Tom Jones, Carole King -- and the great Ray Charles, for whom she was the lead singer in his group The Raettes.  Clayton is best known for her duet with Mick Jagger in The Rolling Stones' classic song Gimme Shelter, and she remains one of the few woman to ever share a lead vocal with Jagger.  Clayton recorded several solo albums which were applauded by critics but, due to lack of name recognition, failed to reach a large audience.  She continues to perform solo at age 66 -- and recently released a compilation album of her greatest hits.
With Charles and the Raettes (upper left)

You can hear Clayton's commanding and recognizable vocals on the following albums:

Hot Rocks 1964-1971 by The Rolling Stones includes Clayton's iconic duet with Mick Jagger in Gimme Shelter.

All-Time Greatest Hits by Lynard Skynard:  Clayton provides powerful back-up in the hit single Sweet Home Alabama.

Ultimate Collection by Joe Cocker:  Clayton toured often with Cocker, and you can hear her here in his hit Feelin' Alright.

The Best of Merry Clayton:  a solo studio album featuring Clayton at her soulful best, including her own rendition of Gimme Shelter.  

These women are just two of the gifted singers featured in 20 Feet From Stardom whose vocal gifts support the music industry's superstars.  Check it out for yourself -- and don't be surprised to find yourself singing along!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New eBook Service!

My Media Mall is an excellent place to find library eBooks. It has a huge selection that you can browse or search through, plus audio books! But we also share that entire collection with other libraries and sometimes the new eBooks are checked out.

If you are looking for newer eBooks, check out our new service: 3M Cloud Library! This collection is only available to those with a Lake Forest Library card and will be growing with new books every month. We also have an excellent collection of eBooks for teens and children.

Now that you are stoked about this untapped resource, here are the particulars:
  • eBooks are available to read on your computer or on an app-capable device (iPad, tablet, etc.)
  • You can have five items out at once, each with a two week loan time
  • Once the two week loan has ended, the eBook will automatically be returned
 The best way to get started is to pick up your tablet and download the 3M app (it looks like the above symbol). Once downloaded, it will guide you through an easy setup process to find the Lake Forest Library and then you will need to enter your full Lake Forest Library card number.

Need help? Want to know more? Stop by the library or give us a call at (847) 234-0636.
Or visit our 3M Page.

Monday, April 14, 2014

National Poetry Month

When was the last time you read a poem?  If you're like me, it may have been awhile.  But each year the arrival of April, which is National Poetry Month, reminds me to take another look at my favorite poets.

In 1996 the Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month, an annual celebration of poets and poetry. Thousands of organizations participate through workshops, readings,and book displays.  

The stated goals of National Poetry Month are to
-  highlight the legacy and achievement of American poets
-  introduce more Americans to the joys of reading poetry
-  bring poets and poetry to the public in innovative ways
-  make poetry an important part of our schools' curriculum
-  focus media attention on poets and poetry
-  increase the publication, distribution and sales of poetry books
-  increase public and philanthropic support for poets and poetry.

For more information, visit The Poetry Foundation also has a great website.  Click here to sign up for their newsletter or to receive a poem-a-day in your email.

This year the Library celebrates by bringing you a list of our new poetry books, acquired since last April. To find additional titles, stop by the Library, visit 3M Cloud Library for eBooks, or go to MyMediaMall for eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Best American Poetry 2013

Aimless Love by Billy Collins
Alight by Fady Joudah
Book of Hours by Kevin Young
Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
Go Giants by Nick Laird
Late Parade by Adam Fitzgerald    
Paul Celan: 70 Poems


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Books Suggestions for Your Book Club!

Are you an avid reader who loves to discuss books with friends?  Is your book club in search of its next great read?  The librarians at Lake Forest Library are always happy to offer reading suggestions for book discussion groups and to provide help in obtaining needed copies of selected titles.  To make choosing a new title for your group a little easier, the library has created a special new collection of "Book Club" books.  The collection consists of multiple-copy sets of popular, well-reviewed titles in a variety of genres, with narratives and themes we believe will promote lively discussion.  The new collection is also a great place to browse for titles sure to satisfy individual readers as well!

For a quick taste of what's available, we've highlighted two titles in the collection below:

 A Constellation of Vital Phenomena  by Anthony Marra

Set against the backdrop of war-torn Chechnya in 2004, an eight-year-old Chechen girl witnesses her father's abduction by a band of Russian soldiers.  Found hiding in the woods by a neighbor, the pair seeks refuge at a nearby hospital, where a sole Russian doctor works tirelessly to save lives amidst increasingly deteriorating circumstances.  Over the next five days, the trio's lives become inextricably linked as connections in their past lives are slowly revealed, and the survival of the young girl becomes a shared goal and a rare source of optimism. 

Marra's powerful novel, named a 2013 Notable Book by both the New York Times and the American Library Association, is a moving testament to the power of love and hope to sustain us, even in our darkest moments.

For added help in leading a group discussion of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, you can find a LitLovers reading guide here

The Story of Beautiful Girl  by Rachel Simon

A young couple falls in love in 1968, but their relationship faces seemingly insurmountable odds.  Lynnie is white and developmentally disabled; Homer is African American and deaf.  Each is a resident of the Pennsylvania School for the Incurable and Feeble-minded. The couple plots their escape from the abusive institution after Lynnie becomes pregnant, and the pair seeks refuge in a farmhouse belonging to Martha, a retired schoolteacher.  Homer manages to escape as authorities in search of the pair close in, but Lynnie is caught.  Before Lynnie is returned to the institution, she begs Martha to hide their precious, newborn daughter.  In a moving and powerful story that spans forty years, the lives of the four will remain forever bound by an extraordinary pledge of love. 

You can find a wonderful group discussion guide prepared by the publisher of The Story of Beautiful Girl  here

We hope you'll stop in to check out our new Book Club collection very soon!  We'll be adding new titles on a regular basis.  You can find a list of Book Club books that are currently available here and here

Monday, April 7, 2014

Letters, Numbers, Virtues, We Have Them All

Schools here in Lake Forest utilize a variety of evaluation methods in determining books at a technically appropriate level for each student.  So far, we here at the Children’s Library have seen Fontas & Pinnell Guided Reading, Lexile, Accelerated Readers.  In our desire to work with local schools, we have put together extensive lists of books we own according to the each system.
The Guided Reading System, created by Fontas & Pinnell, is used by the elementary schools for newly emergent readers.  A letter designates books from A (learning to read) to Z (high school).  We have labeled many books with colored dots on the spine indicating levels A – T.  We keep a master list of these titles by level at the circulation desk.
Older students in public school are tested and graduate to a Lexile Number.  The Lexile system ranges from 0 to over 1500 in units of 10, although most new readers score at least 100.  There are so many books that have been given a Lexile number that a list would be too cumbersome.  The Lexile website is freely available to anyone wishing to determine if a book has been assigned a Lexile number and to find books at a certain level.  We have distilled a list of age appropriate books that we own for students reading above the 1000 level.  This is especially helpful for young gifted readers.
St. Mary uses the AR (Accelerated Reader) program in their literature classes.  Numbers are given as to a book’s difficulty ranging from 0 – 12, corresponding roughly to school grades.  We have created a highly granulized list of selected books we own spanning levels .2-4.9.  We have also put together a select list of chapter book series with various AR levels listed.  The AR website is freely available, but be advised that we might not own books they have listed.  We’d be happy to put together a sampling of books for your child.  Just call us with the child’s AR level and we will come up with half a dozen books put aside for you to peruse within the following few days.
District 67 has embraced 5 character traits as part of instilling emotional wellness in their students: Caring, Honesty &Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Teamwork.  Our librarians have carefully selected a reading list of books for a variety of ages demonstrating one of these character traits.  We currently have a display of the books.

Our library catalog now often includes Guided Reading, Lexile and AR levels.  Just click on Full Record tab and then Marc Display at the bottom.  The information is usually in the 500 fields. 

 Too much librarian techno jargon?  
Then just ask us; we’d love to share our lists with you. (a lot easier!)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Adult Book Discussions

The library is looking forward to hosting two Adult Book Discussions this month.  Make plans to join us.

On Thursday April 10 at 7:15 pm Elise Barack leads a discussion of The News From Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story by Joan Wickersham. The "seven" are short stories, each set in a different time and place, about the power and vagaries of love . The author explores how we never really know what's in another person's heart, and how it's even difficult to understand our own experiences with love.

Joan Wickersham was born in New York City and  graduated from Yale University with a degree in art history. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA and writes an op-ed column for The Boston Globe.  Her earlier works include a memoir entitled The Suicide Index, and her essays and reviews have appeared in Yankee Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and The International Herald Tribune. She won an NEA grant in 2010.

For reviews of The News From Spain click below:
The Boston Globe
The New York Times 

And on Thursday April 17 at 12 noon Judy Levin looks at Kate ATkinson's Life After Life, winner of the 2013 Costa Novel award.  In this book the main character Ursula Todd lives and dies over and over again.  Born into a comfortable, middle class British family at the beginning of the 20th century, her existence seems almost cyclical, as the author explores a life of imagined possibilities.But while Ursula knows nothing of the vicissitudes of her life, the author's narrative pushes us to think about our own choices in life.

Kate Atkinson was born in York, England and currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her first novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum won the Whitbread Book of the Year award.  

For reviews on Life After Life see the links below:
The Guardian 
The New York Times 
L.A. Times

All programs will meet in the Adult Programming Room and are funded by Friends of Lake Forest Library.