Monday, February 23, 2015

The Science of Sports

Whether you're an athlete or coach wanting to improve performance or a student of science or math looking for some interesting applications of those disciplines, these titles from our collection may be of interest:

Why a Curveball Curves : the Incredible Science of Sports  by Frank Vizard.  Sterling Pub., 2008.  "... the biology, chemistry, and physics behind the winning stroke, hit, throw, dive, kick, punch, and slam dunk."  Many illustrations accompany accessible explanations of the science behind thirteen different sports.

Mathletics is the title of two different books in our collection:  One by Wayne Winston (Princeton University Press, 2009) that looks at the "mathematical methods that top coaches and managers use to evaluate players and improve team performance;" and the other by John D. Barrow (W. W. Norton, 2012) showing the math or physics behind 100 entertaining examples from the world of sports. 

The Physics of Pitching : Learn the Mechanics, Science, and Psychology of Pitching to Success  by Len Solesky.  MVP Books, 2011.  This generously illustrated step-by-step guide to fundamental pitching mechanics includes an instructional DVD.

Newton's Football : the Science behind America's Game  by Allen St. John and Ainissa Ramirez. Ballentine Books, 2013.  A seasoned journalist and an engineer team up for this look at the science and scientific thought behind the game.  It includes both a science and football glossary. 

Other sports science titles:

Faster,Higher, Stronger : How Sports Science is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes--and What We Can Learn from Them  by Mark McClusky.  Hudson Street Press, 2014.

Football Physics : the Science of the Game  by Timothy J. Gay.  Rodale, 2004.

Gold Medal Physics : the Science of Sports  by John Eric Goff.  Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2010.
Golf Science : Optimum Performance from Tee to Green  by Mark F. Smith.  Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013.
Newton on the Tee: a Good Walk through the Science of Golf  by John Zumerchik. Simon & Schuster, 2008.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Computer Skills Made Easy!

Whether you are interviewing for a new job or hiring, computer skills will most likely come up in the conversation.  The Library has many computer learning books that are helpful and free; but if you are a visual learner, then we have a perfect database for you.

Atomic Learning offers many lessons on a broad range of topics.  From Microsoft Word to Web Design, lessons are broken down into small segments that are easy to follow.  The professionally filmed segments are usually less than 3 minutes long and are arranged by function.  Here is a quick content review of the tutorial topics.

There are many career skills and student resources for you to explore.  Give it a try!  For more databases, see our complete selection on our databases page.

Friday, February 13, 2015

There is a lot to love at the library.

February is the month for love.  If you love to read come and let us help you find a match for you: fiction, biography, sports, cooking and of course love.  While you are here see if any of these titles strike your fancy.

Introverts in Love: the quiet way to happily ever after. Sophia Dembling 155.232 Dem

In Real Life: love,lies & identity in the digital age. Yaniv Schulman 302.3 SCH

Karl Pillemer asked hundreds of extraordinary men and women to share their wisdom about love.

 Cover image for

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lightning Thief Read Alikes: More fantasy about the gods and mythologies

 Lightning Thief
  After Harry Potter, The Lightning Thief series, with hero Percy Jackson, has garnered the most accolades from critics and amassed a  devoted fan base of middle schoolers and adolescents.  Rick Riordan has written an immensely popular series with the great premise:  what if you found out you were a demi-god in this day and age?
Percy Jackson, a 12-year-old in the middle of a relatively normal life, is the victim of an unprovoked attack by one of his teachers while on a school field trip.  Other strange events ensue, and before he knows it, he is deposited at a safe haven (Camp Half-blood) with others like himself: children of the gods and mortals.  Percy has been unfairly accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt and must retrieve to clear himself and prevent a war.  Other books in the series continue Percy’s adventures in the realm of the gods, which coexists alongside an oblivious New York.

Riordan has branched out and now written another series: the Kane Chronicles; this time unleashing the ancient Egyptian gods among us.

Ready to branch out to other mythologies?  Here are some other series with teens either discovering their own powers or battling gods, and other mythical creatures:

 Iris, Messenger
  Iris, Messenger :  Short on action, but long on stories.  Iris, like Percy has doubtful parentage.  On her birthday she mysteriously receives a copy of Bullfinch’s Mythology, which fascinates her and appeals to her imaginative daydreams.  She discovers the book is annotated with odd notes and clues as to the current whereabouts of the Greek gods. Iris proceeds to track them down. The book proceeds in a somewhat amusing, yet poignant vein, with Poseidon owning an oyster shack at the Jersey Shore, Apollo playing sax at a jazz club, Aphrodite operates a beauty salon.  The gods each retell their story to Iris, including the goddess she was named after  They are a disheartened lot and Iris does what she can to help them in their current situations, such as reuniting Poseidon with his love and releasing Sisyphus from his punishment by Hades.

 Loki's Wolves
  Loki’s Wolves deals with Norse mythology. The Thorsen family is the law and order of their South Dakota town.  Literally the descendants of Thor, they are proud of their lineage, as are other descendants of the trickster god, Loki.  His descendants can shape shift into wolves. Signs are pointing to an epic battle and Matt Thorsen is chosen as the champion.  Reluctant at first, he begins to gather around him a cadre of other teen/god descendants, not quite sure of their loyalty.  The saga continues with Odin’s Ravens.

 Artemis Fowl
  Artemis Fowl Series  Artemis Fowl already knows he has superior mental powers to other teens and he knows just what he wants to do with them – learn the secrets of the Fairies and produce gold, enough gold to make his family fantastically wealthy again. The People (fairies, leprechauns, trolls) of Irish mythology all reside inside the Earth now, but emerge to silence Artemis and free Holly, an agent from the LEPrecon force Fowl has kidnapped.  Artemis Fowl (or should we say Foul) has no moral scruples except family loyalty and a soft heart, which kicks in just when he least expects it.  The Artemis Fowl stories are an unusual combination of high tech and folklore. From the opening pages, when the reader is  dropped into the middle of an encounter between Fowl and his nemesis, the action is as fast-paced and unrelenting as Fowl’s determination. Not too much soul searching or angst here.

  The Alchemyst series:  While working at pleasant but mundane summer jobs in San Francisco, fifteen-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh, suddenly find themselves caught up in the deadly, centuries-old struggle between rival alchemists, Nicholas Flamel and John Dee, over the possession of an ancient and powerful book holding the secret formulas for alchemy and everlasting life.  The twins are revealed to have magical powers themselves.  Various mythologies are intertwined, with elements from Norse, Biblical, and Arthurian legend providing characters in conflict.

 Pendragon 1
Pendragon series Follows the time and space traveling adventures of 14 year-old Bobby Pendragon, as recounted through letters smuggled through a wormhole “flume” to his old left behind friend and girlfriend.  Going on instinct, he has accompanied his favorite Uncle Press to an encounter with an evil shape shifting enemy in the New York subway system (already pretty creepy!) and is transported to the planet, Denduron.  Similar to Earth, Denduron is but has followed another course and is more like the Middle Earth of Tolkien tales.  Bobby gradually discovers his role and strengths in aiding the downtrodden Milago as he meets other Travelers like himself.  Bobby is a great character, full of humor (“…dressing in skins without my boxer shorts?”) and self-aware of his conflict in wanting to help versus going home.  MacHale writes an action filled saga with complex characters who grow throughout the series.

Cronus Chronicles   Zee (short for Zachary) arrives to live with his cousin Charlotte’s family in order to escape guilt feelings over a mysterious plague that afflicts kids in his vicinity with a terrible weakness. Charlotte and Zee, although mere mortals themselves, are drawn into a conflict among the Greek gods for control of Hades; only by going down into the underworld can they heal the sick children. Though they rescue the children, further fighting with various gods of the underworld continue the series.

These are just a sampling from our bookmark, If You Like Percy Jackson, available in the Children' s Dept.