Library Column – July 5, 2007

Do you have any DVDs sitting around your house that you’d like to donate to the library? I’d like to add a few contemporary movies to our collection of movies on DVD. Thanks!

The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius by Joyce E. Chaplin (regional library).  A different view of the famous founding father, concentrating on his scientific ambitions and struggles. For Franklin, his public service was a distraction from his fascination with science—he loved science for itself and as a way to establish himself as a gentleman and a scholar.

Islam: Empire of Faith (DVD). A whirlwind tour of over a 1,000 years of history, covering the birth of Islam, the first vigorous expansion around the Mediterranean, the center of learning and Empire in Bagdad, the Crusades and the rise of the Ottoman Turks. Lovely scenery and architecture, backed by a certain amount of scholarship. But if you want to really study the topic, read a book!

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Joe Kavalier escapes from Prague in 1939 with the Golem and ends up in NY City with his cousin Joe Clay illustrating comic books, but that is only the beginning of the amazing adventures of the Jewish cousins in the 40s and 50s. An excellent novel.

Is Religion Dangerous? by Keith Ward. A brief, but thoughtful and thorough discussion of the current debate about religion in history and current affairs. Ward comes down firmly, but calmly, on the pro-religion side of the debate, while acknowledging where religion and religious believers have gone badly wrong at times.

Learn2: Microsoft Office. Tutorial set on CD. Pop them into your computer and learn how to use programs like Excel, Word, Power Point, Access, Outlook, FrontPage, Publisher, Project, and Windows. Can be checked out. We have several other tutorials and some reference books on CD, look above the computer.

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Romantic escape, set on the road and in small town Tennessee, involving an eccentric artist and a football player. Fun.

Two O’Clock Eastern Wartime by John Dunning (paperback collection). Spooky story about a New Jersey radio station where people have been disappearing. Excellent evocation of the glory days of live radio.

See you at the library!


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