Library Column – October 25, 2007

Amazing scenery around the Valley this year. I’m really enjoying my drive to work.

Do you have any DVDs around that you are no longer watching? The library can use them and put them to good use. Thanks in advance.

The Warren Public Library is a mostly tax-supported institution with supplemental support from the Friends of the Warren Public Library. So, how do you get your money’s worth out of your local library? Here are a few suggestions: Cancel one magazine subscription and borrow the magazine from the library (savings $15). When your grandchildren come to visit, borrow toys and books and videos from the library (savings approx. $50). Next time you see a book you’d really like to read, come and pick it up at the library instead of buying it. If you do this two or three times a year your savings will range from $25 to $75 (difference between paperback and hardbound editions). It isn’t all about money of course. We can help you find information on almost any topic from zebras to (alphabet) soup. For free. Except for those pesky taxes.

The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski. The protagonist starts trying to complete the to-do list of a dead acquaintance because of feelings of guilt, and then carries on because  her own life is being transformed.

Hard Row by Margaret Maron. Body parts keep turning up in rural North Carolina, in the latest addition to an award winning mystery series featuring a woman judge named Deborah Knott.

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith. (Audio or book) The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency faces some real problems. Mma Makutsi is considering a change of career, Charlie wants to start a taxi business, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni wants to try being a detective and Mma Ramotswe is trying to find out why three patients died at the same time of day, on the same day of the week, in the same bed in her hometown hospital.

When You Were Me by Robert Rodi. This book was an odd experience for me—as it is set in Chicago, where I lived for 13 years—but the two main characters are gay men, so in many ways the book felt as though I was exploring a foreign landscape. Entertaining but bizarre—involves a body swap between a broke 26 year old and a wealthy 52 year old—who are both unhappy with their current lives.

Jerk From Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style by Helen Willinsky. Some new flavors for your outdoor (and indoor) cooking. All the recipes are adapted to the equipment normally available in American kitchens and outdoor barbeque set-ups.

Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea. Rips the veil off of the secret life of young, upper-class, Saudi women, who seem to lead a life which is 50% medieval confinement and 50% modern striving. Plus the usual romantic dreams that are common to young women of all cultures.

No Sheep for You: Knit Happy with Cotton, Silk, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo & Other Delights by Amy R. Singer. Allergic to wool or wanting to widen your crafting horizons? This is the book for you. A fun read, filled with useful and entertaining information about fibers, how they are processed and how to work with them. Also includes patterns.

Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie. (audio cassettes) Entertaining mystery wherein Msieu Poirot attempts to find out the truth about a sixteen year-old murder. Only one person could have committed the murder and she was tried and convicted. So why did she tell her daughter that she was innocent?

The Homework Myth: Why our Kids Get too Much of a Bad Thing by Alfie Kohn. All the parents and teachers in Warren should read this book. Kohn reviews the studies, which do not support homework for younger children and provide limited support for homework for older children. He also looks at the effects of homework on children, on families and on the overall process of education. 

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