Showing posts from April, 2014

Books To Get You Thinking

For the book publishing world in the United States, December through June is when the "best of" fiction and nonfiction lists for the year are published followed by the National Book Awards, the National Book Critics Circle Awards and the Pulitzer Prizes.  On March 15, the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Awards for the publishing year 2013 were announced in front of a packed auditorium at The New School, New York City. Founded in 1974, the NBCC awards are among America’s most prestigious literary awards and are designed to honor the best in fiction, nonfiction, biography and poetry. The panel of judges includes book reviewers and professional book review editors who first shortlist the finalists in each category before nominating the winners. Readers can find and enjoy all the winning titles at the Mercer County Library!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie’s beautifully penned novel in which she explores the different facets of race an…

Where Will You Get Your Protein From?!?!?!

Above is the most frantically-asked question when someone hears that you do not eat animal products. A majority of the population relates the word “protein” with “meat,” assuming that being carnivorous is the only way to get that dietary necessity. Surprising to some, plant-based nutrition actually provides your body with more protein, vitamins, and other healthy attributes than any other source!

If you are already eating a plant-based diet (vegetarian, vegan, etc…), then congrats! I personally made the
switch over a year ago (I had been vegetarian for 6 years prior) and, after about a month of cheese-withdrawal, I am happy to say I am not going back. I feel healthy and energetic, dropped a couple pounds and am happy that I am able to avoid all that toxic food!

It is not always an easy switch for some, and I like to tell people that if reading the labels/ingredients on food packaging is the only thing you get out of this, then that is a step in the right direction. I spent a lot of ti…

Get Your Ideal Job With Research!

Learning about prospective employers can get you the job over hundreds of other applicants. Research produces information beyond reading a company website or Googling a company name. Your local librarian has tools to assist you with job searching.

The Reference USA database lists 24 million businesses and organizations in the United States. useful job searching technique. With Reference USA, it still is a successful approach! Consider how knowing the following information will improve your job search:

•A list of companies which need your skills
•A list of competitors – more job prospects!
•The name of the hiring manager and other executives
•The number of employees and locations

Say you are a nurse and want to find which employers are close to your home.  A list of 96 organizations was produced using Reference USA by inputting “nursing” as the business type and a “20 mile radius” from home as the geography in a custom search. By evaluating the data in this list, you can make a record…

National Humor Month

If you have a funnybone and you have picture book readers, celebrate National Humor Month with some of these titles! Mo Willems is known for his unusual take on the ordinary and his laugh-out-loud style. We Are in aBook! is just one of the hilarious works where Elephant and Piggie find they are inside of a book and are being read.  The perspective from which Willems reaches out to emerging readers will have you laughing too.

Oliver Jeffers, author of The Incredible Book Eating Boy, presents an engaging book to read to preschool and school-age children, and also provides a story that poses some thoughtful messages about what it means to be smart.  In the story, a boy starts eating books - a nibble at first and later whole books - and he thinks he is becoming smart, smarter than his teacher.  When he gets ill and his loses his sense of smartness, he finds another use for books, one that will also make him smart.  Kids gobble up this book.  Do not forget to look at the end pages!

What Does …

Economizer’s guide to local summer recreation in Mercer County; the Princeton area in particular

Yes, we live in one of New Jersey’s wealthier counties and, within that, some of Mercer’s more culturally advantaged communities.  But it is still chic to ferret out bargains whenever possible, as a matter of principle, good discipline, and in imitation of esteemed historical figures (Thoreau: “Simplify, Simplify”).  Here is a list of suggestions for either individuals or families with a “staycation” day on their hands that makes full use of local amenities that are second to none, and all within a quick drive within the county.  This is not a Chamber-of-Commerce plug, necessarily; just a selection born of experience and (relative) penury: the mother of resourcefulness and recreational imagination.

When the weather heats up, diamonds are forever—especially those of the green and grassy kind - and thoughts turn to our own purveyor of America’s pastime, the Trenton Thunder. This local team just happens to be the New York Yankees Double A minor league affiliate and seats at Arm & Ha…

Shakespeare 450

April marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, and with this selection of items owned by the Mercer County Library System, you can brush up on your knowledge of the Bard!

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare By Ken Ludwig William Shakespeare's plays are among the bedrocks of Western civilization and contain the finest writing of the past 450 years. Many of the best novels, plays, poetry, and films in the English language produced since Shakespeare's death in 1616--from Pride and Prejudice to The Godfather --are heavily influenced by Shakespeare's stories, characters, language, and themes. In a sense, his works are a kind of Bible for the modern world; bringing us together intellectually and spiritually. Hamlet, Juliet, Macbeth, Ophelia, and a vast array of other singular Shakespearean characters have become the archetypes of our consciousness. To know some Shakespeare provides a head start in life. In How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, acclaimed playwright K…

Windows XP: The End Is Nigh!

April 8, 2014.  Today is the official death date for Windows XP.  Should you care?  For the average user, you can survive a little longer.  If you are a large bank or the IT manager for a major government agency, you probably should have dealt with this a while ago.  The reality is, XP will not freeze up on you and you will not have a hacker instantly suck up all your data at the stroke of midnight tonight.  But, you should be considering a move up to a newer version of Windows, both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are currently available, if for no other reason than to be able to keep up with the latest software, websites and programs.
What does the end of life date really mean for Windows XP?  In a nutshell, Microsoft will no longer support the operating system.  This means they will no longer issue security updates or patches to plug the holes that viruses, trojans, worms and the like exploit to take control of a PC.  It also means that if your PC blue screens in the dead of night, do n…


Does your child talk about Pikachu, Evee or Snorlax? Do they debate the merits of Grass-type vs. Fire-type? They are probably discussing Pokémon! Pokémon are fictional creatures that come in all shapes and sizes. Each type has a unique set of skills and abilities. Pokémon has been around for more than 15 years. Starting as a video game, the Pokémon franchise quickly expanded to include animated TV shows, movies, books and a trading card game.

My son introduced me to Pokémon about 10 years ago when he encouraged me to watch the animated TV show. The story follows Ash Ketchum, a 10-year-old Pokémon trainer who dreams of becoming a Pokémon Master. In order to achieve this goal, Ash travels around the various regions catching as many Pokémon as possible along the way. As Ash catches new Pokémon, he builds a team that he uses to compete in friendly battles with other Pokémon trainers. In each episode, Ash meets new friends, catches new Pokémon, and enters competitions on his quest to becom…

Books To Get You Thinking

March 2014  marked  86 years since the Academy began its annual tradition of honoring outstanding cinema. The Oscars have a history dating back to 1927 when the Academy was originally founded as an honorary organization dedicated to promoting the arts and sciences of motion pictures. The Oscars are awarded as a mark of excellence in categories of film-making.  These categories include cinematography, sound editing, costume design, directing and acting. Looking at past movies that have received Academy Awards, a striking number are screen adaptations of existing books. The vivid imagery and mesmerizing stories created by accomplished authors are captured and transformed onto the big screen by talented directors. Here are a few well-known movie titles that have their origins in books. You can find both the movies and the books at the Mercer County Library!

Twelve Years A Slave Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853 b…