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Showing posts from October, 2015

Attention All Animal Lovers

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Have you ever needed a book for a preschooler about a certain animal? It might be for a library story time, a classroom theme, or to read one-on-one. Sometimes a parent may want a book for their young child who is recently fascinated with a certain animal. This list is designed to help you quickly identify a variety of new picture books, fiction and non-fiction, that focus on specific animals. I have included a few older popular titles.

Here are a few tips to help you locate these books in the library:

The fiction picture books have a call number such as “E” (for easy), and the first three letters of the author's last name. For example, the title The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss would have the call number E SEU. For a non-fiction book, the call number is arranged according to the Dewey decimal system and is followed by the first three letters of the author’s name, or the book title. For example, an easy non-fiction book about hens by Robin Page would have the call number E 5…

The Importance of a Living Will

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Talking about death and dying with your family members is never something you want to do. It can be uncomfortable and bring up thoughts no one wants to think before they absolutely have to. However, making your beliefs clear to your loved ones and/or finding out what your loved ones thoughts are, is one of the most important things you can do for your family.

My father passed away recently and his having a living will made a difficult time more bearable for my mother and me. We had all talked about what we would want if the worst happened and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt how my dad would have felt. Living wills are a type of advance directive – other advance directive terms you may have heard are medical directive or medical power of attorney. The Mayo Clinic has a good, easy-to-understand overview of the types of advance directives and what each does.

The Mercer County Surrogate’s office makes Living Will Kits available. You may pick one up at the Surrogate’s Office (175 …

Have a Scary, Spooky Halloween!

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Nothing says “Halloween” more than spine-tingling tales of horror and suspense. Check out these new hair-raising additions to Mercer County Library’s collection:

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up true crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback, one more shot at the bestselling success he once enjoyed. His chance comes when he's promised exclusive access to death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the notorious cult leader and mass murderer who's ready to break his silence after 30 years, and who contacted Lucas personally from his maximum security cell. With nothing less to lose, Lucas leaves New York to live in and work from the scene of the crime: a split-level farmhouse on a gray-sanded beach in Washington State whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb's diviners-- runaways who were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. There, Lucas sets out to capture the real sto…

Gates of Evangeline

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Note: On occasion, our blog features reviews of books by local authors. This month we feature The Gates of Evangeline by Lawrence resident Hester Young.  the following blog post was later accepted as a book review for The Princeton Packet.  An expanded version of this review can be found in their October 30, 2015 issue. The Gates of Evangeline, a new novel by Hester Young, is a suspenseful journey through time and the murky outback of rural Louisiana following Charlotte Cates, a woman whose loss of a child forms the crux of a tantalizing psychic receptivity she is only just beginning to discover. Having undertaken the task of writing a history of Evangeline, a former plantation deep in the heart of the Louisiana bayou country, Charlotte arrives to find that there is far more to Evangeline than meets the eye, whether the viewpoint is psychic or just plain down-to-earth. Along the way, she will meet a young landscape designer who catches her fancy early on; a family seething with a bi…

Is It Better Not to Know Whodunnit? Mystery Classics at MCL

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Before the advent of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, mystery novels were largely of the "locked room" varietyNote 1I am using “locked room mystery” loosely, here, as synecdoche for mysteries that are more plot- than character-driven, routinely featuring the use of contrived circumstances to make the mystery more puzzle than realistic crime scenario. In other words, the locked room in a “locked room” mystery is often merely metaphorical.  epitomized by certain Agatha Christie works: A dead body, obviously murdered, is found inside a room but all of the apertures of ingress/egress are locked from the inside! How could this possibly be? It can't be, but yet … it is! O, help us with your brilliantly deductive mind(s), Hercule Poirot and/or Miss Marple and/or some other derivative equivalent of those two Christie stalwarts!

In a typical Christie mystery, pretty much all narrative energy is geared toward setting up the central puzzle; these mysteries are relentlessly pl…

Books to Get You Thinking

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The United States spends almost fifty percent more on healthcare than other developed nations.* According to statistics published by the WHO, the ratio of total healthcare expenditure to overall GDP in 2013 was the highest at 17.1 percent for the US as compared to 9.1 percent for the UK, 10.3 percent for Japan and 9.4 percent for Australia. Despite higher levels of spending, the current healthcare system has poorer health outcomes, as well as uncontrolled costs and inadequate access to health resources. Factors such as fragmentation of care delivery, insurance benefits design, fees for service reimbursement, administrative overheads, higher costs of research and development, and an aging population have all contributed to rising healthcare costs. The recent introduction of the Affordable Care Act, while making significant progress towards meeting the goal of universal health insurance coverage, still leaves some key problems to be addressed. There is a critical need to formulate an…

The Pole Lady Walketh

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A new coworker of mine recently commented that she has seen me out walking around the neighborhood for years and that she and her children have taken to calling me “the pole lady.” It is true that I have been an avid walker for about 25 years, trying to make sure I get in a regular 3 plus miles a day. The poles, however, have been a fairly recent addition to my routine, an accessory I have used the last 4-5 years. While I was unaware that I had been given a nickname, I do know more than one person has stopped to ask me why I would be out walking with what look like skiing poles in all types of weather, including the recent spate of hot, humid weather that marked the last few weeks of summer. The answer is, they are Nordic walking poles and, while not quite the rage in the United States, they are common in Europe and other parts of the world.

The idea behind Nordic walking is to increase the cardiovascular benefits of walking by working all of the muscle groups in one low-impact w…

Mystery Series Week

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Purple Moon Press, a small independent publishing company, created Mystery Series Week to celebrate those continuing characters who return time and again to solve the case. It is celebrated annually during the first full week of October.

In celebration of this year’s week, I present to you some of the most popular mystery series characters from the late 1800s up to the present day.

Sherlock Holmes
Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective with skills in forensic science and logical reasoning. Since 1887, he has appeared in 56 short stories and 4 novels, with the majority of the stories narrated by Holmes’ friend Dr. John Watson. There have been a number of adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries for both stage and screen. The character has been most notably portrayed by Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Philip Marlowe
Created by Raymond Chandler, Philip Marlowe is a private detective. He has appeared in 7 …