Showing posts from October, 2017

In Memoriam - Tom Petty

“Do something you really like, and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I'm concerned, that's success.” – Tom Petty Tom Petty’s success was able to pay more than just the rent and his love of what he was doing, writing and performing music, shone as bright as the sun and left us with some wonderful music. Petty passed on Monday October 2, 2017 at the age of 66. With his long-time back-up band The Heartbreakers , and on his own, Petty has sold more than 80 million records. That is a lot of rent money! But no matter how many records or how much money he made, Petty always seemed down to earth, sincere and true to his music, never selling out. You will not hear a Tom Petty song as background to a sales pitch for a car, truck, beer, or anything.  That is because he never allowed his music to be used for commercials.  The music was the main thing to Petty and what music it is! I do not think you can find one person that does not like a few of Tom Petty’s songs and that is unusual

STEAM with Pumpkins

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math are all components of STEAM, an initiative to get kids excited about science. The Robbinsville Branch started our own STEAM class this past year.  It is called Little Explorers and is for children ages 3-5. We have explored topics like lightning, the solar system, and fireworks. This month one of our classes is going to focus on pumpkins. I cannot wait to explore this topic with my Little Explorers! Here are a few fun and seasonal STEAM projects that you may want to try: Before going to pick your pumpkin, learn about its life cycle by reading Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington, From Seed to Pumpkin by Jan Kottke, or The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons. Read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara and guess how many seeds are in your own pumpkin before you carve it. When you count the seeds you could also count by 2, 5, and 10.  As a bonus activity you could try roasting the seeds . Can you guess how many seeds ar

Movies and Books for the Halloween Spirit

As Halloween approaches, you will want something to get you into the spirit of the holiday. These books, movies, graphic novels, and short story collections will have you scared, laughing, and maybe even rethinking the ways in which you view the world. The list contains a nice mixture of new and veteran writers, directors, and artists. Neil Gaiman is always a great choice for an escape from reality. Jermaine Clement continues to establish himself as a cult comedy star in W hat We Do in the Shadows . Vera Brosgol’s debut graphic novel Anya’s Ghost is a poignant criticism of teenage dreams.  Sarah Pinborough has been praised by Steven King. Books: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough Only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He is a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden? As Louise, David's new secretary, is drawn into their o

Not For the Faint of Heart

Horror stories can be chilling and also wickedly entertaining.  A crisp, autumn evening is the perfect time to share spine-tingling ghost stories around a crackling campfire. Author, Neil Gaiman, posits that scary ghost stories speak to us so strongly because “Fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses. You ride the ghost train into the darkness, knowing that eventually the doors will open and you will step out into the daylight once again. It’s always reassuring to know that you’re still here, still safe. That nothing strange has happened, not really. It’s good to be a child again, for a little while, and to fear — not governments, not regulations, not infidelities or accountants or distant wars, but ghosts and such things that don’t exist, and even if they do, can do nothing to hurt us.” Perfect for this time of year with Halloween right around the corner, below are some of my top scary books to read. These books are filled with terrifying stories guaranteed to haunt you long after

10 Years of the iPhone; 10* Apps for the Library Patron on the Go

Yup, you read that title correctly. We have been tied to our smartphones for ten years and many of us are not planning on severing those ties. It all started when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in January of 2007. By November of that year, Google announced that they developed the Android operating system. It would be another year before the first Android phone would be launched and two more years before the first Windows phone would be launched. Many of us spend a lot of time on our phones. We are constantly on the go and our phones are our lifelines. There are a ton of apps and it can be a little daunting keeping up with the newest app for dating or the newest addicting game to play or even the newest teen fad singing/snapping/chatting app. As someone who does a lot on her phone and uses apps to aide me in my weekend adventures, I am always looking for apps that keep me connected, informed, and stocked with things to read. The library is all about access to information. So

The Vietnam War

I was born a little after 4 a.m. on January 27, 1973.  Less than 4 hours later, Lt. Col. William B. Nolde died when an artillery shell exploded near An Loc, making him the last reported American casualty of the Vietnam War.  A cease fire that was a result of the Paris Peace Accords signed earlier in the day took effect at 7 p.m. that evening.  Sharing a birthday with such an historic moment has led to a long-standing interest in the war.  It is no surprise that I had been anxiously awaiting the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary, The Vietnam War .   The series aired in late September on PBS and will be re-airing during the fall, as well as streaming on the PBS website .  The library catalog also features the DVD set, soundtrack and companion book. As one would expect of Mr. Burns, the documentary offers a comprehensive history of the war and does so by presenting viewpoints from all sides involved to create a complete picture.  The series took over a decade to make and i