Thursday, February 24, 2005


The Elk Grove Village (IL) Public Library website is at: When a really special event is coming up, a reminder is published at the top of the main page. Right now it is featuring the annual Friends booksale--one of the best organized library booksales around. It started Friday night for Friends' members and continues Saturday (9-4) and Sunday ($5 a Bag Sale--1-4). Lots of bargains, including discarded cassettes, videos, toys, games--and loads of books!!!

Also a special part of the website is the Kids Korner with info and links relating to the Youth Department. You can link to Homework Help sites, author sites, coloring pages sites, topical sites (i.e., animals, Ancient Egypt, or American Presidents), etc. Right now Kids Corner is promoting the Wolves Winter Reading Program and the up-coming Spring Fling Bunny Hop and Hat Parade in March. There is also a separate page for Teens, Teachers, and Parents.

Another special section is Book Connection. There you can find Best Seller lists, Oprah's Picks, links to Novelist and What Do I Read Next, and a recent innovation, the Online Book Club through which you can recieve, in your e-mail, a brief selection from a new book (one each weekday from the same book)--to whet your appetite and interest and get you to check the book out. A different book is featured each week for the whole week There are 7 different categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Teen, Business, Romance, Good News, and Audio. .

Check it out!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


One of the displays at the library this month highlights knitting books. Knitting is THE hot craft these days, with groups of men (yes, men!!) and women gathering, often at their favorite yarn shops, to learn to knit or to improve their knitting. The Yarn Girls' shop in New York is one of them (see posting below).

A recreational knitting group was founded by Debbie Stoller in New York. She has written two books extolling group knitters while providing fun and funky projects for beginners and for those who are ready for a bit more challenge. The first book is Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook (746.432 STO)--very good basic instructions as well as a good variety of projects. The second book is Stitch 'n Bitch Nation: 50 Hip, Even Funkier Patterns... (NEW 746.432 STO)--covering SnB groups and patterns across the nation and including some REALLY WEIRD patterns (i.e., a cover for a steering wheel and knit Rock Star dolls--Joey Ramone!). [Information on local SnB groups can be found at]

Some pictures of finished projects can be found on these sites (may have to scroll down):
Kim's Knitting Gallery (several projects)
Knit Happens
Something from Nothing
Crafty Blog
Rosie's Yarn Cellar--Christina
Gym Pumpkin
Five3 Projects

If you are a really experienced and ambitious knitter, you might check out the book I think helped revive the knitting craze, Kaffe Fassett's Glorious Knits (746.432 FAS)
Some online pictures of Fassett projects:
Rosie's Yarn Cellar--Cathie
Kerry's Hobbies

By the way, a knitting group meets regularly at the Elk Grove Library; call the library for more information (847-439-0447).

Friday, February 18, 2005


I've just finished reading two mysteries by Donna Andrews, each the first in a series and each an Agatha Award winner. Both were "hard-to-put-down" books.

The first, Murder with Peacocks, received the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in 2000. The amateur sleuth in this book is Meg Langslow, an artist who makes ironwork sculptures. She has been selected to be the Maid-of-Honor in 3 consecutive weddings in her home town, each a week apart. And--oh, yeah--she has also been recruited to ORGANIZE each of these weddings and the 3 brides keep changing the details. Amidst all these frustrations, a relative of one of the grooms dies under suspicious circumstances and a series of potentially fatal accidents occur. The "good-ol'-boy" sheriff pooh-pooh's the possible danger, so Meg tries to investigate herself--all the while coping with the 3 wedding plans. The story is full of eccentric characters--and animals--and portrays small town life in the South in a charming manner. Several more books in this series are out now, all with bird names in the titles. I've already checked out the second, Murder with Puffins.

The second book, You've Got Murder, has a unique sleuth in Turing Hopper. "She" is an AIP--Artificial Intelligence Personality. That's right, a computer, a "sentient" computer. Turing has noticed her creator, Zack, has not been to the office in several days--a major aberration for a programming nerd. She starts to worry, especially when she notices his office is being furtively searched in the middle of the night by someone ostensibly from Security (she can monitor the security cameras). She enlists the aid of one of the executive secretaries and the copy room manager to do outside research for her. Events become more dangerous when she discovers there may be a plan to destroy her and the other AIP's and that Zack's identity is being deleted from company records, as if he never existed. So, she and her cohorts try to find Zack before Security does. This book is a real page-turner. It won the 2003 Agatha Award for Best Novel. There are 2 more Turing Hopper books out now.

Friday, February 04, 2005


I recently finished the second of Kristen Britain's Green Rider books, FIRST RIDER'S CALL, a book I strongly recommend, especially to fans of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series. The plot involves Wild Magic, evil spirits from a long-ago past, travels back in time, a conspiracy plot to overthrow the throne, and, even, a hint of a romance. The reluctant heroine, who had accidentally become a Green Rider in the first book, GREEN RIDER, now finds herself even more involved in the battle to save her country from the effects of the here-to-fore contained Wild Magic leaking through a breach in an ancient magical wall, even as she tries to control the enhancement of her own unique ability to disappear when she is dragged willy-nilly back through the past to witness important historical events. I hope a third book is in the works--and soon.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


For years I've been avoiding knitting--although I know how to knit--because it was boring and kept putting me to sleep. I especially didn't like to do anything requiring teeny-tiny needles. However, I do like the look and feel of knits and have not been averse, in the past, to making baby sweaters and hats. This year, though, our Youth Department purchased an inspiring new book,
by Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs (PC 746.43 CAR). These two young New Yorkers own a yarn shop in Manhattan (called The Yarn Company) where they teach knitting, especially to nervous Newbies. They have developed some quick-to-knit (on BIG needles with beautiful yarns) yet stylish patterns to fit newborns to 3 year olds. I was particularly drawn to the darling hats and actually made three of them in only a few days for three of my grandchildren (one I knit entirely during a six-hour+ drive to Iowa). I used the Intarsia Jester Hat pattern and learned two new techniques as well: intarsia and making I-cords. I hope to make a few of the sweaters now, as well. What's nice is the patterns are not intimidating and are quick to do. Only know how to do the knit stitch? there's a sweater here for you. Don't want to fuss with ribbing? there are patterns with rolled edges and simple necklines for you. Don't know how to knit at all? there are good, clear basic instructions. Check it out.

They also have a book with patterns for adults, THE YARN GIRLS' GUIDE TO SIMPLE KNITS(746.43 CAR). This one is actually their first and has an extensive instructional section. Patterns include scarves, hats, ponchos, throws, shells, and men's sweaters.

Besides some of the projects shown on the Yarn Company web site, there are some personal web sites/blogs that show finished projects from the books (though you may have to scroll to find them):
Cheryl's Tank Tops
Feeling Fuzzy Hat
Koigu hats
Waikiki Tank Top
Mom's Waikiki Tank Top
2 Baby Sweaters
Tank Top


The Chicago Wolves-sponsored Children's Winter Reading Program sign-up begins This Saturday, February 5. All those who sign up on Saturday are eligible for a raffle that will be held at 4:00 that day. There will be three of the dark red Wolves Jerseys awarded: 1 Youth S/M, 1 Youth L/XL, and 1 Adult S. The jerseys are on display in the Youth Department. However, the winners cannot claim them until they have completed 5 hours of reading.