Thursday, March 31, 2005


Some interesting titles "jumped" out at me while I was passing through the New Books display at the entrance to Adult Services recently. Some have just a single word as the main title; some have puns or twists on familiar phrases; some just look interesting--that's how publishers get someone to pick up a book in the first place.

The first one that caught my eye was Chocolate; A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum (NEW 641.3374 ROS). Now who could resist a book on the history of one of life's necessities?

Another food title I noticed was Spice: The History of a Temptation by Jack Turner (NEW 641.3383 TUR). Hmmm, why would spices be considered a temptation? Actually, spices are a necessity today, too; find out how that came about in this book.

Next I noticed Robert Schnakenberg's Distory: A Treasury of Historical Insults (NEW 808.882 DIS). It's full of quotes from historical figures--or about them--from Alexander the Great to Abbie Hoffman. Light and amusing.

Weapons of Mass Distraction by Matthew Fraser (NEW 306.0905 FRA) looked intriguing (amazing what replacing one letter does to a phrase's meaning!), especially when the subtitle is added: "Soft Power and the Road to American Empire". American pop culture is taking over the world--for good? or bad? Read it and find out.

I liked the little parenthetical on Anne Coulter's book title, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) (NEW 320.513 COU). Potentially controversial!.

Finally, a very timely book considering the fragile health of Pope John Paul II, Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession by John Peter Pham (NEW 262.13 PHA). For those who want to be prepared for the possibly sooner-than-we'd-like change in Roman Catholic leadership.

Next time you come to the library, browse the New Non-Fiction--you'll be sure to find some fascinating reading there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Monday was the visit and program by Patti Gibson and her Search and Rescue bloodhounds. (I didn't expect them to be quite so big!) But they did remind me of the wonderful mystery series by the late Virginia Lanier featuring Jo Beth Siddon, bloodhound trainer and Search-and-Rescuer in the Okefenokee Swamp. There are only 6 books, but all fascinating. The first is Death in Bloodhound Red.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


The Chicago Wolves Winter Reading Program ended today. We raffled off 94 prizes which were won by children who had read for 30 minutes for each raffle ticket--t-shirts, beany Skates dolls, wastebaskets, bear banks, duffle bags, baby rompers, etc. A successful activity for all.

Next week, Spring Break for most of our patrons, will bring three interesting programs to Youth Services: Illinois/Wisconsin Search and Rescue Dogs: What to do when lost--on Monday, March 28, at 11:00 and 1:00; Mark Hayward and his Champion Yo-Yo Hijinks, Wednesday, March 30 at 11:00; and, the movie, The Incredibles, on Thursday, March 31, at 10:00.

Friday, March 25, 2005


I was startled to realize today that April 15 is only 3 weeks from now (it was the due date on my books). Although many people have already received their refunds, some of us--usually those who have to pay more in taxes--have been putting it off. The Elk Grove Library has many of the common tax forms available for Federal and State taxes, if you did not get them in the mail or need additional ones. We also have a book of "reproducible" tax forms--you can copy them--with some of the less common forms.

If none of these sources have the forms you need, they can probably be found on the IRS website and/or the Illinois Department of Revenue website. You can also file electronically through the sites--Free File and I-File. If none of these have the obscure form you need, you'd better write or call the IRS as soon as possible so they can mail the forms to you in time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Easter is 'early" this year--March 27. But Passover doesn't start until April 24 this year. How is this so?
A brief description--and the current year's dates--of how the dates for Easter, Orthodox Easter, and Passover are determined can be found on Fact Monster: Moveable Feasts. A longer explanation can be found at Easter Dating. A site with a more detailed description of how Passover dates are determined can be found at Passover Date.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Garrison Keillor is most widely known as the host of A Prairie Home Companion--heard in the Chicago area on FM 91.5 WBEZ, 90.7 WBEQ (Morris), and 89.5 WNIJ (DeKalb) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday evenings. However, he also hosts a daily 5-minute program called The Writer's Almanac. It is not available on local radio stations, but I have heard it while driving down to UIUC--it's on WILL 90.9 FM down there at 8:55 in the morning. It's a program of "poetry and history", with tidbits about famous people (usually writers) born on this day or about special events related to writing. There is audio available on the website, as well as archives. Even if you don't care for poetry, hearing Mr. Keillor read is delightful. Every day is different.

The Elk Grove Library has quite a few books, audio-books, and recordings by or about Garrison Keillor. One of his most recent is Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America (NEW 320.973 KEI). We also have a book of poems selected and edited by Mr. Keillor, Good Poems (811.008 GOO); there is also a YA copy. The poems in this collection have been read on The Writer's Almanac.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


This coming week, Youth Services will be hosting its annual Spring Fling. There will be special stories and activities, including the eagerly anticipated Hat Parade--the children walk all over the library in a parade led by "The Spring Bunny", showing off their fancy hats (some of which they have made themselves). Regular story hours will be suspended just for this week.

The times are:
Tuesday March 22 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday March 23 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.
Thursday March 24 10:00 a.m.

More information on all of the Youth Services programs--including the Spring Break activities--(currently from January through May) can be found on the EGVPL website under Kids Korner/Programs

Currently Reading:
    Martin Hegwood's Big Easy Backroad
    B. Hirko & M.B. Ross's Virtual Reference Training

Just Finished Reading: Evelyn Richardson's The Scandalous Widow

Thursday, March 17, 2005

ANDRE NORTON (1912-2005)

Andre Norton reportedly died today at her home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, of congestive heart failure at the age of 93. One of the most influential and enduring Science Fiction/Fantasy writers, her Witch World series is still popular today. In fact, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has just named a new award in her honor, the Andre Norton Award for outstanding young adult science fiction or fantasy; the first award will be presented in 2006.

There is an official Andre Norton Website.

J.M. Cornwell interviewed her 5 years ago for The Rose and Thorn.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (NEW 428.2 TRU) is a funny, readable, down-to-earth (yet clarifying) discourse on modern punctuation, exhorting the reader to rally (even to the point of vigilante-ism) against the apparent proliferation of both the misuse of (and the omission of) beleagured punctuation marks to be seen everywhere today. The best parts of the book, of course, are the examples of "improper usage". It was a best seller in America as well as in Great Britain (in spite of its sometimes very British punctuation usage), and was often recommended in Best Non-fiction of 2004 lists.

Some other interesting-sounding books on punctuation and grammar (listed in her Bibliography) are also available:
Bill Walsh's Lapsing into a Comma... (808.027 WAL)
Eric Partridge's Usage and Abusage (428 PAR)
Karen Elizabeth Gordon's The Well-Tempered Sentence: a Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed (421 GOR)

Other books at EGVPL that have a humorous approach to grammar and punctuation include
Richard Lederer's Sleeping Dogs Don't Lay: Practical Advice for the Grammatically Challenged (428.2 LED), Crazy English: The Ultimate Joy Ride Through Our Language (420.027 LED),
Adventures of a Verbivore (428 LED),
A Man of My Words: Reflections on the English Language (413.028 LED) (Unfortunately EGVPL does not have any of his Anguished English books.)

Here's the transcript of a Chat with Richard Lederer.

The essay by Stanford professor Paul Robinson that Ms. Truss cites is actually available online, "The Philosophy of Punctuation".

Although there are quite a few punctuation games available online, there is now one specifically based on Lynn Truss's book: The Eats, Shoots & Leaves Game.

Remember: (song)"Punc-tu-a-tion, punc, punc, punc, punc-tu-a-tion. These are those lit-tle marks that use their help a sen-tence make more sense". (The Electric Company TV Show)

Currently Reading: Anne McCaffrey's Dinosaur Planet
Just Finished Reading: Lynn Truss's Eats,Shoots & Leaves

Monday, March 07, 2005


The Elk Grove Village Library publishes a quarterly newsletter called HIGHLIGHTS. It briefly lists upcoming events in Adult Services, Youth Services, and general public types of events--movies, speakers, classes, etc. It is mailed to Elk Grove residents, but you can also pick up a copy at the library, usually at the circulation desk. However, if you've lost your copy and no more are available, or if you don't have access to it and want to check on some event, you can read it online.
On the home page for the library website (see link in sidebar), there is a way to get to a PDF file of the newsletter (Adobe Acrobat Reader must be on your computer to view it, though). Just click on Programs and then click on the link to HIGHLIGHTS. Sometimes Programs also has more information on specific upcoming events. The last page of the HIGHLIGHTS has a "Calendar-at-a-Glance" for the next 3 months, information on hours and special closings, what will be on display in the glass cases and in the large meeting room, a list of the names of the Trustees, and a listing of the upcoming Book Discussion Group meetings.
There are two Book Discussion Groups. One meets the first Tuesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. (I believe at the Senior Center). They will be discussing Haven Kimball's A Girl Named Zippy on April 5 and Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue on May 3. The second group meets every other month on the third Tuesday here at the library. They will be discussing Carolyn Hart's Letter from Home on March 15 and Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees on May 17. For more information, call Chris in Adult Services at 847-439-0447, extension 271 or 272.

Currently Reading:
    Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Lauren Weisberger's The Devil Wears Prada

Just Finished Reading: Anne McCaffrey and S.M. Sterling's The City Who Fought

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


There is a big problem with J.D. Robb's mysteries. You have to be sure there are several consecutive un-interruptable hours available before you start reading them--because you can't put them down!!! The latest one, Survivor in Death, is no exception.
As Eve Dallas and her NYPD co-workers, husband Roarke, and the media feverishly work together to track down the merciless killers of an entire innocent family (with one unexpected survivor), the killers are methodically trying to get to and eliminate that survivor, adding to the bystander body count every day. I read it in half a day (with time out to make dinner and watch American Idol). Highly recommended.

Currently Reading: Kasey Michaels'Maggie Without a Clue
Just Finished Reading: J.D. Robb's Survivor in Death