Less freak, more economics?

If you liked Freakonomics, try The Undercover Economist. Subtitled "Exposing why the rich are rich, the poor are poor, and you can never buy a decent used car," this book by Tim Harford seems a bit -- but just a bit -- more hardcore than Levitt's book.

Of course, my metric is how hard one is to read right before I go to sleep compared to the other. It probably wouldn't stand up to the scrutiny of either economist.

In any case, if you'd like to find out how you might avoid self-selecting a higher price for essentially the same items, Harford has the answer: the price of lower prices is eternal vigilance.

Finals are just around the corner..

And we want to remind you the Downtown public library has both group study spaces and personal study areas that are quiet and perfect for final test preparation. There are snack and drink machines on the second floor for break-time, and librarians that can help if you come upon a conundrum.

To the Moon and Back

Dava Sobel turns her considerable talents to the The Planets in her latest science-is-for-everyone book on compact disc. This is a more personal and poetic undertaking, a collection of essays on the planets that range into discussions of metaphysics, astrology, music, art and biography.

Once you’ve heard Planets, you’ll want to listen to her other highly acclaimed books. Longitude is the story of the race to find a solution to “the longitude problem” that made exploration and maritime travel so dangerous. The book that garnered her so many awards and bestseller status, Galileo’s Daughter is narrated by one of the best readers out there, Recorded Book’s George Guidall.

Inspiring Stories


On Martin Luther King Day, I had the privilege to hear the two doctors and one dentist who make up The Pact and wrote the book by the same name. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt grew up in Newark, New Jersey and never in their wildest dreams thought they'd be doctors or dentists. But the opportunity came to attend Seton Hall University and then medical and dental school. In their book, they describe the hard times in their childhood and teenage years and the thin line they walked to steer clear of drugs and other temptations. It was only in forming "the pact," a tight bond of friendship and support, that they were able to make it through. All three of them are now practicing medicine and dentistry in the Newark area. They also have formed a foundation to support inner city youth and their families and to provide scholarships for aspiring college students.

Booklist names its Top of the List for 2005

Booklist's 2005 Top of the List

Booklist, one of the most prestigious reviewing sources used by librarians and booksellers in book selection, has announced its 16th annual Top of the List choices for 2005.

The winners and their categories are:

Adult Fiction
The March, by E.L. Doctorow

Adult Nonfiction
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

Baby Bits: Are You Reading?

Babies love to listen to Your Voice. Start reading (or singing) with I Love You A Bushel And A Peck; Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed; Jiggle Joggle Jee; and Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear. Rhythm and Rhymes are fun enough to read over, and over, and over...

Borders announces the winners of its 2005 Original Voices Awards

Yesterday Borders Books and Music announced the winners in its 9th annual Original Voices Awards. The mega bookstore chain bestows $5000 on each of the winners in five categories. The members of the selection process are all Borders employees, both store and Corporate. Their mission is to recognize writers and musicians for…”their outstanding achievement in crafting creative original books and music.” (The music category was just added this year.)

The categories and their winners are:

Fiction
Nicole Krauss for The History of Love

Nonfiction
Emma Larkin for Finding George Orwell in Burma

Children’s picture book
Robb Scotton for Russell the Sheep

Young Adult
Gabrielle Zevin for Elsewhere

Music
Madeleine Peyroux for Careless Love

All recipients will be honored at the Book Expo America convention in Washington, D.C. in May.

Baby Bits: Are You Sleeping?

Are You Sleeping well at night? Try beautiful music at the end of the bedtime ritual. Here are some CDs to try with your Baby. Guitar Lullaby; The Sun Upon the Lake is Low a collection of traditional and contemporary folk music and a sequel to All Through The Night. For some classical music Baby Neptune with Handel's Water Music.

Family Bits: Retro Read

The Penderwicks is a fun family read aloud, if you are looking for a story of innocence, of four loving sisters, a gentle father, the boy next door, some pets, and a summer's adventure. This book won the National Book Award 2005 for Jeanne Birdsall.

Dr. W. Scott Westerman Jr. to Speak on No Child Left Behind

Dr. Westerman

Dr. Westerman will speak Tuesday, January 24, at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown Library Multi-purpose Room. Please come to learn about the No Child Left Behind Act.

For further reflections on this legislation, consult these books:

America’s Failing Schools: How Parents and Educators Can Cope with No Child Left Behind by W. James Popham
Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s World by J. P. Comer
Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools edited by Deborah Meier and George Wood
Saving Our Schools: the Case for Public Education: Saying No to “No Child Left Behind” edited by Ken Goodman
What Every Teacher Should Know about No Child Left Behind by Nathan Essex

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