Olympic DVDs

On January 25, 1924, the first Winter Olympics, actually called "The International Winter Sports Week," began at Chamonix in the French Alps. This year the XX Olympic Winter Games will be held in Turin (Torino in Italian), Italy from February 10-26.

The library's DVD collection includes several titles that have something to do with the Olympic Games, including Miracle, The Real Olympics, The First Olympics, Criterion's release of Tokyo Olympiad, One Day in September, Chariots of Fire, and this movie that was so moving it nearly brought me to tears.

So, what's your favorite Olympic event?

Caldecott and Newbery Medal Winners

The word is in on the Caldecott and Newbery Medal Winners for 2006! Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka won the Caldecott Award. In this loving story vibrant swirls of color and simple, elegant text capture the child's eye view of sweet moments with Nanna and Poppy. This year's Newbery Winner is Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins, a 1960's teen story that is filled with poetry, haiku and fascinating characters trying to find their place in the world.

Toot and Puddle Wish You Were Here by Holly Hobbie

A bee stings Toot when he takes a trip to the Wildest Borneo. He comes down with a case of the Violet Virus and turns blue. When he returns home, Opal and Puddle try to nurse Toot back to health and find the cure in a nearby meadow. Holly Hobbie's latest in the Toot and Puddle series is a fun adventure that kids will love.

Time For a Vacation

St. Barts is probably overrated. And if Bill Bryson hasn’t been there and done that, it’s not worth doing anyway. Instead, let’s virtually vacation via Bryson’s books on CD. Take a trip down the Appalachian Trail in A Walk in the Woods and you’ll have to pull the car over when he describes the various instructions he received for bear encounters.

Anglophiles will want to listen to Notes From a Small Island describing his whirlwind trip around the Sceptred Isle. To complete your world tour, visit Australia with In a Sunburned Country.

Looking for Alaska named 2006 Printz Award Winner

Looking for Alaska by John Green introduces you to 16-year-old Miles “Pudge” Halter who heads off to seek his Great Perhaps at an Alabama boarding school, where new-found freedom, guilty pleasures and an enigmatic girl named Alaska hurl him into life.

Honor books include Black Juice by Margo Lanagan, I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth by Elizabeth Partridge, and A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson.

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

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