2006-05-18 / News

From the Librarian's Desk

By Judith H. Bell

The excitement begins as you pass the second set of

double doors. On your right, you will see our beautiful new display case, a present from the Jamestown Historical Society to the library. Designed to perfectly match the woodwork of the entryway, the case will house changing exhibits from the historical society. The first display contains marvelous memorabilia from the opening of the old Jamestown Bridge. I'll let you discover the particulars yourself.

Next you will find the walls of our gallery festooned with colorful masks, the handiwork of Ms. McGuirl's 8th-grade social studies class. The masks and accompanying essays are part of a creative look at the subject of nationalism. If we haven't mentioned this before, we owe a special thanks to Jillian Barber, a member of the Conanicut Island Art Association, which sponsors the gallery exhibits. Jillian is responsible for planning and hanging these monthly exhibits. This month she assisted Maureen, who dashed over on her lunch hour to help make this exhibit possible.

. . . And you haven't even gotten to a bookshelf yet, although you may have stopped to purchase a bargain from our miniongoing book sale in the hallway.

There are so many great books to read this month, but I'll peak your interest with just a few reviews.

Fiction

"Murder in Exile" by Vincent H. O'Neil of Cranston, R.I. O'Neil makes a contribution to the genre with his first novel about an insurance company factchecker laying low in Florida as he awaits a bankruptcy appeal. He becomes embroiled in the hitand run death of a young man who had just recently purchased a large life insurance policy. Short and sweet and written in a lively manner, this book was the winner of the Malice Domestic/St. Martin's Press Best First Traditional Mystery Contest.

"Digging to America" by Anne Tyler. I can't ever recall an Anne Tyler novel getting the kind of hype this one is getting, so I am a bit leery. Two vastly different families, one very "American," the Donaldsons, one only recently from Iran, come together because both adopt infant Korean daughters. A chance meeting in a Baltimore airport turns into yearly parties to mark the occasion. It's "a story about what it is to be an American," according to the book jacket.

Non-fiction

"The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast" by Douglas Brinkley." In this story of government mis-management and incompetence, Brinkley is brutal in his assessment of the failures but heralds and applauds the many people of courage and decency who came through for the victims of Katrina. Read it and weep.

"The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope" by Jonathan Alter. A reminder that there was a time when a man with the strength of his character could help a country believe in itself and its institutions. Jonathan Alter is a senior editor at Newsweek magazine.

Here's a list of more fantastic reading along with a reminder that you can place holds on materials from your computer at home.

Murder mysteries

"Troubled Midnight" by John Gardner and "Mourners: a Nameless Detective Novel" by Bill Pronzini

More fiction "Everyman" by Philip Roth, "Chasing Destiny" by Eric Jerome Dickey, "Hey, Good Looking" by Fern Michaels, "High Lonesome: Selected Stories 1966-2006" by Joyce Carol Oates, "The Brandenburg Gate" by Henry Porter, "Kill Me" by Stephen White,

"Shiver" by Lisa Jackson, "Oh Pure and Radiant Heart" by Lydia Millet, "The Last Supper" by Charles McCarry, "Absurdistan" by Gary Shteyngart, and "Adverbs" by Daniel Handler.

More non-fiction

"Mayflower" by Nathaniel Philbrick; "American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation" by Jon Meacham; "Windswept: the story of Wind and Weather" by Marq De Villiers; "Cesar's Way: the Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems" by Cesar Millan; "The Lost Gospel: the Quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot" by Herbert Krosney; "The Gospel of Judas" edited by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst; "Ava Gardner: 'Love is Nothing" by Lee Server; "In Search of Memory" by Eric R. Kandel; "The Lost Men: the Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party" by Kelly TylerLewis; "My Life in France" by Julia Child; "Falling Through the Earth: a Memoir" by Daniella Trussoni;

"When the Rivers Run Dry: Water - the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century" by Fred Pearce; "Beneath the Seven Seas: Adventures with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology"

DVDs

"North Country" with Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand, "Munich" directed by Stephen Spielberg, "Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the WereRabbit."

Here's how to place holds from your home computer:

Go to the library home page at www.jamestownri.com/library and click on "Library Catalog." That will bring you to the CLAN catalog, and searches are easy by author, title, or subject. When you find the record you want, click on Request which takes you to Request Verification. Now here's the annoying part - you have to type in your entire bar code number and the numbers appear as little black dots.

Next, there's a drop down menu so that you can tell the system at which library you will be picking up your materials. If you just hit the letter "J" twice, you will get the Jamestown library. Submit your request. You can request multiple items by clicking on the little basket icon called Book Cart (just like Amazon only more difficult), then you only have to key in your bar code once.

No computer? Call us at 4237290 and a friendly staff person will place your hold for you.

Remember the Friends of the Library's annual meeting on June 14 at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to meet and hear Trinity's new artistic director Curt Columbus. Go to our Web site and learn more about the upcoming Friends cruise and our annual book sale in July. Now I have to go - so many books, so little time.

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