Monday, December 17, 2007

Wintry Tales

Doctor Zhivago Originally released as a motion picture in 1965 (remember the first glimpse of the enchanting Ice Palace?) This DVD features: audio commentary, an introduction by Omar Sharif, 30th-anniversary documentary Doctor Zhivago: The making of a Russian epic, 10vintage documentaries, music-only audio track, vintage audio track interviews,and the December 1965 New York premiere coverage.

Silent Night: the story of the World War I Christmas Truce. It happened in spite of orders to the contrary by superiors; it happened in spite of language barriers. And it still stands as the only time in history that peace spontaneously arose from the lower ranks in a major conflict, bubbling up to the officers and temporarily turning sworn enemies into friends. In December 1914 the great war was still young, and the men who suddenly threw down their arms and came together across the front lines, to sing carols, exchange gifts and letters, eat and drink and even play friendly games of soccer, naively hoped that the war would be short-lived, and that they were fraternizing with future friends. It began when German soldiers lit candles on small Christmas trees, and British, French, Belgian and German troops serenaded each other on Christmas Eve. Soon they were gathering and burying the dead, in an age-old custom of truces. But as the power of Christmas grew among them, they broke bread, exchanged addresses and letters and expressed deep admiration for one another. When angry superiors ordered them to recommence the shooting, many men aimed harmlessly high overhead. Sometimes the greatest beauty emerges from deep tragedy. Surely the forgotten Christmas truce was one of history's most beautiful moments, made all the more beautiful in light of the carnage that followed it.

Smilla's sense of snow by Peter Hoeg An international bestseller, the main character is a woman who is an authority on ice classification. Set in Denmark and Greenland, this literary thiller explores the conspiracy behind a young boy's death.

Novels & Stories by Jack London Includes Call of the Wild, Klondike, White Fang and other stories set in Alaska. Classic tales of conflict and survival, battling the elements and human nature as well.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
In a large, neglected estate house near the Scottish fishing town of Creagan,
on the shortest day of the year, the lives of five people will come together and be forever changed. Winter Solstice is a novel of love, loyalty and rebirth.

The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs When a devastating house fire reveals a rare treasure among her grandfather's belongings, leading her on a search for the truth, Jenny Majesky returns to the only place she feels safe, The Winter Lodge, where she finds an ally in the local police chief who makes her feel safe--and loved. Second tale set among the Lakeshore Chronicles. Preceded by Summer at Willow Lake

Friday, December 07, 2007

Parrots, Penguins and Pale Male, the red-tailed hawk

Availabe as both books and DVD's in the library collections are these three tales of "birds" and the diverse places they inhabit.

New York City is home to the
Pale Male, a red-tail hawk caring for his offspring, after his mate meets an untimely death. His predicament and how he raises the babies, nesting in a ledge of an apartment complex, is a point of fascination to the worldly New Yorkers who flock to Central Park to view the progress of this apartment-dwelling bird and family. The DVD is narrated by Joanne Woodward, and originally aired on PBS.

San Francisco is one of the homes of a colony of
Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill . Follow the ups and downs of a flock of wild urban parrots within the green niches of San Francisco. Along the way meet unforgettable characters like Picasso and Sophie, the inseparable parrot lovers, and Connor, the lovable outcast of the flock. And the humans involved in have their own stories too. Read about Mark Bittner's experiences in The wild parrots of Telegraph Hill : a love story ... with wings

From the United States to Antarctica, the award-winning documentary
March of the Penguins on DVD includes special features: "Crittercam: Emperor penguins" documentary; "Of men and penguins" documentary; "8 ball Bunny": a classic WB animation short with Bugs Bunny and a penguin.
The official children's companion to the documentary,
March of the Penguins
is available at all library locations.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Toy Train Layout ideas

In conjunction with the Piedmont Model Railroaders exhibit coming up
here are some resources to inspire your own efforts:

Tracks ahead. Great model train layouts Visit some of the most amazing model train layouts across America on this DVD from the producers of the award-winning public television series Tracks Ahead. Filmed in high-definition, this program visits famous model train sites around the country: New Jersey's Northlandz, Florida's Cypress Gardens model railroad, the Decoster Garden layout of Connecticut, the Lash layout, Washington DC, The Baldwin layout, Georgia, the Robinson layout, Pennsylvania, the Watson layout, Wisconsin, the Zane layout and the Strong layout, Maryland.

Great toy train layouts of America Over five-hours full of great train action. See sleek Lionel diesels, powerful steamers puffing smoke, switchers with backup lights, passenger trains with their lights shining brightly, log and coal loaders, illuminated stations, powerful magnetic cranes, hills and rivers, cities and towns filled with little folk--all the enchantment and thrills that toy train layouts have provided five generations of kids, dads, and granddads. 14 layouts from around the country--from Ward Kimball's multi-gauge layout, to Chuck Brasher's Standard Gauge, Stan Roy's 32-train O gauge, Paul Nelson's outstanding S-gauge, and many more--all capturing the history romance, and fun of toy trains. Includes interviews with the layout builders, tips on building, and more toy trains in action than you'll find anywhere. This series, originally released in 1987, was the first to show classic toy trains in action, and contributed significantly to the dramatic growth of this hobby in the nineties.

A Century of Lionel Trains This DVD, narrated by Tom Snyder, covers the history of the famous train line.

How to build realistic model railroad scenery
Covers backdrops, foregrounds, water, rocks, and changing seasons.

Playing with trains : the unexpected world of model railroading A former Grand Prize racer and Emmy Award-winning sportswriter examines the human love affair with model railroading, detailing his own panoramic layout, a model based on the historic Colorado Midland, and describing how his hobby has led to unexpected friendships, its impact on personal and family relationships, and the lost world of the steam engine.

Model Railroader Magazine Available at Bealeton Branch library, along with many other specialized model railroading titles.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Posse of turkeys, a scourge of mosquitos...

A mob of kangaroos and other intriguing, sometimes humorous names, for groups of animals (and some bugs) can be found at
Ask the Experts from Oxford University

Among frequently asked questions,
you'll find the answers to improve your scrabble and crossword puzzle skills
-words that end in -gry
-the longest word in the English Language
-the always handy list of words with a "q" that are not followed by a "u".

For more on word origins and meanings, you can access the
Oxford English Dictionary online by entering your Fauquier County Public Library Card barcode number.

If phrases pique your curiosity,

check out these books available in the library:

Word spy : the word lover's guide to modern culture

Where Queen Elizabeth slept & what the butler saw : historical terms from the sixteenth century to the present

Loose cannons & red herrings : a book of lost metaphors

Heavens to Betsy! and other curious sayings

A Dictionary of Cliches

Why do bad things seem to happen at class reunions

Or at least in novels about them?

Here are some misfortunate reunions for consideration before or consolation after attendance at any of your own-
with a few heartwarming ones as well...

Reunion by Alan Lightman
Attending his thirtieth college reunion, Charles, now a middle-aged professor, recalls his senior year, when he had an affair with a beautiful young dancer amidst the turbulent social and political upheaval of the 1960s.

The Class by Erich Segal The ethos and glamour of Harvard resonate throughout this story of five men--Andrew Eliot, Daniel Rossi, Ted Lambros, Jason Gilbert, and George Keller--from their first days at Harvard through their twenty-fifth class reunion.

Die Dreaming by Terence Faherty "Metaphysical detective" Owen Keane learned at his ten-year high school reunion that his old friends share a sinister secret, and now, ten years later at the next reunion, he discovers just how sinister that secret really is.

Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons Reunited with her beloved college chums after years of separation, Kate Abrams, now a successful interior designer, must face the many bitter truths of her own past.

Circle of Grace by Penelope Stokes Having remained in touch through a shared journal since college, friends Grace Liz, Tess, and Amanda meet for an unplanned reunion after a personal crisis leads to the discovery that Grace's colorful life is a fabrication.

Delta Belles by Penelope Stokes Twenty-five years after breaking up, a bitter, widowed Delta Ballou is reunited with her old friends and fellow members of the popular 1960s musical group, the Delta Belles, when they are asked to get together to perform at their college reunion.

Immediate Family by Eileen GoudgeWhen best friends Jay, Franny, Emerson, and Stevie reunite at their fifteen year college reunion, they catch up on their accomplishments and goals and learn the importance of friendship and acceptance.

The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King Every two years, a tight-knit group of Southern women, friends since college, come together for a reunion to renew their relationships with one another, each of them having an incredible story to tell about the course their lives have taken

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers One of the classic reunion nightmares, with a semi-happy ending-Attending a college reunion at Oxford, Harriet Vane receives mysterious messages that call her a murderer.

The Wyndham Case by Jill Paton Walsh St. Agatha's College in Cambridge, England, provides the setting for nurse Imogen Quy's investigation into a series of deaths connected to the special library called the Wyndham Case, which has a strange and possibly violent legacy

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Xeriscaping -what's that?*

If this year's drought has made a shambles of your yard,
consider xeriscaping by planning a new type of garden, with less lawn, and more drought-resistant plants.

Taylor's guide to water-saving gardening This book provides the answers to such questions as, Which plants will thrive without much water? Different varieties of flowers, ground covers, shrubs, and trees are all discussed. Helpful gardening techniques are provided for the 260 plants featured, including effective irrigation and soil improvement.

Waterwise Gardening Describes hundreds of trees, shrubs, vines, and plants that require less water, and shows how to plan cottage, prairie, rock, herb, and desert gardens

Xeriscape Gardening: Water Conservation for the American Landscape Discusses planning and design, soil analysis and improvement, appropriate plant selection, efficient irrigation, mulching, and maintenance

Less Lawn This website provides helpful hints on how to shrink your lawn, low-maintenance lawns, lawnless landscapes and useful plants.

Definition of Xeriscape

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Earth, Sea and Sky

Planet Earth on DVD is now available at all library locations.
Narrated by David Attenborough, this is a
stunning 11-part series that captures rare action, impossible locations, and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest, and most elusive creatures.
In addition to the series, the DVD's include these
special features: 110 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage - one 10-minute behind the scenes program for each episode; "Planet Earth: the future" 3-part, 2 1/2 hour documentary.

Blue Planet
Again, the familiar voice of David Attenborough narrates this exploration of the earth's oceans featuring incredible undersea videography on 4 discs, including eight behind the scenes featurettes, interviews, compelling exploration of men's impact on the oceans, photo galleries, fact files, trailers

Winged Migration Follows bird migrations flying over the seven continents: from one pole to the other, from the seas to snowcapped mountains, from the canopy of heaven to mangroves and swamps-shot over the course of three years, exhilarating footage includes the Himalayas, with an acclaimed soundtrack.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Music mags, tabs, midi and more

Reading about music sounds weird in a way,
but we remain fascinated with those who create, record and perform music
of all types.

Magazines available at the library for musicians and those who wannabe include:

Guitar Player
Rolling Stone

A few titles about rock history:
Rolling Stone: the illustrated portraits which includes interviews with the subjects and the artists accompany an assortment of portrait paintings, caricatures, and drawings of Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain, Patty Hearst, and other notable figures who have graced the pages of Rolling Stone.

The Best of Rolling Stone: 25 years of journalism on the edge A twenty-fifth anniversary collection features some of the most influential articles from the magazine that redefined journalism, with works by Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, Chet Flippo, Ellen Hopkins, and others.

Trouble Girls: the Rolling Stone book of women in rock Essays by leading music critics look at the most important female rock musicians, singers, and groups, with profiles of Bonnie Raitt, Carol King, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Madonna, and many others plus stunning close-up portrait photographs,chronicle the role and history of women in rock music

The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll Compiles discographies, personnel changes, biographical information, and reviews of rock, hip-hop, electronica, and pop musicians

Ready to make your own music?--Try some of these sites:

MIDI 101 by Tweakheadz Lab
Chordie Guitar Tabs
How to play drums

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Magazines for parents too busy to read books

Are you an adoptive parent or a prospective adopter?
Adoptive Families magazine covers current adoption issues and has articles by adoption lawyers and doctors about medical and legal questions, plus international adoption information and many other parenting topics.

Are you a new parent?
American Baby covers all the basics for expectant and new parents. Health, development, product evaluations, behavior advice and nutrition are covered.

Are you the parent of a child or teen with special needs?
Exceptional Parent: the magazine for families and professionals caring for people with special needs covers autism, accessibility, mobility, assistive devices, and much more.

Do you homeschool your children?
Home Education is a standard title for homeschooling families, and winner of a Parents' Choice award.

Looking for some new ideas for family time?
FamilyFun Magazine can help spark creative togetherness - it's main focus is family activities.

Interested in helping your preschool child learn?
Parent & Child from Scholastic focuses on the learning link between home and school, with an emphasis on early learning.
Parent & Child website

Other popular parenting magazines available include:

All these magazines are available at the library and back issues (other than the current issue) can be checked out for 3 weeks.

Items available at one branch can be requested for delivery to another.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

For Literary Types

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has a blog which features prominent contemporary writers writing about prominent contemporary writers (and some not so contemporary).

If you look forward each year to the announcement of the
National Book Award winners, then this blog is for you:
Critical Mass

The New York Review of Books also has a blog that was started slightly less than a year ago:
A Different Stripe

And here's a link to their regular publication:
New York Review of Books

To keep up with what's happening across the Pond,
check out the Times Literary Supplement

For the more esoteric reads,
try the LitBlog Co-Op, an effort to "unite the leading literary weblogs for the purpose of drawing attention to the best of contemporary fiction, authors and presses that are struggling to be noticed in a flooded marketplace."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Recently added eAudiobooks

Here are some adult, teen and children's titles now available to download:

Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows.

Death of a scriptwriter by M.C. Beaton.

The Flamenco Academy by Sarah Bird.

Freddy and the Ignormus by Walter R. Brooks.

Go put your strengths to work : 6 powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance / Marcus Buckingham.

The secret by Rhonda Byrne.

Since you're leaving anyway, take out the trash by Dixie Cash.

Curiosity killed the cat sitter by Blaize Clement.

Summer of light by W. Dale Cramer.

Get organized the clear & simple way : reclaim your home, your office, your life / Marla Dee.

Forbidden fruit : love stories from the Underground Railroad / by Betty DeRamus.

A meeting in the ladies' room by Anita Doreen Diggs.

Understanding the holocaust by David Engel

Grave surprise by Charlaine Harris.

Invisible by Pete Hautman.

Infamous by Virginia Henley.

Renovating Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck.

Far North by Will Hobbs.

Where have all the leaders gone? by Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney.

Betrayal of the mountain man by William W. Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone.

Deepwater by Matthew F. Jones.

The treasure of Jericho Mountain by Cameron Judd.

Dog days : dispaces from Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz.

Justice Hall by Laurie R. King.

Rules by Cynthia Lord.

The Spellman files by Lisa Lutz.

Living an empowered life! : techniques for creating clarity, confidence, optimism, and wealth! by Denise Lynch.

Christianity at the crossroads : the Reformations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Thomas F. Madden.

The year of secret assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty.

Dark sky by Carla Neggers.

In search of Eden by Linda Nichols.

Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson.

Rant : an oral biography of Buster Casey / by Chuck Palahniuk.

The Cupid chronicles by Coleen Murtagh Paratore.

The wedding planner's daughter by Coleen Murtagh Paratore.

Miss Julia strikes back by Ann B. Ross.

Invisible prey by John Sandford.

The lady in blue by Javier Sierra ;translated by James Graham..

Dear Mr. Jefferson : letters from a Nantucket gardener / by Laura Simon.

For more information about downloadable audiobooks, see
NetLibrary on the library's website.

For a list of compatible playing devices, see Supported Portable Listening Devices

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cheesemaking and Bread baking

Artisanal cheeses are coming into their own as the next big local resource.

The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese includes a listing by state of specialty cheese producers,
plus indexes by types of cheese: cow, goat, sheep, water buffalo, raw milk and organic.

For learning about how cheeses are made, the
The Cheese Nun on DVD provides a fascinating and delightful personal journey as Sister Noella Marcilleno becomes a champion for artisanal cheesemakers on both sides of the Atlantic.

If you're ready to try it on your own,
Home Cheese Making: recipes for 75 homemade cheeses will get you started.

For general information about all types of cheese, check out
The Cheese Primer by Steve Jenkins which discusses the principles of cheesemaking and describes the cheeses of Europe and North America.

To accompany your cheese, some resources on bread baking include:
Video Bread Series.
This is a very non-threatening set of 8 DVDs, good for a complete novice, on all aspects of bread baking: kneading, rising, punching down, etc., plus tips on pizza making, muffins, sweet rolls, pie crusts, and how to really get some use out of your dusty bread machine.

If you're more comfortable with the bread baking process, check out
Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads which offers over 600 pages of bread baking recipes. It covers more than just bread, and is very thorough in approach.
America's best-loved bread-baking authority returns with the 30th anniversary edition of the New Complete Book of Breads, the definitive version of this baking classic.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Space Sounds

Have you ever wondered what sounds are made by the planets, and the galaxy?

Space Sounds you can experience many different sounds from space, such as the Rings of Saturn, Jupiter's Magnetosphere, the Heartbeat of the Sun.

Explore images taken from the Hubble Telescope in the
Picture Albums of galaxies, the solar system, nebulae, stars,
and the universe. or take an
image tour which will explain terms and facts about specific planets, galaxies and nebulae.

Visit the
Hubble Reference desk, see the Top 10 most frequently asked questions, a glossary, charts, and more.

For some fun reading try:
Breaking the time barrier: the race to build the first time machine

The physics of Star Trek

This new ocean: the story of the space age

Friday, July 13, 2007

Swashbucklers, Buccaneers, Pirates and Privateers

In Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini, Dr. Peter Blood is arrested and sentenced to hang for treating a wounded rebel. Instead of death, he is sent to Barbados as a slave. When the Spanish attack the port city of Bridgetown, he and his fellow slaves capture the Spanish ship and set out to sea, where he becomes the notorious pirate, Captain Blood. With its battles on sea and land, daring escapes, sword duels to the death, a touch of romance, this greatest pirate story of them all is a swashbuckling adventure on a grand scale. Also available as an audio CD, with fantastic performances by the Colonial Radio Theater on the Air, and on DVD with Errol Flynn.

Sabatini also wrote The Sea Hawk.

L. L. Chaikin's Buccaneer Trilogy focuses on romance in the Caribbean.

Another Caribbean tale is Johanna Lindsey's Captive of my desires , which follows Gabrielle, the daughter of a pirate, trying to find a suitable husband.

The Brethren of the Coast series by James Nelson, features Thomas Marlowe, a former pirate who has gone legit and now owns a Virginia plantation. He finds himself charged with defending the colony from the all too familiar pirate menace infesting the waterways.

In Dewey Lambdin's naval adventure series with Captain Alan Lewrie, he runs afoul of pirates off the waters of New Orleans in The Captain's Vengeance

Shipwrecked on the coast of North Carolina, his companions killed, Tatton Chantry is alone—and ready for action. In the old world he fought wars, skirmishes, duels. Now, in the wilderness of America, this swashbuckling hero takes up against pirates, Spanish fortune seekers, savage Indians. Aided by a beautiful Peruvian woman, he braves the fierce challenges of the New World—always, like a true Chantry, with his expert hand on the hilt on his faithful silver sword, in Louis L'amour's Fair blows the wind

See Under the black flag: the romance and reality of life among the pirates for some gruesome facts about life on the sea.

Also, The Pirate Hunter: the true story of Captain Kidd which traces the career of buccaneer William Kidd, a New York sea captain hired to chase pirates, from his early voyages through his death on the gallows, and discusses the role played by Robert Culliford, a rogue and mutineer, in Kidd's downfall.

For the musical pirate, there's always The Pirates of Penzance on DVD starring Kevin Kline in Gilbert and Sullivan's raucous and comedic operatic tale of Frederic, a 'slave to duty' pirate, and the lowly band of 'orphaned' pirates.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fun Food Fiction

Deck dining, picnics, cook-outs, tailgate parties, vegetable gardens-
this time of year, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables evoke the elemental memories of past summer repasts.

As Lewis Grizzard reminds us,

Friday, June 29, 2007

Barbecue mystique (or is that mesquite?)

The big book of outdoor cooking and entertaining : spirited recipes and expert tips for barbecuing, charcoal and gas grilling, rotisserie roasting, smoking, deep-frying, and making merry / Cheryl and Bill Jamison
Presents the essentials of outdoor cookery, introducing more than eight hundred recipes, an array of appetizers, main courses, side dishes, drinks, and desserts, and practical advice on equipment and utensils, menu planning, and entertaining

Raichlen's indoor! grilling / by Steven Raichlen
In case it rains...
Features an array of recipes for appetizers, beef, pork, lamb, burgers, poultry, seafood, breads and sandwiches, vegetables and sides, and desserts to be cooked on grill pans, indoor smokers, built-ins, and the fireplace

A man, a can, a grill : 50 no-sweat meals you can fire up fast / by David Joachim and the editors of Men'shealth
Offers fifty simple recipes that use no more than five main ingredients and includes tips on everything from shopping and preparation to grilling and presentation

How to grill / by Steven Raichlen
A full-color, photograph-by-photograph, step-by-step technique book, "How to Grill" gets to the core of the grilling experience by showing and telling exactly how it's done. From how to set up a three-tiered fire to how to grill a prime rib, a porterhouse, a pork tenderloin, or a chicken breast. There are techniques for smoking ribs, cooking the perfect burger, rotisserieing a whole chicken, barbecuing a fish; for grilling pizza, shellfish, vegetables, tofu, fruit, and s'mores. Bringing the techniques to life are over 100 all-new recipes

Barbecue bible : sauces, rubs, and marinades, bastes, butters & glazes / by Steven Raichlen

Shellfish on the grill : more than 80 easy and delectable recipes for lobster, shrimp, scampi, scallops, oysters, clams, mussels, crab, and more

Friday, June 22, 2007

Book Club Reads

Is your group taking a summer hiatus?
Thinking about joining or forming one?
Here are some "inspirational" titles and some practical ones.

And Ladies of the Club
Before there were "book clubs" there were Women's Literary Societies. This chronicles several generations of the Waynesboro Ohio Women's Club, from just a few years after the Civil War to 1932.
At over 1000 pages, it can keep you reading all summer.The book caused a great stir when it was published 25 years ago, written by an octogenarian. The grandmother of today's book club books, it was on the 1984 bestseller for a long time.

The story behind the book is that Helen Santmyer began the novel at the age of 38, to counter the image of small town life given in Sinclair Lewis's Main Street. She completed it decades later.

The Book Class
Louis Auchincloss' novel is told through the eyes of Christopher Gates, the male narrator, who reveals the secrets and stories of the 12 women of his mother's "book class", begun by them as debutantes in 1908, and meeting every month for over 60 years.

The Jane Austen Book Club
As six Californians get together to form a book club to discuss the novels of Jane Austen, their lives are turned upside down by troubled marriages, illicit affairs, changing relationships, and love, in a comedy of contemporary manners.

Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons
From the initial formation of The Freesia Court Book Club and over the course of the next thirty years, five women in small-town Minnesota share the events, triumphs, tragedies, hardships, joys, and sorrows of their lives.

Dinner with Anna Karenina
Six Manhattan women gather for a year to discuss great literature with great meals. But they find that the novels open up paths for discussion about the deepest and most difficult aspects of their own lives.

The Year of reading Proust: a memoir in real time A non-fiction work by Phyllis Rose describes how Proust's novels led her to understand the art of writing an autobiography, and recounts her experiences as an author, a woman, and a person in midlife.

A year of reading classics: a month by month guide to classics and crowd pleasers is a reading guide, organized around the calendar year, offers descriptions of each book, discussion questions, information about the authors, and lists of video, Internet, and bibliographical resources.

Vintage Reading: From Plato to Bradbury a personal tour of some of the world's best books Discusses eighty essential books, including literary classics, controversial books, influential works, best sellers, and writings on art, science, politics, and psychology

Recovering your story: Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, MorrisonAn illuminating study explores the ways in which the works of some of the twentieth century's seminal writers helps readers understand the texture, shape, and evolution of human consciousness and the nature of our inner lives, offering critical analyses of outstanding works by Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison.

Reading to heal: how to use bibliotherapy to improve your life

Thirteen Ways of looking at the novel by Jane SmileyThe author celebrates the art of fiction as she looks at one hundred very different examples of the novel, ranging from the classics to little-known gems, and discusses the evolution of the novel and the practice of novel-writing

Readers' Choice:200 book club favorites

Read it and eat from irresistible beach reads to timeless classics a month-by-month guide to scintillating book club selections and mouthwatering menus.

Monday, June 18, 2007

"Biography is the only true history"...

according to Thomas Carlyle.

Similarly, Ralph Waldo Emerson stated "There is properly no history; only biography."

More recently, writer Mark Feeney stated, "Once the implicit aim of biography was to uplift now it is to unveil."

If reading about people's lives is one of your passions, and you are looking for something else to read while waiting for a copy of the Diana Chronicles, there is a new resource that will keep you posted about all aspects of biography, through a monthly e-newsletter.

The Biographer's Craft provides news about upcoming biographies, both subjects and their authors, reviews of biographical books, and articles related to the fine art of biography.
You can view their newsletters, starting from March 2007, in the archives on the website to decide if you want to subscribe.

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography this year is:
The Most Famous man in America: the biography of Henry Ward Beecher by Debby Applegate

To see a complete list of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies:
Pulizter Prize for Biography or Autobiography

To find out about new biographies available at the library, check out the
New to the Collection List on the catalog's home page. List # 5 is for recently added biographies.

If you prefer to browse the biographies at the library, the latest additions can be found in the "New Book" section at each branch, or the full collection in the separate "Biography" collection in the adult non-fiction area.

Biographies are indicated with a "B" as the call number, and shelved according to the
person the book is about, so, for example, all the biographies about Franklin Roosevelt would be shelved together under B ROO.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air

Some of you may be familiar with the "Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air" broadcast on XM satellite radio, now newly joining up with i-tunes, and Imagination Theater.

Many of their quality productions are also becoming available for purchase on audio CD format.
Some are classics like
some are original productions, such as Powder River.

Powder River is a western adventure series, set in the Wyoming frontier.

Join former lawman turned rancher Britt MacMasters and his son Chad as they begin a new life for themselves in Clearmont, Wyoming, but Britt's past returns to haunt him, as one of the toughest outlaw gangs in the west is headed towards Clearmont for revenge. A rousing 15 episode western adventure series that keeps true to its roots. Currently the library has Season 1 and Season 2. from this series.

For a list of Fauquier library holdings, see Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air as an author entry.
The library will continue to add titles from their productions as
they are made available.

For more information about the Colonial Theatre on the Air, and their schedule,

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Literary Thrillers-Dante, Bronte, Byron, Poe, Rossetti et cetera

For those who like a more cerebral chase,

some of these are more literary, some are more thriller:

Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips
Fearing that her research will be rendered useless if a Cambridge professor proves his theory about seventeenth-century Venetian courtesan Alessandra Rossetti, Ph.D. candidate Claire Donovan agrees to chaperone a troubled teen in order to gain passage to the professor's presentation in Venice.
Possession by A.S. Byatt
This tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets became a huge bookseller favorite, and then on to national bestellerdom. Winner of England's Booker Prize, a coast-to-coast bestseller, and the literary sensation of the year, Possession is a novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and a triumphant love story.
Harvard Yard by William Martin
Harvard historian Peter Fallon investigates a university legend about an original Shakespeare manuscript that may have survived the Harvard Hall fire of 1764
In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches
The discovery of an original manuscript of Dante's "Inferno" in the Vatican archives finds writer Nick Tosches heading for Rome to authenticate the find.
Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales
Lord Byron's Novel: the Evening Land by John Crowley

A work spanning three centuries follows the stories of a lost Lord Byron novel, the writer's daughter's efforts to save the manuscript, and a woman who discovers the daughter's secret.
Bronte Project: by Jennifer Vandever

Abandoned by her fiance, Sara Frost finds herself beginning to question everything from her love life to her life's work, as she stumbles into a world populated by an amoral Frenchman, two New York eccentrics, and a Hollywood producer.
Rule of Four

Trying to decipher an ancient text that weaves a mathematical labyrinth within a love story, two researchers obtain a diary that may contain the key to the code, but when a fellow researcher is killed, they realize that the book contains a dangerous secret.
Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

In 1865, the preparations of the Dante Club--led by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes--to release the first translation of Dante's "The Divine Comedy" are threatened by a series of murders that re-create episodes from "Inferno."
Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl

In 1849 Baltimore, following the death of Edgar Allan Poe, Quentin Clark discovers that Poe's final days had been marked by a series of bizarre, unanswered questions and launches his own investigation to resolve the mystery of Poe's death.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Virginia is for music, hiking, history, weekend walks...

A guide to the Crooked Road: Virginia's heritage music trail
follows 250 miles through southwestern Virginia, introducing the various sources of its rich musical traditions in bluegrass, old-timey music, African influences, the fiddle and the banjo, "luthiers" (stringed instrument makers), and where to find the best music along the trail.

Highlights include the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum and the Ralph Stanley Museum, and the Carter Family homestead. The trail crosses along 10 counties. Chapters feature annual festivals, concerts, live radio shows and informal jam sessions. Accompanied by CD with sample sounds.

For more information and upcoming music events, visit also:

Blue Ridge Roadways: a Virginia field guide to cultural sites follows five self-guided auto loop tours along the Blue Ridge region of Virginia.

Historic buildings, parks, museums, and natural features are highlighted along the way.

Leonard Adkins has written a number of regional travel guides. Two of his most recent focus on hikes in Virginia.
50 Hikes in Northern Virgina covers from the Allegheny Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.

50 Hikes in Southern Virginiacovers from the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean.

Going over to the Eastern Shore, you can take along
Weekend walks on the Delmarva Peninsula

Closer to home is
Weekend walks in the historic Washington DC region:38 self-guided walking tours in the capital and five surrounding states, also features Williamsburg, Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, Baltimore and Annapolis.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I suspect Agatha Christie in the library, with a compact disc

Although they've always been mystery fan favorites,
for a time it was difficult to find Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot stories.

Now, the BBC radio collection full-cast dramatizations of
The Complete Miss Marple Collection and Hercule Poirot's Greatest Cases are available on compact disc at the library.

The Miss Marple collection features
June Whitfield as the village sleuth in all 12 of her intriguing cases, based on the novels.

The Hercule Poirot collection stars John Moffatt, with a full cast radio dramatization of 14 novels.

In addition to the audio versions, and of course, the actual books themselves,
these books are available at the library:

The Agatha Christie Companion: the complete guide to Agatha Christie's life and work

In the Footsteps of Agatha Christie

Come, tell me how you live an early autobiographical work by Agatha Christie, on her adventures with one of her husbands, while on an archaelogical excavation in the Middle East.

A Talent to deceive: an appreciation of Agatha Christie by Robert Barnard, another mystery master.

The Bedside, bathtub and armchair companion to Agatha Christie

The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot

Factoid: The actor Michael Caine purchased and renovated one of Agatha Christie's houses.

For additional information about Agatha Christie, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, check out these websites:

Miss Marple

Hercule Poirot

Monday, April 30, 2007

Queen Elizabeth to Visit Virginia this Week

Fifty years ago, Queen Elizabeth visited Virginia, and she's coming back this week.
In association with this historic event, scheduled to co-incide with the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown, Williamsburg has two exhibits recalling her previous visit.

Jamestown Memories includes accounts of those who were there in 1957 for the Queen's first visit, with a web version from the Williamsburg Regional Library.

The Queen's Visit 1957 is an online photographic version of the exhibit at Swem Library at the College of William and Mary.

For more information, see
Newsletter of the Collection of William and Mary

The Fauquier County library has numerous biographies about the Queen and the Royal Family.
Here are a few titles: Queen Elizabeth II

Reading Rainbow on DVD

The library has recently added new DVDs in the Reading Rainbow Series at all three branches.

Click here for a list of titles:
Reading Rainbow DVDs

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bible Experience

Some of you may have seen Denzel Washington on CBS Sunday Morning discussing his participation in recording the Bible Experience, with over 80 other African-American actors, such as Angela Bassett, and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones award in 2007, this dramatic recreation , with music and sound effects, tells the story of the New Testament, in Today's New International Version, on
19 CD's.
The best-selling audiobook is now available at the library:

The Bible Experience

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wired for Books

Ohio University has created a fantastic online resource for author interviews, plus other literature audio resources, through its radio, television and web accessible station WOUB

Recent additions to the site include Don Swaim's CBS Radio Book Beat interviews with authors of the 20th century. Although the original radio program only broadcast about 2 minutes of the interviews, the full interviews, typically 30-45 minutes in length, are now available online.

Edward Abbey, Russell Baker, Janet Daily, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Rice, John Updike, Amy Tan are just a few of the wide range of authors interviewed over 10 years of the show.

Kids Corner features the tales of Beatrix Potter in both text and audio, and other children's classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Rudyard Kipling's Just So stories, interviews about Beatrix Potter, Mr. Fred Rogers, and more.

Poetry readings, with contemporary poets Robert Pinsky and Sharon Olds reading their own works, and now classic poetry such as Walt Whitmans' Leaves of Grass and the poems of Emily Dickinson read by others are found here.

Hear the Iliad, Book 1 read aloud in ancient Greek, and the Aeneid, Book IV, declaimed in Latin.

These various audio resources use either RealPlayer or RealAudio, available for downloading on the site. Some of the interviews are available for MP3 format.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Looking for inspiration to jump start the cleaning/organization/simplification of your home and life?

Here are some great resources available at the library:



House Cleaning

Home Economics

Some useful websites:

Simple Living Network

Organized Home

Cheap Cooking

Life Organizers

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Magazines for Teens and Children

Recently added titles to the teen collection include:

While featuring clothes and makeup tips, this is geared beyond celebrity gossip,
to focus on profiles of real teens and young adults who are making a difference in the world. Also, a DIY monthly feature for crafts and activities.

Teen Ink
Written by teens for teens.

New to the children's collection:
Boy's Quest
for boys ages 6-12.
Focuses on activities, adventure, projects, and humor.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Virginia Festival of the Book

Five Days,
Hundreds of mostly free author events
Wednesday, March 21-Sunday, March 25

Charlottesville, VA
For more information, visit

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Recommended Reading

Common questions overheard in the library:
Can you recommend a good book?

I just finished the latest book by this author, and I'd like to read more like that

I want to read all the titles in this series in order. How can I find out what the next one is?

The library has several resources to provide "good reads" and answers to those questions.

The first, of course, is the reference staff.
If you have a particular author, and have read everything by them, and are looking for something similar, try asking at the reference desk for new authors to sample.

There are several great website links for mystery, science fiction, romance and reading group guides now listed under "Links" down the right side column of this blog.

Browse the stacks in these (probably unfamiliar to you) Dewey numbers: 011-016, and you will find a wealth of books about books: Reading Resource Guides

Bookmarks Magazine, for everyone who hasn't read everything is published every two months, and is available at the Warrenton branch. It has great articles on authors, what's coming up in the next few months, and explores various genres each issue.

Through the library's website, you can access, with your library card, a great new resource called "What do I Read Next?" This is an online database that you can look at in the wee hours of the night. Click on FindITVA Select Fauquier County Public Library, enter your library card, and then scroll the list for "What do I read next?"

Once you start playing around with it, you can search, naturally for authors, titles, and then also, series, genres, favorite characters, age levels,
both adult and children's authors.
If you like historical fiction, you can search by time period.
If you like certain exotic locales, or just want to read books that take place in Virginia,
you can search by location.
You can enter your favorite authors, and find recommendations for similar titles also.

If this seems a little complicated, just stop by the reference desk, and staff can provide you with an overview on searching strategies. This resource can search for fiction, non-fiction, adult, young adult, and children's literature.