Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Big Read on Audio CD

The library recently received a wonderful donation of audio CDs from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This collection highlights 14 novels (so far) that are considered classics, such as The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, and contemporary and multicultural titles such as Bless Me Ultima, Their Eyes Watching God, and The Joy Luck Club.

Designed to be used in conjunction with book group or classroom discussions, these audio CDs contain 1 disc per title, providing an introduction to the work. They include excerpts and critical analysis featuring well-known actors, authors, and commentators, such as Ed Harris, Robert Redford, Amy Tan, Ray Bradbury, Walter Mosley, Scott Simon and Kurt Anderson.

Dana Gioia, Chairmen of the NEA, narrates many of the excerpts on the CDs.
He states:
"The purpose of The Big Read, like the purpose of literature itself, is pleasure. Not necessarily an easy pleasure, but a deliciously rich and complex one. A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us."

Each branch has a complete set.

For a catalog listing of books included, please see:
The Big Read

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15-October 15

In recognition of the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture, this observance was originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 first as a weekly commemoration, and under President Reagan, in 1988 expanded to a full month.

This year, 2008, celebrates both a 40-year anniversary and a 20-year anniversary.

Here are some of the resources available at Fauquier Library about Hispanic life, culture and contributions to American society:

Latina magazine
People en español magazine
are both available at the Bealeton and Marshall Branch libraries.

Hispanic American Scientists and Hispanic American Writers illustrate the lives of prominent Hispanic Americans and their contributions to those fields.

Los Hispanos en Hollywood : celebrando 100 años en el cine y la televisión by Luis Reyes y Peter Rubie discusses the popular culture contributions and growing acclaim of Hispanic actors in Hollywood.

Hispanic Firsts: 500 years of extraordinary achievement by Nicolás Kanellos discusses many different areas of contribution by Hispanic Americans over the centuries.

Finding Your Hispanic Roots assists genealogical research for those whose ancestors came from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America.

The Other Face of America by Jorge Ramos describes the hopes and fears of immigrants to the United States from Mexico and other Latin American countries, and discusses their experiences in the United States, racism, linguistic change, and future developments.

The library has several other books in Spanish by
Jorge Ramos the popular Univision anchor.

Once upon a quinceañera Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez gives a cultural exploration of the Latina fifteenth birthday celebration traces the experiences of a Queens teen preparing for her quinceañera, in an account that documents the history of the celebration's traditions as well as its growing popularity.

Something to Declare.
In her first book of nonfiction, Julia Alvarez takes us behind the scenes and shares the lessons she's learned on her way to becoming an internationally acclaimed novelist. In 1960, when Alvarez was ten years old, her family fled the Dominican Republic. Her father participated in a failed coup attempt against the dictator Rafael Trujillo, and exile to the United States was the only way to save his life. The family settled in New York City, where Dr. Alvarez set up a medical practice in the Bronx while his wife and four daughters set about the business of assimilation--a lifelong struggle. Loss of her native land, language, culture, and extended family formed the thematic basis for two of Julia Alvarez's three best-selling novels.

Crossing Over: a Mexican family on the migrant trail by Ruben Martinez A powerful account of migrant culture traces the Chavez family as they leave their southern-Mexican town and embark on a perilous journey through the underground railroad to the tomato farms of Missouri, the strawberry fields of California, and the slaughterhouses of Wisconsin.

Bella Based on the award winning film, this novel version by Lisa Sampson tells the story of Jose, an international soccer star, who is on his way to sign a multi-million dollar contract when a series of events brings his career to a halt. Nina, a struggling waitress trying to make it in New York City, discovers something about herself she's unprepared for. In one irreversible moment, their lives are turned inside out - until a simple gesture of kindness brings them together, turning an ordinary day into an extraordinary experience.

Friday, September 12, 2008

United States History -a musical and more!

The drama! the significance! the arguments!
Yes, it's all here in this musical celebration of the founding fathers of the United States, at the Second Continental Congress, writing the Declaration of Independence, prelude to the writing of the United States Constitution.
The cast includes William Daniels as John Adams, Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson, Blythe Danner as Martha Jefferson, Howard da Silva as Benjamin Franklin.

Click here for some memorable dialogue and debate lines from the film and play.

The musical was conceived by a history teacher, and many of the lines were real quotes. The conversations between John and Abigail Adams are based on their letters to each other. However, while it is based on real history, and much of it is correct, the historical accuracy is discussed in a wikipedia article about the film and play.

Other resources at the library about the establishment of our republic, and the role of the constitution include:

Our Constitution [DVD] : a conversation- A project of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands
United States Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer talk about the Constitution with high school students and discuss why we have and need a constitution, what federalism is, how implicit and explicit rights are defined, and how separation of powers ensures that no one branch of government obtains too much power.

A conversation on the Constitution [DVD] : judicial independence- A project of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands
U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra Day O'Connor fielded questions in Washington Tuesday, May 16, 2006 from 50 high school students from the Philadelphia and Los Angeles areas. The students and justices discussed the significance of the judiciary and the ways that independence is protected by the Constitution.

Key Constitutional concepts [DVD] : a conversation
This documentary begins by introducing the Constitution and why it was created. It then examines key Constitutional concepts -- separation of powers and individual rights -- by focusing on two landmark cases: Youngstown v. Sawyer, a challenge to President Truman's decision to put the steel mills under government control, and Gideon v. Wainwright, in which the Supreme Court establishes the right to be represented by an attorney.

1776 : excerpts from the acclaimed history, with letters, maps, and seminal artwork by David McCullough
This includes reproductions of original letters, maps, and other illustrations.

The genius of America : how the Constitution saved our country--and why it can again by Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes.
Traces the history of the Constitution and how it came into being, exploring how it has weathered past crises, how it effectively helps us govern our nation, and the current threats to the constitutional process.
The Genius of America looks at the Constitution’s history relative to this current crisis. Starting with the eleven years between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution’s adoption, they show how our near failure to create a loosely knit nation led the framers to devise a system that takes human nature into account. The Genius of America reminds us the Constitution is our national glue.

For additional resources, search the library's catalog
under the subject headings:
United States Constitution

United States Constitutional Convention

Friday, September 05, 2008

September is National Preparedness Month

With news of hurricanes, severe weather and possible power outages,
here are some resources that can help you develop a plan for your family,
prepare supplies, and learn more about how to respond:

Just in Case: how to be self-sufficient when the unexpected happens
Author Kathy Harrison guides readers through the empowering process of setting up such a home system with her OAR method — Organize existing supplies, Acquire additional necessities, Rotate everything for freshness. Her comprehensive coverage of emergency preparedness includes food storage, alternative heating sources, personal supplies for every family member, entertainment ideas, toiletry and proper clothing, pet supplies, emergency family communication plans, and neighborhood cooperatives.

In addition to preparing the home for extended periods without electricity, Harrison also discusses evacuation plans — where to go, how to meet up with family, what to pack, and how best to protect all that’s being left behind. Self-sufficiency at home or in a temporary safe haven takes away much of the fear and helplessness associated with disasters.

Essentials in Emergency Management: including the all-hazards approach by Brian J. Gallant
This book takes a broader approach, covering the history of emergency management, the National Incident Management System (NIMS), natural and technological hazards, how to handle pets in an emergency, the role of volunteers for emergency support functions particularly in the aftermath and recovery process, as well as useful charts and checklists for supply kits, an emergency response plan, and a severe weather manager's checklist.

Be alert, be aware, have a plan : the complete guide to protecting yourself, your home, your family by Neal Rawls with Sue Kovach
Being prepared means being in control. Here is hard-won advice from a veteran security expert for people who want to protect themselves and their families in any situation, including personal security, crime prevention, workplace safety, as well as natural disasters, and other concerns.

For more information, go to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and also Virginia's
Ready Campaign website for an online supply kit checklist, family emergency plans and other useful tips.