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Archive for Category: Reading Room
We love our books,
Sorry, here’s one DON’T:
These DOs and a DON’T will ensure that we can all love our books for years to come.Books, Reading Room | No Comments »
The science fiction world is in mourning this week with the death of Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008.) He wrote over 100 books, and not all were fiction (although there was plenty of that.) He also wrote nonfiction works on space and underwater exploration, and came up with the idea of communications satellites years before such a thing existed. (Such satellites move through space in "Clarke" orbits in acknowledgment of his contribution.)
He's probably best known for his sci-fi series that began with 2001 : A Space Odyssey. The novel evolved alongside the movie of the same name directed by Stanley Kubrick, and Clarke went on to write three more related books (see below.) Other popular novels include Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama and The Hammer of God.
Clarke has been honored with nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize (1994), his name has been given to a diverse group of objects including: a dinosaur (Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei), an asteroid (4923 Clarke), a space orbiter (2001 Mars Odyssey) and the Arthur C Clarke Learning Resource Centre at Richard Huish College, Somerset, UK (Clarke was a student at their grammar school.) He was invested as a British Knight Bachelor in 2000. He'll also be remembered for inspiring many scientists and astronauts: "All of us around the table said we read Arthur C. Clarke...That was the thing that got us there." - planetary scientist Torrence Johnson.
For more information:
Posted in Books, Current News, Reading Room | No Comments »
I wore a trendy little jumper to work the other day with a jaunty black cap and a co-worker complimented me on my outfit, saying I looked “cute.”
I asked my 12 year old daughter - “So, what do you think, can someone approaching 50 still look cute?” Her response? “Sure, Mom, I think old people are cute.”
Aargh, between the hot flashes and the AARP mailings (awfully premature, if you ask me, I am NOT quite 50 yet...) - I have enough reminders of my approaching senility. I don’t need my almost-teenager chiming in... Besides - age (as they say) is “a state of mind” - and the state of my mind is decidedly young.
So if you are feeling a little creaky in your joints or you find yourself enjoying a nap on the couch more than a night out on the town or if you are constantly misplacing your keys - don’t blame it on getting old! Stop fretting and Get a Hobby - Tina Barseghian’s information packed guide gives you 101 different hobbies to explore. It has everything from beachcombing to needlework to growing bonsai.
You Can Do It! - The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-up Girls by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas will also get you up off the couch. Whether it is running a marathon, trekking to Nepal or learning to sing on stage, this book celebrates your dreams and tells you it is never too late to start! It is all up to you. You, Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty is just the ticket for fighting the effects of aging. It includes a 14 day plan to help you stay young, along with information about the biological factors in growing old.
If you are still worried about crow’s feet and flabby arms, join the club. We all say I Feel Bad about My Neck along with the comic author Nora Ephron and many of us ask Martha Weinman Lear’s eternal question Where Did I Leave My Glasses? Lear’s aptly-titled book about the what, when, and why of normal memory loss reassures us that a certain amount of forgetfulness in middle-aged folks and the young elderly is normal. It is not necessarily a harbinger of Alzheimer’s. We should also take our cue from the likes of Ben Bradlee, Lena Horne and Carl Reiner, octogenarians who say they have never felt so young. They are featured in 80: Eighty Famous People in Their Eighties Talk about How They Got There and Live There by Gerald Gardner and Jim Bellows.
As we grow older, many of us find that we are becoming Predictably Irrational - Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist argues that human behavior is often anything but rational - that thoughts are not random, but instead are systematic and predictable. Or perhaps you find yourself thinking that your life is Not Quite What I Was Planning? This newly-published illustrated collection of six-word memoirs is alternately humorous, sad, and strange. It includes authors Jonathan Lethem and Richard Ford and comedians Steven Colbert and Amy Sedaris.
Ultimately though it is important to heed the advice of Nobel Prize winner James D. Watson and Avoid Boring People. Watson’s lessons from a life in science include an account of his early work in discovering the structure of DNA along with secrets he has found to getting along in the world. It is a witty and instructive memoir. You can embrace Watson’s teachings and Keep Your Brain Alive with Larry Katz and Manning Rubin’s 83 neurobics exercises designed to increase mental fitness. Start thinking hard today!
But if today is one of the days that you have a brain cramp and you still haven’t found your keys or your missing glasses - have someone drop you by the library and enjoy some of our programs. Upcoming events include a program on financial fitness, lunch box seminars, a poetry slam, a salon-style discussion group and an art reception. Join us! For more information, check out the website at www.chelmsfordlibrary.org
Posted in Books, Column, Reading Room | No Comments »
In response to comments from our patrons, the libraries of the MVLC Consortium recently voted to change a few of the borrowing policies for downloadable audio books from our Overdrive library. The new policies are:
The rest of our downloadable audio book policies have not changed. You can browse for and download these books from http://mvlc.lib.overdrive.com.
For assistance with searching or downloading audio books from Overdrive, please contact the Reference Desk.
Posted in Books, Overdrive, Reading Room | No Comments »
Once upon a time, I was a genius. Straight A’s, scholarships, cum laude and honor societies – the whole deal.
Now, I have children.
Even before they arrived, I began to doubt myself. I read too many books about babies and was amazed by what I didn’t know. (I’ll take a moment to note that my husband had no such qualms and was sure he knew all about babies.) The children arrived, two daughters in two years, and we learned together. I learned how to understand my little girls’ needs and my husband learned that knowing about babies was different from owning them.
The babies grew into school-age girls and here I became a genius again. I could help with all the homework and answer endless questions about the world around them. My head swelled with pride when I would overhear “Ask Mom – she’ll know,” spoken with complete confidence and trust that this would be so.
Then another baby arrived and I lost my genius status again. This baby was more challenging than the first two and I forgot everything I had learned. When she got to school age, she didn’t need any help with homework and so I couldn’t dazzle her with my brilliance. The older girls were still impressed with my ability to answer Jeopardy questions in the stress-free comfort of my living room, but they too had started to doubt my genius in the wider world. (I could tell by the sighs and eye-rolling that occurred whenever I shared my wisdom.)
Now they are 15, 13 and 9, and I doubt that I shall ever be a genius again. The world has changed so fast that my 20th century IQ is irrelevant and inadequate. Lucky for me, the publishing world has seen my pain and come through with books clearly written just for me (and maybe you, if you’re honest.)
Feeling less than smart? Try a book from the “For Dummies” series – MySpace for Dummies, Violin for Dummies, Irish History for Dummies, etc. They cover computers – Wikis… and eBay…; business – New Product Development… and Accounting… ; education – Athletic Scholarships… and Algebra… ; health Diabetes Cookbook… and Low Calorie Dieting… and a hundred other topics – Nostradamus…, Betting on Horse Racing…, Genealogy Online…, Golf’s Short Game… and my personal favorite Parenting for Dummies.
Feeling even less than dumb? We also have titles from the Complete Idiot’s Guide series – Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cigars, ...Going Back to College, …the Bible, …European History, …Middle East Conflict and one that makes me a little nervous, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Electrical Repair.
But perhaps you don’t feel like a dummy or an idiot. We have books for you, too. Try You, the Smart Patient : and insider’s guide for getting the best treatment (Roizen and Oz), Smart organizing : simple strategies for bringing order to your home (Sandra Felton), The Genius Engine : where memory, reason, passion, violence and creativity intersect in the human brain (Kathleen Stein), What Would MacGyver Do? : true stories of improvised genius in everyday life (Brendan Vaughan).
Finally, for those among us who have a special kind of genius that is bored with the details of ordinary life, we have just the book to help you channel your energies – 51 High-Tech Practical Jokes for the Evil Genius (Brad Graham).
All the titles mentioned above, and many more like them, are available to dummies, idiots, geniuses, and everyone in between, at the
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