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Archive for Adult Services

Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Thursday, February 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale Day. There are many reasons to read fairy tales. To begin, fairy tales are important transmitters of cultural history. Although contemporary versions of fairy tales have been altered over the years from their originals, they still contain a great deal of historical information about culture, psychology, and morality of years past. Fairy tales also are powerful stimulators of imagination. Just ask one of the most imaginative (and intelligent) scientists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein. According to Einstein, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

However, no one says that fairy tales are just for kids. Reading fairy tales as an adults, especially the original versions, gives you a whole new appreciation for this complex form of literature. There are also many contemporary retellings of fairy tales. Here are a few titles that you just might enjoy:

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Celebrate George Handel’s Birthday

handelMany of us have listened to recordings or live performances of The Messiah filled with awe at the beauty of the composition and with wonder at the composer’s ability to create such a magnificent piece of music. George Frideric Handel, it’s composer, was born in Germany on this day in 1685. He was one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era.  He  moved from Germany to Italy, eventually settling in London. Besides The Messiah, he wrote many operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Some of his other works include Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Coronation Anthems, composed for the coronation of George II. Manhattan Public Library has several CD’s with recordings of Handel’s works. Check them out!!messiah

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For fans of Game of Thrones!!

fireCheck out  the  never-before-seen history of Westeros and the lands beyond at your Manhattan Public Library. Hundreds of pages of all-new material from George R.R. Martin.  George R. R. Martin’s masterwork warrants a great introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice & Fire, a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones .

In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site “Westeros.org”–perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.

Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers; including full-color artwork and maps, with more than 170 original pieces; full family trees for Houses Stark, Lannister, and Targarye;  in-depth explorations of the history and culture of Westeros;  and 100% all-new material, more than half of which Martin wrote specifically for this book.   The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice & Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.

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The Noble Table

Library Tables“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”
 ~ Albert Einstein
One of the many virtues of Manhattan Public Library that people often forget is our beautiful tables. They humbly stand by without drawing any attention to themselves, just waiting for that moment that you need an expansive, clear space to set your creative or productive mind free. Among other activities, I have seen patrons use our tables to figure up taxes, conduct family meetings, and wrap Christmas presents. Never underestimate the value of a good table.

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National Geographic Society Resources – Food for the Mind

by Mary Newkirk, Adult Services Librarian

natgeoOn January 27, 1888 a group of thirty-three geographers, explorers, cartographers, teachers, and other professionals met at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, to discuss organizing “a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”  We know that group now as the National Geographic Society, one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. What began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel, has developed into a wealth of resources that reach over 600 million people monthly.

Manhattan Public Library patrons will find quite a number of National Geographic resources available at the library, ranging from books, ebooks, and videos to the iconic magazines.  A computer card catalog search for books shows a return of over 670 titles.  These are  divided between children’s books and adult books. Look for age-appropriate labeled books for children such as Prereaders – enchanting books for little ones just beginning their journey with books.  A quick glimpse shows beautifully illustrated books on the “Titanic”, “Saving Animal Babies”, “Race Day”, and “Dinosaurs” to name a few.  Every grade level can find something fun.

medicinalAdult books are also hugely varied… “Expeditions Atlas”, “Gypsies”, “Encyclopedia of Space”, “Medicinal Herbs”, “Tales of the Weird”, “Travel Gems”.  The incredible photographs are the real draw for perusing these books. In 1897, Alexander Graham Bell was elected president of the Society. He insisted on “pictures, and plenty of them….Leave science to others and give us a detail of living interest beautifully illustrated by photographs.” This was the beginning of their use of photography to show the common man the wonders of the world.

 

 

dawnAs I researched the books that our library offers to our patrons, I was surprised to find that a local Kansan is a prominent freelance photographer for National Geographic.  I was flipping through one of our newer books, “Dawn to Dark Photographs: The Magic of Light” and came upon a beautiful photo of fireflies taken in the Flint Hills by Jim Richardson. If you have ever dreamed of seeing your photos published, check out the FAQ’s on his website, www.jimrichardsonphotography.com.  He is very forthcoming about how to pursue your dream.

Most of us love to be entertained by great videos. Our library has 35 dvds that are fascinating looks at a myriad of subjects.  Try the set of programs called, “Thirty Years of National Geographic Specials for a great introduction to many of the topics the Society has covered. Climb Everest with the first Americans to conquer it, plunge into the incredible underwater world of explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and see animals of every kind in their natural habitats.  This is nature footage without editing, so your children may find it a bit raw as animals display their violence by fighting for their spot in the food chain.

 

warI have a profound appreciation for those who served in the Vietnam War after participating in this past Veteran’s Day Forum with the Flint Hills Veteran’s Coalition members. The National Geographic Society has produced “Brothers In War,” a video released last May about Charlie Company.  Reviewers on Amazon.com have praised this as the most authentic depiction of the hardships faced by young draftees in the Mekong Delta.  It is based on the book “The Boys of ‘67” by Andrew Wiest, which examines the experiences of a company from the only division in the Vietnam era to train and deploy together in similar fashion to WWII’s famous 101st Airborne Division. Of the 160 men, only 30 were not killed or injured by the time they came home in December 1967.  Wiest interviewed more than 50 officers and enlisted men of Charlie Company and had access to personal papers, collections of letters, a diary, an abundance of newspaper clippings, training notebooks, field manuals, condolence letters, and photographs from before, during, and after the conflict.

Additional titles of popular videos are: “In the Womb”, “Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West”, “Alien Deep”, “Titanic Revealed”, “Life in a Day”, and “Fundamentals of Photography.”

We subscribe to four different magazines published by the Society:  National Geographic Kids, National Geographic Little Kids, National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler.  I especially enjoy the latter for its peek into the best travel destinations, both domestic and international. These are available to be checked out for a week and enjoyed at home.

The library will be closed Monday, February 16, President’s Day, for an all-employee staff training.

 

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Yearbooks, Anyone?

Blue MManhattan Public Library has a collection of Blue M and Royal Purple yearbooks in our Reference Collection. However, we are missing several years and hope that there are patrons in Manhattan who have some yearbooks to donate to our collection! We are in need of Blue M Yearbooks from 1930, 1931, 1932, 1941, 1943, 1970, 1977 and 1979.

We would also like to expand our collection and are interested in yearbooks from Luckey High School.

If you are interested in donating any of these yearbooks to complete our collection, please call 776-4741  extension 141 or drop off Yearbooks at the Information Desk. Thanks!!

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It’s Academy Awards time!

by Judi, Adult Services Librarian

There are lots of awards shows for actors and films at this time of year, but the most sought-after award continues to be the Academy Awards, which will be televised this year on February 22. Many of us try to see as many of the Oscar-nominated films as possible. Manhattan Public Library can make it easier for you to choose your favorite film of the year as we have some of the Best Film nominees already in our collection! Most are very popular titles and are frequently checked out, but you can get on the hold list for the films with your library card. Some of the films, such as American Sniper, Selma, The Imitation Game, Whiplash and Birdman are still in the movie theaters and are not yet available on DVD or Blu-Ray.

The films now in our collection that have been nominated for this year’s Best Picture are:

  • boyhoodBoyhood: A story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason, who ages from six to eighteen years old on screen. The film was shot intermittently over a twelve-year period from May 2002 to October 2013, showing the growth of Mason and his older sister, Samantha, to adulthood.

 

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel: The adventures of Gustave H., a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune.

 

  • The Theory of Everything: (released on DVD 2/17/15) Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of–time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed.

 

12Of course, Manhattan Public Library’s DVD and Blu-Ray collection has Academy Award-winning pictures from previous years, including The Sting (1973), West Side Story(1961), Out of Africa(1985), The King’s Speech (2010), 12 Years a Slave (2014) and many others.

The library also has many of the films in which outstanding Best Actor and Best Actress performances were given, including Dustin Hoffman for Rain Man, Tom Hanks for Forrest Gump, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Meryl Streep for Iron Lady, Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln and Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side. Stop in for a list of the Best Picture winners or to check out some of the outstanding Oscar-winning performances from past years!

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday, Charlie D.

by John Pecoraro, Assistant Director

Charles Dickens, English authorYesterday marked the 203rd birthday of Charles Dickens. Born in Portsmouth, England on February 7, 1812, Dickens is considered by many to be one of the greatest authors in the English language. In addition to writing some of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century, Dickens also penned countless short stories, nonfiction pieces, and plays. Dickens also attracted large crowds to his public readings of memorable scenes from his works.

During his life, Dickens enjoyed unprecedented popularity. His novels were published first in monthly or weekly installments, and later printed in volumes. Some of his novels sold several hundred thousand copies in book form during his lifetime (Dickens died in 1870).  His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular today. “A Tale of Two Cities,” for example, has sold over 200 million copies to date.

Dickens’ father, John Dickens, was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office. He was constantly in debt and ultimately landed himself in debtor’s prison. To help support his family, by supporting himself, Dickens was put to work in a boot blacking factory at age 12. Though he only experienced the evils of child labor for a few months, the experience colored Dickens’ attitudes for the rest of his life. This led him to champion children and the poor, and to castigate the injustices of the education and justice systems, and the wealthy.

The library owns copies of many of Dickens’ works. Some may be familiar to you, such as “Oliver Twist,” the story of a workhouse orphan and his adventures with a gang of juvenile pickpockets. “A Tale of Two Cities,” is another familtaleiar title, set against the French Revolution and the cities of London and Paris. The novel boasts one of the most famous opening lines in literature with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” “David Copperfield,” is one of Dickens’ most well-known novels. This thinly veiled autobiographical novel follows the fortunes of its hero as he grapples with a hateful stepfather and an unscrupulous clerk (the infamous and unforgettable Uriah Heep) as he tries to make his way in the world.

Dickens wrote a total of 15 novels. His last, the unfinished “Mystery of Edwin Drood,” is the story of title’s namesake, his fiancée Rosa Bud, and the hot-tempered Neville Landless. Landless, also in love with Rosa Budd, is no friend of Edwin Drood who disappears under mysterious circumstances. Since Dickens had written and published only six of the twelve installments of the novel at the time of his death, the world will never know what happened to Edwin Drood.

Memorable characters abound in all Dickens’ work. We easily recognize Pip, Estella, and Miss Havisham in “Great Expectations;” Little Nell in “The Old Curiosity Shop;” and of course Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol.”

Dickens has been a popular subject of biographers since his friend, John Forster, completed the first biography in 1874. More recently, Peter Ackroyd wrote a comprehensive biography entitled “Dickens,” and Claire Tomalin wrote “Charles Dickens: A Life.” Dickens was a biographer of the city of London and wrote of it as no one has since. If you are interested in daily life in Dickens’ time, read “The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London,” by Judith Flanders. Or, try “What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist – The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England,” by Daniel Poole.

Hundredcharless of film and television adaptations have been made of Dickens’ works, including nearly fifty of “A Christmas Carol.” All the novels and many of the shorter works of Charles Dickens are available as free eBooks from websites including Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks.net. The collection of titles in Project Gutenberg is also searchable through the library’s Sunflower eLibrary.

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M-m-m-m Chocolate!

hersheysHershey’s Chocolate was founded February 9, 1894. “How Sweet It Is” and has continued to be– for 121 years.

pureManhattan Public Library  has many wonderful books  about chocolate– both nonfiction and stories. Certainly we have cookbooks:  Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets by Fran Bigelow; The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book by Carolyn Wyman;  The Mrs. Fields I Love Chocolate Cookbook by Debbi Fields; and Making Your Own Gourmet Chocolate Drinks  by Mathew Tekulsky.

You will find stories with “chocolate” in the title just to tempt you. Sweeten your day with Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts;  White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick; and an old favorite:  Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.

cookiesMysteries abound:  Death of a Chocoholic by Lee Hollis; The Chocolate Snowman Murders by JoAnna Carl;  Chocolate Covered Murder by Leslie Meier; and  Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson

You may enjoy this amusing and honest memoir:  Chocolate & Vicodin, My Quest for Relief… by Jeanette Fulda

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