News & More...

Archive for For Adults

The Reader’s Bill of Rights

Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager

books

 

I  sometimes think we take reading a tiny bit too seriously. Several years ago, in Daniel Pennac’s witty and entertaining book “Better Than Life,” I was delighted to discover his Reader’s Bill of Rights, a declaration of independence from worn-out constraints and rules that change reading from a pleasure to a chore. This list has stuck with me ever since. Here, in Pennac’s view, are your rights as a reader:

 

 

 

1. The right to not read.
2. The right to skip pages.
3. The right to not finish.
4. The right to reread.
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to escapism.
7. The right to read anywhere.
8. The right to browse.
9. The right to read out loud.
10. The right to not defend your tastes.

If you’re reading for pleasure, definitely read what you love and bypass all the “shoulds.” Read whatever appeals to you at the moment without regrets or excuses. Reading can be many things — fun, inspiring, empowering, entertaining, enlightening – but it shouldn’t be a chore, and you certainly shouldn’t have to conform to someone else’s arbitrary standards. Read trash or treasure, or whatever else you want, with no apologies necessary – see #6 above.
If you’re reading a book that doesn’t capture your attention, or if reading it is simply not an enjoyable experience, by all means stop! Unless you’re going to be tested on it later, don’t read another page. There’s no rule anywhere that says you have to finish every book you start. Life’s too short. Close that book. See Right #3 above.
You should also feel free to use a perfectly acceptable reader’s technique that I like to call “skimming for the good parts.” This can include checking out the photos in a biography, reading the table of contents to get the gist of the book, enjoying the illustrations, looking for the most food-stained pages in a cookbook, going straight to the hot scenes in a novel, or skipping ahead and reading the last page to see how it all ends. We can do this! No one needs to know! See Rights #2 and #8 above.
I exercise my right #7 (the right to read anywhere) by having something to read with me at all times (or trying to remember to). A book in your pocket or bag is a lifesaver when waiting in the dentist’s office, being delayed in an airport, calming a fractious child, or eating a quiet meal alone in a restaurant. Reading anywhere can help the time pass and keep you self-contained and content, inoffensive to others, an island of calm and purpose. I love Right #7.
But in the end, in spite of Pennac’s Right #1 above (The Right to Not Read), I do hope reading is a vital part of your life. If you’re looking for good books at Manhattan Public Library, library staff are always delighted to help. Just ask!
So, what’s your favorite reader’s right?

 

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

Leave a Comment (0) →

World Suicide Prevention Day

light_a_candle_on_wspd_animation6X4Join people from all over the world who are supporting World Suicide Prevention Day, survivors of suicide and the many volunteers and practitioners worldwide who work to alleviate suffering through evidence-based research and practices.

Suicide is a major public health problem. The psychological pain that leads each of these individuals to take their lives is unimaginable. Their deaths leave families and friends bereft, and often have a major ripple effect on communities.

Every year, over 800,000 almost people die from suicide; this roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

Suicide is the fifth leading causes of death among those aged 30-49 years in 2012 globally, and is the second leading cause of death in the 15-29 years age group in 2012 globally. Overall, it is estimated that during 2012 for each adult who died of suicide there were over 20 others who made suicide attempts.

In 2012, suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 15th leading cause of death. Mental disorders (particularly depression and alcohol use disorders) are a major risk factor for suicide in Europe and North America; however, in Asian countries impulsiveness plays an important role. Suicide is complex with psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors involved. (from the International Association for Suicide Prevention)

Some of the books at Manhattan Public Library on this subject are:

  • After suicide by John Hewitt   155.937     This constructive guide offers much-needed information and clinically-tested advice for those struggling to cope in the aftermath of a suicide. Written in clear language, this book presents the facts and demonstrates how to deal with feelings of guilt, anger, bewilderment, and shame. Also included is an anniversary memorial service that enables family members to recommit themselves to life.
  • A long-shadowed grief : suicide and its aftermath  by Harold Smith    248.866    In the aftermath of suicide, friends and family face a long road of grief and reflection. With a sympathetic eye and a firm hand, Harold Ivan Smith searches for the place of the spirit in the wake of suicide. He asks how one may live a spiritual life as a survivor, and he addresses the way faith is permanently altered by the residue of stigma that attaches to suicide.
  • Healing suicidal veterans : recognizing, supporting and answering their pleas for help  by Victor Montgomery    362.2   Veterans are suffering a “mental breakdown” epidemic, often linked to post traumatic stress from the terrors of combat, traumatic brain injury, and drug and alcohol abuse. The problems triggered by an excessive number of deployments, financial and family trouble, fragmented or nonexistent support systems, and increased domestic stress have caused a mass depression among vets. ‘Healing’ ‘Suicidal Veterans’ takes readers firsthand into the “situation room” where crisis intervention and addiction therapist Victor Montgomery explores the psychological wounds of war and the ways they contribute to the tragedy of suicidal veterans. He presents the Montgomery Model for ending veterans’ suffering and anguish and putting them on solid paths to healing. The book offers veterans strategies for realizing they are not failures if they seek aid, and it gives families and loved ones ways to understand, cope with, and help their veteran in need.
  • A slender thread  by Diane Ackerman   362.28   “ Poet and naturalist Ackerman writes with profound tenderness and wonder about life in all its resplendent forms. Her intuitive grasp of the lives of animals has led her, in this personal and moving book, to portray people as a “renegade species” determined to combat blind instinct, achieve compassion, and find joy. This focus on people was precipitated by Ackerman’s work as a volunteer at a suicide prevention and crisis center where she answers the phones, listening “athletically” and helping people fight serious depression, stay alive, and rediscover hope. In a narrative that is lush with her signature gift for metaphor and delight in the senses and taut with the drama of her often frightening negotiations with people in the throes of every imaginable form of crisis, Ackerman illuminates the bewildering workings of the resilient human psyche. Extraordinarily knowledgeable and keenly attuned to the dictates of evolution, she searches for the source of our persistent loneliness and destructive reactions, weaving bits of her own life into the stories of others by describing the healing pleasures of nature, friendship, and poetry. Ackerman is beyond category; an aeolian harp singing the myriad songs of life, she helps readers focus on the miraculous” (from Booklist)

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

Leave a Comment (0) →

Happy Grandparents Day!

If we are lucky enough to have Grandparents living close by as we grow up, we can develop a relationship that is special and unique in our lives. They are people that we can share secrets with, learn family stories from, and play endless card games without protest.

Tomorrow is Grandparents Day, a special day to recognize these important people in our lives. Sunset Zoo is offering free admission today for Grandparents with free admission for up to 5 of their grandchildren also.

Manhattan Public Library has several books to help make grandgrandparenting easier and fun:

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

Leave a Comment (0) →

Ready for Fall

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

The new school year always brings with it a barrage of children’s book publications. It’s a wonderful time to fill shelves and backpacks with brand new books. Here are a few seasonal picture books that arrived just in time for falling leaves, pumpkin patches, and getting settled into another school year.

Fall Leaves“Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland, with enchanting illustrations by Elly MacKay, is the perfect book to discuss the season. Each spread is centered on a two word phrase, such as “Fall arrives” and “Leaves leave.” Further description gives meaning to the phrase and sometimes a simple scientific explanation of what happens as the season moves from September to December.

“Otis and the Scarecrow,” a new Otis the tractor book by Loren Long, will be a popular choice. Otis is a good-natured tractor who loves his farm, and he is not sure what to do with the new arrival who doesn’t “smile or say hello,” but just stands there with “a sour look on his face, staring at the cornfield.” How does one make friends with a scarecrow? Leave it to Otis to come up with a way. (more…)

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, Mercury Column, News, Parents

Leave a Comment (0) →

Tech Tuesdays Connect Users to Technology at the Library

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

photo of Wandean teaching a patron to use her ipadFall is right around the corner and that means it is time for fall Tech Tuesdays to begin. Manhattan Public Library will offer a wide range of fun and useful workshops to help you explore the world of technology. Twice a month, from September 9th through November 18th, we will have classes for a variety of interests and all skill levels.

Back by popular demand, we will kick off the fall workshops with “Getting Started with Genealogy” on September 9th at 2pm, led by local genealogy experts from the Riley County Genealogical Society. If you’ve ever wondered where your family roots began, this beginners class will get you started on your search. The next class in the lineup is the “How to Download eBooks” workshop on September 23rd at 2pm. This class will walk you through the steps of downloading free eBooks from the Sunflower eLibrary onto your mobile devices and computers. Bring your device or computer with you and leave with great new eBooks and audiobooks.

October 7th at 2pm is the “Basic iPad” workshop, the first of two iPad workshops this fall. All levels are welcome, but this class is designed for beginners with very little experience with their tablet. Next up on October 14th at 6pm is a special evening edition of “How to Download eBooks.” Providing the same information and assistance as our daytime workshop, this class is for eBook readers who can’t make it to the library during the day. MPL will also offer “Intermediate Ancestry” on October 21st at 2pm, another great workshop with the Riley County Genealogical Society. This workshop looks at the powerful genealogy database, Ancestry.com, to help you take your research to the next level.

The final genealogy workshop of the season with the Riley County Genealogical Society is FamilySearch.org on November 4th at 2pm. This workshop will lead attendees through the updated Family Search website, as well as other state and local genealogy resources. However, that’s not it for November! On November 15th at 10am, we will have a special Tech Saturday workshop, “Social Media for Beginners” to teach newcomers how to use social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We will end the fall season with an “Intermediate iPad” workshop on November 18th at 2pm, which will go beyond the basics of using iPads.

Tech Tuesdays are an ongoing series of workshops at the Manhattan Public Library designed to provide the community with introductory technology instruction on a range of topics. These events are free and open to the public.To sign up for workshops, visit our Events page on our website or call us at 785-776-4741 ext. 141 to reserve a spot.

Posted in: For Adults, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Lambda Awards

The Lambda Awards, celebrating excellence in LGBT Literature, were awarded in June. Manhattan Public Library has several of the award-winning titles, including:

  • my educatiobMy Education by Susan Choi    Warned about the womanizing activities of Professor Nicholas Brodeur before her arrival at his prestigious university, graduate student Regina Gottlieb is nevertheless captured by his charisma and good looks before falling prey to his volatile wife.
    An intimately charged novel of desire and disaster. Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty– or his charismatic, volatile wife. Regina’s mistakes only begin in the bedroom, and end– if they do– fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge. (more…)

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

Leave a Comment (0) →

World War I

John Pecoraro, Assistant Director, Manhattan Public Library
One hundred years ago on July 28, 1914, the Great War, the War to End All Wars, started in Europe. By the time of the armistice ending the war on November 11, 1918, the conflict was worldwide, and over 9 million soldiers, sailors, and Marines had been killed. This is the war we now refer to as World War I.

By now the participants in the conflict are history. The last remaining United States veteran of the war, Frank Buckles, died in 1911, at the ripe, old age of 110. In a strange footnote to history, Buckles was captured by Japanese forces during World War II while working in Manila, and was imprisoned for over 3 years.

gunsSelected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time, “The Guns of August,” by Barbara Tuchman is a classic history of the early days of World War I. Tuchman traces each step during those 30 days in August 1914 that inevitably lead to all-out war. Why inevitable? Because all sides involved had been plotting their war for a generation.

In “Harlem’s Hell Fighters: The African-American 369th Infantry in World War I,v” Stephen Harris tells the story of one of the few American Army units to serve under French command. The volunteers of the 369th, mostly from New York, faced racial harassment from civilians and white soldiers alike while training in the South. First sent to France as laborers, they later proved themselves fighting valiantly beside French Moroccan troops. The French government awarded the Hell Fighters the Croix de Guerre, their highest military honor. German soldiers gave them the nickname “Hell Fighters” because of their toughness, and the fact that they never lost ground to the enemy.

Imagine a battle raging over nearly a year, devouring hundreds of thousands of men. This is battle Paul Jankowski recounts in “Verdun: the Longest Battle of the Great War.”  Beginning on February 21, 1916, Verdun ended on December 18. Casualty estimates range between 714,000 and 976,000. It was the longest and one of the costliest battles in terms of human lives lost. The battle accomplished little; the town and its fortifications had limited strategic value to either France or Germany. So, “Why Verdun?,” Jankowski asks. As in so many things about war, there is no definite answer. (more…)

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, Mercury Column, News

Leave a Comment (0) →

Hurricane Katrina Anniversary

On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. With almost $200 Billion in damage resulting from the storm, it was the most expensive disaster in US history. The human toll was unfathomable and the effects continue to be felt in that region today.

Manhattan Public Library has several titles about Hurricane Katrina and it’s effects:

  • Not just the levees broke : my story during and after Hurricane Katrina /Phyllis Montana-Leblanc. 976.044 Phyllis Montana-Leblanc gives an astounding and poignant account of how she and her husband lived through one of our nation’s worst disasters, and continue to put their lives back together. New Orleans Hurricane Katrina survivor Phyllis Leblanc reveals moment by moment the impending doom she and her family experienced during one of the greatest disasters in contemporary American history. The initial weather forecast, the public warnings from officials, and then the increasingly devastating developments — the winds and rain, the rising waters — Not Just the Levees Broke begs the question, What would you do in a life-and-death situation with your family and neighbors facing the ultimate test of character? Not Just the Levees Broke is a portrayal of the human spirit at its best — the generosity of family, neighbors, and strangers; the depth of love that one can hold for another; the power to help and heal others.
  • The great deluge : Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast / Douglas Brinkley.  976.044  An account of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it left in New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast documents the events and repercussions of the tragedy and its aftermath and the ongoing crisis confronting the region.
  • Breach of faith : Hurricane Katrina and the near death of a great American city / Jed Horne.  976.044  “Hurricane Katrina shredded one of the great cities of the South, and as levees failed and the federal relief effort proved lethally incompetent, a natural disaster became a man-made catastrophe. As an editor of New Orleans’ daily newspaper, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Times-Picayune, Jed Horne has had a front-row seat to the unfolding drama of the city’s collapse into chaos and its continuing struggle to survive.” “Horne takes readers into the private worlds and inner thoughts of storm victims from all walks of life to weaver a tapestry as intricate and vivid as the city itself. Politicians, thieves, nurses, urban visionaries, grieving mothers, entrepreneurs with an eye for quick profit at public expense – all of these lives collide in a chronicle that in harrowing, angry, and often slyly ironic.”
  • Five days at Memorial : life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital / Sheri Fink.  362.11  Fink provides a landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina– and a suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Fink unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

Leave a Comment (0) →

Book Discussions this Fall at MPL!

If you or your book club would like to join us for book discussions this fall, check out the books and start reading!

ghostSeptember 25 at 7:00 pm, we will discuss The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. This is the K-State Book Network’s Common Read for 2014, and the devastating effects of cholera and the search for the cause of this deadly disease is written about in this book–a fascinating look at scientific investigation in the Victorian era.

 

October 30 at 7:00 pm we will have the exciting opportunity to discuss the book Revolutionary Heart with the author, Diane Eickoff! The main character of this book is a charismatic suffragist who helped pave the way for change for women.

 

 

carriedNovember 20 at 7:00 pm, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien will be discussed with a guest discussion leader. Sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council, this discussion is part of the events planned for the Manhattan Big Read of this poignant and fascinating look at American soldiers in Vietnam.

 

We hope you can join us for any or all of these discussions!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

Leave a Comment (0) →

KSBN Focus: The Ghost Map

By Marcia Allen, Technical Services Manager

ghost

Each academic year, the K-State Book Network (KSBN) selects an exceptional book for a common reading experience. In conjunction with that all-university-read, campus activities, classroom experiences, and community programs are offered that share additional insights into the book. In the past years, enthusiastic participants have been fortunate enough to share in the reading of outstanding titles like Ready Player One, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Zeitoun, and The Hunger Games.

This year’ title is an equally stellar selection. The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson, which was first published in 2006, is an amazing tale of detective work and perseverance that will demand your attention despite its sometimes appalling content. Here’s a hint about the levels of appeal that the book presents.

First of all, it’s a graphic examination of living conditions in 19th century London. While the story begins with a lengthy description of the scavengers (night-soil men) who sought items for recycling in the filth of the city, the real focus is on a cholera epidemic which began in 1854 in the neighborhood of Broad Street. As is often the case, the first one or two deaths quickly multiplied, and in a period of some ten days, more than 500 people lost their lives.

Secondly, the book is an excellent account of the life of disease, as well as the common beliefs about contagion. Johnson does an exceptional job of describing the source, the growth, and the resulting symptoms and death that accompany a cholera outbreak. The close proximity of cesspools to drinking water sources and the density of the population combined for a perfect hosting environment for the epidemic. Coupled with those physical conditions were the common beliefs in “miasma,” or poisoned atmosphere, as the cause of sickness. Neither medical experts nor average citizens understood the actual causes of contagion, so few productive efforts were made to stop the spread of disease.

Third, and perhaps most interesting, this is an incredible detective story. Dedicated physician John Snow had done pioneering work with the newly discovered use of anesthetics, but he had also pondered the frequent outbreaks of cholera for some years, and even attempted to chart the deaths. When this sudden horrific outbreak near Broad Street caught his attention, he began questioning the unthinkable: Could the water supply be related to the epidemic? At the same time, local clergyman Henry Whitehead began work on his own study involving the reach and duration of the outbreak. Because Whitehead knew his congregation so well, he was able to pinpoint dates of deaths as well as numbers lost to the outbreak. In fact, it was actually his discovery of the timespan when the first victim sickened and died that brought the two investigators together. From that point, the two men were able to chart the spread of the epidemic throughout the neighborhood. Thus, the “ghost map” of the title is the carefully documented layout of the related deaths throughout the area.
Of course, these dedicated souls did not bring about immediate change in London. But their pioneering work served as an impetus for early developments in waste-removal and sanitary water supply that not only improved the health of thousands, but also restored the vigor of the much-polluted Thames River.

If you are interested in learning more about the book and its contents, the following programs are scheduled:
On Science Saturday, September 6 at 10:00 a.m., in the MPL’s lower atrium, Ginny Bernard from Riley County Extension will guide listeners of all ages through some hands-on experiments concerning diseases, germs and water contamination. You can register here.

On Thursday, September 11th at 7:00 p.m., there is an author talk in McCain Auditorium with Steven Johnson. Tickets are required to attend the free event and will be available for community members on Wednesday, September 3 at the Manhattan Public Library.

On Thursday, September 25th at 7:00 p.m., there is a Good Books Club Book Discussion to be held in the Groesbeck Room of MPL. Snacks will be provided.

Please plan to attend these events if your schedule allows, and enjoy your reading of the book. It’s a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

Posted in: For Adults, Mercury Column, News

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 16 12345...»