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Celebrate E-Book Week!

sunflowerToday begins National Read an E-Book Week. E-Books are easy to download and read on your mobile device, tablet, e-reader or computer. Just go to the Sunflower E Library,  whose link is on our home page. Have your MPL library card handy to log-in, then search for books. There are also several sites for free e-books, such as Project Gutenberg.  E-books downloaded to a mobile device or reader are handy–you’ll always have reading material while waiting in line at the DMV or at a doctor’s office! Check out the Sunlower E Library today!

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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 “”–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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Spring Book Sale at the Library

little boy reading a book in the romance section

The Manhattan Library Association’s annual book sale will be held Friday, February 27 through Sunday, March 1. 

Visit the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue to find incredible prices on books, CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks that have been donated throughout the year or removed from the library’s collection. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Manhattan Public Library.

The annual book sale has the best bargains in town with hardcover books for $1.50, paperbacks for 75 cents, DVDs and CDs for $2, audiobooks for $4, and children’s books for 75 cents. All of the money raised will be used to fund library programs such as guest speakers, children’s puppet shows, and summer reading programs.

The first night of the sale is open to Manhattan Library Association Members only from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 27. Memberships are available at the door starting at $10. Join the Association to get first choice of materials.

Stop by the sale on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also find extra fuel for your shopping at the Teen Library Advisory Board’s Annual Bake Sale from 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.

On Sunday, March 1, the sale will be open from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. with special deals on the remaining materials.

This is truly a community event, staffed by wonderful volunteers like Bob Newhouse, Roger Brannan, Wilma Schmeller, and Carol Oakrup who devote countless hours of work organizing the sale.

For more information, visit the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue or call us at (785) 776-4741.

Posted in: For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News

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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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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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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 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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