Grammy Nominated Music Available at Your Library

Although many of us are rushing around getting ready for theholidays right now, this is also the time of the year for awards nominations,including the Grammy nominations which were announced last week.   For your listening pleasure, we have a goodcollection of the nominated titles available for you at Manhattan PublicLibrary.
The two most prominent performers that you’ll be hearingabout are Adele and Bruno Mars.  Adele isa British singer classified as Pop, although her album 21 exhibits influencefrom blues, gospel and even country. Also classified as Pop, Mars’ album doo-wops & hooligans carriesstrains of Reggae, R&B, soul, and hip hop.
The Best Pop Duo category has some genre-crossing songs, aswell.  “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster thePeople is on the album Torches which is also nominated in the BestAlternative Album category.  A tributealbum called Rave On Buddy Holly includes “Dearest” performed by The BlackKeys.  Other nominated Pop albums you cangrab at the library are Teenage Dream by Katy Perry, Born This Way by LadyGaga, Loud by Rihanna, The Road From Memphis by Booker T. Jones, and The Gift by Susan Boyle who rose to world-wide fame after a TV appearance on “Britain’s GotTalent.”
For those who want their music a bit more on the edge, checkout Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons, a London indie rock quartet that strives tomake “music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously.”  Recorded entirely on analog, Wasting Lightby the Foo Fighters brings in 4 nominations.
If you like Rock, you might like this royal roundup: The King is Dead by The Decemberists, The King of Limbs by Radiohead, and Come Around Sundown by the Kings of Leon. You might also enjoy the Alternative category nominations Codes and Keys by Death Cab for Cutie and Circuital by My Morning Jacket.
The highlighted R&B albums are Love Letter by R.Kelly, which pays tribute to Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke and F.A.M.E. by ChrisBrown, which includes collaborations with Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne andothers.  Also in the R&B category is theBob Marley cover “Is This Love” from Corinne Bailey Rae’s album The Love EP,Raphael Saadiq’s “Good Man” from his album Stone Rollin’, and El DeBarge’s Second Chance, which he describes as his “spiritual memoir”.
Moving into rap, we have Lasers by Lupe Fiasco, which hecalls “an album with a mission.”  WizKhalifa’s debut album, Rolling Papers has songs that were nominated for bothBest Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. A nomination for Best Rap/Sung collaboration comes from the ever-popularBeyoncé along with André on her album 4.
Going in a completely different direction, the Countrynominations are led by recent Country Stampede performer Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue and Taylor Swift’s entirely self-composed album, Speak Now withnominations also for My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean, Play On by CarrieUnderwood, Blessed by Lucinda Williams and Own the Night by LadyAntebellum.  The group Civil Wars appearsin both Country and Folk categories for their album Barton Hollow.  In other Folk nominations, we have SteveEarle’s tribute to Townes Van Zandt entitled I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, Helplessness Blues by the Fleet Foxes, and The Harrow & the Harvest by Gillian Welch.  InBluegrass we have Paper Airplane by Alison Krauss and Rare Bird Alert bySteve Martin, yes that SteveMartin.  Remember the banjo he often usedin his comedy?  Now we get to hear thefull range of his talents.
Starting off our Blues category is husband/wife teamTedeschi Trucks Band with their album Revelator, followed by Gregg Allman’s Low Country Blues and Warren Haynes’ Man in Motion.  Rounding things out with a bit of Jazz is Bird Songs by Us Five.
Quite a list and there’s still time to listen before theawards are given!  Stop by and we’ll behappy to assist you.  Or you can alwayscheck our online catalog to see what’s  available or to place a hold on an itemthat’s currently checked-out.  If youjust like to see what new music we have, there is always a list on the frontpage, “Library Info” tab, of the catalog.

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Books for Wonderstruck Readers

>Library column printed in The Mercury, December 4, 2011

When kids start reading longer novels, many are captivated by the magical qualities they can experience through the pages of a book. This is not a new phenomenon, considering children’s classics like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), to name just a couple. Luckily for our kids, children’s book authors continue to combine magical adventures and imaginative plots with skillful writing, creating avid young readers who clamor for more. Here are few titles that might top the list this year:

In Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier, Peter is a blind orphan who works for a cruel master. He has enhanced senses to make up for his loss of sight, which have helped him become a stealthy, skilled thief. One day he steals a mysterious box from a charismatic haberdasher, but the contents of the box are puzzling – just six strange little eggs. When he cracks the eggs open, he finds the yolks are inedible, but they feel powerful to Peter. Finally, in a moment of realization, Peter recognizes the yolks as eyes! “Ever so gently, he slipped the two eyes into his sockets. He blinked. And just like that, Peter Nimble vanished into thin air.” Thus his great adventure begins.

Auxier’s debut novel reminds me a bit of Baum’s Wizard of Oz. Peter picks up some eclectic friends along the way (including a part-cat, part-horse knight, Sir Tode), and these characters help him as much as he helps them. Like Dorothy and her cohorts, they encounter a number of extreme environments, going from a vast ocean with giant fish to an endless desert run by ruthless ravens to the inner walls of a clockwork castle. References to age-old nursery rhymes are scattered throughout, as in the name “Nimble” and a rock shaped like a teapot, giving the book a fairytale quality. If originality is what you crave, you will not be disappointed. Watch the enticing book trailer or read the first chapter on Auxier’s website, thescop.com.

Another fantasy that spins off the fairytale world is Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. The title invites readers to conjure up images of Hansel and Gretel escaping the woods, but the plot is more centered on Hans Christian Andersen’s haunting tale, The Snow Queen. I haven’t finished this novel yet, but I am intrigued by the connections between the stories main character Hazel reads and tells, and the way pieces of these tales come alive in her world that is otherwise grounded in harsh reality. Will Hazel become the heroine needed in her story, like the ones she admires in Narnia and The Golden Compass? Kids who have read a lot will appreciate Hazel’s references throughout to many children’s books, from A Wrinkle in Time to Coraline.

No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko is told from alternating viewpoints of three siblings: India, the annoyed fashion-minded teenager; Finn, the responsible worrywart brother; and Mouse, the super intelligent youngest sister. Everything makes sense at the beginning. The children’s mother reveals that their house is going to be taken by the bank, and the children must go live with their uncle. After a bout of turbulence on the plane ride, the story takes a surreal turn. The children exit the aircraft to find they have mysteriously landed in “Falling Bird” instead of Denver. Their taxi is “shocking pink with silky white feathers,” the driver turns out to be a kid with a fake mustache, and it feels as though they are flying through clouds instead of traveling on roads. However strange this seems, the ride is warm and comfy, lulling the children to sleep.

When they wake up, they find that Falling Bird is rather well-prepared for their arrival, greeting them with signs of “We love you, India,” and “Mouse is our favorite.” In fact, everything in Falling Bird seems to be a dream come true for each child. But maybe it’s a little too good. Finn is the first to notice that something is off kilter, and staying in Falling Bird might be a detrimental decision. The question is, how do you leave a place if you don’t know how you go there? A surprising twist at the end kept me thinking about this story long after I finished.

Finally, an excellent new novel-picture book by the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret (soon to be released as a movie) is Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. It is not a fantasy per se, but certain coincidences in the plot have a magical edge to them. Twelve-year-old Ben’s life has gone a little haywire since his mother was killed in a car accident and a freaky lightning storm causes him to go totally deaf. Meanwhile, Selznick weaves in a story that takes place 50 years earlier, involving another deaf child, Rose, and her desire to explore New York City. Like Hugo Cabret, this 637-page book is filled with more than 450 pages of black and white sketches that tell much of the story through pictures. Ben’s journey leads him to the American Museum of Natural History, where he stumbles upon a new friend and a place to hide out while he discovers the secrets of his past. Rose emerges, too, with her own masterpiece to share.

Enjoy settling in with a cup of hot cocoa and any of these marvelous adventures to add a little magic to your reading this winter.

Review by Jennifer Adams

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What’s New in Downloadable Content?

Sunflower E-Library: A New Downloading Experience

by John Pecoraro, Assistant Director and Marcia Allen, Technical Services & Collection Manager
ManhattanPublic Library
Why is the downloading option ending at Manhattan PublicLibrary on Monday, December 5th?
Because ofchanges and increased rates for the state-wide consortium, the  currentdownloading option is ending. Unfortunately, any requests that you may have inplace will disappear along with the old platform.  Currently, the state is in theprocess of building the  OneClickDigitalservice for audiobooks, as well as the 3MCloud Library service for ebooks.  Oncethese services are in place, borrowerswill be able to follow links from the library website to browse and checkouttitles.
Are there other options offered through the library?
Beginning on Monday, November 28th,those who prefer reading devices can download ebooks from thelibrary.  MPL is now a part of theSunflower eLibrary Consortium, a cooperative effortamong several Kansaslibraries that enables participantsto share the same platform as well as purchased titles.
What about all the different devices that readers might use?
Most of thetitles are available in epub format.  Thatwill allow users to manage a varietyof different devices with the same process. In addition, most titles will download onKindle devices with the same quick results.
How can I register for the Sunflower eLibrary service?
You musthave a Manhattan Public Library card and pin number to use this collection.  Then you can begin borrowing items andplacing holds on the contentsthat you desire.
What kinds of limits are there?
 Readers canborrow five titles at a time and place as many as seven requests onitems that are unavailable.  There arealso checkout period limitations. Borrowerscan determine at the time of checkout whether they wish to borrow for seven or fourteen days.  Readers can also opt to return items early sothat others may usethem.  Our goal is to make titlesavailable to readers as quickly as possible.
Is this just available for adults?
At thistime, we have several young adult and children’s titles available.  As the collectioncontinues to grow, we will add more content.
What about audiobooks? I prefer them to ebooks.
Again, thestate has contracted with Recorded Books to provide audiobooks for readers whoprefer to listen.  That collection willalso have a wide range of titlesthat can be downloaded on a portable device. Readers will go to OneClickDigitalto register and begin the borrowing process.
Can I use my Manhattanlibrary card to gain access to the state’s audiobooks?
Readersmust have a Kansas Library Card (available at MPL) to register.
For those contemplating thepurchase of an ebook reader or listening device, there are plenty of resourcesfor nice, new titles at the library.  Andwe will continue to refresh the collection, adding new materials as we areable.  List of upcoming titles will allowus to keep informed of new possibilities.
            As the holidays near, it might be agreat time to expand your electronic holdings and venture into newformats.  Not sure which device topurchase?  It’s up to you and your needs.  Most of what we have selected is compatiblewith Nooks, Kindles and ipads, as well as other selected devices.  There are many website that review portabledevices.  Take a look at e-Book Reader 2011 at http://ebook-reader-review.toptenreviews.com/,for example, or 2011 Tablets ProductComparisons at http://tablets-review.toptenreviews.com.   For a more comprehensive review source,check out the
Ultimate Tablet ReviewComparison Guide, http://www.groovypost.com/howto/review/the-ultimate-tablet-review-comparison-guide-matrix/.  You might also take a look at the article ontablets, e-book readers, and smart phones in the December issue of Consumer Reports, available at thelibrary.
            Look forthese new services on the library’s web page www.manhattan.lib.ks.us beginningMonday, November 28th.

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Great Gift Books (for Yourself or Others)

    Just in time for gift-giving or your own reading wish list, there are great new books out for the winter holiday season.  You can find books for almost everyone, no matter their taste or interest, and you can also look forward to your own hibernation reading when the holiday bustle is over.  Here are some non-fiction picks for good winter reading from Manhattan Public Library.
            Deadline Artists: America’s Greatest Newspaper Columns edited by John Avlon, Jesse Angelo, and Errol Louis.  This anthology of great American writing is enthralling reading for lovers of history, politics,current affairs, and the art of journalism. It features selections on war, humor, crime, sports, politics, hard times, and civil rights from an overflowing wealth of writers – William Allen White, Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, Damon Runyon, Dorothy Thompson, H. L.Mencken, Langston Hughes, Ernie Pyle, Will Rogers, Red Smith, Jimmy Cannon,Mike Royko, George Will, Maureen Dowd, William F. Buckley, Jimmy Breslin, DaveBarry, Molly Ivins, Mike Barnicle, Anna Quindlen, Carl Hiaasen, Peggy Noonan,Walter Winchell, Erma Bombeck, Pete Dexter, Cynthia Tucker, Steve Lopez  – to name just a fraction.  I couldn’t put it down.
            Heartland: The Cookbookby Judith Fertig.  Beautiful photographs,interesting narrative, and recipes featuring Midwest regional ingredientsdistinguish this scrumptious coffee table cookbook by a Kansas author.  Baked Eggs with Prosciutto and AsiagoCream?  Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie?  Grilled Duck Breast with Wild Rice-DriedCherry Pilaf?  Oh, yeah.
           The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. The short presidency of James Garfield in 1881, seemingly a footnote inhistory, in fact came at a key time for the United States, and the era comesvividly to life in this lively and entertaining book.  Written as a suspense-filled historical taleof crime, medicine, scientific invention, and politics during the post-CivilWar era, this book is drawing rave reviews.
            100 Yards of Glory: The Greatest Moments in NFL History by Joe Garner and Bob Costas.  If you have a football fan on your gift list,this compendium from writer Garner and broadcaster Costas is a sure winner,covering the most memorable games, plays, coaches, and players in nearly 100years of NFL history.  Great photos,great writing and analysis, AND it comes with a video!
            The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt.Newly-announced winner of the 2011 National Book Award, this page-turnercombines history, biography, philosophy, and theology to describe how the 14thcentury re-discovery and translation of a forgotten ancient manuscriptinfluenced the thinkers of the day and set in motion the massive cultural“swerve” we now know as the Renaissance.
           The Ecstasy of Defeat: Sports Reporting at its Finest from the editors of The Onion.  Another wonderful, raw, and hilariouslysatirical look at the American way of life from the wildly offbeat “news”website TheOnion.com.  When the coverboasts headings like “Creepy Lifeguard Turns out to be Nine-Time Olympic Gold MedalistMark Spitz” you know you’ve stumbled into another adventure in irreverence, inthe same vein as the Onion’s previous bestseller, Our Dumb World.
            Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie.  Massie, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra,and The Romanovs, has created anothermasterful portrait of a captivating character in Russian history.  A poor princess from an obscure Germanprincipality, Catherine married into the Romanov dynasty at age fourteen.  Ambitious, determined, and shrewd, she roseto become Empress, brought the Enlightenment to Russia, and improved the lives ofher people dramatically.  A woman ofgreat courage, intelligence, passion, and ruthlessness, Catherine led afascinating life.
            Martha Stewart’s Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations  Withthe beautiful illustrations and creativity that are Martha Stewart trademarks,this book is chock full of unique craft and entertainment ideas for celebratingholidays throughout the year.  A surewinner for Stewart fans.
           Inside Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon by Caseen Gaines. Okay, boys and girls, for fans of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, today’s secretword is FUN!  An entertaining andnostalgic look back at the wildly-popular 1980s character and creative andground-breaking TV series.  “This book isso good, you’ll want to marry it!”
by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Have Some Fun in Our Room

>Library Column printed in The Mercury, November 13, 2011

Each year, the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Center for the Book designate a week in November to focus on the benefits of reading aloud to young children. Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week begins today, and it’s easy to participate. Grab a book and your favorite toddler or preschooler and have a rollicking good reading time.

The featured book for Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week is a beloved alphabet book written in 1989 by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. The rhythm and rhyme of the story makes it a wonderful chant, and the little alphabet letters climbing up the coconut tree have personalities all their own with colorful illustrations by Lois Ehlert. The book was chosen to honor Bill Martin, Jr., a Kansan who grew up in Hiawatha and attended college in Emporia, which ties into the yearlong celebration of Kansas’s Sesquicentennial. Martin passed away in 2004, but he left behind a legacy of amazing children’s books, including Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Knots on a Counting Rope.

Manhattan Public Library is celebrating Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week in several special ways. First, the Manhattan Library Association, our friends group, provided funds to purchase paperback copies of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that were delivered to more than 100 local daycares, preschools and child care centers by Marsha Tannehill and staff at Child Care Aware and Smart Start. We will also give the book to children who attend our storytimes November 14-19. We will read Bill Martin, Jr. books at the November 18 ZOOfari Tails at 10:00, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Barn Dance and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Claflin Books‘ staff will be on hand with Bill Martin books for sale, so you can start your holiday shopping at the program.

We have also created an “early literacy” station in the Children’s Room that will be set up when we are not using the storytime space for programs. The activities in this area feature Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and they encourage children to develop early literacy skills. Johnson County Library refers to these skills as “6 by 6” because “researchers have identified 6 important pre-reading skills that children need to know before they learn to read – around the age of 6.” The skills are not really anything new, and most parents and teachers will find they are already doing all of them with their toddlers and preschoolers:

  1. Print motivation, which simply means that children have fun with books. From bedtime stories to visits to the library, parents and other adults can make sure all children have positive experiences with books and reading.
  2. Print awareness, which occurs when children notice print all around them, from street signs to cereal boxes. Pointing out words and letters to children helps them understand that these lines and symbols create words and have meaning.
  3. Vocabulary, which increases greatly if parents talk to their children a lot, read books aloud, and explain what new words mean instead of choosing a more simple word.
  4. Narrative skills are a child’s ability to tell stories. This starts at a very young age when babies babble using the inflection of an adult’s storytelling voice and continues as preschoolers learn how to tell us what they did during the day, retell a story, or even make up a story from their imagination.
  5. Letter knowledge includes recognizing specific letters of the alphabet, but it also starts at a young age when toddlers learn to distinguish and name the different shapes. As they grow older, children can look for the letters in their name or play “Letter Day” games where they look for everything they can find that begins with a certain sound or letter.
  6. Phonological awareness, a fancy word for recognizing rhyming words and hearing the different sounds within words, is a fun skill to work on. Sing songs together, recite nursery rhymes, play word games, and try clapping or drumming the rhythm to songs and chants.

Celebrate reading to preschoolers with us this week. Have some fun at the library using our magnet board, homemade drums, and puzzle rhymes to practice 6 by 6 skills. Then share a great book like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or one of your own favorites with a preschooler in your life, and know that you have played an important role in that child’s journey to success.

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Thanksgiving Has a Tasty History to Feast On

            The fall holiday season is upon us, with Halloween past and Thanksgiving coming up.  I like Thanksgiving; for a holiday, it’s straightforward and uncomplicated.  Simply put, we take time off from our daily preoccupations to recognize and give thanks for our blessings.  Compared to some other holidays (I’m talking about you, Christmas!), it’s relatively free of the labor-intensive traditions, frenetic activities, and crippling expenditures that can get in the way of enjoyment, not to mention spiritual gratification.  Granted, Thanksgiving can be trying in its own way.  When organizing festive family gatherings, there’s always a risk of logistical chaos and inter-personal drama,and, what with prodigious food preparation and consumption followed by hours ofdigestive recovery and kitchen clean-up, it can all overwhelm and exhaust.  But the day can also be celebrated with a simple shared meal, quiet reflection and rest, even solitude or a private getaway, and when it all comes together well, Thanksgiving can be personally meaningful and spiritually strengthening.
            The story of the first Thanksgiving does have its own traditional baggage, though, a mythology rooted in history but grown over the centuries to barely resemble the actual events.  It’s a reassuring and cherished story, but, as is nearly always the case with history, the truth turns out to be far more complicated and vastly more interesting than the myth.  This year, as part of your celebration of the season, pick up one of the following books that illuminate the real story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and expand our understanding of our country’s complicated, fascinating history.
            Mayflower:a story of courage, community, and war by Nathaniel Philbrick details the history of the Pilgrims as Separatists in England and as religious refugees in Holland, then follows their voyage on the Mayflower, chronicles the settlement and early years of the Plymouthcolony, and examines relations between European settlers and  Native Americans.  Philbrick adds depth to what we know of familiar historical figures like William Bradford, Chief Massasoit, Squanto, Miles Standish, Priscilla Mullins, John Alden, Edward Winslow, and numerous secondary characters, revealing unexpected and surprising historical details.
            In Makinghaste from Babylon:the Mayflower Pilgrims and their world, another richly-detailed historic overview, author and Englishman Nick Bunker writes about the Mayflower Pilgrimsas Englishmen themselves and places them in the context of the political world in which they lived.  An exhaustively detailed recounting of the first years of settlement, this book, according to Publishers Weekly, “scoops up every relevant character and links all to the basic tale of indomitable courage, religious faith, commercial ambition, international rivalry, and domestic politics.”
            If you only have time for a short read and want a more condensed recounting of the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, Glenn Alan Cheney has hit the high points and given a broad overview in his well-researched and organized history of 1620-1621, Thanksgiving: the Pilgrims’ first year in America.  An easily-read and enjoyable page-turner, it is nevertheless written in evocative, descriptive prose.  As one reviewer said, the book is “full of surprising information, and sympathetic to the humanity of all the participants.” 
            TheMayflower Papers: selected writings of colonial New England edited by Nathanieland Thomas Philbrick is a compilation of 17th century primary source material about the Pilgrims, the Mayflower voyage, and the founding of the Plymouth colony.  It contains Of Plymouth Plantation by Governor William Bradford, the seminal first-person account of the founding of the settlement.  Written in the Elizabethan English of the times, it is not easy reading but is a detailed,emotional recounting of an enterprise that took immense courage, devotion, and fortitude.  In addition, this anthology contains Mourt’s Relation, an account of the colony’s first year in New England which relates the celebration of the first Thanksgiving in autumn 1621, and Good News from New England, a continuation of the history, both byEdward Winslow.
            The Timesof Their Lives: life, love, and death in Plymouth Colony by leading Plymouth archaeologist James Deetz is a social history that is especially strong in its descriptions of the daily lives and society of the colony. Drawing on the archaeological evidence, it touches on crime, food, sex,legalities, and material culture, and upends many of our misconceptions about Pilgrim society.
            Two out standing video documentaries of the Mayflower journey, Plymouth settlement, and the first Thanksgiving are: Desperate crossing: the untold story of the Mayflower, an A&E presentation from 2007; and We shall remain: America through native eyes:Disc 1 Massasoit, part of a 2009 PBS series.

by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager

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Teens choose their top YA books

Janene Hill, Young Adult Librarian, Manhattan Public Library
Teens across the country have spoken.

On October 17 the 2011 Teens’ Top Ten list was revealed by the Young Adult Library Services Association.
With more than 9,000 votes cast, teens across the U.S. expressed their opinions for the best books from the past year. Online voting took place in August and September.
Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins exchanged spots from 2010 to take the first and second places on this year’s list. This is Clare’s fourth straight year on the list, but first in the #1 position.
Collins is on the list for the third straight year while James Patterson returns for a third appearance after a two-year absence. Becca Fitzpatrick is back for the second straight year,with six first-timers rounding out the Teens’ Top Ten.
The novels cover awide range of subject matter including aliens, fairies, dystopian societies, secondchances, and the supernatural. These stories take place in settings from afuture United Statesto Victorian England.
2011 Teens’ TopTen
1. The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Tessa Gray’s search for hermissing brother leads her into Victorian London’s supernatural underworld,where she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhunters in order tocontrol her powers and find her brother. Prequel to the Mortal Instruments series.
2. Mockingjay by SuzanneCollins
After surviving her second time in the arena, Katniss has been propelled intoleading a revolution. Residents of District 13 have been preparing for war foryears, and are at the front of the fight. It seems the world is on Katniss’sshoulders as she struggles with being the face of the rebellion and target ofthe Capitol’s vengeance. Final book in the HungerGames trilogy.
3. Crescendo byBecca Fitzpatrick
Nora’s life has never been ordinary, but now that she has learnedabout her true Nephilim bloodline and her guardian angel, she wants to knowmore. What really happened to her father? Does Patch really love her? Is hehiding something? Sequel to the best-selling Hush, Hush.
4. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Nineescaped from the planet Lorien just before it was destroyed by the Mogadorians.Hidden amongst the Earth-beings, the nine wait for the time they can regroup tofight their would-be destoyers. But Number One was caught in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. Theykilled them all. Number Four is next.
5. TheIron King by Julie Kagawa
As Meghan approaches her 16th birthday she discovers she is thedaughter of a faery king, a princess. A changeling has taken the place of herkidnapped brother. Meghan will leave behind everything she knows and travel tothe fae world to find the truth, face unknown enemies, save those she caresabout, and maybe even fall in love.
6. Matched by Ally Condie
Cassia is happily surprised when at the Matching Ceremony, her lifelong bestfriend Xander’s face appears on the screen. Then something startling happens –Ky’s face appears on the screen briefly before fading to black. Cassia beginsquestioning everything. What if all the choices that have been made her wholelife aren’t the only choice and she could make her own? Should she follow the lifeset forth for her by the Society, or travel down an unknown and defiant path.
7. Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel byJames Patterson
Max is starting to believe the scientists saying she needs to save theworld. Fang has left, and the flock’s new member, Dylan, may be her perfectmate. Meanwhile, Max needs to help lead her flock to defeat a doomsday cult outto kill all the humans. Seventh book in the bestselling Maximum Ride series.
8. Paranormalcy by KierstenWhite
E
mployed by theInternational Paranormal Containment Agency, a fairy ex-boyfriend, a mermaidbest friend, and current boyfriend who is a shape-shifter. No, Evie’s lifeisn’t exactly as a “normal” teenager. Seeing paranormals for what they areisn’t exactly something all teenagers can do. Actually, pretty much no one elsecan.
9. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Friday, February 12 started just like any other day for Sam Kingston –atleast the first time. The car crash that night should have taken her life.Somehow though, she is not dead, but reliving the day – seven times. With eachreincarnation, Sam learns more about how her actions effect others and the truevalue of the people, things, and events in her life.
10.  Nightshade by AndreaCremer
When Calla saves a humanboy on her mountain from a bear attack, the consequences are farther reachingthan could be imagined, especially when that boy shows up at her school andappears to be a favored companion of her masters.

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A Home Transformed By Janet Ulrey Adult Services Librarian

Our homes are our resting places,as well as our places of family connection. We may think of them as entertainment centers or perhaps our stop-and-drop places between outside adventures.  No matter how we view them, our homes are vital to us and we want them to be comfortable and well-maintained.  Whether they need to be redecorated,repaired, reorganized, or remodeled, Manhattan Public Library has scores of sources for ideas to make our homes the best.
Redecorating may involve a change in color scheme, furniture rearrangement, new accessories and wall arrangements, or tossing everything and starting over.  No matter what your decorating desires are, you can find help to improve your space. There is a wide selection of popular home décor magazines, like Better Homes and Gardens. You can locate color combinations galore in Vinny Lee’s terrific book, The Colorful Home: Confident and Creative Colour Schemes for Every Room.  Books,such as, Home from the Hardware Store:Transform Everyday Materials into Fabulous Home Furnishings by Stephen Antonson, Undecorate, the No-RulesApproach to Interior Design by Christiane Lemieux,or501 Decorating Ideas Under $100 from Better Homes and Gardens, are full of ideas to transform your home.  A “home transformed” can become a “home conformed” to make your daily life a more pleasant experience.   
When it’s time for repairs, you could spend a fortune by hiring contractors to execute your projects, but thrifty homeowners rely on DIY methods to keep their homes in pristine condition.  You may need to fix drippy faucets, window casements, or add insulation, but guidance is readily available if you’ve the spirit of adventure.  Terry Kennedy’s Fix It Before It Breaks and Rick Peters’ simply explained Home How-to Handbook can help make your tasks easier. The library also has an excellent set of DVDs, the Positive Home Solutions series, which will guide you through basic home repairs and visual demonstrations. Magazines like Family Handyman and This Old House are readily available for checkout.
Time is of the utmost importance to most people, and you’re probably no exception. In that case, you no doubt see the need for getting organized.  Using the library’s excellent collection of books on de-cluttering plans to organize your home can save you time to do the things you love—like reading a good book! Consider titles like Joe Provey’sEasyClosets: Affordable Storage Solutions for Everyone or Andrew J. Mellen’s Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good.  The Reader’s Digest Association, long known for detailed books about home improvement, has an all-in-one title that might be perfect for your list of needed improvements.  The Family Handyman Best Organizing Solutions is a hefty volume loaded with all kinds of suggestions and diagrams perfect for most households.
What if you’ve an inclination for major changes?  Resources can make those intimidating projects more manageable. John Wagner’s book Drywall gives guidance when adding or removing walls. Books like Candice Olson’s Kitchensand Baths can put a stop to lots of guesswork.  If you are looking to add more living space,Black and Decker’s handy Complete Guide to Finishing Basements: Step-by-Step Projects For Adding Living Space Without Adding On can help you expand. Michael Litchfield’s In-Laws, Outlaws,and Granny Flats offers suggestions for transforming one-family dwellings into multiple-family housing.
When you want to make changes,don’t wing it!  You can give your home a facelift that is both attractive and more desirable for you with a little planning.  And you don’t need to be a trained decorator to finish tasteful projects. Come to the library and our staff will show you ways to collect appealing ideas!

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Going Batty at the Library

>Library column printed in The Mercury 10-16-11

Another inky evening’s here—
The air is cool and calm and clear.
We’ve feasted, fluttered, swooped and soared,
And yet…we’re still a little bored…
Then word spreads quickly from afar;
A window has been left ajar.
Can it be true? Oh, can it be?
Yes! Bat Night at the library!

Brian Lies’s introduction to his beautifully illustrated picture book, Bats at the Library, is just the invitation kids need to see a library visit from a new perspective. Bats swoop through shelves, looking for books and playing wingtip tag. They hang upside down from lamps and read Goodnight Sun instead of Goodnight Moon. If you enjoy the fantastic night scenes and creative bat antics, you will also need to check out Lies’s Bats at the Beach (with wingboat races and roasted bug-mallows) and Bats at the Ballgame (“buy me some beenuts and Cricket Jack”). At our next ZOOfari Tails program, Sunset Zoo staff will be reading Bats at the Library, as well as Daft Bat by Jeanne Willis.

For longer novels that feature bats, I highly recommend Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel. Young silverwing Shade gets separated from his bat colony as the others are migrating and is left alone and afraid in a storm. Things turn around when Shade befriends Marina, a bat who has been banned from her colony because she is “banded” by humans, which her colony believes is evil. Together, Shade and Marina travel the perilous journey in search of Shade’s family, narrowly escaping many dangers. Kids who enjoy animal fantasies like Brain Jacques’s Redwall or Erin Hunter’s Warriors series may enjoy following Shade’s adventures, which continue in Sunwing and Firewing, or they may want to try the prehistoric prequel, Darkwing.

Bats also play a significant role in the popular fantasy series beginning with Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games). When 11-year-old Gregor goes after his baby sister down a tunnel from a vent in the laundry room, he lands in an underground world with amazing creatures, including giant cockroaches, rats and bats to name a few, as well as a whole race of violet-eyed people called The Underlanders. To them, Gregor’s fall from above was no coincidence – he may be the prophesied overlander come to save them. But first Gregor must learn to fly on a bat and earn the trust of his new comrades.

If you want to learn more about bats, The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson was recently reviewed by children’s librarian Jessica Long on our blog. Jessica recalls bat-watching with her family when she was young, and she found Bat Scientists to be “absolutely full of interesting tidbits about bats. For instance, only one half of one percent of bats contract rabies, and they very rarely bite humans. But did you know that bats have bellybuttons?” You might not want to get close enough to check that out, but Manhattan does have bats, most commonly the little brown and big brown bat species. Charlie Lee, wildlife specialist at K-State Research and Extension, says that during the summer, you can often find bats at evening ballgames. Just look up at the ball field lights where bats fly around eating insects. Children will be fascinated to learn that bats catch the bugs using echolocation instead of sight.

Other books in the children’s room with facts and incredible photos that capture bats’ night-flying abilities include Amazing Bats by award-winning science author Seymour Simon, and Bats: Hunters of the Night by Elaine Landua. Hello, Bumblebee Bat by Darrin Lunde is an informational picture book that can be shared with preschoolers. Do you think you have bats living in your house? It’s possible. Go to K-State Extension’s bat info page at www.wildlife.ksu.edu to find out what to do.

Join us at the library for bat stories at ZOOfari Tails on October 28 at 10:00. Other fun events coming up include READ with Dogs today from 2-4 and Wii Play Day on October 27 from 2-3:30, featuring Mario Kart and Smarty Pants Trivia. Kids can come dressed in costume to Halloween storytimes on October 31 at 10:00, 11:00 or 4:00, and trick-or-treat throughout the library after storytime. As evenings get darker, remember the library is open so you can flit in like a bat to “flutter off and lose yourselves, among the books lined up on shelves…Every evening, one and all will listen for that late-night call: Can it be true? Oh, can it be? Yes! Bat Night at the library!”

Column by Jennifer Adams

Posted in: Children's Dept, Mercury Column

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Fashion Design the Vicky Tiel Way By Marcia Allen Technical Services & Collections Manager

If you’re looking for a book with lots of racy gossip about famous personalities, glimpses of trendy fashions, and risqué humor in large doses, Vicky Tiel’s new book is just for you. It’s all about the Dress: What I Learned in Forty Years about Men, Women, Sex and Fashion is escapist reading at its best. You won’t regret reading about this spunky designer’s very colorful past.

After a lackluster performance at Parsons School of Design, Tiel and her closest classmate, Mia Fonssagrives, headed off to Paris to make their names as dress designers in 1964. They knew little about the industry or the intense competition, but they were adventurous and enthusiastic and young, and so disappointments had little effect on their ambitions or their social lives.
Luck was with them. They focused their talents on mini-dresses, jumpsuits and evening wear, and began establishing a reputation when Woody Allen commissioned their costuming talents for his film, What’s New, Pussycat? Along the way, they began designing clothing for stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn and Raquel Welsh. And they were routinely included in social circles that boasted names like Martha Stewart, Miles Davis, and Faye Dunaway.
Tiel has a great memory for the wild times of her past, and she recounts almost unbelievable stories with a sassy humor. She tells us, for example, how Brigitte Bardot chose her evening’s sexual partners from winning sprinters in random foot races. She tells of Marlon Brando’s teasing comments as she measured him for a film costume. She recalls lavish feasts accompanied by vintage wines, like a particular evening spent in Michael Goldman’s cellar guzzling Chateau d’Yquem 1959 and Mouton Rothschild 1945. She openly discusses the foolish adventures that she attempted, like her ill-planned drive into the territory of Jordan, days after the 1967 Six-Day War. She also speaks freely of her own liaisons and lists details of her seduction techniques.
If you wish to read this romp of a book, but want to justify it with a worthwhile consideration, there are the recipes Tiel includes. Sophia Loren’s pasta or Elizabeth Taylor’s caviar ‘sandwiches’ are highlights of the chapters, as is Dorian Leigh’s plain & simple vinaigrette. And there are the rules of eating that Tiel insists supermodels of Paris follow, rules like never drink anything carbonated and always eat vegetable and fruits skins.
Even more interesting are the little “life lessons” that Tiel has picked up from celebrities over the years. From Coco Chanel, for instance, we read that designers must create something classic that can be worn forever, and they must network in life without shame. Martha Stewart told Tiel that one can turn a failed marriage into a good thing. Miles Davis urged Tiel to surround herself with young people to stay forever young. Kim Novak told Tiel to go barefoot and feel the earth between her toes. And you won’t want to miss Tiel’s advice in which she urges readers to go into business without a backer because backers may want to dictate or fire those they back.
Perhaps the best lesson to be learned from the book is Tiel’s wonderful ability to avoid taking herself too seriously. In the opening of the book she recalls observing two young ladies examining one of the Vicky Tiel designer gowns in Bergdorf Goodman’s. One of two exclaims, “Vicky Tiel? Isn’t she dead yet?” Tiel was delighted with the exchange, and reminded herself that there is much to be learned from watching others. Her enthusiasm and wicked sense of humor make for terrific light reading.

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