Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mary Roach! My Favorite!

What I am reading next:

From Amazon.com:

The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside.
“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What's a Good Book to Read?

Two of the five laws of library science are that there is a book for every reader, and a reader for every book. Our job is to match up books to readers. Here are a few tools which can help:


----Intelligent mysteries, often involving amateur sleuths, without graphic violence, profanity or sex. This is a HUGE genre.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books 
----Romances are another giant category, and this site will help you find titles that are won't insult your intelligence.

Book Jam
----Two Vermont book lovers blogging about the books they are reading.

----This is a social networking website for readers. To use it, you create a profile, list books that you have read and liked, and the site will make recommendations for you. You can also write your own reviews, join discussions on particular books, and connect with friends to see what they are reading.

What's Next?
----Let's say you heard about an author who has written a series of books, and you want to find out what the first one is, or you've read one or more and want to find out what the next one is. Here's the site which will tell you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's Your Favorite Color?

It is always a good Thursday knitting group when G. stops by the library with her latest projects for a Show and Tell. G. is one of those talented people who never stops learning--she is already an accomplished knitter, crocheter and spinner, and today she shared her latest experiments--dyeing with Easter egg dyes. Here are some photos of what she brought today. The yarn in the picture above is tinted with Easter egg dyes--except for the red one on the top--that's dyed with beet juice!
This yarn  is dyed with Kool-Aid. Using food products makes dyeing a non-toxic, kid-friendly craft. For more information on how to do this yourself, go to this link

G. is also a spinner. This is what wool looks like before it's spun into yarn. She tried dyeing it before spinning it to see how it turned out. I hope she brings her spinning wheel again to show us how it goes.

Below you can see the same wool bundled into a chain. These two are different kinds of fibers, dyed with the same dye solution, but the fibers accept the colors in different ways.

Sometimes G. uses hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn, and sometimes she uses hardy, inexpensive acrylics. Here is the afghan she crocheted--she brought in her leftover yarn to the library--there's enough yarn left over for you to crochet an afghan, too!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Immediate Worlds

The Library is pleased to share the publication of a new book, Immediate Worlds, by local poet Anthony Bernini.

His poems have appeared in anthologies and journals published in the Northeast, and he reads his work in New York’s Hudson Valley and in New England. A graduate of Hamilton College, Bernini is the author of Distant Kinships, a volume of poetry published in 2002.

 This handsome volume was produced by The Troy Bookmakers, and can be purchased through them, or on Amazon.com, and is available for loan at the Library.

To obtain an inscribed copy, mark your calendar for 8:00 pm, October 24th, when Bernini will be the featured poet at a reading in McGeary's Tavern 4 Clinton Square, Albany.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Helping NY libraries

Several libraries in our vicinity were hit by Hurricane Irene. The New York Library Association has a Disaster Relief Fund. To donate, go to this page:
NYLA: Make a Donation

 In the Upper Hudson Library System, we had several closings, but they were thankfully brief.

Author Kate Messner wrote about two libraries on her blog. Many photos.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag...

Do you have an eReader yet? I just got my first one, a Nook Simple Touch from Barnes & Noble. Some people have expressed surprise that a librarian has an eReader, as if we were all the Priestesses at the Temple of the Codex Format, but that is far, far from the truth. Our system, the Upper Hudson Library System, created a circulating collection of digital downloadable books, audio and video five years ago, around the time the Kindle came out.

I like gadgets, but a few things held me back from buying one. One, I'm cheap thrifty, and it was hard to justify the purchase of a reader when I have daily access to All the Books. Two, I was waiting for the kinks to get worked out of the technology, which can take a few generations. Three, I was letting other people (friends and reviewers) test out the various models for me. I have been waiting a while. The first reader I saw was in 1998, the Rocketbook, a hefty specimen weighing 22 oz, which could hold 10 books. (Today's readers weigh a third of that, and hold 1000s of books....)

I have to say, reviews were mixed. My nephew took his Kindle to Iraq with him, where he mostly read free books. A librarian friend found that the books she liked to read for fun, romance novels, weren't often available in eBook format (This was a while ago). But there were also people who lovedlovedloved their readers. People who put them in a gallon sized ziplock bag and read happily, while taking a bath. Knitters who downloaded their patterns on to their readers. Friends who cited their ease and portability...

The tipping point for me started a few months ago when the price for two new models of readers dropped down to my level. It was cinched a few weeks ago when I had to take an unexpected plane flight alone. I did a lot of people-watching on the trip, and noticed how very many people were reading on their nifty little devices. A friendly couple sitting next to me on one leg of the journey each had a reader, and showed me the features they liked and disliked. I was increasingly intrigued..... 

During the trip I spent time on a family member's tablet computer. I liked it, and I enjoyed using the touch screen. I'd once had a (non-smart) phone with a touch screen, but where that had been an unsatisfying interface, the screen on the tablet was so easy to use--in fact, I found myself trying to use imaginary touchscreens on TVs, and other appliances.

A few days into this trip I decided to spring for a reader, a little comfort-food for the soul, if you will--it was either that or a cocker spaniel-sized chunk of chocolate. Although I had liked using the tablet, I didn't want a tablet/reader that had the distractions of email, video, and web surfing. I wanted a reader that was small and light, and not back-lit, which can make it harder on the eyes.

My choice came down to two: the Kindle and the Nook. Both were the same price, so with the help of a young sales-person, I ran through the features of each, and ended up at the cash register with a Nook. A short time later, I was downloading books from the library system's website, so I'd have reading matter on the flight home.

Do I like it? Yes, a lot. It fits into my purse. I bought a little clip on light for it, and have made two covers for it. I've read several books on it, more than I have in a while, downloaded more books, and organized my books into "shelves". The shelf with the knitting patterns is well-stocked.  

In November, on Wednesday the 9th, at 6:00 pm, we'll have a forum at the library with demos of various readers. If you have a reader, and want to share your experiences, or ask questions about downloading library books onto it, come on down. If you are thinking of getting a reader, or researching a reader holiday purchase, come on down.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer is coming (really), Where Do You Want to Go?

Like many libraries in our system, we offer passes to area museums. Typically, these passes admit two adults, and four children, although some museums charge an additional entrance to special exhibitions. The passes can be taken out for three days. With limitations on our budget, we can only purchase passes for a limited number of museums. Our most popular passes have been to the Clark Art Institute, MassMoca, and the Berkshire Museum. We are considering the Adirondack Museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Eric Carle Museum...where do you want to go?

If you'd like to weigh in what passes you'd like to see us add, please vote in the poll on our Facebook page. Time to plan ahead for summer fun....