Blogs

Mars landing May 25

Image: Artist's depiction of Phoenix lander arriving on Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Calech/University of Arizona We're landing on Mars this Sunday. Well, at least a mechanical emissary of ours is landing on the Red Planet this Sunday, May 25.

Web Resource on Nutrition and Aging

The National Institutes of Health has recently published a Web-based resource on nutrition and aging as part of NIHSeniorHealth.gov, its Web portal for health issues for seniors. This site is an excellent resource.

Sunshine on a Rainy Morning

History shows that Hitler made a mistake invading Russia in World War II. What many people do not know is that the need for an alternative source of cooking oil for Germany and the Soviet sunflower fields were a contributing factor to his decision. In his book Sunflowers (the Secret History), Joe Pappalardo relates the unexpected history of this flower from caves in the Stone Age to the gardens of kings. Flower lovers, scientists, and trivia buffs will find this book entertaining reading as they learn of sunflowers influence on our lives.

It's a Mystery

Mystery News

 

Two organizations just presented their 2008 awards for mysteries written in 2007.

Agatha Award - given by Malice Domestic, Ltd., in honor of Agatha Christie.  The Best Novel award went to Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (shelved in Mystery).

Desperate Housewives

What do you do with yourself when you’ve elected to step off a promising career path to raise a family and then find that 10 years have passed and your kids no longer need you like they once did? Meg Wolitzer examines this question through the lives of four women in her latest novel, The Ten-Year Nap. Long-time friends Amy, Jill, Roberta, and Karen struggle to find meaning and purpose in their lives as they experience marital ennui, their husbands' professional successes, their pre-teen children's move toward independence, and their friendship tested when Amy befriends a woman she and her three friends have always simultaneously mocked and admired. Well written, poignant, and often unnervingly realistic, The Ten-Year Nap explores the roles of contemporary women as daughters, mothers, and wives.

Luna in the sky with diamonds

Saturday, May 10: Celebrate Astronomy Day by taking a look at the night sky. After dark, say around 9:30 to 10:00, under --we hope-- a clear sky, look in the direction of the first-quarter Moon. To the lower right of our pock-marked neighbor you will see three bright "stars" floating in the still darkening sky. The first of those isn't a star at all. That first reddish object is the planet Mars. To the right of that are two of the genuine article: stars Pollux and Castor, the "head" parts of the constellation Gemini. Higher in the sky, nearly overhead, the ringed planet Saturn can be seen to the east of the star Regulus; the pairing makes them easy to spot. Look carefully: can you see the slightly golden tint to Saturn's light compared with the star's cooler color?

Seeking a Cure for the Living Dead in 1970s L.A.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Robert Neville is the last man in Los Angeles California. By day he roams the city gathering food and supplies to prepare himself for night, when vampires surround and attack his home.

A few years before, a germ had spread, turning everyone into the living dead: Neville had to bury his wife, twice. Nightly, Neville's old neighboor and carpool buddy, now walking dead, taunts him to come outside.

Certain Girls

Jennifer Weiner's debut novel Good in Bed featured heroine Cannie Shapiro, a plus-sized newspaper journalist turned single mother turned wildly successful novelist. In Certain Girls, Weiner's latest release and the sequel to Good in Bed, thirteen years have passed, and Cannie is now married to a bariatric physician, the author (under a pseudonym) of a successful science fiction series, and the mother of a teenager. When Cannie's daughter Joy discovers and reads her mother's novel, a thinly disguised fictional account of Cannie's life, Joy suddenly begins to question everything that she has held true and dear regarding herself and her family. Her search for the truth leads her on a journey of self-discovery and reveals what it means to love and to be a family.

It's a Mystery 4/29/08

Popular Mystery Authors

Ingram Book Group, the vendor from whom we order most of our books, has an author standing order program.  This program allows us to develop a list of the most popular authors here at Westlake Porter Public Library.  When these authors publish a new title, Ingram automatically sends us our designated number of copies just before the release date so we can process the books and have them ready to go.

Twilight Children

A four-year-old boy who had never spoken, a seven-year-old girl severely troubled after years of various abuses, an 82-year-old woman who stopped speaking after suffering a stroke: All were in danger of becoming casualties of an overburdened mental health care system until one woman entered their lives and brought to them the compassion, hope, dignity, and understanding they so desperately needed.

Torey Hayden, educational psychologist and former special education teacher, chronicles her work with these three memorable individuals in Twilight Children: Three Voices No One Heard Until A Therapist Listened. Hayden has written 10 other books, eight of which, including Ghost Girl and Beautiful Child, recount her experiences with children with special needs.