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New Non-Fiction Books at Steele August 3, 2016

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reclaiming“Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age,” by Sherry Turkle was technically published in October, 2015, but is a well reviewed book that I feel is worth mentioning.   This author proclaims that while we are constantly communicating by digital means and always plugged into our technical devices, our personal face- to-face communication is being neglected. Even our personal moments of solitude have been invaded. And it is this personal kind of communication and self-reflection that helps humanize our society, the traits that help us in our personal lives as well as our business lives. This book is a great reminder to help us balance technology in our everyday lives.

grunt-cover“Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War,” by Mary Roach explores how our soldiers combat the behind the scenes obstacles such as heat exhaustion, panic, noise and introduces the reader to the scientists who seek to conquer them. In her unique style, the author approaches this subject with scientific facts and humor. Library Journal and Booklist gave this book Starred reviews and Amazon ranked it Best Book of June 2016. This book should not be missed!

“Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul,” by Clara Bingham is a captivating oral history recording the turbulent events of 1969-1970. As the ’60s drew to a close, America was dealing with social and political upheaval, and this book weaves together the voices and stories from this era. It is admittedly a long book, but one that is both thought provoking and discussion worthy.

Connie Ogilvie, Librarian
Chemung County Library District

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Recommended Adult Fiction Summer Reads June 6, 2016

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With summer almost upon us, the following is a list (in no particular order) of books that caught the attention of those in the know as strong contenders for your reading time. All are or will be available shortly within the library system. Have a great summer!

mirrorthief.jpgThe Mirror Thief, by Martin Seay – part supernatural mystery, part ominous modern thriller, and a true delight.

Zero K, by Don DeLillo – DeLillo packs death, information, mannequins into one of his finest books.

I Almost Forgot About You, by Terry McMillan -There’s no better creator than McMillan of female characters who refuse to give up on dreaming, or on looking back to find the way forward in their noisy, messy, joyous lives.

Marrow Island, by Alexis M. Smith – Smith suffuses her setting with dread and menace, raising the question: What is really happening on Marrow Island?

The Heavenly Table, by Donald Ray Pollock – a psychotic terror ride through an early 20th century hillbilly hellscape that puts the family of a swindled, good-hearted farmer on a collision course with three brothers on a crime spree.

Sweetbitter: A novel, by Stephanie Danler – A lush novel of the senses—of taste and hunger, seeing and understanding, love and desire.

Heat and Light: A Novel, by Jennifer Haigh – To drill or not to drill? Prison guard Rich Devlin leases his mineral rights to finance his dream of farming. He doesn’t count on the truck traffic and nonstop noise or the disruption of his family’s life.

We Could Be Beautiful: A Novel by Swan Huntley – a glittering, seductive, utterly surprising story of love, money, greed, and family.

Trail of Echoes Rachel Howzell Hall – Detective Lou Norton investigates crimes against exceptional African American girls who belong to the same school district.

The Sport of Kings, by C E Morgan – Hellsmouth, an indomitable Thoroughbred with the blood of Triple Crown winners in her veins, runs for the glory of the Forge family, one of Kentucky s oldest and most powerful dynasties. spiraling tale of wealth and poverty, racism and rage, “The Sport of Kings” is an unflinching portrait of lives cast in shadow by the enduring legacy of slavery.

Ladivine, by Marie N Diaye, translated by Jordan Stump – A trio of women create, discover, and keep disappearing on each other in this melancholy modern fable.

Imagine Me Gone, by Adam Haslett – This touching chronicle of love and pain traces half a century in a family of five from the parents’ engagement in 1963 through a father’s and son’s psychological torments and a final crisis.

Sweet Lamb of Heaven, by Lydia Millet – Blending domestic thriller and psychological horror, this compelling page-turner follows a mother fleeing her estranged husband.

The Adventurist, by J Bradford – A brilliant, introspective, socially awkward software engineer navigates corporate and personal challenges. The writing is just about perfect: incisive, eloquent, philosophical, and witty by turns, a top-notch talent.

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

Check Out Our Book Bundle Podcast! April 1, 2016

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With all the books we have in the Adult Fiction stacks, how do you find one that you will like?

We have all faced this dilemma, and sometimes we’re stumped! What to read next?

CCLD has come to the rescue!! (Ta daaa!!!) We now have a podcast to combat this dilemma! What is a podcast, you ask?

The Merriam Webster Tenth International Collegiate Dictionary defines “podcast” as: a program made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet. (thanks, Wikipedia!)

For us, podcast means: check the front page on our website (http://ccld.lib.ny.us/), scan the links on the right side of the page, and look for the word “podcast”. Click to go directly to the site, and start listening at your convenience!

In about 20 minutes you will have the title and author of about a dozen books well–reviewed from either Amazon, Goodreads, or from myself, covering any and all genres, all strong contenders worthy of your reading time. That saves YOU a lot of fishing time (looking for the next interesting read). Checking reviews is done for you, and you can be sure the choices are going to be enjoyable.

I will give you a heads’ up on issues in the storyline and other points noted in the reviews, but will never give the story away. All books will be chosen from our shelves. I won’t be filling the podcast time with popular authors, because I know you are looking for something that may not have had the publicity of the bestsellers.

So click, listen, and decide which read is for you. All titles will be repeated at the end of the show for your convenience.

You’re welcome!

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

What is New Adult Fiction? March 9, 2016

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It seems like we are bombarded with more labels just when the world seems to be shedding old, worn ones. Labels are meant to be useful tools, and despite our preference to rid ourselves of them, they do serve a purpose.

For example: New Adult fiction is geared for readers 18 to about 25, sometimes as old as 30, who have outgrown Young Adult fiction, which is based on high school aged protagonists.

The description as per EBSCO’s NoveList is rather long, so I have included the site address for more information, a partial description is as follows; *”This fledgling category is a result of the perceived dearth of novels featuring characters in a post-adolescent but not quite adult phase of life, as well as the growing trend of young adult “crossovers,” or YA novels that also appeal to an adult audience. These novels aim to bring the emotionally-intense story lines and fast-paced plotting of young adult fiction to stories that focus on a new range of experiences in life beyond the teenage years.”

Some of the New Adult fiction we have here at the library:

iamradarI Am Radar, by Reif Larsen

Twisted Innocence, by Terrie Blackstock

Falling for Autumn, by Heather Topham Wood

Casebook, by Mona Simpson

The Child’s Child, by Barbara Vine

The Irresistible Henry House, by Lisa Grunwald

Indignation, by Philip Roth

*https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/what-is-new-adult-fiction-anyway

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

From pop culture to historical oddities, our new non-fiction books have some interesting subjects to appeal to all! December 12, 2014

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glamourgidgets“Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door: Television’s Iconic Women from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s” by Herbie J. Pilato. This book is a celebration of the wonderful women of television that many of us grew up with. A fact filled book that tells these women’s stories, and praises their talents; as well as a resource book for those interested in Television Industry history.

“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé” by Bob Stanley. This book is an entertaining summary of pop music traced through familiar songs and musicians. It is an informative and humorous telling of the history of this music genre.

“Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show” by Dave Berg. This book was written by Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” co-producer of 18 years. It is an entertaining and insightful account of Jay Leno and the making of the “Tonight Show.” It tells the story of the antics, humor and strategies behind the scenes of America’s leading late night TV show.

“Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America” by Glenn Beck. This book tells the untold story of familiar characters from history, including entrepreneurs, frauds, and charlatans. Once again Glenn Beck peaks our interest in this new series on history.

Connie Ogilvie, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

New Biographies at Steele Memorial Library November 5, 2014

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Maeve BinchyA biography is a detailed account of a person’s life experiences, while an autobiography is written by the person themselves. If you are not familiar with our collection, the Chemung County Library District has a significant collection of biographies and autobiographies. While our library collection is a great resource for school assignments, it also can be an enriching experience to savor the detailed story of an interesting actor, politician, scientist or anyone you might admire. For the month of November, I am featuring several new biographies that have recently been added to our collection.

“Maeve Binchy: The Biography” by Piers Dudgeon. A comprehensive and uplifting biography of the much-loved Irish write that shows her life story was reflected in her books.

“Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter” by Randall Balmer. – “Balmer explores the paradoxes of a man balancing faith and ideals against the pragmatics of politics and the evangelical tide that favored him and later turned so vehemently against him.” Booklist Starred Review

“Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life” by Peter Ackroyd. a well-written portrait of the beloved film star, portraying the story of a gifted and complicated personality.

“Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin” by David Ritz. A powerful portrait of one of the greatest musical talents, portrays the hardships and triumphs of her life story.

“John Wayne: The Life and Legend” by Scott Eyman. An entertaining portrait of an American movie icon, skillfully traced from his early childhood through his amazing Hollywood career.

Connie Ogilvie, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

A variety of new non-fiction at Steele October 3, 2014

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Heads up PsychologyMuch like our non-fiction collection, this month’s “Librarian’s Picks” covers a potpourri of subjects. I hope one of these books catches your interest!

158.1 WEE Heads Up Psychology by Marcus Weeks This book offers an explanation of Psychological theories and how they relate to everyday life. The book is presented in graphic illustrations and diagrams. It should have an appeal to teens and their parents, and anyone who wants to know the basics that the field of Psychology offers.

324.62 TET The Myth of Seneca Falls Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement
1848-1898
by Lisa Tetrault. This intriguing book challenges the standard narrative of the history of the Women’s Rights Movement in the United States.

942.055 MOR The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer. The author uses diaries, letters and books re-creating a vivid portrait of daily life in Elizabethan England, from the view of both the royals and the peasants.

796.83 GEM Boxing a Concise History of the Sweet Science by Gerald R Gems. This book covers a history of the sport, including social issues and marks historic events of boxing through stories and pictures.

796.83 SMI A History of Women’s Boxing by Malissa Smith. This book traces the history of Women’s boxing from the 1700’s to the 2012 Olympic Games. It highlights the struggles, obstacles and successes of the women involved in this sport.

Connie Ogilvie, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Non-Fiction books for “making” at Steele September 2, 2014

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September is not only back to school month, but it is National Library Card Sign-up month with many activities and programs scheduled in our local libraries. Computer classes are gearing up again, children’s story hours, movie events and adult programs as well. One unique event coming up this Fall, is the Chemung County Library District Maker Faire, being held at Steele Memorial Library on Saturday, September 20th, 2014, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The CCLD Maker Faire will have live demonstrations of our new Maker labs, as well as hands on activities. This event “celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It Yourself (DIY) mindset.”

Our Non-fiction collection at Chemung County Library district has books on so many different subjects, you can explore and get ideas for a familiar project or something you have never tried before.

Arduino Workshop a Hands-on Introduction with 65 Projects by John Boxall 629.895 BOX
An overview of the Arduino system, programming and electronics and hands-on projects applying this knowledge and concepts.

The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers by Mark Hatch 658.406 HAT. The Maker Movement is about building and creating, this book explores the Maker Movement and what has come out of it.

That being said our Non-fiction collection is the place to go for information regarding any kinds of crafts 745.5, sewing 646.4, knitting 746.4, photography 770, and origami 736.9 and numerous other subjects.

Connie Ogilvie, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

Something For Everyone August 6, 2014

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acquittalNon-Fiction books cover many topics and I find it hard to choose just one area to write about.

With back to school on the horizon….two parenting titles “Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween” by Melissa Atkins Wardy, has eye opening advice on raising a balanced, self confident girl.

“8 Keys to End Bullying : Strategies for Parents & Schools” by Signe Whitson, provides an excellent set of tools for parents and teachers in dealing with bullies.

For sheer entertainment and items of interest…“Not to be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites From a Lifetime of Film” by Kenneth Turan, enthusiastic reviews of the author’s favorite movies through the decades.

“Good Talk Dad: The Birds and the Bees..and Other conversations We Forgot to Have”, by Bill Geist and Willie Geist, a humorous book about the shared journey of this father-son relationship.

“Acquittal: An Insider Reveals the Stories and Strategies Behind Today’s Most Infamous Verdicts” by Richard Gabriel, discusses the intricate workings of the justice system, while highlighting some very famous trials and their verdicts.

Connie Ogilvie, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District

THE GOOD LORD BIRD by James McBride July 25, 2014

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The Good Lord BirdWith his novel The Good Lord Bird James McBride can stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Mark Twain and John Steinbeck. The book is thought provoking, passionate and beautifully written. It is also a great read of the kind that will have you glued to the page and regret leaving McBride’s world when it winds to its end. You come away wishing that McBride had gifted us with, at least, two or three hundred more pages.

The Good Lord Bird takes place in the “Bloody Kansas” of the 1850s where the question of its being a free or slave state was being argued with swords and blood. It is the picaresque story of Henry, a young slave who is – more or less – forced into freedom. To keep his rocky freedom, life and – truth be told – have an easier time of it, he dons a dress and becomes the comely “Onion”. The moniker is bestowed by no less a personage than John Brown. “Onion” finds “herself” pulled into Brown’s orbit and witnessing the God obsessed madman’s career from the Scourge of Kansas to his martyrdom at Harper’s Ferry. Along the way Onion meets the likes of Frederic Douglass and Harriet Tubman as well as having his disguise threatened by young love and lust.

McBride surveys the institution of slavery with a cold, clear eye. One sees the horrors, degradation and twisted values that slavery inculcated. At the same time there are surprising depths of compassion for the slave, the slave owner and those around who find themselves caught up in the historical tide. Violence flares up at the drop of an insult or a madman’s whim. Historical personages we now regard as secular saints are seen to have flaws aplenty that – strangely – add to their stature rather than diminish. The only character to retain her mythic proportions is Harriet Tubman, who comes across as fierce and canny a revolutionary as any born in the 20th century. All of this is brought to us in a rollicking, very funny and truly affecting tall tale. I cannot recommend The Good Lord Bird high enough.

Jack Olcott, Page
Horseheads Branch CCLD

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