Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Giving Tree Awaits You

Once again, the "giving tree" has been set up in the lobby of Bernardsville Public Library to allow visitors to donate new books for needy children and youth during this holiday season.  All you have to do is bring in a new, unwrapped book for a toddler, child or teenager and place it in the giving tree's donation box. What could be simpler? What could be better?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Hilarity, Horror and Heartwarmers

Get yourself in the holiday mood (foul or festive) with some new seasonal fiction at Bernardsville Public Library.  The books illustrated above are just some of the great choices available to you. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dressed For Success

Thanks to all of you who have dressed a bear for Bernardsville Library's holiday project this year. Each of the dressed bears has a unique look - from a fireman teddy to a golfer bear!  There are also charming examples of bears wearing stylish hand-knit sweaters or cute outfits and fairytale costumes.  Each of these adorable teddy bears is sure to please a needy child who will receive one through the auspices of The Salvation Army. 

If you still have a bear you're waiting to outfit, be sure to dress it and return it to the library soon.  These bears will be distributed shortly, so make sure your teddy is among the group that will bring happiness to a needy child this holiday season.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shiny and New

Some of the most recent additions to our collection at Bernardsville Library are now featured in a New Books display near the circulation desk. November releases include the books pictured above dealing with current topics such as animal extinction and environmental risks to fetal development. Christmas fiction, including Garrison Keillor’s A Christmas Blizzard and T. D. Jakes’ The Memory Quilt are also on display along with Civil War historical fiction, Devil’s Dream, by Madison Smartt Bell. Additional fiction choices are also included along with numerous nonfiction titles. For instance, Steven Roberts’ new book, From Every End of This Earth, examines the contributions and struggles of immigrants living in the U.S. today. In Cheap We Trust by Lauren Weber offers a timely accounting of how Americans feel about thrift and whether cheap really is such a dirty word, after all.  These selections are plentiful and varied to appeal to most reading tastes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Our Holiday Bears Are Here

The Bernardsville Library teddy bears are back and waiting for people to dress them so that they may be given to needy children and families this holiday season. Please stop by the library soon to pick out a bear (they come in three colors.) Then shop for an outfit, or create one yourself, and return the bear before Saturday, November 28th. The Salvation Army will distribute them in time to brighten the holidays for children in need.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Memoirs Book Group To Discuss Infidel

Memoirs and Coffee book group will discuss Infidel at its next meeting, Tuesday, November 17th, at 10:30 a.m. in the library.  Written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel is an autobiography which recounts her traditional Islamic upbringing in Somalia and her escape from its strict circumscriptions. Fleeing an arranged marriage, the author sought asylum in the Netherlands and eventually served within its government.  In addition, she assisted filmmaker Theo van Gogh with his film, Submission, before he was assassinated. Infidel is an examination of her faith and the interface of Islam with the 21st century.  This book discussion is open to the public.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book Review: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers for a truly engrossing and enraging narrative of one man's experiences during and following the 2005 flooding of New Orleans. What Hurricane Katrina (together with poor civil preparedness and bad levee engineering) did to the victims of this storm was horrifying enough. We all know that. But Zeitoun is an intensely gripping personal account of one victim who found himself innocently caught in the aftermath of the government's nightmarish disaster response.

You may be aghast to learn what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun - a Syrian-American, married father of four children, highly successful contractor, and well-liked and respected citizen of New Orleans - when he stayed behind to protect his home and business interests.  The merciful actions he took in saving people and pets were not met in kind by U.S. authorities.  Author Dave Eggers has written a remarkably tempered accounting of Mr. Zeitoun's ordeal in this highly readable narrative nonfiction book.

Review by Evelyn Fischel

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Calling All Chick Lit Lovers

Make Chick Lit a definite pick-me-up when you enter the library next time.  We've put up an attractive display in the lobby of fiction with that come hither pink and pearl look to it.  Books by authors such as Lisa Kleypas, Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, and Cecilia Ahern will vie for your attention as you browse and shop for your next fun read. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Review: New Short Stories By Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro, noted author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, recently released a selection of short stories entitled Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. Nocturnes are evocative and light instrumental pieces often performed in the evening. In this new publication, nocturnes do seem to reflect the true nature of Ishiguro’s stories which are evocative yet also somewhat insubstantial. They linger awhile in your mind, but do not deeply resonate. Perhaps that is the author’s intention.

For the most part, these stories are relayed in a casual manner, almost as if the narrator of each were telling us a light bedtime story or recollecting past histories over a glass of wine. Many of the stories make good use of humor and irony, particularly Nocturne and Crooner, and Come Rain or Come Shine is playfully farcical. That is not to say that they don’t have a moodiness or a message to them. The characters, all involved with music in some way, are often self-deluded and self-centered (maybe the two go together) but Ishiguro never asks the reader to dwell too deeply on their travails. These are, afterall, literary nocturnes.

Review by Evelyn Fischel

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bite Into These Vampire Stories

If you’re hunting for some reading thrills and chills, why not bite into the great selection of vampire fiction currently on display at Bernardsville Library? Let your imagination experience the flutter of batwings on your shoulder or the caress of a vampire lover who (perhaps) may not be all that bad. Try authors known for their vampire series such as Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton or Anne Rice. And, of course, you shouldn’t overlook the original vampire story, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, now available in a new annotated edition.

Monday, October 12, 2009

There's Something Rotten In The Compost Heap And That's A Good Thing!

Bernardsville Library will be holding a program on the care of your fall garden this Wednesday, October 14th, at 7 p.m. entitled "Autumn Adventures in Your Vegetable Garden."  Learn how to clean up your beds, winter over your plants, and start a sustainable compost pile to enrich your soil for the spring planting season. Wanda Knapik of MyLocalGarden will lead this informative evening lecture. You will also find a number of books in the library to help you with the finer points of composting, such as the titles shown above.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Waiting For Something?

While you wait for your library copy of Dan Brown's newest book, The Lost Symbol, cool your heels at our library display featuring Dan Brown read-alikes.  There you will find an enticing selection of similarly-themed books guaranteed to captivate your imagination.  You will be intrigued.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Expand Your Career Options

Are you looking for a job or considering a career change? Have you been thinking about starting a new business? Are you seeking professional licensing or certification? Taking any of these actions could potentially change your life for the better, and Bernardsville Public Library is prepared to help you along that pathway. Visit the library's newly updated Career Center which is filled with information for career guidance, continuing education, job search skills, exam and test preparation, and self-employment resources. 

In addition to the many paper resources located in the Career Center, the library has dedicated several computer stations to career and business development.  These computers offer excellent databases which may help you to write a winning cover letter, sharpen your skills or find that perfect job.  If you are unable to visit the library, simply use our online databases. Click on the "Business & Consumer" link to find a number of valuable e-resources.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Library Volunteers Keiko Matsuura and Bob Baker Honored Today

Bernardsville residents, Bob Baker and Keiko Matsuura, were recognized for their outstanding volunteer service to Bernardsville Public Library at a reception held on the library's patio this afternoon. 

The Board of Trustees organized this event which included refreshments, speeches and awards. Board members, staff and friends were in attendance to show their appreciation.

Bob has given many hours of service to the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program he manages at the library. VITA provides free assistance with income tax preparation for people with low or moderate incomes.  He also provides free computer instruction at the library.  Keiko has brightened the library with her artistic talents over the last four years. As a Youth Services volunteer, she has given origami classes and programs on Japanese culture to our patrons.  Keiko is also the creator of our wonderful summer reading displays including this year's creative pigs and last year's summer reading bugs.  We truly appreciate all the dedication and time that Bob, Keiko and our many other wonderful volunteers have offered to the library.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bring Home The Bacon

Our "Be Creative" summer reading pigs are closing up the circus tent and looking for good homes to go to after a wildly successful summer appearance at Bernardsville Public Library.  These papier mache piggies have charmed and delighted us with their various talents, including juggling, painting, singing, and dancing. They have inspired the children to test out their own creative interests under the guidance of the Youth Services staff as well. Now it is time for them to retire to happy homes, and so the library has set up a silent auction this week where you can bid on each of the available pigs.

Come into the library, enter your bid on the clipboard of the pig you want, and check regularly to see if someone has outbid you.  Then return the favor and outbid them! It's for a good cause, as all the proceeds go to fund the childrens' programs here. You have until 11 a.m. Saturday, September 12th, to clinch the bidding on your favorite porker. Winners will be announced that afternoon at 2 p.m. We want to thank library volunteer, Keiko Matsuura, once again for creating these wonderful, creative pigs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Get the School Year Off to a Good Start with a Library Card

A library card should be at the top of your list for back-to-school supplies, and Bernardsville Public Library is ready to sign you up for one.  The American Library Association has designated September as Library Card Sign-up Month, but we encourage area employees, residents, and students to get their cards at any time the library is open.  A Bernardsville Library card provides you with access to all the library's programs, online resources, materials, and services.  Children who use their Bernardsville Library cards in September are eligible for prizes, too, and students can jumpstart a great academic year ahead with the help of all our resources. For young or old, a library card could prove to be the most valuable piece of plastic in your wallet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Perfect Place To Disappear

Lake of the Woods, the 950,400 acre lake which straddles the border between Minnesota and Canada, is not a locale where you want to get lost, but it is THE perfect place in which to disappear. With over 14,000 islands and extensive forests, this remote area could easily swallow up a lost person. It is also a great place to stage one's disappearance if so desired. In addition, the massive lake affords a wonderful opportunity to dispose of a body without detection. What if someone suddenly vanished here? Who would know which possible scenario had really happened? That's the premise of Tim O'Brien's excellent book, In the Lake of the Woods.

The lake proves to be the ideal setting for O'Brien to examine the idea of inexplicable loss with all its myriad, painful angles. In this 1994 book the author creates a fascinating human drama centered on a troubled couple seeking solace and/or escape on a remote section of the lakefront. The husband is trying to blot out the disappointment and disgrace of his political downfall, and it is clear that he has become figuratively lost. His wife's story, on the other hand, is revealed mostly through her husband's reflections and the must-read footnotes. For early in the plot, it is the wife who becomes physically lost, vanishing suddenly in the night. From this point on, the story expands into both a mesmerizing mystery story and a somber reflection on self-knowledge. In fact, the idea of being lost to oneself becomes paramount as the story unfolds.

In true Tim O'Brien style, a traumatic episode from the Vietnam War plays a significant role as do the recalled experiences from the man's youth. There are a minimum of characters, but they are well drawn, and additional character input comes from the truly engrossing footnotes. While there are no comforting resolutions or easy answers, In the Lake of the Woods is a fabulous book right to the ending.
Book review by Evelyn Fischel

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Become a Fan of Bernardsville Library on Facebook

If you use Facebook, Bernardsville Public Library cordially invites you to become a fan of the library on the new Facebook page! This is a great way to keep up with library news, events, discussion topics, and resources. Please interact with us by posting comments and by taking part in discussions. You'll notice that Book News and More currently is running the library's Facebook feed on its sidebar. From this box you can easily click the "become a fan" button or simply enter Bernardsville Public Library in the Facebook search bar. Hope to see your face among our fans!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Want One of Those!

Please refer to "Library Cards" on Bernardsville Public Library's Web site to learn whether you are eligible for a Bernardsville card. You'll notice that we have several reciprocal arrangements with local towns and library federations. We also offer borrowing privileges to certain student and worker populations. Many people love our library, but don't fit into these categories, and they, too, are able to borrow from us by purchasing a nonresident card. We hope to see you here soon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weed... or Read?

The summer heat is finally on, and it's too hot to do anything except read. So drop by Bernardsville Public Library's display, Relax with a Good Book, and help yourself to some great books. Maybe a "staycation" at home is all you need.
If, on the other hand, the travel bug has been buzzing in your ear, sample some interesting fiction and nonfiction about living or traveling abroad. Just visit the Oversize Collection area at the library to browse some books about exotic locales before you book your trip.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Prizes For Adults Will Continue Through August

The children's summer reading program at Bernardsville Public Library has attracted a large number of young readers, and they are eagerly accumulating points for prizes. But we also want to thank our adult readers for their patronage. Each summer we offer them an opportunity to enter a weekly drawing for lovely prizes as well as the grand prize at summer's end. All they need do is check out three or more adult-level items and fill out an entry slip at the circulation desk. We are grateful to local merchants and other donors for the wonderful prizes we have been able to offer each week, including great gift certificates for local goods and services.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

En Francais/Auf Deutsch/En Espanol - At The Library!

Bernardsville Public Library is currently offering a special loan of books in French and German for our patrons who want to read in their native languages or for those who want to test their language skills. French authors include Suzanne Bernard and Gilbert Sinoue. There are also many French translations of books by popular authors such as Tess Gerritsen and Catherine Coulter. Books by Austrian and German authors Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Rainer Maria Rilke are also intermingled with German translations of writers like Ken Follett. These French and German books are located on a special cart next to the rotunda. In addition, a new loan of Spanish literature will soon be available to supplement our own collection of books, magazines, and dvds in Spanish. Enjoy reading in another language!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bernardsville Library Hours For August

Monet, The Walk, Lady with a Parasol, l875

Bernardsville Public Library will close at 2 p.m. on Saturdays in August and remain closed on Sundays. Our regular weekly hours continue unchanged. Put the library on your list for Saturday mornings, and then enjoy the great outdoors for the rest of the weekend.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Theater In The Round Program Coming This Saturday

Bernardsville Public Library's Teen Advisory Council has planned a fun-filled afternoon for families this Saturday, August 1st, at the library from noon to 2 p.m. The teens have organized this afternoon of events to highlight the summer reading campaign, Be Creative At Your Library. Starting at noon, families will be able to move through various activity centers where they can try out some fun things. Learn simple origami with library volunteer Keiko Matsuura. Attempt the hoola hoop challenge out on the patio. Taste test and judge the top teen dessert entered in a dessert cook-off. And make an animal hat to wear to the Aesop's Fables performance beginning at 1 p.m. The teens and other volunteers will perform three of Aesop's fables in the Community Room at that time. All activities will be finished by 2 p.m. when the library closes for its new Saturday hours in August, 10-2 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bernardsville Tweets And So Can You

Check out Bernardsville Public Library's colorful and informative Twitter page, Bville Tweets, for the latest library news. Become a follower @ to get the library's feed directly - just click "follow" on our Twitter page. You can also read our updates on this blog, Book News and More, and on our library MySpace page. These updates are posted in the small blue Twitter box on both sites.

To learn how Twitter works, attend a presentation by Amy Kearns, tweeter extraordinaire and Program Coordinator from the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, being given tomorrow evening, July 29th, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of Bernardsville Public Library. Microblog your thoughts with brevity and speed the Twitter way. Amy will show you how - it's easy and fun.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Go Ahead... Ask Us What We're Reading

Looking for something new or interesting to read? Why not ask the staff at Bernardsville Public Library what we've been reading lately? We are always pleased to discuss our own books and more than happy to make suggestions for you based on your reading preferences. Just ask us.
Ask Madelyn about Blink
Ask Gerry about The White Lioness
Ask Rosalie about The Unlikely Disciple
Ask Anne about A Tiger's Heart
Ask Pat about Lethal Legacy
Ask Michaele about The Indifferent Stars Above
Ask Susan about The Piano Teacher
Ask Karen about The Mighty Queens of Freeville
Ask Evelyn about After Dark
Ask Margaret about A Lion Called Christian
Ask Shelley about The Friday Night Knitting Club
Ask Felicia about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Ask Annette about Girls Like Us