Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bernardsville Library Observes "Banned Books Week"

Every year the American Library Association celebrates our freedom to read by observing Banned Books Week.  This year's observation takes place Sept. 25-Oct. 2, and Bernardsville Public Library is marking the occasion with a special book display featuring a large quantity of books which have been banned or challenged at one time by certain schools, governments, and organizations, both in America and around the world.  To read more about the history of banned books, please refer to the ALA's information sheets.  Our current book display is located in the lobby as you enter, and we welcome you to salvage these books from the trash cans in which they are displayed.  See which classics of literature have been relegated to the trashheap at one time or another.  Preserve your right to read: read!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lust in the Library

Nancy Pearl's your girl if you should find yourself overcome with lust in the library...lust for books, that is.  Ms. Pearl is one of the preeminent readers' advisory librarians in the United States and the author of a book suggestion series which includes the titles Book Lust, More Book Lust, and Book Crush. She blogs, tweets and speaks her lust for books at gatherings all over the country and appears regularly on NPR's "Morning Edition" to discuss book topics.

Bernardsville Public Library is currently featuring a display of Nancy Pearl's suggested books as well as copies of her Book Lust series.  Nancy covers all the genres and picks books you might not have heard about.  We've made it easy for you; simply step right up and take an appealing book off the display.  

Don't forget that the library has a dedicated area just for book suggestions and book clubs known as Book Find
Book Find is located to the right as you enter the lobby and these books are marked by orange spine labels.  You'll find Nancy Pearl's books there as well as targeted reading guides and helpful resources for book groups.  In addition, our own librarians have made original bookmarks for different genres and topics. These colorful bookmarks are available at the circulation desk.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From Russia With Love...To America

Bernardsville Public Library's book group, Memoirs and Coffee, will discuss Elena Gorokhova's book, A Mountain of Crumbs, at its next meeting on Tuesday, September 28th at 10:30 a.m.  Born in Russia in the second half of the 20th century, Elena recounts her family's life under Soviet rule. Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee writes, "Elena Gorokhova conveys all the ugliness of daily life in Soviet Russia, as well as its humiliations, but is awake to its strangled, submerged poetry too." 

Elena's love of language and her affinity for English inspired her to leave her native land, marry an American, and eventually move to New Jersey where she now resides.  The opening lines of her memoir demonstrate the author's mastery of language and love of writing, "I wish my mother had come from Leningrad, from the world of Pushkin and the tsars, of granite embankments and lace ironwork, of pearly domes buttressing the low sky.  Leningrad's sophistication would have infected her the moment she drew her first breath, and all the curved facades and stately bridges, marinated for more than two centuries in the city's wet, salty air, would have left a permanent mark of refinement on her soul."

Memoirs and Coffee is an open invitation book group led by library staff member, Pat Kennedy-Grant.  New members are most welcome to attend, and copies of this book are available at the circulation desk.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Suggestions From Our Readers

One of the pleasures of working at the library's circulation desk is the opportunity to have great conversations with people.  As you would expect, we are often  asked for our recommendations, and we happily share interesting things we've read, listened to, or viewed.   In turn, we like to ask our patrons what they have enjoyed reading recently.  The four books pictured above have been mentioned as particular stand-outs among the new items in the library. Family dynamics in each of these stories lead the characters  to different consequences ranging from healing to disasterous.  Our readers said they couldn't put these books down.