Monday, December 10, 2012

Supporting Your Library

Libraries are able to stir the spirit, warm the heart, and enliven all those who enter.  They are a portal for knowledge and a refuge in times of emergency.  As charitable giving approaches the end of the calendar year, please remember your local library's contribution to you and your family's well being.  
Bernardsville Public Library is one of those libraries that has been there for you - open and operating - even in times of crisis.  Most recently, during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Bernardsville Public Library maintained its regular services while functioning as a warming center and community gathering place.  
Throughout the year Bernardsville Public Library schedules a variety of free programming for all ages, provides reference and learning resource assistance, and offers the latest in loanable materials including i-Pads, e-readers, dvds, books, and online databases.  Most important to some visitors, we offer a welcoming smile and a hello.  Please consider a contribution to your local library.  It is an investment with good returns.  To donate to Bernardsville Public Library, please follow this link  We thank you.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Under the Banner of Heaven

Saturday Samplers, a Bernardsville Library book group, will discuss Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer at its next meeting this Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m.  New members are always welcome to attend Saturday Samplers meetings.
Under the Banner of Heaven is an examination of an extremist religion born and bred in America, that of the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints, an outgrowth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise know as the Mormon Church.
Centering on a savage murder by two Fundamentalist brothers in 1984, the narrative of this fascinating nonfiction book follows the Mormon faith from its inception to the splintering off of polygamous sects which have spread throughout the American southwest, Canada and Mexico.  Mormonism as practiced by the modern LDS  is also brought under the glare of Krakauer's far-reaching, well-researched book.  The intertwining of faith, zealotry and delusion makes Under the Banner of Heaven a very compelling and thought-provoking book.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bernardsville Library Maintains Its 5 Star-Rating

Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a 5-star rating by Library Journal for the fifth consecutive time.  Over the past five assessments from 2009 to 2012 (two editions having been published in 2009), Library Journal has selected a list of America’s Star Libraries whose performance it rates 5 stars based on criteria such as expenditures to population size.  Five stars is the highest rating used by Library Journal.  
The journal’s rating table includes libraries nationwide that have earned any number of stars from 1-5, but this year Library Journal celebrated the consistent winners of 5 stars over 5 editions.  Bernardsville Library is included in this select group.  Below you will find Library Journal’s thumbnail profile of our library.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

E-Readers, Loaded and Ready to Loan

According to Pew Internet, a project of the Pew Research Center, people are eager to try e-book readers and would like to borrow these e-readers from local libraries.  One of Pew Internet's charts (shown) tabulates the level of e-reader interest sorted by age, ranging from 60% positive interest for teenagers to 25% for seniors.  The chart further demonstrates that there is an interest in learning how to use e-readers and how to download books onto them.  It appears that these people may not be aware that their local libraries offer such devices and services.
In all of these cases, Bernardsville Public Library has been at the forefront in e-book technology made available to our library users.  We offer many types of loanable e-readers pre-loaded with numerous book titles, we hold classes to help people learn about these e-tablets, and we provide take-away information on how to download books from our library website. Our users continue to enjoy the e-book experience at Bernardsville Public Library, and we, in turn, have increased our inventory of loanable material to meet their growing demand.
Starting out with a Sony e-reader a number of years ago, we have expanded our e-reader inventory to include the Nook, Kindle, Kindle Fire and iPad.  All these devices are in demand thanks in part to the fact that we have customized them with many popular book titles.  A search of our library catalog for Nook or Kindle will disclose the long list of book titles contained on each device.  There is even a Kindle Fire just for children and teens with appropriate books for that age group.  Further, our website provides many online instruction sheets which will guide the new user easily through the steps for operating e-readers and downloading e-books.  Clearly, public interest in e-readers is there, as Pew Internet's research demonstrates, and libraries like Bernardsville Public Library have responded.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"An Evening with Bill Moyers"

The Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library proudly present an extraordinary benefit for the library,  "An Evening with Bill Moyers," on October 26th, 7 p.m. at Dolce in Basking Ridge.
Famed broadcast journalist and author Bill Moyers currently hosts "Moyers & Company" on PBS, and his website addresses topical issues and matters of concern to many.  A resident of Bernardsville, Mr. Moyers will speak on the topic of the media's effect on democracy at this very special benefit on the 26th.  Copies of his numerous books will be available for purchase and signing as well.  Tickets are on sale at the library until October 21st.  For further information, please call 908-766-0118.  
Bernardsville Library is grateful to The Friends who fund important library services such as free English-as-a-Second-Language classes, children's programs, and Sundays at Three concerts.  The Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library also provide additional computers, books and materials for the library, thereby enhancing the services and value we provide to our community.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Seen On Pinterest: Our Book Group Bags

More than three years ago, Bernardsville Library initiated a new library service for its patrons – book kits put together specifically for area book groups to borrow.  Referred to as book group bags, these kits contain ten paperback copies of a popular title along with an author biography, literary notes, and starred reviews - all contained in a sturdy canvas bag.  The selected books include new and older fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs or biographies known to inspire good discussion among groups.  A generous donation from an area resident has sustained this library service and made it possible to add new book group bags every year.

In library, we offer a handout listing the book titles for these book group bags, but another way to quickly see what we offer is to go to our Pinterest page on which we have a board for book clubs.  There, you and your book group members will be able to see all the book covers and easily come to a decision on what to read next.  All that’s necessary is for one member with a Bernardsville Library card to check out the bag (for six weeks) and return all the items intact by the due date.  The reading is up to you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Hare with Amber Eyes

Bernardsville Library’s book group, Memoirs and Coffee, will discuss Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes on Tuesday, September 25, at 10:30 a.m. in the Community Room.  This book discussion group meets monthly and is open to new members who like to read memoirs and biographies.  The discussion is led by library staff member Pat Kennedy-Grant who has made extra copies of The Hare with Amber Eyes available at the circulation desk.
Edmund de Waal’s curiosity was piqued when he inherited a collection of netsuke, tiny Japanese carvings. What were they? How did they figure into his family’s history? He would come to learn that the netsuke were all that remained of his Viennese family’s vast art collections, destroyed in the Nazi persecution of Jews. Five generations of towering success and wealth for the Ephrussis family were stripped away in World War II, yet the netsuke had been miraculously saved by a maid who sewed them into a mattress. De Waal’s book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, explores family history under extraordinary conditions and the little miracles that endure such destruction.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Summer ends, children return to school, and it might just be time for a change in your life.  Maybe you’re ready to transition into or out of a career.  Perhaps you are looking for some fulfilling way to spend a few hours a week outside the home. Let Bernardsville Library assist you in finding opportunities for full and part-time employment.  There are numerous online resources accessible from our website which may prove very useful to you.  For New Jersey residents you'll find a special menu, NJ Work Tools, offering information and links for job seekers including veterans.  Bernardsville Library's website also offers many business resources which are searchable online, such as Reference USA, Ferguson Career Guidance, and EBSCO BusinessSource Premier.  Don't forget The Job and Career Accelerator tool and its test preparation platform, both of which are designed to get you on the fast track.  For those able to come into our library, we also make available the Foundation Directory Online, which a librarian will access for you.  In fact, our librarians are eager to help you in your career search, so please seek out our guidance.  We'd love to work with you!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Briny Deep

Neither sailors nor readers want to find themselves "in the doldrums" - languishing in a torpid state, going nowhere - yet August is a time of year when readership can be affected by the weather.  We're halfway through a sweltering summer and exhausted by it.  We need a bit of sea spray and a cool, off-shore breeze to revive us.  We need to read some nautical tales!  

To find the right book for you, try Bookmarks Magazine's reading list, 101 Crackerjack Sea Books, which includes book jacket illustrations along with good annotations.  You'll find all the classic sea stories among its many recommendations, but as this list was complied in 2006, please keep in mind subsequent notable books such as Simon Winchester's Atlantic or Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea.  Still, it's a good start. And starting is what it's all about when getting out of the doldrums.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chocolate: Why Stop At The First Page?

Admit it; you were just thinking about chocolate, weren't you?  Now you might be able to enjoy it even more!  Publications such as The Longevity Factor: How Resveratrol and Red Wine Activate Your Longevity Genes and The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook  advocate for the gustatory pleasure and health benefits that dark chocolate potentially offers.  Now learn about it for yourself at Bernardsville Library's "Chocolate Seminar" to be held Thursday, August 2nd, at 7 p.m. in the library.  Daryl L. Minch from Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County will present a program on the history of chocolate and its role in our well-being.  Recipes and tastings will top off the evening.  Please register online for this program and then stop by the circulation desk for some reading suggestions on this very yummy topic.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Life From A To Z

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, July 24th at 10:30 a.m. in the library’s Community Room.  Pat Kennedy-Grant,  Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (2005) by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
In Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Ms. Rosenthal has ingeniously adapted a centuries-old format for conveying knowledge into a poignant, wise, often funny, fully realized memoir.  Using mostly short entries organized from A to Z, many of which are cross-referenced, Rosenthal captures in wonderful and episodic detail the moments, observations, and emotions that comprise a contemporary life. Start anywhere and see how one young woman’s alphabetized existence can open up and define the world in new and unexpected ways.
 According to her website, ”Ms. Rosenthal is a person who likes to make things – children’s books, adult books, short films, salads, connections with the universe, something out of nothing, wishes.”  In The New York Times, her award-winning children’s books were described as “radiating fun the way tulips radiate spring: they are elegant and spirit-lifting.”  As for her adult work, Amazon named Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life one of the top ten memoirs of the decade.  A contributor to the TED conference and NPR, she is currently the host and creator of Mission Amy produced by WBEZ.  She lives with her family in Chicago.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Elegies for the Brokenhearted

Christie Hodgen, author of Elegies for the Brokenhearted,  is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an award-winning writer. Her father (shown above with her daughter) is John Hodgen, a poet and college teacher.  A 2006 interview by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette with Christie and her father can be read here.  As John Hodgen notes, Christie has always been quite observant, and that quality stands out as a strength in her writing.
Certainly the characters in Elegies for the Brokenhearted are beautifully observed portraits of flawed or wounded individuals leading marginal lives, lives most of us might overlook or ignore.  Her narrator, Mary Murphy, does not overlook them, but rather speaks to the ways, large and small, each of five dead people have shaped her own life. These five people may have known her for only a brief time (a college roommate) or all her life (her mother), but each one has impacted Mary’s own course through a difficult upbringing.
While never having experienced a scatter shot life of poverty and marginalization herself, Hodgen creates such memorable, well-formed characters existing on the fringes of society that the reader might think otherwise. The voices given her characters are embued with as much depth as her descriptions of them, each character perfectly identifiable by dialogue and cadence of speech.  Perhaps it was the influence of poetry in her upbringing that gave Hodgen the ability to lift heavy topics to a lyrical, captivating sphere, a place where the reader will not want to look away, but rather savor each story, each elegy.  Elegies for the Brokenhearted was recently discussed by the library book group, Saturday Samplers .  
~Evelyn Fischel~

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pinterest Interests

Bernardsville Library is on Pinterest @ with many interesting boards for you to explore.  
Pinterest is an online, image-based way to share creative ideas and photos using a bulletin board format.  Libraries use Pinterest as yet another way to enhance their Web presence and to promote themselves.  Our bulletin boards cover topics such as Jersey Authors, Library Displays, Adult Programs, and school-required/suggested Summer Reading lists, to name just a few.  We also feature some entertaining boards such as Edible Books! and Book Related Crafts.  In all we currently have 59 boards, with more being developed all the time.  We invite you to spend some pleasant browsing time on our Pinterest boards.  Feel free to re-pin and "like" any of them!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Journalist Mark Seal reported on the remarkable life and violent death of naturalist Joan Root in a 2006 Vanity Fair article, but quickly realized that a magazine piece could not do justice to her story.  In 2009 he published his biography of Joan Root entitled Wildflower: an extraordinary life and untimely death in Africa. Bernardsville Library's book group Memoirs and Coffee will discuss Wildflower at its next meeting to be held Tuesday, June 26, at 10:30 a.m.  New members are invited to attend, and copies of the book are available at the circulation desk.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stiff Upper Lip

Royalists, are you feeling rather flat after the finale of the queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration this week?  All that pomp and circumstance, all that ceremony and tradition, over and done with so soon. Well, if you're lucky enough to  live in our vicinity, pop on over to Bernardsville Library's very own British Collection for your fix of all things British in the medium of film. Click here for more information about the British Collection. Then put the kettle on for a nice spot of relaxing tea.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Broken for You

Saturday Samplers book group (see Saturday Samplers blog here) will discuss Broken for You at its next meeting in the library on Saturday, June 2nd, at 3:30 p.m.  Published in 2004, Broken for You is the debut novel of Seattle-based writer Stephanie Kallos. The book received numerous positive reviews, and Kallos was named Best First Novelist in 2005 by Library Journal.  Her second book, Sing Them Home, also garnered praise for its development of characters in a physical and spiritual landscape of loss and healing.  While her stories deal with death and loss, sadness and broken lives, the author’s use of humor and whimsy lightens the load, reminding us that what is damaged (in life or in the physicality of things) might come to be mended in unexpected ways.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Local History Volunteers Honored

Bernardsville Library's History Committee, comprised of a very diligent groups of volunteers, was recently honored at the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission's awards ceremony. The History Committee received a History Award in Education, and the nomination noted that "Nowhere in Somerset County can one find a richer treasure trove of our history than Bernardsville Public Library where the volunteer History Committee has built an extraordinary collection of books, pamphlets,manuscripts, photographs, movies, clippings, maps, postcards, memorabilia and oral history which they continue to expand and enrich."
The History Committee, known to us as Local History, maintains a multi-media collection of historical paraphernalia, including photographs, postcards, family histories, newspaper articles, old medicine bottles, crockery and other treasures found in people's attics and files.  Inquiries are regularly received from people far and wide searching for information about ancestors, obituaries, Bernardsville history, or even famous local estates.  Oftentimes items are donated to Local History by people who come across things by happenstance and want to insure that they are preserved.  Local History volunteers meet in the library twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, from 1-4 p.m. and are available to answer your questions or provide assistance during those hours.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let's Go Be Revolutionaries!

Deb Olin Unferth's memoir, Revolution: the Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War, is the subject of the next Memoirs and Coffee book discussion this Tuesday, May 22, at 10:30 a.m. in the library.  Ms. Unferth "went to join the war" after falling in love with a college co-ed described as idealistic, to say the least.  The author changed faiths for him, and together they ventured off to Nicaragua to attempt to join the Sandanista Army in 1987.  But the Sandanistas had little use for them, the couple was continually robbed as they moved around the country, and malnutrition began to set in.  Love did not last.  Neither did the author's fervor for "revolution jobs."  Copies of the book are available in the library, and new members are invited to attend this book discussion.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trillion Dollar Shoreline, Comes With Spare Tires

Why does Manhattan turn inward onto its glittering skyscrapers and avenues of commerce when a gold coastline, a potentially magnificent waterfront, beckons from all sides?  Would its residents rush to these shorelines, partaking of promenades, water sports, and river transportation systems if accessibility were vastly improved?  New York essayist/author Phillip Lopate muses on these and many other thoughtfilled topics in his excellent 2004 publication, Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan.  Waterfront will be discussed this Saturday, May 5th, by the Saturday Samplers book group meeting at Bernardsville Library.

In Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan, Phillip Lopate employs a personal and quite New York point of view while examining his very own turf and surf.  The result is a vastly enjoyable, enlightening, and  inspiring reading experience. You may even want to get up out of your chair and take a walk, perhaps not quite reaching all the forlorn, topographically dangerous spots the author trekked to in his attempt to walk around Manhattan. For as Lopate circumambulates his revered city, struggling many times to gain access to the shoreline, it becomes obvious that one of the city's greatest features - its waterfront - is also one of its least realized treasures.

Lopate begins his walkabout at the southern tip of Manhattan, working his way up the Hudson River waterfront from Battery Park.  Advancing northward, his strolls along open walkways with clear vistas of the water eventually become treacherous hikes along footpaths in the Fort Washington Park vicinity near the George Washington Bridge. There he describes "one of the loveliest, most harmonious, and yet least-known spots on the Manhattan waterfront," but to get to it on foot necessitated "my usual bullheaded method of proceeding down the vine-scrabbled hill until the Henry Hudson Highway cut me off, then made a mad dash for it.  Actually, the highway bifurcates with the park, so that you have to risk your life twice to get to the water's edge."  After doing so, he was told that there is actually a footbridge nearby, but as New York irony would have it, there are only two footbridges, separated by three miles, crossing high-speed roads. Clearly the car supplants the foot; still, Lopate soldiered on through brambles, chainlink fences, and across high-voltage train tracks to reach northernmost Inwood Park by way of the riverfront.

The author's sojourns along the East River - not a river, but an estuary - provide him many opportunities for fascinating digressions about housing projects, maritime history, and immigrant life.  Thoroughly versed in the history and literature of New York City, Lopate cites Hart Crane, Joseph Mitchell, and Herman Melville among other writers who felt the pull of the waterfront.  Of course, murderers and despairing souls also felt that pull, and over the centuries the waterfront has given up many bodies.  Medical advancements in the last century or so are visually apparent, too, as Lopate passes Roosevelt Island, home to the old Smallpox Hospital and the ruins of a lunatic asylum.  Directly opposite Roosevelt Island, one of the city's foremost hospitals,  New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, now stretches itself out along the waterfront of the Upper East Side.  Typhoid Mary, the Fulton Fish Market, Robert Moses, the city's bridges and islands, so many interesting items are touched on here.

But let us not overlook the city's utter lack of regard in places for its riverfront landscape, strewn as it is with automobile tires, clots of debris, and remnants of old industry.  Falling economies, busted budgets, and political squabbles all have taken their toll.  Lack of a cohesive and sustaining vision for the waterfront plays a part, too.  Manhattan continues to transform itself, but we are left to wonder whether the city and its inhabitants will collectively recognize the potential bounty surrounding them at their watery borders.
~Review by Evelyn Fischel~

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Poems for a Month or One Day

April is National Poetry Month, and today is Poem in Your Pocket Day.  April also is the birth month (and death month) of William Shakespeare, so poetry is definitely in the air and on our minds at Bernardsville Library.  Two of our book displays this month have showcased poets and poetry, one entitled “Life in Poetry” and the other featuring a variety of poetry collections in honor of National Poetry Month.  In addition, we have hosted a library program, “Coffee, Tea and Poetry,” where the audience was invited to read a variety of pre-selected poems.  Carl Sandburg wrote that  ”Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes.” Poem in Your Pocket Day urges us to open our own packsacks and find expression through poetry.  To facilitate this, our library facebook page today welcomes the public to share a poem in honor of Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What Memory Serves

Bernardsville Library's book group, Memoirs and Coffee, will discuss Half a Life by Darin Strauss at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 24th, at 10:30 a.m.  Memoirs and Coffee, led by Pat Kennedy-Grant, welcomes newcomers, who may obtain copies of the book at the circulation desk.  The title of Half a Life refers in part to the author's realization that he had lived half a lifetime longer than the teenage bicyclist he accidentally killed with his car when he was also a teen. As The New York Times 2010 review notes, "At the center of this elegant, painful, stunningly honest memoir thrums a question fundamental to what it means to be human: What do we do with what we’ve been given?"  For Strauss, those pain-filled memories and present-day consequences must be thoroughly examined in the manner in which he can best deliver, as a writer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Cleopatra: a Lifeby Stacy Schiff, will be the subject of Saturday Samplers next book discussion to be held this Saturday, April 14th, at 3:30 p.m.  Saturday Samplers is a Bernardsville Library book group which meets once a month in the library on a Saturday afternoon.  For more information about the book group, link to the Saturday Samplers blog.

Stacy Schiff is an award-winning biographer who met with literary success early in her career.  Born in 1961, Ms. Schiff attended Williams College.  She subsequently worked for Simon & Schuster as a writer and editor until 1990, at which point she settled into steady work as an acclaimed biographer. Her first publication in 1994, the biography of aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was selected as a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and her biography of Vera Nabokov won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.  A well-received biography of Benjamin Franklin preceded her latest publication, Cleopatra: a Life.  Learn more about Stacy Schiff or Cleopatra: a Life on the author's Web site.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bernardsville Library Mobile App

Connect with us on the go! 
Check your account, search the catalog, access library information, download e-books and much more, all from our new Mobile app. Simply go to our Web site and download the app right onto your Android, iPhone or iPad.

Starting April 9th, the first 500 Bernardsville Library cardholders to download the library’s mobile app and show it to us on their mobile devices will get a free Driinn Mobile Phone Holder at the library (one per person).  Funding is provided by LibraryLinkNJ and the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dr. Seuss's Naked Dames and Horses, Too!

During the final week of the library's Dr. Seuss display, I thought it would be interesting to "flesh out" our appreciation of this author a bit.  We've learned that Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated many books for children, but he also produced cartoons for adults which have been collected in Dr. Seuss Goes to War and The Tough Coughs as He Ploughs the Dough. Additionally, Theodor Seuss Geisel authored the humorous storybook You're Only Old Once! which was aimed at the aging adult audience.  

Perhaps his most unexpected adult book is the strange story of  The Seven Lady Godivas, one of his earliest publications.  In this book Dr. Seuss concocted a highly imaginative legend to explain the origins of seven well-known proverbs.  These are the proverbs having to do with horses and what he called horse truths, an example of which would be "Never change horses in the middle of the stream." 

So here's where it gets strange: Dr. Seuss utilized the legend of Lady Godiva and her horse, but converted this individual into a family of seven Godiva sisters who must uncover these horse truths/proverbs.  As he stated tongue in cheek in his foreword, "History has treated no name so shabbily as it has the name Godiva.  Today Lady Godiva brings to mind a shameful picture-a big blond nude trotting around town on a horse.....There was not one; there were Seven Lady Godivas, and their nakedness actually was not a thing of shame." And so the seven stalwart sisters fulfill their Seussian destiny to discover horse sense (and true love, too!) all while unflinchingly wearing their birthday suits.  Dr. Seuss must have had fun coming up with this one.  
- Evelyn Fischel -

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seriously, Dr. Seuss

Did you know that Dr. Seuss drew political cartoons during World War II?
From 1941-1943, Theodor Seuss Geisel composed over 400 wartime editorial cartoons for the New York journal PM.  While he targeted Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and the Japanese, his cartoons also ridiculed any notions of appeasement or American isolationism. Dr. Seuss derided Charles Lindbergh and the America First movement and often used an ostrich as a stand-in for these isolationists.  The University of California, San Diego, now owns the originals of his political cartoons, two of which are shown here courtesy of UCSD.

Approximately half of the editorial cartoons were selected for the 1999 publication, Dr. Seuss Goes to War, by Richard H. Minear. The book contains full page images of the cartoons arranged by the author based on topics such as "The Home Front" and "Winning the War." Minear also addresses the crass insensitivity shown to Asian-Americans, specifically Japanese-Americans, in several of these cartoons.  By means of explanation rather than excuse, Minear elucidates the historical background and wartime context which drove Dr. Seuss's editorial commentary.  You'll find a copy of Dr. Seuss Goes to War among the featured books in the current "Dr. Seuss!" display in our lobby.  
-Evelyn Fischel

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dr. Seuss!

During this month of March we are celebrating Dr. Seuss. His joyful, creative output is on full view in the lobby for all to enjoy. Entitled "Dr. Seuss!," this display combines many wonderful Seuss favorites along with lesser known books for adults and additional biographies. Audiobooks and film versions of his stories are also included.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, and this year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of his first children's book, "And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street."  Dr. Seuss's beloved cast of characters can be found here - Horton, Yertle the Turtle, Gerald McBoing Boing, the Sneetches, and of course, the Grinch as well as the Cat in the Hat.  Why let the kids have all the fun? Look for your favorite books from childhood and take a few home to read all over again.  And while you're at it, both old and young are invited to draw their favorite Dr. Seuss characters on our easel. Every day we get new and wonderful sketches.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Craftiness Pays Off


Bernardsville Library's crafting group, Saturday Crafters, met recently to share project ideas and conversation. Led by library staff member Evelyn Fischel, the group is encouraged to cure cabin fever by crafting together one Saturday afternoon a month at the library.  Saturday Crafters is open to the public, and crafters work on their own projects while Evelyn showcases the newest library books and magazines dealing with crafting topics.  The February group brought some interesting projects, including charity knitting and crocheting as well as jewelry making and needlepointing.  The next meeting of Saturday Crafters will take place on Saturday, March 17th, at 3 p.m.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Library Book Group Now Reading "Unbroken"

Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 bestseller, Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, will be discussed by Bernardsville Library's book group, Memoirs and Coffee, on Feb. 28th at 10:30 a.m.  Army Air Force pilot Louis Zamperini is the subject of Unbroken which recounts his years of torment after his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean during wartime. The author's webpage notes that "Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve,and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will."  Copies of Unbroken are available at the circulation desk, and this group discussion will be open to the public.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black History Month Displays at Bernardsville Library

 Black History Month at Bernardsville Library is being observed with book displays in both the Biography and Youth Services sections.  A variety of picture books for young readers are showcased in the children's area along with a posterboard featuring one new fact a day about Black History Month.  Come by and learn a thing or two while enjoying these great kids books.

Bernardsville Library's Biography section now offers a month-long display showcasing many interesting books on the lives of notable African Americans. Sojourner Truth, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, and Thurgood Marshall are all famous names in history, but how about the resilient Mr. Jimmy Winkfield, the last African American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby?  He was the 17th child of sharecroppers, but fled to Europe to escape threats from the KKK after his derby win. Winkfield raced horses in Russia, riding the Tsar's horse, and later acquired  property and status in France, only to be hounded out of that country by the Nazis.  Black Maestro: the epic life of an American legend by Joe Drape recounts this man's amazing life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

e-Books to iPad

Learn how to download books and music to iPad at Bernardsville Library's program on January 31st at 7 p.m.  The procedure and apps you need will be demonstrated by Cranbury Public Library's Doug Baldwin, librarian and IT expert.  Feel free to bring your iPad with you.

If you don't own an iPad, why not try out Bernardsville Public Library's iPad which may be borrowed with a Bernardsville Library card?  For more information or to sign up for this program, call 908-766-0118 or go online @

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Library Book Group To Discuss The Memory Palace

Mira Bartok's memoir of family dysfunction and mental illness, The Memory Palace, will be discussed at the next meeting of Memoirs and Coffee on Tuesday, January 24th, at 10:30 a.m.  The Memory Palace  recounts the damaging effects her mother's schizophrenia had on both the author and her sister.  At one point both sisters severed all contact with their mother because of her destructive behavior.  Nonetheless, Mira Bartok found a need to reconnect with her mother when she herself was recovering from a debilitating accident.  The book discussion will be led by Pat Kennedy-Grant who invites new members to join Memoirs and Coffee. Copies of The Memory Palace are available now at the circulation desk.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ready, Set, Knit/Crochet!

Before the first snowflakes fall, be sure to visit Bernardsville Library's "Knit Up A Storm This Winter" display featuring our knit and crochet books. You'll find lots of great ideas and patterns in these attractive books geared to creating the latest in handmade fashion, home decor and toys. Wander over to this display in our nonfiction section, borrow a book, and get started with your projects right now.