Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This weekend at the Library

Friday, January 2
Senior Friday - 1:30 p.m. Movie screening About Schmidt.
First Friday - 6:30 p.m. Free concert with Shannon Pierce.

Saturday, January 3
Math tutoring - 10:00 a.m. Pi Eaters Math Club for Grades 6-12.
Storytime - 11:00 a.m. Family storytime for all ages.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

This week's Holiday Hours

New Years Eve: Wednesday, December 31
Central Library: Open 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Laurence Harbor Branch: Closed

New Years Day: Thursday, January 1
Central Library: Closed
Laurence Harbor Library: Closed

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Friday, December 26, 2008

This weekend at the Library:

Friday, December 26
1:30 p.m.: Senior Friday – Wii Games: Teens teach Seniors how to play the Nintendo Wii.

Saturday, December 27
10:00 a.m.: Pi Eaters Math Club: Math tutoring for grades 6 - 12.
11:00 a.m.: Family Time in the Childen's Department for all ages.
2:00 p.m.: Craft Program – Mobiles at the Laurence Harbor Branch Library

Sunday, December 28
2:00 p.m.: Family Funday Sunday in the Children's Department – New Years Crafts Around the World.
2:30 p.m.: Computer Class - MS Word 2007 Advanced.

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Librarian Tim recommends: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (F Larsson, New Books)

This is a long and convoluted mystery novel set in Sweden. Disgraced journalist Mikael who has suffered the indignity of losing a libel lawsuit is offered a chance to redeem himself by an aging industrialist who employs him to search into the case of his missing and presumed dead niece. Aided by the mysterious and enigmatic Salander, an abused street punk and genius researcher they work on cracking the case with explosive results. I liked this book, sometimes against my better judgment, as the cast of characters was huge and really hard to keep straight. Larsson knew how to tell a tale and his characterizations were excellent. But in my opinion the book was too long with pockets of dead space and the main climax of the novel occurring 100 pages before the actual end of the book. Still, I found the characters and narrative compelling enough to recommend this book with reservation to those with the patience for a slow developing story.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

January Book Discussion at the Central Library

Tuesday, January 13 at 1:30 p.m. Daytime Book Discussion Group: Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran. “Three Iranian sisters--Marjan, Layla, and Bahar Aminpour--flee the turmoil of the Islamic Revolution in their native country to seek refuge in Ireland, where they open the exotic Babylon Cafe.” - Novelist

Thursday, January 15 at 7:00 p.m. Original Book Discussion Group: Orlando by Virginia Woolf. “Orlando's journey, from wondrous youth barbed by love, to feted writer, settled in her femininity, is a wild and curiously relevant fable.” - Novelist

Thursday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m. Science Fiction Book Discussion Group: The Caves of Steel by Issac Asimov. “Fearing a violent confrontation between Earthmen and Spacers, Detective Baley and his new partner, a robot, investigate the murder of a Spacetown scientist.” - Novelist

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Librarian Chrissie recommends: Ellie McDoodle : New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw (JF Barshaw)

If you liked the sketch journal fashion of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you’ll enjoy Ellie McDoodle : New Kid in School. Ellie has moved into a new house in a new town is now in the situation where she must make new friends. She decides to record her daily happenings of what she describes as “the end” in her sketch journal. The kids at school force Ellie to play “New Kid at School” Bingo which causes embarrassment and some tears. She can’t even eat lunch because the lunch lines are so long that by the time she gets her lunch, the bell rings for her next class. Ellie writes a letter to the principal explaining the situation and she encourages her classmates that if they don’t speak up about a problem in the school then they have no way to fix the problem. In the end, Ellie leads her classmates in a protest against the long lunch lines and her new classmates see her in a way other than the “new kid at school.” The author tells the story through sketches and comic illustrations- a great story for any child that has experienced moving to a new town.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Librarian Lynn recommends: The Divide by Nicholas Evans (F Evans)

From the author of the Horse Whisperer comes this family drama of love, murder, and recovery. The book begins with the discovery of a young girl’s body frozen in the ice in a Montana creek. The body is soon identified as Abbie Cooper who is wanted by the FBI. Most of the story is a flashback to the Cooper family’s upper-middle class life in suburban New York. Are the Coopers the perfect family with wonderful daughter Abbie and not so successful son Josh? Only on the surface is this family getting along. As the story unfolds, parents Sarah and Benjamin have been neglecting each other and their marriage deteriorates until Benjamin makes the decision to leave the family. Abbie takes this the hardest and can’t forgive her father. She is alienated by the situation and takes up with an environmental terrorist who leads her down the path of no return. This novel moves along rapidly from devastation and despair to acceptance and finally to a new beginning. If you like family tragedies and suspense, this book will fascinate you.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

OBPL Holiday Hours

Central Library
Christmas Eve - Dec. 24 1:00 p.m. Closing
Christmas Day - Dec. 25 Closed
New Year's Eve - Dec. 31 1:00 p.m. Closing
New Year's Day - Jan. 1, 2008 Closed

Laurence Harbor Library
Christmas Eve - Dec. 24 Closed
Christmas Day - Dec. 25 Closed
New Year's Eve - Dec. 31 Closed
New Year's Day - Jan. 1, 2008 Closed

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This weekend at the Library

Pi Eaters Math Club for Teens (grades 6-12) at the Central Branch on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10:00 a.m. Get help with math. It’s free and the tutors are excellent!

Family Time for all ages at the Central Branch on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 11:00 a.m. Come listen to stories, sing, and dance!

Teen Advisory Board at the Central Branch on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 1:00 p.m. TAB meets monthly to make the library a great place for teens. Members get community service hours.

This month’s Sunday Matinee is Horton Hears a Who! At the Central Branch on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2:30 p.m Rated G Movie munchies will be sold by the Teen Advisory Board.

All library programs are free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Librarian Tim's Favorite Books of 2008:

10. Mark Lynas - Six Degrees, Our Future on a Hotter Planet: Backed by hard scientific evidence, this interesting and frightening book tracks the potential effects of incremental one degree rises predicted during climate change brought about by man made global warming.

9. James Lee Burke - Swan Peak: Burke is a natural storyteller whose affinity for the outdoors nearly borders on the poetic, with wonderful descriptions of the mountains, streams and the natural world.

8. Michio Kaku - Physics of the Impossible: Looking at science fiction concepts that people have long thought impossible, and uses scientific investigation to muse on just how impossible they really are.

7. Richard Stark - Dirty Money: On the lam after an armored car heist goes spectacularly wrong, can master criminal Parker get the money with every cop in three states on the lookout?

6. Joe R. Lansdale - Leather Maiden: What makes this story move from the realm of a merely good mystery into something special is the dry humor that Lansdale injects into the dialogue.

5. James Church - Bamboo and Blood: Former intelligence officer Church again paints the reclusive country of North Korea brilliantly and his main character, the enigmatic Inspector O is a masterwork.

4. David Sedaris - When You Are Engulfed in Flames: Wickedly droll and funny as ever, the satirist's most recent collection is another collection of stories about family, friends and strange situations.

3. Charlie Huston - Every Last Drop: If there is a better writer of pure pulp fiction at the moment, I don't know who it is. Huston's Joe Pitt novels seamlessly meld noir crime and horror fiction into a blend that is simply intoxicating.

2. Ken Bruen - Cross: In A return to form for Bruen's Jack Talyor series, A young man has been murdered by crucifixion, a method of death deeply symbolic in Catholic Ireland, and Jack must solve the crime.

1. Neal Stephenson - Anathem: The sheer number of ideas that Stephenson packs in this novel are amazing - quantum mechanics, multiverse theory, advanced philosophy, computer science, physics and chemistry all play a role.

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Librarian Lynn recommends: The Price of Silence by Camilla Trinchieri

This is a fascinating page turner about an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher Emma Perotti who becomes obsessed with a young Chinese artist named An-ling. As the story unravels, it is apparent that Emma has never really dealt with the accidental death of her own daughter. Her guilt and silence have left her an empty shell of a person. Her family has tried to move on as if her daughter never existed. She is drawn to An-ling in a motherly way so much that she leaves her troubled marriage and her son to live with An-ling. Suspense builds when Emma goes to trial for An-ling’s murder and the reader finds out the truth about each character’s past. I highly recommend this fast and intense read.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Upcoming Program

Got a legal research question? Please join us on January 14, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. when Middlesex County Law Librarian Betty Agin speaks about the services and resources offered free to the public by the NJ Court Law Libraries for self-representation. Some of the topics presented will include:
  • Assistance programs and material for self-represented litigants
  • Location and retrieval methods for court records
  • Do’s and Don’ts for legal reference
  • Free informational packets about divorces and wills/estates provided
This program is FREE and open to the public. For further information about library programs, call the Adult & Information Services Department, at: 732-721-5600, ext. 5033. The Central Branch of the Old Bridge Public Library is located in the Municipal Center at the corner of Route 516 and Cottrell Road.

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Upcoming Program

Always thought you had artistic talent but didn’t know where to start? Want to learn how to draw quickly and simply? Then, mark your calendar for Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 1:30 for Action Sketching with Rocco Scibetta at the Central Branch of the Old Bridge Public Library. Multi-talented and multi-faceted artist, Rocco Scibetta, will present a practical and concise seminar on sketching spontaneously. He will teach you how to convey a well-rounded picture of your subject. In addition, Mr. Scibetta will describe and explain the use of materials. A Q&A forum will be part of the program as well as an exhibition from the artist. This program is FREE and open to the public. For further information about library programs, call the Adult & Information Services Department, at: 732-721-5600, ext. 5033. The Central Branch of the Old Bridge Public Library is located in the Municipal Center at the corner of Route 516 and Cottrell Road.

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Librarian Chrissie Recommends: Stay With Me by Garrett Freymann-Weyr (YA FREYMANN-WEYR)

Sixteen year-old Leila is struggling with where she fits in with her family, her friends and life in general. She has two half-sisters from her father’s first marriage and has never really been close with them. When her half-sister Rebecca dies, she begins looking for any clues or triggers which may have led to her sudden death. On top of that, her parents are scheduled to go on sabbatical for a year and the family decides that she should live with her half-sister Clare while they are gone. While, living with Clare, Leila becomes part of the stage crew for her high school drama club while continuing to piece together the events that led to Rebecca’s death at the same time. Leila also mistakenly meets a television writer (she is supposed to meet one of Rebecca’s old friends) who helps her navigate her new relationship with Clare, helps her come to terms with Rebecca’s death, and helps Leila learn to be herself. This is a great story of unexpected sisterhood as well as a teen navigating her way through the unexpected punches life can throw at you.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Old Bridge resident Gail Small presented a program at the Library about Hawaiian culture. Gail demonstrated different types of dress, spoke about history and even danced the hula!

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Friday, December 05, 2008

The Old Bridge High School Faculty - Student Art Show is on display in the Central Library's Reading Room Gallery through the end of December. The Library will be hosting a reception for the artists and their families on Thursday, December 11 at 6:00 p.m. and the public is welcome.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

This weekend at the Library

Friday, December 5
  • 1:30 p.m: Senior Friday – Movie: Grumpy Old Men: Two elderly widowers, John Gustafson (Jack Lemmon) and Max Goldman (Walter Matthau), despite having been friends early in life and living next door to each other for years, do not get along nowadays and carry on a rivalry over basically anything and everything they can think of.
  • 6:30 p.m: First Friday – Concert: Guitarist Anton Del Forno: Anton Del Forno is a prominent guitar virtuoso who is tireless in his efforts to introduce listeners to his instrument's rich repertoire. Not only is Del Forno an enthusiastic and acclaimed performer of the classical and modern guitar, but he has enriched the guitar literature by his own compositions and transcriptions.
Saturday, December 6
  • 10:00 a.m: Teenagers - Pi Eaters Math Club: Need a little extra help in math? Drop in to our "Pi Eater's Club" Best part about it? It's free and the tutors are excellent! No registration needed, grades 6-12 only.
  • 11:00 a.m: All Ages- Family Time: Stories and fun games for the whole family.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The paintings of Dr. Bahaa Girgis are on display in the Library's Garden Gallery during the month of December.

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Librarian Tim recommends Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

This books looks at why people succeed - but it is not some sort of cheerleading self help book, Gladwell's research is all about connections. Connections and circumstances, like if you take two people with genius IQ's, why is it that one may become a Nobel Prize winning scientist while the other never finishes college? Researching the cultural differences that lead to airplane crashes and success in math and science take his theories to an extreme, but make for fascinating thought experiments - although testing them empirically may be a little more difficult. He draws on a lot of cutting edge social science research to develop his theories of success due to parental upbringing or cultural history and they make for interesting reading, if you are willing to look past the fact that most of his theories are based on evidence that is purely circumstantial. Food for thought and great fodder for book discussions.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Children's Book Reviews from Librarian Chrissy

Walking Beauty by Leah Wilcox (P Wilcox)

Talk about putting a humorous twist on an old fairy tale. Must of us know that in order to wake Sleeping Beauty, the prince must wake her with a kiss. However, the prince in Leah Wilcox’s Waking Beauty has some other creative of ways to try and awake the princess. Each time the fairy godmothers try to inform him there is only one way to wake her, he interrupts and comes up with another way to wake her on his own. He tries shooting her out of a cannon, pouring a pitcher of water over her head, and yelling in her ear. Finally, he listens to the fairy godmothers and wakes her with a kiss (even though the prince is completely grossed out about it!) But he’s in for a big surprise when he finally wakes her with a kiss!

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Monday, December 01, 2008

The Library hosted a Craft Program at the Laurence Harbor Branch over the weekend.

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