Our blog about books, authors and reading

How Bad Are Bananas?

ImageIt seems common knowledge that riding your bike to work is a low carbon activity. What you might not know if that if you fuel your bike ride with air-freighted off season asparagus, then your carbon footprint increases dramatically and you'd be better off commuting buy Hummer. The art and science of taking into account many aspects of what constitutes a carbon footprint has often been ignored.
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Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys

RichardsonI am deep in the middle of Adam Hochschild's new book, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 about the anti-war movement before and during World War I (and is thus far excellent). And I recently slogged through British historian Antony Beevor's 500+ page D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, which was a bit too detailed, but very fair in representing Allied incompetence and portrayed some of the major players, including Montgomery, Eisenhower and Patton in a new light for me. Can you tell I was a history major? Standing out so far in this recent WWI/WWII kick was Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys: An American Woman in WWII by Indiana University history professor, James H. Madison.
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The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

Saturday Big Tent Wedding PartyWedding planning, ghost vans that mysteriously disappear into the veldt, a perfect pair of heels for a wedding, what's not to like about Alexander McCall Smith's latest in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series? If life has you feeling blue, this is the perfect book to lighten your mood and take you away from your problems. Botswana, is that far enough? A country where they measure wealth in cattle rather than dollars, and people still have the time to chat in a tree's shade.
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How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

How I Killed PlutoOK, who can resist a title like How I Killed Pluto...? It promises and then delivers a light, interesting take on the Pluto demotion from one of the nine big ones to a dwarf planet at the edge of our solar system. "My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas." Do you remember that line from science class in grade school? The words helped us remember the planets and their order in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. Alas, now mother is just serving us nine___?
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The Best Spiritual Writing, 2011

Spiritual WritingThe various BEST AMERICAN series are a great way to explore topics you might not ordinarily explore and to find new interesting authors. We have many of these annuals in our library including: Best American Travel Writing, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Essays.
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Edgar Award Winners 2011

The Lock ArtistThe Edgar Awards are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America and are often considered the most prestigious awards for the mystery genre. This year's awards were presented this weekend and the winners include:

Best Novel: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

Best First Novel: Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva

Best Paperback Original: Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard

Best Fact Crime: Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime and Complicity by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry
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Half a Life

Half a LifeHow many times have you been distracted while driving and seen a cyclist jut into the road or a child chasing a ball, or even a scampering beagle? You brake and think, thank God. But for Darin Strauss, newly eighteen, setting out with friends for a game of Putt Putt on a warm spring day at the tail end of his senior year, things did not go that smoothly. A cyclist suddenly veered across a lane and a half--and as he braked all he saw was a yellow spoke reflector catch the light and a head crash into his windshield. For him, the worst had happened. The police cleared him, said it was not his fault. The local paper reported this, but Strauss has had to life the rest of his life with the guilt and pain of this accident.
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Bloomington Reads Week

BRLogoIt's Bloomington Reads Week! The Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools is hosting a week of reading related activities designed to focus on the importance of everyday literacy. For more information visit their website and help Monroe County focus on reading and literacy.

EVENTS
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27,11:30 to 1:00
Bring Your Own Book and Read Monroe County Courthouse Lawn
Pack a lunch, a book and a blanket and spend your lunch hour reading.
Sponsored by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Monroe County Public Library, & FMCCS
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Books Plus Discussion for May 2011

ImageBalmy May will soon be here. And on the very first of the month, Elizabeth will lead a discussion about an American classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain's famous novel was first published in England in 1894, but still generates controversy to this day. Earlier this year, a scholar published an edited version that cleaned up some of the words, many of them based on race. The reaction was immediate and, on the whole, negative. Many people prefer the book the way Twain conceived and wrote it.
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National Parks Week

ImageNational Park Week is April 16-24 and has been created to celebrate this country's 394 National Parks. "This year's focus, Healthy Parks, Healthy People, highlights the connection between human and environmental health and the vital role America's national parks play in both."

Indiana isn't awash in National Parks, but we are blessed with amazing State Parks, State Forests and lots of opportunities for hiking and connecting with nature. Despite some possible rainy weather, what better time to celebrate nature!
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