Here is what you can find on the shelves that is new next week. Come in and visit us, or put your items on hold from home! We will let you know when they are ready for you to pick up!
Again this week we have some missing elements. I offer no excuses or explanations. I know it’s disconcerting, but yes, this is still You Are What You Read. This week we have some Chinese, action figures, a castle, a mash-up that has no business existing but we are not judging, anarchy, good books, a bad man, Everest, and a Southern Sojourn.
Let us begin.
This week we have some Northern Mexico, Maine, Tennessee, Chicago, LA and New York.
There is no Paris, there is no WWII, and there are no Nazis. There are no home repair updates, nor are there any egg trees.
Yes, you are reading You Are What You Read.
Back in the pre-internet, pre-cell phone days, the largest national communications network was the telephone. Using a rotary dial and some patience, you could reach someone on the other side of the country in just a few minutes, which was a revelation. The system worked amazingly well but it had a major security flaw, and this flaw made the network the personal playground of an underground band of "phone phreaks."
The phreaks discovered that they could re-route calls and bypass the system, using whistles, taps, and brazen ingenuity. College students, blind teenage prodigies, and various outlaw characters (including Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs) created "blue boxes" for their underground operations, which, according to Jobs, presaged the creation of Apple Computers.
Eventually, Ma Bell and the FBI caught up with them and everything unraveled...but not before the phreaks left their mark on the industry. Phil Lapsley's history of that era reads like the very best of espionage fiction except that it's true. Modern technology makes such a David and Goliath story unlikely to ever happen again -- and Exploding the Phone uncovers the whole fascinating secret history.
This week we have nothing but joyful proclamations. Ann has left Appalachia in the dust and reports that she is now the proud owner of a home with running water and electricity. I think we can safely declare the arrival of spring.
This year, many Darien Library staff members were givers for the second annual U.S. World Book Night, a celebration developed to promote a love of reading and to help connect potential readers with great books. As the folks at WBN say: "Books are fun--and they can also be life-changing." We couldn't agree more, so here's what we did!
Pat T: “I received a box of 20 copies of The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer, my first choice book selection, so one of my co-workers suggested I distribute them at a Darien bar, The Goose, since the book is about a young man who spent many of his formative years in a bar where his uncle was a bartender. At first, people were a bit hesitant since they didn’t know what to make of us presenting them with a book, rather than a bottle of beer or glass of wine, but they ended up being pleasantly surprised and thankful for the book. One gentleman said he only had time to read when he traveled since he had three young children at home, so I replied that business trips are the perfect opportunity to enjoy reading a good book and suggested he pass it on when he finished it. The bar owner thought her patrons were very receptive to our program and ask if we would plan on doing it at the bar again next year, with a bit of notice, so she can advertise it to the community in advance. I already have 4-5 new WBN ambassadors for 2014. Overall, it is a very worthwhile program that I enjoyed being part of and we had fun along the way!”
Krishna: “Pat and I handed out our books at The Goose. We gingerly approached the patrons, with prior permission from the owners and soon there was a buzz all around the bar. Lynn Gagliardi, one of the owners, told us it was a home run and invited us back next year. Lynn also stated she wanted to do more publicity for it and after World Book Night she wanted to have a book group at The Goose featuring the books we give out. Those are excellent community connections and I'll raise a glass to that!”
Abby: “I was very excited to offer City Of Thieves by David Benioff in celebration of World Book Night. I went a mostly cyber route due to scheduling, and am thrilled with the response. A few book recipients have even asked how they can get involved next year. I'll be shipping copies of the book to 8 different states for folks ages 28 to 80. A few copies I hand-delivered went to neighbors. One recipient was a woman I've seen at school pick-up for years but have never spoken to. She was in the car next to mine reading when I went over explained World Book Night and gave her a copy. A second copy went out in the parking lot when I saw a neighbor I know to be a big reader walking by. Both seemed surprised and excited to be given a book out of the blue! I hope to be a giver again next year. It's a wonderful thing to share a book you love.”
Elizabeth: “I was a giver of David Benioff's City of Thieves. I contacted Stamford's Yerwood Center and made arrangements to give the books out to high school students at the center for their afternoon study hall. I gave a quick booktalk which helped to get the teens interested. Yerwood Center is dedicated to providing Stamford youth with educational and personal development opportunities that will empower them to reach their potential. Everyone was very appreciative including the supervisor who shyly asked "Can I have one too?" Answer: Of course! My 6 year old daughter also helped hand out the books, which was a good teachable moment for her to learn about community service.”
Stephanie: "I gave out my favorite book: The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. It's technically for kids, but I've read it many times as an adult and still love it. I handed copies out in a Brooklyn park, to dog walkers and tourists, and then at my favorite sports bar during commercial breaks of the Celtics-Knicks game. Many adults who hadn't read it were not convinced until I told them it was my FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME with a lot of emphasis, but those who had read it eagerly snapped up a copy to take to read to a child in their life, because they already knew how great it was. I had even more fun than last year!"