Wednesday, June 30, 2010

History Videos on Demand

The Hamden Public Library is now offering history videos on demand. You can now watch a wide assortment of documentaries and archival newsreels from your home computer - all you need is your Hamden Public Library Card!

American History in Video provides the largest and richest online collection of video available for the study of American history—2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles. The collection's wealth of video and multiplicity of perspectives allows you to see, experience, and study American history in ways never before possible. This collection is an exclusive collaboration with A&E Television Networks and features some of their most important documentaries and series from The History Channel, A&E Network, and Biography. You will also find numerous episodes of the PBS series "The American Experience," as well as Ken Burns's "The Civil War," "The West," and "Jazz."

Start watching>

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Top Historical Fiction

Booklist recently compiled a list of Top Historical Fiction Books: All Other Nights by Dara Horn focuses on the role of Jewish Americans in the Civil War, The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott takes place in post-Napoleonic Paris, The Devil's Dream by Madison Smartt Bell is about a Confederate general in Tennessee, Four Freedoms by John Crowley takes place in an American aircraft plant during WWII and describes everyday life at home, Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow is about two brothers in early 20th century New York, No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara is the final volume in the author's WWII trilogy which focuses on historic individuals and anonymous GIs, Parrot & Olivier in America by Peter Carey is about the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, Pearl of China by Anchee Min is a fresh interpretation of Pearl S. Buck's life.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

José Saramago dies at 87

José Saramago, a Portuguese writer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998, died Friday at his home in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. He was 87. He was the first Portuguese-language writer to win the Nobel Prize. He was born in 1922 in the village of Azinhaga and was raised by his maternal grandparents. Since his family was so poor, he was forced to leave grammar school at age 12 and start training as a car mechanic. His first novel was published when he was 23, but he became a full-time writer only in his late 50s.

New York Times Obituary by Fernanda Eberstadt

Books by José Saramago in our library

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer at the Library

It's that time of year again: summer. The air is warm, the beach is crowded, and you need something to occupy the many hours of time you'd be watching television or doing homework during the rest of the year. (Ha-ha.)

If you're looking for something to fill the time between now and September, come in to the library! All media is free for the duration of its loan period, and we have a great variety of best sellers, classics, and perennial favorites. Whether you're looking for the latest Stieg Larsson--- and if you are, I 'd recommend calling us to put yourself on a wait list--- or the first Agatha Christie, a fluffy romance or sci-fi epic, or maybe even a childhood favorite to share with friends or family, there's a good chance we'll have what you're looking for.

As a reminder, all children's books are two-week books starting Monday, June 21, 2010. NO RENEWALS! You will also not be able to place reserves on children's books during this time. This lasts for the duration of our summer reading program, and regular borrowing periods resume in September.

Also, summer hours start next week and are as follows:
Monday-Wednesday: 10 am-9 pm
Thursday: 10 am-5:30 pm
Friday; 10 am-4 pm
Closed Saturdays and Sundays

Regular hours resume after Labor Day.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Free Stuff Fridays: International Festival of Arts and Ideas

It's that time of year again! New Haven hosts its fifteenth annual International Festival of Arts and Ideas, running from today until Saturday, June 25. Not every event at the festival is free, but the festival prides itself on 80% of their events being without cost.

If you're curious about what's being offered this year, click over to the International Festival of Arts and Ideas official page. Fees for paid events are posted. No price listed, no payment needed! This includes all "Ideas" and "Family" events.

Orange Prize for Fiction

The American author Barbara Kingsolver won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel The Lacuna. This British award honors each year a novel written by a woman in English. One of the judges, Daisy Goodwin, said: "We had very different tastes on the panel, but in the end we went for passion not compromise. We chose The Lacuna because it is a book of breathtaking scale and shattering moments of poignancy."

Wolf Hall by Booker prize winning British author Hilary Mantel was on the shortlist and a favorite for the award. Previous Winners are Marilynne Robinson HOME (2009), Rose Tremain THE ROAD HOME (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie HALF OF A YELLOW SUN (2007) Zadie Smith ON BEAUTY (2006).

Friday, June 4, 2010

June Literary Birthdays

Literary birthdays in June include Helen Keller, William Butler Yeats, Federico García Lorca, Dorothy West, Mary McCarthy, and Frank O'Hara.

June 1 - Colleen McCullough , Australian novelist (1937 - )
June 2 - Dorothy West, American writer and publisher (1907 - 1998)
June 2 - Thomas Hardy, English novelist and poet (1840 - 1928)
June 3 - Larry McMurtry, American novelist (1936 - )
June 3 - Allen Ginsberg, American Beat poet (1926 - 1997)
June 5 - Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet and dramatist (1898 - 1936)
June 6 - Thomas Mann, German novelist (1875 - 1955)
June 6 - Aleksandr Pushkin, Russian writer (1799 -1837)
June 10 - Saul Bellow, American writer (1915 - 2005)
June 10 - Maurice Sendak, children's author and illustrator (1928 - )
June 11 - Ben Jonson, English Jacobean playwright and poet (1572? - 1637)
June 11 - William Styron, American novelist (1925 - 2006 )
June 11 - Athol Fugard, South African writer (1932 - )
June 12 - Anne Frank, diarist and Holocaust victim (1929 - 1945)
June 13 - William Butler Yeats, Irish poet (1865 - 1939)
June 13 - Dorothy L. Sayers, mystery novelist (1893 - 1957)
June 14 - Harriet Beecher Stowe, American abolitionist and author (1811 - 1896)
June 14 - Yasunari Kawabata, Nobel prize-winning Japanese novelist (1899 - 1972)
June 14 - John Edgar Wideman, American novelist (1941 - )
June 16 - Joyce Carol Oates, American writer (1938 - )
June 19 - Salman Rushdie, British-Indian novelist and essayist (1947 - )
June 19 - Tobias Wolff, American author (1945 - )
June 20 - Lillian Hellman, American playwright (1905 -1984)
June 21 - Ian McEwan, Booker Prize-winning English writer (1948 - )
June 21 - Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist philosopher and author (1905 - 1980)
June 21 - Mary McCarthy, American writer (1912 -1989)
June 22 - Erich Maria Remarque, German novelist (1898 - 1970)
June 22 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906 - 2001)
June 25 - Eric Carle, children's book illustrator (1929)
June 25 - Yann Martel, Spanish-born Canadian author (1963 - )
June 25 - George Orwell, British writer (1903 - 1950)
June 26 - Pearl S. Buck, American-born writer (1892 - 1973)
June 27 - Frank O'Hara , American poet, playwright, and art critic (1926 -1966)
June 27 - Helen Keller, deaf/blind writer and activist (1880 - 1968)
June 28 - Luigi Pirandello, Italian playwright (1867 - 1936)
June 29 - Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer(1900 - 1944)
June 30 - Czeslaw Milosz, Polish-American poet(1911 - 2004)