Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

Orange Prize for Fiction goes to Madeline Miller

The Orange Prize for Fiction was awarded to the American writer Madeline Miller for her novel "The Song of Achilles."

"The Orange Prize for Fiction was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction written by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible. The Orange Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written in English by a woman."

Previous winners of the Orange Prize for fiction

Retold Tales - recommended books for adults (from NoveList database)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We received a new pass for the Shore Line Trolley Museum.
Our museum passes are funded by the Friends of the Hamden Library. The Shore Line Trolley Museum Pass offers a 50 percent discount for up to six people.
Regular rates apply for additional visitors. [Adults 10.00,
Seniors (62+) 8.00, Children (2-15) 6.00]
The Pass is valid on all scheduled public operation days (10:30am-4:30pm) and expanded special events programs during the 2012 season; except for October's Haunted Isle.

May ……………………………………. Saturdays and Sundays
Memorial Day to Labor Day ……. OPEN EVERY DAY
September…………………............ Saturday, Sundays and Labor Day
October……………………………….. Saturdays and Sundays
December…………………………….. First Four Weekends
Special Events: Easter, Mothers Day, Antique Car Show, Fire Apparatus Show, Art Show, Movie Weekend, Haunted Isle (pass is not valid for Haunted Isle), Pumpkin Patch, Star Gazing and Winter Wonderland

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau dies at 86

The German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died on May 18, 2012. He was 86 years old. He was one of the most important and influential vocal artists of the 20th century.

Biography of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Recordings by Mr. Fischer-Dieskau in the Hamden Public Library collection

New York Times Obituary

Monday, May 21, 2012

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Come to the library this month and check out our display on "May is Mental Health Awareness Month".

National Institute of Mental Health

Also check out our database, the HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE CENTER (top of page).
The database offers full-text access to the "The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine". Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. 4th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011.
You can also access full-text articles from medical journals.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Two additional State Park passes available

We just added two more STATE PARK passes for circulation. Just in time for a beautiful weekend!

The passes can be checked out by Hamden residents with valid Hamden Public Library cards. One pass per family. The pass covers cost of parking, where there is a parking charge. Parking fees are charged at all four state park beaches on Long Island Sound as well as several inland parks. Also covers admission for two adults and four children at state historical sites and exhibit centers at Dinosaur, Fort Trumbull and Gillette Castle State Parks. Enjoy!

More info on State Parks in CT

Hamden Public Library Museum Pass List

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

CLA Special Achievement Award Winner!

Congratulations to Hamden Public Library's own Nancy  McNicol, winner of the 2012 Connecticut Library Association Special Achievement Award. Each year, CLA honors an individual who has implemented a significant project or initiated an innovative program which has had significant impact on the library, the community, or the library profession this year.

In the spring of 2011, Hamden Public Library’s Associate Director, Nancy McNicol initiated plans to celebrate the life and works of Hamden native, former U.S. Poet Laureate and 2011 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, Donald Hall. She partnered with various Hamden agencies, the Mayor’s Office, the Connecticut Poetry Society and a number of town residents to bring the plans to fruition. On the evening of September 16th, more than 300 friends and poetry lovers paid tribute to Mr. Hall. He rewarded his audience with reminiscences of growing up in Hamden and readings of his poems. We are all thankful for Nancy's tireless effort creating this remarkable event, and grateful to the Connectict Library Association for recognizing her outstanding acheivement!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012

Maurice Sendak, an award-winning author-illustrator best known for children's picture books, passed away Tuesday, May 8, 2012.  The cause was complications due to a stroke.  He was 83.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 10, 1928, Sendak grew up sickly; his talent for drawing was developed in part because drawing helped him pass time while confined to his bed.  Before becoming an illustrator, Sendak was a window decorator for toy retailer F.A.O. Schwartz.  Through their children's book buyer, he was introduced to Ursula Nordstrom, the children's book editor at publisher Harper & Row.  That collaboration led Sendak to work as a commissioned illustrator and, later, an author of children's books himself.

Mr. Sendak's next work, "My Brother's Book", is scheduled to be published in February, 2013.

Our collection of works written or illustrated by Maurice Sendak

For more information, check out:
NY Times Obituary
"Maurice Sendak wanted children to grow up a bit" (NYT , 5/9/2012)
HarperCollins' Author Page for Sendak

Monday, May 7, 2012

Charles Higham dies at 81

Charles Higham, a  celebrity biographer, died on April 21 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81. Mr. Higham wrote about two dozen biographies, on Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, Cary Grant, Orson Welles and others. Charles Higham was born in London on Feb. 18, 1931.

Mr. Higham's biographies in the Hamden Library Collection 

New York Times obituary by Margalit Fox, published May 3, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Privacy Week May 1-7, 2012

Choose Privacy Week  (May 1-7, 2012) "is a national public awareness campaign that aims to educate the public on how to protect their privacy and understand their rights. The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) established Choose Privacy Week in 2010 to deepen public awareness about the serious issue of government surveillance, and offers individuals the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy." The theme for Choose Privacy Week 2012 is "Freedom from Surveillance." Check out our display in the library, or browse our holdings in our online catalog: 

Books on Privacy and Internet/Technology 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May is Gifts from the Garden Month

Come to the library this month and check out our multi-media display GIFTS FROM THE GARDEN MONTH.
I am especially intrigued by our beautiful books on the history of gardens in art and painting. Below are just a few.

You can check out a natural sound collection on CD
titled THE GARDEN or the DVD Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn. There are books on garden design, garden history, botanical drawing, edible landscaping, etc.

New York's Botanical Garden has a special exhibit devoted
to Monet's Garden until Oct. 21.(article in New York Times, published May 18, 2012) Last year, the Botanical Garden
featured Emily Dickinson's Garden.

The New York Botonical Garden (website)

   The History of Gardens in Painting by Nils Büttner.
"The creation of gardens was among the first achievements of early civilizations, and garden design was already highly developed in antiquity. Pictures of gardens are a reflection of the social, historical, and aesthetic context in which gardens were conceived. The focus of this captivating book is not the gardens themselves or the different concepts of the garden, but rather the representation of gardens in paintings. The author examines why artists paint gardens by covering the varied and lively 2,000-year history of the garden picture using 180 masterpieces of gardens as examples. The text begins with a look at ancient Rome, when paintings of gardens, as found in villas in Pompeii, were already valued as works of art. The wide-ranging coverage also includes pictures of charming medieval gardens in books of hours; Botticelli's masterwork La Primavera, set in a grove of orange trees; views of well-known historic gardens, such as those at Versailles; painter's gardens, as for example, Monet's Giverny; and modern gardens depicted by Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney, among others. For collectors of art history books and garden books, this lovely volume should appeal to a broad audience."

Secrets of Monet's Garden: bringing the beauty of Monet's style to your own garden by Derek Fell

"Derek Fell examines Monet's planting philosophies, shedding light on his use of color, sense of structure, extravagant combinations of form and texture, and favorite flowers.

Vincent's Garden: paintings and drawings by Van Gogh by Ralph Skea.

"A book for gardeners and art lovers everywhere: a selection of Vincent van Gogh's garden and flower paintings and drawings. Presents Van Goghs lifelong love affair with the garden. This title illustrates a range of works, from iconic oils such as Irises to exquisite etchings and intimate sketches."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Doris Betts dies at 79

Doris Betts, an award winning novelist and short-story writer died on April 21 at age 79 at her home in Pittsboro, N.C. The cause was lung cancer. New York Times obituary by Paul Vitello

Her novel "The Sharp Teeth of Love" (1997) is about "a young woman fleeing from her fiance, a runaway child in desperate trouble, a charming wanderer."

"Souls raised from the Dead" (1994) which won the Southern Book Award (also an American Library Association Notable Book), is a novel about a family and how they react to their daughter's kidney disease. Book Discussion Guide (via NoveList)

Ernest Callenbach dies at 83

Ernest Callenbach died April 16 in Berkeley, Calif., at age 83. He was the author of the novel “Ecotopia,” which was published in 1975 and foreshadowed the environmental movement.
In this book Ecology: a pocket guide, published by the University of California Press in 1998, Mr. Callenbach "provides a pocket-sized introduction to the wonderful complexity of life on Earth--and our part in it. In 60 information-packed entries, the author uses everyday, nontechnical language to explain basic ecological concepts".

New York Times obituary by Dennis Hevesi 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Renoir Night at the Frick Collection April 27, 2012

Catalog Link "Genius of Renoir"
There will be a Renoir Night at the Frick Collection in Manhattan today, Friday, April 27, 2012 from 6 to 9 pm. You can view the special exhibition RENOIR, IMPRESSIONISM, AND FULL-LENGTH PAINTING in the East Gallery (on display through May 13) or attend lectures and live music performances (songs by Chausson, Debussy, and Fauré).

You can make your own Renoir Night at home. Check out our beautiful books on Renoir, a Renoir DVD, or Music CDs.
Renoir DVD

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pulitzer Prizes

The Pulitzer Prize Winners 2012 have been announced. Pulitzer Prizes will be awarded at a luncheon ceremony at Columbia University in May.  

Background Info on the award process

Biography of Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911)


George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis (The Penguin Press) 
"An engaging portrait of a globetrotting diplomat whose complicated life was interwoven with the Cold War and America’s emergence as the world’s dominant power."
previous Biography/Autobiography winners

General Nonfiction
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (W.W. Norton & Company)
"A provocative book arguing that an obscure work of philosophy, discovered nearly 600 years ago, changed the course of history by anticipating the science and sensibilities of today."

"An exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in U.S. history, a work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and tragic.
 previous History winners

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press)
"A collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain."
previous Poetry winners

No prize for Fiction was awarded this year. For a list of previous winners with links to our online catalog click here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Earth Day April 22

Hamden's Earth Day celebration will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 10 to 3 in the Hamden Middle School, 2623 Dixwell Ave. in Hamden.
More information on this event can be found here.
We also put together some of our newer books on environmental topics next to the Rotunda computers in Miller Library's lobby area.
Check out these links:

Silent Spring - 5Oth anniversary

Catalog Link
Catalog Link
50 years ago, on April 13, 1962 "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson was published. "Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING warned humankind that for the first time in history every person is subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals from conception until death. Carson painted a vivid picture of how chemicals - used in many ways put particularly in pesticides - have upset the balance of nature, undermining the survival of countless species. This enormously popular and influential book was a soft-spoken battle cry to protect our natural surroundings. Its publication signaled the beginning of the environmental movement" (source: Chase's Calendar of Events, 2012).
 Come to the library this month and check out our display or see our holdings on Rachel Carson here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Titanic - April 15, 1912

Catalog Link
The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 - 100 years ago. Come to the library this month and check out our display of Titanic books and videos.Check our online catalog for holdings on

Titanic - books for young adults

You can also locate articles from this time period in our historical newspaper databases for the Hartford Courant and the New York Times. Hartford Courant Historical : This archive includes over 280,000 pages of text from 1764 through 1922.
New York Times Historical: The full text of the New York Times from 1851-2005.Another link to explore: Times Topics - Titanic.

New Pass to the Hill-Stead Museum

We received two new passes to the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT. Our museum passes are funded by the Friends of the Hamden Library. The pass offers free admission for 1 adult and two children (under 18). The pass is not valid for special programs and events. The Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. 
Check availability of pass here

Hill-Stead (a National Historic Landmark) is a Colonial Revival-style house, set on 152 hilltop acres. It was designed by Theodate Pope Riddle (1867-1946), who was one of the first American women architects. She was a graduate of Miss Porter's School in Farmington, CT. Hill-Stead showcases Impressionist masterpieces, as well as numerous works on paper and Japanese woodblock prints, all displayed among original furnishings in an intimate family setting.The sunken garden was designed by Beatrix Farrand.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Connecticut author in the news

catalog link
Charlotte Rogan is a newly published author who lives in Westport, CT. This week, the New York Times featured an article about her and her debut novel THE LIFEBOAT. The article was written by Julie Bosman.
To place a hold on this book, click here or on catalog link below

New York Times Book Review by Sarah Towers, published May 4, 2012

For more information on this book, reader's reviews, or similiar books on similiar topics use this direct link to the NoveList Plus database.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee on PBS April 2, 2012

Catalog Link
Catalog Link
Harper Lee and Margaret Mitchell are being featured in two documentaries on PBS this evening, Monday, April 2, 2012. Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel premieres at 9 pm, followed by Harper Lee: Hey, Boo at 10 pm.

Books/Videos on 

Books on

Friday, March 30, 2012

Stepping Stones Museum for Children - Pass

The Friends of the Hamden Library provide the funding for our museum passes. We received
a pass to the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk. The pass offers one free
admission with one paid admission. The museum is open daily, Monday through Sunday from 10 to 5. It offers free admission on First Thursdays, from 5 to 8 pm. It is closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Adult admission $15, Child Admission $15 (children under 1 free), Seniors (over 62) $10.

The museum is located on five acres in Mathews Park in Norwalk. It offers an Energy Lab, Tot Town, a hands-on building/construction area, and Healthyville. There is also a traveling exhibit gallery, a multimedia gallery, a celebration courtyard, community garden with garden follies, a family and teacher resource center, an art studio and science lab. 

Pass Status for the Stepping Stones Museum for Children 
List of Museum Passes 


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Julie Otsuka wins 2012 PEN/Faulkner award for Fiction

Julie Otsuka won the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her novel "The Buddha in the Attic". The book's publisher is Alfred A. Knopf. It was chosen from more than 350 novels and short-story collections by American authors which were published in 2011. Ms. Otsuka will receive $15,000. The awards ceremony will take place May 5 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. "The Buddha in the Attic" is about the lives of Japanese mail-order brides who come to San Francisco in the early 20th century. Julie Otsuka was born in 1962 and is a native of California.

Books by Julie Otsuka in our collection
Information about the winner and the finalists

The four finalists are:

Lost Memory of Skin. By Russell Banks

The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories. By Don Delillo

The Artist of Disappearance. By Anita Desai

 We Others: New and selected stories. By Steven Millhauser

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Pass to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

The Friends of the Hamden Library are funding our museum passes. We received four passes to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford. Each pass admits two guests for free. The pass may be used for a free Stowe House tour or a Child's Tour. The Child's Tour is available Saturday & Sunday at 2 pm.

Since the Mark Twain House is located right across from the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, a family can check out both passes at the same time, if available.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest Ave., Hartford, CT. Open Wed.-Sat.: 9:30 – 4:30, Sun.: 12 – 4:30. Closed Jan. 1, Easter Sunday, July 4, Thanksgiving Day; December 24 and 25.

Catalog Link
Catalog Link

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Irish Cooking

Copyright Buck, 2010-.
Irish cooking, like other cuisines, is good year round, but especially popular this time of year, with Saint Patrick's Day falling on March 17.  If you're interested in Irish food but don't have a Saint Patrick's Day meal planned, look at some of our cookbooks for inspiration!

If every-day recipes are more your speed, check out Good Mood Food by Irish home cook Donal Skehan.  This self-described home cook/photographer/food writer has published a blog since 2007, and has since moved on to not only publishing two cookbooks, but also producing and hosting a hit cooking show in Ireland!

Copyright Donal Skehan, 2010-.
Donal also acts as a bit of a "food ambassador", not only representing Irish cooking at various events, but also appearing on international television!

UPDATE 3/16/2012:  Donal's segment is now up on the Today Show site at Celebrate St. Patty's with beef and Guinness stew

Please be advised that the TODAY show is an NBC network show, and is in no way affiliated with Hamden Public Library.  Also, the spelling of the holiday's nickname should be "St. Paddy's", not "St. Patty's".

Now that I think of it, Donal's not the only successful cookbook author who's also a food blogger.  What's some of your favorite food writing on the Internet?  Is it as good as the food writing Elisabeth highlighted in her last post?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Best Food Writing

I enjoyed reading these two recent articles on the topic of food and restaurants: "Throwback in Albany will serve last meal" by John Eligon, published in the print edition of the New York Times, Feb. 10, 2012, and "Till the last doughnut and drumstick" by Pete Wells, published in the print edition of the New York Times, Feb. 1, 2012. More articles by John Eligon who reports for the New York Times from Albany. More information on restaurant critic Pete Wells.

If you are interested in food writing, check out the following new books from our collection:

Best Food Writing. Edited by Holly Hughes.

A collection of writings from periodicals, Web sites, and books that explores such topics as culinary history, food sourcing at a greenmarket, equipping a kitchen, and the economics of the restaurant business.

Will Write for Food. By Dianne Jacob.
Presents advice on how to become a food writer, discussing how to start a blog, get assignments as a restaurant reviewer, write a cookbook, compose a memoir, and put together a book proposal for prospective publishers.
From the contents:
What, exactly, is food writing? -- Characteristics of a food writer -- Getting started -- Get published with a food blog -- Becoming a successful freelance writer -- Secrets of restaurant reviewing -- The cookbook you've always wanted to write -- The art of recipe writing -- Memoir and nonfiction food writing -- Writing about food in fiction -- How to get your book published.

There is also:

American Food Writing: an anthology with classic recipes.