January 21, 2015

A Fish with No Name

The days are rapidly passing....The hours are quickly dwindling...Soon, very soon, one lucky BB&Ner will have the great privilege of bestowing our library fish with a name.

Strutting his stuff for the camera

In case you've somehow missed it, there's a fierce competition taking place in the library right now, as students and faculty fight for the honor to name our fish.  The challenge?  To match 20 of the BB&N faculty with their beloved books.

Ms. Taylor, who devised our competition, is the only person in the school who knows all the answers. But after Friday, the truth will be revealed; the winner (whoever has the most correct guesses) will be announced, and our nameless fish will finally get a name.  If you haven't guessed yet, there's still time left to compete!

(Thanks to Ms. Farlow for giving us our fish!)

January 14, 2015

Snow Reads: When the Weather Outside Is Frightful

It's winter and it's time to hibernate.

Okay, maybe you have to go outside and brace the cold sometimes but when you get a chance to stay inside and relax, we recommend warming up with a cup of hot chocolate, a cozy blanket, and a great book.  We've made a list of some of our favorite "snow reads" - books that we think are a perfect match for a cold winter's day or a snow day (surely, there are snow days to come!).  Drop by the library to share your favorite winter reads!

Courtesy of Ms.McNamara
Ms. Duncan's Picks:

Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome spends a freezing cold winter yearning for a woman who isn't his wife. Simple, sparse, brief, and memorable. The descriptions of a stark Massachusetts winter virtually require that you read it with a blanket, and hot cocoa in hand.

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
One of my all-time favorites, this book is a great winter read. Dr. Frankenstein has worked tirelessly to create a living creature - but when he succeeds, he’s horrified by his monsterish creation and abandons the creature. Initially an innocent creature, Frankenstein’s monster becomes vengeful and desperate in his isolation, taking out his rage on the man who created him...

The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
Hugo is an orphan, living inside the walls of a Paris train station, trying to piece back together the life that he lost. Gorgeous illustrations, compelling and magical story. A beautiful and entertaining book for a snow day!

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
Every night, a strange circus arrives in a different city, bringing with it inexplicable and dazzling sights. But behind the amazing spectacles, two young magicians are locked in a fierce competition, with their lives at stake. Mysterious, surreal, unusual.

Ms. Dow's Picks:

Gentlemen and Players - Joanne Harris 
What's happening at St. Oswald's School for Boys -- the old British school has been there forever, training boys to be successful men, but small problems are growing bigger as the whole edifice seems about to tumble.

The Given Day - Dennis Lehane
Lehane's talent as a great mystery and crime writer (Gone Baby Gone, The Town, etc.) make this historical fiction a total page-turner. Opens in 1919 when Babe Ruth was playing for the Red Sox - fabulous Boston history and a wonderful story.

People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks
Great story of an intrepid young woman from Australia who travels around the world as she researches the history of a famous book from the Ottoman Empire to the present that she's been commissioned to restore.

Ms. Taylor's Picks:

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
You may have read these -The Golden Compass, A Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass - as a little kid. A re-read, or a first read for the uninitiated, can bring in all sorts of aspects of bioethics, politics, religion, physics, cross-cultural understanding, and environmental ethos. If those sound too much like school, then kick back and enjoy a particularly well-written fantasy adventure trilogy, one that, if nothing else, will make you deeply ponder what animal shape your soul would be.

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
The bleakness of winter often requires a bleak book to go along with the dark and cold. In that category, none is finer than this classic exploration of a grisly and true crime.

Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
1996 was one of the deadliest years on Mt. Everest. Multiple people in multiple paid expeditions died in what Lemony Snicket would call “a series of unfortunate events.” As a mountaineer and outdoor writer Krakauer provides both his active eyewitness account and some (perhaps not enough) emotional and ethical depth to the turmoil of the debate over the cost--financial, moral and vital--of what it means to climb Mt. Everest in the modern age.

Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie wrote murder mysteries that could easily transpose into the BBC/Downton Abbey world. There is blood and murder and betrayal, but there is also a lot of stiff British upper lips and calm observance of custom and tea times. In this classic, a passenger is stabbed to death aboard a snowbound train. The interlocking stories, alibis, and ethics of the remaining passenger/suspects make this a satisfying read, particularly if the power goes out in a snowstorm.

Winter's Tale - Mark Helprin
Fantastical, time-bending pseudo steam-punkish story of overlapping lives in a fairy-tale version of New York. People can--and do--skate down the Hudson River from the mountains to the city, love outlasts death and defies age, bridges of light are built between time, a gang boss steals colors, and all manner of other wonderful things. Few books reward the willing suspension of disbelief as well as this dense wintery gem. Reading Helprin's writing is like drinking the hot chocolate served in Chris Van Allsburg's illustrations of The Polar Express.

SLACkers' Picks (Student Library Advisory Committee):

The Shiver Trilogy - Maggie Stiefvater
A series that'll make you feel chills throughout...literally, I felt cold the whole time while reading it so come armed with hot chocolate

Any book by Roald Dahl (what better way to take a trip down nostalgia lane?)

Happy Reading!