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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving in the Virginia Colony

While the annual Thanksgiving holiday commemorates a meal celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1621, there actually was a Thanksgiving in Virginia’s own backyard two years earlier.

In December 1619, 38 settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundreds, on the north bank of the James River about 20 miles away from Jamestown. According to their charter, the day of their arrival was to be celebrated annually as a day of thanksgiving to God.

The site eventually became Berkeley Plantation, the traditional home of the Harrison family, one of Virginia’s first families. It continues to celebrate an annual Thanksgiving and welcomed President George W. Bush to the festivities in 2007.

Our gratitude to all who love and support libraries. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Books

Robert Gray, a contributing editor to Shelf Awareness, an online newsletter for independent book sellers, recently asked his readers what some of their “fun books” were. Here are some of their suggestions:

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan

Enlightenment for Idiots by Anne Cushman

Texasville by Larry McMurtry

Dear James by Jon Hassler

What makes a book “fun” for you? Share your favorites.

Don’t Miss . . .

Sat., Nov. 22, 11 a.m. City of Fairfax Regional Library
Care with Dignity. Frank Fuerst, author of Alzheimer's Care with Dignity, will talk about his personal experiences as his wife's caregiver and offer practical tips. Call 703-293-6227 to sign up.

Sat., Nov. 22, 3 p.m. Kingstowne Library
Fairfax County African American Stories and the Jamestown 400 Legacy. Supervisor Jeff McKay of the Lee District will moderate a discussion on Fairfax County African-American Stories with some of the authors of Fairfax County Stories 1607-2007. Phyllis Walker Ford will also talk about the Laurel Grove School Call 703-339-4610 to sign up.

Tues., Nov. 25, 2 p.m. Patrick Henry Library
Great Decisions 2008 - Russia. This Foreign Policy Association seminar, presented in partnership with Shepherd's Center of Oakton-Vienna, provides a forum for discussing and learning about foreign policy issues. Call 703-938-0405 to sign up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Long-Term Plans

Whether retirement is 20 years away or around the corner, saving one’s assets has become a number one priority in the current financial climate. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article ("Five Books to Retire By," Nov. 17, 2008), the most popular personal finance books published this year “are about preserving, rather than increasing one’s capital.”

Here’s a few you can get at the library:

The Little Book That Saves Your Assets by David Darst

Retire and Start Your Own Business by Dennis and Martha Sargent

Fast Profits in Hard Times: 10 Secret Strategies to Make You Rich in an Up or Down Economy by Jordan Goodman

The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio: Get Wise, Get Wealthy -- And Get On With Your Life by Alexander Green

How have your financial planning strategies changed? Let us know.

Don’t Miss . . .
Sat., Nov. 22, 11 a.m. City of Fairfax Regional Library
Care with Dignity. Author talks about the secrets of being a successful caregiver, what others may do to help a caregiver, and debunks some of the myths surrounding a person with brain disease. Adults.

Sat., Nov. 22, 3 p.m. Kingstowne Library
Fairfax County African American Stories and the Jamestown 400 Legacy. With Houston Summers, Keith Mann (for Dr. Dorothy Holland Mann) and other authors; Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay moderates the discussion. Phyllis Walker Ford will speak on the Laurel Grove School. Adults.

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2 p.m. Patrick Henry Library
Great Decisions 2008 - Russia. This Foreign Policy Association seminar, presented in partnership with Shepherd's Center of Oakton-Vienna, provides a forum for discussing and learning about foreign policy issues. Adults.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Staycations

If the current economic climate puts a crimp in your plans for future travel, seek comfort in a recent Associated Press article published in the San Jose Mercury News ("Books That Make You Feel Better About Staying at Home",” Nov. 10, 2008). Enjoy a staycation with these books:

Don’t Go There!: The Travel Detective’s Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World by Peter Greenberg

Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World’s Worst Places and Asks “What’s Funny About This?” by P.J. O’Rourke

Do you have a travel horror story? Let us know.

Couch Voyages

Or, if you enjoy armchair traveling, browse these photographic collections:

Wide Angle: National Geographic Greatest Places by Ferdinand Protzman

The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country of the World by Lonely Planet

Ultimate Adventure: National Geographic Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook by Paul McMenamin

Don’t Miss . . .
Sat., Nov. 15, 1 p.m. Patrick Henry Library
Sisters in Crime Panel Discussion. Writers from the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime discuss their books and writing lives. Adults.

Sat., Nov. 15, 10:30 a.m. Sherwood Regional Library
Harambee Readers. Maddening Behaviors: Some I Hear, A Lot I See: Stories by Tahara Nichols and Nicole Shivers. Author presentations and book signings. Adults.

Sun. Nov. 16, 3 p.m. Pohick Regional Library
Meet the Author. Swimming Up the Sun: A Memoir of Adoption by Nicole J. Burton. Author reading and signing. Books available for purchase. Adults.

Tues., Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. George Mason Regional Library
College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family. Authors Steven Goodman and Andrea Leiman share insights on this stressful process, plus answer your questions. Books available for sale and signing courtesy of Borders. Age 15 and up.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Michael Crichton

Fans said goodbye to Michael Crichton this week; he died of cancer at 66 on Nov. 4. He was a prolific novelist and many of his books have been made into movies including one of the top-grossing movies of all time, Jurassic Park. He is also the creator of the television series ER. Crichton's first brush with literary success occurred during medical school. To help pay for tuition and living expenses, he wrote paperback thrillers on the weekends and during vacations. The Andromeda Strain was also written while Crichton was in med school. A note on his official Web site says “He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves behind the greatest gifts of a thirst for knowledge, the desire to understand, and the wisdom to use our minds to better our world.” Messages of condolence are being left on the Message Board of his Web site.

Are you a Michael Crichton Fan? What book or movie is your favorite?

Don’t Miss …
Wed., Nov. 12, City of Fairfax Regional Library
Stefan Fatsis, a sports reporter and the author of A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL. A Few Seconds of Panic is the author’s story of his summer as a training camp placekicker for the Denver Broncos. Registration is required; call 703-293-6227. Listen to Library Director Sam Clay’s interview with Fatsis. Books will be available for sale and signing.

Friday, Nov. 14, Fairfax County Government Center, Board Auditorium
Newbery-Award winner Christopher Paul Curtis author of Bud, not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963. Bud, Not Buddy is the only book to win both the American Library Association’s annual Newbery Medal for outstanding children’s fiction and the Coretta Scott King Award honoring an outstanding African-American author. No registration is required.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Trivia

It has been a long time coming, but the 2008 campaign for President of the United States finally ends today. Here are some interesting facts about this season’s electoral process:

● The 2008 election is the first election since 1928 when neither an incumbent president nor an incumbent vice president ran for the party’s nomination.

● It is the first election since 1952 when neither an incumbent president nor an incumbent vice president was a candidate in the general election.

● The new president will be the first in 184 years to take office after multiple, consecutive two-term presidential administrations. George W. Bush as well as his predecessor Bill Clinton both served two terms. The last time there were a series of consecutive two-term presidencies was 1800-1825. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe were all two-term presidents.

● Whichever candidate wins, he will be the first president born outside the continental U.S. Barak Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and John McCain’s birthplace is Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone.

For more on elections, browse these books:

Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do by Andrew Gelman

The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation
by Drew Westen

Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube and the Future of American Politics
by Morley Winograd

American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction
by Louis Maisel

Don’t Miss …
Saturday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Patrick Henry Library
Patrick Henry Library Customer Appreciation Day. Celebrate the new look of the library and participate in activities such as free Starbucks coffee, donuts and juice, a children's treasure hunt, free books and a family puppet show. All ages. No registration is required.