Under the Wide and Starry Sky: a novel by Nancy Horan
Would the world know Robert Louis Stevenson as the writer he became if there was no Fanny Van der Grift Osbourne in his life?
This is a question to ponder while reading the biographical novel by Nancy Horan. First known for her fictional version of another infamous marriage in the bestseller, “Loving Frank,” about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the author explores the creative partnership between a writer and wife in this book. Both Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson are rebelling against their “assigned roles” in life- she as a wife and mother, he as the respectable lawyer his Presbyterian father wants him to be. (more…)
Is there a classic out there that you simply haven’t read? Or maybe one you’ve not read in a long time? I am perpetually surrounded by books, but by far I have not read them all. In fact, I realized that I had never read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
This perennially assigned title was not a must-read in my high school and has slipped under my radar ever since. I decided it was finally time to get this short, fairly easy read off of my “to read” list. The story, of course, involves the wealthy Jay Gatsby’s love for… and desire to win back… Daisy Buchanan. (more…)
If you’ll be taking a road trip this summer, listening to audiobooks is a great way to keep up with your summer reading. The library has an excellent collection of young adult books on CD. (more…)
If you have a favorite author and want to be one of the first to know when the library has a new item by him/her, use the “Preferred Search” option in your online library account. (more…)
Online privacy. Articles have been written about whether or not it is appropriate to post pictures of your kids on Facebook. Every time there is a whiff of possible change to Facebook’s privacy settings, people bristle with alarm and you see the sharing of cautionary posts. Even if you are not a Facebook user, at some point you may have worried about the information about you that might be floating around on the internet at large. This information may have been posted to Facebook or otherwise shared online by a friend or family member without your consent or even your knowledge.
But… what about your family tree? In this two-part blog, we will look at how you can keep your information safe and protect the personal details of your family members. (more…)
Summer is just around the corner, and if you are like me and my colleagues, you’ll need some good books to read on your vacation or stay-cation this summer. Here are a few suggestions for vacation reading from the staff working behind the scenes in library administration.
Blessed with a very short commute, I am pretty ruthless when it comes to listening to audio books or books on CD. I have a two-fold test that evaluates the story line and the narrator/reader. It is hard to listen to an entire book while running errands, or during my 5 minute drive to the office every day, so if it doesn’t pass, I don’t hesitate to hit the “eject” button. (more…)
Check out this information in the June issue of Consumer Reports:
Did you know that Americans spend around $300 billion on pain treatments and care every year? The overuse of opioid painkillers is creating numerous overdoses and addictions. What can be done? Check out this month’s feature article, “Pain Relief Now!” for information on pain treatments and care, and “soothing strategies” for tension headaches and migraines, and pain in the lower back, joints, and neck and shoulders. There is also information on medical marijuana. (more…)
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. This important month has been observed for over 65 years, and continues to be advocated by organizations like Mental Health America and others, in the hopes of raising awareness. Mental Health Awareness Month acknowledges and supports individuals with mental health issues, as well as their families and caregivers. The discussion of mental health encompasses only depression, anxiety, suicide, and bipolar disorder, as well as ADHD, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and much more.
The Fauquier County Public Library has an array of resources for those affected directly or indirectly by mental health issues. (more…)
One of my guilty pleasures is the reality show Dancing with the Stars. While I have two left feet, I still enjoy watching the pros teach novice celebrity dancers to rumba, foxtrot, salsa and cha-cha. They all look so happy and confident but I wonder if it’s all roses behind the scenes? Whether you celebrate National Dance Week with a hip hop or a two-step, you can kick it with these books that feature the scheming, struggling world of ballet dancers.
Ballet dancing and Antarctica are unusual combinations but in this case, it works. When Harper’s dream of becoming a professional dancer falls through, her life takes an extreme turn – she finagles her way onto an icy, dark science station in Antarctica. Not completely unusual since she happens to be related to an explorer who died racing to the South Pole and somehow fitting as she always seems to be dancing on thin ice. Even if you’re not into ballet (or penguins) you will appreciate this girl’s journey. (more…)
When only the delicate spring flowers bloom on the mountaintops, and leaves are still buds on the trees of the Blue Ridge, you might find traces of the people who once called this place home. Before our treasured Shenandoah National Park existed, there were generations of families living in close-knit communities on the ridges and hollows of these Virginia mountains. This history unfolds in Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal, by Sue Eisenfeld, a writer, and bushwhacking hiker who has been searching for the relics of the long forgotten people who were displaced to create the park that now belongs to all of us. Only recently has the true story of the park been recognized and explored. (more…)