Saturday, January 31, 2009

Farewell and Thank You

The long-time branch manager of the Reston Regional Library, Nadia Taran, is retiring next week. She has been a great friend to the Friends and to this community, and we will miss her. Her gracious treatment of all patrons, from the smallest to the most senior was a hallmark of her tenure. So much that she did behind the scenes in trying to keep the rickety old building as high-functioning as possible went unnoticed. If she had not done those things though, the results would have been obvious and our library community would have been the poorer for it. 

We wish her great happiness and success in her post-FCPL life. If you see her next week before she retires, be sure to say thank you and best wishes.

Photo by Darlene


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Knit One, Purl Two

Unfortunately, the title of today's blog encompasses the extent of the blogger's knowledge of knitting.  As I watch some of the ladies I know creating all kinds of wonderful garments, I am fascinated by the seemingly effortless rhythm that guides them. Rationally, I know that it is years of practice that has enabled them to do it so smoothly. Still, a part of me yearns to be as . . . talented!

The books we're featuring today are all available on our Amazon1 site. Although only these four are shown here, there are a number of them on the site including one on how to make your own Bilum. If you are a knitter or love a knitter, these books are worth investigating! And remember, if you're a local current Friend of Reston Regional Library, we'll allow you to purchase books directly from us, and save the shipping. It never hurts to ask for a quantity discount if you're purchasing three or more books. No promises, but it never hurts to ask.

Vintage Style: 30 Styles from Rowan by Kim Hargreaves appears to never have been used. It is $42 at Amazon1.

Classic & Inexpensive Knitwear from Sally Milner publishing is clean and tight and $28 at Amazon1.

The Creators Exclusive Hand Knits From International Designers is published by the Australian Wool Corporation.  The text is tight and mostly unmarked. There are a few pencil marks on one of the patterns. The cover shows mild wear and has a creased lower corner. It is $18 at Amazon1.

The "Elle" Book of Knitting, Book 1, is published by the magazine. The text is tight and unmarked. There is a crease in the cover and a sticker has been removed from inside the front cover. It is $42 at Amazon1.

Not shown, but available also at Amazon1 are:
  • Sasha Kagan's Big & Little Sweaters, $36
  • Aussie Originals: Creative & Colorful Handknits, $24
  • Make Your Own Bilum, $70
Any one of these will keep you busy through the winter! Purchase multiples and you'll be ready to set up your own workshop.  As always, you can contact us here, or at  We look forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hard Boiled Reading

Hard core detective fans will be thrilled to see these three first editions by Mickey Spillane available for sale.  The Snake, is the eighth book in the Mike Hammer series. In it Hammer investigates a thirty-year old murder and the reappearance of woman he loved (naturally) and thought was dead (naturally) seven years earlier.  This copy is  a clean and tight first edition.  The dust jacket has a small tear, top back edge, and shelf-wear.  The binding shows very minor wear at the spine and has a small white spot on the back cover. It is $32 at Amazon1.

Kiss Me, Deadly was Mike Hammer's 6th appearance. In it, Spillane has Hammer up against a Mafia conspiracy.  The movie made from this book departed sharply from the story, especially in its portrayal of Mike Hammer as a much darker, narcissistic character than Spillane drew him. Spillane was not happy with the movie. This copy, also a first edition, is clean and tight.  The cover shows very mild wear. The dust jacket has some tears and edge wear but is now protected by mylar. It is $32 at Amazon1.

The Deep is a Mickey Spillane departure from Mike Hammer.  The character, Deep, is called back to the old neighborhood to investigate the murder of a childhood friend who just happened to grow up to be a crime boss.  The people who like this book particularly like the surprise twist'll have to read it to find out what it is. This first edition is $20 at Amazon1.

All of the books offered here, at our semi-annual book sales, at our on-going sales, at our special sales (Mystery Sale coming up soon!) and on Amazon1 and Amazon2 are donations to the library not needed for the collection. We try to cull the gems and highlight them for you to purchase, but if you come to our on-site sales you will undoubtedly find something we missed! That works to your advantage!  And if the potential joy of finding a diamond in the rough isn't enough, we have very friendly workers, a great selection, high quality control, and superior prices. Come see us February 6-11 in the New Books area of Reston Regional Library and fill your mystery square!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Classic Kids' Reads

The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy is a classic fiction book by an extremely talented author/illustrator. It is set in rural Hungary before World War I.  It features fully developed characters that readers care about. How these characters have to work together as the war approaches gives the reader a sense of how communities used take care of one another during a crisis. That is not a bad lesson for our children to learn today -- and perhaps we can re-learn it through books such as this one. Some reviewers have likened the story to the "Little House" saga of the American frontier. The author was a Newbery award winner for her classic tale of Hungary, The White Stag.

Our copy is not a fancy one; it has been well-loved.  It certainly doesn't have the full color cover that later mass-marketed
 paperbacks do.  But our copy has the author's signature in it, and since Kate Seredy died in 1975, this is an increasingly difficult item to find. Our copy is $6, and is only available by contacting us directly at, or through this  e-mail link.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our Feathered Friends

Living in Reston provides all of us with a window to the world of birds. Cardinals, jays, mockingbirds, owls, woodpeckers, and all kinds of smaller and larger birds tantalize us with their presence. If one watches them for long, one feels compelled to know more about them. Where do they nest? How many young do they have? What do they eat? This Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds is a wonderful reference for just these types of questions. It is beautifully and abundantly illustrated, and is cross-referenced for ease of learning. We have it available at Amazon1 for $28. This would be a great Valentine gift for your sweetheart, or consider it an educational tool for a child rather than one more stuffed animal with hearts on it!

In that same vein, the blogger's family is tolerated by a parakeet who lives in our home. She has wormed her way into our hearts by simply being the funny little bird she is. Engaging with her and watching her behaviors is a small window to the world of birds.  Just for fun, here's a little video.  

One of her favorite ways to play with us is to wait until the whole family is at the dinner table. As soon as we're settled down, and often during our prayer at dinner, she very deliberately takes pieces of lettuce from her bath bowl (she likes it that way for some reason and screeches at us if we forget the lettuce). She methodically drops them over the edge to the floor.  As we try to concentrate on prayer we hear steady wet plops. Distracting? Yes. Engaging? Yes. Sacriligious? We don't think so -- she's just a bird!

The Friends board is very interested in your input as to programs, features, member benefits, and anything else you'd like to share with us.
  • What would be an incentive to you to join?
  • What programs would you like to see?
  • As the budget for library programs shrinks, how do you think the Friends group should help?
Let us know your thoughts by clicking here!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some Deep Reads

One Woman's War by Eve-Ann Prentice is a fresh look at the Balkan conflict. As a journalist, Ms. Prentice found herself drawn into dangerous situations on every side. Yet, her desire to understand the history and politics of the conflict set this book apart from many published that seek only to blame. Anyone truly interested in the facts will be enlightened by this volume. It's $28 at Amazon1.

"...officer down, code three" is a collection of fictionalized stories about police incidents that was used as a sort of training manual for many years. They originate in the time before GPS and computers and kevlar. This copy is signed by the author and in excellent shape -- appears to not have been read.  $42 at Amazon1.

The third book we're highlighting is The Black Obelisk, a novel
published in 1957, originally in Germany. It is set in the period of the 1920's in post WWI-Germany, beset by hyperinflation and rising nationalism. The author is Erich Maria Remarque, most well known for his book, "All Quiet on the Western Front." This paperback copy was published in 1957.  It is in remarkable condition -- appears to never have been read and has very slight shelf-wear on the cover.  It is $22 at Amazon1.

Remember, all books you see here and at Amazon1 or Amazon2 are available to local current Friends of Reston Regional Library without paying postage. Just contact us via e-mail and we'll get the book to you.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lisez-vous des francais?

Need to improve your French?  This French grammar may be just the ticket! Bescherelle is the brand used in most French immersion programs and this can help your student break the barrier toward French proficiency. Appears never to never have been used. $23 at Amazon1.

Legende Doree de mes filleuls means "Golden Legend of Young Saints." This volume recounts stories of saints who showed exceptional virtue at a very young age, and who participated in the major episodes of Christian history. The book is in French and is $18 at Amazon1. It has many colorful illustrations by Jacques Pecnard. The book is tight and unmarked except for previous owner's name and imprint on a corner of the title page.  The cellophane-like protective layer on the cover has been pulled away in some areas. 

While French may be a mystery to you, and thus inaccessible through these books, don't forget that we have a mini-mystery sale coming up February 6-11 at the Reston Regional Library where the mysteries will be accessible and in English! Mark your calendar to stop by and stock up. You know the worst of the winter is still ahead of us. A steaming pot of stew, a stack of good books, and're ready!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Genealogy Treasures & Disney

No photos of these -- but a heads-up to you genealogy buffs.  We currently have some great finds at our Amazon1 site:
Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790 North Carolina ($15)
Abstract of Wills Recorded in Orange County, North Carolina, 1752-1800 ($92)
Tennesseans in Texas ($26.50)
Marriages of Orange County, North Carolina, 1779-1868 ($36)
Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England: Northern England ($32)

In addition, here is a gem from the same location:

Disney's Art of Animation #2, From Mickey Mouse to Hercules. The two customer reviews at Amazon say very positive things about this book.  This copy appears to never have been read. It has minor shelf wear on the cover.  It's $22 at  Amazon1.

If you ever see a book here that interests you, and you go to our  Amazon1 site and it's gone, it has probably sold.  But don't despair. There's a chance it might still be around but withdrawn from the site for some technical reason.  If a book you want is gone, please E-mail us!

All books here, on our  Amazon1 sites, and in our used book sales are donations provided by the public that are not needed for the library collection. Our highly discerning, wonderfully dedicated and woefully underpaid (i.e., volunteer) sorters go through the piles and piles that are donated to separate the wheat from the chaff. Books that will not age well go to the ongoing sale in the front hall of the library -- near the meeting rooms. Books that are a high enough quality in condition are sorted and packed away for the next semi-annual book sale.  Books that fit a particular genre are often shunted off in preparation for a genre sale (i.e., the upcoming mystery sale Feb 6-11)

Books that are high value are processed to be made available for sale through our  Amazon1 or Amazon2 sites, or saved for the Specials Room at the semi-annual sale. As you can tell, this is a highly detailed process. There is never any shortage of books, but there is often a shortage of labor. If you are physically fit, can commit to a regular time slot, and are interested in helping, we'd like to talk to you! E-mail us here.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Reston Regional's Storyteller

If you and your children have attended an event at Reston Regional Library in the last several years, chances are that you've enjoyed the imagination of Marcia Wines.  Marcia is one of the childrens' librarians and is also a professional storyteller*. Here are some photos of different events she hosted during the summer of 2008. One of the annual events that is eagerly anticipated by the children of Reston is to see where Busia bear travels during the summer. Marcia also encourages the children who travel to send a post card to the library. Many do, and the map quickly gets filled up with children wanting to share their travels with THEIR library.

With the current budget climate in Fairfax County, programs like these are at risk.  Your continued support of the Friends of the Library book sales by donating and shopping is essential. Thank you for all you do. If you'd like to do more by pitching in to help us, please click here.

*Marcia is available for birthday parties, PTA events, and other events where imagination is essential. Stop by the childrens' desk at Reston Regional Library for more information.

Photos by Alicia Issac


Friday, January 16, 2009


Under the headline "IMPROVING SKILLS", these books are natural partners. The Carpentry Trainee Guide (Level 4) is published by the National Center for Construction Education and Research. If it's the next step in your studies, get it at Amazon1 for $72.

There's also Plumbing Trainee Guide (Level 2) at Amazon1 for $24 (no photo). So no matter how you're trying to improve your skills, there's probably something there that will help.

Blueprint Reading for Construction is another useful book for those who are hands-on about their projects. It could be helpful whether you just want to know how your contractor is doing or whether you aspire to be a contractor. It 
includes schematics, math review, and all the necessary points to increase your level of proficiency in this area. It is $82 at Amazon1 -- still shrinkwrapped!  All books are donations to the library not needed for the collection.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

Robots fascinate us. The ultimate dream for many humans is to have a machine that will do all of our difficult tasks. Science is working diligently toward that goal, trying to solve all the problems of physics that govern movement of materials. How many people seized on the idea of the Roomba to solve their house cleaning needs? And how many were just a little disappointed that they still had to get the corners of the room on their own? Nice idea, intriguing innovation, but not quite there yet.

While we wait for our fantasies to come true (and then what would we do with our time?), Robotech Art1 will give the robot enthusiast an eyeful of wonderful artistic portrayals of robots in anime. Robotech itself was a television series airing in 1985. This book is like new, and appears not to have been used at all. Any anime fan would LOVE to receive this and it's yours for $25 at Amazon1.
Human Robots in Myth and Science by John Cohen is a classic in its field. Published in 1966, this first American Edition explores the interrelationship of humans and the machines they design to look and acts like them. The dust jacket is slightly worn along the top edge, but this is a clean, tight copy that appears to be unused. For a collector, this is a true find. It's $22 at Amazon1.

Please remember that if you're a current Friend of Reston Regional Library, any book you see here or on our Amazon1 or Amazon2 sites is available to you directly, thus saving shipping. Just contact us.

Don't forget the mystery mini-sale running Feb 6-11 in the New Books area of Reston Regional Library! We'll look forward to seeing you there.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Start Your Engines!

As we all turn our attention to doing more for ourselves and relying less on mechanics who charge big bucks for small repairs, manuals such as these will come in handy. Automotive Service Basics is a textbook for what we used to call 'Auto Shop' class. As such, it takes the reader through very basic steps with clarity. For someone with the courage to learn a new skill, this book is groundbreaking! The copy appears to be unused and is $67 at Amazon1.

To supplement and complement the first book (although either one can stand alone), we offer a still shrink-wrapped copy of Automotive Engine Repair and Rebuilding. This two volume set includes a paperback classroom manual and a spiral bound workshop manual. It's $75 at Amazon1.

Mark your calendars -- a mini-sale is coming! February 6-11 in the New Books area of the Reston Regional Library, the Friends will sponsor a Mystery Sale! Stock up on all kinds of mysteries from all kinds of authors. Prices will be low, selection will be good, and the friendliness quotient of our volunteers on hand will be high! For more information, contact us!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Going Buggy

The summer of 2008 saw bugs invading the Reston Regional Library. Fortunately, they were the nicest kinds of bugs to have -- bugs in books. Wait.  That doesn't sound right either.  Okay, they weren't the kind you have to fumigate for, but the kind you read about! Once again, one of our talented library staff members put together an enchanting program for the young ones of Reston as you can see from these photos.

What are some of kids' favorite books about insects?
  • Miss Spider's Tea Party (and the other Miss Spider Books)
  • Eric Carle's The Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
  • Bugs are Insects
  • Big Book of Bugs
  • Magic School Bus Inside A Beehive, Butterfly & the Bog Beast, Spins a Web (okay, they're arachnids, not insects)
Promoting literacy in a captivating way is a big part of being a children's librarian.  Lucky for our patrons, Reston Regional Library has the some of the most creative children's librarians in the system. The Friends of Reston Regional Library strive to make it possible for them to have all the resources they need in order to make the connection with local children. The goal of course is to raise another generation of readers. YOU are an essential part of that process.  Your donations, your purchases, and your kind words all contribute to making the Childrens' Programs at Reston Regional Library a huge success. If you'd like to do more, contact us!

photos by Alisha Isaacs


Saturday, January 10, 2009

History of Numbers

The Universal History of Numbers by mathmetician Georges Ifrah is, quite simply, that.  He set out to detail the history of numbers by looking at various cultures and civilizations to see what their contribution was to our modern understanding of how to use numbers. This book is well received by math teachers and math experts and reviewers refer to it as 'encyclopedic'. Now when your child says, "I don't understand WHY I have to learn all this math," you'll have the answer to that question in 3 volumes! This boxed set is available at Amazon1 for $62. The books appear to be brand new and unread. This is an outstanding gift!

The Friends of Reston Regional Library would like to NUMBER you among our members! Join us to meet a new group of fun people who loves books and love sharing the joy of reading with others. Contact us by clicking on the right hand column, or by e-mailing us here.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Building Correctly

One of our eagle-eyed sorters spied this book -- and who knew that a book called Specifications for Commerical Interiors from 1989 is such a treasure? It is highly acclaimed by actual users in the field, and difficult to find. Thus, it's $14.50 at our Amazon1 site. If you have a young engineer or designer in your life, his or her reference bookshelf would be blessed by this addition.

Creativity at Work also receives high marks from users. This book gives practical applications for the reader in order to benefit the reader and the reader's workplace. This is another of those books that might help you be the one who survives the passing out of pink slips. It's only $14 at Amazon1.

And finally, again for the young engineer, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings comes highly acclaimed by engineeers working in the field. This is the 8th edition, and still in demand. It can be yours for $32 at Amazon1.

We thank you for your donations, we thank our sorters for their eagle-eyes, and we thank the Reston Regional Library branch manager and her staff for helping us help them. This endeavor is truly a team working together with a common positive goal -- enhancing our community and supporting literacy.  Yay Reston!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ghosts of Blue and Gray

For Civil War buffs, there is never any shortage of material to sift through. Army of the Potomac: Birth of Command by Russel H. Beatie, is highly acclaimed by those who study this period. Published in 2002, this copy appears to never have been used. What a find! It's $20 on Amazon1.

To give the 'other side' equal time, here is a biography of P.G.T. Beauregard, referred to as the 'most colorful' of the South's generals. Napoleon in Gray is a good read, and is available for $22 at Amazon1.

And finally, to give yet another post-mortem of the War, this book, A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South, purports to help us learn something new. There's a little highlighting on 2 pages, but otherwise this is a good copy. $10 on Amazon1.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Reading music?

And now, like the folks from Monty Python would say, on to something different.

Was curious what music people use for reading. Which led to an equally-strange question of 'wonder what music references reading?' Here's an album that does! What are some others (feel free to leave comments/thoughts/requests)?

By the way, the Friends do accept DVDs and CD donations. Haven't seen this one yet, though.

Anchors Aweigh!

Sometimes we receive donations that are truly destined for those 'in the know.' The three books offered today at Amazon1 and featured here fit that category.

The Capstan is the yearbook of the 9th and 10th classes to graduate from the Naval Reserve Midshipman School at the University of Notre Dame. It has the previous owner's name and inscription, but is otherwise unmarked. The binding is tight.  The cover shows slight shelfwear along the bottom edge and at the spine. It is $20 at Amazon1.

Shipmates details the life of the crew of the USS Macon (CA-132) from 1945 up until her first deactivation in 1950. (She was reactivated for the Korean conflict and served into the 60's but that's another book). This is a rare volume, and is $75 on Amazon1. It is clean and tight with some wear on the corners of the cover.

The 1963-64 Yearbook of the U.S.S. Oglethorpe details her cruise in the Mediterranean that year as they were part of the fleet monitoring rising tensions off Cyprus. This book is $22 on Amazon1.

The blogger guesses that these books were probably all donated from the same source, and represent the passing of an era. We owe a debt of gratitude to these men who served so far from family and home for months, even years on end. The least we can do is to preserve their stories.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Summer Yearnings

Today we feature another one of the summer programs (remember summer?) that Friends of Reston Regional Library underwrote for the community in 2008. In August, the Childrens Section of Reston Regional Library put on "Ice Cream for Books!" Led ably by one of Reston's enthusiastic librarians, this program pulled in children of all ages. They listened to stories, made an ice cream craft, and even a little taste of ice cream on cones was evident at the end of the program. And of course, there was a wonderful selection of 'flavors' of books about ice cream and stories featuring ice cream. It was a great way to head back to school and on a cold day in January, nice to look back upon.

Photos by Alicia Isaacs


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mud and Conflict

Today we have two books from the Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Series. The first, Flesh in Armour, was written by Leonard Mann, an Australian author with personal combat experience in World War I.  Another in the series, Retreat: A Story of 1918, was written by a British veteran, Charles R. Benstead. The books are available at Amazon1 for $13 and $14 respectively. They are novels, but written from the perspective of men who were there.

Moving to the current day, a new non-fiction book from Naval Institute Press attempts to get to the root of the question:  Has the popular press abrogated its role as 'simply' reporters and moved to opinion makers and leader? This book by Joel R. Davidson, Armchair Warriors, juxtaposes letters
 from citizens to military leaders with popular press reports to try to examine the correlation. Published in 2008, this book is a timely query. It is $18.50 at Amazon1.

All three of these books are in new condition. These are the kinds of extraordinary donations we often receive from our supporters. We thank you for those as without them, we would be hard pressed to raise funds to support literacy in our community. If you have ideas or suggestions on how we can expand our better focus our role in doing that, please let us know by contacting us!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Views of China

Beyond the Stone Arches is a tale of a missionary's work in China over four decades. Edward Bliss, Sr., went to China as a medical missionary in 1892 and did not leave until Mao's revolution forced him out in 1932. The book is written by his son, and the reviews of the book are very complimentary. This copy appears to never have been used and is $15 on Amazon1.

Emerging Asian Regionalism: A Partnership for Shared Prosperity is an excellent choice for someone interested in understanding how the emerging markets in Asia are changing. This was published by the Asian Development Bank in July 2008, so the material is pretty current and may give some insight to how we will all recover from economic upheaval. This book is $14 at  Amazon1 and appears to never have been read.

Rounding out our Sinophile trio is China and the American Dream: A Moral Inquiry. Balancing between the history of the first book, and the market information of the second, this book explores the third pillar of studying China -- human rights. The author, a professor of sociology, looks at the myths the two cultures maintain about one another. It is $18 on  Amazon1. This book also appears to never have been read.

We hope as you are putting away holiday decorations and organizing in accordance with your New Year's resolutions, you will consider donating your books to Reston Regional Library. The Friends of the Library accept 2 boxes of books per day per household. We have a donation bin inside the front of the library, or you can donate at the back porch by ringing the bell. If you want a receipt, you must come inside. It is better to NOT just 'drop them off' on either of the porches as the inclement weather that sweeps through this time of year can quickly ruin your donation. We will be accepting books again on Monday, January 5.

This will be a year of prioritizing for many of us. In doing so, if you discover that one of your goals for the year is to do more for others in an area that you love, and you love books, consider becoming an active part of Friends of Reston Regional Library. We need people with all kinds of talents and gifts to keep the organization healthy and the library served. Contact us for more information.