Thursday, February 26, 2009

Animals, Music and Padlocks

You may have heard
Temple Grandin on National Public Radio recently. There was an interview with her about how her autism gives her greater empathy with animals which helps in her research and design of livestock facilities. She is an amazing woman with an fascinating message -- whether you eat meat or not! This CD set, Animals in Translation, is $17 on Amazon1 and would make a great commute partner, although it doesn't boost you to HOV status, sorry!

What a treasure! Here we offer The Complete Book of Doo-Wop. Full of photos and sheet music for many of your Doo-Wop favorites, this book is a bargain at $50 on Amazon1.

Who knew there was such a thing as collecting padlocks? Still, looking at some of the photos in this book, one can understand the fascination with this artform from a different era. Back when craftsmen 
made things with an eye towards functionality combined with their artist's eye, every day items were much more beautiful. Thus, today they are quite collectible. This book, The Padlock Collector, is a collector's resource for $30 at Amazon1.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today we feature a different type of communication.  Yesterday it was all about code and 00's and 01's.  Today it is about oral communication that can save a soldier's life or the life of a civilian in a war zone.

Army Lawyer: A History of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, 1775-1975 profiles the effect and necessity of the JAG for over 200 years of Army history. Sometimes is is important to see where we've come from in order to understand where we need to go.  It is $18 on Amazon1.

Military Justice in America: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1775-1980. This book examines the creation, struggles, and history of the court in a very accessible fashion. It is $19.50 on Amazon1.

The Law of War Handbook (2005) prepared by the Judge Advocate School in Charlottesvile, VA (Army), while technically for JAG's is also a good book for the layman. It will help you learn how hard the US Armed Forces work to ensure our soldiers, sailors and airmen understand the fundamental principles of respect for the law and life that distinguish our military from most others.  $24 at  Amazon1.

And finally, for someone searching for a new career, this Paralegal Procedures and Practices manual may help you decide whether this is the career for you. Full of history and exercises, the proponents on Amazon say this will prepare you for a career in the field. It is $56 on Amazon1.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


In the spirit of "there's something for everyone", we have some books on
Amazon1 right now that are for the communication and CS experts out there.

Real-Time Concepts for Embedded Systems by Qing Li is a primer that will teach beginners as well as seasoned programmers. The reviews on Amazon are quite good. Our copy appears to never have been used and sells for $32 at Amazon1.

Communication Systems, 4th Edition, by Simon Haykin is an undergraduate textbook for communications class that will transcend the college experience.  Our copy is in good shape, although it has a small tear at the spine as if it might have been dropped.  Nonetheless, the text is unmarked and tight.  If you need this, you can get it for $50 at Amazon1.

Next Generation Wireless Applications by Paul Golding has only 2 reviews on Amazon, but they're both 5 stars. Moving into wireless is a frightening concept for many companies, but with a Blackberry in the President's hands, it is clear that wireless is the path of the future for survival. So how to reconcile security with convenience? This book will help the designers, CEOs and anyone else who is interested figure out what is best for their firm.  On Amazon1 at $26.50

If you are a current local Friend of Reston Regional Library, you can get these without paying postage!  E-mail us!


Monday, February 23, 2009


If you've been to the Reston Regional Library in the last month or so, you may have noticed a new feature. The section of books immediately to the right of the circulation desk has become the "hold pick-up" area. Now when you place a book on hold, you may pick it up yourself. The shelves are alphabetical by last name. This new system frees up shelf space in the work area and frees up our circulation staff and librarians to help you in other ways. Of course, if you have any trouble finding your hold, the friendly, helpful staff members are available to assist.

Speaking of new things, isn't it about time that you learned something new? On Amazon1, we have a host of Teaching Company Great Courses publications on a variety of topics. Some are cassette, some are CDs, some are very recent, some are standing the test of time. Here is the list, but to get the details, you'll need to visit us at Amazon1. If you're a current Friend of the Library and would like to save shipping, e-mail us at or click HERE and we'll arrange a pick-up for you.

  • The Historical Jesus; $40
  • America and the New Global Economy; $65
  • How to Listen To and Understand Opera; $225
  • Change and Motion: Calculus Made Clear; $60
  • How to Read and Understand Poetry; $19
  • Roots of Human Behavior; $17
  • Utopia and Terror In the 20th Century; $26
  • Thomas Jefferson, American Visionary; $10
  • Physics In Your Life; $280
  • Legacies of Great Economists; $18
  • Philosophy of Religion; $100
  • Jewish Intellectual History, 16th-20th Century; $18
  • Liszt: His Life and Music; $22
  • The New Testament; $30
  • An Introduction to Greek Philosophy; $48
photo by Darlene

Friday, February 20, 2009

An Interesting Variety of Tastes

Our donors are amazing. Just when we think we've had books from every subject donated, we discover something in the bin that is from a subject area most of us have never thought about! This far reaching range of interests in our donation area accrues to the benefit of the highly intelligent community of Greater Reston. I'm not just flattering you -- look at what we have available on Amazon1 this week!

400 Sauces: Dips, Dressings, Salsas, Jams, Jellies & Pickles was published in 2007. This is a great addition to any cook's kitchen. With people cutting their grocery  budgets wherever possible, a good sauce can enliven a meal that would be otherwise so-so. This is $13.25 on Amazon1.

Digital Portraiture Basics Level 1 and Level 2 - Each of these books have an accompanying DVD. Choose one or both to turn your good photos into professional work and perhaps, sideline income. EACH book/DVD is $18.00 on Amazon1. But if you're a current local Friend and you want both of them, e-mail us and let's talk!

Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences -- This is quality control for Science Fair projects on steroids.  The blogger sat on a jury last summer where DNA evidence was at issue. Listening to the FBI agent describe the details associated with ensuring integrity of the process was tedious, but reflected the care and attention that must be applied to scientific measurement.  Within the field, this book gets high marks.  Our copy appears to not have been used, and the disk is sealed. It is $65.00 on Amazon1.

So, something for everyone today. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 19, 2009


Our Amazon2 site hasn't gotten as much coverage in this blog as our original Amazon1 site. We had given our second Amazon volunteer seller time to get familiar with our Amazon storefronts but now she is fully ready to roll! Here are a few of the books available there today. Remember, if you are a current Friend of Reston Regional Library who lives in the Reston area, we will save you the shipping costs and arrange for you to get the book at the library. Just e-mail us!

The Wrong Hostage by Elizabeth Lowell is a suspense-filled mystery thriller published in 2006. This is the unabridged audio CD, perfect for a commuter. $16.55

Maverick Military Leaders by British historial Robert Harvey offers a different look at some familiar figures (Washington, Montgomery, Patton) and a new look at some less familiar figures (Clive, Cochrane). $12.49

Cryptography Information Theory and Error Correction is billed as a useful book for all those interested in computer security. If you're reading this, I would imagine that includes you! Not for the fainthearted, this is $64.43 at Amazon2.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Define Volunteer

What is a volunteer? Kernerman English Learner’s Dictionary offers the best on-line definition:

 - to offer oneself for a particular task, of one's own free will

The volunteers with the Friends of Reston Regional Library, Inc., do offer themselves for MANY particular tasks, of their own free will. They are an enthusiastic, energetic, friendly bunch.  To us, our volunteers are friends, colleagues, lifelines, and a vital part of keeping this enterprise going in order to serve our community. We (the Board of Drectors) wish there was some way to express adequately how much we appreciate each and every one of our volunteers.

As the economy changes, and the FCPL budget shrinks, Friends groups will play an even more vital role in supporting our libraries and communities. Reston Friends needs volunteers in many areas of expertise, not solely for book sorting and handling. As noted previously, to work as a sorter or with the majority of positions connected with the book sale, you must be able to do physical labor. But there are other skill sets that would help us guide the Friends of the Library through these uncertain economic times. If you have been thinking about volunteering with us, and have any of the following skills, please e-mail us
  • Public Affairs - generating community interest with both the public and organizations in the Friends and the Reston Library; retail/customer experience or marketing.

  • Accounting/Finance - cashiering, bookkeeping, IRS and corporate filings, financial planning and budgeting.

  •   eCommerce/Web - selling books online and creating an internet presence.

  •   Writing/Blogging - writing articles for the newsletter, helping with content for the blog, minutes from meetings.

  •   Legal - assisting with Board governance, legal rights and responsibilities of the organization, advice

  •   Membership - maintaining membership database; membership retention; expanding membership

  •   Specialized knowledge/skill - to evaluate specialty books or high value books, for example foreign language, music, arts, sciences, etc.
We'd love to have you join us, and did we mention that we get great food? Click to e-mail us or use this address:  We're looking forward to meeting you!
Photos by Darlene


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Calling all Comic Book, Manga, Graphic Novels, and Art fans!  A special event coming up at the City of Fairfax Regional Library will be of interest to you!  The Fairfax Bibiophiles have invited Norah Curry to come speak to their group on 10 March at 7:30 p.m.

Norah is the Promotions Director at Laughing Ogre Comics (, a family of three comic book stores.  She has a BA in Art History and History from the University of Iowa, and an MA in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of Pittsburgh.  She is a life-long comic book fan.

This program will discuss comic books, graphic novels and manga.  They will look at the differences and similarities between the three and how they were developed.  They also will discuss how they are all interconnected with each other and their continuing importance in the US and abroad.

Speaking of Comic Books, did you know that the Friends of Reston Regional Library have a huge supply for sale?  A couple of boxes were donated a while back. We're struggling with how to display them for sale. They are easily damaged, so we don't want to just put them out.  But, if you are a current Friend of Reston Library, and you'd like to review them for purchase, please e-mail us to make an appointment! If you want to review them and you're not a current Friend of Reston Library, e-mail us to arrange to purchase a membership and we'll schedule the appointment at the same time!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mark Your April Calendars

It's coming, it's coming! The HUGE (I mean really, really big)
Semi-Annual Used Book Sale at Reston Regional Library, put on by Friends of the Reston Regional Library, Inc., is approaching quickly! The dates of the event are set, the books are being continuously sorted and packed up, the volunteers are being lined up, the food donations are being arranged (did I mention food -- we get the BEST donations of food -- worth volunteering for!) The book sale chair runs this event like a well-ordered machine BUT it is all to no avail if the customers don't have the date on the calendar!  So stop right now, and mark it down!

April 23 (Thursday evening) Friends Night, 6-8:30 p.m.
(This is for Friends members. You can purchase or renew a membership that evening)
April 24 (Friday) 10-5
April 25 (Saturday) 10-4:30
April 26 (Sunday) noon-3:30

The blogger looked at the books stored in the shed last week and it's almost full!  We'll have to use an additional storage area. That means there will be MANY, MANY books for you, our patrons to choose from in April!

Here are some photos that show a small part of the effort that goes into putting on this sale -- months before the actual event!

The photo on the left is what the shed looks like at near maximum capacity.  The photo on the right is what the shelves look like after the donations are sorted but before they're packed. The photo at the top shows what our hallway usually looks like as we try to stay ahead of sorting. Our volunteers are absolute wonders. They are smart, funny, kind, diligent and very, very, dedicated. YAY for Sorters!
If you want to join all this fun, e-mail us by clicking here or using We'd love to have you. (You must be physically able to lift things to be a sorter or volunteer during the sale. There are no 'cushy' jobs!)

Photos by Darlene


Friday, February 13, 2009

Featuring Amazon2

All Shook Up: How Rock and Roll Changed America is an interesting look at the time frame in which rock and roll was introduced in America and the change that ensued. To understand the cultural history of America in the 1950-1960 time frame, this is an important facet to study. This book is available at Amazon2 for $9.44.

We Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry is another in her series centered in World War I.  Perry explores the venues of the war and its impact on the people involved through the members of one family, and their different stories. This is an unabridged audiobook on CD. It's $19.94 on Amazon2.

To conclude our featuring of titles for African American History month, we offer this one on Amazon2.  Africans in the Americans: A History of the Black Diaspora explores the history of African peoples who were brought to the New World, and the social and cultural assimilation of the different people in different areas. This includes the Caribbean, Central America, South America and North America.  It is $17.44 on Amazon2.

Any of these books are available through our Amazon2 website. If you are a current local Friends member, you can contact us via e-mail and avoid shipping costs.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

More February Books

There are so many events and people to celebrate and commemorate in February -- it is a bit difficult to cover them all!  But here are the last of the photographed books for the display case. That doesn't mean there aren't many more. These are just representative. Be sure to stop by the Reston Regional Library to see if there's anything you want to add to your personal collection or give as a gift.

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson is a Reading Rainbow book. It is $1.

The Civil Rights Movement: An Illustrated History by Brenda Wilkinson is $3. Don't you just love this photo of the children on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court? I'd love to know where they are today and what they're doing!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine Sweets

The Friends' display case in between the doors at the Reston Regional Library is full of potential gifts! The top shelf has Valentine-themed books for sale. The next two shelves have more books culled to celebrate Black History month.

Some of you get frustrated during our BIG Semi-Annual sales (next one is April 23-26) at the number of people who attend. We understand that frustration, but there would be no point in going to all that trouble for only a few buyers! (Think of what has happened to some of the retailers lately who have not been able to generate traffic).  That said, we do like to take care of our local customers and reward your loyalty in between the big sales. Stocking this display case, and putting on the mini-sales (today is the last day of the mystery mini-sale) are a couple of the ways we do that. These books are selected for you (using timely themes) and they are priced to be affordable for you. So the next time you're in the library, check out the display case!

We Are Lincoln Men, $3.

Songs of Protest and Civil Rights, $3.50

Up From Bondage, $2

*Remember that books shown here may be gone quickly -- if you see something you're interested in, e-mail us immediately!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who Done It?

The Mystery Mini-Sale is still on-going -- through tomorrow, the 11th, in the New Books area at the front of Reston Regional Library. Don't miss this opportunity to stock up on your favorite authors. You only think Spring is here -- we still have a number of days ahead of us in which a good book and a cup of hot chocolate will be our sustenance. Come on down today to make sure you have that good book! You can't beat the prices!
Photos by Darlene


Monday, February 9, 2009

African American History Month, II

Here are some more books that were set aside to go into our display case at Reston Regional Library.  They are all for sale. The caveat is that they may or may not still be around - these are priced to sell and they go quickly! If you're local, and you see something you're interested in, e-mail us immediately.

The Echo From Dealey Plaza. The true story of the first African American on the White House Secret Service detail and his quest for justice after the assasination of JFK.  By Abraham Bolden.   Uncorrected Proof, 2008, $2

The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou. First Ed. $2

The Faithful Friend, by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Brian Pinkney.  Caldecott Honor Book; Coretta Scott King Award Book. $3.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

African-American History Month


One of our amazing volunteers, Nancy B., harvests and arranges the display books for sale in our display case at Reston Regional Library. During the holidays, she beautifully filled our display case with holiday books.  She has also done baseball, Father's Day, spring . . . you get the picture. Now she has done it again! Right now, at Reston Regional Library, in the display case between the doors, is a treasure trove of books that fit the theme of African American History Month books. 

If you are an educator, a collector, or an appreciator of beautiful books, you don't want to miss this display.

Here are photos of some of the books that were due to enter the display case.  We will display more on Monday. NOTE: there are a couple of caveats:
  • they may not be there any longer. Books in the display case are priced to sell quickly. But keep looking, you might see something you like more!
  • if you have your heart set on one of these and do not see it in the display case, or just want to inquire if it is still available, e-mail us immediately!
  • know that these are NOT on our Amazon1 or Amazon2 sites -- they are only available locally! They are also priced amazingly low -- just so our local customers can benefit!

African Artistry is a book of gift wrap. It is mostly intact and has the most beautiful patterns of gift wrap based on African artwork of the Ndebele. It is $4.

African Folktales is $5. The tales are retold by A. Ceni.

I Dream of A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America by Brian Lanker is $4. The forward is by Maya Angelou.


Friday, February 6, 2009


Today is the first day of the Mystery Mini-Sale at Reston Regional Library. Stop by from 10 until closing and peruse the titles.  The mystery ladies have been working hard selecting, packing, storing, and now unpacking, storing and displaying so you can satisfy your mystery cravings.

Popular authors will be represented in abundance and we restock throughout the sale, so shop early and shop often!  In the new books area of the library, through February 11.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Connections Obscured

This Illustrated History of Canada gets high marks for providing a complete enough history for the novice to get a better understanding of who Canadians are today -- where they came from, how they flourished, and how and why they're different from Americans. One reviewer particularly liked it for the genealogy aspects. It appears not to have been read and is $19 at Amazon1.

Cat High: The Yearbook is just that. A take-off on high school annuals, this features cats dressed in their graduation gowns, reports on their senior trips, labels for those most likely to suc
ceed, and even high school romance. A cute concept and perfect for a cat lover. This copy is $12.50 at Amazon1.

U.S. Counterintelligence: The Foundation of Strategy and Espionage Realities is a no-kidding real world study of a Soviet (remember them?) intelligence operation called The Trust. At $25, a bargain for someone working on their graduate studies in this area of speciality. Get it at Amazon1.

Now, what's the connection between these three books? E-mail us to let us know!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Not Light Reading

The Friends recently received a donation of some theology books which are hard to find. An Expanding Theology: Faith in a World of Connections is $22 at Amazon1. For a review of the book, click here

Theology: A Very Short Introduction by David Ford is available at Amazon1 for $40. The reviews there are mostly favorable and worth taking a look at if you're interested in this book.

Spirituality and Theology by Phillip Sheldrake has an extensive write-up from Amazon at their 
website.  The book is available for $22 at Amazon1.

And finally, The Holy Web completes the theology set. Written by Cletus Wessels, it is used as a text at Loyola University in at least one course. Our copy is $13.25 at Amazon1.

A special note today: to our dear friend who is recovering from surgery, we are praying for speedy healing and no more procedures being necessary!


Monday, February 2, 2009

SAT Preparation

Although one 2009 SAT date has just passed, there are more to come. If your student needs extra help preparing for the exam -- or you know a group of students who would benefit from more help, these DVD's might be the answer. Each is $110 and available at Amazon1. If you are a current local Friends member and want to make us an offer for all three, e-mail us at or click here.

The 2009 test dates remaining for this school year are:
March 14, 2009
May 2, 2009
June 6, 2009
The March test is the SAT only, but the other dates include the subject tests.