Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Arabs and the Greeks

At RestonFriends1 today we have some beautiful copies of classic works.

Say "Lawrence of Arabia" and an entire generation starts humming dramatic music with visions of Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif at their primes dancing through our heads. The real T. E. Lawrence was an extremely complicated man. His book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, was his autobiography about the time he spent with the various Arab tribes during the period leading up to and including World War I. As the Ottoman Empire crumbled and the power struggle intensified, Lawrence was in the thick of it, cajoling, browbeating and instigating things in order to try to get the situation back in hand...for the British? or was it for the Arabs?

This copy was published by the Folio Society in 2000, is in a black slipcase, and appears to be brand new. It is $40 at Friends1.

Another nice offering at Friends1, also from the Folio Society, is this pair of books detailing the fascinating stories and cohesive narratives of Greek Myths -- the ritual mimes performed at public festivals and recorded pictorially on temple walls, vases, seals, bowls, and tapestries. Both volumes are in black slipcovers. Both are in brand new condition. The pair is $20 at Friends1.

Current local Friends of Reston Regional Library can save postage on anything we offer at Friends1 by contacting us at the library or via e-mail to us.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Book Review

Teen-proofing by John Rosemond

The blogger discovered John Rosemond years ago through a book he wrote called, "Ending the Homework Hassle." That book described different ways in which well-meaning, loving and concerned parents were creating situations for their children to succeed in the short term, but fail in the long term. He advocated teaching children responsibility for their own homework. Using many of the techniques Rosemond proposed, homework lost its power to paralyze around our home.

Teen-proofing continues along the same lines of teaching children responsibility for their own actions or inactions. Rosemond describes what is going on in the child developmentally that drives many of their seemingly incomprehensible behaviors. Once the parents understands the child's motivation, it is easier to devise a way in which family conflicts can be minimized. And once the parent stops trying to micro-manage the teen, the teen becomes responsible for the outcomes. All of us want to raise competent adults. None of us want our child living in our basement when they're 30. In order to produce those outcomes, we need to stop 'doing their life' for them.

Rosemond's strategy begins with distinguishing the main issues from the trivia of daily life. His are six:
  • curfew
  • cash
  • car
  • cohorts
  • conflict
  • consequences
Teens want freedom, which is closely tied to the first three issues above. They want to choose their cohorts (friends) without parental involvement. Because they want more freedom than they are able to responsibly handle, there is conflict and because sometimes they need to feel them, you have to devise consequences for destructive decisions.

The key with teens is to be proactive, not reactive. Once the conflict blows up, it is often too late to devise a solution. We teach our children to know the answer BEFORE the test whether it's in school or on the playground (if someone asks them if they want drugs, for example). This is your manual to knowing the answer before the issue arises.

Published in 2000 by McMeel publishing, this book is still absolutely relevant. Although he doesn't discuss the social networks and pull of the computer, the same discussions he has about the magic of the car apply to the magic of the electronic world. The pre-teen and teen years are not the time to be your child's friend, but to be their parent. This book will remind you how to do that most effectively.

The Fairfax County Public Library system has 12 copies -- all but one are currently available and the blogger will turn that one in today. Make this your summer read...and don't believe that because your child is only in grade school that you can put this off!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday!

A big thank you to Raven for continuing to host the Saturday Wordzzle Challenge. It really stimulates the creative juices! To understand more about it, see Raven's blog. To play with us at Reston Friends, e-mail your entry to RestonFriendspr@gmail.com by Friday night, and we'll post it on Saturday!

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: Chorus line, clam chowder, apples, jack-in-the-box, puddles, Iran, quarry, housekeeping, speed, letter For the mini challenge:motorcycle, grandiose, summer, flying off the handle, blue jays

Charly took on the mini:

As the GRANDIOSE parade of bikers made their formation the sound of another MOTORCYCLE could be heard in the distance. A lone rider appeared over the hill, and pulled into the last space in the formation before the group headed for the road. The rider appeared to be much younger than this group of professionals, but greeted them with a nod as they rode out. They were to make Wind River Canyon by nightfall so had some ground to cover. As no one was FLYING OFF THE HANDLE, to take the lead position, Tyler, a well-respected businessman, took charge of the group. They were all ready for a fun-filled weekend.

Sitting around the campfire that evening the night air was more brisk than a SUMMER breeze, but it felt good to be out in the open with a star-covered sky above. As Tyler gazed into the fire it brought back memories from his past. There was something about the lone rider that made him recall happier times before tragedy stuck. He had gained success as the lead singer in the rock group, BLUE JAYS. He still wore a ring with the blue jay crest design: the only reminder of those days. He had given his daughter a ring to match as she was his delight. He and his wife had divorced years ago, but he could still recall the night when his wife was away, and he was beaten. His daughter, age 7, was kidnapped from their home that night. There was no ransom asked and the FBI never found a trace. This was 20 years ago, but it still hurt when he thought of his little girl. He started singing a lullaby..a song the two would sing. Her voice was like an angel and he missed her. As he sang he imagined he could hear her voice. The others looked around as they too heard an angelic voice coming from the far side of the fire. They saw the lone rider move within the circle and approach Tyler as the song ended. Tyler's eyes were misty as he saw a young lady before him. Who was she? could this be? nah!.was it?? as she stood before him with tears steaming down her face, she said the words he never expected to hear again. Daddy! a chain around her neck held a child's ring that had a blue jay design. There was time to learn of how she came to be there, but for now, just holding her in his arms was enough. He could feel his pain slipping away.

Charly's sister Kit also took on the mini:

A MORTORCYCLE club came rolling,
through a quaint little town..
People watched from windows,
some faces wore a frown..
They viewed this GRANDIOSE procession,
and wondered what was going on..
As these bikers continued onward,
on this beautiful SUMMER dawn.
Little did the residents know,
that the purpose of this ride..
Was to benefit a family,
of a little boy who'd died..
To assist them with medical expenses,
help feed a family of six..
All these people saw were 'riders',
who they considered - society's misfits.
So, I'm here to say to all who'll hear,
don't "FLY OFF THE HANDLE"- with attitudes..
For one never knows a true purpose,
reasons - are often misconstrued..
And, just like this riding group,
members of the club - BLUE JAYS,
There are others out there,
who assist many - in heartfelt ways.

and the blogger took on the 10-word to bring Dr. Hill back:

Dr. Hill’s belongings were in PUDDLES around his office. It was time to pack up to head home after the season’s dig. As always, the dig had been an exercise in chasing an elusive QUARRY. The functionary from the Minister of Antiquities had continually popped up like a JACK-IN-THE-BOX bearing a LETTER from the religious authorities more often than Dr. Hill could afford. Each letter always had a fee attached, and Dr. Hill suspected his contributions were funding the functionary’s HOUSEKEEPING bills rather than preserving any real antiquities. Reflecting on this, he continued his packing. He took down the sole can of CLAM CHOWDER from the shelf. Who on earth would bring canned clam chowder to an archeological dig in IRAN? He smiled at the label. The chowder depicted was sufficiently disgusting looking that it had deterred theft. Hill tucked the can inside his backpack. He’d take it with him to close down the trenches today just to be safe.

Leaving the cool room that he called home, Hill traversed the market place where a few weeks back the imitation statues had shown up over night. They’d done so with a SPEED unmatched at any of Hill’s previous digs. That event had brought several functionaries down to the site. They moved like a CHORUS LINE following him all day peppering him with questions. He smiled at the memory as he trudged along.

A tug on his hand caused him to look down. There, a little girl with a broad smile and APPLES for cheeks was looking at him adoringly. “I’m sorry Laila, I don’t have any treats today. They’re all gone now,” he said. She tugged again, trying to get Hill to come with her. “Oh, okay, I’ll come, but only for a minute,” he said.” I’ve got a lot to do.” As he ducked through the doorway, he heard a noise behind him. He turned to look and was horrified to see tanks rumbling into the market place. The merchants vanished, abandoning their wares, trying to escape the authorities. Laila’s hand tugged his more urgently and he, recognizing a good thing when he felt it, followed the child into the rabbit warren of homes.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: Florida, spit, child bride, operatic, busy, holding pattern, sunflowers, ginger jars, office, superintendent

For the mini challenge:
music to my ears, plot, powerful, braggart, super model


Friday, June 26, 2009

We Want Your Books...

...and DVD's and CD's and magazines.

Yep, we love your donations! Here are some FAQ's about donations:

Are my donations tax-deductible?
FRRL, Inc. is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. When you donate to us, your donations are deductible to the extent allowed by law. You may get a receipt for your donation from the staff or volunteers, but we cannot value the donation for you.

Where do donations come from and where do they go?
Donations come to us from the community’s generosity. Books that are not added to the library collections are offered to FRRL for semi-annual and specialty sales. Books remaining after the sales are donated to non-profit organizations.

Where do I donate?
There’s a bin in the front lobby, or you can donate at the staff entrance in the back...ring buzzer!

What do you do with the money raised?
We sponsor library programs, purchase equipment and supplies and try to keep the Reston Regional Library collections healthy.

How can I join the booksale team?
Contact Charly Karlsson, Book Sale Chair, 703-689-2700 at the library. Leave a message and she’ll call you back.

How can I become a Friends member? Complete a membership form and turn it in at the library, or mail it to the library, or use the link to our membership forms and Paypal on the right sidebar.

How many people volunteer?
We have 20+ dedicated sorters who work year round, plus another 50+ who pitch in at book sale time. They are all WONDERFUL.

Sorters, Who are they?
They are a crew of volunteers who work on regularly scheduled days each week to review and sort the donations. They are also the key people who setup and work the sales throughout the year. Without these dedicated volunteers, we could not have any kind of book sale, ongoing or otherwise.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

School Aged Summer Event

There are still some openings for the event on Monday, June 29, at 10:30 - 11:15 at Reston Regional Library. It's for school-aged kids, 6-12. Folks from the Maryland Science Center will be on hand to talk about the Mystery of Flight. You need to call (703-689-2700) to sign up ASAP or you can do so here. After the program the children can sign up for the summer reading program, and you can check out our new books!

Additionally, while you're in the library, if you've never become a Friend of Reston Regional Library, why don't you do so this summer? You can be a supporter for as little as $15, and your levels of interaction with us can vary from simply being a financial supporter who thinks good thoughts about the group to getting hands-on time with books between or during book sales. We'd love to have you join one of the friendliest volunteer organizations in the county! Click here for more information, or if you don't want to wait until Monday, you can join via PayPal!

See you at the library!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Offerings from Our Amazon Storefront

Second Sight by Amanda Quick is a Victorian romance. This copy is an audiobook on CD, so you can listen to it during your commute or on a trip to the beach or the mountains! We are offering it for $12.75 on Friends1.

Master the American Foreign Service Officer Exam is a paperback available for $14 on Friends1. If you're thinking about a career change, this might help you decide whether the Foreign Service is something you'd enjoy.

Staying home? Cook like you're going out! Daniel Boulud's
Cafe Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook makes French cooking accessible. At $14, it is a bargain on Friends1, and highly regarded by reviewers and cooks.

For current, local Friends, we can get these books to you postage free. Just e-mail us!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Octavian Nothing - Book Review

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, by M. T. Anderson is a compelling book that encourages the reader to examine his own prejudices and assumptions. Octavian was a young boy being raised in a very unconventional household in New England. The time frame is the cusp of the American Revolution. Octavian and his mother enjoy lives of extreme privilege and advantages of every kind. It is not until he is a young man does Octavian realize he is a slave, and worse, an experiment. The men who are responsible for providing all of the riches that surround him are philosophers, intent on studying whether an African, if provided all of the benefits of Western culture and civilization, will nonetheless ‘revert’ to his African-ness at some point.

When the wealthy benefactor comes from England to survey the investment, he becomes deeply enamored of Octavian’s mother. She encourages him, but when his offer of a trouble-free life in England does not include marriage or freedom, she turns it down. His anger leads to an immediate change in her and Octavian’s status. Shortly thereafter the chief experimenter, Mr. Gitney, decides to host a smallpox party. One of the few who die from the infection is Octavian’s mother. Thus free of sentimental ties to the Novanglian College of Lucidity, Octavian is free to escape.

This is an uncomfortable book. The philosophers and scientists do not seem to understand that to have Octavian and his mother as subjects of an experiment denies their basic humanity. In the cause of science and exploration, these men adopt the view common to the day that Africans were not to be seen as the same type of human as white men. Yet, the extraordinary abilities of Octavian in languages, the classics, and music belie their firmly held tenets. In bondage, he flourishes and thrives. When he escapes, his abilities betray his freedom. He has a brief flirtation with the cause of American freedom, but cannot understand why that cause does not include freedom for all.

This book, especially if listened to on tape by a family traveling, will provide a wealth of opportunities to learn new vocabulary. It will also give you a chance to discuss these issues – such as “who does freedom belong to”? Was it right to delay freedom for the slaves so that freedom for the nation could occur? What might have happened if the patriots of the New England colonies had insisted on freedom for the slaves as part of the deal? What tragedies might have occurred? What tragedies might have been averted?

Get to the library and get the book! But be careful – there are two volumes of this book. You definitely want to get them in order! The first is The Pox Party, the second The Kingdom on the Waves.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

Two entries today, the first from Charly and the second from her sister, Kit. Very clever, both of them! If you want to play along, click here for instructions.

The mini words this week: house, bow, intern, sewer, import

From Charly:

An Italian IMPORT wine that Claudia wanted to serve her HOUSE guests was not available. Italian friends who had helped her during a low time in her life were to visit and she had wanted to serve this wine, a favorite of theirs--she wanted this to be a visit to remember. She called a wine shop and spoke to an INTERN who recommended another choice. Off she went in a hurried state to pick it up as she had cleaning to do on her return. Imagine her surprise when arriving home she discovered the SEWER had backed up.. well this is just great, she thought...if I can't find a plumber this truly will be a visit to remember..She called her plumber and was thankful he was available to come over. As he left she made a deep BOW to him in appreciation of his solving her problem. Breathing a sigh of relief she hoped nothing else would occur out of the blue as she had a lot to do before her friends arrived the next day. As she bustled about cleaning, the doorbell rang..when she opened the door, barefoot with a dust rag in her hand, she was face-to-face with her friends..they had arrived a day early..

From Kit:
What fun it is to sit,
and create a rhyme or two..
To lend a bit of laughter,
when given 'words' are few..
But, from my house to yours,
these words will come your way..
I can visualize you now,
as you bow your head to pray.
To pray that the one who writes,
is surely an intern,.
One who still has writing skills,
that hopefully, she will learn..
For I know, your first reaction,
is to throw this in the sewer..
Just think how lucky you'd been,
if challenge 'word's were fewer.
For then you wouldn't be forced,
with rhymes from this French import..
Please know the only reason it's been done,
is to lend Wordzzle my support..
So, get on with your day,
have fun and laughter, my friend..
You'll now feel a great relief,
for this poem, has reached its' end...

The words for next week's Wordzzle:
Ten Word Challenge: Chorus line, clam chowder, apples, jack-in-the-box, puddles, Iran, quarry, housekeeping, speed, letter
For the mini challenge: motorcycle, grandiose, summer, flying off the handle, blue jays
and of course, the maxi is to use them all in one short paragraph


Friday, June 19, 2009


School is finally out in Fairfax County so it is time to spend time being self-indulgent with great books. The summer reading program for children is underway with a theme of Read Around the World. The program is run in conjunction with the Fairfax County Schools, and the Friends of Reston Regional Library help underwrite the cost.

Reston Regional Library has all the lists you need for the books recommended for each age, and wonderful librarians in the children's section who can help you locate the perfect choice for your child. Go sign up TODAY! As you can tell from these photos from last year, it is truly a family affair.

Preschoolers through 6th graders who read (or have read to them) 15 books, record it on a log, and turn that in will qualify for the coupon book. The coupon book is full of discount and free prizes the child can claim. One coupon book per child and lost coupon books cannot be replaced.

Students in grades 7-12 read eight books and record them on the log in order to get the coupon book.

For more details on the Summer Reading Program, click here.

For teens there is a great film contest called "Cool Clips." Run by Pohick Library, this program invites the teens to create a film, on any subject, no longer than 5 minutes. Reston has only had one teen film submission for the last several years. You can change that! For more information, click here.

At Reston specifically, there are many great programs coming up. Check the list here, and be sure to sign up early!

Photos by Alicia Isaac


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Amazing Offerings

Trompe l'Oeil is a fascinating exploration via art into the deceptions our eyes can lead us into. When the blogger was a middle-schooler our family traveled to the DMZ in Korea. One of the many impressions that remained with her was how the North Koreans had used Trompe L'Oeil to create an illusion of their buildings being just "that much" grander, all in an effort to project superiority. Funny how the news there stays the same no matter how many years go by. At any rate, this book, Deceptions and Illusions: Five Centuries of Trompe l'Oeil painting will give you a look at history through a different perspective. It is a hardcover with a DJ, appears unused and is $300 at Friends1.

What Wegman did with Weimeraners, noted New Zealand photographer Rachel Hale has done with Newfoundlands. These dogs, "Newfies" are the gentle giants of the dog world. The book of photographs, New-found-friends, portrays them in many poses, some funny and some pensive. This is an excellent book for a dog lover of any type. It is $75 at Friends1.

The Road to Seneca Falls: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the First Woman's Rights Convention by Judith Wellman is the story of the women's rights movement in this country. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the linchpin holding the disparate groups together at Seneca Falls that year, and this book details her success. This copy is paperback and in unused condition. It is $19.50 at Friends1.

If you are a current Friends member, you can get any of these books locally without paying postage. Just let us know via e-mail!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For Your Refrigerator

I was asked to re-post this in a format 'suitable for putting on the fridge'. SO here it is!

Children's Sale:
August 22 (Saturday), 10am - 4pm
August 23 (Sunday), 1pm - 4pm

Huge Semi-Annual Used Book Sale
September 23 Wednesday (FRIENDS NIGHT), 5:00pm - 7:30 pm
September 24 Thursday, 10 am - 4 pm
September 25 Friday, 10 am - 4 pm
September 26 Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
September 27 Sunday, 1pm - 3:30pm

To go back to basics, Friends Night (September 23) is for current members of Friends of the Reston Regional Library. Don't despair if you're not in that group -- you can secure a membership or renew at any time up to that evening! It is lots easier to do it before you show up though, and you can do it on-line through the link on the sidebar to the right.

$5 Seniors
$15 General
$50 Good Friend
$100 Best Friend
$250 Special Friend

If you have questions, e-mail us!

And since we're working on a cookbook, and the title of the post infers food...here's a recipe for a cake that the blogger whipped up for the 6th grade class celebration this morning (minus pecans). Kind of makes you feel sorry for the teachers, doesn't it? Enjoy!

Texas Sheet Cake


· 2 cups all-purpose flour

· 2 cups sugar

· 1 teaspoon baking soda

· 1/4 teaspoon salt

· 1 cup butter

· 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

· 2 eggs

· 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk

· ½ cup water

· ½ cup coffee (or you can use a whole cup of water and skip the coffee)

· 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

· .

· Chocolate Frosting:

· 1/4 cup butter

· 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

· 3 tablespoons buttermilk

· 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

· 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

· 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional


Grease a 15X10X1-inch or jelly roll pan or a 13X9X2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, and 1/2 cup of water, ½ cup coffee. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. With an electric hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat chocolate mixture into the dry mixture until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in a 350° oven about 25 minutes for the 15X10-inch pan or 35 minutes for the 13X9-inch pan, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Pour warm chocolate frosting over the warm cake, spreading evenly. Place cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly before cutting.
Makes 24 servings.

In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter or margarine, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth. If desired, stir in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Alive Once More

Okay, the blogger is back, courtesy of a great technician, Ken, from Verizon who installed FiOS this morning.  Whew!

Just in time, too, because WE GOT NEWS!

The HOURS of the CHILDREN'S SALE and the SEMI-ANNUAL BOOK SALE are official:

Children's Sale:
August 22 (Saturday), 10am - 4pm
August 23 (Sunday), 1pm - 4pm

Huge Semi-Annual Used Book Sale
September 23 Wednesday (FRIENDS NIGHT), 5:00pm - 7:30 pm
September 24 Thursday, 10 am - 4 pm
September 25 Friday, 10 am - 4 pm
September 26 Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
September 27 Sunday, 1pm - 3:30pm

And, the Wordzzle Words for Saturday are:
Challenge: sow, close, console, lives, minute, polish, bass, pussy, complex, resume
For the mini challenge: bow, sewer, house, import, intern
And the maxi is to use all of them.

For more info on Wordzzles, click here. They're fun and we'd love to read your submissions!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Cool Free Stuff at Library

The blogger is spending a lot more time at the library lately due to internet needs and guess what she found? Cool Free Stuff.

Example: 2009 Virginia Grown Guide -- this lists Farmers Markets and Direct From Farm sales spots throughout the Commonwealth. If you're heading to the beach or the mountains, this will help you figure out where to get local produce. (One beef -- it doesn't list Reston's most excellent Farmer's Market at Lake Anne each Saturday. Oh well, more good stuff for those of us in the know). Ask at the Info desk for a copy!

Example: The Adventures of Storm the Raindrop -- a coloring book for the small fry that has a couple of puzzles in it. Because it's new, it might buy you some quiet time -- and along the way the kids learn about their part in helping maintain good water quality. Out in the information area in the hallway.

And of course, the FCPL publication, This Month, which tells everything that's going on in the county. This is especially important for parents trying to get their kids into high-demand programs. If your local branch's program is full, try one nearby -- many of the programs are appearing at multiple branches.

Money, money, money! Rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders can win $$$ in an essay and poetry contest. June 1-Aug 22, 2009. For more info, click here.

And don't forget, the Friends of Reston Regional Library always have an ongoing sale in the hallway. Hardback and paperback books, extremely reasonably priced, and restocked frequently. Your next beach read may be waiting here for you!


Pardon our Editing

As we try to change back to an easier-on-the-eye format, there will be some older posts that will not be as easy to read. Please bear with us during this transition. We're trying to do the best possible thing for the most number of people.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back to Basics

Changing back to easier on the eye color palette -- and as a Friend pointed out, easier to print! Thanks! We never thought about that! This is a work in progress, so give us some time to evolve.

Still working on details for the fall sale hours changes. Stay tuned.

And for your viewing pleasure, a photo by Darlene. Nice to see that little kids love the new technology too!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Well, when the blogger comes back, at least it's with significant news! Due to the county-wide change in library hours, there will be big changes for our Semi-Annual Book Sale as well.

First, FRIENDS NIGHT will be on WEDNESDAY night, instead of Thursday. Friends Night is a members' only night – one of the benefits of being a current, paid-up, Friend of the Reston Regional Library. It is traditionally the first night of the Semi-Annual Book sale. It will still be the first night, but the sale will begin on WEDNESDAY evening and run through Sunday

Second, SALES HOURS will change. We are still finalizing those times, so stay tuned. We do know that FRIENDS NIGHT will start earlier, at FIVE O’CLOCK instead of SIX!


Due to numerous requests, we are separating out the children’s books for a CHILDREN’S BOOK SALE on Saturday and Sunday, August 22-23. This sale will be in Meeting Room 2 and will also feature a “Teachers’ Corner”.

Our plan is to continue future sales in this fashion barring some unforeseen difficulty. Separating these books out will give us more room for both categories – children’s books during the children’s book sale and that entire corner to use for sales space during the Semi-Annual Book sale at the end of September. As always, we will stock continuously.

These changes in times, dates, and sales content present logistical challenges which our fabulous volunteers will need to work through. We appreciate your patience and support while we do so. If you have a great idea that might help, or even better, have a few hours to donate,
e-mail us!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Stay tuned!

Blogger is still without internet at home and limited on time elsewhere. Will be back soon! Other Board members are free to dive in!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wordzzle Again!

It's time to wordzzle again! Just as a reminder about how it works, you are given between 8 and 10 words/phrases and asked to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them. For more examples and fun photos, go visit the creator, Raven of RavensViews
The words for this week's ten word challenge were: swashbuckler, heads-up, dry martini, recovery, jungle gym, whiskers, bathing suit, spade, circular reasoning, abrasive and for the Mini Challenge: butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, stagnation, chart, star crossed lovers, apricot brandy
Here's the blogger's 10 word and mini. Didn't get to the maxi before the internet went down! As it is, I'm having to post from the library pending FIOS coming into my home!
10 Word
It was a brilliant evening in December in the desert over Nevada. Eagle 7-22 focused intently on his heads-up display trying to discern the precise place in the target zone that would give him the most points. Being able to discern exactly what the unit was telling him was what kept him on the edge, whiskers away from death. Suddenly, his stomach reacted to what his brain had already realized. He was pinged. He visually muscled through the jungle gym of stimuli and fired, unleashing an impotent missile towards the Red Team member that had gotten him. Too late, the missile just snaked away harmlessly. Red Team was long gone.

“This is Eagle 7-22. I’m out,” he informed his flight lead. As he pulled out and headed back to base he reflected on what had happened. He knew his debrief would be rough and started thinking in a loop. “Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe I ought to save the taxpayers some money right now. Maybe I should’ve listened to my brother and gone to the Naval Academy. I like water. It’s good stuff.”

He paused and reflected, “ On the other hand, I’m better than 100% of the people who washed out of the Air Force Academy, and 100% of the people who washed out of Pilot Training, and certainly 100% better than those people flying something other than fighters. I just haven’t gotten my rhythm yet. And the more I fly this mission, the better my rhythm will be.” Suddenly he grinned. The circular reasoning had restored his normally confident , if a bit abrasive, mien.

“Eagle 7-22, what’s the grin for?” he heard in his headset. Eagle 7-22 looked over at the Lieutenant flying at his wing and crowed, "Hey! You got it before me!” Eagle 7-22 crowed. “You went out all swashbuckler in that dogfight and got pinged!”
The Lieutenant ignored this comment and kept flying. The cocky young guy couldn’t leave it alone. “Ha Ha! You’ll be riding the squadron donkey down the flightline at midnight in a pink spandex bathing suit tonight." He was referring to the moment of humiliation reserved for the first flight member to get pinged in any exercise. "I’ll be the one standing there with a dry martini.” The Lieutenant looked over, rolled her eyes, and then pointed up in the sky above Eagle 7-22’s plane.
Dry mouthed, he looked up and realized he was going to get his own back, in spades, and sooner than midnight. He sighed. There was Santa Claus, sleigh and reindeer, motioning with his hand for Eagle 7-22 to knock off the chatter and head back to recovery on base. There was some coal with his name on it that needed shoveling.
Melly sighed deeply and patted her brow with a lavender scented handkerchief. “My, it is certainly warm this afternoon,” she commented. Lucy ground her teeth and smiled sickly. Melly had shown up about an hour earlier in order to ‘help’ Lucy unpack. That consisted of presenting her with a welcome home gift that she insisted they open and drink. As part of the social rules that Lucy had absorbed with her mother’s milk, it meant they had to sit in the front room, surrounded by boxes, and trade small talk until the true purpose of Melly’s visit was revealed.

Lucy had only been back in Spring Mill three days and the stagnation that overtook this place was already starting to infest her brain. She tried to focus on Melly’s inane platitudes while she tried to think of a socially acceptable reason to ask Melly to leave. What would her mother have advised? Fainting? Coughing and muttering, “swine flu?” Maybe she should just give in to lassitude and start snoring.

Suddenly Melly zeroed in on her reason for coming over. “So Lucy, tell me the story of why you came back from the city? Please say it was something exciting like star crossed lovers! I do love something good to share when the girls get together over at Cindy Lou’s.” Lucy eyed her former best friend from high school and wondered what on earth they had ever shared. Melly looked like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Lucy well knew though that any dirt she dished would be all over town in less time it took a Beatles song to top the charts in 1968.

Suddenly, she couldn’t resist. Forgetting that she had moved back to Spring Mill in order to rebuild her life and fit into a small town again, Lucy suddenly decided to torpedo that opportunity. She took a deep drink of the vile apricot brandy and said, “well, . . . I guess I can tell you.” Melly leaned forward.

“How odd,” thought Lucy, “she really does lick her lips in anticipation! I always thought that was a literary device!” Lucy toyed with the other former-debutante for a moment longer and then began again, “well, you remember that big news story about the earthquake in New York City that changed the course of the Hudson River?” Melly nodded eagerly.

“Hundreds were killed? Blocks of apartments wiped out? The President declared it a disaster area?” Melly nodded at each reminder of the depth of the damage.

Lucy said, “It was my fault. When they found out, they asked me to leave the city.”

Melly’s expression switched to thunderclouds as she thrust herself up out of her chair and stalked out of the room, down the hall, and out the front door.

Lucy laughed until fell out of her chair. “I won’t be popular, but I will not be ignored!” she sang out triumphantly.
Now, YOU try it! Attach it as a comment or e-mail to us!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Time to Chill

The blogger's internet service is out, so while she looks for a new provider, she'll be joining Brando here in wallowing in books! Whatever did we do before the internet?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Fun Kick-Off

The very last day of school in Fairfax County is June 18. To celebrate, why not spend a special evening at the library with a special guest?

The Singing Weatherman is meteorologist Bob Swanson. He's kind of the "Bill Nye" of weather but with lots of music and does his show in such a fun way that the kids don't realize they're learning! This is for ages 6-12, it's at 7 p.m. and registration for this program begins TOMORROW JUNE 4. You can register by calling the library at 703-689-2700.  Co-sponsored by George Mason Friends.

The Summer Reading Program begins June 18 as well. Be sure to take your child to the library to sign up. This is a great incentive-based program to keep kids 'in the books' for the summer. You can get more information here.

And finally, the summer reading lists for FCPS schools:

Note: Your child may have additional choices, and/or may have specific requirements. Check with the school.

All of these programs are brought to you by the excellent staff and the dedicated Friends of Reston Regional Library. Speaking for the Friends, it is our pleasure to underwrite activities that keep kids reading!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Audio Treats

What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play...

If you can continue the lyric, then you are familiar with the cabaret music of the Hollywood production. Now it is time to expand beyond that. This CD is a recording of favorite cabararet music that will do that with familiar tunes! It contains 20 of them and would make a nice gift. Our RestonFriends1 site has it for $25.

In Hoagland is a tribute album recorded near the end of Hoagy Carmichael's life. With Georgie Fame and Annie Ross, it pulses with the rhythms of jazz and aficionados say "grab this" CD. Ours is $24 at RestonFriends1.

If you are a current Reston Friend, you can get these directly from us without paying shipping. E-mail us for details!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Book Review

When Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tony Horwitz set out to try to understand an interest in the Civil War that dated back to his childhood, he discovered the fiber of what makes the Southern United States a place of slow growth and deep feeling. As a boy Horwitz had been obsessed by the Matthew Brady photographs of the Civil War, a fascination he shared with his immigrant grandfather. Where other boys were focused on the space race, Horwitz imagined participating in the battles of the tragic past. He even painted the attic walls with figures from Civil War legends, thus the title, Confederates in the Attic.

One of the characters Horwitz came across in his travels was Robert Lee Hodge. Not a mere reenactor, Hodge was a “hardcore” and introduced Horwitz to the highs and lows of participating at that level. Horwitz came to understand that people like Hodge were trying to recapture a somewhat-spiritual participation in those events of the past, what they called a “period high.” Disdaining “farbs” and sustained by hardtack and adrenalin, the two men’s paths intersected throughout the book providing a continuity that moved the journey forward.

 In between his adventures with Hodge, Horwitz traveled and listened. He became more aware of deep pride in traditions, and how fear of losing those traditions had actually sustained communities that in other circumstances might have died.  He detected a hardening of hearts and a separation of peoples that was reflective of the loss of civility in society as a whole. He discerned the shift from dialog to diatribe and left the blogger wondering where we go from here. This book was published in 1998, and the hostility between Americans of differing viewpoints has become even greater. Liberals blame the Bush years for the loss of civility, but Horwitz did his research prior to that time. Could it be that we all are showing an appalling lack of respect for one another?

Reading this book is a good start for all of us. Many of us are good at opining and pontificating. To understand another person’s point of view, one needs to truly listen with humility and humor. Tony Horwitz models that, often despite extreme provocation.  The title might put some readers off, thinking it is only about the Civil War. Don’t let it dissuade you – the Civil War is the framework, but this book is about so much more.