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.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
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
Saturday, June 27, 2009
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
...and DVD's and CD's and magazines.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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 ( 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!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
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.
Monday, June 22, 2009
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.
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.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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
Friday, June 12, 2009
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!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
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
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!
Third, there will be NO CHILDRENS BOOKS AVAILABLE AT THE SEMI-ANNUAL USED BOOK SALE.
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
Saturday, June 6, 2009
“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!”
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.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play...
Monday, June 1, 2009
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.