Fauquier County Public Library

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Staff Picks: Filling Those Long Summer Days with Good Books

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Filling those long summer days with good books and more.

How do you plan to fill the remainder of your summer? There is still plenty of time to plan a fabulous vacation get-away, or tackle that remodeling project you’ve been procrastinating about. The knowledgeable and friendly FCPL staff can help you find information on the ideal vacation spot as well as provide plenty of “stay-cation” options. As for ticking things off of the honey-do list, the library offers a wonderful variety of resources on everything from building a funky chicken coop to fixing that leaking faucet. In between all of the summer fun and seasonal chores, there still may be time to take advantage of the long days and catch up on your recreational reading.

However you plan to spend the next few weeks of your summer, be sure to stop in and see what the library has to offer. In the meantime, take a look at a few recommendations from the Warrenton circulation team.

Happy summer!

– Julia @ Warrenton central library

The Eight By Katherine Neville

If historical fiction is your genre of choice, then this engrossing adventure and international best seller should be on your reading list. Follow the quests of two indomitable heroines – one, a young nun at the start of the French Revolution; the other, a computer wiz working in Algeria during the 1970s – to locate the pieces of Charlemagne’s legendary chess set and unlock the powerful secret they hold. As the two timelines evolve and each faces dangers near and far, you’ll be swept up in the action. If you love it, be sure to check out its sequel, The Fire. Need another reason to try? Its renowned author calls Warrenton home.

 – Emily, Circulation, Warrenton central library 

As You Wish [compact disc]: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, with Joe LaydenAs You Wish

Are you a fan of the movie “The Princess Bride”?  If so, I highly recommend “As You Wish” by Cary Elwes.  However, I suggest you listen to it on CD as it is read by the author, none other than The Man in Black himself (and features the voices of many other actors and crewmembers who participated in the creation of this 1987 classic motion picture).  This is Elwes’ behind the scenes view of the making of the movie including how this particular cast came together under the direction of Rob Reiner and many insider anecdotes and fun facts to know and share about the actors. It has made me wish for extended travel time in my car where I have listened spellbound for the last few weeks!

– Jackie, Circulation, Warrenton central library

Unwilling Accompolice by Charles Todd

This was a delightful mystery!  When reading a mystery story, I always find myself trying to guess the ending.  This was a book that kept me guessing. Each time I thought I had it figured out, BAM, a twist in yet a different direction!  The story took place during World War I in England.  It follows a battlefield nurse, Bess Crawford, during her loss of a patient (not to death) and subsequent attempts to locate him.

– Donna, Circulation, Warrenton central library

Home: a memoir of my early years by Julie Andrews

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite movies, The Sound of Music. What a perfect time to read Julie Andrew’s autobiography, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years. In her memoir Andrews tells of a childhood quite different than what you might expect from the stage star and film icon. Once Andrews’ pitch perfect voice is discovered at the age of seven, it takes her all the way from vaudeville to Broadway. Home is the first volume of Julie Andrew’s memoirs. A second volume is expected to follow.

– Jennifer, Circulation, Warrenton central library

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Mary Beth Latham has built her life around her three teenage children, her successful husband and a job she loves.  When her life is shattered she will have to find the power and determination to help her family keep going.  This book is about facing the things we fear the most and finding our way back.  It would not be considered “light reading,” but a book that will stay with you for a long time.

– Shelley,  Circulation, Warrenton central library

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail a memoir by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Srayed had to walk away from herself. After the devastating loss of her mother, Strayed slips into a dark and destructive state of mind. She impulsively purchases a guidebook to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and soon finds herself making the first awkward step of a 1,100 mile hike.

An inexperienced hiker, Strayed begins her redemptive journey with ill-fitting boots and an over-stuffed backpack she names “Monster”.  She vividly shares the beauty and hardships of the trail, the colorful cast of characters she meets along the way and how she found herself, whole again, in the small, yet profound final step.

– Julia, Circulation, Warrenton central library

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions?  Stop by the reference desk at your local library. Additional staff picks and book club roundups are available online. You can also check out the list of titles being read and discussed by our book clubs for ideas and inspiration.

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Kiddosphere: Short and Sweet – Chapter Books for the Beginning or Reluctant Reader

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Young readers often make the jump to chapter books in the summer. It’s a huge deal to move from easy readers like Henry and Mudge or Green Eggs and Ham to full-fledged chapter books. Finding something that challenges yet doesn’t overwhelm can be tricky.

The Critter Club: Amy and the Missy Puppy by Callie Barkley ; illustrated by Marsha Riti book cover

Critter Club series is a must read for young animal fans. This group of animal helpers encounter mystery, friendship issues, and family issues (age appropriately handled) while caring for the animals in their community.

Readers not quite ready for Judy Blume’s Peter Hatcher stories should check out Friend or Fiend? With the Pain and the Great One. Trademarks of Blume’s fiction for young readers–sibling conflict handled with humor and heartfelt resolution–are abundant here.

I Don't Believe It, Archie! What Can Possibly Go Wrong Today? by Andrew Norriss book cover

I Don’t Believe It, Archie! is perfect for those who like their humor wacky and offbeat. Weird things are always happening to Archie: escaping a runaway piano, trapped in a house with a lion, and other outrageous things are everyday occurrences for Archie (usually while on his way to do an errand for his mother). Luckily, he manages to make a narrow escape each time. Some Briticisms (money, etc) may be unfamiliar to readers, but they don’t get in the way of the story.

Need more ideas for easy chapter books? I wrote a post on the ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children) blog about recently published easy chapter book series. Be sure to check out our recommendations for easy reader books and book lists by grade level, as well.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

Looking for some brand-new reads? Check out Wowbrary!

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Staff Picks: Summer Readin’

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SummerReadingMain[1]What could be better on a warm summer day than a comfortable chair in the shade of a large tree, your feet in the grass, a book in one hand and a cold glass of ice tea in the other?  Not much, in my opinion.  So take a look at some of our favorite reads. Then find a tree, pull up a chair and read the afternoon away.

Final Exam by Maggie Barbieri

This is the fourth volume in Maggie Barbieri’s entertaining Murder 101 Mystery which centers on an English professor at a small college near New York City.   Light and humorous, it made an enjoyable and amusing summer read.

The Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton

Entertaining and quirky!  It is an easy light read and, if you have read the series from the beginning, it’s like visiting old friends.  Hamish is a constable in the Scottish Highlands who doesn’t want to be promoted and leave his “easy” post where he knows everyone.
Linda, Support Services Manager, Warrenton central library

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

This book is about two men, both named Wes Moore. One is a successful West Point graduate and military leader, and the other, a convicted felon. This is a story about how the choices you make when you’re young affect your future. It outlines both men’s lives- how their fatherless childhoods led them both to become troubled youths and how their mothers had to make difficult decisions concerning their sons’ futures. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an interesting, inspirational story.
–Kim, Accounting Clerk, Warrenton central library

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This is one I discovered through Wowbrary, a great service the library offers its patrons that highlights new materials coming to the library each week.  The description intrigued me, which is saying a lot because this is a psychological thriller and not normally the type of book I read. However it’s a solid story and is well written. I’ve been disappointed when I have seen it repeatedly compared to Gone Girl, which I didn’t like.  The Girl on the Train follows the story of a few interconnected individuals, telling each part of the story from a different character’s view. Given that each of the characters is struggling with his or her own demons and that you don’t always know the connections between the characters until they unfold, it makes for a pretty exciting read.
–Dawn,  Public Services Manager, Warrenton central library 

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions?  Stop by the reference desk at your local library. Additional staff picks and book club roundups are available online. You can also check out the list of titles being read and discussed by our book clubs for ideas and inspiration.

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Reading Roundup: Bealeton Book Club Reads The Mayor of Casterbridge

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The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy was the Bealeton Book Club’s classic title pick this year.Mayor of Casterbridge book cover

Michael Henchard is out of work and gets drunk at a local fair. He sells his wife, Susan and baby daughter, Elizabeth Jane to a sailor for five guineas. He guiltily vows not to drink for 21 years. Years later his wife comes to Casterbridge, where he is wealthy and respected and has the position of mayor. Henchard makes various attempts to atone for his sins but he continues to make impulsive and bad decisions both in work and relationships. His will and final decree is especially poignant:

“That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death,
or made to grieve on account of me.

& that I be not bury’d in consecrated ground.
& that no sexton be asked to toll the bell.
& that nobody is wished to see my dead body.
& that no murners walk behind me at my funeral.
& that no flours be planted on my grave.
& that no man remember me.
To this I put my name” – MICHAEL HENCHARD

Some members of the Bealeton Book Club read this novel, which was published in 1886. The prose can be difficult to understand, especially Hardy’s use of colloquial and cultural terms. Some members were disenchanted by its dark and gloomy storyline, while others enjoyed discussing the moral dilemmas presented by the story. Thomas Hardy’s works are definitely not light reading. He calls Michael Henchard a “man of character” but it is difficult to like his character for the majority of the book. Michael Henchard eventually finds a small bit of redemption, but only after much rejection, heartache, and loss.

Suggested Titles:
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor Casterbridge (DVD) – this 2003 adaptation, starring Ciarán Hinds, is excellent, true to the book, and easier to understand.
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Silas Marner  by George Eliot
Tess of the Durbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Bealeton Book Clubs meet once per month. If you would like to join us, please check our schedule for dates, times, and reading selections.
Bealeton Evening Book Club,  Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Bealeton Afternoon Book Club, Thursday 2:30 p.m.

Happy Reading!

Mary Sue, Adult Reference, Bealeton branch library

Keep up-to-date on library news and events! Subscribe to bookmarks, our monthly eNewsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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Reading Riot: Tuesdays are for Teens!

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Tuesdays are for teens this summer! All programs for 6th grade and up meet on Tuesdays at all three branches.

The Summer Reading Program started with a bang as the Culpeper Robotics team demo’ed their cool Robotics Demonstration‘bots. If you missed the presentations at Bealeton and Warrenton, you can still catch the action when these talented teens come to the John Marshall library Tuesday, July 14 at 6 p.m.

Be Your Own Hero: Learn the Art of Self-Defense

It’s not too late today to learn self-defense and personal safety from martial arts coach Chris Manuel. Wear comfortable clothes and come prepared for a great workout!

Tuesday, June 23
Bealeton          3 p.m.
Warrenton      5 p.m.
Marshall          7 p.m.

Babysitting Safety and First Aid Workshop

Be the neighborhood babysitting hero! Learn to care for infants and toddlers, respond to choking, apply chest compression, and more. Mannequins and infant dolls will be provided for students to practice on. Sign up today. Class is limited to 12 participants at each location. Call (540) 422-8500.

Tuesday, June 30
Bealeton          4 p.m.
Warrenton      6 p.m.

Tuesday, July 7
Marshall          6 p.m.

Hands-On Fun

If you like making things by hand, come learn origami and finger knitting. We even offer a workshop on how to make your own natural skin care products – Unmask Your Natural Awesomeness! Learn how to make skin cleansers, toners and body scrubs. Bottle your own concoctions for personal use or give them as gifts.

Tuesday, July 28
Bealeton: 4 p.m.
Warrenton and Marshall: 6 p.m.

I hope you’re still reading, writing books reviews and entering to win weekly prizes.

Good luck!

Ann McDuffie, Youth Services, Bealeton branch library

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June is Audiobook Month

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Audiobook month is commemorated each June. There was a time, not so long ago, when audiobook selection of books with headphones surrounding themusers were the exception, the brave few who forged into the new format. However, more and more, patrons are listening to books. In fact, over 27,000 books on CD and e-audio books circulated in FY 2014 alone. To meet the growing demand, electronic resources are the fastest growing area of our collection.

Give It a Try

June really is the perfect time to try an audiobook. They are great to listen to during your daily commute or on a road trip. If you are spending more time outside than in a car, consider adding an audiobook to your gardening routine or while exercising. I’m planning to listen to a good book on my next beach vacation – and avoid the worry about getting the pages wet or sandy.

In addition to high demand best sellers, popular fiction and mystery series, the adult collection has a variety of subjects in Books on Cd format, such as biography, history, philosophy, science, poetry, humor and foreign languages (including Arabic, German and Spanish, to name a few).

Family ListeningAudiobooks on Family Road Trip

Audiobooks aren’t just for adults. They are also great for family listening on the road this summer–they can keep everyone in the car entertained and put an end to the “are we there yet blues.”

Literacy and Learning

Audiobooks are also a fun way to expand  learning and literacy. Listening to audiobooks helps children build better vocabularies and also read with better expression.  The children’s department has a great selection of book with CD kits so that early readers can both listen to the story and read along with the CD.  Ask the children’s staff about their location at each branch.

Look in the library’s catalog for books on CD or audiobooks available through One-Click Digital and Overdrive. Narrow your search by selecting “audio visual” format, or use the advanced search option.

Happy Listening!

Lisa, Warrenton central library 

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Kiddosphere: Dad Reads

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I have a very critical eye when it comes to books about fathers. Books that feature a father character as a dumb overgrown child get on my last nerve. If you’re tired of stories that feature incapable dads, take home these books during your next visit to the library:

A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams book cover

A Beach Tail is frequently checked out during the summer, as you can imagine! This sweet picture book not only highlights a fine father-son bond, but it also celebrates the importance of imaginative play.

Nancy Tafuri’s books are perfect reads for very young children; her picture books are staples in my Baby Steps story time (at the Warrenton library every Monday at 10:30!). Daddy Hugs is a gorgeous and adorable read about animal daddies.

Allen Say has had a long and distinguished career as a children’s author-illustrator; he often draws upon his Japanese-American heritage for his stories, as he does in The Favorite Daughter. As a blond biracial (Caucasian and Japanese) child with a distinctly Japanese name, daughter Yuriko often received stares and comments during her childhood. Not wanting to draw that much unwanted attention (as many children would), Yuriko attempted to retreat from her Japanese name and heritage. Her father’s loving and gentle guidance led her to be proud of her unique heritage, as chronicled in this sensitive and sophisticated picture book (which ends with photographs of a young adult Yuriko visiting Japan).

Fortunately, The Milk is a rarity in science fiction: it’s short and funny! While on a trip to the store to pick up milk for his family, a father is abducted by aliens (or, so he tells his captivated children). This would be a great family read aloud!

Papa and Me is a deceptively simple story about a young Latino boy and his father. Papa only speaks Spanish, but he and his son share a deep bond. It’s a true reflection of many young bilingual children’s experiences.

Surfer Chick by Kristy Dempsey. Illustrated by Henry Cole book cover

Surfer Chick is hilarious and adorable; it also has a darling father-daughter story AND features a girl surfer (yes, she’s a chicken, but that makes it even funnier).

Attending the Father’s Day car show in downtown Warrenton? Take a break from the heat and enjoy our Dudes and Donuts program at the Warrenton library from 1-4 on June 21. Make a craft for dad, build with LEGOs and enjoy some refreshments!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

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Reading Roundup: The Country Husband and The Ledge

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The Great Books Discussion Group has had some thought-provoking and insightful discussions. If you enjoy great reads and like to share your ideas with other avid readers, this group may be for you. New members always welcome!

The Country Husband” by John Cheever

In a series of events that begins with the crash landing of a passenger jet on which he is riding, Mr. Weed’s mind and body begin to emerge from an atrophied state.  His memory is jolted and begins to rejuvenate.  As his memory returns, so does his desire.  Such memory and desire seem to have no place in his suburban world and Mr. Weed comes to feel that he is both in danger and dangerous.  The group discussed Mr. Weed’s trajectory toward becoming too large for his world and toward his discovery that the world he thought he knew has greater depth than he had given it credit for. old_books

 “The Ledge” by Lawrence Sargent Hall  

This story of a duck hunting trip on a cold Christmas day did not disappoint, as we had some interesting discussion.  Two teenage boys with new rifles are excited to be going on the hunt.  Their guide, “the fisherman,” father and uncle to the boys, is an accomplished hunter who knows the waters well.  A relationship between the man and the boys emerges that is complicated and deeper than it appears.  You’ll find yourself understanding and at the same time wondering what the author means when he says that the boy “did for the fisherman the greatest thing that can be done.”

Upcoming selection

July 6 at 7 p.m.- Looking for Mr. Green by Saul Bellow

The Great Books Discussion Group meets the first Monday of each month (unless Monday is a holiday) at 7 p.m. at the Warrenton central library.

Jeanne, Warrenton Great Books leader

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Reel Life: Parent/Teen Relationships Through Six Decades of Film

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How well do movies portray the sometimes complicated relationships between parents and teenagers?

Join Kevin Mettinger, MFA, for an opportunity to watch and discuss this topic at the Fauquier County Public Library’s summer film festival, Reel Life: Parent/Teen Relationships Through Six Decades of Film, beginning Friday, June 19.   Showtime is 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at the Warrenton central library.

Bring your own chair (BYOC); we will have the popcorn hot and ready for you to enjoy!

Titles, Dates and Times
(Note the July 24 and July 31 movies have been cancelled)

Friday, June 19
Rebel Without a Cause © Warner Brothers
Rated PG-13

Friday, June 26
Parent Trap © Walt Disney Pictures
Rated G

Friday, July 10
Freaky Friday © Walt Disney Pictures
Rated G

Friday, July 17
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off © Paramount Pictures
Rated PG-13

Friday, July 24 – Cancelled 
10 Things I Hate About You © Walt Disney Pictures
Rated PG-13

Friday, July 31 – Cancelled
Juno © Fox Searchlight
Rated PG-13

A life-long resident of Fauquier County, Kevin brings over 20 years experience in film and speech communication to the discussions.  He holds his MFA in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and has served as an adjunct professor at both Lord Fairfax Community College and VCU prior to his 11 years as the director of theater and film analysis instructor at Fauquier High School.   Kevin’s favorite film is “Bringing Up Baby” (1939) starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

This program, like many library events, is sponsored by Friends of the Fauquier Library.

Hope to see you at the movies.

Keep up-to-date on library news and events! Subscribe to bookmarks, our monthly eNewsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

–Dawn, Warrenton central library




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Staff Picks: Trail Tales

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Before Bill Bryson took a Walk in the Woods, before Cheryl Strayed went Wild and before Oprah and Gayle Went to Yosemite there was a little old lady in sneakers who thru- hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT).

grandma gatewoodGrandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail tells this semi-forgotten, remarkable story of a 67-year old grandmother of 11 children and 23 grandchildren who decided  one day she had enough of a difficult home situation and took off from Ohio to hike the AT. In 1955, she used no modern camping/hiking equipment, no special hiking boots, just tennis shoes, a flash light, some provisions and a few other items. A documentary is being made about her life and her influence to preserve and promote the AT.

Other  trail tales include:

Blind Courage by Bill Irwin

A faith-filled,  incredible true story of a blind man and his dog, Orient, who thru-hiked the trail in 1990.

In Beauty May She Walk

At the age of 60, Leslie Mass decided to finally head out to do what she had long dreamed of: hike the entire AT.

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail  by David Miller

He also has a companion SectionHiker website chock full of information and advice for preparing to hike.

For an overview of the history and development of the AT, with lots of photos, there’s The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail published to celebrate the trail’s 75th anniversary.

In addition, the library has a number of books about specific segments, sections of the AT listed in the catalog under:

Appalachian Trail – guidebooks

If you just want to start in Virginia, check under: Hiking – Virginia

Looking for a good book Check out our Staff Picks and Book Club Recommendations. And don’t forget, to stop by any library location and get your Beach Read Bingo game card during our 2015 adult summer reading program. The more you read (and the more cards you turn in) the better your chances of winning our grand prize – a Kindle Fire!

Happy trails (and tales).

Fran, Tech Services, Warrenton central library

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