Friday, May 30, 2014

Science at the Library!

Science is the theme for Summer Reading this year, and there will be programs for all ages to enjoy!

Sign-ups for all programs begin June 1. The Read-To-Me Club is for children ages one to five years old and their families. Small rewards are provided for the children whose families read to them. Toddlertime will continue at the library during the summer, June 3 – August 7. Toddlertime is at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Children ages 6-12 can earn a Fizz! Boom! Read! t-shirt by setting a reading goal for the summer and keeping track of the titles they read. When that goal is reached a t-shirt is awarded. Programs for all ages happen in Literacy Park every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. beginning on June 18 with comedy, juggling and physics from Jugglemaniac Rhys Thomas. Sponsorship for these programs comes from Umpqua Bank, Newport Public Library Foundation, Ross and Janis Neigebauer, Jeannette Hofer, Linda Yapp, an Oregon Legislature Ready-To-Read Grant from the Oregon State Library (including additional funding from the Lincoln County Library District), Sylvia Beach Hotel and La Quinta Inn and Suites.

For our teens, ages 12-18, we have an 8-week Teen Summer Reading Program, Spark A Reaction. Teens sign up starting June 1, and track their reading or volunteer hours weekly. Based on their reading logs and volunteers hours they will receive raffle tickets for weekly prizes. Each month we host a different program, free! All supplies and food and drink are available at the programs. We do ask that interested teens register ahead, as we do often fill up and have a limit of 30-40, depending on the program. On June 19 we kick off the summer with “Catapults and Contraptions." For the month of July our program will involve making mazes and running races for very small robots. We finish up in August with henna artist Lyn Getner and henna designs and instruction for all who sign up.

The Library will also be holding a summer reading program, Literary Elements, just for adults.  (Parents, this is a great opportunity to model positive reading habits to your children!) Stop by the library to sign up and get a reading log. For every book (or ebook or audiobook) you complete, fill out a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of twelve weekly prize drawings. There will be three science-themed evening events for adults. On Tuesday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m., come see The Oregon Fossil Guy, a.k.a., Guy DiTorrice, share his knowledge of the fossils found here on the Oregon Coast. July 26 Randy Reid of the Good Heathens brew club will teach us how to get started on making our very own homebrew. On August 26, sit back and munch on popcorn while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubric’s 1968 classic movie on humanity’s struggle with technology.

Sign-up and schedule information for all programs is available by calling the library, 541-265-2153, or online at

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Turn back that clock!

 My latest favorite health-related book: Lauren Kessler’s Counter Clockwise: my year of hypnosis, hormones, dark chocolate, and other adventures in the world of anti-aging.

 I previously enjoyed and blogged about Kessler’s My Teenage Werewolf (2010,) so I trusted that her writing would be accessible and amusing—and I was not disappointed. And let’s face it, this book is speaking to all of us who are aging--i.e., everyone--, but I may be in the primary demographic. As a woman on the brink of middle age (and the brink, my dears, is wherever I say it is) I can easily relate to Kessler’s point of view—the desire for good health and high energy warring with time pressures, vanity, and skepticism for the products of the anti-aging field, which are often tainted with snake oil and shaky science.

CounterClockwise is a combination of research and self-experimentation, similar to A J Jacobs' Drop Dead Healthy (which I liked very much and blogged about a couple years ago.)  Kessler starts out by trying to determine her “real age,” as determined by the state of her body rather than the calendar. (Want to try it? There are many free online tests. I tried RealAge.) She’s able to get some extensive medical testing done as well to give her a baseline for her health before trying to turn back the clock.

Then she jumps in, learning about many different approaches to prolonging health and wellness. Supplements, cleansing, plastic surgery, electrical fields, Earthing, calorie restriction, raw food diets,
superfoods, hypnosis, hormones, and exercise, exercise, exercise. She interviews experts, reads studies, and determines what seems safe, affordable, and promising before committing herself to it. But commit she does—from what sounds like a very unpleasant and possibly dangerous three week trial of an hCG hormonal regimen, to a fourteen day cleanse, to a month of eating only superfoods. And all the while, ramping up the workouts, because the science on this point, at least, is perfectly clear—exercise will turn back the clock, or at least keep it from ticking so damn fast.

This is an inspiring book for the health conscious, and motivation to become health conscious if you’re not already.  I’ll give away the end—yes, she really does achieve a lower “Real Age” by the end of the year, and if we’re willing to do the work, we probably can, too.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Program!

Why should kids have all the fun? This summer the Newport Library will be holding a summer reading program just for grown-ups! The 2014 theme is “Literary Elements,” recognizing the intersection of literature and science. Beginning June 2nd, stop by the library to sign up and pick up a reading log. For every book (or ebook or audiobook) you finish, fill out a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of twelve weekly prize drawings

Additionally, the library will host three science-themed evening events. On Tuesday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m., come see The Oregon Fossil Guy, a.k.a., Guy DiTorrice, share his knowledge of the fossils found here on the Oregon Coast. July 26 Randy Reid of the Good Heathens brew club will teach us how to get started on making our very own homebrew. On August 26, sit back and munch on popcorn while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubric’s 1968 classic movie on the struggle between technology and humanity. All programs are free of charge. 

Take the opportunity to stimulate your imagination and foster lifelong learning at your local library! For more information, call the library at 541-265-2153 or check our website at 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

“A manʼs character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin. If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldnʼt do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth.”

In 1906, Ralph Moodyʼs family moves from the East Coast to Colorado in the hope that the dry air will heal his fatherʼs lungs. Almost 50 years later, the same Ralph Moody begins an eight-book memoir of his life as a young boy on a high-plains ranch.

Ralphʼs family doesnʼt know the first thing about dry-ranch farming, but with hard work and a lot of help from the neighbors, the Moodyʼs eke out a living. And 8-year old Ralph learns to be quite the cowboy, so much so that he earns the nickname “Little Britches.” He also learns about life and how difficult it can sometimes be.

A “Little House On The Prairie” for older, even adult, readers, “Little Britches” captures both the delight of a young boyʼs Western adventures as well as the personal struggles his family endures. Moodyʼs gift lies in the voice of his younger self, mischievous and child-like but also wise and sympathetic. They donʼt write ʻem like this anymore.

I truly enjoyed “Little Britches” and hope you give it a try. You can reserve it here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

In the Blood by Lisa Unger

Lana is a psychology major at a private liberal arts college in upstate New York. She’s alienated, lonely, and overcoming a past dark with blood and confusing memories. Stabilized by medications and the loving but not entirely welcome ministrations of her aunt, she’s been trying to blend into the real world-- or at least the tiny protected bubble of small town academia that is The Hollows.

Encouraged by Langdon, her advisor, Lana accepts a job caring for a troubled young boy who soon embroils Lana in mind-games that, disturbingly, refer to pieces of Lana’s troubled past. At the same time, Lana’s roommate and best friend, Beck, disappears. Beck has always been a free-spirit, often going off-the-grid for days at a time, so Lana tells herself not to worry. But Beck’s parents don’t feel the same way, and when the police are called in, suspicion falls upon Lana.

Lana flinches from the truth about her past, about herself, and about her relationships, so her narration is unreliable right from the start, but her vulnerability and the predators who seem to circle her make her a sympathetic and fascinating character. In the end, will she be smart enough to put together the clues, and brave enough to face the truth?

Lisa Unger is a New York Times bestselling author who has also written under the name Lisa Miscione.  Her novel In the Blood is a stay-up-all-night thriller that will have you rooting for Lana even as you wonder, “Is there evil in her blood?”

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Historical Fiction: Gruesome Edition

Because I read so much historical fiction, I sometimes stumble across a particular sort of historical fiction that makes certain time periods seem absolutely terrifying and gruesome. Terrifying and gruesome in a wow-I’m-glad-I-didn’t-live-then-but-I-am-really-into-this-story kind of way, that is. Here are three recent reads of mine that totally fit this description. Check them out for some serious armchair time travel and then take a moment (or several) to acknowledge the awesomeness of hot showers, antibiotics, and due process of law.

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
Fair warning: this book opens with a graphic execution. Germany, 1649: Jakob Kuisl is a hangman, like his father before him and his father before him. Feared and scorned by the villagers, they nonetheless demand his help solving a mystery involving an occult symbol, suspected witchcraft, and the murder of outcast children. A fast-paced historical thriller not for the faint of heart!
Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes
Fair warning: this book opens with a fire that kills five young boys.  Based on a vaguely recorded event in England in 1377, this is the story of a small party of fathers traveling to  seek an audience with the king to demand vengeance for their children who died in the blaze. While some of the party believe the blame lies with the often scapegoated Jewish people, Mear knows someone in their midst is guilty, and aims to find out who. But Mear also has dangerous secrets to hide.

Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
Fair warning: this book just plain freaked me out. Set in England during the outbreak of the Black Plague in 1348, this is a loose interpretation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Nine strangers are brought together and together they must outrun the sickness that nips at their heels. It’s not the Plague that cuts down the travelers one by one, though: there is a rottenness spreading from within.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Got a vehicle that needs fixin’?

If you’re into auto repair, we’ve got the database for you. No longer do you need to lug that gigantic Chilton’s Auto Repair Manual to the copy machine*—it’s all online. With a user-friendly interface that allows you to quickly choose the make, model, and year of the vehicle you need information about, Chilton’s has up-to-date schematics and instructions for maintenance and repair, as well as information about recalls. Don’t worry - the database is about a hundred times easier to use than the blasted department store machines that are supposed to help you find the right headlight or oil filter for your car, but instead send you around in circles, turn themselves off, and make you start over! Chilton’s simple menus and one-click printing work even for technophobes.

If you’ve got internet access at home, Chilton’s and the rest of the library databases are there for you 24 hours a day, so your can work on your truck, research refrigerators or practice Italian at midnight if you want! Make sure you have your library barcode number and your 8+ character PIN, then go to and click on databases. Before you click on Chilton’s, why not scroll through the rest of the list? You’ll see Consumer Reports, Mango languages, Learning Express, Novelist, and many other wonderful resources that can be handy on a day to day basis.

You can also access Chilton’s and the other databases from public computers at the library, without a library card. Find the information you need and print it out, it’s only ten cents a page. Leery of using computers? Ask a librarian to help! That’s what we’re here for.

*Note: we do still have quite a few Chilton’s and Mitchell’s manuals in book form, in the reference collection and the circulating collection. Ask a librarian or check our catalog to see if we have the one you need.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ordinary People

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” -  Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

The Newport Public Library will be showing the film Ordinary People on Tuesday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m. This 1980 film is based on the 1976 novel by Judith Guest.

Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore star as Calvin and Beth Jarrett, the upper-middle class parents of Conrad, played by Timothy Hutton.  Beneath their manicured, perfect veneer, the family disintegrates in the wake of tragedy.  Their eldest son has died in a boating accident, and Conrad, who blames himself for his brother's death, attempts suicide.

Mary Tyler Moore excels as the outwardly cheerful and charitable, but inwardly cold and sterile mother.  Donald Sutherland's character is awkward and confused, doing his best to hold his damaged family together.  Timothy Hutton's Conrad is tortured, full of doubt and low self-esteem, but does find hope with the support of his father, his psychiatrist (Judd Hirsch), and two girls he befriends.

The film marked the directorial debut of Robert Redford, who won an Academy Award for Best Director. Other Academy Award wins include Best Supporting Actor (Timothy Hutton), Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

This movie will be shown at no charge in the McEntee Meeting Room of the library.  As always, free popcorn will be available!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Local Artist Donates Art Books

The library recently received a very generous donation of art books from the estate of Newport artist David Gilhooly. Gilhooly was a renowned ceramicist famous for his sculptures of animals and food. In the late 1960’s, Gilhooly helped create the counterculture California Funk Ceramic Movement, which incorporated elements of humor, irony, and wit into ceramic sculpture. While teaching at the University of Saskatchewan Regina, he focused on what he called FrogWorld, a series of frogs representing famous historical figures that became his most well-known work. He passed away in August 2013. His wife, Camille Chang, is quoted by the Sacramento Bee as saying, "He just wanted to work and work and evolve as an artist. He wanted to live as many lifetimes in this lifetime as he could."

Below is a list of Gilhooly's books that are now part of our collection. In bold are books that include his work. 

Abstract painting and sculpture in America, 1927-1944 
Arcimboldo the Marvelous
Arthur Dove and Duncan Phillips, artist and patron 
Braque / Serge Fauchereau   
Breath of heaven, breath of earth : ancient near eastern art from American collections
Charles Sheeler : paintings and drawings 
Claes Oldenburg : drawings and prints 
Ceramic sculpture : six artists
Collage, assemblage, and the found object
Dada and Surrealist art 
David Gilhooly
Dorothea Tanning 
Duchamp & co. 
Fernand Leger, 1911-1924 : the rhythm of modern life 
Giovanni Battista Piranesi : the complete etchings
Jess, a grand collage, 1951-1993
Jim Dine : five themes 
Juan Gris 
Kandinsky and der Blaue Reiter 
Max Ernst collages : the invention of the surrealist universe 
Meret Oppenheim : defiance in the face of freedom 
N. C. Wyeth : the collected paintings, illustrations, and murals
Otto Dix 1891-1969 : I'll either be famous or infamous.
Perpetual motif : the art of Man Ray
Pieter Bruegel the Elder 
Precisionism in America, 1915-1941 : reordering reality.
Propaganda & dreams : photographing the 1930s in the USSR and the US 
Rene Magritte, 1898-1967 
Robes of splendor : Native American painted buffalo hides 
Secret knowledge : rediscovering the last techniques of the old masters
The complete works of Marcel Duchamp 
The legacy : tradition and innovation in Northwest Coast Indian art
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection 
Torment in art : pain, violence, and martyrdom
Transient poet : William Allan retrospective
William T. Wiley : selections from two exhibitions.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Naturalists At Sea by Glyn Williams

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, English, French, Spanish, Dutch and even Russian naval vessels ventured into what was then the uncharted waters of the Pacific Ocean looking for peoples and commodities to exploit. Shortly after these expeditions began, naturalists, or “experimental gentlemen” in the language of the day, accompanied these voyages to collect, catalogue and preserve whatever they found. 

With Naturalists At Sea, English historian Glyn WIlliams takes readers on an entertaining voyage with men (and one or two women disguised as men) who lived and died in the interests of furthering our knowledge of the natural world. We meet William Dampier, one of the very first experimental gentlemen, who hitched rides with pirates across the Caribbean and East Indies. While his bucaneering patrons were out raiding and pillaging, Dampier headed off into the jungle collecting hitherto unknown plant and animal species. Upon his return to England in 1691, Dampier’s multi-volume account of his adventures was an immediate best-seller and fired the imaginations of subsequent voyagers.

Shipwrecked during an ill-fated Russian voyage across the North Pacific in 1740, German scientist Georg Stellar tried to persuade his ship’s company to avoid scurvy by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. The crew spurned his pleas and most of them died, including the ship’s captain, Vtius Bering, who asked to be buried alive on a frozen Siberian beach so that he would no longer suffer from the intense cold.

More successful were the three voyages of Captain James Cook and the host of naturalists who accompanied him between 1766 and 1799. Living in cramped conditions with hundreds of unwashed men aboard vermin-infested ships must have tried the patience of even the most even-tempered of men. Yet even Cook, upon preparing to set sail on his final voyage, was heard to complain: “Curse scientists and all science into the bargain.”

In Naturalists At Sea, Glyn Williams brings to life the harrowing adventures of these brave and curious scientists. And I couldn’t help but enjoy their stories even more from the plushy comfort of my couch, a mug of tea steaming on the table next to me.

You can reserve Naturalists At Sea here

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hearing wolves

The howling of a wolf-pack is a sound I’ve always wanted to hear. As a youngster, I read Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat’s fictionalized account of his encounters with wolves in the Canadian sub-Arctic. After that book I spent a summer listening for wolves in the mountains to no avail. After all, the last wolves in the Coast Range were seen in the early 1900’s, long before my time. But there is hope for me yet. Wolves in the Land of Salmon by David Moskowitz chronicles his journeys throughout the Pacific Northwest. He tracks the wolf-packs who are reestablishing themselves in our mountains and observes what happens when wolves return to the landscape. His writing matches the grace of the animals he observes, bringing to life the wild that surrounds us.

Moskowitz explores the impact of large predators such as bears, cougars and wolves on their habitat and on their prey. Taking his reader from the Imnaha Pack in far northeastern Oregon to the ocean swimming wolves on Vancouver Island to the Lookout Pack in the north Washington Cascades, he explores their hunting patterns, denning locations, social interactions and the threats they face from two-legged predators. At the same time, he provides excellent information about the wolves’ prey animals and how they benefit from being a favorite wolf dinner. Filled with up close photography of these icons of the wilderness, this is a book to savor.