Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder Has A New Book Out?

Hold that mail buggy! The woman who died in 1957 has a new book? Well, yes indeed, she does! That is, if "new" means previously unpublished.

The South Dakota Historical Society Press recently put out Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, Wilder's autobiography that has been languishing on some archive's shelf since the 1930s. Judging by the fact that the book has been sold out for weeks on Amazon, Wilder still captures the American imagination. If you're anything like me, you know all her books nearly by heart and consider them a formative component of your childhood and young adulthood. (Sidenote: I have lobbied unsuccessfully for years to name a dog Almanzo.) 

This armful of a book gives more information than you ever thought you wanted to know about Wilder's life and her progression as a writer. There has long been a rumor floating about that Wilder's daughter, the then-famous writer Rose Wilder Lane, actually did most of the writing in the Little House books. Pioneer Girl effectively disproves this notion, demonstrating that while Lane contributed significantly to the books' creation by acting as her mother's editor and primary sounding board, the work belongs to Wilder. Really, if anything, Lane can be accused of recycling her mother's stories in some of her successful novels (e.g., The Young Pioneers).

While the actual text of Pioneer Girl offers only a rough sketch of Wilder's youth (albeit with the inclusion of some very adult situations), the annotations fill in many gaps and round out the life in letters of one of our most beloved literary voices. Give it a shot, if you're able to carry it out of the library!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A fun and intriguing new scifi book from John Scalzi

John Scalzi’s newest novel, Lock In, seizes on the common science fiction premise of a mass epidemic and shows that there are far more nuanced and interesting places to go with that than the usual apocalypse or outbreak of zombie-ism.

Rookie FBI Agent Shane has grown up as the poster child for Hadens, who are those afflicted with locked-in syndrome as a result of that epidemic. Hadens cannot access their voluntary nervous systems, and would spend their lives trapped in uncommunicative, unmoving bodies were it not for the outpouring of technological developments in the wake of the disease. Shane’s rich and influential parents had the intent and the means to publicly normalize their son’s use of the new technologies, which allow him to navigate the physical world by means of a mentally controlled android.

The androids have been made accessible to all Hadens through government subsidy and have had a divisive effect on society. A vocal and growing minority is resentful of Hadens, feeling that they receive special rights and treatment. And a faction of the Hadens, some of whom have been locked-in since early childhood or even birth, are resentful of all the effort being poured into finding a “cure,” and of being considered victims, when they are perfectly happy in their current state.

Shane’s first day on the job coincides with the passage of a law ending government subsidies for the Hadens. A walk out and demonstration cause tensions to rise, leading to attacks on androids. To cap it off, a peculiar murder and a terrorist style bombing, both involving prominent figures in Haden rights and research, ensure that Shane won’t have time to catch up on his paperwork for quite a while.

In Lock In, Scalzi’s writing is masterfully deft and without frills—it’s all about the ideas and the deep exploration of the intersection of his fascinating premise with the vagaries of human nature.

Monday, January 19, 2015

How you can nominate books for 2016 Oregon Readers Choice Awards (ORCA)

The ORCA awards are intended to be a fun and exciting way for Oregon youth in grades 4-12 to become enthusiastic and discriminating readers.  During the month of March, Oregon students will choose their favorite book for 2015 in a real-life democratic process.

It’s time now to nominate titles for the 2016 Oregon Readers Choice Award (ORCA) titles at the ORCA blog. Here is a general timeline of how the process works and what you can do.

Which titles can be nominated? Titles for the 2016 ORCA need a 2013 copyright date. This delay ensures that the title will be readily available in paperback during the voting year. Categories are Upper Elementary (grades 3-5), Middle School (grades 6-8), and High School (grades 9-12).

Who can nominate titles? Oregon students, this is your chance to nominate your favorites. Oregon teachers and librarians are also eligible to nominate titles.

How long is the nomination link open? The link is open from January 1 until February 28, 2015.

What happens next? The nominations are reviewed by a committee of librarians and educators. The committee selects the final titles based upon a number of criteria, including literary quality, creativity, reading enjoyment, reading level, and regional interest.

When are the winners announced? 2016 titles will be announced at the Oregon Library Association Convention in April and then posted on the ORCA website and blog.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Whew! We have been busy! Things have been in a constant state of flux here as our library facelift continues! There is lots more to do, but here are a few shots of the changes.

Ted, the fearless Library Director, dons his trusty bandanna and gets to work moving the music shelves

New public internet computer desks downstairs with Yaquina Bay Bridge dividers
The whole library received a new coat of paint

The YA section has been subdivided into genres to help teens find what they like

Stop by the library to see the changes in person, and tell us what you think!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Poetry Party

Three prize-winning poets will debut their new works at the library on Sunday, January 11, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. The public is invited to meet the poets and hear them read selections from their books. Copies will also be available for sale and signing.

Ruth F. Harrison of Waldport presents among the cat tales, illustrated by Anita Sue Andrews. Of this volume Jean Esteve says, “Real poems! About real cats! . . . a charming litter of rhyme, rhythm and whimsy, . . . gorgeous lines, quiet philosophy of acceptance of life’s uninvited surprises, and the extraordinary insight into the heart of the feline Other . . . clearly the work of a mature and accomplished poet.” Harrison is author of three chapbooks and four poetry collections, including her most recent West of 101 and How Singular and Fine.

Sue Parman of Hillsboro will read from The Carnivorous Gaze, which is, according to Brian Doyle (author of Mink River), “Thorny, witty, braided and woven and webbed, startling; dark and sweet and sad and funny; lines and passages that will haunt you for days; and behind it all a wry sharp intelligence and large open bruised heart. A terrific read.” Parman’s previous collection is The Thin Monster House from Finishing Line.

Sandra Mason of Seal Rock will share work from Lost and Found. Oregon book award finalist Toni Hanner remarks that these poems “display the poet's deep scholarship and her command of formal constraint, while at the same time they sing a wild love song to the body and the world of nature, jazz, lovers and loved ones. Mason's spirituality is woven through this diverse collection, culminating in the lovely, wry 'Taoist' poems. Her humor is never far from the surface in these poems, leading us easily from loss to light and back to inevitable loss. Lost and Found is an impressive collection.” Mason’s collection of poems based on the Chinese masters, Poems Along the Way, was released in 2012.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Newport Library's Annual Magazine Giveaway!!

Newport Library's annual magazine giveaway will take place Thursday, January 8, 2015 between 10 AM and 6 PM in the McEntee meeting room.

This is a great opportunity for crafters, artists, teachers and students to pick up a variety of recent edition titles in a wide variety of topics, from general interest and news magazines, to arts and crafts, gardening and religious titles.

Magazines are available on a first come, first serve basis. And please bring your own bags and/or boxes. There is no limit to the number of magazines you may take.