Text Version      
Montgomery County Seal Montgomery County Seal
Home | Translate   Montgomery County Seal
Citizens ButtonGovernment ButtonBusinesses ButtonCulture & Leisure Button
Montgomery County Public Libraries

Contact Us | Home

catalog   MCPL webpages  

Weekly Shhhout-Out

Roaming librarians file dispatches from the world of information.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ready, Set, GO! To the Festival...

May is jam-packed with festivals and outdoor events for the whole family.
The first full weekend in May is the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival in nearby Howard County.

My husband calls this “The best free show in the state of Maryland”, and he doesn’t even particularly like sheep! Their web page gives you an idea of what's going on, but you may want to read
Wool by Annabelle Dixon to the children before setting out. Or Judith MacKenzie's Intentional Spinner for an adult's eye view of the process.

Why don't you check out the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival  on the following weekend?
All kinds of art and fine crafts will be on display and for sale, as well as free entertainment. Does it make you want to try your hand at making art? Read David Sammiguel's Complete Guide...or try ArtStarts with your children.

For the third weekend, you don't need to go far. Gaithersburg is hosting its second annual Book Festival http://www.gaithersburgbookfestival.org/ with authors and activities for all.
How about making a book of your own?

If you are an author in search of a publisher, the 808 location in our reference collections hold lots of ‘Writer’s Market’ –type guides. They will tell you how and where to find a publisher, editor or agent.
But what about actually making your own book? Shades of Inkheart! Try McCarthy's Making Books by Hand .

Or, for a look into the actual mind (or brain) of a writer, examine Alice Flaherty’s The Midnight Disease  for a look at the process of writing (or not) as viewed by a neurologist.

You can make books with the kids, too. Susan Kapuchinski Gaylord teaches book arts for children and shares her wealth of knowledge through text, pictures and video. http://www.makingbooks.com/freeprojects.shtml

Or read together:
The young author’s do-it-yourself book by Guthrie, Bentley & Arnsteen Or Making Books that fly, fold, wrap, hide, pop up, twist and turn by Gwen Diehn; two great viewpoints on what it takes to 'make a book'.

The last weekend in May is Memorial Day, of course. Since we have three days, why not go a bit farther afield? Chestertown, just across the Bay, commemorates and re-enacts a great moment in Maryland’s Colonial era – The Chester Town Tea Party. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chestertown_Tea_Party

  Every year on this weekend Chestertown hosts thousands of visitors to   stroll, eat, drink and cheer. There are races to view or enter (including a raft race!) crafts to buy and a re-enactment of a famous ‘tea party’ that may or may not have happened in 1774.


 For more great astonishing information about America in its infancy, check out the Library of Congress.

Phew! Festivals can be exhausting! Gotta rest up before I start my Summer Reading!

Jan D.

CATEGORIES: Books , History , Hobbies , Local Events , Holidays , Travel , Writing , Art , Writers
POSTED: 10:00:00 AM |

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gaithersburg's Spring Book Festival

A gazebo, similar to the one in Gaithersburg.Each fall booklovers flock to the National Book Festival on the Mall. The September event is an opportunity to hear authors and illustrators speak about their work, have children meet favorite storybook characters, and explore genre fiction.  This year the event will take place on the National Mall on September 24 and 25, 2011. Here in Montgomery County, booklovers are very fortuate.  They can have an early dose of bookfair festivities at the May 21 Gaithersburg Book Festival, "A celebration of books, writers and literary excellence."

In its second year, the Festival features talks and book signings by authors, writing workshops, a coffee house with singers and poets/songwriters, a Children's Village and a panel discussion about the future of the written word. Take a look at the festival program to decide how you want to spend your Festival Day on the grounds of the Gaithersburg City Hall. It's a perfect time for kids, 'teens and grown-ups to make a summer reading plan or gather suggestions for a new or ongoing book group.

To get ready for the Festival, look at the photos and videos from last year or read an entry from this year's short story contest for high school students.  MCPL can help booklovers prepare for the Festival, too.  The Reader's Cafe page can help you decide which authos's presentations you may want to attend. Read or listen to a book by one of the featured authors. This year's featured authors include novelists, Elizabeth Berg,  Thomas Kaufman, Rita Mae Brown and Stephen Hunter.  Share a book or audio book with a child. Children's authors will include Mary Downing Hahn, Kathryn Erskine and Mary Amato.

Book cover: Dead Zero by Stephen Hunter. Cover of Mary Amato's Edgar Allan's Office Crime Notebook.Cover of Erskine's MockingbirdCover picture of Elizabeth Berg's

A volunteer committee plans and organizes the festival. Sponsors include our own Friends of the Library, Montgomery County Maryland, Inc., the Maryland State Arts Council, the Writer's Center, the City of Gaithersburg,  local radio stations and retailers.

Grab your sunscreen, a pen for autographs and get ready to collect ideas for summer reading!!

Barbara's avatarBarbara M.

CATEGORIES: Barbara M. , Children's Books , Family , Local Events , Summer Reading
POSTED: 12:24:00 AM |

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Still Waiting?


The budget picture for libraries has not brightened much in the thirteen weeks since I wrote the first part of my blog about bestsellers of the past century. MCPL has been able to order some more of our leased McExpress titles, which makes it more likely avid readers be able to snag a coveted title without waiting 3 months.baker and taylor The McExpress books are extra copies of bestsellers that MCPL rents to fill out the new collection – you borrow them just like the regular new books, and they go out for three weeks (no renewal). McExpress books can be identified by the bright red sticker on the spine that reads "B&T". You’ll find them in the new book section of any MCPL library.

The library still has a wealth of titles that you might have missed on their trip to the bestseller lists of the past decades, though, and we’ll finish up the century in this post.

valleyThe Sixties were a time of huge social change, which impacted the top bestsellers of that tumultuous decade. American attitudes toward sex were becoming more relaxed, and this is reflected in the some of the top selling books of that decade, which were decidedly more racy than the bestsellers of the first part of century. 1966’s top book was Jacqueline Susann’s "Valley of the Dolls", the story of three women’s drug and sex fueled show business careers. The decade ended with "Portnoy’s Complaint", Phillip Roths’ controversial (for the time) exploration of a young Jewish bachelor’s sexual desire and frustration – the bestselling novel of 1969.

seagullOne of the top books of the "Me Decade", as the Seventies are known, was Richard Bach’s "Jonathan Livingston Seagull". This is a slim little fable of a young seagull's quest for self perfection, and his ascendance to a higher seagull plane of existence after long study and work. This book topped the list in both 1972 and 1973 – read into that what you will. Contrast that title with these top titles of the rest of the decade – lengthy sagas all – Michener’s "Centennial" (1974) and "Chesapeake" (1977) and Leon Uris's "Trinity" (1976).

itStephen King first hit the yearly top ten in 1979, but the Eighties were his decade. He had at least one and sometimes two books make the top ten each year with the exception of 1988. In 1986 Tommyknockers was the number one bestseller, and in 1987 the novel that brought to life every small child’s clown nightmares, "It", hit the top. Tom Clancy also made the list for the first time this decade, and finished it out with the number ones for 1988 and 1989, respectively "Cardinal of the Kremlin" and "Clear and Present Danger".

grishamClancy and King were still hot authors during the 90’s but that decade’s bestseller lists belonged to legal thrillers from the pen of John Grisham. Grisham’s first appearance on the yearly top ten was in 1991, when The Firm reached # 7. He had the number two slot in ’92 and ’93, and then an amazing string of #1 bestsellers from 1994 to 1999. You can pick up pretty much any John Grisham title and be assured of a good read.

Weleonardo’ll finish up with the 2000s. You might be thinking that this decade was all about a certain boy wizard and his various adventures against You Know Who, but Publisher’s Weekly does not include books in series in their yearly top ten. Or, possibly you were expecting star-crossed vampires and werewolves, but PW classed those as children’s books. (Ahem!) Once again, John Grisham came out on top several years in this decade, but the big hit was Dan Brown’s story of ecclesiastical skullduggery, cryptography and secret societies – "The Da Vinci Code". "The Da Vinci Code" was number 1 in 2003 and 2004, and slipped down to just number 2 in 2005.


Hopefully you've found something to enjoy in our wayback machine trip through the 20th century.  If not, ask any of our friendly staff of librarians for a recommendation.  We'll be glad to help!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketanita

CATEGORIES: Books , Libraries , Anita V.
POSTED: 12:05:00 AM |
Montgomery County Public Libraries
Montgomery County Public Libraries

Library Policies | Friends of the Library | Library Board | Library Jobs | Contact Us

Last edited: 11/6/2007