Monday, September 29, 2008

This Week at Watha T. Sep. 29 - Oct. 5

Good Morning Neighbors!

Happy banned books week to everyone!

We've got a TON going on this week. Unlike the usual weekly post this one will be annotated for new programs.

Monday, Sep. 29

3:30-5:30: Homework Help from Capitol Letters Writing Center

Free homework tutoring open to students pre-k through high school. Snacks provided.

Tuesday, Sep. 30

10:00 a.m.: Rock Along with Casey

Wednesday, Oct. 1

10:00 a.m.: Story Time for 3-5 year olds
6:00 p.m.: Youth Chess Club
7:00 p.m.: Non-Drive-In Movie Festival: Grease Sing-Along

WTD Non-Drive In Movies: Every wednesday at sundown we will be screening a
different film outside, on the sidewalk beside Watha T. These performances are
free and open to everyone. A limited amount of popcorn will be provided for free.

Thursday, Oct. 2

9:45 a.m.: Mother Goose on the Loose for Infants and Toddlers

Friday, Oct. 3

3:30 p.m.: Anime Club presents: Naruto Legend of the Stone of Gelel

Saturday, October 4

10:00 a.m.: Preschool Breakfast Club
The Preschool Breakfast Club is an 8 week program for children ages 3-5 and
their caregivers that combines story time and craft
activities to encourage a love of reading and help prepare children for
interaction outside the home. Breakfast is provided for parents and
children. At the final session of the Breakfast Club the
children will receive a package containing selected books from those read
over the course of the program. Participation in the Breakfast Club is
limited to 15 children. Pre-registration is required.
1:00 p.m.: Fall and Winter Energy Savings
Learn how to save some money on your winter heating bill with help from the
pros at the DC Department of Energy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Comics For Adults

I'm sure you're all aware that we've got Spider-Man and Batman, but what about stuff for adults? Here are a few phenomenal titles in our collection for mature readers.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Labeling Fun Home as "A Family Tragi-Comic" is completely appropriate. This memoir is a detailed examination of Bechdel's life, her growing up, her awakening to her own sexuality, and the revelation about her father's secret life as a closeted homosexual. Awkward, funny, literate, touching, and absolutely brilliant. Everyone should read this book. And if my enthusiasm for the book isn't reason enough it's also won a TON of awards.

Me and the Devil Blues by Akira Hiramoto

King of the Blues, Robert Johnson, is a shadowy figure in music history. Not much is known about his life, and very few pictures of him even exist. But the legends surrounding him are vast. Hiramoto's work draws on those legends and turns them into a fantastic, dark narrative about a man who made a deal with the devil and became one of the most influential figures in music history. A whopping tome, about three times the size of your average manga, it actually took me two days to read it. But I was engrossed in it utterly. And this is only volume 1!

Good-Bye by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Tatsumi's work helped to create a different strain of comics in Japan known at "Gekiga." "Gekiga," a phrase coined by Tatsumi, means "dramatic pictures." This is in reaction to the phrase coined by Hokusai "manga," "amusing pictures." Tatsumi's work is challenging. He deals with people and situations that are uncomfortable and compromising. Many of the characters are older men who have lost their sexual prowess, their jobs, their will to live... I would compare Tatsumi's work to the films of Todd Solondz like "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Happiness," where the characters are deeply flawed, outcasts, living lives frought with contemplation of their loneliness and despair. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Sci-fi Review - Pandemonium

Daryl Gregory's debut novel, Pandemonium, is a fantastic mash-up of classic high-concept science fiction and pop-culture satire. By turns comic and introspective (and often both at once), the story explores the collective unconscious and the nature of the relationship between archetypes and the cultures that create them. Gregory's writing style is refreshingly current, witty and self-aware. He not only acknowledges, but includes his influences in the text itself, folding pioneers of speculative fiction like Philip K. Dick and A. E. Van Vogt into the story itself. The result is as unique as it is well-crafted.

The story takes place in a world suspiciously similar to our own, with one glaring difference - since the 1940's, people across the world have become victims of demonic possession. Innocent men, women and children are taken seemingly at random by a series of entities known only by their implacable actions and obsessions; the Truth stalks and kills liars, the Little Angel (always a little girl) walks the halls of hospitals, dispensing death with a kiss. Theories abound about what the demons really are, what they represent, and how best to deal with them.

Del Pierce was a boy when he was taken by the Hellion, an entity with a lethal case of ADHD. With love and patience, his family drove the demon out. Now it's back, and as an adult Del must search for a way to stop the demon before it takes complete control. With the help of an angry Irish nun, a Creature from a Black Lagoon and a pair of aging Jungian psychotherapists, Del goes on a quest both literally and figuratively to find a cure. Along the way he will find the source of himself and his demon counterpart, and be surprised by both.

Pandemonium makes a lot of unspoken promises. By incurring the name of Philip K. Dick (indeed, by making him a character), it is expected that this novel will test our basic assumptions about life and identity. It is also expected that we will find something new in its pages, and be kept guessing until the very end. Finally, with all of the pop-culture references, there ought to be some fresh reflections about the world we live in. Daryl Gregory delivers on all of these points, and the result is a highly pleasurable experience.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Banned Books Week

Books every year are banned from libraries all over the country. Sex and sexuality, profanity, drugs and racism are the most common causes a book is challenged and sometimes even banned. The American Library Association states on there website, "BBW (Banned Book Week) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met." This year Banned Books Week is September 27th to October 4th. Here at the Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library, we are celebrating banned book week by showing How to Eat Fried Worms on Monday night September 29th at 6:00 pm. On Thursday October 2nd we will have a Freadom Book Club! Read any banned or challenged book, then come to discuss it. Check out the Banned Book site for more information and stay tuned for more Banned Book events!

This Week at Watha T. Sep. 22 - Sep. 28

Good Morning Neighbors!

Here's what we've got in store for you this week at Watha T.

Monday, 9/22

3:30-5:30: Homework Help from Capitol Letters Writing Center

Tuesday, 9/23

10:00: Rock Along with Casey

Wednesday, 9/24

10:00: Story Time for 3-5 year olds with Miss Tracy
6:00: Youth Chess Club
6:00: Classic Film Series - Citizen Kane
7:30: Open Knitting Group

Thursday, 9/25

9:45: Mother Goose on the Loose for Infants and Toddlers

Saturday, 9/27

Monday, September 15, 2008

This Week at Watha T. Sep. 15 - Sep 21

Good Morning Neighbors!

Here's the scoop on what's happening this week at Watha. T.

Monday, Sep. 15

3:30-5:30 - Capitol Letters Homework Help

Tuesday, Sep. 16

10:00 a.m. - Rock Along with Casey

Wednesday, Sep. 17

10:00 a.m. - Story Time for 3-5 year olds with Miss Tracy
6:00 p.m. - Youth Chess Club
7:00 p.m. - Adult Book Discussion Group - Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara

Thursday, Sep. 18

9:45 a.m. - Mother Goose on the Loose for infants and toddlers
4:00 p.m. - Teen "Any Book" Book Club

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hi! I'm Nick.

Hello. My name is Nick, and I just started here at Watha T. Daniel.

I'm a writer in my spare time, and my work has appeared onstage in Buffalo, NY (where I'm from), as well as in the TCC Channelmarker in Norfolk, VA (where I went to school). Here, I'll mostly be posting reviews of some of my favorite books and movies in our collection. My favorite genre is horror, though I also have a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy.

I look forward to working with all the great people who are already here, and to meeting all of you.

This Week at Watha T. Sep. 8 - Sep. 14

Good Morning Neighbors!

Here's what we've got going on this week at Watha T.

Tuesday, Sep. 9

10:00 a.m. - Rock Along with Casey

Wednesday, Sep. 10

10:00 a.m. - Story Time for 3-5 year olds with Miss Tracy

6:00 p.m. - Youth Chess Club

7:30 p.m. - Open Knitting Group

Thursday, Sep. 11

9:45 a.m. - Mother Goose on the Loose for infants and toddlers

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Books With Bite

The other night I was watching a movie, Drillbit Taylor. The movie stars Owen Wilson, who plays a bum hired by three wimpy teens to be there bodyguard and protect them from school bullies. I was watching these boys enter their new high school on and there on the wall was Teens Read Week and National Library Week posters. It is great to see the libraries and reading promoted in such a great way. I want people to know that Teen Read Week and National Library Week do not happen at the same time, in fact there is about six months difference between the two. National Library Week happens in April, Teen Read Week is in October. This year Teen Read Week will be October 12th - October 18th., with the themeBooks With Bite @ your library.

is planning some really great programs! Starting with a Twilight series discussion group program on Oct. 12th at 2pm. Then on Oct. 15th, we will show the movie Little Shop of Horrors. Teen Book Club on the 16th will be all about books that bite and finishing up the week with Scary Stories with Eric on Oct. 17th!