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Popular Science

2010 was a great year for accessible science writing. If you want to learn something and be entertained at the same time, try out some of these recent popular science and natural history titles.

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, Susan Casey

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, John Vaillant

The Royal Treatment

Royal Film

It pays to play the king (or queen, as the case may be.) Whether it's comedy or drama, on television or the big screen, we love a good portrayal of the British royal family. And a small number of talented actors and actresses have been rewarded for just that--delivering award-winning performances as British monarchs.

I've been a Colin Firth fan since I first saw him in Shakespeare in Love as the snobby and sniveling Lord Wessex, and I've been an Anglophile for as long as I can remember, so there was no way I was going to miss him play the stammering King George VI in The King's Speech. I saw it this past weekend, and it actually rendered me speechless--a rare moment. Firth is magnificent in this clever film, which is about much more than George's speaking difficulties.

Killers We Hate to Love

Coming hot on the heels of deliciously demented Dexter there is John Wayne Cleaver. Named after a serial killer and a murder weapon how can he escape his destiny?

In "I Am Not A Serial Killer" we meet John Wayne Cleaver, just your average teenage boy, likes fires, girls and serial killers. Ok, well perhaps not your average teenage boy. John lives in a mortuary so that's a plus, for him, as he likes dead bodies and the peace they provide for his inner demon. And speaking of demons....

Forgotten Heroes

There is nothing quite as exciting as making a new musical discovery - and that discovery is somehow made sweeter when you stumble upon the sounds of a prolific artist you never really considered before. This happened to me recently when I finally got turned onto the music of Bruce Springsteen - somebody who has been a staple in many people's musical rotations for years.

When I was young my only knowledge of “The Boss” was the song "Born in the U.S.A" - I remember it being blasted at sporting events and on television, and I really had no interest in it (and it’s still not a favorite of mine). I think I was a little too young to have been a Bruce convert from the start - I missed the mania and therefore didn’t understand what the fuss was all about.

Guatemala by Chicken Bus

Ever thought about visiting Guatemala? Or just want to take a virtual trip to someplace warm during the cold weather? Join us as we journey to Guatemala with Anna Winkel!

In the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009, Anna, a local librarian, spent 8 months traveling, studying, and volunteering in Guatemala. In this travel slide show, you'll journey by chicken bus from the old capital city of Antigua to the shores of Lago Atitlan to the mountains of Alta Verapaz. Bring your questions about where to go, what to see, and how to get around--by chicken bus or otherwise! Food samples will be included!

To Be A Slave

While browsing the Central book stacks, I re-discovered Julius Lester's To Be A Slave.

An award winning writer and retired professor, Lester delved into the slave narratives collected during the Federal Writers' Project. He selected personal accounts about the experience of the auction block, plantation life, resistance, and emancipation. Published in 1968 and named a Newbery honor book in 1969, To Be A Slave was one of the first nonfiction books in children's literature to share the personal testimonies of slaves.

Introduction to Feng Shui

Ever wanted to learn more about the art of Feng Shui? Here's a program for you!

During my first week as a librarian, I had a young man ask me for books about "fun joy" decorating. We eventually figured out that he really wanted books on Feng Shui. If you too are curious about this art that examines how the energy of space and objects impacts everyday life, join us on Wednesday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ross-Cherry Creek branch for this one-hour introduction.

Ted Conover named winner of 2011 Evil Companions Literary Award

Ted Conover

Enjoy martinis, merrymaking and spirited conversation at the 2011 Evil Companions Literary Awards, set for Thursday, April 14 at the Oxford Hotel.

This year's award goes to Ted Conover, a beloved Denver native, nationally acclaimed author, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His works cover a vast array of subjects, from the rarefied air of Aspen, to riding the rails with hoboes in titles such as The Routes of Man, Newjack, Coyotes, Whiteout, and Rolling Nowhere.

Featuring signature martinis, live music and a scrumptious buffet, and benefiting the Denver Public Library, Evil Companions is a literary event not to be missed. For tickets, visit www.dplfriends.org or call 720-865-2050.

The Coral Thief

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott is a work of historical fiction that takes place in Paris just after the fall of Napoleon at Waterloo.  Adventure, romance, history and crime are all here in one exciting novel.

This book was made for readers who like the Romantic Period of the early 19th century. At that time the city of lights was on the cutting edge of Western Civilization.  Scientists were just beginning to discover ancient fossils and understand that the earth is millions of years old.  The author has included fictionalized representations of historical persons like the French zoologist and paleontologist Georges Cuvier and the master criminal cum police detective Eugene-Francois Vidocq.

 

Staff Art Show

Staff Art Show

Staff Art Show on display until February 27, 2011.

Next time you're at the Central Library, plan on spending some extra time to make your way up to Level 7. The beautiful Vida Ellison Gallery is housing this exhibit of fine art created by staff for the 8th consecutive year.

In addition to highlighting the creativity, diversity and individuality of the Denver Public Library staff, the gallery offers spectacular views of downtown Denver. Not to be missed!

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