How did Valentine's Day originate? Who is this patron saint of lovers, of whom actually very little is known? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, three different Valentines were actually martyred during the early days of the Christian Church, but very little is known about any of them. For more information, see this Catholic Online link. You can also view a list of Canton Library's books, programs and DVDs about valentines, like one with historic pictures of awesome valentines:
Greetings with love: the book of valentines by Michele Karl
Learn to create multimedia presentations Tuesday, February 7th from 10-11:30 AM. Prerequisites: mouse and Word skills. Registration opens on January 24th. Suggested titles for check-out in our collection are:
PowerPoint presentations that sell by Adam B. Cooper
The year 2012 is The Year of the Dragon in China and the Chinese New Year begins on January 23rd. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules, and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. So, if you were born in any years designated as "Year of the Dragon," you may exhibit these characteristics. To check and see which sign dominates the year you were born, see the China Today website. For more on Chinese horoscopes that you can check out in our library, see:
The handbook of Chinese horoscopes by Theodora Lau
Christopher Eric Hitchens, author and journalist, columnist and literary critic for The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, World Affairs, The Nation and others died at 62 years of age on December 15th from complications from esophageal cancer. He was voted the world's 5th top public intellectual in a Prospect/Foreign Affairs opinion poll. Here are some of the books Canton Library owns by this controversial author:
God is not great: how religion poisons everything by Christopher Hitchens
Hitch-22: a memoir by Christopher Hitchens
This is the season of miracles and they are all around us. The power to appreciate even the smallest coincidence is one of the many choices we are given in this life and many miracles start out exactly that way. From the least startling to the truly awe inspiring wonders that happen, it is a gift to be able to witness their unfolding. Following is a list of "miracle" books and other resources which can be found at the Canton Public Library or through its access to the Internet. Be sure to check out the section on Christmas Miracles near the end.
Small miracles II: heartwarming gifts of extraordinary coincidences by Yitta Halberstam & Judith Leventhal
Wine and Mysteries Book Discussion, which meets monthly at Vintners Winery, will not be meeting in the month of December. Have a festive, safe and fun Christmas holiday! A few recommended titles to help you enjoy this season are:
The Christmas cookie club: a novel by Ann Pearlman
Hot toddies: mulled wine, buttered rum, spiced cider, and other soul-warming winter drinks by Christopher O'Hara; photographs by William A. Nash
Guy Fawkes Day started in 1605 and is always commemorated in England on November 5th. It was an uprising of English Catholics who were distressed about the increased severity of laws prohibiting the practice of their religion by the Protestant King James I. They plotted to blow up Parliament but the authorities were informed by an anonymous tipper, broke into the hideaway, and found Guy Fawkes guarding the gunpowder! The day is celebrated with fireworks and he is burned in effigy. For more information on this history, see:
Faith and treason: the story of the Gunpowder Plot by Antonia Fraser
When the Spanish Conquistadors first came to America, they found the Native Americans performed a ritual that seemed to mock death. Skulls were displayed as trophies and used to honor the dead during a month long ceremony. Today, in Mexico and the Southwest U.S., people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls are also placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead. Sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead, are eaten by a relative or friend. For books about this holiday, see:
Books and DVDs on this topic can also be found in our Youth Department as well.
The billionaire's vinegar: the mystery of the world's most expensive bottle of wine by Benjamin Wallace — Come join us for a discussion this book, which concerns the fraudulent auction of an extremely expensive bottle of wine reputed to belong to Thomas Jefferson. Learn a lot about the history of wine in Europe and America as well! Our discussion runs from 7:00-8:00 PM on Tuesday, November 15th. Register online, and don't forget to ask for the book at Adult Reference.
Rosh Hashana is the first day of the Jewish New Year. Learn how this day is celebrated by visiting this Fact Monster website. On this day, Jewish people examine their relationship with God and pray for forgiveness for past sins and a long life. After ten days, this period culminates in Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, when forgiveness for sins is prayed for by penitents and granted by God. For recipes to help celebrate Rosh Hashana, see this cyber kitchen site. Adult books on this holiday and other Jewish holidays are a rich source of understanding for anyone of any faith. Books and DVDs on this holiday are also available in Children's.
Register and join us for wine and a mystery book discussion on Tuesday, October 18th from 7:00-8:00 PM at Vintners Canton Winery. Drop by the Main Reference Desk to pick up a copy of this month's book:
The night inspector : a novel by Frederick Busch — William Bartholomew, a maimed veteran of the Civil War, returns from the battlefields to New York City a hardened man, bent on reversing his fortunes. This is a gripping portrait of a nation trying to heal from the ravages of war, of the desolation of a people searching for hope in a new age, and of one man's attempts at recapturing a lust for his own life.
What could be more intriguing than a spy story, where truth is stranger than fiction or fiction incredibly true to life? Here are some suggestions for exciting reading material to "spies" up your life!
Operation Dark Heart: spycraft and special ops on the frontlines of Afghanistan--and the path to victory by Anthony Shaffer — Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer had run intelligence operations for years before he arrived in Afghanistan. He was part of the "dark side of the force"—the shadowy elements of the U.S. government that function outside the bounds of the normal system. Operation Dark Heart tells the story of what really went on—and what went wrong—in Afghanistan.