Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hold It Right There! (or here!)

Did you know there are three different ways to place a hold at the Warren Public Libraries?

1: Placing a hold at a Suburban Library Cooperative Library (all libraries in Macomb County, City of Troy, and City of Harper Woods).

· Look up the item you’d like to hold (or ask your reference librarian to help you do this).

· Place a hold through our catalog with your library card number and PIN.

· The hold will be sent to your home library in 3-5 business days, free of charge. A computerized system will call your phone number and notify you that it has arrived. Ask your librarian where to find it, and check out!

2: Placing a MeLCat Hold. (Michigan-wide, including some university libraries.)

· Look up the item you’d like to hold at (Please be sure to check the library cooperative FIRST to make sure we don’t have what you’re looking for!)

· Place a hold through MeL by clicking “Get this for me!” and entering your name and library card number.

· The hold will be sent to your home library, usually in about a week to 10 days. A librarian will call you and notify you that it has arrived. Ask your librarian where to find it and check out!

3: Placing an ILL/WorldCat request. (Outside of Michigan.)

· Look up the item in Worldcat, using the “Magazine and Online Databases” link on our library computers, or through the First Search link on our webpage.

· Place a hold with your librarian.

· The hold will be sent to your home library, sometimes in a week, sometimes in much longer (depending on where the item is being shipped from!) A librarian will call you and notify you that it has arrived. Ask your librarian where to find it and check out! (There is a $1 charge for each item shipped in.)

A few notes on holds:

** If you call a Warren Public Library and ask for a book that is currently checked in to be held, we will put your name on the book and hold it behind the Circulation Desk. You have 24 hours to come and pick it up before it is reshelved. Keep in mind we cannot do this if the book is not checked in at the library you are calling, or if it is not at a Warren library.

** Renewals work differently for all three systems.

- For an SLC book, you can renew an item once for three weeks, as long as no one else has a hold on that book. If they do, you must return it and reorder it at a later date.

- For a MeLCat book, you need to call or visit your library and ask them to renew the book. It MUST be renewed both through the SLC Catalog AND by logging into MeLCat. There is no guarantee that these can be renewed.

- For an ILL/WorldCat book, we need to be contacted *at least* one week before the book is due so that we can contact the owning library for permission to renew. There is also no guarantee that these can be renewed; the more notice we have, the better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #49

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Hey, Hey, Hockeytown! With the current Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings well on their way to crush the Blackhawks and any other comers, here are a few books about the history of hockey, and the state of Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Stanley Cup 2007-2008 Champions: The Detroit Red Wings [DVD]
Last year’s win against the Pittsburgh Penguins was exciting and impressive, and we may even face them again this year. This DVD collection has highlights and interviews with the players and commentators, in case you missed it the first time, or want to relive the moment.

Forever Hockeytown! : how the 2008 Red Wings reclaimed the Stanley Cup - Francescutti, Mark.
The inside story, from local newspaper, The Detroit Free Press, on how the Wings triumphed for Stanley Cup victory in 2008. This book includes tons of great photos and commentaries from local greats like Mitch Albom.
796.962 F WCV

Hockey: How to play like the pros – Sean Rossiter
Hockey the NHL way! This book teaches and encourages kids of all ages to work on the drive and skill needed to be a great hockey player.
JUV 796.962 R WDB

Of Ice and Men: Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios, Glen Sather, Dominik Hasek: the craft of hockey – Bruce Dowbiggin
Canadian author Dowbiggin is hailed by the Toronto Globe and Mail for excellence in sports broadcasting. In this book, he examines what makes the best the best.
796.962 D WMB

The Stanley Cup: The story of the men and the teams who for half a century have fought for hockey’s most prized trophy – Brian MacFarlane
First out in 1970, then updated in 1971, this classic book tells the story of the Cup and the teams who have held it over the years.
796.962 M SCS

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Author Profile: Tanya Huff

Writing since the early 1980s, Canadian author Tanya Huff experienced a new burst of popularity when Lifetime (the television channel) turned her "Blood Books" into a series for two seasons. She writes for a living, mostly science fiction and urban fantasy, as well as short stories that sometimes aren’t connected to any of her major works. If you like Jim Butcher, who we profiled last month, give Tanya Huff a try!

Blood Price (The Blood Books)
This is the first in the Victory Nelson/Blood Books series (five books total, now released in three two-book omnibus format), which also includes a number of short stories. Vicki “Victory” Nelson is a private detective who used to be a cop; she had to quit the force because of her deteriorating eyesight, and now makes a living trying not to step on the force (or her former partner, Mike Celluci)’s toes. The first time we meet Victory, she’s stumbling upon what appears to be a mass murder case – but she later finds, with the help of 500-year-old vampire Henry Fitzroy, that it’s not just any murderer who’s come calling.
Fic Huff RSV
Blood Books v. 1 Fic Huff MPL ROG

Smoke and Ashes (The Smoke Trilogy)
If after the Blood Books, you want more Henry Fitzroy, try The Smoke Trilogy. Here, Henry has left Toronto for Vancouver, taking with him Victory Nelson’s one-time informant Tony. Tony, who is discovering he’s more than a vampire’s sometimes-boyfriend, works for the most popular television show in North America, Darkest Night, and happens across all manner of supernatural bad guys while looking like any other lowly production assistant.
(This is the second book in the trilogy. Smoke and Shadows is the first.)
Sci Huff WCV

Summon the Keeper (The Keeper’s Chronicles)
All of Huff’s modern books take place in various places across her home country of Canada, and although many of them are ten and twenty years old, none of the stories seem dated. Here, in the Keeper’s Chronicles, we meet Claire the Keeper, destined to protect the Earth when necessary. In this, the first book, Claire must seal a portal to Hell (which happens to be in the basement of a bed and breakfast) with the help of a talking cat, a very dead ghost, and a cook.
YA Fic Huff CHE

Heart of Valor (The Confederation)
After Valor’s Choice, and The Better Part of Valor, this third book revisits heroine Torin Kerr, who’s been promoted to Marine Gunnery Sergeant. The Confederation novels explore how many species might live together out on the rims of space, and on space stations.
Sci Huff WDB
Sci PBK Huff WCV

Finding Magic (Short Stories)
From a few stories set in the Confederation world (like the really hilarious “I Knew a Guy Once”) to a thrashing retelling of the classic faerie tale “Tam Lin” – here called “He Said, Sidhe Said,” Huff visits new worlds, and tells stories from old favorites. A latest story about Tony is found here, too. There are three other short story collections by Tanya Huff, as well, all with ‘Magic’ somewhere in the title.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #48

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Sir Thomas More, once Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, coined the word “utopia” to describe a perfect world he wrote about in his book of the same name. While there are few other authors who have written about ideal societies, the library is not at all short on the opposite books. Called “dystopian,” meaning the opposite of a perfect world, here are a few, new and old:

Feed – M.T. Anderson

In a future where you can vacation on the moon, over 70% of Americans, young and old, have a constant, instant feed of the Internet (including banner ads!) implanted into their brains. What happens when a teenage girl decides to fight the feed?

YA Fic Anderson WCV WDB

The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

A classic from the prolific author, in which the unnamed Time Traveller builds a time machine and visits the end of the world while only being gone for three hours. He discovers the Eloi and Morlocks, and their distinct dystopian, and frightening, society.


Sci Wells WAM

Playaway YA Fic Wells WCV

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

Considered both classic and anachronistic, Rand’s novel is about a dystopian future when the people don’t ask questions because they know there are no answers to be had. The government controls all commerce, and Rand’s theory of Objectivism is explained.

Fic Rand WMB WDB

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

One of the most popular and well-known of all dystopian novels is this classic from scifi author Bradbury. In a world where books are banned – and even burned – what happens when a “firefighter,” one of the men employed to burn books and houses containing them, tries to rebel and question why?

Sci Bradbury WCV WMB

BKD Sci Bradbury WAM

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

From the author of “The Remains of the Day,” this novel views a future, different Britain, where clones are raised only for their organs, then must be convinced to give up their lives and die.

Fic Ishiguro WMB WAM

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #47

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Hard science fiction is a subgenre in science fiction where the author places emphasis on the science part of the genre. Details are given as to how the science and physics of the story works, and the story falls into place amongst the details of the futuristic computer systems, robots, and technology.

World War Z – Max Brooks

Zombies as science? Believe it or not, in this journalistic account of how zombies are made – through a disease spread through saliva (which accounts for the reason why zombies are often portrayed as biting other people) – tells a compelling story of how the world would react were this really the case.

Fic Brooks WAM

Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes

A science fiction classic wherein Charlie Gordon, a mentally retarded man, volunteers for an experiment that turns him into a genius – but only temporarily. This novel, when it was released, brought about a lot of questions about what makes a person, and has been retold in many ways, including a Futurama episode (“Parasites Lost”).


Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson

Ninjas, the mafia, and pizza delivery guys don’t exactly scream “Science Fiction,” but in Stephenson’s remarkable first novel, he (and the hero, called Hiro) will make you believe that man and machine can work together to stop civilization from being taken over. Stephenson is regarded as a cyberpunk master, and has continued with great novels of hard science fiction, such as 2008’s “Anathem.”

Fic Stephenson ROG


Neuromancer – William Gibson

Another pioneer in the field of cyberpunk, Gibson’s 1984 novel explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and genetic engineering, as seen through the eyes of a damaged hacker. This novel was groundbreaking at the time, giving rise the phrase “cyberspace” and eventually leading to the creation of the roleplaying game “Shadowrun.”

Sci Gibson WCV

The Minority Report – Philip K. Dick

One of the best known and best loved authors of science fiction, Philip K. Dick is responsible for making generations of readers rethink the concept of free will. This is a collection of his short stories, including the title story, which was made into a movie in 2002.

Sci Dick WCV

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #46

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Among publishers, readers, and libraries, fantasy is hitting a big popularity spike – especially urban fantasy, like the adult faerie books we listed last week. Another category that has been around for a long time is called “High Fantasy” – usually the types of stories and books that have wizards, dragons, unicorns, and epic quests. Here are some of our favorites:

Chronicles of Prydain – Lloyd Alexander

Best known for the book (and 80’s cartoon movie), The Black Cauldron, The Chronicles of Prydain follow Taran, a young boy who wants to become a great hero. The Chronicles feature five books, plus a prequel, and both a Newbery Honor and Newbery Medal.

The Book of Three (1964) WMB

The Black Cauldron (1965) WMB WAM

The Castle of Llyr (1966) WMB

Taran Wanderer (1967) WMB WAM

The High King (1968) WCV WMB

A Song Of Ice And Fire – George R.R. Martin

These novels take place in the Seven Kingdoms of the fictional land of Westeros. While trying to decide who gets the Iron Throne after the king dies, the citizens and royalty of the kingdoms must beware of an icy threat to the north, and a girl who can possess dragons. There are four books released, with another three upcoming.

A Game of Thrones (1996) CHE RSV

A Clash of Kings (1998) WCV WAM

A Storm of Swords (2000) WCV

A Feast for Crows (2005) WMB

A Dance with Dragons (forthcoming 2009)

Song of the Lioness – Tamora Pierce

A rare high fantasy in which the protagonist is not only a girl, but a girl who wants very much to be a full-fledged knight in the realm of Tortall, the Alanna series is a great place to start if you’re new to this genre. Pierce has written several other trilogies and quartets set in Tortall over the years.

Alanna: The First Adventure (1983) WCV WMB WAM

In the Hand of the Goddess (1984) WCV WMB WAM

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (1986) WCV WMB

Lioness Rampant (1988) WMB WAM

Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

Although Jordan passed in 2007, he revealed to his wife and family the remaining plot for the final books, ensuring that the series could continue after he died. The Wheel of Time is truly epic in scope, spanning 15 books, including a prequel. These are the first five:

The Eye of the World (1990) SCS TPL

The Great Hunt (1990) WMB

The Dragon Reborn (1991) WMB

The Shadow Rising (1992) WAM

The Fires of Heaven (1993) WAM WMB

Outside of a Dog, #45

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Faeries aren’t just for kids these days. Thanks to paranormal romance authors like Laurell K. Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon, there are a number of novels with the mysterious men (and women!) of Faerie. [Be aware – some of these books tend towards the steamy side of romance!]

The Legend of Drizzt (Series) – R.A. Salvatore

Drizzt Do’Urden is a dark elf who turns his back on the evil matriarchal society he was born into, called the Underdark. Since he left, he’s become a champion and hero of the Forgotten Realms world, appearing in nearly twenty books since his first appearance in Homeland, in 1990.


Fic Salvatore CHE

SF Salvatore TPL

A Kiss of Shadows – Laurell K. Hamilton

The first in the Merry Gentry series, this book introduces an alternate history of the world (much like Hamilton’s best-selling Anita Blake series; where vampires are legal citizens) – Merry is the daughter of a king, and therefore, a princess. However, she must return to the faerie mounds underground to face her aunt, who wants Merry to give her an heir to the Unseelie Court.

BKC Fic Hamilton WMB

Fic Hamilton LWM ROG RSV

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke

Another alternate-history novel – this one about the return of magic to England, courtesy of the two title gentlemen. They deal with magic, fairies, and enchantments, and famed members of fairy stories and courts.

Fic Clarke WCV WDB WMB

Faefever – Karen Marie Moning

Third in the series that started with Darkfever, Faefever picks up with the protagonist MacKayla Lane finding a piece of her murdered sister’s journal. Still seeking answers in the dark world she now inhabits, MacKayla must make alliances, and still accomplish her destiny – the finding of a book that claims to hold the key to power over the worlds of Fae and Man. This is far from her last chance, though – author Moning has two more “Fever” books in the works.

Fic Moning WCV WMB