Archive for March, 2013

College Hoops

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

If you are watching NCAA March Madnes you might have time to squeeze in some reading.  The Final Four play April 6 and the National Championship is April 8.  Meanwhile check out these books on the sport of college basketball from Harford County Public Library.  Click on a title to go straight to our catalog:

Sum It Up: 1,098 victories, a couple of irrelevant losses, and a life in perspective by Pat Head Summit. “Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, tells her story of victory and resilience as well as facing down early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.”



The Perfect Game: how Villanova’s shocking 1985 upset of mighty Georgetown changed the landscape of college hoops forever by Frank Fitzpatrick.  “Critically acclaimed veteran sportswriter Frank Fitzpatrick takes readers courtside for one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history, the 1985 Villanova/Georgetown national championship showdown A veteran Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Frank Fitzpatrick has long followed and covered Villanova basketball. In all that time, nothing compares with the Wildcats’ legendary 1985 upset of Georgetown – a win so spectacular and unusually flawless that days after its conclusion, sports columnists were already calling it “The Perfect Game.” The game, particularly its second half, was so different from what observers expected – so different, in fact, from what anyone had ever seen that a shroud of myth almost immediately began to envelop it. Over the years, the game took on mythological proportions with heroes and villains, but with a darker, more complex subtext. In the midst of the sunny Reagan Administration, the game had been played out amid darker themes – race, death, and, though no one knew it at the time, drugs. It was a night when the basketball world turned upside down. Villanova-Georgetown would be a perfect little microcosm of the 1980s. And it would be much more. Even now, a quarter-century later, the upset gives hope to sporting Davids everywhere. At the start of every NCAA Tournament, it is recalled as an exemplar of March’s madness. Whenever sport’s all-time upsets are ranked, it is high on those lists, along with hockey’s Miracle on Ice. Now, through interviews with the players and coaches, through the work of sociologists and cultural critics, through the eyes of those who witnessed the game, Fitzpatrick brings to life the events of and surrounding that fateful night.”

Don’t Put Me In, Coach: my incredible NCAA journey from the end of the bench to the end of the bench by Mark Titus.  “An irreverent, hilarious insider’s look at big-time NCAA basketball, through the eyes of the nation’s most famous benchwarmer and author of the popular blog”



The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 seconds that changed basketball  by Gene Wojciechowski.  “The definitive book on the greatest game in the history of college basketball, and the dramatic road both teams took to get there. March 28, 1992. The final of the NCAA East Regional, Duke vs. Kentucky. The 17,848 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and the millions watching on TV could say they saw the greatest game and the greatest shot in the history of college basketball. But it wasn’t just the final play of the game-an 80-foot inbounds bass from Grant Hill to Christian Laettner with 2.1 seconds left in overtime- that made Duke’s 104-103 victory so memorable. The Kentucky and Duke players and coaches arrived at that point from very different places, each with a unique story to tell. In The Last Great Game , acclaimed ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski tells their stories in vivid detail, turning the game we think we remember into a drama filled with suspense, humor, revelations and reverberations. The cast alone is worth meeting again: Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Bobby Hurley, Jamal Mashburn, Christian Laettner, Sean Woods, Grant Hill, and Bobby Knight. Timed for the game’s 20th anniversary, The Last Great Game isn’t a book just for Duke or Kentucky or even basketball fans. It’s a book for any reader who can appreciate that great moments in sports are the result of hard work, careful preparation, group psychology, and a little luck.”


Women’s (formerly Orange) Prize Longlist

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

The 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist was announced on Wednesday 13th March 2013.

Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize), launched in 1996,  is awarded annually in U.K. and celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. The winner receives a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created by the artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.

The long list includes these books in Harford County Public Library.  Click on a title to go straight to our catalog.

Alif the Unseen G. Willow Wilson.

Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel.

Flight Behavior Barbara Kingsolver.

Gone Girl Gillian Flynn

Ignorance Michele Roberts

Life After Life Kate Atkinson

NW Zadie Smith

The Innocents Francesca Segal

The Light Between Oceans M L Stedman

The People of Forever Are Not Afraid Shani Boianjiu

The Red Book Deborah Copaken Kogan

Where’d You Go, Bernadette Maria Semple


Let Me Tell You Something

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

If you liked Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg about women and leadership, you may like to try a slightly different perspective in  Let me Tell You Something: life as a real housewife, tough-love mother, and street-smart businesswoman by Caroline Manzo (Find this book in our catalog).

This is what it says about the book in our catalog: “Rules and lessons on creating a happy and fulfilling life from the tell-it-like-it-is, breakout star and fan favorite of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”





The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

This grand novel (Find it in our catalog) spreads across two centuries, from England to Australia & back again. Abandoned on a ship leaving England just before the first World War, Nell O’Connor is taken in by the childless couple Hugh & Lil, who conceal the details of her arrival in Australia. On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell is told a secret that will change her life & set her on a path to discover her past. Her search will take her back to England, but it will be her grand-daughter, Cassandra, who will finally reveal who Nell really is. Ms. Morton’s wonderful story reveals many layers of secrets. She vividly describes bleak Blackhurst Manor on the coast of Cornwall & the unhappy lives of those who live there, the beautiful hidden garden of Cliff Cottage with its sense of refuge & peace, & the poverty stricken backstreets of London in the early 1900′s. Tragedy, fairy tales, & love combine in a story of identity & belonging.

Read more about Kate Morton on her website

Lean In

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

On this week’s USA Today best seller list, Sheryl Sandberg’s “sort of feminist” manifesto, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, (Find in our catalog) is #1 in its second week on the list, after debuting at #133 last week.  This is what it says about the book in our catalog:  ”

Publishers Weekly Review

Facebook COO Sandberg examines the dearth of women in major leadership positions, and what women can do to solve the problem, in this provocative tome. While acknowledging that women have made great strides in the business world, she posits that they still have a long way to go and lays out a plan for women to get there. “I have written this book to encourage women to dream big, forge a path through the obstacles, and achieve their full potential,” she explains. The author’s counsel-gleaned from her own experiences-includes suggestions for increasing self-confidence, particularly in the business world; understanding the role of mentors and how to identify them; building emotional relationships at work; not focusing on being liked; juggling marriage and children with a demanding job; and the importance of taking risks. “Hard work and results should be recognized by others, but when they aren’t, advocating for oneself becomes necessary,” Sandberg opines. A new generation of women will learn from Sandberg’s experiences, and those of her own generation will be inspired by this thoughtful and practical book. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.”



Thursday, March 21st, 2013

(Belcamp, Maryland – March 21, 2013) So much writing talent, so little space! The Bel Air Library will be brimming with local authors on Sunday, March 24th from 2 to 4 pm for the Harford County Public Library Local Author’s Day. Nearly three dozen authors will be participating, ready to talk books, give advice and tips, and sell their works. All types of books are represented in this talented group, from children’s to adult romance; true crime to teen fantasy. Meet your favorite and get some local stories to put in your Easter baskets!

This event is free and open to the public. For more information please go to or contact the Bel Air Library at 410 638 3151.

Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 175,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of 4.5 million. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.

Women Justices

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

On Saturday, March 23 Book TV airs a segment from the Virginia Book Festival where  Sandra Day O’Connor discusses her new book Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court (Find in our catalog).  This is what it says in our catalog about this book:  “From the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land. Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today. Justice O’Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the history of the Court, charting turning points and pivotal moments that have helped define our nation’s progress, and provides a rare glimpse into the Supreme Court’s inner workings: how cases are chosen for hearing; the personal relationships that exist among the Justices; and the customs and traditions, both public and private, that bind one generation of jurists to the next.”–From publisher description.

Climbing the bestseller lists is the wonderful autobiography of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, My Beloved World (Find in our catalog).  Read what it says in our catalog: “”An instant American icon–the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court–tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. She writes of her precarious childhood and the refuge she took with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. She describes her resolve as a young girl to become a lawyer, and how she made this dream become reality: valedictorian of her high school class, summa cum laude at Princeton, Yale Law, prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.’s office, private practice, federal district judge before the age of forty. She writes about her deeply valued mentors, about her failed marriage, about her cherished family of friends. Through her still-astonished eyes, America’s infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this … book”– Provided by publisher.


Until I Say Good-bye

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

A segment featuring Susan Spencer-Wendel, author of the memoir, Until I Say Good-bye: My Year of Living with Joy, (Find in our catalog) was broadcast recently on The Today Show.

This is what it says about the memoir in our catalog: “In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)–Lou Gehrig’s disease–an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was forty-four years old, with a devoted husband and three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining. Susan decided to live that year with joy. She quit her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built an outdoor meeting space for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She took her sons to swim with dolphins, and her teenage daughter, Marina, to Kleinfeld’s bridal shop in New York City to see her for the first and last time in a wedding dress. She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even to lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working. However, Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts–how could it not be?–but it is filled with Susan’s optimism, joie de vivre, and sense of humor. It is a book about life, not death. One that, like Susan, will make everyone smile. From the Burger King parking lot where she cried after her diagnosis to a snowy hot spring near the Arctic Circle, from a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is not only Susan Spencer-Wendel’s unforgettable gift to her loved ones–a heartfelt record of their final experiences together–but an offering to all of us: a reminder that “every day is better when it is lived with joy.”"


The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

(Find this book in our catalog) Three sisters come together in their parents’ home when their mother suffers breast cancer. Rosalind/Rose, Bianca/Bean, & Cordelia/Cordy have all been named after Shakespearean characters by their professor father. Rose has remained near home & has taken on the role of caregiver for her parents. Bean leaves a stressful & desperate life in the city, while Cordy brings her own baggage. Can these disfunctional siblings learn to change, even to like each other? Ms. Brown has written a story of family dynamics & sibling rivalry where each sister’s secrets will finally surface.

Read more about Eleanor Brown & The Weird Sisters at This site includes a reading guide for book groups.

Women’s Fiction for Women’s History Month

Monday, March 18th, 2013

When asked what kind of books do you like to read, do you reply something like, “Women’s fiction?”  Just what do you mean by that?  Other genres can also contain features of women’s fiction, but readers of women’s fiction will know the difference.  Women’s fiction books’ main protagonists are always women.  The books are most often written by women.  The main focus of a story of women’s fiction is the protagonist’s relationships.  Women’s fiction books may contain elements of romance, but in each case the happy ending of the romance is not the main focus.  Women’s fiction may be literary, but the focus of the books is not on the beautiful or artful language but on the relationships.

In an article in the March 15 edition of Booklist author and expert on women’s fiction Rebecca Vnuk had this advice:

“…books that get into a female character’s head and heart—is really the definition of women’s fiction.”

Ms. Vnuk recommended these authors to try if you like women’s fiction:

“Elizabeth Berg— Known for mainstream women’s fiction focused on relationships, Berg writes about everyday life, tragedies large and small, and the search for happiness in its many forms.

Barbara Taylor Bradford—Bradford’s novels, often sweeping sagas that follow families through several generations, feature strong women who overcome multiple obstacles.

Barbara Delinsky—Delinsky’s character-driven novels of everyday women dealing with extraordinary events showcase her ability to tackle heavy issues with a deft hand. Compelling, family-centered fiction.

Emily Giffin—Giffin writes contemporary women’s fiction, featuring modern relationships, realistic characters, and romance.

Jane Green—Green’s early novels are fun and frothy British chick lit, while her more recent offerings have mellowed into stories about contemporary relationships, both family and romantic.

Kristin Hannah—Hannah’s novels are full of the hallmarks of women’s fiction: love and loss, complicated relationships, and family secrets.

Jodi Picoult—The reigning queen of the issue-driven novel, Picoult blends ripped-from-the-headlines drama with realistic characters and plenty of emotion.

Luanne Rice—Rice’s tearjerker novels feature mature, strong female characters whose stories often revolve around family and homecomings.

Danielle Steel—The prolific grand dame of women’s fiction: love her or hate her, she knows what she’s doing. Steel’s novels focus on the lives and relationships of women, taking on dramatic issues as well as portraying sweet romances.

Jennifer Weiner—One of today’s top contemporary women’s fiction authors, Weiner infuses life and humor into any number of relationship-driven topics, including motherhood, friendship, dysfunctional families, and romance.”

Adapted from Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests, by Rebecca Vnuk and Nanette Donohue, to be published fall 2013 by Libraries Unlimited.