Sunday, September 30, 2012

Discovering Digital Media for Kids

As the checkout statistics prove, eBooks and eAudiobooks are overwhelmingly popular.  However, many people don't realize that we have a large selection of children's and young adult eBooks and eAudiobooks.  To get to any of the resources detailed below, look for the eBooks and eAudiobooks links on the library homepage.

eAudiobooks from One Click Digital
One Click Digital makes it possible to search by target audience, limiting search results by Beginning Reader (17 titles), Children's (347 titles), or Yound Adult (501 titles).  These titles can be downloaded to a home computer and transferred to a device or you can use the new Android or iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch apps to checkout and download to a mobile device.  The best thing about One Click Digital is that most titles can be checked out by multiple people at the same time, meaning there is never a waitlist!
Titles of note in One Click Digital are American Girl books, the Ranger's Apprentice series, the Sisters Grimm series, Meg Cabot books, titles from Anthony Horowitz, and student guides for many of Shakespeare's plays.

ebrary
eBooks from Ebrary
Ebrary provides mostly non-fiction titles, with many academic sources and study guides available.  This resource is best suited for high school students and titles can be downloaded to a home computer or to an Android or iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app.  Most of these resources can be checked out by multiple people at the same time.

overdrive
eBooks and eAudiobooks from Overdrive
Overdrive provides both eBooks and eAudiobooks for children and young adults, though finding them is a little tricky.  The best way to access children's titles is to do an advanced search.  In the advanced search mode, using the subject dropdown menu, results can be restricted to Juvenile Fiction (2075 titles), Juvenile Literature (100 titles), Young Adult Fiction (1761 titles), Young Adult Literature (32 titles), and Young Adult Non-fiction (83 titles).  Also in the advanced search is the option to restrict results to particular award winners, including Caldecott and Newbury Medal and Honor books, Michael L. Printz Award and Honors books for teens, and several other children's and YA awards.  Overdrive titles can be downloaded to a home computer and transferred to many devices or checked out and downloaded via an Android or iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Preserving Your Garden's Produce

More and more people are turning to gardening and growing their own fruits, herbs and vegetables.  If you are lucky enough to have a garden and enjoy working in it, then all summer you have probably been eating vegestables straight out of the ground and fruit straight off the tree, but now it is that time of year when we think about bringing in the last of our produce from gardens and orchards.  I myself don't have a garden, but lately my friends and neighbors have been pushing their extra wealth of fresh produce on me, which I have been happily accepting.  I've received peaches, apples, tomatoes, and cucumbers to name a few, and while eating them straight from my friends' gardens is wonderful, I have been contemplating how I might stretch the bounty for several more months.  It's the time for putting up freshly grown food to enjoy all winter. 

Luckily the library has lots of books for helping with these tasks, since preserving and canning fresh foods is not something I do on a regular basis.  I'm only just learning how to freeze certain foods, and the library has books to help me with that too.  Great websites that offer tips and recipes for preserving foods are www.mealtime.org and sustainablepantry.com, but to me, nothing beats having an actual book I can hold in my hand and refer to when I get lost. 

Some great books on storing foods to check out at the library:

The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking With Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-Doux by Paul Virant

Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan

Canning For a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors For the Modern Pantry by Liana Krisoff

Preserving Summer's Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, Preserving, and Drying What You Grow edited by Susan McClure

Can I Freeze It?: How To Use the Most Versatile Appliance in Your Kitchen by Susie Theodorou


 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Erna & Ernie on Facebook!


One of the reasons the ABC Library exists is that we have always had support from members of our community. The recent reopening of the Special Collections Library was an opportunity for us to reflect on that support and to think about some of the key people in the history of Albuquerque’s public libraries.

Travel writer Erna Fergusson and war correspondent Ernie Pyle come to mind immediately. They were so important we even named libraries after them. Fifty and sixty years after the fact, their lives and their writings are just as compelling as ever. While we have many books by and about Ernie Pyle and Erna Fergusson in our collection, we wanted to do something more.

A recent article in American Libraries about using Facebook pages to connect University of Nevada Reno students with alumni who were important to the school’s history and tradition inspired us. We created our Facebook pages for Erna Fergusson and Ernie Pyle as a way for us to introduce new generations to old friends and benefactors. We’ll be creating a page for Clyde Tingley, the great Albuquerque Mayor who was never actually elected mayor. It’s a long story, and a library is about the only thing in Albuquerque that was never named after him.

So visit Erna and Ernie on Facebook. Keep an eye out for Clyde. There’s a lot to like and a lot to learn. We’ll be happy to help you find out more!

 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Life and Writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald

One hundred and sixteen years ago today, F. Scott Fitzgerald was born. Fitzgerald, arguably one of the greatest writers of the early twentieth century, was a literary and cultural icon of the Roaring Twenties and the Lost Generation, and is often credited with coining the term “Jazz Age.”

The author of such beloved classics as The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald’s work has endured for generations.  More than seventy years after his death, Fitzgerald is still a culturally relevant name. His works have been adapted into major feature films, including Baz Luhrmann’s latest tour de force, an interpretation of Gatsby due out in summer 2013.  Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda were portrayed in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, a fantastical romp through the city of love alongside many other iconic talents of the Lost Generation.

Fitzgerald left the world not only with a great literary legacy, but also with a personal history that is equally intriguing.  He and Zelda had a tempestuous marriage, fueled by alcohol, jealousy, and instability.  Ultimately he died of a heart attack at 45 and she died at 48 in a fire at the hospital where she was institutionalized.  Many scholars have noted that Fitzgerald actually took passages verbatim from Zelda’s writing to put into his own work.  Zelda’s book Save Me the Waltz and Scott’s Tender is the Night each present different portraits of the couple’s troubled marriage. 

Did Fitzgerald's art imitate his life or did his life imitate his art? You be the judge.

A sampling of books by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the catalog:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories
The Great Gatsby
The Last Tycoon: an Unfinished Novel
Tender is the Night
This Side of Paradise

A  few books about Fitzgerald in the catalog:
Fool for Love: F. Scott Fitzgerald by Scott Donaldson
Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers
Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage by Kendall Taylor
Hemingway Vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship by Scott Donaldson

 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Stephen King!






I don't know how many of you remember books that stick with you through the years, but the first book by Stephen King that I read, Salem's Lot, has remained in my memory bank since 1977.   I can still remember devouring the book on the sofa desperately trying to finish it before bed.  Big mistake.  I finished it and then promptly dreamt about vampires all night long.  I can remember picking up The Shining early one morning and could not break myself away from it, even holding it in my hand as I stood at the stove fixing dinner.  Since that first title I have read almost every novel and short story published with my all-time favorite, The Stand at the top of the list.  I have probably seen the mini-series based on it over twenty times.  His talent with words and  his wonderful portrayals of his characters make his books hard to put down once you have hit that first paragraph.

Stephen King was born September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine.  His father left the family when he was two leaving his mother to raise him and his brother David on her own.  They moved to Indiana, Wisconsin and Connecticut before his mother finally settled their little family in Durham, Maine when Stephen was eleven.  He graduated from Lisbon Falls High School and went on the University of Maine and received a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1970.  Stephen started writing stories while in college and once he graduated, he submitted stories to several men's magazines while he awaited word on a teaching job.  He married his wife Tabitha in 1971 and was finally hired as a teacher at Hampden Academy. 

His first novel Carrie was accepted by Doubleday for publication in 1973, but nearly was a heap of paper in the trash.  Stephen had become discouraged with where the novel had progessed, but his wife dug it out and encouraged him to keep at it.  His persistence paid off and he was later awarded $400,000 in paperback rights for the book.  After the death of his mother in 1974 he moved his family to Boulder, Colorado where he wrote The Shining which was eventually published in 1977Stephen then returned to Maine in 1975 and completed the novel The Stand.  He has remained a Maine resident since the late 1970s and set many of his stories and novels in that state. 



King continued to publish bestsellers through the 1980's and 1990's with such best-sellers as The GunslingerFirestarter, and ChristineHe also published some novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman as he wondered whether his success was a fluke. This might have very well gone unnoticed but for a book clerk in Washington D.C., who could see the similarities in both authors. 

The world may not have any Stephen King novels today as his brush with death on June 19, 1999 (he was hit by a van on a local highway) led him to say he would no longer publish any works.  He had found it difficult to sit more than forty minutes at a time and was unable to deal with the constant pain.  Eventually though, he got better and began writing again.  He published two works that were done exclusively online.  Stephen felt that digital books would be something that publishers would embrace and the e-book industry has indeed exploded onto the publishing scene in the last three years.  He has since published several more novels, written a column for Entertainment Weekly and penned an original comic series American Vampire for DC Comics.  Upcoming works include a sequel to The Shining, titled Doctor Sleep and a new novel about "an amusement-park serial killer".



Stephen has named several authors that influenced his work, such as Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson and Elmore Leonard.  Some of his own favorite books include, The Golden Argosy, Lord of the Flies, Nineteen-Eighty Four, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Blood Meridian.  Many of his short stories and novels have been adapted into blockbuster movies, such as The Green MileStand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption.  Television movies and mini-series include The Stand, The Langoliers, The TommyKnockers and Storm of the Century.  He has produced Kingdom Hospital and wrote an episode of The X-Files with Chris Carter titled Chinga.  Some of the numerous awards that Stephen has won include the Bram Stoker award, the Locus award, a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Hopefully "Uncle Stevie" as he is affectionately known,  will continue to churn out books that never cease to enthrall and delight his millions of fans around the world. 

If you want to try one of his books or relive the magic all over again, there are over three-hundred titles to choose from in the library catalog and are available in several formats, e-book, audiobook, e-audiobook, print and the new Playaway audiobook. 

You can also find more about Stephen King online at his official website.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gothic Romance


When I was growing up in the '70s & '80s, my mom was a voracious reader of Gothic romances, so there were always books by Dorothy Eden, Victoria Holt, &, to a lesser extent, Phyllis Whitney around the house.  They were usually slim novels with suitably lurid covers.  The plots were a kind of "mystery lite" - there were usually mysterious circumstances (or a secret to be unveiled), a crime involved (often murder), & an innocent young woman in danger (with romantic possibilities).  Not a straightforward mystery & not terrifying or grisly enough to qualify as horror, the romance usually confined to a few chaste embraces, they were great reads for a teenage girl - or, at least, my mom never stopped me from reading them. 

Wikipedia indicates that these gothic romances were popular between the 1950s-70s: "Many featured covers depicting a terror-stricken woman in diaphanous attire in front of a gloomy castle, often with a single lit window. Many were published under the Paperback Library Gothic imprint and were marketed to a female audience. Though the authors were mostly women, some men wrote Gothic romances under female pseudonyms."

Of the three authors of this genre with which I am most familiar, Phyllis Whitney was an American, Dorothy Eden was from New Zealand, & Victoria Holt (a pseudonym of Eleanor Hibbert, who also wrote under the names Jean Plaidy & Philippa Carr) was British. Phyllis Whitney was once called - by the New York Times, no less - "The Queen of American Gothics", but according to Wikipedia, she preferred to be known as a writer of "romantic novels of suspense".  She & Dorothy Eden featured (at least in my experience) more contemporary plots, whereas Victoria Holt's novels tended to be set further in the past.

Gothic romance books are entertaining, easy reads in a similiar vein to classics of the genre such as Charlotte Brontë 's Jane Eyre & Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. If you enjoy reading books that are suspenseful but not violent, romantic but not explicit, these novels make great guilty pleasure reading. The library catalog features titles by all three of these authors.  I would recommend: Let Us Prey by Dorothy Eden (alternate title: Cat's Prey); Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt (mostly because we don't have The Pride of the Peacock); & Spindrift by Phyllis Whitney.  What you'll find in these books: mistaken identities, mysterious noises in houses with empty wings, poor relations, webs of deceit, & a domineering mother-in-law.

Other gothic romance authors of this period include Mary Stewart (This Rough Magic) & M. M. Kaye (Death in Zanzibar, Death in Kenya).  More recent examples of this genre might include: The Observations by Jane Harris, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, & The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman.  Also check out our gothic fiction booklist!

Some other gothic fiction from the library catalog:

Gothic!: Ten Original Dark Tales edited by Deborah Noyes

Gothic Classics edited by Tom Pomplun

Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical gGuide edited by Douglass H. Thomson, Jack G. Voller, and Frederick S. Frank [eBook]

Gothic:  Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil, and Ruin by Richard Davenport-Hines

The New Gothic: A Collection of Contemporary Gothic Fiction edited by Bradford Morrow, Patrick McGrath

Find out more about gothic suspense/romance online:

The BookShelf: Gothic Suspense & Romance

American Gothic Romance Authors

Gothic Romantic Suspense Paperbacks

Sweet Rocket: Classic Gothic Romance

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mysteries Set on Trains

Train travel.

Hours or days spent in close contact with strangers, in a long line of enclosed but connected spaces. An odd little temporary community, that will break apart at the final stop.

Or lose members along the way to intermediate stops.

Or to murder.

Many classic works of mystery have used railways as a setting. This post will help you explore the rolling world of the train mystery.



Of course, Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1934) comes first to mind for many as the train murder mystery, setting the style for many later works. But you might not know that Christie did another mystery set on a train, also involving her famous detective Hercule Poirot, The Mystery of the Blue Train.


One of Christie's Miss Marple stories also revolves around a train ride, the 4:50 from Paddington.


 
While more of a thriller than a mystery, Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train, made into the film of the same title by Alfred Hitchcock, perfectly exploits the "intimate stranger" aspect of shared rail travel as the basis for a chilling tale.




Sheldon Russell's Hook Runyon is a "yard dog", a "railroad bull" -- security hired to police the rail yards and station. Unfit for military service because he is shy an arm, Hook lives in a caboose and becomes involved in mysteries in the gritty world of hobos, pickpockets, and moonshiners, sometimes traveling further afield to solve crimes out along the rails. Set in the 1940s, toward the end of World War II.

 
The Hook Runyon series:






 
Young railway porter Jim Stringer moves to an early-1900s London to better himself. But the world of the railroads in the big city is a far cry from his younger days, and he finds himself embroiled in an environment of thieves, saboteurs, and intrigue. Jim works his way up to Railway Detective, following adventures and crimes along the rails.
 
 


The Jim Stringer, Steam Detective series
by Andrew Martin:

1. The Necropolis Railway (2002)
2. The Blackpool Highflyer (2004)
3. The Lost Luggage Porter (2006)
4. Murder At Deviation Junction (2007)
5. Death on a Branch Line (2008)
6. The Last Train to Scarborough (2009)
7. The Somme Stations (2011)
8. The Baghdad Railway Club (2012)








 Mysteries Set on Trains
 

Lilian Jackson Braun - The Cat Who Blew the Whistle
Michael Crichton - The Great Train Robbery
Agatha Christie - 4:50 from Paddington, Murder on the Orient Express, The Mystery of the Blue Train
Mary Daheim - Loco motive : a bed-and-breakfast mystery
Dianne Day - Death Train to Boston: a Fremont Jones mystery
Carola Dunn - Murder on the Flying Scotsman
Dick Francis - The Edge
Kerry Greenwood - Murder on the Ballarat train : a Phryne Fisher mystery
Patricia Highsmith - Strangers on a Train (made into the Hitchcock film)
Alfred Hitchcock, director - Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes (film, based on the book The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White)
Jim Lehrer - Super
Ngaio Marsh - Spinsters in Jeopardy
Andrew Martin - Jim Stringer series
Ian Rankin - Tooth and Nail: an Inspector Rebus novel
Sharon Rowse - The Silk Train Murder : a mystery of the Klondike
Sheldon Russell - Dead Man's Tunnel, The Insane Train, The Yard Dog
Michele Scott - Corked by Cabernet
Dan Simmons - Drood
Nicola Upson - An expert in murder : a new mystery featuring Josephine Tey
Ethel Lina White - The Wheel Spins (basis for the film The Lady Vanishes)




The title of the first book in Edward Marston's Inspector Robert Colbeck series says it all: The Railway Detective. Set in a murky 1850s London, the ten books of the series presents Colbeck (who comes to be known as "The Railway Detective" for his successes solving crimes committed along the rails) with a wide variety of challenges. Rich with period detail, and lots of gritty action.


The library currently has only the first book of the series in the collection.
If you read the first book and enjoy it you may request
that the other titles be added,
or utilize our ILL (Inter Library Loan) service.
 
 
The Inspector Robert Colbeck series:
 
2. The Excursion Train (2005)
3. The Railway Viaduct (2006)
4. The Iron Horse (2007)
5. Murder on the Brighton Express (2008)
6. The Silver Locomotive Mystery (2009)
7. Railway to the Grave (2010)
8. Blood on the Line (2011)
9. The Stationmaster's Farewell (2012)
10. Peril on the Royal Train (2013)
 
________________________________________________________
 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 to Norwegian parents.  Dahl's father died when Roald was just three years old, & he was brought up primarily by his mother.  Dahl was devoted to his mother & the character of the grandmother in The Witches is a tribute to her.

As a child, Roald Dahl was a great reader & kept a secret diary.  However, he was unhappy at school, & according to his official website, "his chief memories of this time...are of trips to the sweet shop".  The early seeds of Willy Wonka!

Dahl served as a pilot during WWII (despite initials concerns about his daunting height of 6 feet 6 inches).  You can read about his war exploits in his autobiography, Going Solo.  Roald Dahl's first published writing was an anonymous piece about the war for the Saturday Evening Post, which he was encouraged to write by C.S. Forester, author of the Hornblower books!

Roald Dahl's first book for children was The Gremlins, published in 1943.  It is a picture book adapted from a script written for Disney, & Dahl never considered it a proper children's book. After The Gremlins, most of his books were short stories for adults.  He didn't begin writing for children in earnest until the 1960s, when his own children were small.  Dahl's children's books grew out of stories he told his daughters at bedtime, beginning with James & the Giant Peach.  Dahl once remarked that if he hadn't had children, he wouldn't have been able to write for them.

Roald Dahl's other passions in life included racing greyhounds, breeding homing budgies, orchids, onions, gambling, golf, & wine. He wrote most of his children's books in a small hut at the bottom of the garden of his residence, Gipsy House in Buckinghamshire.  Dahl couldn't type & used a pencil to write. Roald Dahl died in 1990.


Find Roald Dahl in the library catalog (note: not all Dahl titles are aimed at a juvenile audience).

Find Roald Dahl on the internet:

Celebrate Roald Dahl Day! Includes "50 Scrumdiddlyumptious Ways" to celebrate.
Roald Dahl: The Official Website
The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre
"Roald Dahl: My Hero"
Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity
Roald Dah's Follow That Peach!
Roald Dahl Children's Gallery
Penguin Group: About Roald Dahl

Which is your favorite Roald Dahl book?  I still try to open my chocolate from the corner & nibble slowly, like Charlie Bucket, but I also have fond memories of my 3rd grade teacher reading James & the Giant Peach to the class back in the '70s.

Which is your  favorite Roald Dahl movie?  I haven't seen all of them myself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Railroads in New Mexico

The development of the American Southwest
was often parallel to the spread of the
railroads.
 
Railroads have an important place in New Mexico's history, not just along the East-West and North-South corridors, but also the many branches and lines which led to lumber, livestock, mineral, and cultural resources. Some of these lines, and whole railway companies, are long gone now, the only traces being some route cuts and embankments and the occasional rusty spike. Towns boomed when the railway came through, and dwindled when the tracks were taken up.
 
Railroads were also important in developing tourism in New Mexico, with beautiful advertisements offering the accommodations of Fred Harvey's Houses and the grandeur of the scenery accessible via the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (which, curiously enough, did not directly service Santa Fe, only coming as close as Lamy.)
 
The location of the AT&SF main yards in Albuquerque was a major reason for the city's growth -- a fate that might have been Bernalillo's, originally slated as the site but passed up after a disagreement about the availability of land there. The railway also made it easy for thousands of tuberculosis patients to travel to New Mexico in search of a more salutary climate, another reason for a bump in Albuquerque's growth.
 
Many a smaller town in New Mexico is laid out along the railroad tracks, and if you travel along those tracks (often two streets away from that town's Main Street) you might find a Harvey House still standing though most often vacant, a fading reminder of another time when rail travel was not only essential but sometimes even elegant.
 
Browse titles on Railroads in New Mexico.
 
Related searches:




New Mexico's Railroads: A Historical Survey by David F. Myrick

 
 
Long the handbook on the subject, Myrick's book provides a valuable overview with many historical photos. Chronicles the growth and ebb of  railway companies and lines around the state.
 
While the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe is likely the most recognizable company operating in the state, well over 100 railway companies have been active in New Mexico, some of them narrow-gauge lines serving lumber and mineral interests and some of them "common carriers" hauling freight and passengers. These companies have risen, receded, divided and combined as New Mexico grew and changed.
 
New Mexico's Railroads is a necessary resource for anyone interested in the subject, and fine browsing to gain some insight into a fascinating part of New Mexico's past and present. 
 



 
Railroad and Railroad Towns in New Mexico compiled and revised by William Clark
 


Compiled from articles previously published in New Mexico magazine from 1964-1980.

These articles reveal the color and the character of the effect of the railroads upon New Mexico, and discusses the colorful characters associated with our Territorial past. With period and recent photos of facilities and equipment.

Contents:

The Coming of the Railroad - Howard Bryan
Fred and His Girls - Dale Bullock
When the Railroad Came - Las Vegas - Elmo Baca
The Second Albuquerque - Howard Bryan
Raton and the Northeastern Plains - Ruth Armstrong
The Last Frontier - Ruth Armstrong
Six Shooter Siding - Ruth Armstrong
Riley's Switch - Ruth Armstrong
Reminiscences of the New Mexico Central - Vernon Glover
The Cloud-Climbing Route - Marjorie White
One Yard Wide, More Than 100 Years Long - Doyle Kline
Memories - Three Feet Wide - Roy W. Albee
Short Trip on a Long Train - Margaret Erhart
Almost All the Way with Santa Fe - Richard Bradford
Highballing West on No. 5078 - Ray Nelson



The Train Stops Here: New Mexico's Railway Legacy by Marci L. Riskin


In the vast expanse of territorial New Mexico, railroads had a striking impact. Many cities, among them Carlsbad, Raton, Clovis, and Gallup, were founded as railroad stops. Architect Marci Riskin explores the history of railroad depots and other structures--everything but the trains themselves--that make up New Mexico's railway legacy.

To begin the examination, Riskin includes a brief history of railroad development in New Mexico, a description of the architectural features of the state's railroad buildings, and an overview of how railroads work. This background will help answer questions that may arise on a visit to a rail-yard: What is that strangely shaped train car carrying? How is that twisted piece of metal used? Why are the bricks on the platform stamped with the single word Coffeyville?

The bulk of the book is an account of what is left of the state's railroad heritage, organized geographically within each rail system: the Santa Fe system from Raton to Silver City, the Denver & Rio Grande, the Colorado & Southern, the Southern Pacific, and the El Paso and Northeastern, among others. - from the book jacket




Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest by Richard Melzer

 
 
The Harvey House was an oasis of comfort and civilization along the railway routes of the Southwest. Harvey, dismayed by the facilities he had seen at railway stops, endeavored to provide clean and welcoming lunchrooms, restaurants, and hotels as alternatives and his name became synonymous with quality accommodations -- an image fostered by clever and attractive advertising which drew in tourists from around the world. The Harvey House chain also offered tours to cultural, geological, and archeological attractions, further opening the Southwest to visitors. Harvey had close connections with the Santa Fe Railway, contracting to provide dining services along the line; this mutually beneficial association allowed Harvey to use the railroad for free shipment of supplies, while providing railway passengers with quality rest stops.
 
Fred Harvey is also famous for recruiting the Harvey Girls: young, decent, hardworking women from around the country to serve as hostesses in his lunchrooms.
 
In New Mexico, Harvey Houses were in the towns of Albuquerque, Belen, Carlsbad, Clovis, Deming, Gallup, Lamy, Las Vegas, Raton, Rincon, Santa Fe (the La Fonda Hotel), San Marcial, and Vaughan.
 



The Harvey Girls: The Women Who Civilized the West by Juddi Morris

 
 
Fred Harvey created the first restaurant chain in the United States (even while part of the country was still territorial rather than actual states.) The Harvey House chain of lunchrooms, restaurants, and hotels maintained very high standards, and Harvey wanted staff to match. So he advertised in the East for women 18 to 30, pleasant, competent, attractive, and willing to meet his expectations for civilized behavior. Besides their pay they would receive room and board. Thousands applied and the best were hired; for many of the young women, it was the first time they had left home.
 
The Harvey Girls became not only a famous feature of the Fred Harvey chain, but their standards for cleanliness and decorum are credited as having a civilizing effect on the often rough customers in "the territories". This civilizing influence became even more lasting when thousands of the "Girls" married customers, to settle in the West.
  


 
 
 
By the late 1800s, the major mode of transportation for travelers to the Southwest was by rail. In 1878, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company (AT&SF) became the first railroad to enter New Mexico, and by the late 1890s it controlled more than half of the track-miles in the Territory. The company wielded tremendous power in New Mexico, and soon made tourism an important facet of its financial enterprise.

All Aboard for Santa Fe focuses on the AT&SF's marketing efforts to highlight Santa Fe as an ideal tourism destination. The company marketed the healthful benefits of the area's dry desert air, a strong selling point for eastern city-dwelling tuberculosis sufferers. AT&SF also joined forces with the Fred Harvey Company, owner of numerous hotels and restaurants along the rail line, to promote Santa Fe. Together, they developed materials emphasizing Santa Fe's Indian and Hispanic cultures, promoting artists from the area's art colonies, and created the Indian Detours sightseeing tours.

All Aboard for Santa Fe is a comprehensive study of AT&SF's early involvement in the establishment of western tourism and the mystique of Santa Fe. - from the book jacket


 
 The New Mexico Rail Runner Express offers passenger service along the Rio Grande Valley between
Santa Fe and Belen. The Belen stop is
located near the old Harvey House.
 
 

 
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
offers day trips May through October



over historic narrow-gauge lines
through northern New Mexico.
Advertised as "America's longest and highest
steam-operated railroad", the Cumbres & Toltec
offers visitors a taste of the past as they
ride this line originally built in 1880.
 
 


The Santa Fe Southern Railway
runs trips over the 129 year-old rail spur
between Lamy and Santa Fe, using
historic equipment. Available for day excursions,
night train, holiday or special event trips.
 
 

 
The New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society
(NMSL&RHS) is a non-profit organization generally dedicated to maintaining awareness of the role of the railroads in our history, preserving historical materials, and educating the public. Specifically, the mission of the Society is to restore the Baldwin 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive, AT&SF 2926, an ongoing project at their headquarters in downtown Albuquerque. The Society periodically hosts Open Houses to give the public an opportunity to learn about and admire the locomotive, and generally experience the atmosphere of the glory days of the railroads.
 

 
Amtrak offers passenger service through
New Mexico on two routes,
the Southwest Chief and the Texas Eagle.
The Southwest Chief
runs daily with stops in Albuquerque,
and serves Santa Fe with
a shuttle from Lamy.
 
 
________________________________________________________
 
The Harvey House in Belen NM still stands and has been preserved to give visitors a taste of that time. Housing the Belen Harvey House Museum, the structure is also home to the Belen Model Railroad Club, which maintains a large working model train exhibit in the building. The Museum holds exhibits and memorabilia pertaining to the railroad and Harvey House period in New Mexico. A Gift Shop also features railroad-related items. The Museum is free to the public. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:30PM to 3:30PM, and Sundays from 1PM to 3PM. Donations are accepted.
________________________________________________________
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mary Oliver


Mary Oliver is an American poet born September 10, 1935 in Ohio. Her first collection of poems, No Voyage, and Other Poems, was published in 1963.  Her fifth collection, American Primitive (1983), won the Pulitzer Prize.

Oliver's work turns towards nature for its inspiration and describes the sense of wonder it instills in her. "When it's over," she says, "I want to say: all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms." [Wikipedia]  Mary Oliver is reckoned to be this country's best-selling poet - in 2007, a list on poetryfoundation.org of the top 15 best-selling poetry volumes in America as of mid-January included five Mary Oliver titles. She has lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts, since the 1960s, & the New York Times has called her "The Bard of Provincetown".


Find Mary Oliver in the library catalog

Mary Oliver links:

Mary Oliver on Poets.org
Mary Oliver's official Beacon Press website
podcast of Mary Oliver reading at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe in 2001
Mary Oliver on The Poetry Foundation website

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vogue's September Issue



I must say that I am a person who loves clothes and shoes, and who loves to shop. However, I do not spend much time looking at fashion magazines, except for the magical time in late summer when the fall fashion collections are shown in magazines around the world. Once a year, just around this time, I will actually buy copies of magazines for my own, making a special effort to find Vogue’s September issue. I discovered the September issue in 2005 when a friend gave me her copy when she was done with it. Ever since then it has been a special late summer treat for me to bring home a copy of the weighty magazine and spend a day looking at the glossy advertisements, wishing I could take the infamous advice of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, and be thin enough to wear everything in the magazine, and rich enough to afford it.
 
Vogue’s September issue has reached a special fame after the documentary movie The September Issue was released in 2009. The movie follows the evolution of Vogue’s biggest issue to date, the 2007 September issue, from the points of view of Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, and fashion editor Grace Coddington. Since the debut of the movie it seems that more people are aware of the late summer and early autumn magazines that feature the newest fashions. However, September 2007 looks paltry in comparison to Vogue’s September 2012, coming in at a record 916 pages (2007 was 840 pages), featuring fashionista Lady Gaga on the cover. Besides the fall fashion collections this issue also celebrates being in business (en vogue, shall we say?) for 120 years. Many women can remember their grandmothers and their great-grandmothers reading Vogue, although its evolution as a fashion magazine has been years in the making. In September 1892 the first issue was released as a weekly society pamphlet, which slowly evolved into a fashion magazine. By the time editor Diana Vreeland took creative control of the magazine in the 1960s Vogue was known as the place for viewing the latest fashions. Under Vreeland’s editorship the magazine began running articles and features based on current events of the day, including the sexual revolution and the hippie movement. Models and fashion photographers became famous when featured in Vogue, and trends flourished after being featured in the magazine. To this day, Vogue is still the first place to look for fashion ideas, fashion advice, fashion trends, anything fashion!
 
Obviously, there is a lot to be said for finding your own voice of fashion. Magazines are simply the starting point. (I think is one of the reasons I don’t buy them year round is that I like to find my own style!) They do offer a great way to get new ideas of how to wear clothes in your head, although most of us will never have the funds to go the lengths the magazines seem to push us. However, sometimes just finding a new color in an ad to search for when you buy clothes can be inspiring.
 
I look forward to this time of year when the days start getting cooler, and the sun looks a little darker, and I look through Vogue’s September issue and dream of designer dresses. It’s a fun escape to imagine wearing the very latest clothes in exotic locations. If I happen to pick up a little fashion advice, a new thought for what shoes to look for, or what shade of nail polish is available along the way, so much the better.
 
Check out Vogue back issues at the library, and take a peek at the September issue 2012 (which will not be available to check out until the next issue is out). Click here to see what branches carry it. If you’re interested in the documentary The September Issue, click here.
 
The library also offers some great books on fashion. Here’s a short list to get you started:
TheThoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant
Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen
100Years of Fashion by Cally Blackman
If you're interested in learning more about the women who helped make Vogue the powerhouse that it is today check out these biographies:
Diana Vreeland by Eleanor Dwight
 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Music Books


Wikipedia defines a geek as "a person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity, depth, or subject of their interest. Some people use this connotation in a derogatory manner that suggests social ineptitude and/or obsession, but others use it in a positive manner or as a sense of group identity".  I think that would probably place me squarely in the category of "music geek" (or nerd) - see this comic called "The Music Nerd's Burden" & you'll understand what my life is like...

Anywho, as part & parcel of my geekiness, I not only enjoy listening to music, I enjoy reading about it as well. There is some great music reads out there!  Some books about music I have enjoyed in the past include Nick Hornby's SongbookJacqueline Du Pre by Elizabeth Wilson, Girls to the Front by Sara Marcus, We Got the Neutron Bomb by Marc Spitz & Brendan Mullen, Rip It Up & Start Again by Simon Reynolds, & Django Reinhardt and the Illustrated History of Gypsy Jazz by Michael Dregni. I am always on the lookout for more interesting titles!  Here are some of the latest music reads in the library catalog:


Chromatic:  The Crossroads of Color and Music edited by Chris Force and Scott Morrow

The Encyclopedia of New Wave by Daniel Bukszpan

The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness by Kevin Young

Letters to Kurt by Eric Erlandson

Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt edited by Eric Weisbard

Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music by John Caps

How Music Works by David Byrne

The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie & the 1970s by Peter Doggett

When I Left Home: My Story by Buddy Guy with David Ritz

Mick: The Wild Life & Mad Genius of Jagger by Christopher Andersen

Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones

This Will End in Tears: The Miserabilist Guide to Music by Adam Brent Houghtaling



Have you read any books about music that you'd like to recommend?  Let us know in the comments!