Archive | January, 2014

How NOT to Eat Like a Child

16 Jan

Way back in 2001, when dinosaurs still probably roamed the earth (or at least we were all still playing Tetris on our video consoles), a book came out for adults by Delia Ephron, the younger sister of the late, great Nora.  The book was called How to Eat Like a Child, and was a tongue-in-cheek book for adults about how children misbehave, adorably.

Recently, there have been many comments on internet listservs that I am on about how children behave in public, less adorably.  Honestly, it sounds to me that most of these complaints come from young non-parents who will change their tune, quickly, when they have their own little ones to take to public places.  Meanwhile, if you want to cultivate extraordinary behavior in your own offspring that will bring nothing but praise from other adults, I’d like to suggest some books to teach kids the “p’s and q’s” of public behavior, instead of “a,b,c’s.”  These titles are all part of the Hoboken Library’s collection:

Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners, by Laurie Keller.


Mr. Rabbit wonders how to get along with his new neighbors, who are otters, until he remembers the Golden Rule about treating others as you would like to be treated.

Please Say Please! Penguin’s Guide to Manners, by Margery Cuyler.


Penguin teaches her animal friends the proper way to be a good dinner guest.

Table Manners, by Vladimir Radunsky.


Chester teaches his good friend, Dudunoya, about napkins, full-mouthed accidents, and other aspects of proper mealtime behavior.

Hippo Says, “Excuse Me,” and Bear Says “Thank You,” by Michael Dahl.



This is the most basic of mannerly behavior for the youngest children.  The only thing missing is how to say “please.”

Will Princess Isabel Ever Say Please? By Steve Metzger.


Princess Isabel is so unmannerly that she is scaring away all the handsome princes who might marry her.  Princess Isabel needs to learn to behave herself, quickly.

Mind Your Manners On-line, by Phyllis Cromwell.


Hopefully, a book for a slightly older reader who has unsupervised access to the internet.  Deals with cyberbullying, sharing information, and learning to be careful with access to the world’s most amazing tool for communications.

Manners in the Library, by Carrie Finn.


How could I resist?  A little reminder about keeping voices quiet, sharing space with others, and making a visit to the library a pleasant experience.

Now, I am obliged to say “thank you” for reading this post, “please” pass it on to others, and “welcome” to all of you who visit the library.

Written by Lois Gross, Senior Children’s Librarian

Adult Fairytales: The Merry Gentry Series, October Daye Series, and Lost Girl

2 Jan

Ask most people young and old today about fairies and they will probably describe Disney’s version of Tinker Bell, a small diminutive beauty who playfully flutters about sprinkling pixie dust, but not all fairies are so benevolent or kid friendly.  The following fairy tales are geared specifically for grownups with much darker adult themes which draw upon the fairy myths and legends of the Sidhe (pronounced Shee in Gaelic).  So if you dare, come away with the fairies in these two book series and one television series available from BCCLS Libraries!  And for those who would like to discuss Science Fiction and Fantasy works with other fans of the genre come to the first meeting of the Hoboken Public Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group on Monday, January 13 at 6 PM.  We will be discussing our favorite authors and books and planning what we will be reading in the upcoming months.  You can call 201-420-2347 or email for more details.

Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry Series


There are currently eight books in the Merry Gentry Series starting with A Kiss of Shadows.  This is a guilty pleasure, with a fun mix of urban fantasy and mystery.  The series focuses on Meredith Gentry, a real life faerie princess.  She is the first Sidhe royal born in America, where the faerie have fled after years of conflict in Europe.  Because of this she is continuously threatened with assassination (because of her mixed blood Merry is not immortelle).  She hides in Los Angeles working as a private investigator with a group of royal faerie guards.  The focus shifts gradually from Merry’s interaction with the “real” world and focuses more and more on fairy politics and Merry’s struggle to produce an heir to the throne.  As the books in the series progress there is also an increasing focus on erotic romance and less on the mystery elements (around book 5 this noticeable ).  This has divided many fans and any Laurell K. Hamilton forum is fairly equally split between those that prefer her earlier works and those that do not mind the shifting focus of her later novels in both the Merry Gentry Series and the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.  The long awaited ninth book in the series, A Shiver of Light is scheduled to be released on June 3, 2014.

Seanan McGuire’s October Daye Series


There are currently seven books in the October Daye Series starting with Rosemary and Rue.  Seanan McGuire’s October Daye is also part fairy and part mortal, however, October isn’t a fairy princess, but a “changeling” which in this series is looked down upon by the pure blood fairies.  The series starts out on a bleak note with October having only recently returned to human form after being transformed into a koi for over a decade after which neither her fiancé or her daughter wants anything to do with her since they believe she had abandoned them.  Like Merry, October worked as a PI and though she tried to get out of the business as well as cut her ties from the Sidhe, she is sucked back into both with the murder of a long time frenemy.  This McGuire series is much darker in tone compared to her lighter In Cryptid series (discussed in our Halloween 2013 blog post), but fans of one will still enjoy the other for the interesting characters and creative use of mythological and legendary creatures (I especially love her cat-like rose goblin).  This series will appeal to those who want a slightly weightier take on the fairy world than the Merry Gentry series; both contain violence, but the sexuality in this series is more discrete.  The Winter Long is scheduled for fall of 2014, with A Red-Rose Chain (2015) and Once Broken Faith (2016) to follow in the series.

Lost Girl

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Lost Girl is a Canadian Urban Fantasy Crime Drama that is televised on the SyFy network in the United States.  In Lost Girl although there is a focus on the light and dark fae, which reflect the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Courts of Scottish folklore, many other creatures of myth such as vampires are translated into the show’s mythology as part of the fae community.  The series follows a succubus named Bo (Anna Silk), who struggles to control her supernatural powers which can drain humans of their life force while trying to the uncover the mysteries of her birth since she was adopted.  There is a bisexual love triangle between Bo and Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried), a werewolf, and Dr. Lauren Lewis (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor indentured to the fae, both of whom Bo loves deeply.  Fans of HBO’s True Blood series, should also enjoy this drama.   My favorite character of the series is Bo’s PI Partner and BFF, the charming Ksenia Solo, as reformed gypsy thief, Kenzi.  Kenzi frequently dons elaborate punk/goth outfits and a changing array of wigs; not since Blood Ties’ Coreen, have I so looked forward to seeing what a TV character would be wearing each week.  Other favorites of mine are fae bartender, Trick (Richard Howland), and devilish dark fae, Vex (Paul Amos).  Both the individual episodes and the overarching story line are enjoyable in the series.  Season Four is scheduled to premiere on TV in United States in January, but while you wait for the latest episodes, Season One is available from BCCLS on DVD.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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