Archive | June, 2016

What’s New at the Hoboken Public Library: The Not So Secret Ways to Discover the Newest Titles Available at HPL

29 Jun

Want something new to read?  There are a variety of easy ways that you can find out what the newest titles at HPL are.  If you are looking to browse, the first two rows of books in the first floor circulation area are where the newest adult nonfiction and fiction are kept so it is a great way to sample our more recently added titles.  Of course you can always ask one of the library staff for their new (and older) item picks.

If you want to plan ahead you can also find out online what the just added titles are.  Simply click on the What’s New link on the BCCLS home page and you will be taken to the new item page for HPL.  You can find out what has been recently added for Books, Videos (DVDS and BluRay), and Sound Recordings (Books on CD and Music).  You can also find out what is new at other BCCLS libraries as well.  This is a Beta version, so they are continuing to work on making the service even better!  If you look at the records for the items you can typically get not only a summary of the work, but also reviews from trusted sources like Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal.  Also if you are doing a search in the library’s catalog on a particular topic, you can choose to have the results listed in order of publication date, to get the newest published work first.

If items seem interesting, but you don’t have the time to check them out at the time another great resources is the My List feature that you can access when you have logged into your account while browsing the catalog (you will need your library card and password/pin to login to your account).  You can setup different lists to save titles you are interested in; some of my lists include fantasy/scifi, mysteries, kids’ books, and travel.  Then when I’m in the mood to read something in a particular genre I can just login to my account and look at that list.  Need help with setting up a list or searching the catalog-just email us at reference AT hoboken DOT bccls DOT org and we will help you out!

Here are a few of the new titles that I plan to checkout from our New Item List from the beginning of June:

Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe

In Dear Fang, With Love a mostly absentee father and his recently diagnosed bipolar daughter take a history tour of Lithuania.  The novel is composed partially from Lucas’s narration along with emails and journal entries from Vera.  Library Journal, says “Thorpe’s second novel (after The Girls from Corona del Mar) is recommended for all fiction readers.”  Kirkus Reviews says “Fang, the novel weaves a strange and strangely intoxicating web of histories, both personal and geopolitical.”  Publishers Weekly says “…Thorpe’s prose is light, often hilarious, and unshakably grounded in the concrete details of daily life.”  Definitely sounds like one worth reading.

Following Fish: One Man’s Journey into the Food and Culture of the Indian Coast by Samanth Subramanian

Although I have only recently started eating fish more, I have always had an interest in the fascinating culture and delicious cuisine of India.  This intriguing sounding travelogue follows a journalist’s exploration along the Indian Coast learning about the fishing industry from the fisherman, cooks, and even tries himself a healing treatment that involves swallowing a live fish.  Publishers Weekly says, “This memorable travelogue should entice anyone remotely interested in the culture and food ways of coastal India. This is a superb guide to a rapidly changing region of South Asia.”  Booklist Review says, “Unique and entertaining, Subramanian’s impassioned, well-written, thoughtful quest will draw in even readers who might not have the same tireless love of fish. A cultural and culinary journey well worth taking.”

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning

Warlock Holmes is the new novel by first time author G.S. Denning.  You may remember from a previous post that I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes, who is more popular now than ever in TV, movies, and books.  Here Denning has added a supernatural twist with Holmes having magical powers, Inspector Lestrade is a vampire, and Gregson is an ogre.  As with the originals, the book is setup as a series of short stories.  Publishers Weekly describes it as, “Douglas Adams meets Arthur Conan Doyle in this delightfully absurd collection…” and Booklist says, “Mashup fans will be eagerly awaiting more.”  I checked this one out right away since it seemed like an enjoyable read for a rainy weekend.

Hensel and Gretel, Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez  and illustrated by Dan Santat

I’m also always on the lookout for fun pictures books to share with my son.  Hensel and Gretel, Ninja Chicks seems like it will amuse my little one who has recently become fascinated by various forms of martial arts.  The chicks in the title must rescue their parents from a fox who is holding them hostage in his cornbread house.  Publishers Weekly says, “Santat serves up an unstoppable barrage of exaggerated angles, action lines, and pop-eyed facial expressions to accompany Schwartz and Gomez’s sturdy limerick-metered verse.”  Booklist says, “Schwartz and Gomez’s lively limericks tell the story in a swift, kicky rhythm, while Santat’s dynamic, warm-toned, and action-filled illustrations throw a nice nod to kung-fu movies.”

You can click over to What’s New (Beta) and then let us know what newly available items you are interested in, in our comment section.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

Inspired By: The Dixie Chicks

22 Jun

Last week I saw the Dixie Chicks at Madison Square Garden. This was a concert I have been waiting to see for more than a decade!

The show was excellent and I was thrilled to hear and sing along to my favorite Dixie Chicks songs. I left the show humming “Cowboy Take Me Away”, and carrying a souvenir tote bag printed with a line from the song “Not Ready To Make Nice”.

I also left inspired to write about my favorite tracks from the Dixie Chicks’ catalog, as well as some other related music inspired by the concert.


How did a girl born and raised in Hudson County where “Wide Open Spaces” are a foreign concept come to love the Dixie Chicks? MTV, of course! The year was 1999 and I saw the music video for “Goodbye Earl” from the Chicks’ sophomore album Fly (available on CD and streaming in Freegal).


Mary Ann and Wanda getting the ultimate revenge on the Wanda’s abusive* ex-husband Earl appealed to me as a baby feminist.

You can watch the video on YouTube of course and Freegal, sans commercials. Dear reader, please don’t try anything from the video at home–poisoning people is never a good idea.

Some other choice tracks from Fly:

  • “Cowboy Take Me Away”
  • “Cold Day In July”
  • “Hole In My Head”
  • “Sin Wagon”
  • “If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me”–my very favorite. I had hoped to hear this at the concert, but sadly it wasn’t on the set list. 😦

Wide Open Spaces


The Dixie Chicks’ first album was Wide Open Spaces, released in 1998. (CD and Freegal) The title track of this record is now an anthem for women who want to spread their wings and leave home, but I am partial to “There’s Your Trouble”.



The album Home (CD and Freegal) came out in 2002, and includes a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. There are some sadder, more introspective songs on this record, such as “Traveling Soldier” and “Top of the World”, but “White Trash Wedding” brings levity. I think that the brash “Truth No. 2” was a precursor to the music the Dixie Chicks would make on Taking the Long Way.

Shut Up & Sing


The Dixie Chicks found controversy in 2004 when lead singer Natalie Maines made a negative statement about then President George W. Bush, which brought intense criticism and backlash from the country music community. The documentary Shut Up & Sing covers this period of the Chicks’ history.

Taking the Long Way


From that turmoil came the Grammy-winning Taking the Long Way (CD and Freegal). This album was a game changer, and it is my favorite. This is a rare album I can listen to all the way through without skipping around.

Excellent tracks:

  • “Not Ready To Make Nice”
  • “Taking the Long Way”
  • “Easy Silence”
  • “Baby Hold On”
  • “Everybody Knows”

Sing “Lullaby” to your loved one, your baby, your teenager, your bae, your pet, or whomever you please.

Whenever anyone asks me, “Kerry, why haven’t you [insert milestone that others think I should have reached by now] yet?” I answer that I’m “Taking the Long Way”. Thank you, Dixie Chicks, for helping me answer that nosy but usually well meaning question!

Dixie Chicks Miscellany

If you want to dive deeper into the Dixie Chicks’ music, I recommend borrowing on DVD their VH1 Storytellers episode, where they tell the origin stories of some of their songs. I love to hear about artists’ inspirations for their work. Check out Top of the World Live (CD and Freegal) if you want to experience the Chicks in concert.

This New York Times piece about the Dixie Chicks and Kacey Musgraves as “Country Rebels” prompted me to borrow Kacey Musgraves’s recent release Pageant Material (CD and Hoopla) and savor the title track, “Late to the Party”, and “Biscuits”.

With the line “…mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy…”, “Biscuits” can serve as a good response to any nosy yet usually well meaning questions.

Are you going to any concerts this summer? Do you use song lyrics to respond to questions you’d rather not answer?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

*Click here for resources on domestic violence.

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