News and Reviews

Tree Tenders

Tree Tenders 3 Session Program beings May 25!

Taught by a team of tree professionals, this three session class is designed to create “citizen stewards” who can properly care for trees in their communities, neighborhoods or yards. Learn tree biology, stressors, identification, planting, care and pruning, and how to choose the right tree. You will spend 1 hour outdoors each evening and plant a tree on the library grounds. Pizza and beverages will be served. $25 per person.

Register for this class at www.pennhort.net/treetenders or contact Barley Van Clief at bvanclief@pennhort.org or call 215-988-8793.

Barley VanClief, with the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society took some time to talk to us about this exciting program: Continue reading

Raven Boys

The Raven BoysThe Raven Boys

By Maggie Stiefvater

Review by Zoey Mills

The Raven Cycle follows a group of soon-to-graduate prep school boys and Blue, a clairvoyant’s daughter, and their quest to find the grave of the Welsh King, Glendower. Lead by Gansey, the group is certainly dynamic in that each character brings something to the story. I would say one of Stiefvater’s main strengths is building characters.

As I got further into The Raven Boys, I realized that I became invested in characters (some more than others) and I could picture them as real people. Building entirely different worlds in a book is an extremely difficult thing to do, and often authors tend to give their readers an information overload. Stiefvater is extremely subtle in providing the information needed, and her foreshadowing is so subtle to the point where I had no idea of any of the twists that lay ahead. Although some events within the story are definitely fantastical, her writing is so moving and powerful that you can find yourself lost in the world of Henrietta, Virginia. Continue reading

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels

Dr. Mutter's MarvelsDr. Mütter’s Marvels

By Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Review by Sarah Reisert

I can’t say if I’ve ever noticed the portrait of Thomas Dent Mütter hanging in his namesake museum on any of my previous visits.  Even if I had glanced at it amongst the walls of skulls and bottled tumors, I wouldn’t have known much about the man. I wouldn’t knowa bout the new plastic surgery method Dr. Mütter developed to help burn victims lead more normal lives. Nor how he was the first surgeon in Philadelphia to use ethyl ether anesthesia. I wouldn’t know about his weakness for splashy clothes that matched the color of his carriage, or how his students positively adored him until his untimely death at age 48.  Continue reading

Templar

Templar

by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puvilland

Review by Travis Johnson

Dungeons, swordfighting, unjust imprisonment, evil viziers, love interests in towers, spectacular jumping ability: these are the things that Templar and Jordan Mechner’s groundbreaking 1989 computer game Prince of Persia have in common. However, if you were unaware of Mechner’s subsequent work in various mediums, you might be forgiven for finding it hard to believe that this is the work of someone who achieved their initial fame as a game programmer. Continue reading

Justin Morgan Had a Horse

Justin Morgan Had a HorseJustin Morgan Had a Horse

by Marguerite Henry

Review by Rachel Shuman

This is a wonderful book for a child interested in early American history. In telling the story of Joel Goss, the author shows what life was like for a boy growing up just after the Revolutionary War. The reader follows Joel as he spends the last summer of his childhood journeying with music teacher Justin Morgan. Upon their return home to Vermont, Joel is apprenticed out to a local miller. As he learns his trade and becomes a young man, his path often crosses that of Li’l Bub, a colt belonging to the music teacher, and the eventual founding stallion of America’s oldest horse breed. Their reunion, and the empathy Joel feels in regard to the aged horse, is deeply moving. Continue reading

Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation

Tranlated by: Gavin Flood and Charles Martin

Reviewed by Sarah Newell

Imagine you are on the precipice of a great battle.  You are an ancient warrior lined up with your faction facing the opposing army.  As each side prepares for battle you realize what a great loss this will be for both armies.  With two sides of a great family facing each other cousins will fight cousins, uncles will slay uncles, and neighbors will maim neighbors.  Continue reading

Public Library & Other Stories

Public Library and Other StoriesPublic Library and Other Stories

by Ali Smith

Review by Krystal Mainhart

This book contains a variety of short stories which all, in one way or another, relate around the theme of books and libraries, and how both of these impact the individual as well as communities.  This book became part of, “a fierce fight, a growing national movement …to defend our public libraries [in the United Kingdom].”  In the North American edition, the stories are interspersed with brief sections of transcribed interviews- the author asked friends and strangers about their views of libraries, their histories, and recent library closures.  Continue reading

Marc Berger

Marc Berger in concert, Saturday, March 4th at 2 pm.

Mr. Berger graciously took some time to talk to us before his performance.

Briefly describe yourself & the music you will be performing at the library.

I’m a law school grad and performing songwriter, guitarist and record producer, and an easterner who fell in love with the West in my 20’s. Expect a stripped down performance of my American Western song cycle and album RIDE at TPL. Continue reading

Founding Brothers

Founding BrothersFounding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

by Joseph J. Ellis

Review by Angela DeMott 

Joseph Ellis’ Founding Brothers has a lot to say about the Revolutionary era. In addition, it is a commentary on our current political, economic, and social situation. By way of analyzing six significant moments in U.S. history, Ellis argues that there were as many, if not more, interpretations of the revolutionary spirit of 1776 (and what that actually entailed for the growing nation) as there are beliefs on what it means to be an American today; Ellis also argues that our first political leaders didn’t really know what they were doing (How could they have? There was no precedent!) yet their gut instincts and passion still lead us, eventually, to green pastures.  Continue reading

Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the DollsValley of the Dolls

by Jacqueline Susann

Review by Rebecca Hoetger

Valley of the Dolls fulfilled two separate book challenges: the Rory Gilmore Challenge and a book published in 1966 for TPL’s 50th Anniversary Book Challenge. I have to say, although 50 years old, it still seems very relevant today, considering the pressures of extreme fame that many celebrities face. I liked that the story is told from the perspectives of three strong women: Anne, Neely, and Jennifer. All rise in wealth and fame and deal with life’s pressures differently. Even with the novel’s depressing undertones—a very Mad Men feel—I couldn’t put it down. Continue reading