Books

"April is the Cruelest Month"

Well, that’s what T.S. Eliot claims at the beginning of his poem “The Wasteland.” Had I not come out and told you the source of the line, you could have discovered it yourself by using the Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry. Here at the Central Library we have two of these indices which allow you to search for poetry by title, first line, last line, author or subject. Here I could find that the poem had, as of the publication of the index, been published in 23 poetry anthologies including American Poetry: The Twentieth Century.

Los Alamos

In 1943, families of mathematicians and scientists, under high security, moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Not knowing where they're going or why, these wives from all over the world cut their ties with friends and relatives to live in isolation, without telephones or uncensored mail.  In the debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos, the collective "we" that serves as the book's narrators only knows that the physicist husbands are working day and night on a secret war project.

And the Pritzker goes to...

Shigeru Ban was awarded the 2014 Pritzker Prize yesterday. The Pritzker Prize is the Nobel of architecture, awarded annually in recognition of an architect’s body of work. Shigeru Ban is an American trained, Japanese architect whose work can be found in places typically not associated with world-renowned contemporary architecture: disaster zones and refugee camps. Upon seeing the living conditions of many Rwandans in the wake of the 1994 genocide, Ban decided he could improve the living conditions for those who had lost nearly everything.

Fun with Stats and Basketball

March Madness is full of surprise and inspirational storylines and drama. It’s also full of awesome statistics. We’ve got the classic in-game statistics (Duke shot only 36% from the floor as a team in the loss against Mercer), school statistics (graduates of the University of Kansas have gone on to coach 122 wins in the NCAA tournament; Kentucky has the most NCAA Tournament appearances with 52), and fun facts (by yesterday evening three teams with bird mascots had already been eliminated).

What Kevin Trudeau Doesn't Want You to Know

Here’s a library conundrum we’d like your advice on: Kevin Trudeau, the guy who promises to tell you the secret of everything from speed reading to growing hair, has been convicted of and spent time in jail for fraud and larceny, fined by the FTC for false claims, found to be in contempt for agreeing to stop cheating people and then not stopping, and last Monday, March 17, sentenced to federal prison for ten years for refusing to pay fines and restitution.

Luck O' The Irish

Patrick was a Britain living in Ireland, first as a slave and then as a priest.  He famously drove all of the snakes from Ireland and used the three-leafed shamrock as a symbol for teaching about the nature of the trinity. The 17th is the date of his death and is traditionally celebrated as his Feast (celebration) day in the Christian faith.  

Weeding Contest

One of our duties here at Austin Public Library is to cull old books. We call it "weeding". We do it continuously, just as new books are published continuously, because if we didn't, we wouldn't be able to fit the new books on the shelves. If we didn't weed, we'd still have astronomy books, for example, that say the sun goes around the earth, that dragons lurk in the skies at the edges of the oceans, that Pluto is a PLANET!

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