Summer is almost here! Switch from this…



Click the book title to see where you’ll find it at JSRCC Libraries.

Virginia: A Guide to Backcountry Travel and Adventure

House By the Sea   

Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of Family Vacations

Where To Go When, the Americas: North, Central, South America, & the Caribbean

Back Door Guide to Short Term Job Adventures: Summer jobs, Seasonal Work, Volunteer Vacations, and Transitions Abroad

101 Accessible Vacations: Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers

Volunteer Vacations

Summer Blooming Bulbs

Urban Farm Handbook: City Slicker Resources

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Around the World Through Books!

Who was Henrietta Lacks?

Her cells traveled into space. Her cells redefined 20th century modern medicine, human health, and research for the polio vaccine, cloning, in vitro fertilization, and so much more. Her cells continue to live in thousands of medical and research facilities throughout the world.

And yet, Henrietta Lacks — a native of Virginia — died in 1951.

Participate in the upcoming Book Discussion and learn how Henrietta Lacks achieved a troubling but amazing and powerful immortality through her living cells.

The winner of numerous awards and recognitions, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks brings history, humanity, science, and ethics together in a fascinating story that focuses centrally upon one woman, one life, and her transformative impact upon the world. Read more about her story , see the book display in Parham Campus library, and attend the book discussion this week!

When? Thursday, March 29 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Where? The Gallery, downstairs in Georgiadis Hall, Parham Campus

Food?  Light Refreshments will be served.

Around the World Through Books is a free community event sponsored by the Multicultural Enrichment Council at JSRCC.

Food for Thought…Around the World Through Books!

“Is the old adage in fact true? Are we really what we eat? …

Arguably the quintessential work of food fiction, Like Water for Chocolate…  is Laura Esquivel’s enchanting debut novel recounting the life of Tita de la Garza and her family during the Mexican Revolution. Tita, the youngest daughter of the tyrannical matriarch Mama Elena, falls deeply in love with Pedro Muzquiz. Owing to an age-old family custom, she is forced to forgo love to care for Mama Elena. Distraught and heartbroken, Tita finds companionship, solace, and meaning in her culinary toils, and her emotions mysteriously begin to season the food she prepares. As fantasy mingles with reality, Esquivel seamlessly melds mouthwatering family recipes with a timeless tale of food and love.” Neal Wyatt, Library Journal,  11/1/ 2011

Celebrate love, cooking, and chocolate with the second Around the World Through Books event on Thursday, February 16 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in The Gallery of Georgiadis Hall, Parham Campus.  Fresh chocolates prepared by the culinary students of Chef Jesse Miller will be provided!

Take a glimpse at some of the many recipes inspired by this book posted on blogs, Cooking in Mexico  and Leite’s Culinaria … or check out a book like My Sweet Mexico from the JSRCC cookbook collection to teach yourself!

Around the World Through Books is a free community event sponsored by the Multicultural Enrichment Council at JSRCC.

Charles Dickens- 200th Birthday Celebration!

February 7, 2012 marks the bicentenary of Charles Dickens.

According to a literary exhibit at Southern Methodist University, this Victorian author “was born February 7, 1812, and wrote more than 34 major novels until his death on June 9, 1870. Two hundred years after his birth, his literary legacy remains unparalleled. His 19,000 published editions ranks behind only the King James Bible and Shakespeare in number of editions published.”

From the exhibit catalog: “The world loves Charles Dickens because Charles Dickens loved the world. He was a man who would today describe an automobile ride with the same gusto as he described a mail coach ride; a broad minded man whose religion and philosophy embraced all of mankind, not merely the Englishman; a man who believed that foreigner and countryman were both works of the same Divine Creator; a man who believed and taught that all men were brothers. Although considered a Victorian, he was actually a man that transcended time periods. This is why the star of Dickens does not show any signs of waning.”

His books remain topsellers in the age of the Kindle.

Explore the myriad ways you can experience this great literature at JSRCC libraries- print books, online books, downloadable audio books, videos, streaming videos, and more!

Oldest book in the world?

Flood Story Tablet from Epic of Gilgamesh, by Flickr user atonal

In a previous post, we answered  a student’s question: “What is the oldest book in the library?”

Then we promised to find an answer to a related question: “What is the oldest book in the world?” This was not so easy! Many people might guess The Bible, or Homer’s Iliad.

Because archeologists are constantly unearthing new antiquities and developing new technologies for dating them, and because it is difficult to come to a consensus definition of “book”, this question has proved daunting. It seems that to be defined as a book, a piece of writing should have a binding and consist of pages or leaves. Does this leave out writings on ancient papyrus scrolls and clay tablets, the slabs of stone carvings, inscriptions inside ancient burial sarcophagi, and other strange and ancient methods of recording human thought?

Was the first book only the first one to be created on a printing press? What about earlier books printed by the Chinese using woodblock? What materials were used, and how were they handled? Was it truly possible to accurately date the book? Was it found in ancient Egypt, Sumer, China, or India? Maybe it was written in hieroglyphics, cuneiform, or other ideogram or pictogram?

According to many sources, the oldest book in the world is The Teachings of Ptah-Hotep, alternately known as The Maxims, The Instructions, or The Wisdom of Ptah-Hotep. This ancient Egyptian work, preserved both on clay tablet and papyrus, instructed people on how to live a virtuous life of civic duty and to reject selfishness and greed. Various creation dates of 2700-2200 BC, and even earlier exist.

Another exciting book discovery, untitled, has been housed in Bulgaria’s National Museum of History since 2003. Six pages of beaten 24 carat gold covered in Etruscan script make up this ancient book, estimated at about 2,500 years old. Discovered in an old tomb, it carries text and images of a horseman, a mermaid, a lyre, and warriors.

Yet another widely mentioned candidate is a Sumerian epic poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, owned by the British Museum. It is written in cuneiform on clay tablets and dated at about the seventh century BC. Read the astounding story of its discovery in The Buried Book: The Loss and Discovery of the Epic of Gilgamesh, at JSRCC libraries.

The Chinese have their I Ching, or Book of Changes; the Indians have the Hindu Vedas; and then there are the Sutras, ancient writings of both Hindu and Buddhist cultures.

You can see the problem in answering this question. Maybe you have come across some interesting candidates for this honor yourself…please post and share them here!

And the winners are… !

This past weekend, the Library of Virginia announced their 14th annual Library of Virginia Literary Award winners, honoring both Virginia authors of  fiction and authors of non-fiction on a Virginia subject.

Most exciting for us here at JSRCC is the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Non-Fiction winner, Rebecca Skloot, for her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a wonderful piece of research and writing on the fascinating human story behind the development of the HeLa cell for cancer research. This book will be featured in our third Around the World Through Books event of the 2011-2012 year on Thursday, March 29th.

Other winners include Earl Hamner, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and is the beloved author of  The Homecoming; a Novel About Spencer Mountain.  Belle Boggs, another Virginia native, received the Emyl Jenkins Sexton Literary Award for Fiction for Mattaponi Queen: Stories, a beautifully written collection of short stories set on Virginia’s Mattaponi Indian Reservation and in the surrounding counties.

Jan Karon was the winner of the People’s Choice Award in Fiction for In the Company of Others, one of her many popular novels about Father Tim. In this recent book, he is off to Ireland for a 64th birthday celebration for his wife, Cynthia.

Read these award-winning books and more at your JSRCC Libraries!

Tonight at 5:00 PM – Around the World Through Books!

Around the World Through Books kicks off its first book discussion of the year on October 13 with Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog  – now is the time to get started reading the book!

“Colonel Massoud Amir Behrani was once a powerful and respected officer in the Shah of Iran’s air force. Having fled the country with his family, he works by day spearing trash on California highways and by night as a clerk in a convenience store while deceiving his family into believing that he has a loftier job. Now, willing to risk the modest remainder of his fortune to restore his family’s dignity, he buys a small house at a county auction, planning to sell it again for three or four times what he paid. But the house has been auctioned because of a bureaucratic error, and Behrani’s fragile plans are jeopardized when Kathy Nicolo, the owner of the house, begins to protest the sale. A recovering alcoholic and addict, Kathy is desperate to regain her only tie to stability—her home. In doing so, she enlists the help of Deputy Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who has fallen precipitously in love with her. As Kathy and Lester become obsessed with seeking justice by whatever means possible, the three characters converge on an explosive collision course.

Combining unadorned realism with profound empathy, House of Sand and Fog is a devastating exploration of the American Dream gone awry.”                                                                                                                                                    Knopf-Doubleday Reading Group Center website

Don’t miss the discussion of this book on Wednesday, October 13, 2011 at Parham Campus! The event will be held in The Gallery, Room 101 in Georgiadis Hall from 5:00-6:30 pm. (PLEASE NOTE EARLIER TIME) Refreshments will be served.

Copies of House of Sand and Fog are available for checkout  at all JSRCC libraries.

Around the World Through Books is a free community event sponsored by the Multicultural Enrichment Council at JSRCC.