Looking at Totem Poles

>The book Looking at Totem Poles by Hilary Stewart is an eye-opener. First of all I assumed that the totem poles you see in books and on television are all old totem poles. Not true. In fact just the opposite.

I was flipping through the book, checking out all the wonderful totems, when I noticed that the carving dates for the poles in this book are fairly recent dates. Luckily, the author does a fantastic job of explaining why this is so.

Like most native peoples in North America, as soon as white settlers decided they wanted an area, the residents of that ancestral land were forced to move on and to deny their culture as well. In the case of totem poles it meant that quite a few of them were stolen and placed in national museums around the world, thus denying access to these important spiritual creations.

As most people know, totems tell a story. The totem pole tells a detailed story of a particular family’s history. As the totems disappeared from the landscape, so did the stories and those who knew how to carve them. Luckily, past mistakes by the U.S. and Canadian governments were realized, and the traditional peoples of the Pacific Northwest were once again able to enjoy the rich spiritual traditions of their ancestors. Also extremely lucky was the fact that some native peoples had continued on the tradition of totem pole carving (if only in miniature) and were able to pass these skills along to a younger generation. This younger generation of carvers quickly began the work of recreating the totemic scenery of the Pacific Northwest and its native peoples.

The ink drawings and photographs of the totem poles are amazing, as well as, the author’s description behind what these poles mean.

Service Included: four-star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter


Experience a really expensive, high-class restaurant behind the scenes in this entertaining debut of a former waiter at Per Se Restaurant in New York.

Phoebe Damrosch shares the tricks for pleasing the beautiful self-absorbed celebrites, the all important New York Times food critic and the tempermental chefs in one of the best four star establishments in New York. Her love interest with Andre the sommelier (also of Per Se) adds to the yummy fun of Service Included: the four-star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter.

March Madness! The time for Almanacs.

>Although it sounds hard to believe, the NCAA Basketball tournament (a.k.a.- March Madness) is once again upon us. Time to fill out those basketball brackets, scratch them out, and then rip them up. I think my favorite thing about March Madness is that even the casual fan becomes caught up in the excitement of going from 65 teams to 1 in a matter of a few weeks. Will Florida make it three in a row? Can KU and UNC meet in the finals? Are KU and KSU going to play a third time this year? Lots of questions and lots of basketball to be played.

For help in filling out those brackets we have two really awesome reference books available at MPL:

ESPN Sports Almanac 2008

Sports Illustrated Almanac 2008

Find average margins of victory for your teams, road wins, rpi ratings, etc.

So be ready to bring the knowledge and GO CATS!

Runnin’ Down a Dream

>Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. For me the name brings back memories of cruising around in the summer time with the windows rolled down and the radio blasting rock and roll. For those fans of rock in the 70′s and 80′s, Tom Petty was the essential roots based rocker, who wrote number one hit after number one hit.

This book is full of pictures of Tom and his band from his early days as a 15 year old touring musician, to his first known band “Mudcrutch”, and culminating with his years spent as the frontman for the Heartbreakers. Personal favorite pictures are Tom as a young rocker, and Tom recording with Johnny Cash.

Read the book with your favorite Petty record on, flip through the pages, and remember how it felt the first time you heard a Petty song cutting through the airwaves.

Celebrate Quilting!


March 15 is National Quilting Day–a day to celebrate the art of quiltmaking. If you enjoy quilting, Manhattan Public Library has hundreds of books on the subject, from hand quilting to machine sewing and applique. Simple contemporary quilts : bold new designs for the first-time quilter by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader is a comprehensive introduction to quilting adapting modern, creative ideas and time-saving tips. Essential skills every quilter should know are found in Quilts A to Z : 26 techniques every quilter should know by Linda Causee. For books on other aspects of quilting such as Sashiko, watercolor or strip quilting, check our card catalog or ask at the reference desk.

Vanishing Acts


Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult is a story about kidnapping, abuse, and alcoholism, and yet it still manages to be uplifting. Delia Hopkins is a single mother who works with her bloodhound, Greta, to do search and rescue missions. She is enjoying her life as she plans her wedding and has a close relationship with her father. In the midst of this her father is arrested for kidnapping. Suddenly all that she depends on in her life is lost and Delia tries to do a search and rescue mission for the secrets of her past.

What Every Veteran Should Know 2008

>With Fort Riley just down the road and more than a few soldiers who will decide to call this area home when their time is up, the public library has the information to help you navigate your post active duty life.

For the last 72 years, the Veterans Information Service has released a directory of information especially tailored for those who have served in our countries armed forces. The book What Every Veteran Should Know 2008 contains information such as:
-Health care benefits
-Education benefits
-Vet centers
-VA regional offices
-Eligibility requirements for Veteran’s benefits.

The book is located in our reference collection on the second floor. It is an item that cannot be checked out, thus assuring all that this information will be readily available when they come into the library.

> The most interesting character in Stranger In Paradise is not the “hero” of the series, Jesse Stone. Instead, it’s Stone’s counterpart on the other side of the law, hitman Wilson “Crow” Cromartie. “Crow” appeared as a hired gun in an earlier Jesse Stone novel, then vanished with the stolen loot at the end of the novel. Presumably never to be heard from again. But Crow and Stone cross paths again in Paradise, when Crow accepts a job to kidnap a drug dealer’s daughter from her mother. Of course, there’s a hitch–the daughter has good reasons to resist returning to dad’s care.

The dialogue is classic Robert Parker–terse and funny. Although Stone’s character needs some deeper development, there’s plenty of action. Stone’s fellow cops are stronger players in this plot, with some interesting subplots of their own. The local women find Crow irresistible, despite knowing he is a cold-blooded killer.