Sunday, January 12, 2014

Off the Shelf Early January 2014‏

So the Polar Vortex has come and gone, just as the Derecho did in 2012, leaving us with new weather words to ponder.  And unlike “Snowmaggedon”, these are actual scientific meteorological terms.  Are there more such odd events in our future?  What about our past?   Check out these titles to put some of our recent weather events in perspective:

·  The Year without a Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History by William and Nicholas Klingaman (1816 is the year that there was snowfall in the northeastern US in July, all as a result of a volcanic eruption in Indonesia the year before.)
·  Disaster: a History of Earthquakes, Floods, Plagues and Other Catastrophes by John Withington (as a reviewer said, this book offers some perspective for today’s fears of natural disaster as he traces the long history of such events.)
·  Tornado Alley: Monster Storms of the Great Plains by Howard Bluestein (As a storm chaser, Bluestein has had the opportunity to photograph many tornados, and the photos included here are plenty scary.)
·  Into the Storm: Violent Tornadoes, Killer Hurricanes, and Death-Defying Adventures in Extreme Weather by Reed Timmer (Star of Discovery Television’s “Storm Chasers” TV series, Timmer lets the reader in on some of his most extreme experiences.)
·  The Perfect Storm: a True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger (This novel-like account of the fate of a fishing boat and crew, facing extreme weather conditions, was also made into a dramatic film.)

And for you weather junkies, there’s much, much more – try keywords such as “Natural disasters”, “Earthquakes”, “Extreme weather”, “Tornadoes”,  “Climate change” in our catalog, and read yourself into a frenzy.


Could there be a better time than the quiet and party-free days of January and February to learn something new?  Check out the library’s Calendar of Events on our webpage at for more information.  On January 30th at Bull Run Library, for instance, the “North of 50” group will learn how to make homemade pasta (and undoubtedly check out some great Italian cookbooks for recipe ideas). 

At the same library on January 22nd and 23rd, adults will have the opportunity to learn more about google searching as well as find out what’s new and how to use it by attending “Your Library for Dummies (and Others with Questions)”.  At Chinn Park Regional Library, January brings classes in a new language, in how to use your iPad, and more – including how to download ebooks from the library’s website.  Potomac Library will answer the question “What’s Holding You Back?” in terms of employment, with a workshop designed to help job seekers.  All programs are free; some require registration. Check out the webpage for all the details and start 2014 on the path towards self-improvement.

c) 2014 Prince William Public Library System
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