I am happy to report the posthumous publication of a masterpiece by W. G. Sebald. The book is titled A Place in the Country.Sebald, who tragically died prematurely in an automobile accident in December of 2001, is at the top of his form in this series of essays (which he himself called extended notes and glosses) about writers who were a major influence on him. These pieces encapsulate these writers for us and make us aware of their importance. However (these essays were primarily written in 1997-1998) Sebald makes us uncomfortably aware of the pitfalls of being a successful writer and he somtimes seems to regret choosing writing as his career!
Archive for Staff
During World War Two many famous film directors lile Billy Wilder, William Wyler, John Ford and John Huston were recruited to make wartime movies to help the Allied cause. One who was also recruited was Alfred Hitchcock. He made two short films primarily directed at a French audience about the French Resistance. But what is little known is that he worked on a film titled Memory of the Camps which was about the liberation of a concentration camp. Hitchcock was shocked by the footage and it is reported that he did not come in to his film studio for days afterward. The documentary is being restored and expected to be released in early 2015 according to the Imperial War Museum.
Anyone fascinated by the history of transportation as I am should plan a visit to the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany. If you are unable to travel to Germany visit the great website that they have designed. The Museum has an extraordinary collection of technical exhibits which include a Concorde, a Mercedes-Benz 770K Cabriolet as well as a huge collection of trains. My own personal favorites (if forced to choose) are the Junkers JU-87(of which there are only two other examples in museums elsewhere in the world) and the famous Crocodile Locomotive from the Swiss Federal Railways.
There has been a renewal of interest in Norwegian cooking largely due to the efforts of Andreas Viestad. He is a Norwegian food columnist and TV chef. He is one of the hosts of New Scandavian Cooking and is a delightful host and guide to the new wonders of Scandanavian cooking. He has a wonderful sense of humor and is insistent on always cooking outdoors. On one of the episodes he was on a cruise ship in one of the magnificent Norwegian fjords and cooked a roast suckling pig in the teeth of a major gale!
Well, it’s officially the winter season according to the calendar. Winter runs from December 21st through March 19th (though we can all hope for that cute little groundhog to not see his shadow and indicate an early onset of warmer weather). Regardless of how long the cold weather will continue for, we must come to terms with the fact that over the next several weeks many things will keep us inside our homes and community centers. For those households with children, this can be a nightmare. Trying to entertain children when a snow day occurs or even after school when the wind is blowing too hard for them to play outside can be a very difficult feat.
Of course, there are always those common snowy day ideas on how to use the snow to your advantage; go out and make a snowman or snow angel, have a snowball fight or even take the kids sledding down a steep hill nearby. These are all great ideas to occupy children during the winter, but they are not always a parent or caregivers favorite choice. Not everybody wants to trample through the snow in a snowsuit, gloves and a funny hat (that will always give you crazy hair afterwards). So, what are some other ideas for how to occupy your child when the weather doesn’t cooperate?
At this point you’ll expect me to scream out, “BRING YOUR KIDS TO THE LIBRARY,” and while yes, that is a GREAT idea due to all of the fun activities they can take part in, the toys they can play with and of course the books they can explore, I understand caregivers will sometimes want to be in the comfort of their own homes on these chillingly cold days of winter. Therefore, here is my suggestion. Come to the library, even for just a few minutes to pick some books out with your child, take those books home and use them as a way to bond with them. How? You ask.
Here at the Danbury Public Library, we have a large selection of books in the junior department for children to explore their favorite topics. Take your child up to this department and head over to our Junior Non-Fiction books. There, use our Dewey Decimal system and locate the 745’s. This is the area for decorative arts where you will find books on various crafting ideas. Books on art crafts, jewelry making, paper crafts, and all different activities you can take part in with your child on a snowy day while staying in the comfort of your warm home can be found in this section. We even have a book on how to make crafts out of Duct Tape!
So, as winter has fallen upon us, come on in to the library and seek out some crafting books for you and your child to explore your imaginations together on the next frigidly cold day. And while you’re here, maybe even pick out a book for yourself for those nights where all you want to do is curl up next to a warm fire with a cozy blanket and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Believe me, a book can be one of the greatest winter companions.