Newbery Medal Awarded to Neil Gaiman

January 27, 2009 by
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The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2009 John Newbery Medal for outstanding children’s literature to Neil Gaiman, versatile British author of fantasy, science fiction, graphic novels and children’s books, for The Graveyard Book. On its Web site, the ALSC, a chapter of the American Library Association, states the following about The Graveyard Book, “A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose.” Furthermore, … Continue reading

About Neil Gaiman

December 6, 2008 by
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photo source – Kimberly Butler, 2005 Neil Gaiman will be the featured author at this month’s meeting of Saturday Samplers, a Bernardsville Public Library book discussion group, taking place today at 3:30 p.m. The book group will be discussing Neverwhere, which the author turned into a novel after first writing the story as a screenplay for the BBC. Gaiman started his writing career in England as a comic book writer who developed a world-renowned graphic novel series, The Sandman, based … Continue reading

The Passing of Michael Crichton and Studs Terkel Noted

November 5, 2008 by
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Bestselling author Michael Crichton died yesterday at the age of 66 after a long illness. Famous for such clever fictional works as Jurassic Park, Congo, and The Andromeda Strain, Crichton had a talent for great storytelling which could turn implausible themes into vibrant, frightening reality. Bernardsville Public Library has set up a display of Michael Crichton books alongside those of Tony Hillerman, also recently deceased. You’ll find this display just inside the lobby on the right. To remember Studs Terkel, … Continue reading

Tony Hillerman, 1925 – 2008

October 27, 2008 by
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Tony Hillerman, prolific author of American Southwest fiction, died yesterday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the age of 83. Known for his mysteries featuring characters from the Navajo Tribal Police, Hillerman called upon his extensive familiarity with American Indian life to give authenticity to his novels. The New York Times obituary today provides a very interesting profile of his life, including the fact that as a child he attended St. Mary’s Academy, a school for Potawatomie Indian girls in Dust … Continue reading

David Foster Wallace, 1962-2008 – Extraordinary Author, Victim of Severe Depression

September 15, 2008 by
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The literary world is saddened and reeling from the news of David Foster Wallace’s suicide this past weekend in Claremont, California, at the young age of 46. Numerous tributes to this noteworthy American author may be read on the internet and online newspapers such as The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. The New York Times’ article notes, “A prose magician, Mr. Wallace was capable of writing — in his fiction and nonfiction — about subjects from tennis to … Continue reading

Beach Reads

July 30, 2008 by
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There’s plenty of time left this summer to go to the shore, so why not grab some beach reading to take with you? BookReporter has an interesting search page for selecting beach reading by categories such as mystery, armchair travel, and pop culture. Try it at to find just the right book for you. In addition, on National Public Radio’s Web site you can browse their own 2008 list of summer reading. Go to While you’re at the … Continue reading

This Lecture Is For Your Own Good

July 20, 2008 by
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The other day I sat down at my computer to view/listen to Professor Randy Pausch’s now famous “last lecture,” delivered in 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University, from which he retired after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. A young man with a family and beloved by his students and faculty alike, Pausch entitled his lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” He spoke for 120 minutes with infectious, gleeful energy about his childhood, the achievement of his own dreams, and how to … Continue reading

Grendel Invades the Halls of Bernardsville Library!

June 5, 2008 by
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Saturday Samplers, a book discussion group meeting at Bernardsville Public Library, will take on Grendel, a masterpiece of modern fiction by John Gardner, at its next meeting this Saturday, June 7th at 3:30 p.m. John Gardner was a medievalist, college professor, mentor to many authors, and a highly noted author himself. Some of his famous works include October Light, Nickel Mountain, The Sunlight Dialogues, and his last work, Mickelsson’s Ghosts, written just before he died in a motorcycle accident while … Continue reading

2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

May 15, 2008 by
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Junot Diaz’s debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was recently awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A native of the Dominican Republic, Diaz is the recipient of numerous awards for his earlier collection of stories, entitled Drown. A graduate of Rutgers and having earned an MFA from Cornell, Junot Diaz is currently a professor at MIT. In awarding the prize, the Pulitzer Board states, “Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history … Continue reading

ZZ Packer’s Short Stories To Be Discussed

April 26, 2008 by
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The library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, is now reading ZZ Packer’s short story collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. ZZ Packer’s debut collection of short fiction has won numerous awards and international acclaim and is an enjoyable, thought-provoking read. Comprised of eight stories filled with lacerating wit, insight and memorable characters, this collection should inspire an interesting discussion when Saturday Samplers meets next Saturday, May 3rd, at 3:30 p.m. Copies of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere are available at the circulation desk, and … Continue reading

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