Books to Movies in 2019

books-being-made-movies-2019I posted Books to Movies 2018 in March last year so I feel like I’m ahead of the game this year although we are already half way through January!  There are at least 20 books slated to become movies this year according to the Popsugar article I am quoting here.

A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron is already in the theaters starring Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King and Edward James Olmos.  I don’t know about the rest of the movie but the puppy is just adorable!  And apparently this movie will be followed up in May by another W. Bruce Cameron adaptation, A Dog’s Journey starring Dennis Quaid.

February 22nd will see the release of The Rhythm Section based on the book of the same name by Mark Burnell.  The thriller will star Blake Lively and Jude Law and involves a plane crash and a revenge mission!  Another thriller scheduled for release on March 1st is Chaos Walking based on the novel The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, a young adult science fiction fantasy about a world inhabited only by men and they have  the ability to hear each other’s thoughts.  It sounds more like the stuff of comedy to me but the description is quite dark.

In late March things lighten up with the comedy/drama Where’d You Go Bernadette? the 2012 runaway bestseller by Maria Semple.  This one stars Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, and Kristen Wiig.  It pains me to say that I listened to this one on audio a few years back and I really – let’s go with – disliked it.  But that should not discourage you from reading it or seeing the movie.  I think it was a book I should have read rather than listened to.  Lots of family discord and it just seemed that every time I turned it on someone was yelling!  I hope the movie is a bit less contentious. Continue reading “Books to Movies in 2019”


High School Resources

A list of what’s available for free or as a North Castle Library taxpayer, if you go through the library website to find it. 

Many require a library card.

Always look for the word “Register” to gain access from home, possibly.

You will not have access to everything at home. You will need a library card. If your library doesn’t have a great digital library, you likely can visit one that does, and borrow a guest pass to use their system.


Baylor University Research Paper: Timeline

Fast, Furious and Fine Tuned: Google Searching

Citation Machine: Great tool, but it doesn’t always work. Double check it.

Metro Referral Card: These are card that give access to specific materials unavailable in your library, and allows you to use the material in the library itself. The material may be checked out when you want it. You are not likely to get access to online sources. Metro cards are good for 2 weeks, and allow you to use it one time.

10 Study Skills That Lead to Success

Academic Support

Khan Academy: you probably know this, so, just reminding you of it here. From Princeton Review: Online tutoring, homework help. Coming very soon (today???) to Westchester Libraries


Don’t hesitate to go down to a middle school when you look at encyclopedias. You probably just want to use them to see if a topic is interesting, then use articles and books for your report.

WikipediaUnedited, often repetitive, inefficiently written by any number of authors. Use for Sources listed, or when you can’t find your library card.

Encyclopedia Britannica Options (from )

  • Britannica Academic – Delivers fast and easy access to high-quality, comprehensive information. The rich combination of the venerable Encyclopædia Britannica plus Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools provides the variety of reliable sources that students need to consult when conducting thorough collegiate research.
  • Britannica High – Encylopedia Britannica for high school students. Helps students get quick facts and in-depth information on a wide variety of subjects. Start research projects with multiple resources in one place and find multimedia to use in projects and presentations.
  • Britannica Middle – Encyclopedia Britannica for middle school students. Helps students find fast answers and get homework help, explore videos and articles on famous people and places as well as discover maps, photos, and illustrations for school projects.


How do you find a book? 

Literary Criticism 

Gale Literary Sources : Criticism, biographies, overviews, pirmary sources, etc..(Register for full access)

Salem Press Literary criticism, history, current events.(Register for full access)

History and Current Event Articles

JSTOR Journals, primary sources, and books. (Register for full access)

Salem Press Literary criticism, history, current events. (Register for full access)

From Westchester Libraries:

Academic OneFile – The premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world’s leading journals and reference sources. Extensive coverage of the sciences, technology, medicine, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.

Infotrac Newsstand (Gale) – Full-text newspaper database has several NY newspapers, including the NY Times from 1985-Present, as well as over fifty national and international newspapers. Click here for a title list. (Full-text)


Academic OneFile – The premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world’s leading journals and reference sources. Extensive coverage of the sciences, technology, medicine, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.

American Physical Society Journals – The American Physical Society is the world’s second largest organization of physicists and publishes more than a dozen scientific journals including the prestigious Physical Review and Physical Review Letters

Directory of Open Access Journals – A service that covers free, full-text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. – provides comprehensive information about vitamin, herbal and other supplements, and nutritional products. Includes’s independent product evaluations, test results for selected products and Approved Products from’s Quality Certification Program, product recalls, and safety warnings. A science-based encyclopedia of natural products is also provided, including a drug-interaction database. Note: This database is only accessible in the library at Home

Health Reference Center Academic – Multi-source database provides access to the full text of nursing and allied health journals, plus the wide variety of personal health information sources in InfoTrac’s award-winning Health Reference Center.

The Merck Manuals – Offering both the Professional and Consumer versions, The Merck Manuals are one of the world’s most widely used medical information resources. The Manuals have committed to making the best current medical information accessible by up to 3 billion health care professionals and patients on every continent by 2020.

X-Plain Patient Education Health Tutorials – More than 1400 educational videos with basic health information about illnesses or conditions, medical tests and procedures. Versiones en español de este contenido también están disponibles aquí

Secrets of the Sequences: Video series on the Life Sciences – With initial funding from the Pfizer Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, VCU has assembled 50 of the best videos from the public television series, “Secrets of the Sequence” to assist teachers in the application of genetic research across the biology curriculum. Funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has allowed for the creation of additional videos, which are also included on this site.

Developing a Skill Set or Take an Online Course 

Learning Express Library: To learn Microsoft software (Word, Powerpoint, Excel,  etc) How to do fun things like put a video into a Powerpoint presentation, and also learn study skills and a slew of other things, like computer programing, management tips, financial management, etc…etc… Go through your library’s website to get it for free.

Gale Courses: Courses that are mostly aimed for technical rather than college, but could be very useful for anyone- like grammar, photography, basic legal training, along with LSAT test prep, etc…

The Great Courses Courses. Register through your library with RB digital, and get this from home: “The courses range from a myriad of subjects and includes: History — Study ancient and biblical times, medieval Europe, Eastern and Western civilizations, as well as how these historical periods still impact society. Health — Dive into courses on meditation, nutrition, natural healing and brain fitness. Science — Learn from America’s leading scientists in numerous areas of study ranging from biology, astronomy & space, engineering & technology and beyond. Language Arts — learning leadership, thinking and communication skills in both professional and personal lives are essential to get a head. And Much More!”

Khan Academy online academic classes. 


Hoopla for travel!

Today, I got asked a really smart question. “I know I can watch streaming movies from the library,” a patron said. “But can I download a movie to my phone or iPad so I can watch it on the plane?”

Yes, you can! Here’s how:


If you don’t already have it, just go to your app store and download hoopla for your device. It looks like this. Once it’s downloaded, open it.

At this point, you can sign up with your library card and PIN and choose your own username and password.

Once you’re in, you can start looking for movies and TV shows.

Continue reading “Hoopla for travel!”

Happy Birthday, Madeleine!

This American author was born 100 years ago today. She is, of course, most famous for this,

wrinkle book


Though modern audiences may be more familiar with this version of the story.

wrinkle movie

Whether you prefer the classic text or the updated movie, we have both in the library! Madeleine L’Engle famously struggled to get this challenging book before readers. It blends astrophysics, family story, and theology with a thrilling coming-of-age tale. And its young heroine was one of the first female protagonists in a science fiction novel.

A Wrinkle in Time was initially published for young adults 12 and up, and L’Engle is most famous for her works for children and teens. But she also wrote for adults. Here are a couple of books from her nonfiction “Crosswicks” series.

two-part invention

In Two-Part Invention: the Story of a Marriage, L’Engle details her life with actor Hugh Franklin, including their running a general store in a rural village in Connecticut and his struggle with cancer.

great grandmother

The Summer of the Great-Grandmother movingly depicts L’Engle’s mother’s battle with dementia. Here is the first paragraph:

This is the summer of the great-grandmother, more her summer than any other summer. This is the summer after her ninetieth birthday, the summer of the swift descent. (page 3, paperback edition)

L’Engle also wrote poetry, novels for adults, and essays. If you enjoy her work, you’ll find plenty to explore in the library system. Enjoy!

A to Z World Food, Thanks for Helping Me Ditch the Bird

Tired of Turkey?  Simply because the pilgrims (who were close to starvation and would have eaten anything at that point) ate it, doesn’t mean that we have to suffer through another year of it. We are still relative new-comers to the world stage. We have only been a country a little more than 200 years. We are not steeped in tradition. As New Yorkers especially, we should be proud of our melting pot, proud to try new things, proud to embrace cultures that are not our own.

In celebration of America, in a show of my patriotism, I am not suffering through another dry bird. This year, I, a person of Northern European decent, am honoring my country by honoring my fellow Americans who have made my life more interesting and more fun than any over-sized chicken ever could. I am making a Mediterranean main course this year: Lamb. And, to compliment it, I will be attempting Baklava. Further more, I making New England Clam chowder, because the fun is in the mix of flavors, and it goes well with lamb. Nothing’s going to stop me. You go ahead and bring the potatoes.

Oh, and by the way, they have some really great potato recipes at A to Z World Food, a database that lets you explore other cultures without going through security.  That’s where I’m heading for my alternative Thanksgiving feast.

To find it, go to, pull down on the right hand side of the page, General information, and click on A to Z World Food.

Buying a Used Car

My teenager totaled our Nissan Pathfinder. We needed a third car. It was terribly inconvenient but our schedules could be moved to wait until we found the best deal. We decided that the money we could save was worth searching out a private party, as opposed to giving a dealer a cut.

Here are some things to consider when buying from a private party:

  • Sometimes owners are oblivious about how disgusting they have kept their vehicle.
  • You might have to do some driving in different directions in order to see the cars.
  • You might have to be flexible makes and models, which means more research is needed.
  • You are meeting someone you don’t know; and you are possibly handing over a large sum of cash. You are taking a risk.
  • You need to have a mechanic check it out, which might be a real hassle if you are driving a distance away from your mechanic.

My friend, Bob, (yes, that’s his real name, and this really happened in the same time frame), on the other hand, was on his way to look for a car at a dealer when his twenty year old Toyota broke down.  Bob knew he wanted the same car, newer model and he was willing to spend a more to reduce the risks and hassle of private party purchasing.

Here are some considerations if you decide to buy a used car from a dealer:

  • The dealer, and negotiating expert, takes a cut of the sale.
  • Usually the dealer details the vehicle before bringing it to market, so it’s not gross.
  • If you fancy a certain make an model, it’s easy to find who sells it, and even if you have to look at different years; you can compare apples to apples, more or less.
  • You may have to drive to different dealers to get the best deal.
  • You want your mechanic to check it out before you buy.

Step 1, Narrow Down to the Car You want, using Consumer Reports

Whether you’re buying from a private party, like me, or buying from a dealer, like Bob, you want to start with Consumer Reports. They are the only non-advertising-driven publication that provides all of the following:  ratings and safety, driving experience, reliability, and owner satisfaction reviews of a particular car, (and unreliable lists of local inventory, so get that somewhere else).  Consumer Reports will also tell you the trouble spots of vehicles, which you can ask about and use as a negotiation point.

Step 2, Find Your Car

Bob got a list of cars available at local dealers, not from Consumer Reports, because they are older listings, but from the following: is an intuitive site that with wonderful graphics. They let you filter by make, cost, miles, options, engine type, fuel type, color, etc… etc.  It’s pretty fantastic.  They have nice green arrows to tell you if they consider what you’re buying to be a good deal. The only problem is that it’s advertising driven, so it’s not exactly unbiased. That didn’t stop Bob from taking what he found and gong to the different dealerships, to negotiate the best deal. Go Bob! is the place to go if you want to get picky, which both Bob and I wanted to do, and run the VIN (vehicle identification number) to make sure the cars we looked at weren’t in any accidents, and that the title was clean. Carfax has more listings, with information on such things as price drops, and number of owners, etc.. .  Carfax also has a payment calculator- maybe Bob needed that, too.

Here’s where I went to find a car being sold by a private party: This site hasn’t changed in years. The graphics are terrible, it gives tons of false hits, dealerships put their cars on there any way, so it’s not all private parties, and it takes a lot of time to sort through it all. People often misspell words, so you don’t always get all the ones you want. It is arguably not worth it. Then again, that might be where you find your deal. is equally as bad as craigslist, but sometimes people will advertise on one and not the other.

Step 3, Vehicle Records.

Go to to find out repair records, accidents, title history, etc… It’s worth the $15. Free or cheaper  VIN reports give you what you pay for.

By being aware of all that was available, Bob definitely got a great deal on his used Toyota, which the dealer had detailed for him. Despite its used condition, it looks new. What extra he may have spent by purchasing from a dealer, he made up for in keeping his job, not taking off to look for a car, and sparing himself a lot of hassle. Bob is a happy person.

After a few false starts, I ended up getting my daughter a super old, ugly, all-wheel drive, highly rated in safety, and easy to drive Subaru. I bought it from a mechanic, who did some work on it when the florist who previously owned it supposedly retired. It had dirt and dog prints all over it. It took more time and aggravation., but in the end, all I wanted to do was to give her a safe, reliable car to drive, and spend as little as possible, so I’m happy too.

November is Native American History Month

Hendrik Hudson Entering New York Harbor, September 11, 1609; painted by Edward Moran, 1892.

This month we pay tribute to the Native American people and their significant contributions to our history and culture. Although the month is dedicated to all native people, the National Museum of the American Indian stresses that native people are not all the same. In their book, Do All Indians Live In Tipis?, they state that “Native people are best understood as thousands of distinct communities and cultures” each of which have “distinct languages, religious beliefs, ceremonies, and social and political systems.”

Here in North Castle,  most of the people who were living in our area prior to the arrival of Europeans were the Siwanoys, who belonged to the larger Wappinger Confederacy. Their legacy is evident throughout town, starting with the name Armonk, which is derived from the Siwanoy word Warramaug, meaning “a good fishing place.”



Other place names  remain with us today. In 1696, Siwanoy Chief (Sachem) Wampus sold 93 acres of land here. His name was later given to Wampus Pond and Wampus Elementary School. Mianus,  North Castle’s Northeastern river, was named for Sachem Mayano, who presided over the sale of land in the Greenwich Connecticut area. The name for Kensico Dam and Reservoir came from Sachem Cockinseko. Coman Hill School is , depending on the source, named either for a Sachem Cohamong, or is another variation of the word for “the fishing place between the hills.”

From 1900-1902, Armonk was the site of several important discoveries of native artifacts. Dr. Raymond Harrington of the American Museum of Natural History led an archaeological exploration of rock shelters in the New York City area, and found that they were particularly numerous in Armonk. Rock shelters were used as inns or camping places as native people traveled from one place to another. The shelter they considered the most interesting was Finch’s Rock House, located on what is now known as Windmill Farm.  A discussion of the many important discoveries that were made at the rock shelters can be found in the North Castle Historical Society pamphlets, which are linked on the library’s website.

Finch’s Rock House, Armonk

The library is a great source for learning about the local history of North Castle, and the Native American people in general. Doris Finch Watson, who was North Castle Town Historian and whose family had a rich history in the area, had written many of the pamphlets.  In her own words, “As we glance toward the hills and streams of our present township, perhaps we should pause a moment to remember those who lived here first, the Indians of North Castle –Our Native Americans.”