Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Jersey’s Modern Politics

What better time to survey New Jersey’s modern politics than right after the November election? On Tuesday, November 9 at 7:00 pm, William Gillette, Professor of History at Rutgers University, will present an analysis of New Jersey’s politics at Bernardsville Public Library. He’ll discuss the state governmental institutions created under the Constitution of 1947 and also survey our state’s modern governors.

Dr. Gillette earned his Masters at Columbia University and a PhD from Princeton. He has taught at Rutgers since 1967. His special areas of interest are the Civil War and Reconstruction, New Jersey history, American political history, and American Western history. At Rutgers, he often teaches the history of New Jersey, and he is the author of many chapters or articles, including nine recent articles in The Encyclopedia of New Jersey. In 2008, Prof. Gillette was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer, and in 2009, he was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to the New Jersey Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

This program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. There is no charge to attend, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at www.bernardsvillelibrary.org and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Bernardsville Author Will Sit Down to Autograph Books

Maribeth Southworth celebrated her fiftieth birthday. Irresponsibly. Her children deserted her in pursuit of their education. Selfishly. She sat down with a latte, a laptop and some leftovers and let her mind wander. Dangerously. She started a private blog, “FiftyandFeisty,” inviting a few friends to follow it and provide feedback. Now it’s all in a new book, She Finally Sat Down. Come meet the author and listen to a few stories, including some set in Bernardsville, at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, November 9 at 1:30 pm and Saturday, November 20 at 1:30 pm.

It all began last December when Ms. Southworth turned fifty. She reassessed her life and, with an empty nest, decided to pursue something she'd never had time for before. With a demanding full-time career as a senior reimbursement manager at Genentech, Inc., she knew it had to be something she could do at home, at night and on the weekends, or while traveling. “I decided to ‘finally sit down’ and write,” she said, “as one of my life's goals had been to write a novel. I had no idea what would come out when I put hands to keyboard, but wrote to a select group of family and friends and said I was going to write each night and I'd like them along for the journey.....on a private blog...where they could give me feedback.” She continued, “The book I had planned to write....a novel....never came to life for me. I had so many non-fiction stories to tell, I wrote what flowed from my heart and head.” The book’s website is http://www.shefinallysatdown.com/.

Books will be signed and available for purchase at the library events. Proceeds will benefit the library. There is no charge to attend, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at http://www.bernardsvillelibrary.org/ and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, November 6 at 3:30 pm to discuss Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X (2003) by Deborah Davis. [The author will not be present.]

The book examines the history and background of the painting called “Madame X,” John Singer Sargent’s portrait of twenty-three-year-old Virginie Amélie Gautreau. Mme. Gautreau was the talk of Paris in the early 1880’s, and the painting was shown at the 1884 Paris Salon. It caused a sensation, but while Sargent, the American son of vagabond parents, rose to lasting stardom, Gautreau was ridiculed and then forgotten. The reason was how Gautreau was depicted in the original, later repainted. Ms. Davis, a writer and veteran film executive who has worked as story editor and analyst for Warner Bros., Columbia TriStar, Disney, Miramax, and the William Morris Agency, drew on documents from private collections and other previously unexamined materials, to write her book which features a cast of characters including Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Sarah Bernhardt and Richard Wagner.

Led by Readers’ Services Assistant, Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers is a book discussion group dedicated to sampling various kinds of literature, including short stories, nonfiction, new and old novels, and even teen fiction. Its goal is to search out interesting, noteworthy, and sometimes overlooked books. Readers can find information about the group and about the books and authors on the reading list at http://saturdaysamplers.blogspot.com/. No sign-up is needed to join the discussion. Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Classical Indian Dancer to Appear at Bernardsville Library

Divya Nayar, a professional dancer trained in Bharatanatyam, an ancient classical dance form that originates from Southern India, will perform at Bernardsville Public Library on Sunday, October 24 at 3:00 pm. [Doors open at 2:45 pm.] Funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library, the program is part of the Sundays at Three series. There is no charge to attend and no advance registration is necessary.

Bharatanatyam is performed by a highly trained dancer who combines precise and intricate footwork with sculpturesque poses and fluid facial expressions to tell stories of mythology and folklore. The dancer wears a silk sari and jewelry, and with specialized facial makeup, performs to a traditional orchestra of vocals, flute, and percussions. Bharatanatyam originated in the Temples of South India and was performed as a ritual and form of worship to the Lord; these motifs of dedication and spirituality are carried through by Bharatanatyam dancers, even today.

In the presentation, Natya Nivedanam (a dedication of mind, body and soul to dance), Ms. Nayar will perform dances from the traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire, some that were choreographed by great masters of Bharatanatyam over three decades ago, and others that are fresh and innovative yet uphold the roots of tradition.

Ms. Nayar was awarded “Young Achiever Award” in 2009 by Kerala Association of New Jersey for her contribution to Fine Arts in the community. She was the cultural representative of Kerala Association of New Jersey during 2008 and 2009. In 2007, she won first place in the East Coast regional solo classical dance category at the youth festival organized by the Federation of Kerala Associations in North America (FoKANA).

There is no charge to attend this dance recital and no advance sign-up is needed. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

Children’s Book Festival @ Bernardsville Library

Children and parents will have the chance to meet award-winning authors and illustrators Danny and Kim Adlerman, Pat Cummings, Doris Ettlinger, Megan Halsey, Dar Hosta, Trinka Hakes Noble, Lena Shiffman, and Javaka Steptoe on Sunday, November 7 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at Bernardsville Public Library during the opening of an exhibition of original illustrations from popular children’s books. This is an opportunity to speak with the authors and illustrators, purchase books and have them autographed. The exhibition will be on view throughout the month of November.

Husband and wife team Danny and Kim Adlerman, who live in Middlesex, NJ, often write under the pen name Kin Eagle. Their Africa Calling, Nighttime Falling was named a New Jersey State Library Pick of the Decade 1995-2005. Together they have created a series of award-winning books, many of which are accompanied by musical CDs. Their collaboration, Oh No, Domino, was written and illustrated by Mrs. Adlerman and is accompanied by a CD featuring Mr. Adlerman singing “Oh No, Domino” with their daughter singing background. Another collaboration by the Adlermans is How Much Wood Could A Woodchuck Chuck? The manuscript was inspired by a song on Mr. Adlerman’s CD, One Size Fits All, which won a 2001 Children’s Web Award. Their most recent book, Mommy’s Having a Watermelon, was published last year.

Author and illustrator Pat Cummings grew up traveling with her military family all over the world. She found inspiration in the many different cultures she experienced, developing a fondness for fantasy as well as a commitment to diversity in her work. After graduating from the Pratt Institute in New York City, she received her “break” in book illustration with the book Good News by Eloise Greenfield. Since then she has written and illustrated many books, including Jimmy Lee Did It, C.L.O.U.D.S., Petey Moroni’s Camp Runamok Diary, Carousel, and “C” is for City. Cummings also illustrated Just Us Women and My Mama Needs Me, both recognized for excellence by the American Library Association. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Doris Ettlinger is an illustrator whose work features fine draftsmanship as well as use of traditional media, including watercolor and pencil. Ettlinger began her career as a magazine and newspaper illustrator, but has been illustrating children’s books for over twenty years. She illustrated Sugar Snow and A Little House Birthday, both adapted from the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ettlinger has also illustrated many other books, including Pilgrim Cat by Carol Antoinette Peacock, G is for Garden State by Eileen Cameron, and, most recently, The Orange Shoes, by Trinka Hakes Noble. Her next picture book, A Book for Black-Eyed Susan by Judy Young, is scheduled for release in March 2011. Ettlinger lives, works and teaches art in an old grist mill in Warren County, New Jersey.

Megan Halsey began her study of art in eighth grade, majored in printmaking and illustration in college, and received her Masters in studio art and illustration from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She has been illustrating children’s books for over eighteen years and has illustrated over 40 books, including Two Blue Jays, Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night, Four Seasons Make A Year. She has also authored several books herself, including Circus 1-2-3 and 3 Pandas Planting, to be released in February 2011. Halsey has received many awards throughout the years, including Bank Street College Book of the Year, National Publications Gold Award, and the Children’s Choice Award. She teaches at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia and at Marywood University. She lives in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.
Dar Hosta lives in the Flemington area and is an author and collage artist. Her If I Were a Tree won the Teachers’ Choice Award, National Arbor Day Foundation’s Media Award, and American Horticultural Society’s “Growing Good Kids” Book Award. Other award-winning books by Ms. Hosta are I Love The Alphabet and I Love the Night.

Trinka Hakes Noble of Bernardsville is an author and illustrator specializing in picture books. Her titles include the popular Jimmy’s Boa series, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. The Scarlett Stockings Spy was awarded an IRA Teacher’s Choice, 2005. Her most recent titles are The Legend of the Cape May Diamond, which was placed on the Keystone to Reading Book Award List 2008-2009, and The Orange Shoes. A member of the Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature, she was awarded Outstanding Woman 2002 in Arts and Letters in the state of New Jersey for her lifetime work in children's books.
Illustrator Lena Shiffman grew up in Sweden and cannot remember a time when she didn’t draw or paint. Her first book, Keeping a Christmas Secret, won a Christopher Award in 1989. She has also illustrated My First Book of Words and many of Scholastic’s “Hello Readers” series, including the book Dancing With Manatees, which has sold over half a million copies. Her most recent books are When I Lived With Bats and Playing With Dolphins by Faith McNulty. She is working on writing her first book, based on her Scandinavian roots.

Brooklyn resident Javaka Steptoe is an author and eclectic young artist, designer and illustrator, specializing in dynamic cut paper and mixed media collage using everyday objects. His book, In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall, won the Coretta Scott King Award for best illustrator, as well as the Firecracker Alternative Book Award. It was named both a PBS Kids Recommended Book and a PBS Parents Recommended Book. His most recent books, Do You Know What I’ll Do by Charlotte Zolotow and A Pocketful of Poems by Nikki Grimes, received starred reviews from both Publisher’s Weekly and the ALA Booklist. His newest book, Amiri and Odette, a hip hop version of “Swan Lake” written as a poem by Walter Dean Myers, features Steptoe’s collage-on-cinderblock illustrations.

There is no charge to attend the event on November 7 and no sign-up is needed. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

*Photo: Trinka Hakes Noble reading her book for Bernardsville Library's Totsline (908-953-TOTS).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Where Does My Resume Go? An Inside View of the Corporate Hiring Process

Where does your resume go when you click the “Submit” button? Find out at a free workshop for job seekers which is designed to provide insight and tips for navigating today’s tight job market. Bernardsville Library is pleased to present this popular program again, this time in the evening, on October 13 at 7:00 pm.

In this interactive presentation, Tiffany Elliott, SPHR, MBA, will share insight gained from 15 years of human resources leadership at global 500 corporations. Her program will include an overview of the typical hiring process, what applicants should expect at each stage, and suggested preparation tips and strategies to help get noticed in the sea of competition. It is designed for job seekers in every phase of their careers—new college graduates, people entering the workforce after raising a family, and current working professionals looking for their next assignment or desiring a career change.

Ms. Elliott’s career has included extensive experience across a spectrum of industries including pharmaceutical, global commerce, telecommunications, electronics manufacturing, healthcare and aerospace. This year she established her own consulting firm to focus her experience and interest in the area of career coaching.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at www.bernardsvillelibrary.org and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Monday, October 4, 2010

About Face: Five Centuries of Self-Portraits

The 19th-century French painter Henri Fantin-Latour once helped explain the draw of self-portraits when he said that "the model is always ready, submissive, and one knows him before painting." How and why great painters represent themselves holds a special fascination for viewers. Is the artist mingled in a crowd or the lone subject? How is he - or she - dressed? Is the self-portrait true or self-promoting? Such topics will be examined by Vivian Gordon from the Education Department of The Metropolitan Museum of Art at Bernardsville Public Library on Tuesday, October 12 at 7:00 pm.

Ms. Gordon will explore different approaches to the self-portrait using examples from the museum’s collection to illustrate her talk. Works from the Renaissance to Pop Art will be discussed and will include paintings by Durer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Degas, Van Gogh, and Andy Warhol's eerily foretelling Last Self-Portrait.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at http://www.bernardsvillelibrary.org/ and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.
*Rembrandt Self-Portrait (1660)
*Photo by Photograph Studio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Expect the Unexpected” with Author Eric Gustafson

Eric Gustafson will speak about and sign copies of his book, Expect the Unexpected: Adventures of a Westerner Sitting in the Lap of Mother India, at Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, October 6 at 7:00 pm. The book is a personal telling of his experiences on visits to India where he has traveled 15 times over the past 11 years. His travels have brought him to varied locales, and he has captured many of the unique aspects of this vast sub-continent in his book.

Gustafson had originally planned to go to India for the Millennium, then to Thailand the next year, followed by Cambodia, and Vietnam in ensuing years. But there was always something more he wanted: to understand the religions (with nuances elusive to a Westerner), to familiarize himself with the thousands of Hindu gods, and learn insights into Indian behavior, and mores and concepts foreign to him.

During the program, Gustafson will offer travel advice too, because traveling in India can be dangerous as well as uncomfortable. He’ll provide tips on train travel, advice on whether to travel by bus (and what kind of bus) or by train or car. There are many pitfalls that the average tourist can and should avoid. Tips on how to maneuver most comfortably, economically and safely in this complex environment will be the thrust of his talk. Interaction with Indians while travelling involves many do's and don'ts. “A trip within India can be unforgettably thrilling,” Gustafson says, “But ill-advised behavior can invite disaster. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at http://www.bernardsvillelibrary.org/ and follow the link under Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.