Monday, June 30, 2014

"Route 66, The People-The Places-The Dream"

Jay Leno with Sal Santoro and Bob Walton
Summer is the time for travel, and U.S. Highway 66, popularly known as Route 66 or the Mother Road, is a magnet for travelers wishing to explore America's heartland, from the shores of Lake Michigan to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica. Bob Walton and Sal Santoro felt the pull and took to the road in Bob's 1968 DeVille convertible. On Wednesday, July 16 at 7:00 pm, Mr. Walton will present a slide show and talk at Bernardsville Public Library on the trip and the resulting book which recounts their journey, "Route 66, The People-The Places-The Dream” (2012). The book became a Jay Leno Book Club selection.

Mr. Walton, a retired Bergenfield teacher who resides in Wyckoff, will chronicle the 38-day, coast-to-coast road trip--a round-trip odyssey that covered 7,292 miles including all of historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. The two good friends had always had many things in common, not the least of which was a lifelong desire to travel Route 66, the legendary roadway. Mr. Walton says that both were admirers and collectors of classic Cadillacs, and they really wanted to make the trip in a vintage Caddy. We “talked about it for years, researched, prepared [my] red 1968 DeVille convertible, planned and then planned some more,” he says. When the time was right, they set off on their odyssey across America. "Route 66, The People-The Places-The Dream" tells the story of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Through their book, which contains over 500 color photographs, readers meet the many unique characters along Route 66 and enjoy the iconic sights of “The Mother Road” as well as the natural beauty of America. 

In 2012, Jay Leno invited the two authors to Burbank, California to visit his spectacular car collection and be interviewed about their book, which he then selected for his book club. Paul Taylor of “Route 66 Magazine” called it “a photojournalistic achievement,” and “MotorWeek Television” classified it a “must read.”

There is no charge to attend the library workshop, but advance registration is requested. Click here to sign up, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, July 12 at 3:30 pm to discuss “Methland: the Death and Life of an American Small Town” (2009) by Nick Reding.  [The author will not be present.]

A New York Times bestseller, the book tells the dramatic story of the methamphetamine epidemic that is sweeping the American heartland and of one community’s attempt to battle its way to a brighter future. It focuses on Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), which, like thousands of other small towns across the country, has suffered from the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy, and an out-migration of people. Over a period of four years, journalist Nick Reding traced the connections between the lives touched by the drug and the global forces that set the stage for this epidemic.

Nick Reding was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from N.Y.U., where he was a University Fellow from 1995 until 1997. He lived in New York City for thirteen years, where he worked as a magazine editor, a graduate school professor, and a freelance writer. His first book was “The Last Cowboys at the End of the World,” and “Methland” is his second.  He has written for Harper’s, Food and Wine, Outside, Fast Company, and Details. He lives in Saint Louis, where he is a Visiting Scholar at the Saint Louis University School of Law, and is working on his third book, “Heartland,” about what the Midwest will look like in fifty years.

Led by 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  No sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Tech Update: Instagram

When it’s time to share your vacation photos, think about Instagram, an online photo-sharing service that enables its users to take pictures and videos and share them on a variety of social networking services.  Find out all about it and the features which make it so popular at Bernardsville Public Library on Thursday, July 10 at 7:00 pm. The class will be taught by Programs Plus, a software training company.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Click here to sign up or call the library at 908-766-0118. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Page Turners: Evening Book Group

Bernardsville Public Library’s evening book discussion group, Page Turners, will hold its second meeting on Tuesday, July 8 at 6:30 pm in the library’s small meeting room.  Library Director April Judge will lead the discussion of “The Book Thief" (2005) by Markus Zusak.  [The author will not be present.]

The book, which was a New York Times bestseller and has been made into a major motion picture, is set in 1939 in Nazi Germany and tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich, who discovers books, learns to read with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.  The New York Times book reviewer called the book, "Brilliant and hugely ambitious…It's the kind of book that can be life changing."

Markus Zusak is an Australian writer and the author of five books, including "The Book Thief," which has been translated into more than forty languages.  His first three books, "The Underdog," "Fighting Ruben Wolfe" and "When Dogs Cry," released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally and garnered a number of awards and honors in his native Australia, and the United States.

There is no charge to attend and no registration is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hillsborough Digital Photographic Society

The July exhibition at Bernardsville Public Library will feature images by members of the Hillsborough Digital Photographic Society, a show which will illustrate the diverse interests and styles of the club’s members. The photographers will host an opening reception for the public on Saturday, July 12 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.  

The members of Hillsborough Digital Photographic Society concentrate on learning the art and science of digital photography in a supportive environment. The club’s goal is to provide a forum where photographers of all skill levels meet to share their experience, knowledge, and passion for photography. Through monthly meetings, field trips, educational workshops, portfolio reviews, image critiques, and exhibits at local venues, members enhance their photographic skills.

Jim Roselli, Master Printer and Jim LaSala, Master Photographer of XACT Studios have mentored the forty-member club since its inception. Interested photographers are welcome to attend their meetings which are held at 7:00 pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month at XACT Studios, Fine Art Photography and Gallery, Town Center Drive, 411 Route 206 South, Suite 5, Hillsborough, NJ.
The library show will be on display from July 1 through July 29, 2014.  Images will be available for purchase. For further information, call the Library at 908-766-0118. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Announcing "One Book Bernardsville"

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson has been selected as the featured book for Bernardsville Public Library’s first "One Book Bernardsville." This shared community reading experience will take place during October this year, and there will be a month of book discussions and thematically related programs on conservation, hiking, and the Appalachian Trail itself. The events also coincide with National Reading Group Month which is sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association.

A committee composed of library staff and community members was formed in February to identify a book that everyone would enjoy. After reading a good number of possible books and much discussion, the group decided on this humorous, popular memoir. In the book, Bryson depicts the sometimes laugh-out-loud and unusual adventures he had with his out-of-shape friend Stephen Katz as they attempted to hike the entire 2,100-mile trail from Maine to Georgia. Bryson had been living in Britain for twenty years when he returned to the United States and decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the Appalachian Trail. The trail, which offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes, also provides the writer endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.

“This book has broad appeal making it the perfect choice for our first 'One Book' selection,” said April L. Judge, Library Director. “The committee hopes that women and men alike as well as high school and middle school students will join them and the library staff in this shared community reading experience. We hope that local book groups will join us too."

If a book club is interested in participating, a discussion leader from the library staff will be assigned to the group to lead the discussion at a mutually convenient time. The library staff will have books for individual participants or members of local book clubs to borrow. Books will also be available to purchase from The Bookworm.

For further information about One Book Bernardsville and to register your reading group, please contact April L. Judge at 908-766-0118. More information will be available on the library website,, in the near future.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tech Update: Skype

What is Skype? Millions use it every day to stay in touch with those special people who are important to them. Find out how to use Skype at Bernardsville Public Library on Thursday, June 26 at 7:00 pm. This program will provide a demonstration of how to download the Skype app and make free video calls over the Internet, from computer to computer, or using cell phones. It’s great for summer vacations, when your children are at college, or for relatives who live far away. The class will be taught by Programs Plus, a software training company.

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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Reading at Bernardsville Library

This year's summer reading theme is Fizz, Boom, Read! and with summer quickly approaching, children will soon be out of school and on to the pool, the beach, and vacation.  Registration for Bernardsville Library's summer reading program is already open, and children can begin logging their books and collecting prizes as of Monday, June 23.  "Summer is always an exciting time at the library and I am eager to meet the community and share all that we have to offer," said Tammy Lee, the library's new Youth Services Manager. Ms. Lee came to Bernardsville Library in May and was most recently Director of the Roselle Public Library.

As always, Bernardsville Library’s Youth Services Department is offering reading programs throughout the summer for children through twelfth grade.  In addition to reading and prizes, the Library will host a number of programs, all with free admission, to highlight this summer's theme.  From rocket power, to art in literature, to story times, the summer will be filled with activities for all ages. Middle and high schoolers will be able to earn community service hours in a book buddy reading program and by assisting at programs preparing activities and crafts for younger children.  There are also teen and pre-teen evening activities including ice cream taste tests, book talks, Mad Libs and more.

Plan to drop in to the many craft programs and story times that will be offered in the coming months (no sign-up is needed for these).  In addition, there will be special programs like Mad Science's Animal Friends! on Wednesday, July 9 at 10:30 am for preschoolers, and Science Detectives on Friday, July 11 at 10:30 am for children in Grades 1-3.  On Monday, July 14, author Linda Barth will visit at 4:00 pm to talk about New Jersey inventors.

There's also a new "Lunch Bunch at the Mad Scientists' CafĂ©," led by Library Director April Judge for children in Grades 2-4.  Each week on Wednesdays, June 25 through August 6, the group will explore a different topic through reading. Children should bring their lunches and the library will provide drinks.

Another new program, "Art in Literature," will explore books and the pictures which illustrate them. There will be two age groups on Fridays--10:30 am for children aged 2½-Grade K, and 3:00 pm for children In Grades 1-3.

Check the library website,, and the library newsletter for more details on programs during the summer months.

Students can move backward academically during the summer if reading and learning are not continued and reading achievement declines as well. But if students read just six books over the summer, they can maintain their current reading level, and, if they read between ten and twenty books of their own choosing, they can actually increase reading achievement.

Registration for Summer Reading can be accessed online from the library website. Young readers will keep a log of their reading online.  [Accommodations will be made for anyone without access to a computer.] There is no charge to attend the programs, but advance sign-up is sometimes required. Register online at and follow the link under Kids, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

The Can-Do Connection

The next meeting of "The Can-Do Connection" will convene at Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:00 pm. Professional Inspirer Andrea Mastrobattista will discuss how, rather than beating yourself up if you feel you are behind on reaching your goals, it is better to celebrate the accomplishments you have made and plan your next steps.  She will teach participants how to assess where they are without judgment.

Ms. Mastrobattista has been leading her inspirational workshops on Wednesday evenings at the library since 2006.  She heads a company called Operation INSPIRATION and also facilitates workshops in the Somerset Hills such as "Facing Your Fears" and "Transforming Negatives Into Positives" in which she helps people to fully form their goals and develop a strong can-do attitude for achieving them.  Her core belief is that, no matter what circumstances people face, they have the strength and ability to create and live fulfilling and inspiring lives.  She also owns Golden Slipper Productions, a company which creates websites and promotional materials for small and mid-sized businesses.

There is no charge to attend the library workshop, but advance registration is requested.  Register online at, and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Memoirs & Coffee

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, June 24 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of “After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story” (2013) by Michael Hainey. [The author will not be present.]

The book is the portrait of a family and its legacy of secrets—the story of a son who goes in search of the truth and finds not only his father, but a rare window into a world of men and newspapers and fierce loyalties that no longer exists. Michael Hainey had just turned six when his uncle knocked on his family’s back door one morning with the news that his father, a hard-driving newspaper reporter only 35 years old, had been found near his car on Chicago’s North Side, dead, of an apparent heart attack. He left behind a young widow, two sons, a fractured family, and questions surrounding the mysterious nature of his death that would obsess the author throughout adolescence and long into adulthood. Finally, he set out to learn what had happened that night.

Michael Hainey was born in Chicago and lives in Manhattan.  He has been working in magazines for more than twenty-five years, as a writer and editor. Currently, he is the Deputy Editor of GQ. He has also sold fruits and vegetables; worked on a road-repair crew; washed dishes; cooked in a cafeteria; and sold men's clothes.

There is no charge to attend, and no registration is needed to join the discussion. Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop Group Reading

On Sunday, June 22 at 2:00 pm, a select group of poets will present work from The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop, a new book named by Poets & Writers as a “Best Book for Writers.” The poets will read a variety of poems, some of which appear in the book as model poems for prompts, and some of which were written in response to the prompts. They will also offer craft tips on such topics as getting music into poems, finding the right words, and revising poems. Following this mixture of poetry and conversation, audience members will go home well nourished by the poems they have heard and fired up to write new poems of their own.

Among the poets expected to read are Diane Lockward (author of The Crafty Poet and moderator of reading), Joel Allegretti, Ann DeVenezia, Laura Freedgood, Gail Gerwin, Tina Kelley, Adele Kenny, Toni Libro, Charlotte Mandel, Wanda Praisner, Susanna Rich, Ken Ronkowitz, Basil Rouskas, Michael T. Young, and Sandy Zulauf.

Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up. [Note: The rest of the library will be closed during this program.]

Saturday Crafters

Saturday Crafters, a monthly craft group organized by Bernardsville Public Library, will meet on Saturday, June 21 at 3:00 pm.  Individuals are invited to bring their own handwork projects to the Library and work together in a comfortable, communal setting while enjoying the benefits of shared tips and conversation.  They can also take advantage of the many books available at the library on different types of crafts. 

Public Relations Assistant Evelyn Fischel will showcase project ideas and books at each meeting.  A long-time crafter, Ms. Fischel will encourage such interests as knitting, crocheting, paper arts, hand sewing, embroidery and other needlework, as well as any other craft the group wishes to cover.  

There is no charge to attend the meeting, and no sign-up is needed.  For more information, call the library at 908-766-0118.