Mooresville Public Library

Mooresville Public Library
MPL Courtyard

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Who Will Be Chosen?

If you enjoy horror stories, you can't do any better than "The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson.  This short story shocked and appalled readers when it was first published in The New Yorker in 1948.  You may read a digital version of the story as it originally appeared in the magazine, or you could read a collection of Shirley Jackson classic tales in The Lottery and Other Stories, which has been published in numerous editions, several of which are available in our Evergreen Indiana catalog.

One comment about our book trailer.  It says the fictional date for the village's lottery was July 27.  It was actually June 27 in the short story.  Well, close enough for horseshoes and stones.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Bizarre, Macabre Obsession

There is much to see if you travel to Key West, Florida.  The end of U.S. Highway 1.  Ernest Hemingway's haunts.  Loads of fishing boats.  And the place where a German x-ray technician kept the corpse of his great love.

Karl Tänzler was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1877.  He moved his family to Cuba in 1926, and then came to Zephyrhills, Florida in 1927.  He left his family there and found employment as a radiologist at a U.S. Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida.  By then, he had assumed the name Count Carl von Cosel.

In 1930, Maria Elena Milagro "Helen" de Hoyos (1909–1931) was brought by her mother to the Marine Hospital for examination.  Elena was the daughter of a local cigar manufacturer.  Von Cosel recognized her as a woman who had appeared in "visions" to him while he was still living in Germany.  He fell passionately in love with her.

Elena was diagnosed as suffering from tuberculosis.  Von Cosel vowed to cure Elena, and he attempted several novel, but ineffectual, x-ray treatments.  Ultimately, Elena passed over on October 25, 1931.  Von Cosel purchased an above-ground mausoleum as Elena's last resting place.  Or was it?

To discover what happened next in this macabre tale of obsessive love, read the dramatic biography, Von Cosel, by Tom Swicegood.  We have a book trailer that provides a few clues.

This book is definitely NOT for the faint of heart.  The author delved deeply into the media reports of the day and other accounts by the persons involved, or their relatives who were close to the scene.  It will shock and appall you.  But that's what true crime literature is supposed to do, right?

Although this title is not currently available in the Evergreen Indiana catalog, there are two other items specifically about this subject.  Click here to take a look.  Swicegood's book is available from various online booksellers, such as

William R. Buckley
MPL Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Celebrate Banned Books Week 2011

The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association (ALA) has kindly posted my Library's promo trailer for Banned Books Week (Sept. 24 through Oct. 1, 2011) on its new BBW website.  Thank you, ALA OIF!!!!

Click here if you'd like to watch our video on the ALA OIF Banned Books Week website, or click here to watch it on the ALA OIF Banned Books Week Facebook Wall.

To celebrate Banned Books Week, we should each read a banned or challenged book to see what all the fuss is about.  My Library has a "banned book" trailers playlist on its YouTube Channel.  There you will find some books that have been challenged or banned from libraries.

Your freedom to choose what you read should not be taken for granted.  There are always people who will exert pressure upon those in political power to exclude from schools or libraries books dealing with subjects they don't like or of which they disapprove.   It is censorship, whether one spins the outcome as protective (e.g., "We must protect our children from whatever we decide we don't want them to read about because we think it's bad") or punitive (e.g., "We must censor those who wish to propagate ideas to which we do not subscribe, because our thinking is good, and theirs is bad").

Is it acceptable for parents or guardians to choose what their own children may read?  There are times when this seems appropriate.  May each individual adult decide what s/he reads?  Certainly.

But nobody should have the right to decide for everyone else in the community what shall or shall not be permissible reading.  Make your own individual choices, but allow others to do the same.

So enjoy reading what you want, when you want, and where you want.  Your favorite library is a good place to start.

William R. Buckley, J.D.
MPL Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

P.S.  Totalitarian states that control all information sources are a continued threat to everyone on the planet.  This reminded me of George Orwell's book, Nineteen Eighty-Four.  My Library has a book trailer that describes Orwell's masterpiece, which might help you decide if you'd like to read the book.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

535 C.E.: A Truly Cataclysmic Year

What happened in the year 535 C.E. that began shaping the modern world?  Several intriguing theories are presented in Catastrophe:  an Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World, by David Keys.  This well-researched and compelling examination of the historical record explains many mysteries, such as the disappearance of the civilizations that built Teotihuacán and populated the American southwest; the crumbling of the Roman Empire; the depopulation of Europe; and the rise of Asiatic cultures.

Our patrons will find the book available in the Evergreen Indiana catalog.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sleds Worth Their Weight in Gold

When Nazi Germany invaded Norway in 1940, the country was taken by surprise.  The Norwegian government knew that the Nazis would take the nation's gold reserves, which amounted to $9 million. So a daring plan was devised to secretly smuggle the gold past the occupying German forces onto a ship bound for America.  Could Norwegian children and their sleds sneak the gold out of the country right under the Germans' noses?  

The classic children's novel Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan, was based on a true story during the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War II. The book is recommended for young readers ages 8-10, or 9-12, depending upon the source. If you like true-life adventure, this book will keep you turning the pages until the very end.  Check it out in the Evergreen Indiana catalog.