July 24, 2007



On the sports quest and in a hurry? Race to the bottom of this post for a short list of especially good books.

Interested in how librarians decide what book goes where? Interested in being able to just walk confidently to the section that has the books you want? Continue on.

Sports is an art.  
700 arts in general
710 civic and landscape art
720 architecture
730 sculpture
740 drawing and decorative arts
750 painting
760 graphic arts
770 photography
780 music
790 recreation and performing arts (sports goes here)
Okay so far?

Now for the rather odd breakdown of these 790s:

  1. 790 recreation in general
  2. 791 Public performances : circuses, puppetry, rodeos and .. movies/TV! (791.4)
  3. 792 Stage presentations : the texts of plays are in the 800s, but all the theater how-to is here. Along with ballet
  4. 793 Indoor amusements : social and folk dancing, crossword puzzles, juggling
  5. 794 Indoor games of skill : chess, checkers, and board games, computer games
  6. 795 Games of chance : roulette, poker, dominoes, bingo
  7. 796 Athletic and outdoor sports, games, and martial arts : very complicated, see below
  8. 797 Aquatic and air sports : boating, swimming, parachuting
  9. 798 Equestrian sports and animal racing : riding, racing horses or sled dogs
  10. 799 Fishing, hunting, shooting

So a lot of stuff has to go in 796. Everything from football to kite flying, but no swimming or skiing. Before you read how the 796 sports are classified according to Dewey you might want to think about all the sports you know and how you might group them. Imagine some sort of super-sorting hat. Finished? Did you distinguish between team and individual sports? Dewey didn't.

Okay, this is the Dewey way, in which baseball is closer to croquet than it is to football and field hockey is unrelated to ice hockey.

  1. 796.0 variant games such as wheelchair sports, and organizations, management, coaching
  2. 796.1 miscellaneous games : kites, model ships, farmer-in-the-dell
  3. 796.2 sports not in any other category and requiring equipment : roller skating, skateboarding
  4. 796.3 ball games - and this is broken down into ball thrown by hand, ball kicked by foot, and ball hit by racket or club
  5. 796.4 track and field, gymnastics
  6. 796.5 hiking, camping, spelunking
  7. 796.6 cycling
  8. 796.7 driving motor vehicles
  9. 796.8 wrestling, boxing, fencing
  10. 796.9 winter sports - skiing, skating and ice hockey

Let's zoom in and look at ball games. By the time you get here, 796.3, you still have all sorts of possibilities and a label that is growing longer and longer. Better hope it is not a skinny book you are after or there won't be room for all the numbers.
796.31 small ball is thrown or hit by hand - 796.312 handball
796.32 inflated ball is thrown or hit by hand - 796.323 basketball, 796.325 volleyball
796.33 inflated ball is hit by foot - 796.332 American football, 796.333 rugby, 796.334 soccer and so on
796.34 ball is hit by a racket - 796.342 tennis, 796.343 squash, 796.345 badminton, 796.347 lacrosse
796.35 ball is driven by a club or bat
   796.352 golf
   796.353 polo
   796.354 croquet
   796.355 field hockey
   796.357 baseball
   796.358 cricket

What is the Dewey number for world series games? 796.357646
For traveling medicine shows? 791.1
Dewey lived in a very different world.

Please remember, the biography of a sports person will be found in the section for that sport. But sports fiction will be scattered about in the many fiction sections. We have a lot of great sports fiction - from Frank and Ernest Play Ball to The Iowa Baseball Confederacy. In the children's room these books will be identified by a red label, in the adult room you are on your own.

Here is the promised special list for the questers.

__ Washington Post sports writer John Feinstein has written a couple of sports thrillers for kids: Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery (J PA) and Vanishing Act (J FIC FEINSTEIN)

__ Mike Lupica, the ESPN sports commentator, has published a trio of sports novels: Heat (J PA), Travel Team (JFIC LUPICA) and Miracle On 49 St. (J FIC LUPICA). Both Heat and Travel Team also are available on CD.

__ Dan Gutman is famous for his humorous, action-packed sports novels, including Abner and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure (J FIC GUTMAN), The Million Dollar Putt (J FUC GUTMAN), The MiIllion Dollar Shot (J FIC GUTMAN) and The Million Dollar Goal (J FIC GUTMAN).

__ Local attorney and author Fred Bowen has written several sports novels based on true events, including Full Court Fever, On the Line, and Playoff Dreams (all are J PA).

__ Matt Christopher is perhaps the most popular sports author for kids, writing both novels and non-fiction. Our library has a number of Christopher's books, including: Football Fugitive (J PA), The Dog That Pitched A No-Hitter (J FIC CHRISTO), Baseball Jokes and Riddles (J 818 CHRISTO).

Posted by library at 04:47 PM

July 16, 2007


mythologyDid you get a myth quest? You are not limited to the Greek/Roman myths you learn in school (though we have many wonderful books on those) but consider Norse myths (Wóden's Day, Žunor's Day, Fríge's Day), African myths, Native American Myths and so on. Everyone has myths.
Many books of mythology sit scattered about in 290s, but myth is a rather vague category and can overlap into legends and magic (398.4) and many other unexpected locations. Example: Star Tales by Ian Ridpath which is in 523.8.

And you must read (staff picks, multi-stars) :

For adults. Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which won both Hugo and Nebula awards

For children: The three (so far) books in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan:

  1. The Lightning Thief
  2. The Sea of Monsters
  3. The Titan's Curse

And in the reference room: Man, Myth & Magic : the illustrated encyclopedia of mythology, religion, and the unknown (21 volumes but they're skinny). Want to find the Tupi myth about the fight between the anteater and the jaguar? It's in here. (This set was a gift from the friends of the library. Please join.)

And for kids (and adults) who enjoyed the Riodan books: try other fiction based on Greek mythology.

  • Kate McMullan's books:
    Get to Work, Hercules!
    Keep a Lid on it, Pandora!
    Nice Shot, Cupid!
    Stop that Bull, Theseus!
    Go for the Gold, Atalanta!
    Phone Home, Persephone!
    Say Cheese, Medusa!
  • Jane Yolan's:
    Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast
    Jason and the Gorgon's Blood
    Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons
    Odysseus in the Serpent Maze
  • Atalanta again: Quiver by Stephanie Spinner
  • Theseus and his Friends: Lost in the Labyrinth : a novel by Patrice Kindl
  • Reed flute frolicking: The Great God Pan Donna Jo Napoli
  • Short and funny: It's All Greek to Me by Jon Scieszka

Music? We do have some parts of the Ring Cycle as sound recordings, the printed librettos and graphic novel versions as well. Our CD collection includes Handel's Semele. Many other operas based on Greek myth, including Elektra, Orfeo ed Euridice, La Belle Helene and Ariadne auf Naxos are now widely available on DVD.

Art? Everywhere. Myth has always been a major subject (the major subject?) for art in most cultures. Look through our 34 volume (and they're not skinny) Dictionary of Art, or browse through our oversized circulating book section. Need help finding them? Please ask at the desk.


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Posted by library at 05:17 PM

July 12, 2007

Cartoons and Comics

cartoonsBooks of cartoons and comics, as well as graphic novels, usually fit into a Dewey section reserved for drawings, 741.5, and we have books there that range from Calvin and Hobbes to classic manga. Scores of books, a great collection. We shelve these books in three locations: for adults, for teens, and for younger children - as a rough sort of guide as to content.

Occasioally a cartoon book will be classified by the subject instead of the style. A Cartoon History of the District of Columbia is not in drawing but in DC history 975.3, so don't feel restricted to just the 741.5 books if you are on a cartoon quest. Another example is What do authors do? by Eileen Christelow which you can find at J 808.068.

Library staff member Dave Burbank, trained in both theater and art, designs our Summer Quest. If you have not seen his art, please come in. Dave also maintains our graphic novels wiki, acts as our Comic Con emissary, and has taught both drawing and Dungeons and Dragons for the recreation department.

Footnote: Have you seen toonopedia?

Posted by library at 03:50 PM

July 11, 2007

Ancient Times

ancient times
One of our summer quests sends the reader in search of ancient history, fiction or non-fiction, but you don't have to be a quester to enjoy a good book about Greece or Machu Picchu.

Here are the Dewey numbers for ancient history.
930 History of the ancient world
931 China
932 Egypt
933 Israel and other Semitic Civilizations
934 India
935 Mesopotamia & Iranian Plateau
936 Europe north of Italy
937 Italy
938 Greece
939 Other parts of ancient world


If you are interested in Druids you could go to 936.2 for The Life and Death of a Druid Prince, walk over to the fiction section for The Druid King by Norman Spinrad, check the children's room under 741.5 (comics) for several Asterix collections, and return to the adult side to sample some fantasy by Terry Brooks.

Ancient Egypt? Sit down in the reference room with Atlas of Ancient Egypt (R 932). Look for Cat Mummies (J 932) in the children's room, and while you are in there check out For All Time by Caroline B. Cooney, or Pharaoh's Daughter by Julius Lester (both J Fic). Over on the adult side you can find several fascinating non-fiction books such as Reflections of Osiris : Lives from Ancient Egypt (932.1), and finally settle down with a novel by Arthur Phillips or one of the many mysteries of Elizabeth Peters. Though we don't have a copy of Norma for the Druid enthusiasts, we do have some extracts from Aida.

And so on. Whatever part of ancient history interests you, you can look through art books, history books, fiction, atlases (check the atlas case too), biographies.

O mihi praeteritos referat si Iuppiter annos. Here are some sites that will lead you more deeply into ancient times:
Museum of Reconstructions
Kidipede for kids and teachers, organized by a history professor (fun for adults as well)
Ancient History Sourcebook
The Classics Address your questions about Greece and Rome to the Oracle of Loxias

Posted by library at 02:39 PM

July 10, 2007


Stranger in a Strange Land, first published in 1961, was read by many, many people who did not usually read science fiction. It won a Hugo, and introduced the word grok to the '60s.

  • In 1991 Heinlein's much longer, original version was published. Is it better?
  • List of editions.
  • Did you know the phrase pay it forward was coined by Heinlein? 1951: In Between Planets.

Here is an ad-free list of novels that won Hugo awards.

2006 Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
2005 Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2004 Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
2003 Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer
2002 American Gods by Neil Gaiman
2001 Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
2000 A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
1999 To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump At Last by Connie Willis
1998 Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
1997 Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1996 The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson
1995 Mirror Dance by Lois Mcmaster Bujold
1994 Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1993 A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge; Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1992 Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
1991 The Vor Game: The Continuing Adventures of Miles Vorkosigan by Lois McMaster Bujold
1990 Hyperion by Dan Simmons
1989 Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh
1988 The Uplift War by David Brin
1987 Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
1986 Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
1985 Neuromancer by William Gibson
1984 Startide Rising by David Brin
1983 Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
1982 Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh
1981 The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
1980 The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur Charles Clarke
1979 Dreamsnake by Vonda N. Mcintyre
1978 Gateway by Frederik Pohl
1977 Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
1976 The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
1975 The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula Le Guin
1974 Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur Charles Clarke
1973 The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
1972 To Your Scattered Bodies by Philip Jose Farmer
1971 Ringworld by Larry Niven
1970 The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
1969 Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
1968 Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
1967 The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
1966 Dune by Frank Herbert; This Immortal by Roger Zelazny
1965 The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
1964 Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
1963 The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
1962 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
1961 A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller
1960 Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
1959 A Case of Conscience by James Blish
1958 The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
1957 -
1956 Double Star by Robert A Heinlein
1955 They'd Rather Be Right by Frank Riley
1954 -
1953 The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

Hugo awards by catagory, but this list is not up-to-date.

Posted by library at 04:51 PM

July 09, 2007


dinosaursDinosaurs rule at the Takoma Park Md. Library! We’ve got 70 books in the main Dewey Decimal number for dinosaurs 567.9. Some of these books are in the adult section, some in the reference room, but many are on the shelves in the Children’s Room. Among these books are Dinosaur Discoveries by Gail Gibbons (J 567.9 GIBBONS), The Dinosaur Atlas by Don Lessem (J 567.9 LESSEM) and The Ultimate Dinosaur Book by David Lambert (J 567.9 LAMBERT).

In addition to these books full of dinosaur facts, we’ve got lots of other types of dinosaur books, from poetry featuring dinosaurs to dinosaurs who star in some beginning readers. Here are some other titles to look for:

  1. Can You See What I See-Dinosaurs by Walter Wick. This board book for the littlest readers can be found in the board book tower in the Children’s Room.
  2. Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff (J r HOFF) a book for beginning readers. Look for it in our beginning reader bookshelf.
  3. Detective Dinosaur by James Skofield (J r SKOFIELD), another early reader
  4. Dinosaur!, a picture book by Peter Sis (J PIC SIS)
  5. Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazarus, a wild and wacky picture book by William Joyce (J PIC JOYCE)
  6. The Enormous Egg, a classic novel by Oliver Butterworth. Much of the novel (J FIC BUTTERW) takes place at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum.
  7. Author Jane Yolen and illustrator Mark Teague have teamed up on a trio of hilarious picture books featuring dinosaurs as temperamental toddlers: How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? And How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
  8. The Lost World (FIC DOYLE), an adult novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who is best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories
  9. Xenozoic Tale (J741.5973 SCHULTZ), a graphic novel by Mark Schultz that involves reborn dinosaurs
  10. Dragon Bones and Dinosaur Eggs: A Photobiography of Explorer Roy Chapman Andrews (J B ANREWS) by Ann Bausum.
  11. The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins (J B HAWKINS), a biography of a Victorian artist who built life-size models of dinosaurs in hopes of educating people about them. The book is written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Brian O. Selznick, who won a Caldecott Honor for the illustrations.
  12. Bone Poems (J 811.54 MOSS), a book of dinosaur poems by Jeffrey Moss
  13. Your Pet Dinosaur (J 818 TALBOTT), a tongue-in-cheek guide to owning a dinosaur, written and illustrated by Hudson Talbott
  14. Tyranosaurus Wrecks: A Book of Dinosaur Riddles (J 793.7 STERNE) by Noelle Sterne
  15. Raptor Red (SF Bakker) by paleontologist Robert Bakker, who was one of the first to postulate warm-blooded dinosaurs as the ancestors of birds. Raptor Red tells the story of the lifecycle of one particular Utah raptor, it reads like a well-filmed nature documentary, with thrilling hunt sequences etc.
  16. The Dinosaur Heresies (576.91 BAKKER) was a groundbreaking text that changed the science of paleontology. It's illustrated throughout by Bakker's sketches and lays the case for Dinos as endothermic (self-heated, warm-blooded) fast hunters.
  17. Also of course: Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton (FIC CRICHTO).
Interested in local dinosaurs, ones found around here, in DC or Maryland? We have two books by Peter Kranz: Dinosaurs in Maryland and Dinosaurs of the District of Columbia Look carefully at the Dinofund site. You can even go on a dino dig with them in the Washington Metro area !

Posted by library at 12:30 PM
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