Wednesday, November 11, 2009

National Gaming Day @ Your Library

It's happening right here in Boyertown! -From 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday - November 14, 2009.

That's right, come to the library to have some good family fun, meet new friends, play a favorite game or maybe try one you've been wondering about.

Game playing encourages a unique interaction between people - young and old, family members or new friends. It involves teamwork and individual strategies, knowledge and creativity. Game playing also teaches good sportsmanship and helps to develop social skills.

The Boyertown Community Library will be joining hundreds of libraries all across the country in offering the opportunity for library users to come and play games at the library. There will be Scrabble, Clue, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Pictureka!, Upwords, Stratego, Checkers, and Chess (just to name a few) at the Boyertown Community Library.

For more information about National Gaming Day check out this website...
We hope to see you having fun at the library this Saturday!

November Teen Lock-In!

What are you doing on Friday the 13th? Teenagers are going to be testing their luck at the library by playing Board Games during the Teen Lock-In.

Games such as Yahtzee and Apples to Apples will surely be a good test of luck... but other games such as Clue, Scrabble, and Pictureka! will test their skills. There'll also be a surprise or two!

There is still room for more teens to sign up, just call the library at 610-369-0496 to get on the list. The Lock-In runs from 6:00 to 10:00 pm Friday the 13th of November. Sodas, Snacks and Pizza (for $1.50 per slice) will be available for refreshments.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Check out "The Author Hour"

Here's your chance to hear great interviews by Matthew Peterson with bestselling "Fantastic Fiction" authors. This site has recorded conversations for you to listen to each week beginning on October 15th. Just click on the title of this post to go to the site!

The first program "Satire, Puns and Humor" features Terry Pratchett, Eoin Colfer, Jody Lynn Nye and Piers Anthony. Great authors in the Sci Fi and Fantasy worlds.

The program is like any radio show so there are commercials even in the archived early episodes, but the insight and information you'll hear is well worth your time. Additional questions and comments that were not included in the live programs are available to hear on the website- -you'll have a good laugh.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Free Parenting Class

"Parenting a Preschooler" is a FREE series of 3 once-a-week classes for parents of young children held in the library this Fall on Oct 29 and Nov 5 & 12.

Just 90 minutes in length each week, this course won the 2004 Best Practices in Early Learning award from the state organization, Pennsylvania Public Libraries. It is based on a comprehensive course written by national parenting experts including Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D of Active Parenting. Our mini-course is taught by Joan Polk, a nurse for the Boyertown Area School Ditsrict.

Mothers and fathers are invited to register for these 3 classes in which they will gain confidence in raising their young children; gain understanding of the power of encouragement and appropriate discipline; and learn what are realistic expectations to have as their children grow.

With the cooperation of a local Girl Scout Troop we will be able to offer babysiting/story/activity times for the children of participating parents.

Pre-registration is required. Please stop in or call the library to sign up. 610-369-0496

October '09 TEEN Lock-In

Halloween is approaching and so is the release of the next movie in the Twilight series. So what will be the theme for the October 23 Lock-In?
...TWILIGHT! Vampires! & Werewolves!

If you haven't read the Twilght books or seen the first movie... don't worry, there have been tales of vampires and werewolves for hundreds of years - you're sure to know some bit of scary lore. Remember Dracula? Or An American Werewolf in Paris?

Come dressed as your favorite vampire or wolfman. Have you ever tried to eat pizza with fangs? There'll be party games including the new favorite... Extreme Musical Chairs; and movie clips. We'll also have a trivia game and some fun prizes to win.

Don't forget to sign up and if you have never been to a Lock-In before remember to sign the rules agreement and have your parents read and sign it too.

The pizza is $1.50 per slice which helps defray the cost of the soda as well.
The Lock-In runs from 6:00 to 10:00 PM on Friday October 23, 2009.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grand Prize Winners Announced!

Excitement is in the air! Winners are being announced!

The final drawings have been held for the Berks County Public Libraries Summer Reading Grand Prizes for 13 to 18 year olds and for children 12 and under. Plus the Local Grand Prize winner has been determined for the Boyertown Adult Summer Reading Program.

Winner of the laptop computer for children under age 12 was James Phyrillas (11) who visited the Exeter Community Library. His mom said to him... "That's what you get for reading so much!"

Winner of the laptop computer for teens age 13 - 18 was Megan Stehman (13) who visited the Boyertown Community Library. Megan said she didn't have access to a computer at home and always came to the library to use the computers there.

Winner of the Boyertown Adult Summer Reading Grand Prize was Connie Jordan of Barto. She brings her children to the storytimes at the library and finds time to read for herself as well. She said, "I never win anything!" Now she has a plethora of prizes: a beautiful Hand-blown Glass Vase from Taylor Backes; a gift certificate and bone-shaped treat saver from The Spotted Dog Barkery; gift certificates from Island Breeze Tanning Salon, George's Barbershop, Gracefully Framed gift shop, & Joseph's Styling Salon; two autographed books; an engraved pen from Winner's Choice Awards; a gift card for The Red Hills Tavern; and a gift certificate towards a stay at the Twin Turrets Bed and Breakfast.

Congratulations to all our winners! Keep reading everyone!
Reading is always rewarding!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Teen Winners in 2009 Summer Reading Prize Drawings

Summer Reading is over and school has started again... now teens are reading for homework but some lucky teens get to reap the rewards of reading during summer vacation!

Here is the list of the winners in our local drawing from all the prize bags that were hung on our bulletin board all summer long...

Talarico's -
- Ruthie Holsopple, Angela Kelly, Channing Mauger, Maggie Morgan, & Anna Simpson
The Grill Shop -
- Joi Calia & Ashley Fowler
The Bear's Den -
- Joel Tuck

JEWELRY SETS provided by Signet, Inc.:
- Tori Armstrong, Shelby Groff, April Holowis, Brynn Hunsberger, Laura Keppley, Samantha Rayco, Emily Schumaker

BOOKS from the Jr. High reading program donated by Bause's Super Drug Store
- Susan Ambrose, Alex Barrett, Lily Fanok, Kylie Fries, Marybeth Lowe, Kendall Place, Eric Savarese, Erin Schwab, Lucia Scotto, Devon Stackonis, Kristin Walters, Jimmy Walters, Rosie Wetherill-Orifice, Anna Urbano

- Celina Archer, Haley Didget, Kylie Fries, Heather Gahler, Justin Glasner, Kirsten Houser, Joel Tuck

BLANK BOOKS donated by Marta Weller and ENGRAVED PEN SETS donated by Winner's Circle Awards:
- Katherine Ambrose & Stacy Strobel

PIANO LESSONS donated by Veronica Smith:
- Ashley Egbert & Tara Schumaker

GUITAR LESSON donated by Bachman School of Music:
- Mike Oppelt

BRISINGR (the hardcover book) anonymous donation:
- Layla Thomas

BRISINGR (the unabridged CD book) anonymous donation:
- Brian Conklin

Manicure from Lily Nails - Lauren Knier
Hair Products from Current Trends - Jalena Migliaccio
Hair Products from Holiday Hair - Megan Rosenberger

Carmelo's - Deanna Lowe & Austin Miller
Papa John's - Heather Fry, Kelli Paprocki, & Shaniya Shabrach-Ortiz

$50 GIFT CARD for COVENTRY MALL donated by the Library Teen Advisory Council:
- Ashley Minner

Also, each teen received a coupon from Rita's Ice or from Dunkin' Donuts just for turning in one entry.

All these prizes were donated by local merchants or friends of the library to help encourage teens to KEEP READING. The library and the teens who visit the library thank all these sponsors for their contributions.

Friday, September 11, 2009

More Summer Reading Weekly WINNERS!

And the results are in! The second half of the summer winners are listed below.

Just a reminder of what the prizes were... each week two adults won a book or a gift from a local merchant and two children won a bright yellow rip-stop nylon book bag. The Grand Prize winners will be announced in a later Post.


Book and Dunkin' Donuts Coupon Winners - Jenn Cornelius, Paula Stackonis, Brenda Rath, Michael Stone, Lisa Bodor

Merchant gifts and Dunkin' Donut Coupon Winners - LeeAnn Derecola (gift cerificate from Michele's Tanning), Rhonda Grieser (gift certificate from Gracefully Framed), Ashley Boyle (one month's membership at Curves), Donna Adamski (gift certificates from the Spotted Dog Barkery & the Added Attractions Salon), Seth Kurtz (gift certificate from Pachella Arms)


Sarah Tuk & April Holowis; Brock McFarland & Amanda Brechko; Stephen Repa & Corey Stonerook; Megan Droege & Lucas Miller; Amie Wildermuth & Lauren Moyer


Teen Prize Drawing winners will be posted in a separate blog post. Grand Prizes for Children age 12 and under and for Teens 13 to 18 are a Laptop Computer for the two age groups from a drawing of all Berks County entries. The Grand Prize for Adult entrants will be posted in a separate blog post as well.

Watch for these winners to be announced VERY SOON!

Monday, August 24, 2009

FLASH! New Location for Finale Party

Summer Reading Program Finale Party to be held at the Trinity EC Church on Tuesday, AUGUST 25.

Due to the storm damage from the tornado that went across Boyertown last Tuesday, the Boyertown Community Park is not open for programs such as our Finale to the Summer Reading Program.

Even though the weather will be perfect for our traditional summer closing activity we will need to move to a New Location.

Please join us for a great time at Trinity EC Church in the fellowship hall.
SAME TIME- Entertainer Steve Pullara will put on a great interactive show with music and art beginning at 11:00 AM (so get there early to get a good seat!).
SAME GREAT TREATS- The Friends of the Library will provide great cakes for dessert and cold punch to drink (bring your bag lunch and have a fun lunch with new friends after the entertainment!).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weekly Prize Winners far

Each week, all summer long 4 winners will be randomly picked from the Reading Logs/Entry Forms turned in.

Two adults each week get to choose from a selection of gifts from local merchants and various books (some autographed!). Also, each week two children win bright yellow rip-stop nylon book bags.

Here are the winners so far...

Book and Dunkin' Donut coupon winners -
Kandice Black, Wendy Barton, Judy Stalford, Steven Shirey, & Monika Hallman

Merchant gifts and Dunkin' Donut coupon winners -
Cheryl Bernstiel ($50 Gift Certificate from Current Trends Styling Salon), Donna Rothermel ($20 Visa Gift Card from National Penn Bank), Bob DeFosse ($30 Car Care products from Advance Auto), Brenda Glasner (Choice of a Handmade Glass Paperweight from Taylor Backes Glass Blowers), Jill Heilman ($30 Gift Certificate from Bella June Styling Salon)

Victoria Simons & Carly Rodriguez; Chuckie Patt & Synclaire Little; Eddie Boice & Jonathan Daub; Ian Martin & Gabrielle Ziegler; Bella Sampayo & Megan Rosenberger

All entries are eligible for grand prize drawings at the end of summer in their different age groups:
Children 0-12 and Teens 13-18 have a chance to win a laptop computer in the Berks County Public Library system drawing.
Adults (19 and older) have a chance to win among other things - a $50 Gift Certificate towards a stay at the Twin Turrets Bed & Breakfast, a $50 Gift Certificate from Joseph's Styling Salon, a $30 Gift Card from Red Hills Tavern, a Handblown Glass Vase from Taylor Backes, & a $25 Gift Certificate from Gracefully Framed.

There's still time to enter! The summer is only half over. The last day to enter is August 22. So don't miss out... read and WIN!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Event Announcement

Change of location for THURSDAY SPECIAL GUEST event.

There are a lot of different events and programs going on at the library this summer and some are very popular.

We have had a request to allow more people (children) attend our Thursday Special Guest program. Normally it is held in our Cabot Meeting Room which can hold 22 children at a pinch. For Thursday, July 30 we will be moving the program to the rooms at the Studio B gallery just down the street from us.

The program will feature author Ryke Leigh Douglas. She has written several children's books and will be talking about the process of writing and getting published. The name of the program is "The Writer's Toolbox".

There will be some fun creative activities for children to participate in so don't miss this special guest program. Be sure to sign up by calling the library at 610-369-0496 or sign up when you stop in to borrow books and movies.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reviews From Our Readers

What's being read this summer?
Here are a few comments from our Adult Reading Contest entry forms. Maybe you'll want to try one of these books, too...

A few classics are being read such as:
Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility "I really liked it- liked reading about the society & culture of 19th century English society" - Susan L.
Agatha Christie's Appointment With Death "I love mysteries! Though she didn't explain one big detail, I did not guess who the murderer was... I love to be surprised!" - Rebecca F.
Zane Grey's The Trail Driver "Good. The language is a little hard to follow at times." - Jonathan F.

As well as some books by new favorite authors such as:
Chris Bohjalian's The Double Bind (2007) "An intriguing story with a very confusing ending." - Treena F.
Wanda Brunstetter's The Quilter's Daughter (2005); The Storekeeper's Daughter (2005); & The Bishop's Daughter (2006) "Enjoyed this series about Lancaster County Amish... Enjoyed reading about places I am familiar with..." - Connie J.
Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble In the Big City (2007) "Great story. I hope there is a sequel..." - Rachel C.
Clive Cussler's The Chase (2007) "A delightful novel, stepping away from Dirk Pitt & the NUMA, yet remaining a true Cussler." - Marilyn D.
Mary Higgins Clark's I've Heard That Song Before (2007) "Was a good book, but more predictable than her other books." - Jill H.
Jeffrey Deaver's The Empty Chair (2000) "Good book -many plot twists -as always in Deaver's books." - LuAnne F.

This is just a small sampling of the books people are reading this summer and writing about to enter the Adult Summer Reading contest here at the BCL. There is still plenty of time for more adults to read more books and turn in contest entries. Some great prizes remain to be claimed!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Prizes for ALL Ages!

There is indeed something for everyone... children aged 0-12, teens aged 13-18, & adults ages 19 & up!

How do you win these prizes?
How else... by reading!

That's right kids and adults are encouraged to keep reading through the summer. Then to win a prize just fill out the appropriate entry form (or reading log) and turn it in.

Children can have immediate gratification by choosing to get a token for a vending machine full of toys or they can choose to get "Creative Cash" and save up for bigger prizes on display on a wall in the Children's Wing.

Teens can also choose a token or Creative Cash but they can also choose an entry ticket for bigger prizes donated from local merchants and friends of the library (including food, books, beauty products, piano and guitar lessons, a $50 mall gift certificate and MORE). Each type of prize has its own entry bag and teens can try for any or all of the prizes.

Adults can enter by just reading one book - although there will be a drawing each week for one of the many prizes donated by local merchants. So reading more than one book will give adults a bigger chance of winning. Also there will be a Grand Prize drawing of all the adult entries turned in throughout the summer on August 24. The Prize Package includes a $50 Gift Certificate towards a stay at the Twin Turrets Bed & Breakfast, a $50 Gift Certificate for Joseph's Styling Salon, a $30 Gift Card from Red Hills Tavern, and a beautiful handblown glass Vase from Taylor Backes.

The only requirements for these prize drawings is that the official entry forms must be completely filled out, the books that are being listed must not have been read by the entrant ever before and the entrant must report on the books they've read. (see the official rules available at the library for children and teens)

Enter soon and enter often! GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The State Budget & Library Funding

A Message from our Director...

There are two budget proposals being debated in Harrisburg right now. Both would directly affect our library’s bottom line. Gov. Rendell’s proposal would cut State aid to libraries by 2.3% and cut our reimbursement for serving neighboring Montgomery Co. residents by 4%.

The State Senate proposal would cut State aid by 51%, and out of county reimbursement by 100%, costing our library an estimated $50,000, or 15% of our current budget. With the current economic climate and everybody fighting for the same scant resources, this is not an amount that we can readily replace.

Even a “compromise” between the two plans could be devastating to the daily operations of the library. We would have less money available to purchase new materials, less availability of state-funded Power Library databases, and would most probably have to cut daily services in other ways that would be readily apparent to all.

We encourage ALL of our patrons, from Berks AND Montgomery counties, to contact your state representatives through e-mails, letters or phone calls and insist that they maintain level funding for libraries in 2010. No area community resource is used more than our library, and in tough economic times, that usage only increases.

For more information please contact
Library Director, Mark Sullivan
by email: or by phone: 610-369-0496.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Have you read any of the Pretty Little Liars series? (Titles include: "Flawless", "Perfect" & "Wicked") If you are a teenager there's a very good possibility that you have.

This is a new series by author Sara Shepared who lives in Chester County... AND she is coming to our library to talk about how she got started and what it's like writing a popular series of books.

Don't miss your chance to meet Sara Shepard on June 20 at 1:00 PM... bring your own copies of her books or purchase a copy or two from Sara and get her autograph!

Summer is COMING!

...And we're getting ready for all kinds of events, programs, and many-many readers here at BCL. The theme this year is Be Creative @ Your Library!

A great Kick-Off event for all ages (but especially children) will be held over at the Boyertown Community Park June 13 (from 1-3:00 PM)... we're holding a Creative Carnival!

Children will be able to play lots of fun carnival games (bottle bowling, bean bag toss, topple the cans & more) plus have their faces and fingernails painted. 

A special appearance by the Boyertown Alumni Marching Unit will let everyone have the chance to see and hear band instruments "up close and personal"!

All children attending this event will be allowed to sign up for attending the first Tuesday Story/Activity program of the summer (being held on June 23).  More information about the Tuesday programs and all other Summer Reading Programs will be included in future posts on this Blog and available on posters and handouts at the library.

Monday, May 4, 2009

And the Poetry Winners Are...

The Young Poets 2009 Celebration was recently held at the Miller Center for the Arts (on the Reading Area Community College campus). What a wonderful and exciting evening!

We did not have any winners from the submissions from our library. However there were a few students who live in nearby communities who were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place winners in their grade level. Here is the list of those students... maybe you know one of these awesome young poets:

Grade 6 - Rachel Keirstead, Fleetwood Area Middle School (2nd place)
Grade 7 - Elli Finn, Boone Area Library (tied 3rd place)
Grade 8 - Shannon Flannery, Exeter Township Jr. H.S. (2nd place)
Grade 9 - Emily Schucker, Daniel Boone H.S. (1st place)
Grade 10 - Rachel Bauman, Daniel Boone H.S. (1st place)
Grade 11 - Allison Watkins, Fleetwood Area H.S. (1st place)

There were 3 winners in grades 1-12 as well as honorable mention winners. Nearly all of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners were present at the Celebration to read their poem aloud and receive their certificate, ribbon and monetary award. Families and friends, teachers and librarians were present to hear the readings, support the students and see them receive the honors and accolades they so richly deserved.

A booklet was created with each of the top three winning poems in all 12 grades published inside. Each winning student received a copy of this beautiful book as a commemoration of their fantastic work. Extra booklets were available for sale at the event and many families and friends took advantage of that.

Photos of the event will be available soon. Check this blog again at a future date for an added link to the site where you can see them.

There are a lot of wonderfully talented kids in Berks County. Maybe there is one in your home. Encourage them to express themselves and enter contests such as this one. This Young Poets contest is held annually, sponsored by the Reading Public Library and supported by the Berks Bards literary group.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Young Poets 2009 Winners Announced

The winners of the annual Berks County poetry contest for students in grades 1 through 12 have finally been announced. By now, all the teachers and librarians who had students submit an entry have had a chance to notify participants of the results of the contest.

First, second, and third place prize winners in each grade will receive their awards at the Poetry Celebration being held at the end of this month. (See info at end of article for details) A beautiful Certificate of Participation is being given by teachers and librarians to those who did not place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

Everyone is invited to attend the Poetry Celebration to hear some of the prize winning poems and see the award presentations being made. The poems these students have written are always awesome and amazing. I always enjoy this program not just as a celebration of poetry but also as a celebration of the wonderful creativity and expressiveness of our students.

Each year all the award winning poems are published in a booklet and made available for purchase at the Celebration for the small fee of $2. I highly recommend bringing your family to this great event during National Poetry Month and picking up the book of poems as a souvenir.

This year the Poetry Celebration will be at the Miller Center for the Arts at Reading Area Community College at 7 p.m. on April 29, 2009.

A link to the list of winners will be posted at a later date.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Be Not Discouraged when Placing a Hold Request

Every once in a while we hear from patrons concerned about the large number of people waiting in line for a particular title. For instance over 100 people may have a hold request in for the latest John Grisham book.

I want to alleviate those worries by reminding our patrons that the catalog they are looking at is for 24 libraries in Berks County. Sometimes it is true that not all libraries have a copy of a book (that is why it is great that we share one catalog and are willing to loan books between libraries). Sometimes each library has at least one copy in their collection and often when it is a popular author such as Grisham or Janet Evanovich most libraries will have more than one copy in their collection. 

Therefore, if while placing a request, the information appears saying you are number 76 in the line of people waiting for a title you should remember that the 76 will be spread out over quite a few copies owned by many different libraries. 

Here's another tip:
If the title has the status of NEW in the section of the record showing which libraries own it, then when you place your request be sure to place it on the copy at the library location where you want to pick it up. Again, if the title is NEW (just recently published)... you can only pick up a NEW title at the libraries that own it, so be careful when requesting NEW titles. Be sure the library you are willing to go to has a copy in their collection and that you place a request on that library's copy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Shack by William P. Young - A Staff Review

This one grabs you by the heart.

I read this book each morning at breakfast, promising myself just one chapter a day. One or two [of those] days I really wanted to just be VERY late.

It's a parent's worst nightmare... a family vacation ending with a kidnapped child. And all clues indicate a repeat offender whose victims are never found.

This story takes you inside the family as they try to pick up the pieces that were left after Missy's disappearance. Mostly it chronicles the father's search for meaning to this torment he is experiencing. Where was God when all this happened?

Drawn by a mysterious invitation back to "the shack" where the crime was committed, Mack is drawn into a world that will make you cry for joy and laugh at the humanness of us all.

The experience is not what you expect, but in your heart you want it all to be so true.

You will read this book once for the story and then again for the deep meaning behind it. You won't be the same. 

Book Review by BCL Assistant Circulation Manager Deb Focht.

Twilight: the movie or the book?

Staff Review by Deb Focht.

Once again, the book wins.

Why do we love Bella so much? She is a klutzy, ordinary, remarkably unself-possessed teenager. Not so much of this comes through in the movie. Edward takes her up towering evergreens and lets her wander on the branches. Now we all know that our Bella would have slipped off the branches and fallen to her death. Even Edward knew better than to put her at those risks. Why do you think he piggybacked her through the forest - not just because it was faster?

Remember that Bella moved to Forks so that she could give her mother space and a chance to cement her new marriage? Upon arriving she started fixing dinners for her father because she thought his diet was in need of intervention. In the movie, she never even makes toast for her poor father. You don't get the connection that built between them and why her parting words, which were identical to her mother's, caused him so much pain.

I am sorry, but the movie also did not convey the level of passion and sexual tension between Edward and Bella.

Taking a male point of view, the fight scenes were well done.

But my biggest disappointment was the meadow scene. What meadow scene? See, you really need to read the book.

Deb Focht is our Assistant Circulation Manager (which is a title that doesn't convey all she really does at the library -look for a vivacious, dark-haired woman who may be small in stature but is big on personality and whose favorite color is green.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What I've Read - Update by Marta

Back in December I wrote that I was planning to read two books and report on them. I can now report that I did indeed read them (I finished several weeks ago) and I enjoyed both. Let me tell you about first one and then in another post about the other and you can decide if you will want to read one or both of them as well.

The Lost Temple by Tom Harper was an incredibly 
detailed archeological adventure story delving into the ancient history of Greece and the Trojan War through the writings of Homer. While reading the book I often wondered about all the research the author must have done for the detail he included and whether he had actually done archeological work in Greece and Albania or if he was a literature scholar concentrating on Homer. 

If you enjoy history and are interested in the research involved in archeology you will positively love this book. If you are looking for another Indiana Jones adventure you will probably be somewhat statisfied but not necessarily thrilled with the action (there are indeed some interesting chases but the maps in front do not help in the visualization of where the characters are going). I found it a little difficult to keep the time period straight, it takes place just after WWII ends but covers incidents that happen during the war and of course the ancient period of the Trojan War.

Similarly to the Indiana Jones character Tom Harper's protagonist (Sam Grant) has tunnel vision when archeology competes with a fascinating woman. There is a slight sexual tension running through the plot which breaks into the open suddenly in the last quarter of the book but just as quickly fades away when the archeological prize comes to the surface. 

Do I seem to be using the word archeology a lot? Well this is definitely not a techno thriller although the prize seems to be an element with great scientific properties highly sought by several governments (represented by the CIA, KGB & British Intelligence). While not a fast read, the book didn't bog down anywhere and I definitely found it interesting. I would recommend it to anyone.

What I’m Reading – Guest Review by Sandy Polen

For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs, by Robert A. Heinlein (pub.2003)

First let me start by saying that I am a die-hard Sci-Fi fan. It makes up virtually ALL of my pleasure reading. Also, Robert Heinlein is my favorite Sci-Fi author. I read my first book by Heinlein when I was 12 (I’m 58 now) and didn’t stop reading his books until his death in 1988. 

I’ve read everything he published. So this review is not written by someone unfamiliar with his work.


According to the book jacket, For Us, the Living is a lost novel which appears to be his first, never published, work. Apparently Heinlein wrote it and put it away… and for good reason. For Us, the Living is a 75 page short story squeezed into a 239 page novel. Seriously, I can’t believe the people who got this book published did not read it and realize that Heinlein didn’t publish it for a reason. That reason is simple, it is over written.


Anyone familiar with Heinlein knows he has a tendency to insert the occasional rambling description and sex into his novels, but this one reaches the abyss and takes several steps too many. There are a hundred pages of description which have no bearing on the actual plot of the book. Reading the first 50 pages, about 20 pages in the middle of the book and the last 50 pages is sufficient to enjoy this without getting bogged down in the rambling.


The book is the story of Perry Nelson who while driving in 1939 loses control of his auto and goes over a cliff only to wake up in someone else’s body in 2086. In attempting to adjust to the very new culture of the time he breaks the somewhat obscure traditions/law of the day and is sentenced to be rehabilitated, which is really acclimated, to this new time. In the end he finds his niche in society and presumably lives happily ever after. An interesting plot ruined by the need to tell the reader every single piece of information about the new society in minute detail.

My suggestion is you skim the detail of the “modern society” and read the basics. You’ll enjoy the book much more.


If you really want to read some good books by Robert Heinlein, I would suggest the following: Starship Trooper (nothing like the movie); The Moon is a Harsh Mistress; Tunnel in the Sky; Have Spacesuit, Will Travel; Methuselah’s Children; Puppet Masters (again, nothing like the movie); and my favorite, Sixth Column.

--Sandy Polen is president of the Board of Trustees of the Boyertown Community Library