Just the Facts

BOOKS CHECKED OUT | By JANET CLAPP

Facts can be fascinating. Consider the popularity of board games like Trivial Pursuit, television game shows like “Jeopardy,” and activities like trivia night at the local pub. What happened in 1269? Who is Wilma Mankiller? Almanacs and encyclopedias are interesting to dip into rather than to read straight through. For centuries before the Internet, libraries had rows of shelves to hold reference books that could not be checked out, in order to ensure that they were available whenever people needed to access the information located within those pages. As online resources expand, the need to keep these informative books in the library building has diminished. Now you can take some reference books home from the Rutland Free Library to peruse at your leisure.

0226_RHV_TheTimetablesOfHistoryThe Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events
By Bernard Grun
Traveling in time all the way back to 4500 B.C., this book catalogs events by the following topics: history and politics; literature and theater; religion, philosophy and learning; visual arts; music; science, technology and growth; and daily life. How much do any of us know about the year 1269? Toll roads in England started then. This tome covers major events and more surprising details, like in 1534: “Decree forbidding Eng. farmers to own more than 2,000 sheep.” As the book reaches modern times, more milestones are listed. 1842: “Boston and Albany connected by railroad.” 1870: “First Vatican Council promulgates the dogma of papal infallibility.” 1906: “First radio program of voice and music broadcast in U.S. by R.A. Fessenden.” Pick a year and find out what happened around the world.

0226_RHV_AmericanIndiansAmerican Indian Biographies (revised edition)
Edited by Carole Barrett and Harvey Markowitz
In 391 essays a variety of Native Americans are profiled, from well-known historical personages like Sitting Bull to more contemporary celebrities like Cher, whose mother was part Cherokee. Many of the subjects are unfamiliar names but are interesting to read about, such as Winona LaDuke who ran for vice president with Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election. Wilma Mankiller was the first woman principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Leaders like Peter Perkins Pitchlynn, a Choctaw, advocated for tribal rights. There are many authors including Louise Erdrich, Michael Dorris and William Least Heat-Moon. An index by tribal affiliation directs the reader to the biographies of those in a specific tribe. Look under Abenaki to find the Pemaquid Abenaki man named Samoset who greeted the Europeans who landed at Plymouth in 1621.

0226_RHV_ButterfliesOfTheWorldButterflies of the World
By H.L. Lewis
Over 5000 color photographs of butterflies amaze the reader with the wide spectrum of species that exists — oranges, greens, blues, yellows. Maps and the Latin names of the butterflies are the only supplements to the pictures. Check this one out for the illustrations.

 

 

0226_RHV_WorldAlmanacThe World Almanac and Book of Facts
Lists and facts abound in this annual publication. Ever wonder what the tallest building in the world is? The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 163 stories high. On long car trips or evenings gathered around the fire at home, the almanac is a great source for entertaining guessing games. Name the presidents, state mottoes, world capitals, the top-grossing movies, Olympic champions and so much more.

 

0226_RHV_GuinessBookGuinness World Records
This book has been around for 60 years and still fascinates readers of all ages. When I was a child the school book fair sold this title, and I remember staring at the photo of the person with the longest fingernails in the world. They curled around his hands like snakes. From astounding to gruesome, you won’t believe the firsts and superlatives gathered here, accompanied by numerous color photographs. Largest mammal to build a nest — African gorilla. Longest golf club — 14 feet 5 inches. First person hit by space junk — Lottie Williams. Largest pizza commercially available — 4 feet 6 inches x 4 feet 6 inches. Farthest eyeball pop — .47 inches out of the eye sockets. Read it to believe it.

The Rutland Free Library has all the books above as well as many other fact-filled titles. What’s your favorite?

Happy reading!

Janet Clapp is an adult services librarian at Rutland Free Library.
E-MAIL: janet@rutlandfree.org

Janet Clapp

Janet Clapp is an adult services librarian at Rutland Free Library.

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