Sunday, December 04, 2011

Library Closed This Week

The Library will be closed through Saturday, December 10th as we work to clean up after Saturday's flood. We are tentatively scheduled to reopen on Monday, December 12th. Please call us 817.748.8249 to renew materials. Stay tuned for additional details.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Family Matters

Aunts and uncles and cousins, oh my! Whether visiting or living together, families both drive each other crazy and provide lots of love. These children's stories involve characters interacting with their extended families.

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Sophie and her cousin Cody record their transatlantic crossing aboard the Wanderer, a forty-five foot sailboat, which, along with uncles and another cousin, is en route to visit their grandfather in England.

Finding Family by Tonya Bolden

Raised in Charleston, West Virginia, at the turn of the twentieth century by her grandfather and aunt on off-putting tales of family members she has never met, twelve-year-old Delana is shocked when, after Aunt Tilley dies, she learns the truth about her parents and some of her other relatives.

Fair Weather by Richard Peck

In 1893, thirteen-year-old Rosie and members of her family travel from their Illinois farm to Chicago to visit Aunt Euterpe and attend the World's Columbian Exposition which, along with an encounter with Buffalo Bill and Lillian Russell, turns out to be a life-changing experience for everyone.

A Corner of the Universe by Ann Martin

The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Your Medical Mind

Dr. Groopman has already proved himself an exceptional guide to the inner workings of the doctor's mind in his bestselling How Doctors Think. Now he and Hartzband, his wife and colleague at Harvard Medical School, get inside the patient's mind. The result is a chronicle of how ordinary people, landing at a medical crossroads, must decide about care, who should provide it, and for how long. They present tales of patients who must face conflicting information or uncertain outcomes and choose a course of action: a consultant finds his usual "objective” reasoning doesn't apply to the decision to undergo a bone-marrow transplant with possibly debilitating side effects; and a dying woman's change of mind about end-of-life care illustrates how unpredictable our response to death can be. The authors also illustrate the toll illness takes on a patients' loved ones as they strive to make decisions for incapacitated relatives. There are no easy answers here, no prescriptions for the "right” decision, but rather an illuminating look at how different people think about their options and the emotions and experiences that help shape their decisions. This remarkable survey can help make the uncertainty of illness and treatment seem just a bit more manageable and less lonely.

From Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 30

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Literary Thrillers

Readers will find all the appeal of typical Thrillers here: action, danger and a sense of menace. As an added bonus, these titles present sophisticated literary puzzles that revolve around mysteries of the past or intellectual challenges. Grab one today!

The Faculty Club by Danny Tobey

Enjoying a prestigious first year in law school marked by a coveted job with a top professor and a relationship with a beautiful Rhodes scholar, Jeremy Davis is admitted into a mysterious club that promises him phenomenal successes and hides a deadly ancient secret.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Offered a coveted job to analyze and conserve a priceless Sarajevo Haggadah, Australian rare-book expert Hanna Heath discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the volume's ancient binding that reveal its historically significant origins..

Abandon by Blake Crouch

A history professor and his daughter embark on an investigation into the abrupt disappearance of every citizen from a gold-mining town over a century earlier, even though they are aware that the last people who attempted to solve the mystery was never heard from again.

No One You Know by Michelle Richmond

Twenty years after the unsolved murder of her sister Lila, Ellie's chance meeting with the man accused of the crime leads to the discovery of Lila's secret notebook, filled with mathematical equations that lead to other enigmas in her sister's life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!

October 31st - Monday
Library Children's Area
4:00 - 5:00 pm

The Sock Theater is returning with
a whole new show that will have you
laughing and singing from your seat.

Great Halloween fun for families!

Don't forget to wear your costume!

When She Woke by Hillary Jordon

In a dystopian take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke grabs ahold of its readers from the beginning and never let us go. Hannah Payne wakes up in the Chrome Ward, having been injected with a virus to turn her skin red. Having been found guilty of murder for aborting her unborn child, Hannah has been sentenced to live for 14 years as a “Red,” her skin tone advertising to all what her crime was. During her trial, Hannah refused to name her lover, a famous, married pastor whom she still loves. After 30 days in the Chrome Ward, Hannah is released, but her deeply religious family refuses to take her in. She winds up in a halfway house, but living there becomes intolerable, so Hannah flees, trying her luck in a society that is becoming increasingly dangerous for women. The author blends hot-button issues such as separation of Church and State, abortion, and criminal justice with an utterly engrossing story, driven by a heroine as layered and magnetic as Hester Prynne herself, and reminiscent, too, of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Controversial? Yes, but an absolute a must-read.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sylvia Plath

Poet Sylvia Plath also wrote one memorable and award-winning novel, short stories, essays, and journals that continue to intrigue readers, even decades after her suicide in 1963. Madness and death dominate her remarkable writing, poetry and prose, with the images becoming increasingly macabre in her late poetry. Haunting, lyrical, and emotionally-charged descriptions characterize her writing. She was awarded a Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1982 for Collected Poems. The powerful feminist themes in her writing have influenced women writers in the 1960s and beyond. Start with: The Bell Jar (novel) and Ariel (poetry).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dave Leiber

Dave Leiber is "The Watchdog"

Are you sick of businesses and scammers
that pick your pocket every month with fees
and hidden charges?

Then you need to fight back!

Dave Lieber can show you how.
As the founder and author of
Watchdog Nation, he can teach you all
you need to know to protect your finances.

Free Workshop @ Your Library.

October 27th - Thursday
Town Hall 3rd Floor
7:00 pm

Monday, October 24, 2011

Horrifying Reads

Get in the mood for Halloween with some super scary reads. These horrors stories -- a mix of psychological and supernatural -- will frighten even those of you with a high fear threshold.

Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts by Laura Benedict

Years after ruining the life of a young priest with their lies, three women--Alice, Roxanne, and Del--find their lives unraveling, thanks to the machinations of the seductive Varick, a mysterious figure who is seeking revenge on behalf of their long-ago victim.

The Dark Matter by Peter Straub

Old friends try to come to grips with the darkness of the past--a secret ritual that left behind a gruesomely dismembered body--and find themselves face-to-face with the evil they helped create.

The Ridge by Michael Kortya

For years, a lighthouse at the top of a hill called Blade Ridge has lit up the surrounding woods. But when the lighthouse keeper is found dead, strange things begin happening to the people and animals in the area.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Want to Be Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is one of those authors that you read and think I want to be friends with her! We should hang out. Allow me to introduce one of my favorite writers, Jennifer Weiner (we even share the same first name! clearly, our friendship was written in the stars). She was born in 1970 on an army base in Louisiana. Jennifer grew up in Connecticut and graduated with a degree in English literature from Princeton University in 1991. She worked as a newspaper reporter in central Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Philadelphia until the publication of her first novel in 2001, and has been a full-time fiction writer ever since.

Jennifer's writing is laugh-out-loud funny, but it also deals with an abundance of real life issues, including: motherhood and career; family rifts; friendship and love. Snappy dialog leavens compelling storylines containing serious undertones. Her protagonists aren't damsels in distress, but rather realistic, feisty, funny, and smart who are not unduly preoccupied by which shoes to wear. Using a conversational, unaffected voice, Weiner moves her stories at a fairly brisk pace, sometimes leaving loose ends that make the stories even more realistic. Start with: Good in Bed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Los Angeles Philharmonic: the Inaugural Concert

Join us for the monthly International Movie Night tonight at 6:30pm. We will be watching the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This DVD presents the highly anticipated Los Angeles Philharmonic opening night concert on October 8th 2009, led by the orchestra's newly appointed music director Gustavo Dudamel.

A world-class pairing, the L. A. Phil and Dudamel mark the start of their partnership with this concert, filmed live at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The program defines everything that is fresh and exciting about their collaboration: John Adams world-premiere composition, City Noir, that steps back into the dark past of Los Angeles, and the all-embracing First Symphony by Mahler, the composer who launched Dudamel's dazzling international career.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kindles, and Nooks, and iPads, Oh My!

The first thing I get asked, once someone discovers I'm a librarian, is if I'm nervous about the disappearance of libraries now that portable readers and digital content are widely available. I respond gleefully, as I clamber onto my soap box, that libraries and iPads (or Nooks or Kindles or whatever fancy schmancy device) are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, the library is very much a part of this next step into the digital frontier. We have free digital content for your devices and we're here to show you to access it. Need some help transferring a title to your device? Done. Got a strange error message? We'll be there, my friend. Scared of the new technology, but you want to learn how to use it, darn it? We will hold your hand through the process. Just ask your friendly librarian.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

If You Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Try these readalikes featuring middle school kids chronicling the challenges of school, home, and friendships.

The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.

Frindle by Andrew Clements

When he decides to turn his fifth grade teacher's love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control.

How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart

When thirteen-year-old David Greenberg's best friend makes the start of middle school even worse than he feared it could be, David becomes friends with Penny, who shares his love of television shows and posts one of their skits on YouTube, making them wildly popular--online, at least.

Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Pierce

Supremely confident middle-school student Nate Wright manages to make getting detention from every one of his teachers in the same day seem like an achievement.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Lois Sachar

Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

To a famous magician is delivered a little girl who, as it turns out, is his child, and fortunately for his future, she is possessed of magical powers. As it also happens, this magician has an archrival, who, in the face of the first magician’s jackpot in the form of his little girl, seeks a young person for him to train to rival her. What the two magicians did not anticipate, as the years pass and the two young people, the girl and the boy whom the second magician found, are honed in their specialty for performance’s sake and to outplay the other one, is that the young persons, when of an age, would meet and, surprising or not to the reader, fall in love. How will their destiny play out now?

Even if you don't like fantasy, you'll enjoy this novel for its enjoy an unusual and well-drawn story. Try if you like: The Time Traveler's Wife, Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell, The Magicians, or The Wise Man's Fear.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Corpse Bride

Please join us tonight for our first Family Movie Night. Starting at 6:30pm, in the library, we will be showing Tim Burton's spooktacular The Corpse Bride. It's rated PG, and for more information -- we want you to know all the details so that you can make appropriate choices for your child(ren) -- check here.

Questions? Concerns? Call us at 817.748.8243.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Elmore Leonard!

Leonard was born in New Orleans, but because his father worked as a site locator for General Motors, the family moved frequently for several years. In 1934, the family finally settled in Detroit. Leonard has made the Detroit area his home ever since.

In the 1930s, two major events occurred that would influence many of his works. Gangsters such as Bonnie and Clyde were making national headlines, as were the Detroit Tigers baseball team. From about 1931 until they were killed in May, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were on a rampage. The Tigers made it to the World Series in 1934 while winning it in 1935. Leonard developed lifelong fascinations with both sports and guns.

He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943, and immediately joined the Navy, where he served with the Seabees for three years in the south Pacific (gaining the nickname 'Dutch', after pitcher Dutch Leonard [3]). Enrolling at the University of Detroit in 1946, he pursued writing more seriously, entering his work in short story contests and sending it off to magazines. A year before he graduated, he got a job as a copy writer with Campbell-Ewald Advertising agency, a position he kept for several years and wrote on the side.

Elmore Leonard's fast-moving crime writing houses a colorful array of sleazy characters spouting inspired, street-smart dialogue in vividly described locales such as Detroit, Miami and Hollywood. Elmore brings his lean, direct narrative voice to his Western novels as well. His often wry tone suits both genres equally. Sudden eruptions of fierce violence keep readers on edge and off-balance. His fast-paced writing focuses on lifelike, idiosyncratic characters -- in pursuit of a big score, or of each other -- heading toward a final collision that not all will walk away from.

"The next best thing to reading Elmore Leonard is re-reading him." -- Mike Lupica,
New York Daily News

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Don't Want to Read Sci-Fi or Fantasy!

Witches, and wizzards, and vampires, oh my! Do you ever feel like it is almost impossible to find a book that isn't fantasy or science fiction? And you've read and re-read all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? Cheer up, Buster, this list is for you.

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie, but when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.

Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson

When Rafe Kane enters middle school, he teams up with his best friend, "Leo the Silent," to create a game to make school more fun by trying to break every rule in the school's code of conduct.

The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin

In the Chinese Year of the Rat, a young Taiwanese American girl faces many challenges: her best friend moves to California and a new boy comes to her school, she must find the courage to forge ahead with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and she must learn to find the beauty in change.

Deliver us from Normal by Kate Klise

With a mother who buys Christmas cards in August and a younger brother who describes the Trinity as a toasted marshmallow on a graham cracker, life for eleven-year-old Charles Harrisong is anything but normal in Normal, Illinois.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Alice Hoffman

Next Tuesday, the Dallas Museum of Art will be hosting Alice Hoffman as a guest speaker as part of their Arts & Letters series. I'm fortunate enough to be attending (woo-hoo!) and in celebration, I'm taking the opportunity to blog about this distinguished writer.

Born in New York City, and raised on Long Island, Hoffman graduated from Adelphi University, where she received her BA, and received an MA in creative writing from Stanford University, where she was an Edith Mirrielees Fellow. Her first job was at the Doubleday publishing house, which later published two of her novels. She has published a total of twenty-one novels, three books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults.

Superlatives of Her Work:
Best Known: Practical Magic (You may have seen the movie adaptation)
Most Heartbreaking: At Risk
Best Linked Short Stories: Blackbird House and The Red Garden (a tie!)
Best for Teens: Aquamarine (also adapted into a movie)
My Favorite: The Third Angel
Coming Soon: The Dovekeepers

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Healthy Eats

In honor of the film Forks over Knives that we will be showing tonight, we offer you a list of cookbooks to jumpstart your healthy diet. Are we leaving out one of your favorites? Comment and let us know.

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

You may know Ms. Silverstone best from her Clueless character, but in this informative book she Addresses the nutritional concerns faced by many who are new to plant-based, vegetarian diets and shows how to cover every nutritional base, from protein to calcium and beyond. Features irresistibly delicious food that satisfies on every level --including amazing desserts to keep the most stubborn sweet tooth happy.

21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Dr. Neil Barnard

Last spring, we were fortunate to have Dr. Barnard as a guest speaker at our library. If you missed out, read his amazing book that focuses on eating as a healthy lifestyle choice. This title covers metabollically active foods, foods that tame appetite demons, cardioprotection, and an abundance of recipe ideas.

Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer
Mr. Foer has been a powerful voice among America's young fiction writers. This is his first book of nonfiction, which he states he was compelled to write once he was a father. In it, he exposes common misconceptions about how animals are slaughtered and processed for food, drawing on sources from ranging from popular culture to national tradition to reveal how the meat industry misrepresents its practices..

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Forks Over Knives

The Southlake Public Library is hosting its inaugural Documentary Movie Night tomorrow at 6:30 pm. Join us for Forks Over Knives, a fil that tackles the issue of diet and disease in a way that will have people talking for years. This documentary examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called diseases of affluence that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed food and adopting a whole foods, plants-based diet.

"A film that can save your life." -- Roger Ebert

"I loved it and I need all of you to see it." -- Dr. Oz

"Convincing, radical, and politcally volatile." -- John Anderson, Variety

Friday, September 30, 2011

Now You See it: How the Brain Science of Attention will Transform the Way We Live, Work and Learn

Author Cathy Davidson offers a stunning new vision for the future, showing how the latest advances in brain research could revolutionize education and workplace management. Davidson, formerly a vice provost at Duke and now codirector of the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital and Media Learning Competitions, begins with the concept of "attention blindness," a basic principle of neuroscience stating that individuals only see a portion of the world in front of them. Davidson asks how, whether working alone or collaboratively, we might overcome this deficit and gain a broader perspective on our mental and physical surroundings. She interviews pioneers who have demonstrated amazing success in accomplishing this goal. Her focus ranges from startup charter schools in rural North Carolina to IBM, demonstrating how to move to a world that recognizes the rich interrelationships inherent in the 21st century. Duke, for instance, allowed students to bring digital experience to their (and their professors') educational experience by giving studentsiPods and asking them to "dream up learning applications." Davidson has produced an exceptional and critically important book, one that is all-but-impossible to put down and likely to shape discussions for years to come.

Review from Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 22

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire has become synonymous with fairytales revisited. Readers already know the story - they love Maguire's work for his re-imagining of established characters and events, adding fresh spin to a familiar tale. Maguire often turns the story on its head by examining the "villain's" point of view, and, in the process, sometimes rehabilitating them. Historical fiction buffs like his injection of real historical characters (e.g., Lucrezia Borgia as Snow White's Wicked Queen). His prose is beautifully surreal, giving his novels an impressionistic feel -- but like the originals of many of these tales, darkness always lurks. Read if you enjoy: fantasy fiction, character-driven plots, dark humor, puns or wordplay-filled, and a lyrical or witty writing tone. Start with: Wicked.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Calligrapher's Secret by Rafik Schami

Schami’s intricately woven tale of mid-twentieth-century Damascus is brimming with love and jealousy, prejudice, politics, and intrigue. His lively cast of characters includes Hamid Farsi, a renowned Muslim calligrapher, and his wife, Nura, a talented dressmaker and daughter of a famous scholar. Nasri Albani, widely known as a philanderer, is obsessed with Nura. And there’s Salman, a poor Christian youth who becomes Hamid’s assistant, learning the calligrapher’s art from the ground up. Hamid’s talents place his work in high demand, but when he detects weaknesses in the Arabic language, and secretly seeks to make radical reforms, he comes under the purists’ scrutiny. Though Hamid is famous, he remains a stranger to Nura long after their wedding day, leaving her isolated. Until one day she disappears, setting in motion a series of events that, like a whirlpool, never stops swirling until the novel’s end. A captivating and enlightening read, enriched by the sights, sounds, and sensuality of Damascus, and by the author making his mark by bridging the Arab world of his upbringing with his adopted home in the West.

From Booklist vol 107, number 12

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Revolutionary Reads

To arms! Join George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and a host of others as they participate in America’s war for freedom. Experience the plots and battles safe within the bulwark of your imagination and secure in the knowledge of the war’s eventual outcome.

To Try Men's Souls by Newt Gingrich and Willian Forstchen

A novel of the darkest days of the American Revolution follows George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Jonathan Van Dorn, a private in Washington's army, during the days surrounding Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on December 25, 1776.

Patriot Hearts by Babara Hambly

The triumphs and turmoil of early America are revealed through fictional portraits of four women--Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Sally Hemings, and Dolley Madison--who played key roles during four presidential administrations.

The Hornet's Nest by Jimmy Carter

This novel of the American South during the Revolutionary War follows Ethan Pratt, his wife Epsey, and their neighbors, Kindred and Mavis Morris, as they become caught up in the conflict and the problems confronting local Indian tribes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Family Sagas

Follow these families over the course of generations as their lives play out. Characters from a wide variety of countries and social backgrounds are represented.

Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis

Follows the story of three generation of women of the Firielli family as they search for love and identity during the tumultuous political events of twentieth-century Uruguay.

New York by Edward Rutherfurd

A tale set against a backdrop of New York City's history from its founding through the September 11 attacks traces the experiences of characters who witness such periods as the Revolutionary War, the city's emergence as a financial giant, and the Gilded Age.

Bloodroot by Amy Green

Myra Lamb of Bloodroot Mountain has troubling "haint" blue eyes and a grandma whose touch charms people and animals alike. When their neighbor John Odom tries to tame Myra, he meets a with shocking, violent disaster.

Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh

The decade following World War II becomes one of tragedy, excitement, and unexpected change for the five Novak children and the residents of their western Pennsylvania community of company houses, church festivals, union squabbles, and firemen's parades.