Monday, April 25, 2016

Just Life| Permission To Stop Reading....

I have been trying to read the last 40 pages of "Circling the Sun" by Paula Mclain for the last 5 months. I don't like the main character and the book is boring but, I am too invested to quit. 

When the book came out, a lot of people were raving about it and since I loved reading her other book; " The Paris Wife", I thought that I would enjoy reading her new book as well. I was wrong.

So I am going to preach what I am not practicing for the time being.

"If you are reading a book and you are not enjoying it, give yourself permission to close that book and to pick up another one to read."

Life is too short to spend it on a book that you don't enjoy.  

Here are a few of my favorite books:

  • Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

  • And the mountain Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

  • The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain

  • Outliers: The story of success by Malcolm Gladwell

  • Don't push the button by Bill Cotter (Perfect for story-time)

  • Fantastic flying books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. ( Children picture book)

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

Monday, April 18, 2016

Just Life| When Breath Becomes air

Imagine studying for many years to become a neurosurgeon, then one day, a diagnosis changes your life forever.

"When Breath Becomes Air" is the memoir of Paul Kalanithi, a young neurosurgeon who faces cancer at the peak of his career.

The book is a glimpse into the life of a promising surgeon and his life journey from a healer to a patient.

I suggest that you wait to read the foreword until after reading the entire book.

Here are a few books on this topic:

Healing smoothies : 100 research-based, delicious recipes that provide nutrition support for cancer prevention and recovery

Cook for your life: delicious, nourishing recipes for before, during, and after cancer treatment

Cancer in the family : take control of your genetic inheritance

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

Monday, April 11, 2016

Just Life| Tale of Three Persian Carpets

There are two small Persian carpets in my bedroom. One used to belong to my late Grandmother and the other carpet is from my childhood home in Tehran.  Every morning, I see these two carpets and my mind is flooded with childhood memories.

In another room, there is another Persian carpet which was a gift from my mom.

My Grandmother's Persian Carpet

I imagine one day in the far far future, my daughter would point to these Persian carpets and share a memory of us with her own child. How wonderful that would be.

Since Persian carpets last for a very long time, I imagine these small carpets would travel from one generation to the next.  Hopefully, our names and who we were, would also be traveling from one generation to the next.

Persian Carpet from my childhood home

If you would like to learn more about your family's history, please ask the Reference desk about the library Edition of

Also, volunteers from San Joaquin Genealogical Society are available to help you with your family history.  These volunteers are available at the Cesar Chavez Library every first and last Tuesday of the month from 10am-1pm free of charge.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

Monday, March 21, 2016

Just Life| Travel Books

Wouldn't it be cool to to travel a few times a year to a far way land and experience a new culture, a new landscape, and a new cuisine.

One of the best ways of maximizing your experience in a new country or new city, is to do some research before getting there and the best way to do that is to study some travel books before your trip.

Did you know that you can check out travel books from your local library?

Some of these travel books even come with a map that can be very handy.

If you are traveling abroad, make sure that your passport hasn't expired like mine. It takes approximately 6 weeks to get a passport.

So here are a few examples of travel books that you can find in your local library.

Fodor's 2016 Florida

Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast

Paris to the past: traveling through French history by train

Happy traveling everyone.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

Monday, March 14, 2016

Just Life| Library Fines

I pay library fines left and right. I know, I know, I work in the library and I should keep track of my books better. You see, the reality is, I forget time to time to renew my own books.

So I was curious to find out how much I have paid in the past few years in overdue fines.

Are you ready?

Don't tell this to my daughter but since 2012, I have paid more than $80 for 117 overdue items. 


But the way I see it, that was a great bargain. If I wanted to purchase those 117 books from a bookstore. Those 117 books would be costing me almost $3000. 

You see, it was a bargain. I read 117 books for the price of $80. If I was a bit more diligent, those 117 books would have cost me $0.00.

My old reading corner at home

Every time I pay library fine, I tell myself that the money goes to a good cause. 

That brings me to another point. I wish we all remind ourselves to donate money to our local libraries. 

When you donate money to your library, you would receive a receipt for your donation and your money would be used to purchase more books for the entire community to enjoy.

This book is one of my favorite non-fiction books.

Let's all be literacy superheros and fund libraries in our community.

Library has books for everyone.

The way I see it, an educated community is a much better community to live in.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

Monday, March 7, 2016

Just Life | Spring & Persian New Year

Spring is right around the corner and for millions of Iranians, it is the start of a new calendar year.

The Persian New Year or Nowruz, has been celebrated in Iran for thousands of years and it has its origin in the ancient Zoroastrian religion.

Spring is a time of celebration for the Iranians all around the world.

The first day of Spring is the start of a new year in Iran. The first month in the Persian Calendar is the month of "Farvardine".

A heavy dose of Spring cleaning is the rite of passage to the Persian New Year.

As a kid, Spring cleaning was my least favorite thing about the New Year celebration.

Imagine being forced to clean every nook and cranny of your house for two weeks straight. It was exhausting. 

You see, the Spring cleaning is a necessary evil because for twelve days straight after the New Year celebration, a great many people would come to visit and you want your house to be in top notch shape. 

An important part of the New Year celebration is setting up a beautiful table called "Haft Sin".

Can you imagine Christmas without a Christmas tree? We can't have a Persian New Year without the Haft Sin table.

There are some very specific items that are placed on this table year after year.

New Year table at Roya's house

On the Haft sin table, there should be seven items which starts with letter "C" in Persian.

Here are these items:
  • Sib (Apple)
  • Sir (Garlic)
  • Sekeh (Coins)
  • Sabzeh (Germinated wheat or lentil. They look like grass)
  • Serkeh (Vinegar)
  • Samano (A special sweet paste made from wheat)
  • Sonbol (Hyacinth)
  • Senjed (Fruit from lotus tree)
  • Saat (Clock)

Each of these items have special meanings, but this blog isn't long enough to explain them all and to be honest, I am far from being an expert on this topic.

Haft Sin at my house last year

In Iran, schools and universities are closed for two weeks and on the thirteenth day of the New Year, everyone leaves their house to have a picnic with family and friends. It is called "Siz Da Bedar".

Haft sin table setting at my house a few years ago

In Stockton, around 100 Iranians get together at Oak Grove Regional Park to celebrate Siz Da Bedar every year.

This year, the Persian New Year falls on Saturday, March 19th at 9:30 pm.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

Monday, February 29, 2016

Just Life| Stockton in Bloom

Stockton is blooming. It is gorgeous out there. Have you looked around Stockton in the past few weeks. There are beautiful flowers everywhere. I love this weather and we are blessed to have it. 

Stockton is blooming 

Spring is right around the corner, it is time to get back to gardening. 

Although, I am pretty clueless about gardening, I can still get some flowers to spruce up the front of our house.

Flowers from the garden
If you would like to learn a bit about gardening, please visit your local library to browse our vast gardening section. If you are an avid gardener, we have got serious gardening books for you as well. 

At Chavez library, at the reference desk, you can also get seeds for your flower garden or your vegetable garden free of charge.

 Free Seed library at Chavez Library
Here are a few gardening books from your library, you can click on any of these titles to place it on hold to pickup from your local library in a couple of days free of charge.

Vincent Shalvey Academy parking lot

Happy gardening.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha