Saturday, June 8, 2013

Teens Only | In Honor of Best Friends

June 8th is Best Friends Day. I know, I know....there seems to be a "day" for everything, right? But best friends. Here's a "day" I can get behind.

Best friends are really what sustain us, support us, comfort us, stand by us, defend us, and oh so much more. I hope that as you are reading this, your best friend comes to mind. And I hope you smile (just as I am) when you think of the memories you have created with your best friend.

My best friend (or BFF to go with the current vernacular) and I have known each other for over 30 years. And in that time, let me just say: we have laughed and laughed and laughed til we have had tears rolling down our cheeks. 

We have learned many, many things together. But in the interest of not divulging too many of our secrets, I think I'll move forward to some great reading recommendations.

In celebration of best friends, here are four books that celebrate friendship in some way. Two of the titles I've mentioned before, but they're so great they're worth repeating.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This is the story of Hazel and Gus who meet in a cancer support group. One of their diagnoses is terminal. And even though this book's premise is based on facing death and handling loss, Green manages to insert quite a bit of humor in these two wonderfully-developed characters. If you haven't read it, read it. It's a beautiful celebration of friendship.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This is a great story about how a friendship can develop between two very different people. As Aristotle and Dante grow their friendship, they learn some really important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. 

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. This is actually the companion book to Ship Breaker. I haven't read either of these books yet, one look at the review from Publishers Weekly and I'm sold. I'll be reading both this weekend! Here's the blurb about Drowned Cities:  

Set in the same horrific world as Bacigalupi's Printz-winning Ship Breaker, this superb, violent tale concerns "war maggots" Mahlia and Mouse, two kids trying to survive in an impoverished village not far from the tropical Drowned Cities that were once Washington, D.C. Life is a war zone, with gangs of marauders periodically sweeping the area-raping, pillaging, and forcibly recruiting new boy soldiers for their half-remembered patriotic and religious causes. When Mouse is taken by the United Patriot Front, Mahlia, who has already lost a hand to the war, makes a foolhardy rescue attempt, aided by Tool, a hulking, genetically enhanced half-man, a killing machine who has broken away from his masters. Tool still remembers "how he and his pack had run the streets under fire, blades and machine guns held high," but finds himself forming a new pack of sorts with the determined Mahlia. Beautifully written, filled with high-octane action, and featuring badly damaged but fascinating and endearing characters, this fine novel tops its predecessor and can only increase the author's already strong reputation.

The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin. This one is set in a wilderness school, which already sounds pretty adventure and action-packed. It's about a troubled sixteen-year-old girl attending a wilderness school in the Idaho mountains who must finally face the consequences of her complicated friendships with two of the other girls at the school.Yep, this one is on my weekend reading list too!

A few books that feature friendship on this -- Best Friends Day. 

And of course, a special shout out to my BFF: Thank you for everything.

Until next week, happy reading!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Bucket List | Reading is Sooo Delicious!

This last Saturday marked the beginning of the 2013 Summer Reading Program! Have you signed up yet?  The library branches will be featuring a number of food related programs through July 31.  You might want to check out:

  •  Summer Reading Kick Off at the Troke Library Thursday June 6 at 6:00 p.m.
  • SSJCPL Cooks will be at the Manteca Branch Library on June 11 at 2:00 p.m, at the Maya Angelou library on June 18 at 5:00 p.m, and at the Ripon Branch Library on June 20 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Pasta Making Workshop at the Tracy Branch Library on June 11 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Cake Decorating Demonstration at the Tracy Branch Library on June 25 at 4:00 p.m.

Here at the Manteca Branch Library, we just got in some pretty delicious looking cookbooks.  So in honor of Summer Reading, I'll feature a few of them today.

Eat St. Recipes from the Tastiest, Messiest, and Most Irresistible Food Trucks by James Cunningham features two of my favorite things: food trucks and easy recipes.  The recipes in this book are from food trucks all around the country like Le Truc and Roli Roti from San Francisco and Skillet Street Food from Seattle.  This book has recipes from Maple-Bacon Cupcakes to Kimchi Quesadillas and everything in between.

Curtis Stone, host of Top Chef Masters, has a new cookbook out too.  Curtis Stone's What's for Dinner? features a lot of meals that look like they took a lot of time, but are pretty realistic for the average home
cook.  The wine-braised short ribs and spiced apple pie look particularly appetizing.

Sandra Lee's Every Dish Delivers features a whole year of recipes.  What I like about Sandra Lee is that her recipes feature ingredients that you can easily find at your local supermarket.  She has recipes for New York Grilled Strip, Breakfast for Dinner Cakes, and even Fortune Cookies.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

4 Kids | Reading Is So Delicious

Summer Reading 2013 has begun, and this year's theme is...

Library staff have prepared a slate of great programs for all ages this summer. And all you have to do to be a part of Summer Reading is stop by your nearest library branch and pick up a reading log. Complete the activities to win some cool prizes!

If you're wondering when you should stop by your nearest library branch, I'll make it easy for you! Check out this list of awesome programs -- just for this week!!!

Today -- June 4 at 4 pm -- SSJCPL Cooks at the Chavez Library. Funny skit and a really cool activity after for children of all ages.

Book Buddies (reading help for 1st-4th graders) at the Weston Ranch Branch Library beginning Tuesday, June 4 from 1:30-2:30 pm
The EZ Reader Book Club at Mountain House meets Wednesday, June 5 at 3:30 pm.

The Troke Branch Library kicks off its Summer Reading program with a special fun event on Thursday, June 6 at 6 pm.

Enjoy the funny antics of Ravioli the Clown at the Lathrop Community Center Gym on Thursday, June 6 at 3:00 pm.
Meet the Wild Things Animal Rescuers (and some of their rescued animals) on Thursday, June 6 at the Ripon Memorial Branch Library -- 2 pm.

Ventriloquist Steve Chaney and his sidekick Corny Crow are sure to entertain at the Maya Angelou Branch Library on Thursday, June 6 at 3:30 pm

Enjoy storytime and crafts at the Escalon Branch Library on Friday, June 7 at 10:30 am.

Families can get Red Cross ready for emergencies at the Manteca Branch Library on Saturday, June 8 at 2 pm.
Saturday at the Thornton Branch Library -- Tasty Crafts -- Saturday, June 8 at 12 pm.

See you at the Library!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Just Life | What Would You Do?

Imagine you and your infant are on a train destined for the concentration camp. You know for sure that your train ride doesn't have a happy ending. 

What would you do to save your child?

Would you toss your child from this train hoping to save her life?

This is "Erika's story". I came across this heart-shattering book by accident.

Erika survived the Holocaust and ended up having children of her own never knowing her real parents or her real name. Erika was the name that was given to her by the woman who raised her.

I am a bit reluctant to share this children book with my child. How do you explain the Holocaust to a child?

I always ask myself, what would I do if I was living in Germany during the 1930s-40s.

Would I stand up for my fellow Jewish friends and neighbors or choose to keep my mouth shut to save me and my family from persecution? 

Then I imagine being on that train with my daughter. How could I comfort my child?

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha