Saturday, June 15, 2013

Teens Only | And Speaking of Fathers...

Sunday, June 16th is Father's Day. Since this is a library blog, after all, I thought I would talk about a book that always reminds me of the bond between a father and child.

To me, that book is Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. By the way, the Library has this book in every format imaginable, including playaway, compact disc,and downloadable from the Library's Overdrive site, so there really is no excuse not to read it.

A little history on the book: A Wrinkle in Time, a science fiction/fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L'Engle, was first published in 1962. It was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1963. 

What's it about? In a nutshell, it's the story of 14-year-old Meg Murry, who is seen by many as a bit of a troublesome child. Her family, though, knows she is destined for great things. By the way, her family includes her beautiful mother, her athletic 10-year-old twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys, and her super-genius 5-year-old brother Charles Wallace Murry, who can sometimes read Meg's mind. It also includes Meg's scientist father, a government scientist, who has gone missing after working on a mysterious project called a tesseract.

The story starts when a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe on a most dangerous and fantastic journey that will threaten their lives...and our universe! 

I'm not going to spoil the joy of reading this book for you, so I'll say no more. But suffice it to say, when I read this book for the first time, I really, really liked it. And I remember being very moved by the relationship between Meg and her father.

It's time for me to read it again. And I will do just that this weekend.

Because after all it's Father's Day. 

And a Happy Father's Day to my Dad, a truly incredible man who lives on in our hearts.

Happy Reading.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Bucket List | And the Mountain Echoed

When I read Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, it was one of the most moving and powerful books I had read in a long time.  I then went out to get A Thousand Splendid Suns, which I also loved, and got me hooked on Khaled Hosseini as an author. 

Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan.  As a child, he moved with his family to Iran, Paris, and eventually settled in San Jose, California.  Hosseini attended Santa Clara University and graduated with a degree in Biology.  He then attended UC San Diego's medical school.  He practiced medicine while writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, and continued for a year even after The Kite Runner had been released.

This May, Hosseini released his latest novel, And the Mountains Echoed.  The story follows a family across continents and generations.  The story begins with a father telling his children a fairy tale about a boy being stolen by a "div" or ogre.  However, the next day, the father gives away one of his children to a wealthy man who lives in Kabul.  That decision sets off events in that family for over fifty years where Hosseini dives into what it means to be a family, tough decisions, and loyalty.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Learning | Bon Appétit!

Hey, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, caregivers of children! Summer Reading began on June 1. You probably have heard that this year's theme is "Reading is So Delicious." Many of us are thinking about our favorite food-themed books. One recent favorite of mine is a children's picture book with the Bullwinkle Effect--ostensibly, the targeted audience is children, but I think adults will enjoy reading this book with children.

Bon Appétit: the delicious life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland was published in 2012. It's a biography of an amazing woman.  She never quite fit into the roles one might have expected for her. She made her own career as the person who introduced French cooking techniques to the American culture through her cooking show. I remember my mother watching that show every week.  

Bon Appetit does not follow the typical narrative form of a biography; there are multiple illustrations on every page, with captions that range from humorous and informative to downright wise.  This format makes it especially suited to snuggling up with your child, reading together, and discussing what you see.

You may also want to watch the DVD Julie & Julia, or read the book that inspired the movie. We even have the e-book version; just click on the link in the title of the DVD to see the formats the library offers.  Julie & Julia is based on the true story of a journalist whose blog was based on the premise of learning to cook 524 Julia Child recipes in 365 days.  

What are your favorite books about chefs?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

4 Kids | A Fun Little Game For You

Now that school is out, it's time to have some fun! So I thought I'd play a little game with you. I know you, dear reader, have read lots and lots of children's books. I just know you have! So let's see how much you remember!

Below are first lines from some of the best children's books ever. Can you figure out which book each line comes from? Don't worry. I'm not going to make you wait a whole week to find out how right you were! The answers are below. But don't look at the answers until you've really given it your best.

1. "The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another...his mother called him "wild thing!"

2. "These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket."

3. "Frog ran up the path to Toad's house."

4. "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

5. "'Where's Papa going with that ax?' said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast."

6. "There is no lake at Camp Green Lake."

7. "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."

8. "Sunday: I wish I'd started keeping a journal a lot earlier on, because whoever ends up writing my biography is gonna have a lot of questions about my life in the years leading up to middle school."

9. "Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy."

 A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.  -- Chinese Proverb

Ok, now here are the answers:

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 
3. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
5. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
6. Holes by Louis Sachar
7. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
9. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis


Monday, June 10, 2013

Just Life | Help! Zombies Are On The Loose

Welcome to the Zombie Land.

It seems like, everywhere you look, there are traces of these man-eating monsters.

From television programs to books, to movies, we are bombarded by zombies these days. Vampires move over, zombies are taking over.

We even have these hilarious zombie bookmarks at Chavez Reference Desk, courtesy of CA office of traffic safety warning us about these dangerous zombies who are apparently "driving" freely among us.

Let me introduce these zombies to you, maybe you are one of them and haven't realized it yet:
  1. Glam Zombies- Those of you who put on your makeup while driving fall under this category.
  2. Grubbin' Zombies- If you eat and drive at the same time, You fall under this category. (Honestly, who doesn't fall under this category)
  3. Party Zombies- Those of you who dance while driving are definitely Party Zombies.
  4. Day-Dreaming Zombies- Those of us who pay attention to everything on the road except driving fall under this category.
So be aware! 

Zombies are everywhere and anywhere even in your library. 

If you want to have one of these zombie bookmarks, come to the Chavez Reference Desk.  


Are you a fan of the Walking Dead television series? Did you know that it is based on the comic books by Robert Kirkman?

Here are a few of his books if you want to test-drive them:

The walking dead. Book 1

The walking dead : rise of the Governor 

I just finished reading Warm Bodies. It is a love story between a zombie and an ordinary girl. It is the perfect book if you don't have anything else to read. Its' movie adaptation just came out too. I tried to watch it one late night while falling in and out of sleep. The movie had too many scary skeletons. I stopped watching it and instead had nightmares that entire night. 

I tell you. I am so fearless.

There is also another zombie movie on the horizon called World War Z. It is based on the novel World War Z : an oral history of the zombie war by Max Brooks. The movie is coming out on June 21st.

Who knows, maybe I am gonna gather up my courage and read this book. I might even go and watch the movie with my dear husband who thrives on scary movies & books.
So tell me what Zombie books are you reading nowadays?

Signing off until next Monday- A Grubbin' Zombie

And don't forget to bite into a good book until next time.