Saturday, July 6, 2013

Teens Only | It's Hot

Duh, right? And the only thing I want to do on hot, hot days like the ones we had this past week is READ!

So let's chat about what's HOT in teen books right now. Some of these you may have read or heard about. One thing's for sure: you won't be disappointed. So find a cool spot, get comfortable, and read!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: Get ready for a mysterious read that will keep you guessing. This story takes place in an abandoned orphanage on a mysterious island.  Sixteen-year-old Jacob unwittingly discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were not just really peculiar, they may still be alive! You won't be able to put this one down!

If you're in the mood for a love story, try Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. But it's not just a love story; there are some really big issues that teens Park and Eleanor have to deal with. They are outsiders who come together to form a really cool relationship. Again, it's not just relationship stuff; there's danger too! By the way, this story is set in the 1980s with lots of references to music and pop culture of that decade. It's getting a lot of good hype, so give it a shot! But be forewarned, I'm hearing the ending might not be a happy one. I've already place a request on this one!!

The next great summer read I want to mention is Richard Yancey's The 5th Wave. This sci-fi must-read is set in the aftermath of a crushing alien invasion in which the aliens themselves never appeared. But billions of humans have died in the months following the appearance of a giant mother ship. Think tsunamis, plagues, and implantation of alien intelligence into fetuses. The reviewers are saying this book will grab you from the beginning as venture into this survivalist thriller with characters Cassie and Ben. You'll be hearing lots more about this one, so read it now! I've also got a request on this one!

So 3 hot teen books sure to entertain you....or thrill you...or keep you up at night! As always, if you don't see one of these books at the library branch near you, ask staff to help you place a request. I know you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Book Bucket List | Love in the Time of Cholera

Happy Fourth of July!  I hope everyone is having a fun (and cool) holiday.  This week, I am featuring a book from one of my favorite authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Colombian-born Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 for his novels and short stories.  By then, one of his most famous works, One Hundred Years of Solitude, was extremely popular and had really put a spotlight on literature from Latin America.  

In 1988, he published Love in the Time of Cholera.  The narrative follows the ill-fated love of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza who were at one time young sweethearts, but were forced apart by her family and social expectations.  After their parting,  Florentino Ariza's love for her remains, and goes out of his way to catch glimpses of Fermina throughout their entire lives.  Garcia Marquez said that the intensity of the character's early love affair was based upon his parent's story.  However, his parents eventually married and according to the author " soon as they were married, they were no longer interesting as literary figures."  

Garcia Marquez's work could be seen as a heart wrenching love story that spans many decades, featuring many idyllic and romantic details like river boats and 60 page love letters.  However, Love in the Time of Cholera is also a warning for the possible selfish nature of all consuming love and the destruction it can cause.

So if you're in the mood for a truly epic love story, (I'm sorry, I'm a sap) check out the book from one of our many libraries!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4 Kids | Happy Birthday, America

We're getting closer to Independence Day, and all the wonderful events that celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

I have to admit I love this holiday. I love the patriotic wave that washes over all of us lucky to call the United States of America our home. When I visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., I was fortunate to see the original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Frances Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem. Words just can't describe the feeling you get when you stand mere feet from this amazing symbol of our great nation. If you want to learn more about this display at the Smithsonian, click here.

So in addition to the fireworks, barbecues and other fun activities we'll all partake in this Thursday, how about some great books that celebrate America?

So You Want To Be President by Judith St. George: This is a fun book filled with tons of trivia about our nation's presidents. Did you know that eight of our nation's presidents were born in log cabins? Did you know that William Howard Taft was the biggest president weighing more than 300 pounds? He even had to have a special bathtub built for the White House! And what about the pets that have lived in the White House? Of course there have been lots of cats and dogs, but did you know Benjamin Harrison had a goat and the Coolidges had a pet raccoon? Lots more to learn in this fun book! 

Back a few years ago I got to go on a ferry cruise tour of the Statue of Liberty. To be so close to this symbol of freedom and democracy really took my breath away. Maybe that's why I like Doreen Rappaport's Lady Liberty: A Biography so much. It's a beautiful tribute to the many people who played a role in the constructing of Lady Liberty, and recalls the sentiments of many immigrants who have laid eyes on her as they sailed into New York Harbor. 

Finally, because I'm always thinking about food, I have to mention U.S. History Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Exciting Events From the Past by Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummond. This book is a culinary journey through our country's history -- from cornmeal blueberry mush (believed by historians to be part of the first Thanksgiving) to noodle kugel (popular among the many Jewish people who immigrated to the United States from Europe) to baked macaroni and cheese (popular during the Depression because it was tasty and inexpensive). Check it out and start cooking!

Visit any SSJCPL branch library and check out these books! And in the meantime, have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Just Life | My Crazy Postcard Wall

Have you seen our postcard wall at Chavez?

You have got to come and take a look it. It has tons of cool looking postcards.

Let me show you.

Here is the story. We had this long empty wall in our Chavez Library and I wanted to do something to it to make it look a bit cheerful. So I came up with the idea of covering it with postcards. 

My cool co-workers donated a bunch of postcards to this cause. So did some of our wonderful patrons. I brought the rest of cards from home. At the end, I even purchased a few online.

From time to time, I see people taking pictures of this wall and it makes me happy that all of those old postcards ended up decorating a wall in our beloved library.

So if you have cool postcards at home, send them my way and I will make sure to add them to this wall. 

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha