Saturday, July 20, 2013

Teens Only | Lead a Better Life

I've got a poster above my computer that says: Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. 

I do hope you've not grown weary of my always promoting reading. I am a librarian, after all. And beyond that, I love reading and want all of you to experience the awesomeness of reading a really great book.

So along those lines, let me ask you: Did you know you can check out ebooks from the Library. I imagine there were a couple of gasps of surprise there. No? Well, it's true. The Library has access to two great services (Overdrive and Axis360) providing ebooks and audiobooks that can be checked out and enjoyed on your own device. 

All you have to do is go to the Library's website -- -- and click under the "Books & More" tab for ebooks and audiobooks. On that first page you'll see what you need (apps and such) to enjoy your favorite books. But it's so easy and with a SSJCPL library card, it's free. Yes, I said free. 

I was just browsing in the recently returned titles on Axis360. Oh. My. Gosh. So many great titles that I just know you've been waiting with bated breath to read:

Anthony Horowitz' Oblivion, the final installment of the Gatekeepers series, is available on Axis360. If you've been reading this series, here's your chance to find out how it all ends. Matt, Pedro, Scott, Jamie and Scar. Five Gatekeepers have finally found one another. And only the five of them can fight the evil force that is on the rise, threatening the destruction of the world. No light reading there, right? BTW, you can also check out this book in book form. But ebooks are fun, don't you think? (The link above takes you to the book. Like I said earlier, to see ebooks the Library has access to, go to ebooks and audiobooks under the Books & More tab.)

I've just gotten back into listening to audiobooks while I'm driving, or just hanging out at home. It's way relaxing to have someone read a book to you. And again, there are lots of great audiobook titles to choose from.

Browsing again in Axis360 I found Discovering Wes Moore, the story of a Rhodes scholar who looks at the factors that influenced him as well as another man of the same name and from the same neighborhood who was drawn into a life of drugs and crime and ended up serving life in prison. In fact, Wes Moore is the subject of the #ReInventStockton Summer Book Club being led by City Councilman Michael Tubbs at the Maya Angelou Branch Library on Wednesdays at 3 pm (through July 31). You really should check that out! (P.S. The link above also takes you to the book.)

I've gotta say: SSJCPL rocks. We've got it going on. Check us out, and remember to look at the events calendar often. There's always something going on.

Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. (And it's so easy at your Library!!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

4 Kids | Eating Stuff

My esteemed colleague, Panteha, recently shared a popular Persian recipe -- green beans and rice. Sounds delicious and I can't wait to try it.

But it might be a while before I do any serious cooking again.

You see, I had a birthday brunch last week for my niece. Thank goodness my other niece helped me. It was a lot of work. Actually, the cooking wasn't so bad. The cleaning the house before was a lot of work. The cooking was quite a bit of fun.

So you know what brunch is, right? The dictionary tells us that it is a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch. (See how great it is to work at a library and have quick access to a dictionary whenever you want to look up the meaning of a word?!)

If you're in the mood to do some cooking, I say go for it! Visit your local library and check out the children's cookbooks. Helpful hint: look for the 641's and you'll find a ton of great cookbooks.

One I like a lot is Indoor S'mores: And Other Tasty Treats for Special Occasions by Nick Fauchald. There are quite a few good (and easy) recipes in this one, plus I just love the title: s'mores. In fact, I am going to go camping so I can build a campfire and then eat smores. What's not to love about marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers!?!

Did you know the Library also has lots of cookbooks by celebrity chefs? It's true! Rachael Ray even has a cookbook for kids called Yum-O!: The Family Cookbook. Rachael's recipes are pretty easy, don't take a lot of time, and are always, always yummy. And this book -- for the whole family -- features a lot of healthier recipes. And we all want to be healthy, right?

As with any books I mention here, be sure to ask library staff to help you place a request if you don't find the book you want at the library branch near you. It's really super-easy to get a book from another library branch!

Oh, back to the brunch we had last week. I'm sorry I didn't take any beautiful pictures of the food. I am afraid I was a little busy eating. Our menu? Glad you asked: 

  • Pancakes -- plain and chocolate chip (with butter, syrup, and whipped cream)
  • Quiches -- super easy made with crescent roll dough, and filled with cheese, zucchini, bacon, and onions
  • Fruit parfaits -- blueberries, vanilla yogurt and strawberries, in that order, in honor of 4th of July
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Bacon and sausage
  • Juice and coffee

Let me tell you. We were all stuffed. Fun times. It's always fun to spend time with your family. I highly recommend it.

So, as always, happy reading. And a belated birthday shout out to P and P! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Just Life | I Want A Tiger For Christmas

In my ideal world, I would be living in a house full of exotic animals. I would have a pet tiger, a cheetah, and a handsome bobcat that I would call Bob.

In my real world, my only pet is Smoky, an old cockatiel. He has been my companion for the past 15 years. My daughter also has two gold fish, Noodles and Connor. 

Our Smoky

I am a cat lover, but we can't have one because of my husband's allergy. I would like to have a small dog, but my husband doesn't think that is a good idea either. 

"Too much work" he said. 

He is probably right. Unlike him, I don't have any experience taking care of a dog. I have never faced all the challenges that come with owning a dog. I am a working mom.  I wonder if I can add one more responsibility to my to do list.

To be honest, now that I think about it, as I go through all the responsibilities and duties that come with welcoming a dog into our lives, I might not be ready. 

Maybe, after my daughter heads to college and if I am still alive after paying for her college tuition, then I might think about filling our empty nest with an adorable dog like this.

Picture from

Until then, I have to wait and just read about them:

Howl : a collection of the best contemporary dog wit

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha