Saturday, August 24, 2013

Teens Only | I Want My MTV

When I was a teen...don't you just cringe whenever anyone starts a sentence with that?

But seriously, when I was a teen, I was witness to the beginning of MTV. It launched on August 1, 1981, and I think during the 80's I probably logged over 3,000 hours of watching/listening to awesome music videos. That's just an estimate. I really have no idea how many hours I sat in the front of the TV with MTV blaring through. But it was a lot. My parents might (probably would) say it was way too many hours. Oh well.

I loved music so much I even hung around some bands. My favorite "local" hit of the 80s was "Seventeen" by the James Blonde Band. That music was "it" and still makes me want to dance. 
Ah....those were the days.

I'm not saying MTV isn't still awesome. It's got Girl Code, Catfish, and Ridiculousness. But where are the Pet Shop Boys? Huey Lewis and the News? Phil Collins? I even remember the first music video ever aired: "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. I remember sitting in the family room and thinking, "This is the coolest thing. Ever."

Since "retro" is so much a part of pop culture, there may be many of you out there wondering about the music scene of the 80's...specifically the baby days of MTV. Well, you're so in luck. 

There's a new book out titled VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave. It's a behind-the-scenes oral history of the explosion of MTV featuring the first VJs (video jockeys): Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, and the late J.J. Jackson. MTV not only helped launch -- or re-launch -- the careers of many famous musicians and bands, it really was the beginning of reality television. At least I think so. If you are at all interested in the phenomenon that was MTV, you should check this book out.

In the meantime, you can still hear the great sounds of the 80's on Sirius XM Radio. I just stumbled upon it a few weekends ago. Needless to say, I've got Peter Gabriel, Bananarama, Journey, Glass Tiger, and all the other great artists/bands of the 80's filling up my house. And that, my friends, is really awesome.

So take a trip back to the 80's and delve into the history of MTV. 

Happy reading...and I'll see you next week.

Books On Film | The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

This past Wednesday saw the release of the film adaptation of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones. It's the first book in the The Mortal Instruments series. 

The book follows a teen named Clarissa 'Clary' Fray, who discovers a secret world full of demon hunters and other supernatural creatures that normally goes unseen by regular people.

The series has five books, with a sixth book planned, and a prequel series set in Victorian England call The Infernal Devices.
Cover courtesy of LibraryThing

Friday, August 23, 2013

Miss Moneypennypincher | Don't buy junk!

My husband likes to joke that I spend more time researching the things I buy than actually using the things I buy.  I guess he has a point.  If I spend my money, it is going to be on the best of something.  There is nothing worse than purchasing a piece of junk.  One of my favorite research tools is Consumer Reports, the magazine that researches and reviews pretty much everything, from juicers to Jaguars.  Growing up, I remember my family subscribed to the magazine and got it every month (and I always thought it was SO boring!).  Now that I have a family of my own, I find myself using the magazine all the time to make sure that I am spending my money wisely.  But, the magazine is not free.  Having access to all that info costs money  What if it is money you don't want to spend?
Once again, the library is at your service!  Perhaps the most obvious way you can access Consumer Reports at the library is to come in and look at the magazine.  Many of the libraries keep copies in the reference section, so that they cannot be checked out.  It's here for your viewing pleasure.
However, maybe you don't want to drive to the library and just want to access the magazine from home.  Should you shell out the $30 a year to get access to  You could, OR you could hop onto the library website:
Drag your cursor over "research"
Select "Databases"
Click "All databases"
Click "Masterfile Premier" (and then enter your library card number and PIN)
then "Publications" and type in "Consumer Reports".
Look over on the right ---every issue since 1991.

Voila!  Free access to Consumer Reports from home, for free! You just saved between $6.95 and $30!  Plus, you can use the money you just saved to buy something awesome!  Enjoy!

Joke of the day:
How do you make a money pizza?
----With all the dough you just saved getting Consumer Reports for free from the library!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Bucket List | My Ideal Bookshelf

A question that I have always found difficult to answer is "What is your favorite book of all time?"  My answer is always something like "Well... it really depends..." and I list a few books that have meant something to me for various reasons, but never really nail down one specific book.  However, Jane Mount and Thessaly La Force's My Ideal Bookshelf has made this task a lot easier.  Instead of asking people for their favorite book, they asked a multitude of creative types - people involved in film, food, books, music, and fashion - for their "ideal bookshelf".  This would be a list of the books that matter to them the most and hold a special place in their lives.  Artist Jane Mount then took the list of the participants books and painted them to bring them to life.  Each painting in the book is featured next to an explanation written by the participant of why they chose the books they love so much.  So do you want to see the books James Franco holds dearest?  Check out page 62.

Ideal Bookshelf of Kathleen Hart
President of Delta College
 by Jean Ramey

For the One Book, One San Joaquin program this September, we are bringing the Ideal Bookshelf concept into our community.  We asked a diverse group of people from our own local community for the books that would be found on their own Ideal Bookshelves. Those lists were illustrated by a number of local artists, from high school students to professional artists,  which will be featured during our community reading programs and at many of our branches this September.  We will also be featuring the Ideal Bookshelves of all of the featured authors of this year's One Book, One San Joaquin program including Nina Sankovitch, Rebecca Rupp, and John Green.

These paintings will be featured together at the Reading Meets Art: My Ideal Bookshelf Art Reception on Monday, September 9th at 6:00 p.m. at the Cesar Chavez Library.  Join us to see what people from our community picked as their favorite books!