Saturday, October 12, 2013

Teens Only | Raise Your Voice

"I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard."

That quote comes from Malala Yousafzai -- the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who is garnering much attention (and rightfully so) for her bravery in speaking up for education and women's rights. And as you all probably know, in 2012 she was shot in the head and the neck in an assassination attempt by the Taliban. 

She continues to raise her voice. She continues to make a difference. No one who hears Malala speak (or who reads her book) can come away unchanged. It's just not possible.

Here's another beautiful quote from Malala: "One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world." Oh Malala, you are so right about that!

We can (and should!) all raise our voices. And to get some inspiration for doing just that, I recommend reading Malala's book -- I Am Malala: The Story of the  Girl Who  Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Of course this book is in high demand, so place a request on it now!

I am in awe of this young woman. Her total bravery to speak up against wrongs and for the voiceless is utterly amazing. Her impact on this world is going to be so far-reaching. I just know it.

Speaking of making an impact on this world, I need to tell you about a special program we are going to have at the Cesar Chavez Central Library on Monday, October 21, 2013. It will feature Shahed Amanullah (Senior Advisor for Technology at the US Department of State) in conversation with Jerry Hildebrand (Director of the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific) in conversation about Generation Change

What is Generation Change? Click here for a quick interview with Mr. Amanullah. In a nutshell, however, Generation Change is a youth-driven global network dedicated to fostering the next generation of innovators and leaders in Muslim communities around the world. 

This promises to be an evening that everyone -- youth and non-youth -- can learn from and be inspired by. And it's free. It's part of our Live from Cesar Chavez! series sponsored by the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County. 

Raise your voice. 

Books On Film | The Exorcist

The classic horror film The Exorcist (1973) is based on the book of the same title published by William Peter Blatty in 1971. Inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, the author created the fictional tale of a mother who seeks help from doctors, and eventually a priest, for her daughter who has become possessed by a demon.

The film was wildly successful and was the first horror movie to be nominated for an Oscar. Although, it didn't win for best picture it did win for best screenplay which the book's author co-wrote. 

Happily, this means that a lot of the book was directly translated onto the screen. If you've never read the book before, you won't be getting a wildly different tale from the movie. However, everyone knows that your imagination is much worse than anything that can be put on screen. If you read this, PREPARE TO BE SCARED!

Covers courtesy of Library Thing.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Wanderlust Librarian | The Bookstore

It's true. I work at a library and yet... I still go to the bookstore. I cannot get away from books because they are so magical. Bookstores, for me, are places where I feel I belong when i'm not at work. They're full of delicious paper smells and things I love to look at. When I was in college, bookstores were places where I could study, grab a cup of coffee and just people watch... all for the price of a coffee. Nowadays, most bookstores have Wi-Fi, so one could have the added bonus of having their computer, studying, drinking a coffee and people watching! 

Luckily, I'm not the only person who gets my inspiration from the bookstore. 
Check out these books! 

If you're reading this, you've probably taken a look at my last post about the Last Bookstore. If not, check it out here! I found that there were WAY too many pictures to put in that post, but i'm happy to share them in this post.

Until then, have many literary adventures! 
See you next week! 

I love the screen on this desk.
I wish the library had one! 

The performance / lecture stage 
Eye need a penny!!! 
Book birds! 

This confounded me, but it was cool to look at. 

Sheet music bursts out of its confinement
I could not get enough of this sign. 

Every great bookstore has a
Mystery Door! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Learning | Amy Stewart's Non-Fiction

I love getting book recommendations from customers.  

One lady, Donna, always seems to be reading things that look interesting to me. We often talk about the mystery books we like.  Recently, she checked out a book that was not a mystery: Amy Stewart's The Earth Moved: the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms. I admired the cover, and mentioned that I had always wanted to learn more about earthworms. (Seriously, who has not wondered why they come out of the ground when it rains? I always feel sorry for the ones who stay on the sidewalk and die.  And what's the difference between an earthworm and a nightcrawler?) I checked out the e-book version.

Donna encouraged me to look for other books by Amy Stewart, too. It turns out that Stewart specializes in writing non-fiction books. 

Reviews of Stewart's work tend to use adjectives like "witty" or "quirky." She wrote her first book after she moved from Texas to Santa Cruz, California. She always dreamed of having a garden. So she set about transforming her tiny 1200 square foot yard into one. She researched the subject of gardening by doing it (not unlike my fellow blogger, Tara, in her Short Attention Span Challenge.) 

Stewart shared her personal experiences, and lore she discovered along the way. I love the quotes she included from old gardening books. I also enjoyed hearing how others shared heirloom seeds with her, especially the story about the little tomato her grandmother sent in the mail. Then there was the time she hired some men to dig in her yard and amend the soil; after she explained what needed to be done, she grabbed her gloves and shovel, and proceeded to work alongside them, all day long. All of that work resulted in From the Ground Up: the Story of a First Garden.

Glancing over the list of Stewart's titles, I realize they all are somehow related to gardens and pests, botany and bugs.  She has an eye for interesting facts about plants and insects. From the Ground Up and Flower Confidential: the Good, the Bad and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers have chapters which should be read in order because of their logical progression.  As mentioned above, the first book is her own story, so it is written as a first-person narrative.  

The other books are equally interesting, and the chapters are organized in a logical heirarchy, but reading the chapters in random order would be no problem. These are the kinds of books I like to read in a doctor's waiting room, or an airport. Here's a sample from Wicked Bugs,  on page 94, under the "Destructive" section, in an entry called "The Gardener's Dirty Dozen:" "They may not change the course of civilization. They might not spread the plague or send villagers fleeing for the hills. And they've probably never been implicated in a murder--although they do inspire murderous rages. These are just some of the pests that drive gardeners mad."  

I, for one, am glad Amy Stewart is able to share her interests so eloquently.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

She's Crafty | Nice to Meet You...

Did you hear that? We're cute!
Hello, I'm Kaye and I'm the mother half of this mother-daughter duo. You will be hearing from one or the other, or both of us every week about ALL things crafting...and maybe some other things too, sometimes, like art, which is not so other, really. It's all about being creative, useful, beautiful, joyous, cute, self-sufficient, expressive, and above all--fun! Which reminds me--how do you like our blog title? Cute huh? It sounds like a catchy song title to me...Say, who are the Beasty Boys?
I've been making things for as long as the daughter half can remember, and for almost as long as I can remember, which is a very long time--of course, I'm not going to tell you how long. Suffice it to say, I have lots to share with you about a fair number of crafts I've been learning and doing in all that time. Some of these are what you'd expect: Sewing, crocheting, knitting, embroidery. Some are a bit different: chain mail, beading, macrame, stained glass. And, there are always more crafts I want to learn--lamp-worked glass beads, spinning my own yarn, mosaics, making fancy paper. 

Chain mail necklace by Kaye
Oh! And the places we'll go: San Francisco's Renegade Craft Fair; a yarn bomb scavenger hunt; Sonora's Celtic Fair, where you can see a guy making chain mail armor from steel rings the way the Europeans did so long ago (you need strong hands for that!) Ah, crafting is history!
Squid Tree yarnbomb by Lorna and Jill Watt
The daughter and I have many crafting relatives and ancestors we look to for inspiration: The tinkering dad; handy brother; sewing sister, plus cousins, mom, aunts, and grandmas; musical grandkids & grandparents (music is art!); poetry writing other daughter (oh yes, writing too!) Then, there are the ancestors going farther back: Grandmothers & grandfathers into the great-great-greats who quilted, crocheted, knitted, fixed things and made them do. I could go on and on. And, I will! One week at a time. I hope you'll join us!
Now it's time to hear from the daughter half. She's going to keep us current; but she'll tell you her own story--hey daughter! It's your turn--

Hi, hello. Can you just excuse me a second...

Pssst, mom, it's the Beastie Boys.

...okay, on with the intro!

Malia here, the daughter half of She's Crafty. And, yes, ever since I could remember, arts and crafts have been a BIG part of our family. I grew up in a world of doilies and soft blankets, handmade hats and school clothes, and shelves upon shelves of do-it-yourself books.

As much as I loved being on the receiving end of some amazing heirlooms, my little kiddie hands couldn't wait to make their own mark. I practically begged my mom to teach me how to crochet! Ever since, I've been fascinated by all the wonderful things hands can make.

And make things I have! It's pretty much been a crafting free-for-all after I finished my first granny square. Some items great-great-grandma might recognize. Some others, not so much.
Tatted mask, feather mask, and mini-top hat by Malia.

Of course, I would not be the prolific crafter I am without the help of the library. In fact, I consider my library card just as important to my crafting endeavors as my favorite pair of purple-handled scissors. Seriously, peep at my bedside table and you will find at least one craft book I checked out from my local branch at any given time.

Check out my latest score from the library, Sweet Paper Crafts by Mollie Greene. Isn't it just the sweetest thing?! Makes me want to populate my desk with a flock of paper birds. Like, right now.

So, can you tell we love crafts? Now tell us, how much do you love being crafty?

4 Kids | Beware the Magic Kingdom

In my living room I have a picture of me with my two good buddies -- Lloyd and Amy -- as we are careening down in a log ride on Splash Mountain in Disneyland. We had so much fun. We left at 3 am on a Saturday morning, drove to LA, spent the day/night in the park, slept a few hours that night, then hit California Adventure on Sunday. Home Sunday night by midnight and back to work the next day.

Funny thing, though. I had a very hoarse voice on Monday morning. I could barely speak. My good buddies claim I was a screaming fool on the many times we rode Space Mountain (that scary, orbit ride where it really feels like you're leaving earth). Supposedly, I was screaming something like "Oh Mommy! Oh Daddy! Please help me!" I can't believe I'm even writing this. I'm sure my buddies are wrong. Although how is it that Amy has a tape recording of this? Hmmm.

I digress. 

I'm thinking of Disneyland because I just started the most awesome book ever: Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson. This is one of the most suspenseful books I've read in a long time. I'm halfway through, and would have finished the whole thing last night/this morning if it wasn't for having to be at work!

So here's the deal: Finn Whitman and 4 other teens are hired by Disney World in Orlando, Florida to be hologramed as guides. So after some fancy technology shenanigans, Finn and the others appear as guides to help visitors to the Magic Kingdom. A rather neat concept, right? Only very early on, something strange happens. When the 5 guides go to sleep at night, their dreams take them to Disney World after dark. Only "take" might not be the right word. The guides are needed in the Magic Kingdom to help fight a group of Disney villians, led by Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. Seems the villains are bent on taking over Disney World -- and maybe more! Will Finn and the other guides solve the riddle of the Stonecutter's Quill? I can't wait to find out!

And the very great news is that there are more Kingdom Keepers books in this series. 

Trust me. You will love this book! 

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Just Life | Library Ghost

Wouldn't it be cool to have a library ghost?

Then our library would be inundated by book lovers and ghost enthusiasts alike.

Between you and me, I think we should invent a library ghost and let the press get wind of it...we would be famous!

That would be fantastic PR for our library.

You see, library ghosts really exist. Here's an example.

This is the Willard Library ghost in Evansville, Indiana. You don't believe me, just click on this link: the Willard Library Ghost.

Picture from
If you don't want to go too far to encounter a library ghost, then you should visit Sacramento Central Library on October 18th from 7-9 pm.

Apparently, they have some book loving ghosts who have been roaming their Sacramento Room. They even have a library program this October called: Haunted Stacks at the Central Library.

Hey, spending eternity in a library is not a such a bad deal. I might even choose to do so after kicking the bucket. It would be much better than wondering in a dark cemetery with nothing to do. 

On second thought, I would rather share my eternity between Chavez Library and a fancy pastry shop.

Speaking of spending time in the library, here is one of my favorite picture books called: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. I love this book.

To help get into the Halloween spirit, you should read this horror book NOS4A2 : a novel.

Then you should tell me all about it. 


I know someone who can see ghosts. The other day, I casually asked him if he has ever encountered a ghost at Chavez library. He said that he hasn't, but he promised to let me know if he sees a ghostly presence as soon as he detects one.

So, stay tuned until we find our library ghost or until we invent a ghost or two.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha