Saturday, November 9, 2013

Teens Only | I'm Back and I'm Not a Hoarder

Greetings reading friends. I apologize for my absence, but alas, I've been somewhat distracted lately. 

Earlier this week I had the great fortune to hear Henry Rollins speak. This guy is really amazing. He's done everything from fronting the punk band Black Flag in the 80s to hosting radio shows to appearing in the second season of "Sons of Anarchy" to being a very compelling speaker and activist today.

What struck a chord with the librarian in me was Mr. Rollins' talk of being quite the archivist -- or rather, a person in charge of a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people. During his music/band days, he saved everything: posters, notes, everything! Why? Well, because no one else would, but also because he knew then (and now) how important that stuff is.

Got me thinking. In this very digital age in which we find ourselves, how much paper stuff are you saving? Please do not think I am advocating hoarding. I am not a hoarder! I am not!

But saving some of that special stuff will really mean something some day. 

My friend Marvin saves all the tickets to baseball games he's attended -- and smart guy that he is, can probably tell you the score of each game, who pitched, and how many double plays there were! 

My BFF Isabella saves a lot of stuff too, except she can't remember what the stuff is from. Case in point: The other day she came across a record album (before CDs, my young readers). It was by a Bay Area band. She had no idea why she had the album, when we ever heard that band play, etc. I had an inkling of a memory, but was able to call an old friend (thanks Eric) to give us date, time, and the whole line-up of bands. This is definitely a memory from a special time.

Again, do not become a hoarder. But those events that mean something to you now? They'll mean a whole lot more to you in the years to come...especially if you're sharing it with a dear friend.

My advice? Save some small token of those special events. And, as Henry Rollins would advise, make a note of the date, who was with you, what you felt. Oh, you're going to thank me one day.

Get a small acid-free box to store these mementos in. That's another thing I learned from Henry Rollins.

Trust me. Someday you'll open that box and your heart will jump with the memory of something really special.

And if you're looking for a little more inspiration on this, check out Nate Berkus' The Things That Matter. Trust me.

Until next week, be well!

Books On Film | James and the Giant Peach{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER

Roald Dahl is one the classic children's writers. Everyone has read one of his books. James and the Giant Peach happens to be my niece's favorite, even now that she is all grown up!{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVERMany of Dahl's most popular books have a similar theme, an unhappy child has a magical experience. In James and the Giant Peach, an orphan named James who is living with his two mean aunts ends up on a wild adventure in a giant peach and becomes fast friends with the insects inside. Together the inhabitants of the peach go in search of a better life.

The book was adapted into a live-action/animated hybrid film in 1996 by director Tim Burton.  As is Burton's tradition, the animated is stop-motion clay animation. The film is a treat and Burton not-so-scary style works well for the story. If your children enjoy the movie, pick up the book! Or if you haven't seen the movie, hop roll to it.

Quiz Time:
Which of these Roald Dahl film adaptations is your favorite?
1. James and the Giant Peach
2. Charlie and Chocolate Factory
3. BFG
4. Witches
5. Fantastic Mr. Fox
6. Matilda

Covers courtesy of LibraryThing.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Bucket List | The Latest in your Favorite Series...

One of the many wonderful aspects about working at a library is getting to see all the new releases as they come in.  And boy, have they come in this past October! New books are always great, but when the latest books in a series come in, it's especially exciting. It's even more so when it's a long awaited sequel in a popular series.

The latest in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, The House of Hades, was just released.  Percy and Annabeth are trying to escape the underworld while the other young demigods are trying to seal the "Doors of Death".  Yikes.  Seems like things have progressed far beyond training at Camp Half-Blood.  Also, don't forget to checkout the new graphic novel version of The Sea of Monsters!
The final book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series was released a couple of weeks ago as well.  Allegiant is the third book in the trilogy.  It picks up right where Insurgent ended, so the action doesn't stop.  For the first time, readers get to see the perspectives of Tris and Four, so now we can finally see what's been going on inside of his head.  Fans of the trilogy will be not let down with the end of this book.
P.C. Cast has just released the latest in her popular vampire series, the House of Night.  In Revealed, Zoey ponders her fate and questions if she is the one who is really powerful enough to bring down the legendary Neferet.  Neferet, who is definitely not dead has been changed in terrible ways since her fall.  She is unleashing her wrath upon humanity, but is Zoey strong enough to fight it?  

So those are three latest in series that I'm pretty excited about. Just more to add on to my ever growing list...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Learning | The History of Veteran's Day

Do you know why we celebrate Veteran's Day in November?  It all started with the Great War, the War to End All Wars, known more commonly to us as World War I.  That war began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914; fighting ended in 1918 with the Armistice, which began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month: November 11, 1918.  The war did not officially end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed the next June, but we remember the date the fighting ceased.

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that Armistice Day would be celebrated on the 11th, with the following speech:

 "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

Armistice Day began as a celebration of the service of veterans of the Great War, but by 1954, it was obvious that veterans of World War II and the Korean War should be included. So congress changed the name of the holiday from "Armistice Day" to "Veterans Day," a day to honor veterans of all wars.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Veteran's Day, you should visit this web page from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, on the day he was killed in 1914. Photo courtesy of Semilla Luz's photostream on Some rights reserved.. 
If you would like to learn more about the events that led to World War I, SSJCPL has a book for you: Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance That Changed the World

If you would like to hear about some of the veterans of World War I (85 years after the war ended--when these men were over 100 years old!) you will enjoy reading The Last of the Doughboys: the Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War.

Next Monday, whether you find yourself watching a parade, attending a commemorative event, shopping for sales, or just enjoying a day off of work, please remember to thank all the veterans in your life for their service.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

She's Crafty | Amigurumi

Confession: I, Malia, collect mascots.

Little friends that dot my living spaces with their cute little faces. Throw in some zany, goofy, and slightly creepy elements and it's all over--I'm an embarrassing, giggly mess. The latest adoption was a set of three Matryoshka dolls that hang out near my sewing nook with a stuffed Bilbo and Gandalf. I even have mascots that actually help me craft, other than just keeping morale high with their cute little selves.

I keep pattern pieces in line, most of the time.

A few years back I wanted to learn how to make a crocheted hacky sack for my nephew. Searching for tips online about keeping the stitches super tight and starting the project with a move known as the "magic ring," I kept coming across a term: amigurumi. What is this business? I kept digging and stumbled upon a definition similar to this one I found on M.E. Williams's DIYlife post, Amigurumi Knitting Tutorial (Plus Free Patterns!):

What are amigurumi? Well, nuigurumi (noo-ee-goo-roo-mee) is a Japanese word that means stuffed doll, but it refers to sewn fabric items. Ami (ah-mee) is from a word that means crocheted or knitted. So, an amigurumi (ah-mee-goo-roo-mee) is a crocheted or knitted stuffed doll.

Basically, it's crocheting in the round to make a doll that is then stuffed. If you're a beginner crocheter, amigurumi is an awesome area to explore since it's not too difficult to learn and the result is a new little friend or gift to give! I was hooked and tried to find all the information I could about amigurumi. After making a few friends, I moved on to my next craft obsession...

But now that the weather is turning cooler, I'm in the mood to crochet and knit so I've been thinking a lot about amigurumi again. When I first learned about it I started a little blue octopus. I finished his cute little head and two tentacles then moved on to other projects. Maybe I'll go back and finish him up. Although, I did start to refer to him as my shy little guy--you know, he's just hiding his tentacles, which makes him even cuter! Maybe I'll make him some underwater friends to hang out with instead.

If you're interested in making your own little friends, we have a few Amigurumi specific books at the library:
Amigurumi Animals 
Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts. Amigurumi 

We also have some great titles that can help a beginner learn how to crochet:
Happy Hooker
Kids Crochet: Projects for Kids of All Ages 

You can find even more amigurumi instruction and pattern books in Link+:

Go ahead, make yourself a little mascot to cheer you on when the crafting gets tough. Or when the book is getting zany and you need someone to point your surprised face at and squeal.

And, of course, let us know all about your amigurumi adventures!

Stay Crafty!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Just Life | The fault in our stars

I am reading "The fault in our stars."

This book is about Hazel, a 17-year-old cancer survivor. One day, in her cancer support group, she met Augustus a handsome cancer survivor and the rest is history. 

I haven't finished the book yet. 

I am hoping for a happy ending to their story, but I am doubtful. All I know is that cancer sucks. I just lost my uncle to Leukemia. Cancer is brutal and merciless.
Here are few things about cancer:
    • Cancer happens when some of the cells in the body become abnormal and start dividing out of control.
    • Cancer is the general term for more than 100 diseases. 
    • According to the American Cancer Society, " half of all men and one-third of all women in the US will develop cancer during their lifetimes". 

    Here are a few books on this morbid topic.

    The cancer prevention diet

    The emperor of all maladies

    The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks 

    [Sic] : a memoir

    Signing off until next Monday- Panteha