Saturday, May 10, 2014

Teens Only | Be Careful What You Wish For

With all the great books of fiction featuring gods and goddesses, not the least of which is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, you're no doubt very familiar with all those famous gods and goddesses of Greek and Roman legend.
But do you really know those gods and goddesses? There are some cool (and some cruel!) stories you might very much enjoy.
And so allow me to recommend A Gift From Zeus: Sixteen Favorite Myths by Jeanne and William Steig. (P.S. William Steig is the author of the first book I ever read all by myself: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.) But back to gods and goddesses.
The Steigs have put together 16 stories that will inform and entertain you. Seriously. You'll learn something.
Case in point: you've heard the warnings about opening Pandora's box, right? Bad things will happen if you do. But what was in Pandora's box, after all?
Be careful what you wish for.
Pandora was warned not to open the box, but curiosity got the best of her. She thought she could risk just one quick peek. But when she opened the box, just a crack, out flew a myriad of hideous things which were, according to the Steigs:
Carbuncles, Quagmires, and Jiggery-Pokery,
Colic, Depravity, Lummoxes, Louts,
Barbed Wire, Insomnia, Practical Jokery,
Treachery, Lechery, Deluge, and Droughts,
Truculence, Toothache, and Dandruff and Thuggery,
Blight and Sciatica, Gallstones, Tight Shoes,
Sinkholes and Nigglers and Nits and Skullduggery,
Anchovies, Avarice, Dudgeon, The Blues.
Hey Pandora: thanks a lot!
This book is a fun read. I'm so enjoying learning more about Zeus, Venus, Perseus, Orpheus and all the rest. And for those writers out there, think about writing a short story with one of these gods or goddesses living in the modern world. Can you just imagine?
Happy Reading...and Writing!

Books On Film | Heaven Is For Real's%20astounding%20story%20of%20his%20trip%20to%20heaven%20and%20back%20/?bind_name=TITLE&library=ALL&user_id=WEBSERVER

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo is a Christian non-fiction book that describes the near-death experience of Pastor Burpo's four year old son Colton. Colton's description of what he experienced while unconscious during surgery leads the Burpo to believe that his son visited heaven.

In April 2014, the book was adapted into a film with the help of author and evangelist T.D. Jakes.

Cover courtesy of LibraryThing.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Reader Digests | Pie!

Who doesn't love pie?  I don't know any librarian that doesn't love pie! That's why this summer, we are going to eat pie! Yes, pie!

We are so determined to keep our kids reading this summer that a few dedicated, brave, and perhaps a little hungry library staff have volunteered to get pied!

What is getting pied, exactly? This is getting pied....

You are probably wondering what this is all about.  

Who is going to pie us?  
KIDS, that's who!  

Children at the Chavez, Manteca, and Ripon Libraries will get a chance to pie their library staff under these conditions:

2,500 total books must be logged and read by children at the branch during this year's Summer Reading Program! (Fizz! Boom! Read! June 1 through July 31)
The person must be a child who has completed the program and turned in their reading log.
After 2,500 books are read, the child's name will be drawn at random.
"The Pie-ing" (Doesn't it sounds like a horror movie?) will take place at the last children's Summer Reading Program event at each branch, on July 31.
Kids will pie either Suzy at Chavez (she likes Banana Cream!), Rena at Manteca, Melinda at Ripon, or Tara at Ripon (I'll take Coconut Cream please!).

Starting June 1, read those books and bring on the pie, kids!!! Yummy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Learning | The Parasol Protectorate.

Steampunk fans will enjoy reading Gail Carriger's books.

I learned about Ms. Carriger's books from a customer, who wholeheartedly recommended the Parasol Protectorate Series, also known as the Alexia Tarabotti Seriesto me.  

Soulless, Book 1 of the Parasol Protectorate Series
Quite honestly, she had me at "steampunk," but I was delighted when I started reading Soulless, the first book in the series. Carriger sets the series in a historical world that might have existed, if Victorian Society was interwoven with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and human beings. Queen Victoria has appointed a Shadow Council to oversee supernatural matters, and there is a Bureau of Unnatural Registry which keeps track of all of the werewolves and vampires in England. There are also plenty of interesting steam-powered machines used for detection, transportation, communication and warfare. (Including deadly mechanical ladybugs and porcupines!)  Alexia's parasol is her primary means of protection--and there are plenty of people who wish to see her dead in this series. History buffs will enjoy comparing the fantasy setting with the history/technology of the real world at the same time.

Alexia Tarabotti seems like a Jane Austen character. She would be a formidable force even without her preternatural status (in terms of this series, that means she was born without a soul; her touch will turn immortals human.) 

She keeps up with the latest scientific theory and technological developments. She's not afraid to protect herself...which explains why the first book opens on a scene where she accidentally killed a vampire, when she simply wanted to eat a few treacle tarts. 

Her mother and half-sisters are frivolous, mean-spirited women who are preoccupied with everything Alexia finds least interesting: who's engaged to whom, fashion, etc. 

Her best friend, Ivy, has horrible taste in hats; she may prone to malapropisms like, "persona au gratin," but she is not as foolish as she appears. 

I almost forgot to mention the great romance that transforms Miss Tarabotti into Lady Maccon by the end of the first book. If you've ever wondered about the challenges of marrying an earl who is a werewolf, look no further!

The Parasol Protectorate Series will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, P. G. Wodehouse, and Elizabeth Peters.  

Gail Carriger is writing more series to delight her fans:

Custard Protocol Series (sorry, you'll have to go to Link+ for this one)

Finishing School Series is a series for teens, set in the same fantasy Victorian Era as The Parasol Protectorate.

Soulless is the name of a manga series based on the Parasol Protectorate Series. I haven't seen it yet, but I will be looking for it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

4 Kids | Famous Celebrities Share Favorite Childhood Books

That's right! Today I will share with you some of the favorite childhood books of celebrities. Perhaps a title or two will strike your fancy and you'll pick up a copy at your next trip to the Library! I hope you do!

But why, you may wonder, am I interested in what famous people read as children? 

I just came across a new-ish non-fiction book entitled The Book That Will Make You Love Books, by Francoize Boucher. I must admit: the title very much intrigued me. So I opened it up and immediately started laughing out loud. It's a quick, cartoon-filled book filled with little tidbits about the benefits of reading:

If you love a book you can read it over and over thousands of times, but, if you love chocolate, you can only eat the same bar once.

Sometimes, a book is like a lamp: it sheds light on life's great questions.

Although there is a lot to chuckle at, there is also some very valid information about the benefits of reading. And by that, I mean reading a lot! Check it out and read it for yourself!!

In the meantime, as promised, favorite childhood books of famous celebrities. And by famous celebrities, I do mean famous local celebrities. You knew that, right?

As a child, Lori Gilbert, Record Columnist, loved A Fly Went By by Marshall McClintock because of the pictures and the way the story repeats. Hint: You'll find this one in the Easy Reader section!

Another celebrity -- Bill Maxwell, Archives Manager at the Bank of Stockton and longtime Friends of the Stockton Public Library Board Member -- loved The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf because of illustrations like this:

Our last celebrity is none other than Chris Freeman, our City Librarian. Mr. Freeman's favorite childhood book is Magician by Raymond E. Feist, a Tolkien-esque saga that features two pre-teen boys (instead of Hobbits) in a fast-paced and fantastical world full of elves, dwarves, "dark" elves, and (even!) aliens! Man oh man I want to read that one! That title was actually published in two volumes here in the good ole United States. And we have one of them: Magician, Master.

So let's get reading! What do you say? Thanks to our celebrities, we've got some good recommendations!

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just Life| Beating the Blues

We have this wonderful newsletter at Chavez reference called the " Harvard Health letters". In their April 2014 issue, I came across this article called " Drug free options to fight depression."

According to this article, one of the ways to fight depression is by exercising.

Both high intensity exercises and low intensity exercises can help alleviate depression.

High intensity exercises increase the releasing of feel good hormones called endorphins.

Low intensity exercises cause the growth of new nerve cells and nerve connections in the hippocampus; which is the mood regulating area of the brain.  

The benefits of low intensity exercises start appearing after a few weeks of low intensity exercising.

Since one of the side effects of depression is a lack of motivation, the article suggests forcing yourself to walk for only 5 minutes/day for a week. Then try to add another 5 minutes the next week and so on, until you reach the goal of walking 20-30 minutes a day. 

If you are not the exercising type, eating dark chocolate can help fight the blues as well.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha