Saturday, April 11, 2015

Books On Film | The Longest Ride & True Story


The Longest Ride, latest in a long line of adaptions of Nicholas Spark's work, will premiere this weekend. This book tells two different love stories taking place at two different times.

After being trapped in an isolated car crash, the life of an elderly widower becomes entwined with that of a young college student and the cowboy she loves.

True Story, based on the memoir True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa will also premiere this weekend in a limited release. The film will star James Franco as Christian Longo and Jonah Hills as Michael Finkel.
A young, highly intelligent man named Christian Longo, on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for killing his entire family, has recently been captured in Mexico, where he'd taken on a new identity - Michael Finkel of the New York Times." "The next day, on page A-3 of the Times, comes another bit of troubling news: a note, written by the paper's editors, explaining that Finkel has falsified parts of an investigative article and has been fired. This unlikely confluence sets the stage for a bizarre and intense relationship.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Award-Winning Reads | The Adventures of Beekle

Sometimes the best friends lie just beyond our imagination.

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were young? Many children do. The winner of the week references this common childhood experience; however, the imaginary friend in this story does the unimaginable

In The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, follow Beekle as he ventures from a faraway island to the real world to finally meet his match - a special friend living in the city. It is a sweet tale about friendship and imagination. 

My friend and coworker Candace described it as a sort of reverse telling of another award winner, the 1964 Caldecott medalist, Where the Wild Things Are. Do you notice the crown and the white playsuit in both books?

The Adventures of Beekle is written and illustrated by Dan Santat. You might recognize his work from the Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot books. Santat won this year's prestigious Caldecott Medal! 

According to the American Library Association (ALA), the organization who designates these medals and honors, the Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. The medal is awarded annually to "the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children."
This is a logo for the Caldecott Medal. Claiming fair use, this photo is being used for informational purposes only, to illustrate what the award looks like.

Head to your local library and pick up this award-winning book that will surely delight readers of all ages!

Until next time, have a good reading!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

She's Crafty | From seeds to flowers...

Tiny beads, also known as seed beads, can be combined to create all sorts of amazing objects. From an endless array of beaded earrings and other accessories to beaded sculptures and full flower arrangements. If you have ever beaded anything, chances are you have come into contact with a seed bead or two.

Various sizes and colors of seed beads with tubular bugle beads.
Photo by April. Some Rights Reserved.
Huichol beaded reptile. Photo by Leonora Enking. Some Rights Reserved.
603-08, Twisty Turvey. Photo and beadwork by Dini Alves. Some Rights Reserved.

Since we are firmly into Spring, it's a perfect time to look into the art of beaded flowers.

A few years back my mother found The Flowers of Venice by Giovanna Poggi Marchesi. This big beautiful book introduced her to the art of Venetian beaded flowers and the conterie, or glass seed beads, which have been made in Venice for hundreds of years. My mother was inspired to make her own beaded flowers.

My mother dug deep into the tutorials and books pertaining to beaded flowers and found a tutorial that guided her step-by-step to create a life-size beaded orchid with leaves and a bud from wire and glass seed beads.

She created this beauty a few years ago but unfortunately it stands alone as she did not make more flowers. She describes making beaded flowers as easy work but incredibly tedious; the hardest part is having the patience to string all the little seed beads onto thin wire. I remember traveling with her to find tools like bead stringing bowls that would help her with the stringing, but the one we finally settled on didn't work well with wire. After a while she just went on to her next craft adventure and stored all the books and tutorials she collected away, hoping one day to revisit the craft. 

Which may be sooner than later...

Recently I was grabbing stuff from around the house to put in an I Spy Spring display and spied her blue orchid. I gave it a good cleaning and though I have always admired its beauty, the time spent cleaning its petals and looking at the way the seed beads come together to create a flower, gave me a chance to admire the beauty in which it was constructed and how easy it really is to make.

Also, it made me think I should finally try my hand at beaded flowers. Imagining beaded plumerias in my hair helped a bit too. So now we're on the hunt for good stringing tools and various colors of seed beads. I feel a trip to the bead store is in my future.

If you're interested in creating your very own beaded creations, I came across two books available for check out that would help you bead-ify your world.

The Beaded Object: Making Gorgeous Flowers & Other Decorative Accents by Mary Jo Hiney.

Beads in Bloom : The Art of Making French Beaded Flowers by Arlene baker.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Learning | Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou's estate has published a new book of her work, entitled The Complete Poetry.  

The book includes the poems we already know and love, like, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "And Still I Rise," and "Phenomenal Woman." 

It really is a book to be savored.  I've picked it up a dozen times since I checked it out yesterday. I open the book to a random spot to read a poem, maybe one I already know, or one that is new to me. I marvel at her ability to find the right words and rhythm, to conjure up images, moments, and moods.

Artistic interpretation of And Still I Rise:
LaSalle Mural (New Orleans)
Derek Bridges' photostream on
Some rights reserved.

I was surprised and selfishly pleased to find it on the new book shelf at my branch. Most of you are aware that Dr. Maya Angelou has a Stockton connection; her mother, Vivian Baxter Johnson, lived here for many years. Dr. Angelou's books are especially popular in this neck of the woods.

I had heard of the book, but considering that this is National Poetry Month, and April 4 would have been her eighty-seventh birthday, AND there's a new United States Postal Service Forever stamp honoring this great lady, I really expected that The Complete Poetry of Maya Angelou would already be checked out.

Speaking of that postage stamp, if you are free on the morning of Saturday, April 11, you may wish to head over to the Maya Angelou Southeast Branch Library for a very special occasion. 

There will be a dedication ceremony for the Maya Angelou stamp at 11 a.m. 

The short ceremony will include artistic performances by students of
Aspire Rosa Parks Academy, Stockton. Refreshments will be available, and you will have the opportunity to purchase commemorative items related to the stamp, with an option for a special souvenir cancellation.

Need help finding the Maya Angelou Southeast Branch?  Here's a link to the branch's web page; you will find a link on that page with a map. The Maya Angelou Branch is located at 2324 Pock Lane, Stockton CA 95205. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Just Life| Chicken!

Do you wash the chicken before cooking it? I do. But apparently I am wrong. 

Months ago, I caught my husband barbecuing some chicken without even washing it. I was mortified. "What are you doing?" You have got to wash it before cooking it. 

But my husband simply said that he heard it on the radio, that you shouldn't be washing the chicken before cooking it.

That is crazy!

The only thing that I can still remember from my college Microbiology class is that those bacteria and viruses are major serial killers. You don't want to mess with E-Coli and Salmonella, and all those tiny killing machines. 

I didn't believe my husband. So, I Googled this topic and guess what. He was right. I was just baffled by what I found out.

Here is what I learned from the U.S Department of Agriculture Official website:

" Washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. We call this cross-contamination.

Some consumers think they are removing bacteria and making their meat or poultry safe. However, some of the bacteria are so tightly attached that you could not remove them no matter how many times you washed. But there are other types of bacteria that can be easily washed off and splashed on the surfaces of your kitchen. Failure to clean these contaminated areas can lead to foodborne illness. Cooking (baking, broiling, boiling, and grilling) to the right temperature kills the bacteria, so washing food is not necessary."

Also, it is recommended to use a thermometer when cooking meat or chicken. You should cook it until the meat's internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now you have it. I still have a hard time processing this info to be honest.

Here are a few books on the food safety from your local library:

Making supper safe : one man's quest to learn the truth about food safety

The food poisoning update

Eating dangerously : why the government can't keep your food safe... and how you can

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha