Thursday, December 27, 2007
The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac (selected by Daniel)
War All The Time: Poems, 1981-1984 by Charles Bukowski (selected by Ashley)
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (selected by Marla)
Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss (selected by Caroline)
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (selected by Christina)
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (selected by Vince)
Lightning by Dean Koontz (selected by Joe)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (selected by Doug)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (selected by Marcia)
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson (selected by Kathleen)
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer (selected by Paula)
Quite an eclectic list--wouldn't you say!! Are any of these included in your list of favorites?
Saturday, December 22, 2007
The National Book Critics Circle's most recommended books for 2007:
Nearly 500 voters--from John Updike and Robert Hass to Carolyn Forche, Anne Tyler, Julia Alvarez and Cynthia Ozick--answered the call as to what book they truly loved in 2007. Here is the list, with the five top vote getters in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry listed in order of votes received.
1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
2. Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
3. The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
4. Exit Ghost by Philip Roth
5. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
1. Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
2. The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
3. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
4. Schulz and Peanuts by David Michaelis
5. Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner
1. Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 by Robert Hass*
2. Collected Poems: 1956-1998 by Zbigniew Herbert*
3. Gulf Music by Robert Pinsky*
4. Next Life by Rae Armantrout
5. Elegy by Mary Jo Bang
*There was a three-way tie for first place in poetry.
The Year in Books : Slate Picks the Best Books of 2007
Best Books 2007 from Library Journal
100 Notable Books of 2007 from the New York Times (registration required)
The 10 Best Books of 2007 from the New York Times (registration required)
The Joy of Reading: Favorite Books of 2007 from the Los Angeles Times
One session will be offered on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 -2:30 p.m. on January 3rd, 10th and 24th & February 7th and 21st. The other session will be offered on Thursday evenings from 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. on January 3rd, 10th and 24th & February 7th and 21st. The afternoon group meets in the meeting room in the downstairs auditorium and the evening group meets in the board room on the second floor.
In Week One (January 3rd), participants view and discuss the short film, Mysterious California: Four Authors, in which the writers talk about the influence of California's places on their work. For each of the following meeting dates, one of the four mysteries chosen to represent a cross-section of crime fiction written by California authors will be discussed. The writers and novels to be discussed include Southland by Nina Revoyr (January 10th), The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King (January 24th), Shell Games by Kirk Russell (February7th) and Sharpshooter by Nadia Gordon (Febrary 21st).
Copies of each of these books are available for check-out at the Library.
Monday, December 17, 2007
A new display of the 1970's has been added -- so now we have "dueling displays" of the 1960's (created by Ashley) and the 1970's (created by Daniel)-- each display has books, movies and music of that era. Stop by and see which is your favorite decade. It's a blast from the past!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Arts & Crafts
Do you want to learn how to knit or try your hand at making a basket? Well then, be sure to check out the display in the center of the library for books on how to do that -- plus much more. Thank you to Heather for putting this “crafty” display together.
Where were you in the 60’s? Relive some of those moments through books, movies and music by browsing this display. It looks really boss!!** Thanks to Ashley for creating it--so, please stop by and take a look or else she’ll be bummed out.*** (Check below for a translation of the 60's slang)
**Boss: A great or cool thing
***Bummed out: Depressed
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
This post features what we are currently reading:
An Underground Education by Richard Zacks. Being read by Ashley.
Forget the history you were taught in school; Richard Zacks's version is crueler and funnier than anything you might have learned in seventh-grade civics--and much more of a gross-out, too. Described on the book jacket as an "autodidact extraordinaire," Zacks is also the author of History Laid Bare, making him something of an expert guide through history's back alleys and side streets. There's no fact too seamy or perverse for Zacks to drag out into the light of day, from matters scatological and sexual to some of history's most truly bizarre episodes. Curious about ancient nose-blowing etiquette? What about the sexual proclivities of Catherine the Great? Throughout chapters such as "The Evolution of Underwear" and "Dentistry Before Novocaine," Zacks proves a tireless debunker of popular myths as well as a muckraker par excellence. (Summary from Amazon)
Stealing your Life by Frank W. Abagnale. Being read by Marla.
When Frank Abagnale trains law enforcement officers for the FBI's National Academy about identity theft, he asks agents for their addresses and nothing more. The next day, he returns with everything he would need to steal their lives: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, current salary, checking account numbers, the names of everyone in their family, and more. This illustrates how easy it is for anyone from anywhere in the world to assume our identity and, in a matter of hours, devastate our lives in ways that can take years to recover from. Considering the fact that a fresh victim is hit in the U.S. every four seconds, Stealing Your Life is the reference everyone needs, by an unsurpassed authority on the latest identity-theft schemes. (Summary from Amazon)
The Sandman Vol. 9 "The Kindly Ones" by Neil Gaiman. Being read by Heather. Heather says: "This one is hard to explain without summarizing the series --- I highly recommend the whole series."
Miracle Man: Nolan Ryan The Autobiography. Being read by Daniel. "Baseball's all-time strikeout leader talks about his life." (Summary by Daniel)
The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum. Being read by Caroline.
Reenter the shadowy world of Jason Bourne, an expert assassin still plagued by the splintered nightmares of his former life. This time the stakes are higher than ever. For someone else has taken on the Bourne identity—a ruthless killer who must be stopped or the world will pay a devastating price. To succeed, the real Jason Bourne must maneuver through the dangerous labyrinth of international espionage—an exotic world filled with CIA plots, turncoat agents, and ever-shifting alliances—all the while hoping to find the truth behind his haunted memories and the answers to his own fragmented past. (Summary from Amazon)
Monday, November 26, 2007
This month they will be discussing the book: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Here is a brief description of the book from Amazon:
Three Cups of Tea: "The inspiring account of one man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti- American reaches of Asia.
In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of an impoverished Pakistani village, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time—Greg Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban.
Award-winning journalist David Oliver Relin has collaborated on this spellbinding account of Mortenson's incredible accomplishments in a region where Americans are often feared and hated. In pursuit of his goal, Mortenson has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, repeated death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself. At last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time."
You can keep up to date with upcoming titles for the book discussion groups if you visit the Buena Park Library’s LibraryThing page -- just click on the link for Library Thing on our home page.
Monday, November 19, 2007
10 number of minutes a woman had her hand stuck in the
$171.32 “Late fee” donated by Robert Nuranen to Hancock (
34 the number of years that the Canal Fulton (
Source: American Libraries Magazine
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Follett, 58 years old, is a native of Cardiff, Wales and is known for his thrillers such as Eye of the Needle and Lie Down With Lions. He describes The Pillars of the Earth as a love story set in England in the 12th century.
Wednesday evening, November 14, 2007 in New York.
The winners are:
Nonfiction: Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner
Poetry: Time and Materials by Robert Hass
Young People's Literature: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
If you couldn't make it to New York for the awards ceremony -- watch it on Book TV, C-SPAN2 on Saturday, November 17th at 10:00 PM (ET). Program time is approximate -- check local listings.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
NOVEMBER 23: Life Magazine debuts: On November 23, 1936 the illustrated magazine Life debuted. The first cover featured a dramatic photograph by Margaret Bourke-White of Fort Peck Dam.
NOVEMBER 25: Birthday anniversary of Andrew Carnegie: November 25, 1835. American financier, philanthropist and benefactor of more than 2,500 libraries, was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. Carnegie died at his summer estate, Shadowbrook, MA on August 11, 1919.
NOVEMBER 28: Birthday anniversary of William Blake: November 28, 1757 in London England. English poet whose works include Songs of Innocence. He died on August 12, 1827 in London, England.
NOVEMBER 29: Birthday anniversary of Louisa May Alcott: November 29, 1832. American author, born in Philadelphia, PA. Her most famous novel was Little Women, the classic story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. She died on March 6, 1888 in Boston, MA.
NOVEMBER 29: Birthday anniversary of C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis: Born on November 29, 1989. British scholar, novelist and author born in Belfast, Ireland and died in Oxford, England on November 22, 1963. Some of his works include The Screwtape Letters and Chronicles of Narnia.
November 30: Birthday anniversary of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain): November 30, 1835. Celebrated American author, whose books include: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Born in Florida, MO and died on April 21, 1910 in Redding, CT.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Mailer was born in Long Branch, N.J., on Jan. 31, 1923 and died in New York City on November 10, 2007.
One session will be offered on Thursday afternoons from 1:00-2:30 pm on:
- January 10th (features a short film, Mysterious California: Four Authors, in which the writers talk about the influence of California's places on their work)
- January 24th
- February 14th
- February 28th
The second session will be offered on Thursday evenings from 6:30-7:45 pm on:
- January 10th (features a short film, Mysterious California: Four Authors, in which the writers talk about the influence of California's places on their work)
- January 24th
- February 14th
- February 28th
In Southland, Nina Revoyr brings us a compelling story of race, love, murder, and history against the backdrop of Los Angeles. A young Japanese-American law student, Jackie Ishida, discovers that four black teenagers were killed in her grandfather’s store during the Watts Riots of 1965, and that the murders were never solved or reported. In the process of piecing together the story of the boys’ deaths, Jackie unearths secrets of her family’s history. In the process of learning the truth about the crime, readers experience the satisfaction, and shock, of learning unknown stories about California’s past and the invisible influence the past plays on the present.
In Laurie R. King’s The Art of Detection, San Francisco homicide detective Kate Martinelli is drawn into the surreal world of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, when one is murdered and it appears that an unpublished Holmes manuscript may be at the root of the crime. The novel's perspective shifts back and forth between Kate investigating the present-day crime and the unnamed narrator of the manuscript relating a tale of forbidden love and violent death. The novel beautifully evokes San Francisco in the early 20th century and in the modern day, in all its unpredictable, colorful variety.
Shell Games, the first of Kirk Russell's John Marquez novels, takes place along the northern California coast and features a unique sleuth: an ex-DEA agent who now heads a special investigative unit of the California Department of Fish and Game. As Marquez stalks the culprits in a multimillion-dollar poaching ring, he runs up against an old nemesis from his DEA days.
Nadia Gordon takes us into the heart of the food and wine culture of the wine country with her Sunny McCoskey Napa Valley Mysteries. When the heir apparent to a major vineyard is shot dead in Sharpshooter, Sunny’s eccentric wine maker friend Wade is arrested for the murder. Sunny sets out to prove his innocence. Her investigation takes her into the tangled politics and personalities of the wine industry, and to the threat posed to the valley by an insect, the glassy-winged sharpshooter.
Copies of each of these books will be available for check-out at the Library. Any questions, call the Library at 714-826-4100 x125 and ask for Phyllis.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
There are two book discussion groups for adults that meet at the Buena Park Library—one in the afternoon and one in the evening. They generally meet on the 4th Thursday of the month, unless holidays or other special programs are scheduled. New participants are always welcome—please just stop by (no reservations or notice is required).
The next afternoon discussion group will meet on Thursday, November 15, 2007 from 1:00pm--2:30 pm in the Small Meeting Room downstairs. They will be discussing A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
Here is a short review from Publishers Weekly: Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of
The next evening book discussion group will meet on Thursday, November 29, 2007 from 6:30pm--7:45pm pm in the Library Board Room on the 2nd floor. They will be discussing Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.
Here is a short review from Publishers Weekly: Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb
You can keep up to date with upcoming titles if you visit the Buena Park Library’s LibraryThing page at www.librarything.com/catalog/BPLDbookgroup. [Choose display style D to see when the groups meet.]
LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. Here is a little bit on how it works from their website:
“LibraryThing is really two sites in one.
First, it is a powerful tool to catalog your personal library. Users add books to their catalog by entering titles, authors, or ISBN numbers. LibraryThing then searches the Library of Congress, all five national Amazon sites, and over 78 world libraries, and returns with precise book data. Users can then edit the books in their catalog, tag their books with their own subjects, and use the Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal systems to organize their collections.
LibraryThing is also an amazing social space, connecting people with similar libraries. It also makes book recommendations based on the collective intelligence of the other libraries.”
Visit LibraryThing to learn more and start cataloging your books.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Book: Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile
Movie: No Country for Old Men--the Coen brothers, Joel & Ethan, directed this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel about a hunter, played by Josh Brolin, who stumbles on $2 million in drug money in the aftermath of a shootout. Javier Bardem plays the sociopath sent to find him, and Tommy Lee Jones is the world-weary sheriff who hopes to protect him. The movie opens November 9, 2007.
Book: No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Movie: Atonement--Based on Ian McEwans acclaimed novel, the movie plays out in three acts, following the aftermath of a false rape accusation over six decades. It stars Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Vanessa Redgrave. The movie opens December 7, 2007.
Book: Atonement by Ian McEwan
Other books that will soon have a movie version out:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (wide release December 28, 2007)
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (wide release November 16, 2007)
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Author Chang-rae Lee (whose first novel “Native Speaker” won the Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award in 1995) has brought us again into the land of John Cheever, into those upscale bedroom communities where all seems well until someone’s private torment cracks the familial façade. And, as with Cheever, alienation betrays the antithesis of the setting. Lee’s elegant prose pulls us slowly into the mind of an aging single man whose outward appearance seems one of simple gentility and respect.
Unlike Cheever’s men though, Hata has had to overcome the barrier of race; he immigrated to the United States from Japan after World War II, and due to his penchant for passivity and non-confrontation (and a genuine concern for appearances), he assimilates almost invisibly into his new surroundings. As the years pass on, “Doc” Hata becomes as integral to Bedley Run as the paintbrush lawns and the faux Tudor homes. Indeed, one of the town’s most prominent citizens remarks that “Franklin Hata is our town. He’s what this place is all about.”
While recovering from an accident he suffered in his home, he is given cause to reflect upon his life. As he peels back the layers of his past, we feel the chill of a man who slowly begins to fear that his carefully constructed existence was a fraud, a deceit in the guise of a kind smile and good intentions. His adopted daughter had left him years ago. His single attempt at love, with an attractive and willing widow, suffered dearly by his restraint. Running beneath all of this is an experience that forged his emotional self, one that was borne of forbidden feelings for a Korean “comfort woman” he attended to as a young Japanese army medic while stationed in Burma.
Hata is thrice an alien; as a Korean orphan raised in a Japanese home, as a Japanese immigrant in the midst of Cheever country, and as a man isolated from those who would love him. Three relationships central to his life are explored as his mind flits back and forth between the past and present, attempting to reconcile his decent standing in society with the unbearable emptiness he himself has wrought.
What informs this novel with a graceful honesty is the narration of Hata’s singular voice. Never does Lee break the stride of Doc’s obsession with politeness and humility. His thoughts, even those that unclothe the secret horrors of Burma, are restrained, methodical, and painfully tuned to his habits of emotional retreat. We are forced to suffer his inability to connect, and in the end, desperate to find a sense of redemption within a life already written.
"A Gesture Life" by Chang rae-Lee
Riverhead Books, 1999
Rowling has just published The Tales of Beedle the Bard, an illustrated collection of magical fairy stories. This book is mentioned in the final Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) as a gift left by headmaster Albus Dumbledore to Harry's friend Hermione.
Only seven copies of this handwritten book have been made and they will be auctioned off in December, 2007 to raise money for Children's Voice, a charity that helps children in Europe.
The volume, bound in leather and mounted with silver and semiprecious stones, will be auctioned at Sotheby's with a starting price of **$62,000. Wow!!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The first two books, "Eragon" and "Eldest," have sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. The third book, currently untitled, will come out in the fall of 2008.
Paolini said "I plotted out the 'Inheritance' series as a trilogy nine years ago, when I was 15. At that time, I never imagined I'd write all three books, much less that they would be published."
"When I finally delved into Book Three, it soon became obvious that the remainder of the story was far too big to fit in one volume. ... In order to be true to my characters and to address all of the plot points and unanswered questions Eragon and Eldest raised, I needed to split the end of the series into two books."