Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Best of" list from the Buena Park Library Staff

Here is the selection of all-time favorite books from some of the staff at the Library:

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

Best of lists

It's the end of the year, and all the "best of" lists are arriving. Here are some of the lists -- do you agree? What was your favorite book of 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.

Other Lists:

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

"Mysterious California" Book Discussion

Mysterious California is a compelling and innovative book discussion program provided free to libraries by the California Center for the Book. The Buena Park Library District will be hosting two simultaneous sessions of this program in January and February.

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

Dueling Displays

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

Displays at the Library

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.

The 1960’s
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

Staff Picks

This is the first in a continuing series of posts about what our staff is reading and their recommendations for new and all-time favorite books.

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)