Friday, December 26, 2008

Book Discussion Groups for Adults

The afternoon and evening book discussion groups have chosen their titles for the first two months of 2009.

January 2009

Afternoon Group

Meets the fourth Thursday of the month (except Nov & Dec) from 1:00-2:30 pm in the small downstairs meeting room
January 22, 2009: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

Evening Group
Meets the fourth Thursday of the month (except Nov & Dec) from 6:30-7:45 pm in the Board Room on the 2nd floor
January 22, 2009: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I Feel Bad About My Neck: and other thoughts on being a woman by Nora Ephron

February 2009

Both groups will meet in the evening from 6:30-7:45 pm in the Board Room on the 2nd floor

February 26, 2009: Death on Parade and/or Kona Heat by Gregory and Patricia Kishel
Meet the Author: Patricia Kishel will be at this joint meeting to discuss her books and the writing process.

Check back later for a complete list of the titles for all of 2009.
New members are always welcome to join either or both of the book discussion groups.

Tax Resources

Tax Resources

Several federal tax forms and state of California tax forms will be available in the library starting on Saturday, January 10, 2009. Users in need of forms not found in the library may access the forms online--the resources are listed below.

Library Resources: On the Shelves
J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax
Easy Ways to Lower your Taxes
Stand up to the IRS

Online Resources
IRS-Internal Revenue Service : Forms and Publications
This forms and publications resource page is the official source of IRS tax products. Users may find links to tax forms and publications, search by topic, and find links to previous years' forms.

IRS-Small Business Tax Information
This site from the IRS provides tax information for small business owners and those that are self employed.

State of California Franchise Tax Board : Forms and Publications
This site has links to California tax forms and publications.

AARP: Find a Tax-Aid Site near you--search by zipcode. AARP Tax-Aide is the nation's largest, free, volunteer run tax counseling and preparation service. Their AARP Tax-Aide sites are operational from February 1 through the middle of April. Information will be updated and available in January.

VITA/TCE: The California Franchise Tax Board's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site search application will be available starting January 15, 2009.

The Buena Park Senior Center has offered tax assistance for seniors in the past. Please check with them to see what they will be offering in 2009.
Buena Park Senior Center
8150 Knott Avenue
(on Knott just South of La Palma)
Buena Park, CA 90620-3159
(in the Walter D. Ehlers Community Recreation Center)
(714) 236-3870

The Center is open
Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Library Use Increases

There was an article in a recent L.A. Times talking about how libraries are seeing a rise in traffic as frugal book and movie fans are borrowing instead of buying.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Public Library said that "Traditionally, in tough economic times, public libraries experience an upswing in use."

Here are some statistics from libraries around the country:
  • The Los Angeles Public Library experienced a 10 percent increase in the number of books, DVDs, CDs and other items checked out.
  • The San Francisco Public Library said about 12 percent more items were checked out in October than a year earlier.
  • Libraries in Chicago experienced a 35 percent increase in circulation.
  • The New York Public Library saw 11 percent more print items checked out.

The Buena Park Library District has also seen an increase in the number of checkouts and library users:
  • Since the beginning of our fiscal year in July 2008 there has been a total of 224,280 items checked out, which is an increase of 7% over the same time period last year.
  • The number of people signing up for library cards also increased by 9.6% for a total of 2,692 new card holders since the beginning of July 2008.
Welcome to all the new library card holders and to everyone -- we are happy to be a service to the community!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday

Yesterday, December 10, 2008 was the 157th anniversary of Melville Dewey's birth. Libraries and their users owe a great deal to Dewey and his Dewey Decimal System that has existed since 1876.

The Dewey Decimal System allows library users to browse the shelves and find related material on the same subject.

How to Use the Dewey Decimal System

The Dewey Decimal System organizes information into 10 broad areas, which are broken into smaller and smaller topics. Different topics are assigned numbers, known as "call numbers." For example, "Animals" are given the number 599. To see what books the library currently has in on animals, go to the nonfiction shelves and find the books that have a 599 as part of their call number. A list of some of the information you can find in the different Dewey Decimal areas, appears below.

Dewey Decimal System

* 000 General Knowledge
Almanacs, Computers, Encyclopedias, Libraries, Museums, Newspapers ...

* 100 Psychology and Philosophy
Death & Dying, Ethics, Feelings, Logic, Making Friends, Optical Illusions, Superstitions ...

* 200 Religions and Mythology
Amish, Bible Stories, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Quakers, and other world religions; Greek, Roman and other myths...

* 300 Social Sciences and Folklore
Careers, Customs, Environment, Families, Folktales, Government, Manners, Money ...

* 400 Languages and Grammar
Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Sign Language, Spanish. Includes dictionaries.

* 500 Math and Science
Animals, Biology, Chemistry, Dinosaurs, Fish, Geology, Insects, Physics, Planets, Plants ...

* 600 Medicine and Technology
Cookbooks, Engineering, Gardening, Health, Human Body, Inventions, Nutrition, Pets ...

* 700 Arts & Recreation
Architecture, Crafts, Drawing, Games, Music, Songbooks, Sports ...

* 800 Literature
Plays, Poetry, Shakespeare, Writing ...

* 900 Geography and History
Countries, Native Americans, States, Travel, Wars ...

Monday, December 8, 2008

December Book Displays in the Library

Stop by and check out our two new book displays!!!!

"Check Out the Red Hot Titles"

"It May Not Be Cold Out, But It's That Time of Year Again!"

Displays by Heather
Photos by Marcia

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December Program: Job Interviewing and Resume Writing Skills

The Job Interviewing and Resume Writing Skills program will be held at the Library on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 6:00 pm. It will be held in the 2nd floor Board Room.

Michelle Lawrence with American First Credit Union will conduct a program teaching job interviewing skills and resume writing techniques in one session.

Mock interviews will be demonstrated with an emphasis on eye contact and making the experience feel like a real interview. Resume writing skills will also be demonstrated, with sample resumes and handouts provided.

Please bring information about yourself and job experience that can be included in a resume.

No reservations are necessary.

December Book Sale: Holiday "Members Only" Double Discount Sale

The Volunteer Guild of the Buena Park Library will be having their Holiday Members Only Double Discount Sale. The sale will be in the Volunteer Guild Bookstore on the second floor of the Library on Saturday, December 13, 2008 from 10 am to 2:30 pm.

They will be adding an extra 10% off the double discount to give all members 50% off their total purchase. Please note that all memberships will be verified. However, you may renew your membership on that day or sign up for a new membership to qualify for the discount.

Be sure to stop by to take advantage of the super savings!!

If you have any questions, please call the Volunteer Guild Bookstore at 714-826-4100 x123.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December Display: Movie Action Figures and Memorabilia Now on Display at the Library

The extensive movie figurine and memorabilia collection of Jeff and Rose Kruger is now on display at the Buena Park Library District. The collection spans a broad range of classic horror and science fiction movies such as Frankenstein, The Wolfman, and The Phantom of the Opera to modern classics like The Planet of the Apes and the movies of director Tim Burton.

The figurines are very detailed... the Bride of Frankenstein has bandages underneath her gown and a very recognizable Peter Boyle and Mary Feldman are together again as their Young Frankenstein characters. In addition to the figures, there is a wide variety of memorabilia including books, posters, and cast photos. Jeff Kruger said he has been collecting memorabilia all his life. Some of Kruger's favorite items are the prosthetics made from the same molds used to make Roddy MacDowell's makeup in the original Planet of the Apes.

The treasures in the Kruger's collection can evoke memories of Saturday afternoons at the movies or evenings in front of the television. A Mork and Mindy lunchbox recalls a young and zany Robin Williams in a red jumpsuit exclaiming "nanoo, nanoo!"

So, come to the Buena Park Library, check out the Rocky Horror collectibles, and Let's do the Time Warp Again!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What the Buena Park Library Staff is reading RIGHT NOW!!

Here is the list of current staff picks and it appears to be divided fairly evenly between fiction and non-fiction titles. Stephenie Meyers tops the list as the most popular author (with 4 books listed). Do you see anything that you'd like to add to your reading list?

Dewey : The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter. (being read by Louise Mazerov, Director)
Louise didn't mention if she was enjoying the book or not --- but I read the book --- and loved it!! It's rather like a Marley and Me, but for cats. You find out all about Dewey (the cat) as well as a lot about small town life in Spencer, Iowa.

Paula R. is reading 2 books right now:
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein & Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs and Lived To Tell my Story by Brian "Head" Welch.

Lynn P. is reading The 731 Legacy : a Cotten Stone Mystery by Lynn Sholes and Joe Moore.

Mary I. is reading Ethics, Evil, and Fiction by Colin McGinn & The Oxford History of the Roman World by John Boardman.

Phyllis N. (our Teen Librarian) is reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. (We have quite a few holds for this title -- so, don't worry Phyllis is not taking one of our copies out of circulation -- she borrowed the book from her daughter.) Maribel M. is also reading this.

Patricia R. is reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer. She says: "Read it! It's good!" and gives it 5 stars. She is also reading another teen/young adult novel: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and gives it 4 stars.

More books by Stephenie Meyers: Ashley P. is reading Breaking Dawn. Katrina L. is reading Eclipse.

Bruce P. is reading Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles. He says that: "This is an entertaining book about L.A.s attempt to overcome air pollution dating back to 1943 and continuing to the present."

Jose B. is reading Testimony by Anita Shreve. Josie says: "I love all her books."

Caroline E. is reading The Thieves of Faith by Richard Doetsch.

Cynthia F. is reading Keith Richards : A Biography by Victor Bockris.

Tony D. is reading Library and Information Center Management (this 'fascinating' title is for school -- Tony is going to "Library School"!!!) & he's also managing to squeeze in a little light reading for fun: Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

Heather M. just finished the last book of The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World.) by Neil Stephenson.

Daniel M. is reading I'm With the Band by Pamela Des Barres.

Please feel free to post your comments about what you are reading now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Day at the Reference Desk

Here is a sampling of some of the reference questions that we got at the Reference Desk during this last week:

Question: I need help passing my California driver's test--what do you have?
Answer: Here are the items that we have that would help someone study for the driver's test:
A DVD called Let's Go For a Drive (as well as a book by the same name).
Another book title we have is California Drivers Test Made Easy.
We also recommended the online site: Just look for "Practice for my Written Test" under the "How do I..." drop down menu. There are several samples of the written test there.

Question: Do you have books on the computer programs Excel and Access?
Answer: Yes -- we have both -- just check the catalog by subject: "Microsoft Excel" and "Microsoft Access".

Question: How do I obtain a diploma from a California private school that has closed down?
Answer: The California Department of Education has the last known information for the school--check the Private Schools Frequently Asked Questions at

We also answered the usual "directional" questions about where books and DVDs are located.

The most frequently asked question of the week seemed to be .... "Do you have a copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer?" [Yes -- we have 10 copies and they are all checked out right now-- so, please place a hold or check back later!]

Monday, November 10, 2008

Free Author Talk Program at the Buena Park Library

The Buena Park Library District is sponsoring an evening program by authors Peggi Ridgway and Jan Works. The authors will feature their new book entitled Sending Flowers to America, on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in the Buena Park Library's 2nd floor Board Room.

Authors Jan Works and Peggi Ridgway will share highlights from their year-long project of producing this important historical reference for California and the floral industry. They bring to life the Los Angeles of the last 150 years as they share stories from interviews with more than 100 local families. Step back in time to when the Los Angeles Flower Market teemed with the energy and excitement of a multitude of cultures conducting business together. Learn about the poeple who started the flower industry in Southern California. For more details visit

Copies of Sending Flowers to America will be available for purchase and signing by the authors.

The program is free of charge and the public is invited to attend. No reservations are necessary. For more information, please call the buena Park Library District Reference/Information Desk at 714-826-4100, extension 125.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dia de los Muertos Exhibit

There is still time to see the Dia de los Muertos exhibit in the Library lobby -- it will be on display through November 7th. The display provides information about the customs surrounding the holiday, as well as examples of the altars knows as "ofrendas".

Other items on display are calacas & calaveras (skull & skeleton figures) from the United States and Mexico; sugar skulls (calaveras de azucar), and painted masks.

Pictures from top to bottom: Judy Garland Ofrenda by Ashley, Skeleton Orchestra, Ofrenda by Patricia, Dorothy Parker Ofrenda by Heather, and Calacas from Mexico.

Photos by Marcia Miyoshi

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Pictures

The Dia de los Muertos Celebration held at the Library on Saturday, October 25th was a huge success. Over 130 people enjoyed the program that featured Viola Rodriguez Sadler, who discussed the origins and customs of Dia de los Muertos and a ballet folklorico [from ProjectSAY (Support Anaheim's Youth)], who performed several dances.

Muchas gracias/Thank you to everyone that made this day possible!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

National Book Awards -- 2008

The finalists for the National Book Award were just announced in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People's Literature. Visit the National Book Foundation's website for complete lists of each category.

Finalists in the fiction category offered a mixture of veterans and new authors. The five nominees include Home, the third novel by Marilynne Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize-winner for her 2004 novel Gilead; Shadow Country, by Peter Matthiessen, a founder of The Paris Review and a National Book Award winner in 1979 for his nonfiction work The Snow Leopard; and The Lazarus Project, by the Bosnian author Aleksandar Hemon. They are joined by Rachel Kushner's debut novel, Telex From Cuba, and The End, a first novel by Salvatore Scibona, published by the independent house Graywolf Press.

The nonfiction finalists include This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust; The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer; and Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives by Jim Sheeler.

Interesting Fact: In 2008, over 200 publishers submitted 1,258 books for the 2008 National Book Awards, an increase of six percent from 2007.

Winners in each category will be announced at a ceremony on November 19th in New York.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How to Vote -- [subtitle: Does music make the man?]

1. Should you choose the candidate of your choice by looking at the websites with voting information on the

California Online Voter Guide

Easy Voter Guide

Smart Voter

League of Women Voters of California

Project Vote Smart

League of Women Voters

Presidential Candidate John McCain

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama


2. Should you align yourself with the candidate that likes the same music you do?

Blender magazine published a list of top 10 songs from presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Who do you match up with?

John McCain's Top Ten
1. Dancing Queen by Abba (from Gold Greatest Hits)
2. Blue Bayou by Roy Orbison (from Black & White Night)
3. Take a Chance on Me by ABBA (from Mamma Mia -- The Musical)
4. If We Make It Through December by Merle Haggard (from 20 Greatest Hits)
5. As Time Goes By by Dooley Wilson
6. Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys (from Smile)
7. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong (from All Time Greatest Hits)
8. I've Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra (from Classic Sinatra-His Great Performances)
9. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond (from The Greatest Hits: 1966-1992)
10. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by The Platters (from The Magic Touch: An Anthology)

Barack Obama's Top Ten
1. Ready or Not by the Fugees (from The Score)
2. What's Going On by Marvin Gaye (from Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye)
3. I'm on Fire by Bruce Springsteen (from Born in the USA)
4. Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones (from Forty Licks)
5. Sinnerman by Nina Simone (from The Best of Nina Simone)
6. Touch the Sky by Kanye West (from Late Registration)
7. You'd Be So Easy to Love by Frank Sinatra
8. Think by Aretha Franklin (from The Very Best of Aretha Franklin, Volume I)
9. City of Blinding Lights by U2 (from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb)
10. Yes We Can by

P.S. We do think that you should use method #1.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Man Booker Prize for Fiction

The Man Booker Prize 2008 shortlist has just been announced. The Man Booker Prize (also known as the Booker Prize) promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is considered to be the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and even publishers. Now in its 40th year, the prize aims to reward the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations or the Republic of Ireland.

The Man Booker Prize 2008 shortlisted novels are:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

The judging panel had to read over 112 entries and stated that: "The judges commend the six titles to readers with great enthusiasm. These novels are intensely readable, each of them an extraordinary example of imagination and narrative. These fine page-turning stories nonetheless raise highly though-provoking ideas an issues. These books are in every case both ambitious and approachable."

The judges will meet to decide on the winning novel on Tuesday, October 14, 2008.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month 2008 -- Bilingual Booklist

Hispanic Heritage Month 2008 Bilingual Booklist
Mes de las herencia hispana Lectura Recomendada

Books written by or about Hispanics in the United States. Some titles are available in English and/or Spanish.

Libros sobre y de parte de los hispanoamericanos—algúnos están disponible en inglés y/o español!

Amigos del Otro Lado/Friends From the Other Side by Gloria Anzaldua
A Birthday Basket for Tia by Pat Mora
Carlos y la Milpa de Maiz/Carlos and the Cornfield by Jan Romero Stevens
Chato’s Kitchen by Gary Soto
Cuadros de Familia/Family Pictures by Carmen Lomas Garza
Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition adopted by Jewel Reinhart Coburn
El Cucuy! as told by Joe Hayes, illustrated by Honorio Robledo
El Desierto es Mi Madre/The Desert is My Mother by Pat Mora
En Mi Familia/ In My Family by Carmen Lomas Garza
Estrellita de Oro/ Little Gold Star by Joe Hayes
Extraordinary Hispanic Americans by Susan Sinnott
Hispanic Scientists: Ellen Ochoa, Carlos A. Ramirez, Eloy Rodriguez, Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Maria Elena Zavala by Jetty St. John
• I Am Latino: The Beauty of Me by Sandra Pinkney
Jalapeño Bagels by Natasha Wing
Margaret and Margarita/ Margarita y Margaret by Lynn Reiser
Mi Propio Cuartito/ My Very Own Room by Amada Irma Pérez
New Shoes for Sylvia by Johanna Hurwitz
Pelitos/ Hairs by Sandra Cisneros
Qué Montón de Tamales! / Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
Los Perros Magicos de Los Volcanes/ Magic Dogs of the Volcano by Manlio Argueta
Prietita y la Llorona / Prietita and the Ghost Woman by Gloria Anzaldúa
Snapshots from the Wedding by Gary Soto
The Spirit of Tío Fernando by Janice Levy
Tomás y la Señora de la Biblioteca/ Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
La Tortillería/ The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulsen
Ventanas Mágicas / Magic Windows by Carmen Lomas Garza

Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Béisbol en Abril y Otros Historias/ Baseball and Other Stories by Gary Soto
Call Me Consuelo by Ofelia Dumas Lachtman
Call Me Maria: a Novel by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Cool Salsa: bilingual poems on growing up Latino in the United States edited by Lori M. Carlson
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs
Cuba15 by Nancy Osa
Hispanic, Female and Young: An Anthology edited by Phyllis Tashlik
Jessie De La Cruz: Profile of a United Farm Worker by Gary Soto
Local News by Gary Soto
The Tree Is Older Than You Are edited by Naomi Shihab Nye

Accidental Love by Gary Soto
American Chica by Maria Arana
Bendíceme, Última/ Bless me Última by Rudolfo Anaya
Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez
La Casa en Mango Street/ The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Cien Años de Soledad/ One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Cesar Chavez by Michelle Houle
Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
Cómo Agua Para Chocolate/ Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Cuando era Puertorriquena (When I Was Puerto Rican) by Esmerelda Santiago
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Gringo Viejo/ Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes
How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents by Julia Alvarez
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez
In the Time of the Butterflies: A Novel by Julia Alvarez
Ines del alma mia/ Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende
The Line of the Sun by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Lluvia de Oro/ Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Ơscar Hijuelos
Parrot in the Oven: My Life by Victor Martinez
The Shadow of the Wind: A Novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Short Fiction by Hispanic Writers of the United States edited by Nicolas Kanellos
Sor Juana by Octavio Paz
The Sum or Our Days by Isabel Allende
When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
Yo! by Julia Alvarez

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who Are You?

So, are people who use libraries "patrons" or "customers"? Consultant Joan Frye Williams, speaking at the American Libraries Association annual conference in Anaheim, CA, said she asked "a bunch of civilians" how to describe library users, and they suggested "member".

Here are the results of a reader poll from Library Journal on what they thought people who use libraries should be called:

User............. 4%
Member...... 2%
Reader......... 2%
Client........... 1%

What do you think -- are you a patron, a customer or.......?

News on Book Reviews

Even though newspapers are cutting back or eliminating book reviews, National Public Radio is expanding book coverage on its web site,, adding weekly reviews and hiring six new reviewers.

Among the latter is John Freeman, the former president of the National Book Critics Circle, who led last year's campaign to save newspaper book review sections.

Also, CNBC has launched its own book blog, Bullish on Books. Written by senior producer Gloria McDonough-Taub, who schedules authors on the cable news channel, the blog focuses on business, management, and personal finance titles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Join one of the Book Discussion Groups for Adults

Here are the books and times for the July meetings of both book discussion groups for adults. New attendees are always welcome.

Afternoon Group
Thursday, July 24th
1:00-2:30 pm
Book: Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont's back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won't let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that before he was homeless, Bobbie Crocker was a successful photographer. As Laurel's fascination with Bobbie's former life begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a deeply hidden, dark family secret.

Evening Group
Thursday, July 24th
6:30-7:45 pm
Book 1: Snow in August by Pete Hamill
In 1940s Brooklyn, friendship between an 11-year -old Catholic boy and an elderly Jewish rabbi might seem as unlikely as, well, snow in August. But the relationship between young Michael Devlin and Rabbi Judah Hirsch is only one of the many miracles large and small contained in Pete Hamill's novel. Michael finds himself in trouble when he witnesses the 17-year-old leader of the dreaded Falcons gang beating an elderly shopkeeper. For Michael, 1940s Brooklyn is a world still shaped by life in the Old Country, a world where informing on a fellow Irishman is the worst crime imaginable--worse even than the violent crimes committed by some of those fellows. So Michael keeps silent, finding solace in the company of Rabbi Hirsch, a Czech refuge who he meets by chance. From this serendipitous beginning blossoms a unique friendship--one that proves perilous to both when the Falcons catch up with them.

Book 2: Little Children by Tom Perrotta
Tom Perrotta's thirty-ish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch. There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad dubbed "The Prom King" by the moms of the playground; Sarah, a lapsed feminist with a bisexual past, who seems to have stumbled into a traditional marriage; Richard, Sarah's husband, who has found himself more and more involved with a fantasy life on the Internet than with the flesh and blood in his own house; and Mary Ann, who thinks she has it all figured out. They all raise their kids in the kind of sleepy American suburb where nothing ever seems to happen--at least until one eventful summer when a convicted child molester moves back to town, and two restless parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could have imagined.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What is the Staff Reading Now?

Here are a few of the titles that the staff members at the Library are reading this summer:

Fearless Fourteen : a Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich ; Franklin and Lucy by Joseph E. Persico ; and Anatomy Lesson (a mystery by a local author who teaches at Orange Coast College) by Raymond Obstfeld
(read/listened to by Louise)

Double Bind by Christopher A. Bohjalian ; One More Sunrise by Michael Landon Jr. and Tracie Peterson
(read by Phyllis)

When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
(read by Chris)

La Magdalena by William M. Valtos
(read by Caroline)

The Virgin and the Gypsy by D. H. Lawrence
(read by Maribel)

Merle's Door : Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
(read by Paula)

The Experts' Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do by Samantha Ettus
(listened to by Marcia)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Displays in the Library

Check out the playaways and books for the Summertime blues!!
Thanks to Heather for these great displays.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Best of the Rest --- Summer Book Roundups

Here are a few more lists to round out your summer reading selection:

The New York Post has published Summer Books: Guilty Pleasures.

Real Simple Magazine has published The Best Summer Books and More Great Summer Reads.

WBUR radio has published a list of Summer 2008 Book Suggestions. has a list of Summer Book Recommendations 2008.

Adult Summer Reading Program Event

Urban Legends : Truth and Lies From a Friend of a Friend
Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 2:00 pm in the Board Room
Presented by Steven Henegar

Everyone knows and tells these informal stories about the burglar in the closet, the real ingredients of that hamburger, or the poodle in the microwave. None of them happened to us, but we heard about it from a friend, who heard about it from a friend, or received it in an email. They're funny and scary and gross, and are probably modern legends.

We hear them at reunions, hanging out with friends, and over the Internet. They reflect legitimate anxieties, offer practical lessons, but also traffic in rumor and stereotypes.

This program promises to be a thoughtful, fun and participatory session of performance and discussion. You will discover how to spot these stories, ask why we tell them, and what we are saying about each other. And if you have your own urban legend to share you will have a chance to do that too.

This program is recommended for ages from 14-adults.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Books of Summer by Oprah

As usual, we can count on Oprah for providing us with a reading list -- from the July issue of her magazine here are "The Books of Summer". We are invited to "dive into some of the juiciest, thrilling-est, most riveting, provocative, lyrical, eye-widening books of the season".

Here is a partial list:

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
This debut novel is set in rural Wisconsin in the first half of the 20th century on a farm where the Sawtelles raise a fictional breed of dog.

Beginner's Greek by James Collins
Collins spins a chance encounter on an airplane into a perfectly calibrated comedy of missed opportunities and muddled loves.

Palace Council by Stephen L. Carter
Set in the 1950s and 60s, this novel takes you from Harlem drawing rooms to Washington enclaves were power corrupts and elegant conspiracies are born.

This Land is Their Land by Barbara Ehrenreich
Ehrenriech laces her essays on the high cost of being poor in America with biting humor.

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
A luminous and lyrical novel in which the protagonist loses her father, her new marriage and eventually her mental balance.

The Condition by Jennifer Haigh
The author warm portrayals reveal the fears and longings of five family members who, after more than 20 years of self-imposed exile, tentatively make their way home.

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
An aspiring detective vanishes, yet her spirit remains in this tale of love and loneliness.

How Far is the Ocean from Here by Amy Shearn
A sweet surrogate mother suddenly disappears right before giving birth to a couple's child.

The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer
A beautiful, lyrical novel of the 1950s in a country at war with itself.

Central Park in the Dark by Marie Winn
Where does a sophisticated New Yorker go for a night on the town? This book offers glimpses of nocturnal visitors, including sexy slugs and rare owls.

Explorers of the Infinite by Maria Coffey
Coffey's interviews with athletes and scientists yield fascinating thoughts about the ecstasy of extreme sport.

Mind's Eye by Hakan Nesser
Swedish crime writer writes about the exploits of Chief Inspector Van Veeteren who is snappish, sardonic, unsentimental, depressed, and quite possibly psychic.

Shelter Half by Carol Bly
A unique mystery novel in which a body turns up on a stretch of country road.

Not in the Flesh by Ruth Rendell
A master of the mystery genre, Rendell tells another tale.

Careless in Red by Elizabeth George
Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley is ready for another mystery to solve.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ten Books Not To Miss This Summer

John Searles, book editor for Cosmopolitan magazine, shares his list of the season's sizzling reads:

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles
After being stranded at O'Hare airport for an eternity, the author writes a scathing letter to American Airlines. This letter ends up turning into a funny and mesmerizing novel that tells the story of his life.

The Writing Class by Jincy Willett
The tale of a writing teacher who presides over a class full of oddballs. When one of her students turns up dead, she sets out to solve the mystery.

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown
A smart, darkly comic book in which a woman's life is turned upside down when she finds out that her husband is leaving her for his tennis partner.

An Absolute Scandal by Penny Vincenzi
The perfect page turner for the beach -- a few wealthy families are drawn together during a financial downturn and the results are scandalous.

The Beach House by Jane Green
An elderly woman rents out her Nantucket home one summer and finds her life filled with a cast of characters.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow.
This novel is about a book club formed as an alibi during World War II in order to protect its members from arrest by German soldiers.

Careless in Red by Elizabeth George
The newest installment in the Inspector Lynley series by an American author who writes the most authentic British mysteries.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Crazy tales and essays inspired by his real life.

Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau
The title of this book says it all.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
This novel is based on the true story of the love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and a woman named Mamah Cheney.

We have a few of these titles now, but be on the look out for the others to be added to our collection soon.