Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Special: Reindeer Cam


Gather 'round the computer screen and watch the live feed of Santa's reindeer as they make final preparations for their upcoming journey.

Check for your name on his nice list as it scrolls by at the bottom of your screen.
Occasionally Santa even comes on camera as well...

http://reindeercam.com/

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Featured Website: Visualize.me

Jazz up your resume!

Job hunting is tough when you're competing with thirty or more applicants for every job opening. If you're looking for a way to be sure your resume stands out from the herd, try out this website.


Vizualize.me takes the information from your resume and organizes it into an engaging infographic. If you already have a LinkedIn profile you can sign in and have your LinkedIn information automatically synced. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile you can sign up with your email address and a password and begin inputting your resume information. Vizualize.me is currently free.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tablet Buying Guide

Are you thinking about buying a tablet for Christmas? Check out Gizmag's tablet comparison guide to find the tablet that's right for you!


And don't forget that you can check out library eBooks for free with the Overdrive app.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Blind Date with a Book is back!

Ho ho ho! Come by Central Library to check out an all-new Blind Date with a Book display. Browse through the personal ads and check out one that catches your eye. You won't know the author or title, so it will be a sweet surprise when you get home and unwrap your "date." If you don't like it, simply return it to the library with no hard feelings! If you love it, well maybe you've just made a connection with a new author that could turn into a long-term relationship.

You will also have the option to "Rate Your Date" and tell us how your date went. Those that participate in "Rate Your Date" will be added into a drawing for fun prizes!

The whole month of December we will have books wrapped up like gifts to browse through, so stop by Central Library to find the reading match for you. You may just find something new to love this holiday season.


100 Notable Books of 2012 - NYT

Stumped for a good read? Check out the New York Times' list of 100 Notable Books of 2012!



FICTION & POETRY

ALIF THE UNSEEN. By G. Willow Wilson. (Grove, $25.) A young hacker on the run in the Mideast is the protagonist of this imaginative first novel.

ALMOST NEVER. By Daniel Sada. Translated by Katherine Silver. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) In this glorious satire of machismo, a Mexican agronomist simultaneously pursues a prostitute and an upright woman.

AN AMERICAN SPY. By Olen Steinhauer. (Minotaur, $25.99.) In a novel vividly evoking the multilayered world of espionage, Steinhauer’s hero fights back when his C.I.A. unit is nearly destroyed.

ARCADIA. By Lauren Groff. (Voice/Hyperion, $25.99.)Groff’s lush and visual second novel begins at a rural commune, and links that Utopian past to a dystopian, post-global-warming future.

AT LAST. By Edward St. Aubyn. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) The final and most meditative of St. Aubyn’s brilliant Patrick Melrose novels is full of precise observations and glistening turns of phrase.

Find more on the New York Times' website!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Staff Pick: Gone Girl

Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn’s third novel, the chilling and compellingly readable Gone Girl, is told from two perspectives, husband and wife Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot Dunne. We are first introduced to Nick Dunne, a man whose wife has just gone missing on a hot July day, a day which also happens to be their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick returns from the bar he owns to find the house in disarray and no Amy. Eerily enough, there is the first clue to her annual anniversary treasure hunt. He calls the police and begins the bizarre chain of events that will change his life and the lives of those around him.

 In the next chapter we meet Amy, the happy, full-of-love Amy, the Amy from five years ago. We see Amy and Nick meet and fall in love, kissing for the first time in a cloud of powdered sugar outside of a bakery. As the viewpoint flips back and forth between Nick and Amy and between timelines, a marriage is born and a marriage begins to disintegrate.

Flynn throws in twists and manipulations, zigs and zags. Masks are torn off and true colors emerge. Loyalties falter, and the reader will find their sympathies turning. Did Nick do it? The police seem to think so. If not Nick, who wanted Amy dead? The clues to her treasure hunt are wrapped in mystery. Nick tries to unravel the clues as his own life quickly unravels, with the people around him beginning to suspect him of the unthinkable.  

Flynn’s descriptive prose paints flawed, believable characters in unbelievable situations, and her tight pacing will keep one flipping the pages to the final brutal conclusion.  Gone Girl is an intense psychological thriller that is hard to put down.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Staff Pick: Driving Mr. Yogi


Driving Mr. Yogi:  Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball's Greatest Gift
Harvey Araton

I caught the last few minutes of the Charlie Rose television show which featured an interview of former Yankees baseball pitcher, Ron Guidry, and former Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra. Their discussion about this book made me want to read it.  The love between these two baseball players was evident, and this book defines that relationship.  The devoted care Guidry provided for the elderly Berra during Berra's visits to the Yankees' Spring Training in Florida was appreciated by the Hall of Famer.  Many baseball stories are told, and some will cause chuckles.  The not-so-funny relationship between the New York Yankees Baseball Team owner, George Steinbrenner, and Berra is presented, along with their reconciliation.  Some of Yogi's mentoring accomplishments and Guidry's achievements are acknowledged without a lot of baseball statistics.  Of course, the Louisiana connections with Guidry's frog legs dish and his family members bring pride to Louisiana readers knowing that Berra could not have had a better companion during Yankees Spring Training.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Central Book Club: Can't Wait to Get to Heaven

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven
by Fannie Flagg


When the sting of a wasp sends Elner Shimfissle falling out of her fig tree, she is suddenly whisked away to a heaven where squirrels are polka dotted, her deceased sister is annoyed that they had her hair and makeup done wrong for her funeral, and God is willing to answer a few questions she has been wanting the answer to forever. (By the way, the chicken came first.) Believing she has passed on,  Elner's family and friends back home each reminisce about their dear friend and the impact she's had on their lives as they prepare for her funeral. But Elner's time is not up and she is sent back to Elmwood Springs, MO to tell everyone that heaven is your life; in the friends you have and the people you love.

For someone who grew up in a small town, Fannie Flagg's novels always feel a bit like coming home. Though her small town may be a little more idyllic than the one you remember. Through each character, Flagg is showing the reader the qualities she values most in a community. Flagg can't even stand to leave the characters with less desirable traits alone, having most of them turn their life around due to some contact with  the force of nature Elner Shimfissle. Recommended to those needing a change of pace in their reading to something that feels homey.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Community Read Panel

Did you miss the Library’s “Community Read Panel Discussion” on Sunday the 9th? The community gathered together to discuss the importance of community, civility and compassion in an effort to find common ground. Don’t worry, you can watch it here!

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Staff Pick: Edenbrooke

Edenbrooke
By Julianne Donaldson

In Julianne Donaldson's charming debut novel, Marianne Daventry is living with her elderly grandmother after her mother's death and her father's subsequent removal to France. Her elegant, adventurous twin sister Cecily is in London enjoying the Season, while Marianne is slowly languishing in Bath. When Cecily extends an invitation for Marianne to visit her at Edenbrooke, a country estate, Marianne eagerly accepts.

During the carriage ride to Edenbrooke, Marianne and her maid are accosted by a highwayman and thus begins Marianne's tumultuous, life-changing visit. She meets a mysterious stranger who may or may not be a gentleman, is pursued by a fortune hunter, learns about love letters, and falls into a lake TWICE.

Humorous, romantic, and lighthearted, Donaldson's Regency novel is easy to devour. There are shades of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer in it, though the characters' speech is less formal and the plot moves along much quicker. It's also very clean, for those readers who are squeamish about explicit love scenes.

Verdict: If you like romances, this one will leave you laughing and smiling. Big doses of wittiness, romance, and lively intrigue make this book a fast and satisfying read.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Staff Pick: My Life in France


Title:  My Life in France
Author:  Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme

This book was my favorite choice from "Blind Date with a Book" which was part of the CPPL Adult Summer Reading Program.  Child's autobiography with the help of her husband's grandnephew is a delightful account of her life with her beloved husband, Paul.  He worked for the United States Information Service which landed them in France in the beginning of their marriage.  Julia's descriptions of acquiring her culinary skills which began in Paris and of living in different countries are filled with humor.  She doesn't hold back in her descriptions of people in her life, of the tasks of writing cookbooks and of demonstrating her cooking skills on television, or of her husband's trials in working for the government.  Paul's interrogation by Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigators is addressed.  Julia's love of life is evident.  This is not a cookbook, but it does give one the background to the writing of the best French cookbooks for Americans.  If you didn't get a chance to choose a book during this summer's "Blind Date with a Book" program, make a choice the next time the program is available because you will probably enjoy all your choices as I did.  Bonne lecture!

Reviewed by Mary

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Central Book Club: Look Me in the Eye

Look Me in the Eye: My life with Asperger's
by John Elder Robison

Look Me in the Eye chronicles John Elder Robison's experience growing up with Asperger's Syndrome in a time before anyone knew there was such a condition. As anyone who's read Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs could tell you, John Elder's home life could only exacerbate his status as misfit even more. His father was frequently abusive and his not-all-there mother was increasingly slipping into the control of the dubious psychiatrist Dr. Finch.  Despite being labeled as a misfit and future criminal in his youth, John Elder learns to design and construct sound equipment which eventually leads him to building special effects guitars for KISS. Later on he helps design early electronic games for Milton Bradley. Then, realizing he works better on his own, starts a business repairing expensive cars.

Though the events of the book are not told in strict chronological order, John Elder's highly logical way of thinking is evident throughout the retelling. Look Me in the Eye is a great book for anyone curious about what Asperger's Syndrome is and how a person with Asperger's learns to adapt to society.




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Staff Pick: A Once Crowded Sky

A Once Crowded Sky
By Tom King


Once the sky was bursting with superheroes and villains. Each day some plot to destroy the earth was foiled by one of the good guys. Sometimes a villain or a hero dies, but they always come back and the game continues. One day Penultimate, sidekick of Ultimate, decides to leave the game. There are enough superheroes around to keep on saving people. One person gone won't make that much of a difference. Then The Blue, a dangerous force of energy, threatens the planet. There is a way to stop The Blue, but it requires all the superheroes to give up their power and give it to one man, for it will take all their power to close the portal to The Blue. But when the world almost ends every other day, how are you to know that this time is for real?

Now all the villains are dead and the superheroes are powerless. Their power sacrificed, along with Ultimate, to close The Blue. All except Penultimate, Pen. Now each hero must wrestle with their place in the world and their reason for being. And Pen must live with the guilt of not showing up, even though there are always whispers saying "we always come back."

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to every comic book fan, as the narration can sometimes be hard to follow and the action isn't as straightforward as a typical comic book story. However King does bring up some interesting points in his story that I think any comic book scholar will have a good time debating. Recommended to those who are interested in seeing what happens to superheroes when their reason for being is taken from them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Staff Pick:I Suck At Girls


I Suck At Girls
by Justin Halpern

From the author that wrote the side-splittingly hilarious memoir, Sh*t My Dad Says, comes a new, equally hilarious book, I Suck At Girls. This time the book focuses on the author’s awkward, endlessly amusing interludes with the opposite sex, rather than his frank, rather profane father. However, if you enjoyed his father’s straight-shooting, entertaining interjections and advice from the first book, never fear—he’s featured prominently in this memoir as well.

Through a humorous lens, you’ll follow Justin as he draws a terrible, inappropriate portrait of his first crush and makes her cry, steals a hobo’s most precious collection, and stumbles into adult relationships as a dishwasher at Hooters. Though the book’s purpose is primarily to make the reader laugh, there’s a certain amount of honest sweetness in these pages. Besides savoring his embarrassments, we also get to see him grow as a person and fall in love for the first time.

A doctor tells him, "You are good at sitting," in one chapter and the good news is that he's also good at storytelling. If you're looking for a laugh-out-loud, feel-good book, this is perfect! It's a quick read and will leave you looking forward to his next installment.


Reviewed by Jayme.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Staff Pick: Tell the Wolves I'm Home


Tell the Wolves I’m Home
by Carol Rifka Brunt

This incredibly moving debut novel is set in the 1980s and centers on fourteen-year-old June Elbus, who has just lost her favorite person in the world, her uncle Finn. Finn was a celebrated painter and died of a shameful illness that can only be talked about in hushed whispers; to June he was the person who understood her best. 

After he dies, June finds out more and more about her uncle’s private life, including a life partner she knew nothing about. An unlikely friendship develops between June and this mysterious man, each finding in the other pieces of the man they both loved deeply.

The novel touches on themes of coming-of-age, love, loss, shame, and healing. Though events are taking place in the 1980s, the book feels topical with the current political climate focused on gay marriage and civil rights. This book was sweet and heartbreaking at the same time, and I cried more times than I can remember. Pick this up for an unforgettable read!

Reviewed by Jayme.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Staff Pick: Ava's Man



Ava's Man
by Rick Bragg
(Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All Over but the Shoutin')
 

The author's mother's father, Charlie Bundrum, was the husband of Ava, Bragg's grandmother.  The unfolding of Charlie's life with Ava and their children gives an informative view of life in Georgia/Alabama during the Great Depression.  Though he could not read, Charlie had many skills and a work ethic which provided for his family; but his talent of making moonshine and his tendency to drink in excess did cause hardships for all.  Those hardships did not lessen the love and admiration of him by his family and others.  When anyone had a problem, Charlie could "stop the storm" and ease the pain.  His care of his fellow-man is evident by his "shadow".  The author's family is fortunate to have such a thorough family history which includes this man of great character from the Appalachian foothills.

Reviewed by Mary.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Music of Glee


Glee, everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure TV show, has produced dozens of fun, singable songs from the past and present over three seasons. Homage has been paid to Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Whitney Houston, with whole episodes dedicated to just their music. Glee’s also done tributes to Rocky Horror Picture Show and Saturday Night Fever, and Christmas episodes devoted to jazzed up holiday classics.

The newest release from Glee is The Graduation Album. This bittersweet senior year record includes the Glee cast’s version of fun’s “We Are Young”, Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”, and Madonna’s “I’ll Remember.

Whether you like the pop music, rock music, or musical theater numbers, there’s something here for everyone. You may have a favorite episode, a favorite character, or a favorite song. Whatever your favorite is, the Calcasieu Parish Public Library owns the Glee albums and you can check them out or download the songs!

With your library card, you can check out up to 10 CDs and download up to 10 songs per week from Freegal, our free downloadable music service. Find your favorite Glee songs in the library or online! https://calcasieulibrary.freegalmusic.com/users/slogin


Monday, July 23, 2012

Central Book Club: Unbroken

Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is a biography of Louis Zamperini, Olympic athlete and World War II POW. Hillenbrand begins the tale with Louis' childhood and his knack for getting into and out of trouble. She tells how his brother and running gave him a purpose and gives us fascinating details of his trip to the 1936 Berlin Olympics where Louis briefly spoke to the Fuhrur himself. She then moves on to the focus of this biography, Louis' experience during World War II. On a search and rescue mission Louis' plane malfunctions, killing all but three of the occupants. Louis then spends over 40 days drifting in the Pacific with his two crewmates, surviving on what fish and birds they could catch and depending on rain for food. Compounding the misery of slow dehydration and starvation, the sun blistered their skin and the sharks constantly ran their fins along the bottom of the raft. After losing one crew member, Louis and is crew mate Phil finally find land, only to be captured by a Japanese patrol while still in the water. What follows is a tale that is horrifying and heartbreaking as we learn what it really means to be a prisoner of war.

Not only is this a fascinating tale from Louis' life, Hillenbrand uses other POW accounts and documented WWII events to really immerse the reader into this dark period in our history. Recommended for those who enjoy reading WWII narratives, survival stories, and stories of the human spirit conquering trauma.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Staff Pick: It's Only a Movie...

It's Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock, a Personal Biography
by Charlotte Chandler 


The title, It's Only a Movie..., was what moviegoers sometimes had to remind themselves as they watched Alfred Hitchcock's films, and Hitchcock also spoke these words to his workers.  The author tells about Hitchcock's astounding film techniques, his life with his beloved wife and daughter, and the recollections of many of the professionals who were involved in his works.  Many of the fantasy stories are presented which can bring back movie/TV-watching memories for the reader.  Hitchcock's work ethic, film skills, imagination, and pranks are told in a manner which allows the reader to better understand the genius who provided such unique, noteworthy films.  Eleven pages of index, a complete filmography, and over ten black-and-white photos add to the enjoyment of this insightful biography.


Reviewed by Mary.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Staff Pick: King, Kaiser, Tsar

King, Kaiser, Tsar : Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World To War
By: Catrine Clay



For anyone interested in the psychological analysis of three rulers in World War I, King, Kaiser, Tsar:  Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World To War is a must-read.  Queen Elizabeth II released to the public letters and diaries containing information about George V of England, Wilhelm II of Germany, and Nicholas II of Russia.  The author used those resources to provide a chronological insight into the lives of the three world-changing cousins.  Unless the reader can't get enough of war strategy and such, the reader can flip through those few pages.  The remaining pages examine the family dynamics of the three royals which is sometimes mind-boggling.  The author presenting the reality of the cousins' lives adds another dimension to the causes of WWI.  The sixteen pages of photographs, the index of twenty-two pages, and the outline of the family tree are useful additions.
 



Reviewed by Mary.

Staff Pick: Everything Alice

Everything Alice 
by Hannah Read-Baldrey & Christine Leech

This whimsical book has crafts and recipes that revolve around an Alice in Wonderland theme, sure to please crafty children and adults that like tea parties and all things Alice. The book starts off with information about the authors and a bit of history about Lewis Carroll, but quickly dives into the crafts, recipes, paper dolls, and games.

Time for Tea Jewelry shows the reader how to make a charming bracelet, earrings, and necklace set using a dollhouse tea set, while the Mad Hatter Hats sections gives step-by-step instructions on how to make five fun hats. There are paper dolls of Alice and the white rabbit to print and dress up. Other highlights include tea set invitations, playing card bunting, and giant rose lights. Some crafts do require sewing skills, but there are plenty here that do not. Instructions along with lovely photographs, templates, and a resource guide are all included. Note: a child would need the help of an adult to accomplish most of the activities.

Verdict: creative, fun, fanciful book that will please any Alice in Wonderland fan.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Central Book Club: Roses

Roses
by Leila Meacham

A generational tale set in east Texas, Roses tells of the stubborn obsession with family land that plagues members of the Tolliver family and their loved ones. Upon young Mary Tolliver's father's death, she inherits Somerset, a large cotton plantation, instead of her mother and older brother. Unwilling to sell it to make amends to her mother and brother, she is determined to honor her father's wishes to bring the plantation out of debt. This is the first of many decisions in which Mary chooses the land over loved ones, to her great regret at the end of her life. When finally making her own will, Mary makes the decision to sell the plantation, now a very large business, and leave the proceeds and not the land to her heir, her great niece Rachel. Thus saving her from making the same mistakes she herself made.

Romance, affairs, war, depression, fraud, and familial struggles abound and are woven in such a way to keep the reader turning the page. Recommended to readers who liked Gone with the Wind, and tales set in the South.

Find this book in our Catalog.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blind Date with a Book

Looking for a new book to love? Come by the Central Library and check out our Blind Date with a Book display! The books are wrapped up tight so you won’t know the title or author.

Browse the book “personal ads” and choose a reading match. Check it out, bring it home, unwrap it, read and enjoy! If you don’t like it, simply return it to the library—its feelings won’t be hurt!

You’ll also have a chance to review your blind date and tell others what you thought. Who knows, you just may be lucky in love and find a new favorite author!



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Between the Covers

The 2012 Summer Reading Programs have begun! Our challenge to you this year? Read 5 books and log them on our Adult Reading Program Page. Those who complete the challenge will receive a certificate, coupons and a "Library Champion Lives Here" yard sign!

Also don't miss any of our exciting programs for Adults this summer; including great programs like Bottle Cap Art, Relaxing Yoga, and Watercolors! Check out our Calendar of Events for even more creative programs.


Images are copyrighted. Contact the CSLP at info@cslpreads.org for more information.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Central Book Club: The Bells

The Bells
by Richard Harvell

Born to a deaf woman who spent her days in a belfry, Moses grew up hearing not his mother's voice, but the tones and vibrations of the great bells she loved to ring. This upbringing gives him a singular ear for sound that inspires his voice to reach great heights. This extraordinary talent is so valued by the choir master who discovers him that he does the unforgivable in order to preserve Moses' voice. In a letter written to his son,  Moses divulges all that he endured in his upbringing and unravels the riddle of how a musico could possibly have fathered a son.

Even though this book is read with the eyes, it is a treat for the ears. Moses hears the world in a way that is both supernatural and beautiful, which in turn causes the reader to pay more mind to the everyday sounds we are accustomed to ignoring. A tragic love story you will not wish to miss.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Staff Pick: I've Got Your Number

I've Got Your Number
by Sophie Kinsella

Queen of chick lit Sophie Kinsella (penname of author Madeleine Wickham) returns with a lighthearted, laugh-out-loud romantic tale, I’ve Got Your Number.  Poppy Wyatt is engaged to be married to Magnus Tavish, her academic, oh-so-smart fiancĂ© in just a few days when disaster strikes—she misplaces the family heirloom engagement ring Magnus has given her. As if that isn’t bad enough, as she’s frantically searching for the ring, someone steals her cell phone. Poppy spots a cell phone in a trash can and commandeers it in her time of need, much to the chagrin of the phone’s true owner, Sam Roxton.

In a modern take on love letters, Poppy and Sam get to know each other through texts and emails.  Poppy helpfully meddles in Sam’s affairs when she thinks he isn’t responding to emails fast enough or with enough enthusiasm, while Sam tries to persuade her to relinquish the phone. Poppy is a delightful, endearing character and Kinsella’s use of witty footnotes adds humor to the already amusing story. I’ve Got Your Number is a fun, silly romp and the perfect summer read. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Staff Pick: What We're Listening To


The library has so much more than just books! We have an extensive music collection, with three different ways to get music: check out CDs from the branches, download up to ten free songs weekly from Freegal, or borrow songs from our digital library, OverDrive. If you haven’t taken advantage of our music collection before, here are some staff picks to get you inspired!

Jayme’s Pick: Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars. This male-female duo won two Grammys for their outstanding indie folk record, Barton Hollow. Standout tracks include the lovely slow songs “20 Years,” “Poison & Wine,” "My Father's Father," and the more up-tempo song “Barton Hollow.”

Kora’s Pick: New Life by Monica. R&B artist Monica returns to the music scene this year with a new studio album, New Life. On the album she collaborates with some of the leading names in the business, including Brandy and Missy Elliot.

 Angela’s Pick: Now That’s What I Call Classic Rock Hits. This blast from the past collection of hits includes some of the biggest classic rock songs of the 70s.

Brandon’s Pick: Making Mirrors by Gotye. Gotye is a Belgian-born Australian artist whose alt-rock album, Making Mirrors, is that rare release that is a breakout success as well as an album of beautiful, original music. Making Mirrors includes the international hit “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra.


 Sheryl’s Pick: Smash soundtrack by the Smash Cast. Guilty pleasure television show, Smash, has a catchy, sing-able soundtrack available to download on Freegal. Standout tracks include “Let Me Be Your Star” and “Let’s Be Bad.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

Reading is Everyone's Business

http://ebooksforlibraries.com/

  
Have you noticed that not every book you want to read is available as an eBook at your library? Would you like to change that? Watch the video below and follow the link above to sign the petition. 




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Central Book Club: The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House
by Kathleen Grissom

This April the Central Library Book Club discussed The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. This novel is set around the turn of the 19th century and follows a young irish girl named Lavinia. Lavinia lost both of her parents on the voyage to America and is separated from her brother when she is purchased as an indentured servant by Captain James Pyke. She is raised in the kitchen house of the Captain's plantation and quickly bonds with the slaves who raise and love her, despite their different skin colors and situations. Through many years and tragedies, Lavinia finds her life turned inside out after she marries the son of the Captain, who takes over the plantation when he comes of age. Suddenly cut off from having the freedom to show affection to her childhood family, Lavinia must find the strength to protect her family in the face of ignorance, hatred, and secrets that shape entire lives.

Have you read this book? Tell us what you think! Feel free to comment below, or join us on Goodreads.com at the group Central Library Book Club.

Would you like to read this book? Click here to find a copy in our library.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Staff Pick: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater

I LOVED this book, and if you have a chance to listen to it on audio it’s a real treat! This young adult novel is told from the perspective of its two main characters: Sean, a champion horse racer and horse whisperer and Puck, who becomes the first girl ever to race in the annual Scorpio Races. There’s a twist to what normally would be a traditional horse tale, and it is that these horses are a mythological breed of man-eating water horses called the capaill uisce. A beautiful story with poetically descriptive words & memorable characters….this is one that all ages will enjoy & remember for years to come. And watch for a possible movie – Warner Brothers purchased the film rights for this book!

We have 3 print copies & 1 eAudio.

Reviewed by Clare.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Staff Pick: Home Front

Home Front
By: Kristen Hannah

Marriage, military and mahem. What a mixture! Jolene Zarkades was a loner who joined the military right out of high school. She finally found happiness in marriage and children until she had to fulfill her military duty in Iraq. Her family did not want her to go, but duty calls. She sugar coats Iraq duties for her family until her helicopter goes down and her whole crew is injured. This book makes you realize what life is really like for those who serve and those who give their lives for our country.

Reviewed by Theresa


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Staff Pick: Never Less Than A Lady

Never Less Than A Lady
By Mary Jo Putney


Lady Julia Raines had her reasons for living under an assumed name, Mrs. Bancroft, and acting as the village midwife. It had been years since she had run away, faked her death, and assumed a new identity--enough years that she was feeling quite safe in her village by the sea. Then three men knocked at her door and dragged her away to face the consequences of her past.

Major Alexander Randall was content with his solitary soldier’s life when he found himself in the sticky situation of becoming his much-despised uncle’s heir. On his way to begrudgingly accept his uncle’s mandate, Alex happens upon the lovely Julia in her desperate plight. After rescuing her from her attackers, Alex concludes that to truly protect Julia he must marry her.

Putney’s well-developed characters and use of humor keep this book entertaining and fresh. Alex and Julia must both deal with dark issues from their past and learn how to trust. The villains of the story, Julia’s first husband and Alex’s uncle, are more than just one-dimensional “evil” characters, and Alex himself is more than just an alpha male hero. The love story is sweet and tender and readers will find themselves cheering for Julia and Alex.

*This book is the second in the Lost Lords series, but a reader can enjoy it without having read the first. The first book is Loving a Lost Lord.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pretty Pots & Planters Tutorial

We recently did a "Pretty Pots & Planters" craft program at Central Library where we jazzed up plain terra cotta pots with paint and also decoupaged some with fun fabrics. This tutorial will show you how to add fabric to your pots for a splash of color in your home or garden.


For supplies you will need scissors, a foam brush, a terra cotta pot, Mod Podge, fabric, and a sealant of some sort. I used polyurethane, but I don't have any to show you. Oops! Seal the inside of your pot so that when you water your plant, the moisture won't seep through the clay and ruin your hard work. I used regular Mod Podge because my pot will be for an indoor plant. If you are thinking about using your pot outdoors, you may want to try Outdoor Mod Podge to extend the life of your pretty pot.


Let's get started! Using your pot as a guide, roll it along the length of your fabric to figure out how much you need. You need the fabric to wrap around the pot just once, and make sure to leave extra inches above and below the pot so you can cover the top and bottom completely.


I found it easier to begin adhering the fabric to the pot with the pot in the middle of the fabric, rather than starting at an edge of the fabric. Add a layer of Mod Podge on top of the fabric, smoothing it down to secure it. Work in sections, smoothing it down as you go. Your fingers will get sticky and messy with Mod Podge, so don't do this right after you've had a pretty manicure. I learned that the hard way! I peeled off my pretty fingernail polish along with dried Mod Podge. :(


Once you've worked your way to an edge of the fabric, smooth it down. Cut off any excess fabric from the other side of the fabric, leaving just enough to overlap the smoothed-down edge.


Once you're done covering your the "body" of your pot, snip off any excess fabric from the top. Leave about an inch of fabric.


Snip slits in the fabric, down to just above the collar of the pot. This will prevent the fabric from bunching up when you fold it down into the pot.


Use Mod Podge and glue your fabric down on the rim of the pot. It's ok if it's not uniform and straight--you will put a plant and soil in the pot and no one will know! It'll be our little secret.



Flip your pot over and trim any excess fabric. Mod Podge your fabric down, being sure to tuck it into the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot rather than sealing over it. You want your plant to have proper drainage and not drown! You can still see some Mod Podge on the bottom of my pot that hasn't dried. It will dry clear. Eventually. And ta da! Look at our pretty pots, one big and one small. Also one has a chip in it. But never mind about that. Please leave any questions in the comments and I'll try my best to answer them. Happy crafting, everybody!



*This tutorial was adapted from one found here: http://www.christinechitnis.com/2010/01/pretty-pots.html