March 2012

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Giant Lottery jackpot tempts millions

Cover of "Money for Nothing"

On Friday, March 30th, there will be a drawing for an over 500 million dollar jackpot. All it takes to win the whole thing is to guess 5 numbers between 1 and 56, and guess a "mega" number between 1 and 46. Sounds easy, you think, but the odds are 1 in 178 million to make that mathematically near impossible feat happen. But someone is going to be that one suddenly wealthy person. Could it be you? Edward Ugel tells his and others stories of chasing after the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There are fictional stories of lottery winners, and an excellent, though sad, documentary of a group of lottery winners.

Rain Brings Frogs

Are you and your kids tired of the rain? We got a book to see the sunny side of things when it doesn't look like it called "Rain Brings Frogs."  You follow a little boy named Nate that points out all the good things from every situation. When Dad says, "Mud. Mud. Mud." Nate says, "Rainbow! Rainbow! Rainbow!" Nate can always find something positive in of all his family and friends' unhappy situations. A great short story to share when things are looking gloomy everywhere.

Posted by Duy Tran on Mar 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

Do you ever feel like no one is paying attention to you?  That's the way Moose feels in Kelly Bingham's Z is for Moose.  A truly hilarious tale that will keep classes in stitches!


Moose will start to infiltrate the story at around the letter, "D."  He can't wait around until "M" comes around!  That's much too long to wait!  By the time "M" comes around, Moose will be in for a surprise.  You will be sure to smile at the surprise ending.


This book may seem like a concept book for toddlers.  However, the humor seems to be just right for lower elementary readers!  This is not your typical alphabet book!

Sail the Seven Seas – and more!

Book cover: Berlitz Complete Cruising and Cruise Ships It’s time to start booking your summer holiday plans. Have you considered cruising? The thing I love most about cruising is the ability to visit multiple sites (even multiple countries!) in a short period of time without ever having to change your hotel room. You’re on a floating hotel! Just unpack once and your room floats from one fabulous city to the next as you relax on deck, play games, watch shows, and eat and drink to your heart’s content. Oh, yes, you can exercise, too.


San José Public Library offers books, travel guides, and DVDs on cruising for you to take advantage of. You can even use our databases to research the different cruise lines and ports of call so you can be sure to make the right decision for you and your family. You can cruise the ominous oceans, the stupendous seas, the rambling rivers or the cozy canals. So come on! Start researching your dream vacation today and you can be on your way to paradise this summer!

Book cover: Alaska by Cruise Ship                             Book cover: Fodor's European Ports of Call                             Book cover: The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises

Rick is Sick

book cover picture


When Rick is sick, his friend Jack comes to visit him and tries to help him in many different ways.  The book shows you how to help a friend when that friend gets sick.  It also shows you how to make a Friendship Award.


Written by author-Illustrator David McPhail.  Ages:  Preschool-K-1st grade

Check out the Winners of the Music Video Contest

Did you follow Battle of the Bands this year? Did you vote for your favorite bands?

All the bands had an additional chance at winning a prize this year:

our teensReach members voted for the best videos and here are the winners:


First place:



Second place:



Third place:



Honorable Mention:




Let us know what you think of the videos in the comments!

The Beauty of a Horse

From the poem The Beauty of a Horse (found on

The thunder clap of hooves
The wind in their mane
The thrill of flight
And the birth of a spring ride

In some parts of San Jose you will still find homes with enough land to accommodate raising horses. They are rare now - most of us live in suburban areas and some in the urban downtown – but a few aficionados still make it work, keeping stables and corrals and raising these beautiful animals. If you love horses, whether it’s riding or betting on a race or just admiring their beauty, San Jose Public Library has loads of beautiful pictorial books on horses for you to enjoy.


Book cover: Face to face with wild horses    Book cover: The kingdom of the horse   Book cover: 96 horse breeds of North America    Book cover: Horse breeds of the world

Posted by Tina Drew on Mar 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Travel to Chicago


Chicago is America’s favorite city and is also known as The Second City. The Windy City is a dynamic city, its location on the beautiful front of the Great Lake of Michigan and its historical significance, make the city a hub for travelers in the land of Lincoln. Travelers to Chicago can enjoy the history, art, attractions, shopping, business, and the city neighborhoods.  Checkout Travel Books at San Jose Public Library to plan, prepare, and guide you in your next trip to the Windy City. 


Here are some other great places to enjoy:


Downtown Chicago,  Willis Tower AKA Sears Tower,   Navy Pier, Grant Park, Field Museum of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Millennium Park, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Magnificent Mile, Wrigley Field , DePaul University, Lincoln Park Zoo   

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm


Turtle in Paradise cover

Jennifer L. Holm is well-known for her Babymouse books, starting with Babymouse:  Queen of the World (AR 0.5, Level 2.2).  Ms. Holm takes a more serious tone in the Newbery Honor Book, Turtle in Paradise (AR 4.0, Level 3.7).  Babymouse readers who are moving up to upper-elementary school reading will be pleasantly surprised by the likeable Turtle character.


Like the protagonist in The Absolute Value of Mike (AR 8.0, Level 3.9) by Kathryn Erskine, Turtle has a parent who is in an arrested stage of development.  Like Mike, Turtle is sent off to a far away place while the parent is busy with work.  In 1935 Florida, Turtle finds a different culture and bonds with her cousins, who run the Diaper Gang.  Turtle finds a treasure map and seeks a way to get her family out of financial trouble.  Does she succeed?  Why has her mom's boyfriends shown up in Florida?  Read it and find out!

Online Book Club - The Butterfly Mosque, Week 4

The Butterfly Mosque coverFor March 2012, our Online Book Club continues by discussing The Butterfly Mosque by Willow Wilson, another featured title of this year's community reading program, Silicon Valley Reads, which focuses on the theme "Muslim and American."


Each week, we'll put forth a different question to prompt reflection on the book and its ideas.  We hope you will participate in the discussion by leaving comments below!


For Week 4, we'd like to ask: After reading about Willow's experience living in Egypt, how has your perception of life in the United States changed or deepened? Have any personal trips abroad had a similar effect on you?


Reading about Willow's life in Cairo, it really hit me how fortunate we are in the United States to have relatively clean environments in which to live.  Dealing with our air pollution is one thing, but I'm not sure how long I would last breathing in smelly dust from desert dirt.  And I'd gladly risk pesticides and preservatives over having to dodge maggot-infested fruit and contaminated meat.


I also was struck by Willow's surreal experience with Patriot Act survelliance in the Denver airport.  Of course, she still has no idea what really happened - that trenchcoat-wearing man who snapped her photo could have just been an ordinary guy who wanted a picture of an odd white woman in a hijab.  But clearly survelliance was going on - as evidenced by the experience of her friends who were questioned.  I guess I'd hope the authorities would've concluded much earlier that she didn't pose a threat.  It's scary that this could happen to you for so long without any obvious signs and then that innocent people would continue to have their lives inconvenienced by their own government.


Finally, I could relate to the embarassment she felt in the taxi when the other American girls launched into a loud, sexually-explicit, conversation.  In my first trip overseas, I was intent on experiencing life in another country on its own terms and not my own.  Unfortunately, I had to share this experience with other American college students who were only interested in getting drunk on a daily basis and made no attempt to modify their behavior to fit their new environment.


What about you? How has your perception of life in the United States changed or deepened after reading the book? Have personal trips abroad had a similar effect on you?


See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and the previous weeks' questions

Sheba Karim, Author of Skunk Girl

Skunk Girl Book CoverOn Wednesday March 21, Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl visited the Edenvale Branch Library.   Teens and adults listened to her read excerpts of Skunk Girl as well as excerpts of one of her short stories.   Sheba spoke about many topics, including her childhood, her teen years, and her path to becoming a writer.   People who came to this presentation asked many interesting questions which Sheba was happy to answer.   This event was part of Silicon Valley Reads.   There are several more Silicon Valley Reads  events taking place in March and April.    For more information, check out the Silicon Valley Reads website.

If you haven't yet read Skunk Girl, visit the library to check out a copy.  You're in for a treat!   If you have read and enjoyed Skunk Girl, you may also enjoy Does My Head Look Big in This? and Ten Things I Hate about Me, both written by Austrailan author Randa Abdel-Fattah.


Happy Reading!  

Free For All Community Information

Gambling with cards and chips -- blurred photoThe causes of Whitney Houston’s death were announced last week – and cocaine abuse appeared to be a major contributing factor.  Something else that happened last week while I was working at the Tully Community Library was that a representative of the nonprofit Asian American Recovery Services came into the branch bringing a stack of newsletters with Houston’s tragic death as one of its front page stories.  It was filled with articles on all the ways that someone can come under the power of addiction:  alcohol, prescription and illegal drugs, emotional abuse, smoking – but the one I knew the least about was problem gambling – which apparently can be a real problem for people and their families.   


Our neighbors come into the library for a lot of reasons, of course, but one is that it is a clearinghouse for free and useful information for the entire community.  Some of this helpful information can be found in the “Community Bulletin Board / Free for All” area in every library branch.  For example, there are the services that Asian American Recovery Services offers, such as support, counseling, resources and education are either free, based on a sliding-scale or Medi-Cal paid.  Their mission is to decrease the incidence of substance abuse and other addiction in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the Bay Area.  You can reach them at (408) 271-3900.  

Pugs in a Bug by Carolyn Crimi

Pugs in a Bug cover

Pugs in a Bug by Carolyn Crimi first caught my eye because of the beautiful purples on the cover and the humorous-looking dogs sitting in the Volkswagon.  Sure enough, the wonderful illustrations are a delight to behold.  When reading the jacket, I was surprised that the artist, Stephanie Buscema,  has worked for Marvel and DC comics!  As I mentioned before, I really like to see artists stretch beyond their comfortable niches!


As a big proponent of developing reading readiness skills, I was pleasantly surprised to see the phonetic structure and narrative of the book.  Young children will enjoy the rhymes along with the funny dogs.  I especially enjoyed the way the pastel colors blend from page to page.  Add the concept of counting, and you have a great book for toddlers! 


Young children will throughly enjoy the story of six dogs as they are each picked up for a pleasant drive.  Unexpectedly, they come upon a dog parade and join in for fun and games.  Pick this title up for your fun-loving toddler!

Dog Blog #1: Every Dog's Legal Guide

Is your dog in the pokey and needs to be sprung?  Have the law on your side with information extracted from Nolo Press’ magnum opus, 6th edition, by Mary Randolf, J.D.      


Every Dog's Legal Guide

Every Dog’s Legal Guide – A Must-Have Book for Your Owner

Thirteen chapters broken up into bite sized bits:

  • Dogs and people
  • State and Local regulation
  • Buying and selling dogs
  • Landlords and dogs
  • Veterinarians
  • Traveling with your dog
  • Barking dogs
  • Assistance dogs
  • If a dog is injured or killed
  • Providing for pets (Including a chapter on: Why you can’t leave money to a dog- and what happens if you try.)
  • Dog bites
  • Dangerous dogs
  • Cruelty


A guide to legal research and state statutes is included.


Abundant resources (references to corresponding Nolo legal publications) and endnotes provided. For those with furry four-footers and those who live amongst them, I highly recommend this work that is peppered with humor, providing necessary information, simply stated and cleanly formatted.


You’ll find copies of this work located in branches throughout San José, and an eBook to boot.


If you don't have a pooch to share your life with, consider a visit to the San José Animal Care Center  Bring a friend home with you today.

West Valley Book Club's April Pick: No Graves As Yet

No Graves as Yet coverThe West Valley Book Club will meet on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30pm in the Community Room to discuss No Graves As Yet: A Novel of World War I by Anne Perry. Perry is a prolific genre fiction author, but she is most well-known for her historical mystery novels. Published in 2003, No Graves as Yet is the opener for her World War I historical mystery series featuring lead protagonist Joseph Reavley, named after Perry's maternal grandfather, who was a captain in England during World War I.


On a sunny afternoon in late June, 1914, Cambridge don, Joseph Reavley is summoned from a student cricket match to learn that his parents have died in a road accident.  Joseph’s brother, Matthew, as an officer in the Intelligence Service, reveals that their father had been en route to London to turn over to him a secret document – allegedly with the power to England and damage the British Empire.  At the same time, events in Sarajevo will propel Europe, and the whole world, into war.  But there are some tragic deaths on the home front and where is this mysterious document...if it exists at all? (from

Staff Highlight: Angie Miraflor

Angie MiraflorName: Angie Miraflor

Branch/Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library


What are your top three favorite books/movies?

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Wayne's World, and ManhattanMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson, and The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin.


What are your hobbies? What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Photography, going to sporting events (hockey, baseball, etc.), traveling, wine tasting, and jogging/running.


What do you like most about working at SJPL?

I've worked with some of the most caring, creative people at SJPL. A week doesn't go by where we don't think about the future of libraries and how our organization can be part of it. It is amazing!


What are your major accomplishments while working at SJPL? What achievements are you proudest of?

I've been a huge advocate for teen services and I feel like my voice has been heard within SJPL.


If you could choose any superpower, what would it be and why?

To be able to fill out a staff highlights survey in a wittier manner.


Check out Angie's blog posts!


Angie is a Senior Librarian at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. 

Posted by Farah Hussin on Mar 20, 2012 | Comments: 1 |

Are you Interested in Franchising?

FranNet logo

Starting a business from scratch is not for everyone, finding a location, marketing, and building a brand can be daunting tasks for new businesses.  What is the alternative if you still want to be a business owner but don't want to start from the ground up?  Have you considered a franchise? Some of the benefits of franchises are established brand and name recognition and centralized marketing/ advertising support.  If this is something that you might be interested in learning more about, FranNet can help. FranNet provides free consulting and can help you decide whether you are a good match for a franchise.

Social Workers in the Library



Social Workers in the Library Now Offered Three Times a Month


At King Library: Now offered twice a month – every first and fourth Mondays of the month, 6 to 8 p.m.

Call: (408) 808-2350




At Biblioteca Latinoamericana – offered once a month – every third Wed. of the month 6 to 8 p.m. (Spanish/English bilingual Social Worker available)

Call: (408) 294-1237


Is something happening in your life that you have questions about concerning:


  • Education
  • Emergency Services - food/clothing/housing and crisis support
  • Employment
  • Family Matters - parenting, childcare, divorce, elder issues and domestic violence
  • Health Improvement - mental, physical and health insurance
  • Immigration
  • Support Groups - men, women and teens


Make an appointment to get a FREE 20 minute session of information and referral or advice, from a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Everyone at some point in their lives could use the advice of a social worker. Our volunteer social workers are offering it - Free of Charge.


Social Workers in the Library, is a partnership of the San José Public Library, San José State University's School of Social WorkNational Association Of Social Workers - California Chapter, and  SJSU School of Library and Information Services.

Posted by Deborah Estreicher on Mar 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms

Cover of "Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms"David Kessler, a renowned grief counselor, recently wrote Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms. He takes the reader through three possible stages of a person's last days. The first is "vision" is deceased relatives appear, or a corner of the room begins to glow. The second stage is getting ready for a "trip". People talk to caregivers about packing their bags or wondering where the tickets are. The "crowded rooms" stage is when the dying begin to see more relatives and people they don't remember in the room with them. Case histories are described from the experiences of different types of health care professionals. The book contains a message of hope, that we do not die alone.

Walking Across America

Think about what it would be like to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City.   This 3,500 mile, seven month long trek was made in 1896 by a 36 year old Norwegian American woman named Helga Estby and her eighteen-year-old daughter Clara.    Helga Estby was a Norwegian immigrant living on a farm in the state of Washington with her husband and eight children.   When the farm was threatened with foreclosure because of unpaid taxes, Helga decided to accept a $10,000 wager from an anonymous sponsor of the fashion industry.   If Helga could walk across the country wearing the new “reform dress”( shorter skirt ) , following the strict rules set out by the sponsor, she would win $10,000.  Helga and her daughter left the family in Washington State and set out on a perilous journey that was fraught with danger, exhaustion and propelled by courage, strength, determination and love for family.   This true story is told in the book Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America , by Linda Lawrence Hunt.    Using newspaper clippings, research and memories of Helga’s descendants, Lawrence gives a captivating account of these incredible women defied the accepted norm for women’s behavior and aspirations in 1896.  Author Jane Kirkpatrick has written a compelling and moving historical fiction novel  based on Helga Estby’s walk across the United States.   This novel, The  Daughter’s Walk : A Novel  tells the story of the walk and then moves forward to  daughter Clara Estby’s  continued journey through life.   These two outstanding books are fine tributes to the strength, determination and the struggles for rights and independence that women faced in the late 19thCentury.


book coverThink about what it would be like to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City.   This 3,500 mile, seven month long trek was made in 1896 by a 36 year old Norwegian American woman named Helga Estby and her eighteen-year-old daughter Clara.    Helga Estby was a Norwegian immigrant living on a farm in Washington State with her husband and eight children.   When the farm was threatened with foreclosure because of unpaid taxes, Helga decided to accept a $10,000 wager from an anonymous sponsor of the fashion industry.   If Helga could walk across the country wearing the new “reform dress”( shorter skirt ) , following the strict rules set out by the sponsor, she would win $10,000.  Helga and her daughter left the family in Washington State and set out on a perilous journey that was fraught with danger, exhaustion and propelled by courage, strength, determination and love for family.   This true story is told in the book Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America, by Linda Lawrence Hunt.    Using newspaper clippings, research and memories of Helga’s descendants, Hunt has pieced together a captivating account of a long forgotten trek made by two  incredible women who defied society's restrictions on women’s behavior and aspirations in 1896.  

book cover



Author Jane Kirkpatrick has written a compelling and moving historical fiction novel  based on Helga Estby’s walk across the United States.   The  Daughter’s Walk : A Novel tells the story of the walk and then moves forward to  daughter Clara Estby’s  continued journey through life.   These two outstanding books are fine tributes to the strength, determination and struggle for rights and independence that  American women faced during the late 19thCentury. 

Pandora gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy

Cover for "Pandora gets Jealous."

Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy is the beginning of a  fun series for tweens and teens that love books based on Greek mythology. It will even appeal to Percy Jackson fans! Our heroine is Pandora Artheneus Andromaeche Helena (or Pandy, for short). She is the thirteen year old daughter of Prometheus (who is famous for stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to mortals). Pandy brings a mysterious box to school that Zeus had given her Father. Pandy accidentally unleashes seven kinds of misery into the world. Zeus gives her six months to collect all the evils. The trouble and adventures Pandy gets into with her friends, Alcie and Iole, keeps the action moving and the tone, fun. 

Pandora continues her adventures in Pandora Gets Vain, Pandora Gets Lazy, Pandora Gets Heart, and Pandora gets Angry.

Online Book Club - The Butterfly Mosque, Week 3

The Butterfly Mosque coverFor March 2012, our Online Book Club continues by discussing The Butterfly Mosque by Willow Wilson, another featured title of this year's community reading program, Silicon Valley Reads, which focuses on the theme "Muslim and American."  While The Muslim Next Door helped us to better understand the beliefs and practices of Muslim Americans living in the United States, in The Butterfly Mosque the author lets us share her experience as an American whose faith leads her eventually to Cairo, Egypt and a life very different from the one she may have imagined growing up in America.  


Each week, we'll put forth a different question to prompt reflection on the book and its ideas.  We hope you will participate in the discussion by leaving comments below!


Week 3: What new insights into the Middle East, Muslims, and Islamic life does Wilson present? Has reading this book altered your views of Islam? In what way does the book challenge the stereotypes portrayed by the media?


Welcome to week three of the March Online Bookclub! How has your reading been going? I have always been interested in Egypt. Actually, I will clarify that statement.  I have been interested in Egypt and King Tut since purchasing a pocketbook about the discovery of the tomb when I was  11! At that age I was fascinated (I still am) and I read that book over and over.  I wanted to become an Egyptologist or a curator of Asian Art. At the time I had no sense of anything political. Now I think about things "inconvenient" to the romance of it all. "Why did so many treasures leave Egypt?" comes to mind. Anyway, what was really eye opening about The Butterfly Mosque was how shopping, cooking, and cleaning are daily obstacles to someone unused to the way things work. I can't imagine going to buy a live chicken for my dinner. Reading Willow's descriptions of modern day Cairo were interesting and informative.  I can't say that my views of Islam changed. Prior to reading Butterfly, and other Silcon Valley Reads books, I had no real view. I am very happy to keep learning to broaden my knowledge bit by bit.


I am hoping to hear what some of you think about the questions. Does the book challenge stereotypes? Let's talk.


See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and to preview the next weeks' questions

What's Ted the Bear Up to Now?

Book Cover: Artist TedTed the lovable bear is back in a new adventure called Artist Ted written by Andrea Beaty. In this new book Ted wakes up one morning and decides that everything around him is boring and needs some spiffing up. Ted proceeds to try and find an artist but when he can't he decides , of course, that he will be the artist - and the adventures begin!  First, Ted discovers he doesn't have a brush or paints. What's a bear to do? No problem for Ted; a curtain tie makes a great brush and everyday household items like ketchup, mustard, jam,chocolate syrup and even toothpaste can make wonderful paints. Ted is "inspired" by white walls and a nice "white shirt" to the horror  of his mother, principal Bigham and especially the new student in class Pierre. All ends well as it always does when Ted is on the job. Read Ted's other adventures in Doctor Ted and Firefighter Ted.

試試您的中文程度: 常讀錯寫錯的字

或許你認為身為中國人理所當然中文程度應不差,但卻發現即使是新聞主播也常常讀錯字,新聞標題更是錯字連連又加語意不清,不禁感慨大夥兒的的中文程度真是一代不如一代。但自己的中文真的好嗎?  陳銘磻的著作作文最常寫錯的字或許可讓你檢視一下自己的中文程度。



















Gardening Resources at the Santa Teresa Branch Library

Fire escape garden

Spring is almost here -- it's time to dust off your gardening shovels and gloves and get back to the soil! The Santa Teresa branch library has many resources on the subject. We have books on starting a garden from scratch (Great Growing at Home : The Essential Guide to Gardening Basics by Allan A. Swenson), growing in small spaces (Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces by Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet) and perfecting your Heirloom tomatoes (The Complete Guide to Growing Tomatoes : Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply--Including Heirloom Tomatoes by Cherie H. Everhart). This is just a sampling -- come on down to the library to browse the collection!

Finn McCool a Legendary Irish Hero

Cover of Finn McCool and the Great FishIn the third century, a legendary giant, Finn McCool, walked the Irish countryside, helping farmers and villagers. He was a great warrior and had a kind heart, but he lacked one thing: wisdom. The villagers overlooked this fault, but Finn had a desire to better himself and learn the secret of wisdom. He took two giant steps to the next village, where a secretive old man lived who would reveal the secret of wisdom to the right person. The old man somehow knew Finn was on his way, and told him to catch the red salmon in the River Boyne. Finn's quest is just beginning in Finn McCool and the Great Fish. The reading level is 2nd or 3rd grade; best for reading aloud.

Posted by Ned Wappler on Mar 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Angels in Berlin

Wings of Desire (DVD)

Cover Image of "Wings of Desire" DVD - Shows an Angel This highly-acclaimed and beautifully atmospheric film by German director, Wim Wenders, reveals  a world of trench-coated angels inhabiting the skies above a war-wounded Berlin who descend  to earth to listen to the conflicted thoughts of mortals, extending comfort and love.  One angel’s emotional investment deepens to the point where he yearns to become mortal himself, having fallen in love with a graceful trapeze performer.


Being a librarian, one of the things that I liked the most about this visually stunning and psychologically-nuanced movie was that one physical space in which these angels silently spoke to the melancholy humans in need of their comfort and care were the communal yet contemplative spaces of libraries.


Oddly enough, Peter Falk, plays himself in this absorbing and original film. 

I Am Inspired by a 7 Year Old

A seven year old boy named Audri (and his mother) created a YouTube video of a Rube Goldberg machine that he built.  Not only did he build it, but he also uses the scientific method to gauge how many successes and failures the machine will have.  Inspiring!


Cover of Rube Goldberg: Inventions by Maynard Frank Wolfe

Rube Goldberg was born in San Francisco in 1883 and attended UC Berkeley as an Engineering major.  He never actually built any of the machines he drew cartoons of, but plenty of people have.  In fact, there are competitions for high school and college students to create working Rube Goldberg machines. 


Recently, the band OK Go, created a music video featuring Rube Goldberg machine.  It is nearly as awesome as Audri's machine and the music is catchy too.

The Story of Griffin and Sabine

When I first heard about Nick Bantock's books I was intrigued.  Not only does the story capture you within the first few pages, but the way in which it is written and illustrated takes you to an entirely different world.   


In the first book, "Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence" you explore Griffin and Sabine.  Who are they?  How do they know each other?  Do they really know each other?  Do they exist?  It leaves you wanting more, and more. 



Mr. Bantock obliges with the next installment titled "Sabine's Notebook".  This gives you much more insight as to who Sabine is, but still leaves you wondering "is she real?"  (Unfortunately, this title is not in our collection, but you can get it through Link+ here.)




To end the trilogy "The Golden Mean" deepens the quest into who these two individuals are, where their journey will take them, and if the answer to "how do I know you?" is answered.  





There are three other books that follow up on the correspondence between the two artist destine to find the answers to the mystery before them.  "The Gryphon", "Alexandria" and "The Morning Star" each take a turn telling a little bit more of this curious tale. 


Even after I read all 6 of these titles, I found myself wanting more.  Written in personal note and postcard format, these stories are fascinating!  Every turn of the page and opening of the envelope grants you access to this bizarre, yet tantalizing story.  Here's hoping the wonderful imagination of Nick Bantock isn't finished in the world of Griffin and Sabine!

Featured Resource on the Web: Statista

Chart of the Day from Statista Statista as the name alludes features statistics, interesting and useful statistics, especially for investors and entrepreneurs. Statista is actually a subscription product but you can still access a lot of content for free. A few examples of what kind of interesting statistics you can find on the website:

  • Number of daily activations of Android devices
  • Unique number of Pinterest visitors and average time the user spends on the site per month
  • Market share of web browsers on different continents

Their statistics are not just tech oriented, the site covers statistics across many different industries.


Perhaps, the Yelp chart pictured might have helped in your decision to purchase stock?

Meet Local Artist Allen Figone

   Painting of mountains, trees and river in foregroundAttention art lovers, lovers of beautiful scenery  and  lovers  of national parks—we have a program for you!  Local artist Allen Figone will be at Santa Teresa Library on Saturday March 16 at 1:00 pm displaying his art and speaking about his experiences in various national parks.  Take this opportunity to meet the artist and hear him speak about his creative efforts representing some of America’s most famous national parks.


Painting of red rock cliffs in Zion Park


A San Jose native, Mr. Figone received his training at San Jose City College and San Jose State University.  He has won awards in local shows throughout the Bay Area and his paintings have been  featured in galleries from Oregon to New Jersey.

From his website:  “Most recently Allen has achieved National level recognition as a finalist in “ The Art of Seeing Nature” Oakland Museum of Art,  “Arts for the Parks 2005 and 2006”(triple finalist), Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and “Oil Painters of America Western Regional Juried Exhibition 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.  He also was a finalist in the 2008 and 2009 Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibitions.  The Grand Canyon Association purchased Allen’s painting “Drama Along Bright Angel Trail” which was one of two paintings that were finalists in the 2008 Paint the Parks National Exhibition Top 100.   In 2009 Paint the Parks he was again a multiple finalist with paintings in the Top 100 and Mini 50 as well.  Allen was also one of 66 contemporary artists selected internationally to represent Zion National Park in “A Century of Sanctuary” The Art of Zion National Park, National Exhibition (in commemoration of its 100 year Anniversary), held at the St. George Museum, St. George, Utah.  Allen’s painting “Afternoon Shadows” has now been added to the permanent collection of the St. George Museum. 


Painting of Merced River in YosemiteAs an artist Allen has taken the skills he learned doing technical Illustration and combined that with what he has learned from studying the Early California Impressionists, which he has admired and studied for years, to create a unique style of painting to shape his aesthetic vision. 


‘My painting philosophy is simple: to capture nature as I see her and to depict the colors and values I see as exactingly as possible. Art is about seeing, interpreting and painting the performance.’

Landry News by Andrew Clements

The Landry News coverThe Landry News (AR 4.0, Level 6.0) is an older title by the school-related author, Andrew Clements.  However, it's theme is so timely because of the unobjective news reporting practiced by many cable "news" networks.  Please also note the wonderful illustrations by the Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck author, Brian Selznick!


Cara, whose parents have divorced, first used her newspaper, The Landry News as a way to inappropriately express the truth, no matter who was hurt.  Now she is at a new school.  She disapproves of the lacksadaical way that her fifth grade teacher, Mr. Larson, runs his classroom.   She prints her dissatisfaction in her newspaper.  How will Mr. Larson react when he sees it?


The Constitution's First Amendment is explored in this novel.  Should truth be tempered by mercy?  How does truth and mercy fit in The Landry News?  Will Mr. Larson ever change?  Find out and check out this wonderful book!

Sigma Omicron Pi Sorority Volunteers Create a Seussical Birthday Party

A Seussical Birthday Party

We had a fantastic Seussical Birthday Party at the King Library on March 2 because of the wonderful young ladies of the Sigma Omicron Pi Sorority of San Jose State University. These young ladies volunteered 2 hours of their time on a Friday afternoon and helped make the program the success it was. The girls set up the craft, the free book area and all the games; they manned the different stations and had a grand time interacting and laughing with the kids. It was wonderful to see and hear. They thanked us so much for allowing them to volunteer and have such a worthwhile experience. It was a win win for us all. This is just one of the ways people can volunteer at the library; it does not have to be a long commitment but just one afternoon, as these girls did, to give back to your community and help library staff put on a fun program. We could not have done it without the help of these volunteers. Our hats are off to them!

Young Artists at Work


Book cover of "What Do Illustrators Do?"

Have you ever wondered how a new picture book is created?  What Do Illustrators Do? written by Eileen Christelow teaches and entertains the reader with whimsical graphics and text.


The story of two young artists gives the reader a glimpse into the world of illustrating children’s books. The humor and whimsy will leave you smiling.

DK Biographies from the Gale Virtual Reference Library.

These titles may be downloaded a chapter at a time. They're always accessible - no waiting lists!


Barack Obama, 1st American ed.  Explorer of the New World Clara Barton, 1st American ed. Harriet Tubman, 1st American ed. Princess Diana, 1st American ed. Ronald Reagan, 1st American ed. The Story of Pocahontas

A book of (not-so-scary) ghost stories


cover of The Haunted Hamburger by David LaRochelleSome kids enjoy scary stories before bedtime... but what do ghost kids consider to be a scary story? Find out in the hilarious new picture book by David LaRochelle, The Haunted Hamburger. There are actually three separate stories in the book which father ghost tells to his wide awake ghost kids in an effort to get them to go to sleep. 


The first tale, the Scary Baby, is all about ghostly Uncle Ned who flies about town trying to scare various people without any luck whatsoever. When he finally ends up in the bedroom of the scary baby, the baby’s crying is so awful that he decides to hide in an open drawer - big mistake - as (spoiler alert!) the baby’s mother comes in and mistakes Uncle Ned for a diaper! While this is truly a horrifying thought for the ghost children listening to the tale, human kids will definitely get a kick out of the illustration of poor Uncle Ned turned into a baby’s diaper.


Then there is the title story in which boastful cousin Nell somehow gets defeated by a hamburger in a race, solving math problems, and even in a scary face making contest. The full page illustration of the hamburger’s winning scary face: two green pickle eyes, scary yellow mustard mouth, and ketchup red cheeks is sure to get a laugh from non-ghost kids.


Lastly the tale of the Big Bad Granny... most frightening of all to the ghost children - where ghost Grandma comes up the stairs with a “Thump Thump Thump” to kiss ghost children all over the face with her red lipstick if they don’t go to sleep!

The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman's Daughter coverThe Hangman's Daughter is a murder mystery set in the small Bavarian town of Schongau in 1659, some years after the end of the Thirty Years War, which had devastated almost all of Germany. Martha Stechlin, the town midwife is being accused of witchcraft and murder. The villagers are in a mounting hysteria, and the town council wants a speedy investigation, confession, and execution, before the mob starts an uncontrollable witch-hunt. This would be a repeat of something that had happened fairly recently in Schongau's history.


Jakob Kuisl, the executioner doesn't for a moment believe that Martha is either a murderess or a witch, but unless he can find incontrovertible proof of her innocence, he is soon going to have to inflict a great amount of pain on a woman whom he likes and respects. Helping him in his mission are his daughter, Magadalena, and the town physician, Simon Fronweiser; that is, when they are not too distracted by each other.


The Author, Oliver Pötzsch is a descendant of the Kuisls, a famous Bavarian executioner clan.

Everything Old Is New Again!

poster for the movie John Carter


Tonight there will be lines of Science Fiction Fans waiting outside of movie theatres across the country to be among the first to see John Carter of Mars, Disney's latest film. 



Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote Princess of Mars 95 years ago and tonight it will be translated onto the big screen.  We've got several copies in print here at the library, but I want to encourage you to download the ebook version.  It is available for free on Project Gutenburg.


Artwork from A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs



Why download an ebook version?  Well it is a scanned copy of the original 1917 edition of the book.  It includes some really gorgeous artwork by Frank Schoonover and while we do own one copy of that 1917 edition, you can't check it out.  If you are among the folks waiting in line tonight, you can read the book while you wait.  I know I always prefer to read the book first, then see the movie, don't you?


Check in with us and let us know what you thought of the book and the movie!

Online Book Club - The Butterfly Mosque, Week 2

The Butterfly Mosque coverFor March 2012, our Online Book Club continues by discussing The Butterfly Mosque by Willow Wilson, another featured title of this year's community reading program, Silicon Valley Reads, which focuses on the theme "Muslim and American."  While The Muslim Next Door helped us to better understand the beliefs and practices of Muslim Americans living in the United States, in The Butterfly Mosque the author lets us share her experience as an American whose faith leads her eventually to Cairo, Egypt and a life very different from the one she may have imagined growing up in America.  


Each week, we'll put forth a different question to prompt reflection on the book and its ideas.  We hope you will participate in the discussion by leaving comments below!


For Week 2, we'd like to ask:

What do you make of the fact that Wilson dons a headscarf. What are her reasons? What does the headscarf mean to her?

This week’s question deals with headscarves and what wearing one means to Willow. One thing that Willow mentions in her library visits is that you can ask five different women why they wear a headscarf and get five different answers - and the same person might not always have the same answer. I was raised Episcopalian and when I was young we wore a round lace circle on the top of our heads to attend church. The women wore hats as well. I find the subject of head coverings very interesting and by extension I find that I am generally curious about religions/cultures and the practices surrounding hair covering, shaving, and glorifying that people participate in. Many people practice their beliefs about the head or hair to some extent or another, don’t they?


What do you think? What does the headscarf mean to Willow?


See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and to preview the next weeks' questions


Divergent coverDivergent is set in Chicago in the future.  Society has split into five different factions that all have different beliefs as to what caused the downfall of the world as we know it today. The Candor believes the fault lies with deceitfulness, and believes in always telling the truth, no matter the consequences. The Erudite believes the faults lies with ignorance, and are always striving to be educated. The Amity blames conflict, and always strives to keep the peace. The Dauntless blames cowardice, and always try to be brave. And the Abnegation believes it was selfishness that was to blame, and so they put the needs of other before their own.


Beatrice Pryor has to make a decision that will forever change her life.  Should she stay with her family in her faction and remain a member of the selfless Abnegation, or should she leave behind the lifestyle that she struggles to achieve for something different.  She has always been fascinated with the displays of courage by the Dauntless, but is that the right place for her?


This book is a great read for anyone who enjoys stories like  The Hunger Games or Legend set in a dystopian future.  Read it now before the sequel Insurgent comes out this May.

Youth in Revolt!

Youth in Revolt coverAre you ready for a movie that is so ridiculous it will make you laugh until you cry? Youth in Revolt, an adaptation of the novel by C.D. Payne, is a film following a smart yet impulsive 14 year-old boy as he tries to win the heart of Sheeni, an eccentric girl he meets on a family vacation.  The movie unfolds into a series of unfortunate events as Nick (played by Michael Cera) goes to outrageous lengths to get the attention of this seemingly unattainable love interest, played by Portia Doubleday.  As Nick finds trouble with every turn, we are introduced to his quirky best friend Lefty and his dysfunctional divorced parents.  The colorful characters and gut-busting story make this a great movie to help you relive your past!


And if you loved the movie, you can read the novel it is based on -- Youth In Revolt: the Journals of Nick Twisp by C.D. Payne.  Find it at one of our branch libraries!

Happy 100th birthday, Girl Scouts of America!

This year on March 12, 2012 the Girls Scouts of America will celebrate their 100th birthday. When I learned this, I was a bit surprised. Girls Scouts is so ingrained in my consciousness I was sure they were older than that. I was a Girl Scout when I was young. My cousin Donna was the troop leader, so I guess I figured it was in my blood. I vacillated between hiding from things that were too scary for wimpy me and reaching my dreams of learning new things.


I have to admit that some of the things we did at summer day camp were pretty boring and tedious. How many sit-upons and lumpy bead necklaces does one girl need? But they also took me beyond my expectations: making a campfire, cooking on it, camping outside, hiking in the woods, exploring careers, getting along with all kinds of people, making do with what you have. My strong, wild, creative cousin showed me that a girl can be whatever and whoever she wants to be. So thank you GSA (and Donna!) for helping me to become the strong, not so wild, creative, happy and successful woman I am today. You can do it, too!

Book cover: Here come the Girl Scouts! Book cover: Daisy and the Girl Scouts Book cover: Juliette Gordon Low: the remarkable founder of the Girl Scouts Book cover: First Girl Scout: the life of Juliette Gordon Low

The Garner Files

 Cover of the book The Garner Files with a picture of actor James Garner on the coverI read James Garner's autobiography The Garner Files and decided to give him a call. As in the start of each Rockford Files episode, I got what purported to be his answering machine instead. Here's how it went.

"This is Jim. At the tone, leave your name and message. I'll get back to you. Beep"

"Hey Jim, or may I call you Jimmy? This is Michael Sarhad at San José Library. You don't know me, but I think you owe me, OK? Just finished reading your book. Now I owe $13.50 in library fines. But it's your fault. If you hadn't written such a good book, I wouldn't owe this large of a fine, see? So I think you should pay me back for the fine. After all, I couldn't put your book down until I finished it. Granted, I'm a rather slow reader and I didn't pick it up to read in the first place until it was already overdue, but that's all beside the point. The book is too interesting to read and/or return quickly anyway — an excellent celebrity bio, but without much of the usual sniping at other celebs. You give Garnerphiles many entertaining narratives on your rough childhood, military service, breaking into stage and screen acting, Maverick, Crosby Pro-Am and other golf stories, your movies, auto racing, The Rockford Files, your fights in and out of court, your critically acclaimed later career, and much more. What's really neat are two sections of the book: where your friends write about you mostly humorously, and where you honestly rate and criticize your own movies (you may be your toughest critic). You are known as a straight-shooter who looks out for the little guy, and these qualities shine through in the book. As a little guy myself, I expect that you will look out for me too. So after I pay the fine, you will receive a copy of my $13.50 fine receipt, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope so as not to inconvenience you too much. Please return the payment promptly. Have a wonderful day."

Historical Fiction: Emily's Fortune

Emily's Fortune coverRead Emily's Fortune for an exciting story about eight-year-old Emily, who is left all alone, bereft of any family except for Uncle, Victor, of whom she is afraid and with whom she would never live.  This is her story of how she runs away from Uncle Victor to find her Aunt Hilda, who lives in Redbud.  She meets a fellow traveler, Jackson, who is also alone, and together they travel across the U.S on a hair-raising ride of train and stagecoach to her Aunt Hilda.  I highly recommend this title to children who are assigned historical fiction or California or Western fiction.  The book is for children grades 3 and above.


Peppermints in the Parlor coverAnother favorite historical fiction along the same vein is Barbara Brooks Wallace's Peppermints in the Parlor.  Taking place in San Francisco, Emily, newly orphaned,  finds her aunt and uncle's house on Sugar Hill Hall strangely changed.  All is not well, there is evil lurking around every corner.  This novel will work for either a mystery or a historical fiction novel assignment.  This novel is a little longer than Emily's Fortune and a little more difficult to read, but it is just as suspenseful and fun to read.  Be prepared that the beginning of this story is a little slow as it builds up suspense, but both stories are equally well-written and provide insight to the California West in late 19th century America.  I recommend both.  Peppermints in the Parlor is for children 4th grade and up.

Time to Plan a Sleepover!!

When is the last time you went to a sleepover? Why not plan one today? Sleepovers, also known as pajama parties or slumber parties, are a great inexpensive way to have fun. You don’t need to buy a lot and you don’t need to be a good dancer. Kids often have sleepovers for special occasions like birthdays, but you don’t need a special reason to have a sleepover. Just find a date that works for you and invite a bunch of friends. Have everyone bring pajamas, a toothbrush, a sleeping bag and pillow, and a favorite snack to share.


You can watch movies, bake cookies, give makeovers and play games. Some favorite sleepover games include Truth or Dare and pillow fights. You can play music and talk or play board games (or all three!) until the wee hours. In the summer you can sleep outside under the stars. Here are some books with more great ideas on having a sleepover. You don’t need a reason – it’s always the season for a sleepover!

Book cover: Cool slumber partiesBook cover: Sleepover partyBook cover: Midnight Feast MagicBook cover: My first sleepoverBook cover: Super slumber parties

March is Women's History Month

In 1987, a United States Congressional resolution was passed designating March as Women's History Month. This is a great opportunity to learn about and recognize women who have made a positive impact in the world. In this spirit, a number of San Jose Public Library locations are offering a Women's History Quiz highlighting some of these inspirational women. Anyone 12 years old and older is welcome to pick up a quiz, return it to the library anytime during March, and win prizes including bookmarks, books, and possibly a $20 Target gift certificate. Alviso and Joyce Ellington Branches are among the libraries presenting this program. Check it out at the library!

Hungry for Hunger Games

The Hunger Games book cover Oh no, the book I want isn’t on the shelf. I really wanted to read 'The Hunger Games' but it’s checked out… everywhere!"


Or maybe you finished all three Hunger Games books and are wondering what to read next.


Well the Library has a nifty tool to help. Click on Books and Media at the top of our site. In the section about books, click on What to Read Now (NoveList). Enter your library card number and PIN to enter NoveList. Entering the title "Hunter Games" you come up with a list that includes terrific books from authors such as Scott Westerfeld and Nancy Farmer.


NoveList lets you type in a title, an author, subject or keyword, and then creates a list of similar books for you. You can even refine the list by pace of the story, setting, audience age group and more.


Give it a try when you’re wondering what to read next.

Story time is a big draw for customers of the San Jose Public Library

storyteller and his puppet

In a recent article by Mary Gottschalk published in the web site, story times at the Willow Glen, Rose Garden, Cambrian and Almaden branches were highlighted.  Librarians Lucia Farnham-Hudson, Mary Cage, Nancy Donnell and Ed Koetitz, were interviewed for the article.  In addition to information on the regular story times, a brief history and overview of the Inclusive Story Times was presented.  For a comprehensive listing of Inclusive Story Times offered by the San Jose Public Library, please consult the online calendar of events


At an inclusive story time you will find stories, songs, fingerplays, rhymes and activities that are tailored for our youngest audience with special needs.  To make the story time more accessable, there are also carpet squares, fidget toys, a story time schedule, big books and other visual props designed to engage the child. 


For more information and advice for parents with children who have special needs, Parents Helping Parents is a remarkable resource.  In addition, the Inclusion Collaborative, (part of the Santa Clara County Office of Education), is a valuable resource for parents and teachers alike.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with a Movie

Copyright Free Image of Princess Ka'iulaniPrincess Ka’iulani, starring Q'orianka Kilcher, shows glimpses of the adolescence and early adulthood of Victoria Ka’iulani Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kawēkiu i Lunalilo Cleghorn, the last princess of the Kingdom of Hawaii.   Princess Ka’iulani was daughter of Princess Likelike, from the the House of Kalākaua, and Archibald Scott Cleghorn, a Scottish businessman. 



Votes for Women copyright free imageIron Jawed Angels, starring Hilary Swank as Alice Stokes Paul, Frances O'Connor as Lucy Burns and Anjelica Huston as Carrie Chapman Catt, is about women’s rights activists who worked hard to influence the United States government to grant women the right to vote.  



Mona Lisa Smile DVD coverMona Lisa Smile, starring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles, is about a professor (Julia Roberts) who teaches art history at Wellesley College in the 1950’s.   Although the female college students had more rights than their mothers and grandmothers did, they still lived in a world where women were expected to behave a certain way.


San Jose Public Library has many other movies that you may be interested in.   Come on by, and visit!    Any DVD that you check out from one SJPL location may be returned to any other SJPL location.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Wonder Struck cover

Wonder Struck (AR 4.0, Level 5.4) by Brian Selznick is a beautiful book.  This title follows the story of Ben and Rose.  Ben's story unfolds in words and Rose's story unfolds in pictures.  Both characters are connected by a desire to find people that are missing from their lives.  After the death of Ben's mother, he yearns to find his father.  Ben's mother, Elaine, has told him nothing about his father.  However, after accidentally finding information that may lead to his father, Ben sets out for New York City, where his father last lived.  Will Ben find his long-missing father?


Rose is desperately unhappy living with her father.  She has been creating a scrapbook about the career of a  mysterious actress, Lillian Mayhew.  Feeling that Ms. Mayhew can help her, she sets off for New York City.  What will she find there and how will Ms. Mayhew help her?


Both stories are set apart by fifty years.  However, both characters are similar in that they are both deaf.  What is truly remarkable about both characters is the lack of sadness or anger about their disabilities.  Both courageously go to one of the largest cities in the world, sure of their purpose.  The reader is immediately drawn into both stories because of the remarkably life-like drawings and compelling stories.


Brian Selznick, the Caldecott Medal winner for The Invention of Hugo Cabret (AR 4.0, Level 5.1) once again makes a movie-like book.  Mr. Selznick has said that his interest in this story began when he learned about the new sound technology in 1927, which would affect the deaf community.  Prior to 1927, both hearing and deaf people could enjoy the movies together.  After 1927, deaf people were left out of the experience of enjoying film.

Kids: Get Ready for Spring!

Spring is soon approaching, bringing a variety of intriguing and exciting changes in nature, weather and social activities! Learn more about spring and the many ways to celebrate this season by checking out the following titles:




Kitten's Spring

Kitten's Spring by Eugenie Fernandes

On a bright, beautiful spring day, Kitten takes a stroll around the farmyard, meeting with all sorts of animals and their young including owls, frogs, cows, ducks and much more! 


Spring Surprises



Poppleton in Spring by Cynthia Rylant 

Spring has arrived and it is time for Poppleton to have fun and enjoy the activities that spring offers such as biking, shopping, sleeping in his backyard on a beautiful starry night and more!


Spring Break




The Boxcar Children Spring Break Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Boxcar Children are about to have a spring break that they won't soon forget. They embark on new adventures and solve crimes at various places: at a local shopping mall, on a cruise ship, and in Hawaii. Readers will be intrigued by interesting characters and a gripping plot.






New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox

A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox by Wendy Pfeffer

This multifaceted book contains interesting scientific and cultural facts about the Spring Equinox. Learn how spring is celebrated in various cultures throughout the ages and the world and participate in several fun activities contained in this book.


Are you ready for Spring?



Explore Spring!  by Maxine Anderson

Discover how nature, animals, plants and the climate change during the spring season! This book contains interesting scientific information about these changes that occur in spring.





Spring by Nicola Baxter

Flowers begin to bloom. The days are sunnier and longer. The weather is warmer. What else happens in spring? Read this book to find out!





For more recommendations, please see a youth services librarian at your your library.

January 2012 Science News

atomA Cloak in Time - By altering the speed of light beams, scientists from Cornell University created a hidden pocket in time that maybe used in computer espionage. They took a stream of light and shifted it through a lens, causing some beams to travel faster and other slower. It created so called temporal void and slower light passes trough the second lens undetected.


Space Tourism - Outer space travel becomes a reality! You can sign up on the web site of Virgin Galactics or go to travel a agent. It costs "only" $200,000 a seat. The ride to space will take three days that include training at Spaceport America in La Cruces, N.M. The flight will not orbit the Earth, but will take you up and down as on a giant roller coaster. A carrier airplane with the SpaceShipTwo rocket ship slung underneath will take off the runaway and fly to 50,000 feet, where the rocket ship will be launched.


Race to Moon - Moon Express is among 26 teams who compete to win $30 million Google Lunar X Prize and to land a private robotic spacecraft on the moon. "The company is building a railway system out to the moon", said Richards, the CEO of Moon Express. Moon Express CSB Lander is getting built in a hanger at NASA's Ames Research Center and will carry the first privately financed telescope.

Dust Off Those Hiking Boots

cover image of 101 Great HikesPeriodically we have to remind ourselves, as denizens of this part of the world, that we live in a region brimming with natural beauty. What better way is there to appreciate the natural world than to take a stroll through the majesty of our parks and open space preserves here in Northern California and, in fact, the Greater Bay Area in general.


For my money, springtime in the Bay Area is the best time of the year for hiking the variety of beautiful trails, regions, and biospheres that we're lucky to have access to on a regular basis 'round these here parts. The hills are verdant and green, the waterfalls and creeks are as full as they're gonna get, and wildflowers rule the grassy regions unlike any other time of the year. That being said, get yourself ready for those planned outings on your "must-do" list or the spontaneous opportunities that exist with a book like 101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area. There are plenty of other books to guide you if you need help, but the important part is to just get out there and breathe the cool air of hiking freedom.


A couple of my favorite local hikes: Sunol Loop in the Sunol Regional Wilderness & the Old Landing Cove Trail at Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz.

New Online Resource: Value Line

Value Line logo image


We are very excited to announce that we now have Value Line available for free online access with your SJPL library card.  I know that many folks have been waiting for this resource to be available online and it has arrived! Value Line is a great research resource for investors.  In addition to researching and screening investments, you can read expert analysis and commentary on stocks, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles.  Happy investing!

New's Year Resolution Phase II

Just the Rules cover How's your New Year's resolution going? If your resolution was to lose weigh, have you thrown in the towel yet? Well, I say don't, we are all a work in progress and you can't lose your 30, 40, 50 pounds in a couple of months. You definitely have to make some life choices. One life choice is to eat clean. Eating whole grains, eating organic when you can, and just eating the things that you can pronounce. Yes, that's basically not eating the processed stuffed. This book will get you on the right track.


 "Just the Rules!" is an excellent resource to get you started on your eating clean process.

Finding It Again: The Truth About Love After 40

Finding It Again book coverAlthough categorized as non-fiction, Finding It Again reads like fiction.  It is designed for both the busy person and the not-so-busy person.  What do I mean by that?


For the busy person:  the book is divided into three parts, then each part is divided into three to seven chapters, therefore, if one doesn't have time, one can stop the reading after one chapter, next time, when one will have time to go back to the book, one can continue the reading without feeling any interruption of thoughts.  It's the very same technique that children authors use to write chapter books for children.


For the not-so-busy person:  it's a page turner, so you can finish it within one to three hours, depending on how fast you read it, how much thought you put into the authors' words, and how many interruptions you get in your daily life.


From story to story, from Naomi to Erin, to a stranger on the Internet, to Ellen, to Jordan, to Bonnie, the author has taken the reader onto a journey-his journey- to experience what it was like to look for love after 40, and after being divorced at 41 after 17 years of marriage.  I became submerged under the author's words and these women's stories.  Tears came to my eyes with Jordan's story.  Admiration invaded my spirit in Bonnie's story.


The author is Kenn Shapiro.  The book is not just a diary of his post-40 single life; it is also a reflection of multiple women's lives.


The reader will be delighted to learn that the author is a lawyer, a father, that he involved himself in community services and community service conferences, and that he's even been in the chocolate business.


You can also read his biography here at one of San Jose Public Library's databases, the Literary Reference Center: 



Please remember to log in to your SJPL library account in order to view the above link


(if you are accessing the link remotely, outside of the SJPL building).




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