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Gabriel García Márquez: March 26 1927 - April 17 2014

Gabriel Garcia MarquezColombian literary giant Gabriel García Márquez passed away last week at the age of 87. He was one of the world's best known and most critically acclaimed practitioners of magic realism, a literary style that weaves magical, fantastical elements into stories set in the ordinary real world. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda called Má rquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude "perhaps the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since Don Quixote of Cervantes." Má rquez  received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.


Browse the SJPL catalog for works by and about Gabriel García Márquez. a

Celebrate National Library Week: April 13 – April 19

National Library Week with Honorary Chair Judy Blume: April 13 - 19 2014Every April since 1958, National Library Week has been celebrated in the United States. 2014’s Honorary Chair is the one of the best loved children’s authors of all time.

Judy Blume is an ideal spokesperson for libraries. Not only have her books helped instill a love of reading in generations of children, she has also helped them cope with some of the more awkward stages of growing up, with classics such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t. The New York Public Library lists her Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing as one of the 100 Great Children’s Books of the last 100 years.

Libraries are Judy Blume’s friends as much as she is theirs. Four decades’ worth of attempts to pull her books off the shelves have consistently placed her on the American Library Association’s list of Most Frequently Challenged Authors. Libraries, recognizing not only the educational and social value of Blume’s books, but that kids love them, continue to make sure kids get to read them.

Judy Blume has written about her own thoughts on censorship on her official Web site. There, she quotes a letter from a young reader:

"Dear Judy,
I don't know where I stand in the world. I don't know who I am.
That's why I read, to find myself.
Elizabeth, age 13"


How could anyone of any age put it any better?

There are lots of different ways to celebrate National Library Week, but perhaps one of the best is to check out a Judy Blume book.

Recommend Your Favorite Recent Novel for the International IMPAC Dublin Award

During April you have the opportunity to nominate your favorite novel for an international literary award.


Each year, San Jose Public Library, along with other major libraries from around the world each nominates novels written or translated in English for the International IMPAC Dublin Award.


The book must be a novel, published in English between January 1 and December 31, 2013 or an English translation of a book originally published between 2008-2013.


From the long list of recommended books, a short list of 10 books is chosen by a jury of authors. From this list of finalists a winner is chosen and announced the following June. You can see the long list for the 2014 Dublin Impac award here. The short list will be available next week.


For more information on the IMPAC Dublin award:


Post your recommendations below no later than May 2nd.

March 2014: Top 10 Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction Checkouts

It's that time again for the monthly check on what the community's reading! Here's a selection from the top titles for November. Here's the previous lists for January and February. Enjoy!


Top Fiction

  1. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hr Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  2. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
  3. Inferno by Dan Brown
  4. Fables by Bill Willingham
  5. Hou gong : Zhen Huan Zhuan by Zhu Liulianzi
  6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  7. And The Mountains Echoed by Hosseini Khaled
  8. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
  9. Never Go Back by Lee Child
  10. King & Maxwell by David Baldacci

Top Non-Fiction

  1. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
  2. Lao Fuzi by Ze Wang
  3. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  4. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles
  6. Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  8. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
  9. What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
  10. Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield

Captain America: Man Out of Time coverWhen Captain America throws his mighty shield

All those who choose to oppose his shield must yield!


Get ready for Marvel's newest movie, Captain America : The Winter Solider! Relive the Captain's origin story with Captain America: The First Avenger and his current life in The Avengers to best prepare for his newest film.  


For a great in-depth look, Captain America: Man Out of Time is one of the best character studies of Steve Rogers. We see a man coming to terms with being a symbol to millions, yet who is still just one man. This isn't just the origin story, it's the story of how one man realized that he couldn't go home again, but that his place was now here. Its sad, but ultimately optimistic. For everything you lose, you gain something else.


Think you know the story of Cap and Bucky's origins? Well, think again. The secret story of the early days of Captain America is revealed here, in Captain America & Bucky. The life story of Bucky Barnes, told from Bucky Barnes' point of view. What was Cap and Bucky's first mission together? What was the tragedy that happened on it that changed everything about who Bucky was? And what is the secret that connects the Cap and Bucky series to Cap's modern day stories?


Civil War: Avengers cover

In Civil War: Avengers, ours heroes are split over the proposal of the Superhuman Registration Act, a bill that would force all heroes to disclose their identities to the government and become agents of the United States. The pro-registration is led by Iron Man, while Captain America creates a renegade squad focused on stopping the passage of the law.  Civil War shows off Steve Rogers as a hero who aims to preserve America’s ideals, even if that means fighting the American government to do so.


If you're looking to find ways to share the righteousness of Captain America with your child or younger sibling, check out the picture book, Captain American Joins the Mighty Avengers. Those who are able to read simple chapter books on their own can enjoy Marvel Adventures : Captain America

Done with Divergent? Satisfied Your Appetite for Hunger Games?

Dystopian Teen Fiction Just For You!

Cover for DivergentCover for The Hunger GamesCover for Catching FireCover for City of Bones


After reading and watching the latest teen book-to-movie success you might be feeling a little unsure about what lies in store for your future. Your reading future that is.


Well fear not! Here's a list of books that you'll be sure to enjoy. Whether it's the plot, characters or dystopian setting that you loved most, you'll get a kick out of comparing it all between these books and your favorite teen novel/movie.



Some of My Favorites:

Cover for MatchedIn Divergent you are matched with factions, in Matched, you are paired with another person. See how it all plays out in Matched by Ally Condie, where society is tightly controlled by its government.




Cover for the TestingThe Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

In this post-war barren landscape, those who are allowed to participate in rebuilding the society are those that pass "the test" and make it into the elite university.




Cover for Starters

Like more Sci-Fi? Try Starters by Lissa Price. In this post-war society where money is tight, you can rent your body to other people. Giving up control of your own body through a neurochip in your brain sounds harmless enough, until someone with evil plans rents Callie's body. Will she be able to regain control and stop the crime before it happens?



Cover for EnclaveEnclave by Ann Aguirre

What if your only worldview was from living below the surface of the earth? What if you had never seen daylight before? Then you might be living in Ann Aguirre's post-apocalyptic society in an enclave underground, presumably in what used to be the sewer. The elders keep a strict order on the underground society and claim it is what keeps everyone safe and surviving. When Deuce, a huntress, and her partner go out on a mission and find that a neighboring enclave has been decimated, she begins to question the wisdom of the elders. Find out what adventure awaits Deuce when she gets kicked out of the enclave and must survive "topside" with her partner Fade.



Cover for FeedIf you think we live in a technology-dependent society, just imagine if smartphone-like technology was implanted directly into your brain and delivered a constant supply of information every waking moment! Who controls your "feed" and what happens when you begin to reject it, or it rejects you? Find out in Feed by M.T. Anderson!



Cover for LegendLegend by Marie Lu

Two prodigies--both equally smart--born into very different layers of society. What happens when one is trained to hunt and find the other, who is considered an enemy of the state? What these characters recognize about each other and about themselves is really what drives the story in this military government controlled society.




More To Try:

   Cover for VariantCover for Blood REd RoadCover for the Bar Code TattooCover for Under the Never SkyCover for DeliriumCover for GracelingCover for Life as We Knew ItCover for the Age of MiraclesCover for After the SnowCover for Monument 14Cover for SafekeepingCover for Shatter me  



Which one do you think will hit the big screen first?

The Internet: Friend or Foe?

Unlike previous generations, many of us spend a good deal of our working and recreational lives "plugged in" to the Internet – whether through a computer, tablet, smart phone, or some other electronic device. The benefits of the Internet seem so obvious that its value tends to be taken for granted. Thanks to the Internet, our access to information, social interaction, and entertainment has never been greater or more immediate. But what if there’s a cost to all that time we spend "plugged in"?


The Internet is unique in the history of mankind. It provides multiple, simultaneously streaming channels of information, with more streams of information just a click away. Is it possible that access to all this attention-fragmenting information has negative consequences for the human mind? Internet critics such as Nicholas Carr say "yes." Carr argues that the almost unlimited possibilities for distraction available through the Internet have adverse effects on memory, learning, and even our humanity.  Internet defenders disagree. They argue that the Internet is either a neutral tool that has benefits and costs depending on how it is used or a positive influence on individuals, culture, and/or society.


Who’s right? The San José Public Library can help answer that question. In his book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, accomplished writer and thinker Nicholas Carr presents persuasive evidence for the problematic consequences of the Internet. Check out these other books on the individual and social consequences of the Internet and explore this important issue for yourself!

cover image of Alone Together cover image of Cult of the Amateur cover image of Dumbest Generation cover image of Smarter than you Think

The Muppets!

The Muppets book coverIt's time to play the music

It's time to light the lights

It's time to meet the Muppets

In their new movie tonight!


This week, Muppets Most Wanted will be hitting theaters Friday, March 21st! Relive the Muppet magic with their new and classic films. Get ready for the sequel by enjoying The Muppets again! This film follows three muppet fans, including the new muppet Walter, as they try to reunite the broken up Muppets before their historical theater is demolished.


For a trip down memory lane, don't forget The Muppet Movie, which follows Kermit and his dreams of show business. There's also the delightful double feature, Muppet Treasure Island and The Great Muppet Caper, packed with adventure, pirates, theft, conspiracy and Tim Curry. For even more Muppet madness, check out their other movies here!


Frogs are Funny! book cover

Did you know that Miss Piggy was raised on a farm and has two nephews named Randy and Andy? Or that Gonzo's girlfriend, Camilla the Chicken, can be identified by the color of her eyes, they're blue! From Kermit the Frog, to Animal and Fozzie Bear, the gang's all here! Find out more fun facts about your favorite characters with The Muppets Character Encyclopedia.


For some more Muppet fun, check out Frogs Are Funny! : The Most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational, Muppetational Muppets Joke Book Ever!


If you're looking for some history and the creation of these iconic characters, check out Of Muppets & Men : The Making of the Muppet Show and The Art of the Muppets : A Retrospective Look at Twenty-Five Years of Muppet Magic.

Cat Cozies

Picture of cat and bookCozy mysteries are a subgenre of mystery novels. In contrast to hardboiled mysteries that have urban settings and feature professional private detectives, cozies are often set in small suburban or rural communities and feature amateurs sleuths (they may make their living as a journalist, shopkeeper, librarian, etc.).   Cozies avoid graphic depictions of sex and violence, and the murder that pivots the plot usually takes place "off-stage."

A popular "sub-subgenre" of the cozy is the cat cozy. Our heroes and heroines have companions who bring a feline perspective to the puzzles that need solving. Here are just a few cat cozy series you will find at San Jose Public Library:

The Cat Who. . .
Author: Lillian Jackson Braun (I think it’s safe to consider her the mother of the “cat cozy”).
Setting: Moose County, “400 miles north of everywhere.”
Human:  Jim Qwilleran, a divorced newspaper reporter.
Cats:  Koko and Yum-Yum, both Siamese. Koko is Qwilleran’s male cat. In the second books of the series, The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Qwilleran adopts Yum-Yum in part so she can keep Koko company.

Mrs. Murphy
Co-authors: Rita Mae Brown (human) and Sneaky Pie Brown (cat).
Setting: Crozet, Virginia (an actual place, population about 5500).
Human: Mary Minor Haristeen, a divorced postmistress.
Cat:  Mrs. Murphy, a tabby cat. The family also includes Pewter, a grey kitty, and Tucker, a Corgi.

Cat in the Stacks
Author: Miranda James (pen name for Dean James).
Setting: Athena, Mississippi (not an actual place).
Human: Charlie Harris, a widowed librarian.
Cat: Diesel, a 36-pound Maine Coon (that’s one huge cat; you can forgive characters when they mistake him for a cougar!).

Midnight Louie
Author:  Carole Nelson Douglas
Setting: Las Vegas. A rare city setting for a cat cozy series.
Human: Temple Barr, a betrothed public relations freelancer. Some chapters are told from her point of view.
Cat:  Midnight Louie is a 20-pound black cat. Some chapters are told from his point of view.

This is only scratching (get it?) the surface. Browse the catalog for even more cat cozy mysteries.

Books That Will Make You Cry

Allegiant coverAllegiant by Veronica Roth: From the author who brought you Divergent and Insurgent, Veronica Roth concludes her thrilling trilogy with Allegiant. In Allegiant, our heroes, Tris and Tobias, are trying to figure out what will happen to their society when the Factionless rise to power and when rules will be broken. Secrets will be uncovered, borders will be crossed, and the death of a friend will leave you in tears. The characters you first met in Divergent are not the same characters you’ll meet in Allegiant. They have experienced pain, torture, and loss. You don’t want to miss this epic conclusion.







Tiger Lily cover

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson:

There are many, many, versions of Peter Pan and his clan of Lost Boys; however, Tiger Lily is a novel narrated by [a modern] Tinker bell. Tiger Lily meets Peter in the Forbidden woods and they form an unbreakable bond each other. The only problem about their relationship is that it might not survive. To make their situation even more complicated, Tiger Lily is betrothed to another man and the arrival of Wendy Darling threatens the bond Tiger Lily and Peter have forged. Will love conquer all or will it destroy relationships, find out in Tiger Lily.





Thirteen Reasons Why coverThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher:

In Thirteen Reasons Why, Clay Jensen finds a box with his name on it when he comes home from school. He finds thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker. Hannah committed suicide; and on these thirteen tapes are the thirteen reasons why she decided to take her life. Not only is this a book you won't put down but a book that will shock you in the end! Each chapter will leave you in tears and wanting more! Thirteen Reason's Why is a must read!