Staff Picks - Books

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Happy National Coffee Day!

What is the perfect accompaniment to a good book? A good cup of coffee. Celebrate National Coffee Day with a book at the library today. 












  1. The Coffee Trader by David Liss (Fiction Liss) In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, Miguel Lienzo, a Portuguese-Jewish trader desperate to recover his lost fortune, enters into a partnership with seductive Geertruid Damhouder to introduce coffee to the city, and confronts a ruthless adversary.
  2. Coffee Cozies (746.4304 Coffee) A collection of fun and fabulous coffee cozies. It includes 30 projects that cover various knitting techniques, including intarsia and 3D embellishments, and also present a number of crochet techniques and a delightful felted cozy.
  3. God In a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for a Perfect Cup of Coffee by Michaele Weissman (641.3373 Weissman) In God in a Cup, journalist and late-blooming adventurer Michaele Weissman treks into an exotic and paradoxical realm of specialty coffee where the successful traveler must be part passionate coffee connoisseur, part ambitious entrepreneur, part activist, and part Indiana Jones. 
  4. Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce and Culture by Taylor Clark (337.1737 Clark) Starbucked will be the first book to explore the incredible rise of the Starbucks Corporation and the caffeine-crazy culture that fueled its success.




Posted by Nari Ferderer on Sep 29, 2014 | Comments: 0 |

Friends of the East San José Carnegie Library Book Sale! ~ ¡Venta de Libros!

Book Sale PictureThe Friends of the East San José Carnegie Library invites everyone to a book sale occurring on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm in the Community Room of the East San José Carnegie Branch Library (1102 E. Santa Clara St., San José, CA 95116).


This is a great opportunity to show your support to your library by purchasing donated and gently used books and media items such as:


  • Books for children, teens and adultos
  • Books in Spanish, English and other languages
  • Movies - DVDs or Videocassettes (VHS)
  • Music CDs

Proceeds from this booksale event will go to help support programs that take place at the East San José Carnegie Library Branch, including special performances such as Latin American Guitar with Jaime Ponce.


We encourage eveyone to be green by bringing their own reusable bags for purchases made at this book sale.


For more information or to volunteer at this book sale, please contact the East San José Carnegie Library by phone at 1-408-808-3075, by e-mail at or by e-mailing Margaret Fitch, President of the East San José Carnegie Friends group at


Los Amigos de la Biblioteca East San José Carnegie invitan a todos a la venta de libros el sábado, 20 de septiembre 2014 desde 10:00 am hasta 2:00 pm en la sala comunitaria de la Biblioteca East San José Carnegie (1102 E. Santa Clara St., San José, CA 95116).


Éste es una buena oportunidad para apoyar a su Biblioteca East San José Carnegie comprando libros y otros artículos donados y levemente usados como:


  • Libros para niños, jóvenes y adultos
  • Libros en español, inglés o en otros idiomas
  • Películas en DVD o en video (VHS)
  • Música en CD

Los fondos recaudados son para apoyar los programas especiales que toman lugar en la Biblioteca East San José Carnegie, incluyendo Guitarra Latinoamericana con Jaime Ponce.


Para evitar la contaminación ambiental,  le recomendamos a todos que traigan sus propias bolsas para llevar sus compras.


Para más información o para ser un voluntario de este evento, por favor comunicarse a la Biblioteca East San José Carnegie al teléfono 1-408-808-3075, por correo electrónico al o con la Sra. Margaret Fitch, Presidente de los Amigos de la Biblioteca East San José Carnegie Library al correo electrónico al

Collaborative Fiction

Will Grayson, Will Grayson book cover

In 2010, acclaimed young adult novelists John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) and David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy) worked together to produce the novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson. The story is about two teenage boys with the same name. Green wrote the odd-numbered chapters featuring one Will Grayson and Levithan wrote the even-numbered chapters featuring the other one. The only thing the two writers agreed upon in advance is that the two Wills would meet at some point in the novel, and the meeting would have a huge impact on both lives.

I was wondering how often two authors come together like this to produce one work of fiction. It seems to be rather rare, but it's possible to find other examples. David Levithan himself collaborated with Rachel Cohn to create Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

Other interesting examples of collaborative fiction are:


House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini.
The famous director Chris Columbus said he was inspired to write this children's book after seeing the success of the Harry Potter series (he directed the first two Harry Potter films). He enlisted the help of acclaimed novelist Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story). Columbus and Vizzini e-mailed each other (from Italy and Los Angeles, respectively) until they had a finished book.


Blue Monday by Nicci French.
This mystery thriller is actually the work of a husband and wife team, Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. It's the first in a popular series featuring London psychotherapist Frieda Klein


Candle's Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell.
King (author of books such as The Trap and Stephen King's wife) finished this book her friend Michael McDowell started, after he died of an AIDS-related illness in 1999.


Alexander Dumas's classic novels such as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo are also examples of collaborative fiction. The author Auguste Maquet would outline the plot and characters and Dumas fleshed out the story.

DC Comics: The New 52

Wo Woman Vol. 1: Blood

For years Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, has kept the truth of Diana's

existance and the identity of her father a secret. Once the secret is out, Diana isn't the only one surprised by this revelation, but so are the Greek Gods. Some embrace their newfound relative; however, some are infuriated and seek vengence. Will Wonder Woman survive this new ordeal? Or will her family be the death of her?

Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology

For weeks children have been stolen from their homes and hidden from their families. Nobody knows where they have gone or what will happen to them. Kate Kane, also known as Batwoman, is trying to figure out what has happend to them; however, how can she investigate when a government agency is hunting her down? Evil is definitely stirring up in Gotham, but will Kate decide to face her enemies or retire from being Batwoman?


Birds of Prey Vol. 1: Trouble in Mind

Black Canary and Starling are both on the run. One is blamed for a murder she didn't commit and the other is running be she knows too much. But despite the circumstances, they join Poison Ivy and Batgirl to fight villans as Gotham's new covert ops team: The Birds of Prey.

War Comes Home - ebooks

soldiersThis month's War Comes Home program honors our military veterans with film, art, discussion and, of course, reading.  You can find the featured book, What it is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes in ebook format along with other ebooks related to veterans in the Staff Picks section of our Axis 360 ebook collection.

Academic Support for School Age Children ~ Apoyo académico para niños de edad escolar
















In collaboration with Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch Library and Washington Elementary School, the Collaborative Community Program (CCP) will offer two programs this school year to assist school age children (grades Kindergarten – 5th) in obtaining academic success.

This year the Collaborative Community Program will be providing their Mentor Program to school age children two days a week, starting September 8th.


On Mondays, they will offer academic/homework assistance in reading and mathematics for children  from Kindergarten through 3rd grade at the Washington Elementary School, Room D2 from 2:30pm – 4:00pm. To sign-up for this, please come the Washington Elementary School on Monday, Sept. 8th at 2:30pm.


On Thursdays, for children from Kindergarten through 5th grade, they will provide a project-based mentoring and literacy at the Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch Library in the Community Room from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. Please come to the Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch Library – Community Room on Thursday, Sept. 11th at 3:30pm to sign up for this program.


For more information on program, please contact Collaborative Community Program by phone at 1-408-634-2125, by email at or on Facebook at



En colaboración con la Biblioteca Latinoamericana y el Escuela Primaria Washington, el Programa Comunitario de Colaboración (CCP) ofrecerá este año escolar dos programas para ayuda a los niños de Kinder hasta el 5° grado para obtener éxito académico.


Este año, el Programa Comunitario de Colaboración (CCP) va proveerá su Programa de Mentores a los niños de edad escolar dos días a la semana, empiezando el 8 de septiembre.


En los lunes, CCP ofrecerá a los niños de Kinder hasta 3° grado  asistencia con la tarea, lectura y matématicas en la Escuela Primaria Washington, el sálon número D2 de 2:30 p.m. hasta 4:00 p.m. Para inscribirse, por favor vengan en persona al la Escuela Primaria Washington el lunes, 8 de septiembre a las 2:30 p.m.


En los jueves para los niños de Kinder hasta 5° grado, CCP va ofrecer aprendizaje basado en proyectos y lectura en la Biblioteca Latinoamericana, sálon comunitario de 3:30 p.m. hasta las 5:00 p.m. Por favor inscribirse en persona en la Biblioteca Latinoamericana, sálon comunitario el jueves, 11 de septiembre a las 3:30 p.m.


Para más información sobre este programa, por favor contacte el Programa Comunitario de Colabaración por teléfono al 1-408-634-2125, por correo electrónico o por Facebook al

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

Stan Lee Promotes Library Card Sign-Up Month2014’s Honorary Chair for Library Card Sign-Up Month is the legendary Stan Lee, co-creator of Spiderman, the Hulk, X-men and many more famed comic book characters. At this year's American Library Association conference, Stan Lee said, “Reading is very good, and you can quote me!” Thanks for the permission, Stan!

If you don’t already have a San Jose Public Library card, you can find out how to get one here. All residents of California of all ages are eligible for an SJPL card. If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must accompany you to the library, present photo identification and agree to the borrowing rules.

A SJPL library card allows you to check out library materials and use the library’s computers, but that’s just the beginning. You can also use it to access online research resources, reserve study rooms and download e-books. Your library card will also get you discounts at San Jose’s Tech Museum and Camera Cinemas. For even more about the benefits of a SJPL library card, read “What Your Library Card Gets You.”


The American Library Association is sponsoring a contest for Library Card Sign-up month. Use social media to share why you value your library card for a chance to win a subscription to Marvel Unlimited or other comic book-themed prizes. Details are here

August 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 August. Here are the previous lists for June and July. Enjoy!


Top Fiction

  1. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hr Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  2. Inferno by Dan Brown
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  4. And The Mountains Echoed by Hosseini Khaled
  5. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
  6. W Is For Wasted by Sue Grafton
  7. Sycamore Row by John Grisham
  8. King & Maxwell by David Baldacci
  9. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
  10. Never Go Back by Lee Child

Top Non-Fiction

  1. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
  2. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  4. Lao Fuzi by Ze Wang
  5. What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles
  6. Mythology by Edith Hamilton
  7. Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
  8. Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  9. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis
  10. Zealot by Reza Aslan

The Origins of Labor Day

With Labor Day fast approaching that means the end of summer is near. First nationally recognized in 1894, Labor Day celebrates the working class and the American labor movement. The following books delve into the history and conditions that led to this holiday:



From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend cover

From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: a Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States by Priscilla Murolo and A.B. Chitty

The first comprehensive look at American history through the prism of working people. From indentured servants and slaves in the seventeenth-century Chesapeake to high-tech workers in contemporary Silicon Valley, the book "puts a human face on the people, places, events, and social conditions that have shaped the evolution of organized labor."



The Jungle cover

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle centers on Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant working in Chicago’s infamous Packingtown. Instead of finding the American Dream, Rudkus and his family inhabit a brutal, soul-crushing urban jungle dominated by greedy bosses, pitiless con-men, and corrupt politicians.

While Sinclair’s main target was the industry’s appalling labor conditions, the reading public was most outraged by the disgusting filth and contamination in American food that his novel exposed. As a result, President Theodore Roosevelt demanded an official investigation, which quickly led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug laws. For a work of fiction to have such an impact outside its literary context is extremely rare.


American Labor cover

American Labor: a Documentary Collection, edited by Melvyn Dubofsky and Joseph A. McCartin

This comprehensive compilation of documents integrates institutional labor history (movements and trade unions) with aspects of social and cultural history. It charts changes in trade union and managerial practices and integrates the economics and politics of labor history.





The Fall of the House of Labor cover The Fall of the House of Labor: the Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism, 1865-1925 by David Montgomery

By studying the ways in which American industrial workers mobilized concerted action in their own interest, the author focuses on the workplace itself, examining the codes of conduct developed by different types of workers and the connections between their activity at work and their national origins and neighborhood life.

Posted by Olin Laster on Aug 30, 2014 | Comments: 0 |

Read it Before You See it!

There are many movies coming out in this half of 2014 that were books before they were movies. Check out these 5 reads before the movie hits the theatres this fall so you can say you’ve “read your favorite movie” this fall.


WildUnbrokenDark PlacesMocking Jay Book JacketBook Jacket


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again. The movie features Reese Witherspoon as the lead character; the movie is scheduled to hit theatres December 5, 2014. Check out the trailer here.  


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared--Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor.  The film adaptation, directed by Angelina Jolie, is slated to be released on December 25, 2014. View the trailer here.


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

After witnessing the murder of her mother and sisters, seven-year-old Libby Day testifies against her brother Ben, but twenty-five years later she tries to profit from her tragic history and admit that her story might not have been accurate.   This chilling movie is set to be released on November 14, 2014 staring Charlize Theron, check out the trailer here.

Also by Gillian Flynn is another chilling novel: Gone Girl, the movie starring Ben Affleck is to be released on October 3, 2014, see a trailer here.


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen's having survived the Hunger games twice makes her a target of the Capitol and President Snow, as well as a hero to the rebels. She must accept responsibility for countless lives in order to change the course of the future of Panem. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. Read the last book in this trilogy before November 21, 2014 to see part one of this two part film.


This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trooper

Siblings who spend more time quarreling than together reluctantly agree to their dying father's request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together in the same house. Like a family. See the film adaptation September 19, 2014 – starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, watch the trailer here.