- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
Everyday life brings lots of puzzles to solve. It is good to start preparing to face them from an early age.
San José Public Library has several good logical puzzles books for kids and adults.
One of them is Super-colossal Book of Puzzles, Tricks and Games. It contains hundreds of activities such as optical illusions, card tricks and psychological games.
Everything Kids' Riddles and Brain Teasers Book has hours of challenging fun for kids.
The Brain Explorer: Puzzles, Riddles, and Other Mental Adventures includes a collection of puzzles and activities dealing with math, memory and visual perception.
Try them all!
Also do not forget to bring your children ages K-6 to our next Math Club that will be held on February 12 in the King Library Children's Room.
The Tale of Hill Top Farm is the first book of the series and The Tale of Oat Cake Crag is the last one chronologically, 1905-1912. More books in the series are still being written. The series covers the time period between the death of her fiancée and publisher of her books, Norman Warne (who died a month after their engagement), and her eventual marriage to William Heelis in 1913. The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter is a magical blend of biography (of Beatrix Potter), talking village and farm animals and their lives (natural science), fairies and dragons (fantasy), all wrapped up in mysteries to solve. The animals usually know “who-did-it” before the villagers do and usually try to communicate the complete story to the villagers who only hear barks, meows, squeaks, moos or quacks. For a fun entertaining multi-faceted read, rush to the mystery fiction book shelf for The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert.
With the holidays just behind us and an new year just begun, I’ve been reflecting on the ways this season can be so wonderful for some and so difficult for others. At a time when many try to focus on family, love and goodwill to man – the absence of the same can be especially painful. And the very nature of “joy” which should be such a simple thing can be elusive.
In response to these thoughts I’ve been reminded of a book recommended some years ago by someone very special to me. A man with a philosopher’s mind and a special talent for experiencing happiness every day – in both good and bad times.
The book is A Guide to The Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine.
And yes, as the title suggests, the book is an exploration of the teachings of the ancient stoic philosophers such as Marcus Aurelias and Epictetus and how the stoic lifestyle can lead to a good – perhaps even great – life. Of course today when you think of someone being stoic, you might imagine a humorless, dour person without emotion, but the real stoics of the past were far from this. In fact, what the stoics actually believed and tried to practice in their daily lives included ideas such as – there is nothing wrong with enjoying the good things in life (including luxuries) so long as we are able to give them up without regret if our circumstances should change – and how to achieve this “goal” if you will, through practical techniques such as negative visualization, which is to practice visualizing how your current life could be worse. This also helps us to learn to appreciate what we already have today. There are many other ideas and practical techniques put forth by this insightful book that could change the way you live your life or at least some of your attitudes about control, duty, social relations, grief, anger, and more.
Sitting alone at Starbucks with my green tea frap because Christophers train is late! The one time I don't bring something to read of course!
She posted this using her iPhone!
I responded immediately that if she's got an iPhone she should have an ereader app on there! I have 3 on my iPhone and the next time I saw her I gave her this show and tell...
OverDrive Media Console- Overdrive has a collection of ebooks and audiobooks available for download using your San Jose Public Library Card. This app allows you to search and download titles in the library's collection and then read them. You must also have an Adobe account - which is free to sign up for - in order to read the ebooks. Once all those pieces are in place, take a browse through our collection of fiction and non-fiction titles. Something is bound to please!
Stanza - this free app allows you to read books from Project Gutenberg. If you were not aware, for over two decades, volunteers have been digitizing books that are in the public domain into text files which are then put on the web and are available for download - FOR FREE! All those classics like The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Moby Dick - even the Beatrix Potter books are available on Project Gutenberg. Just browse the catalog of titles using Stanza, hit the download button and less than a minute later, you're reading!
Kindle for iPhone - this app is free, but most books are not. As with Barnes & Noble, they do have some free titles for download - either limited time promotions or classics. The interface is very easy to use and you can download the first chapter of many of the books for free. A kind of try before you buy sort of thing.
So, get cracking on loading those free apps to get your reading done on your iPhone! You'll never be bored in a Starbucks waiting for your boyfriend with nothing to read again!
Outer Beauty, Inner Joy: Contemplating the Soul of the Renaissance by Julianne Davidow caught my eye when I was recently browsing the new book shelves. Sumptious photographs of sculpture, painting, drawings-- are matched with quotations by contemporary scholars, illustrating the philosophy and spiritual traditions that inspired works of Renaissance art.
This is a book to ponder over, slowly a feast for the eye, a source of spiritual renewal for the mind. Listen to podcasts and read transcripts of interviews at the author's website.
Molly Allgood is dying. Joseph O'Connor's new novel Ghost Light follows her through her almost-last day -- a bitter one in war-exhausted 1952 London -- as the aged Irish actress rises, considers how she may get enough food to get her through the day, and enough booze to make her want to -- until her role that evening in a BBC radio play taken from one of the works of her late lover the playwright J.M. Synge.
As Molly makes her way from one small victory or defeat to the next, she reminisces about Synge and his colleagues Lady Gregory and William Butler Yeats, the demigods of the Abbey Theatre in Edwardian Dublin. That is all that happens.
But O'Connor is a word-weaver of a high order. This sad, simple story is told in sentences that are lush and sprightly, and his ability to give voice -- more properly, voices to Molly -- as a prim teenager, a salty-tongued ingenue, and a grande dame of the theater, is a tour de force.
Allgood was real, and she did have a relationship with Synge. Her sister Sara was a well-known Hollywood character actress. But O'Connor has not written a historical novel. In British theater, a single bare bulb is left burning onstage overnight so that the theater's ghosts may perform their own plays. O'Connor's tale is Molly's own theater of ghosts, performing with her one last time before she goes to join them.
Book lovers in Dublin, Ireland, are reading Joseph O'Connor's Ghost Light as their One City/One Book pick for 2011. Ghost Light is a story of theater and romance set in post-World War II London and has received rave reviews since its publication in Ireland. It comes out in the United States next week, and we've pre-ordered 38 copies, so place your hold now!
A special treat for Bay Area readers: the author will do a reading and signing at Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera on Thursday, February 17 at 7pm.
A whole city reading one book - sound like fun? San José does this too - join us for Silicon Valley Reads 2011!
Justin Somper has created a series of books that sails by night on the high seas. Twin siblings, Grace and Connor, are each on different ships after being lost at sea. Each have their own adventures, learning the ways of piracy, and discovering secrets about their own family. Sail along with them….if you dare.
These are listed as juvenile but are more appropriate for 5th grade and up.
Robert Balmanno’s, September Snow, is first in a series of four books that are either published or in the process of being written. It is a post-apocalyptic view of a dystopian society not dissimilar to George Orwell’s literary style in his acclaimed, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Global warming and climate change have been inescapable for decades. Gaia, a new religion, over time becomes corrupted. Action packed from the very beginning, Tom, the protagonist, is attempting to rectify some of the long-term damage the government has invoked on the planet. Like two stars colliding, he eventually stumbles upon September, or, rather she “stumbles” upon him. There is even a glimpse of the nascent romance about half way into the novel!
The author asks several socio-political, environmental, and philosophical questions that leave the reader with a greater appreciation for our responsibility in respecting and caring for our planet. On a deeper level the author raises the question many well-known philosophers over time have asked: “what is truth?”
The most recent book in The Blessings of Gaia series, Runes of Iona, was published and released to Gaia fans only a few months ago. Each book in Balmanno’s quartet stands on its own and can be read in reverse order or independently of the other.
Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media by John Stossel. This book is interesting and not your run of the mill, non-fiction, the-media-sucks book. In fact, he doesn't attack the media. He brings up interesting interviews and stories. A good read for Stossel fans.