- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Although I’ve only worked with Canon SLR cameras I love how Scott Kelby provides advice applicable to both Nikons and Canons in his book, The Digital Photography Book, but best of all, all the tips are transferable to any level of photographer and camera.
Kelby has worked with many professional photographers and provides basic principles to reach the next level with humor embedded in his lessons to keep his readers remembering.
There are some Photoshop tips offered in the book; however, the emphasis is geared towards getting the best shot possible thus minimizing any additional post editing to the pictures.
Getting the results that you like can be tricky, but photography should be enjoyable and fun. Kelby says that not every shot will be perfect, but that’s all part of the learning process. Hey it’s digital right? Snap, snap, view, and if you like you can keep it, if not then delete it.
Without a doubt this book is a great recommendation for those budding photographers out there. After reading this book you won’t be disappointed. It might even inspire you to read his second and third volumes.
Steampunk. What is it? It is a subgenre of Science Fiction, a place where the past and the future come together. Imagine the technology that powered the Nautilus in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In 1987, in a letter to Locus Magazine, the author J.K. Heter coined the term Steampunk to describe the "gonzo-historical" fiction that he and several other authors had been writing. But Steampunk has grown in the 20+ years since then to encompass so much more. It is a fashion style, an aesthetic, even musical groups have formed based on this idea of the future that never was. This is a rabbit hole, make no mistake, but if you wish to investigate further, strap on your goggles and top hat and jump in with me!
Music: Abney Park is *the* name when it comes to Steampunk music. They've been playing as a steampunk band since 2006 and I am told put on quite a show. They all created steampunk personas which they portray in their concerts and this video of Airship Pirates gives you a look/feel for the group.
Dr. Steel also puts on a great show and has an evil mastermind sort of persona. He is embarking on a world domination plan involving YOU if you decide to become one of his "Toy Soldiers". Weird and Fun, all in one!
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing produced a collection of music available for download, CD and on a limited edition recorded wax cylinder! If you give them a listen, you'll find they put the emphasis on PUNK in Steampunk!
Rasputina's albums are all available for download on Freegal. I downloaded How We Quit the Forest and Sister Sleep. They feature prominent strings and vocals that reminded me of Kate Bush.
Movies: You have probably seen a few of these titles and if you haven't you can pick them up at the Library. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen brings a collection of famous characters ranging from Dorian Grey to Captain Nemo together to save the world.
The Golden Compass, based on the novel by Philip Pullman, takes on many steampunk themes from airships to an alithiometer - a device which allows you to tell the real truth on any situation.
Books: A really compelling read in the genre is The Glass Books of the Dream-Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist. A young woman stumbles upon a cabal of evil socialites bent on taking over the world using a technology that allows them to steal memories and store them within books made of glass and a mysterious blue clay. From a dissolute prince to an assassin named Cardinal Chang for the red leather great coat he wears, the cast of characters never ceases to amaze and amuse. The intrigue and suspense keep you on the edge of your seat and make it hard to put this book down!
Steampunk is definitely a DIY aesthetic and the library has a couple of titles that might help you get started in creating your own steampunk outfit. Steampunk-style Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets and Earrings by Jean Campbell shows several one of a kind pieces and gives you a head-start on how to create your own.
For the past few years, a group of steampunkers have been publishing an online magazine titled, Steampunk Magazine. This magazine is available for download and features fiction, poetry, commentary, DIY instructions and patterns. If you are looking for a place to start, Steampunk magazine is your go-to.
Why would you be creating a costume? To create your own steampunk persona! There are groups of folks who meet-up in costume and in character and have a grand old time together! There are conventions and other events where Steampunk reigns supreme. In the Bay area, look for the big steampunk convention, Wild Wild East on March 25, 26 and 27. The San Jose Steampunk group is the St. Clair Aeronauts whose personas include a crew of an airship that delivers letters.
Who knows? The newest Steampunker could be you!
I recently checked out the Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. As part of the permanent collection of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, this is the only Museum in North America that is hosting the display. It was a wonderful exhibit and featured many famous pieces such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s A Dance in the Country. If you get the chance, visit this exhibit; it runs until January 18, 2011.
If you are not able to enjoy the art face to face, there are many books in our collection about many of the impressionist artists featured in the exhibit. We have over 80 titles about Vincent Van Gogh, but here are books about various exhibits. There is also an extensive collection about Paul Gauguin's work. And for those who would missed the first exhibit at the De Young, there is a book version of the exhibit, Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay.
Ready for some puppet fun? The Edenvale Branch Library will host “Puppet Making for Families,” a delightful interactive program for children aged 3 to 7 and their parents/caregivers on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Can’t make it to this event? The San Jose Public Library System has plenty of puppetry books that can be found in the online catalog.
Here are two to explore:
Living near the ocean in Santa Cruz County and I know several guys who are a lot like the main character in Don Winslow’s compelling novel, The Dawn Patrol. Boone Daniels is a San Diego Private Investigator who works only when he’s low on cash. His real passion is surfing. To put it mildly, he’d rather surf than work any day. He and his sun-bronzed buddies (known as the Dawn Patrol) are all about fun in the sun, shapely women and catching the next mega wave. So when an attractive lawyer approaches him about finding a missing exotic dancer who is scheduled to testify in an insurance case, he reluctantly takes the assignment (he’s low on cash). Soon the dancer’s best friend is found dead and Boone knows this can’t be a coincidence. As the plot thickens, the reader is plunged into the seedy underbelly of sunny San Diego and the ride is fun and intriguing. The San Francisco Chronicle nicely summed up the book stating: “The Dawn Patrol might be the best summertime crime novel ever . . . A classic . . . If you haven’t read Winslow yet, get to it. He’s epic making good, brah.”
David E. Sanger, one of the most respected journalists of our time, has authored an informative and at times riveting work, The Inheritance: the World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power. In this powerful work, Sanger has broken through the secrecy and the governmental double-speak to tell us how we got where we are today and the choices this leaves the Obama administration. This work gives the reader inside information that will at times surprise and sometimes shock, yet Sanger has framed it all in language and a literary style the layman can understand and appreciate. In short, this work is one of the most important contributions on American politics and international relations in recent years and for those who want to learn more about the challenges our nation is currently facing, The Inheritance is an essential must read.
Give Laurie Notaro's An Idiot Girl's Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List a try! This book is filled with chuckle worthy stories about holiday horrors such as December shopping, awkward family get-togethers, and taking her Nana out to buy gifts!
The library sadly doesn't have An Idiot Girl's Christmas yet, but does have four other books by Laurie! Happy Holidays!
Anchee Min’s remarkable Pearl of China is a loving and moving tribute to Pearl S. Buck. In this fictional account of Buck’s early years in China, a young Chinese girl, Willow Yee, befriends Pearl and they form a strong emotional and spiritual bond. Min’s literary style, with its emphasis on the inherent dignity and strength of the Chinese peasant, harkens back to the literary style that made Pearl S. Buck an internationally acclaimed author and a Nobel Laureate.
The Ultimate Gift: The Ultimate Gift movie is such a heart felt and loving story. It starts out with a young man who comes from a privileged life. He hears of his grandfather’s death and at the reading of the will, he is surprised by receiving the prize of “the ultimate gift.” Having a rocky relationship with his grandfather he is perplexed by this “gift.” After accepting this present, he is taken to the middle of nowhere to work on a ranch. When he returns back home he finds every bit of “wealth” has been taken away from him. The rule of the gift is through this journey to find “one” true friend. This movie was a great example of personal growth and teaches us what really matters in life.
Attention all singers: if you search for "karaoke" in the Library's catalog, you will get 922 records. Many genres of music are represented, and most of the karaoke is in Vietnamese (yes, that's right - the karaoke itself is in Vietnamese). The newer CDs have their songs listed, so give it a try, superstar!