- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
I spent last Sunday afternoon with Nora Ephron. I sat under an umbrella in my favorite chair on my patio at home. The weather was perfect: sun shining in a cobalt blue sky; a gentle breeze ruffling the leaves. The temperature was hovering around 78 degrees with no sticky humidity. For me, a transplanted New Yorker, I was in weather heaven. Anyhow, on this beautiful afternoon I sat in my back yard with my old fashioned SONY Walkman CD Player listening to Nora Ephron read her collection of essays: I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections. How bicoastal, I thought, to be sitting under the California sun listening to Norah Ephron narrate her humorous essays with that unmistakable straightforward, sharp edged New York attitude. Nora was born in New York, but her family moved to Southern California when she was a child. She made a permanent move to the East Coast after graduating from Wellesley College and lived most of her adult life in New York working as a journalist, playwrite and screenwriter-director . Remember the films When Harry Met Sally, Silkwood, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia ? They are all Nora Ephron's screenplays.
Nora passed away last month after a long illness. I Remember Nothing is the last book she wrote. It is a collection of humorous essays and anecdotes that are reflections on her personal and professional life. Annoyances in contemporary life, the trials and tribulations of aging, and poignant family stories are all narrated with her signature clarity and humor. As I sat there listening and often laughing aloud, I wondered if Nora knew the end was coming as she wrote this book. I think she did. And so along with the laughter, there were a few tears as I shared the afternoon with Nora. She will be missed and long remembered.
I am always on the lookout for an enthralling historical fiction novel to transport me to another time and another place. Recently, a friend recommended The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer. This novel takes place in Budapest, Hungary and Paris, France during the late 1930’s when Europe was in the grip of the rising Nazi threat. The story begins in Budapest, Hungary as a young Hungarian Jew, Andras Levi, leaves for Paris to begin his studies at Ecole Speciale d’Architecture. While in Paris, Andras meets and falls in love with Klara, a Hungarian ballet instructor. Their love story is the centerpiece of this riveting novel that immerses the reader in the terrifying life that Hungarian Jews endured during the Second World War. I could not put this book down. Warning: it is about 600 pages in length, but every page is beautifully written and absolutely captivating. Vivid details, excellent characterization, and impeccable historical research make this book a memorable read. If you love historical fiction and are looking for a long, satisfying summer read, try The Invisible Bridge. ( Also available as a downloadable audio book or ebook ).
When You Reach Me (AR 6.0, Level 4.5) by Rebecca Stead is partially a tribute to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Stead's book won the Newbery Award in 2010. If you like science fiction, mystery and historical fiction, you will enjoy this unique story.
It is 1979 and Miranda is helping her mother to prepare for her appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid quiz show. Miranda, foundering after the loss of a friendship, finds new friends when she decides to work at the deli near her school. Soon, she starts to find mysterious notes with information that could have only have come from the future.
Miranda learns about racism, epilepsy, time travel, and friendship as she progresses through her sixth grade year. Do you think she will be able to help the person she is supposed to help? Read this and find out!
I have not interviewed for a job in several years, but recently find myself in that process again. As such, I thought it wise to consult books on interviewing. Of the many books I skimmed through, two books were undeniable standouts and have provided me with a wealth of practical information. They were, The Essential Book of Interviewing by Arnold B. Kanter, and 201 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview, by John Kador. I highly recommend these books for any readers interested in learning more about the interview process.
One idea from The Essential Book of Interviewing that really appealed to me was to create a commercial that sells oneself as a product. The author reasoned that creating a commercial gets one to be creative, to tell something personal while using simple and easy to understand language, to be positive, upbeat, and direct, and to have a theme. This exercise struck me as a great way to develop an opening or closing elevator speech. And, I can attest that envisioning myself as a product sold through a commercial advertisement was a real help as I prepared myself for upcoming interviews.
In closing, I’d like to include some ideas I’ve picked up from most interview skills books. For example, it’s very important for the interviewee to take their time, listen fully to the questions being asked, and answer each part of the question fully, without rambling. Every book mentioned this point. Additionally, the interviewer needs to learn if the candidate can think and solve problems, plan projects and meet deadlines, and interact well with others while taking the leadership role, when needed. It is the candidate’s job to ensure they address these key areas.
Best of luck to everyone reading this blog! Ciao.
It’s not infrequently that the cover of a well-marketed library book grabs my attention and compels me to look a little closer at it. One such recent book, Yoga, by Linda Sparrowe, not only drew my attention, but compelled me to check it out. As someone with a long-term interest in yoga, though one who finds many yoga manuals reader unfriendly and hard to follow, I found this book to be nothing short of inspirational. This book is not a manual, however; rather, Yoga is a visual photo exploration (photos by David Martinez) of extremely advanced yoga postures. The photos are artistic and the yoga postures are simply awesome. Now, I must confess that I cannot personally perform any of the advanced postures presented in this work. Instead, the book served as motivation, and inspired me to re-commit myself to a regular yoga practice. If yoga is of any interest to you, the reader of this blog post, I highly recommend checking out Yoga, by Linda Sparrowe. I guarantee the flexibility of the practitioners pictured within it will impress. If nothing less, it’s wonderful to know there are those who can contort their bodies and maintain the suppleness of the very young. Okay, I’m off to practice now…ciao!
Do you sing, love to dance, do stand-up comedy or have a unique talent??? Compete in our first round of Teen Talent Show competitions to win prizes and a spot at our final talent show event on Saturday, August 11th @ 2pm at at the Almaden Branch Library.
Visit a participating library to sign-up!
Registration packets will be available at participating San José Public Library locations. Participants must submit their registration form at the location where they want to compete.
Regional Competitions: Prizes 1st place $50, 2nd place $25, 3rd $10
Tully Community Branch, July 5th @ 2pm
Edenvale Branch, July 18th @ 6pm
Hillview Branch, July 19th @ 3pm
Santa Teresa Branch, July 21st @ 3pm
Cambrian Branch, July 25th @ 6:00pm
Evergreen Branch, July 26th @ 4pm
Final Competition: Prizes 1st place $100, 2nd place $75, 3rd place $50
Saturday, August 11th @ 2pm
Join us for the grand finale of Teen Talent Show 2012 at the Almaden Branch Library.
The first and second place winners from our local contests will compete for the honor of becoming the San José Teen Talent 2012. Come early and bring your family and friends to cheer on your favorite talent!
Scott Westerfeld says that he set out to write the space opera that he would have liked, and he came up with one that a lot of us like. In this tale he weaves together an espionage story, political intrigue, romance, future history, the ethics and ramifications of artificial intelligence, the ethics and ramifications of immortality, a commando raid, and one of science fiction’s more elaborate and high-tech ship-to-ship battles. And this empire is ruled by heroes who have passed on to their reward, both literally and figuratively, as the emperor has the power to grant immortality to those who obey him, but only if they agree to die in the process. Originally written as one novel to be called Succession, the publisher decided to split the story into two books: The Risen Empire, and The Killing of Worlds. (They’re not sequels, but one story in two volumes.)
Monkey Business, which can be found in Link+, is a hilarious movie starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe. Cary Grant, who is so great in screwball comedies, partners with the dancing legend, Ginger Rogers, in this irrepressible comedy. Ginger Rogers gets to shine as a comedian in this movie about chemistry and the fountain of youth.
Though Monroe has a very minor role, she does have a side-splitting scene with Grant in a very fast car. Acting as a staid scientist, Grant becomes a teenager when he takes the magic potion. Rogers seems to regress even further as she cries and tattletales on anyone who stands in her way.
If you are getting tired of seeing the repetitive plots of today's romantic comedies, take a stroll down memory lane in this black and white gem!
Get ready to own the night! Teens ages 12-17 are invited to spend a fun-filled Zombie themed evening at participating San Jose Public Library branches on Friday, August 3rd from 8pm to 11pm*. Participate in fun and memorable activities such as s
IMPORTANT: The Teen Lock-In event takes place at the libraries listed below. To register, you and your parent or guardian must come to the library that you prefer to participate in this event and fill-out the registration form. Please submit the form by Friday, July 27th. Space is limited and all teens must be pre-registered and have reviewed two books for the Teen Summer Reading Celebration to participate.
6445 Camden Ave.
San José, CA 95120
Berryessa Branch Library (Note: From 7pm to 10pm at this location)
3355 Noble Avenue
San José, CA 95132
921 South First St.
San José, CA 95110
Evergreen Branch Library (Note: From 7pm to 10pm at this location)
2635 Aborn Rd.
San José, CA 95121
1600 Hopkins Dr.
San José, CA 95122
491 E. Empire St.
San José, CA 95112
Santa Teresa Branch Library (Note: From 7pm to 10pm at this location)
290 International Circle
San José, CA 95119
1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd.
San José, CA 95117
Pulling Princes by Tyne O'Connell caught my eye initially in the book, Royal Match. Royal Match is a reconfigured book that includes the first two titles in the Calypso Chronicles: Pulling Princes and Stealing Princes, which you can find on Link+.
If you are a fan of Louise Rennison's character, Georgia Nicholson, you may enjoy the British colloquialisms that run rampant. I enjoy reading books where characters are thrown into totally alien situations. I expected to see many funny situations with the main character, Calypso, who is from Los Angeles. However, Calypso has lived at the British boarding school for a few years, so the "fish out of water" humor never quite materializes. In fact, Calypso actually seems to use British slang, though she claims to have an American accent.
Calypso is an outsider at the posh boarding school, along with her best friend, Star. However, a fake boyfriend leads to opportunities and problems that she never foresaw. A gifted fencer, she soon finds that her hobby leads to the best opportunity of all!