All posts tagged "books"

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Thursday Night Insight: Making Treasure Out of Trash

craft projects made from trash paperHave you ever wondered what you could make out of old or damaged books and magazines?


Books that you’d otherwise have to throw away?


Cards, envelopes, gift bags and more!

Let us show you how at the Joyce Ellington Branch Library.


Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:00-9:00 p.m.


This event is intended for adults. All supplies provided.


UPCYCLING: Making Treasures Out of Trash

recycled bagHave you ever wondered what you could make out of old or damaged books and magazines?


Books that you’d otherwise have to throw away?


Cards, envelopes, gift bags and more!

Let us show you how at the Bascom Branch Library.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.


This event is intended for adults. All supplies provided.


January 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 January. Here's the previous lists for November and December. Enjoy! 


Top Fiction

  1. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hr Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  2. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
  3. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
  4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  5. Inferno by Dan Brown
  6. Fables by Bill Willingham
  7. The Racketeer by John Grisham
  8. And The Mountains Echoed by Hosseini Khaled
  9. The Forgotten by David Baldacci
  10. Mistress by James Patterson

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. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  6. What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles
  7. The Muslim Next Door by Ali-Karamali Sumbul
  8. What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
  9. David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
  10. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

New to the Library Catalog - "Freeze" Your Hold Requests

New Library Feature: Freeze HoldsA new feature has been added to our Library Catalog - the ability to "Freeze" your hold requests.


"Freeze Holds" essentially allows you to "pause" the progress of a hold request and let others "cut" in front of you in line for an item.  It's useful if you won't be able to pick up a hold that might be fulfilled during an inconvenient time. You can avoid both potential fines for not picking the item up and losing your place in the hold queue.


To Freeze a Hold:

  1. Login to My Account and views your existing holds. 
  2. You'll see a "Freeze" column with check boxes to the far right of each request.  Check the box(es) and hit "Update List".  Then confirm your decisions.

A frozen hold will look like this in our Library Catalog:

frozen hold in library catalog

And like this in our "Classic Catalog":

frozen hold request in Classic Catalog


Holds remain frozen until you choose to remove the freeze through My Account.  A hold cannot be frozen if it is already on the hold shelf, in transit, is a Link+ item, or otherwise paged to fulfill your request.

The Cuckoo's Calling: Fun Characters, Fun Mystery

The Cuckoo's CallingI had to spend a little while on the holdlist before a copy of the The Cuckoo’s Calling was ready for me to pick up at SJPL, but it was well-worth the wait.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was first published under the name Robert Galbraith and sold several thousand copies. That’s pretty decent selling for an unknown debut author in the first few months of being in print, but soon it was discovered that Robert Galbraith was actually a pseudonym for one of the most stratospherically successful novelists of our time: J.K. Rowling. Once that was revealed, sales rocketed and library waitlists grew long. People who were previously completely unaware of the book now wanted to read it immediately (including me).

I found Rowling’s first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancya good read but I also found it to be full of unhappy, often petty people in dreary circumstances.  I wouldn’t describe it as a "fun" read, like the Harry Potter series was. As dark as Harry Potter gets at times, I feel the main strength of the series is in its colorful, likable heroes and heroines: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Hagrid . . . how can you not love them? 

With The Cuckoo’s Calling, J.K .Rowling’s narration is fun again and you can really root for the lead characters. Our private detective Cormoran Strike, a one-legged Afghanistan war veteran living in his office after a breakup, is irresistible, and his accidental-temp-receptionist-turned-brilliant-sleuth Robin is too.  Even the suspected murder victim at the center of the mystery, supermodel Lula Landry, won me over even though we only get to know her after her death from a balcony fall in the prologue.

I certainly won’t spoil the ending to this mystery, but I will just say I was more than satisfied with how Cormoran and Robin handled the case and I look forward to their further adventures (and yes, Rowling has said Robert Galbraith will keep writing about the adventures of this captivating duo).

At the time of my writing, there is still a big waiting list for SJPL’s copies of the standard print edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling, and the Overdrive e-book has a pretty sizable waiting list as well. However, the audio CD version of the book is currently ready to check out and an e-book is currently borrowable via Axis360.  We will also soon have large print copies of The Cuckoo's Calling and they can be requested now.

Books about Adventurous Lives

I always thought that Casanova was a legendary, if not mythical, figure -- a one-dimensional Don Juan who seduced women and did little else. I found out recently I was wrong. Casanova was an historical person. He wrote a book about his adventures, and those adventures go considerably beyond a series of romantic conquests. To find out for yourself, check out our translation of Casanova’s History of My Life, as well as these other stories about adventurous lives.

Cover image of Casanova's History of My Life  Cover image of David Crockett: Lion of the West  Cover image of Explorers of the Nile  Cover image of Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy  Cover image of The Autobiography of Benvento Cellini


History of My Life by Giacomo Casanova: The colorful memoirs of the legendary eighteenth-century lover recall not only his amorous exploits, but also his diverse careers as a gambler, businessman, diplomat, entertainer, politician, con artist, and world traveler.


David Crockett: The Lion of the West by Michael Wallis: The life of the legendary frontiersman, soldier, and martyr, from hunting bears in the unspoiled countryside to helping defend the Alamo.


Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure by Tim Jeal: The journeys of the six men and one woman who risked their lives to solve the mystery of the source of the Nile.


Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey by Peter Carlson: The story of two correspondents for the New York Tribune who escaped the Confederacy's most notorious prison after being captured at the Battle of Vicksburg and relied on secret signals and covert sympathizers to travel back to Union territory.


The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini: A vivid and convincing portrait of the manners and morals both of the rulers of the sixteenth century and of their subjects. With enviable powers of invective and an irrepressible sense of humor, reflected in an equally vigorous and extravagant style, Cellini provides an intriguing glimpse into the palaces and prisons of the Italy of Michelangelo and the Medici.