Sarah Kishler

Blogs by this Author

Street Gang book cover
Last month, Sonia Manzano, who played the character of Maria on Sesame Street for 45 years, spoke at the American Library Association annual conference in San Francisco. When she announced she had retired from the show, a collective “noooooooooooooo” rose from the assembled librarians. When news outlets picked it up, it started trending on Facebook, and those millions who grew up with Maria were hit with a wave of wistful nostalgia. I am of the generation who grew up watching Sesame Street B.E. (“Before Elmo”). I listened to Bert and Ernie host a sing-along on a vinyl record, played with...Read more...
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For all we learn in school, money management is a topic on which many Americans could use some more education (I can certainly count myself in that category!) Since 2010, the American Library Association has collaborated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to bring Money Smart Week in mid-April to a national audience, offering financial literacy programs at organizations such as businesses, financial organizations, libraries, schools, and government agencies. In 2015, Money Smart Week will be held April 18 – 25. San Jose Public Library will be offering a variety of programs for different age groups throughout its branches...Read more...
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Don Quixote painting
2015 marks milestone anniversaries for a number of literary works that continue to have enormous cultural influence all these years after they were first published. A significant anniversary is a great excuse to either revisit or pick up one of these classics for the first time. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien turns 60 in 2015. The final volume of the trilogy, The Return of the King , was released in October 1955. It stirred up great interest in epic fantasy as a genre, and its popularity paved the way for modern fantasy writers such as JK Rowling...Read more...
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An Age-Old Year-End Tradition: Predicting the Future
One of humankind’s more elusive endeavors is trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. We try our best, in a number of different ways – some scientific, some spiritual, some economic and some quite a lot like stabbing in the dark. As the end of the year approaches, forecasts and predictions become especially popular pursuits as everyone tries to imagine what’s going to happen in the new year. Here are some books that deal with predicting the future as either an art or a science, drawing from everything from the occult to mathematics. The Signal and the Noise:...Read more...
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Death comes to Pemberley book cover
Prolific British mystery novelist Phyllis Dorothy James (better known as P.D. James) died on November 27, 2014 at the age of 94. In 1920, she was born a little too late to be one of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction's Queens of Crime (they were Agatha Christie , Dorothy L. Sayers , Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh ). But she was definitely a Queen of Crime in her own right; a worthy successor to their crowns. She is best known for her mystery stories featuring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh. There are 14 novels in the Dalgliesh series,...Read more...
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In November and December, look for this fun activity at your local SJPL branch . Recommended for children 8 and above, the one-hour program involves making crafts that explore how things like light, color, and patterns can play tricks on your eyes. It’s a science and art project all rolled into one! Actually, it’s three projects. Make your own to take home: Thaumatrope ​ The word thaumatrope is derived from Greek words meaning “miracle turner.” It’s a disk with a picture on either side (for example, a bird on one side and a cage on the other). When the disk...Read more...
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Beware! cover
It's October and readers of all ages are in the mood for spooky books to read. Here are some age-appropriate, Halloween-appropriate suggestions for school kids who are in the approximately third-to-sixth grade age range. Beware: R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories The perennially popular author of the creepy Goosebumps series shares stories by Ray Bradbury, Shel Silverstein, Bram Stoker, Edward Gorey and more. Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of a Mystery by James and Deborah Howe This was one of my own favorites when I was about 9 years old. I still have vivid memories of reading about 8-year-old Toby Monroe...Read more...
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Reading reviews of the documentary Life Itself on Metacritic.com is, well, indeed a “meta” experience. The reviews are about a movie about someone who wrote movie reviews. The new documentary’s source material is largely based on film critic Roger Ebert’s memoir, called Life Itself itself (there’s another meta moment for you). It can be checked out in print or audio CD format from the library. Here are other books about the lives of well-known critics, all available in SJPL's catalog: Film Critic Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark by Brian Kellow "The most powerful, loved and hated film critic...Read more...
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Aerial View of Downtown San Jose
It's great fun to read a book set in a location you know. Here are some books you'll find at the San Jose Public Library that are either entirely or partially set in San Jose and/or the surrounding valley: The Setup Man: A Novel by T.T. Monday Johnny Adcock is a relief pitcher for the San Jose Bay Dogs baseball team. To fund his retirement, he begins moonlighting as a private investigator for his teammates. Good Grief : A Novel by Lolly Winston 36-year old Sophie Stanton leads a high-pressure Silicon Valley life in San Jose. But after she loses...Read more...
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