Dec. 24-25 - All libraries closed for Christmas.
Books and Beyond
A novel based on characterization is only as successful as the figures that populate it. Teju Cole takes this corollary a step further by presenting us with a book whose focus is squarely on a single character, rather than divided among an ensemble cast. Set in New York, Open City centers on the everyday life of its protagonist, Julius, a young psychiatrist who interns at an area hospital. While other characters are introduced, Cole’s narrator seems to have no deep connections to any of them. In this sense, Cole gives us a faithful depiction of what it is to live in a modern megatropolis; in other words, the same psychological distance necessary to live in a bustling, overstimulated and demanding environment also colors our human relationships. As a result, many of Cole’s other characters have the quality of acquaintances: Julius knows them incidentally, but shares no real intimacy with them. Fortunately, Cole is both erudite and a fine prose stylist, which gives his novel a deeply thoughtful tone, but as any philosopher worth her salt will tell you, brilliance only reaches its full potential when it is shared. A bildungsroman in the purest sense, Open City also gives us a taste of our times, when digital media and social compartmentalization ensure that we spend most of our time talking not to each other, but to ourselves.
Looking for something a little different to get your spring reading going? These forthcoming non-fiction titles are all set for release in April and are all on order here at JCPL, ready for you to put on hold today.
Down the Up Escalator: How the 99 percent live in the Great Recession, by Barbara Garson
The author relays personal accounts of some of those affected by the recession along with historical background that gives insight into how our economic system was set up to fail. Release date April 2, 2013.
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris
Essays by the celebrated humorist take the reader on an around-the-world tour of the absurd. Release date April 23, 2013.
Cooked : a natural history of transformation, by Michael Pollan
Acclaimed food author Pollan looks at the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) to uncover how cooking connects and transforms us. Release date April 23, 2013.
Is it our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable? Although a negative path to happiness may seem counter-intuitive, British journalist Oliver Burkeman ends up making complete sense of the idea in The Antidote: happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking. You’ll enjoy the different perspectives Burkeman explores in each chapter, as well as his tone, which is not quite as snarky as the subtitle suggests but still humorous. Readers may also like his attitude, that of the guy who questions authority, and the wealth of information he delivers in the style of Malcolm Gladwell. From an interview with Eckhart Tolle to a visit to the Museum of Failed Products, Burkeman never fails to enlighten and entertain.
Take the guesswork out of choosing water-wise plants for your landscape by learning the seven principles of Xeriscaping and by using Plant Select(TM) plants. Join us on Monday, April 22nd at 6 p.m. at the Columbine Library.
If you, like me, admire the many fine cookbooks the library purchases, but rarely find time to follow a recipe from one, consider taking a look at An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, a beautifully written and inspiring book by Tamar Adler. Read it whether you consider yourself a cook or not; you’ll find that you will look at cooking differently after you do. Don’t read it for the recipes, though it has many fine ones. Read it to remind yourself that eating healthy, affordably, and responsibly is what humans have been doing since ancient times, beginning with boiling water over a fire. Adler reminds us that feeding ourselves is an integral part of being human and well-worth a little time and effort to do it well. She also offers plenty of advice along the way, making this a practical book as well as inspiring.
Three short (40 minute) documentary films will be screened at Standley Lake Library in April and May. Don’t miss the chance to see films that are not currently in the JCPL collection and to participate in a discussion led by Dr. Vincent Piturro, film professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Indie Prof on Facebook.
All films will show at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Standley Lake Library meeting room
Strangers No More (http://www.strangersnomoremovie.com/)
At Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, children from 48 countries study, recover from their past and build new lives together.
Directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
Oscar winner, 2011 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects
Sun Come Up (http://www.suncomeup.com/film/Home.html)
Environment refugees from Carteret Island in the South Pacific must find a new home as the ocean rises.
Directed by Jennifer Redfearn
Oscar nominee, 2011 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects
Saving Face (http://savingfacefilm.com/)
Women attacked by acid in Pakistan try to rebuild their lives, and a plastic surgeon returns to his native country to rebuild their faces.
Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Oscar winner, 2012 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects
We’re also thinking about starting a film group at Standley Lake Library. It would work like a book group – the group would decide which films to watch, watch the films on their own time, and come to film group to discuss it. If this interests you, please contact Susannah (email@example.com) by email or at the Standley Lake Information Desk.
In this wonderfully imaginative “memoir” by Matthew Dicks, Budo tells the story of his life with Max, an eight-year old boy on the Autism spectrum. Budo is Max’s imaginary friend and not only is he is clever in a way that Max is not; he has his own internal sense of self. He helps Max navigate home and school but lives in fear of the day Max no longer needs him. When a trusted adult takes advantage of Max’s naiveté, Budo knows he must step in to save Max at any cost.
Budo is a delightful narrator. One reviewer likened Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Room. I think if you like the worlds created by Jasper Fforde and J.K. Rowling, you might also enjoy Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.
The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann is an interesting read. The main character, Emil Larsson, works in customs as a "sekretaire." In his private life, he becomes involved in card games at Mrs. Sofia Sparrow’s house. Sparrow runs gaming out of her home for the town's influential people. But are there more to the games? Mrs. Sparrow convinces Emil to let her do a prediction through her fortunetelling cards, drawing a set of eight cards called the Octavo. The goal of Emil’s Octavo is for him to find someone to love and marry. Mrs. Sparrow also draws an Octavo for herself. The characters bound to Emil and Mrs. Sparrow's Octavos intertwine with each other and with historical events. If you are looking for a novel that is a bit different, this may be the one for you!
Did you know the Jefferson County Public Library subscribes to 99 digital magazines that you can read for free on your computer or have sent to your Kindle Fire, iPad, or just about any other mobile device?
You can start accessing the collection here. Zinio is a little more complicated than other JCPL digital downloads because it makes you create two separate accounts. When you click on the link, you’ll be asked to create a user name and password that will let you see the titles JCPL has purchased. Before you can read those titles, however, you’ll be asked to create an account with zinio.com itself. You’ll use the same user name and password both times, but some may find the need to make duplicate accounts a little confusing.
Once both accounts are created, you’ll be able to access and read popular titles like 5280, Consumer Reports, Cooking Light, Men’s Health, Maxim, Everyday Food, and Esquire. With 99 titles, our digital magazine collection is bound to have something you’ll like. Best of all, there’s never a wait. The current issue of each title is available whenever you wish.
While you can read every magazine right off your computer screen, Zinio gets really neat if you happen to have a tablet PC such as an iPad or Kindle Fire (Nook users currently cannot use Zinio do to restrictions from Barnes and Noble). The magazines look absolutely awesome on these devices. You’ll need to download the free Zinio app and register it using the same user name and password you created for your account. Titles you select will be beamed to the app whenever each new issue becomes available. Zinio will also give a few free issues of non-library magazines to try out too.
If you’d like to learn more about the Zinio collection or need help with the app or creating your account, please stop by the Information Desk at any library location. We’ll be happy to assist!
The World to Come by Dara Horn
Attending a singles gathering at a New York art museum leads to trouble for television quiz-show writer Benjamin Ziskind. Not romantic trouble, at least not at first, but legal trouble when Benjamin sees a Marc Chagall painting he’s convinced once belonged to his family - so he picks it off the wall and takes it home. In a deftly woven story, author Dara Horn delves into the painting’s history, starting with a Russian Orphanage in the 1920s to the Vietnam War to see how the painting changed hands over generations. If you enjoy charming literary fiction that explores questions of moral responsibility and love, then don’t miss this title.