Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Amazing Reads

West Charleston Library Book Club
Meets the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Brave Enemies” by Robert Morgan.

Despite touching on several thought provoking topics (abuse, incest, war, morality) and Morgan’s prize winning reputation, this title was pretty middle-of-the road. It was good enough to read, with a few more than average flaws, but nothing big enough to generate any serious questions. Most of the time our group will have wildly varying opinions on the title, and we’ll have a ton of fun discussing them. This one we just agreed was okay, and after hitting the main points of interest, we moved on to what other books everyone had read this month.

This is a great way to get book recommendations, because since we’ve been meeting for (in some cases) years, we know already how similar (or dissimilar) our tastes might be, and can use that a guide. There’s also a lot of book-swapping and post -discussion discussion about what we’re reading or going to read. For April we’re joining the Green Revolution, and reading “Farewell my Subaru” by Doug Fine. According to one of our advance scouts, it’s a hoot!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Library Event - Digital Bookmobile

When I was a child, my family lived in rural, northern New Mexico, thirty miles from the nearest town. Sagebrush covered everything as far as we could see, interrupted by mesas on the horizon, the La Plata Mountains in Colorado in the far distance.

Once a month the rural book mobile, an old RV lined with shelves, would come back our 2 1/2 miles of dirt road and park in our driveway for an hour or two. This was my first experience with the public library.

Next week, the library district is hosting a bookmobile of a far different sort--the Overdrive Digital Bookmobile! The Digital Bookmobile is much more like a Transformer (see the movie!) than an old, beat up motor home. This hi-tech 18-wheeler will be stopping at 4 Las Vegas libraries on its nationwide tour.

· Saturday April 4, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Clark County Library
· Monday April 6, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sahara West Library
· Tuesday April 7, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Centennial Hills Library
· Wednesday April 8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Rainbow Library

Staff will be on hand to help you explore the library's eMedia collection which includeds downloadable books, music, and video. You will have the chance to practice downloading e-audio books and learn about your listening options.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Love in the Library: Witches, Banchees and Vampires Oh My!!!

Rachel Morgan: white witch, demonic student and friend to vampires, ghosts, pixies and elves. Yes, her life is complicated. She is constantly being pursued by dead vampires (rather than friendly alive ones), banshees, and the IS (Interlander Security). In this episode Rachel is trying to save people from a homicidal banshee child, find the vampire who killed her love, Kisten (also a vampire) and somehow save a ghost (literally) from her past.

Title: White Witch, Black Curse
Author: Kim Harrison
ISBN: 9780061138010
Genre: Paranormal Romance

This installment of the Rachel Morgan series find Rachel in the same place she is usually in, trouble. Mourning the loss of Kisten, her true vamp love, she is determined to find his killer. The only problem is she has lost her memory thanks to her faithful sidekick Jenks, who thought she would be better off not remembering that night. On top of that she is worried about being shunned as a black witch for her dealings with her favorite demon, Al. In the midst of her usual chaos, Rachel begins to help the FBI track down a banshee who has been killing innocent people (by sucking out their souls). I know what you’re thinking could Rachel’s life get any more complicated? The answer is yes, it could and it will. Enter Pierce, her ghostly first love, sort of. They met when she was starting out as a witch, when she was eighteen and she saved him from certain doom. Now he’s back and her demon is taking an unnatural interest in him. What’s a witch to do?

I love this series, Kim Harrison does an amazing job of keeping each installment of The Hollows (7th in the series) as riveting as the next, with poor Rachel Morgan caught in the supernatural crosshairs. Rachel is a confident yet vulnerable woman who we can all identify with. The story draws you into an alternate view of the world and makes you wish that you could experience that world for yourself, despite the dangers. I do wish that the author would let Rachel have a little lasting happiness as it seems that she continues to find love and lose it again in increasingly horrible way. If this series sounds like something you want to try start with Dead Witch Walking; to see the full series list visit Kim’s listed above.

Author Read-alkies: Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Lyndsay Sands

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What happens when they go missing........

Rhonda, Peter and Lizzy were childhood friends who did everything together. Rhonda never got over Peter and Lizzy (Peter's little sister) disappearance when they were in high school. When a new disappearance happens in the small town of Pike's Crossing Rhonda is obsessed with finding the little girl as it reminds her of Lizzy. The only problem is that a giant white rabbit stole the little girl.

Title: Island of Lost Girls
Author: Jennifer McMahon
ISBN: 9780061445880
Genre: Mystery

Rhonda is present at the gas station when the little girl is stolen and she does nothing. Later, she feels like she should have saved the little girl and is determined to find her and the people responsible for taking her. The number one suspects are Rhonda and her childhood love Peter. During her investigation she meets a new love and comes to gripes with her old love Peter, learning more about him and his family then she ever imagined. Ultimately, the novel is about childhood trauma; how we deal with it as children and how that affects us in adulthood.

I really liked the symmetry that the author created between the present (the investigation), the past (Rhonda's childhood) and the world of Rabbit Island (where the missing girl played with her white rabbit abducter). It isn't a happy book but it makes me think about my past and how it shaped my future. I can't say that the book was suspenseful because you spend the book knowing something bad happened to the little girl who was abducted. However, when you learn who it is in the end, its shocking. The author does a fantastic job weaving the picture of Pike's Crossing, a sleepy mountain town. Growing up in small town myself I can imagine how something so horrible would affect such a close knit community.

Author Read-alikes: Jodi Picoult, Diane Setterfield, Vendela Vida

Friday, March 27, 2009

Library Events - Viva la Vita Bella Italian Festival

Do you love Italian food as much as I do? How about listening to your favorite Italian music? Have your kids experienced an Italian lifestyle by participating in activities and games? All of these exciting things are happening at the Sahara West Library this Saturday as they celebrate their second annual Viva la Vita Bella Italian Festival!

Join us in the lobby area of the library from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm where we will be celebrating the Italian culture with food and gelato, live entertainment, Italian films, children activities and much more!

This was a very popular event last year, so be sure to come early! Did I mention there was gelato!!! Yummy! See you there!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Library Resources - Interlibrary Loan

Frustrated because you can’t find a book in the library catalog? Helpless because you requested a book for purchase and nothing is happening? Well, try Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to borrow that elusive book. ILL is the place where catalogs of library systems around the United States and Canada help people connect with their book of choice.

To use ILL, you need to be a resident of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District taxing district. In other words, your library taxes need to come to LVCCLD. If you live in Henderson, North Las Vegas, or Boulder City, check directly with them as they also provide Inter Library Loan to their residents. You also need a valid LVCCLD library card with a physical address (sorry, no PO Boxes).

To place an Interlibrary Loan request, just visit www.lvccld.org and click on Interlibrary Loan. You are able to search for the book that you want, fill out information of that article that was cited, find an obituary of someone, or look through microfilm of a newspaper from the 1900s. You can place up to five requests including anything you already have checked out.

Once you place your request, it gets processed by our Interlibrary Loan staff, and you can view your ILL request through your library account online. We will send you a notice to let you know whether we found the book or not. We might also need extra information about the item you are looking for.

One catch, if the item you ask for is valuable or at the request of the library who is lending the item the item may become a reference item. The item is sent to any LVCCLD library branch which is to be used in the library only. If you don’t want any materials to be in-library use only, let us know by adding a little note on your request (Example, No in library use only books).

If you receive a notice saying your Interlibrary Loan book is on its way to your library, please call the branch listed in 2-3 days after to check if the book is there, just to save you an extra trip to the library. When the book is checked out to you, please keep your receipt that shows your due date (ILL books have a different checkout period because it is determined by the lending library).

When you return the book, please get a receipt from staff that shows that the book is returned. It may never happen that a book gets lost, but you can never make too sure. If you are late with your Interlibrary Loan book, fines are twenty-five cents per day plus additional fees may occur.

You can reach Interlibrary Loan by phone (702) 507-3439 Monday through Friday 9am- 5pm. You can also email us at ask@lvccld.org. You can learn more at the Frequently Asked ILL Questions on the library's web page.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Read Me Vegas - Online book discussion

Read Me Vegas, the online book discussion, works differently that the standard "face-to-face" book discussion group. In the live-action book groups, members usually meet in person, about once a month, and discuss their experiences and opinions of the selected title.

In the online book group, there is no face-to-face meeting. The folks involved all read the book and form their own opinions. As the leader of the group, I post topics three times a week.

I always start with an introduction, information about the author, and a list of the characters. From there, things get really different.

I don't usually talk directly about the book itself. I select topics within the book, and investigate them more fully.

The book we've been reading for March has been Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, by Donna Andrews. It's a marvelous "cozy mystery", that has more sharp edges than many cozies. It's been a treat to discuss!

The basic story is Meg Langslow, the main character in the series, is temporarily acting as the receptionist at her brother's suddenly amazingly successful game company. One of the less popular computer programmers turns up dead, on top of the mail robot. Everyone working for the company is not exactly unhappy that this practical joker is now out of the picture, including all the psychological therapists who are sharing office space with the game company. However, it's very clear that the murderer must be someone working in the building. In the spirit of keeping everyone else safe, Meg sets out to find out who off'ed the offensive victim.

Some of the topics we've looked at are buzzards themselves, war gaming and electronic gaming, what makes a mystery "cozy", and the Dot.Com bubble. The topics have all been fun. Each of Andrews' titles focuses on a different unusual setting (a wargame company, a summer with three weddings, a historical reenactment of the battle of Yorktown, etc.) And each book bring in different unusual topics, like blacksmithing, comic book writing, and dressmaking. The actual mystery in this book has been a challenge. I didn't figure out who the murderer was till Andrews actually said who it was. The writing is fast and enjoyable. There's romance, but nothing too gooey or graphic.

This series is a great read for people who enjoy challenging intellectual puzzles, without a lot of gore and graphic sex. The early books in Lillian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." series are similar, as are Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael mysteries.

Next month, we're going to follow the Reading Las Vegas theme of Going Green. We'll be reading the ecological classic The Monkey Wrench Gang, by Edward Abbey. This book has a lot of appeal, and should be a real thought starter.

The action all takes place very close to Las Vegas, in the desert southwest in southern Utah, the Grand Canyon, Arizona and New Mexico.

The book itself is the "bible" for the Earth First ecological extremist group.

The writing is fast paced and entertaining. And the book features the destruction of large, yellow pieces of heavy equipment. Any resident of Las Vegas, who has driven anywhere where there's road work going on, will certainly understand that impulse!

Join us online in April for the discussion of this entertaining and involving title!

Library Resources – Pearl’s Picks

I am sure that you have heard of the Librarian Action figure and have probably made fun of the fact that such a thing exists (I personally own two of them!) Well, the lady behind that action figure is the amazing librarian named Nancy Pearl. She is the author of the best selling Book Lust and now has a teen version called Book Crush. She has become the most celebrated of librarians, and when she goes on tour, she speaks to a standing room-only crowd.

Each month Ms. Pearl publishes a recommended book list called Pearl’s Picks that you can locate on the Books Movies and More section of our website. Within that list, you will find detailed and honest reviews of 12 books. Many people from all over the country use this list to determine what book they are going to read next.

One of the books that she reviews this month is A Darker Domain by Val McDermid. In her review she says “This is a novel that reinforces my belief that you learn something from every book you read…” and that this novel is a real treat for mystery fans.

So, the next time you are in a quandary as to which book you want to read next, head to the Las Vegas Clark County Library District website and take a look at what Nancy Pearl recommends…you won’t be disappointed!

Edited 11/2009: Pearl's Picks is no longer available from the publisher. Please check the Books Movies and More! page for more great suggestions!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It is refreshing, to me at least, to find someone who acknowledges that, even in America, not everyone has an equal chance at success. To some this may sound like heresy, but this has been the great untold story of our history. The tales of Horatio Alger are not typical, if they ever happen. The other side of the story, the story that Gladwell tells here, is that it is important for us to support public institutions, including public education, that help level the playing field.

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell most memorably tells the story of great advantages that Bill Gates had, helping to make him the wealthiest of the computer tycoons. In an interview, Bill Gates told Gladwell, “I was very lucky” (55).

Gates was born in a year, 1955, that put him in his early 20’s when the computer revolution was taking off. Before that, though, his parents were wealthy enough to transfer him to a private school, Lakeside in Seattle, when he started junior high. In 1968, the school purchased access to a computer terminal tied to a main frame computer in downtown Seattle.

Gladwell notes this was likely the only school in the country to have a computer at that time. Later, when the school ran out of money for the computer, Gates discovered that the University of Washington, within walking distance of his house, had a computer that was unused from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.

While still in high school, he happened to have the connections to get a paid internship as a computer programmer at a power plant. All of this contributed to Gates having well over the magical 10,000 hours of experience (see the book!) needed to become an expert computer programmer by the time he dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft.

I highly recommend this book!

Read Alike--Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School

Monday, March 23, 2009

Surviving the Hunger Games

Picture a 1984 world, controlled by the government and starving. Every year they choose two names from a hat from each of the twelve districts and send them into an arena to fight to the death. They are your children and every year they get one more name thrown into that hat. Not only are they your children, you must watch them die on live television and pretend like it is a sporting event, a celebration.

Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins
ISBN: 978-0439023481
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy

Katniss Everdeen dreads the "reaping" every year because this is when she is most afraid of being taken away from her family. She is the main provider since her father died five years earlier and her mother and sister would not survive without her. This year rather than be relieved that her name was not pulled, she is horrified when she hears her twelve year old sisters' name called. She takes her sisters place and joins the boy who's' name was pulled, Peeta Mellark, who unbeknownst to her has been madly in love with her for years. As the games progress Katniss and Peeta are in a struggle to death in which one of they may have to kill the other.

I liked this book because the story is well developed and you find yourself falling into the sad, humble world of Katniss and Peeta. Horrified at how a world like theirs could exist and inspired by their drive to survive. The world they live in is so divided and we often don't realize that our own world is often the same. We live in cities where we barely know our neighbors while these people live in closed off districts with only the Capital sanctioned news to inform them. I think that this book is a read over and over because the story is so complex and moving. I wish the author had ended it a little better, it feels rather unresolved. Perhaps this means there is a sequel in the works!! Anyone would enjoy reading this, though it isn't for the faint of heart. There are some gruesome scenes and the cruelty from a unconcerned government is shocking.

Read alike authors: Jeanne DuPrau, Charlie Fletcher, Garth Nix,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Andrew's Graphic Novel Picks

Andrew, at the Centennial Hills Library, is the Go To Guy for Graphic Novels. He reads 'em, enjoys 'em, and knows which are the best! Each month, Andrew suggests three wonderful graphic novels for Teens or Adults. (Sometimes for Kids too!)

Here are Andrew's picks for the month:

Green Lantern: Secret Origin
Geoff Johns

Witness the beginning of the career of the bravest Green Lantern who's ever lived as the "secret origin" of Hal Jordan is revealed.

Discover how and why Hal received the power ring that changed his life forever.

Uncover the mystery of the death of Jordan's predecessor, Abin Sur.

Find out why Jordan's teacher and mentor, Sinestro, became obsessed with the prophecy of the apocalyptic end of the universe - "the Blackest Night."

Thor: Volume 1
J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel

Not a clone! Not a robot! Not an imaginary story! The God of Thunder is officially BACK! You've waited for it, you've demanded it...and we say thee YEA!

The Odinson comes roaring to life in this highly anticipated ongoing series by red-hot superstars J. Michael Straczynski (Amazing Spider-Man) and Olivier Coipel (House of M)!

But how does a god return from Ragnarok? And what place will he find in a world torn by Civil War?

Captain America: Reborn
Ed Brubaker

Steve Rogers' closest friends and allies may have found a way to bring back the original Captain America. Or is what they found something more sinister?

The Red Skull's greatest plan to destroy Captain America has been in motion and its completion is almost at hand. Will Captain America be lost forever, or will he be REBORN?

Library Resources - Special Collections

Did you know that many of the libraries in the Las Vegas Clark County Library district have special collections of books and materials that are available to you? It may be something that you walk by every time you visit and aren’t even aware of what it is! Well, that is all about to change as I highlight these collections for you to explore.

I have been getting several questions both in email and on our live chat service about grants and scholarships. Most of the libraries have books that you can check out and search for personal grants and scholarships. If you are looking for a grant to start up a new business you can also check out the Small Business Administration website for helpful resources. Students looking for educational grants should start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) which looks very daunting at first. Stick to it though, and you will find help, just like I did for my Master’s program.

But, if you looking for a grant for your non-profit organization, take a trip over to the Clark County library and visit the Funding and Grants Collection, a part of the Foundation Center's Cooperating Collection Library. One of the requirements for this collection is providing an expert who can help non-profit groups get started on their funding quest.

Beside the printed material that we have available, the librarian will teach you how to use the Foundation Directory Online database to locate funding information. She also holds classes on non-profit topics throughout the year at Clark County Library. Keep an eye on the Events page for these classes.

The printed materials for this collection are in our Reference department located on the 2nd floor of the Clark County Library. You will need to make an appointment for access to the computer database and the grant expert will take time to teach you how to use the database. The phone number for the reference department is 507-3421.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of grant and scholarship scams out there right now. If you are searching, be sure to be careful to watch for either government websites or non-profit websites with the .org extension. If they are asking for money to help you, you will know they are scamming you!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Library Classes - Computers

Ack!! You just got a new job and the boss says, “Can you please type this up in a Word document for me.” And your daughter wants you to email her all the news about your new job as well as show you pictures of your grandson playing in the school band concert. But, but, how do I do all that?!

If this sounds like you or you are just interested in learning more basics about computers and haven’t had the resources to do so, let me tell you about the classes that we offer for free!

We have very basic “101” Classes that we offer under the Seniors section of the website and they are open to any adult. The classes include Computers 101 for people who have never owned a computer, Word Processing, Internet and Email. These classes travel from library to library and the instructor is very patient and kind. You will feel comfortable asking about anything that is giving you trouble.

The district also offers some more advanced Computer Classes at the libraries with computer labs. These classes require a little more experience. They include Introduction to Databases, Introduction to the Internet, Applying for Jobs I & II, Downloading e-Media, Publisher 101, and Resumes.

All of these classes start accepting registration on the 1st of the preceding month. For example if the class is in June, you can register starting May 1st. They are all very popular, so be sure to sign up early!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Favorite Reads - Historical Fiction

In honor of the upcoming Author Visit of David Guterson and his book "Snow Falling on Cedars," I created a list of Historical Fiction favorites that involves World War II. Snow Falling on Cedars takes us to a small fishing community that is dealing with the aftermath of the war. A murder flares up the anti-Japanese sentiment after town members came home from being interned during the war.

The books that I chose for the Historical Fiction list are all about how families and people were affected by the war. There were several that especially stood out to me.

The Stars Can Wait by Jay Basu is about a 15 year old boy in Poland during the Nazi occupation. He is forced to work in the coal mines, but risks his life every night to go into the fields and stargaze. The war also affects his brother Pavel who takes a different path of rebellion.

When Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe tells about the horrible reality of what happens to innocent people when the Americans and Japanese fight over the Philippines. "Papa explains the war like this: 'When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.” The story follows a group of families who must hide in a cellar while the war rages above them.

Finally from the Japanese perspective comes The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama. This beautifully written book explores war torn life in Japan as families try to put there life back together after the war. They must all come to grips with the fact that life is changing while trying to hold on to the old traditions.

I hope that you enjoy this list as much I did creating it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Library Event - Grand Dérangement in Concert!

Come learn and watch as the Clark County hosts two events featuring the award winning musical group Grand Derangement!

The first event called Spirit of l'Acadie: Fiddles, Jigs and Reels, is a lecture given by the musicians and dancers from Southwester Nova Scotia, Canada. They will teach the audience about Acadian history, music and dance styles. Acadians are descendants of Canada's original French-speaking population. Originally settled in Nova Scotia in 1604 and ending up in Louisiana, this group of deportees became to be known as Cajuns.

Their musical influences vary from region to region – from Scottish music and French traditional songs to the sound of country, bluegrass and, most recently, rock 'n' roll. This music and dance will be showcased the next day at the Grand Dérangement in Concert! Event. This exciting concert will keep the audience on their feet as fiddles and step dances fill the theater stage.

I can’t wait to join in the excitement this weekend, and I hope to see you there as well… dancing your feet off!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Favorite Reads - Travel and Adventure - Italy

Each month, we make up reading lists for a variety of topics - mystery, crafts, current events, and more.

This month's "Adventures in Exotic Lands" list looks at living, loving and eating (of course!) in Italy!

I'm so excited about this list. I've read a lot of books about what it's like to live in France, Mexico, England, and the like. But I've never "visited" current day Italy, so I'm really looking forward to diving into these great titles!

After I finish some of these books, I'm planning to visit the Viva la Vita Bella festival at the Sahara West Library, at the end of this month. Food, films and fun! Yum! What more could I want?

October Urban Fiction Author - Pearl Cleage

Title: Babylon Sisters
Author: Pearl Cleage
Genre: Urban Fiction

The Urban fiction Author for the month of October is Pearl Cleage.

Catherine Sanderson has it all: a fulfilling career helping immigrant women find jobs, a lovely home, and a beautiful daughter on her way to Smith College. What Catherine doesn't have is a father for her child, or good answers for Phoebe's probing questions. And B. J., the only man she's ever loved, doesn't even know about Phoebe.

But now B. J., a renowned reporter, is back in town, and he needs Catherine's help in cracking the story of a female slavery ring operating on the streets of Atlanta. Though eager to help, Catherine is fearful over the confession she knows she must make - to him and their daughter. Fearful, too, of the sudden interest her newest client, the icy Miss Mandeville - a housekeeper turned tycoon - shows in Catherine's connection to B. J. What follows rocks Catherine's world - and the entire city of Atlanta.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Love in the Library - Under the Blood Red Moon

Are you waiting to meet the perfect man, someone who understands your need for individuality in the repressive 1800s? That's exactly what Angelica Belnov is waiting for, the man who can appreciate her for herself, a beautiful Russian telepath. Alexander is that man, he seems different than the rest, supernaturally so.

Author: Mina Hepsen (debut author)


Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance

Angelica Belanov is a beautiful Russian girl looking for a husband, a rich husband to save her family from ruin. Though she has no lack of suitors, she cannot seem to find anyone suitable. This is mostly due to the fact that she can read their minds. The ability is something she was born with and though it is amazing, she tends to see it as an obstacle. While dancing with your gentleman friend at a ball you get to enjoy the music and the warm smile with the added bonus of hearing what he would like to do to you if given the chance. Understandable Angelica cannot imagine herself married to any of the men she meets as they all seem to have one thing on their minds, sex. Things change when she meets Alexander, a sexy vampire who not only can read her mind but can talk to her telepathically. Angelica is intrigued and despite Alexander's efforts she cannot stay away from him.

I picked up this book at the library one day (by chance) and once I started reading it, I could not put it down. The saga of Alexander and Angelica is a timeless story of forbidden love. Though I call this a paranormal romance, there aren't a lot of graphic scenes. This is the authors debut novel and it is one the best paranormal romances I have ever read. Her story focuses on love, in the purest form that can overcome all obstacles. I found the book to be uplifting but laced with the intrigue and danger of vampires and forbidden desires. The only way this book could be better is if there is a sequel in the works!! As far as this book goes, it is probably a read once only kind of book.

Related authors include: Kim Harrison, Stephenie Meyer and Lynsay Sands.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Valley Book Group

The Spring Valley Book Group generally meets the first Thursday of each month, at 7 Pm, at the Spring Valley Library.

In March we discussed Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners by Laura Claridge.

We'd selected this title because we were all feeling as if we hadn't read enough biographies recently, and none of us really knew much about Emily Post. We were all excited about this title!

Only about half the group finished the book. One person had been out of town, and a few others found the print size to be way too small.

Everyone who read and/or finished the book enjoyed it a lot. Emily Post's life spread from the stilted society days of the late Victorian era, all the way up to the start of Women's Lib. The changes she experienced, and dealt with impeccably, were amazing.

We chatted a lot about what a diverse person Emily Post had been. When you think about EP, you only think "manners." In reality, she had hugely wide-ranging interests, from architecture to clothing design to gardening.

Emily Post also formed a family "dynasty" in the manners business. Her Emily Post Institute still employs large numbers of her descendents.

No one disliked the book. The only "complaints" were about the length (the book was extremely long and detailed), and the previously mentioned print size. Overall the book was well-written and entertaining.

For pretty much the entire group, Emily Post is a "read once" book. How much do you really need to know about EP? But it is a book we'd recommend to friends with an interest in early 20th century America, and in women's issues.

On April 2nd, the group will be discussing:
King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema By Chopra, Anupama

We selected this to continue the "biography" theme, and to get more information about Bollywood, after Slumdog Millionaire did so well at the Oscars.

We'll be meeting at the Spring Valley Library on April 2nd at 7 pm. See you there!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Books, Movies and More!!!

If you ever wondered to yourself..."Hmm...I wonder what new Mysteries are coming out this month?" then I have a fantastic resource from the Las Vegas Clark County Library that you may not know about!

Books, Movies and More is a section of our website that lets you browse through lists of new and favorite items that are grouped by genre. Each month the staff at the Virtual Branch compiles these lists from several different sources. We recieve a list from our Collection Development department that tells us what new books we purchased. We then compile a list for you so that you can find what is new in your favorite Genre.

We develop a list called What Las Vegas is Reading that will let you know exactly which books and movies your neighbors find the most interesting every month. The staff also works hard to put together new lists of specific subjects of books and movies you might not have known that we own that we call Favorites. There is even a list of Authors Visits that are coming to your local library with a list of their books so that you can check them out before you come to listen to them!

The exciting part of this page is that you can sign up to be emailed this information! This list is kept private and never sold, so feel confident in adding your name to the lists your are interested in. In feature blogs I will be highlighting some of the specific lists for you that are especially good.

My favorite this month is the Crafts list under Favorites. I created the list to highlight Calligraphy which is on of my personal crafts. I hope you give it a try and check out some of these books at your local library!

Friday, March 13, 2009

7th Annual Women's and Young Women's Conference

Please join us Saturday, March 14th, 9:00am at the West Las Vegas Library for the 7th Annual Women's and Young Women's Conference.

We are excited that Juana Hart, former broadcast journalist, will be a featured speaker at this year's conference. This years conference is sponsored by the city of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, the College of Southern Nevada and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

This year's conference will focus on the bonds between women in the community. The conference theme is “Wise Women’s Wisdom — Listen, Share and Spread the Knowledge.” Admission is free. Advance reservations are suggested, but not required. The center is located at 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd. The library is next door. Call the center at (702) 229-4800, or the library at 507-3989, for more information.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Paranormal Bender Tour Review

I enjoyed eclectic evening in the Jewel Box Theater as the authors of the Paranormal Bender Tour visited the Clark County library last night. Presented by the amazing Vicki Pettersson, the four paranormal authors regaled us with stories of their inspirations, beginnings as writers and their worst book signing experience.

Each author started by introducing themselves and their new books. Three of the writers are part of a writing group called Team Seattle and the fourth, Mario Acevedo was invited along to pay for gas on their road trip across the west! That Impala was certainly a gas hog!

Caitlin Kittredge who is the author of Second Skin was the youngest on the tour. She explained that she was inspired to do Paranormal/Urban fantasy because as a child she read a lot of horror and fantasy books. As a teen, she started including comic books into her reading and from this background she started blending fantasy elements with a contemporary setting and came up with werewolf detectives in an urban setting. She said that she was especially influence by the movie “Watcher in the Woods” which frightened her terribly.

Mario Acevedo was the only author not from Seattle, he hails from Colorado. He decided to become a writer when he picked up a bad book from his local library and decided that he could write better. Seventeen years later he started actually selling his books. His favorite genre of books to personally read is mysteries and he was influenced by the “Wizard of Oz” when he was young. He told a story about a terrible signing when no one actually showed up and he had to approach people in the bookstore to buy his books.

Cheri Priest was brought up in a very religious household and rebelled against this by reading classic horror. She was brought up in the south, mainly Tennessee and her first books were written in the Southern Gothic style, especially the book “Four and Twenty Blackbirds.” Apparently, people in Tennessee especially love it when authors write about their region and thus threw her a huge party when one of her books came out and got her quite drunk on champagne. This was her worst signing because after several hours of drinking, a television crew came and caught her at her worst. She especially likes to read non-fiction books such as true crime and history.

Mark Henry whose new book “Road Trip of the Living Dead” writes especially nasty and graphic books and couldn’t read any passages to the crowd…but he was not at all daunted by this. A wry sense of humor, he explained that his mother threw him a party when he was in 5th grade and showed “Night of the Living Dead.” While the other parents weren’t too happy with this, the kids ate it up. He knew that he always wanted to write about zombies, but needing a niche, he came up with his glamour zombie girls who have an excellent skin regime.

All four authors were very engaging and generously signed books afterward. It was an event that I was lucky to have attended. The audience had a blast!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Love in the Library - A Knight in Shining Armor

Have you had one of those weekends that just don’t turn out as you expected? Having had one of those recently, instead of digging into a bowl of ice cream, I decided to pull out my favorite romance book and cuddle up with it. I thought I would share it with you!

Title: A Knight in Shining Armor
Author: Jude Deveraux
ISBN: 0743457269
Genre: Historical Romance – Time Travel

Poor Dougless Montgomery…she has a horribly cheap boyfriend with an obnoxious daughter, who leaves her stranded in England after another of their nasty fights. Love-torn and crying over an ancient knight’s tomb, she finds herself suddenly in the presence of Nicholas, the Earl of Strafford. The very knight whose tomb she was weeping over has been unwillingly transported to the future to help Dougless in her time of need. The two of them must figure out a way for Nicholas to get back to his own time, or his legacy will be lost.

This is a fish out of water story, both for Nicholas in the future and Dougless when she is transported to the past. Nicholas’ legacy and reputation have been torn apart and he is mystified as to what may have happened in his lifetime to allow this to happen. The mystery of this leads them from the future to the past. I also enjoyed how the book ended because it was not as expected; in fact I almost threw the book away before I finished the final pages. Trust me…keep reading!

I have read this book 5 times, which is highly unusual for me. I rarely read books more than once, much less a romance book. This book has a charm that I can’t explain, but everyone I recommend it to loves it as well.

This is historical romance at its finest with a time travel theme added in. This is the book that really started that trend in historical romance and many books tried to replicate its charm and failed. If you are a contemporary romance reader, you may not enjoy this because it has all the stereotypes of the historical genre.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

Are you addicted to adrenaline sports? Do you dream of Base jumping or skiing down that next virginal slope? If so, come join us for an exciting night of movies directly from the Banff Mountain Film Festival!

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour makes a screaming stop at the Clark County Library this Thursday, March 12th at 7:00pm in the theater.

This year's tour features a collection of the most inspiring and thought-provoking action, environmental, and adventure mountain films. Traveling from remote landscapes and cultures to up close and personal with adrenaline-packed sports like ski and snowboarding, climbing and BASE-jumping, the 2008/2009 World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world.

This is a wildly popular event, and is a "sell out" every year, if anything that's free can be called a sell-out! There are a limited number of seats, so the library will be passing out wristbands starting at 6PM, in the courtyard in front of the theater entrance, on the west side of the library. Get there early as the wristbands are "one per person" (so you can't get one for your boyfriend who's parking the car) and they're usually gone by 6:40.

Join us early for this very popular annual event!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teen Tech Week!

Calling all gamers!! Join us all this week for electronic fun at the library as we celebrate Teen Tech Week!

You will be excited to know that some of the events include an Internet Scavenger hunt, Wii and X-box game play, a Karaoke Contest and an Amazing Race Virtual Scavenger hunt. The Wii games include Wii Sports, Mario Party 8 and American Idol.

Even if you are a noob, you can join in the fun at several different libraries during the week of March 8-14th. Come find out who is the best singing for Simon, Paula and Randy or who can fly through Mario Party 8. You might even want to join in the (old timer) gaming card tournaments available!

Hope to see you there!

The Paranormal Bender Tour!

Join us at the Clark County Library as we present The Paranormal Bender Tour.

I am so excited to tell you that five of the most provocative Urban Fantasy writers to grace today's bookshelves are going to unleash their wicked humor and sexy tales of vampires, zombies and werewolves unto the seemingling innocent audience in the Jewel Box Theater Wednesday evening!

This irreverent program features readings from Mario Acevedo (Jailbait Zombie), Mark Henry (Road Trip of the Living Dead), Caitlin Kittredge (Second Skin), and Vicki Pettersson, (Sign of the Zodiac Series) and Cherie Priest (Fathom). This is an evening for Adult Audiences and I hope to see many of you in your best fishnet stockings and be prepared for a wickedly fun time!

It's free and there will be prizes! The authors will be signing books afterwards, so bring your copies. Don't miss this chance to see these authors who write what you enjoy reading!

When: Wendesday, March 11 at 7:00pm
Where: Clark County Library - Jewel Box Theater
1401 E. Flamingo Road

You can see their books and request them from the library catalog at the "Authors Coming to a Library Near You" newsletter!

Be sure to visit these authors websites or blogs::

Mario Acevedo's official website

Mark Henry's official website

Zombie Chow (Mark Henry's daily journal, with information about this tour)

Caitlin Kittredge's official website

Vicki Pettersson's official website

Cherie Priest's official website