Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Urban Fiction Author - Pearl Cleage

Title: Seen it All and Done the Rest
Author: Pearl Cleage
Genre: Urban Fiction

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

For Josephine Evans, home was on the stages of the world where she spent thirty years establishing herself as one of the finest actresses of her generation. Josephine was the toast of Europe, and her fabulous apartment in Amsterdam's theater district was a popular gathering place for an international community of artists, actors, and expatriates who considered themselves true citizens of the world. Josephine lived above and beyond the reach of conventional definitions of who and what an African American diva could be, and her legions of loyal fans loved her for it. She had a perfect life and enough sense to live it to the hilt, but then a war she didn't fully understand turned everything upside down, thrusting her into a role she never wanted and was not prepared to play. Suddenly the target of angry protests aimed at the country she had never really felt was her own, Josephine is forced to return to America to see if she can create a new definition of home.

Camping out with her granddaughter, Zora, who is housesitting in Atlanta's West End; and trying to avoid the unwanted attentions of Dig It , the city's brand-new gossip magazine, Josephine struggles to reclaim her old life even as she scrambles to shape her new one. Hoping her friend Howard Denmond is as good as his word when he promises to engineer her triumphant return to the European stage, Josephine sets out to increase her nest egg by selling the house her mother willed her, only to find the long-neglected property has become home to squatters who have no intention of leaving.

But an unexpected reunion with an old friend offers Josephine a chance to set things right. Spurning an offer from unscrupulous land developerGreer Woodruff, Josephine gathers new friends around her, including Victor Causey, a lawyer whose addictions left him homeless but still determined to protect his mother; Louie Baptiste, a displaced New Orleans chef hoping to return to the city he loves; and Aretha Hargrove, recovering from her role in the same scandal that sent Zora running for cover. As Greer gets serious about her plan to tear the community apart, Josephine finds herself playing the most important role of her life, showing her neighbors what courage really is and learning the true meaning of coming home.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Libraries Closed for Nevada Day

All the libraries in Las Vegas are closed today.

Folks who move to Nevada are always surprised when everything shuts down the last Friday of October, for something called Nevada Day. For many years, it was even more confusing - everything shut down on Halloween! (Why are the banks closed on Halloween????)

October 31st is the official anniversary of Nevada's Admission to the Union in 1864. Nevada is the 36th state. All state, county, and city offices are closed, as well as schools and libraries. Some banks and other businesses close, as a discretionary holiday. There are a lot of old rumors about why Nevada became a state - about the Union needing the gold and silver to support the Civil War. That's not true, as Guy Rocha (the totally amazing former State Archivist) explains in his essay Why did Nevada Become a State?

A few years ago, the citizens of Nevada voted to celebrate Nevada Day on the last Friday of October, rather than the actual date of October 31st. Hooray for three day weekends! Some people (like me!) are grumpy that they've moved the holiday off Halloween. But Guy Rocha also has an answer for that: Is there anything Traditional about Nevada Day?

(Guy Rocha published an entire amazing list of Nevada Myths. They're really entertaining!)

The libraries will all be open during regular hours (10 AM - 6 PM) on Saturday, Halloween, so we'll see you tomorrow morning.

Here are some great books the library has, about how Nevada became a state, and some of the early wild times!

Devils will reign : how Nevada began
by Sally Zanjani

Outlaw tales of Nevada : true stories of Nevada's most famous robbers, rustlers, and bandits
by Charles L. Convis.

Tarnished legacy : the story of the Comstock Lode
by Ellen Hopkins

It happened in Nevada
by Elizabeth Gibson

Roughing it
by Mark Twain

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No Germs Allowed

No Germs Allowed!
by Winkler G. Weinberg, M.D.

When I first picked this book up, I assumed it would focus on areas where germs reside and how to avoid these areas if possible. When I think of germs, I usually only think of germs like the germs that cause staph infections, flu, colds or rashes, but there are many more. This book not only speaks of the infections listed above, but it also talks about STD’s, food poisoning, traveling health hazards, skin infections, tuberculosis and many more.

This is a great book and each chapter can be read alone without having to read the entire book. Each chapter has a title that clearly represents what the chapter contains, so you can just browse the chapters for the information needed or simply read the entire book to become more knowledgeable.

The book begins with a fictionalized account of one mans vacation and the possible number of times he may have been infected by germs at each point during his vacation escape. Before he tells you all the places the man could have contracted infections, he breaks and then provides chapters that feature the more common infections.

In the next few chapters he discusses the more common viruses and infections:

Common cold – I hate to say it but I was feeling like a germaphobe after reading this chapter. This chapter shows how easily the cold and flu viruses are easily transmitted from simple touches and movements that we may be aware of. There is a picture of a man who had fluorescent dye placed in his nose to see how much and where the virus was spread over a six hour period. You see the places he touched because each spot has the florescent dye. Some places touched included, pants pocket, jacket pocket, hands, tie, as well as the entire area around the mouth. This only showed were he touched himself, not any other surfaces.

Food poisoning – This section also surprised me, because he not only talks about the most common poisoning of salmonella, but the various other ways to become infected. Sushi, ceviche and other fish that are eaten raw may make you ill, so he provides tips to help keep you safe if you enjoy these. He also warns that we should stay away from certain fish because many contain worms that are not good for human consumption.

Needless to say, I was somewhat horrified at some of the ways in which we contact these infections, but now I am aware of things I should avoid and how to minimize getting these various infections. Now that the H1N1 virus is pretty rampant, I think we all should looks for ways to say safe and this book is the perfect starting point.

Which area in your home contains the most germs?
1. Washing Machine
2. Bed
3. Refrigerator
4. Carpets and rugs
5. Salt and pepper shaker

For the answer, click here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fantasy Author, Tamora Pierce

How do you get two teenage girls interested in the fantasy genre? We’ll you take them to see one of the most famous Young Adult fantasy authors who writes in this genre today, Tamora Pierce. Tamora Pierce’s bubbly personality wowed a very diverse audience of about 100 people at the West Charleston Library on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30p.m..

Tamora Pierce says there is no rhythm to her writing, she just writes the way her characters feel and relies on her characters speech patterns to formulate their words and sentences. Her writing day is somewhat structured. She seems to do her best writing during the hours of 3-4 and on Saturday she only writes for a half a day. Writing during travel time in off limits, because she tends to be somewhat busy. She and author, Bruce Colville meet often to read each others works and offer feedback to one another. She has written over 20 fanatasy novels.

No focusing on two or more novels at a time, she says she does one at a time to develop the characters and storyline as best as possible. I think the audience agrees, because she has tremendous support for her writings. She has never thought about rewriting any of her novels because she thinks she would change everything to try and make them better. I think she does pretty well without the rewrites, based on the reaction of her audience.

Who does a famous writer like to read? Well, if she is pressed for an answer, she will tell you she likes classic writers such as Mark Twain and Louisa May Alcott. According to Mrs. Pierce, Mark Twain's writing is relevant even today and Louisa May Alcott featured many strong women in her works, which she finds fascinating. Some other authors that she enjoys are Stephen King, Barbara Hambly, Bruce Coville and a few others. She reads various things, and some of her favorites include, teen problem novels, young adult fantasy, historical novel and lots of non-fiction. Currently, she is reading non-fiction books about women of the world, including Islamic women and their culture.

Her characters bear some resemblance to someone she has either meet in her life or family members. Her character Alanna has strong ties to her paramedic, emergency rescue sister Kim. The best character that would most resemble Pierce herself would be Tris.

What does Mrs. Pierce recommend for young writers? She suggests they take as much of a variety of courses in college as they can. To be a successful writer, she encourages them to be very well rounded and when submitting work for publication, be very diligent, but patient. She also suggest that they use the Writers Market as a tool for finding out about agents, submission and all other inforamtion that writers will need.

I think I enjoyed Tamora Pierce more than my two teenage girls, but she is a wonderful speaker who I was glad to have had a chance to see.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means more new DVD releases. Remember, you can request these items at your local library, so do so soon, because the list can get very looong! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. Don’t forget to see the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for November 3rd;

Aliens in the Attic – The Pearson kids are stuck at a boring lake house with their nerdy parents. That is until feisty little green aliens crash-land on the roof, with plans to conquer the house AND Earth. Using only their wits, courage, and video game-playing skills, the youngsters must band together to defeat the aliens and save the world, but the toughest part might be keeping the whole thing a secret from their parents.

Food, inc. - Food, Inc. lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing how our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Food, Inc. reveals surprising – and often shocking truths – about what we eat, how it's produced and who we have become as a nation.

I Love You, Beth Cooper - Buffalo Grove High School valedictorian Denis Cooverman (PAUL RUST) has had quite an academic career...on paper, at least. Superlative student, conscientious young gentleman and patently obvious dork, Denis has played it safe and made it all the way to graduation day without ever having really experienced some of the joys of higher learning: breaking curfew, destruction of property, over-consumption of alcohol, fist fights, late nights, fast cars or faster women (actually, women of any sort). But all of that is about to change, and all by uttering five little words: "I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER."

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 - In The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Denzel Washington stars as New York City subway dispatcher Walter Garber, whose ordinary day is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway train. John Travolta stars as Ryder, the criminal mastermind who, as leader of a highly-armed gang of four, threatens to execute the train’s passengers unless a large ransom is paid within one hour. As the tension mounts beneath his feet, Garber employs his vast knowledge of the subway system in a battle to outwit Ryder and save the hostages. But there’s one riddle Garber can't solve: even if the thieves get the money, how can they possibly escape?

G. I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra- Based on Hasbro’s immensely popular action figures, G.I. Joe is the ultimate elite fighting force, engaged in an extraordinary action-adventure matchup of good versus evil! In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the G.I. Joe team, armed with the coolest hi-tech gadgets and weapons, travels the world from the Egyptian desert to the polar ice caps in a high stakes pursuit of Cobra, an evil international organization threatening to use a technology that could bring the world to its knees.

This week’s release with the most requests is Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with 620 requests.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CD Review - Joss Stone - Introducing Joss Stone

Title: Introducing Joss Stone
Author: Joss Stone
Media type: Sound Recording
Genre: R&B/ Soul

I first saw Joss Stone on the Oprah Winfrey show when she was only seventeen. She was featured as a new artist with a soulful sound. Of course when I heard her voice, I was like No way. There was no way possible this British seventeen year old could sound like many older artists I had listened to. Anyway, needless to say I have been a huge fan ever since. My favorite CD of hers is still, Mind, Body & Soul. I am sure she will have many more to follow.

Joss Stone (born Jocelyn Eve Stoker on 11 April 1987) is an English soul and R&B singer–songwriter and actress. Stone emerged to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, which made the 2004 Mercury Prize shortlist. Her second album, the equally multi-platinum Mind, Body & Soul, topped the UK Albums Chart for one week and spawned the top ten hit You Had Me, Stone's most successful single on the UK Singles Chart to date. Both album and single each received one nomination at the 2005 Grammy Awards, while Stone herself was nominated for Best New Artist. Stone's latest album, Introducing Joss Stone, released in March 2007, has achieved gold status by the RIAA. Stone will release her fourth album, Colour Me Free, on October 20, 2009. (Wikipedia, retrieved October 6, 2009)

We have all been hurt at one point in our lives, but we learned to live with the pain and we eventually moved on. This soulful songs speak to the heart. We may fall and get bruised, but we always get back up, no matter what. I was always told that “what does not kill you, only makes you stronger.” This song is a perfect representation of that old saying.

Bruised But Not Broken
Just wanted to feature the chorus here, not the whole song, so here it is;

And I'll be alright
And I'll love again
And the wounds will mend
I'm bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I'll get back on my feet
It's not the end of me
My heart is still open
I'm bruised but not broken

Take a listen and tell me what you think of this young, up and coming artists.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Review: Green Metropolis

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability
by David Owen

Who would believe that New York City causes less pollution than any other US city?

Of course I must qualify this, but there is an important sense in which this is true. Per person, New York City generates only 25% as much carbon emissions as does Dallas, and less than 30% of the national average. New Yorkers simply consume less energy.

The difference, author David Owen, says, is because of the population density of NYC. Manhattan averages over 60,000 people per square mile. Over 80% of workers don't drive themselves to work. They take public transit, bicycle, or walk. New Yorkers also, not so surprisingly, live in smaller spaces.

New Yorkers aren't really anymore environmentally friendly than the rest of us. They live this way unconsciously, simply because their built environment allows them to live this way.

Whether or not you find the evidence for global warming or for the end of cheap oil to be compelling, you may enjoy this book with its critique of the traditional environmentalist views that cities are the problem and not the solution to pollution.

I'm generally in the mood for a contrarian. I like this book because I think it shows just how much we as a society have taken for granted our current way of life.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October Urban Fiction Author - Pearl Cleage

Title: Baby Brother Blues
Author: Pearl Cleage
Genre: Urban Fiction

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

When Regina Burns married Blue Hamilton, she knew he was no ordinary man. Regina enjoyed a circle of engaging friends and her own work as communications consultant, but she especially relished the company of her husband, who never ceased to be a source of passion and delight. Then everything changes.

Frightened women are showing up in West End, seeking Blue's protection from lovers who have suddenly become violent. When the worst offenders begin to disappear, the speculation seems to implicate Blue and his long-time associates. Now that Regina is pregnant, her fears for Blue's safety have become an obsession that threatens the heart of their relationship. Returning to the Atlanta neighborhoods of her last two novels, Pearl Cleage has crafted a warm, witty novel that illuminates the core of every woman's hopes and dreams.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Review: Zot! 1987-1991

Zot!: The Complete Black and White Collection, 1987-1991
by Scott McCloud
Fiction Graphic Novel

Imagine a parallel world where every classic, optimistic vision of the future came to be. People fly around in air cars and with jet packs, anti-evolution terrorists run around turning people into monkeys, and a teenage superhero named Zot flies around defending society against weird, maniacal super-villains. Jenny and Butch, a brother and sister from our world, find themselves caught up in the excitement, adventure, and romance of Zot’s Earth, and it changes their lives.

This book collects the second part of Scott McCloud’s series, Zot! McCloud, who has gone on to create an award-winning series of graphic novels about how comics work, provides an introduction and story notes, and spends a lot of time apologizing for the problems he sees with this early work. He’s got nothing to apologize for. His stories and art are clear and engaging, full of action and character. While the earliest Zot stories (not collected here) were in color, these were published in black and white, with McCloud producing some extremely striking and beautiful images.

In the last third or so of the book, the tone shifts to a more down-to-earth, character-based feel. The action takes place exclusively on "our" Earth, focusing on Jenny and her friends, with Zot as the only fantastical element. These "Earth Stories" deal with love, family, art, sex, crime, friendship, sexual orientation, and other issues, and are the reason Zot! is still in print 18 years after Scott McCloud drew the final story.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mystic Fair at West Charleston Library

Need something beyond the ordinary to do this weekend!

When was the last time you had your palms read? Or have you had wierd dreams and want to know what they mean? Well you will want to join us for this fabulous event.

When: Saturday, October 24, 2009 10 - 3
Where: West Charleston LibraryMystic Fair

This exciting fair will feature local psychics and astrologers, palm readings, dream interpretation, numerology, tarot reading, mystical practitioners, vendors and more!

Consultations by appointment only. First-come, first-served. Sign up at the fair.

Need more information, please call 507-3964. Free and open to the public

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Review: Reading the OED

Reading the OED: One man, one year, 21,730 pages
by: Ammon Shea

Just for all you Scrabble lovers, and word lovers generally!

Author Ammon Shea, moonlighting as a furniture mover in New York City, did in fact read the entire 20 volume set in one year, headaches and all, “so that you don’t have to.”

I feel like I had no idea what a dictionary was before reading this book. The first thing that surprised was learning about how many words in the OED do not have pronunciations. These are words that have fallen out of usage, and literally no one alive knows how to pronounce these words. It had not occurred to me before that there could be tens of thousands of English words that no one really knows how to pronounce.

It is also revealing to learn how dictionary editors and compilers—lexicographers--can have identifiable writing styles. For example, author Ammon Shea claims he can recognize the style of James Murray, the original editor-in-chief of the OED, in volume P. Certainly in the past, lexicographers like Noah Webster or Samuel Johnson provided sometimes distinctive meanings for words.

The ultimate lesson of the OED is that words change in meaning over time. We change their meaning. New words are invented, old words are discarded.

Who knew that reading a dictionary could make you laugh?

Examples using the suffix –ee:
  • Boree -- one who is bored.
  • Flingee --(following the pattern...) one who is flung
  • Gazee -- one who is gazed upon
  • Laughee -- one who is laughed at
My all time favorite word from this summary of a dictionary:

The OED: the Oxford English Dictionary. I have written elsewhere about the scale of this amazing dictionary.

If you enjoy this book as much as I did, you may also enjoy:
The Know-It-All: One man’s humble quest to become the smartest person in the world

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means more new DVD releases. Remember, you can request these items at your local library, so do so soon, because the list can get very looong! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. Don’t forget to see the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for October 27th

Ice age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - Just when you thought they couldn’t get any cooler...your favorite prehistoric pals from Ice Age and Ice Age The: Meltdown are back in an all-new, ginormous animated adventure for ALL ages.

This time around, Manny and the herd discover a lost world of ferociously funny dinosaurs, including a cranky T-Rex who’s got a score to settle with Sid. Meanwhile, Scrat goes nuts over the beautiful Scratte, but is she trying to win his heart—or steal his acorn?

Featuring an all-star voice cast, including Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah, Ice Age Dawn Of The Dinosaurs delivers more thrills, more chills, and more mammoth-sized laughs for everyone!

Nothing Like the Holidays - For the first time in years, the entire Rodriguez clan is home for the holidays in Chicago, to celebrate one member's safe return from Iraq, and each learns something about themselves...and each other.

Orphan - The tragic loss of their unborn child has devastated Kate and John, taking a toll on both their marriage and Kate's fragile psyche as she is plagued by nightmares and haunted by demons from her past. Struggling to regain some semblance of normalcy in their lives, the couple decides to adopt another child. At the local orphanage, both John and Kate find themselves strangely drawn to a young girl named Esther. Almost as soon as they welcome Esther into their home, however, an alarming series of events begins to unfold, leading Kate to believe that there's something wrong with Esther--this seemingly angelic little girl is not what she appears to be. Concerned for the safety of her family, Kate tries to get John and others to see past Esther's sweet facade. But her warnings go unheeded until it may be too late...for everyone.

Whatever Works - Whatever Works explores the relationship between a crotchety misanthrope, Boris (Larry David) and a naïve, impressionable young runaway from the south, Melody (Evan Rachel Wood). When Melody's uptight parents arrive in New York to rescue her, they are quickly drawn into wildly unexpected romantic entanglements. Everyone discovers that finding love is just a combination of lucky chance and appreciating the value of "whatever works."

This week’s release with the most requests is Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen with 975 requests.

Monday, October 19, 2009

CD Review - Kem - Album II

Title: Album II
Author: Kem
Media type: Sound Recording
Genre: R&B/ Soul

Kem Owens (born in Nashville, TN), professionally known as Kem, is an American R&B/Soul singer, songwriter, and producer. He was raised in Detroit, Michigan. He wrote, produced, and financed his self-released debut album, Kemistry, with his American Express and singing top 40 cover tunes in a wedding band and waiting tables.

He was later signed by Motown Records in November 2001, who re-released the album on February 25, 2002 and sold more than 500,000 copies nationwide. The album's first single, Love Calls, became a hit at urban adut contemporary and smooth jazz radio, and USA Today pegged it early on as a Motown classic. His debut went gold-plus.

He followed his debut release with a second album, Album II, released May 17, 2005 and sold more than 500,000 copies nationwide. It included the hit single I Can't Stop Loving You, a # 1 at urban adult contemporary radio, and the song You Might Win featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica. (Wikipedia, retrieved October 6, 2009)

On I Can't Stop Loving You, KEM pens a classic love story that pulls no punches. I deal with the struggle of relationships and how hard it is to love someone. It's something adults can relate to. (Kem, from his official website,

Kem has been around for quite some time. I have always loved artists whose music can be listened to year after year, so I thought I would remind you all of an artist whose songs transcend time. If you have ever listened to any of his CDs and now here them played today, you just groove along like it is a song that was just released.

Kem is a class act and his music will stay with his fans for many years to come. KEM knows singing songs for adult contemporary listeners is what drives his success. I am not trying to market to that get naked crowd. My primary purpose is to serve people who like what I am doing. (, October 2009) His music is for the Grown and Sexy. Hope he releases another CD soon!

I can’t Stop Loving You

I think about the day I met the perfect stranger
I think about us
And I think about the day I got wrapped around your finger
I think about us

The sun was shining on you
The Lord was smiling on me
And love was calling us

I had my mind made up
I can�t stop loving you
I can't help myselfAnd I can't get over you
No matter what I tell myself baby

If you are part of that Grown and Sexy crowd and love good music, tell us about some of your favorite classic artists.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

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.

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.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Teens! Are you ready for some fun?

Teen Read Week 2009
October 18 -24, 2009

Don’t have plans for the week of October 18-24th? No worries! Come and celebrate Read Beyond Reality during Teen Reading Week at the Las Vegas Clark County Library District.

We have lots of fun stuff for you and your friends. For starters, if you complete three of the five activities below and give this printable card to a librarian in the Youth Services Department of your favorite library, you will be entered in a drawing. You will win a fantastic Out of This World swag bag!

Pick three (or more!) from these activities:

  1. Get or show a library card

  2. Check out a library book— make sure you show us your receipt!

  3. Post a message on the >Teen Message Board on the library's Teen Page

  4. Read a book from Yalsa’s Teen Top 10 list

  5. Attend a teen program at the library

Wait, still not convinced? Okay, let me tell you a little about some of the cool programs we have planned for you.

Have you ever wanted to meet a famous author? Well Tamora Pierce will be at the West Charleston Library on October 21, at 6:30p.m. Bestselling author Tamora Pierce has written more than 20 fantasy books for young adults, including the Protector of the Small series and the Circle of Magic series.

Not a huge fan of Fantasy books? OK, there is still more. Check out these fun activities!

It Came from the Clay - Create an alien or other creature from beyond that you can take home to scare your friends. Pre-registration required.
Get Your Game On – Who’s the best? Take the challenge and come and play the Xbox 360 or Wii with your friends. If you win, of course you get bragging rights until the next Game on program.
Project Runway Alien Edition - Create alien outfits for your models and show off your best alien wear. Models and materials will be provided. Pre-registration required.
Creative Writing for Teens: All About the Writing Process
We’ll share our story ideas, play a few writing games and more. Refreshments will be served.
Zombie Night – You must get away from the zombies! How are you going to do this? Team up with your friends and figure out the best way to escape from danger before you are eaten alive! The library will supply you with all the tools you need for escape.
Spock Socks -Live long and prosper by creating sci-fi sock puppets. Bring a friend and see who can make the most craziest and weidest, out of this world creation! All materials and supplies will be provided.
To find out about the other cool programs that we have during Teen Reading Week, click here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Modern Scholar Lecture!

Just as the British Isles announced the biggest Anglo Saxon treasure find of the century, Michael C. Drout puts out another amazing lecture. If you will remember, I reported about his wonderful lecture on Chaucer as well as Fantasy Literature and Science Fiction Literature.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Living Library: Opening Minds

When: Saturday, 10/17/2009 • 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: Rainbow Library, 3150 N. Buffalo, Las Vegas, NV 89128

Want to experience something new? Join us for a unique experience where books come to life! Break stereotypes and prejudices by engaging in stimulating conversation with a living book. Can you really judge a book by its cover?
Living Library is a world-wide project designed to reduce stereotypes and prejudices. The event works like a regular library – except that people (Living Books) are checked out, allowing strangers to connect in personal conversations to foster mutual understanding.

A Living Book is a person that is a public representative of a certain group based on current or past personal experience. The group is generally extremely varied in age, sex and cultural background, and for various reasons subject to stereotypes and prejudices. The Living Book will be available for “check out” for a short period of time in which they will discuss their values with anyone interested and answer any questions about their particular group.

For more information on the Living Library project, please visit

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means more new DVD releases. Remember, you can request these items at your local library, so do so soon, because the list can get very looong! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. Don’t forget to see the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for October 20th;

Cheri – Cheri tells a sensational controversial love story with Parisian flare and style. Experience the thrill of the chase, the indulgence of lust and the rush of falling in love again and again.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - When college-bound Sam Witwicky learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers, he must accept his destiny and join Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in their epic battle against the Decepticons, who have returned stronger than ever with a plan to destroy the world.

This week’s release with the most requests is The Proposal with 920 requests.

Monday, October 12, 2009

CD Review - Keyshia Cole - A Different Me

Title: A Different Me
Author: Keyshia Cole
Media type: Sound Recording
Genre: R&B/ Soul

Born in 1981 in Oakland, California, Keyshia didn’t have it easy. The Cole’s adopted her after her mother Frankie, an addict at the time, could no longer take care of her. Twenty plus years later, she is still trying to put all of the pieces of the puzzle we call life together – discovering long lost siblings, mending the relationship with her mother who was recently released from jail and supporting her sister, Neffe, and her four children.The road to riches wasn’t easy for Keyshia and still isn’t. Besides the release of a new album, new season of her BET reality show, touring and personal appearances, Keyshia is gearing up for the production of a movie based on her life. (Keyshia Cole official site, retrieved September 30, 2009)

Okay, it’s back to the love songs. I like several songs form her latest CD, but my favorite so far is You Complete Me. This is the way I interpret this song. I trust you, you are the one I adore and together, we will be just fine, no matter what anyone says or does.

You Complete Me lyrics
Songwriters: Cole, Keyshia; Feemaster, T;

Can you hear me out there
Have you ever had someone who loved you
Never leave your sideI know you'll be here
Because you love me... yes you do

I'm givin all my life and all my love... if you...
Promise me you'll be here forever
I'll give you all of me I'll give you everything
If you promise me you'll never leave me

What my friends say don't matter
You'll be right here from the start
And I'll get on my knees
I'll give you all of me
You'll never leave my side

You love me
You complete me
You hold my heart in your hands
And it's okay cause I trust that
You'll be the best man that you can

So, my friends, are you a fan of the slower love songs or the faster songs you can dance to? Let me know what you think of this artist.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Catching Fire

Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Katniss and Peeta are back, and the second book in the Hunger Games series definitely delivers.

It starts out normal, or whatever you might consider normal when you are suppossed to be in love with the boy you survived the hunger games with, but think you may be in love with the boy you've grown up hunting with.

Katniss didn't really think everything would be normal when she returned to District 12, but the world she returned to is barely recognizable as her home. She and Peeta have unwittingly begun a quiet rebellion with their defiance of the capital, when they forced the authorities to allow the two of them to live. Neither one of them realize how real it may be until they begin their victor's tour, and each district seems more out of control than the next.

Suddenly Katniss must struggle to save herself, her family and Peeta all over again, in more ways than one. And there's also the mystery of District 13: is really as bad as the capitol says it is? Is there hope for Katniss and her family? Will they escape the iron fist of the capitol before its too late? Read and find out.

Author read-alikes: Anthony Horowitz, Garth Nix, Rick Riordan

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October Urban fiction Author - Pearl Cleage

Title: I wish I had A red Dress
Author: Pearl Cleage
Genre: Urban Fiction

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

Bestselling author Pearl Cleage returns to the site of her Oprah pick novel, "What Looks Like Crazy On an Ordinary Day," to affirm life's precious wonder once again.

Since Joyce Mitchell was widowed five years ago, she's kept herself mercifully busy by running The Sewing Circus, an all-female group she founded to provide badly needed services to single mothers and other young women at risk. But some nights, home alone, she knows something is missing. And if the state legislature cuts off funding, she'll soon not even have The Sewing Circus to fill up her life. Then one night, at dinner at the home of her best friend, Sister, Joyce finds a perfect meal and a perfect man: tall, dark Nate Anderson, whose unexpected presence touches a chord in Joyce's heart that she thought it had forgotten how to play.

Suddenly, Joyce feels ready to grab a sexy red dress and the life that goes with it...if she can somehow keep her girls safe from the dark forces aligning against them.

This is a sensitive story of sisterhood, courage and self-determination, always leavened with touches of humor and compassion.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Book Review: Curious Minds

Curious Minds - How a child becomes a scientist
John Brockman, editor

How many famous scientists do you think are high school dropouts? Well, in this collection of first hand accounts, two scientists:

  • Dr. David Buss, biologist at the University of Texas, formerly of Harvard University
  • Dr. Lee Smolin, physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Ontario
...were both high school dropouts. Don't assume this is because they were academic prodigies. Buss was a "C" student and ended up working in a truck stop before he entered college. Smolin never took a physics course before college. These are the sort of fascinating anecdotes contained in Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist.

Dr. Murray Gell-Mann, winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on elementary particles, is the one contributor to the book that I have heard speak publicly. He tells of how, as a young post-doc at 21-years-old, working at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, that he could never bring himself to say more than "hello" to Einstein, who was also working there at the time.

Dr. Gell-Mann recalls that at that time he felt it was inappropriate to meet someone famous just so he could later "name drop." Now, he regrets not taking the time to ask Einstein more about his research.

The most meaningful tale to me is of Dr. Marc Hauser's freshman year of college. Hauser is now a psychology professor at Harvard and has been voted one of the most popular professors by students.

In college he had one "horrid" experience with a molecular biology professor "so myopically focused on grades and memorization" that he lost all enthusiasm for the course. In contrast, in an animal behavior course, he recalls exactly 2 graded assignments--a paper and an open book, open notes final exam with exactly one question.

Before we criticize Hauser for just preferring the easy course, we should consider that the animal behavior professor made him write his paper 3 times before giving him a grade because the professor knew he could do better. As for the final exam, the only question was, "You are having a dinner party. You are inviting some of the leaders in the field of sociobiology. Who will they be and what will they discuss?"

Hauser explains, "I can recall thinking that this was the best question I had ever been offered. It was playful and challenging. It asked us to use our knowledge to make arguments, not to regurgitate facts. It was a question that a great teacher would ask" (155).

I highly recommend this inspiring collection, especially for its commentary on education. Steven Pinker, experimental psychologist at Harvard University, comments, "Schooling is a small part of education, and I learned science anyway." (88).

Read Alike--Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Book Review: Hoptoad

By Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Karen Lee Schmidt
Children’s picture book

How does a toad cross the road? Find out in this fun picture book by Jane Yolen. In Hoptoad, the main character is a toad who sets out with some friends (a tortoise and a lizard) to cross a lonely highway in the Mojave Desert. They have to move fast because a big red camper is barreling right toward them.

This story is ideal to share with a beginner reader. The text rhymes, the print is extra-large, and each page has no more than three or four simple words. The illustrations by Karen Lee Schmidt offer an amusing, distorted perspective from the toad’s point of view, adding to the story’s suspense. Also adding interest is the colorful landscape which seems alive with movement with its swirling blue sky and zigzagging Joshua trees. Together, the text and images will captivate preschoolers and have them rooting for the toad to make it safely to the far side of the road.

If you like Hoptoad, try Nancy Shaw’s sheep books such as Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep on a Ship, and others. Books like these with simple rhyming text are great resources for building phonological awareness in early readers. Read these stories aloud to expose children to the sound structure of language, while enjoying a fun story at the same time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Tuesday’s New DVD Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means more new DVD releases. Remember, you can request these items at your local library, so do so soon, because the list can get very looong! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. Don’t forget to see the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!
Here are the releases for October 13th:

Drag Me to Hell - An original tale of a young woman's desperate quest to break an evil curse. Christine Brown is an ambitious L.A. loan officer. Life is good until the mysterious Mrs. Ganush arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Christine denies the extension to impress her boss and get a leg up on a promotion, shaming Mrs. Ganush and dispossessing her of her home. She finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse, which turns her life into a living hell.

Land of the Lost - This big-screen adaptation of Land of the Lost stars Will Ferrell as Dr. Rick Marshall, a quantum paleontologist who has been discredited in the scientific world due to his strident belief in time travel as the cure for all of humanity's problems. After hitting an all-time low, giving a lecture to elementary school kids, Dr. Marshall meets an ambitious young scientist named Holly (Anna Friel), who tells him she has followed all his work and believes he's a genius. Spurred on by her enthusiasm, he finishes building the device that will allow him to time travel -- something he promptly does along with Holly, and white-trash fireworks salesman Will (Danny McBride), after Will leads them into a cave that seems like a promising place to test the new machine. They end up in a world full of dinosaurs, sand, and scary lizard-like creatures known as Sleestacks. They quickly lose the machine that brought them to this alternate universe, and if they ever want to return home, the trio must recover it with the help of Chaka (Jorma Taccone), the monkey-like friend they make in this strange place. by Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

The proposal - High-powered book editor Maggie is everyone's worst nightmare: ruthless, driven, and tactless. When she finds herself faced with deportation back to Canada, she coerces her much younger assistant into marrying her. However, when the government becomes suspicious, they embark upon a charade in order to make the marriage seem legitimate.

This week’s release with the most requests is My Life in Ruins with 412 requests!

Monday, October 5, 2009

CD Review - Jazmine Sullivan - Fearless

Title: Fearless
Author: Jazmine Sullivan
Media type: Sound Recording
Genre: R&B/ Soul

Jazmine Sullivan is a new artist that seems to have a unique sound that may carry her for many more years in the music industry. Her sound is fresh and contains a mixture of various genres of music, however she still easily fits into the R&B category. Her debut album is full of songs that will have you singing along as if the songs were written especially for you. Not many artisit can pull this off.

Jazmine Marie Sullivan (born April 9, 1987) is an American R&B and soul music singer and songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is also the protégé of rapper Missy Elliott. Her debut single "Need U Bad" reached number one on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.. Elements of reggae, dub, pop, jazz, Neo soul and doo-wop can be heard in her work. Sullivan cites singers Lauryn Hill, Kim Burrell and Erykah Badu as her biggest influences and inspirations. (Wikipedia, retrieved September 30,2009)

Normally I like for you to listen to songs that are more about love, but I would like for you to listen to something a little different. Bust Your Windows, is not a typical song we are used to hearing, but how many of us have gotten so angry at one point, that we would like to experience some of the things she talks about in this song? Most of us will never do these things, but we sure would like to. Well because we all have felt like this at one point our another, I choose this song to feature this week.

Bust Your Windows lyrics

I bust the windows out ya car
And no it didn't mend my broken heart
I'll probably always have these ugly scars
But right now I don't care about that part

I bust the windows out ya car
After I saw you laying next to her
I didn't wanna but I took my turn
I'm glad I did it cause you had to learn...

I must admit it helped a little bit
To think of how you'd feel when you saw it
I didn't know that I had that much strength
But I'm glad you see what happens when...

You see can't just play with people's feelings
Tell them you love them and don't mean it
You'll probably say that it was juvenile
But I think that I deserve to smile

Go listen to the song and give me your thoughts.