Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday New DVD Releases

Here is the release for April 6th;

The Collector - Handyman and ex-con Arkin aims to repay a debt to his ex-wife by robbing his new employer's country home. Unfortunately for Arkin, a far worse enemy has already laid claim to the property - and the family. As the seconds tick down to midnight, Arkin becomes a reluctant hero trapped by a masked "Collector" in a maze of lethal invention - the Spanish Inquisition as imagined by Rube Goldberg - while trying to rescue the very family he came to rob.

This week’s release with the most requests is Sherlock Holmes with 1050requests.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March Urban Fiction - Michael Baisden

Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat
Michael Baisden
Urban Non-Fiction, Relationships

Michael Baisden (born June 26, 1963) is an African-American author, motivational speaker, host of the TV One talk show, Baisden After Dark, and host of his own nationally-syndicated radio show. (Retrieved Wikipedia, 3/10/10)

Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, reveals everyone's part in the game: the tolerant wife or girlfriend, the despicable other woman and, of course, the conniving cheater himself. No stone is left unturned.

After reading this book, I felt that Michael Baisden should have stuck with fiction. This book was just like all the others. It tells us that basically men were born to cheat and that we must simply accept a man as a cheater. There are some key points to look for, but this book has quickly become outdated based on the technology that is used in the book, such as pagers. Pagers are rarely used, but I guess you could just replace the pagers with cell phones and the same principles would apply.

I have always believed that a person will only do to you what you allow them to do. This simply means that if you allow a person to get away with something the first time, it is like giving them a free pass to do whatever again. I do understand that there are different reasons for staying with someone, but why stay in a situation if there is no trust? You will always wonder what that person is doing, even if the situation may be totally innocent.

What are your views on cheating? If you read this book, do you think the scenarios are realistic or far fetched? Have you ever been cheated on or have you ever cheated? If so, what was the outcome of the relationship?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review: Aaaarrgghh! Spider!

Aaaarrgghh! Spider!
Lydia Monks
Children's Picture Book

It's really lonely being a spider. This is the story of a friendly spider whose dream is to be a family pet. She tries to make her dream come true by showing a family how much more appealing she is than their other pets. After all, how many dogs and cats can bathe and feed themselves like she can? Sadly, each of her efforts ends with the family shouting, "Aaaarrgghh! Spider!" and kicking her out of the house.

Will this lovable spider ever be able to win over the family of her dreams and become their pet? Find out in this humorous tale that will have preschoolers and young school-age children shouting along with the story. The repetition provides an excellent opportunity to engage young children and make the story interactive, while the bold illustrations and a sparkly surprise make the pages burst to life.

Enjoy reading Aaaarrgghh! Spider! over and over again with your children, and take the opportunity to extend the story by discussing topics like spiders and pets with them.

If you like this story, you may also enjoy Eric Carle's classic picture books about insects, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Busy Spider.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Save Money: Save Some Green, Grow a Garden!

Money Saving tips from your Library

With all that is happening in the economy today, many people are looking for genuine ways to save money. Sometimes it is hard to let go of many of the things we have grown accustomed to having, but budget constraints have left all of us looking for ways to cut back. In the next few weeks, I am going to offer some helpful tips that will allow you to save tremendously and not cut back on the things you enjoy.

Tip #8
Grow a Garden
Gardening is one of the most economical ways to save money and eat healthier. You can purchase various types of seeds that will grow in just about any climate, so take advantage of the many sales and get started. The Sunshine and fresh outdoor air is also great, but make sure you wear protective clothing and sunscreen.

To find gardening books, follow these simple steps;
1. Go to our homepage, lvccld.org
2. Click on "Library Catalog"
3. In the search box, enter "gardening"
4. Select the "Subject" or “Title” circle and then click "Go"
5. This will give you a list of gardening books. Just click on any of the titles for more information.

What are some benefits of gardening?
1. You are growing the fruit and vegetables, so there are no pesticides or preservatives added.
2. A bag of seeds can cost about $1-2 and you will get an abundance of fruits and vegetables during harvest time. In the store, you will pay this amount for a few pieces or fruit or vegetables.
3. Fruit and vegetables begin to loose nutrients not long after they are picked, so when you get them from the grocery store, you may not know how long they have been there. Growing them yourself allows you to enjoy all nutrients possible because they are fresh picked.
4. The more fruits and vegetables you grow, the more you are likely to eat, which will cut down on the amount of others foods you may eat. This has an added benefit health wise.

Ok, do you find this tip helpful? If so, just let us know. We are looking for ways to save you money, without losing out on the things you have come to enjoy. Make sure you check back next week for the ninth tip.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DVD Review: Food, Inc.

Food Inc.
Directed by Robert Kenner

The film opens, "What we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the last 10,000 years before that."

In 1900, 41% of the American workforce worked in agriculture. Today, less than 2% does. Obviously, there are many advantages to increased productivity but there are also a number of drawbacks. The dawn of the fast food age pushed American agriculture to faster production and greater uniformity of product and loss of crop diversity. This led to the feedlot style production of all animals used as food, with the primary feed becoming corn, not the natural diet of any of these animals. Without periodic grazing, cattle on a corn-fed diet produce dangerous levels of E. Coli bacteria.

The most memorable observation in the movie came from an independent farmer in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He commented that we have perfected growing corn, even using GPS to fine-tune seed and fertilizer distribution on a field, but few people have questioned whether we should be growing so much of it in the first place. I think this is what is known as "you can't see the forest for all of the trees," or "you can't see the diabetes for all of the corn." One crop scientist estimates that 90% of products in the grocery store include corn.

It was eye-opening to learn that NAFTA displaced 1.5 million Mexican farmers who could no longer compete on price with US corn imports. The overall discussion of farm subsidies and other government regulation or lack thereof is also quite provoking.

This documentary could seem rather bleak, but the film ends focusing on the power of small choices. All of us vote three times a day for the type of food we want to eat. With over 300 million people in this country, that's around 365 billion votes a year. While the buying power of fast food chains led to the factory-style production of food, the demand for organic food has motivated companies like Wal-Mart to start carrying such products.

This film is shocking, though the filmmakers obviously made an effort to keep the PG rating.

I highly recommend this documentary!

You may also want to read: , edited by Karl Weber
  • Fast Food Nation: The dark side of the all-American meal by Eric Schlosser

  • Check out the movie's website (and see the movie trailer) at FoodIncMovie.com

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Tuesday New DVD Releases

    Here are the releases for March 30th;

    Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – In 2007, Alvin and the Chipmunks, a global phenomenon to generations of fans, became a live action/CGI motion picture event with a contemporary comic sensibility. In the holiday season blockbuster, which grossed over $350 million worldwide, songwriter Dave Seville transformed singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore into pop sensations -- while the out-of-control trio laid waste to Dave’s home, wreaked havoc on his career, and turned Dave’s once-orderly life upside-down. Before you could say, "Alvinnnnn!!!" talks began about a new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. Not content to rest on their laurels, the 'Munks are preparing yet another "first": There have been many great movie sequels. There have even been prequels. Now, get ready for the world's first "Squeakquel," in which Alvin, Simon and Theodore finally meet their match – and maybe more – in the newly arrived female trio, The Chipettes.

    An Education - When Jenny (Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Nominee Carey Mulligan), a bright young school girl who longs for adulthood, meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), a dashing older man, he introduces her to his vibrant world of glamorous friends, chic jazz clubs and her own sexual awakening. Will she let this affair ruin her dreams of attending Oxford, as her headmistress (Emma Thompson) fears? This captivating film sparkles with wit, charm and style of 1960's Britain.

    Sherlock Holmes – In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.

    This week’s release with the most requests is The Twilight Saga: New Moon with 1040 requests.

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Play Book Review Bingo

    Ever notice that book reviewers use the same haunting, lyrical adjectives over and over? So did Michelle Kerns of the San Francisco Examiner, and she turned her list of top 20 book reviewer cliches into Book Review Bingo.

    Go ahead and play it while you read your next book review, and chances are you’ll get some hits. As Omnivoracious points out, the game is a lot of fun…for everyone except book reviewers.


    Print Bingo Cards

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Book Review--Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

    Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough
    Lori Gottlieb
    Non-Fiction

    Assumptions, Basics, Compassion, ...Realism

    I never thought I'd be reviewing a romance book, much less a romance book focused on these four words! Actually, I think this book has applications far beyond romance, and as a guy, I must confess I found Marry Him quite refreshing and possibly the most compelling book I've read since The Ayatollah Begs to Differ.

    Bestselling author Lori Gottlieb found herself still single at age 40, wanting to marry. The book is the story of her journey of analyzing her predicament. Essentially she found that her feminist ideals, that she could and should have or do anything, backfired when it came to finding love. After coming up empty in the online dating scene, and attending a frightning speed dating event, Lori started turning to professionals for help.

    If that doesn't provoke some of you into reading this book, I don't know what will!

    Rachel Greenwald, author of Find a Husband After 35: Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School, helped Lori focus on subjective characteristics of her potential mate, not on objective characteristics. Though at first this suggestion sounds counter intuitive, Greenwald and other matchmakers, helped Gottlieb see that physical appearance and where someone went to college, if they did at all, or how much money they earn--the objective characteristics--have very little to do with long term happiness. Focusing on these characteristics can prematurely exclude many potential mates who might otherwise make enjoyable companions. (You might note that all four words I listed at the top come to bear here.)

    As usual the real life examples, the stories in non-fiction, are what appeal to me the most. Lori also met with Evan, a 35-year-old dating consultant, for once a week meetings. Evan was the one who pushed her to stop making assumptions about men that she found in her online dating websites, such as assuming that the man she calls Sheldon2, was not her type because he said he worked in real estate and wore a pink, polka-dot bowtie in his photo.

    Evan insisted Lori reconsider what a real need is by whittling down her list of 14 needs in a potential mate to only 3! For her 3 must-haves, Lori listed: intellectually curious, kid-friendly, and financially stable. Nothing more.

    One more interesting thing, to me, was how Lori's dating advisors and matchmakers consistently downplayed the importance of having similar interests. Unanimously they agree that common interests can be discovered well into the relationship but that what matters most up front are common relationship goals and common values.

    I highly recommend this book! I'd give it three thumbs up if I could.

    Authors that Gottlieb interviews in the book:
    Other related books include:
    Afterword: Lori Gottlieb actually devotes a chapter to the advantages of arranged marriages in modern America. Research has shown that American couples who wed by arranged marriage report equal or greater marital satisfaction than couples who choose their own spouses.

    I also didn't expect to read that it is only since the 1970's that love became the primary reason given for marrying. Before that such comparatively mundane practicalities, such as, raising a family, being economically secure, and having a nice home and yard beat out marrying for love.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Urban Fiction - Feature Author - March - Michael Baisden


    Title: God’s Gift to Women
    Author: Michael Baisden
    Genre: Urban Fiction

    Michael Baisden (born June 26, 1963) is an African-American author, motivational speaker, host of the TV One talk show, Baisden After Dark, and host of his own nationally-syndicated radio show. (Retrieved 3/1/10, Wikipedia)

    Julian Payne has spent countless night shifts trying to make it as a radio personality on an obscure AM station in Chicago. While most of the world is asleep, he captivates his growing audience with his smooth and masculine voice. His ratings rise as more and more emotionally scarred women tune in to get Julian's advice about their relationship issues.

    Julian's own attempts at having a love life are complicated by his ten-year-old daughter, Samantha, who believes that no woman is good enough to take the place of her deceased mother. It's hard enough to find the right woman and keep her happy, but keeping Samantha happy is damn near impossible. But soon Julian's issues as a single parent become the least of his problems.

    After years of struggling in Chicago, Julian gets his big break: a top radio station in Houston hires him to host their late-night talk show. While celebrating his last evening in Chicago with friends, he meets the sexy and intriguing Olivia Brown. Julian can't help being attracted to her dark, flowing hair, toned body, and hazel eyes that could put a man in a trance. Olivia makes her desire to spend the night with Julian clear right away. When Julian warns her that he's on a plane in the morning and has only one night to offer, Olivia assures him that a no promises-no commitment evening is just what she's looking for.

    Once in Houston, Julian begins to build his reputation and his audience faster than he ever dreamed. He meets and pursues the beautiful Dr. Terri Ross, a woman with class and her own counseling practice. But Olivia has her own plans for Julian. The calls start coming. She shows up in town "on business." She waits for him outside the radio station. Suddenly Julian finds himself in a situation with a deranged woman who is determined to win him over -- or make his life a living hell.

    Michael Baisden's hottest offering yet, God's Gift to Women is a suspenseful tale about the consequences of sex with a stranger and what one man will have to do to save himself and those he loves from the wrath of a woman scorned.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Book Review: Whiteout

    Whiteout
    Greg Rucka & Steve Lieber
    Fiction, Graphic Novel

    US Marshall Carrie Stetko is stationed at the bottom of the world: McMurdo Base in Antarctica. It’s a place where she can escape her troubled past and feel at peace. That is, until a dead body is found on the ice, part of a group that has gone missing. With the clock ticking—most of McMurdo’s staff are due to rotate back to the US in two weeks—Stetko begins her investigation. Then more people are murdered, and Stetko herself is attacked and seriously injured in an attempt to strand her out on the ice. Fortunately, she finds an apparent ally in the form of Lily Sharpe, a mysterious British woman from a UK research base. Can the two women discover the secret behind the murders before their time runs out?

    Today, Greg Rucka is a big name in the world of superhero comics. Before that, he wrote (and still writes) critically-acclaimed suspense novels. Whiteout marked his first venture into the comics medium, but you’d never know it. Rucka’s writing is confident and assured, creating a compelling story and characters the reader truly cares about. It’s a strong, solid mystery story, with an investigation that proceeds logically from point to point. As a reader, the revelations surprised me, but I never felt like they were coming from left field.

    The Antarctic setting adds an additional layer of exotic mystery and danger. I’ve lived in cold, snowy climates, but Rucka truly gets across the harshness of the landscape, where there are much greater risks than just getting a case of the sniffles. He’s not afraid to hurt his heroes in order to raise the suspense stakes, and this results in a story where you’re not sure if anyone is safe.

    The story is ably illustrated by Steve Lieber. In his afterword, Lieber talks about how he feels that he found his artistic voice with this book, and it shows. This setting could easily have led to a sparse, bland look with simple white backgrounds. Instead, Lieber keeps things lively and detailed, thoroughly creating an environment that looks and feels alive. His characters are distinct individuals, and his expressive art tells the story every bit as much as Rucka’s script.

    With its strong female leads, unique setting, gripping suspense, and beautiful art, Whiteout completely won me over the first time I read it. Last year, it was turned into a movie starring Kate Beckinsale, which I haven’t seen. I’ve heard it’s not a particularly good movie, which is a shame, because it’s based on a particularly good book.

    Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Book Review: This Will Change Everything

    This Will Change Everything: Ideas that will shape the future
    edited by John Brockman

    "Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have trained two monkeys to grab marshmallows using a robotic arm controlled by their own thoughts." (15). The shocking thing to me is that this statement is not a prediction like the rest of the book; it has already happened. Regardless, I think it sets the stage as good as any single sentence for what lies within the pages of this provocative book.

    Ranging in length from a single sentence to a few pages, 125 contributors attempt to answer the question, "What will change everything? What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" You may be reassured, like me, to know that many of the contributors challenge the premise of the question, noting that it expects far too much. That said, I think the hyperbole of the question does help the contributors focus their attention.

    John Brockman, the editor and founded Edge, to gather the world's greatest thinkers to ponder the deeper meaning of human society. Topics range from:
    • healthcare and genetics
    • robots and computers
    • science and education
    • climate change
    • the search for extraterrestrial life
    • to changes in society at large.
    With so many contributors, I was surprised both by how few and how many names I recognized. Some of my favorites include: Steven Pinker, Alan Alda (yes, Alan Alda), Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Howard Gardner, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

    I was especially intrigued with a series of perspectives on the future of education, including contributors Chris Anderson, Roger Schank, and David Gelernter. Gelernter, computer scientist at Yale, predicts the "radical localization" of school, where students pursue a completely personalized curriculum selected with their parents' assistance.

    The two shortest predictions show the range of opinions about what will change everything.

    "The intentional, hostile deployment, whether by a state, a terrorist group, or other individuals, or a significant nuclear device." (209) (Gerald Holton, Professor of Physics and History of Science at Harvard University)

    "Discovering that someone from the future has already come to visit us." (62) (Stefano Boeri, architect at the Politecnico of Milan and editor of Abitare)

    This book is by turns--hopeful, horrifying, or just plain hokey.

    I highly recommend this book!

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Easy Breezy Spring Cleaning


    Time to declutter!

    Now that we have all set our clocks ahead one hour, what do we do with that extra hour of sunlight? Well, how about take the time to get organized. No grumbles, ok? This is the best time. Here are a few reasons why;

    Weather is getting warmer, so it is time to donate the clothes that you or your family can no longer fit. This will help charitable organization out as well as you. Less stuff to clutter the house, so you can find things more easily.
    You can get a tax deduction if you donate the items before April 15th.
    This is the perfect weather for garage sales, so if you get organized, you can see what can be sold. With the profits, you can take the family for an outdoor adventure for all there hard work. Who does not like to have fun?

    Areas that are great to organize in the spring include;
    1. The garage – We store stuff in here, but do we really need everything in there? This is a great time for kids to get rid of all that sports equipment that they have outgrown or replaced by a newer version, so get rid of it.
    2. The closets – It is time to replace the winter gear with those cute spring clothes, like capri’s, sandals, cute shirts and all the brightly colored accessories that go with these items.
    3. The Kitchen – How many plastic containers and other dishes do you have that are missing tops or have simply been used beyond their effectiveness? Like me, probably lots.

    4. Craft room/home office - You have papers or craft supplies all over the place and are not sure exactly where everything is anymore. Well it is time to go through all the stuff that is outdated or never to be used again and either trash it or donate the items. No holding on to stuff that you think you will use, but have not used in over six months. Get rid of it, it will just cause clutter in the long run.

    Here are some wonderful books to help you get organized.

    Taunton's home storage idea book by Joanne Kellar Bouknight Attractive storage solutions are offered for all parts of the house, from the mudroom to the attic. As the title suggests, this is a volume to study for ideas rather than specific designs, though some room plans are included. Typical of this publisher, there's lots of sumptuous photos of clean, freshly painted, well-organized interiors to inspire the reader.

    Christopher Lowell's seven layers of organization : unclutter your home, unclutter your life by Christopher Lowell

    Smart closet makeovers by Cynthia Overbeck Bix

    Now you have seen some interesting books, so go ahead and get started. You have that one extra hour of sunlight, so take advantage of the time.


    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Tuesday New DVD Releases


    Here are the releases for March 23rd;

    The Twilight Saga: New Moon - In the second chapter of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling Twilight series, the romance between mortal Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) grows more intense as ancient secrets threaten to destroy them. When Edward leaves in order to keep Bella safe, she tests fate in increasingly reckless ways in order to glimpse her love once more. But when she’s saved from the brink by her friend, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), Bella will uncover mysteries of the supernatural world that will put her in more peril than ever before.

    The Blind Side – Sandra Bullock (The Proposal), Tim McGraw (Friday Night Lights) and Oscar®-winner Kathy Bates (Misery, Revolutionary Road) star in Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures' The Blind Side, which depicts the remarkable true story of All-American football star Michael Oher. A homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, Oher (Quinton Aaron) is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential on and off the football field. At the same time, Oher's presence in the Touhys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

    Brothers - Brothers is the powerful story of two siblings, thirty-something Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school sweetheart, the aptly named Grace (Natalie Portman), with whom he has two young daughters. Tommy, his charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who’s always gotten by on wit and charm. When his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains Sam is presumed dead and the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void.

    Tommy tries to fill in for his brother by assuming newfound responsibility for himself, Grace, and the children. In the grief and strangeness of their new lives, Grace and Tommy are naturally drawn together. Their longstanding frostiness dissolves, but both are frightened and ashamed of the mutual attraction that has replaced it. But Sam is not dead; he and a fellow soldier have been captured by Taliban fighters. In Afghanistan’s harsh, remote Pamir Mountains, Sam is subjected to traumas that threaten to rob him of his very humanity. At the same time that Sam’s sense of self is being destroyed overseas, Tommy’s self-image is strengthening at home.

    When Sam unexpectedly returns to the States, a nervous mood settles over the family. Sam, uncharacteristically withdrawn and volatile, grows suspicious of his brother and his wife. Their familiar roles now nearly reversed, Sam and Tommy end up facing the ultimate physical and mental challenge when they confront each other. In the shifting family dynamics, who will dominate? Directed by six-time Oscar® nominee Jim Sheridan (In America, In the Name of the Father), Brothers tells the compelling tale of how two brothers come to terms with issues of love, loyalty, and manhood—and with the woman caught between them.

    Fantastic Mr. fox - In the re-imagined classic family tale, Mr. and Mrs. Fox (Clooney and Streep) live a happy home life with their eccentric son Ash (Jason Schwartzman, The Darjeeling Limited) and visiting nephew Kristopherson. That is until Mr. Fox slips into his sneaky, old ways and plots the greatest heist the animal world has ever seen. When mean old farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean join forces to surround Mr. Fox and his family, they don’t realize they are not dealing with any old fox – it’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and he has a fantastic master plan to save the day!

    Men Who Stare at Goats - Reporter Bob Wilton is in search of his next big story when he encounters Lyn Cassady, a shadowy figure who claims to be part of an experimental U.S. military unit. According to Cassady, the New Earth Army is changing the way wars are fought. A legion of "Warrior Monks" with unparalleled psychic powers can read the enemy's thoughts, pass through solid walls, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it. Now, the program's founder, Bill Django, has gone missing and Cassady's mission is to find him. Intrigued by his new acquaintance's far-fetched stories, Bob impulsively decides to tag along. When the pair tracks Django to a clandestine training camp run by renegade psychic Larry Hooper, the reporter is trapped in the middle of a grudge match between the forces of Django's New Earth Army and Hooper's personal militia of super soldiers. In order to survive this wild adventure, Bob will have to outwit an enemy he never thought possible.

    This week’s release with the most requests is The Princess and the Frog with 720 requests.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    CD Spotlight - Raheem Devaughn - The Love Experience


    Title: The Love Experience
    Author: Raheem Devaughn
    Media type: Sound Recording
    Genre: R&B/ Soul

    Raheem Devaughn has that soulful, sexy, sultry sound that is immeasurable on the music scale. His songs are classic and sure to be listened to by many for years to come. Raheem refuses to adhere to the rules of contemporary music and provides his own unique style that has garnered him a genuine fan base. Although not as famous as most artists, you can recognize his music right away. Ask any fan about his music and you are sure to get a similar response about his deep passion in his songs. His music is truly amazing and, hopefully, soon he will receive the acclaim he deserves.

    The son of jazz cellist Abdul Wadud, Maryland-based R&B vocalist Raheem DeVaughn kicked his career into gear after initiating a series of independent releases, aided in part by the cash reward earned from winning a talent contest. Jive became interested, signed him, and released The Love Experience in June of 2005. The album peaked within the Top 50 of the Billboard 200 album chart, with the singles You and Guess Who Loves You More regularly spun on some of the more adventurous R&B stations across the U.S. Love Behind the Melody followed in January 2008, but not before its first single, Woman, was announced as a 2008 Grammy nominee for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. ~ Andy Kellman, All Music Guide (Retrieved 03/11/10, Lyricsyoulove.com)

    Guess Who Loves You More is a timeless song that one can listen to over and over. This is a purely romantic song that will ignite passions on every level. Although it is not a newer song, I think you will still enjoy it nonetheless. To listen to the song, click here.

    Raheem has released his latest album, entitled, The Love and War Masterpeace, so make sure you get on the waitlist for this item. What do you think of his music?

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Book review: This Book is Overdue!!

    This Book is Overdue!! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save us All!
    Marilyn Johnson
    Non-Fiction; Librarians

    I don’t usually write reviews on nonfiction, however, I am a librarian and, of course, this book intrigued me. I was hoping that it would be an insightful guide to the future of librarianship, full of new ideas that I had not heard about yet.

    Unfortunately, I was disappointed. It was not full of new ideas, but was rather a history of librarians and their recent, technologically inspired history. The book was still interesting, but more so because I could relate to the struggles mentioned in the chapters of this book by other tech-savy librarians such as myself. I very much enjoyed reading this book and often found myself marking passages that I either found amusing or that I wanted to look up and check out myself.

    Ms. Johnson explored the "Librarian Internet" like an old time explorer, cataloging and interviewing specimens diligently. She began with phenomena such as Wikipedia and blogs and then divulged secrets of librarians who lead their blogging double lives.

    She discussed how today’s society is suffering from information excess (Marilyn, 2010, p. 16) which is a particularly heinous form of information overload that provokes physical symptoms in its sufferers. Ms. Johnson has also given me a new quote to fall in love with:
    Are librarians obsolete in the Age of Google? All I can say is, are you kidding? Librarians are more important than ever. Google and Yahoo! and Bing and WolframAlpha can help you find answers to your questions, sometimes brilliantly; but if you don't know how to phrase those questions, no search engine can help provide the answers. You can only get so far without human help.(Marilyn, 2010, p20)
    I believe that this sentence sums up the state of librarianship in the modern age. The public seems to think that they can do all their research on their own. I guarantee that as soon as the average person runs into a wall, they will either give up or come to a library.

    As librarians we are, of course, rooting for the latter to happen, but we also know that things do not come to those who wait, which is why we have branched out into social networking, blogs, improved our web sites, conduct "unconferences," and are constantly looking for ways to get the public's attention.

    Ms. Johnson explores all of these ideas in her new book and certainly makes a case for why librarians are needed and how we can make sure the public is aware of that fact. I thoroughly enjoyed her witty exploration of the recent history in the realm of librarianship and believe that any librarian or library lover would also fall in love with this book.

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Urban Fiction - Feature Author - March - Michael Baisden


    Title: Men Cry in the Dark
    Author: Michael Baisden
    Genre: Urban Fiction

    Michael Baisden (born June 26, 1963) is an African-American author, motivational speaker, host of the TV One talk show, Baisden After Dark, and host of his own nationally-syndicated radio show. (Retrieved 3/1/10, Wikipedia)

    This celebrated first novel by the lecturer and bestselling author of The Maintenance Man gives readers an African-American man's perspective on relationships, fatherhood, and interracial dating through the eyes of four childhood friends looking for love in all the wrong places.

    Derrick has all the makings of a winner. Loaded with good looks, a charming personality, and charisma, he has no kids and no commitments. But somehow all the success from the magazine he launched seems empty without someone special to share it.

    Tony was an unredeemable ladies' man until Tracie caught his heart. Now they are engaged to be married. But will his conniving ex, Valerie, who tricked him into an unwanted pregnancy, let them live happily ever after? Benjamin is a sensitive and successful florist any woman would be lucky to call her own. But his weakness for young women has made him a target for vamps and gold diggers. And there's Mark. Still bitter from being rejected by black women when he was young, he seeks acceptance in the arms of a white lover. But will his friends and family accept her?

    Originally self-published in the summer of 1997, Men Cry in the Dark sold more than 30,000 hardcover copies and has gone on to sell well over 100,000 copies in paperback. With this new mass market edition of his gripping novel, Michael Baisden is perfectly poised to reach beyond his expansive and incredibly loyal fan base to a whole new level of bestseller-dom.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    FREE Tax Preparation


    Tax Help at the Library

    Still haven’t gotten around to preparing your taxes? We can help. The library offers free tax help from volunteers of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). This agency comes into our libraries and prepares taxes for individuals with the proper documentation, which includes ID, checkbook, tax receipts, last year's tax form and any pertinent documentation to help in preparing the taxes. Remember, these are done on a first come first served basis, so come early.

    For a list of libraries and hours for tax preparation, follow these steps;
    1. Visit our homepage, lvccld.org
    2. Click on “Events”
    3. Enter the terms, “Tax help” in the search box under “Keyword”
    4. Click on the “Event title” for more information

    This is a free service offered to our library patrons, so take advantage of it NOW. If you have used this service, we would love to hear your comments on the success of this program.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Save Money: Make Personalized Gifts at Home

    Money Saving tips from your Library

    With all that is happening in the economy today, many people are looking for genuine ways to save money. Sometimes it is hard to let go of many of the things we have grown accustomed to having, but budget constraints have left all of us looking for ways to cut back. In the next few weeks, I am going to offer some helpful tips that will allow you to save tremendously and not cut back on the things you enjoy.

    Tip #7
    Homemade Gifts

    How many times have you had to worry about how much money to spend on gifts for various occasions like birthdays, Valentines Day or Mother’s Day? Well, we have the perfect solution for you. What not make gifts for your friends and family? Family will love these, because they were made specifically for them and not just purchased from any store. You can never lose because the gifts are also personalized just for that person on your list.

    To find craft books, follow these simple steps;
    1. Go to our homepage, lvccld.org
    2. Click on "Library Catalog"
    3. In the search box, enter "crafts" (If you want to make a specific craft, you can just enter that in the search box as well. Ex, Soap making, pillows, crochet, etc.)
    4. Select the "Subject" or “Title” circle and then click "Go"
    5. This will give you a list of craft books. Just click on any of the titles for more information.

    You can also borrow craft magazines from your local library. These contain lots of ideas as well. You can check these out for 3 weeks at a time.

    What are some benefits of making gifts instead of buying them?
    1. Materials needed may be cheaper than the actual gift purchased
    2.The gifts are more personalized
    3.You can make multiple gifts from the same material
    4.These can be made ahead of time, reducing the stress of last minute gift shopping

    Do you find this tip helpful? If so, just let us know. We are looking for ways to save you money, without losing out on the things you have come to enjoy. Make sure you check back next week for the seventh tip.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Book Review: Autobiography by Mohandas K. Gandhi

    An Autobiography
    Mohandas K. Gandhi

    "Most of my reading since 1893 has been done in jail." This is just the sort of strikingly understated observations Gandhi includes throughout his memoir. I recently traveled to India with my wife and took this book along for pleasure reading and was not disappointed.

    Most fascinating to me was learning how one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century was painfully shy well into his 20's, until he arrived in South Africa to work as an attorney; he had previously failed as an attorney in India--including the one case in Bombay that he took to court but was so nervous he could not cross-examine the witness. Throughout his entire life he admits to disliking small-talk.

    I was also surprised to find how large a role his being vegetarian would play in the book. Actually the first 100 pages are dominated by it. His three years in England studying law were actually much more defined by his involvement in various vegetarian organizations than by his studies.

    Gandhi's reported conversations with Hindus, Muslims, and Christians are quite enlightening. Learning of the books that influenced him is equally revealing. Two authors stand out.

    Ironically, Gandhi was introduced to the Bhagavad Gita, not in India, but from two Theosophist brothers in England. He believed Sir Edwin Arnold's translation--"The Celestial Song"--to be the best English translation of the Bhagavad Gita.

    Another surprising influence were Tolstoy's religious works, which moved Gandhi to "more and more realize the possibilities of universal love." Gandhi writes that Tolstoy's book, The Kingdom of God is Within You, "overwhelmed me."

    At one point Gandhi alludes to conflict between him and his oldest son. Gandhi and his wife had been given an arranged marriage very young, and for many of his son's early years, Gandhi was living outside of India, first in England and then in South Africa. In fact a movie has been made about their relationship--Gandhi My Father.

    (Of course, I must also mention Gandhi, the film, starring Ben Kingsley, directed by Richard Attenborough, and the winner of eight Oscars.)

    One more fascinating incident involves an early meeting of the Indian Congress Party in Calcutta. Even in his political organizing work in South Africa, Gandhi was careful not to demonize the British, but made special effort to try to reform the Indian community to be more respectable, while seeking fair treatment under the law.

    Gandhi frequently praises the way Indians in South Africa were able to put aside their religious and regional differences when working on political campaigns. At the Congress meeting, Gandhi was dismayed at the filth in the latrines, so he volunteered to clean them--something considered beneath his caste--again demonstrating that he believed everyone was equal.

    Memoirs should always be read with some suspicion, yet Gandhi's honesty about his personal missteps and foibles definitely lends credibility to his perspective. He goes on to tell of a variety of incidents leading up to the better known story of his leadership of the non-violent protests resulting in Indian independence from Great Britain.

    I highly recommend this book!

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Tuesday New DVD Releases

    Here are the releases for March 16th;

    Armored – A crew of officers at an armored transport security firm risk their lives when they embark on the ultimate heist... against their own company. Armed with a seemingly fool-proof plan, the men plan on making off with a fortune with harm to none. But when an unexpected witness interferes, the plan quickly unravels and all bets are off.
    Astro Boy - Astro Boy follows the adventures of a young-yet-powerful robot who, in the hopes of winning his inventor-father’s heart, sets off on a quest to rid the world of evil. However, he soon discovers that his home, Metro City, stands on the brink of destruction, and it is up to him to save the day as well as his friends and family.

    Bandslam - Vanessa Hudgens, Aly Michalka, Gaelan Connell and Lisa Kudrow star in a comedy about following dreams and doing what scares you. Ultra-popular Charlotte (Michalka) is determined to face-off against her ex at the country’s biggest music competition. She just needs a band. Newcomer Will (Connell) knows more about musicians than anyone. He just needs a friend. And, rebel guitar player Sa5m (Hudgens) has a wicked voice but needs someone to believe in her. Together, this unlikely trio will take on Bandslam in a way no one thought possible.

    Broken Embraces - A luminous Penélope Cruz stars as an actress who sacrifices everything for true love in Academy Award® -winning filmmaker (2003, Best Writing, Original Screenplay, Talk to Her) Pedro Almodóvar's acclaimed tale of sex, secrets and cinema. When her father becomes gravely ill, beautiful Lena (Cruz) consents to a relationship with her boss Ernesto (José Luis Gómez), a very wealthy, much-older man who pays for her father's hospitalization and provides her a lavish lifestyle. But Lena's dream is to act and soon she falls for the director of her first film - a project bankrolled by her husband to keep her near. Upon his discovery of the affair, Ernesto stops at nothing to ruin Lena's happiness.

    Did You Hear About the Morgan’s - Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant star in this delightful, heartwarming comedy about finding love in the most unexpected places. Two successful New Yorkers, Meryl (Parker) and Paul (Grant), are at their wits’ ends on how to solve their strained marriage. But when they become the only witnesses to a brutal murder, the police hide them away in Wyoming – together. Now these diehard city dwellers will have to survive the weather, bears, fresh air, and forced time with one another if they want to make it out alive.

    Fourth Kind - In 1972, a scale of measurement was established for alien encounters. When a UFO is sighted, it is called an encounter of the first kind. When evidence is collected, it is known as an encounter of the second kind. When contact is made with extraterrestrials, it is the third kind. The next level, abduction, is the fourth kind. This encounter has been the most difficult to document-until now. Set in modern-day Nome, Alaska, where--mysteriously since the 1960s--a disproportionate number of the population has been reported missing every year. Despite multiple FBI investigations of the region, the truth has never been discovered. Here in this remote region, psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler began videotaping sessions with traumatized patients and unwittingly discovered some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented.

    Ninja Assassin - Raizo (Rain) is one of the deadliest assassins in the world. Taken from the streets as a child, he was transformed into a trained killer by the Ozunu Clan, a secret society whose very existence is considered a myth. But haunted by the merciless execution of his friend by the Clan, Raizo breaks free from them...and vanishes. Now he waits, preparing to exact his revenge. In Berlin, Europol agent Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris) has stumbled upon a money trail linking several political murders to an underground network of untraceable assassins from the Far East. Defying the orders of her superior, Ryan Maslow (Ben Miles), Mika digs into top secret agency files to learn the truth behind the murders. Her investigation makes her a target, and the Ozunu Clan sends a team of killers, led by the lethal Takeshi (Rick Yune), to silence her forever. Raizo saves Mika from her attackers, but he knows that the Clan will not rest until they are both eliminated. Now, entangled in a deadly game of cat and mouse through the streets of Europe, Raizo and Mika must trust one another if they hope to survive...and finally bring down the elusive Ozunu Clan.

    The Princess and the Frog - A musical set in the greatest city of them all, New Orleans, "The Princess and the Frog" marks Disney's return to the timeless art form of traditional animation. The film teams Ron Clements and John Musker, creators of "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin," with Oscar-winning composer Randy Newman to tell the most beautiful love story ever told -- with frogs, voodoo, and a singing alligator.

    This week’s release with the most requests is Precious with 730 requests.

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    CD Spotlight - Ne Yo - The Year of the Gentlemen


    Title: The Year of the Gentleman
    Author: Ne Yo
    Media type: Sound Recording
    Genre: R&B/ Soul

    Ne Yo is Las Vegas’ own star. Although very young, he has a versatile voice that allows him to go from a high range to the extreme low range in music. Not many artists are capable of that, but he has done so and has done it extremely well. He is featured on multiple artists CDs in a variety of formats, from rap music, soul, pop and much more. His music is fun and playful, yet serious and thought provoking. He tells a story is his songs, which is what makes him unique. He is also a very talented song writer and has written songs for many famous artists.

    Ne Yo is sure to be around in one or more aspect of the entertainment industry, whether it is in singing, acting, producing or songwriting and many fans will continue to embrace him.

    Songwriter, arranger, and vocalist Ne-Yo was born Shaffer Smith in Arkansas and raised in Las Vegas, NV. His start in the music industry came as a songwriter. Prior to exiting his teenage years, he penned material for Youngstown and broke through in 2004 with Mario's Let Me Love You, one of the most-played songs on urban radio stations across the U.S.

    In My Own Words, the second album he recorded but the first one to be released, came out in early 2006 and reached the top of the charts, supported by the number one hit So Sick. During the same year, he appeared on Remy Ma's There's Something About Remy and Ghostface Killah's Fishscale, and he had a hand in writing a pair of Top Ten hits: Beyonce's Irreplaceable and Rihanna's Unfaithful. Because of You, his second album, followed in May 2007.

    He has also written for Marques Houston, Cassidy, Heather Headley, and Musiq Soulchild. ~ Andy Kellman, All Music Guide (Retrieved Lyricsyoulove.com, 3/8/10)

    The Year of the Gentlemen was produced in 2008, but many of the songs are still played on urban stations across the country. My favorite song on this CD is of course Miss Independent. This is a great dance song, but the words also feed the soul. Many women are the breadwinners and are not looking to be taken care of as most stereotypes would have one believe. There are those who enjoy doing things on there own and in there own way, which makes them successful, hence an Independent Woman.

    Miss Independent
    She got her own thing
    That's why I love her
    Miss Independent
    Won't you come
    And spend a little time
    She got her own thing
    That's why I love her
    Miss independent

    What is your favorite song by this artist? What song has he written for other artists that you enjoy most? Do you think Ne Yo has what it takes to have longevity in the entertainment industry? Why or why not?

    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Save Money: College Prep Help at no Cost!

    Money Saving Tips From Your Library

    With all that is happening in the economy today, many people are looking for genuine ways to save money. Sometimes it is hard to let go of many of the things we have grown accustomed to having, but budget constraints have left all of us looking for ways to cut back. In the next few weeks, I am going to offer some helpful tips that will allow you to save tremendously and not cut back on the things you enjoy.

    Tip #6
    ACT/SAT Study Guides

    Money is tight, but you still need to get a great score on that test to submit with your college application. What can you do? Simply check out a study guide from the library. There are several versions to choose from. To find these books, follow the steps below.

    To find studyguides, follow these simple steps;

    1. Go to our homepage, lvccld.org
    2. Click on "Library Catalog"
    3. In the search box, enter "ACT or SAT"
    4. Select the "Subject" or “Title” circle and then click "Go"
    5. This will give you a list of ACT/SAT books. Just click on any of the titles for more information.

    You can also use our electronic database for practice exams. To do this, follow the steps below. As long as you are a resident of the City of Las Vegas taxing district with a valid library card number and PIN, you can access this electronic resource from home. If you do not meet this criteria, you can access this electronic resource from within any of our libraries.

    1. Click on Databases A-Z, from our homepage, lvccld.org.
    2. Next, scroll down, and click on Learning Express Library. The computer will ask for your library card number and PIN.

    Note: The first time you use Learning Express, you'll need to create a User Name and Password. This is like your student ID number. That's so you can log in and continue a test you've started, or see your old test scores. It's free, and only takes a moment.

    3. Next, click on “College preparation.”
    4. Then click on the test you need from the list.

    How will using these test guides or taking the practice test at home save you money?

    1. No fee for the test prep class. These fees can range fro $50-$100 per session
    2. No driving to the test prep location. So this will save gas money.

    Ok, do you find this tip helpful? If so, just let us know. We are looking for ways to save you money, without losing out on the things you have come to enjoy. Make sure you check back next week for the seventh tip.