Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Before I Go to Sleep" by S.J. Watson

Before I Go to Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Call Number: F WATSON
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars

Summary: As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today.  I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning.  Thinking I'm still a child.  Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...

Memories define us.  Sow what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?  You name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight.  And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine's life.

Personal Review: Well, I saw the trailers for the film adaptation when it was in theaters; however, it didn't seem to be all to interesting for me to watch.  When I learned it was a novel, I decided to go and read it to see whether or not the book would change my mind.  I don't think it did...not fully.

I have mixed feelings about this read.  Was the overall storyline interesting?  Yes; however, although I can suspend my sense of reality when reading books (as one should), this book exceeded the amount of implausible tolerance I had.  I will say that it did enough to keep me interested, but there's that other part that was simply analyzing everything too much and saying, "okay, that's so not happening."  Plus, I didn't like the fact that I was figuring out what really happened way before it was revealed directly.

So what are the strengths of this book?  I can state that the concept was intriguing overall.  Additionally, the character of Christine was well developed and allowed me, as a reader, to wonder what it would be/feel like to be in her shoes.  I became invested in the character, and that's always important for any book I read.  Additionally, the book offers some good twists and turns to keep you reading and empathizing with her as she tries to piece back her life after the accident that caused her to have a form of amnesia that wipes her memory clean each night.

It became interesting to follow her life as she writes in her journal in an attempt to piece her life back together.  And when she realizes that there are many pieces that just don't fit together, trying to discover who she really is was a good journey to take.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

Starring: Brad Pitt
Summary: April, 1945.  As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his 5-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines.  Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. 

The Remaining
Starring: Alexa Vega
Summary: A supernatural thriller that addresses questions of life, love and belief against an apocalyptic backdrop.  A group of close friends gather for a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by a series of cataclysmic events and enemies foretold by biblical end-times prophecies.  The survivors face a horrifying, uncertain future as they scramble for safety, but as their world collapses around them in chaos and terror, will they choose real life through faith, or just to survive? 

Before I Go To Sleep
Starring: Nicole Kidman
Summary: After an accident leaves her with a serious head injury, a woman wakes up remembering nothing of her past.  As secrets are revealed she starts to question the people closest to her. 

Private Vegas (Private Series #9)
Author: James Patterson
Summary: Las Vegas is a city of contradictions, attracting people of all kinds...especially those with a secret to hide or a life to leave behind.  Lester Olsen sets up his lucrative business there, treating gorgeous, young women to five-star restaurants, splashy shows, and lim0 rides - and then he teaches them how to kill.  Private Jack Morgan is now on the hunt for two criminals that leads him to the city of sin, and to a murder ring that is more seductively threatening than anything he's witnessed before. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Teen Book Clubbers Explore Sci-Fi Dystopias, Steampunk" ~ @ the Library Article

This is an awesome era for young adult literature - with plenty of engrossing titles to choose from in classic genres such as fantasy and the newly popular steampunk.

With so many great books to read, it can be difficult to find a reading buddy who is riding the adventure at the same time, and neither reader wants to be exposed to the dreaded spoiler.

Teen Book Club @ South Branch!
The South Branch of the Abilene Public Library has the answer to that dilemma.  Come and check out our new Teen Book Club.

Our first meeting will be at 6PM, Feb 2 at the South Branch, 1401 S. Danville Dr.  The club is aimed at young adults ages 13-19, and as with all library programs, it's free.

Teens are welcome to come relax, have fun and discuss fascinating books with their peers.  It doesn't matter whether you like to speed through a book or take your time and savor one; we announce the titles at least a month in advance to give you plenty of time to read, or even reread, the chosen book.

This monthly title will be Legend, by Marie Lu.  The book is soon to be a film, so read it now and get ahead of the fandom rush.

Friday, January 23, 2015

IRS Drastically Cuts 2014 Tax Materials for Libraries!

In case you haven't, due to budget cuts, the IRS has drastically reduced the 2014 federal tax materials provided to libraries for the 2015 tax season.  According to the IRS, they will not be providing instruction booklets for the major tax forms (i.e. 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ), and they will only provide a limited number of common tax forms for public libraries to offer to the public.

We have begun to receive some tax materials at your Abilene Public Library, and we will make accessible what we have received.  We understand this may prove to be an inconvenience to many patrons who rely on these instruction booklets and forms to complete your taxes.  We do have a few ways to assist you. 

Forms are available online to print out form the IRS site.  Staff may do this for you at the cost of $0.15 per page.  Online forms may be accessed at home from a computer with Internet-access, or from library computers.

Instruction booklets are also available on the IRS site.  Although you are welcome to print them out at the library, we will still charge $0.15 per page, which can prove costly.  For example, if printing a copy of the 1040 Instruction Booklet, it will consist of 104 pages at a cost of $15.60.  A few booklets may be available at each branch for in-house use only when requested.  You will not be able to take the booklets outside of the library.

You also have the option to request forms and instruction booklets by postal mail, which will take 7-15 days to arrive.  Click Here if wanting to learn more about how to order materials to complete your 2014 tax return.  

IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP will provide free tax help at both the Main Library and Mockingbird Branch.  You will be able to e-File your taxes with their assistance and everyone will be helped on a first-come first-served basks.  Sessions will start on Feb. 4 and run through Apr. 11.  The Main Library will host this program every Wednesday and Thursday from 10AM to 3PM, while the Mockingbird Branch will offer them every Friday and Saturday at the same time.

We would also like to remind you that although staff may help direct you to tax materials online, we will not be able to advise you on the filing process.  As we are not tax professionals, if you need assistance in the filing process, we ask that you take advantage of the Free Tax Assistance program at your library.

If you need any additional assistance, or have any questions, please feel free to Contact Me (Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager) and I'll be more than happy to assist you.

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Jan. 25)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest reads.  Part of finding them is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available to locate that popular title, or to get yourselves on the reserve lists.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 37
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II. 

#2: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A psychological thriller set in London is full of complications and betrayals. 

#3: Saint Odd
Author: Dean Koontz
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F KOONTZ
Summary: In the conclusion to the Odd Thomas series, Odd, who can communicate with the dead, returns home to small-town California to meet one last challenge. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Jan. 26-31)

Keep up with the great programs and events your Abilene Public Library has to offer by catching this weekly blog each Thursday.  For a complete listing of events, visits our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

Jan. 26 @ 4PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
We're focusing on weird, wonderful, and wacky forms of weather at this month's Family Fun program.  Kids of all ages, and parents too, are invited to join us for stories, crafts, games, and more as a great after school activity. 

Jan. 26 @ 6:30PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
We're getting hands on with great look-alike edible crafts for youth ages 8-15.  For this evening, we're showing you how to use yummy dessert items and candies to create Pizza & Sushi.  We'll supply the materials, you bring your sweet tooth.

Jan. 27 @ 4PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
We're adding a second session of the Make & Take program to the South Branch, where this one will be a choose-your-own crafting event.  We'll have a variety of different crafting projects to choose from, and kids can pick their favorite, make it, and you're all done. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Register for Our 2nd Annual Children's Workshop!!!

2014 Children's Workshop!
Update 01-28-15: Registration for the Children's Workshop has now closed.  We have reached our maximum number of registered guests at a whopping 60!!!  Look out for next year's workshop!

Area librarians are invited to the Abilene Public Library as we present an all new free Children's Workshop titled Early Literacy in Action on Thursday, Feb. 12 from 9:30AM - 4:00PM.  The workshop will discuss early literacy skills and examples of how to incorporate them into your storytime programs.  You can even create your own set of early literacy tools to take home!

We've got over 30 people signed up for this workshop, which will be led by children's services staff at the Abilene Public Library, and attendees will...
Register before Feb. 2 by contacting Darla Casella or Heather Carter, or call 325-437-7323.  Be sure to include your t-shirt size!  Oh yes, you will receive some great incentives for attending.

Let this workshop help your storytime programs reach even more kids and families in your communities by showing that literacy begins at home and how your library can help.  Register today!

Participate in the Decorate Our Door Teen Art Contest @ Your Library

Current Door
The Main Library (202 Cedar St.) needs a little help from local teens with artistic talent.  Currently the door on the 1st floor of the Main Library, which leads into our children's storyroom (with walls decorated by murals created by local artist Debra Warr) is looking a little too plain.  So, the Abilene Public Library is hosting a Teen Art Contest to decide the finished look of the door.  Starting February 2nd, any teen ages 13-18 will have the opportunity to make their mark, quite literally, at the Main Library!!!

  • Limited to Teens ages 13-18 who may submit (1) entry per person.
  • Entries may be either a drawing or painting in color.
  • Entries must follow the theme "story books and nursery rhymes" currently inside the children's storyroom. (You may want to come by the Main Library and check it out beforehand...please see staff for assistance).
  • Entries must be original art and ideas (no tracing or copying).
  • Entries must be received by February 28, 2015. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Entries must be tasteful and suitable for children.  No depictions of strong violence, nudity, drug or alcohol use, or other materials deemed explicit will be accepted for judging.  Remember, this door will lead to our children's storyroom, so your design needs to be family-friendly.
  • All judges' decisions are final.
Starting Feb. 2, you may stop by any Abilene Public Library location to pick up your entry form and copy of the rules.  Completed entry forms must accompany your entries and may be submitted at any library location.

Part of Mural Inside Storyroom
Once the winner is selected, he/she will be invited to come out to the library to draw their submission on the door, and they may also be asked to help paint their design.  We may also invite out other teens to help assist in bringing your vision to life if needed.  Once the new artwork is finished, the door will be unveiled at a special family storytime, on a date to be determined, to celebrate and admire the newly decorated door.

For questions regarding this contest, Contact Kelsie Nygren at 325-676-6067 at the Main Library.  We hope you teen artists out there will be inspired to create something great for the library, which will be seen by all who visit.

Good Luck!!!