Friday, February 5, 2016

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Feb. 7)

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 at all locations.  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: NYPD Red 4
Author: James Patterson
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD
Summary: Detective Zach Gordon and his partner, members of an elite task force that protects the rich and famous, pursue a cold-blooded killer.

#2: Blue
Author: Danielle Steel
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F STEEL
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD
Summary: A woman whose life has been shattered befriends a homeless boy.

#3: My Name is Lucy Barton
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F STROUT
Format: Regular Print
Summary: A woman struggles with memories of her impoverished and disturbing childhood and its effect on the present as she attempts to reconcile with her mother.

#4: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 91
Call Number: F DOERR
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before an during World War II.

#5: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 4
Weeks On List: 55
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.




Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: NOT HOUSED
Summary: A memoir by a physician who received a diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer at the age of 36.

#2: Dark Money
Author: Jane Mayer
Position Last Week: 5
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: NOT HOUSED
Summary: An account of how the Koch brothers and other super-wealthy donors deployed their money to change American politics.

#3: Between the World and Me
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 29
Call Number: 92 COATES
Format: Regular Print, Audiobook on CD
Summary: A meditation on race in America; winner of the National Book Award.

#4: The Road to Little Dribbling
Author: Bill Bryson
Position Last Week:  4
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: 914.104 BRY
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type
Summary: An American expatriate travels around his adopted country, Britain.

#5: The Name of God is Mercy
Author: Pope Francis
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: NOT HOUSED
Summary: In a conversation with a Vatican reporter, the pontiff explores the cornerstone of his faith.

Look out for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and discover why they've become such hits in mainstream literature.  If they're not available, get yourselves on the reserve lists.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Feb. 8-13)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our program calendar.

Science Club @ Your Library
Feb. 8 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Youth, ages 8 and older, won't want to miss the next session of the Science Club at your library, where we combine learning and experiments in one fun program each month.  Our junior scientists will learn about a new science concept each month, and then we'll bring it to life through hands-on experiments. 

Make & Take: Cupid Arrows
Feb. 8 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Love is in the air for our next evening craft workshop as we'll be showing kids of all ages how they can make their own arrows just like Cupid.  Our arrows will be delicious as we'll be making them out of edible candies and sweets...yum!  We'll supply all the materials you'll need. 

Mockingbird Movies
Feb. 8 @ 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Joni us for a great movie night at your library, designed for adults and based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a man who was down on his luck but did everything he could to make a life for himself and his son.  Starring Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, don't miss out.  For more information on our featured film, visit our Movie Schedule Online.

Teen Time: Pizza & Games
Feb. 9 @ 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Teens are invited to join us for a monthly social activity at the library where we'll supply the pizza and games for you to come and hang out after school with your friends, while making new ones.  The games will rotate each month so don't miss out on this monthly program at your library. 

Make & Take: Bee My Valentine
Feb. 9 @ 4:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
We're ready for more crafting that celebrates love and friendship, so kids of all ages are invited out to this after school session where we'll be making bees out of nothing but hearts.  All supplies will be provided so don't miss out on this hands-on project at your library. 

Conversations with Interesting People
Feb. 9 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Hear from and converse with a professional golfer whose resume includes winning the Masters, a Hollywood actor who did television and movies, and individual who served onboard Air Force One with the Clintons, and a NASA engineer.  Hear their fascinating stories followed by a chance to converse with them one-on-one. 

Free Tax Assistance
Feb. 9-10; 10AM to 3PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
IRS-trained volunteers from the AARP will be on hand to help you e-File your taxes for free at the library.  Bring your Photo ID, social security card, W-2's, and all other tax information you'll need, then let our volunteers help you e-File in the library.  Everyone will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis (no appointments) and sessions will be hosted on a weekly basis through Apr. 15.  Don't miss your chance to participate in this popular program at your library. 

Lego My Library (Lego Club)
Feb. 9 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're between the ages of 8-18, and you love to get creative and build, you'll certainly want to be a part of our monthly Lego Club at the library.  We'll have tables setup with all the materials you'll need and you can either work independently, or as a team.  Some meetings will be about "free design" and others will cover a theme.  Come out and join in on the fun. 

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Feb. 10 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're between the ages of 10-17, and you love to write, you'll want to be a part of our writing club here at the library.  This group meets every Thursday afternoon and it's the perfect place to be able to come out and hone your creative writing skills with your peers.  We work on a variety of writing activities in a stress free environment and led by children's librarian Kelsie Wade. 

ArtWalk @ Your Library
Feb. 11; 5PM to 8PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-437-7323
Gear up for ArtWalk at your library by stopping by to view Marie Noe's collection of bears, kids will have the chance to make their own Valentine Bear magnets, and you'll also want to see the original artwork in the children's storyroom by Abilene artist Debra Warr.  Be sure to make the library a stop during this monthly event in Downtown Abilene. 

Free Tax Assistance
Feb. 12-13, 10AM to 3PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
IRS-trained volunteers from the AARP will be on hand to help you e-File your taxes for free at the library.  Bring your Photo ID, social security card, W-2's, and all other tax information you'll need, then let our volunteers help you e-File in the library.  Everyone will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis (no appointments or reservations) and sessions will be hosted on a weekly basis through Apr. 15.  Don't miss your chance to participate in this popular program at your library. 

Family Flix @ Your Library
Feb. 13 @ 10:45AM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
Kids and parents are welcome to attend a great movie showing at your library, as we'll be showing the sequel to last month's featured film about an ex-scheming evildoer-turned-parent figure, and his adorable little minions.  Light snacks will be provided, or you're welcome to bring your own.  For more information on the film, visit our Movie Schedule Online. 

Don't miss out on these great activities being hosted at your library and get in on what we have to offer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "The Three" by: Sarah Lotz

The Three (The Three #1)
Author: Sarah Lotz
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars

Book Summary: The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents.  Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes.  With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed "The Three" by the international press, t4he children all exhibit disturbing behavioral problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention.  This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse.  The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival...

Personal Review: Oh how I really wanted to love this book.  Based on the synopsis, it sound very promising.  Three kids who survived a plane crash who show mysterious issues and a cult views them as the harbingers of the apocalypse?  Sign me up.  Fast forward to a third of the way through the book, it just wasn't doing it for me.

Where did it go wrong?  Well, there were too many characters without enough time provided to develop them all on their own.  You have the child survivors, the apocalypse cult-like leader/preacher, the narrator, and a host of other characters.  There was no time to give them all the development they needed, and I don't like that.  I need at least one protagonist that I can get behind, and I wasn't finding it here.  This made the novel much longer than it had to be.

The plot did start off strong enough, but depreciated slowly along the way, and I did find myself being able to skip pages at a time without even missing what was going on.  By the time I reached the end, although the ending was a bit vague, some answers to the mystery were answered, and it might just be enough to make me want to read the sequel in hopes that as a trilogy it will begin to pick up steam.

Most of the interesting parts of the novel will occur in the first couple chapters as you get speculations on what happened from new articles, twitter feeds, interviews, and IM transcripts, but once you get past that, it starts to drag badly.  I did manage to finish it, but mainly because I "knew" it was going to lead somewhere, but the payoff just wasn't what I expected.  Was it terrorists, aliens, the four horsemen of the apocalypse?  Who knows, but let's hope the next book answers some of those questions...and fast.

So while I think it's somewhat worth a read, I can't recommend it until I know where the series is going.  The rest of the trilogy might be so strong that it will make the first book better due to association, but for now, it's not at the top of my must recommend list.  But I could be very wrong, and if you want to try it out for yourself, look out for a copy at your Abilene Public Library.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Super Storytime Expands to Main Library, then Mockingbird Branch

Children's programming is expanding with a new event being added to the monthly lineup at the Main Library and Mockingbird Branch locations in the upcoming months.  Based on its popularity over the years at the South Branch Library, Super Storytimes are being added across all locations as a great enhanced program for youth.

All locations of the Abilene Public Library offer weekly storytime sessions for the public, as well as monthly Family Fun events that incorporate even more activities into the storytime process.  Super Storytimes were created at the South Branch Library to offer an additional enhanced event for the younger crowd and hosted once a month as a morning activity.  Much like the Family Fun program, they incorporate extra activities including games, crafts, and coloring based on a specific theme each month.

Hosted on the fourth Wednesdays of each month at the South Branch at 10:45AM, we're pleased to announce even more sessions with the Main Library starting in February on the first Fridays of each month at 10:45AM, and in March, the Mockingbird Branch will start theirs on the second Thursdays.

Kids and parents are invited to join in on this popular program that encourages the love and promotion of reading in youth.

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles being released today.

The Last Witch Hunter
Starring: Vin Diesel
Summary: Kaulder, a witch hunter, is cursed with immortality by the Witch Queen right before she dies at his hand.  As a result, he has been tracking down evil witches for centuries while leading a lonely existence separated from his wife and daughter.  When the Witch Queen returns from the dead seeking retribution, a battle ensues and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. 

Our Brand is Crisis
Starring: Sandra Bullock
Summary: This satirical comedy starring Sandra Bullock as a political consultant gives viewers an inside look at the high-stakes, win-at-all costs world of politics.  Bullock stars as "Calamity" Jane Bodine, who is hired to work on the campaign of a Bolivian presidential candidate who has fallen behind in the polls.  She faces off against her rival Pat Candy, who is working on the opponent's campaign and is also looking for every opportunity to antagonize Jane.  This film is loosely based on the 2005 documentary of the same name by Rachel Boynton. 

Suffragette
Starring: Casey Mulligan
Summary: Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain.  The story centers on Maud, a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.'s growing suffragette movement.  Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst, Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life. 

Big Stone Gap
Starring: Ashley Judd
Summary: Set in a coal mining town near the Appalachian Mountains in 1978, Ava Maria runs a pharmacy and leads a quiet life; however, a series of events incite a mid-life crisis.  Movie star Elizabeth Taylor comes to town and shakes things up in the sleepy village as a secret in Ava Maria's family emerges.  As a result, Ava starts to re-evaluate the choices in her life and decides to trade safety and security for a life of adventure.  This film was directed and written by Adriana Trigiani, based on her own bestselling novel. 

Brotherhood in Death (In Death Series #42)
Author: J.D. Robb
Summary: Dennis Mira just has two unpleasant surprises.  First he learned his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather's West Village brownstone, despite the promise that they both keep it in the family.  Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head.  Luckily, Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD's top profiler and good friend of Lt. Eve Dallas.  Then when the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody.  When he came to, his cousin was gone.  With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there's nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze...in a case no one will see coming. 

Robert B. Parker's Blackjack (Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch Series #4)
Author: Robert Knott
Summary: Appaloosa, the hometown of Territorial Marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, continues to prosper, but with prosperity comes a slew of new trouble: carpetbaggers, gamblers, migrants, peddlers, drifters, thieves, and more all boiling in a cauldron of excess and greed.  And there's a new menace in town: a wealthy, handsome easterner - and the owner of Appaloosa's new casino - Boston Bill Black.  Boston Bill is flashy and bigger than life.  He's a prankster and womanizer and rumored to be quick on the draw.  When he finds himself wanted for a series of murders, he vanishes.  Cole and Hitch locate and arrest him, but he escapes once again.  When another murder sets the duo on his trail, they eventually take him back to Appaloosa - where one woman in particular may, or may not, prove to be the apple of Boston Bill's eye. 

Breakdown (Alex Delaware Series #31)
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Summary: Psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware meets beautiful and emotionally fragile TV actress Zelda Chase when called upon to evaluate her 5-year-old son, Ovid.  Years later, Alex is unexpectedly reunited with Zelda when she is involuntarily committed after a bizarre psychotic episode.  Shortly after her release, things turn worse when she is discovered dead on the grounds of a palatial Bel Air estate.  Having experiences more than enough of L.A.'s dark side to recognize the scent of evil, Alex turns to his friend, LAPD Lt. Milo Sturgis, for help in finding out who ended Zelda's broken life, and why. 

Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection
Author: Marissa Meyer
Summary: The enchantment continues.  The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories - and secrets - that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic.  How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing?  How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer?  When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?  With nine stories - five of which have never before been published - and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Meyer's upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Star Above is essential for fans of the bestselling series.

Look for these great titles at your Abilene Public Library and get yourselves on the reserve lists so you're certain to keep up with some of the popular releases of the week.

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Find Details on Fortifying Coupons for Free During Abilene Library Visit" | @ the Library Article

I don't know about you, but back when I watched an episode of "Extreme Couponing" on TLC for the first time, I was floored.  Visions of having my own little stockpiles of items at home, without practically paying anything for it, was enough to keep my interests piqued.  Now, of course, not everyone will be able to replicate the results of the people on that show; however, if you want to hone your skills in couponing to save a buck, your Abilene Public Library can help.

If you're a parent, you know that feeding your household is right up there on the list with prov8iding shelter, electricity, and indoor plumbing.  With food costs rising and kids who eat like football players, you know that stretching that dollar at the supermarket is something no one turns away.  Stephanie nelson wrote a guide, with parents in mind, to show you how to save on your grocery bills.  Her book, The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, will show moms (and dads) how to save money by becoming smarter coupon clippers.  Whether you're a veteran coupon clipper, or you're just starting out, learn some money-saving techniques that will allow you to buy the foods your family needs.  You don't have to sacrifice nutrition to get the groceries you need, and this guide will prove that to you.

Another great resource to check out from your library is the Everything Couponing Book: Clip Your Way to Incredible Savings! by Karen Wilmes.  This guide will explain the importance of couponing while teaching you the ins and outs of various programs and the terminology you need to know.  For instance, although coupons are available, shoppers also need to understand that value of getting reward cards, enrolling in loyalty programs, or even knowing how to print out coupons online.  It's really much more than opening up your local newspaper and snipping out deals.  Along with couponing for groceries, you can also learn how to save in other areas of your life including entertainment, travel, dining, and more.  Even better, you'll also learn how to interpret the fine print when it comes to making the most out of a valuable coupon you find.

Still need another suggestion, especially if you feel you know nothing when it comes to coupons?  Try Rachel Singer Gordon's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Couponing.  Of course we don't think you're an idiot, but the title simply suggests the information inside will be presented in an easy-to-understand manner than all can follow.  Through this guide, you'll learn where to find coupons (manufacturer's, store, electronic), how to find the best online coupon deals, strategies for increasing your savings, how to get the most from your local drugstore with sections dedicated to Walgreens and CVS, and more.

Let's face it.  No one's going to pass up a chance to save a little cash in this day and age, and although not everyone will become a savvy couponing fiend, you might just be better equipped to understand how to find deals through our resources.  Remember, you don't have to go to the extremes, as ever little bit helps, so visit your Abilene Public Library and let our couponing guides show you how to get the most bang for your buck.  We're already helping you out by providing access to the guides for free with a valid library card.  Even librarians believe in saving where we can!

Article Contributed by Tremain Jackson, Branch Manager of the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Friday, January 29, 2016

Book-to-Film Adaptations: February 2016

Literature often inspires film adaptations and each month I like to highlight those hitting theaters soon.  Check out this blog entry to see what they are, and be on the lookout for seeing them in theaters...as well as checkout the books they're based on.

The Choice
Starring: Teresa Palmer
Release Date: Feb. 5
Based On: "The Choice"
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Summary: Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life's most defining events. 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Starring: Lily James
Release Date: Feb. 5
Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Summary: Jane Austen's classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge - an army of undead zombies. 

Deadpool
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Release Date: Feb. 12
Based On: "Deadpool"
Author: Fabian Nicieza & Rob Liefeld
Summary: Based on the Marvel Comics most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the original story of former Special Forces operative turned murcernary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool.  Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. 

How to Be Single
Starring: Dakota Johnson
Release Date: Feb. 12
Based On: "How to Be Single"
Author: Liz Tuccillo
Summary: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

And there you have it, your look at February's book-to-film adaptations to be on the lookout for.

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Jan. 31)

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 at all locations.  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: Blue
Author: Danielle Steel
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F STEEL
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD
Summary: A woman whose life has been shattered befriends a homeless boy.

#2: My Name is Lucy Barton
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F STROUT
Format: Regular Print
Summary: A woman struggles with memories of her impoverished and disturbing childhood and its effect on the present as she attempts to reconcile with her mother.

#3: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 4
Weeks On List: 90
Call Number: F DOERR
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II.

#4: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 54
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.

#5: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Position Last Week: 6
Weeks On List: 47
Call Number: F HANNAH
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: Two sisters in World War II France: one struggling to survive in the countryside, the other joining the Resistance in Paris.




Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: A memoir by a physician who received a diagnosis of Stave IV lung cancer at the age of 36.

#2: The Name of God is Mercy
Author: Pope Francis
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: In a conversation with a Vatican reporter, the pontiff explores the cornerstone of his faith.

#3: Between the World and Me
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 28
Call Number: 92 COATES
Format: Regular Print, Audiobook on CD
Summary: A meditation on race in America as well as a personal story by the Atlantic's national correspondent.  Winner of the National Book Award.

#4: The Road to Little Dribbling
Author: Bill Bryson
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 914.104 BRY
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type
Summary: An American expatriate travels around his adopted country, Britain.

#5: Dark Money
Author: Jane Mayer
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: An account of how the Koch brothers and other super-wealthy donors deployed their money to change American politics.

Look out for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and discover why they've become such hits in mainstream literature.  If they're not available, get yourselves on the reserve lists.