Saturday, December 20, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Dec. 21)

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: Gray Mountain
Author: John Grisham
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 8
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: A downsized Wall Street lawyer joins a legal clinic in a small Virginia town. 

#2: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 6
Weeks On List: 32
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II. 

#3: Revival
Author: Stephen King
Position Last Week: 4
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: F KING
Summary: The continuing relationship, over five decades, between a disgraced clergyman and a drug-addicted musician. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Dec. 22-27)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

Food for Fines
All December
All Library Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Waive those unwanted and pesky overdue late fees by donating canned goods and other non-perishable items, to any of the three (3) library branch locations.  Each item will waive $1.00 of your late fees (no credit), with all donations benefiting the Food Bank of West Central Texas.  Call us if you have questions. 

Holiday Closings: Christmas
Dec. 24 @ Noon, All Day Dec. 25
All Library Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
All locations of the Abilene Public Library will close in observance of the Christmas holiday.  For your convenience, outside materials returns are available at all three locations.  We will resume our normal hours of operation on Dec. 26 @ 9:00AM.  Merry Christmas!!!

Don't miss out on these fun activities being hosted at your Abilene Public Library and get in on what your local library has to offer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tremain's Book Corner: "Neil Patrick Harries: Choose Your Own Autobiography" by Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Click to Place Hold
Author: Neil Patrick Harris
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary: Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first?  Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the "u" back in "aUtobiography?"  Look no further.  In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based-life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life.  You will be born to New Mexico.  You will get you big break at an acting camp.  You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan.  Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed.  You will decide whether to try out for "Doogie Howser, M.D."  You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality.  You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John's yacht. 

Choose correctly and you'll find fame, fortune, and true love.  Choose incorrectly and you'll find misery, heartbreak, and a hideous death by piranhas.  All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song.  Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, and make that book this one!

Personal Review: I LOVE Neil Patrick Harris, so when I came across this book, knowing it was going to be written in the vein of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel, I thought it was absolutely brilliant.  It's never been done before (that I know of), and I wanted to see how Harris was going to pull it off.  I was not disappointed in the least.

I expected the book to be witty, clever, fun, and illuminating, and it was all of those things and more.  With this book, long gone were the days of when you read a biography that was just a basic coverage of a person's life.  With the "choose your own adventure" slant, it made the book that much more enjoyable of a read.  This book was certainly funny enough to keep me laughing out loud in quite a few areas, and then had me going back to read the book in different ways to take the different paths Harris had created, just to see the comical way the author responded as to what would have happened to him if that choice was made.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest 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 that the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we highlight some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

The Maze Runner
Starring: Dylan O'Brien
Summary: Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.  Based on the novel by James Dashner, it was a box office hit taking in over $326 million and will have a sequel adaptation of the second book to be released September 2015. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Starring: Megan Fox
Summary: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a news reporter finds a quad of mutants which makes an alliance to unravel Shredder's plan as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  This film is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and although poorly received by the critics, this become Nickelodeon's biggest grossing film in the box office with taking in over $434 million, and more than enough to commission a sequel for June 2016. 

This is Where I Leave You
Starring: Jason Bateman
Summary: When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same rood together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.  Based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Tropper, this film opened to mixed reviews from the critics and took in just over $36 million in the box office. 

The Lost (Witch & Wizard #5)
Author: James Patterson
Summary: Whit and Wisty have fought and defeated their world's most pernicious threats: the evil dictator, The One Who Is The One, as well as his wicked father and son.  But just as the heroic witch and wizard start to settle into their new roles, a deadly crime wave grips their city, with all signs pointing to a magical mastermind every bit as powerful and heartless as The One.  Now they must find a way to battle it out one more time, in the conclusion to this bestselling young adult series.

Look out 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.  Plus, stop by every Tuesday to get a look at even more popular releases, or try listening to our Podcast.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Entertain Your Children with Library's Help" ~ @ the Library Article

How often is it that you need to find a way to entertain your children while sitting in a restaurant or standing in a line?  These days, it's pretty easy to hand the children your cellphone or tablet and let them play games or watch YouTube.

That's great, but what if I told you that the Abilene Public Library provides a great resource for kids that is not only entertaining, but educational?  TumbleBooks and TumbleBook Cloud Jr. are provided by your Abilene Public Library thanks to a grant from the Target Corp.

The TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated, talking picture books that teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love, as described by its website.

TumbleBooks provides titles that can be listened to or read, as well as videos, puzzles, games and more.

Although the website's primary purpose is to promote reading, other concepts such as math, spelling, science, and history also are presented. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Dec. 14)

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

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Hope to Die
Author: James Patterson
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: Detective Alex Cross's family is kidnapped by a madman who wants to turn Cross into a perfect killer.

#2: Gray Mountain
Author: John Grisham
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 7
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: A downsized Wall Street lawyer joins a legal clinic in a small Virginia town.

#3: The Escape
Author: David Baldacci
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F BALDACCI
Summary: John Puller, a special agent with the Army, hunts for his brother, who was convicted of treason and has escaped from prison.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Dec. 15-20)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

All December
All Library Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Waive those unwanted and pesky overdue late fees by donating canned goods, and other non-perishable items, to any of the three (3) library branch locations.  Each item will waive $1.00 of your late fees (no credit), with all donations benefiting the Food Bank of West Central Texas.  Call us if you have questions. 

Dec. 15 @ 4PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
We're having fun with snow in this afterschool kids' event where we're diving into stories, crafts, and more that all deal with the snow.  Come join in the fun at this event for kids of all ages, and the entire family. 

Dec. 15 @ 6:30PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
We're bringing back the annual crafting workshop where we'll be showing youth how to create a few holiday gifts they can use as stocking stuffers for family and friends...or keep themselves. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tremain's Book Corner: "#Newsfail" by Jamie Kilstein

#Newsfail: Climate Change, Feminism, Gun Control, and Other Stuff We Talk About Because Nobody Else Will
Click to Place Hold
Author: Jamie Kilstein
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: A hilarious and informative primer on the most urgent issues of our day, from the creators and co-hosts of Citizen Radio, a 100% listener-supported show whose slogan is "independent radio that won't lead you to war."

#Newsfail if not your grandmother's comedic-memoir-slash-political-manifesto.  From page one (in a preface titled "In Which the Authors Interview Ralph Nader in the Bathtub), comedian Jamie Kilstein and journalist Allison Kilkenny pledge to give you the news like you've never gotten it before.

On issues ranging from feminism to gun control, climate change to class war, foreign policy to net neutrality, they tell you how the mainstream media get it left, right, and utterly, unforgivably, irresponsibly wrong.  #Newsfail is all this, plus the story of Allison and Jamie's own DIY foray into independent media via their podcast, Citizen Radio, which has featured guests such as Jeremy Scahill, Sarah Silverman, Glenn Greenwald, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and been downloaded millions of times by people all over the world.

Their mission is truth-telling above brainwashing.  All you have to do is listen.

Personal Review: As a bestselling book, I picked this up to read simply because it was talking about a wide range of hot topics in the nation, and I wanted to hear the author's thoughts.  I've never heard of Citizen Radio, let alone the authors of the book, so I could go into it without being biased to feel one way or the other about them, which is a good thing sometimes.

What the authors are doing is using their wit and commentary to shed light on a number of topics, such as those addressed in the synopsis of the book.  With each topic covered, they provide basic details on each issue, and best yet, a collection of #newsfails, where pundits and/or media organizations were inept, ignorant, or just plain wrong.  This is where the book got its title from, and I think that was brilliant.