Columns

October 2

What beautiful weather we are having!  It’s perfect for fall sports, winterizing our yards, and of course for the hunters, reinforcing it’s time to get those deer lanes and stands in order, if they haven’t already.  For most people, the shorter days lead towards the winter hibernation season .  This is the time of year I come alive.  I’m more active and creative and engaged now, than any other time.  As our programs are growing, I’m glad the same can be said for many of you!

Our after school Crazy 8’s Math Club was chaotic and a ton of fun.  This week we made Panflutes with giant straws, reinforcing the need for accuracy in measurement and to study decibels and sounds.  Next week, we will be exploring the concept and measurement of time.  I can’t wait to see what these extremely bright kiddos come up with next!  

Book club is growing and will have met during publication.  New book selection to be announced next week.  Our writing group is starting to get pen to paper as we work on setting personal goals for growth.  We have members representing a variety of genres from essay/personal narratives to a food blogs to inspirational non-fiction for teens and more.  We are pledging to promote accountability because we all need cheerleaders and encouragement.  We are committing to offer kind but honest critiques of presented work.  This is strictly at the discretion of the presenter as reading your writing aloud is NOT a requirement (or I’d quit!)  Current meeting times are the first and third Thursday afternoons at 4:30 at the library.  Bring whatever you like and stay as long as you can.  For our meeting October 5, I’ve been tasked with finding tips and techniques for creative writing.  If this piques your interest, give us a call at the library or just drop in at our next meeting.  You are more than welcome!

Fall publications are starting to roll in and I’ve been adding titles here and there to round out our collection.  Coming in audiobook format is Harlan Coben’s “Don’t Let Go” and Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence.”  Math club aside, we’ve had a lot of big-kid math questions and I’m adding Danica McKellar’s titles “Hot X:  Algebra Exposed” and “Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape.”  You may remember Danica from her role as Winnie on “The Wonder Years,” but she is also an accomplished mathematician and advocate for math education.  The books are geared towards encouraging young women in the field of math, but her explanations are simple, relatable, and guys will love them too.  

“Darkansas: A Novel” by Jarret Middleton is receiving rave reviews from the critics and I can’t wait until we receive it.  A lot of critics prefer what I call literary fiction.  They are more serious or heavy reads and has grown to become a favorite genre of mine.  However, this title can also be considered a “local” title as it takes place in the Ozarks.  Jordan Bayne is a country musician living in the shadow of his legendary bluegrass musician father.  He returns home for his twin brother’s wedding and learns of a dark vein in the family history.  Going back to the Civil War, every generation of Bayne men have been twins, and one twin has always murdered their father.  Jordan seeks to escape this legacy while a mysterious hill dweller and partner seem determined to see the curse through to the end.  The reviews I’ve read say this is more than typical Southern Gothic myth-making and it is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.  

To our patrons who have requested titles, they are in route!  We are so glad to be able to serve our community in this way.  Remember our programs, Crazy 8s Math Club for 3rd – 5th graders…we have room for one or two more so call or come by to register, our book club and new writing group.  Join us!  Thanks to our patrons who donate, Gary Hamilton and Alejandra Mondragon.  Remember us for all of your reading needs.  As always, join me in reading something good every day!

 

September 25

Fall is here and the forecast, as of this writing, is showing a bit cooler temperatures, which are always welcome to me.  I have hurricane lilies popping up here and there at my house and their bright red and almost feathery blossoms make me smile.  The mornings are cool enough to enjoy a before-work walk and I often venture around the yard to gather a few persimmons to nibble or toss to the horse.  I don’t know about you, but it’s these little things which encourage me to count my blessings more and more often.  

Also counted among my blessings are our patrons and the relationships we build with one another.  We lost a patron this week and it has cast a pall over our usual laughter and good spirits.  She is not the first and she won’t be the last, but it has really brought home to me how much we truly love our library friends.  Through the years, your visits to the library establishes a relationship.  We become a part of your circle of life.  We see births and deaths, weddings and divorces, health and sickness, the usual good, bad, and ugly of life.  We have laughed with you and cried with you and prayed with you and are so honored to be a part of your lives.  You mean more to us than we can often articulate, we are glad to see you when you come in and we miss you when you don’t.  You are the heart of this library and we thank each and every one of you for the part you play in making this library a cornerstone in our community.

As autumn is officially beginning, so are a few new programs.  Our new math club will have kicked off this week and I’m hoping the kiddos had as much fun as I know I’m going to have.  I’m hoping we’ve generated enough interest in an adult writing group to gather a few souls to share and support one another.  Book club is right around the corner, new meeting place to be determined.  Plans for a monthly meeting with the school district librarians is in the works and I can’t wait to see what happens with this great group of ladies.  When it comes to reading and reading promotion, we are all for one and one for all.  

Not everyone enjoys fall and winter weather as much as I, but we can’t dispute it’s the perfect reading weather!  Tony, our favorite delivery person dropped off four boxes and I know you’ll enjoy what was included!  Our carousel paperbacks have new additions, about 12 each month so if you’ve been waiting on the next in your series, I bet it’s here!  We have a new Trail Drive Series addition in Ralph Compton’s “Dodge City Trail” for all of you western readers.  Hint to any budding writers out there, we have people reading westerns faster than they are being published.  We could stand a few new authors in the western market.   

New titles by some of your favorites are here.  Sam and Remi Fargo are back in Clive Cussler’s “Romanov Ransom.”  We have it in hardback and audiobook.  Our ever prolific James Patterson is back with Detective Michael Bennett in “Haunted” also in hardback.  We venture back to Mitford in Jan Karon’s newest, “To Be Where You Are” and join the Krewe of Hunters in Heather Graham’s “Wicked Deeds.”  If you’re looking for a bit of a stay-cation, you can venture to Cuba with Nelson DeMille in “Cuban Affairs,” or even back in time to West Virginia, where Sharyn McCrumb’s “The Unquiet Grave” is based on a true-life murder mystery, featuring the testimony of ghost.    

Our titles are as varied as we are and considering it’s Banned Book Week, stop in and check out our display.  As Jo Goodwin said, “A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”  Our goal certainly is not to offend, but we are purveyors of information and want our library to be well-rounded and informative.

Thanks to our patrons who donate, Tonya Parnell.  Remember us for all of your reading needs.  As always, join me in reading something good every day!

 

September 18

It’s “Paint the Town Purple” week!  We have done our part by decorating our building (we had a LOT of windows to paint)  and adding an all purple display table.  I usually do not recommend judging a book by it’s cover, but in this case, they are all great titles…and purple!  Homecoming week is a special week for any community and I look forward to seeing “old” faces as they venture into the library to catch up on the news.  If you’re going to be too busy to read this week, you can always check out an audiobook for all those miles you may be driving.  Listening to a book makes travel more enjoyable to me.  Give it a try if you’ve never done so.  We have a wonderful selection of audiobooks by your favorite authors.

I’ve been telling you about our cataloging project and we are moving so much faster than anticipated.  I’m working on our DVD collection now and boy, we have some great titles!  My to-be-read list is now neighbor to a to-be-watched list, which is really rather comical.  It’s all I can do to squeeze in an hour or two of TV a week, so I really prioritize what I watch.  I did notice several titles I’ve considered “classics” I want to see.  I’ve never seen “A Streetcar Named Desire” or “Lawrence of Arabia.”  I may try to check out a title for these colder winter weekends I know are just around the corner.

I had the opportunity to venture into Noble/Allbritton Elementary last week and read to Mrs. Harper’s first grade class.  It was the highlight of my week!  We met SkippyJon Jones, a Siamese cat who believes he is a Chihuahua through his very active imagination.  We read and discussed characters, setting, and the plot of the story.  They were great listeners and had very astute observations about the story.  On my way out, I ventured into the book fair at the upper elementary.  As a teacher-librarian, it was my most favorite-dreaded week of the year as it was hectic and busy and rewarding all at the same time.  I added a few personal titles for my reading pleasure and enjoyed visiting with Mrs. Cossey.  As the county librarian, I feel a responsibility to support reading everywhere, not just in our library.  Community outreach is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the job.  So, be on the lookout for reading opportunities!

We have added a few more volumes to some of your favorite series, starting with Fern Michael’s “Sisterhood” series.  Her newest title is “Need to Know” and the quest for justice, as we know, has no bounds when the Sisterhood gets involved.  This time, member Yoko Wong’s dear friend, Garland, a very popular singer, made the mistake of trusting her lawyer, Forrester, who has stolen millions from her.  To make things worse, he’s managed to entangle her in a lawsuit that could cost her everything and with half the prominent judges in the country in his pocket, he seems untouchable.  Those of you keeping up with the Sisterhood series know poor Forrester will never know what hit him, but justice will be served, Sisterhood-style.

J.P. Beaumont is back out of retirement in J.A. Jance’s “Proof of Life.”  At odds with what to do with his time, Beau has found himself at loose ends until the murder of a long-time nemesis, crime reporter Maxwell Cole, brings him back into the fray.  What is deemed to be an accidental fire is more like murder, and Beau is asked to investigate by none other than the deceased himself.  Turns out, the past isn’t staying in the past and just because a case was solved, doesn’t mean it is over.  This time, Beau is working outside the familiar confines of law enforcement and facing an enemy who has spent decades hiding in plain sight.  This book is described as being complex and involved with multiple characters and very much worth the read for fans of Beau and newcomers as well.

Thanks to our patrons who donate, Carol Moyers and Ann Porter.  Remember us for all of your reading needs.  As always, join me in reading something good every day!