Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guy Books

On Amazon's Omnivoracious blog, they recently had a post called "Help an Amazon Customer Out - Books for Men".  Apparently, a customer had posted this in the Amazon Books customer discussions:

"I'm looking for books for my husband. He read, and enjoyed, the Eric Larson Books, Lost in Shangri-La, the Horatio Hornblower and Patrick Obrian Aubrey Maturin series, Unbroken,... he likes books that read close enough like fiction, but also have something he can learn. He doesn't really like mystery and is a little tired of WW2. Any ideas? Thanks!"

The blogger had some suggestions for this customer, but he opened up the discussion on Omnivoracious to see what other people recommended.  Some responses he got included: Ghost Wave:The Discovery of Cortes Bank and the Biggest Wave on Earth; books by Steve Berry & Jeff Shaara; Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart; Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books; & Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster.

What would you recommend?  If you are looking for titles, you might also check Booklist's "10 Manliest Books of 2011".

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Novel Resources: Library Booklists Online

There are a lot of books out there - facing the shelves can be a daunting task for the browser. Librarians like booklists in this situation, whether it be book awards or readalikes.  It's a handy way to find similar titles or books about the same topic.
ABC Libraries' webpage has a LibGuide of booklists compiled by staff for adults & teens.  There are genre booklists, like mystery & horror, some non-fiction, New Mexico authors, & multicultural booklists.  There are also Monster Mashups & Sherlock Holmes Universe LibGuides.

Other resources I have found handy on the web include: the Library Booklists site, which consists of four sections: original booklists on various topics, primarily but not entirely focused on themes, places, characters, and plots of crime novels; annotated lists of other booklists, primarily but not entirely focused on fiction, for adults, kids, and teens; a growing calendar of authors' birthdates, organised by month, with links; and some resources for reading groups (discussion questions, recommended books, how to start a group, etc.); the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is featuring entertaining-looking lists such as "Apocalist Booklypse" ; Springfield City Library includes a variety of lists, from Christian fiction to a Job-Seekers booklist; the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library in Massachusetts has an impressive selection of mystery booklists; & St Charles Public Library has a whole section of Great Outdoors lists.  Library websites are generally good resources for booklists of all kinds!

Other library resources you might want to check out include Staff Picks pages (Cherry Hills Library & Erna Fergusson Library have these).  Also,  Cherry Hills offers a "Read-A-Likes For You" services on their Staff Picks page- just fill out a quick survey to receive a librarian recommendation for your nexy read!  The Seattle Public Library offers this service as well, if you have a Seattle library card.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A People's Readalong

As you go out in the world, try to keep your eye on the human bottom line. I also hope you will understand & be tough about what is needed to solve problems, change attitudes, and bring about needed changes in our society.  Democracy is not a spectator sport.
~Marian Wright Edelman, in a 1983 commencement address at Milton Academy

Howard Zinn's massive A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present has been malingering on my bookshelf for a decade.  I don't think (though it's been a long time since I last looked at it) that I have ever read beyond Chapter 1: "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress" .  But 2012 is the year that I plan to finish it, with the help of A People's Readalong.

A People's Readalong is a genius idea (in my humble opinion) by two bloggers to read a chapter of this 729 page book a week until it's finished-sometime in July.  So far, I've read Chapter 1 (again), & hope to soon start Chapter 2: Drawing the Color Line.  It's nice, because you can write about it on your blog (if you have one) or just check in on the two bloggers' sites & leave your comments on their posts.  There are several other people doing the readalong & commenting, so it's like an online discussion group.

The readalong bloggers recommended watching The People Speak, a documentary originally broadcast on the History Channel.  "Using dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries and speeches of everyday Americans, the documentary feature film The People Speak gives voice to those who spoke up for social change throughout U.S. history, forging a nation from the bottom up with their insistence on equality and justice," is how Howard Zinn's website describes the film. Readers include Don Cheadle, Viggo Mortensen, Matt Damon, Marisa Tomei & Sandra Oh.  I watched it yesterday & found it deeply moving, not to mention eye-opening. 

ABC Libraries has the book (& audiobook version) of readings from the movie, The People Speak: American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known: Dramatic Readings Celebrating the Enduring Spirit of Dissent, as well as the book on which it was based, Voices of a People's History of the United States.  The library catalog also features many other Zinn titles. Zinn, who died in 2010, was an American historian, academic, author, playwright, and social activist. According to Wikipedia, he received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award, the Thomas Merton Award (given annually to "national and international individuals struggling for justice') and, in 1998, the Eugene V. Debs Award ("honoring a person whose work has been in the spirit of Debs and who has contributed to the advancement of the causes of industrial unionism, social justice, or world peace").

I'm excited to continue reading my weekly chapter!  Wish me luck!


A People's Readalong-Join us why don't you?

A People's Readalong (Fizzy Thoughts)

The People Speak website

Howard Zinn's website

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Children's Book Awards Winners!

It's that time of year again! The American Library Association has announced its 2012 award winners in children's literature.  Here's the scoop:

John Newbery Medal
For the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Randolph Caldecott Medal
For the most distinguished American picture book for children
A Ball for Daisy illustrated and written by Chris Raschka

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award
Recognizes an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom illustrated and written by Shane W. Evans

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement
Winner: Ashley Bryan
“Storyteller, artist, author, poet and musician, Bryan created his first children’s book in first grade. He grew up in the Bronx and in 1962, he became the first African American to both write and illustrate a children’s book. After a successful teaching career, Bryan left academia to pursue creation of his own artwork. He has since garnered numerous awards for his significant and lasting literary contribution of poetry, spirituals and story.”

Schneider Family Book Award
For books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Alex Awards
For the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.

Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke Hauser
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Robopocalypse: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston
The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo

Andrew Carnegie Medal For Excellence in Children’s Video
Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of Children Make Terrible Pets. The video is based on the book written by Peter Brown, and is narrated by Emily Eiden, with music by Jack Sundrud and Rusty Young, and animation by Soup2Nuts.

Margaret A. Edwards Award
For lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.
Susan Cooper, author of The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; and Silver on the Tree

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award
Recognizes an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site.
Winner: Michael Morpurgo
“Born in England, Morpurgo was teaching when he discovered the magic of storytelling and began writing. His books are noted for their imagination, power and grace. In 1976, he and his wife established the charity Farms for City Children. He is an officer of the Order of the British Empire and served as Britain’s third Children’s Laureate. His novel, “War Horse,” has wowed theater audiences in London and New York and movie audiences all over.”

Mildred L. Batchelder Award
For an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States.
Soldier Bear by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson

Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production
For best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.
Rotters by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award
Honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award
For most distinguished informational book for children.
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade written by Melissa Sweet

Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Book Award
Presented annually to English language books that have exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered experience.
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy written by Bil Wright

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
For the most distinguished beginning reader book.
Tales for Very Picky Eaters written and illustrated by Josh Schneider

William C. Morris Award
For a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Michael L. Printz Award
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

For more information & to see past award & honor books, visit the ALA site.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our 2012 Reading Challenges

We've decided to commit to two reading challenges this year at abcreads, but we're going to do them a little differently this year.  Rather than write individual posts about each book, we've created pages on the blog for each challenge & will be keeping a running tally of our titles (with a short review) there.  We hope our readers will check in periodically & see how we're doing!

Both challenges will be mystery-oriented this year: the Cozy Mystery Challenge, where we'll read 10-12 cozy mysteries (Super Sleuth level) from January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012; & the Vintage Mystery Challenge, for which we have chosen the theme Golden Age Girls (8 books by female authors OR 8 books with female detectives).

Readers can't comment on these pages, but in our Book Banter forums we've created a "Reading Challenges 2012" thread for you to comment on our challenges & tell us about your own!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Get Ready Genealogists!


April 2, 2012 is a date many genealogists are eagerly awaiting.  This is the day that the 1940 Census will be released to the public!  For many of us, including myself, this is exciting stuff.  I will now be able to further construct my great-grandfather's timeline and where he was living when the enumerators came knocking at his door.

Census records have been recorded in America from 1790 to the present.  From the years 1790-1850 not much information was given, only head of household, how many family members and what age groups they were, such as how many males under 5 or how many females over 15.  Starting in 1850 more questions began to appear, such as the place of birth of each person, either a county was listed or a state, if a person married within the year, the age of each family member, the value of any property and the occupation of the residents.  In 1870 and 1880 began to list the month each person was born, naturalization information, whether the parents were born in a place other than the US and most often would list the place of birth.  The 1890 census met with an unfortunate fate.  Most of the records were destroyed in a fire and only a few fragments were recovered.

Beginning in 1900 even more information was obtained such as the number of years individuals had been married, how many children a woman had and how many lived, the year of immigration to the US, whether their status was "AI" for Alien, "PA" for first papers, or "NA" for naturalized, if they owned or rented their home and if that home still had a mortgage or was owned free and clear.  The 1910,1920 and 1930 census had basically the same information as the 1900, with a few exceptions.  The 1910 census listed if a person was a survivor of the Civil War and was indicated by a "UA" or "UN" for Union Army or Navy, or a "CA" or "CN" for Confederate Army or Navy. By the 1930 census any Civil War participants still living were listed with "CW"  Also, on the 1910 census there are several numbers that scribbled over information in columns 30-32 and is statistical data only that was used by the Census department and not related to the person listed.   The 1920 census listed the year the individual was naturalized and the 1930 census listed if a man had military service in other wars such as "SP" for the Spanish-American War, "Phil" for Phillipine Insurrection", "Box" for the Boxer Rebellion, "Mex" for Mexican Expedition and "WW" for World War I.  This I found quite interesting to know as I never knew what those initials meant and now can go back to see if any relatives served in any of those conflicts.

There are some websites where census indexes and records can be searched for free, but not all the years are available.  A couple of decent ones are usgwarchives.org/census, which can be searched by states if you know where an ancestor may have lived and http://www.censusfinder.com/.  Most of the Census Finder website is index records only, but I have found where an ancestor was listed in the index which told me that a record was done, so that was a good aid to use.

In the 1940 census which will be released at 9:00 AM on April 2, in additon to the standard questions, there are several new fields that were added.  The enumerators were told to put a "circled X" after the person's name answering the questions.  Some of the questions asked were if the person ever worked for the CCC, WPA or NYA during the week of March 24-30, 1940 and the income for the previous year ending December 31, 1939.  With this census there is a supplemental schedule to have two names for each page, the place of birth of the person's father and mother, the person's usual occupation, about whether all the women in the household have been married or not, if they were married more than once, and the age of first marriage.  It will also have the location, such as street, avenue or road, and house number.  This of course is the first census where the question could be asked if the person had a Social Security number.

The census will be made available to the public for research on April 2nd, but only at a National Archives location and the closest one to Albuquerque is in Denver.  However, the Genealogy section at the Main Library will most likely have the census as soon as it can be transcribed after the release date, whether throught the Ancestry or Heritage Quest database.  Also, Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives may have some older census records, but it is not known at this time if they will have any of the 1940 census.  There should be more information on what the Genealogy section will have at a later date.  There will be no name index available at the National Archives, but Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org have both stated they will have one as soon as it can be transcribed after the release date.  If you decide to use Ancestry from your home computer there is a monthly fee involved and the basic fee for searching US records is $19.95.

Book Awards

Are you an awards groupie like I am?  My favorite prize is the Man Booker, which I glommed on to after a teenage reading of The Bone People, but I like to check out award-winners in multiple categories. There are several literary awards that have come up on the abcreads radar lately.  How about:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

P. D. James Comes to Pemberley

I am an avid mystery reader, & a huge fan of  the writer P.D. James.  She has a new book out this year-at age 92!  But, rather than featuring her usual detective, Adam Dalgliesh (or even Cordelia Gray, her other detective), she has set her latest mystery in the world of Jane Austen.  Wha...?

It's true, I am having kind of an issue with this. A couple of years ago, James told the Guardian that she was worried about starting a new book at her age & possibly not being able to finish it.  So, I was surprised & delighted to hear she had a new book coming out in December 2011!  & then I heard what it was, & a niggling disappointment surfaced in my brain, despite the fact that I tried hard to squelch it.

Like a dedicated fangirl, I put my hold on a copy of her newest, Death Comes to Pemberley, as soon as it was in the catalog.  I got my copy last week.  It has sat, front & center on my couch, since I brought it home, but I can't bring myself to open it.

P. D. James in a wonderful writer, & I love Jane Austen.  I'm just not sure I'm ready for them at the same time.  I'm not sure why it's irking me so much.  P. D. James has written non-mysteries (most notably the sci-fi The Children of Men) that haven't bothered me. I have read from the copious titles written around Jane Austen & her oeuvre-Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Austenland & their ilk-before.  I also know that  Stephanie Barron & Carrie Bebris both write mysteries set in Austen's world, though I have never read those, mostly because they look silly.

I should just trust in P.D. James.  The book has gotten some glowing reviews (although somebody on Amazon did say "Not for purist Austen fans or demanding readers of PD James"), & apparently writing it was a dream of hers. I have the book until January 28th - I don't know how much more time I have to waffle.

Reader, what would you do?

Useful Links

To read other P.D. James titles (or watch the TV movies), check the library catalog.

Read the prologue to Death Comes to Pemberley at the Knopf Publishers' site.

A Life in Writing: P.D. James

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King!

All Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Libraries will be closed on Monday, January 16th to honor the birth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Libraries will reopen on Tuesday, January 17th for their normal hours.

Ways you can celebrate the holiday:
  • Listen to King's "I Have a Dream" speech online or watch the video on YouTube.
  • Place holds on items relating to King in the library catalog. Or download the eAudiobook Martin's Big Words for your kids!
  • Participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr  Day of Service.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"  Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.
  • Plan your visit to The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (“The King Center”) in Atlanta!  Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official, living memorial dedicated to advancing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through various programs and partnerships, they strive to educate the world about his life and teachings, inspire new generations to further his work, and strengthen causes and changemakers continuing his efforts today.
  • Take part in Albuquerque's Martin Luther King Holiday Parade on Sunday!  Help commemorate Martin Luther King's work, message, and inspiration at the MLK Holiday parade. The event begins 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 at University and Martin Luther King Boulevard NE, heading west to Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza. (You can also find information about the city's holiday closures on the same page.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Free eBook Sources

Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who received an eBook reader or other gadget for Christmas.  Perhaps you are an early adopter and already have one or use your computer to the same effect.  Maybe you are waiting to check out an eBook Reader from the library before you make a decision (Kindles coming soon!).  No matter which camp you are in, the library's eBook collection has been surging in popularity. 

But wait!  The library is not the only source of free eBooks.  Below is a brief list of places on the web where you can find free eBooks in a variety of formats.  Many of the sites offer public domain (out-of-copyright) works, so frequently you have a great deal of choice in which edition and which site to download those from.  Enjoy!

Amazon.com has a large selection of free titles, both books in the public domain and new books that are special offers from publishers.  For public domain books, search by title or visit the Kindle Popular Classics collection.  For free new books, the best place to check is the Best Sellers in Kindle Store Top 100 Free list.  These are in the .azw format, which can be read on a Kindle or through one of the various free Kindle apps.

Barnes and Noble has similar freebies on their website, with both publishers' special offers and free classics.  These are in the .epub format, which can be read on a Nook, though the Nook app, or on a reader which supports epub files by using Adobe Digital Editions.

Baen Books, a publisher of science fiction and fantasy, has a selection of free eBooks in many formats.  Their Free Library aims to offer the first in a series when available.

Girlebooks is a good resource for classic and contemporary ebooks by female writers. Girlebooks ebooks are hand-crafted and professionally formatted into multiple ebook formats to accommodate most ereaders, & most titles are free. All of their ebooks, even the ones in the ebook store, are DRM free (no digital rights management). This means that once you download the ebook, it is yours forever no matter what ereader you use to read it.

Digital Book Index has a large catalog of (mostly) free academic and scholarly eBooks in many formats.  This is a great resource for primary sources.  The catalog pulls results from many different contributors and shows format availability. 

Inkmesh is an eBook search engine.  It has links to free promotional books for the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony and others.  It also allows you to search for a title (both eBook and eAudiobook) and compare prices at different websites.  Since most prices are set by the publisher, this may not be as helpful as it seems, though occasionally a special can be found.

Lastly is the biggie, Project Gutenberg.  This is the site to go to for out-of-print works, with more than 36,000 available.  Project Gutenberg titles can be read by almost any device available.  For more information on how to transfer them to your device, see these directions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stewart O'Nan

I was reading the Indie Next List Preview this morning, & it mentioned the new book by Stewart O'Nan, The Odds: A Love Story.  In fact, the review listed, by Cathy Langer of Denver's Tattered Cover book store, was downright glowing: "This is a small novel that packs an emotional wallop... Both suspenseful and sweet, I loved this gem of a novel."

Stewart O'Nan is a name I have come across in the library over the years, but I have never read one of his books. However, recently I was looking for books with "night" in the title (sometimes I am called upon to do such random searches) & I came across his Last Night at the Lobster.  I found the blurb intriguing: "Managing a failed seafood restaurant in a run-down New England mall just before Christmas, Manny DeLeon coordinates a challenging final shift of mutinous staff members, an effort that is complicated by his love for a waitress, a pregnant girlfriend, and an elusive holiday gift."  Yes, that's right, it's last night at a Red Lobster!   I had always assumed O'Nan was Irish, but in fact, he is an American author who has taught at the University of New Mexico.

I feel like I should know more about Stewart O'Nan!  His first two books, In the Walled City & Snow Angels, won literary prizes, & in 2008 a movie came out based on the latter.  In 1996, Granta named him one of America's Best Young Novelists.  Another book, A Prayer for the Dying, was a New York Times Notable Book. But somehow, he has slipped under my radar all this time.

In his last novel, Emily, Alone, Stewart O'Nan writes about an 80-year-old widow (this is a sequel to an earlier book, Wish You Were Here).  Everyday People is set in a black Pittsburgh neighborhood (O'Nan is from Pittsburgh) one week in 1998.  The Night Country features "the haunting presence of the wisecracking undead" [BookPage reviews].  The Circus Fire is an account of the big top fire that killed 167 people in Hartford, Connecticut in 1944.  An avid Red Sox fan, O'Nan has also written, with Stephen King, Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season, which our library system has in English, Spanish, & large print.  Wow!  Publisher's Weekly noted this book's "warmth, personality [and] depth".  A lot of reviews of O'Nan's work praise his empathy, versatility & compelling writing.

ABC Libraries' catalog lists about 15 Stewart O'Nan titles.  I hope you will consider reading one this year..I know he's made my list!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Looking for something to do?

With the change of year, it seems like people are focused on making changes to their lifestyle, whether it be learning something new or getting more organized or just getting out of the house more! Or, maybe you have relatives in town & want to take them out to an event. With that in mind, I'd like to introduce you to a tool to help you in your quest: the library's program calendar.

There are 17 branches in the library system, & most of them have programs monthly, ranging from storytimes to music to crafts.  There are a couple of ways to search for programs online: by branch (click on the links under "Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library Locations" to reach individual branches' LibGuides); in the catalog (for instance, a keyword search of "computer" should bring up some classes); or, if you just want to see what's going on in the whole system, visit our program calendar!  The calendar doesn't limit you to branch, but you can choose the type of program on the right.

I hope 2012 will be the year you'll take advantage of all the programs your library system has to offer!  Here's a list of some of the system's January programs throughout the system to whet your appetite:

10th- Lomas Tramway Library: AMP Concert: Sadaqah
6 p.m

The music of Sadaqah takes you on a journey of the Silk Road and the caravan routes of Ancient Arabia. Sadaqah blends music of Greece, Turkey and the Arabic Countries. They present music of the Armenian, Kurdish, Hebrew people including music from Andalusia. Each musician is well versed in this genre and brings his or her own background of traditional western music, flamenco or folk styles to the mix.

11th- Lomas Tramway Library: Piano Lessons with Ben Franklin
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Did you get a Keyboard for Christmas or your birthday and just never knew what to do with it? Bring your own keyboard and take a series of 5 free, hands on lessons, beginning January 11th at 6:30pm. Registration required.

14th- Juan Tabo Library: Conquering Clutter – Or Is It Hoarding?
Workshop with professional organizer Kit Anderson
1 p.m.

Is your space more cluttered than you'd like? Is it interfering with your life? Come hear tips from a professional organizer on conquering that clutter. Learn why the clutter builds up and when to consider it hoarding. Start the new year off right with a cleaner, more organized home or office! Kit's latest book, The Faster I Work the Behinder I Get, will be available for sale.

14th- Main Library: Extreme Couponing and Smart Shopping
11:00 a.m.

Learn how to use coupons and become a smart shopper by stretching your money further. Registration required. Please call 505-768-5141.

14th- Cherry Hills Library: United Blood Services Mobile
10 – 2 p.m.

Be a hero. Donate blood.

17th- Juan Tabo Library: Lecture and Q&A: Hidden Thyroid Problems

One in thirteen Americans has a thyroid disorder and over half of these people are unaware that their thyroid is the reason they don't feel well! Join Dr. Vernon Redd for a lecture and Q&A session about hidden thyroid problems and what you can do to feel better. Bring your questions!

18th- Alamosa Library: Snowflake Craft with Miss Tina
3 – 5 p.m.

Make a 3-D snowflake. All ages welcome. No registration required.

19th- South Valley Library: AMP Concert: Sadaqah
4 p.m.

The music of Sadaqah takes you on a journey of the Silk Road and the caravan routes of Ancient Arabia. Sadaqah blends music of Greece, Turkey and the Arabic Countries. They present music of the Armenian, Kurdish, Hebrew people including music from Andalusia. Each musician is well versed in this genre and brings his or her own background of traditional western music, flamenco or folk styles to the mix.

20th- Westgate Library-Holiday Craft
2 – 5 p.m.

Join us to make a paper plate snow man or a snowflake. This craft is for ages 5 and up.

21st- Special Collections Library: Centennial Speaker Series
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

“Asking for the Inestimable Right: New Mexico's State Government of 1850” by Tim Kimball. In 1850, New Mexico began its quest for statehood. Slavery, anti-Catholicism, and racism doomed this first attempt in a complex drama that ran for another 62 years. Held in Botts Hall at Special Collections Library.

21st- Los Griegos Library: Memoir Writing Workshop with presenter Marcia Rosen
3 – 4:30 p.m

Participate in this memoir-life writing program, where you will create a record of your life. This workshop will cover the process of writing, developing and structuring your memoir in your voice.

24th- Lomas Tramway Library: Library Teen Movie Night
5:30 p.m.

Teens can enjoy a movie with other teens at Lomas Tramway. Movies shown on Tuesday Teen Movie Nights are specially selected for teen audiences, but adults are welcome to attend.

25th- Lomas Tramway Library: Teen Wii Tournament
4 p.m.

Teens in are invited to participate in a Teen Wii Tournament at Lomas Tramway Library. The games to be played will be announced prior to the tournament, for more information call 505-291-6295.

25th- Taylor Ranch Library: Music and Movement Theatre
5:30 - 7 p.m.

Music and Movement Theatre presents "Peanuts at the Circus." No registration required.

26th- Los Griegos Library: Poetry Discussion Group
2 – 3 p.m.

Explore poetry of New Mexico poet, Levi Romero.

28th- East Mountain Library: Japanese Taiko Drumming
2 p.m.

Join this introductory class in the art of Japanese Taiko, a group drumming ensemble featuring drills and thrills, full of active movement to enrich and enliven your spirit. Please come dressed for a workout! All instruments provided.

28th- San Pedro Library: Centennial Storytime for Grownups

Come to a special Centennial edition of our monthly Storytime for Grownups and listen to storyteller Mark Maravetz read The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols.

28th- Main Library: Celebrate the Centennial
10:30 – 12 p.m.

Join David Schneider on the 2nd Floor of the Main Library for a discussion of some of the best books ever written about New Mexico history. The Friends of the Public Library will have copies of many New Mexico favorites available for sale as part of this event.

28th- Cherry Hills Library: Chinese Flute Music
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Ages 6-12. Marta Dee, musician and teacher, will play the “hsao” and “ti-tze” classical flutes and talk about Chinese philosophy expressed through music. This program is designed for children but adults may enjoy listening also.

29th- Cherry Hills Library: National Puzzle Day
1 – 5 p.m.

Challenge yourself and solve various puzzles while visiting the library. Tease your brain! We'll have word, number and jigsaw puzzles available around the library. Add to a puzzle in progress or work an entire puzzle on your own.

Please note that some programs require registration.  If you have questions about a program, please contact the library branch.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

...and they're off!

I realize a lot of you may be spending your free time watching championship football playoffs as we get closer & closer to the Super Bowl, but for those of you whose new year's resolutions include becoming more active, here are a couple of local sporting events you might want to give a whirl:

The 39th Annual Chama Ski Classic
January 14-16

39th Annual Cross Country Ski Events including both Freestyle & Classic Style Races; Snowshoe Race; Combined Ski/Snowshoe Events; at Windy Point, just below Cumbres Pass on Hwy 17.

They are planning a full weekend of fun events!

  • Yurt & Ski tours
  • Chile/Chili Contest
  • Avalanche Rescue Clinic
  • Telemark Skiing Clinic
  • Afternoon Yoga
  • Broom Hockey & Frisbee Golf
  • Costume Contest
  • Ski Waxing Clinic
  • Beginner to Advanced XC Skiing Techniques Class
  • Live Music & Beer Tasting 
  • Awards Ceremonies

Duke City All-Comers Indoor Track & Field Meet
January 21, 2012

Admission: Free

Albuquerque Convention Center
401 2nd St NW

Open to any high school, age group, masters athlete able to participate.  Events include long jump, shot put, pole vault, high jump, sprint, hurdles & relay.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Mexico Centennial

On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state in the U.S.!  Celebrate our state's centennial in a myriad of ways this month (& beyond!), including:

  • Get the centennial stamp!  It's expected to be issued to January 6th.
  • Pick up a copy of "ABQ Artopoly: Centennial Edition" - a visually delightful board game produced in a collaborative effort by art organizations &  venues throughout the community.  To be officially launched by Mayor Berry on January 26th, you can get your copy now at  Framing Concepts Gallery, Weems Gallery, & other local galleries.
  • Visit the Pueblo Cultural Center starting February 4th for "100 Years of State & Federal Policy: Its Impact on Pueblo Nations".  This new exhibition will reflect upon major events and milestones tied to federal and state policy since 1912 and their lasting impacts upon Pueblo people.
  • Check out the Centennial Shop for commemorative gear, including clothing, calendar, & mug.
  • Visit Cherry Hills Library on January 6th for centennial drop-in activities, Alamosa Library for a craft & biscochitos, or Lomas Tramway Library on the 6th for a special storytime, the Van of Enchantment, & a chile-ristra-making craft for kids!  Or, starting January 19th, join Juan Tabo Library's new book club, Read Around New Mexico! Check the branch websites for event times. 
  • Visit Congregation Albert on January 8th from 10 am - 3 pm for "New Mexico Statehood Centennial: A Celebration of Writing".  A panel of New Mexico authors will discuss how the landscape & history of the state infuses their writing.
  • Check out something about New Mexico from the library! Don't forget, you can search by keyword or subject. There is a lot of material available!  You might want to search for something more specific than "New Mexico", such as "New Mexico history".

For more, make sure to check out the centennial's official site & Facebook page! There are events scheduled all year long, so you can pace yourself & keep the centennial spirit for the entirety of 2012.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Weird, Fascinating Science Fiction & Fantasy

2011 was a good year to be a reader of science fiction and fantasy, although lately every year has been a good year: Not only are the books getting more popular...they're getting more interesting, evolving and morphing in weird, fascinating ways.  They're also interbreeding with other genres to produce wild new hybrid forms, like historical science fiction romances and hard-boiled fantasy detective novels. They're commenting on current events and swapping DNA with literary novels.
~from "Fired Up: The Year's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy" by Lev Grossman

The article recommends:

A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin

The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

Rule 34 by Charles Stross

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Also consider:

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Of Blood & Honey by Stina Leicht

Robopocalyse by Daniel H. Wilson

Roil by Trent Jamieson

Regicide by Nicholas Royle

Among Others by Jo Walton

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Seed by Rob Ziegler

Mind Storm by K. M. Ruiz

I'd also like to put in a plug for one of my favorite science fiction writers,  Joan Slonczewski, who finally has a new book, The Highest Frontier, out this year!  I'm not sure it's a "new hybrid form", but Booklist says it's "a must-read for all sf fans".