Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Short Fiction

Love short stories? Still waiting for your copy of Tenth of December or The Fun Parts or Dear Life or Vampires in the Lemon Grove?  Never fear, the ABC Library catalog has many short story collections for you to sample in the interim. Here are some of the latest:

Damage Control: Stories by Amber Dermont

I Want to Show You More: Stories by Jamie Quatro

We Live In Water by Jess Walter [eBook only in our catalog]

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich

I Am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran

Signs and Wonders: Stories by Alix Ohlin [eBook only in our catalog]

The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff (YA)

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 edited by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 2 edited by Joseph Gordon-Levitt [eBook only in our catalog]

Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women by Jo Glanville [eBook only in our catalog]

This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You: Stories by Jon McGregor [eBook only in our catalog]

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Literary Links: April is...

Each month of the year is dedicated to a variety of monthly observances, local, national, or international, to make you aware of specific causes, health concerns, forms of expression, and the like.  Here are some of April's most notable observances!  Click on the linked word to find items about these topics in the library catalog via a subject search, or click on "lucky dip" below the observance for a random recommendation.

Autism Awareness Month
    lucky dip

International Guitar Month
     lucky dip

Jazz Appreciation Month
     lucky dip

National Humor Month
     lucky dip

National Kite Month
     lucky dip

National Poetry Month
     lucky dip

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

April 22 marks the anniversary of what is considered by many to be the birth of the environmental movement in 1970, when 20 million Americans took part in rallies from coast to coast to protest pollution, pesticides, wildlife extinction, and other environmental issues. The first Earth Day was the impetus for the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, according to the Earth Day Network's website.

Earth Day is currently coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated  in 192 + countries annually [Wikipedia]. Additionally, in 2009, the UN established April 22 as International Mother Earth Day, adopting by consensus a resolution spearheaded by the Bolivian government, including President Evo Morales Ayma. 

Why not celebrate Earth Day with one of the latest books in the catalog focusing on the environmental movement and/or sustainability issues?  We have movies too!

Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us by Maggie Koerth-Baker

The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, The Future of Our Forests, and a Radical Plan to Save Our Planet by Jim Robbins

Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism by Ozzie Zehner

Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels by Jerry McNerney and Martin Cheek

Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn't Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution by Ann Louise Gittleman

The Pure Cure: A Complete Guide to Freeing Your Life From Dangerous Toxins by Sharyn Winters [eBook only in our catalog]

Fighting Light Pollution: Smart Lighting Solutions for Individuals and Communities by the International Dark-Sky Association

Toxic Free: How to Protect Your Health and Home from the Chemicals That Are Making You Sick by Debra Lynn Dadd

Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home by Sheri Koones

Plastiki: Across the Pacific on Plastic - An Adventure to Save Our Oceans by David de Rothschild [eBook only in our catalog]

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson by William Souder

Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too by Beth Terry

Mr. Hornaday's War: How a Peculiar Victorian Zookeeper Waged a Lonely Crusade for Wildlife that Changed the World by Stefan Bechtel

In Pursuit of Giants: One Man's Global Search for the Last of the Great Fish by Matt Rigney

Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They are Committed to Saving by Julie Scardina and Jeff Flocken


Flow: For Love of Water



Revenge of the Electric Car

Houston, We Have a Problem: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Cheap Energy

Heavy Water: A Film for Chernobyl

Last Chance to See: Animals on the Verge of Extinction


Earth Day on (City of Albuquerque)

Earth Day on suggests Pick Five: Choose at least 5 actions you’ll commit to. Use less water and electricity, commute without polluting, reuse and recycle, and more.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

New & Novel in eBooks

Our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks is always expanding!  Here are some recent acquisitions, available in our catalog only as eBooks, that may have flown beneath your radar:

Bible Stories in Cockney Rhyming Slang by Keith Park

Bright Particular Stars: A Gallery of Glorious British Eccentrics by David McKie

A Bull on the Beach by Anna Nicholas

Catalog Living at Its Most Absurd by Molly Erdman

Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir by Beth Ditto

Confessions of a Hostie: True Stories of an International Flight Attendant by Danielle Hugh

Corrupted Classics by the Corrupted Classics Team

Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business by Jason Malinak

More Than a Team: A Father, A Son and Barça by Vicenç Villatoro

Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater's Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate by Stephanie Lucianovic

For more new eBooks, check the library catalog.  There's eAudio too!

Find out more about the library's digital media offerings in our handy-dandy subject guide!

New to digital media?  Need a little assistance with your new reader?  We have a Kindle guide if you are borrowing one from the library.  If you'd prefer more hands-on assistance, try attending a Gizmo Garage!  You can bring in your reader, or try one of ours!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Featured Author: Patricia C. Wrede

Patricia C. Wrede is an American writer from the Midwest.  Growing up, her whole family read voraciously - she lists some of her childhood favorites as Oz, Narnia, & fairy tales - and even after she began her career as a financial analyst, she wrote in her spare time.  Wrede's first book, Shadow Magic, was published in 1982 and in 1985 she took up writing full-time.  Since then, she has created many works of fiction for children and teens.  Find out more about Patricia C. Wrede on her website.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

This series follows the adventures of Cimorene, "a fairy-tale princess who finds her expected duties boring and therefore runs away to become the 'captive' princess of a dragon" and Cimorene's son Daystar. Interesting, the first book Wrede wrote in this series, Talking to Dragons,  was the story of Daystar, and she continued with prequels about Cimorene, beginning with Dealing with Dragons.

The Frontier Magic Trilogy

This trilogy is narrated by Eff Rothmer, the child referenced in the title of the first book in the series, The Thirteenth Child. In Eff's world, "Columbus discovered a New World populated solely by dangerous wildlife, both natural and magical. Only modern magic has made colonization possible, and while steam dragons, mammoths, spectral bears, saber-tooth cats, and other deadly animals have been cleared out of the eastern states, they are still a formidable obstacle in the unsettled territories of the West." [from the author's website]

Kate and Cecilia (Regency Magic - with Caroline Stevermer)

Wrede and Stevermer started this series as a game, writing to each other in character (Wrede was Cecy, Stevermer Kate). The two girls are cousins in an alternate Regency England, where magic is an accepted part of society.  Begin with Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Scandals in London and the Country.

Mairelon the Magician (Regency Magic)

Also set in a Regency England where magic works, these books are the story of a wizard called Richard Merrill.  Applying the "hiding in plain sight" principle, Merrill uses his magical talents as a stage magician, calling himself  Mairelon.  Mairelon travels with Kim, a young street waif, who acts as magician's assistant while learning magic and helping Mairelon out of sticky situations.  Mairelon the Magician is the first book.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Books about Libraries

It goes without saying that we love books that feature libraries.  Sometimes the library is so vivid it's practically a character, sometimes it's just a setting or a plot point, but what's not to love? Libraries are some of our favorite places and we bet you like them too.  If you love libraries, try one of these reads!

For Grown Up Readers

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel

For Teen Readers

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson [Shades of London Book 2]

Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson [sequel to Hattie Big Sky]

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix

Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia McKillip

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

For more adult titles involving libraries, try a subject search of Libraries - Fiction.  For more children's and teen titles, try Libraries - Juvenile Fiction.

Friday, April 12, 2013

All ABC Libraries open at 2 pm on Friday, April 12th

Just a reminder that all branches of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System will be closed this morning for staff training.  All branches will reopen at 2 pm this afternoon.  Regularly scheduled hours resume tomorrow, Saturday, April 12th.  For a list of branches and hours, please visit the library homepage.

Thank you for your patience as we strive to serve you better!  ABC Library apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Featured Author: Monika Fagerholm

Monika Fagerholm is a Swedish-speaking Finnish author born in 1961. The Salomonsson Agency says Fagerholm, whom they represent, "is regarded as one of Scandinavia's finest literary authors. Her highly musical and literary prose, rich with local mannerisms, literary allusions and repetitions in a fugue style, in combination with her deep love and understanding of popular music as a mythical foundation in the lives of teenagers, makes her an outstanding artist".  She has been nominated for the Finlandia Prize, and has received both the Runeberg Award and August Prize for her fiction.  The American Girl has a reading guide on - the reviewer called the novel "a masterful, thoughtful thriller...deliciously complex". 

In 1969, a young girl makes a trip from Coney Island to the swampy coastland on the rural outskirts of Helsinki, Finland. There, her death will immediately become part of local mythology, furnishing boys and girls with fodder for endless romantic imaginings. Everyone who lives near the swamp dreams about Eddie de Wire, the lost American girl. . . . For both Sandra and Doris, two lonely, dreaming girls abandoned in different ways by their parents, this myth will propel them into their coming-of-age through mischievous role-playing games of love and death, in search of hidden secrets, the mysteries of the swamp, and the truth behind Eddie's death. Crime mystery and gothic saga, social study and chronicle of the late sixties and early seventies, a portrait of the psyche of young girls on the cusp of sexual awakening, The American Girl is a bewitching glimpse of the human capacity for survival and for self-inflicted wounds. [from the trade paperback edition]

[eBook only in our catalog]

Teenage Johanna lives with her aunt Solveig in a small house bordering the forest on the outskirts of a remote coastal town in Finland. She leads a lonely existence that is punctuated by visits to her privileged classmate, Ulla Bäckström, who lives in the nearby luxury gated community. It isn't until Ulla tells her the local lore about the American girl and the tragedy that took place more than thirty years before that Johanna begins to question how her parents fit into the story. She sets out to unravel her family history, the identity of her mother, and the dark secrets long buried with her father. In the process of opening closed doors, others in the community reflect back on the town's history, on their youth, and on the dreams that play in their minds. Soon a new story emerges, that stirs up Johanna's greatest fears, but ultimately leads to the answers she is searching for. The Glitter Scene is a riveting mystery that explores the roles of truth and myth, reality and fiction, and the repercussions of family secrets. [description from the catalog]

Recommended for fans of Stieg Larsson, Lisa Unger, and Therese Bohman.  If you enjoy books about teenage girls coming of age, readalikes include: Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun; Gossip of the Starlings by Nina de Gramont; The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton; and Love Falls by Esther Freud.

Some content, including readalikes, were suggested by the eResource NoveList Plus, which can help you find new books based and also can show you all the books in a series, all the books by a certain author, as well as brief biographies of authors. Access to this eResource is free with your valid library card! Visit the Books and Literature subject guide to find links to NoveList Plus and more!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Women in WWII

The folks here at abcreads just devoured Elizabeth Wein's extraordinary Code Name Verity, a young adult novel about female spies and pilots during WWII. What a great read! This wonderfully written story of friendship and great courage made us curious about the different occupations of women during the war. For those who, like us, are wishing to learn more about the role of women during that pivotal era, here are some related titles you might enjoy:

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead

A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII by Sarah Helm

Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue by Kathryn J. Atwood

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter: The Story of Three Million Working Women During World War II by Miriam Frank, Marilyn Ziebarth, and Connie Field

109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos by Jennet Conant

Good-bye to the Mermaids: A Childhood Lost in Hitler's Berlin by Karin Finell


Land Girls

Sophie Scholl

Friday, April 5, 2013

Biopunk Fiction

Biopunk is a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on unintended consequences of biotechnology.  Characters are often fighting against governments and corporations that espouse genetic manipulation to modify and enhance human performance, although some feature an archetypical "mad scientist", researching for research's sake.  Many biopunk titles have elements of dystopia, steampunk, cyberpunk, and other subgenres of science fiction. Here are some biopunk novels (some adult, some YA) you can find in the library catalog:

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Dawn: Xenogenesis by Octavia Butler 

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

Altered by Jennifer Rush

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

Also consider biopunk films:

Jurassic Park

The Fly



Read more about how science is portrayed in movies! 

Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, and the End of the World by Sidney Perkowitz

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Featured Author: Kate Zambreno

"So enter Kate Zambreno, who is as much [Kathy] Acker as she is [Virginia] Woolf, as much Angela Carter as she is Elfriede Jelinek."
~Michael Schaub, writing about Zambreno's debut novella, O Fallen Angel

Like any of the authors namechecked above?  Perhaps you should try reading Kate Zambreno! Zambreno is an American author and blogger, born in 1977, currently residing in North Carolina. On Zambreno's Twitter page, she describes herself thusly: "I write ranty novels and novelly rants." Her work has been praised by in Vanity Fair, in Bookforum, and by

Green Girl is The Bell Jar for today -- an existential novel about Ruth, a young American in London, kin to Jean Seberg gamines and contemporary celebutantes. Ruth works a string of meaningless jobs: perfume spritzer at a department store she calls Horrid's, clothes-folder, and a shop-girl. Ruth is looked at constantly - something she craves and abhors. She is followed by a mysterious narrator, the voice equally violent and maternal. Ruth and her toxic friend, Agnes, are obsessed with cosmetics and fashion and film, with boys, with themselves, and with each other.

Taking inspiration from Zambreno's blog, Heroines is part literary criticism, part memoir, exploring the lives of women such as Vivienne Eliot, Jane Bowles, Jean Rhys, and Zelda Fitzgerald - the book is described on the author's website as "reclaim[ing] the traditionally pathologized biographies...of writers and artists themselves who served as male writers’ muses only to end their lives silenced, erased, and institutionalized".  These heroines are filtered through the prism of Zambreno's experiences to "devise a new feminist discourse, writing in the margins and developing an alternative canon" [author's website].