Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Skin Care

As we approach the warmer summer months, it’s time to start thinking again about sunscreen.  Maybe you’re someone who dreads this extra step in your daily routine. Or maybe, like me, your family refers to you as the “sunscreen police.”  Either way, year-round sun protection is a health precaution we all must take.

Sure, lying out and cultivating that perfect tan seems worthwhile in the moment, but down the road, is that bronze hue you seek really worth the appearance of crow’s feet and fine lines? And prolonged and/or unprotected exposure to the sun also puts you at risk for skin cancer and melanoma.
A lot of this may seem old hat, but consider the following surprising statistics:

“Forty percent of Americans do not wear sunscreen.” (1)

“One in five Americans will get some form of skin cancer-men especially, since they don't use makeup and moisturizers with SPF like women do.” (2)

Twenty-seven percent of parents with kids under twelve years old say they never or only sometimes apply sunscreen on their kids when they're outside for 2 to 4 hours. And 14 percent say they don't even apply sunscreen on their kids when they're outside for more than four hours." (2)

The regular application of sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or more during a 5-year treatment period reduced the incidence of new primary melanomas during a subsequent 10-year follow-up period, report the [Australian] study authors.” (3)

 “You should never apply self-tanner before going out into the sun, unless you use a sunscreen first. Most self-tanners work by using dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the main ingredient. According to a 2007 study published in Germany, DHA causes the skin to release 180% more free radicals once exposed to the sun. Therefore sun protection is extremely important when you have used self-tanners containing DHA within the past 24 hours.” (4)

“According to dermatologist Jessica Wu, M.D., on her Everyday Health blog, ‘Up to 84 percent of UV rays can bounce off the sand and water, and reach you even under the umbrella.’ So, even if you’re sitting under an umbrella, be sure to reapply your sunscreen every two hours – or sooner, if you’re sweating or swimming.” (5)

“Most of us don’t think twice about walking to the mailbox or sitting by a window at work without having sunscreen on. But this kind of incidental exposure can still be damaging – and we actually get lots of it. In fact, the amount of incidental exposure we get can be considered a part-time job. According to Prevention, the average person gets 14 hours of exposure per week!” (6)

I don’t know about you, but finding out some of the above was very eye-opening for this blogger. Want to become more sun and skin savvy?  Check out some relevant titles we have in the library catalog!

The Beauty Bible: From Acne to Wrinkles and Everything in Between: Every Woman's Skin-Care and Makeup Application Guide by Paula Begoun

Face Care: The Plan for Looking Younger Longer by Gerald Imber, M.D. and Stephen Brill Kurtin, M.D.

The New Science of Perfect Skin: Understanding Skin Care Myths and Miracles for Radiant Skin at Any Age by Daniel B. Yarosh

Skin Secrets: The Medical Facts versus the Beauty Fiction by Nicholas Lowe and Polly Sellar

Skin Wise: A Guide to Healthy Skin for Women edited by Annette Callan

Total Skin: The Definitive Guide to Skin Health for Life  by David J. Leffell



Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Reading: Can You Dig It?

The reviews are in!

Biggest summer sensation since "Dream Big, Read!" 

The talk of Albuquerque libraries!

Amazing sights to be seen!
Delightful sounds to be heard!
A good time to be had by all!

What is it, you ask?  It's Summer Reading 2013! Here's a little ditty we've composed to give you an idea of this summer's infotainment:

This summer Dig into Reading's the theme
As the good times unfold, your happiness will be extreme!
But lest you think you've heard it all before,
Here's a sampling of some of the treats in store!
Kids will find there's nothing tragic
About John Polinko's magic.
They'll find it easy to get into the mood
With the music of Ticklefish Dude.
There will be fun without end
With Wings of Enchantment's Lepidoptera friends.
At East Mountain you can try Cave Painting with Dirt,
At Lomas Tramway we promise Miss Cheryl's Stomp, Stomp Roar! won't hurt.
The Recycle Man will be stopping by
Also Sean Etigson, Indiana Bones, and Loren Kahn's puppets, oh my!
Teens can make sushi charms
And use zombie make-up on their arms.
There will be recycle bracelets to make and upcycle collage,
Wire wrapped words and Mod Podge Decoupage!
Grownups, we haven't forgotten fun stuff for you
There are concerts with Ian Cooke, Tortilla Junction, The Casualz too!
There will be prizes of all sizes for all ages
All you have to do is read a few pages!
Your picture could even be on our website, if you are a sport
Just visit all the libraries in the city with your Library Passport!
This is only a bit of what's in store for those who enroll -
Lest you think that I'm exaggerating the pleasures I extol
Just visit our home page,, for a full program listing
Or stop by your local branch, and tell them you need assisting.

As always, ABC Library thanks its Summer Reading partners.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Making Jewelry

Are diamonds really a girl's best friend?  Not sure about that, but we have written before about our love for jewelry. But we can't always get what we want, as the song goes. Why not make our own jewelry?  These days people are festooning themselves with all sorts of interesting decorations, not just gemstones - fabric, wire, even steampunk creations! If you are a crafty person, the library catalog has a great selection of new (and not-so-new) and definitely novel jewelry-making handbooks! Consider:

Creating Your Own Antique Jewelry: Taking Inspiration from Great Museums Around the World by Cris Dupouy

Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon, and Cords by Lorelei Eurto, Erin Siegel

Rustic Wrappings: Exploring Patina in Wire, Metal, and Glass Jewelry by Kerry Bogert.

Chained: Create Gorgeous Chain Mail Jewelry One Ring at a Time by Rebeca Mojica [eBook]

Metalwork Jewelry: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Inspired by Steampunk by Linda Peterson

Amulets and Talismans: Simple Techniques for Creating Meaningful Jewelry by Robert Dancik

Fabric Jewelry: 25 Designs to Make Using Silk, Ribbon, Buttons, and Beads by Teresa Searle

Felted Jewelry: 20 Stylish Designs by Candie Cooper

Seed Bead Fusion: 18 Projects to Stitch, Wire, and String by Rachel Nelson-Smith [eBook]

For more titles, try a subject search using "Jewelry making".

Jewelry coveters might also take note of these related tomes:

Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box by Madeleine Albright
The former secretary of state tells the stories behind the jewelry she collected from around the world.

Precious Objects: A Story of Diamonds, Family, and a Way of Life by Alicia Oltuski
A fascinating look at the diamond industry.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Novels in Verse for Adults & Teens

Poetry can be a hard sell. Adults are wont to say they don't "get" poetry, and if teens are exposed to classic narrative poetry in high school, they might find it dry and never crack open anything labeled "poetry" again.  But it doesn't have to be that way! Below read two arguments for introducing teens, especially reluctant readers, to some new and novel narrative verse, and a list of some recommended reads and books from the library catalog that even adults might take a fancy to.

Narrative poetry is as ancient as Homer's tales of the Iliad and Odyssey, Dante's Divine Comedy, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, but today's novels in verse are far from boring. Many verse novels tackle difficult topics while others offer lighter stories of love and friendship. Novels in verse are easy to pick up and hard to put down. With fewer words on each page, these books are perfect for reluctant readers and busy teens (and they're great for book reports because they don't take long to read).
~Sarah Tregay, "Novels in Verse"

For many kids, “poetry” is a dirty word. Plenty of my own students tune out, glaze over, roll their eyes, or outwardly groan at its mere mention... When getting the right book (sometimes any book!) into the hands of the right reader can be such a challenge, finding a way to invest students in poetry can be an uphill battle. For some readers, the gateway might just be fiction, and verse novels are a fantastic blend of poetic form and fiction narrative.
~"Top Ten Novels in Verse by Lauren Strohecker"

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins

Forget Me Not by Carolee Dean

The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf

This Full House by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

May B. by Caroline Starr Rose
(featured on the 2014 New Mexico Battle of the Books Elementary and Middle School booklists)

October Mourning by Lesléa Newman

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

Pieces of Georgia by Jennifer Bryant

Also check out the Novels in Verse booklist on our Teen Reads Booklist page!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

We need more data!

I'm kind of a sucker for non-fiction that purports to explain human behavior through economics or statistics or some math that I never took in college.  I'm not sure if it's because I always want proof or because I have an insatiable curiosity about why people do the things they do (or maybe it's those long subtitles!).

In the library, there are constant opportunities to observe human behavior, explainable or otherwise.  Really, anywhere there are people, there are opportunities to be baffled by their actions.  Sometimes, it may not be obvious, even to ourselves, why we do certain things or react in specific ways.  If you'd like to participate in a little armchair anthropology, arm yourself with these books:

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average by Joseph T. Hallinan

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton

The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pop Culture Reads

Popular culture is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century.

We've got a bit of the culture vulture bent here at abcreads, and we like to stay abreast of the latest trends, to read the backstory of the most ubiquitous memes, and generally to find out what makes our culture tick. To this end we've assembled a list of books to entertain, enlighten, and, for good measure, show you one man's quest to be the ultimate hipster.

The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions from Pop Culture that You Should Know About-- Before It's Too Late by Laura Barcella

In Praise of Messy Lives: Essays by Katie Roiphe

Distrust that Particular Flavor by William Gibson

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea, and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools-- Including the Author-- Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn

Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World's Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us about the Future of Entertainment by Rob Salkowitz

Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays on the Classics and Pop Culture by Daniel Mendelsohn [eBook]

The Ruby Slippers, Madonna's Bra, and Einstein's Brain: The Locations of America's Pop Culture Artifacts by Chris Epting [eBook]

James Dean Died Here: The Locations of America's Pop Culture Landmarks by Chris Epting

Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America by Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast, editors

Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt edited by Eric Weisbard

Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything by David Sirota

HipsterMattic: One Man's Quest to Become the Ultimate Hipster by Matt Granfield [eBook]

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Madame Vigée-Le Brun et sa fille
(self portrait)
In Mexico City, there is a monument called Monumento a la Madre with an inscription that translates as "To her who loves us before she meets us."  After mom meets her kids, though, it's no holds barred - there are as many different mothering experiences as there are mothers!  Here's a dip into the offerings on motherhood from the library catalog.

Just for Fun

Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth about the First Year of Mommyhood by Jenny McCarthy

Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy Mead-Ferro

It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather B. Armstrong

Lift by Kelly Corrigan

Four of a Kind: A Treasury of Favorite Works by America's Best-Loved Humorist by Erma Bombeck

Mothering Guides

No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life by Jill Savage

Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth about Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti

Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood by Becky Beaupre Gillespie & Hollee Schwartz Temple [eBook]

Beyond the Baby Blues: The Complete Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Handbook by Catherine Knox [eBook]

How to Rock Your Baby: And Other Timeless Tips for Modern Moms by Erin Bried

Dealing with Loss

Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood

Blue Nights by Joan Didion

The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp

Paula by Isabel Allende


Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son by Anne Lamott with Sam Lamott

Empty Nest

Fun Without Dick and Jane: Your Guide to a Delightfully Empty Nest by Christie Mellor [eBook]

Beyond the Mommy Years: How to Live Happily Ever After--After the Kids Leave Home by Carin Rubenstein

New Memoirs

Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me by Patricia Volk

Chanel Bonfire: A Memoir by Wendy Lawless

Lucky Me: My Life With--and Without--My Mom, Shirley MacLaine by Sachi Parker, Frederick Stroppel

The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet--A Memoir by Dara-Lynn Weiss [eBook]

Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnett

The Sacred Thread: A True Story of Becoming a Mother and Finding a Family, Half a World Away by Adrienne Arieff

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir by Kelle Hampton

Mothering Mother

Welcome to the Departure Lounge: Adventures in Mothering Mother by Meg Federico

Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir by Carol D. O'Dell

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents--And Ourselves by Jane Gross

For other recommendations, see our Mother's Day 2012 post.  Or try a subject search of  "Mothers".

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

On Writers, Writing and Reading

What goes into the writing life? Writers, as you might imagine, often seem to be avid readers as well, and full of opinions about books they've read.  Not to mention the advice they're eager to share about their craft!  Here are some books by writers about what they read, how they write, and a few more things besides.

The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists edited by Larry Smith

Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby

Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick

How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard

Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy

How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation by Gregory Maguire

Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands by Michael Chabon

The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman

Stranger than Fiction: True Stories by Chuck Palahniuk

The Merry Heart: Reflections on Reading, Writing, and the World of Books by Robertson Davies

Many of these titles were suggested by the "You Might Also Like These..." feature, which you can find beneath the book's copy status in the catalog for most titles!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cat Writers' Association Communications Contest

Recently a piece in The Guardian asked, "Are cats top dogs in the world of literature?" The Cat Writers' Association, Inc. (CWA) certainly thinks so! The CWA is an organization of professionals writing, publishing and broadcasting about cats. Member authors include Clea Simon, Lesléa Newman, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, and Carole  Nelson Douglas.  Every year the CWA have a Communications Contest, open to anyone whose work qualifies (see their website for more information).  Winners include magazine articles, newspaper columns, poems, short stories, humor, health care, and DVDs.  Here are some of the winners you can find in the library catalog!

Cat Fancy [magazine]

Cat Telling Tales: A Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Bambino and Mr. Twain by P.I. Maltbie

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

Defending the Defenseless: A Guide to Protecting and Advocating for Pets by Allie Phillips [eBook only in our catalog]

For more cat-related items in the library catalog, try a subject search of "Cats".

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Forgotten Teen Treasures: Young Adult Books from the 1970s-80s

Still circulating 1972 copy!
(staff photo)
Here at abcreads we tend to wax nostalgic for the books of our youth, so we were delighted to hear that a new imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books, will be launching in September to “bring back the very best in young adult literature, from the classics of the 1930s and 1940s, to the thrillers and social novels of the 1970s and 1980s,” according to publisher Robert Lasner.

Lizzie Skurnick, herself an author, thinks that these books will prove irresistible to women who came of age in the 1970s and 80s, and have been disappointed that their favorite teen reads are out of print - unlike books of the same era written for boys.

The first book to be released will be Debutante Hill by Lois Duncan, first published in 1958. Subsequent publications will include A Long Day in November by Ernest J. Gaines (originally published in 1971), Happy Endings Are All Alike by Sandra Scoppettone (1979), I’ll Love You When You’re More Like Me by M.E. Kerr (1977), Secret Lives by Berthe Amoss (1979), To All My Fans, With Love, From Sylvie by Ellen Conford (1982), and Me and Fat Glenda by Lila Perl (1972). All reissues, but later the imprint hopes to include current writings by writers of the 1970s and 80s, according to Publisher's Weekly.

Would you like to re-read or collect some of the books from your youth?  Here at abcreads we were happy to note that all of the authors mentioned above are still represented in our catalog, albeit mainly by newer titles or by books aimed at an adult audience.  There's still a copy of Me and Fat Glenda floating around, however!  If you'd like to take a walk down memory lane or introduce someone you know to a new author, try:

Sandra Scoppettone

Ernest J. Gaines

M.E. Kerr

Berthe Amos

Ellen Conford

Lila Perl

Lois Duncan

We at abcreads are rooting for the reissue of Ellen Conford's Hail, Hail Camp Timberwood, I Love You, Stupid! by Harry Mazer, and Sleepwalking by Meg Wolitzer, and we are still scared of Lois Duncan's Stranger With My Face.