Sunday, December 29, 2013

Literary Links: End of Year Round-Up

2014 is just around the corner, but we haven't said goodbye to 2013 just yet! At ABC Library, our year has included the introduction of Zinio and Pronunciator eResources, the 3M Cloud Library has expanded our downloadable offerings, and on December 11th there was a groundbreaking for a new library at Central and Unser.  Meanwhile, renovations continue on our North Valley Library, which suffered fire damage earlier this year.  If, like us, you're hard-pressed to remember the events of the last 12 months, we've compiled a few lists, "Best of..." and otherwise, to refresh your memory of the highs and lows of the past year.

2013's Best Cookbooks

Our Favorite Science Books of 2013

Best Adult Books 4 Teens 2013

15 Best Albums of 2013

Best Movies of 2013

Best Audiobooks of 2013

The Best of the Best Books List: 2013

Notable Deaths of 2013

20 Best Lists of 2013

The 11 Most Influential Animals of 2013

Top 10 Best of 2013 Lists of 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Winemaking & Homebrewing

In today's world, self-sufficiency is growing in popularity. Whether it's knitting your own sweaters, raising your own chickens, or canning your own jam, people are re-learning to skills that had been laid aside by the average homemaker with the advent of department stores and supermarkets. Festive libations are no exception!  It's probably too late for you to have home-brewed beer or wine to raise your glass in a New Year's toast this year, but with the help of these items from the library catalog, you could be relaxing in a hammock next summer with a cold one you brewed yourself. 


The Complete Homebrew Beer Book: 200 Easy Recipes From Ales & Lagers to Extreme Beers & International Favorites by George Hummel

Brew Like a Pro: Make Pub-Style Draft Beer at Home by Dave Miller [eBook]

The Naked Brewer: Fearless Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Rule-Breaking Recipes by Christina Perozzi & Hallie Beaune  [eBook]

Booze for Free: The Definitive Guide to Making Beer, Wines, Cocktail Bases,Ciders, and Other Drinks at Home by Andy Hamilton [eBook]

Building Homebrew Equipment by Karl F. Lutzen & Mark Stevens [eBook]

North American Clone Brews: Homebrew Recipes for Your Favorite American & Canadian Beers by Scott R. Russell   [eBook]

The Homebrewer's Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem, Answers to Every Question by Ashton Lewis  [eBook]

Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution by Joshua M. Bernstein

Brew Masters [DVD] 


The Way to Make Wine: How to Craft Superb Table Wines at Home by Sheridan Warrick [eBook]

Hooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at Home by Scott Meyer

The Wine Maker's Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem, Answers to Every Question by Alison Crowe [eBook]

Guide to Better Wine and Beer Making for Beginners by S. M. Tritton

Home Winemaking, Step-by-Step: A Guide to Fermenting Wine Grapes by Jon Iverson

Making Wild Wines & Meads: 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & More by Pattie Vargas & Rich Gulling [eBook]

While ABC Library hopes you enjoy this selection of brewing items, we do encourage you to seek other sources for more tips and techniques, such as Southwest Grape and Grain, the New Mexico Brewers Guild, The Grain Hopper, Victor's Grape Arbor, or the Dukes of Ale Homebrew Club. Please drink responsibly!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Celebrate 50 Years of Doctor Who!

November 23rd marked the 50th anniversary of the British TV show, Doctor Who. A special anniversary episode, "The Day of the Doctor", was aired on that date and was watched by 12.8 million people, including showings in 834 cinemas around the world. "The Day of the Doctor" now holds the record for the largest worldwide TV drama simulcast.

Some of you may have been following Doctor Who since its reboot in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, through David Tennant as the Tenth and Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctors - you probably know there will soon be a regeneration into the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi.  Many people who grew up in the '70s and '80s remember Tom Baker's tenure as the Fourth Doctor (curly hair, long colorful scarf, fond of Jelly Babies), shown for a time on affiliates of PBS in the United States. Some of you might even have seen more of the show than that!  But, some of you might be wondering what the heck all this Doctor Who business is about, anyway...

Fans can skip to the list below of the the latest Doctor Who items in the library catalog, but for newbies we offer a little back story: the Doctor is a 900 year old Time Lord, a traveler through time and space. His vehicle, called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension In Space), appears as a blue police box, famously "bigger on the inside" and with a degree of sentience. Since 1963, the eleven incarnations of the Doctor - a Time Lord doesn't die but instead regenerates with a new persona - have traveled together with companions ranging from a mechanical dog named K-9 and a Time Lady named Romana to Rose Tyler, a London teenager, and Captain Jack Harkness, a con man from the 51st century (who later got his own spinoff, Torchwood). These intrepid travelers fight adversaries such as the Daleks (who want to exterminate all non-Daleks),  Cybermen (who want to cybernetically augment all humanoids), and The Master (a renegade Time Lord), and have science fiction adventures, sometimes set within a historical context (Pompeii, meeting Queen Victoria) and sometimes set in an imagined future that includes Satellite 5, where reporters are connected to the computer via a special port installed directly into the brain, and the resort planet Midnight, where the Tenth Doctor and then-companion Donna Noble have one of their creepiest adventures.

Since the popularity of Doctor Who in the United States has skyrocketed recently, you can find many more related items in the library catalog, including fiction, non-fiction, downloadables, and now seasons of the TV series!  Here are some of ABC Library's latest offerings for Whovians:


Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter

Doctor Who: Shada - The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams by Gareth Roberts


 Who-ology: Doctor Who - The Official Miscellany by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright

The Essential Guide to Fifty Years of Doctor Who

Doctor Who: The Vault - Treasures From the First Fifty Years by Marcus Hearn

Doctor Who Encyclopedia by Gary Russell

Children & Young Adult

When's the Doctor? illustrations by Jorge Santillan

Heart of Stone: Death Riders by Trevor Baxendale  [eBook]

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Anthology: 11 Doctors, 11 Stories by Neil Gaiman, [et al]... [YA]


Doctor Who: Plague of the Cybermen by Justin Richards [eBook]

Destiny of the Doctor: Vengeance of the Stones by Andrew Smith [eAudiobook]

Adventures With the Wife in Space: Life with Doctor Who by Neil Perryman [eBook]

Who is The Doctor: The Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who - The New Series by Graeme Burk & Robert Smith  [eBook]


Doctor Who (TV show)
First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Series

Friday, December 20, 2013

Flannery O'Connor's Literary Resurgence

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.
~Flannery O'Connor

The author Flannery O'Connor is enjoying a bit of a second literary life in the past couple of years, as interest in her writing and her person is once again on the rise.  O'Connor, who died in 1964 at the tender age of 39 of systemic lupus erythematosus, only wrote two novels (Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away) and two short story collections (A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Everything That Rises Must Converge) before her untimely death, but her literary legacy has stretched across the ensuing years.  Her Complete Stories won the 1971 National Book Award, and volumes of her letters (The Habit of Being) and some of her occasional prose (Mystery and Manners) had already been published posthumously. O'Connor's appeal doesn't seem to wane with time - she's been back in the news in 2012 - 2013 with the publication of some of her early cartoons and a prayer journal she kept as a student.

We here at abcreads are fans of Flannery O'Connor's rigorous and darkly humorous "Southern Gothic" writings dating back to our own school days, and hope you will join us in checking out some of the latest fiction, non-fiction, and literary criticism featuring one of America's greatest writers, who described herself thusly in one of her letters: "I don't deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it."

Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons edited by Kelly Gerald

Reveals that author Flannery O'Connor originally wanted to be a cartoonist and collects her early comics, which display many of the story-telling techniques that she later used in her writing. Collects cartoons which originally appeared in the Peabody Palladium, the student newspaper of Peabody High School in Milledgeville, Ga., and four publications of Georgia State College for Women, the Colonnade, the Alumnae journal, the Corinthian, and the Spectrum.

A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor; edited and with an introduction by W.A. Sessions

“I would like to write a beautiful prayer,” writes the young Flannery O’Connor in this deeply spiritual journal, recently discovered among her papers in Georgia. “There is a whole sensible world around me that I should be able to turn to Your praise.” Written between 1946 and 1947 while O’Connor was a student far from home at the University of Iowa, A Prayer Journal is a rare portal into the interior life of the great writer. Not only does it map O’Connor’s singular relationship with the divine, but it shows how entwined her literary desire was with her yearning for God. [from the book blurb]


The Terrible Speed of Mercy: A Spiritual Biography of  Flannery O'Connor by Jonathan Rogers [eBook]

In this biography, Jonathan Rogers gets at the heart of O'Connor's work. He follows the roots of her fervent Catholicism and traces the outlines of a life marked by illness and suffering, but ultimately defined by an irrepressible joy and even hilarity. In her stories, and in her life story, Flannery O'Connor extends a hand in the dark, warning and reassuring us of the terrible speed of mercy.

Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Gooch

An engaging and authoritative biography of Flannery O'Connor, who despite the chronic disease that eventually confined her to her mother's farm in Georgia, managed to fundamentally change the landscape of American literature with her fierce, sometimes comic novels and stories.


A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano

Years after poor health forces her to return to her family home, author Flannery O'Connor reluctantly attends the wedding of her cousin and inadvertently draws the attention of the groom, a wealthy Manhattan resident who fears life is passing him by.

Literary Criticism

White Girls by Hilton Als

A collection of analyses on literature, art and music by the award-winning author of The Women shares cultural, meditative insights into race, gender and history that encompass a diverse range of subjects from Truman Capote and Louise Brooks to Malcolm X and Flannery O'Connor.

Note: all book descriptions are taken from the library catalog, unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Cozy Holiday


When the holiday season rolls around, everyone's stress level rises.  With holiday parties, shopping, cooking, visiting, and family gatherings there is often little time to concentrate on a long, heavy novel.  This is the perfect time of year to catch up on the latest books in the cozy mystery series.  Most of these series feature holiday books with recipes and crafts.  You might be inspired to start whole new traditions with some of these cozy mysteries.

Mistletoe Man and Holly Blues by Susan Witing Albert

Christmas Cookie Murder and Christmas Carol Murder Leslie Meier

The Christmas Cookie Killer and Gingerbread Bump-Off by Livia J. Washburn

Kissing Christmas Goodbye by M.C. Beaton

Holiday Grind and Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle

Sugar Cookie Murder and Plum Pudding Murder by Joanna Fluke

Fleece Navidad by Maggie Sefton

Murder With All the Trimmings  by Elaine Viets

Buried in Bargains by Josie Bell

Let it Sew by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Read and Buried by Erika Chase

Ten Lords A-Leaping by C.C. Benison

There are plenty of other books in these series.  Come by Juan Tabo Library and check out the First in Series bookshelf to see find the first book in a mystery series, or take a look at our Mystery Booklists

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Great Games

Are you a sports fan? Perhaps you'd like to spend some time de-stressing during the silly season by curling up with books that allows you to relive some of the greatest games of your favorite sport, or read about some of the finest athletic competitions you didn't get to see.  Whether it's football, baseball, basketball, or beyond, we've compiled a list of titles for sports history fans of all stripes! However, if you know a title we've missed, feel free to add it in the comments.


The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL by Mark Bowden

The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever by Frank Gifford ; with Peter Richmond

The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays by Ron Jaworski, with Greg Cosell and David Plaut

The Catch: One Play, Two Dynasties, and The Game That Changed the NFL by Gary Myers [eBook]


A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and The Battle for the 1897 Pennant by Bill Felber [eBook]

Bottom of the 33rd: Hope and Redemption in Baseball's Longest Game by Dan Barry

The Best Game Ever: Pirates vs. Yankees, October 13, 1960 by Jim Reisler

Game Six: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America's Pastime by Mark Frost

The Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Playoff of '78 by Richard Bradley


The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball by Gene Wojciechowski

When March Went Mad: The GameThat Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis


Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played by L. Jon Wertheim [eBook]


The War by the Shore: The Incomparable Drama of the 1991 Ryder Cup by Curt Sampson  [eBook]


Two Ton: One Fight, One Night - Tony Galento v. Joe Louis by Joseph Monninger

The Greatest Fight of Our Generation: Louis vs. Schmeling by Lewis A. Erenberg [eBook]


Hell on Two Wheels: An Astonishing Story of Suffering, Triumph, and the Most Extreme Endurance Race in the World by Amy Snyder

The Giro d'Italia: Coppi versus Bartali at the 1949 Tour of Italy by Dino Buzzati


Home and Away: One Writer's Inspiring Experience at the Homeless World Cup by Dave Bidini [eBook]

The Story of the World Cup by Brian Glanville

The Girls of Summer: The U.S. Women's Soccer Team and How It Changed the World by Jere Longman

A Season with Verona: Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusion, National Character and - Goals! by Tim Parks


And The Crowd Goes Wild: Relive the Most Celebrated Sporting Events Ever Broadcast by Joe Garner

1941, The Greatest Year in Sports: Two Baseball Legends, Two Boxing Champs, and the Unstoppable Thoroughbred Who Made History in the Shadow of War by Mike Vaccaro

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Showdown at Shepherd's Bush: The 1908 Olympic Marathon and the Three Runners Who Launched a Sporting Craze by David Davis

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Uncommon Histories

Working in a library, you soon learn that there really is a book about everything, including some things you might not expect. Don't Trade the Baby for a Horse: And Other Ways to Make Your Life a Little More Laura Ingalls Wilder? Check. Adventures with the Wife in Space: Life with Doctor Who? Check.  The Vinyl Countdown: The Album from Vinyl to iPod and Back Again?  But of course.  A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook?  Why not. The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America, Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National ParksProphets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue, Silver Palaces (a book about travel trailers), Learn to Burn: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started in Pyrography...we could go on, but you probably get the picture. There are a lot of books out there, some you probably haven't heard of, and here at abcreads we make it our mission to share with you some of the seemingly infinite variety of the literary world.

That said, in keeping with our current history kick, here are some unusual histories you can find in the library catalog:

The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America by Ernest Freeberg

Clarks: Made to Last - The Story of Britain's Best-Known Shoe Firm by Mark Palmer [eBook]

Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World by Tristan Donovan

Shaken Not Stirred: A Celebration of the Martini by Anistatia Miller [eBook]

Mullet Madness!: The Haircut That's Business Up Front and a Party in the Back by Alan Henderson [eBook]

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

From Scratch: Inside the Food Network by Allen Salkin 

Art and Sole by Jane Gershon Weitzman [eBook]

Sunday, December 8, 2013

America the Beautiful: Trees, Coins, & Lost States

Here at abcreads, we are celebrating history - with a twist!  We love an offbeat, engaging take on history, such as you might find in the works of Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation) and Amy Stewart (Flower Confidential) - books exploring history via an unusual angle or topic, with a slice of personal experience and/or opinions on the side. Here some off-the-beaten-track books with an American history bent that we hope you'll enjoy:

American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America edited by Matt Weiland & Sean Wilsey

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Lives of Cities

We recently read Graham Robb's Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris, which is a "series of stories about the Paris you never knew" [from the library catalog], starring Napoleon Bonaparte, Proust, Baron Haussmann, and others; London also has its own biography, by Peter Ackroyd. This made us wonder, did cities in the United States also have their own biographies? We thought of Erik Larson's Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America would probably count, but we thought we might be able to find more books that told the histories of cities, either in a biography form or through the window of one particular era in the life of the city.  Here's some of the titles we came up with:

San Francisco

Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbot


City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago by Gary Krist

The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by Thomas Dyja


Detroit: A Biography by Scott Martelle

Los Angeles

L.A. '56: A Devil in the City of Angels by Joel Engel

A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age by Richard Rayner


The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel

New York

Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts

Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings: A Life in Construction by Samuel C. Florman

Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Trappers, Hunters, Foragers, Slaughterers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York by Robin Shulman

Literary Brooklyn: The Writers of Brooklyn and the Story of American City Life by Evan Hughes

The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul Collins

Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

Lox, Stocks, and Backstage Broadway: Iconic Trades of New York City by Nancy Groce


Rebound!: Basketball, Busing, Larry Bird, and the Rebirth of Boston by Michael Connelly  [eBook]


A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul by John A. Jackson

Washington, D.C.

First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School by Alison Stewart

Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 by Jefferson Morley


Outlaw: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and the Renegades of Nashville by Michael Streissguth

Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City by Craig Havighurst

St. Louis

Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer by William Knoedelseder


Seven Fires: The Urban Infernos that Reshaped America by Peter Charles Hoffer

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

Dead Cities and Other Tales by Mike Davis

And don't forget Albuquerque!  You can find books under the subject heading Albuquerque (N.M.) - Description and travel, and if that's not enough, try a subject search of just Albuquerque (N.M.) to get even more titles! Also try the subject Santa Fe N M for more local history.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Great Books Under 200 Pages

Traveling with books can be cumbersome, but traveling without books is unimaginable. Usually I keep one book in the car or in my carry-on and one book in my suitcase. And depending on the book, it can really start to weigh you down.  The answer is to take small books that you can read quickly.

We know, we know, some of you are saying "Julie, why don't you just buy an eReader?" to the quote above.  But, working in a library, you find many folks have not embraced eReading technology - some people because they are not tech-savvy, some people because they just prefer to read a physical book.  We believe it takes all kinds to make the world, and we support everyone in their reading journey! With that in mind, here are some short suggestions for folks without eReaders, or if your eReader breaks, or if you find yourself with an hour to kill in the library without your eReader to hand.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates

The Neon Bible by John Toole

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

The Stranger by Albert Camus

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Being There by Jerzy Kosinki

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck  

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

 Last Night at theLobster by Stewart O’Nan

Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells 
Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garciá Marquez

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo  

Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

This list is adapted from the article "55 Great Books Under 200 Pages".