Thursday, April 27, 2017

Coping When Things Come Unstuck

When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone.
~John Irving, A Prayer For Owen Meany 

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.
  ~Haruki Murakami, Kafka On the Shore

"It's darkest before the dawn." "This too shall pass." "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." "Time heals all wounds." Most of us have had faced adversity, in one or the other of its many forms - job burnout, surviving cancer,  mending a broken heart,  loss of a pet, becoming a widow/er, coping with chronic illness - and most of us have heard a lot of platitudes as we try to muddle through the aftermath. Seems like a lot of folks think you should just be getting on with your life, but that's easier said than done. Instead, Buddhist scholar Pema Chödrön suggests:

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.

It can be difficult to buck the expectations of others, or even yourself, and take your time to cope with whatever life has dished out on your plate. Here's a list of books that w hope might help you along your journey. You can find more books on this topic using a subject search of  "Adjustment (Psychology)." Is there a book that has helped you through a crisis? Let us know in the comments.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön [eBook]

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David, PhD

Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding by Lynn Darling

Addict in the house: a no-nonsense family guide through addiction & recovery by Robin Barnett, EdD, LCSW

Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives bu Hoda Kotb with Jane Lorenzini

The Ten Things To Do When Your Life Falls Apart: An Emotional and Spiritual Handbook by Daphne Rose Kingma  

How to Cope: The Welcoming Approach to Life's Challenges by Dr. Claire Hayes

AfterShock: What To Do When the Doctor Gives You, or Someone You Love, A Devastating Diagnosis by Jessie Gruman [eBook] 

A Widow's Guide to Healing: Gentle Support and Advice For the First 5 Years by Kristin Meekhof, James Windell 

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath 


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New & Novel: Inventions

RUBE GOLDBERG CARTOON. - Inventions of Professor Lucifer Butts (orange squeezing machine). Cartoon, 1932, by Reuben Lucius ('Rube') Goldberg.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 8 Mar 2017.

We applaud the spirit of invention in the world! Whether it's the spirit of American invention (the skyscraper, subway car, the telephone safety pin, amusement park, MRI, supermarket - all American-born!), explaining a "series of steps anyone can apply to solve the problems we encounter in everyday life,"* looking at "both famous inventors and hundreds of forgotten people," that "indoor plumbing has been around for 4,600 years, but punctuation, capital letters, and the handy spaces between written words only date back to the Dark Ages," or "how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution," the following list contains some our latest finds from the library on the subject of the creativity and ingenuity that helped make the modern world what it is today. What's your favorite invention? Let us know in the comments!

Want more titles, including ones for children? Try a subject search of "Inventions."

America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World by Kevin Baker

Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World by Pagan Kennedy

Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done by Mick Ebeling

The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World by Steve LeVine

How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery by Kevin Ashton

 *all quotes are from the library catalog, unless otherwise noted

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Día de los Niños

During the last week of April for the past 20 years, libraries and other organizations have been celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). You can catch a Dia program (or several!) at any one of 17 Public Library locations this year. From bilingual storytimes to music, crafts and even STEM activities, the programs will celebrate multicultural literacy in many ways. The Taylor Ranch branch will even have an interactive flamenco performance with Dulce Flamenco Internacional, and Princess Unicorn will share her message of empowerment during a storytime at the Ernie Pyle branch. See the full Dia events page at

Some fantastic booklists are available on the official Dia website—featuring titles whose authors and subjects span the globe and cross cultures. Here are some of our favorites from each list (titles available in the library):


Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk ; illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis.

Little Treasures : Endearments from Around the World words by Jacqueline K. Ogburn ; pictures by Chris Raschka.

One Family by George Shannon ; pictures by Blanca Gomez.


What Are You Doing? by Elisa Amado ; pictures by Manuel Monroy.

Juna's Jar by Jane Bahk ; illustrated by Felicia Hoshino.

The Poet Upstairs by Judith Ortiz Cofer ; illustrations by Oscar Ortiz.

Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs ; illustrated by Shane W. Evans.

I Am Jazz! by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings ; pictures by Shelagh McNicholas.

Book Fiesta! : Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day = Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros by Pat Mora ; illustrated by Rafael López.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Movie Remakes: Stephen King Edition

Movie studios love to remake movies. Whether it's a live action version of a Disney movie or a reboot of a horror film, there are plenty of remakes to choose from. Today, I'm focusing Stephen King movies.

Stephen King was so disappointed in Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining that he remade the movie himself. The remake follows the novel much more closely than Kubrick's version. One of my colleagues and I agree that Kubrick's version is better. As my colleague mentioned, Stephen King's version is instantly forgettable.

Carrie has been remade twice since the original movie came out in 1976. One of the remakes was for TV. TV movie aside, the 2014 remake was a disappointment, mainly because the ending was changed and doesn't follow the book, or the original movie, at all. It's also hard for anyone to fill Sissy Spacek's and Laurie Piper's shoes in the roles of Carrie and Margaret White.

I never watched the entire TV version of Carrie, but I know the ending was changed, too, and for that reason alone, I was disappointed in that remake.

I've only seen bits and pieces of the Children of the Corn remake, so I can't say which version I prefer. I'm not a huge fan of gore, though, so I suspect that I would like the original movie better than the remake.

The latest Stephen King remake won't be out until September. I imagine it will be hard for anyone to play Pennywise as well as Tim Curry did. So far, it seems like the remake might deviate from the original IT, and maybe also from the book, if photos from the film are any indication. I hope the remake will be good, but I'm trying not to set my expectations too high.

What are your thoughts about Stephen King movie remakes? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Compassion For Yourself, Compassion For the World

That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.
~Simone de Beauvoir

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
~Maya Angelou

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Isn't that the Golden Rule? That's the one we learned as kids. Lately, we sometimes feel that's become "every man for himself." Did you know  the word "compassion" means "to suffer together"?  (It's built from the Latin root "'passio', which means to suffer, paired with the Latin prefix 'com', meaning together.") It might sound daunting to share someone's suffering, but all that really entails is trying to find commonalities, acting on empathy, teaching others, being mindful, expressing gratitude, not emphasizing money, and being kind to yourself, according to Huffington Post.

Don't forget that crucial last bit - be kind to yourself, too! The Dalai Lama says "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” We've collected a number of titles that will help remind you to flex your compassion muscle in your dealings with yourself and others, through all life's stages - some books have a more spiritual bent and some are more secular, so we hope you'll be able to find something that floats your boat.
the Latin root “passio”, which means to suffer, paired with the Latin prefix “com”, meaning together – to suffer together. - See more at:
the Latin root “passio”, which means to suffer, paired with the Latin prefix “com”, meaning together – to suffer together. - See more at:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Narrated by Bahni Turpin

The experience of absorbing audiobooks can be challenging for some modern listeners, Bahni feels. The heavy reliance on television for entertainment has led some to forget how to listen without a visual component. But she doesn't draw a line between acting and narration. Bahni reads each book before recording and makes notes about how each character should sound. "I like to give each one a characterization and really try to read the way I feel the text should be heard. I especially enjoy doing dialects."
~Jenan Jones Benson, "Talking With Bahni Turpin"

Bahni Turpin is an actress, an ensemble member of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles whose movie roles have included Daughters of the Dust and who has guest starred in several television series including NYPD Blue, Law and Order, Six Feet Under, and Cold Case. The first audiobook she narrated was Cupcake Brown's A Piece of Cake - before she began her narrating career,  she had not been a fan of audiobooks, but now she "loves listening to women's stories as she tools around Los Angeles" and has narrated over 70 audiobooks. Her narration is "known for the depth of her character portrayals and her ability to set a scene, especially her skill at reflecting the tone of all she narrates," and she has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards for her work. Here's a sampling of the audiobooks she has narrated which are available in the library catalog:

Book on CD

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead 

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours: Stories by Helen Oyeyemi [with others]

The Help by Kathryn Stockett [with others]

Smek For President! by Adam Rex [J] 

Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes [J]

Back Channel by Stephen L. Carter 

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis [with others]


Unbound: A Novel in Verse by Ann E. Burg [J]

Hidden Figures: Young Readers' Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly 

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn 

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon [YA]
The Muse by Jessie Burton [with others]
'Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma [with others]
Pieces and Players by Blue Balliett [J]
Untwine by Edwidge Danticat [YA]

Disgruntled by Asali Solomon
Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
an ensemble member of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series including NYPD Blue, Law and Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case - See more at:
Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angelesmost known for her roles in Cold Case and Without a Trace. The first audiobook she narrated was Cupcake Brown's A Piece of Cake. She had narrated books for both youth and adults, and is "known for the depth of her character portrayals and her ability to set a scene, especially her skill at reflecting the tone of all she narrates

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Literary Links: Celebrity Book Recommendations

Are you looking for a good book? Authors, actors, musicians, businessmen, politicians...seems like everyone these days has a book they loved and want to share. We've collected a few lists for you below that we hope might match your interests and help you find your next great read. How'd we do? Let us know in the comments!

ENDURING LOVE (2004) - CRAIG, DANIEL. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 18 Feb 2017.
Daniel Craig's favorite books? "...the Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.  “They are fantastic children’s books. They’re about love and growing up and about how, as adults, we should see the world.” [Dish Nation]

Every Book Barack Obama Has Recommended During His Presidency [Entertainment Weekly]

Famous Favorites: Read the Books That Spurred Your Idols to Greatness [HuffPost]

21 Famous Authors and Their Favorite Books [Mental Floss]

10 Books Famous People Really Want You To Read [Cosmopolitan]

Stephen King's Reading List for Writers [Aerogramme Writers' Studio]
"As you scan this list, please remember that I’m not Oprah and this isn’t my book club." ~Stephen King

50 Cultural Icons On Their Favorite Books [Flavorwire]

25 Books Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Other Top CEOs Recommend [Inc]

The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors [Brain Pickings]

The Libraries of Great Men: Theodore Roosevelt's Reading List [Art of Manliness]

20 Books Mark Zuckerberg Thinks Everyone Should Read [Business Insider]

Ta-Nehisi Coates' List of 13 Recommended Books [Open Culture]

My Favorite Books of 2016 by Bill Gates [Gates Notes]

John Cleese's 6 Favorite Books [The Week]

CONVENT, THE (1995) - MALKOVICH, JOHN. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 18 Feb 2017.
John Malkovich's favorite book? Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. [Flavorwire]

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Movie Remakes: Horror Edition

Movie studios love to remake movies. Whether it's a live action version of a Disney movie or a reboot of a horror film, there are plenty of remakes to choose from. Today, I'm focusing on horror movie remakes. I'm excluding Stephen King movies, which will get their own post later.

Out of all these movies, the only ones I've seen are the original Halloween and the remake. I prefer the original, though I enjoyed the remake, too.

Have you seen any of these movies? If so, which ones did you like best? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Poet as Visionary

Image Provided by the South Broadway Cultural Center

“We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists
of a larger reality.” - Ursula K. Le Guin

Ever since I came across this quote from Le Guin I’ve been obsessed with visionaries. And because April is poetry month I'm particularly focused on visionary poets and what makes a one a visionary.  In searching the internet I found all kinds of visionaries: painters, writers, leaders, activists, CEO’s, even politicians.  The most common characteristic that they share is an ability to see the future, or a different future than most. And not necessarily in a woo-woo kind of way. They just dream about how things could be, like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Oglala Lakota medicine man, Black Elk.

Quotes about Visionaries

A visionary is one who can find his way by moonlight, and see the dawn 
before the rest of the world. — Oscar Wilde 

If you have the same ideas as everybody else but have them one week earlier than everyone else then you will be hailed as a visionary. But if you have them five years earlier you will be named a lunatic. — Barry Jones, Entrepreneur

Like the poet William Blake, my anger is visionary anger. It gives direction
 to my work. —  Adrienne Rich

Poets, as I hear them, speak out honestly from the intensity and clarity of their own vision—magicians, shamans, healers, seers, prophets, alchemist. — Kenneth Lincoln

Visionary Poems 

"The Visionaryby Emily Dickinson

Recorded tribute to Frank Lima: City Lights podcast

"I Am Waiting" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

 If you've never heard "Howl" read aloud by Allen Ginsberg, you can listen to it now. Or read  Howl: a Graphic Novel.

Books by Visionary Poets

I’ve culled the library’s catalog to highlight a few visionary poets who through the alchemy and language and conviction have formed their own larger reality. 

The Complete Collected Poems by Maya Angelou  Angelou is a true visionary writer and performer who changed the landscape of the both the literary, political, and cultural world. 

The Collected Poems of Audrey Lorde.  Lorde has been called a "black feminist visionary and 'mytho-poet'."
Incidents of Travel in Poetry by Latino poet and visionary, Frank Lima

A Map to the Next World by Joy Harjo whose “visionary justice-seeking art transforms personal and collective bitterness to beauty, fragmentation to wholeness, and trauma to healing.”

Words Are My Matter by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Book CoverBook Cover

Poetry Events in April 

Poetry Open Mic: The Poet as Visionary 

Celebrate poetry month by reading your own visionary poetry with special guest host, Mary Oishi, Albuquerque poet, visionary, activist, and KUNM Radio personality. At South Broadway Library, Friday, April 14, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. (The event will be held in the cultural center auditorium, down the hall from the library.)

Oishi will emcee the open mic and read from her book, Spirit birds they told me

In Depth Poetry Discussion Group

Join Lynn Mallory for a discussion of the life and poetry of Adrienne Rich. Discuss how Rich's groundbreaking 1970's feminist poetry guides contemporary readers to explore the ways that culture and history shape our views of ourselves. The poem to be discussed is Transcendental Etude. The title can be found online. The In Depth Poetry Discussion group meets quarterly on the 4th of the month. North Valley Library, Tuesday, April 25, 12:30 - 2 p.m.

Poem in Your Pocket Day!

A drop-in event at Cherry Hills Library. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day! Artistically illustrate or simply copy a favorite poem to carry and share in the spirit of the day. Or, contribute to our Poem in Your Pocket display  just by writing down your favorite poem! Thursday, April 27, noon - 5p.m.