Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Build a Better World - Summer Reading Program 2017

This year's Summer Reading program runs from to June 3rd to July 29th. Join us for fun activities and prizes for the whole family! All ages are welcome to participate. Summer Reading is a free 8-week program at branches of the Public Library ABQ-BERNCO that encourages babies, children, tweens, teens and adults to read throughout the summer. The books you read and any reading goals you set are chosen by you, but the library offers fun incentive prizes - babies, kids, tweens, and teens get weekly incentives, and adults turn in completed reading logs (10 hours per log) to be entered to win weekly prizes and to be entered in the system-wide grand prize drawing (prizes for adults include a Kindle Fire, as well as gift certificates to Southwest Airlines, Amazon, and Bookworks) at the end of the summer.

In addition to prizes, the library is featuring special events for all ages during the program! Magic, music, dance and stories with Princess Unicorn, Keshet, Recycleman, and more for the children and family. Programs from ¡Explora!, a Lego movie extravaganza, and a variety of craft programs for tweens and teens (book art pages, duct tape wallets, Minecraft. rocket cars, pipe-cleaner ninjas, and others) - plus, tweens and teens attending the programs for their age group will be entered to win a special grand prize! For adults, there will be a bevy of concerts for your listening pleasure - Sage & Jared's Happy Gland Band! Le Chat Lunatique! Watermelon Mountain Jug Band! Jill Cohn! - as well as two lectures about architecture in ABQ, presented by the New Mexico Architectural Foundation (the theme this year is building a better world!).

We hope to see your face in the place! Check out the branch near you - there will be kickoff parties on June 3rd where you can sign up, pick up an event schedule, and have fun! If you like to visit multiple branches, don't forget to pick up your Library Passport - for each different five branches visited and stamped in your passport, you will receive an entry for a Passport Prize (a party for 10 children and 2 adults at Fuddruckers!). You can also find more information, including an online signup option (available already), using our handy-dandy guide.

All of the great Summer Reading prizes, performers, and events are paid for with the generous support of the Friends for the Public Library, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Novels and Memoirs About Polygamy

(Image Credit: Book jacket for The Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women edited by Paula Kelly Harline)

Polygamy in America is mainly associated with the early history of the Mormon Church and considered to be a quaint artifact of church history that was jettisoned in 1890 when LDS President Wilford Woodruff delivered the Manifesto ending plural marriage. Utah became a state in 1896 after what Latter Day Saint church historians refer to as "The Great Accommodation". However, this decision rocked the foundations of families unwilling to discontinue the practice. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is usually thought of in terms of the mainstream church in Utah, but even during its' formative years, had hundreds of splits and schisms.

This complicated issue revolves around legal, economic, and social factors that push the limits of religious freedom and thwart the civil rights of women and children in the United States. Polygamist communities scattered through Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Nevada, and further north in Bountiful, British Columbia have existed since the 1890's. Polygamists settled in Mexico and created their own colonies that experienced a descent into murderous cult insanity courtesy of the infamous Ervil LeBaron, who targeted a rival polygamist sect called The Apostolic United Brethren and had their leader Rulon Allred assassinated. Ervil LeBaron didn't hesitate to kill his own family members who wouldn't bend to his demented will. Following the deaths of the five LeBaron brothers, residents of Colonia LeBaron settled into peaceful prosperity after a generation of violence subsided, but then had to deal with new threats, such as being targeted for kidnapping and extortion by the local drug cartels.

While some polygamists try to maintain their privacy, others have taken their message to reality TV after HBO's drama Big Love ended. (What used to be) The Learning Channel (TLC) broadcasts Sister Wives and the now cancelled My Five Wives, which extols a pro-polygamy message through the gritted-teeth smiles of plural wives claiming that polgamy has many benefits. TLC, in an effort to present another perspective also aired the short-lived reality series, Escaping the Prophet, hosted by activist Flora Jessop who struggled for years to extricate her younger sister Ruby Jessop from an arranged marriage. A&E also airs a reality series called Escaping Polygamy, which features escaped young women trying to help others leave the notorious Kingston Clan, who have been targeted by the state of Utah for decades, due to fraud and blood curdling abuse of women and children.

Fundamentalist Mormon groups keep making headlines through the crimes of leaders like Warren Jeffs who made the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for performing and partaking in child marriages until he was arrested while on the run with one of his 80 wives. Jeffs also sent his followers to Eldorado, Texas, where they constructed a Waco-style composed of displaced women and children who had been separated from their families in Arizona and Utah. In a showdown between the FLDS and local law enforcement, numerous atrocities and abuses came to light, but in the end, the state of Texas backed down and returned the children to their community. Jeffs is serving a life sentence for a multitude of crimes, including marrying the twelve-year-old daughter of his former bishop and now convict Merril Jessop.

In current headlines, Winston Blackmore, a fundamentalist Mormon leader in Bountiful, British Columbia is on trial for polygamy and the human trafficking of underage "brides. Blackmore who is married to 26 women and the father of 108 children is attempting to turn the tables on prosecutors with a constitutional challenge to Canadian polygamy laws.

For a history of  Mormon polygamy, I recommend reading Jon Krakauer's extraordinary book Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith and private investigator Sam Brower's book Prophet's Prey: My Seven Year Investigation Into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. Brower has helped former members leaving the FLDS get justice against criminal activities. The topic of polygamy encompasses more than marriages between a man and multiple women, but the underlying issues are the toll the practice takes on women's emotions, the pressure on men to provide for multiple families, and the abuse and neglect children suffer due to the practice.

These isolated fundamentalist splinter groups developed a culture of secrecy and a persecution complex that fostered exploitation and abuse of their isolated members. As this religious subculture of America comes into the light, the publishing world has taken note of these events and given survivors of these famous families a platform to share their stories.


Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley

A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal

Down From the Mountain by Elizabeth Fixmer

For Time and All Eternities by Mette Ivie Harrison

I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy

A Killing In Zion by Andrew Hunt

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

A Serpent's Tooth by Craig Johnson

Sister Wife  by Shelley Hrdlitschka


Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Favorite Wife (ebook) by Susan Ray Schmidt

Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies by Kristyn Decker 

God's Brothel by Andrea Moore-Emmett 

Lost Boy by Brent Jeffs

The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron

The Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women  edited by Paula Kelly Harline 

Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk: Growing Up In Polygamy by Dorothy Allred Solomon 

Shattered Dreams: My Life As a Polygamist's Wife by Irene Spencer

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner

Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up In a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall

The Witness Wore Red: the 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice by Rebecca Musser

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Circulating: Gardening

The Yellow Books, 1887 . Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 18 May 2016.
“Knowledge is like money: To be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.”
― Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man  

In the library, "circulation" means a lot of things.  What's sometimes called the "library card desk" is also known as "circulation".  When we look at a book's record, we count how many times it has checked out as its "circs". The library's collection floats (items checked out at one branch and returned at another stay at the branch at which they are returned), but its items circulate.

In spring, doesn't everyone's fancy turn to the garden? Blooms, blossoms, and greenery! Here's a list of the most popular books in the library catalog to help you develop your green thumb in the special conditions of the desert Southwest. Also be sure to check out our Seed Library and other staff-created Home & Garden guides, and you can even visit with the local Master Gardeners at a few library branches!

Top Circulating: Gardening

1.  Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes by Baker H. Morrow
2. Growing the Southwest Garden by Judith Phillips
3. The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southwest by Trisha Shirey
4. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
5. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-By-Month Gardening by Jacqueline A. Soule
6. Down to Earth by Margo Murdock
7. Southwest Fruit & Vegetable Gardening by Jacqueline A. Soule
8. Letters to a Young Farmer by Martha Hodgkins
9. Water-Wise Plants For the Southwest by Nan Sterman
10. Southwest Gardener's Handbook by Diana Maranhao
11. Month-to-Month Gardening by Kelli Dolecek
12.  McGee & Stuckey's The Bountiful Container by Rose Marie Nichols McGee
13. The Beginner's Guide to Starting a Garden by Sally Roth
14. All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
15. Arizona & New Mexico Getting Started Garden Guide by Mary Irish
16. Straw Bale Gardens Complete by Joel Karsten
17. Indoor Kitchen Gardening by Elizabeth Millard
18. Waterwise Plants For Sustainable Gardens by Lauren Springer Ogden
19. Gardenista by Michelle Slatalla
20. Indoor Edible Garden by Zia Allaway
21.  Waterwise Garden Care by Cindy Bellinger
22. Seeds on Ice by Cary Fowler
23. The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds by Robert E. Gough
24. Month-By-Month Gardening in the Desert Southwest by Mary Irish
25. Straw Bale Gardens by Joel Karsten
26. Epic Tomatoes by Craig LeHoullier
27. Compost City by Rebecca Louie
28. Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening by Deborah L, Martin
29.  Southwest Kitchen Garden by Kim Nelson
30. New Mexico Gardener's Guide by Judith Phillips

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May is...National Bike Month

BICYCLING, 1873. - A quartet of intrepid bicyclists pedaling their way in 1873 from London, England, to John O'Groat's, the northermost point of Scotland. Wood engraving from a contemporary English newspaper.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.
quest.eb.com/search/140_1651878/1/140_1651878/cite. Accessed 9 May 2017.
May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try... National Bike to Work Week 2017 will be held on May 15-19. Bike to Work Day is May 19!
~from The League of American Bicyclists' website

There's still a little time to celebrate National Bike Month with and the Brew Cruise tonight and Bike to Work Day tomorrow, though we missed most of the Duke City Classic, which runs from the 12th - 21st. New Mexico seems to attract cyclists - a local family are bringing mountain biking to TV with a show called Mountainbike Mania (according to New Mexico True, mountain biking has become more popular in the state); new races are being created locally; you can tour "New Mexico Enchanted Lands" with the Adventure Cycling Association (for a fee) or ride in the Tour de Gila; the New York Times even featured an article about cycling Santa Fe a few years ago, and the Santa Fe Reporter just covered women's place in the Outside Bike & Brew. Tourists are reminded to watch out for goatheads!

Search the library catalog for materials about cycling!

What's your experience cycling locally? Let us know any resources we might have missed in the comments!

Local Bicycling Resources


New Mexico Cycling Calendar

Critical Mass Albuquerque  


Ghost Bikes [Duke City Wheelmen]

Bicycling [City of Albuquerque]

This page provides information about biking in Albuquerque. The City of Albuquerque has more than 400 miles of bike paths and trails. Albuquerque promotes healthy and responsible bicycling. Learn about trail etiquette, take a bicycle safety class (adults can can earn a refurbished bike equipped with a bike helmet and a bike lock!), visit the Esperanza Bicycle Safety Education Center - where you can donate a bike or attend an open bike clinic.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Biographers Day

Today is Biographers Day, commemorating the day biographer James Boswell met his subject, Samuel Johnson, in a bookshop in 1763. (See Johnson and Boswell: A Biography of Friendship.) Do you often think about the biographer rather than their subject when checking out a book? Have you ever read the biography because you know the biographer is a good writer? 

We've enjoyed biographies by Peter Ackroyd, Robert Caro, Donald Spoto, Diane Middlebrook, Stephen Ambrose, Stacy Schiff, David McCullough, Nancy Milford, Claire Tomalin, Caroline Moorehead, Lytton Strachey, A. N. Wilson, Brenda Maddox, Antonia Fraser, Lee Server, Amanda Foreman, Alison Weir, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Peter Guralnick. We've put together a list of some of the library's more recent acquisitions below - is there a biographer or biography you'd like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Manderley For Ever by Tatiana de Rosnay

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King


The 20 Best Biographies and Autobiographies of All Time [Telegraph] 

25 Recommendations For Life Changing Biographies For the Voracious Reader In You [Thought Catalog]

11 Must-Read Biographies About Incredible Women [HuffPost]

15 Best Autobiographies Everyone Should Read at Least Once In Their Life [Lifehack]

Best Biographies [Goodreads]

Thursday, May 11, 2017

National Nurses Week

Do you know a nurse? Has a nurse helped you recently? Celebrate nurses and nursing for National Nurses Week - May 6-12 is "Year of the Healthy Nurse." Here's some fiction and non-fiction recommendations for all ages from the library catalog that emphasize the history of modern nursing, stories from the front lines, and the contributions of nurses to society.


Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle by Mary J. MacLeod 

I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse edited by Lee Gutkind 

Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything In Between by Theresa Brown 

Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne [DVD]  

The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins  

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin  

In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl 

Where Night Is Day: The World of the ICU by James Kelly 

Beautiful Unbroken: One Nurse's Life by Mary Jane Nealon  

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth

Young Adult


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New & Novel: Mysteries

NANCY DREW COVER, 1930. - 'The Secret of the Old Clock.' 1930 jacket illustration from The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series by Edward Stratemeyer and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.
quest.eb.com/search/140_1659262/1/140_1659262/cite. Accessed 3 May 2017.
While you're waiting for new titles by Paula Hawkins, Donna Leon, Anne Hillerman, and other bestsellers with long hold lists, why not check out some other mysterious and suspenseful reads you might have missed?


DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates

The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Lyndsay Faye 

What's Become of Her by Deb Caletti

What My Body Remembers by Agnete Friis 

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham [YA]

I'll Eat When I'm Dead by Barbara Bourland

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

A Fever of the Blood by Oscar De Muriel 

The Thirst by Jo Nesbo [Harry Hole, 11]

Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves [Shetland, 7]

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths [Ruth Galloway, 9]

Duplicity by Ingrid Thoft [Fina Ludlow,4]  

Take Out by Margaret Maron [Sigrid Harald, 9]  

The Templars' Last Secret by Martin Walker [Bruno, Chief of Police, 10] 

Glass Houses by Louise Penny [Inspector Gamache, 13] 

Old Bones by Trudy Nan Boyce [Sarah Alt, 2] 

What the Dead Leave Behind by Rosemary Simpson [Gilded Age, 1] 

The Secrets of Gaslight Lane by M.R.C. Kasasian [Gower St. Detective, 4]

Alice and the Assassin by R. J. Koreto [Alice Roosevelt, 1]

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein [YA; prequel to Code Name Verity]