Monday, February 28, 2011

Free Book Talk: The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond's The Year of Fog was selected as the featured title for Silicon Valley Reads 2011. This local author will discuss her novel about a young woman's journey through memory and guilt after her fiance's young daughter disappears in the fog from San Francisco's Ocean Beach while in her care. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the talk.

Join us for this author event on Tuesday, March 8 from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Cedar Room at Central Park Library. This program was made possible by the generosity of The Foundation & Friends of Santa Clara City Library.

To reserve a space for this free book talk, stop by the Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900.

posted by mb for jb

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BIG READ! Jack London's Call of the Wild

Join us for a celebration of the classic, The Call of the Wild by Jack London. More than twenty events are planned, including a live dog sled demonstration, book discussions, historic tours and free book giveaways. Read the book any way you choose. It is a free public domain download. Listen to it watch the DVD or read one of the many print copies available.
The kickoff is March 16th from 11:00 - 2:00 p.m. at Mission College Quad and events throughout Santa Clara go through April 19th. Read more by following the link from the library website's BIG READ button on the lower right.
The Call of the Wild is a story of a dog abducted from his comfortable home in Santa Clara and sold as a sled dog for service in the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska in the 1890s. Jack London had many friends in Santa Clara Valley, so the book provides an opportunity to explore late 19th/early 20th century Santa Clara Valley history.
Santa Clara was one of 75 communities throughout the United States to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to bring THE BIG READ to their community. The program allows libraries, schools and other cultural organizations in a community to select a classic American novel from a list of titles and offer programs, lectures, and book discussions around the book and its author.
A big thank you to The Foundation and Friends of Santa Clara Library for brainstorming, grant writing and continued support for The Big Read. There will be events for children and adults at Central Park Library and Mission Family Reading Center.
Other community organizations participating include: Mission College, Santa Clara University, the South Bay Historical Railroad Society, the Triton Art Museum, the Jamison-Brown House, the Carmelite Monastary, Harris-Lass Historic House Museum, the Headen-Inman House, and the deSaisset Museum.

posted by mb

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Book, Two Book, Red Book, Blue Book

Celebrate Dr. Seuss

March 2, 1904 is Dr. Seuss's birthday and also National Read Across America day, a day dedicated to motivating children to read. Born with the name Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss has published over 44 children's books with fun characters, made-up words, and interesting rhymes. His books have even been adapted into movies.

So, settle into bed, pull up a chair, and try some of the following Dr. Seuss titles:

The Cat in the Hat

Green Eggs and Ham

Horton Hears a Who!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Yertle the Turtle

Or, search the catalog for all things Seuss, including biographies, too.

And want to have more fun with Seuss? Try out, your door to the Seuss world. Play games, download coloring sheets, and have a blast.

Need help finding Seuss books or other books for National Read Across America day? Try our booklists for kids or teens and feel free to ask a Youth Services Librarian for help!

Posted by ws. *Parody of title One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NASA Missions Update

NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Eric Norris returns to give another popular multi-media presentation on NASA Missions to the Solar System, including updates on the Mars missions and the new Mars rover Curiosity being launched later in 2011!

Join us on Monday, February 28, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. in the Redwood Room at Santa Clara City Library.

To reserve a place at this free space missions program, stop by the Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL

posted by mb for jb

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Laurie King Book Talk: God of the Hive

Laurie King, award-winning local mystery writer and theologian, will discuss writing and her recent book, God of the Hive. Part of her Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series, this suspenseful and lively mystery takes up where The Language of Bees left off, in 1924 Britain.

To reserve a space at this free author event, stop by the Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900.

posted by mb for jb

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2-1-1 Free Information and Referrals in Santa Clara County

Friday, February 11th, 211 Santa Clara County celebrated its Fourth Year Anniversary! When you don't know who to call: Dial 2-1-1 or visit for free information and referrals to thousands of health and human services, 24/7 in 170+ languages.

  • Clothing, food, personal goods and services

  • Disaster planning, response and recovery

  • Drug and alcohol treatment

  • Education and training

  • Employment services and personal assistance

  • Family, individual and community services

  • Health, fitness and environmental services

  • Housing, shelter and transportation

  • Legal, immigration and criminal services

  • Mental health and counseling services

  • Self help groups and services

  • Senior and disability services

posted by mb

Friday, February 11, 2011


Do you hear that? That's the sound of love in the air. Why? It's almost Valentine's Day. Curl up with your loved ones and enjoy some Valentine-themed books:

For the Youngest

Amelia Bedelia's First ValentineAmelia Bedelia's First Valentine by Herman Parish

The Berenstain Bears' Funny Valentine by Stan & Jan Berenstain

The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll

The Berenstain Bears' Funny ValentineIf You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant

My Furry Valentine by Deborah Zemke

The Valentine Express by Nancy Wallace

Beginning Chapter Books

Cam Jansen and the Valentine Baby MysteryCam Jansen and the Valentine Baby Mystery by David Adler

Geronimo's Valentine by Geronimo Stilton

Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime by Barbara Park

The Malted Falcon: From the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye by Bruce Hale

Get Crafty

Show your love and send someone a home-made Valentine. Try some crafts from these books:

Valentine Things to Make and DoCrafts for Valentine's Day by Kathy Ross

Hearts & Crafts by Sheri Brownrigg

Valentine's Day Crafts by Jean Eick

Valentines: Cards and Crafts from the Heart by Thiranut Boonyadhistarn

Valentine Things to Make and Do by Rebecca Gilpin

Ask a Youth Services Librarian for help finding more Valentine's Day books!

Posted by ws. Heart graphic from Flickr.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Remembering Forgotten Things

In time, every technological progression is usually met with some sort of retro backlash. A techno-grouchy counterrevolution if you will. For those who drool over the prospect of 3-D TV (and the the migraines to go with it), there is a camp of people searching through junk shops looking for a still watchable VHS copy of Hondo and a pair of cardboard glasses with red and blue lenses. For someone who is stoked that they can get a phone to function like a computer, there is another who is ecstatic about the beige rotary phone now functioning as her land line (an equally antiquated concept).

One of these anachronistic enthusiasts would be Lesley Blume, author of Let's Bring Back. She's written an encyclopedia of once trendy, now tragic products and fashions. As the owner of 3 manual typewriters (pg. 228), daguerreotypes (pg. 55), numerous books with gilt-edging (pg. 97), a beard (pg. 20), and a fondness for napping (pg. 156), this makes me very giddy (sadly, giddiness is not listed). Technology has enough cheerleaders. It's nice to see someone celebrate the dusty old attic items and arcane standards of behavior.

However, somethings are perhaps better left to the past. Phone books for instance. I get at least three a year and use not a single one. With the advent of Google and the rise of unlisted numbers, they aren't all that helpful anymore. Plus, the amount of paper used to manufacture them is practically criminal. Her promotion of "glamorous" smoking accessories (cigarette cases and holders) and furry clothing is also something of a misstep. And I personally cannot abide organ grinders since I find monkeys acting like people highly disturbing.

Despite the heavy hand of kitsch in this book, there is an underlying sense of loss. Tellingly, Blume includes listings for such "outdated" things like attention spans, service (as in customer), fresh air, plans/punctuality, journalism, the nighttime (lost to light pollution), hobbies for children, and pacifism. I realize that all sounds like an older generation railing against the current, but by the look of the author photo in the back, Blume is not much over thirty. This isn't the writing of an old technophobic crank, but rather a modern person who thinks we may have chucked out some interesting (maybe even relevant) stuff in order to get where we are.

My personal favorite entry is for the concept of impracticality because "being practical about everything gets in the way of fun." Sometimes you just need to waste a little bit of time on something with no merit. Kind of like what you've just done. You're welcome.
posted by jw

Friday, February 4, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

Happy Chinese New Year! Chinese New Year is the most important traditional Chinese holiday. Traditionally, the holiday is celebrated for 15 days, and it includes many customs:
  • cleaning your house to clear it of bad fortune and make room for good fortune in the new year
  • hanging red decorations, paper cut-outs, etc., since the color red represents success and happiness in Chinese culture
  • giving money in red envelopes (packets) as presents to family as see on the right (It is traditional to give money in even denominations, especially including lucky number 8.)
  • feasting with family on Chinese New Year's Eve with delicacies such duck, fish, and chicken
  • watch/light fireworks (follow all safety instructions and check with your government before lighting anything!)
  • wear new clothes to symbolize a new beginning
  • watch a parade (There's one in San Francisco every year. This year, it's on Sat., Feb. 19 at 5:15 pm. Visit the website for more information.)
Here are some books that give you even more information about Chinese New Year:

Chinese New Year by Savior Pirotta

Chinese New Year: Festival of New Beginnings by Terri Sievert

Happy, Happy Chinese New Year! by Demi

Max Celebrates Chinese New Year by Adria Klein

My First Chinese New Year by Alice K. Flanagan

Ask a Youth Services Librarian for help finding more information about Chinese New Year!

Posted by ws with some help from Wikipedia. Red envelope image source. Rabbit image source.