Monday, March 27, 2017

Book-to-Film Adaptations: April 2017

Literature often inspires film adaptations and each month I like to highlight those hitting theaters soon.  Check out this blog entry to see what they are, and be on the lookout for seeing them in theaters...as well as checking out their source materials at your library.

Smurfs: The Lost Village
Starring: Ariel Winter
Release Date: April 7
Based On: Comic Book Series
Author: Peyo
Summary: In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map gets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does.  Embarking on a roller-coaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history.

The Lost City of Z
Starring: Charlie Hunnam
Release Date: April 14
Based On: "The Lost City of Z"
Author: David Grann
Summary: The Lost City of Z tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region.  Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment, who regard indigenous populations as "savages," the determined Fawcett - supported by his devoted wife, son, and aide de camp returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.

The Circle
Starring: Emma Watson
Release Date: April 28
Based On: "The Circle"
Author: Dave Eggers
Summary: When Mae is hired to work for the world's largest and most powerful tech and social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime.  As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company's founder, Eamon Bailey, to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and ultimately her personal freedom.  Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family, and that of humanity.

And there you have it, your look at April's book-to-film adaptations to be on the lookout for.

"Check Out Bishop's 'Others'" | @ the Library Article

Anne Bishop began writing as a child, according to her website, until she thought her writing wasn't good enough.  So she left off writing to make a living doing other unspecified things.  Then she got an idea for a short story which she wrote and published in 1989.  Then another, and another, etc., until she got the idea for a novel.  That novel was Daughter of the Blood the first book in the Black Jewels trilogy.  The 'trilogy" now includes nine titles and Bishop has moved on to create other worlds.

Written in Red, the first title in Bishop's "The Others" series, is a re-imagined world in which humans are a minority.  The majority are the Terra Indigene known disparagingly to most humans as "the Others."  Ultimate predators, many of whom are shapeshifters, they have an uneasy relationship with the humans.  They want the things the human manufacture, so the Others rent the humans land to farm and live on and allow some hunting but they don't trust humans to keep their word.

They do trust humans to cause trouble, and to mob and kill the Others when the humans forget the consequences of such an act.  These vary from higher fees for water to eviction to the destruction of the town (depending on how upset the Terra Indigene are or how severe the infraction).  Elementals may cause the destruction, so a human town may end by flooding, blizzard, or drought.  Of course, the Terra Indigene might just eat all the humans...

Written in Red finds a runaway freezing in a snowstorm.  She sees a lighted doorway and hopes to be able to go in long enough to thaw her feet.  When she gets to the door she finds that it's only the security light.  By the light she can see a Help Wanted sign and decides to take a chance and apply for the job around the corner at Howling Good Reads (as the sign instructs).

Busy closing his bookstore for the night, Simon Wolfgard sees a human obviously not dressed for the weather.  He asks what she wants and when she says she "saw the sign about the job" Simon decides to give her a chance.  He dislikes the only other applicant for the job.  Those who apply for the job of Human Liaison are either trying to take advantage of the Others or are running from something or someone.  But there's something different about this obviously runaway human and it isn't the awful smelling red hair dye job.

Simon finds Meg confusing, and Simon's nephew responds to her as he hasn't responded to anyone since his mother was killed.  Meg knows when she sees Simon that her death will happen sometime soon, because she had a vision.  However, visions are open to interpretation.  Meg survives and keeps the job.

She also survives Murder of Crows, in which she sees visions of the deaths of many Others and prevents them.  One other thing settled is the matter of Meg's previous "owner" and the future of many of the other Blood Prophets like Meg.

Book three, A Vision in Silver, and book four, Marked in Flesh, relate the worsening tension between Others and Humans despite what Meg, the female pack (her friends) and the local police can do.  A radical human group causes trouble and misdirection for Cel-Romano's war.  Finally it comes to a head and the Terra Indigene Elders take a hand and a bite out of many humans.

We'll see how Meg and her human pack does in her latest, Etched in Bone, brand new at all library locations.  Check them out at the Abilene Public Library. 

Article by Marie Skufca, Information Services Librarian at the Main Branch Location

Sunday, March 26, 2017

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Mar. 26)

Many browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest reads.  Part of finding them is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available at all locations.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: The Cutthroat
Author: Clive Cussler
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F CUSSLER
Summary: The year is 1911. Chief Investigator Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency has had many extraordinary cases before. But none quite like this. Hired to find a young woman named Anna Pape who ran away from home to become an actress, Bell gets a shock when her murdered body turns up instead. Vowing to bring the killer to justice, he begins a manhunt which leads him into increasingly more alarming territory. Anna Pape was not alone in her fate--petite young blond women like Anna are being murdered in cities across America. And the pattern goes beyond the physical resemblance of the victims--there are disturbing familiarities about the killings themselves that send a chill through even a man as experienced with evil as Bell. If he is right about his fears, then he is on the trail of one of the greatest monsters of his time.

#2: Dangerous Games
Author: Danielle Steel
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F STEEL
Summary: Television correspondent Alix Phillips dodges bullets and breaks rules to bring the most important news to the world--from riots in America to protests on the streets of Tehran. With her daughter in college, and working alongside cameraman Ben Chapman, a deeply private ex-Navy SEAL, Alix revels in the risks and whirlwind pace of her work. But her latest assignment puts her at the center of an explosive story that will reshape many lives, including her own: investigating damning allegations involving the vice president of the United States, Tony Clark. Alix starts with a nationally revered woman who may be the key to exposing frightening secrets. Olympia Foster is the fragile, reclusive widow of America's most admired senator, who had been destined for the presidency before an assassin's bullet felled him. Since then, Olympia has found emotional support from Clark, who once wanted her as his wife and now stands as her protector and confidant. When Alix begins to dig deeper, federal agents pick up the trail. Then the threats begin. As the stakes rise in this dangerous game, Alix needs Ben's help as never before. And soon they realize they are grappling with an adversary far more sinister than they had imagined.

#3: Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: 293.13 GAI
Summary: Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he presents his fashioning of the primeval Norse myths into a novel, which begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds, delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants, and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly recreating the characters--the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions--and making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

#4: The Devil's Triangle
Author: Catherine Coulter
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F COULTER
Summary: Thomas Frey FBI Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine are the government's Covert Eyes--leading a top-notch handpicked team of agents to tackle crimes and criminals both international and deadly. But their first case threatens their fledgling team when the Fox calls from Venice asking for help. Kitsune has stolen an incredible artifact from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, and now the client wants her dead. She has a warning for Nick and Mike: she's overheard talk that a devastating Gobi desert sandstorm that's killed thousands in Beijing isn't a natural phenomenon, rather is produced by man. The Covert Eyes team heads to Venice, Italy, to find out the truth. From New York to Venice and from Rome to the Bermuda Triangle, Nicholas and Mike and their team are in a race against time, and nature herself, to stop an obsessed family from devastating Washington, DC.

#5: In This Grave Hour
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M WINSPEAR
Summary: When listeners last heard Maisie Dobbs, it was 1938, and the world was on the brink of war. Maisie herself was on a dangerous mission inside Nazi Germany, where she encountered an old enemy and the Fuhrer himself. In In This Grave Hour, a year has passed, and Maisie is back home in England - yet neither she nor her nation is safe. Britain has just declared war on Germany and is mobilizing for the devastating battle ahead. But when she stumbles on the deaths of a group of refugees, Maisie suspects the enemy may be closer than anyone knows.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Trump's War
Author: Michael Savage
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: The radio host discusses the challenges President Trump faces as he strives to fulfill his promises.

#2: Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance
Weeks On List: 34
Call Number: 92 VANCE
Summary: Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

#3: Portraits of Courage
Author: George W. Bush
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: 920 BUS
Summary: A collection of military oil paintings and profiles presents the stories of post-9/11 veterans, their experiences on the battlefield, road to recovery, and continuing contributions as civilians.

#4: Killing the Rising Sun
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: 940.542 ORE
Summary: Portrays the events of World War II in 1944, when escalating Pacific battles between the forces of General MacArthur and the Japanese army lead to the development of humanity's deadliest weapon and President Truman's impossible choice.

#5: The Magnolia Story
Author: Chip & Joanna Gaines
Weeks On List: 22
Call Number: 92 GAINES
Summary: Sometimes the messiest stuff and the biggest mistakes can take you someplace wonderful. With the help of their hit TV show, Fixer Upper, the husband and wife team of Chip and Joanna Gaines have transformed the seemingly everyday work of renovating homes and flipping houses in Waco, Texas, into something much more. With their fun personalities, good humor, strong love of family, and unique design style, they've managed to capture the hearts of Americans from all walks of life. It all happened so quickly, their ever-multiplying fan base has been left to wonder: Who are these people? Where did they come from? What's the secret to their success? And should I pack up and move to Waco, too? From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together to the project that nearly cost them everything, The Magnolia Story offers a peek behind the curtain of who Chip and Joanna are today. This first book also includes stories and photos from the childhood memories that shaped them and the twists and turns that led them to the life they currently share: on the farm with their four kids and countless farm animals, and in their ever-expanding roles as entrepreneurs, designers, and good neighbors.

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and discover for yourselves why they've become such hits in mainstream literature.  If they're not available, get yourselves on the reserve lists and secure your spot in line.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Weekly Library Events (Mar. 26 - Apr. 1)

Keep up with the great programs and events your Abilene Public Library has to offer by catching this weekly blog each Thursday.  For a complete listing, visit our main website to take a look at our program calendar.

Tech Monday Instruction
Monday, Mar. 27 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
We live in a world where access to technology is commonplace with the abundance of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. If you need help learning to use your device, getting started on the library's great lineup of digital services, maneuvering your way through the Internet or Microsoft Office applications, join us for Tech Monday Instruction at your library. Your South Branch tech gurus will be on hand to help patrons on a first-come, first-served basis in the meeting room. Don't pass up on 1-on-1 instruction to answer your specific technology questions. For more in-depth help, we may also schedule an additional session to provide more help outside of these events.

The Investing Universe: A Class for Individual Investors
Monday, Mar. 27 at 6:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
The South Branch Library is proud to partner with Paul Anthony Thomas, Asset Manager with Custom Private Equity, to offer a series of investing workshops titled “The Investing Universe: A Class for Individual Investors.”  Also sponsored by Gayla Fullerton, CPA, six courses will be hosted on Monday evening starting February 13 and running through March 27.  Each event will begin at 6:30PM and is open to the public covering basic investing and discussions of asset classes and investing techniques.  This event is open to the public and will help to strengthen your investing skills to maximize your efforts.  Don’t pass up on this weekly series, and for additional information, feel free to contact Tremain Jackson at 325-698-7565.

Free Tax Assistance
Mar. 29-30; 10:00AM to 3:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
If you need help filing your taxes, take part in this free program led by IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP.  Multiple sessions will be hosted each week, and guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis while spaces allow.  Be sure to bring your Photo ID, social security card, W-2’s, and all other tax information you may need to file.  Volunteers will be on hand to walk you through the filing process, and e-File your taxes during your visit.

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Thursday, Mar. 30 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you have a young writer between the ages of 10-17, don't miss out on the chance to be a part of the weekly Collecting Commas Writing Club at your Main Library.  Meeting every Thursday afternoon at 4:30PM, this group works toward honing their creative writing skills in all forms of writing including novels, short stories, poetry, and more.  There's no need to register, simply come check out a meeting and see if it's meant for you.

Free Tax Assistance
Mar. 31 to Apr. 1; 10AM to 3PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
If you need help filing your taxes, take part in this free program led by IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP. Multiple sessions will be hosted each week, and guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis while spaces allow. Be sure to bring your Photo ID, social security card, W-2’s, and all other tax information you may need to file. Volunteers will be on hand to walk you through the filing process, and e-File your taxes during your visit.

MCEC Morning Storytime: Now You See Me
Friday, Mar. 31 at 10:45AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Kids and parents are invited to join us for a great morning storytime event led by the Military Child Education Coalition.  Usually meeting on the fourth Friday mornings of each month, please note that in March, this event will be hosted on the final Friday, same time.  For this session, the featured book will be Dr. Seuss' "Now You See Me."  In this story, hide-and-seek is a great game, but Nick always finds where Sally is hiding, and that's no fun.  That is, until the Cat in the Hat shows up.  Feel free to drop in and be a part of this event designed for kids of all ages.

Don't miss out on these great activities being hosted at your library and get in on what we have to offer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the popular titles being released today.

Lion
Starring: Dev Patel
Summary: In this adaptation of the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly, a 5-year-old Indian boy is adopted by an Australian couple after he gets lost in Calcutta.  Years later, he struggles with his memories of his birth family, and decides to begin a search for them.

Miss Sloane
Starring: Jessica Chastain
Summary: In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C.  But when taking on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds winning may come at too high a price.

Assassin's Creed
Starring: Michael Fassbender
Summary: In this feature-film adaptation of the hugely popular video-game series, death-row convict Callum Lynch relives his ancestor's memories as an assassin in 15th century Spain.  From this out-of-body experience, Lynch gains the training he needs to battle a conspiracy in the present day.

Live By Night
Starring: Ben Affleck
Summary: Joe Coughlin, the son of a Boston police lieutenant, moves to Florida during the Prohibition era to become a bootlegger.  As his operation grows, Coughlin faces off against local gangsters, Klansmen, and religious evangelicals while he fights for control of Tampa's criminal underworld.

Vicious Circle (Joe Pickett #17)
Author: C.J. Box
Summary: The Cates family had always been a bad lot.  Game warden Joe Pickett had been able to strike a fierce blow against them when the life of his daughter April had been endangered, but he'd always wondered if there'd be a day of reckoning.  He's not wondering any longer.  Joe knows they're coming after him and his family now.  He has his friend Nate by his side, but will that be enough this time?  All he can do is prepare...and wait for them to make the first move.

Man Overboard (Ali Reynolds #12)
Author: J.A. Jance
Summary: Cybersecurity expert Roger McGerary finally has his life back on track after years of struggling with depression.  But when he falls from the balcony of his suite on an all-expenses-paid cruise, the police quickly dismiss it as "death by misadventure," a vague phrase leaving much to interpretation.  Unsatisfied, Roger's tough-as-nails aunt, Julia Miller, is determined to find answers and closure.  By contacting Roger's childhood friend Stuart Ramey to help her solve the mystery of his fate, Julia unwittingly sets up a collision course with a serial killer.

If Not For You
Author: Debbie Macomber
Summary: If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she's reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher.  If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts.  Sam is everything Beth is not - and her parents' worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who's rough around the edges.  Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn't exactly Sam's usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and get yourselves on the reserve lists so you're certain to keep up with some of the popular releases of the week.

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Roy Helen Ackers' Life Remembered in 'MizHat'" | Abilene Reporter-News

Article by Brian Bethel of the Abilene Reporter-News

Featured Book
When newspaper columnist and woman-about-town Roy Helen Ackers was a young girl of about seven or eight, she told her father that she couldn't go to town on Saturday because she didn't have the proper shoes to wear.

But Ackers' father suspected that Roy Helen was embarrassed to be seen in a horse and buggy, since many of her friends' families owned Ford Model Ts.

A teachable moment, perhaps, author Johnnie Lou Avery Boyd told a crowd gathered at the Abilene Public Library Monday.

And so a deal was struck, said Boyd, guest speaker at Monday's installment of the Texas Author Series and author of MizHat: The Life Journey of Roy Helen Herndon Mingus Ackers.

Ackers, who died Feb. 11, at age 95, had a remarkable life, filled with colorful experiences, colorful clothes and colorful hats.
But it was the stories she told about herself and that others told about her that give her some of her brightest hues, Boyd said.

Concerning her childhood footwear, her father assured her that "your shoes are not an indication of your character."

But he told her that if she would ride in the wagon twice around the town square, waving to her friends, she would get a new pair of shoes - a great sacrifice for her poor family.

"She had never worried about riding that buggy around the square, she really didn't think her shoes were pretty and shiny," Boyd said.  "And so she rode around that square and waved at every one of her friends, threw them kisses, did little things, while her father was continuing his lesson about being proud of who you are and being oneself."

When it came time to buy her shoes, only boys' shoes were on sale at the department store they visited.  So Roy Helen left with a pair of brown and white boys' spectator shoes.

"I have never worn a pair of shoes that I loved as much as those shoes, and I still have them," she told Boyd.

Her joy for life was evident, whether it was stepping out with any number of gentlemen to hosting epic-length birthday parties.

But while Ackers' wild and public side is well known, it was important for Boyd to show her subject's "total personality."

Author Johnnie Lou Avery Boyd's Book Signing
"She was more than a flamboyant, wild dresser," she said.  "She was also a deeply religious person - she had a strong faith.  But she also was a very good friend.  In fact, everybody that knew her thought she was their best friend."

Humor was Ackers' stock in trade, and she gave it freely.

Teaching her Sunday School class about the 10 commandments, she mentioned that she'd only broken one.

She left them guessing, even to this day.

Ackers was involved with the writing of "MizHat" just about every step of the way, though the subject initially insisted that no one would actually read a book about her, Boyd said.

But once the project took off, she committed.

"She chose the picture on the cover, she chose all the pictures inside, she chose the name of the book.  She did everything but write it, but she may as well have done that," Boyd said.  Ackers would often expound at length on stories shared with additional information on laser precision when it came to dates.

And then came the final chapter.

Cookies Designed Like Colorful Hats
Throughout her life, Ackers displayed a fearlessness toward death.

Boyd recounted a story of a young Roy Helen, standing on tiptoe, looking in her aunt's coffin, marveling at her beautiful dress and hair.

It was OK, her family told her, to cry a bit at funerals, but it was also a happy time, their faith promising she would see her aunt again among mansions and streets of gold - and that she'd just gone ahead to prepare a place.

"From that moment on, she loved the thought of dying," Boyd said.  "She never feared death."

The book took eight months to write, five weeks to lay out and edit.  Ackers and Boyd went over teh volume on Feb. 6.

On Feb. 8, Ackers went into the hospital.  The book went to print Feb. 13, two days after her death, once a final summation of her life and legacy was added.

Boyd recalled she went to the hospital to visit Ackers and discuss the book.  The fire was not yet out.

"The first thing she asked was is our book at the printer's yet," she recalled.  "Maybe she lived until the book was finished and she had proofed the last thing."

"Bluebonnet Books Announced" | @ the Library Article

And the winner is...Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson!  The Texas Library Association is proud to announce Roller Girl was chosen as the winner of the 2017 Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA).  Every January, over one hundred thousand young readers in grades 3-6 statewide vote for their favorite book from a master list of twenty nominees for the annual Texas Bluebonnet Award.  The TBA Master List is considered one of the most prestigious children's literature lists in the country.

The goal of the TBA reading program, which began in 1979, is to encourage Texas children to read for pleasure.  TBA's motto of "Read Five and then Decide!" encourages students to read five books from the list, determine which books they do and do not enjoy, and finally, vote for their favorite.

Every fall, teachers, librarians, parents, and most importantly, young readers across Texas, eagerly await the yearly release of a new master list.  Each spring, although students must read five books in order to vote, they are not limited to reading only five.  Reading requirements often vary by grade and schools.  In fact, older students are often required to read all twenty titles.

Spring is the time of year when Abilene Public Library receives numerous requests for the titles on the latest master list.  Many parents and students prefer to get an early start reading the following school year's selections.  Likewise, teachers and school librarians are eager to explore the new titles.  All twenty titles on the 2017-2018 Master List are on the shelves of Abilene Public Library, with several copies of each title available at all three APL locations.  Now is the time to start reading and find your favorite.

2017-2018 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List
  • "Ada's Violin" by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
  • "The Best Man" by Richard Peck
  • "Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles" by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So
  • "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" by Kelly Barnhill
  • "The Great Pet Escape (Pets on the Loose)" by Victoria Jamieson
  • "The Great Shelby Holmes" by Elizabeth Eulberg
  • "In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse" by Joseph Marshall, illustrated by James Mark
  • "The Key to Extraordinary" by Natalie Lloyd
  • "The Last Kids on Earth" by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate
  • "Little Cat's Luck" by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
  • "Lola Levine: Drama Queen" by Monica Brown, illustrated by Angela Dominguez
  • "The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown" by Crystal Allen
  • "Maybe a Fox" by Kathi Appelt and Allison McGhee
  • "The Princess and the Warrior" by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • "Soar" by Joan Bauer
  • "Some Kind of Courage" by Dan Gemeinhart
  • "The Storyteller" by Evan Turk
  • "Towers Falling" by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • "Unidentified Suburban Object" by Mike Jung
  • "Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions" by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate
According to Sharon Lawler, TBA coordinator, "The books on the list are chosen to enable the young readers of Texas to identify with at least one of the stories, whether it is through authorship, plot, or characters."  She continues, "With several genres represented, we feel there is something for everyone."  And we at Abilene Public Library agree.

Article Contributed by Darla Casella, Mockingbird Branch Children's Librarian

Saturday, March 18, 2017

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Mar. 19)

Many browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest reads.  Part of finding them is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available at all locations.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Dangerous Games
Author: Danielle Steel
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F STEEL
Summary: Television correspondent Alix Phillips dodges bullets and breaks rules to bring the most important news to the world--from riots in America to protests on the streets of Tehran. With her daughter in college, and working alongside cameraman Ben Chapman, a deeply private ex-Navy SEAL, Alix revels in the risks and whirlwind pace of her work. But her latest assignment puts her at the center of an explosive story that will reshape many lives, including her own: investigating damning allegations involving the vice president of the United States, Tony Clark. Alix starts with a nationally revered woman who may be the key to exposing frightening secrets. Olympia Foster is the fragile, reclusive widow of America's most admired senator, who had been destined for the presidency before an assassin's bullet felled him. Since then, Olympia has found emotional support from Clark, who once wanted her as his wife and now stands as her protector and confidant. When Alix begins to dig deeper, federal agents pick up the trail. Then the threats begin. As the stakes rise in this dangerous game, Alix needs Ben's help as never before. And soon they realize they are grappling with an adversary far more sinister than they had imagined.

#2: Silence Fallen
Author: Patricia Briggs
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: SF BRIGGS
Summary: Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes--only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

#3: Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: 293.13 GAI
Summary: Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he presents his fashioning of the primeval Norse myths into a novel, which begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds, delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants, and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly recreating the characters--the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions--and making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

#4: Lincoln in the Bardo
Author: George Saunders
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: F SAUNDERS
Summary: Traces a night of solitary mourning and reflection as experienced by the sixteenth president after the death of his eleven-year-old son at the dawn of the Civil War.

#5: Exit West
Author: Mohsin Hamid
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: ACU Holding
Summary: From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, a love story that unfolds in a world being irrevocably transformed by migration. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West is an epic compressed into a slender page-turner--both completely of our time and for all time, Mohsin Hamid's most ambitious and electrifying novel yet.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Portraits of Courage
Author: George W. Bush
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: 920 BUS
Summary: A collection of military oil paintings and profiles presents the stories of post-9/11 veterans, their experiences on the battlefield, road to recovery, and continuing contributions as civilians.

#2: Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance
Weeks On List: 33
Call Number: 92 VANCE
Summary: Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

#3: Killing the Rising Sun
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Weeks On List: 26
Call Number: 940.542 ORE
Summary: Portrays the events of World War II in 1944, when escalating Pacific battles between the forces of General MacArthur and the Japanese army lead to the development of humanity's deadliest weapon and President Truman's impossible choice.

#4: Dear Ijeawele
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: A feminist manifesto in 15 suggestions for empowering a daughter to become a strong, independent woman.

#5: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Weeks On List: 54
Call Number: 92 KALANITHI
Summary: At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a na├»ve medical student "possessed," as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life" into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.  What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. 

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and discover for yourselves why they've become such hits in mainstream literature.  If they're not available, get yourselves on the reserve lists and secure your spot in line.