Saturday, March 31, 2012

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5

Keep up with what’s popular in mainstream literature by checking out what books cracked the Top 5 on this week’s New York Times Bestsellers list in Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction titles.  If they sound of interest to you, look for them at your Abilene Public Library.

For a list of the Top 15, try listening to our Podcast on Mondays, or stop by any of our branch library locations to view our printed lists for your convenience.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

Position #1: Stay Close
Author: Harlan Coben
Publisher: Dutton
Weeks on List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned: 5 copies regular print; 3 copies audiobook
Summary: A disappearance in Atlantic City brings together three frustrated people whose lives were once connected.

Position #2: Lone Wolf
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Emily Bestler/Atria
Weeks on List: 4
Position Last Week: 1
Copies Owned: 6 copies regular print
Summary: The children of a man who studies wolves must make difficult decisions when he is seriously injured in an accident.

Position #3: Force of Nature
Author: C.J. Box
Publisher: Putnam
Weeks on List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned: 3 copies regular print
Summary: A commander from Nate Romanowski’s old black-ops military unit attacks Nate by going after his friend Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden, and his family.

Position #4: Kill Shot
Author: Vince Flynn
Publisher: Emily Bestler/Atria
Weeks on List: 7
Position Last Week: 4
Copies Owned: 3 copies regular print; 3 copies large-type; 3 copies audiobook
Summary: A C.I.A. super-agent, hunting down perpetrators of the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing, finds himself caught in a dangerous trap.

Position #5: The Thief
Publisher: Putnam
Weeks on List: 3
Position Last Week: 3
Copies Owned: 6 copies regular print; 3 copies audiobook
Summary: Isaac Bell tries to save scientists from German spies.



Hardcover Non-Fiction Top 5

Position #1: Imagine
Author: Jonah Lehrer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Weeks on List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned: 1 copy regular print
Summary: An account of the science of creativity argues that it is not a gift but a thought process that can be learned.

Position #2: The Power of Habit
Publisher: Random House
Weeks on List: 4
Position Last Week: 3
Copies Owned: 3 copies regular print
Summary: A Times reporter’s account of the science behind how we form, and break, habits.

Position #3: American Sniper
Author: Chris Kyle
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Weeks on List: 12
Position Last Week: 1
Copies Owned: 4 copies regular print; 3 copies large-type; digital audiobook
Summary: A member of the Navy SEALs discusses his battlefield experiences.

Position #4: Killing Lincoln
Publisher: Holt
Weeks on List: 26
Position Last Week: 2
Copies Owned: 5 copies regular print; 3 copies large-type; 1 copy audiobook; digital audiobook
Summary: The heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Position #5: Steve Jobs
Author: Walter Isaacson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Weeks on List: 22
Position Last Week: 4
Copies Owned: 4 copies regular print; 2 copies large-type; 3 copies audiobook
Summary: A biography of the recently deceased entrepreneur.

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library, along with even more great reads, to see about checking them out for yourselves…or getting on the reserve lists for them.  With three (3) convenient locations to serve you, stop by when we’re open and allow our wonderful staff to assist you.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Book to Film Adaptations: April 2012

Books often inspire some of the best films to hit the big screen in theaters.  One only needs to look at the past Academy Awards in which six (6) of the nine (9) films nominated for Best Picture were adapted from bestselling novels.

For April, allow us to let you in on the popular book-to-film adaptations coming out this month, and then look for some of them at your Abilene Public Library to read them either before or after you see it in theaters.  Some you may have heard of and others may be new to you, but be sure to check this blog out so that you’ll stay in-the-know.

Movie: The Hunter
Starring: Willem Dafoe
Based on the Book: The Hunter
Author: Julia Leigh
Library Copies: No copies, but see about requesting a copy through our Interlibrary Loan service.
Summary: Martin, a skilled and ruthless mercenary, is sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct.  Hired by an anonymous company that wants the tiger’s genetic material, Martin arrives in Tasmania posing as a scientist.  He proceeds to set up base camp at a broken down farmhouse, where he stays at a family whose father has gone missing.  Usually a loner, Martin becomes increasingly close to the family; however, as his attachment to the family grows, Martin is led down a path of unforeseen dangers, complicating his deadly mission.

Starring: Blair Underwood
Based on the Book: Woman Thou Art Loosed (Adapted Sequel)
Author: T.D. Jakes
Library Copies: 3 copies regular print; 1 copy large-type
Summary: Kari is a successful real estate agent.  Her husband David is a well-respected author, lecturer and Dean of Humanities at Xavier University.  They seem to have a perfect life until the kidnapping of their daughter turns their fairytale into a marriage.  Over the course of seven days, the couple searches for their daughter.  Along the way, dark secrets of Kari’s past surface and she struggles to find truth in her identity and peace within herself.  Together, the couple must face their own insecurities and dark secrets to save their daughter before time runs out.

Starring: Zac Efron
Based on the Book: The Lucky One
Library Copies: 3 copies regular print; 3 copies large-type; 1 copy audiobook; digital audiobook
Summary: U.S. Marine Sgt. Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive, a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know.  Learning her name is Beth and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel.  Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

Starring: Gabrielle Union
Author: Steve Harvey
Library Copies: 1 copy regular print
Summary: Four interconnected and diverse men have their love lives shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy Steve Harvey’s book and start taking his advice to heart.  When the band of brothers realize they have betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book’s insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own.

Movie: The Raven
Starring: John Cusack
Inspired by the Poem: The Raven
Library Copies: Look for any works with the collected poems the poet
Summary: Edgar Allan Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who’s using Poe’s own works as the basis in a string of brutal murders.  Detective Emmett Fields makes a startling discovery after a brutal murder, and that resembles a fictional murder described in gory detail in the local newspaper, which was part of a collection of stories penned by struggling writer and social pariah Edgar Allan Poe. 

Be sure to look out for some of these popular books at your Abilene Public Library, and then look for seeing the ones that interest you at the theaters.  I can’t wait to see what next month has to offer, and if you follow the library’s blog, we’ll let you in on what they are later in April.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great Events for Adults @ Your Library

Your Abilene Public Library is known for providing a wide range of programming for youth, teens, and young adults including Family Fun events, gaming days, tween activities, crafting workshops, storytimes, and more.  Some might begin to ask themselves, ‘Is there anything left for grown-ups?’

Rest assured we offer INCREDIBLE programming for adults and covering a variety of different topics relevant to you.  Library staff works hard to plan activities for you to take advantage of and remember, all events hosted at the library are FREE for you to attend.  I don’t think anyone can beat a price like that.

All programs are hosted in friendly and comfortable settings, and the topics are always changing to reflect the needs of the community.  From business workshops, technology training, tree care, author talks, self-defense, antiques appraisals, and more, there’s a ton of great activities for you to take advantage of at your library. 

Plus, if you have any suggestions on programming you’d like to see at your Abilene Public Library, be sure to let us know and we’ll see what we can do to accommodate you.  However, since we’re nearing the month of April, allow us to introduce you to some of the great programming we’ve got planned for adults at your library for the month.

Healthy Eating for Diabetics
Guest Speaker: Ansleigh Rowan
Apr. 3 @ 6:30 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Details
Clinical dietician Ansleigh Rowan with Hendrick Medical Center will share dietary advice for diabetics and pre-diabetics.  This workshop will also present healthy eating tips we can all benefit from.

Social Media & Web Marketing
Guest Speaker: Russ Altman
Apr. 5 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Details
Russ Altman, with the Texas Tech University Small Business Development Center here in Abilene, will return to the library to provide you with the tools you need to turn the latest online social networking sites to your advantage in this free workshop.

Origami Flowers & Containers
Guest Presenter: Terry Minami
Apr. 7 @ 1:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Details
Terry Minami, our local origami expert in Abilene, will be back at the library to demonstrate how to make beautiful flowers and containers using the ancient Japanese art of folding paper.  Materials will be provided in this hands-on workshop.

How to Sell on eBay
Apr. 12 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Details
Gear up for a second business related program for the month as experts from the Texas Tech University Small Business Development Center return to provide you with the tools you need to learn how to buy and sell on eBay, one of the Internet’s most popular online auction sites.

Texas Authors Series
Featured Author: Jodi Thomas
Apr. 16 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Details
Don’t miss the chance to come to this free author talk featuring New York Times Bestselling author Jodi Thomas who will be on hand to talk about her bestselling Harmony series.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Abilene Public Library and the West Texas Book & Music Festival, this is your opportunity to meet great authors from the state of Texas, hear them discuss their works, pick up a copy if you’d like, participate in a book signing, and more.  Feel free to bring in your lunch or you can purchase a light lunch from the Friends for $5 while supplies last.

Restoring & Maintaining Healthy Trees
Guest Speaker: Bruce Kreitler
Apr. 17 @ 6:30 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Details
Bruce Kreitler, of Broken Willow Tree Service, returns to the library to provide another informative workshop on how to give your trees some TLC.  He will be on hand to discuss not only how to identify and deal with damage to your trees, but also the steps you can take to make sure your healthy trees stay that way.

Titanic Adventure
Guest Speaker: Joe Darlak
Apr. 17 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Details
Step back in time as we honor the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic by inviting in explorer Joe Darlak of Abilene, who was one of the Abilene men involved in finding the great ship’s wreck.  He will be on hand to talk about his part in the search in this real life adventure story that you won’t want to miss.

Cover-to-Cover Book Club
Book Selection: The Bird Sisters
Apr. 19 @ 7:00 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Details
If you need a great book club to join, look no further than your library as our club meets on the 3rd Thursdays of each month at 7pm.  For this month, we’re reading The Bird Sisters, which is the debut novel by Rebecca Rasmussen.  Look for a copy at your library and then see about attending our great discussion group.

Greeting Card Magic
Guest Presenter: Polly Lewis
Apr. 23 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Details
Polly Lewis of Clyde, TX will return to the library to show you how to design your own unique and personalized greeting cards in this hands-on workshop you won’t want to miss out on.

As you can see, although we do offer a ton of great programming for kids, teens, and young adults, we also offer a wealth of great programming for adults to get involved in.  Don’t miss out on the chance to take advantage of all your Abilene Public Library has to offer!!!

New Online Videos From Your Library

Your Abilene Public Library has added new videos to our YouTube page.  Feel free to check them out as we always offer something for kids, teens, and adults in the videos we share. 

Crafty Creations #39: Fun with Noisemakers


We’re back with a new episode of the show that combines great children’s literature with fun and easy-to-do crafts designed to enhance the storytime process at home.  In this episode, we’re having fun with noisemaking crafts where Alyssa Crow (Children’s Librarian, South Branch) will highlight the children’s book Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein.  After doing so, she’ll demonstrate how to make a fun Clucking Chicken that’s super fun.  Plus, Andy Bookman will make a special appearance to talk to Alyssa about her featured book.

Then join Tremain Jackson (South Branch Manager) as he, along with special guest Jessie Stories, highlights his children’s book selection titled Quiet Night by Marilyn SingerPlus, if you stick around, your kids will learn how to make tons of fun noise and music by making a Kooky Kazoo in no time.  Plus, stick around until the very end of the show to see some fun outtakes and bloopers during the credits, which have become a staple part of each show.

Crafty Creations can be seen on YouTube as well as on TV Channel 7 three (3) days a week on Sundays at 5:30 p.m., Mondays at 1:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 8:00 a.m.  With each episode, we also make an Activity & Resource Guide available on the library Crafty Creations Page on our website. 

Project Teen #15: Making Window Stickers


Project Teen continues the crafting fun as Jessica Reyes (Children’s Services, Main Library) introduces you to another great crafting project for teens and young adults to make.  With strong views, this is the show to watch to learn how to make some great crafts inspired from books, or to have the chance to make some of the craft projects we’ve featured at our popular teen events.

For this month, Jessica shows you how to make some fun Window Stickers.  With some simple materials, and a little time, you’ll be amazed at how you can make some colorful and decorative designs that can be attached to windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces.  Plus, these stickers can be pulled off, rearranged, and applied to other surfaces with no damage.  In no time, you’ll be decorating your own personal spaces and areas with designs you create to really reflect your personality.

Don’t miss out on the chance to learn how to make these fun crafts, and also view all of the Project Teen videos to see why this show is such a hit. 

Book Talk w/Tremain & Alyssa: The Technologists and Supernaturally


Tremain Jackson and Alyssa Crow are back for another episode of Book Talk, which is the show where popular books, authors, and series are highlighted to introduce you to some great materials available for checkout at your Abilene Public Library. This segment is meant for the general audience, so we’ll be introducing you to books for adult readers.

Tremain Jackson will talk about the latest release by Matthew Pearl with the novel The Technologists. For fans of historical fiction and thrillers, Pearl’s bestselling novels might be something you want to try out for yourself.  As his fourth novel, intellectual thrillers are at the center of what the author writes, and this title, although a departure from his previous three (3) novels, may still satisfy his loyal fans.

Alyssa Crow will talk about the second installment in the Paranormalcy series by author Kiersten White titled SupernaturallyAlthough written for the young adult audience, this series has some crossover appeal to adults as well.  Telling the story of Evie, a teen girl with a knack for hunting down supernatural beings, her adventures will be set up as a trilogy.  Supernaturally is the second installment where Evie decides that after having so many supernatural experiences, she’d much rather be a normal girl now.  So if you have a reluctant teen reader, or you’re an adult who likes fantasy novels, this may be another read for you to check out.

Each month will feature new authors, new books, and new series, so be sure to follow us each month to get an idea of what we’re reading so you can discover new reads at your Abilene Public Library.

Keep up with our regular shows, which continue to be popular installments online as a way for us to promote the great books available for checkout at your Abilene Public Library, as well as great crafting projects and ideas inspired from literature and library programming.  Every month will feature even more videos for you to be on the lookout for so feel free to check them out anytime as they’re available 24/7.  For more information about the online video series at your Abilene Public Library, feel free to contact Tremain Jackson at 325-698-7565.

Upcoming Events & Programs @ Your Library

Your Abilene Public Library has some great events planned for this upcoming week.  Each Thursday, you can check our blog for a look at the upcoming events, or visit our website for a complete listing of all events.  Remember, all programs are free and if you need any additional information, click on the title of the program to be redirected to the event post on our online calendar.

Apr. 2 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
Call 325-676-6067 for Details
Youth ages 8-15 are invited to come out to this evening crafting workshop where we'll show you how to make 3-D Fabric Animals like you've never made before.  With our simple techniques, you'll be making your own zoo in no time.  We'll supply all the materials needed for this activity.

Healthy Eating for Diabetics
Guest Speaker: Ansleigh Rowan
Apr. 3 @ 6:30 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
Call 325-437-7323 for Details
For this evening, we've invited a clinical dietician from Hendrick Health Center to come and share her dietary advice for diabetics and pre-diabetics.  This workshop will also present healthy eating tips we can all benefit from so make sure to come out and bring your questions too.

Apr. 4 & 5; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
Call 325-676-6025 for Details
E-File your taxes at the library with the help of IRS trained volunteers with the AARP for free.  Everyone is helped on a first-come, first-served basis and you'll need to bring with your your Photo ID, Social Security card, Blank Check, and all your 2011 tax materials.  Don't miss out on the chance to get the help you need for filing your taxes, and before the deadline hits.

Tween Time @ Your library
"Charm Bracelets"
Apr. 4 @ 4:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
Call 325-437-7323 for Details
Youth ages 8-15 shouldn't miss out on this after school activity where we'll show you how to make your own charm bracelets.  Whether they're for you, or to give to someone as a gift, these fun trinkets will be perfect for any youth with a flair for crafting.  We'll supply all the materials needed for this activity.

Apr. 5 @ 6:30 p.m.
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
Call 325-698-7565 for Details
Don't miss this special enhanced children's storytime event that will be all about our favorite four-legged animal friends.  Perfect for kids of all ages, as well as the entire family to get involved in, you won't want to miss out on our evening of stories, dances, crafts and more.

Social Media & Web Marketing
Speaker: Russ Altman
Apr. 5 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
Call 325-676-6025 for Details
If you want to learn how to effectively promote yourself and/or your business using many of the leading online social networking sites available, you won't want to miss this workshop.  Russ Altman, with the Texas Tech University Small Business Development Center, will show you all you need to know to get started, as well as the resources in your community available for you to make use of.  Don't miss out on the chance to get the expert advice you need from your library.

Apr. 4 & 5; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
Call 325-437-7323 for Details
E-File your taxes at the library with the help of IRS trained volunteers with the AARP for free.  Everyone is helped on a first-come, first-served basis and you'll need to bring with your your Photo ID, Social Security card, Blank Check, and all your 2011 tax materials.  Don't miss out on the chance to get the help you need for filing your taxes, and before the deadline hits.

Also, don't forget all locations offer weekly storytime sessions for youth of all ages, and you can also sign up to get assistance from library staff on using computers and various other applications.  Offered at every branch location, contact the library of your choice for more information on dates and times.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Staff Book Review: "Love in a Nutshell" by: Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly

Reviewed By: Alyssa Crow, Children's Librarian (South Branch)

Book Summary:  Kate Appleton needs a job.  her husband left her, she's been fired from her job as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents' summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene's Harbor, Michigan.  Kate's plan is to turn The Nutshell into a bed-and-breakfast.  Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory.

Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees.  Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town to be able to insert herself into Culhane's business and snoop around for him.  But several problems present themselves: Kate despises beer, no one seems to trust her, and she is falling hard for her boss.

Can these two smoke out a saboteur, save Kate's family home, and keep a killer from closing in...all the while resisting their undesirable attraction to each other?  Filled with humor, heart, and lovable characters, Love in a Nutshell is delicious fun.

Personal Review: This book was an enjoyable, light-hearted story from the writing team of Janet Evanovich and Dorien KellyHaving never read anything by Dorien Kelly, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the pairing.  But I enjoyed the afternoon it took me to read this book.  While it doesn't have the craziness of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, Love in a Nutshell is a refreshingly fun book to get into.  If nothing else, it should provide a pleasant change of pace for Evanovich fans, even if it is a bit predictable for a mystery/romance.  (Rated PG at most for character thoughts rather than actions on the romance side).

I enjoyed Kate's character the most.  She has a funny and irreverent way of looking at the world.  And as outlandish as the premise of this book is, Kate does the job she's committed to do in an interestingly sitcom kind of way.  She seems fairly normal, which can be hard to find in today's fiction.  Matt, the other main character, is interesting too in that readers also get his convincingly masculine point of view in the story.  I enjoyed learning about how a brewery works.  I found the small-town portions of the book to be quite entertaining even if at times they felt a little to overused; but that just adds to the fun.

My only issue with the book (and it's a small thing), was the ending.  The climax of the story is three pages from the end.  You get the who-done-it and the happily ever after in a few pages.  While some stories can and some should end there, it felt like there should have been more story to tell.  There was definitely more that I wanted to know.  That aside, I quite enjoyed this fun, quick and easy read and would recommend checking it out.

If you want to read this for yourselves, look for it at your Abilene Public LibraryWe own six (6) copies in regular print, three (3) copies in regular print, three (3) copies in audiobooks on CD, and a digital eBook copy on our OverDrive service.

@ the Library Article: "Log In To Medical Resource @ Library"


As printed in the Abilenian, as part of the Abilene Reporter-News, by Anne Ellis, Mockingbird Branch Manager.

HDL, triglycerides, omega 3’s, atherosclerosis, BMI…the list of words that can pop up in one five-minute checkup is enough to give you a heart attack!

The good news – it’s possible to try your hand at deciphering medical terminology and more at the Abilene Public Library, with the help of EBSCOhost’s Consumer Health Complete.  CHC is a comprehensive online consumer health resource.

While it doesn’t replace your physician’s advice, it’s geared to equip you with knowledge needed to be an active participant in your health care.

Consumer Health Complete can be accessed in several ways.  It is available through public computers or via the Library’s Wi-Fi hot spot at any of the three (3) branch locations.

Additionally CHC is available at home or via mobile device through the Library’s website at www.abilenetx.com/apl. Its many features include an encyclopedia, educational pamphlets, a searchable list of medical images, and a section on prescription drugs and natural herbs.

If Consumer Health Complete sounds like what you’re looking for, then let’s get to the heart of the matter (no pun intended) and discuss how to use it.  Starting at the Library’s homepage, move to the left column of the page and find the words E-Resources.  Click here.  All databases are arranged alphabetically by subject on the E-Resources page, so scroll down and locate Consumer Health Complete under “Health.”  Click on the title and enter your library card number when prompted.

First, scroll down and check out the entire web page before putting your term in the search box.  It’s often tempting to just type your search term in the enchanting single box located front and center, but don’t!

Sometimes you can miss a really great resource or interesting fact located further down the page.  On this website there are actually three different ways to search: the single search box, the topic index or suggested topics.  The topic index is located on the right hand column and allows you to select an alphabetic letter that corresponds to your question.  Suggested topics are located farther down the right hand column and enable you to browse topics arranged by subject.

Be sure to check out the other features of the page including the encyclopedia located in the center column.  The AMA Complete Medical Encyclopedia is published by the American Medical Association and contains a host of useful definitions.  The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book also is a popular choice.  Published by the Mayo Foundation, it contains a visual guide to anatomy and common diseases along with numerous chapters on personal health and wellness.

Consumer Health Complete is a great tool and one resource we heartily recommend.  So next time you’ve got questions, stop by any Abilene Public Library location and let us help you find the answers.