Friday, November 30, 2012

Author Read-Alikes with John Grisham

John Grisham hails among some of the top bestselling authors most known for penning engaging legal thrillers that were face-paced, taut, and translated well onto the big screen to continually draw in new readers to his novels.  Featuring characters who seemed to always serve as underdogs pitted against major corporations, business, and factions, Grisham knows how to tell a good story, as well as write across other genres including dramas, sports novels, children's series, and true crime.

Allow your Abilene Public Library to introduce you a little more to this author, and the style of writing he's most known for, so we may then highlight additional authors who write in similar styles.  We do this in hopes to show you even more great reads to look out for at your library.

Grisham went to school to be a lawyer, and upon graduating, served in the House of Representatives and worked as a lawyer before then turning his attention to writing novels.  Writing works that revolved around social issues, in much of his earlier works, lawyers were pitted against a corrupt legal profession, government, or big business, and had to find a way to take them down, even if that meant doing it as a one-man army.  With gripping and emotional situations, intense action sequences, strong plot twists and more, readers fell in love with his style of writing in novels such as A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, and others.

His style of writing certainly gave rise to a new sub-genre of thrillers where we were taken away from the standard detective and serial killer subject area, and taken into the world of the legal and political arenas.

If you're a fan of Grisham and you're looking for more suggestions on authors who write similar to him, then checkout some of these author read-alike suggestions.

Read-Alike Author: Harlan Coben
Coben is best known for authoring the Mickey Bolitar Series, and crafts novels that are suspenseful, focus on social issues, and are chock full of twists and turns that keep readers engaged throughout.  Although not necessarily legal thrillers like Grisham, they are page-turning investigative novels in which justice is always trying to be found.  With great characters and intricate storylines, start with the novel Tell No One and keep the fun going with the rest of his works.

Read-Alike Author: Michael Connelly
Connelly is a strong bestselling author known for authoring the Mickey Haller Series centering on a Los Angeles lawyer, who resembles many of the young lawyers featured in Grisham's novels.  Having been recently adapted on the big screen with the release of The Lincoln Lawyer, his lead protagonist may be a lawyer, but often has questionable morals in his search to seek justice for his clients.  Fans of Grisham will certainly find a great author in Connelly.

Read-Alike Author: David Baldacci
Baldacci is a great author suggestion as he crafts legal and political thrillers, using a host of leading characters working together to solve cases.  Best known for the Camel Club Series, which ties in most closely with Grisham's novels, a group of misfits with different strengths use their skills to solve complex cases with multiple plot lines.  Focusing on conspiracy and corruption, readers will find similar themes throughout, which may not deal so much with social issues, but will focus on themes of abuse of power by the government, corporate corruption, and more, which are themes found in Grisham's work.  Fans will certainly delight in this bestselling author.

So take a chance on these authors if you're a fan of John Grisham, and give them a shot.  You just might find another great series to dive into at your Abilene Public Library.  With so many great books housed at all three locations, you should never be without something to read.

Don't miss out on taking advantage of our services, and our resources, and if you ever need assistance, be sure to Contact Us and staff will be more than happy to help you.           

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Online Videos from Your Library!

Your Abilene Public Library has added some new videos to our online accounts on YouTube and Facebook.  Always offering new content each month from staff at the library, we've got new videos on book suggestions, crafting projects, and more.

Crafty Creations #47: Fun with Winter Crafts
For the latest episode, we're showing you how to make more winter crafts for the upcoming colder weather.  Designed for kids and parents, as fun crafting activities to do at home, children's librarian Alyssa Crow will show you how to make Rice Krispies Gingerbread Men, while South Branch Manager Tremain Jackson will demonstrate how to make some Sipping Snowman Straws.  We'll also highlight two great children's books to checkout from the library, and Information Services Manager Janis Test will share some great information about various library services, including the return of Food for Fines. 

Project Teen #22: Making Cereal Box Notebooks
Jessica Reyes comes back for another episode of the fun crafting series for teens, based on programming we've done at the library.  In this episode, she'll show you how to transform old and unwanted cereal boxes into some notebooks you can use anytime.  Always coming up with some neat ideas, don't miss the latest crafting show in this popular series. 

Book Talk #14: James Patterson & J.K. Rowling
Alyssa and I will return with the latest Book Talk episode to highlight popular authors and series available at your library.  Designed for the adult audience, we strive to introduce you to some great reading materials to get in on.  For this episode, we'll be discussing James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect and J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy.  Look for these and more at your library.

Look out for these videos, and always check back for updates on a monthly basis.  Featuring something for everyone with crafting for kids, projects for teens, and book suggestions for everyone, there's always something we'll highlight to show you what your Abilene Public Library has to offer.  For any questions regarding the library's online videos, feel free to Contact Me and I'll be more than happy to answer your questions.

Book-to-Film Adaptations: December 2012

Literature often inspires film adaptations and each month we like to highlight those that will be hitting the theaters soon.  Check out this blog to see what they are, and be on the lookout for seeing them in the theaters, plus checking out the books they're based on from your Abilene Public Library.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14)
Starring: Martin Freeman & Ian McKellen
Based On: The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
Summary: A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.  In what started out as a single movie, and later was turned into a trilogy, the release dates for all three films have been set, and audiences everywhere will certainly flock out to see this film, much like we did with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  With a run time of 2 hrs. 40 min., be prepared for a lengthy, but highly anticipated, film.

Jack Reacher (Dec. 21)
Starring: Tom Cruise & Rosamund Pike
Rated: PG-13 for violence, language and some drug material
Based On: One Shot by Lee Child
Summary: Lee Child's most famous character of Jack Reacher hits theaters with Tom Cruise tackling the role of a man who is described as being 6'5" and weighing 250 pounds.  Be that as it may, in this film, a homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.  Based on the popular series by Child, many fans of the series are anticipating the release of what may hopefully be a future film franchise. 

Les Miserables (Dec. 25)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe & Anne Hathaway
Rated: PG-13 for suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements
Based On: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Summary: In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette.  The fateful decision changes their lives forever.  Featuring great musical performances, by a talented cast, this film is actually based on the musical of the same name, which was based on the 1862 French novel by Hugo.  Don't pass up on your chance to see this film with an ensemble cast, especially if you've never experienced the musical or the novel for yourselves.

And there you have it, your look at December's Book-to-Film Adaptations to be on the lookout for.  Don't miss them, and if they sound of interest to you, also look out for the books they're based on at your Abilene Public Library.

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Dec. 3-8)

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 of events, be sure to visit our main website to view our interactive events calendar, and remember, all programming is offered to your FREE of charge.

All December
All Branch Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Rid yourself of those pesky overdue charges and late fees by donating canned goods and non-perishable items to your library.  Not only will you do something great for your library account, but also in helping those in need in the Big Country.  Each item you donate waives $1.00 of our late fees (no limits) and for more information, view our blog entry for this program, or give us a call!!!


All Ages
Dec. 4 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Love making holiday crafts?  Love making edible holiday crafts even more?  Well check out this special program where we'll transform cookies into Snowman treats, and with a clever twist, in a program everyone will delight in.  We'll supply the materials, you supply yourself.

Dec. 5 from 9am to 2pm
All Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
All locations will be closed until 2:00 p.m. for a library Staff Development Day.  Regular in-house programs and storytimes will be cancelled during this time and we will open our doors at 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Kids of All Ages
Dec. 5 @ 4:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Kids won't want to miss our interpretation of building a gingerbread house as we'll be making them from materials that will last a while.  Although it won't be an edible craft, it certainly will be a great holiday craft to make.  We'll supply all the materials needed.

Kids of All Ages
Dec. 6 @ 6:30 p.m.
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Head out to your South Branch for our monthly enhanced storytime event featuring stories, songs, games, crafts and more that all deal with CANDY!!!  Who doesn't love candy after all?  Always fun for everyone, don't miss the first of the Family Fun events for the month.

Kids of All Ages
Dec. 8 @ 2:00 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
This is the month for snow...at least that's what they say in West Texas, and even if there's none to enjoy on the ground, come enjoy them in this afternoon activity for the entire family.  Complete with songs, stories, crafts, and more, this is the perfect afternoon activity to get involved in as a family.

Don't miss out on these fun activities, and don't forget to take advantage of our weekly storytime programs and Book-A-Librarian sessions.  Contact Me for more information about any of these programs and be sure to come out and attend the ones of interest to you.                 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Filled with Holiday Cheer for Annual City Sidewalks!!!

Holiday Tree, 1st Floor
The Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library was bursting at the seams with activities during this year's annual City Sidewalks festivities in historic downtown Abilene.  There may have been a chill in the air as the sun began to set, but this certainly didn't stop people from filling the streets with anticipation for the activities to participate in.  Including live music, a parade, wonderful shopping, food, and more, this year's event was one of the most exciting yet.

Your Abilene Public Library served as host to a number of activities that had people flocking in by the numbers.  On the first floor, the amazing children's services staff (including Marie Noe, Jessica Reyes, Melissa Rowland & Kelsie Nygren) set up a table to provide face painting to anyone who entered the front doors.  From kids to adults, everyone was free to stop by to get a little holiday art on their faces while enjoying the festivities of the evening.

Corbet's Holiday Pterodactyl
With holiday designs for people to choose, many were adorned with snowmen, reindeer, Christmas trees, and more.  Plus, some of our skilled artists were able to take special requests such as Corbet, who was the first to be served.  Positioning himself at Marie's station, he stated he wanted to get a pterodactyl.  Now, this might normally stump some people, but Marie was up for the challenge and in no time, she fashioned a holiday pterodactyl on his cheek...the sky certainly was the limit to the holiday designs you could get this evening.

Live Music by AISD Students
In addition to face painting, throughout the evening, orchestra students in AISD came with their instruments in tow to fill the auditorium with holiday music throughout the evening.  Featuring players from middle school through high school, this event was HUGELY attended as the auditorium was PACKED with people ready to get a little holiday cheer.  From violins to basses to drums and more, we all were entertained by the familiar sounds of holiday classics by talented youth in the community.

If you missed the festivities in Downtown Abilene this year, you certainly missed out on some great activities...and not only just at your library, but throughout the area.  It's sad it only comes around once a year, but what a great way to kick off the holiday season in Abilene.

Kelsie Nygren Painting Up a Storm
Don't miss out on the additional holiday activities and events we'll be hosting across all Abilene Public Library locations for the month of December.  And remember, all programming at your library is offered to you free of charge.  From our Food for Fines Drive to crafting workshops to Family Fun events and more, you're sure to find a ton of great activities to join in on at your library!!!