Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Teen Book Club Comes to South Branch Library!!!

Your Abilene Public Library has been no stranger when it comes to book clubs.  After all, literature is a large part of what your library is all about.  We've hosted a monthly club for the general adult audience for several years now, and we're happy to offer a new club for teen readers.  Designed exclusively for the young adult audience (ages 13-19), your South Branch (1401 S. Danville Dr.) will introduce the Teen Book Club, set to make its debut on Monday, February 2 @ 6:00PM.

Meeting on the first Mondays of each month, this group will read popular teen books, and those who attend the meetings will be the ones who select the future titles.  If you have, or are, an avid teen reader, you'll not want to miss out on being part of this new book club at your library.  Let's face it, young adult literature is extremely popular these days, and has even crossed over to draw in many an adult reader as well.  We'll build on that momentum by engaging teens in a host of fun literary activities, featuring a new book each meeting.

This club will be led by Marianne Vadney, a library employee and avid lover of YA lit, and who devours almost every teen book we get.  With a passion for reading, she's excited to finally introduce and lead this new club.

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Jan. 5-10)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

Jan. 5 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Youth (ages 8-15) are invited out to the first Tween Time event where we'll be celebrating the New Year, Japanese style, by making some colorful paper lantern crafts.  We'll supply all materials. 

Jan. 7 @ 4PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Don't miss the first Make & Take crafting session of the month, as a quick come-and-go program where we'll show you how to create your own unique snowman.  Great for kids of all ages. 

Jan. 8; 11AM to 4PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Health Care Navigators from the South Plains Community Action Association will be available for 1-on-1 information sessions to answer all questions and to help those who wish to get signed up for the insurance they need.  Don't miss out on this informative session at your library. 

Tremain's Book Review: "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Series #1)
Click to Place Hold
Author: James Dashner
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 2.5 Stars

Book Summary: When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name.  He's surrounded by strangers - boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze.  It's the only way out - and no one's ever made it through alive.

Everything is about to change when a girl arrives.  The first girl ever.  And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Personal Review: Adapted to a feature film that did very well, and a sequel to be released in September 2015, Dashner has created a dystopian read of another color.  Why's that?  Because after the Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, and all of those, this current mainstream bestseller has a male as the lead.

Having made the cut for the American Library Association's Best Fiction for Young Adults, I decided it was time to read the book.  For me, it was an okay read.  Form the premise of the book, I was expecting a little more than I got...or at the very least be a little more terrifying considering the only way to make it out of the Glade is by surviving the maze, which wasn't half as frightening as I feel it could have been.

With other reads out there like The Hunger Games, I don't believe this series compares.  They both offer something great to engage teens and adults alike, but Hunger Games was richer in plot, character development, danger, action, etc.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book-To-Film Adaptations: January 2015

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 the books they're based on at your Abilene Public Library, if we own them.

The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death
Starring: Helen McCrory
Release Date: Jan. 2
Inspired By: "Woman in Black"
Author: Susan Hill
Summary: 40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House, a group of children, evacuated from WWII London, arrive and awaken the house's darkest inhabitant.  This is a sequel to the 2012 film that starred Daniel Radcliffe, but following a new story to see who will survive the woman in black. 

Mortdecai
Starring: Johnny Depp
Release Date: Jan. 23
Based On: "The Mortdecai Trilogy"
Author: Kyril Bonfiglioli
Summary: Art dealer Charles Mortdecai searches for a stolen painting that's reportedly linked to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.  Adapted from a book anthology, this film is set up to be an action comedy flick, and it's being released by Lionsgate, which has announced they would be creating a franchise of the film.  Let's just see if the first film is successful though. 

Strange Magic
Starring: Alan Cumming
Release Date: Jan. 23
Based On: Story by George Lucas, inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Author: William Shakespeare
Summary: A fairy tale of goblins, fairies, and imps meeting for the first time and the consequent confusions and conflicts the culture clash causes.  This film will be a 3D computer-animated musical fantasy comedy film, produced by Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm Animation, and appears as if it will be one for the family. 

Wild Card
Starring: Jason Statham
Release Date: Jan. 30
Based On: "Heat"
Author: William Goldman
Summary: A recovering gambling addict finds work providing protection to his friends.  This movie is an action crime drama, based on the 1985 novel, which was adapted to film once in 1986 that starred Burt Reynolds.  With an ensemble cast, we'll see if this action flick will score with movie audiences.

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

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days that the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

As Above, So Below
Starring: Perdita Weeks
Summary: When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within the city of the dead.  This film is rated R and is shot in found-footage style, opening to generally negative reviews and taking in $39.7 million in the box office. 

The Equalizer
Starring: Denzel Washington
Summary: A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life.  But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.  Based on the novel by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim, and also the TV series of the 1980's, a sequel to this film is planned. 

The Assassination Option
Author: W.E.B. Griffin
Summary: Following in the new Clandestine Operations series by this popular author and son team, the author introduces a new cast of heroes as they find themselves on the front lines of an entirely different kind of war.  Now, these men and women are going to find out what they've really gotten themselves into.  Delving into special ops, and investigating a path to the Cold War, this will certainly be a fantastic read for fans of his works as the second entry in this series. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

"Manage Your Abilene Library Account Anytime, Anywhere" ~ @ the Library Article

During the holidays, almost everyone breaks out of their routine, and usually in a wonderful way.  This can mean, however, that such mundane chores as renewing or returning library materials can fall by the wayside resulting in late fees.

Never fear - your Abilene Public Library allows you to manage your library account 24 hours a day.  As long as you have access to the Internet, you have the ability to access your library account regardless of where your holiday travels take you.

First, pull up our website at www.abilenetx.com/apl.  Click on "My Account" in the upper right corner of the screen, and you'll see four options.  You will need your Abilene Public Library card number and your personal identification number to gain full access.  Your library card is the 13-digit number of the front of your card (without the spaces).  Your PIN is the personal password that was created when you first received your library card.

If you don't remember your PIN, you can stop by any library location, or call us at 325-677-2474.  We will ask for your library card number to access your account.  We then can tell you your PIN, and we also can set it to something easier to remember, if needed.

Back to the four account options, which are reviewing your account, changing your PIN, renewing materials and changing your address.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Dec. 28)

Many patrons 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 to locate that popular title, or to get yourselves on the reserve lists.  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: Gray Mountain
Author: John Grisham
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 9
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: A downsized Wall Street lawyer joins a legal clinic in a small Virginia town.

#2: Revival
Author: Stephen King
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: F KING
Summary: The continuing relationship, over five decades, between a disgraced clergyman and a drug-addicted musician.

#3: Hope to Die
Author: James Patterson
Position Last Week: 4
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: Detective Alex Cross's family is kidnapped by a madman who wants to turn Cross into a perfect killer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Dec. 29 - Jan. 3)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge. 

All December
All Library Locations
PH: 325-677-2474
Waive those unwanted and pesky overdue late fees by donating canned goods, and other non-perishable items, to any of the three (3) library branch locations.  Each item will waive $1 of your late fees, with all donations benefiting the Food Bank of West Central Texas.  Call us if you have questions! 

Jan. 1; All Day
All Library Locations
PH: 325-677-2474
It's the start of the new year, and in observance of that, all locations of the Abilene Public Library will be closed.  Outside materials returns are available at all three locations (if you need to return anything) and you may still make use of our online services including OverDrive & Hoopla.  We'll resume our normal hours of operation on Friday at 9AM.  Have a Happy & Safe New Year!

Don't miss out on these fun activities being hosted at your Abilene Public Library and get in on what your local library has to offer.

Tremain's Book Corner: "This is Where I Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper

This is Where I Leave You
Click to Place Hold
Author: Jonathan Tropper
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars

Book Summary: The death of Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family - including Judd's mother, brothers, and sister - have been together in years.  Conspicuously absent: Judd's wife, Jen, whose 14-month affair with Judd's radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch's dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together.  In the same house.  Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets revealed, and old passions reawakened.  For Judd, it's a week long attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family.  All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd's father died: She's pregnant.

Personal Review: After seeing the trailer for the film adaptation, and reading the synopsis of the book, I knew I was in for a treat.  A family, mourning the death of their father, whom haven't really interacted in years, now being forced to come together for seven days to sit Shiva?  I was all in as I figured it was going to provide a quirky and unforgiving look at the family dynamic.

Well, I both liked and disliked this book for a number of reasons.  First off, it offered some great strengths.  The writing style of the author was good, and the observations made are great.  Such includes those of disappointment, growing up, loss, etc.  For those reasons alone, this was enough to read the book as it speaks about life in ways that readers can certainly relate to.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Preschool Time: A Learning Experience @ Your Library!

Storytimes @ Your Library!
Here at your Abilene Public Library we offer weekly preschool storytimes at all three of our service locations.  And not only are our activities free and tons of fun, but they are educational too!  In fact helping your child become prepared for school is our top priority.

According to the American Library Association there are six pre-literacy skills every child should learn before starting school.  These skills are the first building blocks of literacy, ensuring that when your child is ready to learn to read, they have the right skills to put together and complete the literacy process.

The six skills are...
  • Print Motivation = I love books
  • Print Awareness = I see words
  • Letter Knowledge = I know my ABC's
  • Vocabulary = I know words
  • Narrative Skills = I tell stories
  • Phonological Awareness = I hear words
At the Mockingbird Branch, during the month of January, we've got a great deal planned for each of our Thursday morning 10:45AM sessions.  For January 8 our stories will be based around that popular winter weather animal, he penguin.  On January 15 our focus will be winter weather, while January 22 will have us talking about the animals in winter.  To finish things up, as we move into February, on January 29 our stories will be all about groundhogs and how they help us know about spring.

Parents and children, ages 3-6, are invited to join in at any of the scheduled storytimes offered weekly at one of our three locations, no reservations are ever required.  Participation is also a great way to connect with other parents in your neighborhood with similar aged children.

So if you're a mother, grandmother, uncle, father, or caretaker of a preschooler, we hope you'll stop by and check out one of our many preschool storytime sessions soon.  We look forward to seeing you.

To view all of our storytime offerings, Click Here.

Post Contributed by Anne Ellis, Branch Manager of the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library 

New Programs for a New Year!!!

Your Abilene Public Library may specialize in the number of great children's events we offer to families, but we'd never leave our our general adult audience.  If you didn't already know, we offer you access to great programming (aimed at the general adult audience) for you to pick up some valuable information from experts and professionals in our community.  It's an amazing way we offer great educational activities for everyone to take advantage of throughout the year!

We've got some great general adult programs lined up for the new year, so take a look at what's in store for January.  Remember, all programming is FREE, and if you ever have suggestions on events you'd like to see in the future, feel free to let us know.

Jan. 8; 11AM to 4PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Wondering about Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?  Are they the same or different?  What about the rumors of penalties for non-compliance?  The Health Care Navigators from the South Plains Community Action Association will be available for one-on-one information sessions to answer all questions and to help those who wish to get signed up for the insurance they need. 

Jan. 13 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Immigration records can be an important source of information for those doing family history research.  Join veteran genealogy researcher Cindy Jones as she talks about how to utilize this valuable source. 

Jan. 15 @ 7PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Adults who love to read make up this book club at your library.  In January, members will discuss whatever they have read during the holidays.  This would be a great time to begin a New Year's tradition and join the this lovely bunch of readers, who select their own books each month. 

Jan. 22 @ 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Home organization is one of the most universal stress triggers.  Many Americans say they worry that their home isn't clean or organized enough and worse, don't know where to start when tackling projects.  So to help us get on the right foot in the New Year, Katie Scott a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers will get us going!  Ms. Scott, who owns and operates Katie SOS, specializes in closets, kitchens, home offices, garages and downsizing.  Nothing is too big to tackle or too small to put off!  Let her show you how to get started. 

Jan. 27 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Knowing how food works with one's body (or doesn't) makes it easier to understand what to eat and why.  Nutritional health coach Dessire Armstrong can explain this, and perhaps set the path to experience weight loss, decreased aches and pains, balanced hormones, and real energy.

Jan. 29 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Identity theft can happen to anyone and the consequences can be devastating.  Steve Abel from the Abilene Better Business Bureau will cover how we can defend against identity theft and also talk about the most common schemes in society today to defraud, particularly seniors. 

Jan. 31; 10AM to 12PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Writing can be a very daunting task.  Many people have ideas, but really do not know where to start.  The purpose of the Simple Fiction workshop is to help writers go from simply having an idea to producing something for readers to enjoy.  Published author Scott W. Rasco will conduct the first of four monthly workshops to provide a basic foundation that can e used by writers of any genre or in writing for any reading level.

Take part in these great events at your Abilene Public Library, as we're showing you that programming isn't just for youth in the community.  We've got something to offer all ages, and all walks of life, so make use of the great services your local public library has to offer.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"Book Offers Nostalgic Look at Christmas in Texas" ~ @ the Library Article

Christmas is perhaps the most eagerly awaited holiday of the year for young and old alike, for reasons both religious and secular.

Every family has its traditions for how this time of year is celebrated, but where did those traditions come from?  If you're curious about Christmas past (no ghosts need apply), your Abilene Public Library has some enchanting books about Christmas in Texas through the years that will brighten your festive season.

Perhaps the most enchanting in our collection is Lone Star Christmas: Seasonal Editorials of Frank Grimes edited by Dr. Charles Marler of Abilene Christian University.

Grimes was editor of the Abilene Reporter-News from 1919-1961.  His Christmas editorials, in Marler's words, "reveal the heart of several aspects of this 'morning of mornings' in American life; (Grimes) deals with the spiritual, economic, cultural, psychological and technological facets of our way of life as revealed in our customs of giving and receiving."

Whether you were fortunate enough to read these when they originally appeared in the paper, or are only finding them now, each of Grimes' editorials are singly polished jewels, set in times many will think of as "the good old days."  I believe they are as relevant and moving now as they were the day Grimes wrote them.

Another wonderful book of Texas holiday folklore, tradition and memory is Joyce Gibson Roach's Texas and Christmas: A Collection of Traditions, Memories and Folklore.  This volume is compiled from the memories of some great Texas writers, including Roach herself, Elmer Kelton, Pat Mora and Paul Patterson.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Dec. 21)

Many patrons 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 to locate that popular title, or to get yourselves on the reserve lists.  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: Gray Mountain
Author: John Grisham
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 8
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: A downsized Wall Street lawyer joins a legal clinic in a small Virginia town. 

#2: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 6
Weeks On List: 32
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II. 

#3: Revival
Author: Stephen King
Position Last Week: 4
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: F KING
Summary: The continuing relationship, over five decades, between a disgraced clergyman and a drug-addicted musician. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

Annabelle
Starring: Ward Horton
Summary: A couple begins to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.  Taking in over $250 million in the box office, this film serves as both a prequel and spinoff to The Conjuring, and may reportedly be tuned into a franchise itself based on the box office results. 

The Drop
Starring: Tom Hardy
Summary: Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.  Opening to positive reviews from the critics, this film was based on the short story, and later adapted to a novel, by bestselling author Dennis Lehane. 

Burned (Fever Series #7)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Summary: MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves.  A gifted sidhe-seer, she's already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh - an ancient book of terrible evil - yet its hold on her has never been stronger.  Now that long-imprisoned immortals have ravaged the planet, Dublin is in a war zone with factions battling for control.  Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac's former protege and best friend is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. 

God, Guns, Grits and Gravy
Author: Mike Huckabee
Summary: The American politician asks the questions, "Have I been taken to a different planet than the one on which I grew up?"  Huckabee explores today's American culture, drawing from his travels as a presidential candidate to present average, small-town people and families, and their optimistic resilience in the face of hard times, their stories, says Huckabee, "will inspire readers to think about their own values and rediscover what makes America great." 

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Summary: Grace Blakely is certain of three things.  She is not crazy, her mother was murdered, and someday she's going to find the killer and make him pay.  Problem is, no one believes her, so there's no one she can trust.  Everyone wants Grace to simply put on a pretty dress and pretty smile and block out all of her unpretty thoughts.  But Grace can't do that, because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Look out for these great 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.  Plus, stop by every Tuesday to get a look at even more popular releases!

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Dec. 22-27)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

Food for Fines
All December
All Library Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Waive those unwanted and pesky overdue late fees by donating canned goods and other non-perishable items, to any of the three (3) library branch locations.  Each item will waive $1.00 of your late fees (no credit), with all donations benefiting the Food Bank of West Central Texas.  Call us if you have questions. 

Holiday Closings: Christmas
Dec. 24 @ Noon, All Day Dec. 25
All Library Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
All locations of the Abilene Public Library will close in observance of the Christmas holiday.  For your convenience, outside materials returns are available at all three locations.  We will resume our normal hours of operation on Dec. 26 @ 9:00AM.  Merry Christmas!!!

Don't miss out on these fun activities being hosted at your Abilene Public Library and get in on what your local library has to offer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tremain's Book Corner: "Neil Patrick Harries: Choose Your Own Autobiography" by Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
Click to Place Hold
Author: Neil Patrick Harris
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary: Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first?  Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the "u" back in "aUtobiography?"  Look no further.  In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based-life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life.  You will be born to New Mexico.  You will get you big break at an acting camp.  You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan.  Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed.  You will decide whether to try out for "Doogie Howser, M.D."  You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality.  You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John's yacht. 

Choose correctly and you'll find fame, fortune, and true love.  Choose incorrectly and you'll find misery, heartbreak, and a hideous death by piranhas.  All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song.  Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, and make that book this one!

Personal Review: I LOVE Neil Patrick Harris, so when I came across this book, knowing it was going to be written in the vein of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel, I thought it was absolutely brilliant.  It's never been done before (that I know of), and I wanted to see how Harris was going to pull it off.  I was not disappointed in the least.

I expected the book to be witty, clever, fun, and illuminating, and it was all of those things and more.  With this book, long gone were the days of when you read a biography that was just a basic coverage of a person's life.  With the "choose your own adventure" slant, it made the book that much more enjoyable of a read.  This book was certainly funny enough to keep me laughing out loud in quite a few areas, and then had me going back to read the book in different ways to take the different paths Harris had created, just to see the comical way the author responded as to what would have happened to him if that choice was made.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days that the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we highlight some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

The Maze Runner
Starring: Dylan O'Brien
Summary: Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.  Based on the novel by James Dashner, it was a box office hit taking in over $326 million and will have a sequel adaptation of the second book to be released September 2015. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Starring: Megan Fox
Summary: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a news reporter finds a quad of mutants which makes an alliance to unravel Shredder's plan as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  This film is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and although poorly received by the critics, this become Nickelodeon's biggest grossing film in the box office with taking in over $434 million, and more than enough to commission a sequel for June 2016. 

This is Where I Leave You
Starring: Jason Bateman
Summary: When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same rood together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.  Based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Tropper, this film opened to mixed reviews from the critics and took in just over $36 million in the box office. 

The Lost (Witch & Wizard #5)
Author: James Patterson
Summary: Whit and Wisty have fought and defeated their world's most pernicious threats: the evil dictator, The One Who Is The One, as well as his wicked father and son.  But just as the heroic witch and wizard start to settle into their new roles, a deadly crime wave grips their city, with all signs pointing to a magical mastermind every bit as powerful and heartless as The One.  Now they must find a way to battle it out one more time, in the conclusion to this bestselling young adult series.

Look out for these great 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.  Plus, stop by every Tuesday to get a look at even more popular releases, or try listening to our Podcast.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Entertain Your Children with Library's Help" ~ @ the Library Article

How often is it that you need to find a way to entertain your children while sitting in a restaurant or standing in a line?  These days, it's pretty easy to hand the children your cellphone or tablet and let them play games or watch YouTube.

That's great, but what if I told you that the Abilene Public Library provides a great resource for kids that is not only entertaining, but educational?  TumbleBooks and TumbleBook Cloud Jr. are provided by your Abilene Public Library thanks to a grant from the Target Corp.

The TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated, talking picture books that teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love, as described by its website.

TumbleBooks provides titles that can be listened to or read, as well as videos, puzzles, games and more.

Although the website's primary purpose is to promote reading, other concepts such as math, spelling, science, and history also are presented. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Dec. 14)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest popular reads.  Part of finding them is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available to locate that popular title, or get yourselves on the reserve lists.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Hope to Die
Author: James Patterson
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: Detective Alex Cross's family is kidnapped by a madman who wants to turn Cross into a perfect killer.

#2: Gray Mountain
Author: John Grisham
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 7
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: A downsized Wall Street lawyer joins a legal clinic in a small Virginia town.

#3: The Escape
Author: David Baldacci
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F BALDACCI
Summary: John Puller, a special agent with the Army, hunts for his brother, who was convicted of treason and has escaped from prison.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Dec. 15-20)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

All December
All Library Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Waive those unwanted and pesky overdue late fees by donating canned goods, and other non-perishable items, to any of the three (3) library branch locations.  Each item will waive $1.00 of your late fees (no credit), with all donations benefiting the Food Bank of West Central Texas.  Call us if you have questions. 

Dec. 15 @ 4PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
We're having fun with snow in this afterschool kids' event where we're diving into stories, crafts, and more that all deal with the snow.  Come join in the fun at this event for kids of all ages, and the entire family. 

Dec. 15 @ 6:30PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
We're bringing back the annual crafting workshop where we'll be showing youth how to create a few holiday gifts they can use as stocking stuffers for family and friends...or keep themselves. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tremain's Book Corner: "#Newsfail" by Jamie Kilstein

#Newsfail: Climate Change, Feminism, Gun Control, and Other Stuff We Talk About Because Nobody Else Will
Click to Place Hold
Author: Jamie Kilstein
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: A hilarious and informative primer on the most urgent issues of our day, from the creators and co-hosts of Citizen Radio, a 100% listener-supported show whose slogan is "independent radio that won't lead you to war."

#Newsfail if not your grandmother's comedic-memoir-slash-political-manifesto.  From page one (in a preface titled "In Which the Authors Interview Ralph Nader in the Bathtub), comedian Jamie Kilstein and journalist Allison Kilkenny pledge to give you the news like you've never gotten it before.

On issues ranging from feminism to gun control, climate change to class war, foreign policy to net neutrality, they tell you how the mainstream media get it left, right, and utterly, unforgivably, irresponsibly wrong.  #Newsfail is all this, plus the story of Allison and Jamie's own DIY foray into independent media via their podcast, Citizen Radio, which has featured guests such as Jeremy Scahill, Sarah Silverman, Glenn Greenwald, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and been downloaded millions of times by people all over the world.

Their mission is truth-telling above brainwashing.  All you have to do is listen.

Personal Review: As a bestselling book, I picked this up to read simply because it was talking about a wide range of hot topics in the nation, and I wanted to hear the author's thoughts.  I've never heard of Citizen Radio, let alone the authors of the book, so I could go into it without being biased to feel one way or the other about them, which is a good thing sometimes.

What the authors are doing is using their wit and commentary to shed light on a number of topics, such as those addressed in the synopsis of the book.  With each topic covered, they provide basic details on each issue, and best yet, a collection of #newsfails, where pundits and/or media organizations were inept, ignorant, or just plain wrong.  This is where the book got its title from, and I think that was brilliant.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days that the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

Guardians of the Galaxy
Starring: Chris Pratt
Summary: A group of space criminals must work together to stop the fanatical Ronan the Accuser from destroying the galaxy.  Rated PG-13, this film is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team that was a box office success bringing in over $770 million worldwide and garnering positive reviews from the critics.  It will also lead to a TV series and a sequel set to hit theaters in 2017. 

When the Game Stands Tall
Starring: Jim Caviezel
Summary: The story of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American Sport.  Rated PG, this true story followed the career of a coach from 1992-2003 that took in $30.1 million in the box office, but only managed to get mixed to negative reviews from the critics. 

Dolphin Tale 2
Starring: Morgan Freeman
Summary: The team of people who saved Winter's life reassemble in the wake of her surrogate mother's passing in order to find her a companion so she can remain at the Clearwater Marine Hospital.  This family flick generated $52 million in the box office and opened to positive reviews from the critics, also giving room for a possible third installment in the series. 

Moriarty
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Summary: The game is once again afoot in this thrilling mystery, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, which explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes, and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty, tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls.

Look out for these great 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.  Plus, stop by every Tuesday to get a look at even more popular releases, or try listening to our Podcast.