Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in book & DVDs and Tuesdays are the biggest days where 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.

While We're Young
Starring: Ben Stiller
Summary: Cornelia and Josh get their lives turned upside down when a young couple enters their lives.

The Bone Labyrinth (Sigma Force Series #10)
Author: James Rollins
Summary: A war is coming, a battle that will stretch from the deepest trenches under the sea to the rocky craters of the moon, in a book that spans 50,000 years in human history to mankind's next great leap, but will it mark a new chapter in our development...or our extinction.  A series of strange events throws the world into turmoil.  As a manned Chinese rocket explodes upon launch, three American astronauts, each separated by thousands of miles, are murdered.  Then an archaeologist in Croatia uncovers a new cavern system that reveals elaborate primitive paintings of a tribe of Neanderthals.  The artwork, painted in blood, illustrates an immense battle between the Neanderthals - joined by Homo sapiens - and frightening shadowy figures.  Who is the ancient enemy depicted and what does it mean?  Commander Gray Pierce of Sigma Force will need to search for the answers.

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Rules for Scoundrels Makes for Hot & Historic Summer Reading Adventure" ~ @ the Library Article

Something light and intriguing and romantic is always fun for a summer read, and your Abilene Public Library has many to choose from.  Here are just a few from our large selection.

The Regency period in England offers a background filled with interesting historical characters and many opportunities for adventure.  Throw in a scoundrel, or four, for an entertaining series by Sarah MacLean.  The first title in the series introduces the four scoundrels Bourne, Cross, Temple, and Chase.  As the series progresses, more of each scoundrel's background appears separately and as a group.

In book one of the series A Rogue by Any Other Name, the Marquis of Bourne loses everything at the gaming table to his former guardian, Viscount Langford.  Determined to get his estate back, Bourne becomes a partner in what turns out to be London's most exclusive gaming hell.  It has made him rich.  But Langford refuses to sell anyone for any price - until now.  Now, Langford loses the state to the Marquis of Needham and Dolby who attached it to his oldest daughter's dowry.  Bourne will do anything to regain his estate, including marry.  The victim of a broken engagement and scandal, Penelope Marbury shows little interest in a convenient marriage, but holds out little hope for the love match of her dreams until her childhood friend Michael the Marquis of Bourne resurfaces.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover presents the odd Lady Philippa Marbury, a scientist.  Pippa is looking forward to getting married and retiring to the country to tend her hothouse, conduct experiments, run the estate and possibly breed dogs.  She is, however, concerned about what takes place in the marriage bed.  She has come up with a plan to research the topic but she needs a research assistant.  Pippa settles on Cross as the perfect research assistant because, according to gossip, he's an expert.  When Pippa presents her proposition to Cross, he resists her request but can't seem to stop exploring her thoughts.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of June 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 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 week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 23
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.

#2: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 59
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II; the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

#3: Finders Keepers
Author: Stephen King
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F KING
Summary: A deranged reader's infatuation with a Salingeresque novelist has dangerous consequences in a sequel to "Mr. Mercedes."

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bag of Books Bonanza Caps Friends of the Library's Annual Sale ~ Ablene Reporter-News

Article by: Ronald W. Erdrich
Date: June 21, 2015

How many bags would it take to hold 1,000 books?  Carrie Casada has no idea.

"There's no telling," she said.  "We're so wiped out by the time the week is over, we're not even doing any kind of mathematical stuff."

Casada is the president of the Friends of the Abilene Public Library who held its annual sale this weekend.  The bookish bacchanalia peaked with the occasionally-frenetic Sunday sale.

For six bucks, shoppers could walk away with as many books as they could fit in a paper grocery sack.

"We had a great turnout on Thursday night for our members," Casada said, referring to a pre-sale before the main event.  "But this is the exciting day.  This is the day when my adrenaline gets all pumped up - and for someone my age, it takes a lot for my adrenaline to get pumped up."

Tryon Condra was pushing a stroller stacked with three sacks full of books, and a few more piled on top of those.  His son Sandler, having just turned 3 on Saturday, hung on his daddy's neck as Sandler sat on the Stroller handle.

"I think we've got about two bags of kids books, and then some mysteries for me and my wife," Tryon said.  Behind him, Cassie corralled their four other children.

Like other regular book sale shoppers, they've had to install more bookcases in their home over the years thanks to the sale.  Tryon said their favorite part of the event is finding books they haven't seen before.

"For a reasonable price," Cassie adds.

Over on the other side of the room, Tod Lawrence rested in a chair beside Joe Joplin.  Bot men had bags of books around their feet as they waited on those they came with.

"I left my mom over there, this is her pile here," Lawrence said.

He had spied Joplin from a ways off, the man appeared to be working on a cross word puzzle.

"Do you see that guy over yonder?" he asked his mother, who confessed she couldn't.  "I'm going thataway anyway, because there's a chair over there."

He ambled over, sat down and watched the world go by as she continued to shop.

Back at the front, one of Casada's coworkers quipped there were so many people at Sunday's sale, they should have held services.  They guessed at least 1,000 people came through the doors, in reality it may have been many more than that.

"We could have church here," Casada agreed.  "Any kind of church you want we could do it."

Why not?  They've certainly got the books for it.

Abilene Library Group's Yearly Sale a Treat for Book-Lovers ~ Abilene Reporter-News

Article by: Brian Bethel
Date: June 20, 2015

Walking out of the Abilene Civic Center with bags of books in hand, Johann and Scarlett Gin of Abilene had broad smiles on their faces.

For the Gins, as well as many book-lovers, the annual Friends of the Abilene Public Library Book Sale is something akin to a literary Christmas morning, the presents wrapped in dust jackets instead of paper and bows.

When asked to show their spoils, they eagerly opened up bags stuffed with newfound treasures, including a lovely antique bookstand.

"You don't see anything like that anymore," said Scarlett Gin, showing off the delicately-carved wooden piece with pride.

While it was Scarlett Gin's first time to wade into the literary sea within, Johann Gin said he has charted those waters many times before.

"I always find something that I never thought existed or found stuff that's really old that I've been looking for a while," he said.  "I like all different genres, but I have some specific authors I like. And I always just look for subject matter that interests me."

Walking into the Civic Center, one is greeted by table after table filled with books, magazines, and the occasional gewgaw, arranged in groups devoted to individual topics.

Fiction and nonfiction are in abundance, both of recent and of antique vintage.

On one table, Scott Adam's 1996 masterwork The Dilbert Principle promises to explain the mysteries of business in the latter 1990s, while for the flying mammal lover, a copy of Bats of Texas in another section could be the perfect Christmas - or All Hallows - gift.

An endless sea of paperbacks contains enough John Grisham, Brad Mentzer and Dan Brown books to fill a wheelbarrow, while an immense table of romance novels displays thousands of lovers crushed to one another's chests in eternal embrace.

With his four young children in tow, Gary Rhodes said it was his family's second time to shop at the sale after missing last year, but he's confident the sale would become a yearly event for them.

"There are some pretty good finds here," he said.

"My wife happens to be a teacher, as well, so she's stocking up for her classroom," Rhodes sad.

All 100,000 items are donations from the Abilene community, said Matt Preston, the book sale's chairman for the Friends.

"We'll have folks downsizing their homes or (they) just have too many books," he said.  "So they'll call us and we'll come and get them, or they'll drop them off at the main library."

The books are stored all year until their debut at the four-day event, but not without much behind-the-scenes effort from volunteers.

Carrie Casada, president of the Friends of the Abilene Public Library, said local Boy Scout troops 272 and 258 and volunteers form Dyess Air Force Base were indispensable in getting the sale together.

On Monday, the library fed 100 volunteers, while Chick-fil-A provided food for Tuesday's 75 workers, Preston said.

"It was almost a different crowd on Tuesday," he said.  "So I'd use that for an estimate."

Shopping at the sale with family from Dallas, with an eye toward books for her grandchildren, Dianne Hawley of Abilene sad the event is a must-do for her.

"I come every year, and then I turn my books back in after I read them - recycle," she said, estimating she picks up at least 20 volumes to read throughout the year.

"I love them, and it's a great way to help the community, too, giving back to the library," Hawley said.

This Sale Holds Appeal for Readers of All Ages ~ Abilene Reporter-News

Article by: Loretta Fulton
Date: June 11, 2015

The only thing bad about setting a record is the expectation of doing it again.

But organizers of the annual book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Abilene Public Library are much too busy getting ready for this year's event to worry about that.

Last year, the sale brought in $58,000, which was up $2,000 from the previous sale.

"We're hoping this year we can do it again," said Matt Preston, who served as chairman of the event last year and again this year.

The event begins with a preview sale 5-8 p.m. Thursday for members of the "Friends."  Memberships begin at $15 and may be purchased on-site the night of the event.  The sale will be open to the public 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. June 19, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. June 20 and 1-4 p.m. June 21.

Admission is free Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday, shoppers can buy a "bag-o-books" for $6.  Bags will be furnished and can be filled with all remaining items.

The key to pushing this year's total over last year's may be the addition of more children's books.  They are always popular and sell out early, Preston said.  This year, additional children's books were obtained from the Midland County Public Libraries, Preston said, which hopefully will alleviate the shortage.

"We're trying to correct that year," Preston said.

Also new this year will be the assistance of about 20 airmen from Dyess Air Force Base.  They will join about 100 other volunteers who will begin Monday unloading boxes of books, sorting them, an placing them on tables by category.

Otherwise, the sale will be pretty much like shoppers have gotten used to over the years.  Each year, several thousand people make their way through the sale, finding treasures along the way.

"In the 26th year, we're not reinventing the wheel," Preston said.

Library Board Recommends Mall Move for South Branch ~ Abilene Reporter-News

Article by: Brian Bethel
Date: June 22, 2015

The Abilene Public Library's advisory board voted unanimously to recommend moving the library's South Branch from its current location at 1401 South Danville Drive to the Mall of Abilene.

The move still has several factors that need to fall into place before it can actually happen, said Lori Grumet, city librarian.

The city council must agree to the move, she said.  But before even that, the actual lease agreement must be confirmed by both parties.

"The city attorney has already been through the lease once and those changes have been given the Mall's ownership, and their attorneys are looking at it now," Grumet said.  "We're hoping to have everything back and resolved in time for the July 9 council meeting.

If all works out ideally, Grumet said, the plan would be to have the branch library in its new location by the holiday season.

"(But) that's a very tight timeline, and I don't know that we would necessarily be able to make it," she said.  "That assumes everything goes perfectly."

Grumet said that until the city council makes its decision on the proposed lease, "we really cannot put (exact numbers) out there."

She did acknowledge that rent at the mall would be greater than what the library was paying for the current South Branch.

"It will be an increase, but you have to consider the amount of square footage," she said.  "We're talking going from 5,600 square feet to over 20,000 square feet.  That's a pretty good jump - that's four times the size.  So the rent is going to go up in terms of total dollars, but in terms of amount we pay per square foot it's going to be but in half."

If the council does not approve the plan presented by staff, she said, it has an option to go to a second property and attempt to negotiate with them.

"If they chose to not approve either proposal, we would be back at the beginning and we would have to start the process all over again with a new request for proposals, maybe changing some of the parameters to see how that would work," she said.

The space under considerate at the mall is No. 1246, immediately south of J.C. Penney.

The location will require some remodeling, Grumet said, including adding restrooms and a multipurpose room for meetings, conferences, films and special programs.

Also needed would be offices and work spaces for staff, special areas for teens and small children, space for computer labs, and possibly a "makerspace" for creative projects.

"After we have done that, then we will be partnering with the Friends of the Library and we'll be working with them on selecting a designer or an architect and hammering out all the millions of details that come together with putting together a project of this scope," Grumet said.

The properly will have its own external entrance, though for now the goal is to keep to library hours as they currently stand, she said.

It is possible that staff may be altered so the location can be open on Sundays.  Another goal would be to expand hours during holiday seasons, though no staff increase is budgeted for the project, Grumet said.

"Although the space is expanding, the number of people working in it is not going to change, at least not immediately," she said.

That said, "as with all city operations, from year to year those numbers change," Grumet said.

Recurring plumbing issues at the current South Branch location did play into the decision to try to relocate, she said.

"In the last 12 months, we've had to deal with that plumbing crisis twice, and both times we've had to replace carpeting," she said. "It has been very disruptive to service.  So beside the fact that our lease was expiring and we would have to renegotiate a lease anywhere anytime anyway because of the expiration of that lease, this was an opportunity for us to make a change."

While the library's fate is being decided and a move possibly undertaken, the current South Branch property's landlord has been "supportive," Grumet said, agreeing to month-to-month rent after the current lease expires at the end of July.

Currently, the mall enforces "family friendly' hours, meaning anyone under age 18 who is at the Mall after 5 p.m. on Friday or Saturday must be accompanied by an adult, parent, or guardian.

"We're discussing the family-friendly hours with the mall," Grumet said.

The South Branch library closes at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, she said.

"We have brought that to the attention of the mall - that it is family-friendly in one aspect," she said.  "But then, for young people who are responsible and liberated and have the ability to get to the mall either through using mass transit or driving their own car or going with friends, it may not be so friendly for them.  So I've asked them to please take a look at that, and they've assured me they would."

Any change to the policy is "entirely up to (the mall's) management, she said.

Ultimately, the proposed location fits well because it "moves us outside of the ring that circles the city and gets us down closer to the growth of population down in the Wylie are," Grumet said.

"It makes us more accessible," she said.  The location is adjacent to mass transit and is on major arterials - Buffalo Gap Road and Clack Street.

Many people who go to the mall don't currently use the library, Grumet said.

"So it's an opportunity for us to offer our services to other Abilenians who have not used us before," she said, adding that there is a "growing trend across the country" of libraries going into malls as it becomes "harder and harder" to get the money for stand-alone locations.

"Finding a large existing space that can be converted is becoming a very popular alternative," she said.

If it does go into the new locations, the expanded South Branch will likely deepen an existing partnership with Books-A-Million, Grumet said.

Currently, Friends of the Library can receive a discount at the bookseller if they show their Friends sticker on their library cards.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (June 29 - July 4)

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 program calendar.  And remember, all programming is offered free of charge.

June 1 - July 25
All Library Locations
PH: 325-677-2474
Participate in the Summer Reading Clubs at your library as we're offering one for all ages.  Reading logs and bags are available at all library locations and you won't want to miss out on your chance at earning a Reading Champion Yard Sign, or having your name entered into a drawing to win one of six (6) Kindle Fires we'll be giving away. 

July 1-31
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
The Main Library is hosting another art contest where you can submit your original artwork for a chance to have it be featured on the windows on the first floor.  This contest is open to anyone in the community, ages 13 and up, and for additional information, as well as the entry form and rules, CLICK HERE. 

June 30 @ 3:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Join your Main Library's pupeteers as we host a great and interactive storytime for youth to enjoy.  Adapting classic stories, and sharing new ones, you'll not want to miss our puppet friends' performance designed for kids of all ages. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Sycamore Row" by John Grisham

Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance #2)
Click to Place Hold
Author: John Grisham
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars

Book Summary: Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer.  He trusts no one.  Before he hands himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will.  It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.

The second will raises far more questions than it answers.  Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid?  Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?  And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row.

Personal Review: Okay, the only reason I read this book was because it was a sequel to my favorite Grisham novel, "A Time to Kill."  The hype and excitement I had for this book when I sat down, quickly faded as I did not find the book to be that great...overall.

I may be criticized for this remark, but it was simply a boring read for me.  As far as being dubbed a sequel to "A Time to Kill," it wasn't the sequel I was hoping for.  Yes, I expected to be re-introduced to Jake Brigance, as that's who the book is about, but where's everyone else?  I thought i was going to be able to to take a deeper look into the lives of the people from the first book, but nope.  Not the case.  I'm getting a new set of character I really didn't want to read about at all.

At over 400 pages, the book moved along much too slow for my taste, and I couldn't find myself relating to Jake as I did in the first book.  I hadn't read a Grisham book for many years, and when I did I usually focused on his legal thrillers, but this one, I don't know.  Although the story was a little bit absorbing at the start, for me, it began to drag when it became more apparent that there's really nothing to be done after the death of Hubbard but to talk about the same subject matters over and over again.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ 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!

The Loft
Starring: James Marsden
Summary: Five guys conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city, a place where they can indulge in their deepest fantasies.  But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft, and they realize one of the group must be involved.  Paranoia seizes them as everyone begins to suspect one another.

Seventh Son
Starring: Ben Barnes
Summary: In a time of enchantments when legend and magic collide, the sole remaining warrior of a mystical order travels to find a prophesied hero born with incredible powers.  Torn from his quiet life as a farmhand, the unlikely young hero embarks on a daring adventure with his battle-hardened mentor to vanquish a dark queen and the army of supernatural assassins she has dispatched against their kingdom.

Truth or Die
Author: James Patterson
Summary: After a serious professional stumble, attorney Trevor Mann may have finally hit his stride.  He's found happiness with his girlfriend Claire, a beautiful and ambitious journalist who is always on the hunt for a scoop.  But when her newest story leads to a violent confrontation, Trevor's newly peaceful is shattered as he tries to find out why.

Monday, June 22, 2015

"Books Celebrate, Educate About the Love of Reading" ~ @ the Library Article

Libraries contain so many books about different topics, including those about books and libraries themselves.  The Abilene Public Library has many picture books for children that share the joy of reading, libraries, and books.

The library is a place for all to enjoy a myriad of activities: storytime, computer programming, and of course, finding that perfect book.  For that to happen there must be a few rules in the library.  In Library Lion by Michelle Knudson, a lion that has wandered into the library decides to stay for storytime after inspecting the library. After the last book for storytime has been read, the lion starts to roar in disappointment.  Coming to investigate the noise, the librarian informs the lion that it is against the rules to be loud in the library, but if he is quiet, he can return the next day for storytime.  He does return, making sure to follow the rules so he can continue to return and enjoy spending time with his new friends.

In Herman Parish's Amelia Bedelia's First Library Card, Amelia learns that there are rules in place at the library in order to make sure that books are treated with care and kept in good condition.  These rules include that no food or drinks are allowed in the library because if spilled, they could damage the books.  She learns first-hand what can happen to books when they get wet after she leaves a book outside and it gets ruined.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of June 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 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 week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: The Girl on the Train
Place Hold
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 22
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.

#2: Finders Keepers
Place Hold
Author: Stephen King
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F KING
Summary: A deranged reader's infatuation with a Salingeresque novelist has dangerous consequences in a sequel to "Mr. Mercedes."

#3: All the Light We Cannot See
Place Hold
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 58
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II; the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (June 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 program calendar.  And remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

June 1 - July 25
All Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Be a part of our Summer Reading Club program for this summer, with a club for youth, teens, and adults.  Youth and teens will receive a weekly prize/incentive for coming out to the library and teens and adults will have the chance to win one of six Kindle Fires...plus we'll have the Reading Champion signs available for kids.  Get all your info on the summer reading clubs online.

June 22 @ 10:00AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Kids are invited to come meat a local hero in the community.  This month, we'll meet with an officer from the Abilene Police Department, who work to keep our city safe.  Come hear what it's like to be an officer, ask questions, and you might even be able to check out a police motorcycle too. 

June 23 @ 10:45AM & 3PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
We're excited to welcome the Storybook Theatre group back to Abilene for another engaging Young Audiences event.  Designed for school-aged kids, they'll be putting on a wonderful production titled "The New Little Red Riding Hood."  It will be a wonderful fractured fairytale featuring great characters, lots of interaction, puppets,songs, and more.  Having performed for more than 2 million children throughout the U.S., you won't want to miss this year's performances. 

June 23 @ 4:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Need some crafting in your life this afternoon?  If so, kids are invited to join us for a crafting session where we'll have various projects available for kids to choose from and make.  Come see what we'll have and do some crafts with your library! 

June 23 @ 6:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Kids won't want to miss another interactive Family Fun event at the library where you'll be able to help us bring superheroes to life through stories, songs, games, crafts, and more.  Plus, kids will continue to make more pieces of their superhero costume.  Don't miss out on your chance to join the fun. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Angelology" By Danielle Trussoni

Angelology
Place Hold
Author: Danielle Trussoni
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Book Summary: Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York.  Now, at 23, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind.  Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Personal Review: I went into this book with no expectations, as I hadn't heard of the author before, but thought the cover and title were interesting.  As I was looking for something "different" to read, I gave it a shot.

This book is the author's first novel, and I would have to say that she is gifted in description and creating a world that is easy to visualize as a reader.  What she lacked, was the ability to develop her characters, differentiate between them throughout the novel, and this led to much of the book being nothing more than an exposition that made it rather dry.  It started off very slow, and for the most part, when that happens I generally put the book down and quit reading it, but since I had nothing else to read at the time, I continued.

Although the story did pick up, by the time I reached the end, it left me feeling disappointed.  As if the author was just at the point she was starting to propel the novel forward, and then just decided to stop.  I felt as if I was manipulated into finishing the story for one amazing final act that didn't happen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ 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 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 off the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists.

The Lazarus Effect
Place Hold
Starring: Olivia Wilde
Summary: The film follows a group of medical students who discover a way to bring dead patients back to life.  After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world.  When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated. 

Unfinished Business (June 19)
Starring: Vince Vaughn
Summary: In this hilarious drink-like-a-fish-out-of-water comedy, a hard-working entrepreneur travels to Europe with his two associates to close the most important business deal of their lives.  But the journey quickly spins out of control as the hapless trio encounters all kinds of crazy obstacles, including Oktoberfest bar brawls, hotel foul-ups, foreign GPS directions, and a global fetish festival.  In the end, these guys gone wild might just land the deal, if they can survive the trip.  Bottoms up! 

The President's Shadow (Culper Ring Series #3)
Author: Brad Meltzer
Summary: Beecher White makes an alarming discovery on the White House grounds: there is a severed arm buried in the Rose Garden.  As he investigates, he realizes it's a message...one that may have dire repercussions for the President.  Even worse, the message turns Beecher's personal life upside down, pointing him towards the dark truth about his father's death. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

@ the Library Article: "Friends Book Sale = Great Entertainment Bargains"

Seems like it costs more and more these days to have fun, particularly if you have a large family.  Movies, amusement parks, baseball games...almost everything you can think of require more money than they used to.  But one great entertainment value is the same price it was last year, and the year before that, AND the before that!  The Friends of the Abilene Public Library 26th Annual Book Sale is free, and prices for the books, video and cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, records, and magazines to be found there have not gone up.  And one can find some GREAT deals.
 
Follow the Sign
Prices on most general sale items, including hardbound books, are $1.75, while most paperbacks are 75 cents each.  Children's books are sold by the inch, for $1.25.  Those are hard-to-beat-prices.

Friends' members get first crack at the goodies during a preview sale on Thursday, June 18 from 5 until 8 p.m.  Friends' memberships started at $15.00 will be available at the door.

Hard-working Volunteers
On Friday, June 19 the doors open to the general public at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.  Saturday, June 10, the sale begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.  And on Sunday, it gets even better.  The famous "Bag-o-Books" sale begins at 1 p.m.  Until 4 p.m., $6.00 will get you an entire bag of reading, listening or viewing (bags furnished at the sale).  Admission is free Friday through Sunday.

Cash, checks, and credit/debit will be accepted for purchases, with proper picture ID.  The Friends are able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Diner's Club.

Great Selections
Two featured areas of the sale are 'Antiques and Uniques', and the Corner Store.  'Antiques and Uniques' contains rare, hard-to-find and collectible books at far lower prices that you might expect.  The Corner Store features new or 'gently used' books at a fraction of their original price.  Both of these areas include special interest fiction and non-fiction titles.

Another facet of this sale is that, while you are finding great books to read, CD's to listen to, or DVD's to watch, you have the satisfaction of knowing your money is going to improve and fund library materials, equipment, activities, and staff training opportunities for the Abilene Public Library.  That includes programs like the Summer Reading Clubs, which are going on right now at all three library locations.

Amazing Deals
Add all this to the fact that library services are already FREE to everyone who lives in Abilene or Taylor County, and that makes the Friends Book Sale an even better deal!  You're getting great, money-saving materials to enjoy and making sure that your library continues as the most inexpensive place for fun and enjoyment all year round.

Information about the sale is available on the library's newly redesigned homepage by clicking on the Friends link on the left side of the page.  Or please call 325-676-6025 if you have any questions.  Hope to see you at the Civic Center!

Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager for the Abilene Public Library

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (June 15-20)

Keep up with the events and programs 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 program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

June 1 - July 25
All Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Be a part of our reading club program this summer, with a club for youth, teens, and adults.  Youth and teens will receive a weekly prize for coming to the library and teens and adults will have a chance to win one of six Kindle Fires...plus we'll have the Reading Champion signs available for kids.  Get all your info on the summer reading clubs on our website. 

June 15 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
We're getting ready for some fun in superhero stories at the Main Library for our monthly Family Fun event.  Come out this afternoon and enjoy superhero books, coloring pages, games, and crafts that's great for the entire family.  This summer is all about superheroes after all. 

June 15 @ 6:30PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Youth, ages 8-15, are invited to get their duct tape crafting on at the library in our annual crafting workshop.  Join us as Jessica Reyes, our resident duct tape guru, leads a workshop to walk you through the steps for creating some pretty cool crafts.  We'll supply all the materials and instruction needed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Today's Top DVD & Book Releases

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 for 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 the popular titles and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists.

The Duff
Starring: Mae Whitman
Summary: Bianca is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body refers to her as "Designated Ugly Fat Friend" to her prettier, more popular friends.  With her universe turned upside down, she ignores words of wisdom from her favorite teacher and enlists Wesley, a slick but charming jock, to hep set her apart from the pack and erase her label forever.  In doing so, she hopes to land her crush Toby, and to overthrow the school's ruthless label maker Madison. 

Kingsman - The Secret Service
Starring: Colin Firth
Summary: Based on the acclaimed comic book, the movie tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. 

Blackhat
Starring: Chris Hemsworth
Summary: A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Online Library Services Temporarily Down Wednesday, June 10

We would like to inform you that online services through your Abilene Public Library will be temporarily down starting 7:00AM on Wednesday, June 10 and lasting through 7:00AM the following day.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience, but we are currently working towards upgrades in our system.

Online services to OverDrive, Hoopla, online databases, the online catalog, Interlibrary Loan services, etc., will be disrupted during this time.  Additionally, library notifications will not be sent out.  Although our system will be down, all library locations will open as normal and patrons will still be able to utilize library computers.

You may continue to return books to the library as normal and we will be able to checkout materials as well.  If there are any unforeseen complications, we will be sure to keep you informed, and if you have any questions, feel free to Contact Us and we will be happy to assist you further.

"Find a Veritable Garden of Information at Your Library" ~ @ the Library Article

Gardening is a popular and relaxing hobby for people of all ages.  One reason for its popularity is its simplicity.  Gardening and growing plants require only a few key ingredients: seeds, sunlight, water and patience.

Gardening is a great way to slow down and reconnect with the earth around you in the midst of our fast-paced world.

Therefore, I'm happy to share that the Abilene Public Library and the Texas Master Gardener Association are partnering to provide two free programs at the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library, 1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.

At 10:30AM Saturday, master gardener Jan Meyer will present Gardening for Everyone.  This fun and educational program is for adults and older children with an interest in gardening.

Meyer will discuss the effects of our West Texas sun on both native and normative plants.  She'll also provide practical tips on how to keep plants hydrated and fed during the long growing season.  Whether you're a seasoned gardener or you've only entertained the idea of gardening, this class is for you.

At 10:30AM July 11, Elizbeth Hamaty will present Butterfly Gardening.  Named as the state insect in 1995, Monarch butterflies make an incredible 2,500-mile migration each year to their nesting grounds in Mexico.  Fortunately for us, Abilene is in the direct path of this migration in late summer.

Friday, June 5, 2015

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of June 7)

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 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 week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Radiant Angel
Author: Nelson DeMille
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F DEMILLE
Summary: A surveillance expert monitors the activities of a newly resurgent Russia.

#2: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 20
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.

#3: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 56
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II; the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (June 8-13)

Keep up with the great programming 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 program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

June 1 - July 25
All Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Be a part of our reading clubs throughout the summer, with a club for kids, teens, and adults.  Youth and teens will receive a weekly prize/incentive for coming out to visit the library, and teens and adults will have the chance to win one of six Kindle Fires...plus we'll have Summer Reading Champions signs available.  Get all your info on the summer reading clubs online. 

June 8 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Youth are invited to come out to the next Science Club session at the library where we'll be getting hands-on in experiments and learning about different science-related concepts.  Designed for youth ages 8 and up. 

June 8 @ 6:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Teens are invited to come out for some crafting fun where we'll be showing you how to make some pretty awesome coasters out of recyclable materials.  Come show off your comic book pride by attending this fun workshop with us. 

June 8 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Gear up for more superhero crafting fun fr kids at your library, as we'll be hosting a fun come-and-go session where we'll have kiddos design their own superheroes using patterns and materials we'll provide.  Make a superhero you're familiar with or invent one from your imagination. 

June 8 @ 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
We're hosting a movie night for the general adult audience with showing a great flick for you to enjoy for free.  Movie tickets will be available 30-minutes before the movie showing and contact us to find out what the featured selection will be.