Friday, January 29, 2016

Book-to-Film Adaptations: February 2016

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 checkout the books they're based on.

The Choice
Starring: Teresa Palmer
Release Date: Feb. 5
Based On: "The Choice"
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Summary: Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life's most defining events. 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Starring: Lily James
Release Date: Feb. 5
Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Summary: Jane Austen's classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge - an army of undead zombies. 

Deadpool
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Release Date: Feb. 12
Based On: "Deadpool"
Author: Fabian Nicieza & Rob Liefeld
Summary: Based on the Marvel Comics most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the original story of former Special Forces operative turned murcernary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool.  Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. 

How to Be Single
Starring: Dakota Johnson
Release Date: Feb. 12
Based On: "How to Be Single"
Author: Liz Tuccillo
Summary: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

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

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Jan. 31)

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 at all locations.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Blue
Author: Danielle Steel
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F STEEL
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD
Summary: A woman whose life has been shattered befriends a homeless boy.

#2: My Name is Lucy Barton
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F STROUT
Format: Regular Print
Summary: A woman struggles with memories of her impoverished and disturbing childhood and its effect on the present as she attempts to reconcile with her mother.

#3: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 4
Weeks On List: 90
Call Number: F DOERR
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II.

#4: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 54
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.

#5: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Position Last Week: 6
Weeks On List: 47
Call Number: F HANNAH
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: Two sisters in World War II France: one struggling to survive in the countryside, the other joining the Resistance in Paris.




Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: A memoir by a physician who received a diagnosis of Stave IV lung cancer at the age of 36.

#2: The Name of God is Mercy
Author: Pope Francis
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: In a conversation with a Vatican reporter, the pontiff explores the cornerstone of his faith.

#3: Between the World and Me
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 28
Call Number: 92 COATES
Format: Regular Print, Audiobook on CD
Summary: A meditation on race in America as well as a personal story by the Atlantic's national correspondent.  Winner of the National Book Award.

#4: The Road to Little Dribbling
Author: Bill Bryson
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 914.104 BRY
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type
Summary: An American expatriate travels around his adopted country, Britain.

#5: Dark Money
Author: Jane Mayer
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: An account of how the Koch brothers and other super-wealthy donors deployed their money to change American politics.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Feb. 1-6)

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

Tween Time: Lollipop Flowers
Feb. 1 @ 6:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Youth, ages 8-15, are invited out to our evening crafting workshop where we'll use different colored crepe and tissue paper to create several different flowers with lollipop centers.  We'll supply the materials, you just bring your crafting hands. 

Kids' AR Club
Feb. 2 @ 6:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Kids in grades K-5 are encouraged to attend out evening storytime session at the library where children's staff will be sharing stories that are on the AISD accelerated Reader list.  Come enjoy great stories, and possibly test on them in school,m in this group that meets twice each month. 

Anime Club @ Your Library
Feb. 2 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're between the ages of 13-25 and have a passion for anime, you'll certainly want to be a part of our club at the library.  Each month we'll watch hit anime shows and learn a little bit about cosplay, which is great since Lib-Con will be headed your way in May.  Come join us for anime and popcorn at this club meeting. 

Free Tax Assistance
Feb. 3-4; 10AM to 3PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
IRS-trained volunteers from the AARP will be on hand to help you e-File your taxes for free at the library.  Bring your Photo ID, social security card, W-2's, and all other tax materials you'll need.  Then let our volunteers help you e-File in the library.  Everyone will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and sessions will be hosted weekly through Apr. 15.  Don't miss your chance to participate in this popular program at your library. 

Make & Take: Be Mine Bees
Feb. 4 @ 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
If you have a youngster who loves to craft, don't pass up on the first Make & Take session of the month.  Join us after school as we'll be making a special valentine craft featuring a cute little fellow we promise won't sting.  We'll supply all the materials, you just come ready for a little fun. 

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Feb. 4 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're between the ages of 10-17, and you love to write, be a part of our writing club.  This group meets every Thursday afternoon and it's the perfect place to be able to come out and hone your creative writing skills with your peers.  We work on a variety of writing activities in a stress-free environment and led by children's librarian Kelsie Wade. 

Family Fun: Hooray for Penguins
Feb. 4 @ 6:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
If you love penguins, and we know you do, you'll certainly want to attend the first Family Fun event of the month that will celebrate all things related to Penguins.  Waddle on over to our Penguin Party with stories, songs, games, and a fun craft for the entire family.  We'll supply all the materials you'll need. 

The Coloring Club @ Your Library
Feb. 4 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
After a great first meeting in January, we hope you're ready for more fun at your library.  Come out and attend the monthly session of the Coloring Club, designed especially for adults ages 18+.  Enjoy some "me time" and relax with others as you work on coloring pages with intricate designs that will help put you in a meditative state of mind.  We'll supply all the materials you'll need or you're free to bring your own if you'd like. 

Free Tax Assistance
Feb. 5-6; 10AM to 3PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
IRS-trained volunteers from the AARP will be on hand to help you e-File your taxes for free at the library.  Bring your Photo ID, social security card, W-2's, and all other tax materials you'll need, then let our volunteers help you e-File in the library.  Everyone will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis (no appointments) and sessions will be hosted on a weekly basis through Apr. 15.  Don't miss your chance to participate in this popular program at your library. 

Super Storytime: Love Monsters
Feb. 5 @ 10:45AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
New to the monthly lineup at the Main Library, Super Storytimes will be added to their calendar.  Kids of all ages are invited to this morning event that will be all about Love Monsters.  These lovable creatures come in all shapes and sizes and you can enjoy stories,l songs, and even make your own love monster to take home.  You won't want to miss the new program.

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "The Bazaar of Bad Dreams" by Stephen King

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary: Since his first collection, Nightshift, published 35 years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction.  In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book.  He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the after life, guilt, what we would do different if we could see into the future or correct mistakes of the past, and more.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King's finest gifts to his constant reader - "I made them especially for you," says King.  "Feel free to examine them, but please be careful.  The best of them have teeth."

Personal Review: Thank you Mr. King!!!  You've given me what I've been waiting for.  Stories that reminded me of the earlier works from the 80s and 90s that kept me terrified as a kid, and I feel like I"m getting that sense of satisfaction again after reading this collection of stories...with a book cover that is rather awesome.

What I can say is that although King offered a strong collection of creepy stories to enjoy, when drawing a comparison back to his previous collections like "Nightshift" or "Nightmares and Dreamscapes," I didn't find them to be as strong as they once were.  However, I think we can all agree that King hasn't been delving into the traditional horror stories that defines his early career...and that's fine.

That being said, the stories included in this collection were still strong, offering 20 tales for me to devour one by one.  Although many had been published before, they weren't ones I was familiar with, and some of them even addressed the digital shifts in technology with a story about a Kindle that acts as a window to alternate dimensions.  And this isn't the figurative window where reading can take you to places, this was some real "you're in an alternate dimension" type of stuff, which I rather enjoyed.

Some stories were undoubtedly stronger than others; however, I think there is something for everyone in this series, which is worth reading.  King is doing what he does best, showing his versatility as a writer by being able to showcase reads that across a wide range of subjects.  Inside the covers you'll find some stories that are dramatic and beautiful (in a creepy King way) and others that are really dark in nature.

Some additional favorites in the collection includes...
  • Batman and Robin Have an Altercation: Where a middle-aged man and his father (suffering from dementia) have an altercation with a violent driver...not really the Batman & Robin scenario I envisioned, but it worked out well.
  • Bad Little Kid: Which a man waiting to be executed tells his lawyer a story about a kid that tormented his life and hurt his loved ones...and the story becomes very sinister.
  • Morality: In this entry, a woman and her husband agree to commit an abomination in exchange of $200,000, which led me, as a reader, into a story of the perversion of the couple completely...money can't buy you happiness after all.
  • Afterlife: Here, a man dies and starts to tell us what comes after, which was an interesting story sharing a concept of death from the mind of King.
  • Under the Weather: Where a publicist has to deal with his stressful life while taking care of his wife that is sick in bed...offering a great ending.
  • Drunken Fireworks: A yankee and his mother (both alcoholics) becomes accidentally rich and each Fourth of July they spend a lot of money on pyrotechnics.  When they start a competition to see who can display the best show, it goes a little overboard and the characters were just over-the-top and great.
But as I said, there were plenty of great moments throughout the collection to please almost any reader.

Overall, I couldn't give the collection the 5-star rating I was hoping for, but that's a hard rating to get out of me, and I don't usually give out rating as high as a four.  And what helped to make the stories even better was the fact that each one contained a brief introduction from the author, providing a little insight as to why he wrote it and how it came to be, offering a more personal approach to each story.  This was something I haven't come across before, but it provided some great insight to help in the overall experience of reading each story.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Today's Top Book & DVD 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.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library.

Goosebumps
Starring: Jack Black
Summary: A teen named Zach reluctantly moves from NYC to the quiet town of Madison, DE, where he quickly realizes his reclusive new neighbor is in fact R.L. Stine, the horror author of the Goosebumps series.  Zach learns Stine's identity when he's drawn to the writer's daughter Hannah, but soon discovers the dangerous secret inside their home - the creatures from the stories are real, and are kept locked away inside their original manuscripts.  After an accident frees the monsters, Zach, Hannah, and their nerdy pal Champ must work together with Stine to save their town from destruction. 

NYPD Red 4
Author: James Patterson
Summary: In a city where crime never sleeps, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in only when a case involves the rich, famous, and connected.  Detective Zach Jordan and his partner, Kylie MacDonald - the woman who broke his heart at the police academy - are the best of the best, brilliant and tireless investigators who will stop at nothing to catch a criminal, even if it means antagonizing the same high-flying citizens they're supposed to be helping.  When a glitzy movie premiere is the scene of a shocking murder and high-stakes robbery, NYPD Red gets the call.  Traversing the city's highs and lows, from celebrity penthouses to the depths of Manhattan's criminal underworld, Zach and Kylie have to find a cold-blooded killer - before he strikes again. 

Coconut Cowboy (Serge Storms Series #19)
Author: Tim Dorsey
Summary: Obsessed with the iconic Sixties classic Easy Rider, encyclopedic Floridaphile, lovable serial killer, and movie buff extraordinaire Serge A. Storms devises his wildest plan yet: finish the journey begun by this freewheeling heroes, Captain American and Billy, tragically cut short by some shotgun-wielding rednecks.  Setting a course for the Florida panhandle, he mounts his classic motorcycle and hits the highway in search of the real America: apple-pie-eating, freedom-swilling moms and pops of Main Street USA.  But the America he finds in the rural burgs dotting the neck of the peninsula is a little bit different...and a lot weirder than anything Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper encountered.  In a state where criminal politicians are more common than gators, Serge and Coleman discover one particular speed-trap local so aggressively inept at corruption that investigators are baffled where to start. 

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn Series #6)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Summary: The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command.  Hardly anyone thinks they really exist.  A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read.  Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate.  Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set. 

Staked (Iron Druid Chronicles #8)
Author: Kevin Hearne
Summary: When a Druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he's bound to run afoul of a few vampires.  Make that legions of them.  Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber.  Now the toothy troublemakers - led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus - have become a huge problem requiring a solution.  It's time to make a stand.  What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City?  But poetic justice won't come without a price:  In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

"When Library Talks Investment Data, People Listen" | @ the Library Article

The Abilene Public Library offers investors, or would-be investors, a wide array of online and print resources to help them build and manage a successful investment portfolio.  If you're working on your financial well-being this New Year, let us help!

Morningstar is an outstanding investment database among the dozens the library offers on many topics.  It is accessible to library cardholders from home, office computers, or handheld devices.  From the library's website, www.abilenetx.com/apl, click on E-Resources then look over to the right to access Morningstar under Investing.

Morningstar offers comprehensive financial data on thousands of domestic and international stocks, as well as mutual funds and hundreds of exchange traded funds.  Access the company you are looking for by entering either the name of the stock or fund, or its ticker symbol.  You'll get a wealth of information, including: the up-to-the-minute trading price during the trading day; that day's and the previous twelve months price range; an in depth description of the company or fund; and income statements, balance sheets and cash flow going back at least four years.

All stocks and mutual funds are assigned one to five stars, with five given to those which have provided the best returns in relationship to risk and may be considered better than most for future performance.  It also profiles its "five star favorites," stocks which should be considered for purchase.  In addition, for each stock Morningstar assigns a number from one to five with five a "strong buy," three a "hold" and one, likely time to sell and take one's losses.  Commentary on each stock will also include "Wall Street's Recommendations" as a buy, hold or sell.

Yet another nice feature is a screener for both stocks and mutual funds allowing the potential investor to choose specific criteria from among dozens of choices to isolate stocks or funds that meet those criteria.  For example, I wanted to view stocks with a rating of at least four stars, a price to earnings ratio of 13 or less and a dividend yield of 3.5% or more.  By doing so I was given comprehensive data on four stocks, two domestic and two foreign.

Morningstar allows one to examine a particular index, type of stock, sector, industry or fund category.  I chose to look at all stocks within the health care industry and found that as a group they have produced a 22% return over the past five years.  I was also able to see a list of the 104 stocks included within the sector and view specific data on each stock.

The database has literally hundreds of articles and videos on current topics, most of them under five minutes in length.  "A Value Fund for Up and Down Markets," "The Interest Rate Risk Factor for Dividend Investors" and "3 Long-Term Stock Picks in a Market with Few Opportunities" were among those of interest to me.

Morningstar also features "retirement" and "funding college education" calculators allowing one to input data on their particular situation and then see how much they'll need to retire comfortably or finance a college education at a specified point in time.  A glossary of financial terms is also a very helpful feature, especially for those who may be novices to investing.

Some basic knowledge of investment terms and how investments work is helpful in fully utilizing this database for for assistance, please call us at the Information Services desk of the Main Library at 325-676-6025 or email Dennis Miller.

Article Contributed by Dennis Miller, Information Services Librarian & Business Specialist at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Free Tax Assistance Available Feb. 3 to Apr. 15

Tax season is here and your Abilene Public Library is ready to help make the filing process a breeze with the annual Free Tax Assistance program.  Running Feb. 3 through Apr. 15, the community will have the chance to e-File their taxes for free with the help of IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP.  Four sessions will be hosted each week across the Main Library and Mockingbird Branch at the following schedule:

Main Library Free Tax Assistance Hours
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Wednesdays & Thursdays
10:00AM to 3:00PM

Mockingbird Branch Free Tax Assistance Hours
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Fridays & Saturdays
10:00AM to 3:00PM

To participate, visit the location and time that best suits your schedule and bring your tax materials with you including your Photo ID, Social Security Card, W-2's, etc.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis (no appointments) and you will be led through the entire process of e-Filing your taxes, start to finish.

If you wish to file your taxes yourself, forms may be printed out at your library at a cost of $0.15 per page, or accessed remotely from home by visiting the IRS Website.  If you would like to receive copies of forms and publications from the IRS, you do have the opportunity to order tax forms, instructions & booklets, and publications online.  Click Here to learn how.

Below are links to the most requested forms online that you may access, download, and print out for use.

Friday, January 22, 2016

February's Cover-to-Cover Book Club Selection

If you're looking for a great book club discussion group, try our Cover-to-Cover Book Club at your library.  Meeting on the third Thursdays of the month, this group reads everything including bestsellers, fiction, biographies, nonfiction, classics, and more.

For February, the featured selection is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and attend the book club discussion group on Thursday, February 18 @ 7:00PM.  For more information, contact Ann Mount at 325-676-6025.

The One and Only Ivan
Author: Katherine Applegate
Summary: Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal, this stirring and unforgettable novel celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships.  Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.  Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him.  He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle.  Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting.  But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

Be sure to check out this title from your Abilene Public Library and come ready to discuss it with other avid readers in the community on Thursday, February 18 at 7:00PM.

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Jan. 24)

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 at all locations.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: My Name is Lucy Barton
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F STROUT
Format: Regular Print
Summary: A woman struggles with memories of her impoverished and disturbing childhood and its effect on the present as she attempts to reconcile with her mother.

#2: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: SF FOSTER
Format: Regular Print
Summary: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises; an adaptation of the new "Star Wars" movie.

#3: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 53
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: A psychological thriller set in the environs of London.

#4: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 89
Call Number: F DOERR
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook, Digital Audiobook
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II.

#5: Scandalous Behavior
Author: Stuart Woods
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M WOODS
Format: Regular Print, Audiobook on CD
Summary: In the 36th novel in the series, Stone Barrington hopes for a restful stay in the English countryside, but relationships with local neighbors complicate matters.



Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: A memoir by a physician who received a diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer at the age of 36.

#2: The Name of God is Mercy
Author: Pope Francis
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: In a conversation with a Vatican reporter, the pontiff explores the cornerstone of his faith.

#3: Between the World and Me
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 27
Call Number: 92 COATES
Format: Regular Print, Audiobook on CD
Summary: A meditation on race in America as well as a personal story by the Atlantic's national correspondent.  Winner of the National Book Award.

#4: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
Author: Brian Kilmeade
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 11
Call Number: 973.46092 KIL
Format: Regular Print
Summary: The war against the Barbary pirates in 1801.

#5: Killing Reagan
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List:17
Call Number: 973.92 ORE
Format: Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook
Summary: The host of "The O'Reilly Factor" recounts the events surrounding the attempted assassination of President Reagan in 1981.

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

Thursday, January 21, 2016

February's Teen Book Club Selection

If you're a teen and you love to read, don't miss the next session of the Teen Book Club at your South Branch Library.  Meeting on the third Wednesdays of the month, this group reads popular teen books in our collection.

For February, the featured selection will be Soundless by Richelle Mead, author of the bestselling Vampire Academy series.  We invite you to look out for a copy at your library and then attend the next book club session on Wednesday, Feb. 17 @ 4:00PM.  For more information, contact Marianne Vadney at 325-6987-7565.

Soundless
Author: Richelle Mead
Call Number: YA F MEAD
Summary: For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining.  Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.  When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry.  Fei's home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.  But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Be sure to checkout this title from your Abilene Public Library and come ready to discuss it with other teens on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 4:00PM.

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Jan. 25-30)

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

Family Fun: Snow in the Library
Jan. 25 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Don't miss the final Family Fun event of the month as we're continuing to celebrate snow, as well as all things cold, at your library.  Designed for kids of all ages, as well as the entire family, come out to enjoy stories, crafts, games, and more in this enhanced storytime event. 

Make & Take: You Choose
Jan. 26 @ 4:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
Kids won't want to miss the final Make & Take session of the month, where you'll get to choose the craft you want to make.  We'll offer a selection of different projects for you to choose from and then you can find a spot and make it.  We'll supply all the materials needed, just come ready for a little crafting fun. 

An Introduction to QuickBooks
Jan. 26 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
If you want an intro to QuickBooks, you're in luck.  We're inviting out Gayla Fullerton, a CPA with the Texas Tech University Small Business Development Center, to provide a crash course on the recordkeeping and accounting software used by so many businesses today.  This will serve as an intro to a 16-hour course provided through the Small Business Development Center.  If you own a business, this may be a great workshop to check out, as well as see what resources are at your disposal locally. 

Super Storytime: Pete the Cat
Jan. 27 @ 10:45AM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565
Now hosted on a new day, kids of all ages are invited out to our Super Storyitme event where it's all about one of our favorite cats...PETE!  Join us for stories about Pete, play Pin-The-Button on Pete, and even make your own Pete the Cat craft to take home with you.  We're going to have so much fun at this enhanced storytime event. 

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Jan. 28 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're between the ages of 10-17 and love to write, look at being a part of our weekly writing club at your library.  Hone your creative writing skills with no pressure or stress in this fun and interactive group experience, led by children's librarian Kelsie Wade.  Each week we'll work on writing activities and collaborate in all forms of writing, while going over the basics too.  There's no need to register, just come ready for some writing fun. 

Enrich Your Garden by Composting
Jan. 28 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
If you're interested in learning about composting, to use as a fertilizer to help make your garden a great success, you'll not want to miss out on this free workshop at your library.  Join us as we invite in Master Gardener Juanita Campos, who will be on hand to teach you all about composting and answer your questions.

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "Alive" by Scott Sigler

Alive (Generations Trilogy #1)
Author: Scott Sigler
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space.  She has no idea who she is or how she got there.  With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement - and finds she's not alone.  She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past.  The father these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront.  And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don't even come close to the truth. 

Personal Review: I've read Sigler's books in the past, and this offered something different, yet familiar, as it has elements of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner in one story...or I suppose the start of a trilogy.  That begin said, although I didn't care too much for the Divergent trilogy, this first entry was good (although I did have to dock it a little in the my personal rating for reminding me of previous dystopian reads).

You open in a mystery, much like the Maze Runner, but this time a female is the protagonist, who (oddly enough) is a 12-year-old in the body of a 20-year-old...okay.  She wakes up in a coffin-like prison, frees herself, and then does the same for other characters before then being declared the leader of the group.

The writing style took some getting used to for me, as I found it to be a tad bit choppy in its flow, characterization, and setting the scenes, but when you look at it from a YA standpoint in which it was written, I could look past that.

Despite some minor flaws, this book was a welcomed departure from Sigler's standard form of writing about sci-fi monsters and what not, but I enjoy a story where characters are placed in a confined space and left struggling to determine what is going on...and then what's "really" going on.  The author does a great job at giving you breadcrumbs along the way, propelling you forward until you reached the end to get the answers and offering a great conclusion to the first novel of the trilogy.

Without being a true adult fan of YA reads, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel for keeping my attention from start to finish.  Plus, the thing about YA reads is simple...they're much easier and quicker to read.  I mean, with an opening of youth waking up in a coffin, and not knowing why...that's somewhat more of a morbid start than waking up in a Glade.  Give me the Glade over a coffin any day.

The author uses his strengths from his adult novels and translates them well to this YA read in which he offers you a sense of immediacy and physical details to pull you in as a reader, and then the action just never lets up.  Although it may be a bit intense for some teen readers at times, I did appreciate the fact Sigler didn't get bogged down with the teen romance element, which will help to pull in more adult readers...I mean do we really care to read about high school romances all the time?  Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, turned it into a dust rag, and tossed it away.

I would highly recommend this title to fans of dystopian future genre novels, and stating it is a book about a group of teens in a dystopian situation is much too simplistic for describing it.  It basically asks you how far you would go if mortality was an option, and I"m interested to continue on in the series.  Find it at your Abilene Public Library and see what you think about it...it might just be the new "unknown" series you were looking for.

BTW, the second book is due out in April, titled "Alight" and the third novel will be titled "Alone."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Today's Top Book & DVD 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.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library.

The Intern
Starring: Anne Hathaway
Summary: Ben Whitaker is a 70-year-old widower who has discovered that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin. 

Everest
Place Hold
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal
Summary: In this adventure docudrama set in 1996, several groups of professional climbers successfully scale Mount Everest only to be faced with tragedy when a monster storm surprises them as they attempt to make their descent. 

Straight Outta Compton
Starring: F. Gary Gray
Summary: Entrenched in the racial tumult of L.A. in the mid-1980s, a group of aspiring rappers banded together to revolutionize the global consumption of hip-hip and popular culture.  NWA was born out of racial frustration and the disadvantaged economics of their South Central neighborhood.  F. Gary Gray directs this biopic about the rise to stardom for the act that earned the moniker of "The World's Most Dangerous Group." 

Feverborn (Fever Series #8)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Summary: When the immortal Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged, and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit.  Only the long-lost Song of Making - a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of life itself - can save the planet.  Once a normal city possessing a touch of ancient magic, Dublin is now a treacherously magical city with only a touch of normal.  And on those war-torn streets, Mac will come face-to-face with her most savage enemy yet: herself. 

Blue
Author: Danielle Steel
Summary: Ginny was once a rising star in TV news, married to a top anchorman, with a 3-year-old son and a full and happy life in Beverly Hills - until her whole world dissolved in a single instant on the freeway two days before Christmas.  In the aftermath, she pieces her life back together and tries to find meaning in her existence as a human rights worker in the worst areas around the globe.  Then, on the anniversary of the fateful accident, she meets a boy who will cause her life to change forever yet again.  13-year-old Blue has been living on the streets, abandoned by his family, rarely attending school, and utterly alone.  Following her instincts, Ginny reaches out to him.  Leery of everyone, he runs from her again and again.  But he always returns, and each time, their friendship grows. 

Orphan X
Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Summary: The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers.  It's said that when he's reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them.  But he's no legend.  Evan is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn.  He's also a man with a dangerous past.  Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as part of the off-the-books black box Orphan program, designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence assets - i.e. assassins.  He was Orphan X.  Evan broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear...but one can't stay invisible forever.

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.