Monday, August 21, 2017

"Some Guidance for New Beginnings" | @ the Library Article

So here it is...another school year, a new roommate, a new job, a new space to call your own.  On this journey of independence you may face such questions as "which slip cover will hide pizza stains best?" and "are all apartment leases the same?"  To answer these and other questions, here are a few of my favorite titles on decorating, cooking, and financing the single lifestyle.  Be sure to check them out at your local Abilene Public Library branch.

As far as decorating and organizing goes, you'll want to look at Jenna Mahoney's Small Apartment Hacks: 101 Ingenious DIY Solutions for Living, Organizing, and Entertaining and Lourdes Dumke's How to Decrorate & Furnish Your Apartment on a Budget.  Both these books give practical and stylish yet budget friendly tips for many different types of living spaces and arrangements.

My Top Pick: Apartment Therapy: The Eight Step Home Cure by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, an interior designer in New York City.  Ryan is amply qualified to help you transform your space into a home.  The book includes a quiz to help figure out what your needs are and where to start, plus (you guessed it) an eight week transformation plan.  What I found most informative was the whole concept of "flow."  Ryan counsels readers to avoid movie theater syndrome, TV on one wall, couch on the other, and a huge walkway in between.  Instead Ryan suggests moving furniture away from the walls, opening up windows and creating a meandering foot path through the apartment.

For cooking, a good book is Food Network's How to Boil Water: Life Beyond Takeout.  This title will help inexperienced cooks prepare good meals with maximum taste on minimal time.  If you have better cooking chops, try The Ultimate Student Cookbook: From Chicken to Chili by Tiffany Goodall.  More than 100 easy recipes for terrific food on a student's budget are included, using minimal equipment, techniques, and ingredients available at any grocery store.

My Top Pick: College Cooking: Feed Yourself and Your Friends by Megan and Jill Carle.  This book has great recipes even a skilled chef will love!  Put up those ramen noodle and start cooking meals like tortilla soup, Tuscan salad, what's-in-the-fridge frittata, crab cakes with roasted red pepper sauce, peanut butter cup bars, and mini blueberry turnovers.  Chapters include Survival Cooking, Avoiding the Freshman Fifteen, Impressing Your Date, and Cooking for the Masses.  Megan and Jill, a couple of University of Arizona college students, write from personal experience.  "After watching so many of our friends stumble around the kitchen [we] decided we needed to write a book specifically geared for college students.  In other words, very little equipment, very little cooking experience, and very little money.

Speaking of very little money, managing what you do have takes on extra importance when you're newly on your own.  Take a look at Beth Kobliner's Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties or financial guru Suze Orman's The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke.  These two address special financial concerns, including paying off college loans, obtaining & managing credit cards, buying a car, and financing a first house or apartment.

My Top Pick: Personal Finance in Your 20s for Dummies by Eric Tyson.  When it comes to protecting your financial future, starting sooner rather than later is the smartest think you can do.  This hands-on guide provides you with the targeted financial advice about budgeting & savings, credit card management, insurance & "grown up stuff."  This book has everything you need to establish firm financial footing in your 20s and to secure your finances for years to come.

So, if you're making a new beginning this fall, whatever it is, drop by your Abilene Public Library and get some help!  You may be surprised at what you can find.

Article Contributed by Anne Ellis, Mockingbird Branch Manager

Sunday, August 20, 2017

September'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 September, the featured selection is One Man by Andrew Gross and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and attend the book club meeting on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00PM.  For more information, be sure to contact Janis Test at 325-676-6017.

One Man
Author: Andrew Gross
Summary: Nathan Bluhm works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs.  Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto.  Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

Be sure to checkout this title from your Abilene Public Library and come ready to discuss it with other avid readers in the community.

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Aug. 20)

Many 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: Any Dream Will Do
Author: Debbie Macomber
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F MACOMBER
Summary: Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.

#2: Camino Island
Author: John Grisham
Weeks On List: 10
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts. Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable's circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets. But eventually Mercer learns far too much.

#3: The Late Show
Author: Michael Connelly
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: F CONNELLY
Summary: Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.  But one night she catches two cases she doesn't want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting.

#4: The Lying Game
Author: Ruth Ware
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: M WARE
Summary: The text message arrives in the small hours of the night. It's just three words: I need you. Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her. At school Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of secrets, something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three women she hasn't seen for years, but has never forgotten.

#5: Barely Legal
Author: Stuart Woods
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M WOODS
Summary: In the newest nonstop adventure from #1 New York Times-bestselling author Stuart Woods, the protege will become the hero: now is the time of Herbie Fisher. Under the tutelage of Stone Barrington, Herbie Fisher has transformed from a bumbling sad sack into a capable man about town and the youngest partner at the white shoe law firm Woodman & Weld. Now all of his training will be put to the test as he finds himself embroiled in his most daring adventure to date.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil DeGrasse
Weeks On List: 15
Call Number: 523.01 DEG
Summary: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

#2: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
Author: Al Franken
Weeks On List: 11
Call Number: 92 FRANKEN
Summary: The Harvard-educated comedian, talk-show host, and U.S. Senator chronicles the story of his unlikely senatorial campaign, detailing the ensuing months-long recount and what his service has taught him about America's deeply polarized political culture.

#3: Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance
Weeks On List: 55
Call Number: 92 VANCE
Summary: Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

#4: Why Buddhism is True
Author: Robert Wright
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 294.34 WRI
Summary: In Why Buddhism is True , Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. With bracing honesty and fierce wisdom, it will persuade you not just that Buddhism is true--which is to say, a way out of our delusion--but that it can ultimately save us from ourselves, as individuals and as a species.

#5: Killers of the Flower Moon
Author: David Grann
Weeks On List: 17
Call Number: F GRANN
Summary: Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Look 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 and secure your spot in line.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Weekly Library Events (August 20-26)

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.

Weekend Walk-In Flix: "Hacksaw Ridge"
Sunday, Aug. 20 at 3:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Join your South Branch Library for another Weekend Walk-In Flix session, showing a host of popular movies each and every Sunday.  At this session, the featured film will be a truly inspiring movie, based on the true story of Desmond T. Doss in 2016's "Hacksaw Ridge" starring Andrew Garfield.  In this movie, WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.  This film is rated R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images, and it has a run time of 2 hours and 19 minutes.  Light snacks will be provided, or feel free to bring your own, and for additional information, call 325-698-7565.

TECH Time
Monday, Aug. 21 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  Be it learning our digital services, getting started on PCs, learning Microsoft Office, and more, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s Technology/Social Media Manager and the Multimedia Marketing Assistant.  We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to assist you and help in some way.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.  For more information, contact Tremain Jackson or Jessica Reyes at 325-698-7565.

Family Fun: It's All in the Family
Monday, Aug. 21 at 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Kids and parents won’t want to miss the final Family Fun session of the month at your Main Library, featuring great stories, games, crafts and fun designed for kids of all ages.  This month, we’ll be celebrating the family unit and all materials will be supplied for craft activities.  For more information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.

Parent-to-Parent Workshop: Parental Involvement
Monday, Aug. 21 at 6:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Parents are invited to join us for an informative workshop led by the Military Child Education Coalition’s Parent-To-Parent Team.  Join your South Branch Library to discuss Parental Involvement in children’s lives and show kids that reading for pleasure over the summer can be very exciting.  Also, learn how you can discover new ways to help your kids keep their skills sharp before the new school year starts.  For more information about this special summer workshop, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Mockingbird Nights: "Earth Girls are Easy"
Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
If you’re into cult classic hits from the past, you’ll certainly want to attend this event at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  We’ll host a movie night where we’ll be headed back to the 80’s with showing “Earth Girls Are Easy” starring Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, and other familiar actors.  In this film, a Southern California girl befriends three furry aliens after their spaceship lands in her swimming pool.  This film is rated PG, but does have some sexual references, and it has a run time of 1 hour and 40 minutes.  Don’t miss out on this campy comedy, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Teen Crafts: Back to School
Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Teens are invited out to another fun crafting workshop at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  As you get ready to head off back to school, we invite you to come out and add a little flair to your school supplies and personalize them with accessories we’ll be supplying.  Feel free to bring any items you have from home for school and get them decorated at your library, or we will also have a limited supply of notebooks on hand for you to decorate.  For more information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

TECH Time
Thursday, Aug. 24 at 2:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  Be it learning our digital services, getting started on PCs, learning Microsoft Office, and more, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s Technology/Social Media Manager and the Multimedia Marketing Assistant.  We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to assist you and help in some way.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.  For more information, contact Tremain Jackson or Jessica Reyes at 325-698-7565.

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Thursday, Aug. 24 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you’ve between the ages of 10-17, we invite you to be a part of the weekly writing club at your Main Library.  Designed to help strengthen your creative writing skills in all forms of writing, youth meetup each week to work on writing activities individually, and as a group, using a variety of techniques.  If you have a passion for writing, come check out a session for yourself.  No registration is needed, and for additional information, call 325-676-6067.

MCEC's Morning Storytime
Friday, Aug. 25 at 10:30AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Kids and parents are invited to join us for a great morning storytime event led by the Military Child Education Coalition.  Join your South Branch Library on the fourth Friday mornings of each month for a great activity designed for the family to enjoy.  The theme changes each month, so if you haven’t been out to a session, the summer is the perfect time to come check one out.  For more information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Classic Cinema: "Casablanca"
Friday, Aug. 25 at 10:30AM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
If you’re feeling nostalgic and digging the retro cinema vibe, come and see our Classic Cinema movie showings on the third Fridays of each month at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  Each session will feature great classics from the 1930’s through the 1980’s in a variety of genres, and this month will feature the 1942 hit “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.  In this film, in Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.  This film is rated PG for mild violence, and has a run time of 1 hour and 42 minutes.  Also, if you have suggestions on additional films you want to see, give us your suggestions after the movie and we’ll see what we can do.  For more information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Who I Could Be! Series: Team Chip
Friday, Aug. 25 at 4:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Youth won’t want to miss out the final Who I Could Be! Series event where we bring in local professionals to teach us about what they do.  This is a special summer career series for kids that has been hugely popular.  We’ve learned about police officers, firefighters, meteorologists, and pastry chefs, and in this session, we’re inviting in Team Chip to teach us about the world of Tae Kwon Do and the martial arts, as well as see some great demonstrations.  For more information about this series, contact us at 325-698-7565.

Saturday Matinee: "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Saturday, Aug. 26 at 10:30AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Join us for the next Saturday Matinee movie session at your South Branch Library, showing popular flicks for all ages to enjoy.  For this session, we’re celebrating the release of a movie sequel we’ll be showing on Sunday, by showing the first film at this session with 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and more familiar actors.  In this hit Marvel movie, a group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe.  This film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language, and has a run time of 2 hours and 1 minute.  Light snacks will be served, or feel free to bring your own.  For more information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Legos Galore
Saturday, Aug. 26 at 10:30AM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
School age children are invited to participate in the next Lego Club meetup at the Mockingbird Branch Library.  Join us in the meeting room as we supply you with all the Lego pieces and platforms needed so you can use your imagination to build whatever you can think up.  Build independently, or team up with others for a joint project, then during the final 10 minutes of the program, we’ll take a look at what everyone created.  For more information about this program, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Family Films: "Strange Magic"
Saturday, Aug. 26 at 2:30PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Kids and parents are invited out to another great family movie showing at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  In August, we’ll be watching a 2015’s “Strange Magic” with the voices of Evan Rachel Wood and Elijah Kelley.  This movie is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with popular songs from the past six decades to help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies, imps, and their misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.  This flick is rated PG for some action and scary images and has a run time of 1 hour and 39 minutes.  For more information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the popular titles being released today.

Everything, Everything
Starring: Amandla Stenberg
Summary: A 17-year-old girl named Madeline has a rare disease that causes her to have to stay indoors 24/7 with her filtered air.  Her whole life is basically books, her mom, and Carla (her nurse).  One day, a moving truck pulls in next door.  There she sees Olly.  He is Maddy's new neighbor.  They get to know each other through emails.  The more they get to know each other, the more they fall in love.  Olly starts to make Maddy realize that she isn't really living.  This starts the adventures of Maddy's new life.

Alien: Covenant
Starring: Michael Fassbender
Summary: The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world.  When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

The Store
Author: James Patterson
Summary: THE STORE IS WATCHING YOU.  Jacob and Megan Brandeis have gotten jobs with the mega-successful, ultra-secretive Store.  Seems perfect.  Seems safe.  But their lives are about to become anything but perfect, anything but safe.  ALWAYS WATCHING.  Especially since Jacob and Megan have a dark secret of their own.  They're writing a book that will expose the Store - a forbidden book, a dangerous book.  ALWAYS.  And if the Store finds out, there's only one thing Jacob, Megan and their kids can do - run for their bloody lives.  Which is probably impossible, because - THE STORE IS ALWAYS WATCHING.

Seeing Red
Author: Sandra Brown
Summary: Kerry Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights.  25 years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel.  For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media.  Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the major - even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.  Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major.  Yet Kerra's hints that there's more to the story rouse Trapper's interest despite himself.  And when the interview goes catastrophically awry - with unknown assailants targeting not only the major, but also Kerra - Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he's going to track down the gunmen...and finally discover who is responsible for the Dallas bombing.

I Know a Secret (Rizzoli & Isles #12)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Summary: Two separate homicides, at different locations, with unrelated victims, have more in common than just being investigated by Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles.  In both cases, the bodies bear startling wounds - yet the actual cause of death is unknown.  It's a doubly challenging case  for the cop and the coroner to be taking on, at a fraught time for both of them.  As Jane struggles to save her mother from the crumbling marriage that threatens to bury her, Maura grapples with the imminent death of her own mother - infamous serial killer Amalthea Lank.  While Jane tends to her mother, there's nothing Maura can do for hers, except endure one final battle of wills with the woman whose shadow has haunted her all her life. 

Exposed (Rosato & DiNunzio #5)
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Summary: Mary DiNunzio wants to represent her old friend Simon Pensiera, a sales rep who was wrongly fired by his company, but her partner Bennie Rosato represents the parent company.  When she confronts Mary, explaining this is a conflict of interest, an epic battle of wills and legal strategy between the two ensues - ripping the law firm apart, forcing everyone to take sides and turning friend against friend.  Sometimes loyalty can be lethal.

Look for these 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.

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Bringing the Birds to Your Home" | @ the Library Article

There is no shortage of birds here in Abilene.  Robins, blue jays, pigeons, and so many more, can be seen in trees and on power lines.  Unfortunately, some of the local birds that blanket the city are not well liked.  So, for those who enjoy seeing and hearing non-nuisance birds, how does one draw them to their property?  Providing a reason for birds to visit is a great place to start.  Birdhouses, birdbaths and feeders can make your yard appealing.  The key is offering the right incentive for the designed bird type.  Fortunately, the Abilene Public Library has numerous titles about birds that will help by offering insight and tips into the process.

The 2014 title Easy Birdhouses & Feeders: Simple Projects to Attract & Retain the Birds You Want by Michael Berger is a good place to start.  Easy plans for the inexperienced builder are provided for birdbaths, bird feeders and birdhouses, along with strategies for how and where to locate them.  Berger emphasizes attracting specific bird types as well as ensuring the safety of the birds.

Another great all-around guide is Big Book of Bird Houses & Bird Feeders by Thomas Boswell.  The book provides a huge assortment of baths, feeders, and houses to construct.  Boswell also provides advice on choosing the right structure for a bird type, mounting the house as well as where to locate it.  Finally, he provides suggestions for guarding your hard work by discouraging unwanted guests.

Colin McGhee authored Rustic Birdhouse and Feeder: Unique Thatched-Roof Designs Built to Audubon Specifications.  This master thatcher offers projects ranging from a chickadee box to a Tudor wren house.  He even shows you how to dress up a purchased birdhouse with thatch.

The thrifty bird lover might want to try Bird Boxes and Feeders for the Garden by Dave MacKenzie.  He provides 21 practical projects that utilize readily available timber.  MacKenzie also touches on food and habitats favored by birds.  Please note that this great guide will likely require some basic woodworking knowledge.

For skilled craftsmen interested in something a little more unique, check out Architectural Birdhouses: 15 Famous Buildings to Make for Your Feathered Friends by Thomas Stender.  Craft a project or two from this book and the birds might just ignore the plan box in the neighbor's yard for a stately replica of an Arts and Crafts bungalow or a Gothic Cathedral.

To attract beautiful birds, try one of the mentioned guides, or, one of the many others the library offers.  They will give all the information necessary to provide birds with an appealing and safe place to next or simply stop in for a bite.  Consider your Abilene Public Library the place to go for all things birds.

Article Contributed by Deborah Tarsiewicz, Information Services at the Main Library

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Aug. 13)

Many 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: The Late Show
Author: Michael Connelly
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F CONNELLY
Summary: Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.  But one night she catches two cases she doesn't want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting.

#2: Camino Island
Author: John Grisham
Weeks On List: 9
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts. Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable's circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets. But eventually Mercer learns far too much.

#3: The Lying Game
Author: Ruth Ware
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M WARE
Summary:
The text message arrives in the small hours of the night. It's just three words: I need you. Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her. At school Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of secrets, something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three women she hasn't seen for years, but has never forgotten.

#4: House of Spies
Author: Daniel Silva
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: F SILVA
Summary: Four months after the deadliest attack on the American homeland since 9/11, terrorists leave a trail of carnage through London's glittering West End. The attack is a brilliant feat of planning and secrecy, but with one loose thread. The thread leads Gabriel Allon and his team of operatives to the south of France and to the gilded doorstep of Jean-Luc Martel and Olivia Watson. A beautiful former British fashion model, Olivia pretends not to know that the true source of Martel's enormous wealth is drugs. And Martel, likewise, ignores the fact he is doing business with a man whose objective is the very destruction of the West. Together, under Gabriel's skilled hand, they will become an unlikely pair of heroes in the global war on terror.

#5: Paradise Valley
Author: C.J. Box
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M BOX
Summary: For three years, Investigator Cassie Dewell has been on a hunt for a serial killer known as The Lizard King. He works as a long haul trucker. His prey are the "lot lizard" prostitutes who frequent truck stops. And she almost caught him...once. Working for the Bakken County, North Dakota sheriff's department, Cassie has set what she believes is the perfect trap and she has lured him and his truck to a depot. Standing by, ready to close the net are half a dozen undercover officers, including Cassie's fiance Ian. But the plan goes horribly wrong, and the blame falls to Cassie. Disgraced, she loses her job and investigation into her role is put into motion. At the same time, Kyle Westergaard, a troubled kid whom Cassie has taken under her wing, has disappeared, telling everyone he is going on a long-planned adventure. Kyle's grandmother begs Cassie to find him and with nothing else to do, she agrees--all the while planning a new trap for The Lizard King. But Cassie is now a lone wolf. And in the same way that two streams converge into a river, Kyle's disappearance may have a more sinister meaning than anyone realizes. With no allies, no support, and only her own wits to rely on, Cassie must take down a killer who is as ruthless as he is cunning. But can she do it alone, without losing her own humanity or her own life?

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
Author: Al Franken
Weeks On List: 10
Call Number: 92 FRANKEN
Summary: The Harvard-educated comedian, talk-show host, and U.S. Senator chronicles the story of his unlikely senatorial campaign, detailing the ensuing months-long recount and what his service has taught him about America's deeply polarized political culture.

#2: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse
Weeks On List: 14
Call Number: 523.01 DEG
Summary: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

#3: Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance
Weeks On List: 54
Call Number: 92 VANCE
Summary: Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

#4: Conscience of a Conservative
Author: Jeff Flake
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: The Arizona senator defends traditional conservative values, says the movement has lost its way and calls for a return to principle.

#5: Devil's Bargain
Author: Joshua Green
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: On Order
Summary: From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump--the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.  Based on dozens of interviews conducted over six years, Green spins the master narrative of the 2016 campaign from its origins in the far fringes of right-wing politics and reality television to its culmination inside Trump's penthouse on election night.

Look 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 and secure your spot in line.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Weekly Library Event (August 13-19)

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.

Weekend Walk-In Flix: "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword"
Sunday, Aug. 13 at 3:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Join your South Branch Library for another Weekend Walk-In Flix session where we show movie hits released to DVD the previous week.  Avoid waiting on a long hold list and come see hit flicks at your library.  This week’s flick will be “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” starring Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law in the latest retelling on Camelot on the big screen.  In this film. Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city.  But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.  This film is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content and brief strong language and has a run time of 2 hours and 6 minutes.  Light snacks will be provided, or feel free to bring your own.  For more information, call us at 325-698-7565.

TECH Time
Monday, Aug. 14 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  Be it learning our digital services, getting started on PCs, learning Microsoft Office, and more, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s Technology/Social Media Manager and the Multimedia Marketing Assistant.  We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to assist you and help in some way.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.  For more information, contact Tremain Jackson or Jessica Reyes at 325-698-7565.

Science Club
Monday, Aug. 14 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Youth, ages 8 and up, won’t want to miss the next session of Science Club at your library.  Each month we meetup to learn about science concepts, engage in demonstrations, get hands-on with experiments, and more.  It’s the perfect way to have fun, while learning at the same time.  We’ll supply all the materials needed for any experiments, and there’s no need to register.  Just come ready to learn and have fun with library staff.  For more information about this monthly club, contact staff at 325-676-6067.

Make & Take: Paper Clip Bookmarks
Monday, Aug. 14 at 5:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Stick around after Science Club ends and attend the next Make & Take session at your Main Library.  Designed for kids of all ages, this come & go workshop features new crafts for youth to make each month.  For this session, we’ll be showing you how to make some cute paper clip bookmarks, which will be perfect for keeping your places in all the great books you checkout from the library.  We’ll supply all materials needed, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.

Mockingbird Movies: "Underworld: Blood Wars"
Monday, Aug. 14 at 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
If you’re into action fantasy flicks, you won’t want to miss out on the next Mockingbird Movies session featuring 2016’s “Underworld: Blood Wars” starring Kate Beckinsale and Theo James.  In the latest installment in the franchise, vampire death dealer Selene fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.  This film is rated R for strong bloody violence and some sexuality, and it has a run time of one hour and 31 minutes.  For more information, contact us at 325-437-7323.

Storytime at Chick-fil-A
Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 10:30AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Kids and parents are invited to join your South Branch Library at the Chick-fil-A restaurant, located in the Mall of Abilene by Sears, for our next monthly storytime visit.  Enjoy stories, songs, and fun with staff and then stick around and enjoy lunch.  Our numbers are building in this special program and thanks to manager Ben Salmon and his crew for hosting us.  For more information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Teen Flix: "Ghost in the Shell"
Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Teens are invited to join us for a great movie session featuring a recent live-action adaptation of a well-known anime.  The featured flick will be 2017’s “Ghost in the Shell” starring Scarlett Johansson in the lead role.  In this film, set in the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.  This film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content, and some disturbing images, and it has a run time of 1 hour and 47 minutes.  For more information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.

Morning Mingle: Family Coloring Club
Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 10:00AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Families are invited to join us for a great Morning Mingle event at your South Branch library, where we’ll be hosting a coloring club session for all ages.  Parents are invited to come out with your kids and engage in some fun coloring activities with pages and supplies available for all coloring tastes and levels.  Coloring is great for giving you the time to take a break from your hectic lives, relieve some stress, and have a little fun without any rules to follow.  Come meet new families, make new friends, and enjoy yourself at this great event.  For more information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.


Disney Flix & Crafts: "Beauty and the Beast"
Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 2:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 
Families are invited to join us for our Summer Disney Flix & Crafts series at your South Branch Library.  Each week we'll show a new Disney favorite, as well as make a fun craft inspired from the magical world of Disney. Designed for kids and parents to enjoy, in our final session of the summer, we'll be showing the 1991 classic that made Disney princesses mainstream once again with "Beauty and the Beast" with the voices of Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson.  In this film, a young woman whose father has been imprisoned by a terrifying beast offers herself in his place, unaware that her captor is actually a prince, physically altered by a magic spell.  This film is rated G and has a run time of 1 hour and 24 minutes.  Light snacks will be served (or feel free to bring your own) and we'll supply all the materials needed for the craft. For additional information, call 325-698-7565.

Minecraft Mania
Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 3:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Tweens and teens are invited to join us for some Minecraft Mania fun at your Main Library.  We’ll have laptops setup for gaming in story mode, and if you’re waiting for your turn, we’ll also have some additional Minecraft activities and crafts going on too.  Don’t miss out on this popular gaming session for local youth and for additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.

TECH Time
Thursday, Aug. 17 at 2:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  Be it learning our digital services, getting started on PCs, learning Microsoft Office, and more, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s Technology/Social Media Manager and the Multimedia Marketing Assistant.  We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to assist you and help in some way.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.  For more information, contact Tremain Jackson or Jessica Reyes at 325-698-7565.
Family Fun: How to Be Friends with a Dragon
Thursday, Aug. 17 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Don’t miss the next Family Fun event at your Mockingbird Branch Library, designed as a great enhanced storytime event for kids and parents to enjoy.  Each month the theme changes, and in August, it’s all about learning How to Be Friends with a Dragon.  We’ll be sharing some rambunctiously fun stories, all featuring dragons, and you’ll even get the chance to create your own fire-breathing dragon to take home and enjoy.  All materials will be provided, and for more information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Thursday, Aug. 17 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you’ve between the ages of 10-17, we invite you to be a part of the weekly writing club at your Main Library.  Designed to help strengthen your creative writing skills in all forms of writing, youth meetup each week to work on writing activities individually, and as a group, using a variety of techniques.  If you have a passion for writing, come check out a session for yourself.  No registration is needed, and for additional information, call 325-676-6067.

Cover-to-Cover Book Club: "The Witches"
Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
If you’re looking for an engaging book club to be a part of, don’t pass up on being a part of the Main Library’s Cover-to-Cover Book Club.  Meeting on the third Thursday evenings of each month, the group reads a variety of popular titles across all genres.  This month’s featured title is Stacy Schiff’s “The Witches: Salem, 1692.”  In this book, the Pulitzer Prize winning author provides an electrifying, fresh view of the Salem witch trials.  Along with suffrage and Prohibition, the trials represent one of the few moments when women played the central role in American history.  Check it out from your library, read it, and then come ready to discuss with other readers at this book club event.  For additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6025.

Summer STEM Challenge: Cardboard Mazes
Friday, Aug. 18 at 4:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Youth of all ages are invited to join your South Branch Library for another great Summer STEM Challenge event.  Each time we offer a new activity relating with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, all designed to foster fun and critical thinking in participants.  At this session, we’ll be testing your deductive reasoning skills with a life-size cardboard maze to see if you’ll be able to find your way out of it.  Avoid wrong turns and also have some fun at this unique summer sessions.  This event will be hosted at the women’s Dillard’s courtyard in the Mall of Abilene, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Teen Flix After Hours: "Abduction"
Friday, Aug. 18 at 5:45PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Teens are invited out to the next Teen Flix After Hours event at your South Branch Library.  This month we’re watching an action flick from 2011 starring Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins in “Abduction.”   In this film, a young man is leading a seemingly perfect life.  He has friends, great parents, his eye on a special girl…it couldn’t get better.  But his dreams have always troubled him, and it all comes to a head when he sets out to uncover the truth about his past after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website.  This film is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, brief language, some sexual content and teen partying.  We’ll start the movie at 6:00PM and it runs in at 1 hour and 46 minutes.  Rides should arrive for pickup by 7:45PM.  Snacks will be provided and call 325-698-7565 if you have any questions.

Family Flix: "Descendants"
Saturday, Aug. 19 at 3:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Families are invited to join us for a great Disney movie featuring the trouble-making offspring of some of the most well-known villainous Disney characters of all time.  Join us as we watch 2015’s “Descendants” featuring the children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella De Vil.  In this flick, Ben, the teenage son of King Adam and Queen Belle, is poised to take the throne.  He offers a chance for redemption to the trouble-making teen descendants of defeated villains exiled to the remote Isle of the Lost.  The villains’ descendants have been granted permission to attend prep school in the kingdom with the Disney heroes’ kids.  This film is rated TV-G and has a run time of 1 hour and 52 minutes.  For more information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.

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