Friday, December 29, 2017

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

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 Rooster Bar
Author: John Grisham
Weeks On List: 9
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place.  But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped.  They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass her bar exam, let alone get good jobs.  And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.  But maybe there's a way out.  Maybe there's a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process.  But to do so, they would first have to quit school.  And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right?  Well, yes and no.

#2: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Weeks On List: 12
Call Number: F BROWN
Summary: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forefer."  The evening's host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a 40-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. T his evening is to be no exception, he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.  But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch's precious discover can be revealed.  With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum's director, Ambra Vidal.  Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret.

#3: The People vs. Alex Cross
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: The charges: explosive. Alex Cross has never been on the wrong side of the law - until now. Charged with gunning down followers of his nemesis Gary Soneji in cold blood, Cross is being turned into the poster child for trigger-happy cops who think they're above the law. Cross knows it was self-defense. But will a jury see it that way? The evidence: shocking. As Cross fights for his professional life and his freedom, his former partner John Sampson brings him a gruesome, titillating video tied to the mysterious disappearances of several young girls. Despite his suspension from the department, Cross can't say no to Sampson. The illicit investigation leads them to the darkest corners of the Internet, where murder is just another form of entertainment. The People vs. Alex Cross: the trial of the century. As the prosecution presents its case, and the nation watches, even those closest to Cross begin to doubt his innocence. If he can't convince his own family that he didn't pull the trigger with intent to kill, how can he hope to persuade a jury? But even with everything on the line, Cross will do whatever it takes to stop a dangerous criminal ... even if he can't save himself.

#4: Artemis
Author: Andy Weir
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: SF WEIR
Summary: Augmenting her limited income by smuggling contraband to survive on the Moon's wealthy city of Artemis, Jazz agrees to commit what seems to be a perfect, lucrative crime, only to find herself embroiled in a conspiracy for control of the city.

#5: The Midnight Line
Author: Lee Child
Weeks On List: 7
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: Reacher rides the bus north from Milwaukee. At a comfort stop in Wisconsin dairy country he takes a stroll. Among the cheap junk in a pawn shop window he notices a West Point class ring for sale. It's tiny. A woman cadet's ring. Why would she pawn it? Reacher knows what Serena Sanderson must have gone through to get it.



Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Grant
Author: Ron Chernow
Weeks On List: 11
Call Number: 92 GRANT
Summary: Pulitzer Prize-winner and biographer of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and John D. Rockefeller, Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most complicated generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

#2: Leonardo Da Vinci
Author: Walter Isaacson
Weeks On List: 10
Call Number: 92 LEONARDO
Summary: He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history's most creative genius.

#3: Obama
Author: Pete Souza
Weeks On List: 7
Call Number: NOT HOUSED
Summary: More than 300 pictures of the former president by his White House photographer, with behind-the-scenes stories.

#4: Promise Me, Dad
Author: Joe Biden
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: 973.932 BID
Summary: The former vice-president of the United States chronicles the difficult final year of his son's battle with cancer, his efforts to balance his responsibilities to the country and his family, and the lessons he learned.

#5: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Weeks On List: 34
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.  Offers witty, digestible explanations of topics in cosmology, from the Big Bang and black holes to quantum mechanics and the search for life in the universe.

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.

Book-to-Film Adaptations: January 2018

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 their source materials at your library.

Mary and the Witch's Flower
Starring: Ruby Barnhill
Release Date: January 18
Based On: "The Little Broomstick" by Mary Stewart
Summary: A young girl lives with relatives.  Following two cats she encounters a strange flower that grants magical powers, and she picks it up to take it home.  Later with the help of the cats, she finds a broom.  After Mary squishes the flower in her hands and touches the broom, it begins to move and takes her to a strange new place.  There she begins a new adventure.

The Leisure Seeker
Starring: Helen Mirren
Release Date: January 19
Based On: "The Leisure Seeker" by Michael Zadoorian
Summary: A runaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker, traveling from Boston to The Ernest Hemingway Home in Key West.  They recapture their passion for life and their love for each other on a road trip that provides revelation and surprise right up to the very end.

Maze Runner: Death Cure
Starring: Dylan O'Brien
Release Date: January 26
Based On: "The Death Cure" by James Dashner
Summary: In the epic finale to The Maze Runner Saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet.  To save their friends, they must break into the legendary last city, a WCKD controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all.  Anyone who makes it out alive will get the answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze.  Will Thomas and the crew make it out alive?  Or will Ava Paige get her way?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Weekly Library Events (Dec. 31 - Jan. 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.

Weekend Walk-In Flix: "Dunkirk"
Sunday, Dec. 31 at 3:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Get ready for another great Weekend Walk-In Flix movie session at your library.  Each Sunday we show a great move, most of which have been recently released to DVD, and this session will feature 2017's "Dunkirk" starring Fionn Whitehead and Barry Keoghan in a war film based on a true story.  In this film, it follows the evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26 to June 4, 1940, during the Battle of France in WWII.  This film is rated PG-13 for intense war experiences and some language and has a run time of 1 hour and 46 minutes.  Light snacks will be provided, or feel free to bring your own.  For additional information, feel free to contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Holiday Closing: New Year's Day
Monday, Jan. 1
PH: 325-677-2474
Both the Main Library & Mockingbird Branch location will be closed on Monday, January 1, in observance of New Year's Eve.  Outside materials returns are available if you need to return anything during this time.  If you need library service, the South Branch library will be open from 10:00AM to 6:00PM, closing early that evening with the Mall of Abilene.  We hope everyone has a safe holiday as we welcome in the start of a New Year.   
UPDATE: SOUTH BRANCH LIBRARY WILL BE CLOSED DUE TO WEATHER.

TECH Time | CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
Monday, Jan. 1 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.  Join your library's Technology/Social Media staff for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time.  Sessions are hosted on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library from 2-4PM.  Everyone will be helped first-come, first-served and we will work towards helping you to build a better understanding of your technology.  Participants have been loving it since 2017, so come check out a session yourself.  For information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Family Fun: Winter Wonderland | CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
Monday, Jan. 1 at 5:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Enjoy the cooler weather of winter by stopping by your South Branch library and keeping warm inside at our Winter Wonderland event.  Designed for kids of all ages, come enjoy an evening of winter-themed stories, songs, and other fun activities, including a great craft of course.  All materials will be supplied so dont' miss out on the fun.

Lego Club Junior
Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 4:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Building is fun, especially when you join your library for an afternoon of building with Legos.  Come out this monthly session where we'll supply you with the Legos and t4hen have you use your creativity to build whatever you can think up.  Plus, at the end of the session, you can also have your final projects added to the monthly display in the lobby of the library so others may check out your creation.

Teen Lego Club
Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 4:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Teens are invited out to the next Lego Club Session where we'll supply you with the materials you'll need so you can create whatever you can think up.  It's a great time to be able to build, socialize with others, make new friends, and more, while enjoying the Teen Room at your library.  Plus, you can also have your final projects become a part of the display in the lobby of the library for others to checkout throughout the month.

Law Enforcement Appreciation Cards
Jan. 2-8; All Day
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
January 9 is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, L.E.A.D., and what better way to thank our police force in Abilene than making a card to let them know you care.  During January 2-8, stop by the Mockingbird Branch Library and drop off your well wishes.  We will also have supplies available to make your appreciation card on the spot if you choose.  On January 9, staff will deliver them to our police officers to help brighten their day.

Morning Mingle: Adult Coloring Club
Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 10:00-AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Adults are invited to join your library for the next Morning Mingle Coloring Club session.  Take a little stress out of your life, after the busiest of holiday seasons, and relax at the library through some coloring activities with friends.  We'll supply all the coloring supplies you'll need.  All you have to do is come out, enjoy some light refreshments, socialize with others, and relax while you color your cares away.

Cricut Design Space Class
Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 10:00AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
We invited you to expand your makerspace knowledge with this course designed to help you develop skills for using the Cricut machine.  The Cricut is a die-cutting machine used for scrapbooking and various projects using paper, felt, vinyl, fabrics, and other materials.  At this class, we'll cover how to use the Cricut Design Space, how to load and unload your materials from the machine, and more as part of the Creation Station makerspace at your Main Library.

Job Time: Application Assistance
Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 2:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
If you're looking for a job and need some help, you're invited to stop by the library for this engaging session to get you started on the road to employment success.  We will cover how to search for jobs, how to create a resume, share advice on how to dress for and succeed in an interview, and much more.  We'll have a set number of computers available for use so don't miss your chance to participate in this program.

Grandparent & Me Craft Time: Watercolor Snowflakes
Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Grandparents and grandchildren are invited to be a part of a great intergenerational crafting session where we engage in hobbies, activities, and crafts designed to promote fun and bonding together.  Each month we meet up to work on a new projects, and in January, we'll be making Watercolor Snowflakes.  We'll supply you with all the tools so you can make your own, and they'll be perfect for adding a little winter color to your homes.  Don't miss out on this fun workshop, hosted in the basement of the Main Library.

TECH Time
Thursday, Jan. 4 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.  Join your library's Technology/Social Media staff for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time.  Sessions are hosted on Mondays at the South Branch library and Thursdays at the Main Library form 2-4PM.  Everyone will be helped first-come, first-served and we will work towards helping you to build a better understanding of your technology.

Make & Take: Icicles & Snowflakes
Thursday, Jan. 4 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Brrr!  It's winter weather and what better way to celebrate than to create your own glittering icicle craft?  That's what we'll be doing for the next Make & Take craft session for kids at your library.  Join us as we'll be providing all the materials to show you how to use beads, pipe cleaners, and glue to make your own beautiful icicles to hang in your windows.

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Thursday, Jan. 4 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're between the ages of 13-17, we invited you to be a part of the weekly writing club at your library.  Designed to help strengthen your creative writing skills, in all forms, teens meet to work on a variety of fun writing activities individually, and as a group too.  If you have a passion for writing, come check out a session for yourself; no registration is needed.

Super Storytime: New Year's Celebration
Friday, Jan. 5 at 11:00AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Families are invited to join in on the a great Super Storytime event.  This time around, we're celebrating 2018 and the start of a new year.  Kids of all ages are invited to join us for great stories, songs, and fun at this enhanced storytime event, and we'll also supply all the materials to show you how to create your own fireworks in the sky craft to honor the holiday.

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Participate in Library L.E.A.D. Project, Jan. 2-8

Communities nationwide are preparing for a special day designed to recognize the hard work and dedication of local law enforcement.  These brave men and women work diligently to help keep our cities safe, and doing so when not everyone in the U.S. may be appreciative of their efforts.  I know we LOVE the Abilene Police Department, and on January 9, we'll be showing our support by participating in L.E.A.D, which is the National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day!

During this day, our nation's citizens are being asked to show their support, in a number of ways, to discourage the negative attention these men and women may receive.  If you want to show your support, we invite you to participate in a special activity being hosted at your Mockingbird Branch Library (1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.) running Tuesday, January 2 through Monday, January 8.

We're asking Abilenians to share your thanks by making a card to let them know you care.  Purchase one, make one at home, or stop by your Mockingbird Branch Library during this time where we'll have supplies available for you to make your appreciation card on the spot.  We'll accept them all through January 8, and then library staff will gather them all up and deliver them to our police officers to help brighten their day and show them how much they're appreciated.

There are more ways that you can show your support for law enforcement during L.E.A.D., and leading up to the day, including:
We hope you take advantage of this service project from your Mockingbird Branch Library, and if you have questions regarding our Card Appreciation Project, feel free to contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Tuesday, December 26, 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 the library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the popular titles being released today.

Flatliners
Starring: Ellen Page
Summary: Medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences, hoping for insights.  Each has their heart stopped and is revived.  They begin having flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them.  The experiences continue to intensify, and they begin to by physically beaten by their visions as they try and go deeper into the death experience to find a cure.

The Mountain Between Us
Starring: Idris Elba
Summary: Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain.  When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible.

Brawl in Cell Block 99
Starring: Vince Vaughn
Summary: Bradley Thomas is a hard working man.  After him and his wife's miscarriage they admit the spark isn't there anymore and decide to have a baby.  After being fired from his job, he turns to his friend who hires him as a drug dealer.  A trade goes bad and he ends up in prison, the only problem is that a gang has kidnapped his wife and they will do an experimental operation on the baby unless Thomas kills one of the inmates in cell block 99.  Bradley will stop at nothing until his wife is safe again.
 
The Wanted (Elvis Cole & Joe Pike #17)
Author: Robert Crais
Summary: When single mother Devon Connor hires private investigator Elvis Cole, it's because her troubled teen son Tyson is flashing cash and she's afraid he's dealing drugs.  But the truth is devastatingly different.  With two other partners in crime, he's been responsible for a string of high-end burglaries, a crime spree that takes deadly turn when one of them is murdered and Tyson and his girlfriend disappear.  They stole the wrong thing from the wrong man.  Determined to get it back, he has hired a team that is smart and brutal, and to even the odds, Cole calls in his friends Joe Pike and Jon Stone.  But even they may be overmatched.  The hired killers are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.  A few more won't make any difference.

Death at Nuremberg (Clandestine Operations #4)
Author: W.E.B. Griffin
Summary: When Jim Cronley hears he's just won the Legion of Merit, he figures there's another shoe to drop, and it's a big one: he's out as Chief, DCI-Europe.  His new assignments; however, he couldn't be bigger: to protect the U.S. chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials from a rumored soviet NKGB kidnapping, and to hunt down and dismantle the infamous Odessa, an organization dedicated to helping Nazi war criminals escape to South America.  It doesn't take long for the first attempt on his life, and then the second.  NKGB or Odessa?  Who can tell?  The deeper he pushes, the more secrets tumble out: a scheme to swap Nazi gold for currency, a religious cult organized around Himmler himself, an NKGB agent who is actually working for the Mossad, a German cousin who turns out to be more malevolent than he appears - and a distractingly attractive newspaperwoman who seems to be asking an awful lot of questions.  Which one will turn out to be the most dangerous?  Cronley wishes he knew.

Firefly Cove
Author: T. Davis Bunn
Summary: Since the age of seven, Lucius has known he is dying.  Doctors told him he had a "bad ticker" and might not live to see his next birthday.  But somehow, the frail yet determined boy managed to hang on and surprise everyone.  Lucius not only survived to adulthood, he thrived, turning a small car dealership into a successful chain.  But now, a 28, his time is finally running out.  She he's returning to the one place he ever felt happy, near the only woman he ever truly wanted - the California seaside town of Miramar Bay.  Jessica was the only daughter of the only dentist in town.  An ardent reader and fan of Jane Austen, she was able to follow in her father's footsteps, as he desired.  But Jessica preferred the simple things in life - a trait that captivated Lucius from the moment he arrived in town.  Her quick wit and carefree approach to life were a breath of fresh air to a man who devoted all his time to work.  Soon they were falling head over heels - until Lucius pulled away, to spare her the pain of his inevitable fate.  Now, after all this time, he's going to make each moment count.  Because he knows that everything is about to change...he just can't know exactly how.

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, December 25, 2017

"Looking Forward to a New Year's Party?" | @ the Library Article

During most holidays in the fall, people tend to focus on the food.  For Halloween, there's candy and scary looking food.  For Thanksgiving, there's the traditional turkey, potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce, and pies among other things.  At Christmas, after the presents, the main meat is also frequently turkey, although beef, pork, lamb, or other poultry may be used instead.  Then add the sides of potatoes and gravy, vegetable dishes, maybe a relish tray, and homemade candy and other sweets for a complete meal.  But on New Year's Eve, although a meal may be planned for New Year's Day, and certainly people do eat on New Year's Eve, the main event focuses on music or games and drinking alcohol.

Sparkling wine or Champagne, cocktails, mixed drinks, or maybe punch are featured on New Year's Eve.  Most save the sparkling wine or Champagne for the toast at midnight, but other drinks are enjoyed during the majority of the evening.  If celebrating at a bar or in Times Square, as many do, ordering the drink of choice is simple and the bartender will make it happen.  But at a private party, what the guest drinks depends on what the host provides (unless it's a BYOB party).

Planning a special event for a New Year's Eve party and wanting to provide something extraordinary and memorable, yet affordable, may be difficult to do.  Try some of the bartending books available at the Abilene Public Library for some fresh ideas.

Create some historical drinks with How to Mix Drinks or The Bon Vivant's Companion by Jerry Thomas or W.C. Whitfield's Mixed Drinks and Cocktails by W.C. Whitfield.  Both are found online in Hoopla as are The Rum 1000 and The Ultimate Little Frozen Drinks Book, that are both parts of two different series of books on bartending by Ray Foley.  Also on Hoopla is Cocktails for the Holidays by various authors if you'd like to do something holiday specific.

If using a "real" book is easier to do when following a recipe, try The Four Seasons Book of Cocktails by Fred DuBose.  It features cocktail recipes from New York's landmark restaurant.

Throwing a party for a large group?  Check out Kara Newman's Cocktails for a Crowd or fall back on a standard such as the International Bartender's Guide or Mardee Haidin Regan's The Bartender's Best Friend.  There is also The Ultimate Guide to Pitcher Drinks by Sharon Tyler Herbst to make small (or not so small) batches of cocktails.

Suzi Parker's 1000 Best Bartender's Recipes includes a section on virgin cocktails for those who prefer to drink without the possibility of a hangover.  Finally, since this is Texas, take a look at Cowboy Cocktails: Boot Scootin' Beverages and Tasty Vittles from the Wild West by Grady Spears to do a themed party.

With a little creativity and some help from these titles or others, a New Year's Eve party can be a little something different.  Check it out at the Abilene Public Library and remember to drink responsibly.

Please Remember: All locations of the Abilene Public Library are closed today so staff may celebrate Christmas with their families.  For your convenience, items may be renewed online, and there are book drops at all locations.  We will reopen tomorrow with normal operating hours.  Merry Christmas from your friends at Abilene Public Library.

Article Contributed by Marie Skufca, Information Services Librarian

Saturday, December 23, 2017

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

Many browse the new materials 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 Rooster Bar
Author: John Grisham
Weeks On List: 8
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place.  But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped.  They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass her bar exam, let alone get good jobs.  And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.  But maybe there's a way out.  Maybe there's a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process.  But to do so, they would first have to quit school.  And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right?  Well, yes and no.

#2: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Weeks On List: 11
Call Number: F BROWN
Summary: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forefer."  The evening's host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a 40-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. T his evening is to be no exception, he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.  But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch's precious discover can be revealed.  With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum's director, Ambra Vidal.  Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret.

#3: The People vs. Alex Cross
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: The charges: explosive. Alex Cross has never been on the wrong side of the law - until now. Charged with gunning down followers of his nemesis Gary Soneji in cold blood, Cross is being turned into the poster child for trigger-happy cops who think they're above the law. Cross knows it was self-defense. But will a jury see it that way? The evidence: shocking. As Cross fights for his professional life and his freedom, his former partner John Sampson brings him a gruesome, titillating video tied to the mysterious disappearances of several young girls. Despite his suspension from the department, Cross can't say no to Sampson. The illicit investigation leads them to the darkest corners of the Internet, where murder is just another form of entertainment. The People vs. Alex Cross: the trial of the century. As the prosecution presents its case, and the nation watches, even those closest to Cross begin to doubt his innocence. If he can't convince his own family that he didn't pull the trigger with intent to kill, how can he hope to persuade a jury? But even with everything on the line, Cross will do whatever it takes to stop a dangerous criminal ... even if he can't save himself.

#4: The Midnight Line
Author: Lee Child
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: Reacher rides the bus north from Milwaukee. At a comfort stop in Wisconsin dairy country he takes a stroll. Among the cheap junk in a pawn shop window he notices a West Point class ring for sale. It's tiny. A woman cadet's ring. Why would she pawn it? Reacher knows what Serena Sanderson must have gone through to get it.

#5: Artemis
Author: Andy Weir
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: SF WEIR
Summary: Augmenting her limited income by smuggling contraband to survive on the Moon's wealthy city of Artemis, Jazz agrees to commit what seems to be a perfect, lucrative crime, only to find herself embroiled in a conspiracy for control of the city.



Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Leonardo Da Vinci
Author: Walter Isaacson
Weeks On List: 9
Call Number: 92 LEONARDO
Summary: He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history's most creative genius.

#2: Obama
Author: Pete Souza
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: NOT HOUSED
Summary: More than 300 pictures of the former president by his White House photographer, with behind-the-scenes stories.

#3: Grant
Author: Ron Chernow
Weeks On List: 10
Call Number: 92 GRANT
Summary: Pulitzer Prize-winner and biographer of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and John D. Rockefeller, Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most complicated generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

#4: Promise Me, Dad
Author: Joe Biden
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: 973.932 BID
Summary: The former vice-president of the United States chronicles the difficult final year of his son's battle with cancer, his efforts to balance his responsibilities to the country and his family, and the lessons he learned.

#5: Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans
Author: Brian Kilmeade
Weeks On List: 8
Call Number: 973.5329 KIL
Summary: A portrait of the seventh American president focuses on his formative military prowess during the War of 1812 and his pivotal contributions to the capturing of New Orleans from the British.

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, December 21, 2017

Weekly Library Events (Dec. 24-30)

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 to take a look at our program calendar.

Job Time: Application Assistance
Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
If you're looking for a job and need some help, you're invited to stop by the Mockingbird Branch for our Job Time: Application Assistance program where we'll get you started on the road to employment success.  We will cover how to search for jobs, how to create a resume, share advice on how to dress for and succeed in an interview and much more.  We'll have a set number of computers available for use so don't miss your chance to participate in this program.

Cricut Design Space Class
Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
We invite you to expand your makerspace knowledge with this course designed to help you develop skills for using the Cricut machine.  The Cricut is a die-cutting machine used for scrapbooking and various projects using paper, felt, vinyl, fabrics, and other materials.  At this class, we’ll cover how to use the Cricut Design Space, how to load and unload your material from the machine, and more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Flashback Family Flix @ Your Library

All locations of the Abilene Public Library hosts regular movie showings aimed at different demographics.  From classic movies to new releases, family flicks to blockbuster hits, we cover a wide range of films each month.

Starting January, your South Branch Library will debut a new movie series hosted on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at 11:00AM titled Flashback Friday Flix.  Designed for kids of all ages, as well as the entire family, these sessions will focus on showing hit family-friendly movies from the 80's and 90's that parents will remember from their childhood, and then be able to share with their children in the present.  Not only will the movie selections appeal to youth today, but adults may also love to take a trip down memory lane with film favorites.

Our first session will be hosted on Saturday, January 13 at 11:00AM with 1984's "The NeverEnding Story" starring Noah Hathaway and Barret Oliver.  In this film, Bastian escapes from a bookshop and steals away in the attic of his school to read it.  He's warned it can be dangerous, but his love for books wins out.  He's then drawn into the mythical land of Fantasia that needs a hero to save it from destruction...and Bastian will learn how close he is to being part of the NeverEnding Story.  Later on that month, on Saturday, January 27 at 11:00AM, we'll follow this flick by watching a great 80's flick, with a unique look at the world of girl scouts in "Troop Beverly Hills."

As always, light snacks and water will be served at each of the movie showings, or guests are free to bring in their own.  Whatever you do, don't pass up on your chance to be a part of this new film series at your library.  For additional information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.  To take a look at the current lineup of movie showings, feel free to visit our Movie Page online.

Tuesday, December 19, 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 the library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the popular titles being released today.

Dunkirk
Starring: Fionn Whitehead
Summary: Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26 to June 4, 1940, during the Battle of France in World War II.

Mother!
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence
Summary: Amidst a wild flat meadow encircled by an lush forest, a couple has cocooned itself in a secluded grand mansion that was not so long ago burned to the ground, devotedly restored by the supportive wife.  Within this safe environment, the once famous middle-aged poet husband is desirous of creating his magnum opus, however, he seems unable to break out of the persistent creative rut that haunts him.  And then, unexpectedly, a knock at the door and the sudden arrival of a cryptic late-night visitor and his intrusive wife will stimulate the writer's stagnant imagination, and much to the perplexed wife's surprise, the more chaos he lets in their haven, the better for his punctured male ego.  In the end, will this incremental mess blemish irreparably the couple's sanctuary?

Stronger
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal
Summary: Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope after surviving the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Victoria & Abdul
Starring: Judi Dench
Summary: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

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.