Pages

Saturday, September 30, 2017

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Oct. 1)

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 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 Cuban Affair
Author: Nelson DeMille
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F DEMILLE
Summary: Daniel Graham MacCormick--Mac for short--seems to have a pretty good life. At age thirty-five he's living in Key West, owner of a forty-two-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the Army as an infantry officer with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don't tan, and a boat with a big bank loan. Truth be told, Mac's finances are more than a little shaky. One day, Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life, and waiting for Carlos, a hotshot Miami lawyer heavily involved with anti-Castro groups. Carlos wants to hire Mac and The Maine for a ten-day fishing tournament to Cuba at the standard rate, but Mac suspects there is more to this and turns it down. The price then goes up to two million dollars, and Mac agrees to hear the deal, and meet Carlos's clients--a beautiful Cuban-American woman named Sara Ortega, and a mysterious older Cuban exile, Eduardo Valazquez. What Mac learns is that there is sixty million American dollars hidden in Cuba by Sara's grandfather when he fled Castro's revolution. With the "Cuban Thaw" underway between Havana and Washington, Carlos, Eduardo, and Sara know it's only a matter of time before someone finds the stash--by accident or on purpose. And Mac knows if he accepts this job, he'll walk away rich.

#2: To Be Where You Are
Author: Jan Karon
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F KARON
Summary: After twelve years of wrestling with the conflicts of retirement, Father Tim Kavanagh realizes he doesn't need a steady job to prove himself. Then he's given one--but what, exactly, does it prove? Meanwhile, newly married Dooley and Lace face a crisis that empties their bank account and turns their household upside down. Is the honeymoon over? Is this where real life begins? As the Mitford Muse editor stumbles on a quick fix for marital woes and the town grocer falls in love for the first time, Father Tim and Cynthia receive an invitation to yet another family wedding. But perhaps the bottom line is this: While a star blinks out in the Mitford firmament, another soon blinks on at Meadowgate, and four-year-old Jack Tyler looks forward to the biggest day of his life--for now and forever. Jan Karon weaves together the everyday lives of two families, and the cast of characters that readers around the world now love like kin.

#3: A Column of Fire
Author: Ken Follett
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F FOLLETT
Summary: In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country's first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.

#4: Haunted
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: Detective Michael Bennett is ready for a vacation after a series of crises push him, and his family, to the brink. He settles on an idyllic, small town in the beautiful Maine woods, a recommendation from a former colleague. But just when Bennett thinks he can relax, he gets pulled into a case that has shocked the tight-knit community. Kids are disappearing left and right with no explanation -- until several bodies turn up in the woods. As Bennett investigates, he discovers that the seemingly perfect town is reeling from a deadly addiction, and the violence is about to reach a fever pitch. Far from the city streets he knows so well, Bennett faces off against a horrific evil next door that threatens a town, the law, and the family that Bennett loves above all else.

#5: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
Author: David Lagercrantz
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, the brilliant hacker, the obstinate outsider, the volatile seeker of justice for herself and others—even she has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally, fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking, investigative journal Millennium. And she will let nothing stop her—not the anti-Muslim gang she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality; not the deadly reach from inside the Russian mafia of her long-lost twin sister, Camilla; and not the people who will do anything to keep buried knowledge of a sinister pseudoscientific experiment known only as The Registry. Once again, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, together, are the fierce heart of a thrilling full-tilt novel that takes on some of the most insidious problems facing the world at this very moment.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: What Happened
Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: 328.73 CLI
Summary: For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

#2: Killing England
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 973.3 ORE
Summary: Told through the eyes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Great Britain's King George III, Killing England chronicles the path to independence in gripping detail, taking the reader from the battlefields of America to the royal courts of Europe. What started as protest and unrest in the colonies soon escalated to a world war with devastating casualties. O'Reilly and Dugard recreate the war's landmark battles, including Bunker Hill, Long Island, Saratoga, and Yorktown, revealing the savagery of hand-to-hand combat and the often brutal conditions under which these brave American soldiers lived and fought. Also here is the reckless treachery of Benedict Arnold and the daring guerilla tactics of the "Swamp Fox" Frances Marion.

#3: Unbelievable
Author: Katy Tur
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: The NBC News correspondent describes her work covering the 2016 campaign of the Republican nominee for president and his behavior toward her.

#4: The Autobiography of Gucci Mane
Author: Gucci Mane
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: A memoir by the East Atlanta hip-hop artist, who made a comeback after setbacks that included doing time in a maximum-security federal prison.

#5: The Paradigm
Author: Jonathan Cahn
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: Ancient figures from the Middle East are used to explain the rise and fall of contemporary leaders and events.

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, September 28, 2017

Book-to-Film Adaptations: October 2017

Literature often inspires film adaptations and each month I like to highlight those hitting theaters soon.  Check out this blog entry to see what they are, and be on the lookout for seeing them in theaters...as well as checking out their source materials at your library.

Blade Runner 2049
Starring: Ryan Gosling
Release Date: October 6
Based On Characters From: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
Author: Philip K. Dick
Movie Summary: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos.  K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

The Mountain Between Us
Starring: Idris Elba
Release Date: October 6
Based On: "The Mountain Between Us"
Author: Charles Martin
Movie 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 the wilderness.

The Foreigner
Starring: Jackie Chan
Release Date: October 13
Based On: "The Chinaman"
Author: Stephen Leather
Movie Summary: A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism.  A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers' identities.

The Snowman
Starring: Michael Fassbender
Release Date: October 20
Based On: "The Snowman"
Author: Jo Nesbo
Movie Summary: When an elite crime squad's lead detective investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again.  With the help of a brilliant recruit, the cop must connect decades old cold cases to the brutal new ones if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

Same Kind of Different as Me
Starring: Greg Kinnear
Release Date: October 20
Based On: "Same Kind of Different as Me"
Author: Denver Moore, Ron Hall, Michael Carney
Movie Summary: International art dealer Ron Hall must befriend a dangerous homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife, a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the journey of their lives.

Wonderstruck
Starring: Julianne Moore
Release Date: October 20
Based On: "Wonderstruck"
Author: Brian Selznick
Movie Summary: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.

Thank You for Your Service
Starring: Miles Teller
Release Date: October 27
Based On: "Thank You for Your Service"
Author: David Finkel
Movie Summary: A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggles to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them log after they've left the battlefield.

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

Weekly Library Events (October 1-7)

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.

Baylor University Application Workshop
Sunday, Oct. 1 at 3:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Local high school seniors are invited out to a free workshop where you can learn about the admissions process to Baylor University for the Fall 2018 semester.  If you have plans to attend, this is where you'll learn the ins and outs of doing so from Hunter Haston, an Admissions Counselor from the school.  He'll be on hand to present and answer questions about the admissions process, requirements, the university's campus, and more.  If you're interested, be sure to come out and join us, no registration necessary.  It's never too late to starting thinking about your future. 
 

TECH Time
Monday, Oct. 2 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
If you’ve ever needed help with your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other similar devices, we invite you to take advantage of TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Your library tech gurus will be on hand to help answer your questions each week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library.  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 help.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Creation Station Orientation Class
Monday, Oct. 2 at 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6029
The Creation Station at your Main Library officially opens today.  The new makerspace will afford guests with the ability to utilize a wide range of equipment when it comes to creating projects.  To use the Creation Station, guests must first register and complete our Creation Station Orientation Class.  In this class, we will cover the equipment available for use, Creation Station Hours, Usage Policies, Safety Guidelines, Fees, and a tour of the room.  Space is limited to 20 individuals so call 325-676-6029 to register.

Family Fun: Plumply, Dumply, Pumpkins!
Monday, Oct. 2 at 5:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
This month's Family Fun Storytime at your South Branch Library will focus on a favorite seasonal treat...Pumpkins!  Join us for stories featuring this wonderfully versatile vegetable and try out your pumpkin decorating skills.  Have a great time and enjoy a great tasting treat at this free and fun program designed for kids of all ages, and parents too.  We'll supply all the materials you'll need for any projects.

The Craft Life: Stress Balls
Monday, Oct. 2 at 6:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you're a tween who loves to craft, don't miss the next session of The Craft Life series at your Main Library.  Each month we focus on creating fun projects, with all materials supplied, and this month we'll show you a fun way to deal with stress.  That's right, we'll show you how to make your own stress balls, made from simple household materials.  Don't miss out on learning how to make yours.

Lego Club Junior
Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 4:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Youth are invited to join us for our monthly Lego Club Junior session at your South Branch Library.  Hosted in the children's area, we'll supply you with a great selection of Legos so you can use your creativity to build whatever you can imagine.  Sometimes we'll work on specific projects, or you can free design.  Just let your imagination soar in this building workshop, and your finished projects will also be used as a featured display in the lobby for the remainder of the month.  Just come out ready for some after school fun at your library.  

Teen Lego Club
Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 4:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Teens are invited to join us for our monthly Lego Club session at your South Branch Library.  Hosted in the Teen Room area, we'll bring out a selection of Legos so you can join up with your friends, while making new ones, and work on projects together.  Show off your creativity by seeing what you're able to construct while working on themed projects or free designing.  It's all about spending an afternoon at your library having fun with other teens, and we'll even display your completed works in the lobby for the remainder of the month.  


Prepare Your Lawn & Garden for Winter
Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 5:30PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 
Winter weather is right around the corner, and our friends from Willow Creek Gardens will be at your library to teach you how to prepare your lawns & gardens for the season.  Join us as Adam Andrews comes out to share his professional tips and tricks for keeping your landscaping in great condition for the return of Spring next year.  Free to homeowners and business owners alike

Anime Club
Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Don't miss the final session of the Anime Club at your Main Library where we'll watch episodes of Anime and discuss cosplay and Japanese culture.  This month we're watching an action comedy about magical guilds and the people in them, including a motion sick fire mage.  Also, we'll be watching the story of a young Victorian heir and his supernatural butler.  Come and join us for anime and popcorn.

Morning Mingle: Adult Coloring Club
Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 10:00AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Adults are invited to join us for a great morning event with the South Branch Library's Coloring Club for adults.  Coloring is great for giving you the time to take a break from your lives, relieve some stress, and have a little fun without any rules to follow.  Come meet new people, make new friends, and enjoy yourself!  We'll supply the coloring sheets, crayons, colored pencils, markers, and more, and you're free to bring your own supplies.  Light refreshments will be served too.  Don't miss out on this stress-free activity.

Cricut Design Space Class
Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 10:00AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6029
If you've completed the Creation Station Orientation Class, we invite you to expand your makerspace knowledge with this second course to help you develop skills for using the Cricut machine.  The Cricut is a die--cutting machine used for scrapbooking and various projects that's designed to cut paper, felt, vinyl, fabrics, and more.  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.  This course will be limited to eight (8) guests, so be sure to contact Heather Carter at 325-676-6029 to register.

Grandparent & Me Craft Time: Glow-in-the-Dark Pumpkins
Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6029
Grandparents and grandkids are invited to join your Main Library for another round of intergenerational crafting fun in this monthly after school program designed to allow participants to bond.  Each month we meet up to learn about each other, as well as to get hands-on with a fun project.  For this month, we're getting ready for Halloween by showing you how to create your own Glow-in-the-Dark Pumpkins.  All materials will be provided.

Job Time: Application Assistance
Wednesday, Oct. 4 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 your Mockingbird Branch Library for our Job Time: Application Assistance program where we'll get your 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. 

TECH Time
Thursday, Oct. 5 at 2:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
If you’ve ever needed help with your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other similar devices, we invite you to take advantage of TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Your library tech gurus will be on hand to help answer your questions each week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library.  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 help.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Make & Take: Friendly, Halloween Treat Bags!
Thursday, Oct. 5 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Halloween is just around the corner and we're getting ready for it with fun craft activities for kids of all ages.  Join your Mockingbird Branch Library for some Make & Take crafting fun after school as we'll show you how to construct kitten, pumpkin, or spider theme bags...you'll get to choose the one you want.  Plus, there will be some great songs for you to sing-along with while we create. 

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Thursday, Oct. 5 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.

Super Storytime: Big Green Monster
Friday, Oct. 6 at 10:45AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Don't pass up on a great enhanced storytime event at your Main Library, where each month we'll feature a different theme with stories, songs, crafts, and fun for kids of all ages, and parents too.  At this session, it's all about one of our favorite stories, "The Big Green Monster."  Come re-live this story for Halloween and then stick around to create your own monsters from paper bags and other materials. 

Look! Listen! Learn! (Sight)
Friday, Oct. 6 at 4:PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Your South Branch Library is ready to introduce a new weekly children's program, offering a hands-on learning experience that's certain to be fun.  This new program is titled Look, Listen, Learn! where each time we'll explore the world around us in detail.  This program will take the place of Stories & More and for our first series of activities, we'll be discovering our Five Senses.  At this session, it's all about our sense of Sight where we'll share stories and activities designed to teach youth about the subject. 

Teen Night (After Hours): Werewolf
Friday, Oct. 6 at 5:45PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Teens are invited out for another fun after hours activity night at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  At this session, we'll be playing the popular party game Werewolf, where you'll need to use your powers of deduction and mob rule to vote on who, amongst the villagers, is the werewolf.  Teens are asked to arrive by 5:45PM because at 6:00PM we'll lock the doors and start the program.  All teens will be supervised by library staff and rides should arrive for pickup by 7:30PM.

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

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

47 Meters Down
Starring: Mandy Moore
Summary: Two friends are exploring the deep blue sea until something goes wrong.  As they submerge 47 meters, they encounter a creature that only wants flesh and blood.  As they fight their way back to the top, they shortly run out of oxygen.  With only an hour left they're not only racing against time they are racing against life and death.

Transformers: The Last Knight
Starring: Mark Wahlberg
Summary: Optimus Prime finds his dead home planet, Cybertron, in which he comes to find he was responsible for its destruction. He finds a way to bring Cybertron back to life, but in order to do so, Optimus needs to find an artifact that is on Earth. 

Sleeping Beauties
Author: Stephen & Owen King
Summary: In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze.  If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent.  And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare.  One woman, the mysterious Eve Black, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.  Is Eve a medical anomaly to be studied?  Or is she a demon who must be slain?  Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill Eve, some to save her.  Others exploit to the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies.  All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.

Don't Let Go
Author: Harlan Coben
Summary: Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon "Nap" Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo's girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks - and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation.  For 15 years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death.  An now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.  When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions - about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought  he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana - whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

Sleep Like a Baby (Aurora Teagarden #10)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Summary: In the latest installment in the Aurora Teagarden series, Robin and Aurora have finally begun their adventure in parenting.  With newborn Sophie proving to be quite a handful, Roe's mother pays for a partially trained nurse, Virginia, to come help the new parents for a few weeks.  Virginia proves to be especially helpful when Robin has to leave town for work and Roe is struck with a bad case of the flu.  One stormy night, Roe wakes to hear her daughter crying and Virginia nowhere to be found.  Roe's brother Philip helps her search the house and they happen upon a body outside...but it isn't Virginia's.  Now, not only does she have a newborn to care for and a vulnerable new marriage to nurture, Roe also has to content with a new puzzle - who is the mystery woman dead in their backyard, and what happened to Virginia?

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, September 25, 2017

"Mockingbird Nights" | @ the Library Article

If you are an adult who wants something fun to do, but aren't part of the family scene, come check out Mockingbird Nights.  Our monthly program is aimed at the 18-40 crowd and is strictly 18 and up.  We have a wide variety of activities that are aimed at the college age and beyond crowd.  The best part is they are all free!  So bring your friends or bring yourself and make new friends.  Join us as we play tabletop games, do murder mysteries, escape rooms, cult classic movie nights (and yes, some even have sing-alongs), and more.  Our meetings are usually on the 4th Tuesdays of the month, at 6:30PM, but make sure to check our online calendar or give us a call for special event dates.

For September, we will be meeting on the 26th and will be playing the classic, favorite role playing game Dungeons & Dragons.  So grab your D20 as we delve into the newest 5th edition for a fantastic adventure.  First time players are welcome too!  We will provide you with everything you need to play, and we will try not to feed you to the trolls.  Well, at least not immediately.  Characters will be provided at the game so that everyone can start at the same level and we are always excited to teach new players.

October's night will have a special guest and will move to the 31st for an extra special creepy Halloween.  We will be joined by senior staff writer for the Abilene Reporter News, Brian Bethel, as he regales us with his harrowing tale that he has also shared with a paranormal TV show.  His true tale takes place right here in Abilene less than a mile and a half away from the Mockingbird Library.  We will also have time for you to share your own encounters with the unknown.

In November, the temperatures may be cooling down, but Mockingbird Nights is heating up with our very own escape room.  On the 28th, come down and exercise your brain with our tricky traps and puzzles to try to escape with your team.  Themes will be revealed at the program to keep the mystery alive.

Then in December, we will de-stress and chill with an assortment of new and popular tabletop games.  So join us on the 19th and escape the pre-Christmas madness with fun, friends, and maybe a little mayhem.

As previously stated all of these programs are free and no registration will be required.  Since they are events for 18 and up please have a picture ID to verify your age if asked.  If you have any questions about these events or other future programs please call Marianne Vadney at the Mockingbird Branch Library at 325-437-7323.

Article Contributed by Marianne Vadney, Librarian at the Mockingbird Branch Library

"'Santa Calls' Brunner Librarian of the Year in Abilene" | Abilene Reporter-News

Article by Greg Jaklewicz of the Abilene Reporter-News, Published Sept. 24, 2017

It was Denise Brunner who asked then-Mayor Gary McCaleb years ago to read a certain book to her third-grade class at Valley View Elementary School.

Can you send me the book, he asked.

"I have a little surprise for you," she told him.

Imagine the mayor's surprise when, during his reading, he discovered "Santa Calls," a 1993 publication by William Joyce, was set in Abilene, TX.

The rest is local history.

Eddy Smith with Denise Brunner
On Saturday, Brunner was named librarian of the year at the author luncheon that served as a climax to this year's West Texas Book Festival.  Besides verbal accolades, she received a personal award and a $500 check from the Friends of the Library.

The announcement of this year's award that honors late city of Abilene librarian Ricki Brown, who died in 2013, was made at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, which came to be because of "Santa Calls."  A former auto garage was turned into the NCCIL and the downtown sculpture project was launched with "Childhood's Great Adventure," placed in nearby Everman Park.

Abilene since has been dubbed the "Storybook Capital of Texas."

She said she was a bit surprised by the award but knew something was up when her son-in-law, Jay, was in the audience.  He wouldn't show up for an author's luncheon, she said, smiling.

The first public reading of "Santa Calls" is just one of many reasons Brunner was honored.  These days, she serves as Abilene ISD librarian overseeing five elementary schools - Austin, Bowie, Jackson, Taylor and Ward.  And she is the district's early childhood librarian.

Brunner was instrumental in the launching of the Million Word Reader program of the AISD, has been a longtime mover and shaker in the library support group.  She has participated in local and statewide initiatives as a member of the Texas Library Association, the Texas Association of School Librarians and Texas Computer Education Association.

Joyce will be in Abilene on Oct. 21 to celebrate a re-release of "Santa Calls."  He will read, and also sign copies of his book, purchased at the NCCIL.

On Thursday, the book festival honored Jeff Guinn with its annual A.C. Greene Award.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Celebrating Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-30

It's Banned Books Week and this is your time to celebrate your freedom to read the materials you choose.  Having begun in 1982, it started due to a surge in the number of books being challenged across the nation.  Books are challenged frequently for a variety of reasons including subject matter, language, unsuitable for an age group, etc.  When challenged, a party or a group may seek to have the item restricted and removed; however, the point to items being banned altogether does not happen often.  Banned Books Week is designed to shed light on such challenges, as well as celebrate the many books deemed to be "questionable."

Challenges come from a variety of institutions, and even materials at your Abilene Public Library have been addressed.  Although it does not happen often, our library system does have guidelines in place for reviewing challenges to make a determination on whether an item would be removed or not.  But alas, much like it's seen nationwide, many challenged materials do not get to the point of being banned.

Each year, the Office for Intellectual Freedom, as part of the American Library Association, releases a Top 10 List of the most challenged books from the previous year.  Such a list is compiled from media stories and voluntary challenge reports provided to the office from communities in the U.S.  323 challenges were recorded in 2016, and here's a look at the most frequently challenged terms, as well as brief reasons why.
  1. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki | Reasons: inclusion of LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.
  2. Drama by Raina Telgemeier | Reasons: inclusion of LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was discovered to have an offensive political viewpoint.
  3. George by Alex Gino | Reasons: inclusion of a transgender child, and the "sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels."
  4. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings | Reasons: portrayal of a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.
  5. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan | Reasons: cover art with an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.
  6. Looking for Alaska by John Green | Reasons: for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to "sexual experimentation."
  7. Big Hard Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction | Reasons: because it was considered sexually explicit.
  8. Making Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread by Chuck Palahniuk | Reasons: for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being "disgusting and all around offensive."
  9. Little Bill (series) by Bill Cosby | Reasons: due to the criminal sexual allegations against the author.
  10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | Reasons: for offensive language.
Celebrate Banned Books Week however you'd like, but the best way to do so if by simply visiting your local library and taking advantage of your freedom to read by checking out anything you desire.  After all, it's you're right.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

October'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 October, the featured selection is Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and attend the book club meeting on Thursday, October 19 at 7:00PM.  For more information, be sure to contact Janis Test at 325-676-6017.

Born with Teeth
Author: Kate Mulgrew
Summary: Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew 'how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil,' Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones.  But in her mother, a would-be artist burdened by the endless arrival of new babies, young Kate saw the consequences of a dream deferred.  Determined to pursue her own no matter the cost, at 18 she left her small Midwestern town for New York, where, studying with the legendary Stella Adler, she learned the lesson that would define her as an actress: 'Use it,' Adler told her.  Whatever disappointment, pain, or anger life throws in your path, channel it into the work.  It was a lesson she would need.  At 22, just as her career was taking off, she became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter.  Having already signed the adoption papers, she was allowed only a fleeting glimpse of her child.  As her star continued to rise, her life became increasingly demanding and fulfilling, a whirlwind of passionate love affairs, life-saving friendships, and bone-crunching work.  Through it all, Mulgrew remained haunted by the loss of her daughter, until, 20 years later, she found the courage to face the past and step into the most challenging role of her life, both on and off screen.  We know Kate Mulgrew for the strong women she's played - Captain Janeway on Star Trek; the tough-as-nails 'Red' on Orange is the New Black.  Now, we meet the most inspiring and memorable character of all: herself.  By turns irreverent and soulful, laugh-out-loud funny and heart-piercingly sad, this book is the breathtaking memoir of a woman who dares to live life to the fullest, on her own terms.

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

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

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 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: A Column of Fire
Author: Ken Follett
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F FOLLETT
Summary: In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country's first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.

#2: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
Author: David Lagercrantz
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, the brilliant hacker, the obstinate outsider, the volatile seeker of justice for herself and others—even she has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally, fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking, investigative journal Millennium. And she will let nothing stop her—not the anti-Muslim gang she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality; not the deadly reach from inside the Russian mafia of her long-lost twin sister, Camilla; and not the people who will do anything to keep buried knowledge of a sinister pseudoscientific experiment known only as The Registry. Once again, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, together, are the fierce heart of a thrilling full-tilt novel that takes on some of the most insidious problems facing the world at this very moment.

#3: Enemy of the State
Author: Kyle Mills
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F MILLS
Summary: After 9/11, the United States made one of the most secretive and dangerous deals in its history. The evidence against the powerful Saudis who coordinated the attack would be buried. In return, King Faisal would promise to keep the oil flowing and deal with the conspirators in his midst. When the king's own nephew is discovered funding ISIS, the US president suspects that the Saudis never intended to live up to their agreement. He decides that the royalty needs to be sent a message and that Mitch Rapp is just the man to deliver it. The catch? Rapp must do it entirely on his own.

#4: The Romanov Ransom
Author: Clive Cussler
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F CUSSLER
Summary: Treasure-hunting team Sam and Remi Fargo's search for a Romanov fortune brings them into perilous contact with an ambitious neo-Nazi clan, in the thrilling adventure from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. In 1918, a ransom of enormous size was paid to free the Romanovs from the Bolsheviks, but, as history knows, the Romanovs died anyway. And the ransom? During World War II, the Nazis stole it from the Russians, and after that--it vanished. Until now. When a modern-day kidnapping captures the attention of husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo, the couple soon learn that these long-lost riches may be back in play, held in trust by the descendants of a Nazi guerrilla faction called the Werewolves. It is their mission to establish the Fourth Reich, and their time is coming soon. As the Fargos follow the trail across Europe, Northern Africa, and South America, they know only one thing. This quest is greater than anything they have ever done--it is their chance to make someone answer for unspeakable crimes, and to prevent them from happening again.

#5: A Legacy of Spies
Author: John le Carre
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F LECARRE
Summary: Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinised under disturbing criteria by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: What Happened
Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 328.73 CLI
Summary: For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

#2: Unbelievable
Author: Katy Tur
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: The NBC News correspondent describes her work covering the 2016 campaign of the Republican nominee for president and his behavior toward her.

#3: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Weeks On List: 20
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.

#4: Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance
Weeks On List: 60
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.

#5: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
Author: Al Franken
Weeks On List: 16
Call Number: 92 VANCE
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.

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.