Saturday, June 30, 2007

This Week in Reading July 1 - 7

What is it about being born this time of year? It's the Fourth of July and it's good to share this week with some really great authors. Who knows, maybe one of us will get on this list in future years. For now just enjoy reading across wide world spectrums, like those between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Hermann Hesse, and between the plays of Neil Simon and Tom Stoppard. And maybe the gap between Franz Kafka and James Cain is not so wide as it first seems. Don't set off any fireworks, except in your mind. Enjoy the midweek day off.

This Week's Question: Where is the primary exhibit of Frida Kahlo paintings being held to celebrate the centennial of her birth?

Answer to Last Week's Question: "Social Contract' was a term used by Rousseau, Locke, and others to describe the relationship between members of a society and their acceptance of a rule of law in order to be "free" and live reasonably together. More broadly, the term refers to institutions such as public libraries, schools, police and fire. Through these institutions, the community undertakes to provide services for its members by sharing expenses so that more services can be shared with all members of the community than could be individually obtained.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mortified: real words, real people, real pathetic / edited by David Nadelberg

Did you ever want to snoop in your sister’s bedroom and read her diary? If so, this is your chance (well, sort of)! Mortified is a compilation of embarrassing, emotional, humorous and immature excerpts from real diaries, letters and notes and they’re guaranteed to get you reminiscing about your adolescent years.

Oh, and most likely if you kept a diary you’ll want to dig it out and read it all over again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Spirited Away

Event for Teens!

The Grandview Branch Library will be showing the movie ‘Spirited Away’ on Wednesday, July 18th, 3:00-5:00pm. Come and enjoy the movie on our shaded, open air patio! Free popcorn and beverages will be provided.

In this Japanese anime adventure, 10 year old Chihiro and her parents wander into a town filled with gods, monsters and witches. When Chihrio’s parents are changed into animals she must fend for herself. This requires finding a job to make her way in this strange world until she can find her way back home.

Featuring the voices of Daveigh Chase, Michael Chiklis, Susan Egan, Lauren Holly, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette, and David Ogden Stiers. Walt Disney Pictures; Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Rated PG; 124 Minutes; 2002

If you are interested in Japanese animated films, known as anime, I recommend books on the subject such as The Anime Encyclopedia, by Jonathan Clements, or Anime Explosion! by Patrick Drazen.

Monday, June 25, 2007

This Week in Reading June 24 - 30

There are three more Nobel prizewinners born this week, a poet, Czeslaw Milosz, a playwright, Luigi Pirandello, and a novelist, Pearl S. Buck, each leaning toward the serious but beloved by millions. George Orwell's coinage of "doublespeak" also reached millions both in its definition and in its use upon them. Yet besides Ambrose Bierce's biting cynicism, no humorists this week reached more Americans than George Abbott and Mel Brooks. George Abbott was the defining producer who play doctored many so-so funny Broadway scripts into laugh riot extravanganzas and made them successes. After Broadway saw years of dwindling and bored audiences Mel Brooks brought the concept of a big, solidly entertaining Broadway show back with his brilliant Producers by using the simple idea Abbott had believed in, "make 'em laugh."

This Week's Question: Who, among this week's author, created the phrase "social contract" and what does it mean to public libraries and the people who utilize them? (Essays accepted.)

Answer to Last Week's Question: On the first program of his new weekly series Bill Moyers Journal on April 27, 2007 Moyers interviewed Jon Stewart of Daily Show fame. You can still see the video or read the transcript at the archive. A group of Glendale area persons meets monthly at the Learning Center of the Glendale Central Library to choose a video from the previous month's programs to watch, discuss, and blog about locally and nationally. The last meeting of the Moyers Talkers was last Thursday and the next is Thursday, July 19. Everyone's view is welcome.

"Authors, Artists & Friends" Series

A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility

Taner Akcam is widely recognized as one of the first Turkish scholars to write extensively and authoritatively on the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in the early 20th century. He is giving a free lecture and book signing at the Pacific Park Branch Library, 501 South Pacific Avenue on Saturday, June 30, 7 pm.

In 1915, under the cover of a world war, some one million Armenians were killed through starvation, forced marches, forced exile, and mass acts of slaughter. Although Armenians and world opinion have held the Ottoman powers responsible, Turkey has consistently rejected any claim of intentional genocide.

The first scholar of any nationality to have mined the significant evidence in Turkish military and court records, parliamentary minutes, letters, and eyewitness accounts Ak├žam follows the chain of events leading up to the killing and then reconstructs its systematic orchestration by coordinated departments of the Ottoman state, the ruling political parties, and the military. He also probes the crucial question of how Turkey succeeded in evading responsibility, pointing to competing international interests in the region, the priorities of Turkish nationalists, and the international community's inadequate attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Sociologist and historian Taner Akcam teaches at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. Akcam grew up in Turkey, where he was imprisoned for editing a political publication and adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in 1976. Akcam later received political asylum in Germany, where he earned a PhD from the University of Hannover and worked with the Hamburg Institute for Social Research on issues concerning the history of violence and torture in Turkey. He is the author of ten scholarly works of history and sociology, as well as numerous articles in Turkish, German, and English. His latest book, A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility can be checked out at the library.

RSVPs are highly recommended by calling 626.744.1177 ext 23 or online at

This lecture is presented by Facing History and Ourselves, and is cosponsored by the Glendale Public Library, Friends of the Glendale Public Library and Glendale Parks, Recreation and Community Services.

About Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development and lessons of the Holocaust and other examples of collective violence and genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. Facing History reaches 1.6 million students worldwide each year.

Visit their website

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Library's Most Wanted Books

With over 185 holds and counting, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now by far the most requested book in our library catalog. Curious to see some more of the Library's popular titles? Here's a quick look at our most requested books this past month.

Click on the book cover images to find them in our library catalog. There you can read summaries and reviews, find other books by the same authors, or place a hold of your own!

Monday, June 18, 2007

"Authors, Artists & Friends" Series

Come hear John Ziegler discuss the death of free speech. It’s on Saturday, June 23, 10 am. It’s free, and it’s at the Glendale Public Library.

Radio talk-show host and TV commentator John Ziegler examines how the news media has created arbitrary, biased, and illogical rules for determining what can and cannot be said in the public arena. He details how in almost every major case of "speech and punishment" in modern America, the guilty verdict was wrong and unjust.

John Ziegler is a veteran of the radio and television industries who has been on the air in several major markets including Raleigh, Nashville, Philadelphia, Louisville, and Los Angeles, where he currently is the host of the evening show on KFI, the most listened to talk-radio station in the country. He has frequently served as a commentator on local and national television shows and as a columnist for numerous newspapers and prominent websites.

If you can’t make the event, or what to know more, check out his book, The Death of Free Speech: How Our Broken National Dialogue Has Killed the Truth and Divided America, an objective, credible, provocative, and entertaining look at one of the most important and underreported realities in American society. No one is in better position to tell this story than John Ziegler as he warns that this most cherished constitutional right is in grave jeopardy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

This Week in Reading June 17 - 23

The youngest author born this week surely sold more copies than any other writer born this week and the next youngest after that one put out works that sold in the millions, too. But several of the other authors who share the week had a much larger impact upon the world beyond reading, from theatre, film, and popular music to philosophy, religion and sociological research that affected many millions. Some the events affected many millions, too.

This Week's Question: One of this week's authors would have been a voluminous blogger of his day if the Internet had existed. He opined among his countless quotes "One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." Who is it and what "message" is he associated with?

Answer to Last Week's Question: Sorry, this trick question tricked even me. None of last week's authors said it. I thought it was argued that Ben Jonson actually wrote it but it was penned by the little known Robert Greene, who wrote in 1592 "For there is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with a tiger's heart wrapped in a player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as is the best of you; and being an absolute Johannes fac totum is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country." Jonson, on the other hand, eulogized Shakepeare with "He was not of an age but for all time." I used Bartlett's Familiar Quotations to find these out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tempting Titles: Nonfiction 800 - 900 - Biographies

Finshing up this round of good reading, still in Dewey Decimal order (The Biographies are all numbered 92 [Name of person biography is about] because they used be 920 but that got used to signify biographies of groups of people so libraries went with 92 or B. And, by the way, certain biographies are not there. If it's a writer or an actor, a musician, or an athlete their biography is in the Dewey Decimal number for his or her activity. Never mind, just ask at the Reference Desk. We'll tell you where.)

To get to the online catalog record click on the image or the book title link. There you can place a hold request, see similar subjects or other books by the same author, read first chapters, reviews or summaries, and enlarge the image.

800 Literature

Dog Years a memoir by Doty, Mark.

This sad, sad book represents a curious blend of memoir, journal, literary criticism, and prose elegy, and it borrows some structural elements from drama and poetry. Its tone is plangent, its complex formal structure is like memory itself, and its exquisite pace reminds one of nothing so much as a stroll in the park with Fido. Poignant, intelligent, and quite simply superb; highly recommended for most collections, although the Emily Dickinson criticism may make it too literary for the Marley & Me crowd. Library Journal.

Taz, the Blog Dog, suggests to look at the bookjacket to see what dogs are all about: "Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives? When poet Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family. As Beau bounds back into life, the two dogs become Doty's intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when all else fails. This is a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love."--Publisher bookjacket.

Thornton Wilder: Collected Plays and Writings on Theater by Wilder, Thornton / McClatchy, J.D. selected and wrote notes.

Starred Review. This latest Library of America collection is a doozy. This volume gathers a heap of Wilder's early one-acters with Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Matchmaker, plus his writings on theater and a sweet bonus of his screenplay for Hitchcock's 1943 thriller Shadow of a Doubt. Overall, there are about three dozen plays and another dozen essays. Essential for theater collections. Library Journal

900 Geography, Travel, History, Biography

Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan’s Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe that Ended the Outlaw’s Bloody Reign by Stephan Talty

A vivid portrait of pirate life, and even better as an analysis of why the ruthless outlaws were so peculiarly suited for success against hapless Spain. Kirkus

Necessary Sins: A Memoir by Lynn Darling

Anyone who is married will laugh with Darling as she describes the disappointment she felt when her new hubby gave her towels for Valentine’s Day, and underline her many insights into the “cycles [of] domestic life. “Unsettling and absorbing.” Kirkus

Too Close to the Sun: the Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton by Wheeler, Sara

Beautifully rendered biography of the last of the great Victorian gentlemen-adventurers, by accomplished English author Wheeler (Cherry, 2002, etc.). A charismatic personality of the first order, and with impeccable lineage to boot, Denys Finch Hatton (1887–1931) gained importance as one of the first-rank white hunters in British East Africa during the 1920s, as well as the lover of authors Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) and Beryl Markham, among others. Kirkus

Tempting Titles: Nonfiction 600 - 700

Continuing Summer fun in Dewey Decimal order:

To get to the online catalog record click on the image or the book title link. There you can place a hold request, see similar subjects or other books by the same author, read first chapters, reviews or summaries, and enlarge the image.

600 - Health, Technology, Business

Into the Black: JPL and the American Space Program, 1976-2004 by Westwick, Peter J.

A well-written work showing how a preeminent US space laboratory has coped with change as a new era of international competitiveness has evolved from earlier national emphasis on military and political competition. Choice

Introduction to Dog Agility by Bonham, Margaret H. with illustrations by Michele Earle-Bridges.

Written especially for beginning canine Agility competition enthusiasts, this manual covers all aspects of the competitive sport. The author starts with instruction on evaluating a dog's physical fitness and overall readiness for Agility training... Glendale Public Library Catalog Summary

Taz, the Blog Dog, says: "Want to have more fun with your person than you can possibly imagine? Plan to have them take you to do agility! Those tunnels, jumps, and tires are way cooooollll!!! Go dog go!" See you at the next trial-- Hey, look! Ice cream! Can I have some? Huh? Hawrf!"

The perfect scoop : ice creams, sorbets, granitas, and sweet accompaniments by Lebovitz, David

Lebovitz, who was a pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA, for 12 years, is the author of three other cookbooks, including Room for Dessert. Here, he offers dozens of recipes for delectable frozen treats, from Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream to Cherry Sorbet to Blood Orange Granita. All the classics are here, along with more innovative creations. Parsley Ice Cream, anyone? Library Journal

From this essential guidebook's opening sentence—"Bad things can happen on email"—Shipley and Schwalbe make all too clear what can go wrong. Brisk, practical and witty, the book aims to improve the reader's skills as sender and recipient: devising effective subject lines and exploring "the politics of the cc"; how to steer clear of legal issues; and how to recognize different types of attachments. Publisher's Weekly

Assuming that readers don't have the time to camp in an armchair and mull over his advice, Tracy "chunks up" the book by using headings to subdivide chapters and peppering his prose with numbered lists, such as the "12 Proven Principles for Peak Performance" and the "16 Ways to Overcome Procrastination." On occasion, his motivational bent can be too bubbly, especially in the "action exercises" found at the end of each chapter: "Resolve today that you are going to work and practice until you become one of the most efficient, effective, and productive people in your field," or "Resolve today to dedicate yourself to lifelong learning; decide to pay any price, invest any amount of time required, to be the best at what you do." Publisher's Weekly

700 - Arts, Sports, Entertaiment

Why Classical Music Still Matters, by Kramer, Lawrence

By focusing on the themes of life, (love and death, memory, war, identity, suffering and longing, solitude and community) he provides readers with the essential vocabulary to understand, actively engage with, and give meaning and value to classical music in our contemporary popular culture. Library Journal

Brooks's probing self-insights and clever quotes abound. While his sense of timing, delivery and charming goofiness may not always translate to the written page, readers will be satisfied with the details unearthed by Parish's exhaustive research. Publishers Weekly

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tempting Titles Nonfiction 300 - 400 - 500

Continuing Summer fun in Dewey Decimal order:

To get to the online catalog record click on the image or the book title link. There you can place a hold request, see similar subjects or other books by the same author, read first chapters, reviews or summaries, and enlarge the image.

300 Social Sciences

The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Artic by McGrath, Melanie

A compact history of northern life adds context to the story of horrific exile, which McGrath humanizes by focusing on Josephie Flaherty, the mixed-race son of an Inuit mother and of American director Robert Flaherty, who created the cinematic sensation Nanook of the North in the 1920s. McGrath's account of inhumane deprivation is based on contemporary documents and astonishing interviews with survivors, who after decades of pleading to be repatriated to their homeland finally forced public hearings in 1993 that shocked Canadians and culminated in the 1999 creation of Nunavut, the world's only self-governing territory for indigenous people. Publishers Weekly.

Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration by Quinones, Sam

In this collection of "tales," freelance journalist Quinones (True Tales from Another Mexico) illustrates the astounding determination, resourcefulness, and entrepreneurial spirit of many Mexicans who seek a different way of life, whether within their country of birth or by moving to the United States. Library Journal.

Hyper-chondriac: One Man's Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down by Frazer, Brian

"Hilarious and biting, Hyper-Chondriac recounts the author's lifelong battle with various ailments and maladies, ranging from minor instances of frostbite to rage-filled meltdowns." -- Entertainment Weekly

The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy by Quigley, Joan

“...a real-life epic of brutally indifferent government, greedy corporations and the unlikely heroes who fight for their basic human rights. It's all here; made in America. You'll feel enraged to know the truth of what happened in our mountains and proud of your fellow Americans who took on Goliath." --
John Passacantando, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

400 Language

Unfortunate English: the gloomy truth behind the words you use by Brohaugh, William

Previous meanings of words that would offend the sensitive, discomfit the squeamish, and irk the politically correct are uncovered in this entertaining compilation of word histories and etymologies. 10,000 first printing. Readers may think twice about using such seemingly innocuous words as "pretty," "gymnasium," and "goodbye" after perusing this volume. In it, Brohaugh reveals the original meanings of a number of commonly used words--meanings that might offend the more delicate sensibilities of modern hearers, were they made aware of them. Brohaugh is the editor or author of several books on writing. Book News, Inc.,

500 Sciences

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Scienceby Angier, Natalie

Natalie Angier loves science, and she wants everyone else to love it, too. Bookpage

She writes with such verve, humor, and warmth that even readers who may have flunked any of those subjects in high school will still be willing to give them a second chance. Library Journal

Tempting Titles: Nonfiction 000 - 100 - 200

We're back with more Tempting Titles of recent books chosen by the nonfiction selectors, (the librarians who buy books for the library shelves.) If these titles are not yet on our shelves, records are in the catalog and will be flying off shelves soon. They are listed in Dewey Decimal order because that's where you'll find them, and how we order them.

To get to the online catalog record click on the image or the book title link. There you can place a hold request, see similar subjects or other books by the same author, read first chapters, reviews or summaries, and enlarge the image.

000 Computers, Generalities
Photoshop finishing touches
by Cross, Dave

This guide to Adobe Photoshop focuses on adding finishing touches such as frames and artistic and lighting effects to images so that readers can learn how to experiment with the program. Although meant for readers with some knowledge of Photoshop, the first section is a reference that explains key concepts. Others of the 59 techniques shown are borders and edge effects, applying filters, color tint, blurring, and techniques for presentation such as slide shows. (Glendale Public Library Catalog Summary)

Totally wired: what teens and tweens are really doing online
by Goodstein, Anastasia

Today's teens are developmentally identical to teens who listened to Elvis and wore poodle skirts, Goodstein argues, but they have a new venue—the Internet—for exploring their hopes, desires and voices. Goodstein urges parents to take the plunge into cyberspace not only in order to keep their children safe but also to build closer relationships. "Ask them about their digital lives," she advises, "and they'll start talking about the rest of their lives." Focusing on the pros rather than the risks, Goldstein presents a solid and accessible guide to help understand the wired generation. (Publisher's Weekly)

100 Philosophy, Psychology

Have You Got What It Takes?: Successful People Reveal How They Made It to the Top by Boggs, Bill

This lessons-in-life career guide from successful stars at the top of their game delves into what factors, beyond talent, have determined and defined the lives of well-known individuals, including Joe Torre, Anna Quindlen, Matt Lauer, and others. (Glendale Public Library Catalog Summary)

200 Religion

"a must-read not only for educators, clergy and government officials, but for all adults in a culture where, as Prothero puts it, "faith without understanding is the standard" and "religious ignorance is bliss." Publishers' Weekly

If this reviewer were God, Allah, or master of the universe, and if he were inclined to remind Muslims, Jews, and Christians that they've lived most of the last 1400 years in peaceful coexistence and cooperation rather than violence and intolerance, this is the book he would write for them. Karabell shows that this nearly forgotten heritage can help us envision (and act upon) a more stable and secure 21st century—one in which the shared watchword is peace, not conflict. Library Journal.

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