Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jack London, Photographer

Sue Hodson, Curator of Literary Manuscripts at The Huntington Library, will present an illustrated lecture about Jack London, photographer.

Before his death at age 40, Jack London wrote more than 50 books and was an accomplished photographer and photo-journalist. His photos document the Russo-Japanese War, poverty in the east end of the City of London, the Mexican Revolution, his cruise to the South Pacific, and the fires in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.

Wednesday, October 1 - 7:00 p.m.
Glendale Public Library, Auditorium. Free.

Click here for more Glendale Big Read events.

Tempting Titles 000s - 100s

Tempting Titles are back! [And so is Taz, the Blog Dog] Click on any image or title link to place a hold via the online catalog.

You can also see a full list of the books librarians have ordered in the last two months by clicking on the Coming Soon button on the left of any library web page but not all are in the online catalog yet as these few selections are.

The nonfiction books of Tempting Titles are arranged by Dewey Decimal order, just the way they would be arranged on the New Book Shelf. Here are today's offerings:

OOOs -- Generalities, Computer programs, journalism, books and reading

Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies by Christopher Hodapp and Alice Von Kannon [No book image available]

"Whether you’re a skeptic or a true believer, this fascinating guide, packed with the latest information, walks you through some of the most infamous conspiracy theories — such as Area 51 and the assassination of JFK — and introduces you to such mysterious organizations as the Freemasons, the Ninjas, the Mafia, and Rosicrucians. This behind-the-curtain guide helps you separate fact from fiction and helps you see the global impact of these mysterious events and groups on our modern world." (Publisher's description)

"FileMaker Pro lets you do almost anything with the information you give it -- you can print corporate reports, plan your retirement, or run a small country. This Missing Manual helps non-technical folks like you get in, get your database built, and get the results you need." (Publisher's description)

Ultimate Blogs: masterworks from the wild Web by Sarah Boxer [No book image available]

"With this collection of 27 blogs culled from disparate corners of the Internet, Boxer, who writes for the New York Times , attempts to impose some kind of fixed order on a form that generally relies on the satisfaction of timely updates. For many blog-savvy readers, this collection would appear to have all the appeal of a new MP3 converted into 8-track format, but much of the writing contained in the book is well worth browsing for even the most hardened Web aficionado." (Publishers Weekly)

The It Girl’s Guide to Blogging With Moxie by Joelle Reeder and Katherine Scoleri

"Want to break into blogging but don’t know where to start? Dynamic duo Joelle Reeder and Katherine Scoleri of The Moxie Girls show you how to start your first blog, polish your prose, get involved in blogging communities, make sense of RSS feeds, podcasts, photos and more — all with fun, humor and attitude!" (Publisher's description)

"Karl Marx is arguably the most famous political philosopher of all time, but he was also one of the great foreign correspondents of the nineteenth century. Drawing on his eleven-year tenure at the New York Tribune (which began in 1852), this completely new collection presents Marx’s writings on an abundance of topics, from issues of class and state to world affairs. Particularly moving pieces highlight social inequality and starvation in Britain, while others explore his groundbreaking views on the slave and opium trades." (Publisher's description)

"Expands your knowledge and enjoyment with a month-by-month plan that tackles 120 of the most compelling books of all time. Throughout the year, each book comes alive with historical notes, highlights on key themes and characters, and advice on how to approach reading." (Publisher's description)

100s -- Philosophy, Occult, Psychology

Ghosts Among Us: uncovering the truth about the other side by James Van Praagh

"Years later, when I had begun my work as a medium, I remember finishing a reading and turning off my tape recorder. From the corner of my room, I heard a ghost say, Good boy, James. I'm proud of you, son! The kindly tone triggered the long-ago memory of the man with the bright blue eyes. I knew it was my grandfather. It was reassuring to know that he was still around watching over me." (Author's words)

Time Paradox : the new psychology of time that will change your life by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd.

"Through a questionnaire called the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, readers can determine whether they are primarily driven by concerns with the past, the present, or the future as well as whether they view each time period positively or negatively and how that perspective might be influencing their behavior. The authors further explore what has been learned to date about how to achieve a set of perspectives that seems most likely to help people become happy and successful." (Library Journal)

Predictably Irrational: the hidden forces that shape our decisions by Dan Ariely

"Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely's intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read." (Publishers Weekly)

"Readers will find Engel's elucidation of the four causes of Nice Girl Syndrome and the Seven Types of Nice Girls (i.e., Doormat, Pretender, Prude, Enlightened One) deeply funny and familiar. Most useful for its thorough treatment for how nice girls are socialized and for Engel's concise antidote (the four Power C's: confidence, competence, conviction and courage) this book will challenge, entertain and empower its readers." (Publishers Weekly)

Sway : the irresistible pull of irrational behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

"A journey into the hidden psychological influences that derail our decision-making. Why is it so difficult to end a doomed relationship? Why do we listen to advice just because it came from someone 'important'? Why are we more likely to fall in love when there's danger involved? Here, organizational thinker Ori Brafman and his brother, psychologist Rom Brafman, answer these questions and more." (Publisher description)

Loneliness : human nature and the need for social connection by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick.

"Eleanor Rigby might have been in worse shape than the Beatles imagined: not only lonely but angry, depressed and in ill health. University of Chicago research psychologist Cacioppo shows in studies that loneliness can be harmful to our overall well-being. Loneliness, he says, impairs the ability to feel trust and affection, and people who lack emotional intimacy are less able to exercise good judgment in socially ambiguous situations; this makes them more vulnerable to bullying as children and exploitation by unscrupulous salespeople in old age. .. This isn't a self help book. ... solid, scientific look ... " (Publishers Weekly)

"Psychotherapist Thoele (The Courage To Be Yourself) has written a book whose time has come (and it may even be overdue, although we can hardly fault Thoele for that). She has noticed that many women—like herself—are both full-time workers and full-time caretakers of husbands, children, and parents and thrash themselves for being less than perfect at all of those roles. Her remedy is a mixture of awareness, meditation, and positive psychology, with a stiff helping of Buddhist 'non-attachment'."(Library Journal)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Meltdown Lit: Recommended Books for the Wall Street Debacle

(Excerpted from Shelf-Awareness)

Here are some titles highlighted by booksellers and librarians to help consumers understand how things could go so bad and how the mess might be cleaned up. Quite a few authors anticipated the current crisis. Among the highest-rated, gilt-edged titles:

The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means by George Soros (PublicAffairs, $22.95, 9781586486839/1586486837), May.

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash by Charles R. Morris (PublicAffairs, $22.95, 9781586485634/1586485636), March.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein (Picador, $16, 9780312427993/0312427999), appeared in paperback in June.

Financial Shock: A 360-Degree Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis by Mark Zandi (FT Press, $24.99, 9780137142903/0137142900), July.

The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened, and What to Do About It by Robert Shiller (Princeton University Press, $16.95, 9780691139296/0691139296), August.

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips (Viking, $25.95, 9780670019076/0670019070), April.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Pippa Dunn always knew that she was adopted by the very proper British couple she calls Mum and Dad but suddenly at age twenty-eight she discovers that her birth parents are Americans. This sets into motion a journey of discovery and validation when she travels to the States to initially meet them and ultimately to spend time discovering her heritage. What ensues is a clash of the cultures in Alison Larkin’s witty novel, The English American, as she points out once that we may speak the same language as the Brits but all similarities end there.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Big Read Kick-off!!

The Big Read Kick-off
Sept. 27 (Sat.) 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded a grant to The Huntington to host a Big Read celebration of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. Come spend a day at The Huntington celebrating The Big Read Kick-off.

Acclaimed actor Michael Oakes will create a powerful portrayal of Jack London, and The Humbugs, a trio from Nevada City, will perform music of the Klondike and the Gold Rush.

Robert Stradley, of Adventure Quest Institute, will present champion dogs and a dog sled filled with Klondike mushing gear for kids to try out.

After the program, stop by Glendale's booth to learn about Glendale's activities and programs for The Big Read.

The Huntington will provide a scavenger hunt, art projects and other activities for kids.

Also, on display at The Huntington will be Jack London’s Klondike diary, a first edition of The Call of the Wild, and the autographed manuscript of the classic story “To Build a Fire.” These items and more will be on display throughout the Big Read events.

The Huntington, Friends’ Hall and Garden Terrace

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This Week in Reading September 21 - 27

Ancient Greek playwright Euripides, fantasists H. G. Wells and Stephen King, literary lights F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner, and poet T. S. Eliot, (the last two Nobel prizewinners) make this week a strong one for well known authors. It is also the week of the birth of the American Bill of Rights that were put into the first ten amendments to our country's constitution.

As always there are notable writers of literary fiction and other genres, among them Louis Auchincloss, Fay Weldon, and Jane Smiley along with fantasy writer Will Self and romance novelist Rosamunde Pilcher. The current United States Poet Laureate, California's Kay Ryan was also born this week.

This Week's Question: There are many parallels to the economic thoughtlessness of the Roaring Twenties that Fitzgerald described in his most well known work, The Great Gatsby, and the financial market crisis that the country is facing this week. At about the same time H.G. Wells was continuing to work on the economics of his book A Modern Utopia in which he somewhat naively assumed "whether indeed usury, that is to say the lending of money, at fixed rates of interest, will be permitted at all in Utopia, one may venture to doubt." If we are to face a new and greater Great Depression are we also likely to face a new and greater New Deal of a sustainable kind later on in the process? What political cartoon would Thomas Nast draw about all this?

Which author, alive at that same time, would not seek perfect happiness of either kind, and said this? "People need trouble— a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don't mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy."

Answer to Last Week's Question: Humorist Robert Benchley said, "The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. That remark in itself wouldn’t make any sense if quoted as it stands. " We may disagree, however. Try him on Wikiquote. Benchley has said a lot worth repeating. For example, the reason this post never appears on Monday anymore: "Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. " We should call this the librarian's lament. What was that other question again?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Have You Registered to Vote Yet?

The deadline to register for voting in the November Presidential election is fast approaching! Registration forms must be postmarked by October 20th in order to make your voice heard.

Registration forms are available for pickup at most post offices and libraries, or you can go to the California Secretary of State Voter Registration webpage to request a registration form. Forms may also be filled out online, but you still will need to print out the completed form, sign it, and mail it to your county elections office (the “mail to” address will be provided once you fill out the online form).

Additional information regarding the coming election can also be found on the Secretary of State website for state-level issues, the Los Angeles County Registrar-recorder/County Clerk site for county-level contests, and the Glendale City Clerk page for local election news.

And be sure to visit LA Vote (dot) Net to find your polling place, volunteer to work at the polls, or watch public service announcements regarding the importance of voting this fall.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This Week in Reading September 14 - 20

Bestselling authors show up again this week and next. In fact, according to the New York Times, the grand dame of mystery writers, Agatha Christie, born on Monday, has "been outsold in volume only by Shakespeare and the Bible." Her birthday is celebrated there by a week of festivals and events around Britain. This year Christie fans are thrilled at the announcement Monday that thirteen hours of tape recordings have been discovered in which she speaks about her characters and her writing. They show Christie, daughter of an American man and English mother, to be quintessentially English. The recordings will be made available online eventually.

Other authors of note this week are London's great wit and dictionary maker, Samuel Johnson, and Nobelist William Golding. (You probably haven't heard of the other Nobel prizewinner this week.) For Americans there is James Fenimore Cooper, one of this country's first popular novelists, Upton Sinclair, whose anti-robber baron novel, Oil, was turned into last year's great movie There Will Be Blood, and the novelist / Merry Prankster Ken Kesey. We also get two outstanding poets, William Carlos Williams and Donald Hall, along with a gentle humorist of both pen and screen, Robert Benchley. Science fiction fans will celebrate venerables Norman Spinrad and Damon Knight. As always, there are many more than these on the list.

Also occuring this week, according to the New York Times, a major new playwriting prize to be presented every two years will be given Wednesday for the first time. It is the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, nicknamed "the Mimi" after the female of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and carries a stipend of $200,000. The first winner of the Mimi is Tony Kushner, the playwright of Angels in America, Homebody / Kabul and other plays, adaptations, and screenplays.

This Week's Question: Which highly quotable writer born this week said this? "The surest way to make a monkey out of a man is to quote him."

Answer to Last Week's Question: The minor planet "3836 Lem" was named in honor of Stanislaw Lem. Lem was known popularly as a science fiction author, however his writing transcended the pure entertainment aspects of the genre as he was concerned with philosophical and social problems as humankind dealt with new technology and the prospect of greater levels of intelligence.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This Week in Reading September 7 -13

There are a few famous names of prolific authors this week. There are the well known novelists Leo Tolstoy, D. H. Lawrence, and Sherwood Anderson, as well as children's favorite Roald Dahl. Several storywriters of note are here, today's Michael Ondaatje and yesterday's O Henry. Famous popular novelists include James Hilton, Phyllis Whitney, and Ann Beattie.

It's also a week for authors who critique social mores, from America's great skeptic, H. L. Mencken to investigative journalist Jessica Mitford and from social philosopher Theodor Adorno to political blogger Markos Moulitsas. For a different take on a type of social mores there's also etiquette maven Judith Martin and spiritual adviser Neale Donald Walsch.

This Week's Question: A (minor) planet was named for one of the authors born this week, whose work often transcended genre expectations. Who was it?

Answer to Last Week's Question: It was indeed a trick question. While Robert M. Pirsig wrote his famous Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, an inquiry into values to discuss philosophical issues that were brought up on a cross country motorcycle trip with his son, psychologist "Dr. Phil" McGraw also has spent many of his free hours on motorcycles as it was his hobby for a long time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Glendale History: Back to School Edition!

(click on the photograph to view a larger version in a new window)

This postcard, one of many documenting the history of Glendale's area schools in the
Glendale Public Library's Special Collections Room, features one of Glendale's earliest school buildings, Union High School. Built in 1908, the school occupied the land bounded by Colorado Street, Louise Street, Maryland Avenue, and Harvard Street (although the street names were different at the time).

After operating as a high school until 1923, the building would serve as the site of Glendale Junior College (now known as
Glendale Community College) from 1929 until the building was damaged by the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. Following the earthquake, the College continued to hold classes on the same Harvard Street campus, using tents and bungalows in lieu of the actual school building, until it moved to the current location in 1937.

Today, the
Glendale Central Library now stands on the land where the Union High School building once stood.

Special Collections Room in the Glendale Central Library contains news clippings, books, maps, and other materials that cover the history of Glendale, neighboring cities, and California in general. The collection is particularly useful for local history and genealogy research projects. Special Collections also houses the Cat Collection, one of the largest collections of feline-related materials in the world.

The Special Collections Room is currently open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m and 1 to 3 p.m., and by appointment. Please call (818) 548-2037 for additional information.

Join the Big Read!

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded a grant to The Huntington Library to host a Big Read celebration of Jack London's The Call of the Wild. The Glendale Public Library is one of many Southern California libraries partnering with The Huntington to promote the Big Read.

The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA, much like our One Book One Glendale program for children and adults. It is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA’s selection of The Call of the Wild is a natural fit for The Huntington, which is the repository for Jack London’s 50,000-item archive.

We hope everyone will join us in reading this year’s book and participating in Glendale, at the Huntington Library or at partner libraries in the San Gabriel Valley. Click here to finda All BIG READ EVENTS.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This Week in Reading Aug 31 - Sep 6

This week is filled with novelists, mostly. From literary great William Saroyan, who also wrote plays and stories to Alice Sebold who didn't. Other novelists of note are Sarah Orne Jewett, Richard Wright, Arthur Koestler, Frank Yerby, and Alison Lurie.

Popular genre writers abound this week as well. Most notably, Edgar Rice Burroughs who created the Tarzan adventure novel series and movies and lived on a ranch he called Tarzana and later subdivided to become a district in Los Angeles. Also well known are Mary Renault and Joan Aiken who wrote historical novels that sold millions. Aiken also wrote fantasy, along with science fiction's CJ Cherryh, and China Mieville.

This Week's Question: You can get quality of life advice from other authors born this week, "Dr. Phil" McGraw, and Robert M. Pirsig. In a way, perhaps both of them suggest an effective marriage of the rational and the romantic but one of them is a psychologist and the other is a philosopher. Which one rode motorcycles?
Answer to Last week's Question: C. S. Forester began his highly successful series of books about naval hero Horatio Hornblower after he discovered a three volume set of old books about the British Navy, Naval Chronicles, in a used bookstore. Forrester also wrote the book The African Queen, which was made into a classic movie as well.

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