February 2011

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Trash Can Gourmet

Book cover of Rotten Ralph Feels RottenRotten Ralph, Sarah’s less than cooperative cat, won’t eat his healthy home-cooked meal. “Why should I?” He thinks, “when there are all those wonderful trash cans waiting for me in the alley?” So, Ralph sneaks out at night and dines on a green chicken wing, a furry fish, and for dessert? Mmmmm! Moldy blue cheesecake! Rotten Ralph has horrible nightmares and feels really sick after his foul feast. Will Sarah be able to get him to the vet in time? Are Rotten Ralph’s dumpster diving days over? Maybe eating out of trash cans is too rotten even for Ralph. Find out in Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten by Jack Gantos. This book is just one in a series of Rotten Readers. Check out Rotten Ralph’s further adventures.

Trading Places, Jane Austen Style!

2011 marks the 200th anniversary of Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's first published novel. For 200 years, people have enjoyed Jane Austen's interesting characters and plots as well as her dry humor. Laurie Viera Rigler has written two novels about two different women who adore Jane Austen's novels.

Book cover of Confessions of a Jane Austen AddictIn Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Courtney Stone, a young woman from 21st century Los Angeles, finds her self mysteriously transported to England in the early 1800's. Not only does Courtney find herself in a new time period and a new country, she also finds herself in a new body, that of a a young woman by the name of Jane Mansfield. Courtney has to adapt to different clothing, and different etiquette. While Courtney wonders if she will ever return to her old life, she decides to try to enjoy her new life, and not make too many mistakes. This novel is available in the following formats:  book  spoken CD  spoken ebook

Book cover of Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen AddictIn Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, Jane Mansfield, an unmarried daughter of a nobleman, finds herself mysteriously transported to Los Angeles in the year 2009, into the body of Courtney Stone. Although Jane appreciates modern marvels such as modern plumbing, electronics and the freedoms of independent women, she is still puzzled by other modern things such as skimpy clothing and public displays of affection between unmarried people. Jane also discovers that her favorite anonymous writer, the authoress of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Predjudice is named Jane Austen, and that she has written a total of six novels. Jane adapts to her new life as much as she can; however, she still misses her old life. This novel is available in the following formats:  book  spoken CD

Would you like to read Jane Austen's novels?

They are available in various formats.   Film adaptations have also been made of her novels.  Graphic novel adaptations of her first two novels have also been published.

Sense and Sensibility  - first published in 1811
book  ebook  spoken ebook  spoken CD  dvd  graphic novel

Pride and Prejudice - first published in 1813
book  ebook  spoken ebook  spoken CD  dvd  graphic novel

Mansfield Park - first published in 1814
book  ebook  spoken ebook  spoken CD  dvd

Emma - first published in 1815
book  ebook  spoken ebook  spoken CD  dvd

Northanger Abbey - first published in 1817
book  ebook  spoken CD  dvd

Persuasion - first published in 1817, but dated 1818
book  ebook  spoken ebook  spoken CD  dvd

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems

Book cover of Naked Mole Rate Gets DressedWilbur, the naked mole rat, likes to wear clothes. The only problem is, he's a naked mole rat. None of the other mole rats like to wear clothes, so they think Wilbur is weird. Wilbur is called before the wise community elder for a hearing on his odd behavior. What's a naked mole rat to wear to such an occasion?


Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed teaches kids how it's just fine to be different from everyone else, and in the end, you might get a great surprise for being yourself.


If you like this book by Mo Willems then check out the library catalog for other delightful titles by the same author!

Knitting Circle at Rose Garden

Balls of colored yarn and knitting needlesIf you missed the Stitches West Knitters Convention last weekend at the Santa Clara Convention Center, don’t fret. The Rose Garden Library has a knitting circle that meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month in the Community Room downstairs and the library has a myriad of knitting pattern titles that provide inspiration for your next creative project. The following titles are the latest to arrive at Rose Garden Branch:


Knitting Green by Ann Budd

Modern Top Down Knitting by Kristina McGowan

Scarves and Shawls for Yarn Lovers by Carri Hammett

For Your Browsing Pleasure...

Book cover of InventionLooking for a good browsing book with which to pass a short amount of time? Are you a trivia fan? Do science and history books appeal to you? Go to the children's section of the library and peruse the Eyewitness Books! Don't let your chronological age deter you. Eyewitness Books have appeal whether you're 9 or 99.


There are likely dozens of Eyewitness Books at the branch library convenient to you. At the moment I type this, I have six Eyewitness Books on my lap: Vote, Weather, Everest, Invention, Ancient China and Castle. Every Eyewitness Book has a logical overall arrangement. For example, the Invention book starts off with Stone Age axes and ends with silicon chips. Along the way, it touches on wheels, timekeeping devices, navigation, surveying, printing, internal combustion engines, television, radio and flight, to name a few categories.


But the key attraction of Eyewitness Books, their trademark, is the plethora of illustrations large and small, artistic and photographic, scattered on every page. A short description accompanies each illustration. It's sort of like a museum display-case in a book.


Enjoy your browse! Impress your friends! Who knows when you'll need the exact bit of information gleaned from an Eyewitness Book for a trivia game?!

Need Non-Fiction Titles for First Grade?

Book cover of Dog-faced BatsRecently we were asked to help a class of first graders find non-fiction books which include a table of contents. We located the Checkerboard Animal Library series. Each book in the series follows a standard format providing information on a particular animal and includes a table of contents, glossary, bibliography and index relating to that specific animal. Titles provided in the bibliographies are older and may be difficult to locate.


An example of a book from this series is Dog-Faced Bats by Pamela J. Gerholt. The young reader is given an overview of these bats, including habitat, size, shape, senses, defense, food eaten and babies.  Information is provided using clear and relatively simple language, with photographs on every other page.

Soccer Song

Book cover of Soccer SongSoccer Song by Patricia Reilly Giff introduces us to Jill, a girl who loves sports. She uses her strong hands and long arms to play many outdoor games and even rescues a cat! But you cannot use your hands or arms when you play soccer! Can Jill use her head and find a way to be really good at soccer? A story written especially for young children all about trying to do your best. This is a Green Light Readers Level 2 series book.

The Nice Mice in the Rice

Book cover of Mice in the RiceIn The Nice Mice in the Rice by Brian P. Cleary, the author uses silly sentences and rhyming words to teach young children long vowel sounds. Lots of fun illustrations and repetition of words help ease children along. The sentences become more challenging as the book progresses, including what the author calls “discovery” words – extra words for the young reader to locate. Part of the “Sounds Like Reading” series. 

Mission Projects

Screen shot of Missions of California databaseIt’s that time of year again, and California Mission Projects are in full stride. Because everyone has to do a project on a particular Mission, chances are that someone else beat you to book you wanted. No need to worry because the San José Public Library offers a great way to learn about your particular Mission of interest and explore all the other Missions across California. The Missions of California link on the SJPL eBook page provides online access to the California Mission books you typically find at your local Library. These online books are a great source of information for your Mission projects and even more info about the Missions is available at the SJPL’s History Reference Center. If you can’t find a book on your Mission this is a great way to finish your project without having to use a single book!

Michelle Richmond

Book cover of The Year of FogOn Saturday February 12, 2011 in celebration of 2011 Silicon Valley Reads, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library had the privilege to host the author Michelle Richmond. The author spoke about her book The Year of Fog and the audience enjoyed the presentation during which the author read from her book, spoke of her experience as a writer, and the interpretation of her writings. Questions were asked concerning the plot, characters, and scenes from Ms. Richmond’s books. Ms. Richmond explained how she embedded many themes in her writings including memory, Costa Rica, photography and a darkroom. The audience had a wonderful time asking questions about The Year of Fog and enjoyed the interaction with the author. If you weren't able to attend Michelle Richmond’s presentation, there are many other additional 2011 Silicon Valley Reads activities.

Tech Museum Discount

San Jose Public Library Card

Show your current San José Public Library card at The Tech Museum box office and receive a discounted admission rate of $5 per person (for up to 5 people) for the gallery exhibits. This is 50% off the standard admission charge. Offer excludes IMAX and special exhibits.

Whistling Vivaldi

Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele


Book cover of Whistling VivaldiA casually dressed young black graduate student walks at night through an affluent urban neighborhood. No matter how friendly or inconspicuous he tries to be, he senses fear in the people he meets passing by. Nervously he whistles a tune from classical music to calm himself and discovers that others find him less threatening.


This book is about identity contingencies, the things you have to deal with because you have a given social identity in a given situation – whether you are old, young, male, female, black, or white. Your social identity imposes stresses on your life, such as how you behave in certain places, and your academic or athletic performance. One such identity contingency we all experience is stereotype threat, our comfort level with people of different groups when we are concerned, consciously or unconsciously with what people might think and how they might judge us. This, according to Steele, a social psychologist, is a standard predicament. Addressing the general reader, Steele explores recent research on stereotype threat and social identity, showing how these come into play in various situations and how individuals can both increase awareness and reduce the disadvantages of identity threat.

Knitting with Dog (and Cat) Hair!!!

A special way to remember your beloved pet is to collect his or her fur and send it off to a "spinner" to have it magically turned into yarn! Now you can knit or crochet a scarf, hat, sweater (for you and/or your pet), or anything else you want to make depending on how much yarn your pet hair created.


Knitting with Dog Hair by Kendall Crolius and Anne Montgomery lists spinners (who will turn your fur into yarn), dog breeds (top breeds for best results), step-by-step instructions on how to collect, clean, and store your pet's fur, patterns for beginner or experienced knitters and how to modify patterns to accommodate pet-spun yarn. There's also instructions on how to make and use a "drop spindle" to create your own yarn. The authors don't really approve of dyeing pet yarn, but do include a short chapter about using natural and store-bought dyes.


So, if you like to experiment with unusual yarns or just create a unique gift for your pet-loving friend or relative, have a look at Knitting with Dog Hair.

The Dramatic Increase in San Jose's Population -- Sea Gull Population, That Is

Book cover of Great MigrationsIn the last 30 years, the sea gull population has increased significantly in the South Bay -- last year, 46,000 gulls populated this area (compared to just a few hundred in the 1980's).  Along with the possible issues this increase has been on local wildlife, it is also affecting San Jose residents.  Why these gulls are finding new homes in ponds around the South Bay could be a number of reasons:  landfills shooing the birds away or restoration of salt ponds in the area are a couple of the reasons researchers have predicted. 


Thankfully, the library isn't having any gull invasions, but we do have lots of materials if you'd like to know more about animal behavior.  Animal Migration: Remarkable Journeys in the Wild profiles several species and how they migrate via air, land, and water.  Great Migrations is a book companion to the National Geographic mini-series. And for those who are interested in the behavior of gulls, there are several theses from San Jose State University you may like to take a look at.

English Learning Materials at Your Family Learning Center

Cover of Side by Side EnglishDid you know we have Rosetta Stone English level 1, 2, & 3 software at the Family Learning Centers? That is not all we have. There is so much more that we have to offer. Learning English for most ESL adult learners is an arduous task. Where do you find the time? How can you afford those expensive ESL learning materials? If you can’t even afford to buy the textbook, you obviously cannot afford to buy English learning software. That’s where we come in.


At the Family Learning Center, we have lots of ESL books, CDs and DVDs to enhance your learning experience. These you can borrow for 3 weeks and will be able to renew 3 more times if you need to have them longer. Does that sound good so far? Let me tell you more. Besides from the books, CDs and DVDs, we have English learning software. As I mentioned above, we have Rosetta Stone English, Longman English Interactive 1 & 2, Side by Side Interactive 1 & 2, Ultimate Phonics and Lexia Reading - Strategies for Older Students (SOS). You may or may not be familiar with these titles. If you have not used them before, do come to your local Family Learning Center and ask us to show you how to use them. We will be more than happy to show you around and to get you started.


Hope to see you soon! 


Những Tài Liệu Học Anh Văn có tại Trung Tâm Giáo Dục Gia Đình của Thư Viện San Jose

Quý vị có biết chúng tôi có những software học Anh Văn như Rosetta Stone 1, 2 và 3 tại các Trung Tâm Giáo Dục Gia Đình của Thư Viện San Jose?  Chúng tôi còn có rất nhiều tài liệu khác để giúp cho quý vị trau dồi Anh ngữ.  Chúng tôi hiểu được khó khăn của quý vị khi phải học thêm một ngôn ngữ thứ hai trong lúc tuổi đời đã không còn nhỏ nữa.  Một số quý vị thường tâm sự với tôi là quý vị “học trước quên sau nên học được chữ nào hay chữ nấy”.  Có thể quý vị không có thời gian hoặc có nhiều tiền để mua những sách vở Anh Văn đắt tiền đó.  Nếu mua sách vở đã quá đắt thì làm sao quý vị có thể mua những software học Anh Văn vốn đắt hơn sách vở nhiều.  Đây là điểm chính của vấn đề mà chúng tôi muốn nêu ra để quý vị biết mà tìm đến các Trung Tâm Giáo Dục Gia Đình gần nhà.


Ở các Trung Tâm Giáo Dục Gia Đình của Thư Viện San Jose, chúng tôi có nhiều tài liệu học Anh Văn miễn phí.  Quý vị có thể mượn các sách vở, băng CD, và DVD học Anh Văn được 3 tuần.  Quý vị có thể gia hạn thêm 3 lần như vậy nếu quý vị cần giữ lâu hơn.  Ngoài những sách vở học Anh Văn, chúng tôi còn có những software như Rosetta Stone English, Longman English Interactive 1 & 2, Side by Side Interactive 1 & 2, Ultimate Phonics and Lexia Reading - Strategies for Older Students (SOS). Có lẽ quý vị chưa có dịp làm quen với những software nầy.  Quý vị nên đến các Trung Tâm Giáo Dục Gia Đình gần nhà để tìm hiểu thêm.  Chúng tôi lúc nào cũng sẳn sàng đón tiếp quý vị. 


Hẹn gặp quý vị một ngày gần đây tại các Trung Tâm Giáo Dục Gia Đình của Thư Viện San Jose


Los materiales que aprendían ingleses en su centro que aprendía de la familia


¿Usted nos conocía tiene nivel inglés 1, de la piedra de Rosetta el software 2, y 3 en los centros que aprendían de la familia? Ése no es todo lo que tenemos.  Hay tanto más que tenemos que ofrecer. El inglés que aprende para la mayoría de los principiantes del adulto de ESL es una tarea ardua. ¿Dónde usted encuentra el tiempo? ¿Cómo puede usted permitirse esos materiales que aprenden costosos de ESL? Si usted no puede incluso permitirse comprar el libro de textos, usted no puede permitirse obviamente comprar software que aprendeinglés. Aquí es adonde venimos pulg.


En el centro que aprende de la familia, tenemos porciones de los libros, de los CDes y de DVDs de ESL para realzar su experiencia de aprendizaje.  Éstos que usted puede pedir prestado por 3 semanas y que podrá renovar 3 más veces si usted necesita tenerlas más de largo.  ¿Ese bueno sano hasta ahora?  Déjeme decirle más.  Además de los libros, de los CDes y del DVDs, tenemos software que aprende inglés.  Como mencioné arriba, tenemos inglés de la piedra de Rosetta, Longman 1 y 2 interactivos ingleses, de lado a lado 1 y 2 interactivos, el último Phonics y la lectura de Lexia - estrategias para más viejos estudiantes (SOS).  Usted puede o no puede estar al corriente de estos títulos.  Si usted no los ha utilizado antes, viene a su centro que aprende de la familia local y pide que le demostremos cómo utilizarlos.  Seremos más que felices demostrarle alrededor y conseguir su comenzado.


¡Esperanza de verle pronto! 

The Baby-Sitters Club Is Back !

Book cover of The Summer Before

Young readers who grew up in the 1980’s to early 1990’s will certainly remember the popularity of the Baby-Sitters Club series. Read and adored by millions of readers, the series chronicled the friendships and baby-sitting adventures of seventh graders Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey. Over the years 213 different Baby-Sitters Club books were written by Ann M. Martin and published by Scholastic Press. The year 2000 marked the end of the series and the books went out of print. Now the series is being reissued with brand-new cover artwork and updated text for contemporary readers. The stories remain the same, but some editing has been done. Gone are references to outdated technology like cassettes, VCR’s, and Walkmen. Author Ann M. Martin has written a prequel to launch the reissue of the series. The title of the newly released prequel is The Summer Before. It tells the story of what was happening in each of the characters’ lives before they met and became best friends at school in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. The Baby-Sitters Club is back. Enjoy!

Posted by Karen Habra on Feb 24, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Life in a Coral Reef

Book cover of Life in a Coral ReefLife in a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer provides simple descriptions of how coral reefs form, discussing the plants and animals living in, on and around them. Children learn about the interdependence of the plants and animals who find food in the coral reef habitats. A beautifully illustrated book, part of the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Stage 2 Science book series. Recommended for ages 5-9.

A Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration

Graphic for Read Across America and the Cat in the HatEvery year the National Education Association sponsors Read Across America events.  This year local teachers from the San Jose Teachers' Association will visit Vineland Branch Library on Tuesday, Mar. 2 from 4-5:00 and will read their favorite Dr. Seuss stories.  Join the fun ... come and celebrate the joy of reading and the wonderful silly stories of one of America's favorite children's authors.

Santa Teresa teensReachers' Favorite Movies of 2010

Black Swan: The music was amazing!


Eclipse: This was my favorite movie because I really liked the books and Edward Cullen.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I: I enjoyed the action and drama in this movie.


Salt: The movie had a great plot line that made the whole movie interesting. Also, the action was very realistic and amazing.


The Social Network: This is my favorite movie of 2010 because it shows how the dot-com bubble can shape an individual’s life.


Toy Story 3: It wrapped up the series perfectly, it was awesome watching the characters again and it was almost perfect. The only problem is that the next Pixar film (Cars 2) has little potential.


Cover of book Eclipse   Cover of book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows   Cover of ebook The Accidental Billionaires the Founding of Facebook   Cover of book The Art of Toy Story 3

Posted by Michele Rowic on Feb 23, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Reference Questions of the Months: January and February, 2011

Following are just two of the many reference questions we received in the last two months, answered by our top-notch reference librarians.


Q1: I know that at the King Library there are special collections of music, but I'm looking for a museum-type place that has musical instruments. Do you have any of those, or know of a place in or near San Jose? It's for a Girl Scout badge.


A1: Perhaps you’re thinking of the Beethoven Center on the 5th floor of King Library? It has some antique keyboard instruments. The nearest actual museum with musical instruments is the Museum of Musical Instruments in Santa Cruz. Another place which might be of interest to you is Clarion Music, a store that sells musical instruments in San Francisco.


woman reading bookQ2: I am just about finished with all the books Jeffery Archer wrote and would like to find another author I enjoy.  Is there a web site or link on your site to anything which would suggest some compatible/ similar authors or books. Something like "If you like J. Archer, you should try __________".  Not Amazon's "others who purchased this book, also purchased __________________".


A2: We have just the database for you! It's called NoveList Plus. You can search for your own reading interests in several ways, including author searches. On a specific author entry you’ll find a box that reads “NoveList Also Recommends.” Here you will find suggestions for other authors who write in a similar style. You can access NoveList from the SJPL home page. Click on the first box on the upper left side ("Books and Media"). When you click on the link to NoveList, you will be prompted for your SJPL barcode and PIN. If you need help using the database, please see the tutorials at the NoveList site. Happy Reading!

Sleep is Good

Cover of Snoring and Sleep Apnea.

  Everyone knows getting a good night's sleep is great for one's health. Sometimes, conditions or the local environment can prevent quality sleep. Problem sleepers often have apnea, an irregular and gasping breathing pattern during sleep, that creates a strain on the heart and lungs of the person who has the condition. The San José Public Library has a number of books on sleep disorders. These titles will assist the problem sleeper. Get that good night's rest and life will be better.

Science Fair Projects

Book cover of Blue Ribbon Science Fair ProjectsAre you planning to enter your school science fair? Are you determined to make green slime or an erupting volcano? Or maybe you need some science project ideas to inspire you. Let the library help you find a fantastic topic, instructions and supportive material for your project. Get started with our library catalog. Search for books that will give you ideas for a science projectCan’t get to the library? No problem. You can read this science fair project ebook Janice VanCleave's Guide to the Best Science Fair Projects at home on your computer. And don’t forget to check out the Science Fair Websites listed on our Kids Science Websites page. With all these research tools provided by the library you are sure to create a winning science fair project. Have fun, and good luck!

Featured Business Resource: Reference USA

Reference USA is an online business directory. Yes, that sounds kind of boring but it's actually a very useful resource. So, what can Reference USA do for you?

  • Say you are interested in opening up a donut shop in San José but want to find out if the market is already saturated. Reference USA can tell you how many donut shops or any type of business, there are in Santa Clara County or specified geographic location 
  • Maybe you are building a sales lead list and need contact names for businesses with sales over $1 million, you can find out owner and executive names for a particular company and limit your search within a certain sales range
  • Search a particular company and find its nearby competitors
  • Find subsidiaries of a company
  • Find out which businesses have 1-4 employees in the 408 area code

These are just a few of the searches that Reference USA can do. Reference USA is not just a simple directory with names and addresses, it's great tool for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and sales and marketing folks. Plus, you can access Reference USA for free, from home or work with a valid SJPL library card.


book cover of BabymouseBabymouse is a sassy young mouse who dreams of glamour, excitement, adventure, straight whiskers, being queen of the world, and of course, being invited to Felicia Furrypaws's oh-so-exclusive party. Readers will love Babymouse's vivid imagination and also the clever illustrations and hilarious storyline of brother-sister team Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm. The artwork is full of humor, life and movement.


Babymouse lives a life any school kid will identify with. Getting up in the morning is hard, P.E. is not for the faint of heart, opening your locker is dangerous and good friends are worth more than gold. Babymouse has an imagination that sweeps her away.


Also check out this interview with the authors.


German Cinema Historical Fiction

Cover of Baader Meinhof: The Inside Story of the R.A.F.Three cheers for actress, Johanna Wokalek, and German Cinema! Here are three recommendations to fantastic German historical fiction films in which Ms. Wokalek makes an appearance:


Aimee & Jaguar: Set in WWII Berlin, this film depicts the story of the love affair between Aryan housewife Lilly Wust and Jewish lesbian Felice Schragenheim. The film is based on the novel by Erica Fischer, who used material collected from the Holocaust researcher Charles Brady.


The Baader Meinhof Complex: This film, based on the book by Stefan Aust, looks at the leftist terrorist group the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction, RAF). Some reviewers have criticized the movie for portraying RAF as young and glamorous, however, its members were young and glamorous. Unfortunately, their idealism and angst turn into frenzied bloodshed and they proceed without self-control into an abyss of violence and cruelty.


The North Face (German title: Nordwand): This film is based on the famous 1936 attempt to climb the North Face of the Eiger. As the German government sets the stage for the eventual Anschluss in 1938, it seeks to increase national pride through daring physical feats which are seen as proof of Germany’s strength and superiority.

God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours

Book cover of God Never BlinksIn God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours newspaper columnist Regina Brett devotes a short essay to each of fifty pearls of wisdom gained through the unexpected curves life’s thrown her. From single motherhood at 21 to marriage at 40 to battling cancer at 41 she’s learned that life can change in the blink of an eye and every so-called disaster can be kept in perspective by asking, “In five years, will this matter?”  Beginning with lesson 1: “Life’s not fair, but it’s still good,” the essays offer practical advice on finances, “Start saving ten percent for retirement as soon as you get your first paycheck,” relationships, “If a relationship has to be kept secret, you shouldn’t be in it,” and life in general, “When in doubt, just take the next right step.” Each essay is sprinkled with illustrative anecdotes from the author’s life and spiritual journey; “It’s okay to get angry with God. He can take it.” Many contain common sense advice that rings true no matter your faith. Having reached that milestone birthday, one of my favorite chapters included 50 things to do when you turn 50. This inspirational title is also available as a book on CD or downloadable audio file.

They Were Bad, Very Bad...

Book cover of Bad BoysBad Boys by Margie Palatini. Those bad boys, Willy and Wally Wolf, are in trouble. Again. On the run after snatching picnic baskets and blowing down houses, the wolf duo need a place to hide. As they are wondering what to do, they hear the beautiful and mouth-watering sound of sheep baa-ing on the hillside. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” the wolves say to each other. Can you guess what they do? That’s right – they disguise themselves and become wolves in sheep’s clothing. Will the wolves be able to hide safely among the sheep? Will they dine on lamb chops for dinner? Find out in this humorous tale of wolves gone bad.


If you enjoyed the Bad Boys' antics in this book, you may want to check out their further adventures as they get worked over by a chicken in the Bad Boys get Henpecked and as they pursue a runaway cookie in Bad Boys Get Cookie also by Margie Palatini.

Teen Fiction: Awesome Audiobooks

Audiobooks are not just for commuters like me...They are great for long trips, doing chores, kicking back at home, etc.  San José Public Library has plenty of great audiobook titles for readers of all ages in both CD and eAudiobook formats. If you've read my other posts, you'll know that I love to read and share teen fiction reviews. These are some Young Adult Audiobook titles that I've listened to recently and really enjoyed, thanks to both great stories and great actors.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson coverWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan (available on CD & eAudiobook)

John Green and David Levithan are both excellent YA authors, and this collaborative novel has everything you should expect from them: quirky dialogue, eccentric characters, lots of humor, unconventional romance, and a dash of drama. This fateful story of two guys named Will Grayson is narrated by two actors playing the two alternating Will Graysons, and they do an excellent and often hilarious job, complete with actual belted-out tunes from the musical featured in the story about Will's best friend: "Tiny Dancer: The Tiny Cooper Story." Good times!


Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn (available on CD)

Cyd Charisse has been sent back to San Francisco to live with her mom and stepdad after getting kicked out of her east coast boarding school. Beware! Cyd is snarky, cynical, and rebellious (think Juno in combat boots), but deep down she's just trying to find her way in life. Voice actor Carine Montbertrand nails what I would imagine to be Cyd's growling and sarcastic tone of voice. Not for the faint of heart...Recommended for the freaks & geeks out there.


The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt (available on CD)

A touching story about a likable yet awkward teenage boy named Levi who loves his brother so sincerely. Boaz has just returned from Iraq and is clearly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and his younger brother Levi is struggling to break through and reach him. They hit the road on foot, traveling hundreds of miles to Washington, D.C. I enjoyed the sincere voice performance on this one, in addition to the excellent story.


White Cat coverWhite Cat by Holly Black (available on CD)

In this new fantasy series by Holly Black, curse workers are people among us that are born with the ability to "curse" or manipulate others through touch. There are luck workers, emotion workers, death workers, etc. Cassel's family has a rich history of curse work, with ties to a local crime family that uses curses for nefarious purposes. Cassel begins to discover his role in all of it as truths are brought to light. Actor Jesse Eisenberg of recent Social Network and Zombieland critical praise narrates this one in his charmingly-awkward way.


Now that I have the OverDrive app on my Android phone, I can't wait to download more digital audiobook titles currently available through OverDrive. Happy listening!

Countdown! 10-- 9-- 8---

Book jacket of And Then There Were None

I envy anyone who reads And Then There Were None for the first time, arguably Agatha Christie's masterpiece, also available in audiobook format.


Ten disparate people receive invitations to spend a holiday at the much-in-the-tabloids hideaway Indian Island from a friend of a friend of a friend: Ulich Norman Owen or Una Nancy Owen. Only later to their dismay do they realize the significance of their mysterious host's name.... UNKNOWN. Following the first dinner, a disembodied voice accuses each one of murder, a sort of murder untouchable by the law. In accordance with the nursery rhyme framed in each of their bedrooms, the guests get killed off one by one.


"Ten Little Indians going out to dine, one choked himself, and then there were nine.

Nine Little Indians stayed up very late, one overslept, and then there were eight."


The first guest to go takes a slug of whiskey, gasps, and keels over. The second one never wakes up the next morning. And so it goes.  The ever-diminishing house guests finally realize that the killer can only be one of them. Suspicion and terror mount.


Who's the killer? Will anyone survive? Does anyone deserve to survive?


The way Agatha Christie goes into EACH of her character's heads, gives us a window on their mad, paranoid thoughts, yet still manages to keep the killer's identity secret till the very end, amazes and enthralls. The very satisfying ending appeals in a sick, twisted way only a mystery fan can love. And isn't that most everyone?

Love, Dot-Coms and Trees

In The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman, Emily Bach is the young CEO of a Bay Area dot-com startup that is about to go public. Her sister, Jess, is a flighty Ph.D. student at Cal who works at an antique book store. Emily's fiance Jonathan is also in high-tech, but in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In an effort to prove her love, Emily divulges a company secret to Jonathan, and he spends much of the rest of the novel trying hard not to run with her idea at his own company. Meanwhile, Jess flits from one guy to the next, taking up with a community of environmentalists that are trying to save the redwoods before finding real happiness. I found her story more interesting than Emily's, primarily because Emily seems too perfect. Jess, however, is trying to figure out who she is, struggling with philosophy, religion, books and love.


The novel is set from 1999 to 2001 and the electiricty in the air around Emily  and Jonathan's companies is intense.  It's almost unreal to think back to that period of excess and naivete. Goodman, author also of Intuition and Kaaterskill Falls, has managed to make this an intriguing story that kept me riveted until the end.

Posted by Jean Herriges on Feb 19, 2011 | Comments: 1 |

Beauty Lou and the Country Beast

My son Noah is in fourth grade and recently performed a starring role in the school play "Beauty Lou and the Country Beast." Incredibly, the children, in grades k – 5, have three days to rehearse their lines, songs and dance routines for their main performance on the fourth day. With such a short time-frame and only two people "training" the children it was surprisingly a wonderful well put-together show!


Now you may think it was the school staff that helped the students put on the show but it was a group called Missoula Children’s Theater. Having never heard of this organization I did some minor research and learned that they are a non-profit group that has been around since the 1970’s. MCT sends out teams of two staff members; the actor and the director, throughout the U.S. and Canada from school to school putting on these performances. My son has often talked about an interest in acting and this was a nice way for him to get a taste of it. Many children are never exposed to the performing arts and MCT certainly makes a lasting impact on lots of children.


If you get an opportunity please check out their website and read about their history. As a non-profit organization they happily accept donations and through their website you can book them for a week or check out their tour dates.

Get Your News in Vietnamese at Tully Library!

Những Tờ Báo và Tạp Chí Được Yêu Chuộng Nhất tại Thư Viện Tully!

Khi tôi nói tôi làm việc tại Thư Viện Tully, ai cũng nghĩ tôi có nhiều cơ hội để đọc sách hoặc đọc các báo hay tạp chí Việt ngữ có tại Thư Viện.  Khi còn sống, Ba tôi là một độc giả trung thành của tạp chí Văn Nghệ Tiền Phong.  Ông thường khuyến khích tôi đọc sách báo Việt ngữ để tôi không quên tiếng Việt.  Tôi không say mê đọc báo như Ba tôi.  Nhưng từ khi Ba tôi mất, tôi lại tìm đến sách báo Việt ngữ như để nhớ đến Ba tôi.


Tôi rất may mắn vì tôi không phải đi đâu xa để tìm chúng.  Tại Thư Viện Tully, những tờ báo có tên tuổi tại hải ngoại và được nhiều người ưa chuộng điều có ở đây.  Và tôi đã tìm đến tạp chí Văn Nghệ Tiền Phong, Việt Tide, Hồn Việt, Con Ong Texas và báo Người Việt.  Đây là những tờ báo và tạp chí có nội dung phong phú và tin tức cập nhật.  Bây giờ thì tôi cũng đã thành một độc giả trung thành của các tờ báo nói trên.  Vì những tờ báo này rất được nhiều người ưa chuộng, tôi cảm thấy may mắn khi tìm được một hay hai cuốn/tờ còn lại trên quầy để mượn đọc.  Nếu quý vị cũng thích đọc báo hay tạp chí như tôi, quý vị thử tìm đọc những tựa nói trên tại Thư Viện San Jose.

A New Twist on an Old Tale: Three Billy Goats Gruff

Book cover of The Three Silly BilliesI love this rendition of the classic old tale. The Three Silly Billies by Marge Palatini adds a modern twist to the old tale by having various folktale characters such the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood pool resources to pay toll. Be prepared for spectacular fun ending and then some more.

Life from a Wombat's Point of View

Book cover of The Diary of a WombatThe Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French is a hilarious tale of an Australian wombat, told from the point of view of a wombat. This story is for elementary school age children who would understand the difference between the wombat's point of view and the wombat's neighbors' point of view. I have used this story for class visits and the children would laugh out loud at the discrepancy of viewpoints.

Enjoy the Many Resources of Our Library!

Tenemos libros en muchos idiomas. – Spanish

У нас есть книги на многих Языки. – Russian

我们有许多语言的图书。 – Chinese (simplified)

در حال حاضر کتاب به زبانهای مختلف. – Persian

Chúng ta có sách trong nhiều ngôn ngữ. – Vietnamese

私たちは多くの言語の書籍があります。 – Japanese

저희는 다양한 언어로 된 도서를했습니다. – Korean

لدينا كتب في العديد من اللغات. – Arabic

Enjoy the many resources of our library!


The San José Public Library has books and other materials in many languages.  Check us out!  You'll be amazed at our diverse collection.

Artistic Book Reports Display

Terrell Book ReportsAre you in fourth grade? Are you looking for a good book to read? Well, come to Pearl Avenue Branch Library and check out the marvelous display of book reports created by Mrs. Schnitter’s Fourth Grade Class at Terrell Elementary School. These are not your regular old book reports. They are spectacular works of art that look exactly like books. Turn the art work over and read the book report. Then head on over to the library's Juvenile Fiction collection and find the real book on the shelf to borrow. 

Posted by Karen Habra on Feb 16, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Great Science Fiction Book

Someone recommended the book Old Man's War by John Scalzi to me. I requested that a copy be delivered to my local library (for free), and took it home to read after it arrived. Before I got to it, however, my husband started reading, stayed up all night, and finished the entire book in one sitting! He then informed me that it was worth my attention. I opened the book, started reading, and entered into a fascinating view of humanity and its place in the universe. In this future, humans who reach their 75th birthday are given a choice. They can continue living out their days on earth, or enroll in the Colonial Defense Forces as soldiers defending earth’s colonies on other planets.

If you like good writing, thought-provoking prose, humor, and a sprinkling of philosophy, physics, and math, Old Man’s War is for you. IF this book is not at your home library, you can request that it be sent there via the library’s online catalog. The good reading continues with the other 3 books in the series: The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and Zoe’s Tale.

Who Am I and Where Did I Come From? New Ways to Find Answers to Those Questions

Deeply rooted in the human psyche is the desire to know more about our progenitors, our family. Who were they? Where did they live many generations ago, before they arrived in the United States? For many people, without a family Bible, it's been nearly impossible to trace family ancestry much further back than the great grandparents. While a membership in Ancestry.com may be of some help in locating new members of your family tree, sooner or later you will see the words: no father, no mother.


With the advent of DNA testing for genealogical purposes, it's now possible to trace your paternal ancestry back to the earliest known ancestor in the United States. Of course, there are some big "ifs" involved in this endeavor. First, if you are a female seeking more information about your distant family members, you'll have to find a willing male relative (brother or cousin) to help out with the process. All that's necessary is to order a DNA testing kit from a reputable lab (such as Family Tree DNA, in Houston, Texas). A few swabs of the cheek will produce the necessary cells for testing; send off the packet to the lab, and wait for the results to arrive. It will take about six weeks or more to get the first results, sent via your e-mail address (everyone is asked to supply an e-mail). You should sign up with your surname group to get a better rate and it's best to request up to y37 markers, in order to get a close match. Here is where the other big "if" comes in. Others from your ancestral tree must have submitted their results, too, to make this whole process worthwhile. Of course, it's also informative to see what other surnames are listed in the results that you receive.


In order to make some sense of terms you may not be familiar with (what is a "haplotype" and why should I care what mine is?) you will find several titles at King Library to help you interpret the results. Here are two you may wish to consult: Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner; and DNA and Genealogy, by Collen Fitzpatrick and Andrew Yerser.


After receiving the results, you can choose to e-mail close matches in an effort to find out how you are related. You can also use the results to go back to Ancestry.com or Rootsweb.com, and search for the family trees with the new found names of your ancestors. Happy hunting!!

Matching 'Page Turner' to Good 'Literature'

Book cover of The Book ThiefHere's one of those rare books that is so enthralling you can't put it down, and you feel a better person for having read the book. For me, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books. Well, I've found another... The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.


It takes place in WWII Germany, and while it involves weighty subject matter, it's also uplifting and heartwarming. I can't recommend it enough... for adults and for high school students. SJPL has copies in many formats, including CD and as an electronic download.


If you like The Book Thief, you might also want to read Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.

Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester Heiress to the Rifle Fortune

book cover of Captive of the LabyrinthCaptive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester Heiress to the Rifle Fortune by Mary Jo Ignoffo.


If you visit one of San Jose’s local attractions, the Winchester Mystery House, you‘ll learn Sarah Winchester was a reclusive, eccentric, (if not insane), superstitious heiress haunted by ghosts of victims of the Winchester rifle. According to local historian Mary Jo Ignoffo, such speculations began during Winchester’s lifetime and continued after her death when her large uncompleted mansion opened as a tourist attraction. Ignoffo carefully examines and refutes these charges, concluding  that Sarah Winchester, at one time the richest woman in California, was a successful businesswoman, investor, orchardist and amateur architect who relocated to California in midlife after her husband’s death. Crippled by arthritis and other ailments, Sarah preferred the company of her extended family and chose not to participate in the social life of the rich and powerful of the Santa Clara Valley.


In the introduction, Ignoffo tells that us she was challenged to write a biography of Winchester by former California Room librarian Bob Johnson, after finding little reliable information in the King Library’s California Room files. Ignoffo searched local archives, locating correspondence between Sarah and her lawyer and scrapbooks and photo albums kept by Sarah’s former employees at her ranch in Campbell. Visiting New Haven, Connecticut, site of Sarah’s former life and legacy, Ignoffo researched Sarah Winchester’s family history. Since Sarah Winchester left little personal correspondence, nothing is known of her inner life and thoughts; Ignoffo has pieced together a fascinating story of Sarah’s Winchester life in historical context, digressing at times into related subjects such as the history and manufacture of the Winchester rifle, séances and spiritualism and San Francisco high society in the early twentieth century.

...And They Lived Happily Ever After

Is how we like our fairytales to end, but in truth most of the Brothers' Grimm fairytales do not end so sweetly. In A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz the narrator tells us the truth about our beloved fairytales and provides us with his take on the story of Hansel and Gretel, the Seven Swallows and a variety of other Grimm's tales. Be warned that these stories are not for the faint of heart, but make for a great adventure with a valuable lesson to be learned by all readers young and old.








If you like this story you may also be interested in the series by Michael Buckley called The Sister’s Grimm. Follow the adventures of Daphne and Sabrina Grimm, descendents of the brothers’ Grimm as they discover their role in the fairy tales written by their ancestors and how they must protect and save the world from the evil characters in these tales.









Want to learn more about the Brothers’ Grimm and their tales?

Check out these biographies on Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and their tales.


Want even more?

Check out the Folk and Fairy Tale collections at your San José Public Libraries. 

Yosemite in the Winter!

Book cover of Yosemite and the High Sierra Yosemite National Park in the winter is a marvelous time! From the heights of Badger Pass where one can recreate in the snow, to the beautiful low winter sunlight illuminating Horsetail Falls, and the snow cone at the base of Upper Yosemite Falls, there are winter wonders available to behold that summer visitors do not have the pleasure of seeing.


After a brief winter visit filled with all of the above and more I am thoroughly invigorated and filled with awe and amazement. From Crane Flat, the snow-covered vista of the Clark Range was my destination and the trail (rated as “easiest”) was a perfect introduction to snowshoeing. The following day I enjoyed a ranger-led snowshoe hike in Badger Pass where I learned all kinds of amazing facts about the winter season, what tree squirrel tracks look like and that with snowshoes on, I can safely traverse very steep terrain!


At a cozy evening program in the Cliff Room, I watched  Huell Howser’s California’s Gold classic “Yosemite Firefall” episode (video available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXsA7E21ErQ). This was a real treat as Mr. Howser’s distinctive style and infectious enthusiasm roused the audience to a round of applause at the conclusion of the episode.


Some books to help you get into the winter spirit at Yosemite National Park:


Book cover of Frommer's National Parks of the American West  Book cover of First light : five photographers explore Yosemite's wilderness  Book cover of Snow-shoeing  Book cover of Familiar Animal Tracks


For more information on Yosemite National Park, visit the San José Public Library!

Play 1001 Video Games

Bookcover of "1001 Video Games..."The history of video games one page at a time.  The book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die gives chronological accounts of notable video games from the first text-only Oregon Trail in 1971 to 2010's titles such as BioShock 2 and Heavy Rain.  Each entry contains a screen shot, original release date, platform, developer, genre, and a detailed description.  A valuable reference work for gamers or researchers alike.


* Check out books on Video Games

* Check out books on Video Games Design

The Intrepid Researcher Does Hip-Hop

Cover of  The Rough Guide to Hip-HopMy son is a night club DJ.  He used to have gigs at San José hot spots such as “The Brit” (Britannia Arms), Wet, and Fahrenheit, but he moved to L.A. last year. I would give you the link to his web site, but it’s rated R for language, and San José Public Library’s site is family friendly.


My son the DJ primarily spins, scratches, and mixes hip hop. I grew up with Elvis, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan, and I don’t know much about hip hop. As a librarian, and a curious person, I love to use the library’s resources to learn about things. As a mother, I want to understand my son’s work. Follow me as I search for information on hip hop, and you may get some ideas about how to do your own research.


Cover of DVD "Wild Style"Naturally I start with the library catalog. I do a keyword search for “hip hop” and get 459 results. Yikes! That’s more than I bargained for, so I decide to narrow the search. I do a subject search (instead of keyword) and get  45 hits. At least that’s manageable. I scan the list of items and decide on the book Rough Guide to Hip-Hop and the DVD Wild Style. Neither one is available at the King Library where I work, so I hit the request button at the top of each catalog record and place requests to have them sent to the King Library for me. Unlike entertainment movies, the DVD can be requested since it’s non-fiction.


Next I decide to take advantage of SJPL’s helpful electronic resources. I go to the library’s web site (www.sjpl.org) and click on the “research” box at the bottom of the home page. For a quick overview of hip hop, I select World Book Encyclopedia on the research page. I enter “hip hop” in the search bar and read the article, but I want to know more.  I click on “Magazines and Newspaper Articles,” which takes me to a database called “Academic Search Premier.” When I enter “hip hop” I get 11,638 results. I scan a few articles with titles such as “Hip Hop Hermeneutics and Multicultural Education: A Theory of Cross-Cultural Understanding,” and “Anticipation and Delay as Micro-Rhythm and Gesture in Hip Hop Aesthetics.” These articles are too academic for me!


I go back to the Research page and click on “More Research Resources by Topic,” scroll down and find “Student Research Center.” I try my search here and get 64,552 hits. I scan the first few pages and find these articles are more my speed. I think I’ll read “The Roots of Hip-Hop” for historical background and “Hip-Hop Dudes and Divas” to learn about the personalities.


I’m exhausted by now (and you probably are, too), but I hope you’ll take the time to look at the multitude of resources available to you on the SJPL web site. And don’t forget, you can always ask a library staff member for assistance. Help is available via phone, e-mail and chat reference, as well as in person.  

Tax Time!

Yes, it's that special time of year again. No, not Valentine's Day or the first day of Spring but tax time. If you're a small business owner or started your small business last year, you have business taxes to file. Business taxes may seem overwhelming but there are resources to help.


The IRS online has a site dedicated to small business owners, you can find out what forms you need to file and what deductions are available for small business owners.


Of course we have books that can help as well:


Book cover of Deduct It!

Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Taxes
by Stephen Fishman




Book cover of Tax Savvy for Small Business



Tax Savvy for Small Business by Frederick W. Daily






In addition, don't miss Small Business Tax Assistance Days coming in March at Work2Future. Come learn about tax updates and resources, and tax pros will be available to answer your questions. This event is free, put on by Business Owner Space and its partners such as San José Public Library!

“Elementary, My Dear Watson” or (Is It?)

Book cover of The SherlockianWe all know this quote even if we’re not Sherlock Holmes fans. I’ve read a few Sherlock Holmes novels and always believed that Sherlock Holmes said these words in many of the books; but I just discovered in my reading of a new book& The Sherlockian by Graham Moore, that Sherlock Holmes never uttered that exact phrase in any of the sixty Holmes’ stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Then why is it attributed to the great detective? Stay tuned! First let me tell you a bit about this new book. The Sherlockian is a great read and an historical mystery that has not one but two mysteries to solve. One takes place in the present where Harold White who has just been inducted into the pre-eminent Sherlockian society, the Baker Street Irregulars, must figure out who has murdered scholar Alex Cale who claims to have discovered the long-lost diary penned by Arthur Conan Doyle. The other mystery takes us back to 1893 where the famous Arthur Conan Doyle and his best friend Bram Stoker of Dracula fame team up to solve a series of murders. Both Harold and Conan Doyle use Holmes’ methods to solve the crimes, and along the way we learn many facts about Mr. Doyle and his creation Sherlock Holmes. There really is a lost diary, and Arthur Conan Doyle did help police solve crimes. Also why would Conan Doyle actually kill off his great detective and how did the people of London react to Holmes’ death. You'll discover the answers and more in The Sherlockian.


If you’re a true Sherlockian, a Holmesian or just curious, there are many books and sources you can investigate to learn more about Conan Doyle and his great detective Sherlock Holmes. Here are a few: Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle by Daniel Stashower, The Real World of Sherlock Holmes: The True Crimes Investigated by Arthur Conan Doyle by Peter Costello, Sherlock Holmes Handbook by Thomas Ross, or visit the website: www.Sherlockian.net or SJPL's database Literary Reference Center.


Now back to that phrase, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” Holmes often says “elementary” when asked how he figured something out and he often referred to Watson as “my dear Watson,” but those fragments never appear together; one of the closest examples appears in “The Adventure of the Crooked Man.” That famous phrase, never uttered by Holmes in any of the Sherlock Holmes books, was said by Basil Rathbone in the movie Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon. Here's a short clip with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Watson. Mystery solved!


You Had Me at Woof

   Book cover of You Had Me at Woof     

You Had Me at Woof is a story about how one woman learns something different from each of her dogs.  Beginning with Otto, her first Boston Terrier, Julie Klam learns that she can be loved unconditionally and that she can reciprocate that same love.  Later she joins a rescue group for Boston Terriers.  She fosters several dogs each with distinct personalities. Some have behavior problems, some have special needs, and often they require large vet bills. In spite of all the twists and turns, Julie wouldn’t trade her experience with each dog for anything. Get ready to laugh and cry.

Valentine's Day Films and Music, Part II

 Video cover of When Harry Met SallyTwo more fabulous romantic films :


When Harry Met Sally (1989) The film raises and addresses the question of whether men and women can be just friends.  It has inspired several relational concepts, such as “high maintenance,” and has made it easier for all of us to get our salad dressing on the side!


Love Actually (2003) Although set during Christmas, this film is both romantic and hilarious all year round.  A series of vignettes of different aspects of love as shown through ten people whose lives and interests intersect.  It is also cleverly written and portrayed.


We also have the music soundtracks for both films! 

Hillview Branch Library: Check Us Out!

Explore the various programs and services that the Hillview Branch Library has to offer. Included in this video are Family Storytime, programs for youth, family learning center classes and more!

Posted by Adrian Barrientos on Feb 12, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Habitat For Humanity

Looking to give back to your community, but are not quite sure what you can do??


Habitat for Humanity is one of the answers.


What do they do?

They help people and families all over the world who are in need. They give aide by engaging their local communities in building sustainable houses for the poor or unfortunate to live in.


How can you help?

You can donate your money or, more importantly, your elbow grease through actively building a house. Locally in Silicon Valley, this non-profit organization has several housing construction projects they are currently working on. Whether it is for just one day, or you would like to volunteer regularly, Habitat for Humanity has something for you!


For more information, here is a link to a few of books in our catalog about Habitat for Humanity!

The Edenvale Gazette Interviews Dan Tran

Carmel R. Ordaz here, reporter for the Edenvale Gazette. I will be starting a weekly, getting to know your staff, interview with my fellow co-workers here at Edenvale Library. This week I’m interviewing one of our new Pages, Dan Tran.

CRO: Dan, can you tell my your title here at the library?

DT: I’m a Page here at Edenvale.

CRO: Did you start off as a page?

DT: No, actually, I started off as an Aide at Santa Teresa, and before that I was in the pool as an Aide.

CRO: How do you think you support your staff and the patrons?

Dan TranDT: The staff, I think as a morale booster, you come in with a good attitude and the staff likes to see that and you like to see that too. Everyone says hi with a smile, it’s nice to come in and know it’s a friendly environment. With the patrons you do the same, you welcome them, and when they ask you for help you’re glad to help them - it’s something that you want to do.

CRO: What do you like about your job?

DT: I like that it can be fast or slow, but it’s never way too fast where it’s really stressful. I used to work at a restaurant and it’s pretty hectic. I like the fact that customers come in and are not angry all the time.

DT: I think the library is a great way to learn a lot of things, about yourself or anything. As I work here I like to help people learn even more, whatever they are looking for. All the information is here but the question is how do I get it, and you just show them the way.

CRO: Do you have a favorite book as a kid and as an adult?

DT: I would say Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

CRO: Do you have a favorite movie, like in your DVD collection?

DT: Probably Back to the Future.

CRO: The first one?

DT: No, all three.

CRO: So Dan, would you like to add anything else?

DT: It’s a privilege for me to work here. The staff is great, you guys are great. Yeah, working here has allowed me to interact with customers in a different way, to develop language skills and people skills. It’s really great.

CRO: Alright Dan, thank you very much for the interview.

Valentine's Day Craft at Edenvale

Cover of Valentine Crafts by Judith CorwinOn Friday, February 11th, Edenvale Library had a Valentine's Day Craft program that drew over 30 people. Parents and children worked on creating personalized cards for each other. If you are interested in books that have directions for crafts for Valentine's Day, one perennial favorite is Valentine Crafts by Judith Corwin. There are many other Valentine's Day Craft books containing creative directions for projects.

Social Network Review

Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal by Ben Mezerich, The Social Network discusses the origins of Facebook and the founders of the social-networking website. Mark Zukerberg creates a website that connects people from around the world, but who would have thought that the man who connected us all (over 500 million users and counting) is disconnected from everyone himself?


I thought this movie was very interesting and entertaining. If you are a user of Facebook, you should check this movie out. Plus, Justin Timberlake is in this movie and he is totally hot!

Valentine's Day Films and Music

book jacket


With Valentine’s Day coming up, why not cuddle up on the sofa and watch a romantic film?


Here are some suggestions for the warm at heart…(release dates in parentheses).


Valentine’s Day (2010) A romantic film with all the heart-warming and heart-wrenching events taking place in one day! We also have the sound recording to the motion picture.


He’s Just Not That into You (2009) A film based on the book that was inspired by a line of dialogue in Sex and the City. We have both the sound recording and the BookCD!


Paris, Je T’Aime (2006) Eighteen short films depicting different types of love that take place in 18 of the 20 arrondissements in Paris.  The film is embellished with gorgeous, scenic transitions between shorts, and is among my favorites! 


You’ve Got Mail (1998) Two romantics who correspond via email are unaware that their sweetheart is the same person for whom they feel disdain. This film is a remake of a previous film, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, and updated to reflect current technology and society.


Casablanca (1942) An all-time favorite that ranks 3rd in the AFI’s top 100 American Film picks with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid.

Welcome to Morganville, TX…

Cover of Rachel Caine's Glass Houses

…where the vampires and humans live together and work together in a university town. College student Claire Danvers becomes embroiled in the tenuous drama of being human in a town governed by vampires. She unwittingly breaks every rule of conduct and becomes an important part of the community, whether she wants to or not. Claire and her roommates at the Glass House are a compelling group of misfits, who continually deal with the rigorous drama of life and death in a place where the undead are in charge. Find out what happens next in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series.

A World Without Pets...No Thank You!

Book cover of Nick and GlimmungIn Philip K. Dick's novel written for young adults, Nick and Glimmung, Nick’s best friend Horace (his cat) is about to be taken by the Anti-Pet Man until Nick’s father decides that they will move to Plowman’s Planet. Upon arrival Nick, Horace, and his parents discover that this planet is not at all like earth and they have in fact moved to a planet that is in a terrible war with many dangerous creatures – fatherthings, wrejes, printers, and worst of all Glimmung.

Teaching English in Japan

Book cover of If You Follow MeIn Malena Watrous' debut novel, If You Follow Me, 22-year-old Marina and her girlfriend Carolyn travel to a small town in Japan to teach English to local high school students. While there they struggle to learn the rules of gomi, or garbage, like which receptacle to use for their empty wine bottles. They struggle with each other too, realizing too late that being far from home with only each other is too much strain on their relationship. Marina also struggles internally to cope with her father's suicide.


This book had me hooked from the start and I found myself thinking about Marina, Carolyn and their friends and co-workers throughout my day. It was also intriguing to learn about the Japanese take on garbage. We always hear that people in the U.S. throw away too much trash, but learning that the people of Japan soak the labels off their bottles before recycling the glass brings the point home. This book is about much more than garbage, however, and through her energetic prose and great characters Watrous makes this "stranger in a strange land" story work.

Free Books! Finding Public Domain Works on the Internet

Want to build your eBook library? Need a copy of a classic work (like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Frankenstein, or A Tale of Two Cities) but all of the library copies are checked out? Want a free way to learn something new? Try checking out some of the free eBook websites on the internet, with thousands and thousands of books to choose from and more being added every day.


Here is a list of some of my favorite sites:


  • Project Gutenberg - One of the oldest and largest websites offering public domain books, with over 33,000 titles available and useful links to other websites.
  • Google Books - Another vast depository of free eBooks in easy-to-read format.  However, you will have to use the "Advanced Book Search" and choose to search for books with "full view only" in order to get the free stuff.
  •  The Internet Archive - Another huge storehouse of information. Books can be searched through their Open Library website. The search results will tell if the book can be read for free, or where you can buy or borrow it, if not.
  • Forgotten Books - One of my personal favorites, this website specializes in rare and out-of-print books, particularly those dealing with mysteries and the occult (think Atlantis).

Posted by Ryan McMurray on Feb 10, 2011 | Comments: 3 |

Highly Recommended Titles You May Have Missed

The 2009 debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, is a sensitive look back at Seattle during WWII, the trauma of being considered different, and the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent. The sweet coming-of-age story of Henry and Keiko is told with great historic detail.

Cover of Something Missing by Matthew Dicks
Something Missing
by Matthew Dicks, is also a 2009 debut novel that is quirky, charming, humorous and suspenseful. In it an obsessive-compulsive Barista burgles the houses of people he calls his "clients," and begins trying to improve their lives.


The Little Stranger by veteran author Sarah Waters, is almost more of a suspenseful English country house/family story than a ghost story. Yet its creepy moments are so realistic they will continue to haunt the reader long after finishing the story. In fact, I was left with the nagging feeling that the story was not really over, that somehow the shattered lives of the characters would be re-visited.


In the beautifully-written 2010 debut, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson, the characters of the Major and his late-in-life lady love appear full-blown, as if they could be our neighbors. The poignant cross-cultural family and community complications add heft to the emotional core of the Major's story.


The other day I was trying to find how to spell a word that I don’t use often and wondered then about all the different types of dictionaries there are.  Check out what comes up when you search our catalog for “dictionary.” I had no idea there were so many different ones!


American Heritage First Dictionary
American Heritage High School Dictionary
Usborne Illustrated Elementary Math Dictionary


Cover of Usbone Illustrated Elementary Math Dictionary  Cover of The American Heritage High School Dictionary  Cover of The American Heritage First Dictionary

Valentine’s Day Is Coming Soon!

Book cover of If You'll Be My ValentineChildren, teens and families are invited to come to the Edenvale Branch Library to create Valentine’s Day cards on Friday February 11 at 4:00 PM. Supplies will be provided.


Here are some cozy Valentine’s Day books that young children may enjoy:


Be Mine, Be Mine, Sweet Valentine written by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka. Several animals and a little boy give special valentines to the ones they adore.


If You'll Be My Valentine  written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka. A little boy gives special handmade valentines to those who are important to him.


Valentine Mice!  written by Bethany Roberts, illustrated by Doug Cushman. Several mice deliver valentines to the other animals in the forest.


If you enjoy these books, check out the websites of authors Sarah Weeks and Bethany Roberts, and illustrator Doug Cushman.

It Is Good Having Good Friends

Friends' book sale area.
The Pearl Avenue Friends are a unique and caring community of volunteers and Wilma Hashii, the president is an integral part of the group.  The Friends are our biggest supporters and fundraisers for programs and events.  Through the quarterly book sales and from the lobby and Amazon sale, they ensure these types of programs are made possible: Zumba; Knitting and Crocheting; Special Performers; Craft Programs; Santa Program; Wii for Teens; and Special Events.


The Friends are more than just community volunteers.  They are our friends, neighbors, and families.  When I think about our Friends Group, this lyric really expresses how I feel about them:


Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times, in bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
Oh, that’s what friends are for


If you are interested in joining this close and committed family of Friends, please contact our Friends of the Pearl Avenue Library.

A Book for Young Picky Eaters

Book cover of Bread and Jam for FrancesBread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban is a classic charming book for first graders or picky eaters.  Frances eats her favorite food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  She inevitably tires of eating bread and jam for every meal and discovers the benefits of variety.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Committee Chooses Two Bookmarks

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Committee chose two of the King Library’s Bookmark Contest entries to be distributed during its many Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Events in January and February. Kianna and Jaspreet are students at Notre Dame High School and both chose to use quotes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in their original bookmark designs. Kianna picked “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase” and “We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.” Jaspreet’s choice was “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Congratulations to Kianna and Jaspreet for their original bookmarks! If you’re looking for information about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visit the King Library, 3rd Floor, where there is a special collection of books, DVDs and sound recordings about him.


Jaspreet of Notre Dame High School and her winning bookmark     Kianna from Notre Dame Highschool and her Winning Bookmark

Local School Yearbooks

Did you know that the California Room has a nice collection of local high school and college yearbooks, and even a few middle school yearbooks?  We have San Jose High yearbooks ranging from 1902 to 1988, and are always looking to add to the collection. Do you have local yearbooks gathering dust in your garage that you would like to donate? The yearbooks are very popular, both for former graduates looking to reminisce and for family members looking for pictures of their parents or grandparents.


Over the years we have also assisted adoptees searching for their birth parents -- and have witnessed the heartwarming moment when they see a photo of their birth mother or father for the first time in one of our yearbooks!


More moments like these are made possible by filling in the gaps in our yearbook collection. Here is a list of the ones we have. Everyone is welcome to come in and view the collection during our open hours, which are Tuesday-Saturday, 1-6. And if you have one or two to donate that you don't see on the list, it would be a much appreciated contribution to the collection!

Serious About Comedy

I have a friend who is just starting out as a stand-up comic. He's got a couple of youtube videos and is always inviting me to come see his routine. I love stand-up comedy, but I've been to a couple of comedy clubs, and I must confess, I don't like the club side of the comedy.  I don't want to drink, I just want to hear the jokes.


Luckily for me, at the library we've got a great line-up of comedy CDs that I can listen to. I like doing this on my drive to and from work. Here's some you may also like.


Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again - The Blue Collar Comedy Tour consisted of Jeff Foxworthy (you know you're a redneck...), Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White (they call me 'tater salad) and Bill Engvall (here's your sign). This humor takes me back to my Missouri roots and though sometimes a little offensive, they're always funny.


The Best of Lily Tomlin - if you are of an age with me, then you remember Lily Tomlin's Edith Ann and of course her routines as the phone operator Ernestine...


Something Like This - Bob Newhart.  You probably remember him from the two long-running sit-coms he did - the Bob Newhart Show and Newhart - both of which you can watch on Hulu.   But Bob Newhart was really one of the funniest stand-up comedians ever! Such witty, dry humor!


There are also plenty of stand-up comedy dvd's available for check out as well...


Robin Williams Live on Broadway - Robin Williams comedy is frenetic and makes me laugh so hard my sides hurt. He's done a lot of dramatic roles in movies but his start was stand-up comedy.


Carlos Mencia: Not for the Easily Offended - Take this title to heart!  Carlos Mencia does talk about subjects in a way that might offend some of you. But if you can take a joke and go to the edge of propriety, the results are hilarious. This video was recorded in San José.


So, check it out and laugh a little - or a lot!

Posted by Sandra Stewart on Feb 9, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Top 5 Reasons to Sign Up for SJPL's Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands graphic5) You have the chance to win $250! What can you buy with $250?? Tons of things like: 500 Jack-in-the-Box tacos, 41 movies at Camera Cinemas, 50 Starbucks’ Tall Mocha Frappuccino…. or more important things like new guitar strings, sound equipment, or awesome matching fedoras. 


4) Increase your fanbase!  Did you know that over 7 million bodies come through our doors every year?  That’s a lot of Facebook friends.


3) Get a jump start on your rockstar career early!  The average age of the members of The Rolling Stones is about 66; that means at least 50 years of rock for your band!


2) Make rock concerts in libraries a good thing!  San José Public Libraries are not places where you can only wear rubber soled shoes and have the potential of being shushed.  They are thriving, active, and fun community hotspots.  Do your part to keep the library that way!


1) Make your parents/family/friends proud.  Yeah, I know; that sounds kind of lame, but it’s true.   Performing in front of live audiences is really nerve wrecking,  but the end result is the pride you and your loved ones will feel when they see you on stage. 


So sign up NOW for our annual Battle of the Bands competition!

Book Adventures at the Alviso Library

Book cover of Diary of a Wimpy KidWant an excuse to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney? Here it is! Join the Alviso Branch Library Book Adventures as we laugh our way through this month's reading selection. We will tackle this fan fave on Saturday February 19th at 2:00 PM. So come and share your favorite moments in the book and take part in some fun activities. ZOO-WEE MAMA!

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Book cover of Interrupting ChickenIt’s that time right before bed and as most parents do, you’re going to read your child a bed time story. Everyone is settled and comfortable and in your best storytelling voice you begin reading, “Once upon a time….” when your child interrupts with a comment, a question, an observation or something out of the blue. Of course, you comment on his/her comment and continue “there were three….” when there’s another comment, question or observation. Eventually a long, long time later you actually manage to get through the book, or you’ve fallen asleep! If this scenario sounds familiar then you must read Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein. Here’s a little clip to give you a taste of this funny book that parents and children will enjoy. Check it out, but I don't guarantee your child won't interrupt!


I've Got A Secret...

Pretty Little Liars book cover My latest guilty pleasure is watching ABC’s drama Pretty Little Liars, based on the series Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd. A group of teenage friends are brought together by the murder of a close friend. Drama, mystery, and gossip ensue as they try to unravel the missing parts of the story and their own part within it. A mysterious person taunts them with messages, causing them to reveal the secrets that they’ve been keeping from each other. We have the book series available at San José Public Library. This is a Young Adult book selection.

Customer Service Survey

checklist with pencilWe are surveying our customers to find out how the library can best be of service to them. So if you use the Evergreen Library, please take a minute to fill out this survey.



鏈接到這個頁面 More New Title Lists,你會發現新的中文書籍/ DVD列表 (Chinese Books/Music/Videos。)

The Rest Is Noise

Book cover of  The Rest is NoiseAlex Ross’ The Rest Is Noise could be considered as one of the most important and comprehesive survey of modern music in recent history.  The author looks back more than 100 years, starting from Richard Strauss and Gustave Mahler of Vienna in the transitional period of 19th and the following century.  Readers will be amazed by the amounts of information on the composers’ lives, styles, and contemporaries.  Intriguing stories of eccentricities and scandals revolving towering figures such as Sibelius, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Britten, etc. sometimes read like tabloids, but give significant insights into their creativity and long-lasting influences.  Sporadic musical analyses (such as ones for Strauss’ Salome and Britten’s Peter Grimes,) remind readers of CD liner notes.  Chronically arranged, the book starts with the German masters of Berlin and Vienna at the end of 19th century, then to Stravinsky and the Serialists (Schoenberg, Webern, Berg), nationalists (Bartók, Sibelius, Copland), to the suppressed (Shostakovitch, Prokofiev), minimalists (Young, Reich, Stockhausen), and latest contemporaries (Adams, Pärt, Glass.)  In 623 pages, The Rest Is Noise is quite fun to read and offers readers of all levels and expertises a concise but clear and complete understanding of modern music.


* Read more about 20th-Century Music

* Check out Listen To This by Alex Ross

Is Your Stock a Dud or a Winner?

Morningstar logoWe're testing Morningstar Investment Research Center now. This database offers research and reports on more than 12,000 stocks and 24,000 mutual funds. The Investing Classroom includes self-paced educational courses on stock and fund investing and portfolio building.


Please use the following for access - User name: sjpublic ; password: library.


Be sure to let us know in your comments what you think about this database.

Clean Energy, Green Building

Logo of Solar America Cities

“While most are aware that clean energy options are available to us, few have actually had the opportunity to see for themselves exactly what the latest technologies are and how they operate in-person,” said Kerrie Romanow, Assistant Director of the City's Environmental Services Department. “The Green Vision Clean Energy Showcase brings all these working innovations to ground-level, giving our community the true hands-on experience they've been missing.” -- PR Newswire.


The Green Vision Clean Energy Showcase, organized by the City of San José, is “a new interactive education center that will serves as a knowledge hub for visitors from across the Silicon Valley. The Showcase provides hands-on education, experience, and information regarding solar, wind and energy efficiency technologies.” There are currently more than a dozen clean energy companies participating, such as Akeena Solar (Westinghouse Solar.)


The Showcase is open from January 15, 2011 through December 2011, and conducts tours on weekdays for schools and professional groups and on Saturdays for the general public. The location is on the plaza directly across the street from San José City Hall – 200 E. Santa Clara Street between 4th and 5th streets. For more information contact Environmental Services (408) 535-8550 or solar@sanjoseca.gov.


As a Solar America City, San José also provides other resources to help you learn about solar technologies and what you can do to “go solar” in San José. You will find information on solar basics, incentives, workshops, events, and steps you can take to install solar. In addition, the City provides other services and programs for residents to save energy, including rebates and financial assistance. And, at any of the San José Public Library branches, you may check out a Kill-a-Watt power meter to find out how much energy your household appliances use and how much they will cost you.


For more resources on green building, please visit US Green Building Council. Northern California Chapter where you may see the LEED green building rating system and LEED rating system for homes. As to solar technology, please visit Northern California Solar Energy Association to see the benefits of solar electricity, and how to select installers of solar electric and solar hot water projects. Using renewable energy will help improve the environment and our quality of life.

Image  Courtesy: Solar America City.

Little Princes : One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal


Book cover of Little PrincesConnor Grennan signed up as a short-term volunteer at a Nepal orphanage, partly to justify his own desire to travel the world. Upon returning to the United States, he set up an organization to raise money for orphan support. As he became more involved, he learned that these children were not necessarily orphans. Parents in remote villages paid traffickers to take their children to Kathmandu so they could find work and be safe from Maoist recruiters. Grennan's organization, Next Generation Nepal, now seeks to end this trafficking and reunite children with their parents. In this inspiring story, Grennan tells a harrowing account of one of his first journeys to a remote location to find parents and his online courting and eventual face-to-face meeting with the woman who became his wife.


Willow Glen Wags (Max)

Furry Friend Max at Willow Glen Branch

Meet Max, a gentle giant of a a dog. He recently visited Willow Glen Branch Library for a special program, 'Furry Friends at the Library.' Max is a Borzoi. Borzoi are gentle-natured, even though Russian aristocracy bred them as hunting hounds for hundreds of years. The American Kennel Club has a page about Borzoi. Their beautiful coats kept them warm in the frigid temperatures, and their long, leggy build enabled them to chase wolves, foxes, and rabbits across the plains. They are often called Russian wolfhounds. Max is not a hunter, though; he's perfectly happy being a pet and a Furry Friend, going new places and meeting new people. Here, he's listening to Michael read a Mo Willems book, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. You can read the book yourself or discover other books by the whimsically funny Mo Willems. Find your favorite and come to the next Furry Friends visit to read it to a pooch of your choice! Read up on dog breeds in one of many books in the library, including Little Lions, Bull Baiters & Hunting Hounds: A History of Dog Breeds for kids; and 101 Adorable Breeds; or Need to Know? Dog Breeds for all ages. Also, check out Reigning Cats and Dogs for several stories of royal pets through history. Keen-eyed youngsters might try to spot the Borzoi the next time they watch the classic Disney film, Lady and the Tramp.

Two Magazines Full of Love - Dos Revistas Llenas de Amor

Magazine cover of Prevention en Español  Magazine cover of Padres e HijosDuring this month of February give yourself or your children some love. Our new subscription to Prevention magazine in Spanish and English provides you with smart ways to live well, from fitness tips to nutritious recipes. Also, directly from Mexico, D.F. the Padres e Hijos magazine offers advice to foster love in your marriage and family.


Durante este mes de febrero dese a usted mismo o a sus hijos algo del amor. Nuestra nueva suscripción a la revista en español e inglés de Prevención proporciona formas inteligentes de vivir bien con consejos de ejercicio y  recetas nutritivas. Además, directamente desde México, D.F. la revista Padres e Hijos ofrece asesoramiento para fomentar el amor en el matrimonio y la familia.


Both magazines are available in most of San José Public Library Branches.


Ambas revistas están disponibles en la mayoría de las sucursales de la biblioteca pública de San José.

Trial for Morningstar Investment Research Center

Morningstar logoWe're testing Morningstar Investment Research Center now. This database offers research and reports on more than 12,000 stocks and 24,000 mutual funds. The Investing Classroom includes self-paced educational courses on stock and fund investing and portfolio building.


Please use the following for access - User name: sjpublic ; password: library.


Be sure to let us know in your comments what you think about this database.

Fancy Nancy Every Day is Earth Day

book jacket of Fancy Nancy Every Day is Earth DayRead Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day to my first grader and she absolutely loved it.  Everything about Fancy Nancy was “fancy” including her speech. She liked to use big “fancy” words and of course, she did everything in a big way. To celebrate Earth Day, Nancy made sure that she and her Dad rode their bikes to the supermarket instead of driving. She asked Mom to turn down the heat at night. Nancy would stand outside the bathroom and loudly reminded Dad to not waste water. Nancy really wanted to stay green.


Want to find out what else Nancy is up to? Check out Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day! Once you get hooked on Fancy Nancy, there are lots of other Fancy Nancy titles to explore at your local library.

Triathlons: Are They for You??

Now that winter is almost over, if you're someone who enjoys competitive events, and wants to find a way to get in better shape that doesn't involve spending time at the gym, you might want to consider participating in a triathlon this spring or summer.


A triathlon is an event, which in its most popular form, involves (in this order) swimming, cycling, and running. Triathlons vary in distance, but international races are usually one of these two: Sprint distance: (750 m swim, 20 km bike, 5 km run) or Intermediate, which is (1.5 km swim, 40 km ride, 10 km& run.) Triathlon events are very competitive, with each athlete competing for overall course completion time, and athletes usually try to keep improving their time with each succeeding race. Before getting started with training, you'll need to have some basic things: a lightweight bicycle and helmet, a bathing suit and wetsuit (unless you love cold water), and, a good pair of running shoes.


After you've purchased the necessary equipment, here are some books that you'll find helpful, and all the titles are available in the San José  Public Library: Triathlon 101, by John Mora; The Triathlete's Training Bible, by Joe Friel; and Triathlon: Start to Finish, by Sam Murphy.


Now that you are all set for the big adventure, you'll have to decide which triathlon will be your first venture. There are many triathlons which take place all over the Bay Area. Here are four to consider: Morgan Hill Spring Triathlon, at Uvas Reservoir; Pacific Grove Triathlon; Big Kahuna Triathlon (Santa Cruz), AND for the hale and hearty (or fearless) amongst us, the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco.


If you're like me and you enjoy watching your favorite athlete compete, or if you just want to get an idea of what it's all about, spectators are always welcome at all of these events. Triathlons are the "in" thing, and whether you want to get in on the action or just watch and cheer on someone else, it's lots of fun!!

Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy

Fearless Commander Toad has been sent on a mission of finding Agent 007 1/2, a dangerous spy, who is a master of disguise. How will he find him if he is disguised? Read this fabulous story by Jane Yolen and find out. Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy is one title in the series of Commander Toad in Space. I highly recommend this series for beginning readers, who have pretty much exhausted the Easy Reader section and who are looking for a challenge. This book is particularly appealing to boys who like stories about science and space.

Time to Read Nguib Mahfouz, Egyptian Nobel Winning Author

Book jacket of Naguib Mahfouz at Sidi Gaber


With all that is happening in Egypt and other countries, reading the works of Naguib Mahfouz, one of the most famous Arab authors who was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature, would be a great way of looking into the Egyptian history and society and getting a better insight into the present day events. Mahfouz has written many books and most of them are available in our libraries.


Books by Naguib Mahfouz


Also, you can find more information about his life and works by using one of our databases such Biography Reference Center.   

To the Wonderful World of Books

I've traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket (or Library card)
To the wonderful world of books.
~ Anonymous ~

Book Adventures: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Book cover of Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJoin us at Almaden Branch Library for a fun hour of games in our new children's book club: Book Adventures! For this month we will be reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and we will be playing a trivia game, a Gobstopper Relay Race and a Musical Sweets game for the book club.

Watch Out, World - Rosy Cole is Going Green!

Book cover of Watch Out World-Rosy Cole is Going Green! showing Rosie Cole holding  a light bulbBack in 1981, Sheila Greenwald wrote her first Rosy Cole book, Give Us a Great Big Smile, Rosy Cole. If you're interested in reading that one, it's still available at San Jose Public Library.  Throughout those thirty years, Ms. Greenwald has written a dozen more Rosy Cole books.  This enduring author is now back with her newest creation, Watch Out World-Rosy Cole is Going Green!  Although Rosy is younger than she was in some of her other writings; she's still attending classes at Miss Read School.  Now Rosy's class is involved in the school fair using the "Keep It Green" theme to raise money to plant trees and buy energy-saving light bulbs.  Rosy is thrilled when Mrs. Oliphant selects her idea, "Nature's gifts" as one of the themes for the fair.  However, horrified by the insect specimens, their teacher nearly shuts their booth down, and when her surprised sister finds 2000+ red wiggler worms in a bedroom dresser, the project does not go over well with her family either.  With thousands of wigglers to take care of and the demise of the other bugs things get more than a little messy for Rosy.  How will Rosy ever get out of this one?


This story has a lively writing style that also includes a lot of humorous line drawings.  It nicely incorporates science into an entertaining early chapter book.  Both boys and girls will enjoy learning to become more 'green' and everyone can relate to Rosy's dilemmas.

Reading Buddies at the Almaden Branch Library

Does your young reader need a helping hand? Perhaps some practice reading words out loud and applying basic comprehension skills, or maybe just some fun reading time to encourage a lifelong love of books?


Join us at Almaden Branch library for Reading Buddies, offered once a week on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 pm. We have trained, enthusiastic teen volunteers available to read with your child. Our volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups with kids to help them choose the right books for their reading level and to practice reading them together in a fun, stress-free environment. This program is recommended for young readers in K-3rd Grade, but older or younger children are welcome to join us if this sounds like the right type of program for them. No need to sign up in advance...Just join us in the Doris Dillon Children's area!

Author Visit: Michelle Richmond

The Year of Fog book coverEvery year Silicon Valley residents have the opportunity to read the same book and come together to discuss it and participate in a variety of programs on topics related to it. Silicon Valley Reads programs take place in libraries and other venues throughout the county.


Silicon Valley Reads is presented annually by Santa Clara County Library, Santa Clara County Office of Education, and San Jose Public Library Foundation with funding from community groups, corporate and individuals donors including, in 2011, the Cupertino Library Foundation and the Michael and Alyce Parsons Foundation.


A walk on foggy Ocean Beach in San Francisco is the starting point for the page-turner novel selected for Silicon Valley Reads 2011.  The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond follows the journey of a young woman through the mysteries of memory and guilt after her fiance's six-year-old daughter disappears while in her care. 


Author, Michelle Richmond will talk about her book at the Evergreen Library on Wednesday, February 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room. She will be on hand after the event to autograph her book.

Valentine's Day Crafts

Nothing says love more than a homemade Valentine's Day card! Check out some of these Valentine's Day craft books at your local branch: Valentine Crafts: A Holiday Craft Book; Crafts for Valentine's Day; Hearts & Crafts. Better hurry though, February 14th is less than 2 weeks away!


Book cover of Valentine Crafts: A Holiday Craft Book  Book cover of Crafts for Valentine's Day  Book cover of Hearts & Crafts

Walk Like an Egyptian

book cover of Ancient Egypt Drawing Book Why not take a trip through Ancient Egypt with selections from our San José Public Library catalog? We have many books and dvds for children and adults. Read all about Cleopatra and Nefertiti, and discover the treasures of King Tut's tomb. Watch the wonders of the Nile unfold before your eyes with the Dvd Mystery of the Nile. Learn how and why the ancient Egyptians would mummify their dead. Learn how to write your name in hieroglyphs.


Plan a visit to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum within walking distance of our own Rosegarden branch of the San José Public Library!

View the treasures inside and wander through the beautiful gardens.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

http://catalog.sjlibrary.org/search~S1?/Xbrown+bear&searchscope=1&SORT=D/Xbrown+bear&searchscope=1&SORT=D&SUBKEY=brown%20bear/1%2C161%2C161%2CB/frameset&FF=Xbrown+bear&searchscope=1&SORT=D&1%2C1%2C Book cover of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

 BrB  The "My First Reader" format of the classic picture book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr and illustrator Eric Carle will delight beginning readers as they discover various creatures looking at one another. Question-and-answer pages are included to help reinforce vocabulary.

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