- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Water for Elephants is a wonderful story that epitomizes the American spirit in a gripping and beautiful way. Sara Gruen is a talented writer. She captures the authenticity and lore of the traditional circus. There is glitz and glamor in a circus, but Sara also reveals the seedy under belly of abuse and neglect that these performers (animals and humans) have to endure.
The main character Jacob is a veterinarian student who is about to about to graduate from one of the top schools in the country and embark on his exciting career. Jacob was on top of the world, until destiny came and set his fate. Both of his parents were killed and Jacob lost everything including his chance of becoming a veterinarian. He chooses his own path by hitching a ride with a circus train. Set in the depression-era, the story focuses on the difficulties of being successful in the entertainment industry during that time.
When Jacob begins working in the circus, it is soon known that Jacob has veterinarian experience. He is assigned to be the circus’ animal trainer and veterinarian. Jacob finds himself stressed and conflicted with moral dilemmas to ensure the safety and health of the animals (especially the main attraction "Rosie" the elephant). With a tyrannical ring master who is obsessed with ticket sales, many times doing what is best for the animal doesn’t always prevail. Even with all of these elements Jacob and Marlena (the ring master’s wife) begin to comfort each other and they start a forbidden and dangerous affair (this could only mean trouble for Jacob and his future with the circus).
This past weekend I went to see the movie that was made from this story starring two big stars Robert Patterson (Jacob) and Reece Witherspoon(Marlena). This movie exceeded my expectations; they painted a beautiful back drop to tell this dramatic and hopeful story by making sure they unveiled the story moment by moment instead of giving it away right at the beginning of the movie. This created an effect of having you at the edge of your seat the entire time during the film. Kudos to the director Francis Lawrence who, in my opinion, is known for his dark and dramatic imagery of the characters in his films.
If you are interested in this story, our library has many different types of ways to enjoy it. You can download Water for Elephants as EPUB eBook to read on your computer or other device and as a WMA eAudiobook you can listen to on your iPod, and we also have copies in both Spanish and Chinese and in Audiobook CD form.
There is a great show on ABC called: Secret Millionaire. The premise of the show is to have a millionaire pose as an everyday citizen and help with a charity of their choice. The catch is the members of the charitable organization and the people they are helping do not know that there is a millionaire amongst them. The secret millionaire will usually volunteer for a few different charities and by the end they decide where they will donate a significant amount of money. At the conclusion of the show the secret millionaire reveals their true identity and the generous amount of money they are donating to the charity of their choice. This was such a great and uplifting show and I was glad I was able to watch this on television on a particular Sunday night.
If you are also interested in serving your community, you can begin your journey of volunteering here at the San José Public Library by learning about our many volunteering opportunities and then volunteering.
The Ultimate Gift: The Ultimate Gift movie is such a heart felt and loving story. It starts out with a young man who comes from a privileged life. He hears of his grandfather’s death and at the reading of the will, he is surprised by receiving the prize of “the ultimate gift.” Having a rocky relationship with his grandfather he is perplexed by this “gift.” After accepting this present, he is taken to the middle of nowhere to work on a ranch. When he returns back home he finds every bit of “wealth” has been taken away from him. The rule of the gift is through this journey to find “one” true friend. This movie was a great example of personal growth and teaches us what really matters in life.
This book is slightly comparable to the 2006 movie The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. Two women who have had devastating occurrences happen to them decide to trade “lives.” It is about the friendship between Jesse and Erin. Jesse is a freelance writer living in Manhattan and Erin is an Inn keeper still living in Willow Creek, AZ, the town where they both grew up. Jesse proposes the idea to trade places for six months. During their time in each others lives they discover the grass isn't really greener. In this novel you begin to root for the strong heroines. By trading places they find themselves. This novel will take the reader through many different phases in these women’s lives. Overall this was a wonderful and uplifting book.
This novel had me laughing with delight! It puts a comical spin on the world of the undead (vampires).
This book is about a 30 year old former model, now an unemployed secretary. She comes back to life after being run over by a SUV; this is when her life really begins! In her new life, unlike other vampires she can resist feedings and doesn’t react to sunlight. With this she becomes Queen of the Vampires with her new vampire crush Eric Sinclair by her side. This is the first book in this series, and I would suggest any of Mary Janice Davidson’s books, especially from the Undead series.