- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
1. Submit a review of the book "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer using our new library catalog. (Please note: Your review must include your name.)
2. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your review was posted on our library catalog and include your name in the email.
The first five people to post their review of the book Breaking Dawn will receive advance screening passes for you and a guest. The first ten people to post their review of the book will receive a movie pack.
Movie passes do not guarantee admission. Seating is first-come, first served. Please arrive early.
The advance screening will be held tomorrow, Nov. 14, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at AMC Eastridge 15.
Movie passes must be picked no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the Administration office located on the 4th floor of the King Library.
The Hare With Amber Eyes: a Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal
A collection of netsuke (Japanese miniature carvings) is the focal point for tracing the author’s family history through Paris during the Belle Epoque, Vienna from the last days of the Austrian empire to before the Anschluss, post World War II England, and Japan after the American occupation. We meet members of the Ephrussi family of Jewish financiers, including: Charles, a Parisian art critic and friend of the Impressionists; Viktor and Emmy, aristocrats who lived the high life in early twentieth century Vienna; Elizabeth, who corresponded with the poet Rilke and tracked down confiscated family property after World War II; and Iggie, a fashion designer and businessman in post-war Japan.
Author De Waal talks about the netsuke collection
A group of Australian writers discuss the book
For November 2012, our Online Book Club continues our discussion of Little Princes by Conor Grennan. Each week, we’ll add a different question for reflection on the book and its ideas. Feel free to add your thoughts below.
Question for Week 2:
Why did Conor return to Nepal even though the country was in the midst of a civil war? How did Conor’s mission change as he learned more about how the children at Little Princes orphanage came to Kathmandu?
After leaving Nepal, Conor felt a deep bond with the children at Little Princes orphanage. Aware of how easy it was to make promises and not fulfill them, Conor felt compelled to return. When his plans to rescue a group of children was aborted, Conor determined to find the children and make sure they were educated and cared for. When he discovered the orphans had parents living, he looked into ways to reunite them with their parents. Believing it might be better for the children to continue their education in Kathmandu, Conor worked to find ways for these children to communicate and visit with parents. He also set up hostels in the capital of the region where children could stay, keep in touch with their families, and continue their education.
See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and to preview the next weeks’ questions
Everyone is invited to attend the History Book Club at Almaden Branch Library, which next meets at the library on Wednesday, November 21, at 5:00-6:00 PM.
Note: The library closes early at 6:00 PM on November 21 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
For the November meeting, the Book Club is reading In the Garden of Beasts : Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson:
"The saga of an American father and daughter who in July 1933 suddenly found themselves, and the rest of their family, transported to the heart of Hitler's Berlin. The father was William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered history professor from Chicago who, much to his surprise and everyone else's, was chosen by Roosevelt to be America's first ambassador to Nazi Germany; Dodd's daughter, Martha, was 24 years old and came along for the adventure, and to escape a dead marriage. At first this new world seemed full of energy and goodwill, nothing like what newspapers back home had portrayed. But slowly a pall of intrigue and terror fell over the family--until the cataclysmic weekend that changed them all forever." (eriklarsonbooks.com)
Design*Sponge at Home created by journalist Grace Bonney is probably the kind of the Gen X/Gen Y’s answer to Martha Stewart in terms of DIY, crafts, design, entertaining, and food. One of her columns is her Living In film Series where she takes inspirations from the Breakfast Club to Downton Abbey and translates them into historical references of fashion and accessories.
The Day of the Dead = El Día de los Muertos is a fun bilingual (Spanish-English) book written and colorfully illustrated by Bob Barner and translated into Spanish by Teresa Mlawer. A family celebrates El Día de los Muertos by honoring their ancestors in traditional ways. Happy skeletons can be seen on some of the pages.
Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration written and illustrated by Richard Keep is another fun book for young children and families. This delightfully illustrated book is from the point of view of the visiting skeletons. The back of both of these book have a nice descriptions of the holiday.
For November 2012, our Online Book Club discusses Little Princes by Conor Grennan. Each week, we'll put forth different questions to prompt reflection on the book and its ideas. We hope you will participate in the discussion by adding your comments below.
Question for Week 1:
How did Conor Grennan’s decision to volunteer in an orphanage in Kathmandu before spending a year of traveling abroad change his life? What preparation did Conor have to work as an orphanage volunteer? Looking back, was there a time in your life when what you thought was an insignificant decision or act turned out later to make a difference?
Conor felt he needed to justify his self-indulgent decision to spend a year traveling around the world when he left his job working for an international organization. Volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal where he planned to trek to Mt Everest Base Camp was an opportunity to do charitable work at the beginning of the trip. Before volunteering, Conor had no experience with children. After arrival in Kathmandu he was given a week’s training including an orientation to Nepali culture and a home stay with a family in a village outside Kathmandu. Conor's work was "hands-on" and the experience lingered throughout the remainder of his trip and his return to the United States.
Sometimes an insignificant act makes a difference: A month after relocating to a new city, looking for opportunities to make new friends, I filled out a volunteer form for a nonprofit organization, expecting to be called help with fundraising. To my surprise, I was asked to be part of a group training for telephone crisis counseling. The following months of training and probationary volunteer work was one of the most challenging and rewarding periods of my life and led me to volunteer with other nonprofit organizations.
At his recent talk at San Jose State, Conor Grennan urged his listeners to not to question their motives, but to volunteer their time and money to make little changes -- which might lead to great things.
See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and to preview the next weeks’ questions
I hear that quote all the time and from people of all walks of life both teens and adults. Even some who read comic books will reluctantly agree. And who can blame them? The big eyes, colorful pictures, and fast paced action certainly seem to be aimed at children.
Naoki Urasawa, author of Monster and 20thCentury Boys, is not your usual manga writer. You won’t find outlandish facial expressions, ridiculous hair styles, or unbelievable sight gags. Instead you’ll find realistic characters, multilayered storylines, and complex mysteries. Take a look at the two manga covers at the bottom of the page. The first is from Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy. The second is from Naoki Urasawa's Pluto. Both covers depict the same character, and tell the same story but Pluto radically transforms one of Astro Boy’s first adventures into a complex mystery full of intrigue, betrayal and secrecy.
Pluto follows Geist, a German police officer investigating the murder, one by one, of the world’s strongest robots. The trail he follows leads across the globe, into a world radically changed by the introduction of robotic labor, and also into the past, exploring the terrible consequences of the 39th Middle-East War.
It pulls no punches portraying the gritty consequences of conflict and the quest for weapons of mass destruction. However, Urasawa does so by humanizing the characters, even (or rather especially) the robots. Each of them -from the very human Astro Boy to the monstrously inhuman Pluto- feel real to the reader. You can’t help but empathize with them even as you are reminded of their inhuman origin. Each chapter revealed new layers of the mystery and answered questions implied, by never asked in earlier in the series and even as I mourned the loss of favored characters, I loved how the story unfolded drawing me deeper into the plot volume by volume.
Pluto is a compelling mystery, one that treats the future as respectfully and honestly as any Asimov or Heinlein novel. Point to it the next time that someone dismisses the graphic novel you read as "childish" or use the ideas Pluto explores to debate the nature of humanity. Better yet, hand them a copy of Pluto, and let them discover it for themselves.
Don't miss my other Great Graphic Novels
A must-read complete collection of ghost stories by M. R. James, the British master of the macabre. With detailed annotations by Darryl Jones, the book illustrates James' style of 'historical' horror fiction. Similar to Stephen King, James fabricates his horror tales based on real
places and persons of the period to lend a realistic sense to the storyline. With haunted
houses and bizarre objects as central plots these tales offer ghost stories in their
Soon it will be Halloween. That one day each year when children dress up and go door to door collecting candy. Adults also may dress up as monsters, ghosts, their favorite celebrities or literary characters. But do you know the roots of this celebration?
Ray Bradbury in his 1972 story The Halloween Tree, tells the story of 8 young boys who travel through time searching for their friend Pipkin. Along their journey they encounter the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud who takes them to the ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Medieval Paris, Druidic England and finally to a Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico. In 1992 This story was made into a feature-length animated film starring the voices of Ray Bradbury as the voice of the Narrator and Leonard Nemoy as the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud.
Do you want to know more about this fall celebration? Come check out this book at the San Jose Public Library. We also have many more materials that can help you plan your own Halloween celebration.