In the days between Christmas and New Year’s, police break into an empty inner city apartment in an unnamed English city and find a decaying body. What happened before and after is narrated by friends of the deceased man, a chorus of drug addicts, the mentally ill, and the homeless who take turns observing the investigation, inquest and cremation at a distance. The story proceeds in bits and pieces as we enter the lives of society’s outcasts who eke out a miserable and hopeless existence waiting for food and the next drug high, estranged from families, dependent on charity and public assistance. Even the dogs is powerful, insightful but a difficult book to read.
Every year San Jose Public Library, along with libraries throughout the world, nominates titles for the Impac Dublin award. The 2013 long list of nominations will be released in November. A panel of judges selects a shortlist of ten titles which is announced in April 2013. The finalist is announced in June. The 2013 Award will be given for a work of fiction published in English between 1st January 2011 and 31st December 2011,
What’s it like to speak and communicate in many languages?
While investigating the life and language skills of nineteenth century Cardinal Mezzofanti who, it was claimed, could speak seventy-two languages, Michael Erard, author of Babel no more interviewed modern polyglots to discover how people learn and communicate in multiple languages. In his quest he meets professional and obsessive language learners, neurologists who study language functions in the human brain, winners of a hyperpolyglot language contest, and members of an Indian community who may communicate in four or more languages in the course of a day.
Here he describes how one person learns and retains many languages
Are you an aspiring polyglot? With your San Jose Public Library card you can study various languages online through our subscription to Mango languages. You can also check out language learning videos and CDs from your local library.
Other titles you may find interesting:
In the remote central Asian city of Kashgar in the 1920's a group of English women missionaries come under house arrest after an act of mercy. In 21st century London, Frieda returns from her travels, meets a homeless refugee from Yemen and discovers she has inherited the contents of an apartment of a deceased stranger. These alternating stories keep will keep you reading until the end.
Uprisings, riots, war and terrorism are a daily features on news media but Steven Pinker, taking an historical perspective, makes the argument that the world is getting less violent. Literacy, the rise of government, commerce, travel and education all have played a part in helping us to control impulsive behavior, consider opposing viewpoints, expose jingoism and chauvinism and make the world a better place. The Better Angels of our Nature makes fascinating reading, but be warned, -- it is many books in one and you’ll need time to stop, think and ponder Pinker’s insights.
American born Cherry Truong arrives in Vietnam eager to learn more about her family’s history and determined to bring back her disgraced older brother. The extended Truong family relocated to Paris after the fall of Vietnam while Cherry’s parents chose to settle in Southern California with her maternal grandmother’s family, the Vos. Though the families have kept in touch over the years, this separation has led to discontent, jealousy, resentment and misunderstanding. In her search Cherry comes across two series of letters that reveal new insights into her family’s departure and resettlement.
Next time you go to search our library collections you may notice things look a bit different. Yesterday, we launched a New Library Catalog search system that will hopefully make searching much easier and expose new materials you may have missed before.
Not ready to make the switch? Don't worry, our previous library catalog is still available as the "Classic Catalog" - look for the link at the bottom of the screen in the new system. "My Account" is also unchanged and can be accessed from either version of the catalog - just first select the "Login" link in the new catalog and enter your library card and PIN number.
Give the new system a try and please let us know what you think!