Monday, February 9, 2015

New magazines for 2015

We have subscribed to seven new magazines this year. You can find most of the magazines by our fireplace in our Main Library, and the Children's magazines in our Park Branch. While the current issue has to stay in the library, older issues can be checked out. Come in to see what we have! Newsweek and Saveur are also available on our new online magazine service, Zinio.

Here is a list of our new magazines:

  • Make - brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life and celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend your technology to your will.
  • Afar - a different kind of travel magazine that guides and inspires those who travel the world seeking to connect with its people, experience their cultures, and understand their perspectives.
  • Saveur - explores the authentic cuisines of the world, tracks recipes and ingredients to their places of origin and illuminates their history, traditions and local flavors.
  • Cooks Illustrated - provides readers with recipes, cooking techniques, and product and food recommendations.
  • Popular Science - The 'What's New'" magazine of science and technology. Covers the latest developments in cars, electronics, communications, tools, energy, aviation, science, space exploration and more.
  • Newsweek - Newsweek had cancelled its print publication, so we had to give it up, but now it's back!
  • Highlights for Children- the beloved children's magazine delivers puzzles, science projects, jokes and riddles to challenge young minds.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

We Love Prizes!

The librarians have spoken! At the recent Midwinter Conference of the American Library Association, awards were announced for many 2014 books, including the John Newbery Award for children’s literature and the Randolph Caldecott Award for illustrated children’s books. These two major awards have been handed out by the ALA since 1922 and 1937 respectively. The winners are “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander, and “The Adventures of Beekle” illustrated by Dan Santat. Both are available in the Park branch.

Some book prizes for teen and adult literature were also given out. The Alex Awards honor adult fiction that might appeal to teens, and you’ll recognize several titles we have in the library (possibly checked out but if so, get on the waiting list!): “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng, and “The Martian” by Andy Weir, plus six more. 

Another notable ALA award for teen books is the Michael Printz Award, which was won this year by Jandy Nelson, for the book  “I’ll GiveYou the Sun.”

Later this spring, the ALA will announce finalists for its top adult prizes, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in fiction and non-fiction.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What We're Reading

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

One of the joys I get from listening to audiobooks, versus reading a print book, is hearing the languages and accents of other cultures. However, I picked up Graeme Simsion’s “The Rosie Project” only because I kept hearing about it. I was very happy when the lilting tones of an Australian man came out of my car speakers, and as the story moved along, the man became much quirkier (and funnier) by the minute.

Don Tillman is a genetics professor in Australia, and he is a thoughtful, socially awkward perfectionist. We begin to see that Don may be bordering on autistic, without admitting it. He wants to find the perfect wife, yet going on dates usually ends in disaster, and he devises a 16-page, multi-question survey for women to take to find his perfect wife. The criteria are nearly impossible to meet (no smoking, no late arrivers, must have high talent for ice-cream tasting, etc.), and the methods Don uses to narrow his candidates are hilarious (the accent of audiobook narrator Dan O’Grady helps too)!  Don’s best friend, also a professor, tries to help by basically ignoring Don’s Wife Project Survey and setting him up with women, including Rosie. Rosie is a gorgeous redhead who Don is attracted to but she fails almost every category of the Wife Project. They do have a reasonable conversation and he, in his endearing way, gets interested in helping with what he calls the Father Project. Rosie is not sure who her dad is, and her mother has died, and so the unlikely pair of Don and Rosie begin an adventure to scientifically prove who the man is.

“The Rosie Project” is a delightful romantic comedy, and the sequel (which Simsion says he didn’t intend to write, until his great debut success) “The Rosie Effect” has just been released, so once you finish Don and Rosie's first adventures, get on the wait-list for part 2. I highly recommend Rosie for a good laugh.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Best of the Year

The end of the year always brings out the “best” lists, and books are no different. Reviewers from major magazines and newspapers, from “The New York Times” to “Entertainment Weekly” to “Publishers Weekly,” chime in with their favorites and “bests” in the literary world. Harrison Memorial Library has checked its list of patrons’ favorites too, and the lists look quite different!

Topping out the most circulated books in Carmel are “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt (Pulitzer Prize winner), “The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connelly and “The Heist” by Janet Evanovich, mainstream best-sellers all. In fact, there is no non-fiction on Carmel’s list until #46, “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel Brown.

Looking at the “experts’ bests” list for 2014 fiction, we find “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (on the library’s list too, but not until #49), "Euphoria" by Lily King, "Redeployment" by Phil Klay (winner of the National Book Award), and "Station Eleven" by Emily Mandel. Best reviewed non-fiction includes "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant" by Roz Chast (actually a graphic novel), "Lives in Ruins" by Marilyn Johnson, and "Capital in the 21st Century" by Thomas Piketty.

More Carmel readers' favorites: "Top Secret 21," "The Target," "Personal," "Sycamore Row," "The Collector," "Act of War," and "Carnal Curiosity."

The critics' top fiction? "The Bone Clocks," "Lila," "The Paying Guests," "The Blazing World," "A Brief History of Seven Killings," and "Boy Snow Bird." We have all of these in the library so if you want to see what reviewers have been reading, just ask us! If we're missing anything, please suggest it!

By the way, are you a movie fan or audiobook lover? The most popular DVDs in Carmel Library this year include three seasons of "Downton Abbey," plus "Blue Jasmine" and "American Hustle." The most checked-out audiobooks (on CD) were "Shantaram," "The Boys in the Boat," "The Goldfinch," "Gone Girl" and "How the Light Gets In."


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What we're reading...

In Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, author David Sedaris displays his usual wit, sharing humorous and painful anecdotes about such divergent topics as the medical world, international travel and its inherent difficulties, school athletics, family, bad parenting, and insect collecting. Like many comedians, some (perhaps most) of the author’s humor comes from pain. No topic is off limits; some of Sedaris’ essays are not for the faint of heart. Available from Harrison Memorial Library in the following formats/locations: NonFiction, Large Print, E-Audiobook (online through Overdrive), and Electronic Book Reader (Nook).

Friday, December 12, 2014

What we're reading....

I’m plugging away at The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal about Being Human. Author Noah Strycker shares his lifelong fascination—some might say obsession--with our avian cousins, in a way that will make you alternately say, “Wow!,” or “I always suspected that.” How do pigeons find their way around? Experts still disagree, but there seems to be a combination of factors, including but not limited to having a sense of the Earth’s magnetic field, as well as hearing and smell. Did you know that pigeons have a better sense of smell in their right nostril than their left, whereas with humans it tends to be the other way around? What about vultures? Can they smell dead stuff, or do they rely more on sight? People as brilliant as Darwin and Audubon pondered the same question and devised sometimes crude experiments to try and come up with an answer.

We sometimes take these ever-present creatures for granted, yet they are complex, highly evolved beings that we are still striving to understand. The Thing with Feathers can provide you with some of this knowledge and tell you a great deal about where we we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going in our understanding of birds.