It’s that time of year again. Even though it’s still 100 degrees outside, the kids are back in school. This means the library is a little bit quieter, but not much. People are still coming in to check out books and media, use our computers, and attend programs. We encourage you to come in, too, if you need help with research for school, work, or personal purposes. The reference desk will be up and running in the next few months, but until that time, you can still ask us questions. We’re here to help you find articles, websites, and books. We can help you navigate databases and make sure your online resources are reliable and accurate. We’re trained to answer your questions, and it’s what we love to do, so don’t hesitate to ask us!
Monthly Archives: August 2011
I polled the Azle Memorial Library staff this morning to find out what we’re all reading right now. It should come as no surprise that we love to talk about books around here, so everyone enjoyed discussing their latest reads.
Tracey is reading “Rugged and Relentless” by Kelly Hake and listening to “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins. Nancy is just finishing up “The Clinic” by Jonathan Kellerman and about to start “Henrietta Hornbuckle’s Circus of Life” by Michael De Guzman. Roxanne is currently enjoying “Man You’ll Marry” by Debbie Macomber, and Curren is listening to “Bite Me: A Love Story” by Christopher Moore. I just finished up “Witches of East End” last night and am about to start “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller.
Be sure to check out these titles by clicking on the links – you’ll be taken to the catalog where you can check the item’s availabililty. Or, if you want help finding another book you might enjoy, just ask one of our librarians for help. Happy reading!
I figured the end of the summer was the perfect time to settle down with a fun beach read. I wasn’t expecting a lot from “Silver Girl,” but I quickly found myself unable to put the book down. It’s a story about Meredith, a woman whose husband, Freddy, has just been prosecuted and sentenced to 150 years in prison for a Ponzi scheme that swindled investors out of billions. Meredith is also being pursued by the feds, who are sure she had something to do with the fraud, too. Meredith maintains her innocence but realizes she needs a place to hide from the media’s prying eyes and the scorn and hate of half of Manhattan. She leaves the city to stay with her erstwhile best friend, Connie. The women had been best friends since childhood but money and marriage had separated them. Connie is still dealing with the loss of her husband to cancer and the estrangement of her daughter. Connie takes pity on her penniless friend and lets her stay with her in Nantucket. But of course, even with Meredith’s attempt to disguise her appearance, people quickly find out she is staying on the island, and soon Connie finds her car tires slashed and her house vandalized. Connie would regret her decision to let Meredith stay, but perhaps the company of her friend is what she needs most of all.
I enjoyed this book so much probably because the writing was so good and the story gave me a new perspective. I had never considered what the wife of such a vilified man would go through in trying to maintain her innocence but also deal with the fact that she had been so blind to the man she had been married to for decades. The topic is, of course, timely and tragic, and I think Hilderbrand was good at showing sympathy for her characters but also forcing them to face up to their flaws. The ending is tied up a little too quickly and neatly, and I expected more from Meredith in that she would finally live up to her potential. However, I heartily recommend this book. In fact, I’m giving it to my mother to read when she comes to visit!
Azle teens spent a lot of time reading books this summer and having fun at the library. Our first ever Teen Summer Reading Program encouraged teens to read to be entered for weekly prizes (a $10 gift card). A drawing was held every Thursday, when teens could come to the library and play games and make crafts. The grand prize was a $50 gift card to WalMart. In total, teens read more than 200 books this summer. We want to thank Brandi Head for all of her hard work in making this program a success!
Are you someone who can barely boil water? Do you have a hard time following recipes? Does the thought of making bread from scratch scare the stuffing right out of you? Well, no need to fear any longer. The Library is offering a series of cooking classes, held in the Community Room on the 2nd Monday of every month. Our first class will be on “Stretching Your Food Dollars,” sponsored by AgriLife. It will take place Monday, Sept. 12th at 1:30 p.m. The class is free, but we do ask that you register at the Information Desk. The schedule for the next several classes is below (exact times TBA). And even if you do have kitchen skills, please come! You’ll make some new friends and eat some good food.
- October: Break making
- November: Dips
- December: Decorating Cookies & Cookie Exchange
- January: Heart Healthy Salads
- February: Chili & Soups
This July I had the privilege of visiting the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington DC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the LOC, it is the library used by Congress for research. However it’s also much, much more. The LOC is the largest library in the world and contains millions of volumes. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington, which is a common opinion shared by locals and tourists alike. The outside is similar to the other towering monuments in DC; however it is the inside of the building that is truly amazing. The Great Hall (foyer) is filled – literally – from floor to ceiling with mosaics, gold embellishments, relief sculptures and quotations from famous intellectuals carved in marble. In addition to being decorative, nearly everything in the Great Hall has a symbolic meaning or history. For example, 56 printer’s marks are painted onto the ceiling. Printer’s marks were used by early printers to mark their work – a kind of copyright mark. One can literally spend hours in the great hall looking at the details. However, there was so much more to see! There are public exhibits, including Thomas Jefferson’s Library (with his original books!) and original documents from the founding of America, the Civil War and beyond. One of the main attractions is one of three perfect original Gutenberg bibles. The Gutenberg bibles were the first books printed on moveable type, otherwise known as the printing press, around 1455. On display across from the Gutenberg Bible is the Giant Bible of Mainz, which was one of the last few hand scribed bibles written on vellum. What is amazing about these two books is they were both created during the same time period in the same place, Mainz, Germany. The books symbolize the end of an era of limited written word, and the availability of information en masse to the general public.
After leaving the Great Hall, I was graciously offered a private tour of the “inner workings” of the library of Congress. A “Readers Card” (library card) granted me access to many areas of the library’s collection, including their main reading room, which rivals the Great Hall in splendor. One can truly spend hours at a time just visiting the library and doing research on nearly any topic imaginable. Because the library collection is so large, a majority of it lies behind closed stacks. Requests can be made for specific items, and conveyer belts bring them to the reading room for viewing. In addition to the main reading room, multiple reference areas, offices, computer labs, and more were located throughout the building. Due to time constraints I did not have much time to explore the actual library materials, but believe me, if I ever go back I will spend as much time there as I can!
The LOC is truly a mix of historic beauty, information, and artifacts, all enriched by modern technology and ease of access. I highly encourage anyone traveling to Washington DC to visit the Library of Congress. Even if you just peek into the Great Hall, it will be well worth the trip! For those of you who enjoy virtual travel, the LOC website provides virtual tours, access to their electronic collections, and much more.
Thank you to everyone who attended the inaugural meeting of the Main Street Book Club Tuesday night! Our members had a lot to say about The Help. We had a great discussion about race, human nature, and family relationships. We raffled off two free movie passes, generously donated by Starplex Cinemas, and ate Minny’s famous caramel cake. Our next book club meeting will be Tuesday, September 20th at 6:30 p.m. We’ll be reading Room by Emma Donoghue, hailed by The Boston Globe as one of the best books of the year: “[Donoghue’s] writing has pulse-pounding sequences that cause the reader’s eyes to race over the pages to find out what happens next…. Room is likely to haunt readers for days, if not longer.” Check out a brief synopsis of the book here. The library has several copies – if we don’t have one on the shelves, place a hold today. And hurry and start reading! You don’t want to miss another great discussion next month.