Monthly Archives: April 2013

Poem in Your Pocket

Did you know today is National Poem in Your Pocket Day?  Which is appropriate since it’s National Poetry Month! 

Here’s the idea:  Find your favorite poem, carry it in your pocket throughout the day, and share it with someone by reading it out loud.

I’m excited to share mine with you!  It’s by one of my favorite poets, William Wordsworth.  No one else captures the beauties of the natural world quite like he did.   

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
          That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
          When all at once I saw a crowd,
          A host, of golden daffodils;
          Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
          Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

          Continuous as the stars that shine
          And twinkle on the milky way,
          They stretched in never-ending line
          Along the margin of a bay:                                  10
          Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
          Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

          The waves beside them danced; but they
          Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
          A poet could not but be gay,
          In such a jocund company:
          I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
          What wealth the show to me had brought:

          For oft, when on my couch I lie
          In vacant or in pensive mood,                               20
          They flash upon that inward eye
          Which is the bliss of solitude;
          And then my heart with pleasure fills,
          And dances with the daffodils.

 So dear blog readers, what is your favorite poem?  And with whom will you share it today?

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Uncategorized


“My Name is Mary Sutter”

MarySutterAre you looking for something to do on the third Tuesday of each month?  Do you sometimes wish you were encouraged to try new books and read outside your comfort zone?  Do you enjoy lively discussion about books and the world in general?  Do you want to make some new friends in the Azle community?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should really consider joining the library’s Main Street Book Club!  As you might have guessed, we meet the third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. We used to meet at 6:30, but we found that we wanted even more time to talk, socialize, and, let’s face it, eat, so we now meet at 6:00 p.m. 

For our meeting Tuesday, April 16th, we’ll be discussing My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.  This is a story about an exceptional woman determined to become a surgeon at a time when women couldn’t ask to be anything more than a midwife.  Thanks to her uncompromising spirit, Mary Sutter eventually gained acceptance on the battlefields of the Civil War, proving herself to be equal to the horrors and deprivations both the soldiers and the medical staff faced on a daily basis.  Oliveira is particularly skilled at evoking that time period with her rich descriptions and lush imagery.  This is a book that will remind you to be grateful for those pioneers, both men and women, whose passion and hard work made our current medical knowledge possible.   

Even if you don’t get a chance to read the book, please consider joining us anyway.  We might ruin the ending for you, but I think you’ll still have an enjoyable evening!

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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


A Good Run

silver linings playbook book coverI am surrounded by books all day.  I talk about them, check them out to people, buy them, and shelve them.  You would think I would never, ever want for a good book to read.  But it happens.  There are times when I cannot find one to save my life.  And now if a book doesn’t interest me past page 25 or so, I will give it up and move on to the next one.  Because life’s too short, you know?   

I had been stuck in the book doldrums for a week or so, trying to force myself to read a kind of “Economy for Dummies” book.  And I will finish that…at some point…I promise.  But I couldn’t stop myself from picking up Silver Linings Playbook.  And that book killed any doldrums I might have had.  I loved it!  It’s quirky and memorable (One of my favorite examples of the quirkiness factor is the fact that the main character has a major aversion to Kenny G, the jazz musician.  If he hears his music, or even any mention of the saxophonist, he goes postal).  I can easily see why it was made into a movie – there are lots of cinema worthy scenes and characters.  I finished that novel, and then, as is so often the case, I found three more that I loved and read in quick succession.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes – A misanthropic quadraplegic becomes friends with his new caregiver/companion, who’s determined to show him that life is still worth living.  It’s a sweet love story that makes one think about how fear can keep one from living so much of life.  It also deals with the right-to-die issue, which will have you talking, and possibly suggesting this one for your next book club. 

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy – I’m so glad I finally read a book by the famous Maeve Binchy.  Tragically, she passed away last year, so this was published posthumously.  It’s an engrossing story that discusses the lives of several people as they all spend a week one winter in a secluded inn on the windswept coast of Ireland.  It’s one of those books that leaves you wanting more after you’ve finished.  

Fever by Mary Beth Keane – This book is riveting.  I became absolutely immersed in the story about Typhoid Mary and her experiences as a cook and later a subject of ridicule.  In fact, to my utter surprise, I actually sympathized with her.  Keane is genius at this – she makes you feel for this woman.  I pictured Mary, a woman who was never sick with typhoid a day in her life, being told that she was a carrier.  And then being asked to give up the thing she was best at in the world, not to mention the fact that she loved it.  Mary is certainly flawed – usually imperious, demanding, and uncompromising and very rarely apologetic.  It’s a great illustration of how far we as humans can go in deluding ourselves and justifying our actions.   

So it’s been a good run of great books.  And luckily, all of these books are available at your local library!  Just click on the links to check out their status in our online catalog.  Happy reading!

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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


Unexpected Cinema Gems

It happens to all of us. We watch a movie for which we have low expectations and afterwards we are surprised by how much we enjoyed it. This has happened to me several times over the past few years, and the surprisingly good movies usually move to the top of my favorites list. The following titles are just a few of the “unexpected gems” I’ve discovered, and they can all be checked out from the Azle Memorial Library DVD collection.

Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

All three of these mockumentaries were written and directed by the quirky Christopher Guest (who also acts in each film). Guest, who starred in the ever popular 1987 film The Princess Bride as Count Tyrone Rugen, has a repertoire of other films, but these three remain my favorite.  The movies, which at first glance appear to be real documentaries, are entirely comical fiction. These are cult classics that will please adult viewers who enjoy subtle wit, mixed with a little oddity.

The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! (1966)

The classic, which was nominated for four Oscars, takes place in a small New England town where a German submarine has just run aground. The town goes into a frenzy as they assume that a war has begun between Russia and the United States. In reality, the Russians ran aground by accident and simply want to find a way to get back into the ocean. A chaotic and hilarious string of car chases, misunderstandings, and accidents occurs until the townspeople and Russians finally come together in harmony in the end.

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

A mother in need of money for her son’s schooling begins cleaning houses for extra income. When she realizes she is not making nearly enough money, she and her unreliable sister start an unusual new business cleaning up after crime scenes (think CSI…after the investigators have finished their work). The money is good, but the job proves to be harder than the sisters expected, and they have to learn to work together and make the best of a difficult situation. The movie has an all-star cast (Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin), but stayed under the radar due to its indie ties and low production budget.  While serious subjects are broached by this rated R film, it still manages to be heartwarming and funny as it is more about family and finding one’s true self than the crime scenes being cleaned.  

Posted by Library Director, Curren McLane

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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

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