Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Spine Poetry: I am an emotional creature

"I am an emotional creature"

Bright young things lie in your face,
The twisted sisterhood lost, lost.
Lost and found in a different voice, 
The nature of life - 
no turning back.
I am an emotional creature.

Check it out @ the Library: Across the Universe

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Spine Poetry: Story of a Girl

"Story of a Girl" 
by N. Murphy 

Story of a girl.
The tiger's wife, 
wicked lovely, 
beloved fool, 
lost between here and forever

Now it's your turn.  Send me your Book Spine Poetry to publish on the Library Blog!!!

Check it out @ the Library: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's Carnival Time!

It's Mardi Gras, and what I wouldn't give to be in New Orleans right now!  If you've never been, Mardi Gras is one of the most magnificent celebrations of solidarity, creativity, tradition, and music that I've ever seen.  Myths of Bourbon Street shenanigans aside (the real Mardi Gras celebrants go nowhere near Bourbon Street!), the city is filled with wildly-costumed, happy, parading locals and visitors.  My mom is there; she goes every year.  Schools are closed the entire week, and families get together for celebrations that rival any Thanksgiving or Fourth of July in the rest of the country.  Costumes, masks, beads, special ladders that allow the kids to see over the crowds....this holiday is a wonderful example of a community coming together to create a collective experience of joy and tradition.  Every local neighborhood has a parade during Mardi Gras season, which has been going on for many weeks.  The parade season is highly organized and each parade is scheduled so that participants can join in the fun. Today's famous parades include the Rex parade, the Zulu parade, and the St. Anne's parade.
One of the very best parts of Mardi Gras is the music.  Brass bands march the streets playing songs that bring people out of their homes to follow along and dance for miles.  Every club and restaurant pumps New Orleans jazz and funk out into the streets.  It's a cacophony of colors, sights, and sounds that leaves one's head spinning in the best possible way.
Perhaps the most beautiful sight during Mardi Gras is also one of the most elusive.  It is hard to describe the breathtaking beauty of a Mardi Gras Indian Chief turning the corner, followed by his Spy Boy, Flag Boy, and other tribe members.  These men spend the entire year designing and sewing every tiny bead onto their beautiful costumes.  It's really a sight to see.
New Orleans is a special place.  It's home to traditions, music, architecture, cuisine, and literature that is entirely unique.  It's historic role as a a major port of entry to the Unites States and the Mississippi River  brought Spanish, French, Haitian, African, and so many other cultural influences to its muddy shores.  These have melded and mutated into something that exists nowhere else.  It's hard to describe.  I recommend you just go, and soon.  I'll give you a list of restaurants to try that will bring you to your knees.
Have I enticed you?  If so, it is now time for you to explore the wonderful world of New Orleans through its literature.  So many writers have captured parts of New Orleans in their writing.  It's a great way to begin.  Take a look at the titles below, some of which are available in the FSHA Library.

Happy Mardi Gras, and Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler!

A Feast for All Saints by Ann Rice - one of my favorites and NOT a vampire novel
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole - we have this one
Eleanor Rushing by Patty Friedmann - an all-time favorite of mine
Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
The Dave Robicheaux mysteries by James Lee Burke
The Skip Langdon mysteries by Julie Smith
Ruined by Paula Morris - we have it; a YA ghost story of the Garden District and Mardi Gras)
My Mother the Cheerleader by Rob Sharenow - a YA novel of 1960 New Orleans and school desegregation (we have it)
Yellow Jack by Jack Russell

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers - we have it; a true story of Katrina and its aftermath
The World That Made New Orleans: from Spanish Silver to Congo Square by Ned Sublette
New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City by Andrei Codrescu

I could go on and on and on and on.......

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Teacher Feature - Mr. Robb

What do you most like to read? (this could be a literary genre, or a type of material, like blogs, magazines, etc.)
I mostly like to solve puzzles. I read puzzle magazines such as "Games" and "Logic Puzzles" I solve puzzles from these magazines at night while lying in bed until I fall asleep. Now, because of iPad my list of puzzles to solve has increased dramatically. I am now eased to sleep by Sudokus, traditional games like Backgammon and Hearts, and the many types of logic puzzles I find in iPad apps. I read novels during the summer, usually thrillers. There's nothing better than reading a novel early in the morning before anyone has awakened at the campsite of our yearly boating trip on the Sacramento Delta.

Do you have a favorite book/author/publication?
Brett Battles is my favorite author. He has a few series of thriller novels published as well as a couple of standalone thrillers. Brett just happens to have been one of my college roommates. We were roommates for three years. It is great to see him become so successful at doing what he loves to do. He was able to quit his "real job" about six years ago.

What's the last great thing you read?
The Jonathan Quinn thriller series of novels by Brett Battles.

Where do you most like to read?
My favorite time to read is early in the morning. Often on Sunday mornings I go to my favorite local breakfast place "Lilly's off the bowling alley. The owner softly sings while she works and the waiter knows to bring me ice water, orange slices, eggs, and polish sausage. I am than left alone to quietly read the whole Sunday Times. That is heaven.

When you were in high school, did you like to read? If so, what?
High school was all about sports. I read Sports Illustrated and Tennis Magazine.

What is your most hated book and why?
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values" by Robert M. Pirsig
I had to read this for freshman psychology in college. I would love to own a "Monster Truck" and drive it right into that book and over those ridiculous motorcycles crushing them into a flat chunk of metal. Have a Chautauqua assembly about that.

Check it out @ the Library: Leviathan