It's no secret the holidays can challenge even the most harmonious family relationships. Someone, somewhere, will be uttering "less is more" while dodging a dinner roll. Table conversations can escalate faster than a Facebook firestorm. Knowing how to navigate discussions around dueling politics or between divided sports fans is a prized holiday survival skill.
So how can you keep the holiday sparkle alive and the goodwill flowing? Think trivia! Curiosities and wonders appeal to all ages. Ensure a harmonious (and educational) meal with the people you love most by taking one of these books to your next family gathering.
Every day is a reason to celebrate reading. And there is no better way to do so, than to read new titles by Latino authors. Normally only read fiction? Switch it up and try a memoir. Eschew fiction because real life is stranger? Go ahead, select a new fiction title and prepare to be surprised. Don't put off reading a good book till tomorrow, when you can read one of these great books today!
Mañana Means Heaven by Tim Z. Hernandez shines the light on "Terry" also referred to as "the Mexican Girl," in Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Researchers have spent nearly 60 years trying to locate the real woman Kerouac had met, Bea Kozera (Franco), until Hernandez succeeded in 2012. Fortunately for all of us, Hernandez prevailed because Bea died this August at 92 years of age.
Marian McPartland once noted, "The Key of D is daffodil yellow, B major is maroon, and B flat is blue." The beloved jazz pianist and host of NPR's Piano Jazz for over 30 years has left the recording studio, after sharing a rainbow of musical journeys with fellow artists.
If you are new to jazz or want to pay tribute to McPartland and her musical family, visit NPR's tribute Twilight World. McPartland interviewed her guests with the language of music, co-creating unique musical experiences. She had a gift for drawing musicians out, and the intimacy of their conversations drew listeners in.
There's no better way to ease into the new school year than with a pop quiz. For every tagline below, guess the corresponding movie title. No pencil or paper needed for this challenge but please, do keep your eyes on your own screen.
To get started, click the link for the title and place a hold for those you haven't seen or wish to view again for extra credit. (The Library doesn't give extra credit but it sure sounds motivating.)
Hint: all movies feature middle school or high school angst without one John Hughes film in the mix.
If you browse the book stacks at the Central Library, chances are you'll spy a "Did you miss this?" bookmark tucked in a title. Staff periodically flag a book that may have fallen off your reading radar. Who knows? You may discover a new, favorite title. Recent titles sporting the bookmark include a few multicultural novels (and one memoir) you may have missed.
An Apartment Called Freedom by Ghazi A. Algosaibi was originally published in Arabic. The story takes place in Egypt during the 1950s, a time of bitter international conflict over the Suez Canal. Within this political climate, four young men from Bahrain arrive in Cairo to complete their education.
The first women's federal prison, Alderson in West Virginia, was opened for business in 1927. The same prison Martha Stewart reported to in 2004. Piper Kerman also began serving her prison term in 2004, reporting to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury. She chronicles her experience in Orange Is The New Black and the basis for the Netflix series.
Much like Susanna in Girl Interrupted, Piper is a privileged protagonist. As her story unfolds, she exposes the different faces of privilege through her interactions with fellow inmates. Issues of race, sexuality, mental health and poverty are explored. Some of the women will have options when they are released, others will not.
July is National Zine Month and the ideal time to make a zine (pronounced "zeen"). Hand-made and about anything you can imagine, zines allow you an uncensored voice. Yes, you control all aspects of the content, design and distribution.
Creating a basic zine is easy! Start with your idea, paper, a writing/drawing tool, and create. Once you have what you want to say down on paper, head over to a photocopier. My favorite how-to zine book, Whatcha Mean, What's a Zine?, steps you through the zine process from "Should I staple?" to "Where do I leave my zine for others to enjoy?"
Intrigued by codes, ciphers and those who break them? The PBS mystery Bletchley Circle introduced a new audience to the fascinating world of decryption.
Susan, Mille, Lucy and Jean harness all their experience gained as codebreakers at Bletchley Park to find a killer. Bletchley Park is an estate and at one time, ground zero for English codebreaking activities during WWII.
Ah, home sweet home...um, maybe. That urban castle of solace can quickly turn into one of strife if you are plagued by nosey or noisy neighbors.
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood never prepared us for the Griswolds and Mr. & Mrs. Smiths of the world. Now that the weather is improving, you can't rush past your neighbor because it's too cold to chat. So how can you move from avoidance to acceptance and appreciate the neighbors you have?