Books Blog

Strong, Smart Women

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I’ll admit, I read a lot more nonfiction than fiction, a lot more young adult books than adult ones. But lately I’ve been drawn to intense thrillers with strong, complex, and flawed female protagonists. These women are not perfect, but they’re interesting, and have unique voices which made all of these books good reads for me.

Once I finished Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects, I immediately got her second book, Dark Places—even though these books are not in a series. In both, there were interesting characters, twists and turns, and good writing.

Colorado Authors Series: Stan Yan, SquidWorks Comics

The Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series presents Stan Yan of SquidWorks comics this Sunday, January 22, at 2:00 p.m. at Schlessman.

Stan Yan grew up in Denver and went to school at UC Boulder where he got his bachelor’s degree in accounting. Yan’s life took the tragic turn into sales for the securities industry, where he wallowed in ethical poverty on-and-off for 13 years. He takes his frustrations out by penning graphic novels such as The Wang.

Saturday: Design Your Home Library or Create Your Urban Homestead

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading

This Saturday, join Fresh City Life My Branch for one of these special events! The Colorado Authors Series presents Sundari Kraft, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading, or learn how to arrange your home library with Thatcher Wine from Juniper Books.

Aspiring urban homesteaders! Gather at the Schlessman Family Branch at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 14 to get started with Sundari Kraft. With her book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading anyone can learn how to live sustainably and responsibly — and save money and time — in an urban environment.

TumbleBookLibrary - eBooks for eKids!

TumbleBooks

The TumbleBookLibrary is a collection of TumbleBooks -- animated, talking picture books -- with fiction, non-fiction and foreign language titles, Read-Alongs (chapter books with sentence highlighting and narration but no animation), TumbleTV which consists of pre-set playlists of a sequence of books, and Tumble Puzzles & Games.

A growing selection of Tumblebooks are available for iPad. Take a look at the TumbleBooks iPad Collection.

View TumbleBooks online - no need to check them out but you must have an internet connection and a library card.

Hair Loss

Women and Alopecia: Managing Unexplained Hair Loss

Hair loss is never easy. It can affect individuals of all ages, including children.

People may be undergoing treatment for cancer or they may be healthy. Appearance is very important in our society so there is always the question of how to live with hair loss and still look attractive. Some individuals wear wigs, hats or go bald. Fortunately for us who live with hair loss the web can provide important information, support, and resources.

2011 Author/Illustrator Visit with Javaka Steptoe

Javaka Steptoe

The Children's and Family Services department hosted renowned author/illustrator Javaka Steptoe in November for a week-long visit to schools and libraries.

Javaka has illustrated 11 books and won the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall and Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow. His most recent work as an illustrator can be seen in What's Special About Me, Mama?

Why Volunteer?

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Did you know that people who volunteer are more likely to be successful in school and at their jobs? Volunteering, whether at the library or another organization, is a great way to positively impact your community while strengthening your own skill set at the same time!

The library and other organizations like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Dumb Friends League and the Denver Zoo, rely on volunteer involvement to assist in many important and fun tasks! The experiences you have while volunteering will help you know what kind of career you might be interested in pursuing.

2012: Are You Ready?

2012: The War for Souls

The year 2012 is fast approaching. To many writers, 2012 seemed like a good year far in the future in which to set their stories. Other books are centered around a prophecy that the world will end in 2012. Get ready for the new year with some fiction set in 2012!

Angel Fire East, Terry Brooks

2012 Airborne Prophecy, Nina Anderson

Apocalypse 2012 & The 2012 Codex, Gary Jennings

Domain, Steve Alten

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club January Selection

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has announced their selection for January: The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 is the award-winning story of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, who take a trip to Alabama in the summer of 1963. Young readers will relate to Kenny, the 10-year-old narrator of the story – his authentic observations and reactions really bring the experiences of an African American family in the 1960s to life.

Xu Beihong Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

Xu Beihong Exhibit

I've just walked through the Xu Beihong Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum and was blown away.  The exhibit includes ink and watercolor (my favorites), charcoal drawings, pastels, and oil paintings.  I loved the way the ink and watercolor works are mounted on very large scrolls surrounded by what looks like exquisite silk fabric in colors and textures that complement the artwork.  The pieces are absolutely stunning!

The exhibit emphasizes Xu Beihong's importance and influence in establishing a modern style in Chinese art while maintaining Chinese art's traditional roots.  The short informational film played at the start of the exhibit says that he was one of the very first Chinese artists to travel to Europe and train with Western artists, and he brought some of those techniques back to China, sharing what he learned with other artists.

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