MARCH 30, 2012
The Lady Emily books
Tasha Alexander has written a wonderful series of suspenseful mystery novels featuring Lady Emily. Set in Victorian London, the social freedoms for ladies in 1890’s England are practically non-existent. Etiquette rules continue to be complicated and enforced, particularly by Lady Emily’s mother. We meet Emily in And Only to Deceive, where she is observing the etiquette of the day by mourning her first husband in black dress and darkened rooms. Though bowing somewhat to such mores, Emily is not willing to be defined by them. She challenges herself to better undersdtand her dead husband (whom she barely knew) by schooling herself in Greek antiquities and learning to read Homer in Greek. Suspense builds as Emily puts herself in danger when she explores the extent of fraud in the lucrative antiquities market and begins to question how her husband died.
||posted by Polly, Columbine Library
MARCH 30, 2012
Adventures with the English Language
Have you ever been extraordinarily frustrated with trying to spell words in the English language? Ever wonder why we have such challenging spelling bees? Well, these books will give you some historical perspective on how the English language has evolved over the years. You will learn about the impact various invaders have had on the development of English. These books will take you on an historical adventure revealing how a language from a small island has become the world’s lingua franca.
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue the Untold History of English
||posted by Jill, Arvada Library
MARCH 28, 2012
Pepper Keane Nederland Detective
Local author Mark Cohen has written two books featuring private detective Pepper Keane from Nederland Colorado. Pepper is a former JAG officer with a serious Diet Coke addiction, two dogs named Buck and Wheat, and an unemployed astrophysicist, Scott McCutcheon as his sidekick.
In The Fractal Murders
, Pepper is hired by Jayne Smyers, a math professor at the University of Colorado. She is concerned by the deaths of three colleagues in the field of fractal geometry. As Pepper looks past the failed FBI investigation and starts to piece together the crimes, you may well find yourself almost
understanding fractal geometry.
In Bluetick Revenge,
Pepper takes on an outlaw biker gang when he dognaps a prize hunting dog from the leader of the gang during a custody fight over the dog. The chase that ensues involves bikers, survivalists, and skinheads.
is a former JAG officer, served at a Boulder Municipal judge, and is a practicing attorney in Boulder.
||posted by Carol, Arvada Library
MARCH 28, 2012
Hoards, Hoarders, Hoarding
Ah, Spring—a time for daffodils and ducklings of course, but it’s a time for clutter busting as well. Do you need an incentive to get started? Take to heart the stories about hoarders, and read up on tips to keep your own hoarding tendencies at bay. Only then will you be ready to tackle those big drifts of papers and possessions. Here are three suggestions for some inspirational reading.
Better known as the Collyer Brothers, Homer and Langley is a fictional account inspired by a famous hoarding case. These two recluses lived in their 5th Avenue mansion during the first half of the century, gathering newspapers and battling to keep their home. Homer, the blind brother, tells their story as the years pass, society changes, and his own world narrows.
From the book jacket: “Think about the one thing you own that you would grab first in a fire. Now imagine feeling that strongly about every single possession.” The authors delve into the psychology of hoarding, using plenty of case studies to illustrate and enliven. They explain the different ways that hoarding can manifest itself, the reasons it occurs, and some ways to deal with the problem.
Practical advice is offered for dealing with your own little hoards. The chapter entitled “Placing Yourself on the Continuum” is helpful for figuring out just how bad (or good) a hoarder you might be. Zasio’s credentials include work on the A &E Hoarders series.
||posted by Ros, Evergreen Library
MARCH 26, 2012
is a small indie movie with a lot of heart that also produced some wonderful music. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová team up to both act and produce the soundtrack for the story of two people trying to make a life in Dublin.
Fortunately for us their collaboration did not end with the movie. The duo went on to produce a second album – The Swell Season
– and toured under the band name the Swell Season (including a stop at Colorado’s own Telluride Bluegrass Festival). This spring a DVD
, also titled The Swell Season
, is set to be released with the story of their 2 year tour and how – for better and worse – the fame and tour affected this talented duo.
Markéta Irglová has release her own album – Anra
. And Glen Hansard is a member of the Frames
, a band that has released several albums.
||posted by PJ, Wheat Ridge Library
MARCH 26, 2012
The Five Love Languages for Singles by Gary D. Chapman
A follow-up to Chapman’s highly-acclaimed The Five Love Languages: the Secret to Love that Lasts, The Five Love Languages for Singles is aimed at single adults rather than married couples. By learning the love language of others, whether it be a parent, a friend, a co-worker or love interest, one can better communicate and interact with those people. I think we would all like to have better relationships with others, though some readers may not favor the religious emphasis of Chapman's views. The languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. Each of us has a language we prefer to receive love from others in.
||posted by Sean, Standley Lake Library
MARCH 24, 2012
If you’ve read any memoirs lately, you may think the idea of a “feel-good” memoir is any oxymoron. It seems unless your past involved abuse, addiction, alcoholism, affairs or abandonment, the publishers just aren’t interested in your story. But there are some memoirs out there that are positive, uplifting and downright funny.
One good example is Growing Up True by Craig Barnes, the book selected by the Golden Public Library for its One Book. One Golden. program. Barnes grew up in rural Colorado after World War II and the lessons he learned from the hard work of mending fences, making hay and gentling horses have served him well throughout his life. His book is warm, inviting and in some places, laugh-out-loud funny.
Another author whose rural roots had a great influence on his life is Michael Perry. In his book, Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting, Perry takes both the physical and philosophical knowledge gained from growing up on a Wisconsin farm and applies it, more or less successfully, to his current situation.
Farley Mowat, probably best known for his semi-autobiographical book, Never Cry Wolf, wrote an entertaining account of his growing up years in Canada in the 1930s. In Born Naked, Mowat pays tribute to his eccentric father and long-suffering mother, recalling the love and hard work that kept them together through tough economic times.
Haven Kimmel’s, A Girl Named Zippy, is a funny and feel-good report of growing up in a small Midwestern town in the 1960s. It contains no harsh revelations of childhood abuse or personal tragedy, just keen observations of small town life as seen through a child’s eyes.
More feel-good memoirs you might enjoy:
High, Wide and Lonesome by Hal Borland
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Life Itself by Roger Ebert
Category: Monthly Picks
||posted by Joyce, Golden Library
MARCH 23, 2012
When I’m bored I sometimes start cross-pollinating various titles of books, movie, songs, and television shows and then imagine what the new plot might be. For example, I’d very much like to watch “Gilligan’s Island of Dr. Moreau.” I can also imagine Mister Kurtz singing about drag racing in Springsteen’s “Heart of Darkness on the Edge of Town.”
Combining The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and How to Train Your Dragon creates an interesting mix. But “How to Train Your Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” sounds a little too racy and misogynist for me.
I’m not into plays too much, but I’d probably go see “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Beowulf.” The audience will go wild when Martha unexpectedly tears off George’s arms.
I didn’t like either Like Water for Chocolate or Water for Elephants, but what about “Like Water for Chocolate Elephants”? Or perhaps that should be “Like Water for Chocolate for Elephants”? Or we could even go with “Like Chocolate Water for Elephants.” Who doesn’t like chocolate water? Isn’t that what Yoo-Hoo is?
Tolkien is far too serious. How about adding some song and dance numbers and calling it “The Return of the King and I”? It could go Broadway.
Like Russian literature such as Gogol’s novel, Dead Souls ? Like zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead ? Yeah, you know where I’m going with this one. I won’t even bother.
But what about Shakespeare? So much more enjoyable when you throw in a crazed murderer. Yes, I’m thinking of “Henry V: Portrait of a Serial Killer.” Or if you believe Shakespeare would be better mixed with a of memoir about living in Africa, I bet “Don’t Hamlets Go to the Dogs Tonight” would be a really great read. Or maybe not. Got some title combo ideas of your own? Let me hear about them.
||posted by Sean, Standley Lake Library
MARCH 21, 2012
Nordic Crime Fiction Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Well, it’s March, typically the month Colorado gets most of its snow. The Colorado Weather Book reminds us that “intense spring storms can drop as much as 5 inches of snow an hour,” wow! So, let’s brace ourselves for more fluffy snow and read some eerie, winter themed thrillers. Nordic crime fiction novels usually take place in some of the coldest places on earth but after the success of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, they have definitely been “hot.” Here is a list of some crime fiction novels that take place in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and even, brrrrrrrrrrrr, Greenland. With the growing appeal of Nordic crime fiction, maybe you will learn to eat open-faced fish paste sandwiches on rye bread, liver paste, fermented shark meat and sheep’s brain. Yikes! Death in a cold climate isn’t the only scary thing these novels have to offer!
The Keeper of Lost Causes
Iceland & Greenland:
The day is Dark (set mostly in Greenland)
My Soul to Take
The Draining Lake
The Ice Princess
||posted by Jill, Arvada Library
MARCH 19, 2012
Give these a try
The Evergreen reference desk’s most prolific reader suggests these titles – one fiction and one non-fiction – for readers interested in something new.
My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliviera
This haunting novel of midwife Mary Sutter who aspires to be a surgeon on the cusp of our Civil War stays riveting throughout. Fast-paced and well-researched, this novel provides much information about the gritty details of living conditions, the generals, the medicine, and the plight of the aspiring professional women during that time.
We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren
State Department team leader Van Buren describes the many projects we tried to force on the Iraqis from a poultry-processing plant or a dairy plant – both costing millions, and neither workable in a country with no refrigeration. The things that worked well, medical help for women, were abandoned and unfinanced as another wacky idea came along. Darkly humorous about the living conditions, the food, and the danger, it presents a completely different view of our nation-building than the press accounts as currently reported.
||posted by Briana, Evergreen Library
MARCH 18, 2012
A Book We Love: Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84
A Novel Within A Novel: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Tengo Kawana, a writer and part-time math instructor from Tokyo, is contacted by an editor friend who was reviewing submissions to a writer’s contest when he stumbled across the literary world’s next big thing. Authored by an unknown seventeen-year-old girl, the novel, Air Chrysalis, is highly original, but needs editing and rewriting, and the editor thinks that Tengo would be the perfect person for the job. It is only later that Tengo realizes he’s come to inhabit the world of Air Chrysalis, and he must enlist the help of a former elementary school crush to find out how to get back to his real life in 1984. Written in a lush and complex style, this book was originally published in Japan as three separate books, which were brought together in a single English-language edition.
||posted by Chris, Belmar Library
MARCH 16, 2012
Armchair Traveling Through Celtic History & Lands
The life of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is celebrated every March and helps usher in spring. If you’re interested in Ireland and the early Celts, JCPL offers some great reading and DVD-viewing! Look for the following and enjoy some armchair traveling to the Celtic past.
St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland (DVD). Filmed on location in Ireland & includes interviews with experts on Irish history. This DVD separates fact from fiction regarding Ireland’s patron saint.
The Ancient Celts by Barry Cunliffe
The archaeological story of the Celts has been found everywhere from the British Isles to most of Europe and even Western Asia. The Greeks called them “keltoi”–“strangers.” The author’s expertise shines through the text which is richly enhanced by photos, maps and illustrations.
The World of the Celts by Simon James.
The ferocious Celts, feared by the Romans and others, dominated much of Europe for five centuries until they were absorbed into the Roman Empire. This marvelous book is richly illustrated and covers Celtic crafts and arts, their gods and legends, their lands and lifestyle. The author discusses new research and corrects much misinformation that has been presented as fact.
The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit by Patricia Monaghan.
Part history, part travel memoir, this enchanting book is a spiritual journey into Ireland’s pagan past. Monaghan discovered her Irish roots by traveling through her ancestral country, tracing the pagan calendar of the Celtic year. A lyrical tribute to Ireland and its past.
What Life was Like Among Druids and High Kings: Celtic Ireland, AD 400 – 1200.
Part of a Time-Life series on different eras in history, this book does not disappoint. While not as in-depth as the books mentioned above, it is beautifully illustrated and gives the reader an excellent overview of how the
||posted by Emily, Arvada Library
MARCH 14, 2012
Read these 2011 first novels from new authors
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Try this baseball saga, set at a small liberal arts school in the Midwest, about a phenomenal shortstop. First time novelist Harbach’s writing is thoughtful and clear.
Tigers Wife by Tea Obreht
In this spare novel by first timer Obreht, the author reaches into her Yugoslavian past to tell the story of a young doctor’s grandfather’s death and the mystery surrounding it.
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Morgenstern's debut novel is a captivating story set in the late 1800s at a magical circus, one without clowns or horses, where only the performers delight the senses.
Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Meet Victoria, an abused ward of the California foster-care system, as she finds her way after working with a florist and learning about the hidden meaning of flowers, in this first novel by Diffenbaugh.
Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
First time novelist and former Pakistani civil servant Ahmad began writing his book in the 1970s. The novel follows the path of an orphaned boy as he moves from west to east along a forbidding and harsh land.
||posted by Christina, Lakewood Library
MARCH 12, 2012
A book we love: Twenties Girl
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
A delightfully funny novel involving a British girl’s connection to her recently deceased great-aunt. Not having known her very well in life, Lara is stunned when Aunt Sadie’s ghost makes contact with her during her own funeral, demanding Lara’s help finding a beloved necklace. Since Lara is the only one who can hear Aunt Sadie, it makes for some hilarious and ultimately heart-warming moments.
||posted by Veronica, Columbine Library
MARCH 11, 2012
Short Stories written with both punch and panache satisfy the reader and get the story told quickly. A short story collection makes for a good lunch-time read and is just right for that bedside-table book.
Have you read all your favorite author’s books? Chances are a short story or two have escaped your notice. Recent short story collections include: All the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories, by E. L. Doctorow, published in 2011; John Grisham’s Ford County: Stories, published in 2009; George R.R. Martin’s short stories, published in 2007 as Dreamsongs volumes 1 & 2; and for fans of Colorado author Connie Willis,The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories, published in 2007.
Short story collections with multiple authors are sure to contain at least one story by a favorite author. For instance, the 2011 collection, It Happened One Season, features novellas by Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D’Alessandro and Candice Hern. Or, if you want stories with a bit more bite, try the 2008 collection Dead after Dark, with stories written by Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Susan Squires and Dianna Love.
Do you long for just one more story by Raymond Chandler or Erle Stanley Gardner? Try The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories, 1116 pages of vintage crime and mystery.
Finally, you just might want to revisit the most famous short stories of all, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” available as a DVD, audio book or print book. The first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet, was published in 1887, and the oeuvre is still going strong today. Movies, TV shows and a stream of new books that feature Sherlock Holmes are a response to the endless demand for just one more story starring the inimitable detective.
||posted by Jo, Golden Library
MARCH 9, 2012
Jefferson County Celebrates 150 Years!
Right from the beginning, Jefferson County has had some colorful characters. Celebrate our sesquicentennial by reading about some of these folks--- early settlers, murder, mayhem, madness, and frontier justice and injustice---plus some of the more ordinary pioneers who set the groundwork for what Jefferson County is today.
The Pike’s Peak Gold Rush of 1858-59 brought many men and women west with the excitement of gold found in Colorado. But few people know that eight years earlier a man named Lewis Ralston had struck gold in Arvada. On June 22, 1850, a California-bound wagon train stopped to rest six miles from the confluence of the Platte River and Clear Creek. John Lowery Brown, a member of the party, wrote in his diary that gold had been found and “we called this Ralston’s Creek because a man of that name found gold here.”
Almost a decade went by when it was decided that the Pike’s Peak country needed a local government, being far from the other territories of New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska and Utah. In 1859 a group convened to form the Territory of Jefferson, carved out of these other territories and named to honor our third president Thomas Jefferson. On October 24, 1859, a provisional government was elected. The first legislature led by Governor Robert Steele organized the new territory into twelve counties, including Jefferson County. From 1859 to 1861 Denver and Golden vied to be the territorial capitol but most of the day-to-day work was done at the home of Governor Steele in the town of Mount Vernon in the foothills west of Golden.
If this piques your interest in Jefferson County’s history, try the following titles available at JCPL libraries:
Notorious Jefferson County: frontier murder and mayhem by Carol Turner
The Shining Mountains by Georgina Brown
From Scratch: a history of Jefferson County, Colorado by members of the Jefferson County Historical Commission
Jefferson County, Colorado, a Unique & Eventful History! by Carole Lomond
||posted by Emily, Arvada Library
MARCH 7, 2012
A Book We Love: The Chalk Girl
The Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell
Before Lisbeth Salander (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) there was Kathy Mallory, Carol O’Connell’s smart, computer savant, and just plain scary New York City Special Crimes Unit detective. Kathy was a feral child; she raised herself on the city’s streets until age 11 or 12 when she was found and adopted by a former Special Crimes Unit detective, but by then the damage was done. No amount of love could engender the same in Mallory. Mallory is interested in justice – her own special brand and she always exacts a price especially if someone displeases her.
In the latest Mallory book, The Chalk Girl, an 8 year old girl, Coco, the vision of a red-haired fairy wanders around Central Park until she is discovered joining a group of children on a school field trip. She is bloodstained, filthy and claims that her uncle has turned into a tree. Mallory investigates and finds her uncle was strung up in a tree, naked, sensory-deprived, and stuffed into a burlap sack. This crime echoes a crime from 15 years ago where a child from one of the City’s most elite schools was similarly hung in a tree in Central Park. The plot moves fast; the dialog is crisp and once again, the question of Mallory’s sanity – is she or isn’t she – hangs in the air.
Anyone who enjoys the crime genre should give the Mallory series a try. The Chalk Girl is the 10th book, but it is not necessary to read them in order. If you enjoyed Stieg Larsson or any of the well-known crime novelists such as Cornwell, Patterson, Childs, Kellerman, or White then I would give Carol O’Connell’s book a try. I think you might discover a new author that you like even better than the ones you currently enjoy.
||posted by Pam, Standley Lake Library
MARCH 5, 2012
Marilyn Monroe Autobiographies
Have you ever wondered what Marilyn Monroe would say about her own life? Or perhaps you recently watched My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams, and you want to know more about the real Marilyn? If so, check out these books:
My Story by Marilyn Monroe with Ben Hecht
My Story is Marilyn Monroe’s autobiography written months before she died and published twelve years afterward. In it Ms. Monroe talks about her childhood as an orphan, her desire to become an actress, her climb to the heights of fame and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. In one particularly chilling section she predicts her own death saying, “Yes, there was something special about me, and I knew what it was. I was the kind of girl they found dead in a hall bedroom with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hand.” My Story gives the reader a look at a troubled and yet very vivacious woman who was more than just a beautiful actress.
Fragments: poems, intimate notes, letters by Marilyn Monroe; edited by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment
Fragments: poems, intimate notes, letters uncovers a side of Marilyn Monroe rarely seen before – a dynamic woman who loved to read books and who was studying fiercely to perfect her craft as an actor. Fragments is just that, a series of hand written notes, typed lists, and other various remnants from the hand of Marilyn Monroe. These fragments from her life are perhaps the best glimpse we have to understand Marilyn Monroe as an individual. Find out how Marilyn felt about her marriage to Arthur Miller or why they call Lee Strasberg’s Theatre and Film Institute the house Marilyn built.
||posted by Sunshine, Columbine Library
MARCH 4, 2012
Documentaries in the Library
Is it just me or are documentaries becoming better and better? You won’t find these DVDs on our feature film shelves unless they made the big time and showed up in the cinemas. Though the audience may be smaller, the enjoyment can be just as big. What documentaries have you watched that you want to recommend?
Animals and More Animals
A delightful French documentary recording the return to prominence of the stuffed wild animals belonging to the Paris Natural History Museum. Taxidermy staff clean coats, replace glass eyes, paint noses, and prepare the animals for their first public showing in 30 years. 57 minutes worth of entertainment.
Cuttlefish, Kings of Camouflage
From the highest rated science series on TV, a look at one of the most amazing creatures ever. I might never have pulled this title off the shelf for its title alone, but it was recommended to me and I just have to pass on the recommendation. 56 minutes.
This official selection from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival profiles the artist Vik Muniz and members of ACAMJG, the Association of Recycling Pickers of Jardim Gramacho near Rio de Janeiro, at that time the largest landfill in the world. The artist enlists the pickers’ aid with his project and their collaboration in art changes both the artist and the pickers and, perhaps, even its viewers. 93 minutes.
Triumph at Carville: a tale of leprosy in America
A film documenting one of the most unusual communities in American history. There’s now a cure for the disease, but some patients stay to finish their lives in this 100-year-old national leprosarium in Louisiana known as "Carville." Recommended to me by another staff member, I’m glad I didn’t miss it. 60 minutes.
Watch this, be inspired by these courageous men and women, and catch up on an important piece of history. It is a full two hours long, but it’s worth every minute of it.
The BBC produced this excellent series on the diversity of human life on our planet today and how people adapt to their natural environment and live lives so very different from our own. A three disc set that can be watched segment by segment. 400 minutes altogether, but watch it an hour at a time.
||posted by Kay, Golden Library
MARCH 2, 2012
Great Books for Trivia Nerds!
Do you love random facts and figures? Do you look at maps or read the world almanac for fun? No?? Well, even if you aren’t a self-professed information geek (like many of us librarians), brushing up on your facts can’t do any harm for the next time you get suckered into bar trivia on a Friday night. Give these titles a try!
Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky
The title pretty much says it all here. A collection of beautiful hand-drawn maps along with a few paragraphs about each island, this book is ideal for anyone who loves maps and learning about parts of our world where few have set foot.
Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong by Rod L. Evans
Why is German Chocolate called German Chocolate? The answer isn’t what you might guess. Check out this book for an enlightening look into some commonly misanswered questions.
The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray
We must admit, a book about the elements that make up the periodic table doesn’t sound exactly thrilling. But the author’s treatment of the elements, along with the photography and layout of the book make for an educational treat for scientists and non-scientists alike.
The Know-It-All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs
Does reading the Encyclopedia Britannica make you the smartest person in the world? What’s the difference between book smarts and real-life experience? And which is better? Read and find out as journalist A.J. Jacobs sets out to find these answers and more by reading all 33,000 pages of the multi-volume set in one year.
||posted by Katie, Arvada Library
MARCH 1, 2012
We interrupt this reading list...
You might notice that the icon for Personalized Reading Recommendations is missing above.
Thanks for being a user of Jefferson County Public Library’s Personalized Reading Recommendations (PRR) service. It proved to be a popular tool, so much so that library staff, faced with limited resources, has had difficulty keeping up with the demand. After much thought, we decided we need to take a three-month break from the PRR service to re-evaluate, and we hope to come back with a condensed form of customized readers’ advisory that will meet your needs. In the meantime, we encourage you to take advantage of the many recommendation services provided on the For Book Lovers page of our website, including our Books and Beyond blog.
Stay tuned for an update in May and thank you for reading with us.
||posted by Joanna, Standley Lake Library