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AUGUST 31, 2006
Whale of a Tale
Imagine that you're swimming in the ocean and suddenly realize a baby gray whale is following you. This actually happened to Lynne Cox, and she wrote a book about the experience: Grayson. She describes that morning in the ocean: the confusion of figuring out what was in the water with her, the realization that the baby whale had lost his mother and if she didn't find a way to reunite them soon the baby may not make it, and her struggle to stay in the water with him. This beautifully descriptive book is definitely worth checking out!

posted by Kim S.

Category: Staff Reads

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AUGUST 31, 2006
Looking for a good, light read?
What author Jeanne Ray does best is write very funny books about contemporary family life, and Step Ball Change is probably her best yet. The main character, Caroline, is a contented fifty-something owner of a small dance studio. Her children are grown, and she's happily married to her college sweetheart. But Caroline's domestic bliss, not to mention her husband's early retirement plans, are suddenly threatened by several huge, unanticipated expenses, the intrusion of hysterical relatives with complicated love lives, and a likeable, but ubiquitous building contractor who has a calculator and knows how to use it.

This is a delightfully amusing story of nice people coping with life's travails, with grace and good humor. Happy reading!

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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AUGUST 25, 2006
Fall. Already?
I saw an ad in yesterday's paper announcing that "Halloween is Here" Now, that's scary! But it was a reminder that summer is coming to a close and it might be a good time to post my summer reading list. Over the next several weeks, I'll be posting my reflections about each of these books. Meanwhile, if anyone would like to comment on these titles, please feel free to do so. Here goes. 1) Julie and Romeo; 2) Eat Cake; and 3) Step Ball Change - all three by Jeanne Ray; 4) Teacher Man by Frank McCourt; 5) Honeymoon With My Brother by Franz Wisner; 6) Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes; 7) Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery; 8) The March by E.L. Doctorow; 9) George Gershwin: a new biography by William Hyland; 10) She May Not Leave by Fay Weldon; 11) Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle: and Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson.

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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AUGUST 24, 2006
Best of the Best
Looking for a good read? We put up a display this morning of some of the best 100 books for teens, so come by and choose one of the best!

One of my favorites is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The hero of this novel is 15-year-old Christopher Boone, an autistic math genius who has just discovered the dead body of his neighbor’s poodle, Wellington. As an autistic, he relates well to animals but not to humans. He can’t stand to be touched and his parents have devised a way to hug him – they spread their fingers and touch briefly. Christopher’s mother is dead, so his father and one of his teachers are the special and important people in his life. Christopher’s life is shaken when he finds his neighbor’s dog killed with a garden pitchfork. He decides to write a book about the mystery and he starts detecting throughout the neighborhood. Wellington’s owner, Mrs. Shears, refuses to speak to Christopher about the matter, and his father tells him to stop investigating. But there is another mystery involving Christopher’s mother, who died two years ago…

posted by Debbie

Category: Teen Zone

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AUGUST 17, 2006
Our Day at the Mall
The library participated in a Back-to-School Fair at the busy Del Monte Shopping Center over the weekend. We had a table full of brochures and flyers, and enthusiastic staff who greeted shoppers and reminded them that a library card is an essential back-to-school item.

It was encouraging to speak to so many people who already had cards, and heartwarming to hear their many positive comments about the library. But even better, we distributed almost 90 library card applications to folks who either hadn't thought about getting a library card, or thought they might not be eligible for one. It was a good reminder to us about the importance of getting out once in a while to meet the people who don't come in to see us.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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AUGUST 16, 2006
Uglies, Pretties, and Specials!
Uglies, Pretties & Specials : a great new trilogy by Scott Westerfield. How would you like to spend your teen years as an “ugly” knowing that when you turn 16 you would be forced to have an operation and become a “pretty’? This is good reading, with all kinds of questions about a society that values beauty and parties over being normal (“ugly”) and thoughtful. It’s also about rebellion, since there’s a group of teens who don’t want to become “pretty”. And then there’s the “specials”, who are “pretties” who have been given super powers in order to track down the rebels. Enjoy and let us know what you think! p.s. Keep those teen book reviews coming. Who will win the August prize? Send as many reviews as you like!

posted by Debbie

Category: Teen Zone

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AUGUST 15, 2006
Two Excellent Reasons to Make Use of the Library
Last week I overheard a Library Assistant thank a customer for making a donation to the Library. The gentleman replied, "Hey, you save me hundreds of dollars in books, not to mention the space to store them!" We appreciate both the sentiment and the support!

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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AUGUST 15, 2006
Email Reference!
Have a question? Need an answer?

Send an email to the Reference Desk!

General Reference: refdesk@ci.monterey.ca.us

or

Youth Reference: ysdesk@ci.monterey.ca.us

posted by Kim S.

Category: Library Tech

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AUGUST 13, 2006
Summer Reading prize update
You may have read about a recent recall of bendable animal toys sold to libraries for summer reading prizes. The Monterey Public Library did not purchase any of these toys as giveaways during the 2006 summer program.

For more information, please contact me, at the Library Director's office, 831-646-5601 or buiburto@ci.monterey.ca.us

posted by Kim BB

Categories: Director's BlogIn the Know

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AUGUST 10, 2006
If it is your Favorite Book, Give it Five Stars
You can rate books and other materials in the PALS Catalog. Click on:

Then click on:

Find the item you'd like to rate and look for the five-star customer rating. When you float your mouse over the stars, the graphic changes:

Click on a star for your rating.

The average of all customer ratings appears in the catalog. You can view and change your own ratings by logging in to your PALS account and clicking on:

As more people rate PALS books, audiobooks, movies, and music, customer ratings will help all customers choose what to check out.

posted by Doug

Category: Library Tech

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AUGUST 10, 2006
Favorite Book
I had dinner last night with, among others, a very charming and precocious five-year-old, who informed me that she likes books. I asked her if she had a favorite. She replied, "I have ten favorites, but I haven't memorized the list."

My own list of favorite books shifts over the years, depending on what's going on in my life, my current interests, and other factors. So, my "favorite" book tends to be the one I'm currently enjoying. At the moment, I'm reading (and enjoying) Fay Weldon's newest She May Not Leave . What's your favorite book?

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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AUGUST 9, 2006
New Books by RSS!
Many blog readers know that RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an easy way to get updates from blogs and other Web sites. It's no surprise that you can subscribe to this blog's RSS feed. You may not know that you can subscribe to lists of new adult and teen or youth books and other Library materials in the PALS catalog using RSS. These links won't open new Web pages, but you can copy them into your RSS reader to subscribe. For more information, visit the PALS Featured Lists and RSS help pages.

posted by Doug

Category: Library Tech

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AUGUST 9, 2006
Welcome Back Teens!
Welcome back from your summer vacation! Just wanted to remind you that library staff are here to help you – whether it’s a homework assignment or a book recommendation.
As part of our welcome back to you, we have two book displays – books about school, with books like Who Killed Mr. Chippendale? : A Mystery in Poems and High School's Not Forever as well as books about writing and getting published (Teen Writing Group resumes August 10). Look for the bright green signs(can’t miss ‘em!). Free pencils at display until they run out!

And don’t forget to check the Teen Events page for more information about library happenings for teens.

Have a great year!

posted by Debbie

Category: Teen Zone

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AUGUST 8, 2006
Finding Fiction
Can't decide what book to read next? We can help!

Next time you're at the library stop by one of service desks to see if we can give you some ideas. Or if you want to do some book hunting from your computer at home (or even while you're here) try out one of our book recommendation databases. My personal favorite is Novelist.

Novelist can give you suggestions based on your favorite titles or authors. It can also tell you about books that have similar settings or themes.

So check it out - your next great read is waiting!

posted by Kim S.

Category: Staff Reads

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AUGUST 7, 2006
What I Did on my Holiday
Can you guess what Kim (the Library Director, not Kim-the Reference-Librarian) was up to when off on vacation last week?

Why reading, of course!

A summery visit to family in Oregon with built in blissful book time for everyone (from age almost-three to fifteen-plus to fifty-two) is my idea of a lovely time away. I promise a list of reading recommendations for all ages, once the fresh blueberries are tucked in the fridge and the bags unpacked.

In the meantime, let us know - what's on your vacation reading list? Or stowed away in your travelling bookbag? Or waiting patiently on the bedside table for your next getaway? After all, it's already August. And summer reading time's awaiting!

posted by Kim BB

Category: Director's Blog

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AUGUST 4, 2006
Wow! "Amazing" things happen when you write a book review
This is so cool! I've been posting the reviews I receive from the teens on the Teen Events page and guess what just happened? Jodie reviewed Amazing Grace / Megan Shull and the author just forwarded a signed copy of the book to her!
Congratulations to Jodie! Megan, you rock!

posted by Debbie

Category: Teen Zone

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AUGUST 4, 2006
A Good Teen Read
I've been reading some of your recommended books and enjoying them! The one I just finished is Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen, reviewed by Kaity. This is a good "coming of age" novel about a girl, Colie, with low self esteem until she discovers herself over the summer. She used to be fat, and still feels ugly even though she's lost all this weight. She goes to spend the summer with her Aunt Mira, who's a bit eccentric. Here she makes friends (for the first time in her teen life), discovers that she's attractive and falls in love. I give it Five Stars!

posted by Debbie

Category: Teen Zone

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AUGUST 1, 2006
Delicious Fundraiser
The Friends of the Monterey Public Library held their 2nd annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting Benefit on July 20th. The library was transformed into a festive party site with live, jazz piano, flowers and balloons. Local wineries donated a variety of wonderful wines for sampling. Restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and specialty shops provided generous quantities of chocolate in every imaginable form, ranging from cake to chicken molé. This delicious event earned over $5,000 - all of which will be given to the library to buy books and other materials, fund cultural programs, and more. Visit the Friends' Web site for more information.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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AUGUST 1, 2006
Good Summer Read
I recently read a charming, light-hearted book that’s perfect for summer reading, Eat Cake, by Jeanne Ray. The central character, Ruth, is a happily married, middle-aged mother of teenagers, with aging parents who have been divorced since Ruth was an infant - and they're still quarreling! Ruth is well-adjusted, easy-going, and likeable. She has a delicious mechanism for coping with life’s stress. When the going gets tough, she goes to the kitchen and bakes a cake. Her cake repertoire is large, inventive, and the results are spectacular. In this story, unexpected events cause Ruth to do a whole lot of baking. This is a humorous, enjoyable, and well-written tale of contemporary family life. Recipes are included.

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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AUGUST 1, 2006
Welcome to the Monterey Public Library Blog
Hello and welcome! Thanks for visiting the Monterey Public Library blog - your site for book reviews, library happenings and links to interesting places for library customers near and far. Staff from all areas of the Library will be joining me in posting to this online space. We'll be sharing our love of books, new ways to use the library and current happenings from our vantage point in the heart of downtown Monterey. Keep checking back and happy reading!

posted by Kim BB

Category: Director's Blog

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