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JANUARY 26, 2008
The Power of Stories

On the evening of January 16, the library’s 22nd annual "Stories for Adults" series got underway with a riveting performance by storytellers Elizabeth Ellis and Tim Tingle who shared the stage for a tandem telling of "Cutshin Mountain: An Appalachian Tale". The story is set in the remote mountains of Kentucky during WWI and follows the sorrows and joys of a family separated by tragedy. It was a powerful, moving story delivered by two masterful storytellers.

During the recent power outages on the Peninsula I was reminded that one of the many things I love about storytelling is that it is delightfully low-tech. Not that I’m anti-technology, on the contrary; but I like the simple things, too. All storytelling needs is a story, a storyteller, and a listener. No electricity? No problem! Storytelling is a great activity for all ages, especially during those times when there’s no lamplight for reading, no TV for viewing, no Internet access, and no Wii for "wheeeeee!"

So, when you stock up on batteries, lanterns, flashlights, and other emergency supplies, be sure to save up a story or a special memory to share while you’re waiting for the power to be restored. You will enrich your life and the lives of those around you, and maybe even create a new story about the time the lights went out!

[Photo: Elizabeth Ellis and Tim Tingle onstage at Monterey Public Library.]



posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know


JANUARY 25, 2008
What book did you just love?


Is there a book that you read recently that you just loved? If so, we want to know what it is. In honor of Valentine's Day, the Bookmobile will be decorated with paper hearts with the titles of books that customers loved.  Come on board now through the end of February and let us know what book you loved, see what others have read and loved and have a Valentine treat.

For a schedule of Bookmobile stops, go to



posted by Joanne

Category: In the Know


JANUARY 24, 2008
What We're Reading

Greetings from the Check-out Desk! Fiction continues to be a favorite with library staff, from Russian classics to lighter "chick lit" reads. Let us know what you're reading or ask us to suggest something at your next library visit!


American Pastoral  American Pastoral by Philip Roth

Anna Karenina  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Highwire Moon  Highwire Moon by Susan Straight

Hummingbird's Daughter  Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

The Luxe  Luxe by Anna Godberson

Queen of Babble  Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Size 12 is Not Fat  Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

There's No Place Like Here  There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern

Twilight  Twilight by Stephanie Meyer


Audiobooks and Movies

La Vie en Rose, film by Olivier Dahan

Lives of Others  Lives of Others film 

Manon of the Spring film by Marcel Pagnol

Waitress film by Adrienne Shelly


posted by Catrina

Category: Staff Reads


JANUARY 22, 2008
Christopher Paul Curtis has done it again!

Curtis has written another award-winning novel that is sure to be as popular as his last two.  His books have humor and wisdom along with a strong storyline appreciated by kids, teenagers and adults alike.  Who can forget the description of the teenager who, while practicing his style, gets his lips frozen to the car's rear view mirror? (The Watsons Go to Birmingham)  Or Bud Caldwell's "Rules and Things to Have a Funner Life and Make a Better Liar Out of Yourself"? (Bud, not Buddy)

Now, in Elijah of Buxton, we meet a  boy who is almost "growned" and who lives in a (real) Canadian settlement for escaped slaves.  Through practical jokes and a trip to a side show, Elijah learns some funny lessons about human nature.  Then he learns some tough lessons about "growned up" language, violence, and the experiences of slavery.  The most memorable part for me was when Elijah almost spoke the word he was never supposed to use.  Even among that group of free people N__ had a profound effect that Elijah will always remember.

posted by Karen

Categories: Teen ZoneStaff Reads


JANUARY 17, 2008
And the award goes to...

Here are some of this year’s award winners from the American Library Association (ALA). Awards are given to the top books, video and audiobooks for children and teens. For descriptions of each award and a complete list of winners and honor books, please visit the ALA website. Enjoy!
John Newbery Medal 
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Michael L. Printz Award
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
Coretta Scott King Book Award
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
Robert F. Sibert Medal
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

posted by jillean

Categories: Staff ReadsIn the Know


JANUARY 17, 2008
Power Happy

In the aftermath of recent storms, we experienced massive power outages in the area. There was still no electricity at my house on the Saturday morning following the first storm, and while I was getting ready for work, I wasn’t sure that I’d find the library habitable either. Happily, upon arrival, the library had heat, lights, and computers up and running. Other than a hair dryer, the library had everything I needed for the busy day ahead! As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one who was happy about that. The storm left a lot of people cut off from E-mail, Internet access, light by which to read, study, do homework, and a place to keep warm. We even noticed one or two people recharging their cell phones! Saturdays are almost always busy at the library, but that Saturday the building was jam-packed with customers from the second we opened until the five o’clock closing gong sounded.

It made me happy that to know that the library provided refuge for so many people stranded without power on that dark, cold, rainy day. But come to think of it, the library is a sanctuary of sorts every day - a special place where people of all ages with a wide range of interests and needs gather, research, learn, become inspired, and delight in its many amenities and treasures.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know


JANUARY 6, 2008
A new year began...
in Monterey with a crisp and star-filled New Year's Eve over our community's First Night celebration, followed by great gusts of wind, driving rain and towering white-capped seas by the end of last week.

Our apologies to those who ventured out last Friday afternoon to visit the Library and found it closed. And those who tried to visit online and found our PALS catalog down. Library services were interrupted because of repeated power outages, concerns for customer and safety and the loss of the city's network. We hated to go dark. And were delighted to be back up and running on Saturday.

If you stopped by, you may have noticed a larger crowd than usual in the Community Room. The Friends of the Library were holding their annual BIG booksale; well-attended as usual by book buyers of all ages, interested in all types of books and reading/listening/ viewing "stuff". All the funds raised by the Friends at their booksales (a smaller version is held the first Saturday of the month in front of the Library from 1 pm to 4pm) go to purchase new library "stuff" for our community. Hooray for our Friends!

Still looking for New Year's Resolutions? The US News and World Report online journal of December 20, 2007 highlights "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2008". And under "Your Mind: Quick Picks" I was overjoyed to see "Get (and Use) a Library Card" and "Make Your Favorite Blogs Come to You".

So keep that library card well-exercised (or add it to your wallet or key chain if you haven't been library-carded yet) and invite our Library blog into your RSS reader. And Happy New Year's Reading!

posted by Kim BB

Categories: Director's BlogIn the Know


JANUARY 2, 2008
Vampires and Meteors and Eye Shadow, Oh My!

Looking for something to read? Check out the 2007 Teens' Top Ten. These books were chosen by over 6,000 teens as the top ten books of the previous year. Teens’ Top Ten is a part of Teen Read Week, an annual and national initiative to celebrate the books young adults love to read. See any favorites?

  1. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  2. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
  3. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles (Coming soon)
  4. Maximum Ride: School’s Out - Forever by James Patterson
  5. Firegirl by Tony Abbott
  6. All Hallows Eve (13 Stories) by Vivian Vande Velde
  7. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  8. River Secrets by Shannon Hale
  9. Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe
  10. Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks


posted by jillean

Categories: Teen ZoneStaff Reads


JANUARY 2, 2008
Do you dare?
There was so much excitement about The Dangerous Book for Boys, it’s no wonder someone had the brilliant idea to make a similar book for girls. The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz offers a manual to outdoor and indoor fun. The book has all sorts of nifty history bits, advice and clear instructions for various do-it-yourself projects. For example, you can read about past and present princesses and great women inventors and learn how to tie a sari, read palms, build a tent, travel around Africa (yes, the entire continent!) and learn how to build a lemon-powered clock! Check it out and tell us what you think. It is daring enough?

posted by jillean

Category: Staff Reads