JUNE 28, 2007
Find Out What's Happening at the Library
The Library Web site now includes a complete calendar of events scheduled for Library meeting rooms. From the Library home page, choose All Events in the Events menu near the top of the page. You will see a calendar of events to be held in the Library and Library activities in other locations. Library programs have a shaded background. Events sponsored by community organizations have a white background.
Click on to locate events by keyword or type.
Float your cursor over an event for more information, and click for complete information. You can email event information to a friend, request an email reminder, or ask to be notified about similar events in the future.
Let us know what you think about this new Web feature.
Categories: In the Know, Library Tech
JUNE 12, 2007
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.
There's officially only 39 days left until the final book is released in the Harry Potter series! Also, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix hits the big screen on July 13th! Are you excited yet?
At the beginning of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, we meet up with Harry who is spending yet again another summer at Four Privet Drive, with the Dursleys. Harry is hiding in the bushes under the windowsill outside, listening to the news. There seems to be no news of Voldemort causing terror or chaos, but Harry's sigh of relief does not last long. Attacked by a dementor, Harry has to use magic outside of school to protect Dudley and himself.
Almost immediately after the incident of the dementor, an owl flies through an open window, dropping a letter that expels Harry from Hogwarts for improper use of magic and announces that someone will be arriving shortly to destroy his wand. Harry receives several more letters in the next few minutes, telling to stay put and not leave the house. Eventually, the Ministry notifies Harry that he can keep his wand, until his disciplinary hearing.
Not long after, there is a crash of the door at Four Privet Drive, and Harry is face to face with 9 members of the Order Of the Phoenix, who have come to take him to a safer location until his hearing. It is at the secret location of 12 Grimmauld Place, in London, does Harry learn about the Order of the Phoenix, an anti-Voldemort society, which has begun its secret meetings once again after Voldemort's return.
Harry is taken to the Ministry of Magic for his hearing, and his case is dropped. This only sparks the beginning of another chaotic school year for Harry, starting with an odd train ride in which Harry shares a cabin with Ginny, and Luna "Loony" Lovegood. Harry and the others arrive at Hogwarts to find Hagrid missing. Strange emaciated horse-like winged creatures, called Thestrals, are pulling the carriages. A warning comes from the Sorting Hat (which it only does when it feels Hogwarts is in danger.) They are then introduced to their new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Umbridge, who has been hired by the Ministry. Throughout the story, she gains most power at Hogwarts by becoming High Inquisitor, and not soon long after even headmistress after discovering a dozen of the student’s Defense Against the Dark Arts study group, in which Harry was leading.
If this wasn't all enough for Harry to handle, he has to face taking the OWL exams this year! Harry struggles with finding time to balance Order of the Phoenix meetings, OWL exams, and extra lessons of Occlumency with Snape, friends, and his feelings for Cho Chang. On top of all this, are dreams that Harry cannot explain, and a mysterious search for something Voldemort has been trying to find.
Here are a few questions, that are much easier to answer, then those on an OWL exam!
1. Who is Mrs. Figg? What does Harry learn about her?
2. Which two characters become Griffindor prefects in Order of the Phoenix?
3. What exactly are Thestrals? Why is it that only Harry, Luna, and Neville can see them?
4. What two players are kicked off the Gryffindor Quidditch team, other then Harry? Who is selected to replace Harry as Quidditch Seeker?
5. When Hagrid returns to Hogwarts, whom does he bring back with him?
6.Which characters drop out of Hogwarts? To pursue what dream?
7. What is the black veil? What happens to Sirius when he falls behind it?
8. At the end of the book, Harry hears his prophecy. If you could learn something about your future, would you want to know?
Category: Harry Potter
JUNE 9, 2007
School’s out, summer’s here, and I’ve got my list of summer reading ready to go!
On the top of my list is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossein, who explores the friendship between two women against the tumultuous backdrop of Afghanistan, following the fall of the monarchy in 1973 and the subsequent rise of the Taliban. I selected this book based on the outstanding editorial reviews it has received and my own high opinion of the writer whose first book, The Kite Runner is among the most memorable books I’ve ever read.
Next up is Consequences by Penelope Lively, a multigenerational love story. It received positive reviews from both Publisher Weekly and Booklist, and Lively won me over as a fan several years ago when I read her 1987 Booker Prize winner, Moon Tiger.
Susan Vreeland’s Luncheon of the Boating Party follows. Once again, the author uses her background in art history to concoct a story around the 14 characters featured in Renior’s famous Impressionistic painting which is featured on the cover.
In Once Around the Track, Sharyn McCrumb gives us a story about an all-female NASCAR pit crew. I’m not a big NASCAR fan, but I am a huge McCrumb fan and will follow her down any literary highway. She never fails to entertain with her quirky characters and inventive plots.
In Happiness Sold Separately, Lolly Winston writes about love, marriage, failed relationships, infertility, and infidelity. According to the reviews, she handles this difficult material respectfully, and not without humor, as she did so successfully in her last book Good Grief.
Toss in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after its release in late-July, and that ought to keep me occupied until Labor Day.
What’s on your summer reading list?
Category: Staff Reads
JUNE 6, 2007
A Summer Reading Program for Adults!
Come join the fun!
Summer Sleuthing @ Your Library is a free, non-competitive reading program for adults 18 . You are invited to read a mystery novel or any book, rate it, and enter a monthly drawing for a chance to win a prize! The more you read, the more chances you have to win!
Participants are also invited to join a monthly book discussion group the first Thursday of the month at 12:00 noon in the library.
Category: In the Know
JUNE 2, 2007
The Value-Added Library Visit
Next time you visit the library, do yourself a favor and take the five-block stroll to the Stevenson House at 520 Houston. (If you need directions, just ask a librarian!) An art exhibit opened there yesterday featuring works by several of Monterey’s renowned artists from the period that spanned the 1870’s through the 1930’s.
This is a small exhibit in the sense that there are only twelve pieces on display and they are each quite small in size - jewel-like. But the exhibit is large in my mind, in the sense that it represents a big step forward in interpreting another aspect of this historic building as a once-popular gathering place for Monterey’s community of bohemian artists. I believe the building’s other famous resident, Robert Louis Stevenson, would have approved.
While you’re at Stevenson House, be sure to take a stroll in the garden. It is a place of great serenity and beauty throughout the year, but right now it is an explosion of colorful blossoms. The art exhibit runs through December 2007, and by then the foxglove and roses will have given way to some other seasonal delight.
The offerings at Stevenson House are just another example of the rich history and beauty that can be found at almost every turn in downtown Monterey. So, make the most of your trip to the library. Allow yourself an extra half-hour to explore the neighborhood on foot, and you’ll be richly rewarded. For more information about Stevenson House visit www.parks.ca.gov/mshp.
Category: In the Know