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MAY 29, 2010
This Time Together - A Good Summer Read
This Time Together is a memoir by comedienne and actress Carol Burnett  which includes a series of anecdotes about her early years in show business, and her phenomenal rise to success as a Broadway and television actress, and host of a long-running variety show during the 60s and 70s. This book is filled with funny stories about Burnett’s experiences with some of the most iconic names in the entertainment industry - it includes lots of interesting show business lore and glimpses of the inner workings of a television program genre from a bygone era.

Without any connections in the entertainment industry, Carol Burnett’s relatively easy entre to show business and her rapid rise to stardom not only speak of her tremendous talent and personal drive, but of her singularly good fortune to be in the right place at the right time. She gives generous credit to the people who opened doors for her and to her co-workers.  You never feel for one minute that this star isn’t humbled by her natural talent and grateful for the good luck to have been able to fulfill her childhood dreams.

This enjoyable book, with its short, snappy chapters and plentiful laughs, makes for a perfect summer read.

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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MAY 22, 2010
Her Fearful Symmetry
Once upon a time, long, long ago, in 12th grade English, my classmates and I analyzed a William Blake poem that begins…

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Audrey Niffenegger explores some of the same themes found in “Tyger!” in her newest book Her Fearful SymmetryHere we meet twenty-year old identical twin sisters Julia and Valentina Poole, who are inseparable.  Although they look alike, dress alike, and act alike, they don’t always think alike, but Julia has the dominant personality, and Valentina has always just gone along with whatever Julia decides.  

The twins have dropped out of several colleges and are just drifting along aimlessly when, out of the blue, they receive a letter saying that their Aunt Elspeth has died and has left them her London flat located right next door to a morbidly spectacular Victorian cemetery.   Elspeth’s will stipulates that Julia and Valentina may do whatever they wish with the flat, but only after they have lived in it for at least one year.  What ensues is a tale of long-held secrets, bad things that emerge from good intentions, restless spirits, self-destruction and ghosts.  This is an enjoyable read, but I recommend that you read William Blake’s poem as a companion to Her Fearful Symmetry, and you’ll get much more out of the story. 

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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MAY 6, 2010
Library Help Desk is a Work in Progress

A year-long project culminated this week with the opening of the Library Help Desk in the middle of the first floor of the Monterey Public Library. This new configuration was designed by staff to help serve our customers faster and better by providing a one-stop space for handling your questions and providing all of our services. In addition, our staff have been picking-up new skills to support each other with the day-to-day work of running our Library.

We love the look of our new space, with its visibility, camaraderie, and the shiny new feel. We've got tons more ideas about how to use the space we've freed-up in the kids' area and the checkout area, but we know we haven't thought of everything yet. As we settle into our new home, we'd love to hear your feedback and stories about how our new Library Help Desk is serving you, and what you'd like to see next at your Monterey Public Library.

posted by Ben

Category: In the Know

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