Ready, set, read!

Adult Reading Club at St. Louis County Library

Mark your calendars, the 2012 Adult Reading Club will kick-off on May 29. This year's theme encourages participants to "Step Into New Worlds." Here's how it works: complete either 10 books or 50 hours and you'll be entered into a drawing to win great prizes. Not sure where to start? Reading logs will be available in all 20 branches later this month, inside you'll find great sci-fi reading suggestions. Staff can also help you pick your next read, and of course checking this blog will offer plenty of ideas! Prizes this year include gift cards from Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Companion and St. Louis Bread Company, Mary Engelbreit tote bags, signed first editions of popular books, and tickets from the St. Louis Cardinals and Landmark Theatres. Several branches will offer ARC kick-off parties, check the events calendar for a happening near you. Happy reading!

--Jennifer M., Headquarters

Weight Loss Made Logical

Weight Loss Made Logical

Charles D'Angelo spoke at Headquarters on April 25 to an audience hungry for tips on how to diet successfully. What they got was an inspiring pep talk about how to think of eating not as a diet, but as a part of a commitment to health, intelligence and purposeful living. "Think and grow thin : the revolutionary diet & weight-loss system that will change your life in 88 days" is D'Angelo's book, which I have not read, but if it's anything like the author's program, it must be a no-nonsense  guide to getting control of your life and eating.

The author lost 160 lbs using this plan, and the book is endorsed by none other than former President Bill Clinton. Clinton, who used to be a poster boy for bad eating, has lost considerable weight in his post-presidential years. Regardless of your politics, you may give credence to his testimony in this realm. The audience included several of D'Angelo's clients who praised him and the plan glowingly.

Get to Know Graphic Novelist Rick Geary

Get to Know Graphic Novelist Rick Geary

 

Rick Geary, artist and former cartoonist for Heavy Metal, Epic, and the National Lampoon, has a really neat series of graphic novels that I must recommend. I picked up "The murder of Abraham Lincoln a chronicle of 62 days in the life of the American Republic, March 4-May 4, 1865" on a whim and was impressed not only with the quality of the drawing, but also that most of the major issues regarding Lincoln's assassination were covered. One can move quickly through the book or linger over the illustrations.

The Flip Side of Funny

Public Speaking

Two recent documentaries show the tragic side of comedy through comedienne Joan Rivers and literary wit Fran Lebowitz.

"Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" is an intimate look at a comedienne in decline. The documentary doesn't follow her career chronologically, but rather shows the peaks and the valleys in the life of a stand-up comic. There was a lot to overcome in her personal life as well as breaking new ground on the comedy scene and holding her own on late night talk shows. "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" is for fans of the comedienne and will likely inspire new appreciation of her chutzpah. Surprisingly, the tears outnumber the laughs.

Nothing is Private

A friend of a friend--that is, a complete stranger--posted a comment on my Facebook wall. In French. I never studied French and can't even fake it. Nonetheless, my curiosity was piqued. I highlighted the phrase and held down Ctrl then typed C on my keyboard. From the SLCL homepage, I clicked on the link to Research and then clicked on the link to Language & Multinational databases. The Mango Languages database, I recalled, has a translation tool. It pops up as a tab after Start Learning is clicked. With Mango, users can choose from 42 "source" languages for a translation into one of 54 "target" languages. I chose French from a dropdown menu as the source language. I then chose English as the translated target language.

Family Vacations Made Easy

500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up

 

Remember the days when you and your partner would throw together a suitcase, hop in the car, and drive off on a whim for a little unplanned weekend getaway? Or that wine-addled backpacking adventure through Italy that you shared years ago? All that was before the kids, and let's face it, traveling with kids lacks the glamour that it did in pre-parenthood days. But don't worry--travel with children can be fun, it just requires a different approach... and a lot more preparation.  

The Three Richards

The Three Richards: Richard I, Richard II and Richard III

The Three Richards:  Richard I, Richard II and Richard III by Nigel Saul.

On first glance, the title of this book would leave the reader wondering how three English kings, each separated by decades from the next and of different dynasties, could be combined into one book based solely on their names; it would be akin to a book linking James Madison, James Buchanan, and Jimmy Carter, yet Nigel Saul compiles enough information to pull it off. The author describes ruling styles, religious tendencies, and even similarities with their deaths to link all three. From internal disputes and challenges to the throne to efforts at launching crusades, the book ties three seemingly unrelated historical figures into one narrative that makes the reader appreciate the work done to tell the stories of these three kings of England. 

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