Curious History of the Phone Book

This book may be the most frequently published book in history. Many people have them, but hardly use them properly. Many of us have sat on them to boost ourselves at tables to eat with family. If this makes you want to hear more, then this is your book,"The Phone Book: the curious history of the book that everyone uses but no one reads" by Ammon Shea. 

Shea's book is full of interesting trivia. For instance, the first phone book published in 1878 had only fifty names listed (no numbers). Other topics covered in that first edition: how to use the phone and how to begin and end a conversation. There was an anti-digit dialing league, unhappy about the new invention (has time changed?) Over the years the phone book, which looked the same for all regions, changed to include photos of each area, allowing cities and towns a bit of civic pride. Shea notes that a few people even collect phone books, with one collection numbering in the thousands! 

Staff Review: “Midnight Riot” by Ben Aaronovitch


Ben Aaronovitch is one of the fresh, new voices in paranormal fiction. He takes the traditional British police procedural, mixes in a dash of Harry Potter, adds a "disagreement" between the human incarnations of the river gods of London, and gives us "Midnight Riot."

The book introduces us to  Probationary Constable Peter Grant. He dreams of making detective, but seems destined for a desk job until the witness he interviews at a crime scene turns out to be a ghost. Peter is drafted by Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the force's one-man X-Files department, to assist  in the investigation of a series of brutal murders.

Free Yoga at the Library

There's a corpse in the library. In fact, there are many, lying like rows of bricks, silent, unmoving. Though resting in peace, these bodies are far from dead. Some may even be more alive now than ever.

Each month select SLCL branches host free yoga. The stillness usually occurs at the end of 20 minutes or more of a yoga practice. Called Savasana (sah-VAH-sah-nah), the corpse pose can be more difficult than it looks, especially if you work at it too hard. The goal is quietude, breathing and relaxation of body and mind.

I invited a friend of mine to accompany me to one of SLCL's yoga sessions. She declined, saying she didn't want to twist her body into a pretzel. Even raptures about my favorite asana (that's yoga for pose) didn't sway her. She didn't like exercising.

Great Recordings You Might Have Missed

One of the best things about working at a public library is coming across random jewels that I wouldn't intentionally seek out. Case in point, I recently rediscovered a new Broadway recording of the defining rock musical "Hair." The last time I listened to "Hair" was probably in my childhood living room spinning my father's vinyl copy. Although I was used to the 1968 original Broadway recording, I quickly fell into groovy love with the 2009 Broadway recording.

City Homesteads

Interested in starting a garden or raising chickens but worry you don't have the space? Then check out Scott Meyer's "The City Homesteader Self-Sufficiency on Any Square Footage." 

In this book you'll learn to grow vegetables in a container, get tips on food preservation techniques, find out how to raise baby chicks and keep honey bees, and how to make your own cold frame. The book also has an appendix with tons of great resources including a growing guide and a list of helpful websites for further reference. If you live in a McMansion or a small apartment, you too can be self-sufficient and save a few dollars.
--Laura T., Weber Road Branch

New Release from The Jayhawks

The Jayhawks released their latest offering "Mockingbird Time" on September 20th. Customers of the library have shown much interest, with multiple holds on the copies owned by the library.

Cranky Agnes

"Agnes and the Hitman" by Jennifer Cruisie is a funny romance that avoids a formulaic plot. Agnes is an engaging character who's found uses for frying pans beyond cooking. Agnes isn't a typical heroine. She has curves like a real woman and has difficulty paying her mortgage just like normal people.

Recharge Your Book Group

If picking a book for your group makes you anxious or stressed out, then a book discussion kit may be just what you need. Don't have a title in mind? The library can help with that too. We'll help you find that perfect book.
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