Friday, March 21, 2014

Mary Kay McComas' Books

New York Times Bestselling author Mary Kay McComas is coming to Samuels Public Library! McComas started her writing career 25 years ago and has won several awards for her collected words. She has written 21 short contemporary romances, five novellas, and three single title novels. McComas was born in Spokane, Washington and now lives in the Shenandoah Valley. 

Join Mary Kay on Thursday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m. to learn how she got started writing and how a story becomes a book. There will be time for a Q&A period and book signing, and random drawings will be held for several of her books.

Something about Sophie - Answering a call that summons her to a stranger's deathbed, a reluctant Sophie Shepard is too late to hear what he was so anxious to tell her. What was so important that a dying man would think of her in his final moments? With the help of Dr. Drew McCarren, Sophie begins to dig into her past, setting off a chain of events that chills the quiet town of Clearfield, Virginia to its roots.With part of her wanting nothing more than to put Clearfield behind her and run back home, Sophie knows she won't rest until she discovers the truth. But growing closer to the residents also means uncovering their dark secrets: about the woman who gave her up for adoption, the mysterious part these strangers played, and the life she never knew she nearly had.

Passing through Midnight - Dr. Dorie Devries needs a place to hide and recover, mentally and physically, after a shocking attack – and the small town of Colby, Kansas looks like the perfect place to be invisible. But she doesn’t stay invisible to farmer Gil Howett and his two sons who live a mile across the way. Dorie wants to be alone, but finds herself drawn time and again to the Howett men. Their care, understanding, and faith in her is exactly the medicine she needs to rediscover her personal strength, and the woman she once was.

The Trouble with Magic - Harriet Wheaton is out of options. Her manor house on Jovette Island is in foreclosure and, in a desperate attempt to save it, she invites Payton Dunsmore to view her home. She feels sure that once he sees how important it is to her, he will stop pressing for the foreclosure and compromise with her. But when Payton arrives, it’s not the house that captures his attention. He’s undeniably drawn to stubborn, passionate Harriet, but still has no intention of saving the manor. Past the point of an amicable resolution, Harriet plays her last card, marooning them on the island and turning to the old Jovette legend that those who arrive as enemies will leave as lovers. But will the legend really work its magic and save her family legacy? And will Harriet be able to hold onto Payton’s heart without knowing if his passion is part of a spell or the real magic of love?

What Happened to Hannah - As a teenager, Hannah Benson ran away from home in order to save herself. Now, twenty years later, the past comes calling and delivers life-changing news: her mother and sister have passed away, leaving Hannah the guardian of her fifteen-year-old niece. Returning home to bitter memories and devastating secrets, Hannah must overcome her painful past to pave a future with her niece, the last best chance at a family for both of them. She begins to create a new, happier life with her niece and rekindles a relationship with Grady Steadman, one of the few people she’s ever called a friend. But she can’t forget what she cannot forgive, or lay to rest those ghosts that will not die. Will love and trust--and the truth--give her the strength to stand her ground and fight for what she deserves?

And MANY more! Rent the selection above and more of McComas books at Samuels Public Library. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Writing Resume Gold

Some people hate writing resumes while others excel at it. Well, here is your chance to buff up your resume to get that job you have been wanting. All the books below have done their research about the resume process, and they are all available at the library! Come on down and pick one up so that you can be writing a professional resume today!

The complete idiot's guide to the perfect resume by Susan Ireland - The recession has made finding a job harder than ever. Everything now takes place online, and a resume's preparation is different than even a few years ago. This new edition has changed with the times, focusing on what's most important in an electronic resume. Full of successful resume samples and cover letters, the book also focuses on the key words and phrases that will bring readers' resumes to the top of the HR pile.

Cover letter magic: trade secrets of a professional resume writer by Wendy S Enelow - Professional resume and cover letter writers reveal their inside secrets for creating phenomenal cover letters that get attention and land interviews. The book features more than 130 sample cover letters written for all types of job seekers, including the before-and-after transformations that can make boring letters fabulous.

Federal resume guidebook : write a winning federal resume to get in, get promoted, and survive in a government job by Kathryn K. Troutman - Shows where to find federal jobs and how to navigate the different application processes for the many federal agencies. Expert step-by-step guidance and resume samples for applying for jobs with the federal government. 

First time resume by William McNeill - Complete with more than 40 real-world examples, this quick, easy-to-use guide is a non-threatening resource for people who may be a little apprehensive about writing their first resume. This book takes the mystery out of the process, and shows people just how easy it really can be.

Step-by-step resumes : build an outstanding resume in 10 easy steps! by Evelyn U. Salvador - This revolutionary how-to workbook is the easiest way to create a winning resume no writing required! By filling in the blanks, checking the relevant boxes, and pasting in prewritten Resume Clip BulletsTM, readers can pull together an effective resume with ease. Also includes an exhaustive collection of thousands of powerful resume keywords to make your resume stand out in electronic databases. New for this edition is a section on integrating your resume into your social networking strategy, as well as new personal branding worksheets and expanded tips on e-mailing resumes.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

How to tame your STRESS!

Because its tax season, and we all know that taxes equal stress, I thought it would be a good idea to show some books that help relieve your worries.

365 Ways to Reduce Stress: Everyday Tips to Help You Relax, Rejuvenate, and Refresh by Eve Adamson - It seems that no matter how hard we work or how much time we spend trying to get things done, there's always more to do and not enough time to do it in. Since studies say that stress can lead to physical and mental health issues, it's important to take charge of your life and manage your stress effectively. "365 Ways to Reduce Stress" is a tip-based, hands-on guide to minimizing stress. It's the ultimate empowering tool for overworked, over-scheduled, and over-stressed people - of which there are more of than ever! Complete with an easy-to-follow quiz that helps readers identify their vulnerable areas as well as advice on gaining perspective, relaxing, and avoiding stressors, this book is the step-by-step stress-reducing medicine we all need to live a happier, longer life.

The complete book of relaxation techniques by Jenny Sutcliffe - An illustrated programme of relaxation techniques aimed at relieving stress and stress-related conditions.

Complete idiot's guide to beating stress by Arlene Matthews Uhl - Stress is one of the most significant factors impacting health and relationships. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beating Stressclears a path to actually mastering and eliminating stress by teaching meditation, visualization, and other techniques; showing how to avoid stressful situations; revealing the impact of diet, exercise, and lifestyle on stress, and more.

Good stress, bad stress : an indispensable guide to identifying and managing your stress by Barry Lenson - Stress! It's become a universal condition, the most pervasive psychological ailment in our society, and a contender for the most widespread health problem of any kind. But all stress is not created equal. Good stress and bad stress have been called the yin and yang of modern work life. Arguably, good stress (a less formal name for what researchers call "challenge" stress) is the kind that motivates and excites and yields good results on the job or at home. Bad stress (what researchers call "hindrance" stress) diminishes one's performance and manifests itself in career dissatisfaction, deteriorating health, and procrastination. Now, in Good Stress, Bad Stress, Barry Lenson clearly maps the differences between the two types of stress and offers strategies and action plans for getting rid of the bad stress and focusing on making the most of good stress.

Guide to stress reduction by L. John Mason - The increasingly frenetic pace of modern life can take a heavy toll on our physical and mental well-being, and we all have the headaches, backaches, and insomnia to prove it. As a professional stress-reduction therapist, Dr. L. John Mason has made it his life's work to combat the debilitating effects of this all-consuming condition. In the original GUIDE TO STRESS REDUCTION, Dr. Mason presented a comprehensive program of exercises designed to alleviate stress, helping thousands of afflicted readers return to the comforting fold of life's natural rhythms. Newly revised, Dr. Mason's landmark book continues to teach us how to reduce tension and anxiety with techniques such as autogenics, visualization, meditation, biofeedback, and desensitization.

AND MANY MORE! If you aren't interested in looking at a book than why not visit one of our online databases and look at stress? Click below to get started. 
Health Resources at Samuels Public Library

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Staff Selections: Kristin Noell

In first grade, we had a reading competition where we got a scoop on our bulletin board ice cream cone for every book or chapter of a book we read. I won by a mile, and I’ve never stopped reading. That’s why I started working in libraries at age 14. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, I do not get paid to read all day—I wish! Still, most of my recreational time is spent with a book in my hand, and I’ve been known to sacrifice an entire night’s sleep to finish an especially good one. I average about 175 books per year. I like to remember what I’ve read, what I thought, and what I want to read in the future, so I use to keep track of my books. I’d be lost without it.

Kristin Noell is the reference librarian at Samuels Public Library. 

What is your favorite genre?
I read nearly everything, but I probably read more historical fiction than anything else. I also enjoy chick lit, mystery, romance, non-fiction (mostly history and travel), suspense, literary fiction, and paranormal fantasy. Basically the only genres I tend not to read are horror, western, and inspirational.

Who are your favorite authors?
How long do you have? There are many, many authors that I love and whose new books I eagerly anticipate! Alphabetically, they include (but are not limited to): Sarah Addison Allen, Bill Bryson, Emma Donoghue, Helen Fielding, Ken Follett, Kimberley Freeman, Tana French, Philippa Gregory, Kristin Harmel, Charlaine Harris, Tony Horwitz, Linda Howard, Sarah Jio, Catherine McKenzie, Michelle Moran, Jo Nesbø, Deanna Raybourn, Beatriz Williams… I’m sure there are more!

What are you reading now?
I’m probably already reading something different by now, but as I’m writing this, that would be The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley.

What have you read recently?
In the last month or so, I’ve read The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol, Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, Juliet by Anne Fortier, Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole, Cockroaches by Jo Nesbø, Betwixt and Between by Jessica Stilling, the Redhead series by Alice Clayton, The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd, The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins… and I think that’s enough!

What is your favorite classic?
Gone with the Wind, hands down – it’s probably my favorite book, period. I believe I’ve read it about a dozen times, the first of which was when I was 11. I can still remember lying on my bed in my childhood bedroom and reading the first few pages (a lengthy description of the Georgia countryside) and feeling like I was at the beginning of a big, important journey. Corny but true! I also love Peter Pan, East of Eden, Dracula, and Frankenstein.

What are your all-time favorite books/series?
So many! Here are a few books: Atonement by Ian McEwan, Bookends by Jane Green, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Every time I promise myself I’ll never start a new series, a great sounding one comes along. Here are several that I’ve greatly enjoyed over the years (or am currently enjoying): Dublin Murder Squad mysteries by Tana French, Fire and Ice mysteries by Michael Ridpath, Harry Hole mysteries by Jo Nesbø, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Mobile Library mysteries by Ian Sansom, Nayir Sharqi and Katya Hijazi mysteries by Zoë Ferraris, Nora Gavin mysteries by Erin Hart, the Redhead series by Alice Clayton, Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris, and Virginia Wine mysteries by Ellen Crosby. Again, I feel like I’m forgetting some. This must be what it feels like to give an acceptance speech at the Oscars!

What are your favorite recommendations?
Of course it’s always fun to recommend one’s favorite books to others, so see my favorite books and authors for many of my favorite recommendations. In my opinion, the two best books of 2013 (that weren’t by my usual favorites) were Life after Life by Kate Atkinson and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I think The Rosie Project has an especially broad appeal across genders and genres. One of the most powerful, beautiful, and sadly unfinished works I’ve read in my life is Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky, who wrote about the occupation of Paris as it was happening and ultimately died in Auschwitz before her book was complete—for history and/or historical fiction lovers, it is a perfect read. And really, my favorite part of my job is helping readers find the right book for them. I love happy readers! I have the tools at my disposal to help you find your next favorite book, even if it’s something I would never read personally, so please ask me for help.

What is your favorite sub-genre?
Recently, I have been reading a lot of what I call parallel narratives. I’m not sure if they have an official name or not. Basically, they are novels with two storylines, usually one set in the past and one in the present. They’re often tied together by a family connection or secret, a geographic location, an object, or a theme. Some great authors that write in this sub-genre are Anne Fortier, Kimberley Freeman, Sarah Jio, Susanna Kearsley, Kate Morton, and Beatriz Williams. Standalone books I’d group with these include The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig, The Confidant by Hélène Grémillon, I Gave My Heart to Know This by Ellen Baker, The Island House by Posie Graeme-Evans, and The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes.

What are a few books that you are looking forward to reading?
One is Where Monsters Dwell by Jørgen Brekke, a Scandinavian mystery that takes place in Trondheim, Norway and Richmond, Virginia! I’m also looking forward to the U.S. publication of Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough—I love her historical fiction. The new Diana Gabaldon, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, has had its publication pushed back several times, but is supposed to finally come out in June. And of course, many (or even most) of my favorite authors seem to have books coming out this year!

How do you choose new books to read?
Lots of ways! Of course I read industry reviews and prepublication notices to help me choose which books to buy for the library, so if anything piques my interest, I make a note of it. I also take recommendations from friends and favorite authors. If anything is making big news, like 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James or The Dinner by Herman Koch, I try to read it so that I am better able to talk to patrons about it.

What is your favorite poem?
A few favorites are “Ego Tripping” by Nikki Giovanni, “Her Kind” by Anne Sexton, “I carry your heart with me” by E.E. Cummings, “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” by Maya Angelou, “Travel” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and just about everything by Langston Hughes, such as “I Thought It Was Tangiers I Wanted.”

What is your favorite short story?
A few collections I love are Astray by Emma Donoghue, The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, and Close Range by Annie Proulx. I also enjoy Sherman Alexie’s stories. In school, I remember being fascinated with “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce.

What is your favorite play?
I mostly like musicals on the stage. I did enjoy my Shakespeare class in college. And I liked the movie Proof, based on the play by David Auburn.

What is your favorite magazine?
I don’t have much patience for magazines. I used to subscribe to Premiere, an incredible film magazine, before it was discontinued. Now I go to Entertainment Weekly for that kind of news. We have dozens of magazines at the library, and if something on the cover calls to me, I’ll check it out—whether it’s cooking, celebrity gossip, news, travel, or whatever!

How do you get your news?
Mostly by listening to people talk. Sometimes I’ll catch the evening news or check out, but usually I let the news come to me.

Do you prefer books to e-books? Why?
A lot of people are surprised that e-books don’t outrage me as a librarian. I read books on my Nook and I read books in print. I would never willingly give up print books, but e-books do have their place—for instance, when I’m packing for a trip and can take 10 books in one small device, or when I’m reading a 1000 page Ken Follett novel that would otherwise give me hand cramps!

What type of plots do you enjoy?
Everything from the twisty and complex to the expositional and seemingly plotless!

Describe your favorite main character/character traits that you like to find while reading.
I like variety in characters. For example, one of my favorite characters is Jo Nesbø’s detective Harry Hole, and he’s an alcoholic cop who has problems with authority—one of the last people I’d want to know if real life, but an incredible character study. (Harry is one of the best written characters I’ve ever read. That Nesbø knows how to write!) It’s also fun every now and then to find a character that reminds me even the tiniest bit of myself—either a twenty something, a reader, a librarian, a Virginian, or something like that.

What is your favorite aspect of reading books?
I love the feeling of having lived thousands of lives in my relatively short one. I’ve “seen” places, “met” people, and “had” experiences that I would probably never have done otherwise.

If you could ask your favorite author a question, what would you ask?
Probably “What goes on in your head?” or something similar! I’m just constantly amazed by the depth and breadth of creative, brilliant stories that these special human minds are capable of producing.

Are you a great lover and reader of books like Kristin? Well then you should check out! It is a great tool to help you keep track of books read, get ideas for new books, and getting opinions from people who have read the book before!