Friday, May 16, 2014

Time to Organize!

It's that time of year again! Time to CLEAN! Spring is here and people it is time to get rid of the dust in your house and get everything off the floor. Clutter is the enemy of allergies and a healthy lifestyle so grab one of the books below to get yourself started with organizing your world!

Room by Room by Monte Burch
We don't like to admit it, but most of us have way too much stuff in and around our houses. Look in your cabinets, closets, garage, attic or basement. They're probably a disorganized clutter, with items often not stored properly, which can damage them, create stress in locating what you need, even cause an unsafe situation. The first step in storing your stuff is to cut the clutter and organize it. Room by Room shows you what accessories are available at your local home improvement and online stores to help you reduce your organizing efforts and time. The possibilities are endless.

Home storage projects: creative solutions for every room in the house by Paul Anthony
This practical and inspiring book features 18 projects designed to maximize storage in every corner of every cluttered home. A wide array of practical, attractive and well-designed projects will appeal to woodworkers at every skill level. Each project includes detailed building instructions, complete plans and a list of materials.

Cut the clutter and stow the stuff: the Q.U.I.C.K. way to bring lasting order to household chaos by Lori Baird
Discover your unique clutter style-- and how to make it work for you, not against you, in the fight with clutter. Take the clutter quiz on page 8. Once you know your clutter style, you'll finally understand why you feel compelled to collect every style of Spode teacup produced since 1856...or stash a year's worth of newspapers under the bed...or keep your 45-year-old son's high school football jerseys "just in case." And you'll find effective strategies to turn those tendencies to your advantage! Rediscover your rooms, find storage space you never knew you had, clear out the kids' rooms without starting a war, and make all those piles of paper disappear like magic.

Throw out fifty things: clear the clutter, find your life by Gail Blanke
"If you want to grow, you gotta let go," is Blanke's mantra; and that means eliminating all the clutter-physical and emotional-that holds you back, weighs you down, or just makes you feel bad about yourself. In Throw Out Fifty Things she takes us through each room of the house-from the attic to the garage-and even to the far reaches of our minds. Through poignant and humorous stories, she inspires us to get rid of the "life plaque" we've allowed to build-up there.

Easy home organizer: 15-minute step-by-step solutions by Vicki Payne

Are things at home out of hand? Is the thought of putting things in order just…overwhelming? With these simple, quickly implemented solutions, life can become less stressful—and the messy habits of a lifetime will disappear along with the chaos. The focus is on the little things that make a big difference—like not having to search for the car keys at the last minute—and the book is as organized as the house will be when you’re through: it begins with advice on assessing the accumulated junk and eliminating the excess, and moves on to shopping for containers, applying clutter strategies, labeling jars and boxes, and creating a proper place for everything, room by room. The ideas are smart and attractive!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chick Lit Part. 1

Here at SPL we love ourselves some chick lit! Don't know what chick lit is? Well... Chick lit is a genre of fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly. In other words, books for girls that will make us laugh and carry on (which we do so well anyways). Check out some of the books below to be on your way to becoming a chick lit addict! 

Insatiable by Meg Cabot
Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper. But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn't believe in them. Not that Meena isn't familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you're going to die (not that you're going to believe her. No one ever does). But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets - then makes the mistake of falling in love with - Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side...a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for. The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena's always been able to see everyone else's future, she's never been able look into her own. And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare. Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future... If she even has one.

The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary voice, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing has captivated readers and dominated bestseller lists. Generous-hearted and wickedly insightful, it maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, relationships, and the treacherous waters of the workplace. With an unforgettable comic touch, Bank skillfully teases out universal issues, puts a clever, new spin on the mating dance, and captures in perfect pitch what it's like to be a young woman coming of age in America today.

The House on Willow Street by Kelly Cathy
The Irish seaside town of Avalon is a tourist’s dream of quaint shops and welcoming caf├ęs. Avalon House, perched at the end of Willow Street, was in Tess Power’s family for generations. Now Tess ekes out a living from her antiques shop while the crumbling mansion awaits a new owner. Her marriage and business may be floundering, but her affection for Avalon is undimmed. The same can’t be said of her glamorous sister. Suki left without a backward glance and married into an American political dynasty. Only a muckraking biographer could send her slinking back to Ireland to escape a scandal. Postmistress Danae watches from the sidelines, doling out gentle advice while locking away her own secrets. Then her unconventional niece Mara comes to stay and draws her lonely aunt back into the world. As autumn gives way to winter, the four women encounter old loves, embrace new friendships, and begin to look beyond the past to the possibilities just beginning to unfold.

Girls' Poker Night: A Novel by Jill Davis
Dissatisfied both with writing a “Single Girl on the Edge/ Ledge/Verge” lifestyle column and with her boyfriend (who has a name for his car and compulsively collects plastic bread ties), Ruby Capote sends her best columns and a six-pack of beer to the editor of The New York News and lands herself a new job in a new city. In New York, Ruby undertakes the venerable tradition of Poker Night—a way (as men have always known) to eat, drink, smoke, analyze, interrupt one another, share stories, and, most of all, raise the stakes. There’s Skorka, model by profession, homewrecker by vocation; Jenn, willing to cross county lines for true love; Danielle, recently divorced, seducer of at least one father/son combo in her quest to make up for perceived “missed opportunities.” When Ruby falls for her boss, Michael, all bets are off. He’s a challenge. He’s her editor. And he wants her to stop being quippy and clever and become the writer—and the woman—he knows she can be. Adding to Ruby’s uncertainty is his amazing yet ambiguous kiss in the elevator, and the enjoyably torturous impasse of he-loves-me, he-loves-me-not.

Calendar Girl by Naomi Neale
Nan's career as a "Cheer Facilitator" for Seasonal Staffers, Inc., leaves something to be desired. Her previous boyfriend turned out to be a self-centered lothario, and the man she has worshiped from afar since college just announced his "pre-engagement" to another woman. Then Nan's friends and fellow members of the Elizabethan Failures Society, who have been listening to her for years, tell her to stop whining and do something about her unhappiness. So when Colm Iverson, artist and department-store heir, walks into her life, Nan realizes it really is up to her to keep him from walking back out.

Getting Mythological

Many people are interested in the mythology that shaped the primitive world. Thankfully, we have everything you could ever hope for at the library. Come search our stacks for certain myths or check out the books below to really get a sense of what humans once believed.

Cassell Dictionary of Classical Mythology by Jennifer March
This work provides a comprehensive A-Z guide to the rich and bewilderingly varied panoply of Greek and Roman mythology. It summarises all the major legends and stories, from the creation of the cosmos to the aftermath of the Trojan War and the foundation of Rome, provides a detailed who's who of gods, heroes and mythical creatures, and discusses places, both real and imaginary, that are central to classical myth. Extensive quotations from ancient literature are included throughout the text, helping to give a sense of the vibrant cultures that shaped the development of classical myth and legend. At the same time, attention is drawn, where necessary, to different versions of the same story and to the varying attitudes to major mythical figures taken by classical poets and playwrights. The impact of mythology on ancient and postclassical art is also discussed, as is the link occasionally to be found in stories and legends between mythology and history.

From Olympus to Camelot: The World of European Mythology by David Leeming
Following an initial exploration of the Indo-European sources of European mythology and the connections between the myths of Europe and those of India and Iran, the book proceeds to survey the major beliefs of Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, and Slavic cultures, as well as the mythologies of non-Indo-European cultures such as the Etruscans and the Finns. Among its contents are introductions to the pantheons of various mythologies, examinations of major mythological works, and retellings of the influential mythical stories. This work also examines European deities, creation myths, and heroes in the context of Christian belief, and considers the translation of traditional stories into the mythologies of modern European political, scientific, philosophical, and economic movements.

Mysterious Celtic mythology in American folklore by Bob Curran
Many American legends have Celtic origins. Each chapter in this fascinating book presents a Celtic myth and a similar American one. Celtic immigrants brought these legends to all regions of the U.S. Old-world mythology morphs into New World folklore. Curran recounts America's oldest legends and traces their origins to the Celtic mythology of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, presenting a similar old-world tale alongside each American version. Once transported to America, the original Celtic tales evolved to assimilate the new population's geographic, social, and religious customs, weaving their way into the fabric of American folk history.

Mythology of the British Isles by Geoffrey Ashe
Ashe, author of several books on the Arthurian legends (including Kings and Queens of Early Britain , LJ 8/90), here broadens his focus and presents a group of Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and English folklore that, taken together, creates a collective British mythology. Following the format of Robert Graves's Greek Myths, each chapter is divided in two sections. The first part is a narrative of the myth; the second, an explanation of the reality behind it. For example, the myths about Stonehenge--that the stones were magically set up by Merlin and were sacred to the Druids--are recounted in the first section of Chapter 6, while the second section relates the archaeological and astronomical findings that explain origins for many of the stories.

Jealous gods and chosen people: the mythology of the Middle East by David Leeming

David Leeming, who has authored more than twelve books on mythology, here offers the first comprehensive narrative study of the mythology of the Middle East, that tumultuous region that was the cradle of civilization. With key maps, illustrations, bibliography, and index, Jealous Gods and Chosen People provides an inclusive, authoritative, and captivating account of a mythology that remains a potent - and often destructive - force in the world today.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Staff Selections: Erly Moya

I have been working at the library for almost a year now and I really enjoy the great people and the peaceful atmosphere. When I set foot inside I am always astounded by how many books I still have to read in order to read them all. Books, to me, help me broaden my imagination and allow me to travel to new worlds and different realms. A place that supplies such knowledge and material for the mind is my local library.  

Erly Moya is a circulation assistant at Samuels Public Library.

What is your favorite genre?
My favorite genre is fantasy. I enjoy being taken out of reality and into a new world.

What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading the Graceling series. It is about a world where kingdoms rule and certain people are born with a grace, or a special ability. Those who are deemed useful to the king are recruited and never see their families again. It follows one girl who recently became queen of her kingdom after her brutal father who manipulated people is killed.

What have you read recently?
I have recently read the Marlowe School trilogy which was kind of slow. There was a lot of character development but the plot was slow throughout the books and then the last couple of chapters was rushed.

What is your favorite classic?
My favorite classic would have to be Animal Farm by George Orwell

What are your all-time favorite books/series?
My all-time favorite books series would be the Harry Potter series and the Inheritance Cycle. I grew up on these books and they are terrific. I always felt very connected to the characters and was able to relate to what they were going through.

What are a few books that you are looking forward to reading?
I have a number of things on my "To Read" list: the Riryia Chronicles, the Game of Thrones series, as well as the Delirium Trilogy. I am also planning on reading the Lord of the Rings hopefully.

How do you choose new books to read?
Since part of my job is to shelve books I am able to peruse the collections we have whenever I go out to shelve. If there is a title or an author I like I look in that section to see if there is anything that catches my attention.

Do you prefer books to e-books? Why?
I prefer hardback books to e-books simply because there's nothing like the feel of breaking in a new book, which is something you can't get with e-books.

What type of plots do you enjoy?
I really enjoy plots that keep me thinking until the very end. There are always questions that need to be answered.
What is your favorite aspect of reading books?
The best part about reading for me is being able to leave the real world and go on adventures in faraway places.
How much description do you enjoy? A lot or a little? Explain. 
Description is something I enjoy but only to a certain degree. If the author spends too much time describing things and isn't putting enough into plot or character development, chances are I won't keep reading.