Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Personal Arroyo Book Club Favorite for 2013….

Book Jacket for: The disappearing spoon : and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elementsIn 2013 the Arroyo Book Club read 12 great books.  We covered the classics… Moby Dick in September… historical fiction with The Virginian (historical now probably contemporary when written) & Master and Commander… travel with Travels with Charly… an American’s experience in pre-War Germany in In the Garden of Beasts… and more.  Looking over all the titles and remembering each book I have to say that my favorite was probably Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean. 

Disappearing Spoon tells the story of the periodic table of elements taking things element by element and providing a ton of colorful (& informative) stories about each.  As a lover of layman directed science books this was right up my alley.  I learned plenty of chemical trivia as well as actual valuable fact while reading this book and enjoyed myself doing it.  I would heartily recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining way to learn something new.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Events for the Week of December 30…

The library will close at 5:00 on Tuesday, December 31 & will remain closed on January 1.  We will reopen at the normal time on Thursday (12:30).  Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (1/2) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (1/3) at 3:30

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, December 27, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: A field guide to the stars and planets.The question was what is the brightest star in the sky?  Bonus points what is its magnitude?  The brightest star in the sky is Sirius with a magnitude of –1.4.  Which leads to the interesting question of how can something that is the brightest have a negative magnitude?  It has to do with the way the brightness scale was constructed historically.  Ptolemy declared the brightest stars were of the first magnitude and continued on to the faintest starts at the sixth magnitude.  When the scale was codified stars that were brighter then the first magnitude were accommodated by being given 0 & then negative numbers.


The question (& answer) were taken from p. 48 of A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets by Jay M. Pasachoff.  The book was published by Peterson Field Guides in 2000.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

History of Highland Park…

This article (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/10/520209.pdf) from the H.P. News Herald on 12/4/1958 describes the plans for what would become the second building on our site.  The article includes a description of the construction time line, the benefits of the new branch, and an artist’s illustration of what the branch would look like.  Take a look at it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Bride Wore Size 12

Book Jacket for: The bride wore size 12Meg Cabot’s series featuring ex teen pop-star, current NYC dorm administrator (and frequent body discoverer & murder solver) Heather Wells continues in The Bride Wore Size 12.  The series is light, fluffy, and amusing and this book continues the series in that fashion.  Here we have Heather finding the body of an RA just as the freshmen are moving into the dorm.  She (& her co-workers) are also dealing with a VIR (very important resident) and a obstructionist administration.  And, oh yeah, Heather’s planning her upcoming wedding.   Not to worry, of course, Heather works it all out.

I would recommend this book (as well as the others in the series) for those looking for an amusing hour or two. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s question is … What is the brightest star in the sky?  Bonus points what is its magnitude?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Events for the Week of December 23…

The library will be closing at 1:00 on December 24 and will be closed all day on the 25th.  Things going on at the library during the remainder of the week include:
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (12/26) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (12/27) at 3:30
  • Arroyo Book Club meeting on Saturday (12/28) at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, December 20, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

There are any number of answers to this week’s question… can you think of a proverb that deals with interest (as in concern)?  Among them are:
    Book Jacket for: A Dictionary of American proverbs
  • Everyone speaks for his own interest.
  • He who makes an idol of his interest makes a martyr of his integrity.
  • Interest blinds some people, enlightens others.
  • It is in his own interest that the cat purrs.
  • When interest is lost, memory is lost.
  • Would you persuade, speak of interest, not of reason.
The question (& answer) were taken from p. 333 of A Dictionary of American Proverbs edited by Wolfgang Mieder, et al. The book was published by Oxford University Press in 1992. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Takedown Twenty

Book Jacket for: Takedown twentyStephanie Plum is back in Evanovich’s latest … TakedownTwenty.  Fans of the series will enjoy this installment as it is as full of humor as the rest.  In this volume Stephanie’s bounty hunting brings her into contact with a serial killer.  She manages to have a career crisis (& resolve it), bring in her usual array of court dodgers, and even resolve the serial killer mystery, as well as uncover an urban giraffe on the loose.  All of this is a normal day’s work for Stephanie.

Recommended for fans of the series.  Will work for those who haven’t been following the series too.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

History of Highland Park…

This article (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/10/520212.pdf) published on 11/14/1947 in the Highland Park Journal reflects on the efforts taken to establish a library in Highland Park 53 years (from that date) earlier.  If you’ve been following these history entries the information will all be familiar to you.  A picture is included along with a bit of information about the first librarians.  Take a look.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Asylum

Book Jacket for: The asylum : a collage of couture reminiscences ...and hysteriaIf you are a fashionista you might enjoy Simon Doonan’s reminiscences of his experiences in the fashion world.  In The Asylum we get a collection of his thoughts on a wide variety of topics.  This book takes a very meandering journey through Doonan’s life and experiences.  It is an interesting & amusing book and will appeal to those who find fashion interesting and not to others. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s question is… can you think of a proverb that deals with interest (as in concern)?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Events for the Week of December 16…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Budgeting Seminar on Monday (12/16) at 6:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (12/18) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • ACA Information table also on Wednesday at 4:30 – drop in with your health care enrollment questions.
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (12/19) at 3:00
  • Introduction to Spreadsheets Class also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (12/20) at 3:30
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, December 13, 2013

History of Highland Park….

This article, “New Arroyo Seco Branch Library for Highland Park and Garvanza,” was published in the Highland Park Herald on 6/7/1913.  It provides a description of the plan for building the new library and includes an artist sketch of the building and of the floor plan.  Take a look.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: California place names : the origin and etymology of current geographical namesThe question was Where did the town of Claremont (CA) get its name?  Let me answer by quoting from our source:
The Pacific Land and Improvement Company, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad, offered to name the town, which it platted in 1887, for H. A. Palmer, owner of the land.  Mr. Palmer declined the honor and suggested a number of Spanish names descriptive of the grand view of the mountains.  The directors, from Boston, called for equivalents in their own language, and influenced by one among them who formerly lived in Claremont, New Hampshire, chose the present name.
 The question (& answer) were taken from p. 81 of California Place Names by William Bright.  This edition of the book was published by the University of California Press in 1998. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Learn4Life

Are you anxious to pick up some new skills for your job, for your personal life, for fun?  Learn4Life is an electronic resource offered by LAPL.  It…
Offers a wide range of highly interactive online courses.   All of the courses are free, and led by expert instructors. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month. Subjects offered are Career and Professional, Computers and Technology, Personal Development and Writing and Publishing.”
You can find it on the library’s Research and Homework page in the L’s (http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/research-and-homework#L).  To access it from a non-library computer you will need your library card.  Check out the flyer (http://www.lapl.org/sites/default/files/articles-and-information/pdfs/13-02flyer.pdf) for additional information.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chronicles of Kazam

Book Jacket for: The last dragonslayer. Book Jacket for: The song of the Quarkbeast
When I belatedly discovered that one of my favorite authors, Jasper Fforde, had written a Young Adult series I immediately rushed out and got both entries. The books, The Last Dragonslayer and The Song of the Quarkbeast follow the adventures of Jenny Strange (a foundling) as she attempts to run Kazam Mystical Arts Management.  Kazam Mystical Arts Management is a business that manages the activities of a number of magic users in a world where (at least initially) magic is gradually declining.  Jenny deals with obstreperous employees, dastardly big business interests, egoistical government, & more as she strives to keep the business afloat and make the world a better place.  The books are interesting, engaging, entrancing, etc.  I would heartily recommend them.

By the way, if you haven’t read Fforde’s Thursday Next series you really should. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Telescope Night…

The ever-popular Telescope Night returns (weather permitting) to the Arroyo Seco Library on Wednesday, December 11.  We will begin at 6:00 and wrap things up shortly before the library closes at 8:00.  Mark your calendar and plan to drop by.

For those who don’t know what Telescope Night is…  During Telescope Night a group of local astronomers, the Sidewalk Astronomers (http://www.sidewalkastronomers.us/), sets up telescopes outside the library and points them at objects of interest in the night sky.  Everyone is invited to take as many turns as they’d like looking through the telescopes.  The Sidewalk Astronomers are very knowledgeable and will answer your questions & chat about how they made the telescopes.  Bring your questions with you.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Events for the Week of December 9…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Teen Program – Gift Bag Decorating – on Tuesday (12/10) at 4:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (12/11) at 10:30
  • Computer Basics Class also on Wednesday (12/11) at 12:00
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday (12/11) at 3:00
  • ACA Information table also on Wednesday (12/11) at 5:00 – drop in with your health care enrollment questions.
  • Telescope Night on Wednesday (12/11) starting at 6:00 (weather permitting)
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (12/12) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (12/13) at 3:30
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s question is:  Where did the town of Claremont (CA) get its name?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nickel and Dimed

Book Jacket for: Nickel and dimed : on (not) getting by in AmericaBarbara Ehrenreich provides us with a telling look at trying to survive in America while working for minimum or low wage in Nickel and Dimed.  Although the book was published in 2001 the world described is still one that many Americans must deal with daily.  Definitely a book worth reading. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: California architecture : historic American buildings surveyThe question was who designed the Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library?  The Central Library was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue in 1924. 

The question (and answer) were taken from p. 87 of California Architecture by Sally B. Woodbridge.  The book was published by Chronicle Books in 1988. 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Three Parts Dead

Book Jacket for: Three parts deadThree Parts Dead by Max Gladstone is set in a world quite different from ours.  Gods exist, though they are vulnerable to outside agency, and people can develop (hone?) power.  In this tale we follow the adventures of a young necromancer, assistant to a big wig, as they look into the circumstances surrounding the death of one of these gods.  The book is quite enjoyable except for the fact that the villain is a little too villainous.  What do I mean?  There comes a point when a villain is so bad, evil, without redeeming characteristics that the whole thing just becomes ridiculous and you start wondering why the protagonist doesn’t just throw up her hands, say the hell with this, and kill herself.  Anyway if you can overlook villainy that crosses over the border into pastiche then the book is worth a read.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

Book Jacket for: How to teach physics to your dogIn How to Teach Physics to Your Dog Chad Orzel writes a basic introduction to the fundamentals of quantum mechanics through the lens of his dog Emmy.  (Basically Emmy provides the narrative connection between the heavy science bits).  The book is aimed at the layman and endeavors to cover the quantum mechanics concepts that people might have heard about in other contexts and explain them correctly.  Among the topics covered are the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the many-worlds interpretation, quantum entanglement, and the misuses of quantum physics.

All in all a good book for someone looking to gain a very basic understanding of an interesting area of physics. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Events for the Week of December 2…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (12/4) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • ACA Information table also on Wednesday at 4:30 – drop in with your health care enrollment questions.
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (12/5) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (12/6) at 3:30
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, November 29, 2013

History of Highland Park (library edition)…

This 1913 article titled Public Spirited Citizens Give Library Site (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520702.pdf) describes the process that resulted in the first library being built on the site at 6145 N. Figueroa Street.  Check it out in advance of our upcoming centennial.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s question is who designed the Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Websites I like…

Looking to do a little gardening?  Want something that will work in the conditions you can provide it?  Check out the Calflora database (http://www.calflora.org/species/).  This site is dedicated to information on wild California plants for conservation, education, and appreciation. 

You can search for a particular plant or put in your conditions and see what kind of plants you get.  Results include a picture, information about where the plant has been sighted, and the characteristics & bloom period of the plant.  All in all it’s a fun place for a plant lover to explore.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Arroyo Book Club Pick for December

Book Jacket for: All creatures great and smallThe Arroyo Book Club will be reading the book All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot for our December meeting.  This memoir of the early career of an English country veterinarian is filled with humor & warmth… just what we need for the holiday season. 

Stop by the library for a copy and join us on December 28th at 3:00 to discuss it.  Everyone is welcome (of course). 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Events for the Week of November 25…

Thanksgiving is this week (as you no doubt know) & the library will be closed on Thursday & Friday.  There are no official events scheduled for the week but you can swing by to pick up some reading, use the computer, or pose a question to library staff.  Enjoy your Holiday!

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, November 22, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

The week’s question was:  what is a consommé?  A consommé is a perfectly clear broth. 
Book Jacket for: The professional chef“Consommés are exceptionally rich in flavor and are crystal clear, an effect achieved by combining a high-quality stock or broth with a clarification mixture.  To assure a high-quality consommé, the chef must choose ingredients carefully, keep the clarification mixture very cold until it is time to cook the consommé, and monitor the temperature of the consommé as it cooks at a slow simmer.  Once the consommé has developed a rich flavor and color, it must be carefully strained and degreased to produce a crystal-clear soup, with no traces of fat, and an intense and satisfying flavor.”

The question (& answer) were taken from p. 298 of The Professional Chef published by John Wiley & Sons in 2002. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Adaptation

Book Jacket for: AdaptationAdaptation by Malinda Lo is a sci fi-esque book that begins with a mysterious bird strike event that brings down numerous planes, moves on to road trip nightmare, and winds up in experimented on by the government territory – and that’s only in the opening chapters.  Once our heroine is safely back home she must figure out what exactly happened & that is what she proceeds to do.  The book supports the conspiracy theorists actually know what’s really going on worldview a bit too much for my taste (which should clue you in on what the experiment involves) but other then that it is an interesting read.  I would recommend it to someone who likes lighter science fiction. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In a Fix

Book Jacket for: In a fixIn a Fix by Linda Grimes is a book I definitely do NOT recommend.  The premise is interesting enough --- our main characters can read the auras of people and then sort of project them so that to outside observers they become the person they are projecting.  Our heroine has used this ability to create a business for herself where she becomes her client and solves their problems for them, a really weird version of life coaching where the client doesn’t really learn anything.   The real problem with the book is the characters.  The heroine is the most inane character I’ve run into in a long time.  She seems to take no action on her own, only reacts to the action of those around her.  The male characters are egoistical, domineering, do as I say types that would make me vow to never speak to another man in my life if I believed men were actually like that.  I put the book down without finishing it & suggest that you steer clear of it. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

History of Highland Park….

Landmarks of Los Angeles (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520710.pdf) by Mrs. A. S. C. Forbes is a brief article, dated September 1931, that describes, in some detail, a few of the aforementioned landmarks.  Here you will learn about the Plaza Church, Olvera Street, Pico House, & Mercedes Theater among others.  Take a look at it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Events for the Week of November 18…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (11/20) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (11/21) at 3:00
  • Library Web Tools & the Internet Class also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (11/22) at 3:30
  • Arroyo Book Club meeting on Saturday (11/23) at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Cuckoo’s Calling

Book Jacket for: The cuckoo's callingI actually enjoyed the Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym of J.K. Rowling) quite a bit.  It is a straightforward mystery with a hard boiled detective, a helpful secretary, and an assortment of suspects.  The mystery centers on the suicide (or murder?) of a young supermodel.  Our hero is hired by the supermodel’s brother to find out what happened.  The author does not really play fair with the clues by which I mean the detective learns things that the reader does not so it’s not really a book where the reader is supposed to be involved in the solving of the mystery.  It is however an interesting and enjoyable read. 

I would recommend this to anyone looking for an entertaining mystery. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

History of Highland Park…

The 710 extension has long been a source of contention in this neighborhood.  Check out this article (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520739.pdf) from the News Herald & Journal in June of 1974 on just that topic.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

One Summer

Book Jacket for: One summer : America, 1927Bill Bryson brings his deft style to his latest book, One Summer.  In this book he goes into extraordinary detail about the events going on in America during the summer of 1927.  It is a fascinating look at life in America during what is indubitably an incredibly busy time.  Bryson’s writing style is generally very appealing to me & he continues that trend here.  He has a knack for picking out small humorous elements when he writes that generally leaves me chuckling.  Let me quote from a section where he is describing Jacob Rupper (owner of the Yankees at the time) as an example:
“He spoke with a German accent – he called Ruth “Root,” for instance – which was a little puzzling because he had lived his whole life in America, as indeed had his parents.  He collected jade, books, ceramics, dogs, horses, and art, and had what was called “America’s finest collection of small monkeys.” …Ruppert’s most arresting peccadillo was that he kept a second home in Garrison, New York, where he maintained a shrine to his mother in the form of a room containing everything she would need if she came back to life.  This may go some way toward explaining why he never married.”

This is a book I would recommend to lovers of in depth history without hesitation. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

TOW (& Answer)

Book Jacket for: Brewer's quotations : a phrase and fable dictionaryThis week’s question was who said “April is the cruelest month…”?  This quote from T. S. Eliot constitutes the first five words of The Waste Land.

The question (& answer) are taken from p. 132 of Brewer’s Quotations by Nigel Rees.  Published by Cassell in 1994. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Events for the Week of November 11…

The library will be closed on Monday for the Veteran’s Day Holiday.  Things going on at the library during the rest of the week include:
  • Teen Council Meeting -> Make Candy Sushi on Tuesday (11/12) at 4:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (11/13) at 10:30
  • Desktop Publishing Class also on Wednesday at 12:00
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Thor’s Reptile Show on Wednesday at 4:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (11/14) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (11/15) at 3:30
  • Movie Showing (think book club book) on Saturday (11/16) at 3:00

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

New Earth

Book Jacket for: New EarthI spend the first 100 or so pages of the book New Earth really hating the characters.  Then the plot grew interesting and the characters mellowed a bit (though I never did grow to like them) and I wound up finishing the story.  New Earth, by Ben Bova, tells the story of 12 explorers sent from Earth to investigate a planet orbiting a nearby (8 lys away) star.  Once there they discover a planet that is startlingly similar to Earth, peopled by aliens who are genetically identical to humans.  The rest of the book is spent investigating what is really going on.  I don’t want to spoil things so I won’t say more.

All in all I liked the book though I still don’t like the characters & this author apparently has absolutely no idea how actual women think & feel.  You have to just ignore the women in the book.  Fortunately, like most SF books, there aren’t a lot of women anyway so ignoring them is feasible.  Given all this you might wonder that I’d still recommend the book, but I would.  The plot is interesting and says things about the problems people face (even now) and how to deal with them. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Further: Beyond the Threshold

[Medium bookjacket]Further: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson is a space romance featuring FTL travel, all kinds of (Earth derived) sentience, quests for knowledge & quests for domination, and hapless visitors from the past.  This is not a deep book, nor does it speak of a future that is particularly likely but it does provide several hours of enjoyable diversion.

I would recommend this book for those who are fond of Science Fiction. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

History of Highland Park (library version)….

Here (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520699.pdf) you find a plot of the land the library is built on.  Interestingly we’re built on a former railway right of way.  Take a look at the map for yourself.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Anatomies

Book Jacket for: Anatomies : a cultural history of the human bodyHugh Aldersey-Williams writes a “cultural history of the human body” in Anatomies.  While the book was interesting it wasn’t what I expected and it was very stream of the author’s consciousness.  He basically takes the body piece by piece and writes about it.  He attempts to get at some of the historical and/or cultural connections we make with the particular body part but the result is less what the culture as a whole sees and more what he personally thinks.  The section on the ear, for example, focuses solely on the ear in art.  He also adores making literary references and will frequently devolve into describing a story.  He describes Gogol’s story The Nose in his section on The Head, for example.

Truthfully I had hoped for something that actually was more a cultural history of the human body.  This was a little too much this is what the human body makes me (the author) think of for my taste.  It did have interesting parts though so I would recommend it to those who like personal reflections on (loosely) scientific topics. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Events for the Week of November 4…

Things going on at the library during this week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (11/6) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (11/7) at 3:00
  • Magic Show with Allen Oshira also on Thursday at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (11/8) at 3:30
  • Computer Basics Class on Saturday (11/9) at 2:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: Los Angeles A to Z : an encyclopedia of the city and countyThis week’s question was where was Hazard’s Pavilion located?   Hazard’s Pavilion was located at 5th and Olive Streets from 1887 to 1906.  It was a 3-story theater that seated 4,000.  It was the city’s first big concert hall and cultural center.

The question (and answer) were found on p. 194 of Los Angeles A to Z edited by Leonard & Dale Pitt and published by University of California Press in 1997. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

History of Highland Park (library version)…

Check out this (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520675.pdf) Annual Report prepared about the Garvanza Branch Library (a nearby branch not us) for the year 1909.  You can see how many of what types of things the library owned and what kind of circulation they were getting. You can also learn that the branch took in $29.32 in fines that year.  Fun, especially for the library-phile.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Never Go Back

Book Jacket for: Never go back : a Jack Reacher novelLee Child continues his Jack Reacher series with Never Go Back in his usual suspenseful fashion.  Here Jack finds himself accused of manslaughter and slapped with a paternity suit (neither of which things he remembers happening) and so must find out why this is occurring

Fans of the Reacher series will not be disappointed with this book.  Newcomers can easily enjoy this book without having to read earlier in the series – though I would encourage you to try the earlier books too.

Definitely a series to recommend to anyone with a taste for action & adventure.   

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Arroyo Book Club pick for November….

Book Jacket for: On the beachThe Arroyo Book club will be reading On the Beach by Nevil Shute.  This classic from the cold war era tells the tale of a group of survivors of a WWIII nuclear catastrophe awaiting their own death from drifting radioactive clouds.  Pick up a copy at the library and find out what happens.

We will be showing a related film on 11/16 at 3:00 and will be meeting to discuss the book (& film) on 11/23 also at 3:00.  Join us for both events. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Events for the Week of October 28…

Things going on at the library during this week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (10/30) at 10:30
  • Introduction to Word Processing also on Wednesday at 12:00
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Halloween Party & Stories with Grandma Silverlocks on Thursday (10/31) at 3:00
  • Teens Decorate a Sugar Skull on Thursday at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (11/01) at 3:30
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mist

Book Jacket for: MistMist by Susan Krinard is an urban fantasy tale.  The heroine, Mist, is a Valkyrie living in contemporary San Francisco when things start. We then embark on a traditional battle against the gods.  I will confess that I did not finish this book.  Our heroine’s boyfriend turned out to be the villain of the piece (the God Loki) within the first chapter & that whole scenario was way too “rapey” for my taste, so I put the book down.

The premise is interesting so if you can overlook the problematic beginning it might be worth a try.  I wouldn’t recommend it though.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Project Cain

Book Jacket for: Project CainThe premise of Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard is that the government has secretly raised clones of notorious serial killers.  Now some of them have broken out the “facility” they were being held in and are on a rampage.  Our narrator is one such clone (Jeffrey Dahmer) who was raised by the lead scientist on the project.  He has just discovered the truth about his origins and is co-opted by a government agent type to help find his missing adoptive father and the other clones.

Exciting premise to be sure and as far as plot goes this book is quite interesting.  Unfortunately the author weaves a hell of a lot of pseudo-science & crackpot conspiracy stuff into the narrative.   Now some of this could be to establish the type of individual our narrator is but I’m left wondering how much of this the author actually believes.

All in all a good book for those willing to accept outrageous plots. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

The question was what is meant by “nacelle”?  Nacelle comes from the French and means an enclosure for protecting an engine.

The question (& answer) were found on p. 215 of the Harper Dictionary of Foreign TermsThe book was edited by Mawson and published by Harper & Row in 1987. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dexter’s Final Cut

Book Jacket for: Dexter's final cut : a novelBefore there was the TV show Dexter there was a book series by Jeff Lindsay.  In Dexter’s Final Cut we follow our hero (anti-hero really) as actors studying for roles in a police procedural type TV show shadow him.  It’s difficult to say anything more about the plot without giving away spoilers, suffice it to say that Dexter is his usual self & a lot of things happen.  If you’ve been following the series you’ll want to pick this up.  If you haven’t, I would recommend starting at the beginning with Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Events for the Week of October 21…

Things going on at the library during this week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (10/23) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (10/124) at 3:00
  • Computer Basics Class also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (10/125) at 3:30
  • Arroyo Book Club on Saturday (10/26) at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, October 18, 2013

History of Highland Park (library version)…

Here (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520721.pdf) we have a 9-page list of people who donated for the original Carnegie branch library that stood where our library stands now.  This would have been about 100 years ago.  Do you recognize any of our generous original donors?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Bat

Book Jacket for: The batThe Bat by Jo Nesbo is a mystery set in Australia, specifically Sydney and its environs.  In the book we follow Harry Hole (pronounced Holy) a detective from Norway who is in Sydney to help the local police solve the murder of a Norwegian woman.  As the story progresses we learn that she was only the latest in a string of murders & more people are killed.

I found this book fascinating at the beginning because it has a Norwegian author holding a lens up to the culture of Australia.  Then the book took a decided turn toward the bleak (dare I say typically Scandinavian) in the middle and I lost interest in it. 

This book is definitely for fans of the author and would be enjoyed by people who’d get a kick out of the culture on culture mirror thing it has going on.  Not for someone looking for a “cheerful” or “cosy” tale. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Far From the Tree

Book Jacket for: Far from the tree : parents, children and the search for identityIn Far From the Tree Andrew Solomon explores the connection between parents & children when the children in question differ in unexpected and drastic ways from the parents.  He explores questions of defining identity in the children & parental love and determination in the parents.  In the course of this book he examines deafness, dwarfism, Down Syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple disabilities, prodigies, children of rape, criminals, and the transgendered. 

This is a meaty work that raises many thorny questions.  I found the book a bit long in the end & a bit repetitive (granted the repetition was necessary to highlight situational similarities but it did make things drag on, at least for me).  In recommending this book then I might actually start by recommending it to someone in sections.  Refer an individual to a particular chapter rather then the whole book & then hope they are drawn to the whole book from that chapter.  It is a book that rewards reading even if it is not an easy read.

Monday, October 14, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: Great American trialsThe Rosenbergs and Sobell were charged with conspiracy to commit wartime espionage.  The Rosenbergs were sentenced to death and Sobell got 30 years.  To quote the source: 
The Rosenberg case, coming at the height of the anit-Communist hysteria in America produced the harshest possible result: the deaths of two defendants who, as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter put it, “were tried for conspiracy and sentenced for treason.”
 The question & answer were taken from p. 452 of Great American Trials edited by Edward Knappman.  The book was published by Gale Research in 1994. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Events for the Week of October 14…

Remember that the library will be closed on Monday for Columbus Day.  Things going on at the library during the rest of the week include:
  • Teen Read Week Loteria event on Tuesday (10/15) at 4:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (10/16) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (10/17) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (10/18) at 3:30
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, October 11, 2013

History of Highland Park…

This typewritten report (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/520711.pdf), dated July 1936, provides a history of the Annandale Branch Library.  The report includes a number of photos & a newspaper clipping.  It provides an interesting look at how the library actually worked & includes staffing and circulation details.  Check it out for a peek behind the scenes.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Drunk Tank Pink

Book Jacket for: Drunk tank pink : and other unexpected forces that shape how we think, feel, and behaveDrunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter takes a survey look (very broad with absolutely no depth) at phenomenon that shape how people think, feel, and behave. He examines the impact of color on emotion & behavior, the influence brought to bear by the presence (or absence) of other people on our behavior, how our name can influence our life outcomes and more. 

This book is for those interested in a layman’s look at social psychology & maybe a little bit of brain science.  Definitely not for the expert. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Story of English

Book Jacket for: The story of English : how the English language conquered the worldThe Story of English by Philip Gooden is essentially a history of the English language.  It focuses on the people & places that have had an impact on the development of the language.  In terms of books we’ve discussed before it is similar to The Story of Spanish by Nadeu & Barlow (a similarity that is totally reflected in their near identical titles).  The book was quite interesting but it is definitely a survey and it is definitely an historical overview.  It is not technical in any sense & does not delve into questions of grammar or construction.

Recommended for those interested in “different” looks at history & those with an interest in the topic.

Monday, October 7, 2013

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: NTC's dictionary of literary termsThis week’s question was what is peripeteia?  To answer... In Greek drama, the sudden and dramatic change of fortune for the protagonist is peripeteia also called peripety.

The question (and answer) were taken from p. 164 of NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms by Morner & Rausch.  The book was published by the National Textbook Company in 1991. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Events for the Week of October 7…

Things going on at the library during this week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (10/9) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (10/10) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (10/11) at 3:30
  • Introduction to Spreadsheets class on Saturday (10/12) at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Slightly Scandalous

Book Jacket for: Slightly scandalousIf you like a good regency romance Mary Balogh is always worth a try.  In Slightly Scandalous she continues a series that focuses on a family of six brothers and sisters by telling Freyja’s tale.  Freyja is headstrong and stubborn.  She meets Joshua Moore under unusual circumstances, becomes betrothed to him as a ruse, and grows to love him (it is a romance after all).  Of course there’s a lot of misunderstanding, pushy & downright evil interference from relatives, & a generally satisfying conclusion.

I would recommend the book to those who like a good romance that includes a little bit of spice.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Arroyo Book Club Pick for October….

The Arroyo Book Club will be reading Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains for our October meeting.  This book tells the story of a man who came to America from Burundi in search of a new life.  Let me quote directly from the booklist review to give you a quick little book summary: 
Book Jacket for: Strength in what remainsDeo was a young medical student in 1994 when ethnic tensions between Hutu and Tutsi in Burundi elevated to the level of massacres. He spent six months on the run from the Hutu militia, saved by a Hutu woman who claimed he was her son, and later he made his way to New York, saved by a former nun who helped him find housing and other assistance. In the first half of the book, Kidder recalls Deo's struggles as an illegal immigrant, working for poverty wages and sleeping in abandoned buildings, crack houses, and Central Park, all the while recovering from severe trauma and longing for a university setting. Through benefactors, Deo goes on to graduate from Columbia University and to attend medical school at Dartmouth. Eventually working with a nonprofit organization that provides health care in impoverished nations, Deo returned to Burundi to build a clinic. The second half of the book is Kidder's recollections of accompanying Deo on his return trip home, a frightening journey of remembrances. Kidder uses Deo's experiences to deliver a very personal and harrowing account of the ethnic genocide in East Central Africa

Pick up a copy of the book at the library and join us on October 26 at 3:00 for a discussion.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Read for the Record…

Join us on Thursday (10/3) at 5:00 for a storytime event.  There will be stories and arts & crafts and general fun for all.  Everyone is welcome so spread the word. (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/events/read-record)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Events for the Week of September 30…

Things going on at the library during this week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (10/2) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (10/3) at 3:00
  • Read for the Record program (storytime) also on Thursday at 5:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (10/4) at 3:30
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, September 27, 2013

TOW (& Answers)...

Let’s answer this week’s Moby Dick questions…

1. What is the first ship the 'Pequod' meets?
Albatross. Named after the bird of ill fortune, it is the first of many bad omens for the 'Pequod'.

2. What does Ahab temper his new harpoon with?
Blood. Specifically, the blood of the harpooneers. And Ahab howls over it, 'Ego non baptizo te in nomine patris, sed in nomine diaboli!'( I baptize thee not in the name of the Father, but in the name of the devil!)

3. What was the ship that rescued Ishmael?
Rachel. Still looking for the captain's son, the 'Rachel' '...only found another orphan.' Ishmael.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

History of Highland Park…

This one page brochure (http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/10/520285.pdf) provides a quick thumbnail overview of the History of Northeast Los Angeles.  Here you’ll find a couple of paragraphs on early settlers and a brief list of places of note.  It appears to be some kind of advertising flyer.  Anyway, take a look.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies

Book Jacket for: Beautifully unique sparkleponies : on myths, morons, free speech, football, and assorted absurditiesThe book Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies reads like a blog.  It is by Chris Kluwe who (self-reportedly) is a football player for the NFL.  I don’t follow sports AT ALL - & if I did football would be the last sport I followed - so I have not run into this man before.  The book itself consists of a number of essays on a variety of topics.  They vary from sports related, to social or political commentary, to memories of the author’s life.  Truthfully I expect the author has a blog and has just been convinced to publish his entries.  While it’s not a bad book, it is terribly repetitive.  The best bits are when the author lets his love of science fiction tropes show through & pens an essay on a modern topic from that perspective. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Trivia of the Week...

More Moby Dick Trivia:
  1. What is the first ship the 'Pequod' meets?
  2. What does Ahab temper his new harpoon with?
  3. What was the ship that rescued Ishmael?

Monday, September 23, 2013

The 7th Moby Dick Event….

Mark your calendars and plan to head down to the library next Saturday (9/28) at 3:00 for the seventh & last of our Moby Dick events.  The Arroyo Book Club will be meeting to discuss Moby Dick (of course).  Join us and share your thoughts on this classic American novel.  Everyone is welcome.

For details about Moby Dick events city wide be sure to check out the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ website (www.whateverhappenedtomobydick.org).  Look at my earlier blog entry (http://arroyoseco5.blogspot.com/2013/08/whatever-happened-to-moby-dick-or-la.html) for specifics about programming at the Arroyo Seco Branch.

"What Ever Happened to Moby Dick?" programming is made possible through the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the WHH Foundation, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Events for the Week of September 23…

Things going on at the library during this week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (9/25) at 10:30
  • Computer Basics Class also on Wednesday at 12:00
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (9/26) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (9/27) at 3:30
  • PSAT Practice Test on Saturday (9/28) beginning at 10:00
  • Arroyo Book Club discussion of Melville’s Moby Dick also on Saturday at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, September 20, 2013

TOW (& Answers)...

To answer the Queequeg questions:
  • Where did Queequeg come from?  Kokovoko which is “...not down on any map. True places never are.”
  • What little idol does Queequeg worship?  Yojo.
  • What American president does Ishmael compare Queequeg to?  Washington. “Queequeg was George Washington cannibalistically developed.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy)

Book Jacket for: B.U.G. : (Big Ugly Guy)
If you’re looking for an exciting, entertaining book for your 9-13 year old then look no farther then B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy) by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple.  In this book our hero, Sammy Greenburg, copes with being bullied, makes new friends, starts up a klezmer fusion band, and creates a Golem (to help with the bullying problem).  In the end things work out & our hero learns a lesson.  All in all a book I’d recommend to any middle school aged child.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The 6th Moby Dick Event….

Mark your calendars and plan to head down to the library next Saturday (9/21) at 3:00 for the sixth of our Moby Dick events.  We will be enjoying a chat on the topic of the Physical and Meta-Physical in Moby Dick.  The chat is presented by Occidental Professor Daniel Fineman and should be very interesting. Everyone is welcome to join us.

For details about Moby Dick events city wide be sure to check out the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ website (www.whateverhappenedtomobydick.org).  Look at my earlier blog entry (http://arroyoseco5.blogspot.com/2013/08/whatever-happened-to-moby-dick-or-la.html) for specifics about programming at the Arroyo Seco Branch.

"What Ever Happened to Moby Dick?" programming is made possible through the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the WHH Foundation, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What the Cat Saw

Book Jacket for: What the cat sawIf you’re looking for a nice mystery you can’t do worse then What the Cat Saw by Carolyn Hart.  Our heroine arrives in small town Oklahoma to substitute for her sister while she’s off on vacation only to fall head first into a mystery involving vandalism, maliciousness, and, of course, murder. 

This is a nice, entertaining book for someone who’s looking for a bit of entertainment that is not too deep & is a bit cosy.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

The 5th Moby Dick Event…

Mark your calendars and plan to head down to the library next Thursday (9/19) at 5:30 for the fifth of our Moby Dick events.  We will be celebrating Moby Dick & Talk Like a Pirate Day.  This is a story time craft event.  We will read tales of whales & tales of pirates.  Make our own pirate hats & try our hands at some games.  There will be booty.  Everyone is welcome.

For details about Moby Dick events city wide be sure to check out the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ website (www.whateverhappenedtomobydick.org).  Look at my earlier blog entry (http://arroyoseco5.blogspot.com/2013/08/whatever-happened-to-moby-dick-or-la.html) for specifics about programming at the Arroyo Seco Branch.

"What Ever Happened to Moby Dick?" programming is made possible through the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the WHH Foundation, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.

Trivia of the Week...

This week's trivia is a series of questions about the character Queequeg from Melville's Moby Dick.
  • Where did Queequeg come from?
  • What little idol does Queequeg worship?
  • What American president does Ishmael compare Queequeg to?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The 4th Moby Dick Event…

Mark your calendars and plan to head down to the library next Wednesday (9/18) from 6:00-7:45 for the fourth of our Moby Dick events.  We will be enjoying a classic telescope night with the Sidewalk Astronomers.  Join us for a look through the telescope at the moon and whatever other objects of astronomical interest can be found.  We will experiment with a homemade quadrant as well and learn how sailors determined latitude at sea.  Everyone is welcome.

For details about Moby Dick events city wide be sure to check out the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ website (www.whateverhappenedtomobydick.org).  Look at my earlier blog entry (http://arroyoseco5.blogspot.com/2013/08/whatever-happened-to-moby-dick-or-la.html) for specifics about programming at the Arroyo Seco Branch.

"What Ever Happened to Moby Dick?" programming is made possible through the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the WHH Foundation, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.