Friday, January 31, 2014

Discount Armageddon

Book Jacket for: Discount ArmageddonLooking for a light-hearted paranormal adventure book with just a dash of romance? Try Discount Armageddon, the first book of the InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire.  In this book we meet Verity Price daughter of a family that has historically hunted rogue cryptids (creatures no one thinks are real) and protected those that live harmlessly.  Verity is in New York to work on her dance career while keeping an eye on the local “wild” life and of course things start to go wrong.  She stumbles across a member of the Covenant (a group dedicated to eradicating all cryptids who see her family as traitors), learns that dragons aren’t as extinct as previously thought, & has a near miss winding up as a sacrifice.

Give this book a try if you like action pack adventure with a sassy heroine.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: The illustrated world encyclopedia of archaeologyAbydos (to answer this week’s question) is a cult center of Osiris, the god of the underworld.  It became an important national cemetery and place of pilgrimage.  It is located on the edge of the desert on the west bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt.

The question (and answer) were taken from p. 110 of The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Archaeology edited by Bahn and published by Lorenz Books in 2007. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Websites I like…

What are your favorite blogs?  Which do you turn to to read when you’re just looking to kill a bit of time by taking in so & so’s take on the days events?  Personally I like John Scalzi’s blog Whatever (  Scalzi is a Science Fiction writer and his blog is a fairly laid back look at things that cross his mind.  It includes a mix of writing oriented, the events of the day, politics, and so on.  I can generally count on it to fill a few moments when I’m waiting for something.  Another blog I’ll read fairly regularly is Charlie’s Diary ( by the author Charles Stross.  This blog has a more technical focus and when it ventures into politics & such speaks from the point of view of the British citizen.

Let me know what your favorite blogs are.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Every Living Thing

Book Jacket for: Every living thingReading All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot last month for book club infected me with the desire to read more of his books so I picked up Every Living Thing (which was actually his last adult book).  It was just as full of humorous anecdotes & small slices of life as his other titles.  Cheered me right up.  I would recommend his books to anyone as a first time read and as a re-read.  Pick up one of his books for yourself. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Events for the Week of January 27…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (1/29) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Covered California Information Table sets up on Wednesday at 4:30
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (1/30) at 3:00
  • Fun w/ Tablets program also on Thursday at 4:00 (we experiment with photo manipulation thisweek)
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (1/31) at 3:30
  • ACA Enrollment Assistance is available on Saturday (2/1) from 10:00-2:00
  • Computer Basics Class also on Saturday at 2:00
  • The USC Gluck Kaleidoscope Trio performs at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Here ( you will find a complete copy of  the December 3, 1910 issue of the Arroyoside Forum, a small weekly paper.  Read about the Arroyo Seco Chamber of Commerce, check out some local advertisers, find out what’s up with education, read an article about “local happenings in Arroyoside twenty-two years ago,” read the local happenings column and more.  All in all, just fascinating.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lost and Found

Book Jacket for: Lost and found : a novelLost and Found by Alan Dean Foster is a light-hearted, entertaining Science Fiction novel.  In it we follow the adventures of Marcus (a Chicago commodities trader) and George (a mutt of indeterminate origin) as they are kidnapped by aliens to themselves become commodities for sale.  We meet another of other aliens in the same boat as Marcus and George and follow as they cope with their situation and strive to return home.

This book is recommended for the lover of SF who is looking for a couple of hours of light entertainment.

By the way… this book, like any number of others, is also available in electronic format for check out and download to whatever your preferred reading device is.  Ask at the library if you need help getting started with e-books.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

February 27, 2014 (& All Month Long)…

The Arroyo Seco Regional Branch Library celebrates its 100th year of providing service to the community of Highland Park from 6145 N. Figueroa Street on February 27, 2014.  In honor of this momentous occasion we have arranged for a number of thematic programs throughout the month.  Please mark your calendars and join us for any or all of the following (though you should DEFINITELY plan to join us for the Birthday Party on the 27th)…

2/1/14 at 3:00 : USC Gluck Kaleidoscope Trio
Let’s kick off the month with a bit of music.  This colorful trio of clarinet, violin and guitar present music from classical & baroque, through Broadway and the swing era.

2/4/14 at 6:00 : Movie Screening.  Let’s enjoy the screening of a movie known for its Highland Park setting.  Everyone is welcome! Call the branch for specifics.

2/9/14 at 2:00 : Highland Park Life (100 years ago). Have you ever wondered what was life like 100 + years ago?  Presenters from the Heritage Square Museum will be here today to share the answer.  Join us for this informative & entertaining presentation.  Come dressed for the period if you dare… Everyone is welcome! 

2/11/14 at 4:00 : Teen Picture Frame/Picture Craft Program.  Celebrate our centennial by decorating a picture frame to hold your most classic photo.  Or…. Take a picture & use our photo editing software to make it snazzy before printing it & putting it in your newly decorated frame. 

2/12/14 at 6:00 : Telescope Night with the Sidewalk Astronomers. Join us with your astronomical questions & get a close look at our changeless skies.  Everyone is welcome.

2/13/14 at 4:00 : Love Your Library Valentine Craft Project for Kids
Celebrate your library love by creating a Valentine craft of your very own.  All kids welcome!

2/16/14 at 2:30 : USC Gluck AeroCorda
More music to enjoy.  Join us to hear this duo of guitar and flute present an eclectic selection of folk music

2/18/14 at 3:00 : Animal Life Then & Now
Join us for an informational & fun presentation as the Audubon Society talks about animal life then and now.

2/18/14 at 6:00 : Historical Research Class. Have you ever wanted to do Historical Research… Join us to learn how to use LAPL history databases to find local historical information. Everyone is welcome.

2/22/14 at 3:00 : Arroyo Book Club Meeting.  The ABC will read Land of Smoke and Mirrors by Vincent Brook.  This book provides an interesting look at LA.  Pick up your copy & join us for discussion.

2/27/14 at 6:00 : Birthday Party! Come Celebrate our Centennial with Us.  We’ll begin with a presentation from the Highland Park Heritage Trust and then invite audience members to share their memories of the Library and of Highland Park.  There will be cake!  Everyone is welcome.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TOW (& Answer)....

Book Jacket for: A popular dictionary of IslamThe week’s question was what does the term rak’a refer to? Rak’a is a term that literally means “bowing.”  In Islam the rak’a is a "’unit of prayer’ in which the worshiper recites a number of ritual prayers and invocations while standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting."

The question (& answer) were taken from p. 211 of A Popular Dictionary of Islam by Ian Richard Netton.  The book was published by Humanities Press International in 1992. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Events for the Week of January 20…

Please note that the library will be closed on Monday (1/20) in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.  Things going on at the library during the remainder of the week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (1/22) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Covered California Information Table sets up on Wednesday at 4:30
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (1/23) at 3:00
  • Fun w/ Tablets program kicks off on Thursday at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (1/24) at 3:30
  • Arroyo Book Club meets on Saturday (1/25) at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It

Book Jacket for: When you catch an adjective, kill it : the parts of speech for better and/or worse
When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It by Ben Yagoda takes a lighthearted look at English parts of speech.  This is a surprisingly informative (& readable) book.  The author takes each part of speech one by one and goes off a bit stream of consciousnessly on it taking care to tuck in plenty of factual information.  All in all a book I enjoyed & would recommend to others. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Requesting Your Photos…

In celebration of our 100th anniversary at our location on 6145 N. Figueroa I am creating a display of photographs & I want yours.  Send me a picture of your favorite person, place, and/or thing in Highland Park and I will add it to my display.  Include a caption if you wish.  Stop by over the course of January & February and take a look at the display as it grows.

Send your picture to me at, tweet it to me @ArroyoSeo5, or just bring it to the library and give it to the librarian.  Please be sure it is a picture you are willing to see displayed to the general public.

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s question is what does the term rak’a refer to?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fun w/ Tablets…

We are announcing the launch of a new programming series entitled Fun w/ Tablets.  The program will take place weekly on Thursday (beginning on 1/23) from 4:00 to 5:00.  Each Thursday we will get the Tablets set up for you to play with.  We will set an activity prompt to provide some guidance to your play.  These activities will cover the gamut of things you can do with a tablet computer.  One week we might focus on straight up drawing while the next we look at taking and editing photos and the next we play around with creating intelligent graphs.  There are a lot of possibilities and we welcome your suggestions of things we ought to try to get people to do.

The Fun w/ Tablets program is open to people of all ages and the senior citizen is as welcome as the pre-schooler who is as welcome as anyone else.  Please do plan to join us.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: The encyclopedia of African-American heritageThis week’s question was what does Little Rock Nine reference?  The Little Rock Nine refers to the nine high school students who successfully integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.  The nine students were Minijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Jefferson Thomas, Carlotta Walls, Thelma Mothershed, Terrance Roberts, Melba Pattillo, and Gloria Ray.

Read more about them in the source of this week’s question: The Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage  by Susan Altman.  This information was found on p. 146-147.  The book was published by Facts on File in 1997. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Events for the Week of January 13…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Teen event (make yourself a cute, fuzzy, tiny creature) on Tuesday (1/14) at 4:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (1/15) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (1/16) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (1/17) at 3:30
  • Library Web Tools & the Internet Class on Saturday (1/18) at 2:00
  • Showing of the Movie made from this month’s book club book also on Saturday at 2:00
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Websites I Like…

When you are contemplating the purchase of a large ticket item (or even a not so large ticket item) you want to find out what you can about your various options before moving ahead with your purchase.  It can be tricky to find a site that will give you advice without charging you money for the information.  One site you can turn to is Consumer Search (  This site provides the top reviewed products, information about what to look for, and the “full report”.  Includes what the item is going for at various online retail sites so you can also get an idea of price.  Worth taking a look at when you want to buy yourself a new refrigerator, leaf blower, or what have you.

Friday, January 10, 2014

OverDrive Streaming Video

OverDrive (known and loved for their e-books) also make video available to borrow and stream over your web browser.  LAPL currently has more then 2,000 titles available for check out through this service.

Find the collection by going to the library’s website (, clicking into e-media and then selecting OverDrive.  Once in OverDrive Click on the Advanced Search link and then change “All Formats” to “Streaming Video” and click the search button.  You can then browse through available titles.  Select one you’re interested in and click the borrow button.  You will need your library card.  Once the item is checked out you can click on the play button from the Bookshelf page and enjoy your movie.

OverDrive Streaming Video is the January e-resource of the month.  Check it out.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cain’s Blood

Book Jacket for: Cain's blood : a novelGeoffrey Girard did something a little bit different.  He published two books that tell the same story at the same time.  One, Project Cain, (already covered here) told the story from the point of view of a teenage protagonist and was a YA book.  The second, Cain’s Blood, tells the exact same story but this time from the point of view of an adult protagonist and is clearly an adult book.  I read both books, primarily because I wanted to see how different they were and just how gimmicky the whole thing was.

So the author actually does a fairly decent job of making the two books distinctly different experiences.  The scenarios, timelines, & events are all the same of course but the two different characters have very different takes on things and each is involved in parts of the story the other is unaware of.  Additionally the adult version of the book makes plain certain aspects of the story that were more glossed over in the YA version.  The entire experience then was quite interesting. 

The plot remains a bit over the top as does the authors love of outrĂ© conspiracy theories.  I would recommend this book (the adult version of the tale) to lovers of suspense who don’t mind a bit of the fantastic. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Library History…

Take a look at this 64-page booklet ( published in 1928 which details a history of all of LAPL’s branches to that date.  Photos of the branches are included. Really quite fascinating.

Monday, January 6, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

The question was who was Marshal Warren?  To quote directly from the source:
October 31, 1870, a quarrel between Policeman Dye and Marshal Warren led to a shooting affray between these two upon the public street, in which the latter was killed, and several spectators more or less wounded.  Dye was tried and acquitted.
 The question (& answer) were found on p. 84 of Thompson and West’s History of Los Angeles County, California, a truly fascinating book. The copy we have is a 1959 reprint of the original 1880 book and was published by Howell-North.

Sunday Hours Return….

This Sunday, January 12, 2014, the Arroyo Seco Library will resume its Sunday hours.  We have prepared an event filled day in celebration of this fact.  Join us for any or all of the following:

  • 12:30 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, with excellent refreshments (of course).
  • 1:00 Special Reptile themed storytime.
  • 1:30 Craft project … as you’ve no doubted guessed it’s a Reptile themed craft project.
  • 2:00 Thor’s Reptile Family will be in to provide us with an entertaining & educational presentation about reptiles.
  • 3:00 Movie showing (call branch for details).
  • STAR readers will be available all day to provide fun reading sessions to kids who come by.
Please don’t ask me where the reptile theme came from...  Nevertheless it will be fun, it will be entertaining, it will be educational & EVERYONE is welcome!

Once our Sunday hours return the Arroyo Seco Library will again be open 7 days a week:
Monday & Wednesday : 10:00-8:00
Tuesday & Thursday : 12:30-8:00
Friday & Saturday : 10:00-5:30
Sunday : 1:00-5:00

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Events for the Week of January 6…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (1/8) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (1/9) at 3:00
  • Computer Basics Class also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (1/10) at 3:30
  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony celebrating the return of Sunday Hours on Sunday (1/12) at 12:30
  • Storytime also on Sunday at 1:00
  • Thor’s Reptile Family on Sunday at 2:00
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Book Jacket for: Rare : portraits of America's endangered speciesThe book Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species by Joel Sartore is a very beautiful book that is very sad (or at least very sad to me).  The book features truly stunning photographs of animals who are endangered.  So you’ll see a picture of the Wyoming Toad and then learn that there are only about 586 of them left… Admire the Mississippi Sandhill Crane and then discover that there are only 155 still around.  A book that definitely leaves you wanting to figure out how we can preserve our wildlife heritage. 

The book is worth taking a look no matter who you are. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Arroyo Book Club Pick for January…

Book Jacket for: Cloud atlas : a novelWe will be reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell for our January book club meeting.  Since I have not yet read this book let me quote from the copy on the back…
A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles and genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick.  The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.
Definitely sounds interesting.  Join us on 1/25/14 at 3:00 to share what you thought of the book.  We will also be able to see the movie that was made from this book.  We will be showing it on 1/18/14 starting at 2:00 (it’s a long movie).