Thursday, May 29, 2008
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell
The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer
The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
For your summer reading, try one of these titles, all of which will stand the test of time. The Library’s Adult Summer Reading Program begins June 9. If you would rather have more of a "beach read", place a hold on a title from the Good Read's Spy Thrillers or Recent Mysteries.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
2. avoid prologues
3. never use a verb other than said to carry dialogue
4. never use a adverb to modify "said"
5. keep your exclamation points under control
6. never use the words "suddenly"
7. use regional dialect sparingly
8. avoid detailed descriptions of characters
9. don't go into great detail describing places and things
10. try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip
Experience Leonard’s cool writing stye:
Up in Honey's Room: a Novel
Latest novel, and sequel to The Hot Kid, and as in previous novels, character and dialog dominate plot.
The Hot Kid
Carlos Webster, who inadvertently gets his start in law enforcement at age 15 when he shoots a cattle thief, wants to be the country's most famous lawman.
Rich wth comic dialogue and cop-shop color.
A daredevil diver performing in Mississippi witnesses a murder by the local Dixie Mafia, and must team with a black gangsta from Detroit to save his skin.
Friday, May 23, 2008
A patron contacted us recently about how she could turn her garden into a National Wildlife Habitat. I was intrigued; I have recently acquired a love of gardening and had no idea one could turn their garden into a habitat. With a few clicks of a mouse, I found all of the information she needed and passed it on to her.
Building your own National Wildlife Habitat is surprisingly easy and doesn’t even require a garden. In fact, you could have your own refuge on your apartment balcony. All you need to do is provide food and water, make a place where animals can take cover and raise young, and adhere to sustainable gardening practices. This could be as simple as setting up a birdfeeder, birdhouse, birdbath, and a couple of plants.
Once you’ve certified your refuge, there are all kinds of perks such as a yearly membership to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), a subscription to National Wildlife magazine, a personalized certificate recognizing your habitat, and even a yard sign to proclaim your habitat to the neighborhood (additional fee is required). Besides the perks provided by the NWF, you will also experience the joys of watching living creatures hanging out in your garden. Not to mention the great service you do to the environment by helping to restore and revitalize
Below is the website where you can find more information and apply for habitat status, as well as just a small sampling of the many great books Austin Public Library has to get your garden started:
National Wildlife Federation Website
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Today’s match will be an intriguing battle between a silky and attractive Manchester United and a burly—yet equally effective—
The following two titles have been purchased by the Austin Public Library and will arrive shortly. They are both worth the wait.
Oh yeah, the match is on ESPN2 at 1:30pm.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Robert Rauschenberg died recently. He was a giant of the post-modern art world and rubbed elbows with the likes of Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist to name a few. The Austin Public Library has a number of items devoted to the life and work of one of this country’s most celebrated visual artists.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Rabbit is Rich
Rabbit at Rest
Other American trilogies that are considered masterpieces are:
Richard Ford - Frank Bascombe Trilogy
Spanning about 20 years, real estate agent Frank Bascombe’s meditation on American life tells us that life is fraught with trials and somehow we learn to cope as we go along.
The Lay of the Land
Lives of two young men coming of age in the Southwest and Mexico, poised on the edge of a world about to change forever.
All the Pretty Horses
Cities of the Plain
Peter Mathiessen - Florida Trilogy
Account of the real life and death of renegade cane-grower Ed Watson in southwest Florida at the turn of the century. The three books have recently been condensed into one novel by the author – Shadow Country.
Killing Mr. Watson
Lost Man’s River
Bone by Bone
Reynolds Price - Mayfield Trilogy
Slow, inextricable twining of the Mayfield and Kendal families from 1903 to early 1990s.
Surface of the Earth
Source of light
Promise of Rest
Philip Roth - American Trilogy
America’s loss of innocence since 1945.
I Married a Communist
The Human Stain
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Nowadays, who doesn’t go to Google when a question about any topic comes to mind? The address of your friend’s house, bus schedules, yoga lessons in your area, restaurant ratings, the website of a particular organization in this country or abroad, the lyrics of your favorite songs, music videos, and news. We can go on, and on and on, about what people search with Google. Just type the words of what you are looking for and in two seconds you will get more than a million links related to your question. But, the problem with this is, how do we know the information we are getting is reliable? How can we tell the information we are reading on our screen is written by a trustworthy author or organization?
These questions are more important when looking for information on sensitive topics like health or legal help, for example. In the case of health, good sources for these questions are the organizations that advocate or specialize in particular illnesses like the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association among others. There are also websites that compile information on health diseases or symptoms that can help like Medline by the National Library or Medicine.
Legal help is the other topic that can be tricky when searching on Internet. Websites like Texas Law Help or Find Law are reliable sources when looking for lawyers or information about particular laws or rights.
Austin Public Library offers access to databases on different topics, including the ones mentioned above, that you can access from home for free with your library card or also at the library. The librarians of the Central Library have also put together a list of trustworthy resources on line that you can access from our website by going to the Research Guides section or to Recommended Web Sites. Don’t forget that librarians are also another tool you can use in your research. Visit us, Call us, e-mail us or chat with us. We will be very happy to help you!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining, time to mow the lawn and enjoy BBQ on the patio. But, remember, spring time is also a time of year when bugs, spiders, snakes and poisonous plants come out of their shells. The
Did you know that the popular house plant, Pothos Ivy, is poisonous? Make sure your ivy is on a high shelf and out of the reach of children. The Oleander is poisonous as well, watch the pets to make sure they don’t nibble on the leaves. Can you identify poison ivy? It’s no wonder that many people can’t because it has many looks…its leaves can be as small as 1/3 of an inch up to 2 1/4 inches. Usually this ivy consists of three pointed leaves, the middle leaf much bigger than the side ones. The leaf edges can be ragged or smooth, can be shades of green, yellow, orange or red! You can see more pictures here.
Creepy, crawly bugs and snakes are coming out of the woodwork to enjoy the warm weather. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a few rattle snakes out where I live already this spring. Did you know that scorpions are poisonous but none of the
Go to the Poison Control’s website and check out all the facts, there is a lot of misinformation out there , i.e. induce vomiting, extract snake venom, use ice or a tourniquet! You can also do more research on all things poisonous at our many Library databases, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Go to the 590s in the Library to look at books on snakes and insects, the 580s and 630s for plants.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Digital cameras provide ease of use and no possibility of wasted film, which allows users to click away without regard to cost. Once the camera's memory is full, it's a snap to transfer photos to a computer or delete unwanted photos. If you have boxes of old photos lying around, you can scan those into digital images too! Less than perfect photos can be easily fixed at home. Once you're happy with your pictures, you can share them online or purchase prints, photo books, or a wide variety of items incorporating your images.
Our new Digital Photo Guide provides lists of software and online services (many of them free) that will help you organize, store, share, edit, and enhance your digital photos. The library also has plenty of books on the subject available for checkout:Mastering Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch
Hands-On Digital Photography: A Step-By-Step Course in Camera Controls, Software Techniques, and Successful Imaging by George Schaub
Introduction to Digital Photography by Joseph Ciaglia
Kodak Digital Photoguide by Michael A. Guncheon
Digital Photographer's Handbook by Tom Ang
Shooting Digital: Pro Tips for Taking Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera by Mikkel Aaland
Kodak, the Art of Digital Photography. Digital Photo Design: How to Compose Winning Pictures by Paul Comon
Complete Guide to Ultimate Digital Photo Quality: Optimize Your Photos at Every Step by Derek Doeffinger
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Campbell Loughmiller’s classic field guide will help you identify all the indigenous flowers of Texas. I enjoy this book, but am seemingly identification-incapable. Nonetheless, I keep trying. Whether going on a road trip or tromping through your neighborhood park, this is a great resource.
Wildflowers of Texas
A big book is fun, especially when it contains page upon page of vibrant Texas wildflowers.
Country Roads of Texas: Drives, Day Trips, and Weekend Excursions
If you’re considering making your garden more native, consider checking into the City of Austin’s green garden program: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/greengarden/
Monday, May 05, 2008
Neue Galerie in New York has a jewelry exhibit that does belong in an art gallery. The exhibit “Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry,” with more than forty precious objects drawn from public and private collections, highlights masterpieces created by the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) between the Viennese firm’s inception in 1903 and 1920. The Vienna Workshop promoted viability of good design and fine craftsmanship.
The jewelry in this exhibit is made of gold and sliver, with no precious stones. The jewelry looks like miniature sculpture.
The Library has lots of books on making metal jewelry. I have talked to many people who either make their own jewelry or know someone who does, and have stopped buying jewelry from stores. Perhaps this image will inspire you to do the same.
Elegant Wire Jewlery
Contemporary Bead & Wire Jewelry
Making Colorful Wire & Beaded Jewelry
Thursday, May 01, 2008
1. Prepare for the speech.
2. Make an outline with talking points, rather than a manuscript so the speech is more conversational.
3. Rehearse the speech.
4. Ask questions about format – what is the set up, including AV equipment, the audience, and how much time you will have.
5. If you are nervous, slow down.
6. Eye contact is important.
7. Use technology sparingly.
8. Don't acknowledge that you are nervous.
9. Visualize yourself being successful.
For more advice on how to keep the attention of your next audience, check out these books:
The Exceptional Presenter: a Proven Formula to Open Up! and Own the Room
Present like a Pro: a Field Guide to Mastering the Art of Business, Professional, and Public Speaking
Speaking Scared, Sounding Good: Public Speaking for the Private Person
Read this blog: Public Speaking Blog