Archive for July, 2008


Thursday at Centerville  ( July 24th , 2pm)   we are going to be showing a number of all ages videos off Youtube.  Now, I have to admit that my favorite thing to do on you tube is to watch fuzzy kittens, but there are science experiments, how to videos, and travelogues.  Today , since we are about half way through the summer, I thought I share this one with every one ( but it is for all the moms):


Note:  If it running a little slow for you , double-click on the Youtube logo.  This will take you directly to the page where the video is located, and sometimes speeds thing up.


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Somewhere I have never travelled…

With apologies to e e cummings for taking a bit of his poetry in vain, I’ve been thinking today about things I have not done. More specifically about famous books that I have not read. Let me begin by saying that I am infamous among my friends for not having seen certain films. Folks always give me a shocked look when I say things like, “No, I’ve never seen The Sound of Music.” (My closest friends have reached the point of being surprised when I *have* seen a film.) Anyway, I was tidying up the Audio Books section here, and it struck me again that there are all of these books out there that it seems everyone else has read. The kind of books that you try to steer conversations away from rather than admit you have no idea what the other person is talking about. Do you know what all of this pondering has lead me to? I have decided to post a list of five things (series, books, etc.) that I have never read. You may then try to convince me to read any of the items on the list (good luck with that) and comment with a title or five that you admit to never having read. Perhaps we will unmask some classics as being deadly dull, or maybe I will actually read something from my list. Either way, I think it will be fun. Lets get started!

I hereby swear that I have never read:

1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (It’s book 2…and I can’t talk myself into reading book 1.)
2. Anything by Jane Austen (Nope, I’ve never seen any of the films either.)
3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (Although, I have a friend who tossed his copy into a swimming pool when he finished it.)
4. Anything by Louis L’Amour (And this makes my mother sad.)
5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (…though have read The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.)

So, there you are. My secret is out. I’ve got bunches of other books that I could add to this list, but now it’s your turn. Spill! What books are there that you feel like everyone out there has read except you?

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Today’s book review is in honor of Dan the Library Man at Vacaville Public Library – Cultural Center, as he is the first person who ever read the book to me. Or was that George (his puppet dog extraordinaire)? In either case, Bark George by Jules Feiffer is a fun little romp about a pup named George and his mother who would really like him to bark. He’ll moo, oink, or quack, but he just won’t bark. What exactly is going on?

This book is perfect for storytime. It’s short. Most of the images are very simple. Oh, and it’s darn cute. Well, apart from the tiniest bit of grossness (that the kids will love) that involves a vet. It’s set up in a “echo/response” format. George’s Mother asks him to bark on one page, and George make another sort of noise instead on the facing page. Give it a try. It won’t take very long, and you’ll really enjoy the end. Trust me on this.

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Thursday Thirteen #28
Hello folks. It’s that time again. For this week’s Thursday Thirteen I thought I’d take a look at Pseudonyms, and the authors hidden behind them. It’s always fun to know who really wrote a book, eh? I did a bit of research over at the Biography Resource Center (my favorite database, as you have no doubt gathered by this time.)

One author that I did not add to my list is Carolyn Keene. For the record, Ms. Keene is actually a corporate author, and several folks have written under that name over the years. Well, I hope you find my list useful. Enjoy!

13 Pseudonyms and their Corresponding Authors:

1. Richard Bachman (Stephen King) – He has also written under the names “Eleanor Druse,” “Steve King,” and “John Swithen.”

2. Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz) – Another popular pseudonym of this author is “Barbara Michaels.”

3. Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) – Mr. Handler has written a few books for adults under his own name. Did you know that he was from San Francisco?

4. Jenny Carroll (Meg Cabot) – Ms. Cabot also writes under the names “Patricia Cabot” and “Meggin Cabot.”

5. Alisa Craig (Charlotte MacLeod) – Ms. MacLeod also wrote under the name “Matilda Hughes.”

6. Victoria Holt (Eleanor Hibbert) – Ms. Hibbert is also known as: “Eleanor Burford,” “Philippa Carr,” “Elbur Ford,” “Kathleen Kellow,” “Jean Plaidy,” and “Ellalice Tate.” *whew* Shame she wasn’t prolific or anything.

7. Paul French (Isaac Asimov) – Asimov also used the pseudonym “George E. Dale.”

8. Monica Ferris (Mary Pulver Kuhfeld) – Ms. Kuhfeld is also known as “Mary Monica Pulver.” Her Peter Brichter series is one of my favorites.

9. J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts) – Did you know that she was once rejected by Harlequin?

10. Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte) – Charlotte outlived all of her siblings. *sniffle*

11. Steffie Hall (Janet Evanovich) – Did you know that Mrs. Evanovich has a Bachelor’s degree in art? It took a while, but she finally decided that Painting was not the career for her.

12. Anne Rampling (Anne Rice) – Did you know that her birth name was “Howard Allen O’Brien”? She has also written under the name “A. N. Roquelaure.”

13. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) – Mr. Clemens also wrote under the names “Sieur Louis de Conte” and “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass.”

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Two for One

You need not choose. Celebrate the birthdays of two lovely ladies of classic film. Both Ginger Rogers and Barbara Stanwyck share July 16 as their birthday. Ginger was born in 1911 and Stanwyck in 1907.

Stanwyck had a long career in films and in television. Probably my favorite movie with her is The Lady Eve with Henry Fonda. That’s the one where she and Charles Coburn play a pair of con artists who are out to take the wealthy, but socially anemic Henry Fonda for plenty of cash. Plans go awry and in an attempt to exact revenge, Stanwyck ends up pretending to be her own sister. Henry Fonda doesn’t realize the obvious and when pressed about the unmistakable resemblance, quips, “They look too much alike to be the same.” There’s also Ball of Fire, Christmas in Connecticut, Double Indemnity, and Sorry Wrong Number among many others. How can you really choose a favorite?

Ginger Rogers was quite a good actress in addition to being quite a good dancer. She was in many movies without Fred Astaire (and vice versa), although their names are almost unavoidably linked. She’s very funny in Bachelor Mother and Vivacious Lady, and won an Oscar for her role as Kitty Foyle in the 1940 movie of the same name. And without further ado, the incomparable Fred and Ginger.

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If you have read yesterday’s Argus, you know from the front page of the Local News that the Children’s Summer Reading Game is being well played at the Alameda County Library. Besides reading, the library always extends the summer fun to many educational and entertaining programs. On June 24, kids at Centerville Library watched an exciting 3-in-1 show that contained magic tricks, juggling, and acrobatics. Here are a few pieces of the performace if you missed it or wanted to watch it again. Enjoy!

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Gotta love that Cover Art.

The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill is lucky enough to have a cover containing art by K. Y. Craft. I have yet to read this book, and I know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this cover really makes me want to read the book. Heck, there is already some talk of making it into a movie.

Well, I suppose that the book description also has something to do with my interest. Amazon.com lists the description thusly: “After the death of her beloved father, headstrong princess Thirrin Freer Strong-In-The-Arm becomes warrior queen of her homeland, Icemark, defending it from a formidable invader. Despite Thirrin’s bravery and the support of Oskan, the Witch’s son, the task proves more difficult than Thirrin ever dreamed. She must assemble a force to rival her opponent. And, in the chill winter of Icemark, she only has until spring to unite the strange beasts and frightening creatures who live just outside her country. Ultimately, it is Thirrin’s vision and determination that will see her through to victory.”

Have any of you read this book? What did you think? Is it as good as its cover would suggest?

Check it out for yourself

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