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Archive for February, 2015

kite craft 1Let’s go fly a kite…Yes March is a perfect month for flying a kite or making a decorative one! That, and many other art projects, and art-related storytimes will be available at all Alameda County Libraries throughout the month. Every year, in March, the library teams up with the Alameda County Arts Commission  and the Alameda County Office of Education to provide art events to library patrons.  The program is called, “Art is Education”.

This year’s theme is “Inspiring Creative Communities”. You can participate in many fun activities. All you need to do is pick up a book or flyer which lists the events at each library, or go online at http://www.aclibrary.org and check our event calendar. Choose the events you are interested in, and attend. There are programs for adults and seniors, teens, tweens , kids and families.

This is your chance to indulge (or find) the artist within you!  Join us!

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Here’s a book we should all read: “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande, surgeon, New York Magazine contributor, and Harvard professor.

Some informative quotes:

“Beautifully written . . . In his newest and best book, Gawande . . . has provided us with a moving and clear-eyed look at aging and death in our society, and at the harms we do in turning it into a medical problem, rather than a human one.”
—The New York Review of Books

“Dr. Gawande’s book is not of the kind that some doctors write, reminding us how grim the fact of death can be. Rather, he shows how patients in the terminal phase of their illness can maintain important qualities of life.”
—Wall Street Journal (Best Books of 2014)

“Being Mortal left me tearful, angry, and unable to stop talking about it for a week. . . . A surgeon himself, Gawande is eloquent about the inadequacy of medical school in preparing doctors to confront the subject of death with their patients. . . . it is rare to read a book that sparks with so much hard thinking.”
—Nature

“We have come to medicalize aging, frailty, and death, treating them as if they were just one more clinical problem to overcome. However it is not only medicine that is needed in one’s declining years but life—a life with meaning, a life as rich and full as possible under the circumstances. Being Mortal is not only wise and deeply moving, it is an essential and insightful book for our times, as one would expect from Atul Gawande, one of our finest physician writers.”
—Oliver Sacks

“A great read that leaves you better equipped to face the future, and without making you feel like you just took your medicine.”
—Mother Jones (Best Books of 2014)

“A needed call to action, a cautionary tale of what can go wrong, and often does, when a society fails to engage in a sustained discussion about aging and dying.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

The Alameda County Library has 27 copies; however there are currently 57 holds. It will be worth the wait.

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Please join us to celebrate Nowruz with dance performance by Shahrzad dance

academy and Persian music by Mohammad Ibrahimi .

Nowruz is the celebration of the New Year (Spring Equinox) in Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan.

Picture1Saturday February 28, 2015

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Fremont Library

Fukaya Room

 

Picture2

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Sunday book review

Looking for a little inspiration on the road to a healthier life? Read Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs

Summary
“Having sanctified himself in The Year of Living Biblically and sharpened his mind in The Know-It-All, A. J. Jacobs had one feat left in the self-improvement trinity: to become the healthiest man in the world. He didn’t want just to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far, far greater: Maximal health from head to toe.The task was massive. He had to tackle a complicated web of diet and exercise advice, much of which was nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. He had to consult a team of medical advisers. And he had to subject himself to a grueling regimen of exercises, a range of diets, and an array of practices to improve everything from his hearing to his sleep to his sex life all the while testing the patience of his long-suffering wife. He left nothing untested, from the caveman workout to veganism, from the treadmill desk to extreme chewing. Drop Dead Healthy teems with hilarity and warmth and pushes our cultures assumptions about and obsessions with what makes good health, allowing the reader to reflect on his or her own health, body, and eventual mortality”–Provided by publisher
“One mans comedic journey to discover how to live as healthfully as possible”–Provided by publisher

The book was very engaging and despite some of the extreme things the author tried, a useful book as well. There are ideas woth paying attention to – especially the concept of balance.

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Funny-sheep-happy-new-year-2015-red-wallpaper

Chinese New Year is just 10 days away; have you been wondering which animal’s turn it is this year?  It will be the Year of Goat – bah, bah, bah …… 🙂

Our annual celebration is scheduled on Saturday, Feb 21st from 1 to 4 pm.  It is usually a full blast at the library with thousands, yes, thousands, of people enjoying abundant beautiful performances, and cultural craft booths.  If you haven’t experienced this big event in the past, make sure you do not miss it again this year!

Mark your calendar and we’ll see you there!

For more info about Chinese New Year, click here.

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February Reading

Once again, my thoughts turn to books I’d like to read, or at least consider. February is a month when many students are assigned a biography of a famous person, perhaps of someone significant in history (Washington, Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X), perhaps someone involved in the civil rights movement, or who made innovations in the arts, politics, science or sports.

Adults might also read about someone inspirational — or merely to satisfy our curiosity about a public figure with no other focus –from Bill Clinton to Elton John to Diana Ross to Charles M. Schulz.
When I searched ideas on several sites, including BookBrowse, here are a few titles that caught my eye–some about “ordinary” people who still made a difference.
 life is so good  gifted handskingPeggy
Life is so good / George Dawson and Richard Glaubman
103-year-old George Dawson, a slave’s grandson who learned to read at age 98, reflects on his life and offers valuable lessons in living as well as a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. 
King Peggy : an American secretary, her royal destiny, and the inspiring story of how she changed an African village / Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman (featured on BookBrowse via ACLibrary.org and your library card)
The real-life fairy tale of an American secretary who discovers she has been chosen king of an impoverished fishing village on the west coast of Africa. . King Peggy has the sweetness and quirkiness of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and the hopeful sense of possibility of Half the Sky.
Gifted hands [electronic resource] : the Ben Carson story / by Gregg Lewis and Deborah Shaw Lewis
 In 1987, Dr. Benjamin Carson gained worldwide recognition for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. Carson pioneered again in a rare procedure known as a hemispherectomy, giving children without hope a second chance at life through a daring operation in which he literally removes one half of their brain. Such breakthroughs aren’t unusual for Ben Carson. He’s been beating the odds since he was a child. Trust in God, a relentless belief in his own capabilities, and sheer determination catapulted Ben from failing grades to the directorship of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
airlifttoAmericaAirlift to America : how Barack Obama, Sr., John F. Kennedy, Tom Mboya, and 800 East African students changed their world and ours / Tom Shachtman (featured book on BookBrowse)The long-hidden saga of how a handful of Americans and Kenyans fought the British colonial government, the U.S. State Department, and segregation to “airlift” to U.S. universities, between 1959 and 1963, nearly 800 young East African men and women who would go on to change the world. The students included Barack Obama Sr., future father of a U.S. president, Wangari Maathai, future Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as well as the nation-builders of post-colonial East Africa.

 I hope you find these biographies or other interesting true stories this month!

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