Aloha to Hawaiian Beach Party!

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dreamstime_xs_19532080Escape the Cold with an Hawaiian Beach Party

We are turning the tables on winter with an Hawaiian Beach Party at Family Fun Night tonight at 6:30 pm. The Main Library will be the site of tropical beach stories and games for preschool through grade 5 children. Island art activities, too, will help you escape the cold at the one hour event.

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No Bookmobile Service Jan. 17 – 21

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bookmobile13Just a friendly reminder, as per the winter quarter’s schedule, that the bookmobile will be out of service on three days it would normally go out — Jan. 17, 19, and 21.  There’s also the possibility of some missed days earlier the following week.  We’ll keep everyone updated as things progress.

Any bookmobile items that were originally due on those days have already been renewed.

4 Steps to a Better You in 2017!

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iStock_000002862590MediumUse positive psychology to stick to your new year resolutions. Design a personalized plan to help you become more engaged, energized and successful each day. Anna Gaitanos, M.Ed., Life Coach and Professional Counselor, will introduce you to a 4-step strategy to help you increase your resilience to stress and improve your well-being for 2017 at the South Side Branch on Wednesday, January 11.

Free and open to the public. More here

You can learn Spanish!

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hispanic friendsRefresh your basic Spanish skills in a 4 week class at  the South Side Branch on Thursdays, January 5-26 from 6:00 to 7:45 pm. This conversation group is open to the public, whether you took Part 1 in the Fall or just want to expand your grammar and vocabulary. The class is free, but registration is required! Register today!

Jenne’s Top Tenne (#BestBooks2016)

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Like most of us at the library, Jenne from our Youth Services Department loves to read. She *really* loves to read! She’s been keeping track of her trek through a monumental TBR (to-be-read) pile and here are the 2016 numbers:

189 books (so far, there is still a week left)jm1
45,518 pages
98 adult books
52 Young adult and children’s
39 picture books

Her goal is 200 before the end of the year!

Jenne’s ten favorites in books for youth:
(9 picture books and 1 Young Adult novel)

1. A Small Thing, But Big by Tony Johnston- THIS BOOK. My favorite picture book of this year. It’s not funny, or silly, or any of the usually things that make me react so strongly to a picture book. It is sweet and special and important. And it shows that even little things that be big things when it comes to getting over your fears.

2. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex- A unique story of a brand new school experiencing the joys and fears of his own first day.

3. Dear Dragon by Josh Funk- A group of letters between two pen-pals who have never met. One is a boy and one is a dragon…but they don’t know that.

4. We Found a Hat by John Klassen- Following I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat comes another tale about a hat from Jon Klassen. In this one two turtles find a hat and must decide what to do with it. My favorite of the hat books.

5. I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarrino- This book tells about the history of stories. It is both interesting and charming.

6. Du Iz Tak by Carson Ellis- I was not sure about this book at first, because it’s written in a made up language, but it turned out to be very fun. As you read you start to get an understanding of the language, and it’s especially fun to read out loud.

7. Buddy and Earl Go Exploring by Maureen Fergus- I picked this up because it had a dog and a hedgehog on the cover, and it turned out to be a very cute story about the different views of the hedgehog (Earl) and the dog (Buddy) as they explore their house.

8. Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp- A little girl who is very nervous about reading gets downloadthe chance to practice with a very kind and patient library dog.

9. A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins- Pretty self explanatory, but with a surprising twist.

10. YOUNG ADULT: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard- This young adult novel may at first seem like just another young adult crime story, but it’s twists, secrets, and surprises will keep you hooked to the last sentence. And once you turn the final page you’ll be wishing for a sequel.

Ten Favorites for Adults

1. The Bookshop On the Corner by Jenny Colgan- A recently out of work librarian must figure out what to do with her life. Her love of books and a jaunt to the Scottish country side leads her to the discovery of a whole new side of herself.

2. Lily and the Octopus by Stephen Rowley- If you have ever had a dog, or even if you just love dogs and have dreamed of having one, this book is a must read. This heart-wrenching tale involves a man and his dog, the unbreakable bond between them and the one thing that inevitably separates them. But be forewarned, you’re going to need a box of tissues.

3. The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown- Have you ever felt trapped by the choices you’ve made? Madeline has and she finally decides to take action and not stay trapped. In her journey she finds her grandmother’s writings, and learns not only about her grandmother’s life, but herself as well.

4. The Forgotten Room by Karen White- The love stories of three women in the same family are woven together through time, all sharing common threads.

5. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley- This novel jumps back and forth between the aftermath of a plane download (1)crash, the events leading up to the crash, and the fatal event itself. The riveting story follows the only two survivors of the crash, a young boy and the man who miraculously saved his life.

6. Damaged by Lisa Scottoline- In the fourth in the Rosato & DiNunzio series, Mary must delve into the difficulties of children with learning disabilities and the school systems, all while trying to solve a suspicious death and protect a recently orphaned child.

7. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty- A slowly unwinding story of a tragic event. As she does in her other books, Moriarty weaves together both the events leading up to, and the consequences of, one life changing moment.

8. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick- Arthur Pepper has always followed the same routine, even after the loss of his wife, Miriam. That is until the discovering of an exquisite charm bracelet turns his well ordered world on its head.

9. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly- This book follows three woman through WWII and its aftermath as their paths eventually cross. One woman is French, one Polish, and the third German, making this a heart wrenching and sometimes difficult read.

10. The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Loss, and Love by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt- I knew little about Anderson Cooper or his mother prior to reading this book, but their heartfelt letters and emails were interesting and inspiring.

What to do with the kids next week…

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dreamstime_xs_17589470Discover interesting projects at the  Main Library’s Maker Space Days on Tuesday, December 27 through Friday, December 30. Drop in anytime to create and build. Friday will feature 3D printer demonstrations. Open to the public. No registration.


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Looking for something good to read? BAPL staff members have recommended their favorite books of the year. Check out the list below of our choices for the Best Books of 2016 and share your favorites in the comments!


The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
recommended by Val

This is the second book of Ferrante’s 4-part Neopolitan Novels. Ferrante’s fierce poetry continues to astonish in this extraordinary revelation of the tensions of friendship between two young women whose mutual circumstance is to be born poor, female, and gifted in Naples, Italy after World II.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
recommended by Tess

Another Brooklyn is the first adult novel written in twenty years by acclaimed children’s and Young Adult author Jacqueline Woodson. It tells the story of August, as she recalls memories of her tween and teen years growing up in Brooklyn while dealing with poverty, race issues, and the loss of innocence.

The poetic quality of the writing makes this a beautiful read that portrays the common human experiences of changing friendships and the struggles of maturing into adulthood.

The Spy by Paulo Coelho
recommended by Janine

This is one of my favorite reads of 2016 even though it only came out a few weeks ago. Coelho, who is known for his new age/personal journey themes in fiction, writes from the perspective of Mata Hari during the 1900s about her loss, her identity, her lovers, her fame, and her eventual demise after being accused of espionage. It is beautifully written (like all of Coelho’s works) and an imaginative interpretation of the endeavors of the real Mata Hari.

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
recommended by Caitlyn

A fantastic account of the creation of the hit musical Hamilton along with the complete libretto of the show. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s annotated lyrics are fascinating and the book includes several beautiful photos of the cast. A must-read for those who haven’t been fortunate enough to grab tickets to this! (Myself included!)

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
recommended by Dawn

This was another great book by the author of A Man Called Ove. Britt-Marie faced a variety of challenges over the course of the story. The author’s way of revealing her background, as well as her response to the situations (some very funny) which arose, was both delightful and

From Fear to Limitless Love: Your Path to Finding Self-Worth, Harmony and Bliss by Devadas Chelvam (local author)
recommended by Matt

This book is really inspirational. It talks of Masters from many different religions and life paths. The author’s sincerity comes through and you can tell the book is written by a serious seeker with experience. I was particularly joyed to read about the great Hindu Sages Ammachi, Ramana Maharshi, and Paramahansa Yogananda. Books like these are important to me since they keep my faith strong and my path focused on the One Love.

The Arm: Inside the Billion‑Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports by Jeff Passan
recommended by Josh

I don’t only read baseball books (despite what you may have heard) but I do read a lot of them. And The Arm is a great one. It’s not just about the science behind throwing 100 MPH, it’s also about the unique personalities of some great pitchers and the ups and downs that go into their quest to be the best.

Start your Christmas vacation here…

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dreamstime_xs_25584729What’s better than watching a Christmas cult classic at home? Being served hot chocolate and popcorn while watching Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Main Library on Wednesday, December 21 at 6:30 pm. Teens and tweens only!

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