Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Read Fiction and Learn

Reading fiction can be a motivator to read nonfiction. I have just finished reading Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, which is the August selection for the Southeast Arlington Book Discussion Group. It's a novel based on the true story of the affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. My undergraduate degree is in architecture so I am familiar with Wright as an architect but less about his personal life. He lived to be 92 so the events of the book occur when he was in his forties.
Wright designed the Edwin H. Cheney house in 1903 and this was how Cheney and Wright met. Wright who was married at the time and Cheney both went off to Europe together in 1909 leaving their families and children behind. This created a scandal at the time. Wright went to Europe to get a book published of his early work, which was published in 1911. I personally and also the library owns an English reprint edition titled The Early Work of Frank Lloyd Wright= The "Ausgefuhrte Barten of 1911." Cheney was divorced by her husband while she was away. Upon their return to America, Cheney and Wright lived together in the home he called "Taliesan". There the story ends in 1914 and I don't want to give the ending away, but it really happened. You will need to read the novel to see how true life can inspire great reading.

I invite everyone to come on August 21st at 7:00pm when we will be discussing the book here at the Southeast Branch. In preparation for the book discussion I did some Internet searching to get more background information about the book. The following links were informative.

So enjoy your fiction and use it to motivate you to read what it was based upon. The library has a lot books about Frank Lloyd Wright for you to learn more about the Frank of the novel. Here is just a few:

Frank Lloyd Wright by Meryle Secrest

Many Masks: The Life of Frank Lloyd Wright by Brendan Gill.

Picturing Wright: an album from Frank Lloyd Wright's Photographer. by Pedro Guerro.

Frank Lloyd Wright: The Interactive portfolio. by Margo Stipe.

The library also has two VHS titles.

Frank Lloyd Wright PBS

The Homes of Frank Lloyd Wright A&E

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Reading Club: Reviews Anonymized

Woodland West patrons are reviewing SO MANY BOOKS that I can't keep up!

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

“At the suggestion of the librarian, I listened to this book on tape – very helpful with many Chinese words. With all eyes on Beijing and the Olympic, this book gave a picture of Chinese culture and history set in 1832. It is the story of two girls whose lives and life experiences are shared. Good book for book clubs to discuss.”
God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew

“This amazing autobiography retells Brother Andrew’s missionary journeys behind the ‘Iron Curtain’. This is proof how the love of Christ shines bright in the darkest of times. You won’t be able to put it down.”
Heaven is Real by Don Piper

“Heaven is Real is a very inspiring book about a courageous man. Whether or not you believe his story about Heaven, his recovery from a terrible accident and his will to carry on is a story to inspire anyone recovering from physical or emotional injury and pain.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer is almost over

Thank you all who have participated in the Summer Reading Club. For those of you who haven't, we still have a couple of weeks left so get your reading logs in!

If you are stumped on what to read, of course use our Novelist service, but you might want to take a look at Booklamp, who says that soon their software will be able to predict what books you will want to read next based on similar levels of action, amount of description, dialog, tense and perspective. It is only in Beta right now, so there are not many books in the database (and frankly, most of them are science fiction).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Garfunkel fan?

I always like to hear what the rich and famous are reading. And if you are an Art Garfunkel fan then this is your treasure trove.

Since the 1960's, Art Garfunkel has been a voracious reader. We are pleased to present a listing of every book Art has read over the last 40 years. To view a list of Art Garfunkel's favorite books, go to Favorites. This book list has been divided into several pages to allow easy downloading. Each page indicates the author, title, date of publication and number of pages (when available).
Link via Boing Boing

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer Reading Club: Reviews part Deux

Valencia C., one of our valued readers from Woodland West, submitted the following reviews:

The Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon
“The Doomsday Conspiracy is a wonderful book that gives great details on how we are not the only living beings in the great universe. Sidney Sheldon really did his research when it comes to this novel.”
Hide by Lisa Gardner
“This book was very detailed and filled with suspense. It kept me on the edge of my seat and it took me through an array of emotions. During the book, I was able to feel and understand various perspectives from three of the primary characters. Hide was so well written and organized, it took the reader to various levels of life, love, forgiveness, and, most of all, happiness, a right we all share.”

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Deweying It by the Numbers: 000s

There are only a couple of categories in the 000s that people even look at: the computers (at 004 and 005), encyclopedias (at 032), and journalism (at 070). Out of these, computer books are our most popular.

I have really been poring over computer books recently. By far, the one that I am in love with is Presentation Zen: simple ideas on presentation design and delivery, written by Garr Reynolds. Basically, the central theme of the book is that slides should support the presenter, not replace the presenter. If you want to "check out" the book before you check it out at the library, take a look at Reynold's presentation tips on his website.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Reading Club: Reviews from you!

Denise Ann Hanna, one of our patrons participating in the summer reading club, reviewed two Nicholas Sparks books for us, The Notebook and The Wedding:

Easy Reading--I fell in love with being in love once again, and couldn't put the book down. I didn't want to anyway! I love the way Nicholas Sparks tells a love story.
A review of the Garden of Last Days, by Andre DuBois, comes to us from Tricia deWinter:

The Garden of Last Days is a fascinating page turner set in Florida just before 9/11. The interweaving characters and their connected plot lines make for a compelling story. This is as good as DuBois' other work, The House of Sand and Fog.
Thank you for submitting your reading logs and keep reading!