Friday, July 31, 2009

Killer Cruise: a summer reading club review

Killer Cruise by Laura Levine is a really fun and easy summer read. Jane Austen with an i is as curious as her cat Prozac and needs to self medicate with large amounts of chocolate! Readers will be on the edge and guessing until the end of this whodunit on the high seas to Mexico!

--Juledith M.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Manhatten Project: a summer reading club review

This is a collection of articles and interviews concerning the project to create the atomic bomb. The people involved described their experiences, from the first scientific theory of fission to the actual use of the atomic bomb. An easy red, a unique resource and a wonderful view of the entire subject.

--Bob C.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a summer reading club review

This book is witty, charming, and hilarious. At times, I was afraid to read it in public for fear of bursting into laughter at an inappropriate moment. It is insightful and gives great satire about human nature by telling stories about people who are anything but human.

--Ashley L.

Resource Spotlight: Literature Resource Center

Literature Resource Center is a great source for literary criticism, reviews, background information on individual authors and literary movements, and much more! There are over 140,000 biographies of authors taken from noted reference sources, 750,000 articles from literary and academic journals, and more than 5,000 interviews with contemporary writers. Literature Resource Center has the depth of information you need to achieve a fuller understanding of the literary world and where individual works and authors are located within it.

The Literature Resource Center has recently been updated with a sleek new look and helpful new features. With the click of a button you can generate citations for individual articles according to MLA or APA format. Articles can be translated from English to Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Korean. You can even listen to an MP3 version of articles with the built-in audio player.

Literature Resource Center is available from any library computer, and from outside the library with your library card number. For a guided tour of this database and many of its features, take a look at these short videos:

Literature Resource Center: Searching for Specific Authors or Works

Literature Resource Center Basic Search Guided Tour
Literature Resource Center Advanced Search Guided Tour
Literature Resource Center Article Options Guided Tour

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Face of Betrayal: a summer reading club review

This was a wonderful thriller/mystery! It was exciting yet easy to read. I couldn't put it down and finished it in less than two days. Now I can't wait for the next one!

--Lisa W.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Columbine: a summer reading club review

This is a great piece of non-fiction work in the vein of In Cold Blood or Helter Skelter. Dave Cullen, the author and a reporter who responded to the crime scene, lays out the reasons for this crime and shows it was more than just a school shooting.

--Kevin F.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

8th Confession: a summer reading club review

I am always amazed at the consistently interesting and riveting books that James Patterson writes year after years. This is part of the Women's Murder Club series. The characterizations are so real, you feel you know these people. Fantastic!

--Cathy L.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

All the Pretty Horses: a summer reading club review

To really enjoy this story, you needed to like horses and cowboys.

--Cleo B.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Aurora Crossing: a summer reading club review

This book covers the long, sad struggle of the Nez Perces. This proud people with their huge herds of Appaloosa, in 1877 marched to Canada to escape U.S. calvary. The story includes their religious heritage and symbolism.

--Cleo B.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Club of Angels: a summer reading club review

The Club of Angels was the most intruiging book I've read in a long time. You can't put it down because you just have to know why!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pretty Good for a Girl: The Autobiography of a Snowboarding Pioneer : a summer reading club review

An honest and humble account of one woman's pioneering journey into professional snowboarding. Tina Basich provides snowboarding advice to those contemplating the winter sport of snowboarding and a detailed history of the sport itself.

-- Amelia H.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith : a summer reading club review

A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith

Fans of Pratchett's Discworld series will love this sub-series! Even though the books are written for kids, adults will thoroughly enjoy the trials of Tiffany Aching and the wee free men. Crivens!

-- Tiger J.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Short fiction to chill your bones (perfect for the summer heat)

There is something particularly special about the short story form. While an author is limited in space and scope, this tightness of space often lends itself to masterful storytelling. Maybe it's the pressure of such a condensed space and not much time to say what you want that makes the short story a favorite of mine. A writer is forced to come up with more creative solutions to such a limited plot and character development.

I especially enjoy short horror stories that trade in supernatural terrors for the psychologically macabre. There are a few writers who pull this quiet terror from us better than most. Here are just a few of them. If you click on the story title, it will take you to the online text version.

Harlan Ellison
"I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream"
"The Whimper of Whipped Dogs"

Shirley Jackson
"The Lottery"

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
"The Yellow Wallpaper"

Neil Gaiman
"I Can Get Them For You Wholesale"
(This link is to the comic art version.)

William Faulkner
"A Rose For Emily"

Margaret Atwood
"Death By Landscape"

Ray Bradbury
"A Flourish of Strumpets"

Donald Barthelme
"The Game"

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Look Again: a summer reading club review

This book, Look Again, pulls at the heart strings of every mother, whether the child is adopted or born from her. Very insightful as to right and wrong.

-- Myra S.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer is for travel

Summer is flying by fast! Hopefully, everyone has had a chance to go on a nice, relaxing vacation. If you haven't had a chance to do any traveling this summer, don't worry - there's still time! Need ideas? The library has many travel guides that will help you plan a vacation on any budget. For example, you could...

Backpack across Europe

Get a deal on a cruise

Try your luck at Vegas

Head for the Border

Go on a road trip

Or stay near home

Before you travel, don't forget to check out our catalog for some good audiobooks to listen to in the car. If you plan to travel by plane, check out our downloadale audiobooks for your MP3 device. Remember that audiobooks count toward the adult summer reading club. Read or listen to five books to be entered for a prize. Hurry up, the August 2nd deadline is coming soon!

I Love Cheesecake: a summer reading club review

If you enjoy food as much as I do then try these five delicious books for yourself. From dishes to desserts and everything else in between, you will have everyone asking "whats for dinner?". Just make sure you leave room for dessert.

--Joseph A.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Ice Harvest: a summer reading club review

The Ice Harvest was a great book. I was surprised by how well written it was.

--Detrice M.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lone Survivor: the eyewitness account of Operation Redwing and the lost heroes of SEAL team 10 is something every Texan, as well as every American should read!

--Garland S.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jane Austen + Monsters = Delightful Fun

By now, I'm sure you've all devoured a library or bookstore copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Who doesn't love a few Victorian ladies brandishing weapons and annihilating hordes of the undead? It is a daring story of family, marriage, independent women, and the walking dead.

If you didn't get enough of Austen's feisty, monster-bashing heroines, Quirk Books will be releasing another literary "mash-up" in September.

Ben H. Winters has re-vamped another Austen classic: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Although several comments have been made as to why Winters didn't go with Persuasion, since it takes place near the sea and involves Naval officers and other watery types, the success of Seth Graham's zombie-infested Austen novel should be an indication that Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is sure to please fans of bizarre re-vamped classics (or fans of Lovecraftian mythos, such as myself).

Winters says to expect, "A giant rampaging mutant lobster. Octopi with glittering tentacles. And pirates — I couldn’t resist pirates. I studied pirate lore, from R.L. Stevenson to Pirates of the Caribbean" (, 7.14.09).

And check out this Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters book trailer:

I don't know about anyone else, but this is just bizarre enough that I'll have to take a look when it comes out September 15th.

Miss Julie series: a summer reading club review

Ann B. Ross's Miss Julia series includes:

Miss Julia Hits the Road
Miss Julia Paints the Town
Miss Julia's School of Beauty
Miss Julia Stands Her Ground
Miss Julia Strikes Back

These are truly a fun, taste of the South. :) They bring back many ladies of my grandmother's time in a truly authentic style.

--Cindy A.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Easy Gardens for North Central Texas: a summer reading review

Easy Gardens is one of the best gardening books I've read! Easy to understand, very informative, and gives you loads of carefree plants to look for.

--Melissa B.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Paper Scissors Death, a Kiki Lowenstein mystery: a summer reading review

A great new book for a new series--keeps you guessing all the way through. Has mystery, romance, angst and family. What more could you want from a book?

--Chris R.

Monday, July 13, 2009

How did I get so busy: a summer reading review

This weeks installment of our summer reading reviews starts out with a book by Valerie Burton, professional life coach.

How Did I Get So Busy is a great read. This book outlines different areas of your life you can work on in 28 days to help simplify your life.

-- SH

Implications of Demographics Enthrall Residents

The future success of the state of Texas depends on education, according to data presented by Texas State Demographer Karl Eschbach at the Northeast Branch Library on July 7.

Birth rates and migration rates put Texas on a path towards having one of the least educated workforces in the next 20 to 40 years. This was one of the implications inferred from Eschbach's hour-long presentation. Graduation rates already show that Texas imports most of its educated workforce.

Eschbach will post the Powerpoint presentation on the State Data Center's website. There are similar presentations already available on the site, as well as a great aggregation of demographic data, projections, geographic information, and maps created by the Data Center.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Kite Runner : a summer reading club review

The Kite Runner was really a well written book. I read it because the high school my daughter goes to (Arlington High) gave it as a summer reading project. I read it to see if it was appropriate for her. It passed and I enjoyed it.

-- Mildred J.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Good Woman: a summer reading club review

The sinking of the Titanic forever changes the life of Annabelle Worthington. She enters into a marriage with her first love and finds it shattered when he files for divorce. Because she had refused to file, she was accused of adultery with scandal ruining her life as she had known it. She fled to France to continue her medical volunteer work during World War I. Annabelle's strength and character is worth following as life continues after the war.

--Sherry W.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Stranger in Paradise: a summer reading club review

Our beloved patron Sherry W. is back to give us another summer reading suggestion.

Parker's book is ready made for another movie. His character, police chief Jessie Stone, visually comes alive on the pages (I see Tom Selleck playing the part). Jessie teams up with a hit man to battle wits with protecting the ex-wife and daughter of a Florida gangster and a local gang.

--Sherry W.

Get your daughters to read

Anyone who has had trouble getting their kids to read might enjoy the Girls Guild Atlantis Secret Society of Girl Scholars:
In a nutshell, Girls Guild is a pretend secret society for girls (although boys can be honorary members!) dedicated to promoting literacy among girls
worldwide. The word “pretend” is important here because Girls Guild
exists only in the imagination. There is no central organization. Nor are
there dues, meetings to attend, or leaders. Plus real secret societies are

Found via Boing Boing

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Remember When: a summer reading club review

Nora Roberts ties her current writing with her futuristic character detective Eve Dallas (in 2059) solving the mysterious dissapearance of guns in the year 2003. It is wonderful to have her uniting two different periods of time into one book.

--Sherry W.

National Book Awards new blog

To celebrate the 60th year of the National Book Awards, the National Book Foundation will present a book-a-day blog on the Fiction winners from 1950 to 2008.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A story 140 characters long? Twitter "Twisters"

Magazine editor Arjun Basu (@arjunbasu) writes short stories on Twitter. Read more at All Tech Considered.

Cat Playing Cupid: a summer reading club review

For the rest of this week, we have Sherry Woods, a loyal patron from the Southwest Branch. Sherry tends to read mysteries but also is a member of the Southwest Page Turners book club which reads a variety of books.

Murder mystery fans and cat lovers everywhere will enjoy this book. Joe Givey is one of three talking cats that love to help the Molina Point police department. Only a select few know about the cats' abilities which makes it harder to get the clues and knowledge about the murderer's activities. The cat's antics, curiousity and human characteristics make me want to read more of Murphy's books.

--Sherry W.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Time Travelers Wife: a summer reading club review

It was such a beautiful story. The movie comes out in August, so hurry and read the book first.

--Lisa P.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fatally Flaky: a summer reading club review

Another fun foodie with family, intrigue and more--plus special entertaining ideas (and recipes!). Easy summer read that you can come back to without losing your place in the action.

--Pamela B.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sisters Ink.: a summer reading club review

I loved Sisters Ink. It was wonderful Christian Fiction about how God always leads us to the right answers.

--Rhonda T.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Life as a Furry Red Monster: a summer reading club review

part of our ongoing series of reviews submitted by our summer reading participants

Great book as far as a biography is concerned. It shows how Elmo has inspired many people.


Friday, July 3, 2009

The Shack: a summer reading club review

This book was well written, thought provoking and hard to put down. It will give you insight into God like never before and challenge you to live totally differently. It has become one of my absolute favorite books!

--J. Jefferson

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Crouching Buzzard, Leapin Loon: a summer reading club review

Crouching Buzzard, Leapin Loon - Donna Andrews has great characters and I love the disfunctional family members!

--Charlene S.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How Starbucks Saved My Life: a summer reading club review

This book is very inspirational. It shows how people you would not expect can assist you in making changes in your life. It is also a good example of how life is fluid and nothing is ever set in stone.

--Felicia M.