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Saturday, December 20, 2014

We had our year-end YA for Adults meeting last week, and I always like to invite folks to bring their favorite titles from the past year to share with the group. Among 16 of us avid readers, a whole lot of good stuff came up (and my To Be Read list just got sooo much longer…). It’s not all just YA materials, either: you’ll find poetry, graphic novels, adult fiction, and even some stuff from the internet.

Titles that were the group’s favorites from the books we read this past year are Winger by Andrew Smith and Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Winger has definitely been featured in this blog before; Smith tells the story of a young man at a boarding school on the varsity rugby team. Out of the Easy takes place in 1950 New Orleans; Josie is the daughter of a prostitute who wants to break with her past and attend a prestigious New England university. Another title worth mentioning for the sole fact that different group members rave over it every year is the novel for adults called People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I haven’t read this last one yet, but three years in a row carries a lot of weight as recommendations go. It sounds like a sweeping epic—an Australian rare book specialist begins to discover centuries of mysteries surrounding an ancient text. If that doesn’t have my name all over it, I don’t know what would!

I hope your holiday season and the new year are filled with stories!

Friday, December 19, 2014

This Sunday, December 21st at 1pm, we here at Recycled Reads will be having our second annual Dreidel Tournament. Players of all ages will compete for a chance to hit the famed dreidel pinata that our volunteers crafted from old cardboard boxes and pages of damaged books. I wrote a blog earlier this year about shoe shaped pinatas. The dreidel pinata is made the same way, just designed with a different shape. Although the final result may leave you wondering how it was done, pinatas are a fairly simple craft, and can be done on a smaller scale as well, as is illustrated in this Instructables tutorial.

Of course, as fun as crafting is, nothing beats breaking open a pinata. Come be a part of the fun this Sunday at 1pm.

Friday, December 19, 2014

If you like lush, romantic music composed by Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Ravel, you probably will also enjoy Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). Sibelius developed his unique musical style more or less isolated from much of the rest of the musical world, creating music that evoked the myths and landscapes of his native Finland. His music creates an inescapable atmosphere, of deep emotions and fervent passions contained within a thin shell of Nordic ice. Sibelius was a violinist himself and you can tell he understood the instrument. Minnesota Orchestra won a 2014 Grammy in Best Orchestral Performance category for playing Sibelius, and recently, Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7; Tapiola by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was nominated for a 2015 Grammy. Both cds have been ordered for the library. Sibelius’s most popular pieces are Finlandia, Swan of Tuonela, Valse Triste, Symphony No. 2, and Symphony No. 5. The second and fifth symphonies both end in a blaze of glory that will transport you to another world. Listen to the first part of the second Symphony. You can also watch the Austin Youth Philharmonic play Finlandia. Another way to enjoy Sibelius online is through Freegal, our online music service. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Por dos mil años, los judíos han observado Janucá como una celebración de libertad religiosa y la victoria de de los judíos sobre los sirios en 165 AC. En celebración, prendieron la menorá pero sólo había suficiente aceite en las lámparas para un día, pero según la leyenda, las velas permanecierion encedidas milagrosamente por ocho días. Por eso, Janucá se celebra por este mismo número de días. Para recordar el milagro del aceite, los judíos comen postres fritos entre otras cosas. En Latinoamérica se celebra Janucá con un toque latino: arepas, empanadas, buñuelos y churros. Los niños también juegan a la pirinola o dreidel.

La historia de judaísmo en América Latina existe desde la expulsión de los judíos y el "descubrimiento" del Nuevo Mundo por Cristóbal Colón en 1492. En el siglo 16 habían judiós en Barbados, Brasil, Curaçao, Haití, Jamaica, Suriname la República Dominicana. También habían comunidades informales de judíos en los territorios que pertenecían a España y Portugal durante la inquisición. Estós judíos tenían que ocultar sus prácticas religiosas. Pero principalmente vivían el Cuba, Puerto Rico, México y Perú.

Los judíos de Latinoamérica típicamente son sefarditas con raíces en España, Portugal, el Oriente Medio y el Norte de África. En comparación, los Askenazí provenían del Europa del Este, Francia y Alemania. Hay un poco menos que 50,000 judíos latinos en los Estados Unidos. En Argentina vive la segunda comunidad más grande de judíos latinos después de los Estados Unidos y el sexto mås grande en el mundo. Brazil tiene una comunidad de judíos de como 100,000 personas. 

Si quisiera empaparse un poco más de esta cultura, aquí le incluímos una lista de sugerencias tanto de libros de ficción como de no ficción que esperamos les guste:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Are you planning on eating a great meal during this festive season? That is only fitting! The root word of festival is feast which means an elaborate meal. There are festivities held around the world to celebrate this time of year, each with their own meals and traditions.

Christmas, Haukkah and Kwanzaa are a few of our more widely recognized winter traditions here in the United States, but have you heard of Boxing Day, Bodhi Day, or Ramadan? For Diwali, beautiful rangoli designs are made in chalk on the sidewalks during this Indian celebration. In Sweden, girls wear a wreath of candles on their heads for St Lucia’s Day.

The world celebrates winter in many different ways. Celebrate a different culture this season with recipes and crafts from the Austin Public Library!

Color in your own rangoli with these printable designs. 


Make your own dreidel out of a bottle cap and join us for our second annual dreidel tournament on December 21 at 1 PM at Recycled Reads!

Craft a Kinara for Kwanzaa!

Or kick off your winter celebration with one of these cozy books from our collection!


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