Austin Public Library Blog

The Library will CLOSE at 6 PM on Wednesday, November 26. The Library will be CLOSED on Thursday and Friday, November 27 and 28 for Thanksgiving. The Virtual Library is still available 24/7.

APL Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Related Books:
Cover of the book The bastard
By John Jakes.
The first volume of The Kent Family Chronicles, following the adventures of Philip Kent from his birthplace in France to his new home in Revolutionary-era America.
Cover of the book The corrections
By Jonathan Franzen.
"After almost fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly at his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and heart down the drain of an affair with a married man - or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home."--Jacket.
Cover of the book Dune
By Frank Herbert.
This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence. The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium. Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting.
Cover of the book The thorn birds
By Colleen McCullough.
The epic story of a priest torn between God and human passion and a beautiful girl desiring only what she cannot have, spanning five decades of ambition, fear, longing and revenge, and set against the vast horizons of Australia's Outback.
Cover of the book The witching hour : a novel
By by Anne Rice.
From the author of the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles comes a huge, hypnotic novel of witchcraft and the occult through four centuries. Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches--a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being. On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking - and The Witching Hour begins. It begins in our time with a rescue at sea. Rowan Mayfair, a beautiful woman, a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery--aware that she has special powers but unaware that she comes from an ancient line of witches--finds the drowned body of a man off the coast of California and brings him to life. He is Michael Curry, who was born in New Orleans and orphaned in childhood by fire on Christmas Eve, who pulled himself up from poverty, and who now, in his brief interval of death, has acquired a sensory power that mystifies and frightens him. As these two, fiercely drawn to each other, fall in love and--in passionate alliance--set out to solve the mystery of her past and his unwelcome gift, the novel moves backward and forward in time from today's New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and a cht́eau in the France of Louis XIV. An intricate tale of evil unfolds--an evil unleashed in seventeenth-century Scotland, where the first "witch," Suzanne of the Mayfair, conjures up the spirit she names Lasher - a creation that spells her own destruction and torments each of her descendants in turn. From the coffee plantations of Port au Prince, where the great Mayfair fortune is made and the legacy of their dark power is almost destroyed, to Civil War New Orleans, as Julien--the clan's only male to be endowed with occult powers--provides for the dynasty its foothold in America, the dark, luminous story encompasses dramas of seduction and death, episodes of tenderness and healing. And always--through peril and escape, tension and release--there swirl around us the echoes of eternal war: innocence versus the corruption of the spirit, sanity against madness, life against death. With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us, through circuitous, twilight paths, to the present and Rowan's increasingly inspired and risky moves in the merciless game that binds her to her heritage. And in New Orleans, on Christmas Eve, this strangest of family sagas is brought to its startling climax.
Cover of the book Roots
By developed for television by William Blinn ; executive producer, David L. Wolper ; producer, Stan Margulies ; a David L. Wolper production ; Warner Bros. Television.
An adaptation of Alex Haley's "Roots", in which Haley traces his African American family's history from the mid-18th century to the Reconstruction era.
Cover of the book The Forsyte saga
By by John Galsworthy.
Chronicles the lives of a middle-class family whose values are constantly at war with its passions and love affairs.
Cover of the book The house of the spirits
By Isabel Allende ; translated from the Spanish by Magda Bogin.
The Trueba family embodies strong feelings from the beginning of the 2 through the assassination of Allende in 1973.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Throughout December we'll be Spotting the Monster in our scribble art and using our creative imagination to transform what you might have thought was a mistake into a completely new work of art! So what are we waiting for? Let's create our own monsters!

Featured art technique: "water-reject method." What drawing materials reject water? Answer: crayons, oil pastels, and cray-pas. These drawing mediums are relatively inexpensive as well as fun and easy to work with.

Directions: After drawing or scribbling (with above mentioned mediums), use a 1/2 watercolor brush to lay a wash of watercolor over the drawing. Watch the water separate to allow the drawing medium to show through. See the illustrated steps below:

Step 1: Scribble using Crayons, oil pastels, or cray-pas.

Step 2: Apply watercolor with a brush.

Step 3: Let your imagination spot the monster!

Step 4: Add more colors and lines to bring your creation to life.

We hope you will join us at one of the following programs:

Saturday, December 6, 2 - 3 PM Cepeda Branch
Tuesday, December 9, 11 AM - 12 Noon Hampton Branch at Oak Hill
Wednesday, December 10, 11 AM - 12 Noon Old Quarry Branch
Friday, December 12, 11 AM - 12 Noon North Village Branch
Wednesday, December 17, 11 AM - 12 Noon Terrazas Branch


Related Books:
Cover of the book Ish
By Peter H. Reynolds.
Ramon loses confidence in his ability to draw, but his sister gives him a new perspective on things.
Cover of the book Dog loves drawing
By Louise Yates.
Dog loves drawing so much that he draws his very own adventure.
Cover of the book Draw!
By Raúl Colón.
In this wordless picture book, a boy who is confined to his room fills his sketch pad with lions and elephants, then imagines himself on a safari.
Cover of the book Jeremy draws a monster
By Peter McCarty.
A young boy who spends most of his time alone in his bedroom makes new friends after the monster in his drawing becomes a monstrous nuisance.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brrrr! It is getting seriously cold outside, which is all the more reason for you to join us for Night Crafters! We'll be hand sewing cute (and functional) little hearts to warm your pockets. Each fabric heart will be filled with rice -it only takes 10 seconds to warm these bad boys up and then you'll be cozy and warm when you brave the elements.


WHAT: Night Crafters - Heart Shaped Hand Warmers
WHERE: Manchaca Road Branch
WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 @ 6-8:30 p.m.
WHO: Adults interested in crafting.

Related Books:
Cover of the book Craft bomb your bike : 20 makes for you & your bike
By edited by Shara Ballard.
"Packed full of projects for the crafty cyclist to spruce up their beloved bicycle, choose from crocheted saddle and helmet covers; a vintage fabric skirt guard and all manner of nifty bags and pouches for carrying your crafty kit." --Back cover.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Hace algún tiempo, me preguntó un chiquillo por el significado de la palabra "patria". Me sorprendió con su pregunta. Y con el alma en la garganta, le dije así:  "Flor de barrio, hermanito. Patria, son tantas cosas bellas. Como aquel viejo árbol del que nos habla aquel poema. Como el cariño que aun guardas después de muerta abuela. Patria, son tantas cosas bellas. Son las paredes de un barrio y en su esperanza morena. Es lo que lleva en el alma todo aquel cuando se aleja. Son los mártires que gritan, “!Bandera! ¡Bandera! ¡Bandera!” No memorices lecciones de dictaduras o encierros. La patria no la define el que suprime a su pueblo. Patria es un sentimiento en  la mirada de un viejo. Sol de eterna primavera. Risa de hermanita nueva. Te contesto, hermanito…Patria, son tantas cosas bellas…"

Y es que así va una de las canciones más emotivas que conozco. Fue escrita y cantada por Rubén Blades,  quién se hizo famoso por ser artista de la compañía de música salsa, Fania. Nació en Panamá. Estudió leyes pero abandonó esa carrera casi inmediatamente y al terminar sus estudios comenzó so vida como artista y cantante. Es autor de muchos éxitos musicales como Pedro Navaja, El Cantante (la de Hector Lavoe), y Patria (la canción que menciono arriba). Hay mucho más que puedo decir sobre él y su vida pero me parece mejor que pase tiempo escuchando su música para entender algo de su alma y corazón que él nos combina muy bien en la canción ¨Patria¨.  Afortunadamente, la Biblioteca Pública de Austin tiene una buena cantidad de su música:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Night Crafters at Central is off to a great start! Come craft with us at Central's monthly Night Crafters program. You can be a total craft novice or a crafting professional; we welcome all. We'll focus on one craft every month; we'll learn the basics; we'll learn the ins and outs, and then we'll let loose. If you're a novice make sure you arrive on time to learn the how-tos. The last hour will be dedicated to making.

November's project will get you in the holiday mood: we'll be making felt ornaments. All supplies will be provided! We'll show you how to make mittens, mice, trees, and ball ornaments out of sequin, ribbon, buttons, and felt. There will be lots of candy canes to get us in the mood. Don't know how to use a needle and thread? We'll have craft glue to get you through. We'll also have plenty of holiday craft books available for check out too.

Night Crafters will be held at Central the last Monday of every month from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Meet us on the second floor in the programming area. For more information, please call 512-974-7400, option 1. This is an adults-only craft program. There are lots of family and children's programs. Check the calendar for when and where.

WHAT: Night Crafters - a monthly craft night
WHERE: John Henry Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe Street
WHEN: Monday, November 24, 2014 @ 6:00-7:30 p.m.
WHO: Adults interested in crafting
CRAFT: Felt Holiday Ornaments!


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The APL Blog promotes Austin Public Library's resources and services through thematic item lists from our collection; topics related to today's events and news; research tips; programs and events; and databases.

APL Recommends

Cover of the book The case of the team spirit
By by John Allison ; edited by James Lucas Jones & Jill Beaton ; designed by Keith Wood & Jason Storey.
Six kids navigate the treacherous waters of school and adolesence while whole-heartedly diving into the whirlpool of mysteries that swirls around the peculiar English town of Tackleford. Shauna, Charlotte and Mildred just want to help the mysterious old immigrant woman keep her home. Jack, Linton and Sonny just want to find out why the owner of the local football stadium has been plagued by a curse. If only the two groups could stop fighting with each other, they might realize that there's a shared solution.

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