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Austin Public Library Blog

APL Blog

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guest blogger volunteer Tiffany C.

William Shakespeare’s exact birthday is unknown, but it is traditionally celebrated on April 23, 1564. He was baptized on April 26 and passed away April 23, 1616. This year marks his 450th birthday

Precious little is known about his life, although the vast number of works Shakespeare has left behind—nearly forty plays, and over 150 poems—has fueled speculation about his religious affiliations, if any, to Protestantism or Catholicism (then outlawed by Queen Elizabeth I), his sexuality, and even the authorship to his literary cannon.

Explore more about the one simply called The Bard with Austin Public Library (APL). If you missed Yarborough Branch’s showing of “Anonymous” on April 17th, you can still check it out from the APL. This month we also are featuring a book display about all things Shakespeare. And the streaming videos of his plays available from APL are cool!  Do an advanced search on our catalog, Bibliocommons. Type “Shakespeare” in the box for a keyword anywhere search. Then click the box for streaming video for format. It brings back a long list of videos – comedies, tragedies, and histories -- to watch.

Celebrate The Bard’s 450th birthday with the help of the Austin Public Library!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Starting a brand new book series can be really exciting and excruciating at the same time – you get to know new characters, discover new places and go on exhilarating new adventures. The downside to starting a brand new series is the part where you have to wait a whole year (sometimes more!) for the next installment of the marvelous new world you just dove into. If you’re like me, waiting can be torturous! As soon as you finish the first book in a new series, you want to tell everyone you know (and I mean EVERYONE) how amazing the story was and that they should all read it, then you speculate about what will happen in the next book, you might even read some fan fiction, follow the author’s blog, and generally obsess. Eventually, you might move on to another fantastic book when BAM you hear the next book in the series is out and you run to the library because you absolutely HAVE to know what happens.

Do you know what’s even more satisfying than starting a new series? Finally finishing one! After years of nail-biting, obsessive, agonizing commitment, you at long last discover the fate of your favorite characters. Sigh. What a relief.*

If you hate playing the waiting game, and you won’t start a series until ALL the books have been published, you’re in luck! Here are a few young adult series that are wrapping up this year (hooray!):

  • The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire (May 27, 2014)
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, Dreams of Gods and Monsters (April 8, 2014)
  • The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising (June 17, 2014)
  • The Selection series by Kiera Cass: The Selection, The Elite,The One (May 6, 2014)
  • The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi: Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me (February 4, 2014)
  • The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, The Retribution of Mara Dyer (November 4, 2014)

*Never mind the grieving period you may experience once you’ve finished said book. It might look something like this:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We’re in the middle of book-ordering season—well, actually everything-ordering season. Do you have any suggestions? Know of something you’d like us to own? Book, magazine, movie, comic, downloadable, newspaper? Something crazy expensive, like Scientific American (just an example; we subscribe online), or something free like The Austin Chronicle (already get that, too)?

How about a database? A couple of years ago we got requests for JSTOR. Voila! JSTOR.

Give some thought to what you’d like in the collection at the New Central Library. We’re planning a demonstration kitchen there. Have a favorite cookbook you’d like to share? We have a million of ‘em already, but maybe the one you like best isn’t among them. Take a look at our catalog and see: bibliocommons. How about computer titles? We buy a whole lot of “learn-your-computer” books, but maybe there’s some niche program we don’t know about that you’d like a manual for. We’d like to hear about it. Any subject, any thing. Send us a line. Here’s the link to Suggest a Title.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Una de las voces más importantes que llevaron el realismo mágico a un lugar privilegiado se ha apagado.  Gabriel García Márquez nos dejó la semana pasada.  Ya que miles de nosotros no tuvimos el gusto de verlo en persona, sentarnos a tomar un cafecito con él y conversar, tenemos que conformarnos con la suerte de haber compartido el planeta con este genio literario.

Cuando recibió el Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1982, el mundo vió con ojos asombrados cómo Gabo no sólo era el primer colombiano que recibía el premio, sino que por primera vez, alguien vistió un traje considerado tradicional en algunas regiones de América Latina como lo es el liquiliqui en vez del requerido frac.  Y es que él era un escritor diferente.

De su abuelita aprendió que la fantasía y la realidad no están tan distantes, elemento que convirtió en el eje de su literatura.  No sólo sus libros son interesantes y hermosos por esa mezcla de sueños y realidades sino que también, sus anécdotas cotidianas lo son.   Por ejemplo, en el prefacio de su libro “Del Amor y Otros Demonios” nos cuenta de un convento en Cartagena, Colombia que iban a transformar en un hotel de lujo. Estaban exhumando unos cuerpos enterrados allí y en una de las tumbas encontraron el cráneo de una jovencita con una cabellera que medía 22 metros de largo. En aquel entonces Gabo era un periodista y estaba allí cubriendo la noticia.  Esto le inspiró para luego escribir este libro pero esta es sin duda una de esas historias que parecen más fantásticas que reales.

¿Cuántos de sus libros se ha leído? A mi me faltan un montón. Por suerte aquí en la Biblioteca tenemos muchos que ojalá vengan y lleven a su casa.

Related Books:
Cover of the book Ojos de perro azul
By Gabriel García Márquez.
A collection of tales by the Nobel Prize-winning author features "La tercera resignación," "La otra costilla de la muerte," "Eva está dentro de su gato," "Amargura para tres sonámbulos," "Ojos de perro azul," and others.
,
Cover of the book La mala hora
By Gabriel García Márquez.
In this novel it is a difficult time for the people in and around a small village in Colombia after a civil war. The conservatives have won the war and are persecuting their liberal adversaries. Then fliers begin to appear on the doors of homes. They aren't political pamphlets but are simple accusations about the private lives of the citizens. When old rumors are openly made public by these fliers, an explosion of violence takes place in the town.
,
Cover of the book Vivir para contarla
By Gabriel García Márquez.
The Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author recalls his childhood and youth, and recounts the family stories retold by his relatives, revealing the origins of many of the incidents he incorporated into his work.
,
Cover of the book Noticia de un secuestro
By by Gabriel García Márquez.
La crónica de un secuestro real magistralmente retratado por Gabriel García Márquez.
,
Cover of the book El amor en los tiempos del coÌlera
By Gabriel García Márquez.
The story of a fantastic wedding, the return of the bride to her parents in disgrace, her brothers' resolve to seek revenge on her corruptor, and the townspeoples' refusal to depart from routine.
,
Cover of the book Memoria de mis putas tristes
By Gabriel García Márquez.
"Cuenta la vida de este anciano solitario, un apasionado de la música clásica, nada aficionado de las mascotas y lleno de manías. Por él sabremos cómo en todas sus aventuras sexuales (que no fueron pocas) siempre dio a cambio algo de dinero, pero nunca imaginó que de ese modo encontraría el verdadero amor."--P. [4] of cover.
,
Cover of the book CroÌnica de una muerte anunciada
By Gabriel García Márquez.
Un hombre regresa al pueblo donde ocurri.
Saturday, April 19, 2014

  
"...a beautification in my mind is far more than a matter of cosmetics. To me, it describes the whole effort to bring the natural world and the manmade world to harmony. To bring order, usefulness, delight to our whole environment. And that of course only begins with trees and flowers and landscaping."

 

These are Lady Bird Johnson’s words and from these words one can tell she was well ahead of her time. She had a passion for native flora and conservation before it was the hip thing to do. Given the plethora of rich and amazing Texas wildlife, it is easy to imagine how this passion spread to others. These days you can drive along many a Texas highway and see the result of her life's work. It was probably appropriate that she went to the University of Texas at Austin, since this city also tends to be on the cutting edge when it comes to beautification. We boast Lady Bird Lake Trail, a non-paved trail in the heart of town, Barton Springs Pool, a natural spring as the go-to local watering hole, and the Barton Creek Greenbelt, an expansive piece of land used for outdoor recreation.

Despite this city's rapid growth, especially over the last decade, it has managed to maintain a vision of being harmonious with the environment. The most recent commitment being a bag ban to reduce the unnecessary waste associated with single use plastic bags. Meanwhile, the City of Austin Departments continues to work toward a goal of operations being carbon neutral by 2020. I believe that the former First Lady and Austinite would be proud and continue to call this place her home.

As individuals and families we can be part of harmonizing the man-made and natural worlds by thinking about how we live our daily lives, through choices we make and ideals we impart on the next generation. I can think of no better time than this coming week, as Earth Day is April 22ndto be inspired and get involved.

You can start by attending Austin Public Library’s program, Rebate Austin!, where attendees will learn ways to save money and reduce their impact on the environment. Continue your quest by exploring some websites dedicated to Lady Bird Johnson, and to beautification here in Texas and Austin. By the end of the week you will be ready for some outdoor Earth Day festivities.

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Cover of the book Abundance : a novel of Marie Antoinette
By Sena Jeter Naslund.
A fictional tale of the life of Marie Antoinette presents the story of a teenage empress's daughter who is forced to leave her family home to marry the future king of France and who rebels against the formality and rigid protocol of court life.

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