Habla usted espanol?

Do you speak Spanish?

Did you know that we have books and other materials in Spanish?

We also have bilingual books — with the words in both English and Spanish. This is helpful to English speakers learning Spanish, as well as for Spanish speakers learning English. One such book, Vamos A Viajar! (Let’s go!) can be found in the Spanish Toddler section.

If you’re interested in the current political campaign, you might enjoy reading La Audacia de la Esperanza (The Audacity of Hope) by Barack Obama.

If you’d just like to read a good fiction book in Spanish, there’s Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofa (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) or El Clan del Oso Cavernario (Clan of the Cave Bear) by Jean Auel.

We feature these in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated nationally September 15th-October 15th. This is also a great time to look at the history, art and culture of both Spain and Mexico — indeed of all countries where Spanish is the primary language.

Worth the wait?

Perhaps the Chinese Democracy album by Guns and Roses is named as such because it will be a cold day in hell before it or the real thing happens. If it were a person, it would almost be getting it’s driver license by now. Most of us were IN high school when they started working on it.

Two things you can be certain of after reading a bit of the new tell-all Watch you Bleed: The Saga of Guns n’ Roses :

1) Lead singer Axl Rose (real name William Bailey) has a violent temper and inflated sense of self-importance. Peruse the list of original band members and countless replacements that now refuse to sit in the same room as him for proof.

2) Their breakout recording “Appetite for Destruction” is consistently in the top 40 rock albums of all time, and has been certified as platinum over 18 times with worldwide sales over 28 million. The band’s lifestyle during this era was one ridden with Sodom and Gomorrah levels of excess as they climbed from the level of homeless drug dealers and grifters to multimillionaire addicts. The most shocking revelation is how none of them are corpses.

If you like Nicholas Sparks, this is NOT the book for you. However, it was penned by Stephen Davis, the same author as the definitive Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods.

The latest scoop is Chinese Democracy will be out around Thanksgiving. Of course, we’ve heard these whisperings before, only to be interrupted by another lunatic fit from the namesake’s rebel who is now in his late 40’s.

Although, the Cubs have a good shot at the World Series this year, so who knows?

DVDs for October

Coming October 7

The Visitor – Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass

In a world of six billion people, it only takes one to change your life. Richard Jenkins stars as a disillusioned Connecticut economics professor whose life is transformed by a chance encounter in New York City when he discovers two illegal immigrants living in his city apartment.

Sleeping Beauty – 50th Anniversary Edition

Don’t Mess with the Zohan – Adam Sandler

Coming October 14

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom the Crystal Skull – Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchet

Indy’s back and more fun than ever. Set during the Cold War, this time Indy’s nemesis is the Soviet Union and the race is for the ultimate power to control people. Sly references to the first three films, the return of a favorite character and a new sidekick keep things fun and the action lively.

Mongol: the Rise of Genghis Khan

Coming October 21

The Incredible Hulk – Edward Norton, Liv Tyler

Mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner has searched the world for a cure for his affliction, caused by a military experiment gone wrong. Whenever his emotions get the better of him he turns into a raging, green monster – the Hulk. Banner struggles to avoid the pursuit of the military and battles a new and fearsome monster.

BANNED – Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie Dai

Set during the Cultural Revolution in China, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress follows two young university students when they are forced to perform manual labor in a poor rural area of the country for “re-education”. The hardship of their new life is eased by the discovery of a hidden stash of Western novels, which helps them hang onto a world they thought they’d lost forever.

Ironically, this novel about the devastating affects of repression and censorship has frequently been challenged and banned for sexually explicit scenes.

Celebrate your freedom to read – do not take this precious democratic freedom for granted! Visit the American Library Association’s site on Banned Books Week for more information.

BANNED – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a terrifying look into a not-too-distant future where nearly everyone is sterile and fertile women are treated as cattle, to produce children for the upper class who cannot have any. Women have no rights and are completely dependent on men – they cannot own property, have money, hold jobs – they aren’t even allowed to read. Offred, the heroine of the story, can remember a time before the military took over the government, and these memories sustain her while she plans her escape.

Although written about the future, The Handmaid’s Tale is chillingly similar to recent history in Afghanistan and Iran as well as older references to Nazi Germany. Frequently challenged and banned for it’s sexually explicit language and for being “offensive to Christians”, it is a cautionary tale of what happens when basic freedoms are denied.

Celebrate your freedom to read – do not take this precious democratic freedom for granted! Visit the American Library Association’s site on Banned Books Week for more information.

BANNED – The Color Purple by Alice Walker

This 1983 Pulitzer Prize winning novel depicts the struggle of an abused and uneducated black woman as she fights the cycle of violence and grows as a human being. It depicts how cruelty and hatred destory as well as the healing power of love.

The Color Purple is the story of two sisters – one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South – who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Powerful and inspirational, it is a celebration of the human spirit.

Regularly appearing on American Library Association’s top ten most banned books list, The Color Purple is frequently challenged for it’s depiction of homosexuality, sexually explicit descriptions and language.

Celebrate your freedom to read – do not take this precious democratic freedom for granted! Visit the American Library Association’s site on Banned Books Week for more information.

BANNED – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Superbly told, with the poet’s gift for language and observation, this is Angelou’s autobiography (the first of five volumes) of her childhood in Arkansas – a world of which most Americans are ignorant.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings recounts Angelou’s childhood and early life. Sent to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou endured sorrow, tragedy, disappointment and, eventually, realization of self-worth. Descriptions of racial prejudice and her sexual assault resonate through the book and have long-reaching effects, but her strength and determination to overcome any set-back create an uplifting story for all.

Sited for sexually explicit content, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is one of the most frequently challenged and banned books in America.

Celebrate your freedom to read – do not take this precious democratic freedom for granted! Visit the American Library Association’s site on Banned Books Week for more information.

Banned Books Week – September 27th-October 4th

written by Tana

Be sure to stop by the library and see our display of Banned Books. You just might be surprised at some of the titles! Many are popular classics which you may have read in high school or college. If not, you may want to read them just to see what all the fuss was about! Here are a few of the titles:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Interestingly enough, the number one “most challenged book of 2007” was a children’s book, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. It is based on a true story of two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo that adopt an abandoned penguin egg and care for it together until it hatches.

For more information about Banned Books Week, related events and a complete list of frequently banned books be sure to check out the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week information center.

As American as Apple Pie

Happy 234th Birthday to Johnny Appleseed! Of course, Johnny’s no longer around to celebrate with us, but his legacy of introducing apples to America, especially in the Ohio Valley region, continues.

Born in Massachusetts, Johnny Chapman spent his adult life wandering what was then just-settled frontier. The popular view of Johnny Appleseed is that he scattered apple seeds randomly wherever he walked when in fact he was an astute businessman. He established apple tree nurseries, hired local caretakers, then returned every year or two to check on them and collect his fees. Although he was known and loved for his kindness and caring (he would accept food or used clothing instead of cash, and gave away most of his belongings to people in need), his estate was worth millions when he died.

September is a great time to be thinking about apples – locally grown apples are now available at the Farmer’s Markets (Washington is the leading producer of apples in America but Iowa is no slouch when it comes to apples – the Red Delicious apple was discovered in Peru, Iowa in 1880; originally named “Hawkeye”, breeding for color and appearance has altered the original sweet flavor) There are also local orchards that offer retail and pick-your-own sales.

Put those apples to good use in applesauce, tarts and – of course – apple pie. Apple Pie Perfect by Ken Haedrich will provide you with an almost endless supply of apple dessert recipes and gives you excellent tips on creating the perfect crust. The massive Pie, also by Ken Haedrich, provides 300 recipes for all kinds of pies – fruit, berry, nut, ice cream. (And wouldn’t you love to be invited over to Ken’s house for supper?!)

Remember – “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. No one said it couldn’t be part of an apple pie!

Living Like Ed by Ed Begley, Jr

Ed Begley Jr has been an enviromentalist since it was cool the first time in the late 1960’s. His wife Rachelle knew this about him when she married him, but she also likes style. As the review on the back of the book says “His environmentalism and her design savvy combine to create a guide to going green that keeps the chic in eco-chic”.

In Living Like Ed, Begley discusses how to make your life more efficient and environmentally friendly. In your home this can range from just changing the furnace filters, to using the new energy efficient appliances, to installing state of the art air filtration and purification systems. Begley discusses his transportation hierarchy – walking, biking, public transportation, and electric or hybrid car. His recycling ideas were good reminders to me. Begley makes it a point not to buy products if the recycle number on the product is not accepted for recycling in his area. He also discusses home energy including solar panels and home wind turbines. The book ends with an examination of food and clothes, which was enlightening too.

This fun, accessible book will have you “living like Ed” (to one degree or another) in no time!

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