Thursday, July 28, 2011

They Won’t Want To Miss It!

Tell your family, friends, neighbors, and put it out on Facebook and tweeter (or is it twitter?) about the upcoming panel book discussion and dramatic readings from To Kill a Mockingbird, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction 1961, author Harper Lee, that is being held at the Haltom City Public Library on Thursday evening, August 4th, 7:00 p.m.  (Please note that the subject matter may not be appropriate for young children.) This special event is held as part of the library’s 50th Birthday celebration.
Great literature like To Kill a Mockingbird impacts our lives, our thoughts, and our society in so many different ways.  Each panelist was selected for their unique insights to this great novel.  Bob Ray Sanders, the Panel Moderator, is an award-winning columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and author, Dr. Judy Alter, is a retired editor for TCU press as well as being a mystery writer.   Mike Cochran, a retired Associated Press Correspondent who covered the John F. Kennedy assassination, has also written several nonfiction books.  Haltom City’s Mayor, Richard Hutchison, is an Adjunct History Instructor at TCC and Marisa Hafley is an English teacher who teaches To Kill a Mockingbird at Haltom City High School. 
Actors from the Artisan Center Theater will add also their own personal interpretations to selected passages of To Kill a Mockingbird with their dramatic readings from the book. 
All this plus you promises to make Thursday evening, August 4th, 2011, at the Haltom City Public Library a night of lively discussions and entertainment that we will all remember.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Come Back In A Few, Okay?

Due to technical difficulties, the Library Blog Mistress will be posting the Library Blog a little later than usual.  Please check back late Thursday morning or early afternoon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For Us Gals - Lisa Scottoline

I just finished Lisa Scottoline’s latest novel, Save Me and I loved it.  I’m surprised, too.  Not because I don’t like this author, I love her, but because this particular novel starts off with a raging school fire.  I escaped from a fire many years ago and once you’ve been through something like that, the senses never forget.  But Ms. Scottoline  captured this reader and carried me through the flames into the main story – a woman who had to choose between saving her daughter or someone else’s.  Rose does what we like to think we would do—manage to save them both.  Perfect ending?  No, only the beginning of a powerful, compelling story of a woman who did the right thing and it backfired.  She finds herself being sued and criminal charges filed against her for abandoning the child that she had carried to safety before going back for her own daughter, Melly.  She can lose her home, her husband, and perhaps even her freedom. As she struggles to find out what went wrong, why Amanda, the other little girl, went back into the burning school cafeteria, Rose also has to face her past and the secret she’s kept from everyone, even her husband.
Lisa Scottoline, a prestigious trial lawyer, is a unique author, one who can write women’s fiction that holds you captive until the very end and nonfiction that will make you split your sides from laughing. I didn’t discover Lisa until I saw her first nonfiction book, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog sitting on a shelf at Barnes & Noble.  I normally don’t pick books just because of their title but come on, this was so different and I’m such a dog lover, no way was I going to pass it up!  I'm now reading her second nonfiction book, My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, and I'm finding it just as warm and real-life humorous as her first.  Lisa also writes a delightful weekly column that you can read on her website: 
Happy reading from your Library Blog Mistress

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summertime Books, Movies, and Guest Book Reviewer

It seems that we just can’t stop talking about what a hot summer we are experiencing this year.  But hot, hot summers are the norm for Texas and you’d think we’d be used to the heat. This Texas-transplant hasn't but I’m not sure that even true Texans can really ever get used to 100+ temperatures.  So what can we do to ease the summer “too hot to step outside” blahs?  How about relaxing with a good book and  then watch a great movie?  
Of course your Library Blog Mistress has two suggestions:  To Kill a Mockingbird and The HelpThese two outstanding books have been made into outstanding movies and both are showing in August.  The movie, To Kill a Mockingbird,  will be shown at the Haltom City Public Library on August 6th as part of the celebration of the library’s 50th anniversary and the 50th year anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird being awarded the Pulitzer Prize.  On August 10th, the movie, The Help, will be released and it promises to be as good as the book.   Haven't read it yet?  Our guest blog book reviewer, Carolyn Brewer, just finished reading it and shares her insight with us below.  
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Review by:  Carolyn Davidson Brewer
I decided to read this book before the movie hits the theaters this August.  I had already seen the publicity posters so I had preconceived notions about the characters.   Emma Stone, one of my favorite young actors, plays Skeeter and she will be perfect. 
It is the 60’s in Mississippi and racial relations are in the news.  Skeeter, a journalist wanna-be, decides to share what it is really like to be a “colored maid” raising the children of the local white families.   This is a serious subject, but Kathryn Stockett provides much humor and amazement at these turbulent times. 
Minnie and Aibileen, both long time maids to prominent families in the community, share their fears and pain as they deal with snide comments and disrespect from some, but great admiration from others.   You fast become vested in the well-being of the maids and want to jump in the pages and fight for them. 
I laughed out loud at local antics and thoughts of the white socialites who let the maids raise their children, but wouldn’t share a cup of coffee at the kitchen table with them.  I cried for the maids’ children having to share their mother’s time and facing the unfairness of Mississippi in the 60’s.  You will cheer for Skeeter as she faces doubters and antagonists blocking her dreams of publishing.  She is torn between the world of being a white socialite but also seeing the disparity among the equality of all people. 
This book isn’t just about race, it is about friendship, loyalty, facing your fears and learning to go on when times are tough, all sprinkled with humor and laughter.  It is a great combination. 
A special thanks to Carolyn Brewer for this review.  If you've read a book that has touched you (kiddos and teens included too) in some way and would like to do a book review, please e-mail it to:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wow! What a summer!

It seems the library is the hottest place in town, and I am not talking temperature. We have nearly 1000 participants registered in our summer reading program. WooHoo! Tuesday Family Movie Nights have been a tremendous hit. Thanks to the Friends of the Haltom City Public Library we were able to provide popcorn to the attendees. I am excited to announce:we are now the proud owners of a carnival style corn-popper. That alone earns a fist-pumping" yes!"Can you believe,the library has featured 5 films thus far and we haven't burned any corn yet .Thankfully, no one has had to endure that "lovely" smell. I will admit, the aroma of the freshly popped treat has lured many a  patron to the theater, whose intention was  to quickly drop by the library and retrieve a book or two. We still have one Family Movie Night before our summer reading program draws to a close. The last film to be shown is " Dogs and Cats: The Revenge of Kitty" on Tuesday, July12 at 6:30 pm. What a wonderful way for you to relax and beat the heat.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Need Help? Ask Your Librarian

Last week I wrote a little teaser about a very special cabinet and a plea for help for doing book reviews for the library blog.  I am not a librarian but I’ve always heard how much librarians love to help their patrons.  Well, I’m a believer now. OMG!  I’ve never seen the Library Director of the Haltom City Public Library move so fast when she read that. (Okay, I am kidding—a little).  The next thing I knew I was receiving copies of multiple e-mails that she’d sent out to her many various resources saying,  "the Library Blog Mistress needs help".  Most folks can’t say no to Ms. Smith so I think the library blog will be having quite a few guest book reviewers in the upcoming weeks.  And that’s the way it should be.  Librarians and readers – a perfect combination for a successful and vibrant library and library blog.
Now for rest of that story about a very special cabinet that I promised I would do this week...nope...I'm not going to do it.   I simply cannot do it justice so this adorable story of “Lonesome Hank” is one that you have to read yourself and one you will have to hear for yourself.  I will tell you that it is a story of reinventing oneself after being retired and finding hidden talents.  You can find “Lonesome Hank” in center stage at the Library’s main lobby, patiently waiting for that special someone to hear his sweet music and read his story.   It looks like you just might find Librarian Grant Vaden, Lonesome Hank’s creator, mentor, and storyteller, hanging around with Hank in his spare time too.  (That’s another strange thing that I’ve noticed about librarians.  They always seem to spend their spare time at the library!)
Speaking of spare time, I hope that you have managed to find or borrow a copy of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird to read for the upcoming August 4th panel discussion to be held at the Haltom City Public Library.  I know I’m heading for Half-Price Books this weekend for my copy.
And if you have been waiting to hear who the winners are for the library’s writing contest, the wait is almost over.  The four judges for the Library’s 2011 Annual Writing Contest have been busy reading all 194 entries that were received for this year’s contest and will be meeting tomorrow to review their favorites and select the final winners.  The winners should be announced shortly.