Search This Blog

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Favorite Books of 2010 by Scott

If there is anything I love more than reading it is a good list.  So, in the attempt to construct the best of all possible worlds here is the list of my favorite books of 2010.  These books were published in 2010 and come from the 218 books I have read (so far) this year.

10.    Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin by Hampton Sides—A thorough portrayal of James Earl Ray’s steps to that fateful moment in Memphis and the aftermath of one of the darkest days in American history.

9.      Feed by Mira Grant—This was my favorite Zombie read of the year.

8.      I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne—Shocking, mortifying and oh, so fun to read.

7.      Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin—The best and most thorough look behind the scenes of the historic 2008 presidential campaign.

6.      The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley—A 91 year old man suffering from dementia is offered a miracle drug that will cure him.  The only downside is that he won’t live to see 92 if he takes it.  A moving and powerful book.

5.      The Passage by Justin Cronin—The fact that I loved this book when vampires are so passé is due to Cronin’s strength of story-telling and fresh take on the genre.

4.      Room by Emma Donoghue—This ground-breaking book is narrated by Jack, a five-year-old boy, who has spend his entire life in one room.  Chilling, memorable and enthralling.

3.      The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot—The stunning and true story of racism, oppression and theft in the name of medical progress.  An absolute must-read.

2.      Still Missing by Chevy Stevens—This book is told in a series of therapy sessions from the perspective of a young real estate agent who had been abducted.  Each session brings her closer to healing and finding out the truth of what happened.

1.      The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman—An absolutely brilliant debut.  An English language newspaper that publishes out of Rome is enduring tough times.  Told from the perspective of different employees this book was my favorite of the year.

These are all well worth your time and are available here at the Stillwater Public Library.  For other Best of 2010 lists, go to which lists both fiction and nonfiction.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Angie Debo by Lynda


As the year draws to a close, we want to thank the entire community for its involvement in giving the Stillwater Public Library the city’s first municipal sculpture.  Angie Debo, noted Oklahoma Historian and resident of nearby Marshall, Oklahoma, now sits in front of the library with the seals of the 38 federally recognized tribes of Oklahoma surrounding the base.

It was an amazing three year process with many thanks to everyone who contributed to the statue fund; to the community-wide committee which stuck it out the entire 3 years to see our efforts become a reality; and to all the citizens who showed their enthusiasm and support. 

Phyllis Mantik, local Stillwater artist, was chosen to sculpt Angie Debo and she did a marvelous job and was an absolute joy to work with on this project.  She also created the concept for the seals to be placed around the base after the committee decided it wanted to honor the connection between Angie Debo and Oklahoma’s Native American tribes.  After each Native American tribe provided permission for their seal to be used, Phyllis had to redraw each seal to the specifications of the company which produced the bronze versions.   That was a truly amazing undertaking.

If you have not yet had the opportunity, stop by the library to view the sculpture and read the plaque to learn more about Angie Debo and her accomplishments.  If you missed the dedication on Nov. 18, visit to see the entire event or a short video of all of the festivities.  Afterwards, come inside the library to locate a copy of the many books we have written or edited by Debo.   And if you really want to learn more about Angie, contact the OSU Library to view the Angie Debo special collection and several items that were in Angie’s home.  My favorite is her typewriter. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holmes for the Holidays by Jeanna

Christmas in Victorian England - the carolers, the feasts, the yuletide spirit, the mysteries to be solved, the murderers to be apprehended. Yes, indeed, I did say “mysteries” and “murderers,” but even at this time of year, who can resist the Britannic charm of Sherlock Holmes, one of the world’s favorite fictional detectives?

In “Holmes for the Holidays,” fourteen authors, including Anne Perry and Carole Nelson Douglas, provide stories of mirth and mayhem set amid the splendor of the season. Have you ever wondered what the great detective himself would have said about all those supernatural goings-on in “The Christmas Carol?” Thanks to Tiny Tim - now Lord Chislehusrt - in “The Adventure of the Three Ghosts” and Scrooge’s great nephew in “The Adventure of the Christmas Ghosts” we have other views of what might have happened on that famous Christmas Eve night.

In “A Scandal in Winter” we also have a different view of Sherlock Holmes and his esteemed sidekick/biographer Dr. Watson. Nicknamed ‘Silver Stick’ and ‘Square Bear’ by the young girl telling the story, Holmes and Watson must tackle a year old mystery involving Irene Adler and the murder of her latest husband. While many readers might prefer a closer adherence to the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, this little gem was probably my favorite. My second favorite might well be “A Yuletide Affair,” in which Holmes barely makes an appearance and Dr. Watson must solve a medical mystery by himself or watch Lestrade perish.

With anarchists, attempted murders, disappearing and reappearing Christmas trees, and no end of brilliant deductions, this carefully selected collection of short stories has something for every fan of a time, place, main character – and, in this case, a season – that will always have a place in our collective imaginations.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fun Christmas Creations by Gayla

Christmas break is right around the corner.  Will your kids be sitting in front of the television for hours or playing video games endlessly?  I have a great alternative!  Fun Christmas memories can be made by using simple every day items found around the home.  We have several books in our Children’s Department that are full of ideas and easy step- by- step instructions with colorful illustrations.  Here are a few of my favorite books and the ideas you can find:

·             Christmas Crafts” by Judith Corwin. Are your kids constantly asking you how many days until jolly old St. Nick makes his yearly rounds?  How about making a Christmas countdown with Santa’s beard?   A cotton ball is glued to Santa’s beard each day.    When the beard is full, it’s time for his visit. 

·             Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make” by Kathy Ross.  How about a doggie ornament for your favorite pooch made from a real dog biscuit?  You’d better hang it up high or it just might disappear. For a more personalized gift, your child’s hands and foot shapes can turn into a little angel which will especially be welcomed gifts for family members.  

·              Christmas Fun” by Deri Robins. Would you like to have the best-dressed windows in town? Add an indoor snowstorm made from cotton balls, or make your windows glow with “stained glass” to warm up even the frostiest of Christmas mornings.

·               Merry Things to Make” by Diane Cherkerzian.  The kitchen is often busy at Christmas. How about stained-glass cookies or a Graham Cracker Holiday house that will look too good to eat? Oh go ahead, take a bite.  When you try Mrs. Clause’s Favorite Fudge, you just might see why Santa’s so round!

·             Santa’s Sackful of Best Christmas Ideas” by Deri Robins.  If you’re tired of all the usual games, try some North Pole favorites like Christmas Card Bingo, Draw a Carol, Melting Snowmen, and “S” is for Santa.

I hope the ideas and projects I presented will make Christmas all the merrier!  These Christmas craft books along with others are in the Juvenile department with call numbers 745.594.  The book’s spine will have a candy cane with the word “Christmas.”  So let’s get busy-and have fun!


Monday, November 22, 2010

"Devils in Exile" by Mary Beth


It's been said that no one understands the criminal underbelly of Boston like best selling author Chuck Hogan.  In his latest novel "Devils in Exile," Hogan takes the reader on a heart pounding odyssey into the city's volatile drug trade and proves it.

Former Iraqi War vet, Neal Maven finds a sense of purpose and the adrenaline high he's been missing when he meets former military man, Brad Royce.  Royce has money, charisma and confidence and he recruits Maven into a small team of former vets that intercepts drug deals.  They destroy the product while pocketing the money, a get-rich scheme with a moral imperative that appeals to Maven whose stepsister died from a drug overdose.

Royce also has a beautiful woman - someone Maven knew from high school.  And then, as now, she is his dream girl.  In a short time, Maven has more money than he's ever seen and the good life seems within reach.

But the success rate of their well-planned and executed missions suddenly begins to change.  Mistakes happen, the risks increase.  Boston's drug kingpins place a bounty on their heads and hire two Jamaican hit men with an affinity for eyeball souvenirs.  The multi-agency DEA-headed task force closes in on them.

Maven is as confused as ever.  Who is Royce?  How does he get his inside information?  Why are the ops going wrong?

Hogan, whose "Prince of Thieves" was recently released as the movie "The Town," delivers his most thrilling novel yet.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Find New Traditions @ Stillwater Public Library by Stacy

We’re on the cusp of a busy holiday season.  Many of us have lifelong holiday traditions for which to prepare, but for others of us, circumstances have made those traditions impractical or just plan impossible.  Maybe divorce has changed your family’s dynamics, or the economy has made your tradition too expensive, or perhaps all of the little ones have grown up and there are no longer children in your home. 

Giving up a treasured tradition can be heartbreaking, but it is also a great time to find new ways to make the holidays special.  The Stillwater Public Library can show you how to make new traditions with some of these insightful books:

·           The Heart of a Family: searching America for new traditions that fulfill us” by Meg Cox—a nice book filled with examples from different families on how they celebrate special occassions and holidays.

·           Creating Family Traditions: making memories in festive seasons” by Gloria Gaither & Shirley Dobson—religious oriented take on activities that will be especially meaningful for children.

·           Giving Love a Memory: creating traditions your family will cherish” by Ruthann Winans & Linda Lee—a very short book with lots of small activities to commemorate the special days of the year and events in life.

·           The Joy of Family Traditions” by Jennifer Trainer Thompson—gives an exhaustive list of different holidays and special occasions that call for a tradition.  Includes histories of special occasions and provides world-wide traditions.

·           New Traditions: redefining celebrations for today’s family” by Susan Abel Lieberman—includes two great chapters on single-parent homes and traditions for “Daddies.”

·           Family Traditions: celebrations for holidays and everyday” by Elizabeth Berg—a great book that explains how to make everyday traditions and “no-reason” traditions.  It covers many different holidays as well.

·           Christmas at Our House: family holiday traditions” by Donna Green—this is not an idea book so much as a great listing of holiday activities to think about so that you can identify the activities your family does every year and decide whether they are traditions worth keeping.

There is still plenty of time to decide what to do to make this holiday memorable and special.  These books and more will be out on display, so stop by and check them out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soup's On! by Sue

Fall is here and it’s time to start making that cold-weather standby for mealtime: soup!  We have many books about soup in the children’s area.  Some of the fiction titles include a recipe you may wish to try.  Included in the Juvenile area are:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Family Fun @ National Gaming Day @ Stillwater Public Library by Stacy

On Saturday, Nov. 13 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) during National Gaming Day @ Your Library, I imagine that a lot of people will be excited about learning to play Mahjong (AND the special tea service I am planning, ladies!) or hanging out playing Texas Hold ‘em, and definitely taking part in the Minute to Win It challenges.  Personally, I am secretly going to be wishing that I could sneak over with the Stillwater Chess Club and learn how to play. 

Although we’ll have instructors available to teach you how to play the games, you may want to come in early to check out some of these easy to understand game books:

·           Learning chess in 30 minutes: chess for absolute beginners (DVD).

·           Chess for kids by Michael Basman.

·           Learn chess in a weekend by Ken Whyld.

·           Texas hold'em for dummies by Mark Harlan.

·           The New Complete Hoyle : the authoritative guide to the official rules of all popular games of skill and chance--includes instruction for card games, board, games, Mahjong, and much more).

·           Monopoly : the world's most famous game-- and how it got that way by Philip Orbanes.

·           The Games Treasury by Merilyn Simonds Mohr—a compilation of instructions for all manner of card and board games, including the very difficult to master Chutes and Ladders.

·           While fido won’t be able to come in on Saturday, be sure to look for this upcoming book so he can join in the fun at home: 50 games to play with your dog by Suellen Dainty (how dreamy is her name!).

Whatever game you choose to play at the library next Saturday, it will be all the more fun if you bring your friends and family.  So pull the kids away from the TV and tell hubby (or the wife) that he can just as easily watch the OSU-Texas game at the library as at home!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Fallout" by Stacy

If your loved ones who own an Xbox 360 have not been out of the house, not bathing or brushing their teeth, or maybe are missing entirely, it may because they are obsessed with last week’s release of Fallout: New Vegas

After having been immersed in post-nuclear Vegas for 6 to 10 hours a day the last week, I’m thoroughly sickened with myself but still can’t resist the urge to play.  For those of you who are suffering the same ailment, I suggest a slow withdraw by using some good old-fashioned post-apocalyptic fiction to wean yourself off Fallout and back into real society. 

You are probably most familiar with the novels made into films like “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson, and “The Stand” by Stephen King, but post-apocalyptic fiction goes way back into the 1800s with novels like Mary Shelley’s "The Last Man" (1826) in which a lone survivor learns to live in a world where everyone else is dying from the plague; and “After London” by Richard Jefferies where England has reverted to a medieval existence after a sudden catastrophe.  Both novels are available as free ebooks at and audio books at

The Cold War era brought classics like “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter Miller which explores mankind six hundred years after a nuclear war, then revisits the same world as it flourishes in a new Renaissance, then once more when it reverts once again to another nuclear age.  The characters in Nevil Shute's “On the Beach” are living just days after World War III.  When they find signs of life, they must go into the post-apocalyptic world to find survivors.

More recent titles include “Warday,” a very interesting novel in which the authors are also the main characters.  The book follows Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka out into radiation and war filled America to explore how the rest of the country is coping five years after a nuclear attack.  The Book of Ember young adult series by Jeanne DuPrau follows two teens who have been living in an isolated and safe community.  The books follow them as they find their way into the post-apocalyptic world. 

Several of us at the library have “Fallout” poisoning (Fallout fever?).  Come see us—we may be able to help.