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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Keeping up with the Library by Stacy

There is always something going on at the Stillwater Public Library.  A new adult program, a weekly storytime or a review of all the latest hot titles--we have fun and educational activities for everyone.  But how will you know when these events are going on?  Whether you prefer to get your news using the latest tech or prefer some of the “old-fashioned” ways (like email!), the library has several ways you can keep up with us electronically.

If you like receiving news in your email, we publish an electronic newsletter around the 15th of every month.  The newsletter is filled with details on the latest events and is one of the only places to get ALL of the librarian’s top book picks. 

Newsletter subscribers also get to find out about upcoming events before anyone else.  Events like the Jan. 25 “Get Organized Month” program and free luncheon were announced in the newsletter first.  Subscribers also got to be the first to sign-up for the program (email if you want to sign-up for this event).  To subscribe to this newsletter, join our mailing list at

We also post our events on Facebook and Twitter.  You can be a Facebook Fan by liking us at or you can follow us on Twitter at  Both sites will give you the latest news, but will allow you to interact with us as well.  Facebook and Twitter messages are answered Monday through Friday 9-5 and often on evenings and weekends as well.

Two newer ways to keep up are google+ and foursquare.  You can “plus one” us at  If you “foursquare,” be sure to check in with us when you visit.  As more people check in, we’ll begin adding tips and maybe even some sweet deals!

And don’t forget to always check our webpage at  On the webpage, you’ll always find our upcoming events, latest books, and our full calendar.  You’ll also find links to all of the other sites I discussed above.

As always, though, if you want to know what is going on at the library, keep up with us in the NewsPress or just come on in!

Stillwater, OK

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book a Month Favorites by Stacy

Angelica Craig was the winner of the 2011 Book a Month challenge at the Stillwater Public Library.

According to some of Stillwater Public Library’s most avid readers, “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak was Stillwater’s favorite during 2011.  Over seventy five readers completed the library’s Book a Month reading challenge which started in January 2011 and ended December 31. 

"The Book Thief" was Stillwater's favorite book in 2011.

The participants were challenged to read at least one adult or young adult novel each month during the year.  Participants turned in logs listing the books they read each month as well as their favorite book of the year.  Eight of the participants chose Zusak’s story of a young girl whose family hides a Jewish man in Nazi occupied Germany.  The modern classic, narrated by “Death,” was written for young adults but has become a favorite of adults and bookclubs.  “The Book Thief” is available for check out as a book, CDbook, eBook and bookclub kit.

Angelica Craig was the Book a Month challenge winner.  Craig was randomly chosen from the pool of entrants and won a gift certificate to purchase eBooks for her Nook ereader. 

“I was definitely excited to see the public library reaching out to the public and encouraging them to read more and to see the library hop into the digital media age with e-readers,” said Craig.

Craig was one of the participants who listed “The Book Thief” as a favorite.  Other top vote getters included “The Help” by Kathleen Stockett, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.  A full listing of the participants’ favorite books of the year is available below.  The books are also on display near the Help Desk.

Book a Month Challenge Favorites 2011

19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Bonnie by Iris Johansen

Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Calling of Dan Matthews by Harold Bell Wright

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

City of Thieves by David Benioff

Cutting for Stone: a novel by Abraham Verghese

Gap Creek: a novel by Robert Morgan

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel

Help by Kathryn Stockett  

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer
Innocent by Harlan Coben

Into the Night by Suzanne Brockmann

by Erik Larson

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Lily: a novel by Cindy Bonner

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

by Conor Grennan

Loop by Nicholas Evans

Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Outliers: the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult

Postmistress by Sarah Blake

Promise, Texas by Debbie Macomber

Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry

Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt

Snuff: a Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett

Stand by Stephen King

Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek

Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow

by Gregory Maguire

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

1984 by George Orwell

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year, New Resolutions by Hannah

Each year, I find myself listing many of the same resolution.  They’re the usual suspects--eating better, exercising etc.  But since I've rarely kept up with them as well or as long as I should in the past, this year, I've decided to enlist some help from the busy shelves of our lovely, glorious library. While I've never been one for self-help books, here are a few that caught my interest, and conveniently pair up with some of my resolutions.

Resolution #1: Organize My Apartment (and keep it organized for longer than a week)
Known as the "Most Organized Man in America," Mellen offers ways to fix both your organization issues and face the chaos in your everyday life that leads to it. With a humorous but simple approach to de-cluttering your life and living space, Unstuff Your Life! Could be a major game-changer for those of us who swear we can find anything- if you just give us a minute to remember where we put it.

Resolution #2: Be Happier, More Grateful, and Generally a More Pleasant Person

This well-researched mix of philosophical evidence, scientific evidence, and personal anecdote about finding happiness may not cause readers to have a brilliant epiphany worthy of the history books, but it'll make you laugh, give you some insight on how the world looks on happiness, and give you some ideas on how to evoke more happiness in your own life- especially through the little things.

Resolution #3: Take Risks
This one ties into Resolution #2 a lot as well, but the title alone was something for me to remember for this one: to stop saying no so often and to start saying "yes," even when I'm not entirely certain what sort of outcome I'll get afterwards. Bethenny Frankel has an incredibly inspiring personal story, and here she shares her straightforward, hilarious, and witty insights into living well, and not getting in the way of your own happiness and success.

Resolution #4: Work-Out Weekly and More Often
I've never been one for working out, and while the first half of Born To Run loaded me with excuses for why I shouldn't (did you know the majority of us aren't actually built for running?), reading the tale of the Tarahumara tribe and other super-runners has inspired me to give running another try- and to maybe learn to love it after all.

Come by the library to find more books that will help your resolutions become last habits!

Stillwater, OK 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top 10 of 2011 by Scott

One of my favorite parts of the year is being able to look back over what I have read and attempt to narrow that number down into a list of my favorite titles.  This year was a difficult task as there were so many great reads I enjoyed.

For what it is worth here are my top 10.  All of these titles were published in 2011 and available at the Stillwater Public Library.

10.  A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness—This was my favorite YA novel of the year and most definitely the most emotional.  A monster appears nightly to 13 year old Conor as his mom undergoes treatments.  After finishing this read with my kids I called my mom and told her I loved her. 

9.  The Map of Time by Felix Palma—This is a classic time travel tale.  H.G. Wells is called on to investigate reports of time travel and in the process bumps in to Henry James, Bram Stoker and Jack the Ripper. 

8.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern—The Night Circus appears in the dead of the night.  It is open from sundown to sunup and nothing is as it seems.  Morgenstern’s debut novel is noteworthy because the main character is the circus and the world she has crafted is breathtaking.

7.  Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales—This is a detailed and insightful oral history of ESPN.  It chronicles the early days when no one thought a 24 hour sports network was either a good idea or possible to the 90s heyday of Olbermann-Patrick to the mainstay that ESPN is today.

6.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline—If you are a child of the 80s, as I am, then this book was written specifically for you.  Set 30 years in the future the key to success and fortune is how much you know about that one particular decade. 

5.  The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach--A fascinating reflection on friendship and fear. Harbach has done a masterful job in placing baseball and the college experience as the backdrop for a poignant and engrossing look at dreams and how their realization are often right in front of us.

4.  When She Woke by Hillary Jordan--This is a modern day retelling of The Scarlet Letter and is a perfect title to hand to someone that loved Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

3.  Cain by Jose Saramago--This was the great Saramago's final novel, a novelization of the story of Cain, slayer of Abel and the first biblical criminal. Well, the first along with God in Saramago's telling. Cain is forced to wander but it is not merely a nomadic existence. Instead, he moves to different "presents" that just so happen to coincide with OT occurrences. What emerges is a scathing, unrelenting and brilliant look at a primitive picture of God as contained with the Hebrew Scriptures. Cain spares God no mercy for expecting more from his creation than He delivers himself.

2.  I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle—This was my biggest surprise of the year.   The singer-songwriter hit one out of the park with his debut. Earle has written a masterful reflection on loneliness, addiction, despair and redemption. With the hand of a seasoned writer he weaves in abortion, liberation theology, Mexican theological mysticism and an indictment on the moral bankruptcies of the priesthood. This is not an easy tale. It is grit and dirt and despair. But oh, is it beautifully written and chock full of characters worth remembering. 

1.  The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock—This book left me absolutely speechless when I was done and took a few days for me to really process its greatness.  Pollock has channeled his inner Flannery O’Connor for this brutal and unforgiving look at broken lives and despair.  This is a Southern Gothic master work that is unflinching in its portrayal of deeply flawed yet compelling characters.  It might be too dark and violent for some but that does not diminish the sheer power of this novel. 

Pick up these books and see other librarians’ favorites at the library.

Stillwater, OK.