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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Reluctant Recommender by Rion

I am not in the habit of recommending books. Call it a phobia, but as a librarian, the subject is obviously unavoidable. Normally, I like to make recommendations on books I know are being adapted into films; however, I actually tend to be tightlipped about movies, too. I find it is a tricky business making recommendations because tastes widely vary and many people might not want to venture beyond the cover of a particular genre.  In the spirit of the coming New Year, I resolve to break my recommendation phobia starting now.

I recently read two books, “Warm Bodies” by Isaac Marion and “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman, which have lingered with me for a number of months. In the simplest terms, “Warm Bodies” is a zombie love story. There is gore to be sure, nothing over-the-top, but Marion is more interested in what it means to be human.  Marion illustrates the decay of memory and personality with a prose style that elicits compassion and sympathy for a zombie.  “Warm Bodies” has been adapted into a film and is set for release on February 1, 2013. I have no idea what the movie will be like, but I hope it was made with the same sensibility as Marion’s wonderful novel.

 Neal Shusterman’s novel, while not about zombies, casts a similar light on the question of humanity. “Unwind” is set in the “near future” after the Second Civil War is fought over the issue of abortion. The end of the war is brought about by the introduction of a process known as unwinding, which gives parents the ability to have their child’s body harvested as long as he/she is between the ages of 13 and 18. While “Warm Bodies” uses zombies to define humanity, “Unwind” uses harvesting.  Because nearly all of a person can be used, technically no one really “dies.” This book is equal parts unsettling and unbelievably thought provoking, and apparently is being adapted for film but has no release date.

For more recommendations, ask at the Help Desk.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Giving an Experience by Stacy


The thought of purchasing Christmas gifts makes me both excited and a little sick to my stomach.  The people on my gift list are fairly enigmatic and never really make it clear what they’d like.  I usually wait and wait, then finally make rash, overpriced purchases on December 23.  In fact, when I asked the brothers and sisters if they wanted to go in together on a gift this year, one of them commented that it must already be Christmas Eve if I’m already making definite plans.  To overcome my gift buying confusion and stress, I’ve started concentrating on purchasing experiences and classes instead.  There are many super “experiences” available right here in Stillwater.

·             First and foremost, bringing your children to get a library card has to be one of the best experiences you can give them.  It is exciting, free and gives them a chance to enjoy thousands of free books for the rest of their lives.

·             Our partners over at Meridian Technology Center have a huge array of computer classes that would make great gifts for a parent or grandparent.  You can also get a discount code at the library for an even better deal!  Some classes that are particularly useful and the discounted prices include: Learning to Use Kindle ($35), iPhone Essentials ($36), Android Phone Essentials ($35), Getting Started with Computers ($25), iPad Essentials ($36), Learning to Type ($67) and Photo Editing with Adobe Elements 11 ($116).  Visit the MTC website at or contact Susan at or 405-377-3333 x272 for more information. 

·             Our friends at the Multi Arts Center have classes for all ages ranging from  kids’ crafts to teen activities to quilting, sewing, drawing, jewelry making and a ton more.  Classes are as low as $10 each and you can buy a gift certificate of any amount and let your recipient choose the class.  For more information, contact Bill Miller at  or 405-747-8084.

If there are other “experiences” you’d like to make into gifts, just call the business or organization.  Most of the time, they will be glad to make arrangements for you to purchase some type of gift certificate for the experience or class.  Good luck shopping!