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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Getting Gadgets? by Jeanna

 Getting gadgets? If your Christmas list includes technology, then we have some books for you.  Oh sure, you will probably get an owner’s guide with that brand new iPad or laptop.  But really, having recently faced a new laptop that runs Windows 8, I can highly recommend something much more understandable like

“Windows 8 Simplified” by Paul McFedries.  If all else fails, I don’t even have to know that much about what exactly I need to know, I can just look at the pictures, using them as a visual index.

The Dummies series is useful too, especially if you are just getting started.  Among many other Dummies titles, I found “Laptops and Tablets for Seniors or Dummies” by Nancy Muir to be particularly helpful.

If you don’t really know the difference between a laptop and a desktop or a laptop and a tablet, this book is for you. With two chapters on safety and security, and one on getting help with vision and hearing challenges, this book is thorough and well organized. The print also appears to be slightly larger than normal, another plus for older readers.
And speaking of font size, have you discovered the joys of e-reading?  Unlike a hardcover book, my Kindle graciously allows me to make the letters bigger as the day goes on and my eyes start to tire.  If, on the other hand, Santa brings a Nook to your house, thank him; then visit our library for “The Nook Book: an unofficial guide,” by Patrick Kanouse.  

For iPad owners, I recommend “How to Do Everything iPad,” by Joli Ballew

Master the iPad and you can master your life, apparently. At the very least you’ll be able to “Manage Your Schedule” (Chapter 13) and “Find a Nearby Restaurant and Walk to It” (Chapter 14, “Use Maps”). 
If you’re worried about technology, particularly the Internet, mastering you and your family, then “Raising Digital Families for Dummies” Amy Bair may be for you. 

Filled with practical advice about some of modern parenting’s hottest topics, this book is a welcome addition to our library collection. 

All it takes to share in our collection is a valid library card--think of it as being on Santa’s Library’s Nice List.  Ask at the Help Desk for more recommended computer books.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dystopian Novels


The sixth community-wide reading event, “One Book, One Community: Stillwater Reads Fahrenheit 451,” will kick-off Feb. 3, 2014.  This novel, written by Ray Bradbury in 1953, is considered a classic dystopian novel describing a post-literate society in which books and homes are burned by firemen.  Dystopian fiction allows the reader to immerse oneself into a society characterized by human misery, squalor, oppression, disease and/or overcrowding and generally headed to irreversible oblivion (unless our hero/heroine saves the day.)  These novels can stimulate great discussions as will be taking place in Feb and March 2014 during the “One Book, One Community: Stillwater Reads Fahrenheit 451” event.   

 The library has many other enticing dystopian novels of which I have listed a few of my favorites.  Top on my list is the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  “Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire,” and “Mockingjay” 

are set in a future world in which North America is divided into 12 districts with two members of each district being forced to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games. These novels are now being made into major motion pictures with the recent release of the second novel.  (“Hunger Games” will be shown at the library during our “One Book” event.)

If you like “The Hunger Games” trilogy, you will also enjoy the “Divergent” series by Veronica Roth.  In this dystopian world, Chicago is divided into five factions to which all sixteen year olds must devote the rest of their lives.

Other favorite dystopian novels of mine include“The Giver”by Lois Lowry

“1984” and “Animal Farm” by George Orwell; “Unwind” by Neil Shusterman and “City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau.

The next time you are in the library, find a dystopian novel, settle into the comfort of your home, and read about a world you are thankful is not the one you must live in.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

World Diabetes Day by Brenna

According to the American Diabetes Association’s 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million children and adults totaling 8.3% of the population have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.  Growing up around type 1 diabetes I know that it does not have to take control of your life and that you can eat many of the same foods and enjoy the same activities as those without diabetes.  With that in mind and World Diabetes Day on November 14, I thought it would be good to highlight some of the books we have on recipes and new information and approaches to diabetes.  


“Delicious Dishes for Diabetics” by Robin Ellis is a large print book we have that includes abundant recipes for type 2 Diabetes.  

“The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet” has five good habits to follow and five bad habits to break to help manage both your diet and diabetes.

“The Essential Diabetes Cookbook” by Antony Thompson is full of flavorful recipes from around the world and also identifies hidden sugars in foods.

“The Diabetes Manifesto” by Lynn Crowe and Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D. is about making small changes to help control your diabetes and was written by Crowe who was diagnosed with type 1 when she was twelve.

“The End of Diabetes” by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. has a new radical approach to diabetes by reversing the disease through high nutrient foods.

“The American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes” is considered the most reliable guide to all things concerning diabetes. 

If you or a family member need more information about diabetes, diet and recipes, please visit us at the Help Desk.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Library Shelf by Mary

We are often asked to name our favorite book, and many people are able to name one specific title.  I, however, am not one of those people.  I have too many favorite books to name just one!  I have a favorite for each day, every occasion, and all the different stages of my life.  I always try to gain something from each book I read, whether it is just a great story or some specific words of wisdom or life lesson.  Nevertheless, there are some authors/illustrators that hold a special place on my bookshelf, and one of those is Catherine Rayner.

I discovered one of her books, “Augustus and His Smile,”
just by chance in looking for books on teeth and smiles for our storytime groups.  It is a treasure.  It’s the story of a tiger who awakens one day and feels as if something is missing.  He proceeds to search for what he feels is missing throughout the wonders of his world, and discovers his reflection in the water, and his missing smile.  Such a simple, elegant message and one we should all remember.  This is Catherine Rayner’s first book and it remains one of my favorites. 

Her next book is “Harris Finds His Feet,” a story about the legacy we leave and taking our own steps into the world--beautifully done.  Her other books include

 “Solomon Crocodile,” 
“Ernest the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit,” 

“Sylvia and Bird” 
and “The Bear Who Shared.” 
Her stories are about friendship, sharing, accepting, and learning.  These are important messages for us and our children to learn.  Her latest book is titled “Abigail.”  
Look for it soon in the library. 

I encourage you to bring your child and spend some time browsing the library shelves for good books to read and share.  You just never know when you will discover your favorite----just by chance.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Raptors by Andrea

Each fall, hundreds of thousands of hawks, eagles, ospreys and falcons withdraw from their breeding grounds across North America and move to their wintering grounds, some as far away as southern South America. In the Panhandle of Oklahoma, the High Plains give way to the canyon country and foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This unique area supports birds associated with the prairies as well as birds associated with the western mountains and canyons.

The Sutton Avian Research Center has monitored nesting raptors in Cimarron County, the western most county of the Panhandle, for several years. Some of the species found there include: Prairie Falcons, American Kestrels, Mississippi Kites, Swainson's Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, and Golden Eagles. For some of these species, this is the only part of Oklahoma where they can be found nesting.

The library has a variety of informative books about these magnificent birds of prey.  

“Raptors, Birds of Prey” by Scott Weidensaul, is a wonderful guide for enthusiasts and anyone interested in the natural world, with plenty of full-color photographs.

“Eagles: Masters of the Sky,”edited by Rebecca Grambo, blends natural history and legend.
It is an unparalleled collection that will leave readers packing their bags and heading for the river bluffs of Minnesota, the rain forests of South America, and the wilds of Alaska in hopes of viewing these magnificent birds in their natural habitats.

In “On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon” by Alan Tennant, the author recounts his attempt to track the transcontinental migration of the majestic peregrine falcon — an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths. From the windswept flats of the Texas barrier islands to the Artic and then south again into the Caribbean, “On the Wing” provides a hilariously mischievous and bumpy flight.

While autumn leaves tumble from trees this fall, another natural wonder is soaring overhead, so visit the library to learn more about these predators… and don’t forget to look up in the sky!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stillwater Books by Kari


This Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1-4 p.m. is the library’s very first book festival.  It’s called “Read Local” and will feature over 30 local authors who will be on hand to sell their books. All of the authors have a connection to our community (or within 50 miles).  The authors have written adult, teen and children’s books in all sorts of subject areas…thrillers, inspirational, history and more.  In searching for authors who lived in the Stillwater area, we also discovered many books that take place in the Stillwater area.  Although these authors will not be at the fair, you may want to check them out sometime and see how Stillwater is represented in literature.

For the kiddos, we have a 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah book called “Annie Glover is NOT a Tree Lover,” by Darleen Bailey Beard.  Annie Glover’s grandma, who is always protesting something, chains herself to a century-old tree that is scheduled to be cut down to make way for a new swimming-pool.  This book is based on the true story in Stillwater, in which a woman chained herself to a tree in order to protect it from being cut down for the hospital's parking lot expansion.  

In mystery, we have “Murder in Morrill,” by B. H. B. Harper.  Claire is a new hire in the English Department of Oklahoma State University.  A colleague has been murdered and his missing briefcase is found in her locked office.  Claire is now a person of interest.  In order to exonerate herself, she attempts to find the murderer, which leads her into campus politics and family secrets.  

B. H. B. Harper has another book called “Highest Bidder,” in which the main character, Elsa, has a teaching position at Oklahoma State University.  In her spare time she attends an occasional auction where she collects Lakeland pottery.  She and Stephen, with whom she is becoming attached, try to break up a counterfeit operation by a gentleman they call “the vampire.”  

“Jumper,” by Steven Gould, is a Sci Fi story about David, a teenager who escapes an abusive household using his ability to teleport.  He meets a woman who goes to school at Oklahoma State University, where he visits her.  

And finally, a hot romance novel titled “One Night with a Cowboy,” written by Cat Johnson, has just made its way to our new bookshelf.  Dr. Rebecca Hart has just lost her job as an assistant professor of English at Vassar University, at which time she goes home to find her boyfriend moving out.  She travels to Oklahoma State University for a job interview, where she meets bull rider Tucker Jenkins.  Their romance sparks in that short visit, but ends when she returns home.  After taking the OSU teaching position, she is introduced to Staff Sgt. Jenkins, who teaches in the ROTC program, where, again, sparks fly. 

So come by and pick up one of these books with local places you’ll recognize.  And come to “Read Local” on Saturday to support our local writers!