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Monday, January 28, 2013

ONE good thing about 15,000,000 new book titles by Jay

From 2011 to 2012, the number of books published increased by 500%.  Just for nostalgia’s sake: in 2003 there were only 300,000 titles published.  One good thing about this huge increase is the prominence of fantastic new women authors. 

Sure, there have always been books written by women, including some of the top literature, such as award winning “Them” by Joyce Carol Oates.  But it was hard to build a collection of female authors when there were literally only a handful of titles available, even up into the 1970s.  With a proliferation of female novelists and tens of millions of choices today, Stillwater Public Library has been able to build a collection of books by new, exciting, and groundbreaking female authors who write with jarring honesty. 

Here is a brief list of some of the great new fiction by female authors I have read in the past 12 months (and be sure to have “The Do” as an appropriate modern soundtrack for your reading):

·           Sherry and Narcotics - Nina Marie Gardner’s first novel is about a young grad student who falls in love with a Facebook poster, then moves to Manchester, England to be with him.

·           How Should a Person Be?” - Sheila Heti’s bold and experimental new novel is about a young artist who tries to figure out how to be a genius.

·           The Correspondence Artist - Barbara Browning has written an epistle novel where the action takes place through a series of emails and texts.

·           Zazen” - Vanessa Veselka writes about a recent geology graduate who moves to the big city, but cannot find a job anywhere.  She then gets caught up in the apocalypse.

·           We Only Know So Much” - Elizabeth Crane’s debut novel delves into the common theme of “family,” but what a family it is!

·           Drinking Closer to Home” - Jessica Blau writes another family tale, this one about one of the craziest families you’ll meet.

·           Ghost Lights” - Lydia Millet too writes about a California family torn apart by a lack of communication and modern age.

·           Paper Conspiracies” - Susan Daitch has written a historical novel about an event set in 1880’s France, which is being investigated by a twenty-first century film preservationist.

These eight titles are just the very beginning of exciting, bold and truthful new female authors at Stillwater Public Library. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Upcoming Favorites by Scott

A new year means one thing: a new slate of books to be released.  If you are anything like me then you often find yourself awaiting certain books to hit the shelves.

Here are a handful of the ones that I am excited about this spring:

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Ron Rash—Rash made quite a splash (pardon the rhyme) with last year’s The Cove.  If you like Appalachian-tinged tales of longing and pain then this new short story collection promises to be quite the read.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout—I loved Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteredge, a collection of stories tied to gather by the title character.  This book is about two adult brothers who try to make sense of the accident that claimed their father’s life when they were just boys.

A Map of Tulsa by Benjamin Lytal—Lytal is an Oklahoma who left for the big lights of New York City and is a former staff member at the New Yorker magazine.  His literary debut is about a college student returning and trying to make sense of his hometown, Tulsa.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini—Hosseini has delighted with his two previous novels, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.  This book is supposedly a multi-generational family saga.  With Hosseini’s name attached to it I don’t really care what it’s about.  I’ll read anything of his.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill—Through the powers of Advanced Reading Copies I am actually already reading this latest by Joe Hill.  You may not recognize the name but you know his dad, a little author by the name of Stephen King.  Hill is a great writer in his own right, and this latest is shaping up to be as good, and frightening, as anything you could expect from the better known member of the family.

Transatlantic by Colum McCann—My favorite book of 2009 was the National Book Award winning novel about a guy attempting to walk a tight rope between the World Trade Towers by McCann.  That book was lyrical and heartbreaking.  He’s finally back with this story about three different real life trips to Ireland by Frederick Douglass, Jack Alcock and George Mitchell, respectively.  It promises to be a somber reflection on the quiet moments that lurk behind great historical events.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Unworkable: get organized at work by Stacy

If you walk from desk to desk at your workplace, you’ll see a wide variety of organizing techniques.  A few people will have a clean desk with every paper and project filed in an exact place.  Others have stacks upon stacks of papers in different piles so they can see everything on which they are working (that’s me!).  Still others have a spotless desk, but if you check their drawers they have papers and folders crammed in every which way. 

Whatever the method of organizing being used (or not used), few of us have probably sat down to thoroughly analyze and think through the best way to manage the incoming and outgoing material that passes our workspaces each day.  On Wednesday, Jan. 23 from Noon to 1 p.m., you’ll get that chance!  Professional organizer Shannon Cowan will have a lunch seminar on how to make your workspaces more efficient and cost effective.

The program and lunch are free.  Registration is required by signing up online at, emailing or calling 405.372.3633 x106.  In the meantime, you may want to brush-up on some of these skills with a few of our books:

The Organized Executive by Stephanie Winston – this office organizing classic covers streamlining paper, using efficient filing systems, taking control of your schedule and executing long-term projects.

Making Work Work by Julie Morgenstern – the organizing guru takes on office organizing and introduces small steps you can make in your thinking and behavior to not just organize your work, but also to manage your time and your office relationships.

Home Office Design by Neal Zimmerman – this book covers design side organization and considers actual workstation needs, power requirements, furnishings, storage units, ergonomics and more.

Paper Flow: Your Ultimate Guide to Making Paperwork Easy by Maryanne Bennie – Bennie gives tips and sets out systems for tracking paper throughout its life.  Useful for home accounting and work.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Your Resolutions and Our Library Solutions! by Stacy

It’s resolution time again and the Stillwater Public Library is making it easy for you to complete them all!  Besides our many books and ebooks, the library provides programs on different subjects for all ages.  So if you have a resolution, then we’ve got a solution!

Resolution: Read more this year (this is our favorite resolution).
Solution 1: Sign up for an ereader class and learn how to check out book online.  Jan. 3 (1-5 p.m. Kindle Users), Jan. 8 (1-5 p.m. Nook & other users) and Jan. 10 (1-5 p.m. iPad and Apple users).
Solution 2: Attend “The Buzz” on Jan. 9 at 12 p.m. to learn about all the new books you’re sure to love.
Solution 3:  If you’re a kiddo, sign up for the “Winter Reading Program” beginning Jan. 14 to read and earn prizes.

Resolution: Get more involved in the community.
Solution: Meet all of your state representatives and city officials at the “Legislative Reception” on Jan. 10 from 5-7 p.m.  Find out what is coming up in Oklahoma politics and tell your officials what you think!

Resolution:  Get organized.
Solution 1: Register for Shannon Cowan’s “Successful Spaces” on Jan. 23 at noon and learn how to get your workspaces organized.
Solution 2: Drive through the parking lot with up to three boxes of documents on “Shred Day,” Jan 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. They will be shredded on site.

Resolution:  Spend more time with my family.
Solution 1:  Bring the whole gang to “Family Film Night” on Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. for a “popping” good time on the big screen.
Solution 2: Take your child to one of the new storytimes beginning Jan. 3.  We have Babytime, Toddlertime, Family Storytime and Preschool Storytime every week.

Resolution:  Sharpen computer skills.
Solution: Register for one of the library’s twelve spring computer classes scheduled Jan. 31 to May 4.  Classes include Building a Website, Skype, Word, Etsy and more!

So no matter what is you want to do, get your start at the library!