Monday, December 31, 2012

Change is Good 2013

Tiny BuddhaChange Anything

Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions.  With help from her 200,000 twitter followers author Lori Deschene shares their thoughts on life's meaning of pain, happiness, fate and more. 158.1 DES

Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.
 Based on the latest scientific psychological and medical research author Kathy Patterson offers insight on how to improve not only work relations and overall health but your outlook on life.   155.24 PAT

Happier at HomeHappier at Home:Kiss more, Jump more, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life.  by Gretchen Craft Rubin 158.1 RUB
The 4 Disciplines of Execution52 Small Changes52 Small Changes :One Year to a Happier, Healthier You.  Brett Blumenthal's method is simple:make one small change per week and by the end of the year you can be happier and  healthier. 613.2 BLU

A Unified Theory of HappinessThe 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving your Wildly Important Goals.  Chris McChesney and Sean Covey offer a practical guide for goal setting and execution with-in any organization. 658.4 MCC

A Unified Theory of Happiness :An East-meets-West Approach to Fully Loving your Life. 
by Dr. Andrea F. Polard's book is a warm and personalized guide for the transformation of consciousness that allows personal well-being and fulfillment to flourish. 152.42 POL


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best Books of 2012

It's customary at this time of year for book reviewers to compile lists of favorite books. Below, a number of of experts weigh in with their lists of “The Best Books of 2012”.  Take a look.

But in a recent Printer's Row John Warner of The Chicago Tribune writes that there is no such thing as an objective "best book."  He says readers need to match good reads with their individual interests.

As 2012 comes to a close have you thought about compiling your own list? Did you like one book better than all others?  I don't know if I have one, top-of-the-list stand-out but my favorites definitely include Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, and The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Chapter Books for Children

Award Winning Children's Authors

How to get in the Christmas spirit?  Some listen to Christmas music, others bake cookies, and of course, there's shopping!  As with adult fiction, many of the best children's authors have written something specifically for Christmas, usually a short read, sometimes drawing upon their own childhood or memories.  Offer one to your child, or read it yourself if you find yourself feeling "Scrooge-y."  Some will leave you with a tear in your eye, but all provide an emotionally satisfying reading experience.  A few are highlighted below; we have compiled a larger list in our Staff Picks.

A Newbery Christmas     Collection of Christimas themed stories by Newbery Medal winning authors such as Beverly Cleary (Beezus and Ramona), Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time), and Hugh Lofting (Dr. Dolittle).

by Lemony Snicket
The Lump of Coal    A snippet of Snicket for the holidays.  More of a short read aloud, this fable about a lump of coal looking for the chance to be artist’s charcoal instead of fuel of the barbeque, is breezy but still reminds of the miracles at Christmas and in our lives.  Brett Helquist, who also illustrated Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, renders an appropriately black visaged yet lovable lump of coal who encounters mostly unsympathetic humans.

by Maj Lindmann

 Flicka, Ricka & Dicka and Their New Skates    The Swedish triplets receive ice skates for Christmas.  While enjoying them out on the pond, they befriend and then save a little boy when he falls through the ice.  If you enjoy these easy to read classic children's stories, try their boy counterparts: Snipp, Snapp & Snurr.

by J. Michael Sims
Young Claus: Legend of the Boy Who Became Santa      Sleigh bells, which played such a symbolic part in The Polar Express, are an important part of this adventure story. Claus, alone in the world, gets separated from the other children at his orphanage during a snow storm.  He is saved by a gentle giant who gives him magical bells to aid him in his journeys.  In gratitude for saving them from a ferocious bear, two elves take Claus to their work shop in a mountain.  As you might expect, these elves make toys, but do not know why or what to do with them.  Claus learns his Purpose and the joy of giving in this simple, heartwarming story.  Great for a family read-aloud.
The True Gift: a Christmas Story    MacLachlan crafts another tiny gem, this time drawing upon the stable animals who are part of the Christmas Nativity.  Two children visiting their grandparents for Christmas decide that the lone cow left out in the pasture needs company, and sacrifice their present money to buy a calf.  The children’s empathy with the animal reflect the love and care we strive  for with all God’s creatures.  With poignant pencil drawings by Brian Floca (Avi’s Poppy series). 

Ann Martin
by Ann Martin

On Christmas Eve     The prolific author of The Babysitter Club books and award winning  A Corner of the Universe  writes with tenderness and humor of a girl's belief in the magic of Santa Claus, as she awaits him on Christmas Eve in order to ask him to make her friend's father get well.

by Robert Westall
Christmas Spirit     Two stories, both set in the author’s industrialized Northumberland.  In The Christmas Ghost, a literal Christmas spirit helps a young boy save his father.  In The Christmas Cat, a vicar’s niece brings warmth and hope to a bleak town.  Westall's  novels for children won him Britain's top literary awards.  His stories are simple and blunt, with children wise beyond their years.
by Laurence Yep

Dream Soul     A Chinese immigrant family in the 1920’s approaches Christmas in conflicting ways: the children want to celebrate the holiday like their Western friends do, but their parents resist becoming “too American.”  Yep gives us an insightful look into the difficulties of assimilating  into a foreign culture while retaining one’s native heritage and values.   Ultimately, the universal values of family and love shine through..

Monday, December 3, 2012

Save Your (Online) Reading!

Lets talk about reading articles online. There are so many online publications you will have to get organized, especially if you want to keep up with these two:

Instapaper is a useful resource for the task! Create a free account and save all of those interesting articles, neat present ideas, or websites to one source. The best feature is the "Read Later Bookmark", this is just like a regular bookmark. But(!) instead of clicking on it and going to a specific page, it saves the current page to your Instapaper account. Pretty neat huh?

So lets say its morning and you are getting ready for work. As usual, you check the Lake Forest Library blog and are reading this great post about classical music.You want to finish it, but you have to go to work. Just click on the bookmarklet and the article is saved to your account!

And while we are talking about online publications, take a look at Flipboard, an Apple app. Flipboard combines popular blogs and publications into various categories (eg Science, Design, News). With an account, you can easily scan through the new articles published in your interest areas. (It also lets you save an article to Instapaper so you can read it on your computer!)