Free Ebooks

If you like to read ebooks, you are probably familiar with our Overdrive ebook service. But did you know you can find thousands of free classic ebooks through one of the oldest and most comprehensive ebook websites – Project Gutenberg? Project Gutenberg’s ebooks have been proofread and come in various formats that you can download or read online. Browse by author, title, language, or by categories such as literature, music, or fine arts. Because of copyright laws, most books are 1922 or earlier. Can’t decide? Check out the top 100 ebooks and authors downloaded from the site.

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Homelessness for Teens

No Parking at the End TimesIn this season of feasting (and overeating), take a look at No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss. Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, are cold, tired and hungry. Their parents sold their house in North Carolina, drove to San Francisco and gave all their money to a preacher who said the world was coming to an end. Well, the world did not end. Now the family is living in their van. They are eating at soup kitchens and washing up in public rest rooms. Aaron is sneaking out of the van at night and won’t tell Abigail  where he is going. Abigail is shy and frightened but also desperate and determined to free her parents from the preacher’s hold and to keep her family together. I recommend this interesting, touching and thought provoking novel to teens in grades ten and up.

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Homelessness for kids

It is getting to the time of year when we remember all the things for which we are thankful. I wanted to share with you a book I really loved –  Crenshaw crenshawby Katherine Applegate. Jackson and his family are struggling to pay the rent and to have enough food on the table. Dad is sick and Mom has three part time jobs. Jackson remembers when he was seven and they camped out in their minivan for almost a year. That is when he first saw Crenshaw, a black and white talking cat. Now Jackson is in fifth grade, way too old to have an imaginary friend. But he can’t seem to make Crenshaw go away. I recommend this touching makes-you-think story for readers in grades four to six.

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Art Exhibit

Jonathan_paintingIn November the Downtown Library art gallery will feature artwork by students from the SPARK art partnership program at Central Valley School District. The artwork is by students with varying levels of disabilities but through artwork they all communicate in positive ways. Please stop by and see this inspiring work and learn more about the collaborative nature of this program. They will have a reception for First Friday on November 6 from 6 – 8 pm.

The Fiction Queen Considers NaNoWriMo

Write a novel in November?! Who has the time? Especially when there are so many great books to read! But since writing is swirling through the air (along with all the yellow and brown leaves) why not consider a few books where the main character is a writer. Or books where writing is a big part of the story line. And if you are writing then I’m grateful because I love to read and new novels in the works are exciting things!

Epistolary novels come to mind since the characters are ALL writers, corresponding with one another to develop the storyline and their characters. An obvious selection is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which gets double points because, besides being written in letters, one of the characters is a writer as well. You could also try Ella-Minnow-PeaElla Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (read the title out loud, trust me!). It’s subtitle is, get this: “a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable,” intriguing! It’s a quick read with a very clever plot twist and commentary on freedom of speech.

For books with characters that are writers, a favorite is KavalierThe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Besides being a page turner with an in-depth look at the history of comic books, the character Sam Clay writes pulp novels and comic book scripts thereby fulfilling the “writer in a novel” theme here.

Of course, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is a clear choice with main character Jo being a loosely disguised Alcott herself. This classic has many wonderful points of entry – a historical look at women’s lives, the aspirations of young women, the relationships of sisters and much more. If you’ve never read it then you you’re missing a great book and if you read it years ago then it’s definitely one that is worth a revisit.

Whether you’re writing or reading this month, Happy National Novel Writing Month! If you need more suggestions stop by the library and ask a librarian; we love to recommend books.

Epistolary – books written in the form of letters or correspondence.
Lippogrammtic – sentences (or novels) where every letter except one is used.

Get Ready, Get Set, GO! Start writing!

Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiResNational Novel Writing Month (NaNoWRiMo) is every November and it challenges people to work on their novels by writing 50,000 words during the course of the month. November has 30 days so that’s 1,667 words per day. Typical novels are between 80,000 and 90,000 words (with lots of exceptions to this rule) so NaNoWRiMo is a super challenge to give your novel a solid start.

People all over the world take part in NaNoWRiMo so you’ll definitely feel inspired to keep writing. Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up online to write your novel.
  • Track your progress.
  • Get pep talks and support.
  • Meet fellow writers online and in person.

One of the ways you get support and meet fellow writers is through the library. We’re hosting a number of programs to encourage your writing that you can check out.

U-NEEK (Unique) Writer’s Workshop – YOU discovering NEW ways to EXPLORE and EXPRESS your CREATIVE side

Saturday, November 7, 2 – 3:30pm – South Hill Library
Monday, November 9, 6:30 – 7:30pm – Shadle Library
Saturday, November 14, 10:30am – 12pm – Indian Trail Library

Connected Learning: E-Book Self-Publishing for NaNoWriMo

Thursday, November 12, 10am – Hillyard Library

NaNoWriMo: Write-in Wednesday at South Hill!

Wednesday, November 4, 1 – 5pm
Wednesday, November 18, 1 – 5pm

Zinio Updates

Zinio_4Lib_vertLike reading magazines online? Our downloadable magazine service, Zinio, has some useful updates you might want to know about. Their new app allows for mobile streaming for all 2015 publications. You can check out a magazine and start reading immediately on your pc or mobile device. Apps are now available for even more devices, including iPhones and Kindle Fires, which allow you to download magazines in full and read them offline. On the iPad and iPhone apps, there’s even a way to share individual articles with other people. And remember that Zinio magazines do not just include the full text of articles, they also include all the photos and graphics, just like reading a paper copy.

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