Posted by: montclairlibrary | August 29, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: August 29-September 4, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15-10:50am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing, and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Posted by: montclairlibrary | August 27, 2016

Politics makes…good fiction

Political novels, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

Although this year it seems sometimes like truth is stranger than fiction, there are a lot of entertaining novels centered around the intrigue and absurdity of American politics. Some of them draw on real-life (or very thinly fictionalized) characters, and others create entirely-fictional-but-all-too-real scenarios.

Whether you’re a political wonk or just looking for an escape from this year’s crazy presidential race, here are a dozen novels about the presidency and elections to give you laughs, chills and perspective.

Taft 2012 by Jason Heller (FIC HELLER) (not at Montclair)
“He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican résumé. Liberals love his peaceful, progressive practicality. The media can’t get enough of his larger-than-life personality. And the American people love that he’s an honest, hard-working man who tells it like it is. There’s just one problem. He is William Howard Taft…and he was already president a hundred years ago. So what on earth is he doing alive and well and considering a running mate in 2012?”

Primary Colors by Anonymous (aka Joe Klein) (FIC PRIMARY) (not at Montclair)
When a former congressional aide becomes part of the staff of the governor of a small Southern state, he watches in horror, admiration and amazement as the governor mixes calculation and sincerity in his not-so-above-board campaign for the presidency. (Also a movie.)

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (FIC WARREN)
Set in the 1930s, this novel traces the rise and fall of a fictional Southern politician who resembles the real-life Huey “Kingfish” Long of Louisiana. He begins his career as an idealistic man of the people, but soon becomes corrupted by success, caught between dreams of service and a lust for power. (Made into movies in 1949 and 2006.)

Election by Tom Perrotta (FIC PERROTTA) (not at Montclair)
A comic story about a philandering high-school history teacher in the midst of a student-body election gone haywire. (This one’s a movie, too.)

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon (FIC CONDON)
In this political thriller, the son of a prominent U.S. political family is brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for a Communist conspiracy. (Wikipedia) (Made into movies in 1962 and 2004.)

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (FIC SITTENFEL)
“On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband’s presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House.” (GoodReads)

The White House Mess by Christopher Buckley (FIC BUCKLEY) (not at Montclair)
Opening with “a dotty, pajama-clad President Reagan refusing to leave the White House on his successor’s Inauguration Day” (Publisher’s Weekly), this fictional memoir gives a comedic account of the 1989-1992 bumbling Tucker administration, as told by his Deputy Chief of Staff.

Why Not Me?: The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency by Al Franken (FIC FRANKEN) (not at Montclair)
An account of humorist and senator Al Franken’s successful (and entirely fictional) run for president, complete with “excerpts from his diaries, notes, speeches and memoranda–all of which were subsequently entered as evidence in his impeachment.” (Booklist)

O: A Presidential Novel by Anonymous (aka Mark Salter) (FIC O) (not at Montclair)
A fictional account of the prominent figures and issues surrounding the 2012 presidential election.

Lucky Bastard by Charles McCarry (FIC McCARRY) (not at Montclair)
“John Fitzgerald Adams, a charming liar and womanizer who is convinced that he is the bastard son of JFK, runs for President in a campaign organized and financed by a foreign secret service.” (GoodReads)

The Angry Buddhist by Seth Greenland (FIC GREENLAND) (not at Montclair)
Set in the California desert, this satire lives at the intersection of the Old Testament and Elmore Leonard. A fiercely contested congressional election pits a wily incumbent, unburdened by ethical considerations, against a well-finance opponent who does not have a firm grip on American history or elemental economics.

The High Road by Terry Fallis (FIC FALLIS)
For those of us feeling just a wee bit of envy looking at Canadian politics these days, a “deeply funny satire continues the story of Honest Angus McLintock, an amateur politician who dares to do the unthinkable: tell the truth.” (GoodReads) (The sequel to The Best Laid Plans, which doesn’t appear to be available in OPL.)

Posted by: montclairlibrary | August 22, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: August 22-28, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15-10:50am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing, and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Posted by: montclairlibrary | August 15, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: August 15-21, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Wear Your Words (for Teens) – 2:00-3:30pm
Personalize who you are and what you wear with your own signature print on a fabric patch. Pin or sew your statement on a hoodie or a backpack, or give it away as a gift!
All supplies are provided and some simple sewing may be required. Ages 12-18.

Thursday, August 18, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15-10:50am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing, and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Saturday, August 20, 2016
E-Books Workshop – 3:00-5:00pm
Oakland Public Library offers a variety of e-books, audiobooks, e-magazines, digital music & streaming films for various devices, including iPads, iPods, smartphones, Kindles and more. Learn how to download a variety of digital content any time, to a computer or mobile device.

Please bring your fully charged device if you can, and your current library card. This will be one-on-one help. 4 attendees maximum per hour, plus 2 on a wait list. (This workshop will be offered monthly). Advance sign-up is required; please RSVP at 482-7810 and choose from 3:00-4:00pm or 4:00-5:00pm).

Posted by: montclairlibrary | August 8, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: August 8-14, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Lawyers in the Library – 6:00-8:00pm
Free legal advice and referrals, second Tuesday of each month. Register by phone starting one week in advance at 510-482-7810. Volunteer lawyer leaves before 7pm if no more people are present.

Thursday, August 11, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15-10:50am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing, and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Posted by: montclairlibrary | August 1, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: August 1-7, 2016

Millipede photo by Denni Schnapp via Flickr

Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Insect Discovery Lab – 6:30pm
Explore the fantastic lives of beetles, millipedes, tarantulas and more.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Pop-Up Teen Zone – 1:30pm
Come visit the Montclair Branch for a Pop-up Teen Zone with crafts. Come hang out and share suggestions for serving you better! In August we’ll be making summer tote bags

Thursday, August 4, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15-10:50am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing, and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Build It. Craft It. Make It. – 3:30pm
We will use art supplies, building materials and whatever else we can find to create something fun: paintings, puzzles, ping-pong mazes and more!

Saturday, August 6, 2016
Ice Cream Social – 2:00pm
Celebrate summer with ice cream and a scavenger hunt!

Summer Reading Program Ends
Last day to turn in Summer Reading Challenge forms and collect prizes.

Photo: Millipede by Denni Schnapp via Flickr / Creative Commons

Posted by: montclairlibrary | July 25, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: July 25-31, 2016

Goats photo by Eric Frierson via Flickr

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Oakland Symphony Petting Zoo – 6:30pm
Play with lots of musical instruments.

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing, and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Build It. Craft It. Make It. – 3:30pm
We will use art supplies, building materials and whatever else we can find to create something fun: paintings, puzzles, ping-pong mazes and more!

Saturday, July 30, 2016
Meet the goats with Montclair 4H – 2:00-2:45pm
Our local urban farmers will stop by the library to show off their goats and answer questions about goatkeeping.

Photo: Eric Frierson via Flickr / Creative Commons

Posted by: montclairlibrary | July 18, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: July 18-24, 2016

Former newspaper columnist and sports writer Dave Newhouse at his home in Oakland, Calif., with his newest book  "Founding 49ers: The Dark Days Before the Dynasty" on Monday, July 27, 2015. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Mary Roach at the Montclair Library – 6:30-8:00pm
Mary Roach will talk about her latest book, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, in which she explores the science behind helping soldiers survive the challenges of heat, panic, exhaustion, disease and more. Ms. Roach is the New York Times best-selling author of five titles: Gulp, Packing for Mars, Bonk, Spook, and Stiff. Books will be sold at the event by A Great Good Place for Books.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Love Comics? Create One! (for Teens) – 2:00-3:00pm
Are you a fan of comics or manga? Work with artists from Oakland’s own Rock Paper Scissors Collective to create your own storyboard and characters. Everyone is welcome and no drawing experience is necessary. Ages 12-18.

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing, and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Build It. Craft It. Make It. – 3:30pm
We will use art supplies, building materials and whatever else we can find to create something fun: paintings, puzzles, ping-pong mazes and more!

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Dave Newhouse – 3:00-5:00pm
Author and award-winning Oakland Tribune sportswriter and columnist Dave Newhouse will speak about his career and his passion for writing. Newhouse retired from the newspaper business in 2011, but he’s hardly retired. He has since published two e-books and two printed books: Founding 49ers: The Dark Days Before the Dynasty and Dare to Dream: How James Madison University Became Coed and Shocked the Basketball World. He has two other manuscripts projected for publication in 2017.

Photo: Dave Newhouse by Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group

Posted by: montclairlibrary | July 12, 2016

The Buzz About Bees

Books about bees, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

Summer is officially in full swing, and if you’re anywhere near a flower garden, there are probably bees busily buzzing around it right now.

As you probably know, bees, through pollination, are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we consume, including most fruits, vegetables and nuts.

But bees are in trouble. Over the last five years, we’ve lost over one-third of the honey bee colonies in the US to a combination of factors like viruses, mites, chemical exposure and poor nutrition (a phenomenon known collectively as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD).

Bees have a fascinating and complex societal structure – plus they can dance, count to four and make a delicious food.

Learn more about bees and beekeepers, both real and fictional with these 16 books:

FICTION
The Bees by Laline Paull (FIC PAULL) – Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive. A feat of bravery grants her access to the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are overshadowed by a greater power – a fierce maternal love that brings her into conflict with her conscience, her heart and her society, and leads her to perform unthinkable deeds.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (FIC KIDD) (not at Montclair) – Fleeing racism in 1964 South Carolina, 14-year-old Lily Owens and her beloved nanny are “taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters [and] introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey.” (Goodreads)

Generation A by Douglas Coupland (FIC COUPLAND) (not at Montclair) – “In the near future bees are extinct — until one autumn when five people are stung in different places around the world. This shared experience unites them in a way they never could have imagined.” (GoodReads)

The Language of Bees: A Mary Russell Novel by Laurie R. King (MYS KING) (not at Montclair) – Returning home after seven months abroad, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are met with a problem concerning one of Holmes’s beehives and the reappearance of his estranged son, Damien, who needs their help in finding his missing wife and daughter. (King also wrote about a beekeeping Holmes in her earlier book, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.)

Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh (FIC HESKETH) (not at Montclair) – A never-married octogenarian, still residing in the house in which he was born, Albert makes a modest living as a beekeeper, just has his father and his father’s father had done before him. Deeply acquainted with the ways and workings of the hives, he knows that bees dislike wool clothing and foul language; that the sweetest honey is made from the blooms of the eucalyptus; and that bees are at their gentlest in a swarm. But Albert is less versed in the ways of people.

The Beekeeper’s Ball by Susan Wiggs (FIC WIGGS) (not at Montclair) – Isabel Johansen is a celebrated chef transforming her childhood home in Sonoma into a destination cooking school when she decides that the only thing she’s lacking is organic honey. The beekeeper, when he arrives, is a bit of a surprise.

The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch (not in OPL) – Every spring Sugar Wallace coaxes her sleepy honeybee queen out of the hive and lets her crawl around a treasured old map. Wherever the queen stops is their next destination, and this year it’s New York City.

NONFICTION
The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus (638.13097 NORDHAUS) (not at Montclair) – Recounts the experiences of John Miller, one of the foremost migratory beekeepers, who, despite mysterious epidemics that threaten American honey populations–and the nation’s agribusiness–forges on and moves ahead in a new natural world.

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey, the Sweet Liquid Gold That Seduced the World by Holley Bishop (638.16 BISHOP) (not at Montclair) – A comprehensive exploration of the life of bees and the process by which they make honey follows the daily life of a Florida panhandle beekeeper, traces each step of a bee’s honey-making process and offers insight into the product’s key role in business, food and culture.

Letters From the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind by Stephen Buchmann with Banning Repplier (638.1 BUCHMANN) (not at Montclair) – A glimpse inside the world of the honeybee records the traditional practices of beekeeping around the world, the contribution of bees to the pollination of plants and the culinary and medicinal uses of honey.

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen (638.15 JACOBSEN) – Traces the significant 2007 and 2008 reductions in honeybee populations, identifying the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder to explain the link between bee pollination and industrial agriculture and predict dangerous reductions in food output.

A Book of Bees…and How to Keep Them by Sue Hubbell (638.1 HUBBELL) (not at Montclair) – Chronicles a year in the lives of beekeeper and bees, describing and explaining the activities of both and the rewards of having bees of one’s own.

Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley (595.79915 SEELEY) (not at Montclair) – Honeybees make decisions collectively—and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate and consensus building. These incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making.

Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation by Tammy Horn (638.10973 HORN) (not at Montclair) – Explores the connection between the honeybee and the cultural, national and economic development of the United States. “During every major period in the country’s history, bees and beekeepers have represented order and stability in a country without a national religion, political party or language.” (GoodReads)

Sweetness & Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee by Hattie Ellis (595.799 ELLIS) (not at Montclair) – Integrating popular science and social history, an intriguing global history of honeybees examines the hive society of the bee, as well as the influence of bees and honey on diverse cultures around the world and throughout history. The story of bees and honey from the Stone Age to the contemporary cutting edge; from Napalese honey hunters to urban hives on the rooftops of New York City.

The Queen Must Die and Other Affairs of Bees and Men by William Longgood (638.1 Longgood) (not at Montclair) – “Longgood’s quiet little thirty-year-old book…is a kind of meditation on beeness: an exploration of the motivations, desires and attitudes of the simple honeybee as she goes about her business.” – Stephen on GoodReads

If you’re inspired by all these bee books, here are 3 Ways You Can Help Bees:

1. Plant a bee-friendly garden to provide a source of food for bees. Find lists of flowers bees like here and here.

Make sure you buy seeds and plants that haven’t been treated with neonicotinoids, a nerve-agent class of pesticides linked to CCD – scientists found high levels of these bee-killing pesticides on plants at many big-box garden centers, although Home Depot announced last December that it has removed neonicotinoids from 80% of its flowering plants, and will phase them out completely by 2018.

2. Help pass laws to protect bees. Contact House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (and your congressperson) to urge them to pass H.R. 1284 – the “Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2015” – which would suspend the use of neonicotinoids.

3. Learn more about bees. Join the Great Sunflower Project to report your pollinator observations; visit the Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis to learn about bees and the plants that support them; and check out the exhibit Bees: Tiny Insect, Big Impact at the Oakland Museum of California – through June 2017. (And don’t forget you can use the library’s Discover & Go program to get in free!)

Posted by: montclairlibrary | July 11, 2016

This week at Montclair Library: July 11-17, 2016

Rabbit and chickens, photo by Abbamouse via Flickr

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Lawyers in the Library – 6:00-8:00pm
Free legal advice and referrals, second Tuesday of each month. Register by phone starting one week in advance at 510-482-7810. Volunteer lawyer leaves before 7pm if no more people are present.

Maori Mo Ake Tonu – 6:30pm
Travel to New Zealand with traditional dance and song by Maori Mo Ake Tonu.

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Toddler Storytime – 10:15am
Songs, active rhymes and stories especially for ages 18 months to 3 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Baby Bounce – 11:30-11:50am
Play, sing and rhyme one on one with your baby from birth to 18 months, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys.

Build It. Craft It. Make It. – 3:30pm
We will use art supplies, building materials and whatever else we can find to create something fun: paintings, puzzles, ping-pong mazes and more!

Saturday, July 16, 2016
Little Explorers Petting Zoo – 11:00am
Meet farm animals like goats, rabbits, chickens and more up close.

Photo: Abbamouse via Flickr / Creative Commons

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