The library's laser cutter and engraver is an impressive tool capable of great precision and power. The pieces on the right were cut out by one of our volunteers in a matter of minutes!
As we continue to test out the equipment we will also be compiling a list of materials that we can cut or engrave, as well as appropriate settings for each. If you have questions about a specific material or item, let us know!
Stay tuned for more information on the development of our library's makerspace, including future events showcasing our new technologies!
Though some of the greatest works of literature are one-of-a-kind, there is something to be said for titles that are more serial in nature. Sometimes all you want to do as a reader is return to the same great characters time and time again, to see them in a new setting, making new friends (and enemies), and overcoming new challenges. While the occasional trilogy is common enough, some authors really go for broke, and their most well-known creations can persist across decades. This month, Novelties will focus on the latest installment of one of these popular long-running franchises: Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.
|Personal (2014) is the 19th of Child’s books to feature Jack Reacher, a former member of the US Army’s military police. Reacher is a drifter who travels the country taking on odd-jobs and dangerous tasks, occasionally with the goal of helping someone in need and sometimes by virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s a big man who excels at hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship and brings a cold, calculating mentality to bear when threatened. In 2012 Child’s earlier novel One Shot (2005) was adapted into the film Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise, bringing this popular character to the big screen. In Personal, Reacher is approached when a talented sniper attempts to take out the president of France (ultimately failing to do so). Because the two have a history dating back to Reacher’s days as an MP, he and novice CIA agent Casey Nice must locate the would-be assassin and bring him in. Their search takes them through the US and France and finally to London, where they must spar with members of the criminal underworld while each deals with the ghosts of their respective pasts. Though Personal is regarded as a strong link in the series, readers unfamiliar with Reacher are advised to start with one of Child’s earlier volumes.|
|Andrew Gross published Personal read-alike The Dark Tide in 2008, kicking off a series featuring Connecticut detective Ty Hauck. Gross has a history of collaborating with fiction icon James Patterson; The Dark Tide is his second novel written on his own, following 2007’s The Blue Zone, and many believe it represents a significant improvement in his craft. Hauck becomes involved in the plot while investigating a tenuous connection between a hit-and-run case and a bombing in Grand Central Station that shreds a train and claims hedge fund manager Charles Friedman as one of its victims. This brings Hauck into contact with Karen Friedman, the late Charles’ widow, who finds herself harassed by men digging into her deceased husband’s affairs. As Karen learns more about Charles’ shady business practices she and Hauck begin to develop a personal relationship that only strengthens their need to protect each other as nefarious forces close in. Though some readers found the romance angle distracting, others have praised Gross for pulling off such a mix of compelling sentimentality and fast-paced action, and while the plot includes twists that might be a bit predictable, The Dark Tide has been generally well-received.|
|Our third title is Plum Island (1997) by Nelson DeMille. This book introduces us to John Corey, a homicide detective with the New York City Police Department, as he convalesces after being wounded in the line of duty. Recovering in his uncle’s house in Southold, a township in Long Island, he is called upon by a friend who works in local law enforcement to consult on a double murder that has rocked the quiet community. But Corey soon finds that what looks like a simple—if disturbing—crime is actually far more complicated, involving the offshore research lab Plum Island, where the victims worked. It seems that there may be a connection between the killings and the volatile compounds being studied at Plum Island—or, even more outlandishly, the rumored existence of buried treasure dating back to the ancient history of the region. The resulting plot is an interesting mix of crime drama, medical mystery, and pirate lore that by all accounts succeeds at being just as amazing as it sounds. In addition, DeMille’s wisecracking, witty, and sarcastic Corey keeps the reader engaged with brilliantly delivered bits of comic dialogue and wry commentary.|
You can borrow a copy of Personal, The Dark Tide, and Plum Island at E.P. Foster Library, as well as at several of our other branches. For more read-alikes or to search for something from a different genre, check out NoveList Plus in the Reading Suggestions section of our eLibrary. If you’re looking for a title that isn’t on the shelf at your branch, you can make a request for a copy in person, over the phone, or online through the Ventura County Library catalog.
Have you heard about E.P. Foster Library's ukulele lending program? Well on Saturday, November 22, the library will host its final beginner ukulele class for the year!
This class is open to all ages and skill levels. You can bring your own ukulele or one that you've borrowed from the library. Come learn the basics of playing this fun instrument!
It all starts at 11 a.m. in the Topping Room. Whether you can make it by or not, remember that our ukulele jam sessions will continue every second and fourth Monday of the month. We hope to see you there!
Jade’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Minute: “Dark Currents,” Part One of the “Agent of Hel” Series, by Jacqueline CareySubmitted by Fun at Foster on November 12, 2014 - 4:51pm
Do you ever want to just read a light, entertaining novel without analyzing the content and doing the whole “draw conclusions for real life” thing? I know I do sometimes, and I found exactly that kind of novel recently.
If you’re familiar with Ms. Carey’s previous works, the Kushiel’s Legacy series, you know that it is dark, bleak, beautiful, sexy, intelligent... did I mention dark and bleak? (FYI, keep your eyes open for a future Kushiel’s blog post from yours truly.) Her newest fare, the Agent of Hel series, is mostly the opposite. It’s well-written and intelligent, and so light it feels like a soufflé for your brain.
It opens in the town of Pemkowet, a mid-western town that boasts a unique tourist attraction: it sits over an opening to the underworld. The underworld is populated with all sorts of fae creatures—fairies, werewolves, vampires, you name it—all presided over by Hel, the Norse goddess of death. Daisy Johnson is Hel’s liaison to the town, mainly because she is half-human, half-demon.
Daisy works closely with the Pemkowet police department, ensuring the fae world doesn’t interfere too heavily with the normal world. The novel follows Daisy through fights with vampires, her crush on werewolf-on-the-down-low cop Cody, and other everyday things we can all relate to—just with a supernatural twist.
Carey paints a vivid world, one that you or I might be happy to live in, inhabited with lively characters we could call friends. It’s a fun journey that I was happy to partake in, and I look forward to more adventures with Daisy and her town.
You can request a copy of Dark Currents online, over the phone, or by dropping in at the library. For more sci-fi and fantasy titles, check out E.P. Foster Library's Adult Science Fiction section on the first floor.
Lighting Lamps for Understanding & Unity
Priya is hoping to alter U.S. perceptions of the Pakistan she loves and empower teens to see the world in a new way.
Join her for a discussion of family, celebrations and
Tuesday November 18, 6:30pm
This Veterans Day choose one of the many great films available on indieflix
May we suggest:
Angels of Bataan
All you need is your library card.
Our series of seminars on ethics, culture, and biotechnology continues on Sunday, November 16, with a fresh talk at E.P. Foster Library.
This free event is titled "Our Innate Cognitive Biases," and will deal with the psychological perspectives shaping public opinions of biotechnology.
It all starts at 3 p.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about this interesting topic, and stay tuned for more talks from this series in December!
Matteo Alacrán is not like other children. He lives in Aztlán, a country carved from the southern United States and northern Mexico and ruled by drug lords. Aztlán itself is divided into several smaller territories, and Matt lives in the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful one, controlled by “El Patrón” and the “House of the Scorpion” for over a century. But amidst all this power and wealth, Matt lives in hiding with Celia, an old cook from the big house, never going outside of her home and never daring to let himself be seen through the window. However, times begin to change, and once he is older the rules and systems by which he has lived as a child fall apart.
People hate and fear him. He learns that to them he is less than a dog. They consider him an affront to their very humanity and by law he should be rendered a mindless vegetable, kept around only for spare parts. Celia loves him, but his only true protector is El Patrón, a man renowned for ruthlessness and cruelty.
El Patrón loves no one but himself, and for that reason he loves Matt too—for Matt is his clone, a younger version of himself. Through Matt, he can explore how life might have been, encouraging Matt in school, in the arts, and in music, delighted in how he grows and fiercely protective. But El Patrón is old—very old—and the protection that he has granted Matt all his life withers along with his condition.
Matt must fend for himself, finding few friends and many enemies.
The House of the Scorpion is the winner of multiple awards, including the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and was a Michael L. Printz honor book and a Newberry Honor recipient. It is available on our shelves at E.P. Foster Library and at several other branches, and is even available as an audio disk. I recommend this book for any lovers of science and speculative fiction, young or old, and thoroughly enjoyed it myself.
Children are blessed with the gift of imagination, and often pretend that animals can talk, dolls are alive, and another world lies just beyond their front doorstep. In Greg Ruth’s The Lost Boy, this isn’t just imagination. It’s a world that is very, very real.
The Lost Boy begins with a young boy named Nate, who discovers a tape recorder beneath the floorboards of his new house. What he hears on that recorder will plunge him into the mystery of another young boy who went into the woods and never returned. Now, with the help of his friends Tabitha and Haloran, Nate will discover the secret of the woods beyond his house, and come face to face with the Vespertine, a strange tree-like creature who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Silence (fans of Doctor Who will know who I’m talking about). The Vespertine is an agent of the Shadows, and he is desperately searching for a key—a key he believes Nate has.
What is this key? Who are the Shadows, and what do they want? Who, or what, is the Vespertine? Where have all the missing neighborhood dogs gone? How does this all tie in with the missing boy, Walter? Well, I won’t be giving any spoilers here. Let me just say that by the end of the book, these questions will be answered—although the book certainly implies that these are just the beginning of Nate’s adventures in the woods.
I really enjoyed The Lost Boy. It’s a clever and original story that doesn’t dumb things down or portray children as wide-eyed and innocent. The kids in this book, Nate and Tabitha included, are not surprised at the goings-on in the woods. To them, it’s all perfectly acceptable, but that doesn’t mean they’re naïve. They may be aware of the woodland creatures, but they see them for the curious—and perhaps dangerous—things they are.
If you’re looking for a unique adventure, check out The Lost Boy. You won’t be disappointed.