Tina's Mouth

No matter how far removed I get from my high school years, I still remember them. They may not always be fond memories, but they’re still mine. Yet, as much as I’d like to think I’m the only one who suffered through those trying years of high school (and really, don’t we all think like that?), I’ve found that I’m not alone.

In Tina’s Mouth: An existential comic diary, you’ll find all the teen angst you grew up with hasn’t changed. Over the course of her sophomore year, Tina deals with losing friends, making friends, boy crushes, cliques, school plays, parties, and Jean-Paul Sartre, all while trying to figure out who she is for her existentialism project. Just your average teenage experience (except maybe for the Jean-Paul Sartre part). I found myself in some familiar territory while reading this book, and although it wasn’t a trip down memory lane, it certainly put me in the near vicinity.

Named by YALSA as one of the great graphic novels for teens in 2013, Tina’s Mouth is well written, funny, and the closest I’ll ever come to understanding existentialism. No superheroes or zombies here, folks. What you have is an enjoyable look at the joys and pains of being a teenager. I found it to be an engrossing read (I read it in almost one sitting), and I think it will be relatable for both teens and adults. Who can’t relate to losing your best friend or being in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way? As written by first-time author Keshni Kashyap, it’s a very down-to-earth and approachable book, one worth reading.

Native Plants

During this time of year, the roadsides of Ventura County begin to show numerous wildflowers, California Poppies, Lupine, Bush Monkeyflower, and California Buckwheat, just to name a few.  Not only are they beautiful to look at, but many of them can be grown in our own gardens.  While imported  ornamental plants can be lovely to look at, there is something uniquely satisfying in growing California native plants.  The next time you take a drive, or a hike, pay attention to the purple, orange and yellow flowers growing along the trails.  These attract beautiful California butterflies, as well as bees which are important to an agricultural economy.  Imagine these in your own backyard! 

Foster Library has many books on growing California native plants and is currently featuring gardening books in our pop-out section.

Planning for college at Foster Library

College Planning Workshop

E. P. Foster Library on  April 10th, 2013

This is a college planning series of 6 workshops designed to help parents and students develop a workable plan for submitting college applications.  The workshop is presented by E. P. Foster Library & Linda Kapala.

Linda Kapala has 20 years of experience in the high school setting, a B.A., a Secondary teaching credential, and an MEd in Administration.  She is currently the Career/Media Specialist at Foothill Technology High School.

This first workshop will focus on college selections, college visits (virtual and real), college fairs, strategies for college selection, enrichment programs (why and why not), college essays and preparation for college applications. 

The workshop will be held in the Topping Room from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Hope to see you there!

Oak View Library Open House - Thursday, April 18

In honor of National Library Week and the timely theme, "Communities Matter!", come celebrate a year of library improvements at the Oak View Library on Thursday, April 18, from 3:30-5:30pm.  

The afternoon will feature a mini story time, presentations by the Oak View Boys and Girls Club, and a Meet & Greet with music & refreshments on the new patio. 

See flyer for more details. We hope to see you there!

Chinese Tea Eggs

The New Tea Book: A Guide to Black, Green, Herbal, and Chai Tea” by Sara Perry is a book any tea lover should visit at least once in their culinary life. The book gives a nice background into the history of tea without getting too heavy. The photography in this book is another highlight, absolutely fabulous! Many lovely teas and snacks are discussed in the book, and we all know that the “Dish” loves his snacks! The book tells of unusual tea customs other cultures have, one I found interesting was the fact that at one time in Russia tea was served with a dollop of raspberry jam, double yum! With an eye for something different and somewhat exotic, I chose to prepare some Chinese tea eggs, according to the book they are street food in China, sounds good enough for me. Chinese tea eggs are essentially hard boiled eggs, with tea leafs, Chinese five-spice powder and salt for flavoring. The eggs steep in the spices and tea after their shell has been slightly cracked with a spoon, it’s a very simple recipe. The aroma of the Chinese five-spice and tea is simply to die for! Besides being a tasty snack the eggs are beautiful they have a raku-crackled glaze look to them. I will visit this treasure of book again in the future. Happy year of the snake!

***** David’s Dish

Check out the book at Foster Library, or put a hold on it - we will send it to you!

If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking.

Fillmore Library book club meets this Thursday night

Fillmore Library has started a monthly book club!The club, Fillmore Reads, is hosted by Fillmore Library Supervisor, Cathy Krushell, and meets the last Thursday of each month at 7pm at Fillmore Library.This month's discussion on March 28: The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini. Join in - refreshments are served! 

WordFest 2013 at the Ojai Library

Ojai WordFest 2013 A festival of words, ideas and storiesintroducing Ojai to the world as a literary destination.If you love words, this is for you.  Workshops, discussions and readings at the library are free. Check here for dates and times.

Family Legacy Writing Workshop at Prueter Library - April 9

Meet author Linda Weaver Clarke at the Family Legacy Writing Workshop on Tuesday, April 9 from 6-8pm at the Ray D. Prueter Library in Port Hueneme.

Turn your family history into a variety of interesting stories. Make your ancestors come alive on paper. Learn the most important elements of writing.

“Ms. Clarke is terrific. She appeals to genealogists and aspiring authors. I was terribly impressed! She instructs for two hours; the people were genuinely attuned to what she presents. . . She KNOWS her subject and can present it wonderfully. As I say, she is terrific, thorough, professional, yet strikes just the right chord with her audience.”  
                                                                              – Mary Jo Gohlke

National Library Week is April 14 - 20

IDYLLIC SATIRE: The Role of Cervantes and Voltaire. (1607 to 1778)

IDYLLIC SATIRE, continued ( 1607 to 1778)

CANDIDE by Voltaire:

    Voltaire’s words attacked the Church and the State with equal fervor, landing him in prison on more than one occasion. He was also appalled by the specters of injustice and inexplicable disasters that he saw around him. These events influenced his composition of Candide. It was also the age of Enlightenment which promoted a naive perception of optimism, which Voltaire dispatched with his character, Pangloss (The Instructor to Candide) and his mantra that “This is the best of all possible worlds”, right before all goes askew.

    Candide is the illegitimate nephew of a German Baron; Thunder Ten Trunk, where he grows up in the Baron’s castle under the tutelage of the scholar, Pangloss. He falls in love with the Baron’s beautiful daughter, Cunegonde. When the Baron catches the two kissing, he expels Candide from his home. Out on his own, Candide becomes the object of a cruel fate where he is soon conscripted into the Army of the Bulgars. He wanders away from camp for a brief walk one evening and is later flogged as a deserter. Then, after witnessing a horrific battle, he escapes to Holland.

   While in Holland, he meets a kindly Anabaptist who takes him in. He runs into a deformed beggar who turns out to be Pangloss. The Scholar tells him that he has contracted syphilis and that Cunegonde’s family has all been brutally murdered by the Bulgars. Nonetheless, Pangloss maintains his positive outlook. The three travel to Lisbon together where their ship is sunk in a storm, killing the Anabaptist. The two have arrived there during the Inquisition. It is here where Pangloss is hanged as a heretic for his optimism.

    Candide is flogged for his approval of Pangloss philosophy and his wounds are then dressed by an old woman who eventually takes him to Cunegonde. She survived to escape the Bulgars but was sold as a sex slave to the Grand Inquisitor. Candide kills the Grand Inquisitor when he comes to rape Cunegonde and the two must now escape from Lisbon with the old lady to South America where the Portugese authorities are in hot pursuit.

   They arrive in a place called Eldorado where the streets are littered with gold and jewels. This utopian country has advanced scientific knowledge, no religious conflicts, no courts and no perception upon the value of its riches, a smug assault on his own time. However, through a long hilarious but brutal series of untoward accidents, Candide loses Cunegonde again for a while, only to find her later, deformed and ugly, along with Pangloss, the old lady and his Uncle who have all escaped brutal death several times.

    They all wind up in prison until Candide is able to spare them by purchasing their freedom. At the end, they purchase a farm and settle down, taking to cultivating a garden in earnest. When Pangloss begins to pontificate about how this is now the best of all possible worlds, Candide dismisses him with, “Perhaps, but we must tend our garden”.

    It is a rejection of Pangloss’s philosophies for an ethic of hard practical work. And, it is one of the most glaring indictments of Pangloss’s optimism in that it is based on abstract philosophical argument rather than real-world experience. (This was also the theme of Don Quixote in his quest for chivalrous glory.)  Thus, with no time or leisure for idle speculation, the characters find the happiness that has eluded them throughout the novel. This is classic Voltaire. He dismisses the whole of the Enlightenment and its optimism for a little pragmatism with BITE…or what we might call…cynicism.

Resident Philosopher Doug Taylor

Syndicate content