Blogs

Final Ukulele Class of the Year @ Foster

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 Carey

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.

 

Yours Truly

Ojai Library - Teen Talk

        Lighting Lamps for Understanding & Unity
                                With Priya Parkash 

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
                          daily life in her beloved  country.

                        Tuesday November 18, 6:30pm
                                        Ojai Library 
                          

  

 

Honor Veterans With a Good Film

   

 This Veterans Day choose one of the many great films available on indieflix

May we suggest:

Angels of Bataan
The Messenger
No Bullet Soldier
Hooligans at War

All you need is your library card.
Vencolibrary.org open 24/7 

 

Ethics, Culture, and Biotechnology @ Foster

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!

"The House of the Scorpion," by Nancy Farmer

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 toofor 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 oldvery oldand 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.


Alan Martin, Your Friendly Reader

The Lost Boy

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.

 

Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

New Programs at Saticoy!

Saticoy Library will be hosting two new programs starting in November.

First, PAWS for Reading comes to Saticoy. Contact the library for information on how to sign up!

Also, Laubach Literacy of Ventura County will be cosponsoring an English language class for adults on Mondays at 11 a.m., starting on November 17. This series is presented by Marilyn May; for more information, call (805) 647-5736 or (805) 506-0110.

VCL @ the CSUCI Science Carnival

Last weekend the Ventura County Library had a couple of staff members volunteering at the CSUCI Science Carnival. This annual event is geared towards cultivating interest in STEM topics among elementary and middle school students.

Our table's activity involved Art Bots, simple robots designed to create colorful patterns when activated. Instructions are available on the Science Buddies website for anyone interested in doing this activity themselves!

This event was a great success and a wonderful opportunity for the library to get out in the community and help promote curiosity, science, and learning. We look forward to many similar collaborations in the future!

Ojai Library - Culture, Food and Biotechnology

 

 Where do you stand on GMOs?

Join anthropologist Angela Kirwin, co-founder of Kirwin International Relief Foundation, for an anthropological perspective on how cultural identity influences our views on food and biotechnology.

We hope people on all sides of this issue will participate in a lively and civil dialogue on this controversial subject that affects us all.

Saturday, November 8, 3pm 
Ojai Library 


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