From The Stacks
Just another blogs.bellevuerporter.com weblog
The Bellevue Library is presenting a month long film series, showcasing movies from India, Russia, Mexico, and China. Explore Bellevue’s diverse community through film on Sundays at 2 p.m. during the month of October.
October 6 - Film from India; Tamil with subtitles, 123 min. Unrated.
A little girl’s search for her biological mother who had abandoned her as a newborn baby is brought out poignantly against the backdrop of strife-torn Sri Lanka. Explores universal themes of displacement, struggle and family.
October 13 – Film from Russia; Russian with subtitles, 112 min. Unrated.
Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man. Is he a healer? A seer? A murderer? A tale of sin, faith and redemption.
October 20 – Film from Mexico; Spanish with subtitles, 90 min. Rated R for language and some drug content.
Two teens boys left on their own on a Sunday afternoon will contend with a day filled of unexpected surprises helped along by the cute girl next door neighbor and a pizza delivery boy that just won’t leave. A funny quirky film explores the struggles of coming of age.
October 27 – Film from China; Mandarin with subtitles, 99 min. Rated PG-13 for stylized martial arts violence and a scene of sensuality.
One “Nameless” warrior, a swordsman who is lethal at 10 paces, defeats 3 deadly assassins who want to kill the most powerful warlord in ancient China. Experience world class action and fighting scenes in this epic wuxia film which many consider the best martial arts movie ever made. Starring Jet Li.
Enjoy a short introduction to each film and snacks from each showcased country! Films contain subject matter, language and/or images intended for adult audiences.
Please call the Bellevue Library at 425-450-1765 for the titles of the movies. We hope to see you there!
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library
School started last week for students in the Bellevue School District. While they may have gotten off easy last week, likely there will be homework this week! Sometimes it’s easy for parents to help kids with their homework, especially in the lower grades, but sometimes it’s just frustrating for all involved.
Luckily, starting September 8th, the King County Library System can help. That’s the first day of the fall semester of our free, drop-in tutoring program for grades K-12 called Study Zone. The program is staffed by volunteer tutors who range from upper high school students obtaining volunteer service hours to local business professionals who want to be involved in their community. All have undergone background checks and been trained to help all students up through 6th grade. Additionally, tutors have specialized knowledge of one or two advanced subjects at the middle and high school level. If you are specifically looking for a tutor who can help with physics or statistics or another advanced subject, you’ll want to check the schedule of tutor subjects.
Out of the forty-eight KCLS libraries, thirty-three offer Study Zone tutors at least once a week. Here in Bellevue, tutors are available at the Newport Way Library (Wednesdays, 6:30-9), the Lake Hills Library (Mondays 4-6pm and Wednesdays 2-4pm), and at the downtown Bellevue Library (Mondays & Thursdays 4-8pm and Sundays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 3-5pm).
Some things to note about Study Zone:
-Our program is designed to help students with homework assignments and questions. Please bring a specific assignment rather than just say, “I need to get better at math.”
-This is group tutoring, not one-on-one individual tutoring. On a busy day, tutors may be juggling several students at once. On a quiet day, you may be the only one needing help and have the tutor’s whole attention.
-Study Zone is free, no library card is required, no registration is necessary, and no advance appointment is needed. Just drop in with an assignment!
-KCLS strongly recommends that a parent, guardian, or other responsible party be present in the library with children age 12 or younger. Library staff and volunteer tutors are unable to provide supervision for children left alone in the library.
-Study Zone is staffed by volunteers, some of whom have dedicated years to this program. However, sometimes they are sick or stuck in traffic or have family emergencies and cannot make their scheduled time. It can be a good idea to call and ask if a tutor has arrived before you set out for the library.
-Some tutors are able to help students who are studying another language, or tutor ELL students in their native language. If you are looking for a tutor with a specific language ability, you’ll want to check the schedule of tutor languages.
-Study Zone hours don’t work for you? Check out the Live Homework Help from tutor.com.
-Finally, if you are interested in volunteering to be a Study Zone Tutor, more information about the program (including an application) is available here: http://www.kcls.org/studyzone/studyzone_volunteer.cfm
Remember when your teachers used to assign summer reading? When I was in high school, there was one summer when we were assigned around 12 classics of the Western Canon. I remember being extremely reluctant to read these books, as I was completely absorbed in Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, and procrastinated until nearly the end of the summer, barely completing the assignment in time for the start of fall term. Okay, let’s be real here: I didn’t finish. I derived little pleasure and less understanding from the experience, and generally avoided classics from then on, as they were something I “should” read.
All this changed when I became a librarian at Bellevue Library. The staff here began a tradition of choosing a classic to read each summer, then meeting in the fall to discuss the book, like a mini book club. The first selection was War and Peace, and I must say I didn’t make it through. However, I realized that as an adult with more life experiences under my belt, I was better able to process the themes and nuances of this book, and the other classics we read in subsequent summers. I began seeking out classics that I had been too intimidated to read, and found that many of them were engrossing, masterful stories that I had been completely missing out on during my self-imposed ban.
Here are some classics I have discovered or re-discovered in the past few years. And if you are interested, we are reading two books this summer: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.
Middlemarch by George Eliot.
Best soap opera ever.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Romantic and creepy.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Could NOT put it down.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Like watching a train wreck, I couldn’t look away.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
With time travel, what could be bad? Also…it’s hilarious.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Like a humorous teen thriller, except, you know, Jane Austen-like.
If you live and work in the greater Seattle area, it is inevitable that you will be stuck in traffic at one point or another. It is a fact of life. And if there is construction or an accident, you might as well place a call (hands-free of course) to your retirement planner to check on your options, because you will be that much closer to it by the time you get home. Oh, and don’t get me started on sporting events—I might as well spend the night at work on those days.
Let’s face it; we spend a lot of time in our cars without a lot do. We can’t check our Facebook because that would mean taking your eyes off the road, and I don’t really of know anyone that actually calls anymore—we all text! So, what are we to do? Audiobooks to the rescue! Yes, audiobooks. Now, I have to admit that for the longest time I was a print snob. I refused to believe that I could get as much out of an audiobook than an actual book; there’s something about holding a book in your hands and visually absorbing ever word that is comforting and so-ever engrossing. However, after one too many long traffic delays, I finally caved in and started listening to “The Diviners” by Libba Bray in audiobook format. I was hooked! Not only was it a good story, but the narrator was dead-on in capturing all the character nuances and cadences of 1920’s New York, which is when the book takes place. Now I don’t go anywhere without an audiobook—bring on the traffic!
Below is a select list of titles from the best audiobooks of 2013 according to the American Library Association’s “The Listen List.” For the complete list click HERE. Enjoy!
“Angelmaker,” by Nick Harkaway. Narrated by Daniel Weyman.
In a gravelly yet gleeful voice, Weyman narrates this swashbuckling genre-blend of spies, gangsters, and a doomsday machine. The lavish and imaginative story of Joe Spork, a clockmaker out of his depth as he attempts to save the world, is brilliantly realized through Weyman’s attention to inflection, characterization and pacing.
“Bring Up the Bodies,” by Hilary Mantel. Narrated by Simon Vance.
In this grim and gripping tale, masterfully told, Vance brings Tudor England to life. Beautifully accented and paced, his pitch-perfect narration deftly navigates the large and diverse cast and the intricate plot machinations to create a stunning glimpse into a dangerous time when Henry VIII ruled and Thomas Cromwell served as his “fixer.”
“The Chalk Girl,” by Carol O’Connell. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.
The discovery of a blood-covered little girl wandering in Central Park draws police detective Kathleen Mallory into an investigation involving long hidden secrets of New York’s elite. Rosenblat’s warmly expressive voice embodies each character effortlessly while adroitly managing the pace of Mallory’s gritty and harrowing tenth case.
“The Remains of the Day,” by Kazuo Ishiguro. Narrated by Simon Prebble.
Prebble’s performance is like listening to a full cast production so great is his skill in crafting characters. Navigating memories of both “upstairs” and “downstairs,” dutiful butler Stevens revisits past pains and triumphs. Prebble creates a poignant reflection of a life given to service seen through the eyes of a man finally questioning his purpose.
There are still officially SEVEN weeks of summer left! Hard to believe… And since many East-siders “do” their vacations in August, there’s still time to enjoy a few great books before the duties and vagaries of Fall arrive. Below are just a few fairly recent titles at the King County Library System ….
ONE THOUSAND & ONE NIGHTS: A Retelling, by Hanan al-Shaykh. 288p.
Acclaimed Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh has re-imagined 19 tales from the classic story about young queen Shahrazad’s efforts to save her life from a brutal royal husband who has vowed to deflower and kill a virgin every night. But Shahrazad, to save herself, spins a web of tales, leaving the king in suspense each morning, and thus prolonging her life for another day. These retellings focus on female characters at the heart of each tale in a woven sequence that incorporates humor and sensuality.
THE SHINING GIRLS, by Lauren Beukes. 375p. The author has a TV deal for this book —- so be on the lookout for it!
In this beautifully written, thoughtful tale , a time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace– until one of his victims survives. In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the “shining girls“: bright young women, burning with potential, who should be making real differences to their worlds. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back. Working with an ex-homicide reporter who is falling for her, Kirby has to unravel an impossible mystery. Buekes reveals the dark forces that can so easily rip apart communities & lives – and affect the future.
MODERN ART DESSERTS: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, & Frozen Treats based on Iconic Works of Art, by Caitlin Freeman, Clay Mclachlan, Tara Duggan & Rose Levy Beranbaum. 216p.
Sometimes a work of art is SO wonderful – that you just want to eat it! From an Ellsworth Kelly sculpture-inspired fudge pop to a pristinely segmented cake based on a well-known Mondrian composition, as well as other well known 20th century artists, these stunning desserts will delight frequent entertainers, hobby bakers, and art lovers. Each recipe project includes an image of the original artwork alongside informative perspective on the piece from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s curator of Painting and Sculpture.
The EXECUTION OF NOA P. SINGLETON: a novel, by Elizabeth L. Silver. 310p.
An unforgettable and unpredictable debut novel of guilt, punishment, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive. Noa P. Singleton spoke not a word in her own defense through a trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, having accepted her fate, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution. Suddenly she is visited by Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing. Marlene tells Noa that she has changed her mind about the death penalty and Noa’s sentence, and will do everything in her power to convince the governor to commute the sentence to life in prison, in return for the one thing Noa is unwilling to trade: her story. Marlene wants Noa to reveal the events that led to her Marlene’s daughter’s death. With death looming, Marlene believes that Noa may finally give her the answers she needs, though Noa is not con- vinced that Marlene deserves the salvation she requires. Linked by murder but with very different goals, Noa and Marlene wrestle with the sentences life can impose while confronting what makes us human in this haunting tale of love, anguish, and deception.
AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED, By Khaled Hosseini. 400p.
Khaled Hosseini, the bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. This is a story of a father who sells one of his children to save his family, and the effects not only on both the immediate & extended family, along with friends and caretakers. Hosseini explores the ways families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how we’re surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Each person’s versions of events forces you to rethink what you thought happened.
SHE LEFT ME THE GUN; MY MOTHER’S LIFE BEFORE ME, by Emma Brockes. 298p.
This is the story of a woman who reinvented herself so completely her previous life seemed simply to vanish, and a daughter who transcends her mother’s silences and reclaims her past. Brockes grew up hearing only pieces of her mother’s youth in South Africa and London. Her mother Paula was a strong, self-invented woman; glamorous, no-nonsense, and out of place in their small English village. Emma never asked why her mother emigrated to England or why she never returned to South Africa. After Paula’s death, Brockes began a search for the real Paula. This book might remind you of Jeannette Walls The Glass Castle.
And here are two for teens: one funny-serious, one oh-so-serious….
THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS, by Gavin Extence. 320p.
Alex Woods was struck by a meteorite when he was ten years old, leaving scars that marked him for an extraordinary life. His mother calls him Lex because he’s bald! The son of a fortune teller, bookish, an easy target for bullies, he hasn’t had the most ordinary childhood. When he meets curmudgeonly Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend who tells him you only get one shot at life and so you better make it count. So when, at seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of his friend’s ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing. Or has he?
THE 5TH WAVE, by Rick Yancey. 457p. Already optioned for a movie!
This book combines Invasion of the body Snatchers, Ender’s Game, & Independence Day into a riveting read. So if you like “end of the world as we know it” stuff, try this.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escaped. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survived. After the 4th wave, trust no one. Now, it’s the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie, armed only with an old M-16, runs from Them, the Beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see; who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive … – until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother from….. who? where? or even What? – or even saving herself. She must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
Enjoy these or any other great summer reads!
Selection of U-Pick fruit farms near Bellevue. Usually best to call first.
Bill Pace Fruit and Produce – U-Pick blueberries now open.
2380 Bellevue Way SE, Bellevue, WA 98004. Phone: 425-467-0501.
Blue Dot Farm – U-Pick blueberries now open.
21010 Se 416th Street, Enumclaw, WA 98022. Phone: 360-825-1623
Bob’s Blueberry Patch – U-Pick blueberries open in August.
17403 Se 244th Place, Kent, WA 98042. Phone: 253-631-3428.
Bybee-Nims Farm – U-Pick Blueberries.
42930 SE 92nd Street, North Bend, WA. Phone: 425-888-0821
Canter-Berry Farms - U-Pick Blueberries.
19102 SE Green Valley Road, Auburn, WA 98092. Phone: 253-939-2706. Alternate phone: (800) 548-8418.
Cottage Gardens Blueberry Farm – U-Pick Blueberries & U-cut sunflowers now open.
14510 Kelly Road NE, Duvall, WA. Phone: 425-947-4523.
Harvold Berry Farm – U-pick raspberries & strawberries.
Highway # 203 (Carnation-Duvall Road NE), Carnation, WA 98014. Phone: 425-333-4185.
Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm – U-Pick blueberries.
14812 Se Eighth Street, Bellevue, WA 98005. Phone: (425) 260-2266.
Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm – U-Pick blueberries.
2380 Bellevue Way SE, Bellevue, WA 98004. 425-467-050
Remlinger Farms - U-Pick Fields.
332610 NE 32nd St, Carnation, WA 98014 Phone: 425-333-4135
Canning for a new generation : bold, fresh flavors for the modern pantry / Liana Krissoff ; photographs by Rinne Allen.
Complete book of home preserving : 400 delicious and creative recipes for today / edited by Judi Kingry & Lauren Devine.
The four season farm gardener’s cookbook : from the garden to the table in 120 recipes / Barbara Damrosch & Eliot Coleman.
Rustic fruit desserts : crumbles, buckles, cobblers, pandowdies, and more / Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson ; photography by Sara Remington.
Saving the season : a cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving / Kevin West.
We’re a month into summer vacation, with over a month left. Do you know what your kids are reading?
What?! They aren’t reading anything right now?! Then it’s time to find some good books.
Lucky for you and your kids, the children’s librarians at the Bellevue and Lake Hills Libraries are here to help with a list of great books that, for the most part, arrived in the library in the past year.
The list is available here.
It’s organized by grade, with fiction and non-fiction titles for everyone. Each title is linked to our online catalog and, if there’s an audiobook version or ebook version, we’ve tried to link that as well. So whether you need a physical book for lazy days around the house, an audiobook to listen to in the car, or an ebook to download for a vacation, we’ve got you covered!
If you are looking for the latest installment in a favorite series, or wanting to discover the start of a new series, or needing something to get the creative juices flowing, or just hoping for something that makes you go “aww…,” there’s something on our 2013 Great Books list for you!
If you read one of these books, please stop by and let us know what you thought. We always love to talk about books with kids and their parents!
Feeling a bit peckish? Why yes, actually I am, and not because it’s lunchtime and all I’ve had today is a banana, some crispy otap, and a few grapes. Actually, I’m not even hungry; I simply enjoy food—including things that some people question whether or not it is food (I’ll spare you the details.)
These days, my inactivity and my advancing age have steered me toward a food consciousness—if only to reduce my increasing waistline. As part of my recent awareness, I’ve come to a realization of how lucky I was growing up along various coastlines of the US where I could take advantage of what the ocean had to offer. With the movement toward locally sourced food, I can claim that I was doing it before it was a “movement.”
Growing up on the Naval base in Key West, Florida my family and I frequented the docks where we were able to bring in delicious white fleshed red snapper and grouper. Using large round nets gently lowered into the shallows, we pulled up large, succulent shrimp from the sandy flats in Charleston, South Carolina. And oh, the excitement when living in Corpus Christi, Texas where we’d catch feisty blue crabs from metal crab traps tossed off the pier.
In the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been able to continue my harvest of the local waters—and beyond. Since moving here in 2005, I have become a veteran razor clammer, a skilled nettle forager, and a sharp-eyed chanterelle hunter. This weekend I am headed out to catch a low tide in Dosewallips State Park to gather manila clams and pacific oysters. Sliced lemons and hot sauce will accompany me. Funny thing though: clamming was my backup plan. Originally we were going to the Cascades to seek spring porcinis, but opted for the more likely success of clamming than the frustrating hunt for elusive boletes.
If food is something that moves you too, it’s time to visit the cookbook collection here at the Bellevue Library. We have a wide variety of books on different cuisines to entice you, as well as books geared toward the urban forager, hunter/gatherer sort. Find recipes that will inspire you, or ones that help you utilize your foraged catch.
The Hunger Lounge: Choose Your Own Eat-venture, Wednesday, June 19, 7pm
The Bushwick Book Club: Music Inspired by Michael Pollan, Saturday June 22, 1pm
At any age, life is an adventure. At 50 and beyond, your perspective is different and your needs are changing. This guide will help you reach new goals, engage your curiosity, inspire new beginnings and connect to your community. This is a selection of the many programs and resources KCLS offers you to learn something new!
Programs & Events
DNA and Genealogy
Presented by Claudia Breland
Thursday, May 30, 7pm, Redmond Library
Sunday, June 2, 2pm, Bothell Library
Genealogists have been researching using paper records for centuries, and new technology has only made it better. With DNA testing becoming available and affordable, opportunities await for those who are seeking answers to questions about their heritage. Learn the basics of the DNA molecule, how it can help you discover your roots, the best companies to test with, and how to join with others to find a common heritage.
Beyond Ancestry.com: Searching for your Ancestors Online
Presented by Claudia Breland
Saturday, June 1, 2pm, Renton Highlands Library
Saturday, June 8, 2pm, Lake Forest Park Library
Sunday, July 14, 2pm, Bothell Library
Learn about census records, vital records, online newspapers, state archives and libraries, cemetery records, military records and more. Note: those with basic to intermediate computer skills and some online experience will benefit most from this presentation.
Volunteer with Peace Corps at Any Age
Presented by Erin Erickson, Peace Corps Volunteer
Sunday, June 2, 2pm
Held at Vashon Maury Senior Center,
10004 SW Bank Road, Vashon, 98070
Erin will share fascinating stories of her life and work, and talk about the application process to become a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Presented by the Alzheimer’s Association
Saturday, June 8, 11am, Kent Library
The body is a complex machine; what affects one system eventually affects others. There is some evidence to indicate that poor dietary habits, a lack of exercise and a lack of mental and emotional stimulation can all contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. This session discusses these issues and offers simple lifestyle changes that can help in the fight against Alzheimer’s. www.alzwa.org
Reducing Stress Through Meditation
Presented by Ajili Hodari, Esq.
Saturday, June 8, 11am, Newcastle Library
Saturday, June 22, 2pm, Skyway Library
The scientific community has recently been exploring the use of meditation as a healing modality. Learn the effectiveness of meditation in reducing stressrelated responses, improving concentration and enhancing clarity of thought. The presentation will also include a simple yet powerful meditation technique anyone can use to reduce stress.
Stop Being Forgetful Remember Grocery Lists, Names, Dates and Where You Left Your Glasses!
Presented by Charles Kraus
Thursday, July 18, 7pm, Kingsgate Library
Saturday, July 20, 2pm, Valley View Library
Saturday, July 27, 1pm, Federal Way Library
This presentation demonstrates easily learned techniques for improving memory. It is great way to recalibrate skills using methods that can be learned instantly, with a special focus on the day to day issues confronted by mature adults. Tip sheets and a bibliography are provided.
Walk with Your Libraries
Take the KCLS collection with you on your journey into walking or other forms of exercise. We have information about walking and biking, exercise, nutrition, or health and of course, fun and interesting fiction to take on your adventure.
For Fun, For Fitness, For Life. Walk With Your Libraries!
Traveling Library Center (TLC)
We’ll bring great books right to you. We make monthly visits to eligible King County residents who live in retirement homes, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Click here for a list of retirement communities, nursing homes, and other facilities currently served by TLC.
Words on Wheels
Can’t get to the library? We’ll bring library materials to your home.
Washington Talking Books and Braille Library
This service is available for children and adults who are residents of Washington state and who are legally blind, deaf-blind, visually impaired.
Search the KCLS Catalog for Large Print Books
Print books with large text are available at all KCLS libraries. You can place holds on specific titles.
Over the past months, the Bellevue Library staff has been looking forward to the day they could tell patrons that the end is near. The end of our construction, that is. And I am pleased to say that we are close, folks. Very close.
Please join us for the grand opening of the new Bellevue Library parking garage on Saturday, June 22. Ribbon cutting is at 9:30am, followed by a car show featuring over 35 classics, muscles, exotics, and more. There will be music, refreshments, giveaways, and festivities for all ages! As an added treat, the Bushwick Book Club will be performing their Michael Pollan-inspired concert at 1pm that day. In each of their unique shows, Geoff Larson and members of the Bushwick Book Club Seattle write and play original music inspired by literary works. In this concert, they will interpret the works of Michael Pollan (Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma), not only performing their original music, but also explaining the process they used to write their songs.
It’s sure to be a great day out for the whole family. And you should have no problem finding a space to park. We hope.