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Battle of the Books Begins at the South Sioux City Public Library

This is the weekly column that I write for the South Sioux City Public Library.

Battle of the Books Begins at the South Sioux City Public Library

Basketball is in the air during the month of March:  the high school tournaments, the NCAA tournaments etc.  In that spirit, we have the Battle of the Books.  We have sixty-four books, thirty-two books of fiction and thirty-two books of nonfiction.  We are asking library members to vote on their favorite books.  The winner will be announced shortly after the NCAA championship game in early April.  Stop in, vote for your favorite book each week and see if your choices go all the way to win the Battle of the Books.

The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley will be presented by Charlotte Endorf on Monday March 7th at 6:30 p.m.

Annie Oakley was described as the “greatest woman rifle shot.” A star attraction of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her daring shooting feats. A champion in a man’s sport, she changed ideas about the abilities of women in the 19th century, yet she opposed female suffrage. Her fame and fortune came from her skill with guns, yet she was a Quaker. Endorf’s presentation guides the audience through these dichotomies and dispels myth to reveal the real Annie Oakley.

Charlotte Endorf is a lifelong Nebraskan, a member of Toastmasters International (earning the Distinguished Toastmaster award twice).  She specializes in speaking to elementary schools, women’s groups, museums, town festivals, senior centers, and libraries throughout Nebraska bringing the platform girls of the Canteen, Annie Oakley and the Orphan Train accurately. Endorf and her daughter, Sarah, have published ten books. Endorf also developed three documentaries keeping history alive and a CD with an actual Orphan Train rider after a trip to New York City to uncover her records dating back to 1917.

This program is made possible through grants from the Humanities Nebraska Speakers’ Bureau.  It is also a Women’s History Month Program.

One Book, One Siouxland Book Discussion of One Summer, America 1927 by Bill Bryson will be discussed on Monday March 14th at 3:00 p.m.

In One Summer: America, 1927, Iowa author Bill Bryson transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop. When he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the talented Babe Ruth began his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates, a Queens’ housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Unprecedented rain clobbered the American south, flooding the Mississippi River basin, a great human tragedy, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.

All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor.

Fruit Trees – Planting & Growing is held on Saturday March 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  This class would be similar to ones we have offered in the past.  Join us for a refresher and pass the information on to anyone interested in fruit trees.  This class is taught by Vaughn Hammond, Orchard Educator and former Extension Educator, UNL.

Write for Your Life meets on Monday, February 29th at 6:30 p.m.  Our writing prompt for this month is “Why I live in a small town”, in honor of Nebraska author, Bess Streeter Aldrich, who was born on February 15th.  We will read what we came up with for our writing prompt, as well as sharing our individual writing projects.

Adult Coloring:  Each Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. we invite adults to join us for a time of adult coloring.  This is a relaxing and mentally healthy activity that you will enjoy.

Tangled Yarns meets each Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. for a time of needlework and fun.  Join in on the fun.

Get Reading Early:  To prepare to vote for the Battle of the Books get started by reading some of these books on the book list.

Play Dead by Harlan Coben.  When her husband, Boston Celtics’ star player David Baskin, dies on their Australian honeymoon, fashion model-turned-entrepreneur Laura Ayars begins to suspect that David’s death wasn’t a simple accident and launches her own investigation.

Tail of the Tip-off is by Rita Mae Brown.  When the dead body of building contractor H.H. Donaldson is found in the parking lot during a basketball game, felines Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, along with Tee Tucker the Corgi, know just what will happen next. Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen can’t help but try to solve the puzzle. Who could be the killer? Is it a mistress, an archrival, or Donaldson’s ailing wife? Soon Harry can’t trust anyone. Leave it to Mrs. Murphy and her gang to lead Harry right to the missing piece.

Fire Sale is by Sara Paretsky.  When V.I. takes over coaching duties of the girls’ basketball team at her former high school, she faces an ill-equipped, ragtag group of gangbangers, fundamentalists, and teenage moms who inevitably draw the detective into their family woes.

Have a great week and read good books.

 

Romance is in the Air at the South Sioux City Public Library

This is the weekly column that I write for the South Sioux City Public Library.

Romance is in the Air at the South Sioux City Public Library

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 24th at 6:30 p.m., when Flagship Romance performs in concert at the South Sioux City Public Library.

Flagship Romance consists of newlywed singers and songwriters Shawn Fisher and Jordyn Jackson. To describe their sound, they have coined the term “Harmonic Alternative Folk.” Anchored by Fisher’s unique guitar playing, Flagship Romance compositions are centered around and feature the couple’s unclassifiable vocal blend.

Since the release of their debut EP, The Fudge Sessions, in January of 2013, Flagship Romance has toured the US multiple times, making stops at legendary venues such as The Bitter End in New York City and multiple performances at the historical Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, FL. The variety of acts that this duo has shared the stage with is a tribute to the universal accessibility of their compositions and live show. These names include Iris Dement, Claire Lynch, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jack’s Mannequin, and Mason Jennings. Flagship Romance has also been a part of some of 2013’s biggest festivals including SXSW, Mumford & Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, and the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival.

Flagship Romance headed into the studio in January 2014 to record their first full-length album, entitled Fee Fie Foh Fum. The stripped tracks on this new album consist of full-takes, with no splicing or tuning. Given the intimate, yet energetic quality of their live performances, this new record is a raw, real, and organic experience. In addition to the album, Fisher and Jackson invited a team of professional cinematographers to travel with them and document the entire recording process. This behind the scenes documentary features the studio performances, the duo’s love-laced back-story, and the beautiful nature surrounding the home-studio. Fee Fie Foh Fum was released on physical formats (CD/DVD) in June 2014, and will be released digitally in conjunction with a radio campaign in January 2015.

Flagship Romance has aligned their musical career with the clean water cause via the organization charity: water. In August 2012, Fisher and Jackson founded and organized the Clean Water Music Fest in Florida, to raise funding and awareness for the 800 million people on this planet without access to safe, clean drinking water. Since then, these two troubadours have raised over $125,000; 100% of that money is currently being used for well building and tap-stand projects in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and the Sahel region of Africa.

There is a #10 per person suggested donation at the door for this event.

Technology Classes: We offer classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday February 16th through 18th. On Tuesday we offer Tech Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., Microsoft Windows 1 at 11:00 a.m., Microsoft Windows 2 at 1:00 p.m., Smartphone Apps at 2:00 p.m., and E-book Readers at 5:00 p.m. We offer Clean up your Computer on Wednesday, February 17th at 6:00 p.m. and Yahoo Messenger at 7:00 p.m. Finally on Thursday February 18th we offer Microsoft PowerPoint 1 & 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and E-Book Reader class at 2:00 p.m.

Club 745.5 will teach participants how to make bookmarks with recycled book pages on Thursday, February, 18th at 6:30 p.m. and Friday Feruary, 19th at 10:30 a.m.

Presidents’ Day: We will close in honor of the Presidents’ Day on Monday February 15th.

Popular Romance: February is a month for romance. The following are some of the most popular romance novels owned by the library.

Penny Town Justice by A.L. McWilliams is a western love story set in the Arizona territory.

Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Stempunk Romances edited by Trisha Telep is a series of mashup stories, combining romance with steampunk settings.

Streets of Fire by Solidad Santiago. In this novel, Francesca Colon struggles to find a balance between raising her children, finding romance and proving herself as a police officer.

Presidential Biographies: In honor of Presidents’ Day we recommend these popular presidential biographies.

Thomas Jefferson: the Art of Power by Jon Meacham. In this biography the author draws upon archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished transcripts of Jefferson presidential papers to give readers a view of Jefferson the politician and the President, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. The father of the ideal of individual liberty, of the Louisiana Purchase, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and of the settling of the West, Jefferson recognized that the genius of humanity, and the genius of the new nation, lay in the possibility of progress. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously, catapulting him into becoming the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands is an expansive book on the life of the first popularly elected President of the United States.

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner. In a landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Foner gives us a life of Lincoln as it intertwined with slavery, the defining issue of the time and the tragic hallmark of American history. The author demonstrates how Lincoln navigated a dynamic political landscape deftly; moving in measured steps, often on a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party, and that Lincoln’s greatness lay in his capacity for moral and political growth.

Destiny of the Republic: a Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of the President by Candice Millard tells the story of the career of President James A. Garfield, his assassination, and attempts to save his life.

Have a great week and read great books.

Celebrating 500 Years of Latinos in America at the South Sioux City Public Library

The following is the weekly column that I write for the South Sioux City Public Library 

Celebrating 500 Years of Latinos in America is a program brought to the library via Humanities Nebraska, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Library Association is a nationwide public programming initiative that supports the exploration of the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last five centuries and who have become, with more than 50 million people, the country’s largest minority group.

The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher will be the topic of a special Cover to Cover book club meeting on Monday February 1stat 3:00 p.m. The Middle of Everywheremoves beyond the headlines into the homes of refugees from around the world. Working as a cultural broker, teacher, and therapist, Mary Pipher has once again opened our eyes–and our hearts–to those with whom we share the future.

The New Latinos (1946-1965from the PBS series Latino American will be viewed and discussed on Monday night, February 8th; at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Maria Arbelaez from the University of Nebraska-Omaha will lead the discussion following the 1 hour screening.  Maria Arbelaez, PhD. is the Associate Professor Modern Mexico, Borderlands, Latino/Chicano Studies.

We will introduce this new program entitled Your Stories on February 22nd at 6:30 p.m.  In this program, we will begin recording immigrant stories of what brought you to the United States.  This will be a continuing program of the South Sioux City Public Library.

African American History Month: February is African American History Month.  During this month, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.  The following are some titles that will help you observe African American History Month.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (305.8 COA) In his trademark style — a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage — Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here”– Provided by publisher.

The Wars of Reconstruction:  the Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era by Douglas Egerton (973.8 EGE) 2014 A history of the Reconstruction years, which marked the United States’ most progressive moment prior to the Civil Rights movement, tells the stories of the African-American activists and officeholders who risked their lives for equality after the Civil War.

American Tapestry:  the Story of Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama by Rachel L. Swarms (973.932 SWA) a remarkable history of First Lady Michelle Obama’s mixed ancestry as well as a portrait of America itself in an epic and inspiring family saga.

 February is Library Lovers’ Month is a month-long celebration of school, public, and private libraries of all types. This is a time for everyone, especially library support groups, to recognize the value of libraries and to work to assure that the Nation’s libraries will continue to serve.  Librarians come in all shapes and sizes.  The following are books about libraries and librarians.

The World’s Strongest Librarian by Joshua Hanagarne is the story of a Mormon boy who had Tourette’s syndrome finds new life in books and weightlifting.  This voracious reader and world class weightlifter became a librarian and author.  This is his story.

Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush is the story of a former First Lady, who was also a former librarian.

 Finally, we offer Dewey: the Small-town Library Cat who touched the World is by Vicky Myron who was the Librarian at Spencer (Iowa) Public Library when someone dropped a kitten in the drop-box.

Have a great week and read good books.

Kay El Magnus Book Signing at South Sioux City Public Library, January 30th

This is the weekly column that I write for the South Sioux City Public Library 

Kay El Magnus Book Signing at South Sioux City Public Library, January 30th    

How to Buy Home (Spanish) Representatives from the Siouxland Federal Credit Union will offer a Spanish language class of How to Buy a Home on Thursday January 28th at 5:30 p.m.  Whether you want to buy your first home, or just want tips, the home buying presentation provides great information to make sure you better understand what it takes to get into the house of your dreams.

Contact Siouxland Federal Credit Union to register for this event 402-494-2073

Kay El Magnus Book Signing:  The South Sioux City Public Library, 2121 Dakota Avenue will host a book signing by Kay El Magnus on Saturday January 30th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Children’s book author Kay El Magnus has created a series of children’s books entitled, The Adventures of Darla & Mickey.  The first book in the series is The Bird Fountain and the second Raven Midnite, published by Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

His inspiration for the Darla and Mickey series were two parakeets that he purchases as a gift for his daughter, Alexandria. While writing the books he made the decision to devote his full attention to his career as an author.  His mission is to enrich the minds of children around the world one storybook at a time.

The South Chicago native relocated to Sioux City, Iowa several years ago where for many years has spent his nights writing short stories, books and even fiction novels to be released in the future.  When he is not writing, his greatest loves are spending quality time with his children, good movies, positive music especially smooth jazz.

Celebrating 500 Years of Latinos in America is a program brought to the library via Humanities Nebraska, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Library Association is a nationwide public programming initiative that supports the exploration of the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last five centuries and who have become, with more than 50 million people, the country’s largest minority group.

On February 8th, at 6:30 p.m. we will view the documentary The New Latinos (1946-1965).  Dr. Maria Arbelaez from UNO will lead the discussion following the 1 hour screening.

We will introduce this new program entitled Your Stories on February 22nd at 6:30 p.m.  In this program, we will begin recording immigrant stories of what brought you to the United States.  This will be a continuing program of the South Sioux City Public Library.

Cover to Cover Book Club will discuss the second half of Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult on Monday January 25th at 3:00 p.m.

Write for Your Life meets on Monday January 25th at 6:30 p.m.  Our writing prompt for this month is “What are your New Years’ resolutions?”   We will also share previous writing prompts, as well as our current writing activities.

Tangled Yarns meets on Tuesday January 26th at 6:30 p.m.

Technology Classes:  On Monday, we have Tech Monday at 6:00 p.m., Everything Google at 7:00 p.m.  On Tuesday, we offer Tech Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., Windows 1 at 11:00 a.m., Windows 2 at 1:00 p.m., Smartphone Apps at 2:00 p.m. and E-book Reader at 5:00 p.m.  Then on Thursday we have E-book Reader at 2:00 p.m., Using Reference Sources at 3:00 p.m., and Internet Privacy at 5:00 p.m.

Youth Activities:  This week we have LEGO Build Monday at 3:30 p.m., Wow, You Made That? Is on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., Night of FUN at 6:30 p.m., Pat-a-Cake Pals is on Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and, Toddler Time is on Friday at 10:00 a.m.

Reading Personal Finance:  With a focus on buying a home this week we recommend these books on handling money.

The Opposite of Spoiled:  Raising Kids who are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money by Ron Lieber discuss all the basics of teaching your children about money.  This is worthwhile for all parents to read.

On My Own Two Feet:  a Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor gives the young reader a foot up on the money management information that the young adult needs to know and their parents want them to know.

The Women’s Guide to Successful Investing:  Achieving Financial Security and Realizing Your Goals by Nancy Tengler takes the reader deep into the world of successful investing.

Quicken 2014 for Dummies by Stephen L. Nelson is an answer to the request of many of our patrons for Quicken assistance.  This book will help those who learn want to learn this system.

Have a great week and read good books.