Tuesday, December 21, 2010

From My Bookshelf--Lisa's Favourites

I decided that since I'm writing book blogs and I've gone through the Chapters Top 50 List and I've only read 3 then I should just tell everyone MY favourite books. Now keep in mind I'm a 23 year-old girl, but the choices on my bookshelf may surprise you and hopefully encourage you to pick up a book.

My Favourite Authors:
Dan Brown- Davinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Lost Symbol
--> We all know of, or have seen the Davinci Code. These books are described as brainy thrillers. I agree, they're amazing. It's nice to read a book that enthralls you and allows you to learn all at the same time! Here's a fun fact: one of my tattoos, my name in ambigram, comes from these novels.
Jodi Picoult- House Rules, Vanishing Acts, My Sister's Keeper, Salem Falls, Plain Truth, The Pact
--> As you may have read in a previous blog post (and if not, I suggest you do read it), you would know I'm a huge Jodi Picoult fan. HUGE. She gets into your head and your heart as she combines love, romance, family relationships, courtroom thrillers, and controversial issues; that enthrall, and make it very difficult to put the book down.
Nicholas Sparks- Dear John, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, The Last Song, The Rescue, A Walk to Remember, The Wedding
--> THE best romance novelist alive.
Chelsea Handler- My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands, Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea; Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang
--> These books make me look like an idiot if I'm not reading them alone in a room. Chelsea is a comedian and her books will make you laugh out loud. More than once.
Jeff Lindsay- Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dexter in the Dark, Dexter by Design, Dexter is Delicious
--> The TV show was derived from these books, and they are excellent. If you love Dexter, then you'll love these. As I've mentioned before, books are ALWAYS better than the television/movies they come from.


Now, I tend to read a few biography/memoirs (only the ones that are interesting, not the really boring ones--which most of them are), so here are my favourites:
(insert drumroll)

Dog the Bounty Hunter- You Can Run But You Can't Hide
--> I love the show. And in the show, when he catches someone, Duane Chapman (DOG) usually gives some sort of speech on how he used to be just like them, a criminal, and how he has changed his ways. The book is an amazing insight into his life as a criminal, his jail time, and how he turned his life around. You also learn he is the father of 12 children. Yes, 12 of them.
Kerry Cohen- Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity
--> I was standing in front of the Biography section at Coles when the title caught my eye, I read the jacket and decided that it sounded like a good read. It is. I could not put this book down.You learn of the author's descent into promiscuity, and how she gradually found her way towards real intimacy.
John Grogan- Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
--> You've probably seen the movie. I'll reiterate, books are always better than the movies. The story of a couple who gets married, starts their careers, and gets a dog (because dogs always seem to come before babies).It's a very real, relateable story that shows what unconditional love really is.  If you can't relate to this story, you can borrow my dog.
Tucker Max- I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
--> A story of a drunken law students escapades.  It's not for the faint hearted. But if you have a good sense of humour, I highly suggest this book. I laughed so hard I cried.
Cupcake Brown- A Piece of Cake: A Memoir
-->There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness. Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she had even turned twenty. An amazing story that illistrates the saying "things have to get worse before they get better." Unlike any memoir you will ever read.

There you have it, my favourites!

To get back to the Powassan and District Library website:

Why Taking Computer Classes Should be Your New Years Resolution!

If you know someone who has been avoiding computers so far, please direct him or her to this post – surely it will convince him or her that computer lessons at the Powassan & District Public Library are in their best interest!
·         Computers aren’t going anywhere! – Computers are absolutely everywhere now – you can find them in stores, in schools, in libraries, in homes… and many other places! Computers are becoming more advanced everyday – you can do virtually anything on them. Some services (including government services) can only be accessed online. You might as well become computer literate sooner rather than later…
·         It can’t hurt to try! – Our computer lessons are very inexpensive… they’re free! You could come in for one lesson and if you decide it’s not for you, then you won’t be at a loss.
·         Just one hour a week – Yep, that’s right. One hour a week for five weeks, and you’ll be surfing the web all on your own. (It’s not as dangerous as it sounds!)
·         We have classes for all skill levels – If you’ve never so much as touched a computer, we have a class for you. Our Computer Basics class is directed to people who don’t know that a mouse is much more than a pesky rodent. If you’ve mastered most of the basics, take one of our Advanced classes. These classes cover a new topic every week.
·         We can accommodate you – Don’t worry if you don’t have your own computer. Our computer lab has seven computers that you can use. They are available whenever we’re open, and are totally free as well. We just need you to sign an acceptable use form and then you can use them whenever you want.
·         We can really accommodate you. -- If you can’t make it to the scheduled time for classes, call and we will set up a time for a one-on-one lesson. And if you’re having difficulties understanding in a larger group session, we can set up a one-on-one session as well.
·         Computers can help you get in touch! – Computers have made the world a whole lot smaller. You can communicate with distant family and friends in real-time on the Internet. It’s quicker than snail mail and more cost effective than telephone call.
·         We make sure you won’t forget.  In every class, you will receive a packet of all the information covered that day. That way, you can review it at a later time, at your convenience.
Not convinced yet? Come sit in on our next beginner lesson, and I personally guarantee that you won’t want to miss any of the next lessons.

To get back to the Powassan and District Library website:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Blog- Book of Awesome

The Chapters.Indigo website gives the description that The Book of Awesome presents simple pleasures for a younger, hipper generation. WRONG! The Book of Awesome presents simple pleasures for EVERYONE. It's a book that makes you actually chuckle and laugh out loud, that makes your day juuuusstttt a little bit brighter. Every single person could relate to alot of, if not all of the things in this book and I found myself internally agreeing with alot of these little surprises that make you smile.
Example: #511: The moment on vacation when you forget what day of the week it is.

Since it's Christmas, I found a few that will be done during the holidays:
#350: Just barely wrapping a gift with that tiny scrap of leftover wrapping paper
#455: Digging a hole in your mashed potatoes and filling it up with gravy-- I do this..how else are you suppose to keep all the gravy ON the potatoes?!
#867: Snow falling on Christmas Eve
#971: Real bearded Santas-- now THAT is dedication to the profession

We all lead busy and hectic lives and we overlook and don't appreciate things that happen to us. This book will make you truly appreciate the little things in life that bring just a tiny bit of happiness with them.

#718: When you sneeze and a stranger says bless you
#936: Perfect parallel parking on the first try
#908: Peeling an orange in one shot
#622: When the dog's really excited you're back home--this happens to me even if I leave the house for 30 seconds, but it's nice to know someone's always happy to see me.

The Book of Awesome can be a miniscule pick me up for everyone and anyone who reads it. That little slice of sunshine that lasts for 5 minutes on a rainy day. Enjoy it, and the treasures it offers you :)

To get back to the Powassan and District Library website:

Book Blog- Jodi Picoult- House Rules

This is my first book blog, so I'm experimenting on how it should be done. So bear with me. I'm picking one of my favourite books, House Rules by Jodi Picoult, which right now is #46 on Chapters.Indigo's Top 50 Books.

My Sister's Keeper was my first Jodi Picoult book. I HAD to read the book since I had already seen the movie, and the books are ALWAYS better than the movies. Always. I've read quite a few of her books since then, and she has become my favourite author. She gets into your head and your heart as she combines love, romance, family relationships, courtroom thrillers, and controversial issues; that enthrall, and make it very difficult to put the book down.

House Rules, is about a teenager named Jacob Hunt, who has Asperger's Syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, he has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He knows more than enough to replace Horatio Caine on CSI Miami (since everyone seems to hate that show because of him). Jacob keeps a police scanner in his room that clue him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what they're doing wrong. And he's usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to him this time. All of the trademark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way; but awful for those who don’t.

Jodi Picoult's cousin, who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, was the starting point of the novel. I can relate to this because one of my younger cousin's has been diagnosed as having autistic tendencies. But the book is very well researched and educates you on what exactly some families have to go through on a daily basis and how the law and its enforcement, affects other people. The book keeps you spellbound by grabbing at your heart-strings and illistrating a searing examination of how we treat those who are different and the societal expectations we have of them.

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, as it will NEVER disappoint.

To get back to the Powassan and District Library website:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Overdrive eBooks!

The day has finally arrived! ...well, it arrived a while ago; but still! The library's source for audiobook downloads (OVERDRIVE) has now unleashed it's eBooks upon us! This is probably my favourite library service so far, and I'm giddy just writing about it! So, let me just explain the Overdrive website. It allows you to check out an audiobook or eBook from the website. Now, Overdrive is a project that is made possible by the Ontario Ministry of Culture's $15 Million Investment in Public Libraries. Let me just say, for one of the few times it may actually be said, thank you Ontario Government.

On Wednesday (my day off, I may add) I came into work to attend a webinar for our staff to learn about Overdrive's new technology. The webinar was called "Browse, Checkout, Download", and that's really how simple it is.
But (and there is ALWAYS a but), you can only download the eBooks from your own personal computer and not any of the library's computers. That isn't a complete let-down because, even if you don't actually have an e-reader, you can still read the books on your computer (which I didn't even know.) If that still doesn't work for you, then the library purchased 2 Sony Readers for patrons to check out.

You start by going to the Overdrive website (through the Powassan Library's homepage) and you log in using your library card number (And we'll trick you here! Start from the end, exclude the very last number and then use the 5 digits before that). Example Card Number: 12345000012309<-- The underlined numbers are your actual library card number. Tricky right? We like to confuse everyone, including ourselves.

First things first, you have to download the Adobe Digital Edition software (left hand side of the Overdrive website, under Digital Software). I'm thinking that you may only have to download the software if you don't already have an ereader because when I downloaded ebooks from Overdrive, they would automatically open in my Sony Reader Library, but this may not happen to everyone... But when you download Adobe Digital Editions, you'll have to make an Adobe ID and Authorize YOUR computer.

After you've signed in, you can start browsing, and you've completed Step 1 of "Browse, Checkout, Download." When it comes to browsing eBook titles, you have to consider the format. There are 2 formats on the Overdrive site; EPUB and PDF. Now, from what I've learned, the only difference between the two is that EPUB is designed for reflowable content (you can change the text size easily) and PDF is better for graphic novels (and can make zooming in on the text very tricky). Once you've gotten a title that you're interested in and a format that is supported by your reader device (there is a list of supported devices on the Overdrive site), then you click on the title. This page should bring you to the book's information. So, you read the info and you decide "Hey, this sounds great. I want to read it!" Chances are, you will have to be added to a waiting list; now remember, this is Ontario-wide so don't get angry if there is a waiting list. But, if you're lucky and the book is available right away, you just add it to your cart. Once a book has been added to your cart, you can either continue browsing or just check out. Let's say that you're done browsing (you want to read your book already!), you've added the book to your cart; so go to your cart (along the top you'll see the heading My Cart) and then proceed to checkout (at the bottom). At the checkout page, you can choose a lending period of either 7 or 14 days, and then under Important Notes (which lets you know how many more books you can checkout--the answer: 5 at a time) you 'Confirm check out'. Step 2, complete! Here comes Step 3! This brings you to a download page (make sure you have the Adobe Digital Editions software!), and you click download and then either Open or Save. Now mine, I have to click open and it automatically opens into my Sony software. So if that doesn't work, then Save it and open your Adobe Digital. Once inside Adobe, you'll see the word Library at the top; click it and then 'Add item to Library' and find your book..wherever you have saved it. So once you see your book in the library, then you're all set!
So whether you want to save a few trees, the weather is too bad to visit the library, or you just don't feel like leaving the house, eBooks are a fantastic technology to have access to!  So, BROWSE, CHECKOUT, DOWNLOAD... AND ENJOY!

To get back to the Powassan and District Library website: