By KATHY MCGILBERRY
As always, we have a Magnum-sized (no, make that Jeroboam-sized) schedule of events for you here at McAlester Public Library. Let’s just dive right in, shall we?
Here are the regular monthly events. On the first and third Saturdays, the Adult Manga Club meets in the Whiteacre East from 1-4 p.m. for movies and fun. Young adult movies are shown every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. Check the teen desk for location—sometimes they get the big screen in the Whiteacre East, and sometimes they are upstairs. There’s a game time for teens every Friday at 3:30 p.m., also in the Whiteacre East. Lapsit for ages three and younger happens at 10 a.m. every Tuesday in the Whiteacre West, for groups and caregivers, then again at 11:15 a.m. for families. Story Time for ages three and older is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Whiteacre West.
This month we open an essay/short story contest for adults age 18 and older. A rules sheet is available at the front desk with all the details. The main criteria are: entries must be no longer than 1,000 words and entries must develop the theme or title “A Dream Realized.” There will be prizes for first, second and third places. Members of the Night Readers book club have agreed to judge the contest.
Deadline for entry is Feb. 5, and winners will be announced on Presidents Day, Feb. 16. Although the contest was inspired by the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, entries need not be confined to that subject alone. It’s a jumping-off point, and we look forward to the creative ways local writers choose to interpret the theme.
We plan to publish the winning entries right here on McBook, the library blog.
Because the first Thursday fell on the New Year’s holiday, Bodacious Bookies will meet from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8 in the Conference Room. Bookies are reading Oklahoma native Tony Hillerman’s “A Thief of Time.” (There’s a new brochure with Bookies’ book choices; get yours at the front desk.)
Another Oklahoman is the focus of Second Saturday Cinema at 2 p.m. on Jan. 10. Luke Perry stars as Sooner bull rider Lane Frost in a modern biopic about the pro rodeo circuit. It’s rated PG-13, and also stars Cynthia Geary of “Northern Exposure” fame, and Stephen Baldwin of Baldwin Brothers fame.
Arthouse Theater, the second Monday of every month, features more adult fare. This month, on Jan. 12, the feature stars Bill Murray in a melancholy road trip film directed by indie darling Jim Jarmusch. It’s Murray’s followup to the Academy Award-nominated “Lost in Translation,” and features Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinson, Jessica Lange and Frances Conroy. It’s rated R.
Something new and exciting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15th! We’re hosting a free lecture, via teleconference, by author Sandra L. Brown. Brown, along with Liane Leedom, M.D., wrote the nonfiction book “Women Who Love Psychopaths.” She’s also the sole author of “How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved.”
Brown is a frequent lecturer on women’s issues. Her book about psychopathic love relationships was recently added to the collection here, and has generated a lot of interest. The public is welcome to attend the lecture, and a copy of the book will be given away as a door prize. It all starts at 6:30 p.m.
Friends of the Library meet at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The program will feature local author Mary McCauley and her new book “Oklahoma Hearts Online.com.” Children’s Librarian Anita Ross hosts her regular Family Fun Night at 5:30 p.m. the same day, and Night Readers meet at 6:30 p.m. that night in the Conference Room. The book for January is Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” (There’s also a new Night Readers brochure with the next six choices; get yours at the front desk.)
A Diabetes Education program is tentatively scheduled for the week of Jan. 20-23. Details are not firmed up yet, so watch the local newspaper and the library blog for details.
Adult activities for the month close out Monday, Jan. 26 with the movie “Under the Bombs” by director Philippe Aractingi. The Sundance Festival film was shot entirely on location in Lebanon, during a 2006 conflict with Israel. It tells the tale of a woman searching for her missing son. There are only two professional actors in the film, and no special effects. In other words, the soldiers are real, the bombs are real and the destruction is real. The film is not rated, but not recommended for anyone under 17.
Holiday-themed displays are coming down and new displays are going up this week at the library. There’s one on “Letters and Letter-Writing,” and another on Broadway and Movie Musicals, featuring Rogers and Hammerstein. “Staff Picks” have returned and we’re now featuring selections by Library Aide Shalesa Spears in the display. Look for her picks here on the blog as soon as the new display goes up.
Pick up a calendar and make plans to attend one or more events in January!
There was fun for all ages last week at the library. Youngsters lined up to see Santa Claus (left) on Friday, as the jolly old elf made a two-hour stop to hear children’s Christmas wishes and hand out candy canes. At right, some of the participants in a holiday crafts workshop show off some of their creations. The workshop, held Wednesday, featured the decoration of gift bags donated by Bath and Body Works. The library will be closed all day Wednesday, Dec. 24 and Thursday, Dec. 25 for the holiday, then reopen at 9 a.m. Friday. The library will close at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve and remain closed all day Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. Doors will reopen as usual on Friday, Jan. 2.
Here are the latest in the “Staff Picks” choices, this week from Teen Librarian Sarah DiLorenzo. Her list of 11 books contains both teen and adult choices.
*From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Koningsburg–Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away … so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere, the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be exact. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped — right into a mystery that made headlines!
*A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle–Meg’s father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?
*The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation Vol. 1: The Pox Party, M.T. Anderson–He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the best of classical educations. Raised by a mysterious group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother-a princess in exile from a faraway land-are the only people in their household assigned names. As the boy’s regal mother entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians’ fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments-and his own chilling role in them.
*Tourist Season, Carl Hiaasen–The only trace of the first victim was his Shriner’s fez washed up on the Miami beach. The second victim, the head of the city’s chamber of commerce, was found dead with a toy rubber alligator lodged in his throat. And that was just the beginning…
*The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown–While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci — clues visible for all to see — yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
*The Wailing Wind, Tony Hillerman–Tony Hillerman is a former president of the Mystery Writers of America and has received its Edgar and Grand Master Awards. His other honors include the “Los Angeles Times”‘ Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, the Center for the American Indian’s Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, and the Navajo Tribe’s Special Friend Award.
*Win, Place, or Show, Dick Francis–Dick Francis is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels. A three-time Edgar Award-winner, he was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1996 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic mystery convention.
*Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank B. Gilbreth Jr, and Elizabeth Gilbreth Carey–What do you get when you put twelve lively kids together with a father — a famous efficiency expert — who believes families can run like factories, and a mother who is his partner in everything except discipline? You get a hilarious tale of growing up that has made generations of kids and adults alike laugh along with the Gilbreths.
*Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood, Laurie Notaro–In Autobiography of a Fat Bride, Laurie Notaro tries painfully to make the transition from all-night partyer and bar-stool regular to mortgagee with plumbing problems and no air-conditioning. Laurie finds grown-up life just as harrowing as her reckless youth, as she meets Mr. Right, moves in, settles down, and crosses the toe-stubbing threshold of matrimony.
*The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger–Holden, knowing he is to be expelled from school, decides to leave early. He spends three days in New York City and tells the story of what he did and suffered there. Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is truly one of America’s literary treasures.
*Tales of King Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory–Thomas Malory, knight, adventurer, and soldier died on March 14, 1471, having spent the last 20 years of his life in prison, where he wrote most of his works. KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS is a thoroughly readable, accurate rendering of Malory’s famous stories of King Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Gawain, and the Holy Grail. It includes the familiar exploits that have become part of the cultural tradition of the English-speaking world.
Santa Claus plans to make a return appearance at McAlester Public Library this Friday, Dec. 19 from 4-6 p.m.
“Last year, Santa was on hand to give out candy canes and listen to children’s Christmas wishes,” said Children’s Librarian Anita Ross. “We expect he will do the same this year.
“We just got word from the North Pole that Santa will make this special appearance for us before going back to the toy shop for last minute projects.”
Parents are urged to bring their cameras to record that special “Santa moment.” The event will take place in the Whiteacre Room West.
Dr. Linda Bowlby of Oklahoma City, author, will be at Hartshorne Public Library Saturday, Dec. 6 from 1-3:30 p.m. to meet with the public and sign copies of her various books. The visit is sponsored by Hartshorne’s Friends of the Library chapter.
In her works, Dr. Bowlby integrates a broad range of spiritual and emotional healing principles with conventional information from Western medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine and has worked as a pathologist and psychiatrist. She spent five years in Alaska working extensively with women recovering from sexual trauma, alcoholism and eating disorders.
Her works include: Carol & Edna, Red Earth Wisdom, Red Earth Woman and Renaissance Woman, all adult nonfiction; and Future Hope, How Amazon Got Her Name, Is That So, Nasaria’s Family, Nentuk’s New Family and The Rock Garden, all children’s books.
More information about Dr. Bowlby is available at her website: www.redearthpublish.com .
By KATHY MCGILBERRY
A Christmas parade, holiday films and another crafts workshop are just some of the holiday-themed activities at McAlester Public Library this month. Be on the lookout for additional seasonal activities (especially a visit from Santa Claus!) as the month progresses. Who knows? We might even bring in an aluminum pole on Dec. 23 for Festivus!
The teens have already been busy this month preparing to march in the downtown Christmas parade Thursday, Dec. 4. Watch for their entry—they will be disguised as walking books. The Christmas parade begins at 7 p.m.
Teen movie times are set every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m., and the new Teen Book Club kicks off Wednesday, Dec. 3 with a discussion of “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer. And teen game times are set every Friday from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
To round out the teen news, the deadline for Manga/Anime art contest entries is Saturday, Dec. 6. Winners will be announced Monday, Dec. 22.
Besides the aforementioned likely visit from Santa Claus, other children’s activities this month will include the regular Tuesday Lapsits: at 10 a.m. for groups and caregivers, and at 11:15 for families. Story Time for ages three and older is every Wednesday at 10 a.m.
There are plenty of adult activities, too. Bodacious Bookies will meet from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4 to discuss the alternate history novel “The Guns of the South” by Harry Turtledove. The Bookies recently chose four new selections to begin 2009. Here’s the lineup: January, “The Thief of Time” a mystery by Tony Hillerman; February, “Wicked” a fantasy novel by Gregory Maguire; March, “Nineteen Minutes” a page-turner by Jodi Picoult; and April, “Marley and Me” nonfiction by John Grogan.
The Bookies are always looking to expand their membership, so if you know someone who might enjoy a rousing daytime book discussion, send him or her our way! Contact Janice Saaranen or Darlene Rising at the library, 426-0930, for more information.
The Adult Manga Club continues their twice-monthly meetings on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 1-4 p.m. Any anime/manga fans over 18 are welcome to participate. The group gathers to watch movies, discuss anime and manga themes and just generally have a good time. Kelly Matney is one of the organizers.
After a couple of months of calendar-hopping, the monthly “Arthouse Theater” showings have found a regular home on the second Monday of each month, generally at 6 p.m. (Show times may vary slightly with longer movies.) This month’s featured film is a film noir classic starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. If you’d like a break from holiday shopping, holiday cooking, holiday planning or holiday panic, join us for some good, old-fashioned husband-killing entertainment on Monday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. As always, free popcorn.
The library will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 11 for In-Service Training. So although you won’t be able to see your seriously smart library staff that day, be aware that we’ll all be working hard to learn new skills to better serve you in 2009. We’ll reopen as usual at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 12. (And the “seriously smart” description comes straight from editor Matt Lane at the News-Capital, so we have the documentation to prove it!)
Second Saturday Cinema featured a double bill last month, and the two movies were so popular we decided to add another double feature this month. Bette Davis stars in a Frank Capra holiday classic as “Apple Annie” in a movie set to begin at noon on Saturday, Dec. 13. Following that film, we’ll launch another classic, a musical set in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland, at 2:30 p.m. Have yourself a merry little Christmas and put this activity on your calendar. Second Saturday Cinema has proven to be popular with families, so grab the kids or the grandkids and join us. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And yes, free popcorn. Free prize drawings for the kids as well.
Tuesday, Dec. 16 will be a busy day. Friends of the Library meet at noon for their monthly luncheon. Children’s Librarian Anita Ross hosts “Family Fun Night” at 5:30 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room. And Night Readers meet at 6:30 p.m. to discuss “Heartburn,” the hilarious roman a clef by Nora Ephron. The book group plans to bring finger foods and have a little holiday party as well.
Night Readers recently selected new reading for 2009. The choices so far are: January, “Jane Eyre,” the romance classic by Charlotte Bronte; February, “My Sister’s Keeper,” topical fiction from Jodi Picoult; March, “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” the long-running bestseller by Khaled Hosseini; April, “A Year in Provence,” a memoir by Peter Mayle; May, “Dance Hall of the Dead,” a mystery by Tony Hillerman; June, “The Andromeda Strain,” a medical thriller by Michael Crichton; and July, “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,” the Oprah-blessed debut novel by David Wroblewski.
Crafty people will be interested in the Holiday Crafts Workshop set for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17 in the Whiteacre Room East. Bath and Body Works has generously donated an array of gift bags, and 10 pre-registered participants will get to have fun decorating them. The holiday crafts workshop in November was a bit hit with participants, who made beautiful harvest wreaths and talked about getting together at the library more often. So we’re hoping for an equally great session this December. Join us! It’s fun.
The library will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 24 and 25, for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We reopen at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 26 for business as usual.
And finally, the monthly first-run independent film will be shown at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29 in the Whiteacre East. The film is “The Trap,”a modern film noir reflecting the true face of Serbian society in transition.
The movie, a 2007 Academy Award entrant for Best Foreign Film, depicts post-Milosevic Serbia and the moral and existential desert left after a brutal war’s end. Discussion questions are available for each of the Film Movement independent films we show, so if you are interested in edgy, innovative films and want to meet others with the same interests, a film discussion group could easily grow from these monthly screenings.
Join us and let’s try to get one going. Just think how much you’ll enjoy writing this sentence in next year’s holiday newsletter: “I’ve been instrumental in forming a film discussion group.” See how great that sounds?
Even if you don’t feel much like discussing a film, I’ll bet by Dec. 29 you’ll be glad to get out of the house and do something totally non-holiday-related. We’ve got you covered here at the library.
Remember, calendars with all our activities are available at the front desk. Library calendars on your refrigerator are a sign of class and distinction, I have heard.
One more thing: books for the Spring 2009 “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” series are already here and ready to be signed out. So if you want to get a jump on the reading series set to start Feb. 26, get your set of five books any time.
The “Staff Picks” display has returned after a brief absence, when sample ballots and election information took precedence. Library Aide Linda Haile offered her brief takes on her 10 recommendations:
*Stephen Colegrave’s “Punk” shows what everyone should see–the ugly side of music;
*Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is a simple play, but yet so violent;
*Anne Rice’s “The Mummy” has an Egyptian theme, and I’m interested in Ramses as an Egyptian ruler;
*Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” has wit and humor;
*”Slash,” the autobiography (with Anthony Bozza) feeds my interest in rock music;
*Thomas Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” shows how women are independent, even in Victorian times;
*Michelle Moran’s “Nefertiti” is about the greatest ruler in Egypt;
*R.A. Salvatore’s “The Dark Elf Trilogy” features the strong and remarkable character of Drizzt (I love fantasy!);
*John Berryman’s “Love and Fame” is a lovely, romantic book of poems; and
*Stephen King’s “It” tells the tale of a child’s imagination…how what you fear most becomes reality for you.
The display is currently featuring recommendations by Teen Librarian Sarah DiLorenzo.