Death and Dessert Book Club

Our Death and Dessert Book Club has been active for almost 10 years!

This mystery book club does not choose a specific book every meeting but a fun topic. The members can read any book that falls in the category and then share their thoughts at the meetings. It is a wonderful way to find new authors and share your favorites.

With our new catalog we can now share lists of recommended books (and so can you!). We are now adding the Death and Dessert Book Club Lists to the catalog.

To find these go to the library catalog at http://library.cityofdenton.com/

Log in

Choose “List” in the dropdown menu and enter “Death and Dessert” you should then get mystery lists from the book club.

Here are a few of the favorites:

Senior Sleuths

I’ve Been Framed (Art Mysteries)

Rue Morgue (Forensic Mysteries)

Kilt Dead (Scottish Mysteries)

The Death and Dessert book club meets at Emily Fowler at 7PM on the first Thursday of the month. The next meeting is on August 3rd.  We will be discussing “Do Not Disturb (Vacation Mysteries)”

If you have any questions about the book club (and first time members are always welcome) please call Kimberly Wells at 940-349-8796 or Reka Reynolds at 940-349-8257.

Yer a Wizard, Harry

Azkaban. Diagon Alley. Gryffindor. Wingardium Levi-O-sa (not Levio-SAH!). And an easy one, if you haven’t caught on yet: Hogwarts.

If you recognized these as references to the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, you’re in good company. As of last April the brand had an estimated worth of $25 billion, so you can imagine just how thoroughly the HP universe has permeated our modern society.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in the United States exactly one month before I turned eight years old and it completely changed the landscape of juvenile literature.  As someone who grew up with the characters and read the books immediately as they were published, I will always have a soft spot for anything related to Harry Potter. I can’t wait to read the novels with my own child one day so I can watch their eyes light up as they go along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione on their various adventures.

I remember what it felt like to be instantly transported to a world where anything was possible. Back when I was reading the first book, I think I was most intrigued by the magical candy, owls, and the possibility of finding out you had an exciting, alternate life awaiting you. Today I just want a time-turner so I can have more hours in the day (side note: don’t grow up, it’s a trap).

As the Teen Services Librarian, it makes my heart so happy to have kids ask me where they can find the HP books in the library. It’s always the first series I ask about when giving recommendations to kids who say they like fantasy. Spending an entire summer day reading a brand-new Harry Potter book is an experience that changed my life as a reader, so I love to watch other children and teens discover that indulgence as well.

Now that it’s abundantly clear that I am (and will always be) a huge Harry Potter nerd, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that we’re having a huge Harry Potter themed event this summer! On June 27th, Denton Public Library will be hosting our own version of a Triwizard Tournament from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the North Branch for young people ages 11-17. There will be a costume contest, trivia, food, games, crafts, and tons of other Potter-themed activities. Your Harry Potter-loving kids and teens will not want to miss it because, hello, where else will they get to be surrounded by other people who think their acceptance letters from Hogwarts were lost in the mail?! Hope to see you there (preferably dressed in costume)!

HP

And to end this post, here’s a fun little Buzzfeed quiz to see if your age can be guessed based on your taste in books. My result was only four years off from my real age (and my answer for question number one will be quite obvious…). Leave your result in the comments section!

Kasey
Teen Services Librarian
North Branch Library

When It’s Summer

FlowerI remember when I was a kid in school, one of the first things that would signal the end of the school year was the smell of cut grass drifting in through the open windows.  I still love that smell (though I feel bad for those who are allergic).  That smell made me want to run outside and read.  I did enjoy playing outside, although I also loved just sitting outside and reading, while the sounds and smells of summer made their ways around me.

lounge chairAt home, I would drag my parents’ old brown fold- out lounge chair (the ones that you had to click into place and you would have to inevitably adjust, like, 5 times before you got it in the right position while being careful not to pinch your finger) out of our shed and plop down on it with a stack of books.  I would choose one and spend some time just reading in the sun until I got too hot.  Then I would move to our front porch or under the old apple tree (Yes, we really did have an old apple tree.  Sounds idyllic, but it was quite old and somewhat dangerous.  It got cut down at some point.)

I would also do this in college and up until the time I had kids (minus my dad’s chair).  Now I rarely have time to lie in the sun and read.  Though sometimes I do still try.  Sometimes I accomplish this task.  Sometimes for longer than five minutes.  Sometimes.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite books that I read during various summers.  Every one of these titles take me back to a specific summer.  Anyone else have books that reminds you of a specific time?

Summer Sisters   A Walk in the Woods   The Ruins   The Secret Garden   The Geography of You and Me   Uganda Be Kidding Me   Into the Wild   Tess

Here are some titles I am looking forward to reading this summer and making memories with!  (Maybe with an old chair and an apple tree…but more likely with two kids, the dogs and a hose, not necessarily in that order. 🙂 )

Ministry   Button   Theft   Little Sister   The Sisters Chase   Slice   Ginny   Beautiful   Sycamore   Long Haul   American   Lying   Almost Sisters

Also, some of my favorite summer soundtracks (for when you’re not reading):

Plans   Toad   Owl   Crow   WPA   Fast   Love   Group Shadow

 

 

 

 

Dawn Terrizzi
Emily Fowler Central Library

Moving Season is Here

It’s the end of May and that means it’s moving season for many Denton residents. According to the Atlas Van Lines Move Data, May through August are peak moving months with over 425,142,335 pounds of home items moved just over summer 2015 alone.  Moving can be a dreadful, exhausting process, especially when you’re moving long distance and have little ones at home.  If you’re dreading your move (and I know I am), come check out what we have to make the process a little easier on you.  

Jacket    Jacket (1)

Moving with Kids       Renters' Rights

Something to read with the kiddos:

Moving Day      Moving Day by Meg Cabot      Henry and Mudge

Alexander

-Sarah, South Branch Library

Source: https://www.atlasvanlines.com/Infographics/seasonality-of-moving 

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe

Could it be that fans of spooky fiction are tiring of vampires and zombies? Probably not, but I have been struck by the number of recent young adult novels based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. One  example of this is Bethany Griffith’s 2014 novel, The Fall, which reimagines Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ through the eyes of Roderick Usher’s sickly twin sister Madeline. This isn’t Griffin’s first expansion of Poe’s work. Prior to The Fall, Griffin turned to Poe’s short story ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ to create two dystopian novels, Masque of the Red Death and Dance of the Red Death. Other authors have also jumped on the Poe train. ‘Annabel Lee’, Poe’s spooky poem describing the death of a beautiful woman in “a kingdom by the sea”, is the basis for two recent novels, Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey and Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday.House of Usher

Of course, filmmakers have been turning to Poe for inspiration long before this mini-trend in young adult novels and there have been quite a few film adaptations of his short stories and narrative poetry. To describe most of these movies as “loosely based” on his work is an understatement. (Certainly, the version of ‘Murders in Rue Morgue’ I watched in my high school English class didn’t have much to do with the short story.) Of the many Poe-inspired movies, Roger Corman’s film adaptations with Vincent Price are the ones a lot of people remember and they are a lot of fun to watch. If you would like a taste of the Corman/Price movies, the library has a DVD double feature of Fall of the House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum  that is available for checkout .

Oddly enbart as ravenough, one of the most faithful film adaptations of Poe’s work is the version of ‘The Raven’ from the first Treehouse of Horror episode of the Simpsons. In this episode, the poem is read by James Earl Jones with Homer as the narrator and Bart as the Raven. While quite funny, the text of the poem is not changed and Homer’s descent into madness closely follows the narrative of the poem (or, at least, close enough that the episode is used by some high school teachers to introduce the poem to their students.) The second season of the Simpsons (which contains the inaugural Treehouse of Horror episode) is available at the library, but, if you can’t wait, the Raven segment can be easily found online.

Corben2

Corben draws Poe

‘The Raven’ has also been adapted in comics form by cartoonist Richard Corben, who is known for creating unsettling images using a combination of pen & ink and airbrush. Since the 1970s, Corben has drawn quite a few adaptations of Poe’s works. Many of these have been collected in two volumes owned by the library (in both print and electronic formats) – Edgar Allan Poe’s Spirits of the Dead and Creepy Presents Richard Corben (although I wouldn’t recommend them to those with a low tolerance for gore and nudity.)

On a less gruesome note,  musicians have likewise turned to Poe for inspiration. Sarah Jarosz’s  adaptation of the aforementioned ‘Anabel Lee’ (from the 2011 album Follow Me Down) is a great example of this. Playing clawhammer banjo (and changing the spelling of the title character’s name), she recasts the poem to resemble an Appalachian murder ballad in the spirit of ‘Knoxville Girl’ or ‘The Banks of the Ohio.’

In the end, of course, the best way to experience Edgar Allan Poe is to read his original work. Collections of Poe’s stories and poetry are available at all Denton Public Library locations. In addition, Denton Public Library cardholders can download electronic versions of Poe’s work using the library’s Overdrive and Hoopla services.

Stacy
South Branch Library

Flat Stanley in Denton

flat-stanley-at-north-branch

My granddaughter from Mississippi sent me a letter about a language arts project she has in school about Flat Stanley.  She sent a drawing of the character to me and asked for information about our community and to give a description of Flat Stanley’s adventures in Denton.  Here is my response:

Dear Clara,

I love my city and I’m happy to share information with your class at school.  The city of Denton was founded in 1866 and is the county seat of Denton County, Texas.  We currently have a population of over 115,000 people.  We are located at the northern point of what is called “The Golden Triangle” with the city of Dallas at the south-east point and the city of Fort Worth at the south-west point.  We have two universities in town.  The University of North Texas was established in 1890 and Texas Woman’s University followed in 1901.  We hold the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo each Fall and The Arts & Jazz Festival in the Spring.  We have two nicknames; Little D and Redbud capital of Texas.

I’ll let Flat Stanley tell you of our adventures together in his letter enclosed.

Sending you all my love,

Grandma

Dear Clara,

I arrived at grandma’s house.  She had heard of my story in the library, but had never seen a flat boy.  She rushed me to Denton Regional Medical Center.  We arrived at the emergency room.  The doctors performed a CT of my entire body.  “Yes,” they said, “he is flat.”  “Maybe he will grow out of it.”  Grandma took it in stride and said “I know a way to fatten him up.”

Grandma took me to her favorite bakery in Denton.  The bakery has the most delicious foods.  There were cookies, brownies, pies, pastries, muffins, croissants, and bread galore.  Grandma bought enough to last all week.  I’m still flat.

Grandma took me to visit the Denton County Courthouse to see if there was any record of a flat boy in the county before.  No such record.

We then went to the Denton Public Library to read all my books and to do research on new technologies that might help restore me to my original boyhood.  Grandma took me to the maker space, The Forge, at the North Branch Library.  She thought maybe the 3D printer might work.  This 3D printer only makes plastic.  Maybe someday in the future we can make me a 3D boy again.  Grandma is posting my story on the library blog.  Now the citizens of Denton can help.

I have enclosed some pictures of grandma’s and my adventure this week.  I hope to see you again soon.

Best Regards,   Flat Stanley

What do you like best about our community?  How would you try to fix Flat Stanley?  Or would you accept him as he is?  Where would you send Flat Stanley next?  Come read books about Flat Stanley with your children and go on an adventure.

flat-stanley  stanley-flat-again  flat-stanleys-worldwide-adventures

flat-stanleys-worldwide-adventures3  flat-stanleys-worldwide-adventures2

http://library.cityofdenton.com/search~S4?/sFlat+Stanley%27s+worldwide+adventures+%3B/sflat+stanleys+worldwide+adventures/-3%2C-1%2C0%2CB/exact&FF=sflat+stanleys+worldwide+adventures&1%2C24%2C#anchor_5

May Beth Everett
Library Assistant II – North Branch Library

Holiday Help

The holidays are officially upon us.  If you are still looking for some gift giving ideas or activities to keep the family entertained, the Denton Public Library can help.

There is still plenty of time to make gifts and avoid the stress of last minute Christmas shopping.  Everyone loves home cooked dishes or baked goods.  Mix in a little love and you have a delicious gift that everyone will enjoy.  Have your children or grandchildren help with the cooking to make it a family activity.

christmas-gifts-from-the-kitchen the-cook-book holiday-crafting-and-baking-with-kids good-pantry edible-diy creative-kitchen christmas-recipes-crafts

Use your artistic or crafting skills to make something unique and special.

your-sharpie-style woodburning washi-wonderful stitched-whimsy fun-christmas-crafts-to-make-and-bake 101-great-gifts-kids-can-make

If you are a great planner and have already completed your holiday shopping, you might be interested in some family activities to keep everyone busy or entertained during the holiday break.

the-book-of-what-if geek-dadunbored

We can also help you survive the holiday season with a smile.  We’ve got some holiday humor and advice to help you cope with any holiday stress or frustration you might encounter.

a-christmas-story spending-the-holidays-with-people keep-the-happy-in-your-holidays

If you find yourself in a crunch, remember that you can access the library’s digital resources even if the library is closed.  We provide a broad range of ebooks and eaudiobooks with Overdrive.  Hoopla has ebooks, eaudiobooks, music, streaming T.V. shows and movies.

Happy holidays!

Jennifer Bekker
North Branch Library