Share Laughs During National Humor Month

April is National Humor Month, so go ahead and laugh at the library. It’s good for you! Studies show that laughter reduces stress, relaxes the whole body and helps you recharge.

CADL has lots of books to choose from that can tickle your funny bone and enhance your quality of life. Here are some of my favorite hilarious titles:

  • Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong by Jen Yates. The photos and captions submitted by fearless bakers      are a recipe for the benefits of belly laughing.
  • Disquiet, Please! More Humor Writing from The New Yorker edited by David Remnick and Henry Finder. If you think laughter is the best medicine, read two of these essays and call me in the morning.
  • The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood is the first of four titles in the clever Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.  Listen to these books on CD in order. Katherine Kellgren’s take on the voices of the prim Victorian governess and her charges—three children raised by wolves—will  have the whole family ‘howling’ for more.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith is the fifth entry in the 44 Scotland Street series. Robert Ian Mackenzie’s understated narration of this witty book on CD evokes uncontrollable laughter. Yep, that’s me at the stoplight. Maybe we      shouldn’t listen to this one while driving.

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Check out these titles and many more at your CADL branch or visit our catalog. Happy Humor Month!

- Ann C., Head Librarian at CADL Haslett

It’s Coming…A New Look for South Lansing

The painters are done, the electricians are working, and our staff is vigorously putting things in place. The South Lansing Library is only a few weeks away from reopening its doors. We think you’ll be pleasantly pleased to find the following enhancements when we reopen.

A Welcoming Space: One of our highlights is the new large print section located conveniently near the front entrance.

Front & Center: Our coffee table books and CD box collections now have a prominent location near the lounge area for your browsing convenience.

Our brand new teen area We now have plenty of room for our large graphic novel collection.

A Streamlined Fiction Section. Our new adult fiction area makes it easier than ever to find that novel you have been dying to read!

Can you guess what this is?

- Jeff A., Public Services Librarian at CADL South Lansing

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

bookster_logoCheryl Strayed first caught my attention before I even knew her name. As the anonymous advice columnist Sugar on The Rumpus, she broke my heart over and over again with her incredible empathy and impassioned style. When she revealed her identity and announced the publication of her memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, I couldn’t help but snap it up immediately.

Wild is a hiking memoir in all but the most important sense. The book is structured around Strayed’s 1100 mile trek up the Pacific Crest Trail and her discoveries along the way. Woefully underprepared and overpacked, she came to the end of her hike a physical wreck, battered and beaten, more than half her toenails lost to boots a size too small. Her real journey, and the real subject of the book, was one of spiritual and psychological growth. In well-paced, devastating flashbacks, Strayed reveals the events that brought her to the trail: her beloved mother’s early death and the subsequent implosion of her marriage.

Wild is a steady and assured memoir; Strayed possesses startling self-awareness, but never descends into petty navel-gazing. Her narration is so brave and forthright that you never doubt the veracity of her emotions or the importance of her journey.

-Sara D., Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

If our online discussion of Wild interests you and you’d like to share more in person, please join us for a live chat with the author via Skype on Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at CADL Haslett & South Lansing.

Build, Fix or Maintain?

business-squareLocal career expert Lisa (a.k.a. Recruiter Uncensored) shares some of her knowledge with us every Monday. You can read this post in its original form along with comments here.

Many job seekers miss the mark on selling their skills to an opportunity because they fail to step back and consider what a company is ultimately trying to accomplish with the position. Most times jobs lean one of three ways. Companies are trying to build, fix or maintain something. Yes, there are positions that mix all of those, but one usually dominates and it’s important for the candidate to establish which one that is so he can sell himself appropriately.

Interestingly enough, many candidates could be classified under the same category system. They may be capable of all three, but one seems more apparent. I’ve met those I see as innovators, those who are best suited to deal with problems and those who really just want to hang out and keep something that is working well going. The three really are quite different. Which of the three do you identify with most? Do you know? If you surveyed former employers and current networking contacts, what would their opinion be? It may be worth some time to find out.

Though I’m not a fan of labels, I do think job seekers can avoid frustration by targeting positions that are in the same category as themselves. A candidate who presents as an innovator is going to have a hard time selling himself to a role that is primarily about maintenance. The reverse is equally true.

- Lisa W-P, CADL Guest Blogger

Bookster: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – Additional Resources

bookster_logoFor those of you who have already read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind I hope some of my posts have provided you with some “food for thought” about various themes in the book. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope my posts have piqued your interest in the book. Most readers that I have spoken with, who have read the book, found it truly inspirational.  It’s been a pleasure to have been your Bookster host for March. For further reading you may be interested in the following CADL books:

Also many things have change since the book was published in 2009.  The author, William Kamkwamba now attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.  Enjoy this interview with him.

- Eric S., Librarian at CADL Okemos

If our online discussion of The Boy Who Harnessed the Windinterests you and you’d like to share more in person, please join us at 12 p.m., April 4 for alively discussion at CADL Okemos.

Reader Roundup: Left Hand of Darkness

It’s been 84 years since the debut of Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness. In it Le Guin explored the idea of a gender neutral society through the eyes of a Humanoid anthropologist. Left Hand was the recipient of the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel in 1970 as well as a retrospective winner of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for “science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender” in 1996. And whether people love it or want the boundaries pushed more it is still a notable work of Feminist SF not to mention, as author and critic Jo Walton noted “a living breathing story that happened to change the world, not a dry text with a message,” making it a fitting jumping off point to close out Women’s History Month.

If you enjoyed Left Hand of Darkness check out some of these picks.

For a similar feel in world-building and pace try Karen Lord’s fabulous sophomore release The Best of All Possible Worlds. In the wake of a genocidal attack, a people undertake the task of finding genetic relatives to rebuild their race. It’s a story of cultural politics, anthropological development, adventure and romance. (Recommendation)

If the plight of the outsider interests you try Octavia E. Butler’s final novel Fledgling, re-imagining of vampire mythology with closer ties to science fiction and literary fiction than the more traditional gothic horror vampire. (Recommendation)

If the clash of cultures is what drew you in check out City of Pearl by Karen a thought-provoking character driven story that subtly broaches a number of issues, including environmental responsibility, corporate responsibility, the relationship between corporations and government, not to mention first contact, religion and war in a book exploring morals and human values.” (Recommendation)

And finally, Mary Doria Russell notes Le Guin’s influence on her novel The Sparrow, the story of a first-contact mission gone horribly wrong. Our Sara D. describes it as a “thought-provoking novel that is ripe for discussion, with scenes of incredible beauty and terror.” (Recommendation)

Do you have any picks you’d suggest?

-Jessica T., Public Services Head at CADL Downtown Lansing
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Link, Luke and the Doctor

Rather than pretend I know myself, I decided to ask some actual teens what they are reading and enjoying. I have two teenagers who live right in my own home so it was an easy decision to start with them.hyrulehistoria
This month: Ben is 14 years old and loves Star Wars, The Legend of Zelda, Doctor Who, and other nerdy stuff like that.
He is super excited about the long-awaited The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia finally being released in English! The Legend of Zelda Nintendo game franchise has been luring fans since the first game was released in 1986, and is just as big now. The Historia includes the official Legend of Zelda timeline, which has been a hotly debated topic among Zelda fans for many years. You might want to check out the manga too. If you are the sort of obsessed fan who might have, say, a life-size Hylian shield replica and/or your own ocarina, you probably also love the mysterious music from the games. Some examples can be found at CADL  in the Greatest Video Game Music collections.
Ben and I are both really looking forward to Star Wars Day on the May 4 (you know, “may the fourth be with you”). Capital Area District Libraries will be hosting events at both the Downtown Lansing and Haslett locations. Costumes are welcome and there will be a variety of activities. The Downtown Lansing Library will show the movie that started it all.
I’ve run out of room to discuss much for those of you who know all about the dangers of blinking and the importance of having a sonic screwdriver in your pocket at all times, but there is plenty for you to love here at CADL too. Using the library for your books and movies will help you save money for that TARDIS you’re building in the back yard. dr who