Archive | November, 2011

Book Alikes Part III

You may have noticed our new book area to the left when you walk into the Library. We make a special effort to display book covers so that you can see them because, despite the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” that’s the first thing many of us notice about a book. And it may be the very thing that entices you to pick it up, check it out, and read it. Sara posted last week about similar-looking romance novel covers, and Kate has posted about other cover similarities before. When I was walking by the new books earlier, one particular cover caught my eye, and it made me think of another very similar cover, so I thought it would be fun to post about more covers today.

First up, the one that I saw today. We’ve got black silhouettes facing the same way and white text on almost exactly the same shade of blue background.

White Heat, by M.J. McGrath    Incendiary, by Chris Cleave

Next, (and thanks to Kate for this one), for some reason, dried flowers laying on books (maybe wood?) take center stage on two book covers that seem to be about a mistress of some sort. Odd.

The Mistress's Revenge, by Tamar Cohen    Postmistress, by Sarah Blake

Backs! Naked female backs with similar coloring. (Thanks to Kate here, too!)

Centuries of June, by Keith Donohue    Palimpsest, by Catherynne M. Valente

Have you seen book covers that look remarkably similar? Please share titles with us, and maybe your suggestions will be featured in a future “Book Alikes” post.

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Favorite Places to Read

Where do you like to read?

This will come as a surprise to no one but I love to read! I have always loved books. As a girl I had favorite reading venues:

Summer: Either in the backyard swinging on a glider or in the case of extreme heat, in the basement. I remember once that while reading outside in the early evening a family of skunks caught me unawares . When I looked up and noticed the mother and two babies I just froze and repeated in my head, “I am a statue, I am a statue.” This worked. The three skunks just pranced by with heads held high.

Fall: The attic of our house was an incredible place for reading and imagining. I would pull an old chair near a window and look down over the backyard. If I needed a break from reading I’d rummage through old trunks and discover treasures.

Winter: On the second floor of our house there was a porch that was smaller than many walk-in closets. It was big enough for a rocking chair and a small side table. The wonderful feature of this spot was a view of the eaves from which large icicles would grow. This was especially enjoyable when the icicles glistened in the sunshine and slowly drip, drip, dripped.

Spring: See Fall. I really loved the attic!

Today I read whenever and wherever I can. I am rarely without a book or Kindle. Throughout my life I have been  inspired, comforted and entertained by books. I am in awe of writers who have the talent and imagination to take our everyday language and craft words into a story that can take my breath away.

Kids and grown-ups look around your home, inside and out, and look for that perfect spot for reading. Pull a chair up by a window, a sleeping bag into a closet, a few cushions onto a sun puddle in the living room, you decide. Even in a small space you can find the perfect spot to open a book and get lost in a story.

We would all like to know, where is your favorite place to read?

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Canning for the rest of us

I know as most of us know that canning “do’s” and “don’ts” are not to be taken lightly.  Let’s be frank.  Although nothing beats the homemade gift of “put up” preserves, botulism as a gift is not exactly either the givers or the recipients intended end.   I am a relative “newbie” when it comes to canning.  Several years ago I made my first batch of marmalade from the orange tree in the backyard.   I remember how careful I was in trying to follow the instructions to the letter.   The canning books I used were vintage and I had to flip back and forth between them to make sure I was doing the right steps.

Those canning titles seemed to be aimed at experienced canners.   Somehow I muddled through.   The marmalade didn’t kill me or my friends.   The holidays are upon us once more.  The crop of oranges on the tree in the backyard beckons again for marmalade!    This year I decided to find a title that is well organized (and all in one book).   I think I have found it:  Put ‘Em Up!   A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling by Sherri Brooks Vinton.  While there are a number of excellent canning titles in our collection, this title really stood out from the others — as a guide for new canners.   Previewing it I find excellent step by step instructions from beginning to end with clear drawings;  things are explained why things are done they way they are, giving one a “hook” to hang on to.   Of all the canning titles, including the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving — the classics for canning — and others, Vinton’s, so far, is inspiring the greatest confidence.   Let the games begin.

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The Evolution of the Cover Art on Romance Novels as a Reflection of the Changing Sex Roles in 21st Century America: An Informal Study

The very popular romance novels have changed in recent years.  The familiar ‘bodice ripper’ cover art is beginning to be replaced with artwork that is more compelling for its female audience. For instance, instead of heaving bosoms there are rippling male chests wearing pants dangerously low on the hip.

Mostly torsos. Who needs a face?

  Trace of Fever  The Black Sheep and the Hidden Beauty


Competent women. Not many of these.

And lots of backs. Hundreds of backs.

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iBienvenidos! Welcome!

Bienvenidos a la Biblioteca de Sunnyvale con sus colecciones en español para niños.  Welcome  to the Sunnyvale Library with its collections in Spanish for children.

We have many books with CDs, children’s music CDs, as well as monolingual and bilingual Spanish books.  Many are stories for younger children (from ABC de papel to La manzana roja); we also have many non-fiction books, from songbooks to holidays to biographies.  And we purchase new books every month.

Young children love to be read to, and it’s very important for their parents, siblings and caregivers to read to them.  There is simply no comparison between reading to them, (sitting together  and pointing to the pictures, talking about the story in the book) and simply plopping them in front of a screen (TV, computer, video…).

If you know some Spanish, try some of our Spanish books like El tigre y el gato, a folktale about how the cat taught the tiger  to hunt.




Or if you want a bilingual story, pick It’s Bedtime, Cucuy / A la cama, Cucuy - the eternal story of kids who just don’t want to go to bed, they’re not tired!

And here’s a tip for you blog-readers:  there are many favorite children’s books like Freight Train = Tren de carga  in the Children’s Spanish Collection.  If the copies are all out in English, check the bilingual version.  You can just read the English, you don’t have to try the Spanish!   Of course, if you’re adventurous…

Tren de carga




Children’s books and CDs are very good for adults starting to learning Spanish, too. Come and pick up José Luis Orozco’s Diez deditos in music or book form, or  Canciones de compañeros, and get started!

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