Archive | July, 2012

Big Books Due in September

Hundreds of books will hit bookshelves and ereaders this September, but some of the most anticipated are from big authors Ken Follett, J.K. Rowling, Michael Chabon and Lee Child.

Winter of the World by Ken FollettKen Follett,  never at a loss for words, follows his 2010 Fall of Giants with the second in his Century Trilogy, Winter of the World.  Thankfully this newest is only 960 pages instead of the 985 pages of the previous book.  The story continues the history of five families, but now through the rise of the Third Reich and World War II.  Street date September 18.


The Casual VacancyNot quite so big in length is J.K. Rowling’s first novel written for an adult audience  The Casual Vacancy.  Rowling sets her story in the small community of Pagford, a seemingly quiet community that is actually not at all peaceful and the death of Barry Fairbrother sets off further divisiveness.  Many adults enjoyed the Harry Potter series so expect her to please them again.  Street date is September 27.

Telegraph AvenuePulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon’s newest, Telegraph Avenue will be available on September 11.  As in some of his other novels we start with two guys who are partners, Nat Jaffe and Archy Stalling.  Not only do they work together but their wives do as well. The two men own a vinyl record store called Brokeland Records on Telegraph Avenue and the women work together in a midwifery partnership.  African American and Jewish friends mix with jazz, airships, and long lost family. Very high expectations on this one.

For all you Reacher creatures out there, Jack Reacher returns in Lee Child’s 17th in the series. Hitching a ride to Virginia puts Jack in another impossible situation. A Wanted Man will be available on September 11.

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London 2012 Olympics

The London Olympics are less then one week away.  Much preparation has been made since London was given permission to host the Olympics in 2005.  Much of East London has been revitalized with the building of the Olympic stadium and adjacent venues.  The cost of hosting the events  is 15 billion dollars.  The opening ceremony will take place on July 27th and will finish on August 12th.  There will be an estimated 10,500 athletes competing from 204 countries.  This is the third time the Olympics have come to London.     The two other occasions were 1908 and 1948.

To whet your appetite in readiness for the games, the Sunnyvale Library has many resources.  We have books for adults and children  including the suitably titled,  How to watch the Olympics.  For a historic perspective, we have The first  Olympics.  And if you’re a James Patterson fan he’s got a new fiction book called Private Games, the story of a killer at the Olympic games.  We have some great DVDs as well.  Come in and check them out.







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Family Road Trip!

“Why aren’t we flying? Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.”  Clark Griswold – National Lampoon Vacation

Ready to hit the road? Let’s go through the checklist…

Tune up car √

Map your route √

Make reservations √

Hold the mail √

Notify the neighbors that you will be away √

Pack the car √

Pack the cooler √



Wait a minute!

You forgot to stop by the Library and check out some family-friendly audiobooks! Listening to a captivating story might just make the miles fly by without any danger of speeding.

Try one of these suggestions or ask a Children’s Librarian for other recommendations.

Select a classic. These stories have delighted generations of kids. Pick a favorite from your childhood and perhaps it will become a family favorite. Possible crowd pleasers …

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

James and the Giant Peach

The Swiss Family Robinson

Treasure Island

Beezus and Ramona

Or try one of these titles …

Join young adventurer Akimbo in an African adventure. Ages 8 and up

A Long Way From Chicago is the story of a brother and sister who visit their grandmother and find out that grandma is quite a character. Very funny! Ages 10 and up

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Reader, Jim Dale brings this story to life with an amazing range of voices that infuse this tale with adventure and magic.  Ages 9 and up

       The Sign of the Beaver A young boy learns survival skills from local Indians in 18th century Maine.       Ages 9 and up

Ballet Shoes Three adopted sisters study ballet and learn that each has her own special talents.                  Ages 8 and up

The Bad Beginning is the first in A Series of Unfortunate Events  and actor, Tim Curry does a fantastic job of portraying villains, relatives and children. Ages 8 and up

Checked out an audiobook √

Now you are ready to go! Have a great vacation!

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Everything Old is New Again…

On July 5th we presented a children’s program called 100 Years of Fun! in honor of Sunnyvale’s Centennial celebration.  We sang songs that have been well known for the past 100 years and we also made sure to sing “This Land is Your Land” as this year is also the centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth.  The second half of the program was old fashioned games…nothing electronic here!  Kids played horseshoes, hopscotch, jacks, hula hoop, and they jumped rope.  Horseshoes was the most popular with jump rope being a close second.  The memory of childhood games of jacks enticed some moms onto the floor to play a few rounds with their kids.  After watching the kids run and jump and laugh in the sunshine we knew that we’d have to plan a few more programs in this vein.  So watch the fall schedule.  There’ll be a couple more chances to unplug and play in the sunshine here at the library before winter comes.  And don’t forget to check out or or call (408) 749-0220 to find out more about the Sunnyvale Centennial Celebration.

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I fell in love with Cambodian Rock’n'Roll…

and I have never been the same. A few years back, I started listening to tons of psychedelic garage bands from the 1960′s and during this time my friend lent me this CD called Cambodian Rocks. I listened to it and it blew me away. This music felt very familiar with the sounds of surf music and electric psychedelia and very unfamiliar in tongue and vocal style.  It was the beautiful language of Cambodia called Khmer and the golden voice of Ros Sereysothea that drew me in. Cambodia Rocks is this compilation of late 1960′s and early 1970′s Cambodian rock music. But, where did it come from…ros seresothea

The story is that an American tourist named Paul Wheeler was traveling in Siem Reap area of  Cambodia and he kept hearing this incredible rock’n'roll in the restaurants.  He hired a motorcyclist to take him to a place where he could buy Cambodian music and he ended up at an open market where a man was selling cassettes. After hanging out with this man for a few hours listening to cassettes he bought six tapes, brought them back to the States, and made a mixed taped with his favorite songs. Then Wheeler gave the mixed tape to his friend that owned Parallel Record Label and Cambodian Rocks was born. The compilation features the voices of Ros Sereysothea, Sinn Sissamouth, Pan Ron, Meas Samon, and many more. These singers and their bands created a whole new style of rock’n'roll.

ros seresothea and sinn sisamoothAfter listening to this gem, I realized that I was very lucky to have even heard these recordings. These recordings were relics that survived the Khmer Rouge Regime. The Khmer Rouge (the Cambodian Communist Party) killed over 1.7 million Cambodians from 1970-1974 including the civil servants, the doctors, the artists, the musicians, and the librarians. The Khmer Rouge nearly wiped out all of  Cambodian culture pre-1970.  And I was very sad to find out that Ros Sereysothea, Sinn Sissamouth, Pan Ron,  and Meas Samon were said to have “disappeared” during this regime.

electric cambodia

Nowadays, an American band named Dengue Fever fronted by Chhom Nimol (a descendant of  the famous Cambodian vocalists) plays  music with a deep Khmer influence combined with rock, rhythm, and blues.   And to preserve the Cambodian Rocks legacy the band just released  Electric Cambodia : 14 rare gems from Cambodia’s past  featuring Ros Sereysothea, Sinn Sissamouth, Pan Ron, Meas Samon. The Sunnyvale Library just received their copy and it is currently being cataloged for you to check out! In the meantime check out this track by Ros Sereysothea, Chnam oun Dop-Pram Muy “I’m 16″  provided by WFMU.

To read more about the survivors of the Khmer Rouge check out Loung Ung’s trilogy beginning with First they killed my father : a daughter of Cambodia remembers .

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