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Adults Create at the Library

Have you noticed the fun craft programs we’ve been offering for adults? We usually meet on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.  It’s a great chance to meet new people, learn a simple craft and just spend an hour or so doing something creative. Thus far we have made valentines, learned simple crocheting techniques and baked some retro Shrinky Dinks that turned into earrings and fobs.  In July we’ll be making duct tape clutches and repeating the Crochet program, then in August we’ll make bookmarks with the popular product washi tape. The best part  of the series is that you only need to bring your creativity since we supply the materials and tools.  The Friends of the Sunnyvale Library have provided the funds for these fun activities.

If you missed the first programs but are interested in learning how to do some of these old and new crafts check out these books.

For creating with felt fabric:

Stash Happy Felt

A basic crochet manual for right and left handed beginners:

Crochet Your Way

And finally a book on creating with Shrinky Dinks:



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Award Winning Mysteries

Each year several groups in the U.S. bestow awards for the best mysteries and best first mystery published that year.  Each is slightly different in their emphasis but they all provide some good suggestions for mystery fans.


Early in the year the Agatha Awards are given by Malice Domestic, a group that honors traditional mysteries. Last May they awarded Three Day Town by Margaret Maron the Best Novel award and Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry the Best First Novel (she also won the Anthony, see below).  To see the other categories and the finalists check out the entire list.

Also in May the Edgar awards are presented by the Mystery Writers of America.  They include mysteries and novels of suspense. Gone by Mo Hayder won the Best Novel and Bent Road by Lori Roy won the Best First Novel.  See the entire list of Edgar nominees and winners by linking here.

In late September or early October the Anthony Awards are announced at Bouchercon, a convention for mystery writers, readers, editors, etc. in the U.S.  The prize and meeting are named after Anthony Boucher a writer and reviewer of mysteries in the mid twentieth century.  This year they met in Cleveland and the winners were A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny for Best Novel and Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry for Best First Novel (see above link). To see the other categories and the finalists check out the entire list.

Mystery Readers International bestows the Macavity Awards, named for T.S. Eliot’s mystery cat.  Their winners for 2012 are Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran for Best Novel and All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen for Best First Novel. To see their other categories and finalists check out the entire list.

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Those Confusing State Ballot Measures

Tis the season to get ready for voting and as usual California voters are faced with those awkwardly worded state ballot measures.  There are eleven this time and some of them seemed designed to cancel each other out, others look very familiar because they have been before us in the past, and some just seem wacky.  Here are some links to some helpful sites as well as places that will be hosting in person explanations.

Online copy of the Easy Voter Guide  for the Novemeber 6 election.

League of Women Voters Pro Con Sessions in west Santa Clara County

Podcast (the audio portion) of the Pro Con Session held at Sunnyvale Public Library

Confused by the terms propostion, measure, initiative and referendum.  KCET, the public broadcasting station in Los Angeles, has a simple explanation for you.


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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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A Fascination with Queens

Some excellent biographies of famous/infamous queens have hit the bestsellers lists lately.  In 2010, Cleopatra: A Life by Pulitzer Prize winning Stacy Schiff was on the bestseller lists for months.  This queen was made notorious by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra where she is portrayed as a passionate and manipulative woman.  Schiff with her meticulous research creates an ultimately more interesting person and a spectacular description of her court.




This past year Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie (another Pulitzer winner) also became a bestseller.  Like Cleopatra, Catherine has a reputation as a passionate woman.  Starting life as a minor German princess she was married off  to the nephew of Czarina Elizabeth’s nephew Paul, whom she later dethrones.  The book follows the expansion of the Russian empire under Catherine and her efforts to bring the Enlightenment to her country. 






Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, the queen we know best, has just celebrated her Diamond Jubilee and with that event biographies have mushroomed.  Three that we have at the Library are:

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith.  Its available in regular print, large print, audiobook and as an ebook.  Smith had access to previously unavailable sources including the journals and correspondence of a former advisor and a former U.S. Ambassador.

Her Majesty: Queen Elizabeth II and Her Court by Robert Hardman.  Hardman is a long time observer of the monarchy and is the writer of the book and UK television series,  A Year with the Queen.

The Real Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Andrew Marr.  Another observer of the monarchy, Marr attempts to discern the person behind the public image.


Some good choices for your summer reading.


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