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New Year, New Selections

Did you know that our Library holds two different types of monthly book groups? Do you attend? We have a book group just for mysteries and another for other fiction and non-fiction titles. We’ve updated our lists to let you know what we’ll be reading each month for at least the next six months. Please ask a Librarian if you’d like help finding any of these titles.

Monthly Book Group

Meets upstairs at the Library on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.
Selections, February – June 2013
Download a printable list. [.pdf]

The Long Walk

February 20, 2013
The Long Walk
by Brian Castner

The author, a former Air Force bomb squad commander, writes about the terror and camaraderie of war and his struggles to readjust to civilian life. The book is one of this year’s Silicon Valley Reads selections. Castner will speak at the Library on March 3, at 3 p.m.

White Teeth

March 20, 2013
White Teeth
by Zadie Smith

The funny and poignant tale of two families of wildly different backgrounds confronting the craziness of 1970s London.

Citizens of London

April 17, 2013
Citizens of London: the Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
by Lynne Olson

A chronicle of how a group of Americans became close with Winston Churchill and aided the British during World War II.

My Antonia

May 15, 2013
My Antonia
by Willa Cather

The classic novel of rural immigrant life in late 19th century America is unpretentious and painfully authentic.

Rules of Civility

June 19, 2013
The Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles

A young woman making her way in 1930s New York discovers that simple choices can change a life forever.

Mystery Book Group

Meets upstairs in the Library Fireplace Room on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.
Selections, March – August 2013
Download a printable list. [.pdf]

The Expats

March 12, 2013
The Expats
by Chris Pavone

Kate Moore jumps at the chance to leave her double life in the US and live in Europe only to find that her problems are just beginning.

I'd Know You Anywhere

April 9, 2013

I’d Know You Anywhere
by Laura Lippman

A terrifying story about a death row inmate and his obsession with the victim that got away.

The Kill Artist

May 14, 2013
The Kill Artist
by Daniel Silva

Art restorer and former secret agent Gabriel Allon is drawn back into the ‘game’ when a zealot from his past goes on a killing spree.


June 11, 2013
by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

The first book in the Martin Beck Police Mysteries and the first of the police procedurals to come out of Scandinavia and now a popular television series in Europe and on public television.

Bootlegger's Daughter

July 9, 2013
Bootlegger’s Daughter
by Margaret Maron

Deborah Knott, daughter to an infamous bootlegger in rural North Carolina, investigates a decades old murder in this atmospheric novel.

March Violets

August 13, 2013

March Violets
by Philip Kerr

Set in Berlin during the 1936 Olympics, the first of Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels is like finding Sam Spade in a weirdly frightening and dangerous place.

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Super Bowl or Super Brawl At Your Library

The Super Bowl is done, and like all 49ers fans, we didn’t get the outcome we wanted. So for now, let’s do like all the other teams that didn’t even make the game and talk about the commercials.

Between getting choked up by a Clydesdale and grossed out by GoDaddy, the best ad for $4 million of not-our-money was the only one that took place in a library (naturally). Oreo’s spot begins with two men arguing, quietly, over which is better: an Oreo’s creme filling inside or its chocolatey cookie outside. Soon everyone in the library gets involved, quietly, in an all-out brawl for sandwich supremacy. Eventually, fire and police crews respond, quietly, to quell the chaos. The ad is laugh-out-loud amusing, but it also perpetuates two (ok, one) stereotypes about libraries we’d like to dispel.

Stereotype #1: Quiet study is the only activity that happens in the library.

First, you should know that the library can still be a place for quiet reading and reflection. We have designated areas of the library expressly for this purpose. However, as times and the needs of our community change, so does the library. Public libraries in general are evolving from silent crypts of knowledge to vibrant, lively, and yes, at times loud, centers for exploration and collaboration. Sunnyvale Library is no exception. Last week on this blog, Becky wrote about some of the unexpected things that librarians do instead of shushing people all day. While we do and always will promote reading and study here, one of our goals at the library is to create programs that help people lead active, enriched lives, both physically and mentally. Take a look at our recent and upcoming events to see that we are working hard to offer something for you to get up, get engaged, and doing something on your own or with others. We’ve had wonderful success with our recent Fresh Start Series, as hundreds of you have come out to learn about organization, investing, EBay, and more. There are programs still to come on healthy food and estate planning in this series. Also still to come this month, you can visit the library to learn about getting out in your garden to grow blueberries, raise money for your organization, pick up the basics of computers or ebooks, or get crafty and make a valentine for your special someone. We recently got you listening to chamber music and dancing to Bollywood beats, and you still have time to tap your toes when we continue our Sunday Music Series with barbershop harmonies later this month. And of course we have some great literature programs planned as well, including our monthly book group which will kick off Silicon Valley Reads month with a discussion of The Long Walk: The Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner (who will speak here at Sunnyvale Library on Sunday, March 3 at 3 p.m.).

Stereotype #2: Oreos are great library eats.

While we can all appreciate the pick-me-up that a sweet snack provides during a long session of reading or studying, eating inside the library is problematic for several reasons. Crumbs on the floor, especially under tables and next to bookshelves where it is harder to clean, eventually attract vermin and other nasties. It’s gross and no joke. Food debris and beverage spills on books and other materials can cause permanent damage, especially if not reported immediately (usually out of embarassment). Have you ever unluckily picked up a book or DVD that had obviously been through a soda spill? Double gross. Eating, especially in a quiet area, is often disruptive to others. Very few of us are true eating ninjas, stealthy and silent. Some of us are unabashed lip-smackers, and well, we just won’t go there. Finally, take another look at the mess that can happen when Oreos and libraries mix:

So get up, and get engaged here at your library! But leave your Oreos outside or else they might disappear, because for the record, this librarian is most definitely on Team Creme.

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Monthly Book Group Selections, July-December 2011

It’s summer reading season — are you looking for a good book? Check out the next six selections for our Monthly Book Group.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
By Michael Lewis
Lewis, author of sports books The Blind Side and Moneyball, explains the credit crisis of 2008 by telling the stories of a few individuals who saw the crash coming and bet against it.

The Condition
By Jennifer Haigh
A family must adjust when one of the children is diagnosed with a condition that will prevent her from ever going through puberty.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By Rebecca Skloot
Tissue samples unknowingly taken from Henrietta Lacks during her cancer treatment in the 1950′s aided in countless medical breakthroughs, but also were part of a dark history of experimentation on African Americans.

The Bastard of Istanbul
By Elif Shafak
An outspoken Turkish author confronts her country’s violent past in a dramatic and colorful tale about the histories and struggles of two families.

Heart of Darkness
By Joseph Conrad
Conrad’s gripping story of imperialism and humanity’s potential for evil is a frequently cited classic.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin
By Erik Larson
Larson chronicles the experiences of U.S. ambassador to Germany William E. Dodd and his family in Berlin in the early years of Hitler’s rule.

Don’t forget to come to the group meeting each month and tell us what you thought of the book! (Check our calendar for dates and times.) 

If mysteries are more your style, check out our Mystery Book Group. Can’t come to the library? Give our online book group a try!

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Monthly Book Group: Tales of a Female Nomad

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the WorldThis coming Thursday, September 17, the Library’s Monthly Book Group will be discussing Rita Golden Gelman’s Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World.  In 1986, the author left her failed marriage and upscale life, sold all of her possessions except what she could carry, and began a remarkable journey to live her dream that still continues – as a nomad who actively participates in the lives of the people she visits. Please join us Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Library Program Room.

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Monthly Book Group: “The Post-American World”

PostAmericanThis coming Thursday, July 16, the Library’s Monthly Book Group will be discussing Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World. In this book, the author shows how the growth of countries like China, India and others are affecting the global economy and geopolitics – and what this means for the United States as it faces the challenges of this global era. Please join us at 7 p.m.

Note: The discussion will take place on the second floor of the Library in the conference room to your left. If anyone needs to use the elevator, please ask for assistance at the Adult Reference desk. Thank you.

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