Friday, August 28, 2015

It's almost Fall!

Here at Franklin County Library we are looking forward to Fall.  The few rainy, cool days we've had in the last couple of weeks have made us long for the pleasures of Fall - cool days, crisp nights, hot cider and hot chocolate, cozy fires, sweaters and jackets. 

Along those lines, Christian has been working on our Fall bulletin board.

She is much more artistic than the rest of us, and she put a lot of thought, effort and detail into the bulletin board.  It's very colorful and fun!  We've told her that from now on, whether she is working for us or not, she has to come and put together our bulletin boards!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Julie's Journal : Book Challenges Update

Back in January with I put up several challenges that I was going to try to complete this year.  I wanted to complete a Classics challenge, a To-Be-Read (TBR) challenge, and an A-Z challenge.  The original post can be read here

I'm happy to say that I have completed the A-Z challenge!

I enjoyed some books more than others.  Some I read just because I wanted to and others I read just to fill in a letter.  X was the hardest letter to find.

I'm still working on both the TBR challenge and the Classics Challenge.  I need some help coming up with a forgotten classic.  According to the guidelines of the challenge, a forgotten classic has less than 1000 ratings on Goodreads.  I also need a classic play that is easy to read.  I am NOT a Shakespeare buff!  If you have any ideas, let me know.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Stuff!

Chance is hard at work today putting in new books, movies, and an audio.

Silver Linings - Audio by Debbie Macomber
Disney's Short Films Collection
The Best of Me
One Upon a Time : Season 4
Avatar the Last Airbender : Book 1 Water Volume 3
The Giver
Patty's Pantry : Family Recipes
Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood
The Education of Ivy Blake by Ellen Airgood
Friction by Sandra Brown
Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

Monday, August 17, 2015

Julie's Journal : Vacation Week

Last week was my husband Jason's last week of summer vacation and, as usual, I took it off with him.

When I left here Friday evening, I went home and didn't leave again until Monday afternoon!  I like being at home!  I was able to start and finish several projects that I had been wanting to do, including making a new batch of Goat's Milk Soap.  I've learned a new technique for soap making that I think works better than the first few batches I made.  This batch is Anise scented, and my whole house smells wonderful from it.  I don't have a picture of the soap, but below is a picture of the goat that gave the milk for the soap. 

Her name is Patches. 

We took off Thursday for a "mini" vacation.  We visited Jason's grandmother in Carrollton, then went to Glen Rose to spend the night.  Friday morning we visited Fossil Rim.  If you've never been to Fossil Rim, I highly recommend it.  It is a drive-thru safari.  We were able to feed ostriches, wildebeests, zebra, giraffes, and several different kind of deer.  The animals come right up to your car.   

This deer is shedding the velvet off his antlers.  It looks painful, but it is perfectly natural.  We saw several rubbing against trees.  In a couple of days his antlers will be dry and hard. 

This is an Aoudad, a type of sheep from North Africa.

This elk stuck his head as far into the truck as his antlers would let him.

Although my pictures were not very good, we enjoyed the scenery as well.  It is very different than flat East Texas!

Later that day we made our way back into the Metroplex and attended a Texas Rangers Game.  Jason was interested in the game, but I enjoy people watching more than anything.  It was Star Wars night, so Darth Vader and other characters from the movies were walking around talking to people.  We stayed for Star Wars themed fireworks after the game, too. 

After that it was back home for a couple more days before we both went back to work this morning.  It was nice to get away for a little while, but just as nice to come back home! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Poet's Perch : Trees by Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer

Friday, August 7, 2015

Chance's Corner: To Kill a Mockingbird Movie Review

Ever since Hollywood was a thing, books have been adapted into feature films. It's an exciting prospect to see your favorite characters jump off the page and onto the screen, but ultimately film adaptations have been a mixture of the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The old saying is: "The movie is never as good as the book." I'm just going to throw that saying out the window as I reflect on the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. Based upon Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird is a movie marvel that stays true (and rings true) to its source material.

Things start off simple in Maycomb, Alabama, for youngsters Scout and Jem Finch. They laze around in the summer days, rolling around in tires for fun, and concocting wild stories about the Radley boy down the street to frighten their new friend Dill (a caricature of Lee's childhood friend Truman Capote). Things soon heat up, though, when their father, Atticus, a local, well-respected lawyer takes on the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a young white woman. Time and fate are stacked against Tom (segregation is firmly in place during The Great Depression) despite Atticus' best efforts to defend him.

Despite the heavy subject matter, the film follows the book's blueprint of humor, warmth and heart. The real showcase is the interplay between child actors, Mary Badham (Scout) and Phillip Alford (Jem), with their onscreen father, Gregory Peck (Atticus). The moments they share are so heartfelt that Harper Lee broke down into tears on set. If that isn't the cherry on top, Peck won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Badham became the youngest actress to be nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Despite Lee's novel being originally published in 1960, and released theatrically in 1962, the themes of racial prejudice and injustice are still being actively discussed to this very day. To Kill a Mockingbird isn't the product of some long-forgotten, bygone era. It's as relevant as ever, and I believe that it's messages of compassion, courage and tolerance are something we can all still learn from.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Watermelon Day!

Tomorrow is our annual Watermelon Day on the square. We will serve fresh, cold watermelon to anybody who wants some at 10:00 on the square. This is our last event of the summer, so be sure to stop by.


We will be gearing up for fall in the next few weeks, so be sure to watch this blog, Facebook, and the Optic Herald for news about our upcoming events.


I apologize for this blog being so quiet lately. The library has been dealing with internet difficulties for several weeks now.  I'm sure you can imagine how frustrated we have been.  We hope to be back to normal soon.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Musings on Bookmarks

If you have ever checked out a book at Franklin County Library, then you are aware that we make bookmarks available for you.  The most popular are the scented bookmarks.  We have had strawberry, watermelon, bacon, sunscreen, and even pickle scented bookmarks.  Kids love them, but adults seem to like them too.

Have you ever had an extra special bookmark?  One you didn't want to lose?  Chance has a metal Harry Potter bookmark that he uses exclusively.  Julie has special cross-stich bookmarks. 

We have even crafted folded paper, corner bookmarks at Marvelous Mondays!
Books at the library are often turned in with very interesting bookmarks.  We have found butter knives, toothpicks, money, utility bills, dry spaghetti noodles, q-tips, hairbands, and other unusual items being used as bookmarks. 

The following interesting bookmark ideas from Pinterest seem like a lot more fun.  The Wicked Witch one at the end is a particular favorite.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tom's Two Cents: "Mr. Holmes" at the Angelika

For fans of Sherlock Holmes or the great British actor Ian McKellen or just Britain itself, "Mr. Holmes" is a treat, both funny (in the British way) and sad, perplexing, mysterious and at times heart- wrenching.

Sherlock Holmes, aging and bereft of his partner Dr. Watson, has retired to the country with a bright housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her charming son to take care of him, even as he takes care of his bees, which have been attacked by an unknown killer.  Trying desperately to finish a story based on an old case, struggling with problems of aging and the mystery of who or what is killing his bees, old Sherlock well-nigh comes to an end himself, but no, in an ending perhaps not worthy of A. Conan Doyle, he is saved both physically and spiritually to solve another crime on another day!

Woven through the personal Sherlock story is a real crime for him to solve, involving a mysterious husband/wife relationship and a tragic conclusion and denouement.  This film is beautiful, well-acted and free from all the crass sensationalism of an American film-- in other words, it's BRITISH!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Reading Party!

We cannot believe that Summer Reading is already over.  Time flies when you're having fun!  Yesterday we celebrated another year with our annual water party. 


As the kids turned in reading logs this year, they had their names put in a drawing for a chance to deliver a pie to the face to August, Lisa, and Chance. 

Be sure and join our Friends of the Library to help support all our summer programs!  On average, we had over 100 kids here every Tuesday! 
We also ran and Adult Reading Challenge in conjunction with Summer Reading.  Adults had to complete 8 of 12 challenges to be eligible for our prize drawing.  Our winner was Catherine McDermott!

She took home a goody bag filled with books, a Friends of the Library travel mug, and a gift card to Hastings!  Congratulations!

Don't forget to be on the lookout for our fall schedule! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tom's Two Cents : Harper Lee and the "Mockingbird" Controversy



In the last few months and especially this past week I've read so much about Harper Lee and the publication of her new/old novel "Go Set a Watchman" that I almost feel that the actual reading of it is going to be a bit of an anti-climax.  Now that it's actually "out", I've read three reviews, a commentary and an editorial just this morning.  Enough!

Actually, as an aspiring fiction writer myself, I think I'm more interested in how "Watchman" morphed into "Mockingbird" than I am in the book itself.  I'm also fascinated by the story of the role Lee's editor, Ms. Tay Hohoff at Lippincott, played in the morphing.  In the old days, that is, the 20's, American authors like Thomas Wolfe and Fitzgerald were often mentored and guided to publication by astute editors like the great Maxwell Perkins and such may be the case here.

We shall probably never know exactly why "Miss Nell" changed the character of Atticus, but it's entirely possible that as a young girl, Scout would have seen her father though very different eyes, just as Harper Lee may have.

As to the question of publication--"Why now?"--I'm not at all sure I can buy the sudden rediscovery of the manuscript.  Last Eve I was talking to a friend in Dallas who theorized that the key to the whole thing lies directly with Alice Lee's recent death.  Older sister and protector of Nell, a lawyer and partner with their late father, Alice Lee, of all people, except perhaps Nell herself, would have wanted this view of Atticus suppressed.  It seems to me too much of a coincidence that it surfaced so soon after her death.  Harper Lee is 89, in poor health, and, not the first famous person in literature to be ill-advised to publish an early work.  Of course the publisher, Harper-Collins, stands to make a fortune.  Pre-orders have already exceeded two million.

Miss Nell is old and infirm--let's hope all this attention brings her some pleasure and doesn't make her waning years worse.  It's so ironic that a writer who has fled the limelight all her life is now right smack in it again.  As for "Mockingbird," it has been and will remain a modern classic, and no one can take that away from her!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Poet's Perch: She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

She Walks in Beauty
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
George Gordon, Lord Byron

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Julie's Journal : Wolf's Coming! by Joe Kulka

I don't normally review children's books, but I couldn't resist with this one.  I first read about it on another blog, and we ordered it for the library.  I liked it so much that I took it home for my 6 year old  nephew!

The story begins with the Wolf coming through the forest and all of the animals running and hiding from him.  You see a Momma rabbit gathering up her babies, raccoons fleeing, and pigs scattering.

The wolf gets closer and closer while the animals grow more and more frantic to hide.  The artwork gets progressively darker, helping to build the suspense. 

The end of the book is a big, happy surprise!  
As I read it to my nephew,  his eyes got big and he became very tense.  When we got to the final pages where the surprise is revealed, he laughed with relief!

Wolf's Coming! is very well done.  The story is written in rhyme and there are special items to look for in the artwork on every page.  I highly recommend it!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Did you know? : Osmo

Have you heard of Osmo?  It's a new system for your iPad.  When purchased it comes with a stand and reflective mirror, a set of letters, and a tangram set.  Once the set is purchased, all you have to do is download the free apps that go along with it to start playing.  It's difficult to explain, so watch the video below.

From :  "Osmo's groundbreaking system fosters social intelligence and creative thinking by opening up the iPad to the endless possibilities of physical play."

Franklin County Library has three sets of Osmo that can be tried out in the library.  Come on in and test them out!