Fiction book review: The Silent Patient

I was hooked by the story The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides. It was a brilliant book with great twists. The list of suspects I had was long, and I was completely wrong on what I thought would happen multiple times.

The book is about Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time to work with Alicia, who shot her husband five times in the face and never spoke again. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path and in search of the truth.

The best part of the book is when Alicia finally decides to talk, and Theo figures out the truth behind the murder of Alicia’s husband—what looked to be a domestic tragedy turned into something far grander.

 

As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

Everyone knows that kids need to learn their ABCs and 123s but Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is just as important. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

Learning the five components of SEL, listed below, will help children and adults become self-aware, caring, responsible, engaged, lifelong learners who work together to achieve their goals and create a more inclusive, just world. (CASEL.ORG)

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Skills
  • Responsible Decision Making

The library has many books to help children with SEL. Come take a look at the SEL books on the January display in the youth area.

 

As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

Football Fans

One of the best things about fall is football season. It’s fun sitting in the stands in the crisp autumn air on Friday nights rooting for your favorite high school team. The band, the cheerleaders, the student section, and families of the players wearing school colors and cheering for their team add to the excitement. All three of my nephews played high school football and it was a thrill to watch them play.

College game day on Saturdays can keep you glued to the tv all day. Predicting the college rankings and watching them change each week is all part of the action. I grew up in Lubbock, Texas and my family would march with the band to Red Raider Stadium and watch Texas Tech take the field.

Watching the Cowboys on Sundays is fun again! I’ve been a loyal fan since the 1970s, so I’ve witnessed the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Tailgating before a Thanksgiving game with my whole family to celebrate my parents 50th anniversary is a cherished memory.

If you’re like me and just can’t get enough of football, we have lots of tv shows and movies inspired by the game.

The Blind Side

Draft Day

The Express

Friday Night Lights

Invincible

Little Giants

The Longshots

Remember the Titans

Rudy

We Are Marshall

When the Game Stands Tall

Trick or Treat! (Nothing but treats at the Library)

The weather is finally cooling down! With the crisp air comes the joyous time of Halloween. Dressing up like someone else and getting a bunch a free candy to boot is such a great way to kick off the holidays! One of the best things about Halloween is how the community bands together to give goodies to one another. A new tradition that I’ve noticed of late is to “Boo” your neighbor. We booed the folks across the way from us with treats for their pets and goodies for the humans. It was great way to teach my kid that it isn’t just about what you’ll be getting, but that you can spread joy by giving to those around you. I love that I live in a neighborhood that will give generously to my kid come Halloween night. He’ll have enough candy to last a few months.  

At the library we love to spread the joy of Halloween to our patrons. This year we are continuing virtual story times and will have take home crafts to give out during Halloween week. We also plan to award four ginormous candy trophies to four lucky kids who entered either the coloring or writing contest! We have boxes of candy bags ready to hand out to each kid who visits the library Halloween week. Make sure to stop by for treats!  

It is that time of year when we dust off our horror movie collection and put it on display. New to the library collection include The Exorcist (which is also a book), all the Conjuring movies, Host, Relic, and much more. There is nothing like watching a horror movie this time of year. There is something about the weather cooling, and leaves changing color that helps set the mood. You can check out up to ten movies at a time. Just enough to have a horror movie binge marathon. Time to get your scare on!

Library secrets, part 6

We have ebooks. You can’t find them on the shelves, but you can find them at this link: netldc.overdive.com.

 

Once you’re there just sign in up at the top right corner. You’ll use your library card number and your PIN. (The PIN is the last four digits of your phone number.)

Then browse to your heart’s content. It’s easy to tell which books are available and which are waitlisted. Just look for the helpful banners at the top.

Once you’ve decided on a title, this is where things get tricky. There are lots of options for downloading and reading.

 

Which one works best for you will depend on the kind of device you have as well as the types of file that the publisher has made available. There is also sometimes an option of downloading to your device and reading in the browser window.

Libby is an easy to use app that is available on most devices. You can learn more at the website: meet.libbyapp.com

Kindle is, of course, recommended if you have a Kindle. It does require an Amazon account though. But again, this app is available for most devices.

As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

Teen Fiction Review – A shot at normal

The book A Shot at Normal by Marisa Reichardt tells a tale of a teen at odds with the beliefs of her parents. Juniper Jade has always followed her parents homeschool, all-organic lifestyle and she is ready for a change. She is sixteen and wants to go to the public high school. She wants a cell phone and friends her age. She wants to see more of Nico, the cute boy who works at the library. She wants store-bought toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant instead of the concoctions her mom makes. And after the unthinkable happens, she wants all her vaccinations.

Juniper reminds me of teens who are ready for some independence from their parents. She does not agree with her parents’ no vaccines rule. She knows it would be easier to wait until she turns eighteen, but she is afraid.

The relevant plot about vaccines and anti-vaxxers is a timely topic. Juniper consults with a doctor and considers the pros and cons of getting vaccines. She loves her parents but wants the right to take care of her own health. Will Juniper get her vaccines? Read this topical novel to find out.

 

 

 

As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

Adventures in Gardening

We inherited a mess of a yard with a few easy plants when we moved a few years ago. The biggest problem has been invasive vines that grow all over the place, and have even left scars on the house. At one point, my husband and I dug up two sections of the yard and have been super aggressive in our fight against this green creeping foe.

Another problem is that three trees have died, two from a pest and one from lightning strikes. We also cut down two other trees because of their proximity to the house. Pictured to the left is the stump of one which started growing mushrooms. We’ve removed all of it except just a bit of stump that a grinder will have to rip out.

 

 The good plants that came with the yard are a gorgeous red canna and some yellow iris. These are among my favorite plants because they are so easy to care for. We also have some elephant ears that I was thrilled to get because I’ve admired the big beautiful leaves for so long. Alas, this plant didn’t do so well this year because of the vines, as well as a drainage problem that will be fixed this fall. I also have a ton of monkey grass that I love to have as a border plant.  I’ve added some purple heart, which are easy to grow according to Texas Home Landscaping by Greg Grant and Roger Holmes . I’m looking forward to them spreading out. The previous owners also left behind lots of big rocks; I’m not too sure where to place those so that they look good.

I’ve recently been spending a lot of time researching the best trees and plants to grow in this part of Texas. I have a lot of space in front of the house to fill with good plants. So far, the weeds have taken over. My goal is to spend every spare moment that I can this fall clearing out the bad stuff and planting what I can so that I can enjoy a gorgeous garden all next year.

As always the best place to find info for any subject is at the library! I checked out some gardening and landscaping books and learned that fall is the best time to plant a tree in the book The Horticulture Gardener’s Guides: Design and Planting by Andrew McIndoe. I decided on a Chinese pistache for the main attraction. In this picture you can see that my neighbor across the way also has this tree. His tree is gorgeous, and I can’t wait till our puny little guy grows to be that big! We also planted three white natchez crepe myrtles on one side of the yard and a Japanese maple on the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other books that I have recently explored in my landscaping adventure include The Big Book of Garden Designs by Marianne Lipanovich, Landscape Planning by Judith Adam, Grounds for Improvement by Dean Hill. These are just a few out of a big section we have at the library on gardening and landscaping.

Most of my budget has gone into replacing trees. I would love to put in a path like this:

This is a picture from the book Walks, Patios & Walls. Instead the path I’m excavating will be filled with mulch. My head is full of visions that are full of colorful plantings in perfectly laid out beds with beautiful stone or brick pathways. I see full healthy trees with flowers encircling their bases. I have ideas of outdoor furniture I would like to build myself. I would also love to build a trellis and have something growing all over it. Something that I can manage that won’t invade the yard. Unlike what has been growing wild up until now. I found several ideas for these kinds of projects in 100 Weekend Projects Anyone Can Do.

There is a bit of a problem with all the grand plans in my head. I don’t have a big budget to put towards all of the plants that I need/want. I was lucky to be gifted the purple heart from another avid gardener. I also share what I can from my garden like giving some of my iris to a neighbor and elephant ear to some of my colleagues. I hope to find other gardeners that I can trade plants with!

In the spring I will do a follow up article that will hopefully picture a full garden with that mulch path! What gardening projects are you tackling? Do you have any gardening tips or tricks to share with our audience?

As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

Fiction book review – A shot at normal

The book A Shot at Normal by Marisa Reichardt tells a tale of a teen at odds with the beliefs of her parents. Juniper Jade has always followed her parents homeschool, all-organic lifestyle and she is ready for a change. She is sixteen and wants to go to the public high school. She wants a cell phone and friends her age. She wants to see more of Nico, the cute boy who works at the library. She wants store-bought toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant instead of the concoctions her mom makes. And after the unthinkable happens, she wants all her vaccinations.

Juniper reminds me of teens who are ready for some independence from their parents. She does not agree with her parents no vaccines rule. She knows it would be easier to wait until she turns eighteen, but she is afraid.

The relevant plot about vaccines and anti-vaxxers is a timely topic. Juniper consults with a doctor and considers the pros and cons of getting vaccines. She loves her parents but wants the right to take care of her own health. Will Juniper get her vaccines? Read this topical novel to find out.

 

 

 

As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.