Non-fiction review: In case you get hit by a bus

Title: In case you get hit by a bus

Author: Abby Schneiderman; Adam Seifer; Gene Newman

Topic: estate planning

This is a very practical book on how to make sure that those you leave behind aren’t left with a mess. It clearly lays out a plan for passing on all the information we use daily but don’t really think about.

I found a lot of their advice to be common sense, but they also cover details that I’d never thought about before. The authors are experts in this field (they have a company that does nothing but think about this stuff.)

 

We have a few other books on this topic that might interest you.

 

The gentle art of Swedish death cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

This is a great book on decluttering in order to make things easier on loved ones after you’ve passed away. The philosophy is simple: do it now, so your heirs don’t have to.

 

 

 

 

 

Get it together by Melanie Cullen

This book is from the publisher Nolo and focuses more heavily on the legal aspects of estate planning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick and legal will book by Denis Clifford

Also published by Nolo, this book offers boilerplate forms and advice on filling them out. The link is for our 2020 edition, but we try to update them regularly so you may want to look for a more recent year. Ask a staff member if you want help.

 

 

 

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.

 

Caldecott Medal

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It has been awarded annually since 1938 by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

“We Are Water Protectors,” illustrated by Michaela Goade is the 2021 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Carole Lindstrom and published by Roaring Brook Press.

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

Four Caldecott Honor Books were also recognized in 2021.

“A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart,” illustrated by Noa Denmon and written by Zetta Elliott

The Cat Man of Aleppo,” illustrated by Yuko Shimizu and written by Irene Latham & Karim Shamsi-Basha

“Me & Mama,” illustrated and written by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Outside In,” illustrated by Cindy Derby and written by Deborah Underwood

The Caldecott Medal winners are shelved in Bin 1 so come browse these award-winning books.

Bluebonnet Award

Each year, 20 books are chosen by librarians for the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List. It is a unique program that encourages reading for pleasure for students in grades 3 – 6. Schools and libraries around the state participate in the program, encouraging students to read a minimum of five books from the list. In January, students vote for their favorite title. The author of the book receiving the most votes wins the Texas Bluebonnet Award (TBA) which is presented during the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in the spring.

Students voted for “If I Built a School” by Chris Van Dusen as the 2021 Texas Bluebonnet Award winner. Visit the library’s YouTube channel Stories with Ms. D playlists and read along.

If Jack built a school, there would be hover desks and pop-up textbooks, skydiving wind tunnels and a trampoline basketball court in the gym, a robo-chef to serve lunch in the cafeteria, field trips to Mars, and a whole lot more.

The 2021-2022 master list has been released. All these Bluebonnet books are shelved together on a display in the children’s section so come pick your favorites.

Library Secrets, part 4

Everyone knows we have books. Regular print and large print. But did you know that we also have a few in Braille?

Today we’re going to let you in on a cool secret. We have a copy of the New Testament from the Bible written in Braille. It takes up 18 volumes!

These can’t be checked out. But they’re still really cool to look at. Please be careful with them though, they’re old.

Here’s something that might help if you ever want to try and read a few words.

The Braille Bible isn’t all we have. There are a couple of children’s books available in Braille. We also have books that are written on the general topic of learning about the Braille system. Check them out!

 

 

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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.

Mad Times

So many things in this world seem wrong to many people in many different ways. There are so many different viewpoints on how things ought to be done and how life ought to be lived. Some believe their freedoms are being trampled on by others. Others view people different from themselves as dangerous, and not worthy. Some trust the government or at least some of the elected officials, others think the government should barely exist at all.

In the book 1984 by George Orwell, the government looms large and ominous. Big brother is everywhere you are. There is no freedom of movement or thought. Everywhere there are screens watching your every move, scrutinizing every facial tic and word uttered. People often disappear for unknown reasons. In this world, the government is constantly  changing written history so that only the narrative they want is available. There is no truth to things;  everyone is made to believe a lie. If you question anything, you  will get found out and tortured to believe nonsense like 2+2=5. This book gets you to think that when we have dishonest officials spreading a false narrative, the world can get very dangerous indeed. What is truth and what are we to believe?  Who is right and true and looking to serve you and the greater good? Reading this book, I was reminded to be careful of what I take in and what I believe to be true. Indeed, everyone should, so that we do not descend into a chaotic world, like what is portrayed in 1984.

This book was fascinating, but there was not a happy ending. The book was full of misery and the misery was never ending.  So, if you do not like unhappy endings and you would rather not think about how bad things could really get, don’t read this book. If you would like to expand your thinking and world view,  this book is definitely worth a read.

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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.

A bit of light reading

Like many people trying to survive in this pandemic world, I’ve been dutifully staying at home. Like everyone else stuck at home, I  shamelessly indulge in way too much TV. One recent binge worthy day was spent engrossed in Bridgerton. Belatedly, I discovered that the show was based on a book series by Julia Quinn. Normally I have a strict ‘read the book first’ policy. The reason is that as I delighted in the sappy romance of Daphne and Simon in visual form, I was denied what my imagination could have cooked up.  Instead of seeing Daphne, her colorful family, and brooding Simon in my own way, I saw the characters as they were portrayed in the show. To me, discovering characters this way is backwards and plain wrong. Nevertheless, I will continue reading the Bridgerton series.

The cover of the book "The Duke & I"The first book in the series is The Duke & I. This is a quick read that is both fun and engaging. It is slightly different than the show,  and I won’t say what those differences are except they are among my favorites. My mind has been spoiled by the characters in the show, but I know I’ll still enjoy the books. Especially the tidbits that won’t make it in the show and are seen by my own imagination! As you can see even the newest cover of the book is spoiled by the show… but this is the copy the library has.

 

 

Dear reader, I  must warn you that this series includes a second epilogue at the end of each book that is full of spoilers. If you do not like spoilers do not read them. They are all put together in a separate book called The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After. I haven’t made up my mind whether I’ll continue to read the second epilogue. I love epilogues and don’t know if I can resist peeking.

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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.

The Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The ALA has presented this award since 1922. The 2021 Newbery Medal winner is “When You Trap a Tiger” by Tae Keller.

book cover art of "When you trap a tiger"

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her Halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal–return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger.

Five Newbery Honor Books were also recognized in 2021.

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team” by Christina Soontornvat

BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom” by Carole Boston Weatherford

Fighting Words” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

We Dream of Space” by Erin Entrada Kelly

A Wish in the Dark” by Christina Soontornvat

We have all these titles at the library. Click the link to see if it’s currently available or checked out. No fear if it’s checked out; you can place it on hold!

The Newbery Medal winners are all shelved together in the Junior Fiction section so come take a look. If you need help, just ask at the Information Desk and we’ll take you there.

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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 review – “Behind the Throne”

TITLE: Behind the Throne

AUTHOR: K.B. Wagers

SUMMARY: Hail Bristol has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire. When she is dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet.

The main character, Hail, is most often referred to as the “gunrunner Empress.” The reason for this is that she ran away from her royal family in her teens and started working for a gunrunner. Twenty years later and she’s still a gunrunner with her own ship and her own fearsome reputation.

Cue the bodyguards (or Trackers, as they’re called) who show up to forcibly take her home.

I really like Hail. She’s snarky and impatient and a wee bit irritable, but she is loyal and kind.  

The best part of the book, for me, was her interactions with people who keep trying to make her look and act more Empress-like. That’s where her snark comes in and it’s always amusing.

The ending was perfect… given that this is the first book in a three-part series. I absolutely went ahead and read the final two books.

When checking out the author’s website, I learned that the books have been optioned for TV and/or film. Pretty cool.

Here’s book #2 – After the Crown

and here’s book #3 – Beyond the Empire


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.

Library Secrets, part 3

We love having visitors here in the library. Right now though, lots of people prefer to stay home and avoid public places altogether.

 Well, that’s cool too.

One of the problems with staying home is that boredom becomes a factor. If you can’t go to the library, then how are you supposed to have anything new to read? Or find a new movie or TV show? Netflix (awesome as it is) doesn’t have everything… Neither do we, but we might have some things that streaming services don’t.

We offer a couple of different ways to find something to read or watch. Oh, and best of all, they’re free (just like most of the library’s services.)

A picture containing indoor, table, sitting, bunch

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OPTION #1

We can come to you, Duncanville!! That’s right, the library now offers a delivery service to all library patrons who live in Duncanville. It’s simple.

Just place the books/dvds/magazines/audios that you want on hold through our online catalog. We’ll pull them and let you know they’re ready. Then you can just say, “Could you deliver those for me?”

We make our delivery rounds every Monday afternoon.

I can hear someone now, “It’s already Tuesday and I don’t want to wait all week for new books.”

No problem!

OPTION #2

You can pick them up at the library without even leaving your car. When you arrive, just park by the clock tower and call us at 972-780-5050. Let us know you’re here and then we’ll have someone come right out with your items.


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 review- The Constant Rabbit

I loved the intro to this book. It starts off with a trip to the library. Except the library’s only open for 6 minutes and there’s a Sole Librarian. It’s very funny and lets you know what to expect from the author, Jasper Fforde. Mostly what you can expect is the unexpected and rather absurd treated in a matter of fact manner.

Speaking of absurd, in this book human-sized and intelligent rabbits are a thing. (Think Bugs Bunny style). There’s no explanation for this, other than ‘it happened.’

But don’t let that throw you off.

Fforde is an excellent writer and this story is entertaining. It also does a great job of pointing out some of humanity’s absurd behavior.

I highly recommend this story. It is the perfect mix of funny, insightful, touching, and satire.

He’s written a bunch of other books which are also worth checking out. There’s a great mystery series that starts with “The Eyre Affair.” The main character in this series is named Thursday Next.