Castro Valley Library

Summer Reading Program Prize Drawing for Adults! by crselig2014
Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Laura Park Teen Poster_Eng

We have a summer reading program for adults too! Beginning June 8 adults can pick up book review cards at the Castro Valley Library Information Desk. By giving us a brief review of any book or audiobook you will be entered in a prize drawing for great gift cards from local merchants.

You can enter one card per week from June 8 to August 9 for a total of 9 chances to win! The prizes are $20 gift cards from Chipotle, Lucca Italian Delicatessen, Loard’s Ice Cream, Cafe Rumi, Swiss Delices, Knudsen’s Ice Creamery, Top Thai, Karin Johnson Specialty Cakes, and Trader Joe’s. Plus the winner each week will get a $10 gift card from the Friends of the Library Book Store. This prize drawing and all of our summer programs are made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Library!

Please stop by the Information Desk beginning June 8 for complete details.

Use “Novelist” to Find Your Next Great Read by crselig2014
Monday, May 4, 2015, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Not sure what to read next? We have a great online tool that will help you find your next book. It’s called “Novelist,” and it’s a powerful database of books and authors with many ways to search for what you want.

You can find Novelist in our A to Z Resource List. For children’s books choose Novelist K-8. For young adult and adult titles click on Novelist+. You’ll need to have your library card handy if you are accessing Novelist from your home computer.

Once you are logged in you have a lot of great choices.

Search for a book title and you can find a description of the plot plus book reviews. The description will also tell you about the themes covered in the book plus its tone and writing style.

Let’s say you loved the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and you want to read something similar. You can type Gone Girl in the Novelist search field. Below the title Gone Girl in the results list you will see choices for “Title Read-alikes” for books similar to Gone Girl and “Author Read-alikes” for writers similar to Gillian Flynn. If something in the list appeals to you, check our library catalog for availability.

Novelist also has many lists of recommended titles in many specific genres such as Historical Mysteries, Holiday Romances, and Humorous Fantasy just to name a few. You can access these genre lists on the left side of Novelist web page or by clicking on “Spotlight On…Genres” at the top of the page. Plus you can see dozens of lists of award winning books if you click on “Spotlight On…Awards” at the top of the web page.

Please take advantage of Novelist. It’s a book lover’s dream.

Read On! A New Podcast from Your Alameda County Librarians! by crselig2014
Monday, April 13, 2015, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Surprise! Librarians love books and love to talk about books! So a few of your local librarians at the Alameda County Library have created a new podcast: Read On!

The first episode has just hit the airwaves. Click here to find it.

In Episode 1, we answer the burning questions. Is it possible to rewrite Jane Austen? Can you turn an edgy memoir into a network sitcom? And just what is so great about Hemingway, anyway?

Bill of Fare

  • Forthcoming Books: Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith, published 4/7/15. Reviewed by Christianne Selig and Kate Eppler
  • Book to Screen: Fresh Off the Boat, by Eddie Huang – and Fresh Off the Boat, ABC. Reviewed by Natalie McCall and Kate Eppler
  • Killing the Classics: Hemingway, reviewed by Natalie McCall and Christianne Selig
  • 5 Facts for April: presented by Elisa Collacott

So please listen on to “Read On.”RecordingPic

Reader Recommendations by crselig2014
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I asked two of our frequent patrons what books they would recommend to others. Here’s what they told me…

CL said, “I can’t choose favorites, but three authors whose stories seem to stick with me are John Irving, Nick Hornby, and Charles Dickens.”

Ann said, “Insane City by Dave Barry is the funniest book I ever read.”


Blind Date with a Book by crselig2014
Thursday, March 26, 2015, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In February we did a special display for Valentine’s Day called Blind Date with a Book. The covers of the books were concealed, and patrons had to choose a book based solely on a few words of description. The display was a big success! Our intrepid patrons checked out more than 100 books. More than 30 people then entered a prize drawing by submitting a review of the book.

Here isBlindDate a list of the books that received favorable reviews:

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

AfterImage by Jay Brandon

In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes

Night Fall by Frank Smith

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

Castro Valley’s Little Free Library by crselig2014
Monday, March 9, 2015, 4:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Castro Valley has a big, beautiful free library. Now CV also has a beautiful Little Free Library.

According to the official web site, a Little Free Library is a “take-a-book, return-a-book gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.” Little Free Libraries are a great way for neighbors to share books and share the importance of reading. The first official Little Free Library was established in Wisconsin in 2009. They have since spread all over the world.

Castro Valley’s new Little Free Library is in the Greenridge neighborhood and is designed to resemble an Eichler house to reflect the architectural style in Greenridge. This was a true group effort. Library employee and Greenridge homeowner Renee Hermosa spearheaded the project. Neighbor Abe Crimele built the library. Another neighbor, Joellen Ostlund, painted the library and oversaw the installation. And yet another neighbor donated the space on her property. The whole project took just two months.

Congratulations to the Greenridge neighbors!Library_small_0

For more information about the Greenridge Little Free Library, click here. For more information about the Little Free Library movement, click here.

“50 Shades” Read Alikes by crselig2014
Monday, February 23, 2015, 10:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

British author E. L. James probably didn’t know she would hit the jackpot with her 2011 self-published ebook Fifty Shades of Grey. The erotic romance novel tells the story of the relationship between a college graduate, Anatasia Steele, and a successful businessman, Christian Grey, and includes explicit sex scenes featuring bondage, dominance, and sadism/masochism.

Though an unknown author without the backing of a publisher, James and her early fans used book blogs and word of mouth recommendations to grow readership. By 2012 the story had become popular enough to draw the attention of Vintage Books, which then published the Fifty Shades trilogy. A film adaptation of the first book was released earlier this month.

While critics have generally panned the book for poor writing, its popularity is undeniable. It has been a best-seller in the U.S. and around the world, selling more than 100 million copies. So if you’re one of those millions of fans, and you’re looking for a similar book to read, consider these titles that are available at the Alameda County Library:

  • The Age of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal
  • Belinda by Anne Rampling (Anne Rice)
  • Bared to You by Sylvia Day
  • Belong to Me by Shayla Black
  • Be Mine by Laura Kasischke
  • Chemical Pink by Kate Arnoldi
  • Dark Secret Love: A Story of Submission by Alison Tyler
  • Diary of a Submissive: A Modern True Tale of Sexual Awakening by Sophie Morgan
  • The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
  • Exit to Eden by Anne Rampling (Anne Rice)
  • His to Command by Opal Carew
  • Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunning
  • In the Cut by Susanna Moore
  • Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
  • Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  • Lion’s Heat by Lora Leigh
  • Never the Face: A Story of Desire by Ariel Sands
  • Never Too Much by Lori Foster
  • Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey
  • Sleeping Beauty trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  • Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks


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