Castro Valley Library

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 create 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

New Adult Novels by crselig2014
Monday, February 9, 2015, 10:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Many publishers have added a new category of books to their offerings over the past few years. The so-called New Adult (NA) line is a category of books written about the experiences of 18- to 25-year-olds joining the adult world.

According to an article on NA books in the Library Journal by Jane Jorgensen, NA books are often super dramatic, emotionally powerful, and contain strong sexual content.

Some of these books, such as those by Jamie McGuire and Tammara Webber, were first self-published online. Their success drew the attention of publishing houses and the new category was born. There are still more NA titles offered as digital books than there are print books.

While readers in this age group are reading Young Adult novels and novels with older protagonists, the growing popularity of the NA line shows that these readers want stories they can call their own.

If you are interested in reading titles in this category, here are a few that the Alameda County Library system has to offer…

  • Lost in Thought by Cara Bertrand
  • Losing It by Cora Carmack
  • Slammed by Colleen Hoover
  • When We Met by A.L. Jackson and others
  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  • Frigid by J. Lynn Virgin by Radhika Sanghani
  • Easy by Tammara Webber
  • Deeper by Robin York

Get to Know Authors with “Foreword” by crselig2014
Monday, January 26, 2015, 12:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There are many ways to get to know your favorite authors, from interviews in magazines and on television to personal web sites and author events at book stores. Now the blogging platform Medium is offering author interviews that they hope will be unique.

In Medium’s new digital series “Foreword” author Kelly Corrigan (The Middle Place, Lift, and Glitter & Glue) conducts interviews with authors that typically focus on everything but their books and the craft of writing. In a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Corrigan said Foreword “is like if Comedy Central was crossed with TED talks—and they served drinks.” She adds that she doesn’t want this show to simply be another stop in the author’s book tour.

In the first “webisode” B. J. Novak, writer for the “The Office” and author of One More thing: Stories and Other Stories and the children’s book The Book With No Pictures, deeply explores the connection between humor and the dark side. Touching only briefly on his own books, the show allows viewers get to know Novak through his philosophy on comedy. The resulting interview is thoughtful, poignant, and, of course, funny.

Corrigan is an insightful and playful interviewer, which lends a lively tone to the show. New episodes will appear weekly through March. Upcoming guests include Mary Roach, John Cleese, and Margaret Atwood.


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