Google Chromebook Practical CNET Review & 15 Ways Technology Is Transforming Society

Google Chromebook Practical CNET Review (And FYI THe Library Has A Chromebook Too!): CNET tech columnist Daniel Ackerman is doing a review series on the Google Chromebook. As you may recall from previous postings on this blog the Google Chromebook comes in a few varieties the entry level Asus Chromebook costs $199 and the Samsung Chromebook costs $249 – and these are cloud based laptops that are suitable, in my opinion, as a second laptop you might use in your house or cottage or as an entry level or light weight laptop you might use with Wi-Fi. The laptops really are made to be used with Wi-Fi but if you just want a laptop to use to connect to the Internet watch YouTube videos and read and reply to emails than the Samsung Chromebook might be a good chose for you! And if you’d like to try out a Samsung Chromebook before you buy it – you can! The library owns a Samsung Chromebook and we’ll be happy to show you the Chromebook ropes!

And here is a link to the second part of the CNET review series of articles on the Chromebook titled Living with Chromebook: Can you use it to actually get work done?:
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-3121_7-57581488-220/living-with-chromebook-can-you-use-it-to-actually-get-work-done/

15 Ways Technology Is Transforming Society: The Business Insider site offers a cool article on 15 technologies that are transforming, or at they put it “reinventing” society.  Those 15 technologies include Google Glass (those Internet connecting glasses made by Google), self-driving cars (we’re on the verge of a transportation revolution), wearable fitness monitors like the Jawbone Up wrist band (The monitors relay information via apps to smartphones and tablets so you can track how many steps you take in a day, how intense your workout was and how well you sleep etc.), the growing economic inter-connectivity brought about by the evolving communication technologies, robotic assistants, the growing use of smartphones and tablets, 3D printing (make your own clothes, iPhone cases etc., gesture controlled computers (no more mouse!) and more!

Check out the Business Insider slideshow article, titled 15 Ways Technology I Reinventing Our Society, for the details on all 15 cool ways technology is transforming outlives – here’s the link:

http://www.businessinsider.com/15-ways-tech-is-reinventing-society-2013-4

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Ackerman, Daniel. (2013, April 29). Living with Chromebook: Can you use it to actually get work done? The Chromebook challenge continues with productivity and workplace tests in Part 2 of our series. CNET. Online.

Dickey, Megan Rose. (2013, April 28). 15 Ways Technology Is Reinventing Society. Business Insider. Online.

Weekend Digital Catalog Suggested Reading, Viewing & Listening Titles April 27-28, 2013

Here is a list of select Digital Catalog e-books, audios and videos s you might enjoy reading, viewing or listening to over the weekend!

Suggested E-Books:

Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle: While former Marine lieutenant Robin Duncan is no stranger to corruption or conspiracy, she has always been able to tell the good guys from the bad, and the Congo jungle at first seems no different. But as her security team tries to track down an insurgent killer, Robin has to face a man who broke her trust years ago, and she discovers the gray areas extend farther in this jungle wilderness than she anticipated.

A ruthless global conspiracy begins to surface, run by powerful men who can’t afford to leave any witnesses. Her life at stake, Robin doesn’t know who to trust and wonders how she can help protect innocent people. Why is God silent amid all the pain and injustice? And how do these people of faith continue to rejoice in their suffering?

Let the Dead Sleep by Heather Graham: An object of desire? Or of fear? It was stolen from a New Orleans grave–the centuries-old bust of an evil man, a demonic man. It’s an object desired by collectors–and by those with wickedness in their hearts.

One day, its current owner shows up at Danni Cafferty’s antiques shop on Royal Street, the shop she inherited from her father. But before Danni can buy the statue, it disappears, the owner is found dead…and Danni discovers that she’s inherited much more than she realized. In the store is a book filled with secret writing: instructions for defeating evil entities. She’d dismissed it as a curiosity…until the arrival of this statue, with its long history of evil and even longer trail of death.

Michael Quinn, former cop and now private investigator, is a man with an unusual past. He believes that doing the right thing isn’t a job–it’s a way of life. And the right thing to do is find and destroy this object weighted with malevolent powers. He and Danni are drawn together in their search for the missing statue, following it through sultry New Orleans nights to hidden places in the French Quarter and secret ceremonies on abandoned plantations.

Cafferty and Quinn already know that trust in others can be misplaced, that love can be temporary. And yet their connection is primal. Mesmerizing. They also know that their story won’t end when this case is closed and the dead rest in peace once again.

Return of the Gypsy by Philippa Carr: In early-nineteenth-century England, a woman risks scandal, disgrace, even her own life for a forbidden passion From the moment the handsome, raffish stranger with the gold earring throws her a kiss, Jessica Frenshaw is enchanted. Rumored to be a half-Spanish wanderer who can predict the future, Romany Jake is unjustly put on trial for murder. After the verdict banishes him from England, Jessica despairs of ever seeing him again. But one fateful day, Jake Cadorson returns to reclaim what he has lost—including the woman who saved him from the gallows. From the ballrooms and lavish estates of Regency England through the bitter bloodshed of the Napoleonic Wars, Return of the Gypsy weaves a spellbinding tale of blackmail, murder, and illicit passion as a woman risks everything for the man she loves—a man who isn’t what he seems. 

E-Books For Kids:

The Berenstain Bears and the Wild, Wild Honey by Stan Berenstain & Jan Berenstain: When Papa Bear goes honey-hunting, trouble is sure to follow

There are chores to be done around the house, but all Papa Bear can think about is honey. There is no finer honey than the kind made by the bees that live in the gnarled old tree in the depths of the dark forest. Papa would be the happiest bear in the land if he could get his paws on some of that honey, but there’s one big problem—the bees won’t share!

Papa Bear has tried everything—asking, sneaking, hiding—and all he’s gotten for his trouble is a pawful of bee-stingers. But today he’s come up with a foolproof plan to get the wild, wild honey, and he’s determined to carry it out. Papa Bear is either going to have honey for dinner—or stingers for dessert!

Paddywack by Stephanie Spinner & Daniel Howarth: Paddywack is a petite nine hands high, and every pony inch is packed full of spunk. It hasn’t been easy, but he now has his rider, Jane, well trained. He’ll trot. He’ll canter. He’ll jump the jumps. He’s a perfect pony . . . when she gives him treats. But on the day of the big horse show, Jane is so nervous she forgets his treats. Will Paddywack dig in his hooves? Or can he rise to the occasion?

This sweet story is sure to capture young horse-lovers’ hearts.

Secret of the Time Capsule, Casebusters Series, Book 6 by Joan Lowery Nixon: Inside a time capsule, Brian and Sean discover a decades-old mystery

In 1918, the people of Redoaks buried a time capsule full of messages for the future. Besides all the grown-up stuff, the fourth-graders of 1918 included a packet of letters to the fourth-graders of today—which means Sean Quinn is about to get a letter straight from the past! But when it comes time to crack the capsule’s seal, Sean and his brother Brian learn that its contents could change the town’s future forever.

Boris Vlado, the only surviving member of the fourth-graders of 1918, warns the boys that the time capsule holds a dangerous secret. But when they open the capsule, there’s nothing inside! To find out why, Brian and Sean will have to solve a historic mystery that involves bank robbery, corruption, and the most valuable stamp collection Redoaks has ever seen.

Suggested Albums:

Now That’s What I Call Classic Rock by Various Artists:

Digital Audio Download Includes:

1. We Will Rock You (2001 Digital Remaster) (Queen)

2. Barracuda (Album Version) (Heart)

3. Bad To The Bone (George Thorogood And The Destroyers)

4. The Spirit Of Radio (Rush)

5. My Generation (The Who)

6. Fire (Jimi Hendrix Experience)

7. More Than A Feeling (Album Version) (Boston)

8. Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas)

9. Renegade (Styx)

10. Cold As Ice (Foreigner)

11. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple)

12. We’re An American Band (Grand Funk)

13. Mississippi Queen (Album Version) (Mountain)

14. Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

15. Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

16. The Joker (Steve Miller Band)

17. Rebel Rebel (1990 Digital Remaster) (David Bowie)

18. Surrender (Album Version) (Cheap Trick)

19. Show Me The Way (Live/Single Version) (Peter Frampton)

20. Rock And Roll All Nite (“Alive” Version) (Kiss)

 

The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself                                                                                                                                    Digital Audio Download Includes:

1. Dancing With Myself (EP Version) (2001 Digital Remaster) (Generation X)

2. Hot In The City (2001 Digital Remaster) (Billy Idol)

3. White Wedding – Part 1 (2001- Remaster) (Billy Idol)

4. Rebel Yell (1999 Digital Remaster) (Billy Idol)

5. Eyes Without A Face (1999 – Remaster) (Billy Idol)

6. Flesh For Fantasy (1999 Digital Remaster) (Billy Idol)

7. Catch My Fall (Edit) (Billy Idol)

8. To Be A Lover (2001 Digital Remaster) (Billy Idol)

9. Don’t Need A Gun (2001 Digital Remaster) (Billy Idol)

10. Sweet Sixteen (2001 Digital Remaster) (Billy Idol)

11. Mony Mony (2001 – Remaster) (Billy Idol)

12. Cradle of Love (2001 – Remaster) (Billy Idol)

13. L.A. Woman (Single Edit) (2001 Digital Remaster) (Billy Idol)

14. Shock To The System (2001 – Remaster) (Billy Idol)

15. Speed (Album Version) (Billy Idol)

16. World Comin’ Down (Billy Idol)

17. John Wayne (Billy Idol)

18. New Future Weapon (Billy Idol)by Billy Idol 

Suggested Audio Books:

Cries & Whiskers, Theda Krakow Mystery Series, Book 3 by Clea Simon & Tavia Gilbert: Music-journalist Theda Krakow is caught up in investigating the rise of a dangerous new designer drug that threatens the musicians and fans of her beloved club scene. But she puts her story on hold when she learns of an animal-rights activist who was killed in a hit-and-run accident while trying to rescue feral cats from a ferocious winter storm.

Theda feels moved to help out with the effort. But as she and her buddy, Violet, race to save the half-wild felines from the freezing New England winter, they uncover simmering tensions among the extremist organization that make the activist’s death seem more than accidental. Theda tries to hang onto her journalistic objectivity, but when the threats become more personal and her beloved cat Musetta goes missing, she will risk her reputation, her career, and possibly her life to solve these mysteries once and for all.

Thirty-Three Teeth, Dr. Siri Paiboun Series, Book 2 by Colin Cotterill & Clive Chafer: Feisty Dr. Siri Paiboun is no respecter of persons or party; at his age he feels he can afford to be independent. In this, the second novel in the series, he travels to Luang Prabang, where he communes with the deposed king who is resigned to his fate: it was predicted long ago. And he attends a conference of shamans called by the Communist Party to deliver an ultimatum to the spirits: obey party orders or get out. But as a series of mutilated corpses arrives in Dr. Siri’s morgue, and Nurse Dtui is menaced, he must use all his powers—forensic and shamanic—to discover the creature—animal or spirit—that has been slaying the innocent.

Suggested Videos:

Aaron Bacon Troubled Youth Collection: Aaron Bacon Troubled Youth Collection presents four award-winning featurettes with stunning production values and star making performances. AARON BACON (starring Stephen Michael Kane) is inspired by the book “Help at Any Cost” by Maia Szalavitz, based on the true story of a 16 year-old kid who dies at the hands of malpractice and abuse in the tough-love, wilderness drug-treatment facility. BED RIDDEN (starring Joel Moore and Alan Tudyk) describes a day in the life of a drug addicted young man, as he escapes his parent induced entrapment at home and travels the length of Los Angeles, chained to his bedpost, to meet with his fixer. FLIGHT TO SINAI is a musical coming of age film, in the tradition of “GLEE” and “High School Musical,” describing the coming out of Jack Strong, a teen raised by religiously conservative parents, and the reactions of his friends, teachers, girlfriend and his religiously conservative parents. THE BABYDADDY, inspired by true events, is the coming of age story about a troubled sixteen-year-old girl (Kether Donohue) struggling to cope with her Vietnam-Veteran father’s illnesses. Official Selection of the HBO Sponsored G.I. Film Festival. Each describes in their own way, physical and mental pressures, abuse and ultimately violence, against youth, struggling to find their way in this world. These are more than shorts, as each film is 25-30 minute long, but what they all have in common are quality thought-provoking productions, by and about youth, together representing a true talent discovery

Cuba Today! by International Film and Video: Travel with award-winning filmmaker, Marlin Darrah, as he explores present-day Cuba. From the capital city of Havana to the beautiful seaport of Santiago de Cuba, you will marvel at the forbidden natural beauty of Cuba. Travel to Pinar del Rio and visit the lush tobacco fields that produce the most sought-after cigars in the world. See as sugar plantations and colorful towns unfold before your eyes, then walk the beaches of Matanzas and Cuba’s colorful coastline. Cuban people welcome visitors with open arms and their society, with its blend of races and cultures, overflows with a friendly and easy-going hospitality. Finally, after 50 years, visitors can experience the splendor of the Caribbean only 90 miles south of the United States. Soon, Cuba will compete with the Bahamas and Jamaica as the Caribbean vacation destination for Americans, so see it today!

The STLS Digital Catalog may be found on the library’s homepage of SSCLIBRARY.ORG

Or via the following link:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/FE5904CF-8A91-4688-A592-7A046C7988D3/10/536/en/Default.htm

And if you have an app device look for the OverDrive Media Console app in your app store – it is the app that will allow you to check out free library e-books and audio books and download them to your tablet or smartphone.

Digital Catalog music and video titles must currently be downloaded to a Windows computer to enjoy.

Have a great weekend!

Linda R.

 

Customize Your Microsoft Office Ribbon & Playing DVDS On A Windows 8 PC

I came across two very useful tech how to articles on the New York Times site today. 

The first article, which is a short one, is found on the Times’ tech blog and titled  “Tip of the Week: Customize the Microsoft Office Ribbon;” instructs you as to how you can customize the Microsoft Office Ribbon – basically you right click on the ribbon, on whichever tab you are on, and click on the option that says “Customize the ribbon.”

Here’s the link to the article:

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/tip-of-the-week-customize-the-microsoft-office-ribbon/?ref=technology

And the second article which I stumbled across while reading the first one is actually from March but it is very relevant for anyone who has recently purchased a Windows 8 PC with a disc drive or anyone who is thinking of doing so! And the reason it is relevant is because with Windows 8 Microsoft has figured that most people are now streaming videos from the Internet to watch them on their PC instead of putting DVDs into their disc drive to watch on their PC. And with that idea in mind Microsoft has not included their traditional DVD playing software in the Windows 8 package of software. And all of that is the long way around the barn of saying unless the manufacturer of your disc drive has included software for playing DVDs on your Windows 8 PC – you don’t the software on your Windows 8 PC that will allow you to play DVDs! Instead you’ll have to download software from the web and you can even get the traditional Microsoft DVD viewing software Windows Media Player but that will now cost you $10.

Here’s the link the Gadgetwise Q&A section on the subject:

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/qa-playing-dvd-movies-in-windows-8/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Biersdorfer, J. D. (2013, April 24). Tip of the Week: Customize the Microsoft Office Ribbon. New York Times. Online.

Biersdorfer, J. D. (2013, March 18). Q&A: Playing DVD Movies in Windows 8. New York Times. Online. 

The Growing Popularity Of Kindle Singles & Netflix’s New Family Streaming Plan

The Growing Popularity Of Kindle Singles: The New York Times has a neat article on its site titled Amazon Broadens Its Terrain, which discusses Amazon’s Kindle Singles. And if you’ve never heard of them Kindle Singles are short works of fiction or non-fiction that can usually be read in one or two sittings. The Times article describes these short works as “novella-length journalism and fiction, known as e-shorts.” And these e-shorts can are being e-published by new authors and very popular tried and true authors like Lee Child, David Baldacci and Jeffery Deaver.

Additionally, the e-short formats makes it possible for writers to create short works regarding events currently in the news and then get those e-shorts out into the hand of the public (through the Amazon website) very quickly. For example, the article discusses the case of author Stephen King who wrote an e-short about the debate of gun control. His e-short is simply titled Guns and it took only a week from the time he finished writing his 8,000-word e-short until it appeared for sale in the Kindle Shorts store.

Most Kindle Shorts cost less than $3 so you aren’t spending a great deal of money if try out a new author’s e-short to see if you like it. And Kindle shorts are indeed short by novel-length standard usually running between 5,000 and 30,000 words so they don’t take a great deal of time to read which is a plus for many people in our busy society.

And on final how-the-advancing-technology-is-changing-the-way-we-work-and-live pondering note one of the reasons that Kindle Shorts are so popular with self-published authors new and old is because they can truly earn money for their work. Amazon takes a 30% cut of all sales; however, that leaves 70% for the author and if you sell several thousands copies of a short that can add up. The average price an author earns for a Kindle Short is $22,000.

So e-shorts in general, and Kindle Shorts specifically, are something we’ll undoubtedly be hearing, seeing and reading more of in the future!

Here’s the link to the New York Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/books/with-kindle-singles-david-blum-jump-starts-his-career.html?ref=technology

 And a second, and Google Shortened, link directly to the Amazon Kindle Shorts webpage if you’d like to check it out!

http://goo.gl/EoyZm

Netflix’s New Family Streaming Plan: The current Netflix streaming plan cost $7.99 a month and allows two people to log into the same Netflix account (i.e. with the same user ID and password) at the same time and stream different videos. If a third person, say a third family member, tries to log into the same account and stream a third video at the same time he or she would not be able to do so. With the new Family Plan Netflix subscribers can opt to pay $11.99 per month and that will allow up to four people to log into the same account at the same time and stream video content to four different locations. So this new plan will be ideal for families who don’t all want to watch the same television shows and movies at the same time.

Here’s the link to The Verge article which is titled Netflix will offer $11.99 family plan with up to four simultaneous streams:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/22/4253820/netflix-launching-11-99-family-plan-four-simultaneous-streams

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Kaufman, Leslie. (2013, April 22). Amazon Broadens Its Terrain. New York Times. Online.

Welch, Chris. (2013, April 22). Netflix will offer $11.99 family plan with yp to four simultaneous streams. The Verge. Online.

 

Amazon Allows Viewers To Choose Which Comedy & Kids Pilots They’ll Produce

Over the weekend Amazon introduced a new page on its site the “Amazon Original Pilots,” the page has the subtitle “You help decide which shows become series. Watch now for free.” And essentially this is the new cutting edge way to both watch video content (streaming show from the web to your TV, laptop or other device) and to put forth your more than two cents worth about which shows you’d like to see developed and to continue being produced (by both voting on free shows like the eight comedy pilots Amazon is asking for feedback on and paying $1.99 for streaming television episodes and slightly more for movies). You do have to have an Amazon Prime membership in order to watch these pilots for free – that costs $79 per year and does give you other perks including free second day shipping of items, access to all items in the Amazon Prime streaming video library and one free e-book, from Amazon’s lending library, per month.

As far as producing television shows goes Amazon in essence is doing what Netflix has done with its very popular House of Cards series – produced exclusive video content to offer to its members and completely bypassing traditional media and cable companies in the process.

And getting back to the Amazon comedy pilots, the eight pilots (& their plots) currently available for viewing are:

“Alpha House: They work in the Senate. They live in the Alpha House.

Betas: Four friends think they’ve cracked the code for Silicon Valley success.

Browers: Fresh-faced interns face the music, and sing along with it.

Dark Minions: Rules, reports, a Galactic Overlord…just another day at the office.

Onion News Empire: Onion News Network journalists will do anything to stay on top.

Supanatural: These divas are humanity’s last line of defense.

Those Who Can’t: The most immature guys at this high school are teachers.

Zombieland: Four survivors are killing zombies and searching for a home.”

And for John Goodman and Bill Murray fans – check out the Alpha House pilot which features John Goodman in a starring role and Bill Murray in a hilarious cameo!

And the Kids’ Pilot shows include:

“Annebots: Kid scientist Anne explores the world.

Creative Galaxy: Soar with a loveable alien artist.

Positively Ozitivley: Enjoy magical adventures in Oz.

Sara Solves It: Unravel mysteries with Sara and Sam.

Teeny Tiny Dogs: Canine pals help one another.

Tumbleaf: Join the journeys of Fig the fox.”

Here’s a Google shortened direct link to the Amazon Pilots page:

http://goo.gl/yo5FN

A second link to a Slate article on the comedy pilots titled Can Amazon Transform TV? With eight new sitcom pilots and stars like John Goodman and Bebe Neuwirth, the bookselling giant is willing to try:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2013/04/amazon_tv_pilots_john_goodman_and_bebe_neuwirth_star_in_new_streaming_sitcoms.html

And a third link to a New York Times article that offers more information on the new Prime series pilots for kids titled Amazon Introduces New Children’s Programs:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/amazon-introduces-new-childrens-programs/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Amazon Original Pilots. Amazon. Online. Accessed April 22, 2013.

Dell’Antonia, K. J. (2013, April 22). Amazon Introduces New Children’s Programs. New York Times. Online.

Thomas, June. (2013, April 22). Can Amazon Transform TV? With eight new sitcom pilots and stars like John Goodman and Bebe Neuwirth, the bookselling giant is willing to try. Slate. Online.

 

Weekend Digital Catalog Suggested Reading, Viewing & Listening Titles April 19-21, 2013

Here is a list of select Digital Catalog e-books, audios and videos s you might enjoy reading, viewing or listening to over the weekend!

Suggested E-Books:

The Andalucian Friend: A Novel by Alexander Soderberg: A Monumental International Crime Thriller That Brad Thor Calls “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Sopranos.”

Enemies Are Everywhere…

When Sophie Brinkmann–nurse, widow, single mother–meets Hector Guzman, her life is uneventful. She likes his quiet charm and easy smile; she likes the way he welcomes her into his family. She quickly learns, though, that his smooth façade masks something much more sinister.

Guzman is the head of a powerful international crime ring with a reach into drugs and weapons that extends from Europe to South America. His interests are under siege by a ruthless German syndicate who will stop at nothing to stake their claim. But the Guzmans are fighters and will go to war to protect what’s rightfully theirs. The conflict quickly escalates to become a deadly turf war between the rival organizations that includes an itinerant arms dealer, a deeply disturbed detective, a vicious hit man, and a wily police chief. Sophie, too, is unwittingly caught in the middle. She must summon everything within her to navigate this intricate web of moral ambiguity, deadly obsession, and craven gamesmanship.

The Andalucian Friend is a powerhouse of a novel–turbo-charged, action-packed, highly sophisticated, and epic in scope–and announces Alexander Söderberg as the most exciting new voice in thrillers in a generation.

Frankie’s Letter by Dolores Gordon-Smith: A thrilling World War One spy story from the author of the acclaimed Jack Haldean series. “There’s a spy in England. Frankie’s letter. Read Frankie’s letter . . .” The last words said by a dying man to Anthony Brooke in Kiel in Germany during the height of World War One. But who is Frankie? With his cover blown and the German army at his heels, English secret agent Anthony Brooke’s search to discover the truth leads him to an innocent-seeming country house. Here, deep within the English countryside, as Anthony uncovers a web of spies, treachery and terrorists, the war becomes close and very personal.

A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet, Book 2) by Julia Quinn: Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is . . .

But she’s managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge–in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy–no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he’s the first man who has truly tempted her, and it’s getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel Smythe-Smith Might be in mortal danger . . .

But that’s not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family’s annual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if that means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she’s a unicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending . . .

The Burgess Boys: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout: Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout’s “magnificent gift for humanizing characters.” Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan–the Burgess sibling who stayed behind–urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

E-Books For Kids:

Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters (Alvin Ho Series, Book 2) by Lenore Look & LeUyen Pham: Here’s the third book in the hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which is a Kirkus Reviews Best Continuing Series.

Alvin Ho back and his worst fear has come true: he has to go camping. What will he do exposed in the wilderness with bears and darkness and . . . pit toilets? Luckily, he’s got his night-vision goggles and water purifying tablets and super-duper heavy-duty flashlight to keep him safe. And he’s got his dad, too.

Lenore Look’s touching, drop-dead-funny chapter book about an Asian-American second grader–with illustrations by New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham–is perfect for beginning and reluctant readers alike, and has tons of boy appeal.

Beswitched by Kate Saunders: A magic spell has spun Flora into the past. She’s mysteriously swapped lives with a schoolgirl in 1935! No iPod? No cell phone? No hair products? How will she survive?

Now Flora’s a new girl at St. Winifred’s, where she has to speak French at breakfast, wear hideous baggy bloomers, and sleep in a freezing dormitory.

But lots of adventures in the past are amazing even if they are not forever. How will she find her way back to the 21st century?

Ghost Town, Seven Ghostly Stories by Joan Lowery Nixon: Stagecoach robberies. Shoot-outs. Striking it rich. Throughout the Wild West small towns were formed, thriving with men and women from the East and gold from the mines. Notorious outlaws, desperadoes, and gunslingers rustled up trouble in town after town. When the gold disappeared, the outlaws, as well as the local folks, abandoned their towns. Or did they?

There are still sounds, not just the paint peeling from the deserted storefronts, or the tumbleweeds whispering as they somersault down the empty streets. There are voices, whispering stories–are they real or imagined? Stories like the one about the Lost Mine in Maiden, Texas, or the Bad Man from Bodie, California, who’s still searching for his lost finger. . . .

Suggested Albums:

Acoustic Guitar Blues, Volume 1: Library Staff Note: This is actually a how-to album – if  you have a guitar you can listen to this album and play along with the tracks to improve your blues guitar skills!

Here are the practice track listings:

1. Tune Up (Standard Tuning) (Practice-Tracks)

2. Tune Up (Open C Tuning) (Practice-Tracks)

3. Tune Up (Open D Tuning) (Practice-Tracks)

4. Claps Blues in G (Practice-Tracks)

5. Swampdog Blues in D (open D tuning) (Practice-Tracks)

6. Backwoods Blues in A (Practice-Tracks)

7. Minor Slow Hand Blues in A minor (Practice-Tracks)

8. Stevie’s 16 Bar Blues in E (Practice-Tracks)

9. Zepp Blues in C (open C tuning) (Practice-Tracks)

10. Levy’s Blues in E (Practice-Tracks)

11. Rainy Day Blues in E (Practice-Tracks)

12. Mr. V’s Blues in G minor (Practice-Tracks)

13. Acoustic Funk Blues in D (Practice-Tracks)

The Westminster Choir Sings Familiar American and British Folk Songs:

Digital Audio Download Includes:

Part 1:

1. Bamboula (1992 – Remaster) (Leonard Pennario)

2. My Old Kentucky Home (2011 – Remaster) (Salli Terri)

3. Beautiful Dreamer (Thomas Hampson)

4. To a Wild Rose (No. 1 of Woodland Sketches Op. 51) (Dame Moura Lympany)

5. The Liberty Bell (Timothy Foley – The Great American Main Street Band)

6. The Entertainer (Joshua Rifkin)

7. At the River (Marni Nixon/John McCabe)

8. Rhapsody in Blue (jazzband version): Opening (Wayne Marshall/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle)

9. Three Preludes: No. 2 in C sharp minor (Leonard Pennario)

10. Symphony No. 2 “Romantic”: II. Andante Con Tenerezza (Leonard Slatkin/Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra)

11. Mood Indigo (I. Mills – A. Bigard) (Mills Music, Inc.) (Barbara Hendricks – Monty Alexander Trio)

12. Grand Canyon Suite (1997 Digital Remaster): On The Trail (Felix Slatkin/The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra)

13. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Roberta, 1933) (1996 – Remaster) (Barry Tuckwell/Sir Richard Rodney Bennett/Ensemble/Neil Richardson)

14. Anything Goes: Overture (London Symphony Orchestra/John McGlinn)

15. Adagio for Strings Op. 11 (London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas)

16. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (Pal Joey) (Frederica von Stade/London Symphony Orchestra/John McGlinn)

Part 2:

1. Take the ‘A’ Train (Sir Simon Rattle/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Lena Horne/Clark Terry/Bobby Watson/Joshua Redman/Joe Lovano/Regina Carter/Geri Allen/Lewis Nash/Peter Washington)

2. Fanfare for the Common Man (1999 – Remaster) (Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México/Enrique Bátiz)

3. Appalachian Spring (1999 – Remaster): Very Slowly (Leonard Slatkin/Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra)

4. Appalachian Spring (1999 – Remaster): Allegro (Leonard Slatkin/Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra)

5. Annie Get Your Gun: Overture (London Sinfonietta/John McGlinn)

6. Annie Get Your Gun, Act I: Doin’ what comes natur’lly (Annie, Kids, Wilson) (Kim Criswell/London Sinfonietta/John McGlinn)

7. Annie Get Your Gun, Act I: The girl that I marry (Frank) (Thomas Hampson/London Sinfonietta/John McGlinn)

8. Annie Get Your Gun, Act I: You can’t get a man with a gun (Annie) (Kim Criswell/London Sinfonietta/John McGlinn)

9. Annie Get Your Gun, Act II: Anything you can do (Frank, Annie) (Kim Criswell/Thomas Hampson/London Sinfonietta/John McGlinn)

10. The Little Horses (Lullaby) (Bruce Hubbard/Orchestra of St Luke’s/Dennis Russell Davies)

11. The Dodger (Campaign Song) (Bruce Hubbard/Orchestra of St Luke’s/Dennis Russell Davies)

12. Long Time Ago (Ballad) (Bruce Hubbard/Orchestra of St Luke’s/Dennis Russell Davies)

13. Simple Gifts (Shaker Song) (Bruce Hubbard/Orchestra of St Luke’s/Dennis Russell Davies)

14. Candide (Overture) (Leonard Slatkin/St Louis Symphony Orchestra)

15. Symphonic Dances from West Side Story: II. Somewhere (Paavo Järvi/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra)

16. Façades (London Chamber Orchestra/Christopher Warren-Green/John Harle/Simon Haram)

17. Vermont counterpoint (Ransom Wilson)

18. Short Ride in a Fast Machine – Fanfare for orchestra (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle)

Suggested Audio Books:

Capitol Murder by Phillip Margolin: Private investigator Dana Cutler and lawyer Brad Miller have overcome more than a few daunting challenges and powerful enemies to see justice done. Against tremendous odds, they successfully unmasked a president’s involvement in serial murders. They also saved the life of a Supreme Court justice while foiling a plot by rogue members of the CIA to fix a case headed for the Court. Now, nefarious threats old and new are about to bring them together once again. As a group of terrorists plot to blow up a football stadium, Clarence Little, the convicted serial killer from Executive Privilege, escapes from death row. In Capitol Murder, this master of suspense delivers another  high-octane thriller set in Washington’s legendary corridors of power filled with startling twists that will have fans racing from first word to last.

Chilling Horror Stories – Volume 2: A collection of six classic chilling horror stories including The Three Strangers, The Phantom Coach, The Open Window and The Travellers Story of a Terribly Strange Bed.

Private Berlin by James Patterson: Private, the world’s most respected investigation firm, has branches around the world, each staffed with the smartest, fastest, and most advanced agents, who have cutting-edge forensic tools that not even the most powerful governments possess. At Private Berlin, agent Chris Schneider has disappeared. Chris had taken a secretive personal leave and hadn’t spoken to anyone from the office in days. The Private team retraces his footsteps to the cases he was investigating before his disappearance: a billionaire suspected of cheating on his wife, a world famous soccer player accused of throwing games, and the owner of a seedy nightclub. They were the last people to see Chris – and they’re all suspects. And someone is lying. The Private team is led to an abandoned Nazi slaughterhouse where all hope vanishes. As Private digs further into Chris’s past, a terrifying history is revealed, and they begin to suspect that someone very dangerous and very depraved is responsible for Chris’s disappearance. And he’s not finished in Berlin. Private: Berlin has more twists, action, and deception than any other James Patterson thriller ever.

Suggested Videos:

Mayan Renaissance: “Mayan Renaissance” is a feature length documentary which documents the glory of the ancient Maya civilization, the Spanish conquest in 1519, five hundred years of oppression, and the courageous fight of the Maya to reclaim their voice and determine their own future, in Guatemala and throughout Central America. This elegant, beautiful, and thought provoking film will share their vision for the future, their call for a long-foretold renaissance of Maya culture and wisdom, and their 100 year plan to lead humanity forward, from the year 2012 on.The film stars 1992 Nobel Peace Laureate and Maya leader Rigoberta Menchu Tum. All of the images, voices, expert commentary and music in the film come directly from Central America, from the heart of the Mayan world.

Young Scientists: Twenty highly motivated students and their teachers at two New York City area high schools conduct serious independent research in anticipation of the world’s largest science fair, Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair. These students are dedicated to their fields of interest—which are as diverse as cancer research and carpenter ants—along with physics, chemistry, and biology projects.

The STLS Digital Catalog may be found on the library’s homepage of SSCLIBRARY.ORG

Or via the following link:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/FE5904CF-8A91-4688-A592-7A046C7988D3/10/536/en/Default.htm

And if you have an app device look for the OverDrive Media Console app in your app store – it is the app that will allow you to check out free library e-books and audio books and download them to your tablet or smartphone.

Digital Catalog music and video titles must currently be downloaded to a Windows computer to enjoy.

Have a great weekend!

Linda R.

 

Digital Public Library of American Opens & Opportunities To Peruse Life-Long Learning With Free Classes, E-Books, Movies & Audio Books

Digital Public Library of American Opens: The Digital Public Library of American opened today. The DPLA has been a work in progress for a number of years and to quote from the About page on the DPLA site: “The Digital public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and make them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used.”

And you might be wondering who the people are behind the DPLA – and the general answer is people that work in libraries, museums and archives across the United States. However, a more specific answer can be found in some of the partner organizations that contribute content to the online DPLA and they include: The Smithsonian, The New York Public Library, The National Archives and Records Administration, The Harvard Library, The University of Virginia, The Biodiversity Heritage Library and ARTstor among others. The site has just opened and it is a great site to check out. I was able to look at some cool historic photos of Corning Glass by doing a simple search for Corning on the site so I urge everyone to check it out!

Here’s the link to the DPLA site itself:

http://dp.la/

A link to the partners’ page on the DPLA site:

http://dp.la/info/about/who/partners/hubs/

A link to a Verge article on the opening of the DPLA titled Digital Public Library of America launches beta web portal:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/18/4238866/digital-public-library-of-america-launches-beta-web-portal

And a link to an NPR article on the DPLA titled Vast Digital Public Library of America Opens:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/18/177727014/book-news-vast-digital-public-library-of-america-launches

Opportunities To Peruse Life-Long Learning With Free Classes, E-Books, Movies & Audio Books: If you’re interested in learning to know more about a great many subjects from Archaeology to history to math and the natural sciences but don’t want to go to college and obtain a college degree nor to pay for college level classes then you may want to check out the Open Culture website found at:

http://www.openculture.com/

The website editor is Dan Coleman who is the Director & Associate Dean of Stanford’s Continuing Education program so the materials and courses offered for free though the site are high in quality.

And naturally I was prompted to write about the Open Culture online materials and classes by coming across an article I found while reading news stories via the Zite app on my iPad. The article is titled: Enrich Yourself with Free Courses, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Textbooks & More and it actually links to information found on the Open Culture website – here’s the link:

http://www.openculture.com/2013/04/enrich_yourself_with_free_courses_audio_books_ebooks_movies_textbooks_.html

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Digital Public Library of America. Online. Accessed April 18, 2013.

June, Laura. (2013, April 18). Digital Public Library of America launches beta web portal. The Verge. Online.

Enrich Yourself with Free Courses, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Textbooks & More. Open Culture. Online. Accessed April 18, 2013.

Partners. Digital Public Library of America. Online. Accessed April 18, 2013.

Quinn, Annalisa. (2013, April 18). Vast ‘Digital Public Library Of America’ Opens Today. NPR. Online.