Thursday, July 27, 2017

Reference Books in the Spotlight: This is Who We Were

This is Who We Were: Companion to the 1940 Census.

State by State Comparison & Rankings in the "Front Matter" give state data on many topics and compares 1940s to 2010 census.

For instance, in 1940, 62.1% of households in the U.S. lack complete plumbing. In 2010, only 2.6% of households lacked complete plumbing. 

Divided into five sections, this reference works gives a vibrant portrait of life in the 1940s.

Profiles are based on personal interviews and diaries of unique persons. Profiles give a sense of how people lived in the years leading up to 1940.

Some historical figures are profiled as well e.g. The founder of Farmers Insurance, George Mecherle. 

Students and researchers can find pertinent timelines from the previous decade, average prices of goods, editorials and relevant political cartoons.

"1940 Census Summary & Comparison Data." provides more detailed census information than what is available in the "Front Matter."

An important resource for everyone wanting to know what life was like during the 1940s.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Adult program on honey bees

We had a great program yesterday on attracting honey bees to your garden with Kim Lehman of Austin, TX. The program was called "Honey Bees: Our Tiny Treasures."

Participants had the opportunity to sample different kinds of honey, learn about bee keeping, and why pollinators are so vital to our food supply.

"Honey bees: Our Tiny Treasures" took place at Rockwall County Library, July 25, 2017, 6:30-8PM.

For more information about Kim Lehman,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Registration for Fall Microsoft Classes coming soon!

Take a free Microsoft class at Rockwall County Library!

Basic Microsoft Word and Excel classes are offered in two parts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Register for a morning or evening class.

(Registration begins August 7, 2017)

Microsoft Word Basics
In this dynamic class you will learn how to:
·       create, open, save and pin documents
·       format text, use page layout and generate lists
·       create and format headers and footers
·       create, convert and format tables
·       create mail merge documents and letters
·       insert and format pictures
Microsoft Excel Basics
In this powerful class you will learn how to:
·       copy and paste cell contents
·       use the fill handle and format cells
·       rename and format worksheets
·       insert, copy and group worksheets
·       create basic formulas
·       create and format charts
… and exciting Word and Excel shortcuts and tips!
Sponsored by:

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman

World War II-era fiction is popular right now but what makes this debut different portrays an ordinary German family. The incidents were inspired by the author's own family. Wiseman's mother's family lived in Germany during the war. 

The story is centered around Christine and her desire to protect her family and her boyfriend who is Jewish.

The Plum Tree is about longing, loyalty, and incredible bravery of the people who fought injustice. 

For a time, resistance was simply leaving hard-boiled eggs in places where the Jewish prisoners could find them. 

Eventually, Christine hides Isaac in the family attic. Once he is discovered, though, both are sent to Dachau.

She receives one of the better jobs and works for one of the better captors. Even so, her stay in Dachau nearly kills her. 

Wiseman explains in an afterward which historical details were altered to fit the story.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blackout by Sarah Hepola

Blackout by Sarah Hepola
Reading memoirs is cathartic. They offer tiny glimpses into someone else's life. Sometimes they make a reader breathe a sign of relief.

Hepola, who was a writer before and after becoming sober, also found stories cathartic. She would often read about addicts with relief that she "wasn't that bad."

Eventually, however, it did become "that bad." One particularly bad episode in Paris, when Hepola was starting out as a journalist, left her mortified for years. She woke up in a stranger's room with no idea how she had gotten there.

Hepola, who had her first blackout at twelve, continued to drink in high school. Attending University of Texas at Austin, Hepola was caught in a downward spiral.

She describes the unnerving feeling of whole chunks of her life disappearing as if they were " a melon baller." 

Hepola drank to ease her anxieties about her weight and her social status in school:

I needed alcohol to drink away the things that plagued me. Not just my doubts about sex – my self-consciousness, my loneliness, my insecurities, my fears.

Later, she drank because she thought it helped her writing. After college she wrote for the entertainment section of an Austin, Texas newspaper. 

After re-evaluating her life, Sarah embarks upon a painful journey of sobriety.

We've heard this story told many times, in many different forms, but never told so well.

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget was a New York Times bestseller.  

Similar stories about addiction:
Jacobsen, Lea. Bar Flower
Laing, Olivia. The Trip to Echo Spring.
Vargas, Elizabeth. Between Breaths: a Memoir of Panic and Addiction. 

More memoirs:
Parravani, Christa. Her: A Memoir.
Cahalan, Susan. My Brain on Fire.  
Mcbride, Regina. Ghost Songs: A Memoir.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

In a town called Fairfolk, which lies close to the woods,  mysterious things always happened.

Things get even stranger after someone breaks into a glass coffin that holds a strange, horned boy. For years, townspeople have told stories about this local legend.

Local teens,  Hazel and Ben, have repeated those stories and even created some of their own. Other Fairfolk townspeople may have doubted that he was real--stating he was a statue.

Hazel not only knows the Prince is real but she also wants to be the one that saves him from the curse.

One night Hazel does break the spell that binds him. She can't remember that night, though, because of a bargain she had made with the Folk. 

Wanting music lessons for her brother, she gave the Folk seven years of her life. As a result, Hazel is "losing time." Disappearing in the middle of the night to do errands for them, Hazel has no memories of the events later.

Mysterious, intriguing, and fast-paced, this a wonderful YA read. Even if there are some mature themes, Hazel is a hero most girls can look up to. She saved a city, her brother, a prince, and most importantly herself.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Adult Summer Reading 2017 Prizes Donated from the Business Community

Come out and support Rockwall County Library and the local business community.

Some of our sponsors for our adult Summer Reading Program: Build a Better World are shown here.

Read, listen, or watch five items and return a log at the reference desk.

We're waiting for your reading log.  Happy reading!              

(scroll down for complete list)

Follow by Email