Indonesian Puppet Exhibit at the Library

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:54am

Beautiful hand-carved wooden rod puppets from Indonesia are on display at Central Library (corner of Ernest St. & W. Claude St. in Lake Charles) until the end of the year. The puppets, along with original silk screen fabric, are part of a collection currently on loan from one of our patrons. 

Known as wayang golek, these wooden doll puppets are operated from below by rods connected to the hands and a central control rod that runs through the body to the head and are most commonly associated with the Sundanese culture of West Java. Visit this exhibit to learn more!


Enjoy the BIG screen at home

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 10:52am


The BIG screen experience is here! There’s a new way of enjoying hoopla in your home. GO BIG and 'cast' until your hearts are content, from any iOS or Andorid smartphone, tablet, or computer. Hoopla supports Chromecast for video. All you need is a connected device and an active internet connection, and you'll be good to go for Holiday Season watching.

Chromecast lets you watch videos from hoopla on your TV. Just plug the Chromecast device into the TV and cast borrowed video titles directly from the hoopla iOS or Android app on your phone or tablet.

Cozy holiday mysteries

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 9:17am

Grab a mug of cocoa by the fire....It's time for some cozy holiday mysteries! The holiday season is quickly approaching, as evidenced by the decorations, themed-candy and advertisements advocating gift purchases. What better way for reader-centric people to celebrate this lovely holiday season than by incorporating that into your book selection? Holiday-themed cozy mysteries are the perfect way to celebrate and OverDrive offers plenty to choose from! Charming mysteries, amazing book titles and festivities abound within these pages. What’s not to love?

Mistletoe Murder is the first book of the Lucy Stone series by Leslie Meier about solving a murder all the while maintaining the busy schedule that is required of the holiday season like baking holiday cookies and knitting seasonal gifts.

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen follows Lady Georgiana Rannoch during the holiday season as a hostess at a posh party in Tiddleton village. But when three people are murdered over the course of three days, things look grim instead of bright. Who is the culprit and will the holiday be a winter wonderland or a wicked one? The story includes an English Christmas companion, holiday recipes and games.

The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis is the first of the Domestic Diva Mystery series. Sophie Winston is the domestic diva that has to compete with her biggest rival, Natasha, in all areas from romantic relationships to the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown competition. On top of it all, Sophie’s plans are interrupted when she stumbles upon a murder that requires her sleuthing to solve because her contact information is found inside the victim’s car.

Whatever your holiday preference, there is a cozy mystery title to get you in the spirit! My favorite part of these stories, aside from the deliciously fun writing, are the catchy book titles. For more great choices, browse the list below. 

written by Emma Kanagaki, librarian and Collection Development Analyst (OverDrive)

"George" by Alex Gino

Mon, 11/16/2015 - 1:16pm

When it comes to George by Alex Gino, all I want to tell you is READ THIS BOOK. READ THIS BOOK NOW. Yes. Capital letters and all. That’s how emphatic I am about getting this book into the hands (and on the devices) of as many people as possible.

All George wants to do is play Charlotte in the fourth-grade class production of Charlotte’s Web. The problem is, when people look at George they see a little boy and only she knows that she’s really a girl. Told in the third person from George’s point of view, we see and hear George as the little girl that she is, which makes those moments when a teacher or fellow student refers to her as a boy so very jarring. The ending, when George is finally able to show on the outside who she truly is on the inside, is lovely and graceful and incredibly touching. Days after finishing I was still processing this story (and telling strangers on the street to read it. (Kidding. Kind of.))

The beauty of this book is that while Gino has written the book for a younger audience, it can be appreciated by readers of all ages. If anything, it’s the perfect introduction to transgender issues for children as well as teenagers and adults who may be unfamiliar with gender nonconformity.

George is a work of fiction, but her story and the challenges she faces are very real to the transgender men and women, boys and girls, who share their own struggles in the following non-fiction titles:

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

Raising Ryland by Hillary Whittington

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock

Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man by Chaz Bono

November 14th – 20th marks Transgender Awareness Week and this is only a small sampling of the transgender friendly titles, both non-fiction and fiction. 

written by Jill Grunenwald, Librarian and Collection Development Analyst (OverDrive) 

Discover Rising Stars

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 9:23am

Jane Austen did it. Danielle Steele, too. Heck, so did William Shakespeare.

Every great author started somewhere---by writing a first work that may or may not have received critical acclaim. Here’s just a few of the debut authors and their books.

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford (New York Times bestseller, Library Reads and Indie Next Pick)

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (New York Times bestseller, Library Reads and Indie Next Pick, and Entertainment Weekly Summer Books Pick)

A Window Opens by Elizabeth Egan (Library Reads and Indie Next Pick, People Summer Beach Reads, Entertainment Weekly Beach Reads and Publishers Weekly PW First Fiction Feature)

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst (Indie Next Pick and Library Journal Summer Best Debuts Pick)

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye (Indie Next Pick and Library Journal Summer Best Debuts Pick)

100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi (International Bestseller)

Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase by Louise Walters (Indie Next Pick)

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh (Indie Next Pick, New York Times Editors’ Choice and Nominee for the 2015 Carnegie Medal Award for Fiction)

article by staff from Gale Cengage Learning

What to READ when you're expecting

Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:52am

As the saying goes, children don’t come with instruction manuals. While this may be true, there are a plethora of pregnancy, parenting and child advice books on the market. As I get ready for impending motherhood, my library card has been getting a workout trying to prepare myself for this major life change. Considering that nearly 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, chances are you have some patrons looking for baby books in your digital collection, too! I’ve handpicked a few titles from my to-read list to share below. 

Pregnancy week by week
What to Expect… is a classic in pregnancy circles and one of those books that some women swear by and others tell you to avoid like the plague. I found other books more helpful personally but WTEWYE is always near the top of reading lists for expecting moms and should definitely be in your collection.

Staying healthy & pregnancy fitness
While the extent of my exercise routine during pregnancy has been slow walking, stretching when I get leg cramps, and rolling around trying to find a comfortable sleeping position, prenatal yoga and other light workouts are popular ways to stay in shape while growing a human. There are a variety of eBooks and streaming video workout options available, in addition to numerous eating healthy during pregnancy guides.

Prepping for childbirth
The miracle of life is indeed a miracle but also a huge physical and mental undertaking. I’ve found it helpful to do research, take classes and read up on what I think will be best for me and my child. These books aren’t as detailed as a lamaze class, for example, but offer some different ways of thinking and strategies for childbirth for expectant moms and their companions.

Introducing your fur baby to your human baby
Here’s a big item on my baby to-do list – make sure that my dog Captain Boots is ready to meet her little brother! Thankfully, there are multiple books out there to help with the process.

One of these books has the magic trick to making a baby sleep through the night, right?
Right? :Fingers crossed:

Going back to work after baby
For moms like me who will be returning to the office after maternity leave, it’s nice to have some tips on how to navigate the balance between having a newborn and working full-time away from the home.

original post by Melissa Marin, OverDrive Marketing Specialist and expentant mother

Never forget your classroom reading assignment

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 8:10am

For as long as there have been schools there have been class-assigned books to be read. Curriculum directors and teachers have meetings to decide what books to teach that year and then students are handed out copies of those titles to read throughout the semester for class discussions. A few hurdles that go with classroom reading assignments are the losing of destruction of said books or forgetting to bring them to class entirely.

What many have realized as a perfect solution to these issues is using digital novels. No more ripped up copies of The Giver and no more students saying they don’t have their book with them. Digital copies can’t be lost and let’s face it, you all (students) ALWAYS have your smart phone or tablet with you. 

Here’s a top 10 list of the most popular novels being assigned to students so if you need a digital copy, here's a quick link. Oh by the way, there are other formats you may choose from such as audiobooks, and the physical book.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

written by Adam Sockel, Social Media Specialist for OverDrive

Get Away to Other Worlds 4 Teen Read Week

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 8:44am

When I was a teenager, I had my first love affair with reading. I had always been loyal to my romance-type, humor, and classic stories. Then I discovered Sci-Fi. And my life changed forever. Discovering these books opened a whole new world for me and solidified my position as a lifelong reader. I am forever thankful for the Librarian that recommended The His Dark Materials series.

Want to get a teen interested in reading for life? Here are a few of my current favorite Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy books….

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

The Diviners Series by Libba Bray

Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with The Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country.

Undertow by Michael Buckley

Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga!

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

From Rachel Vincent, New York Times bestselling author, comes the first book in a new series about a girl who must join forces with rogue exorcists to save her sister and, ultimately, humanity.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa Sheinmel

Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother Kat move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just … creepy.

Still want more titles? Here's a list of Sci-Fi/Fantasy picks.

written by Rachel Kray, Librarian and Collection Analyst at OverDrive


New Places at Home and Abroad: Teen Read Week

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 8:28am

I consider myself lucky that I’ve been an avid reader all my life. When I was younger, my grandma, a former school teacher, used to take me to the community library’s monthly book sale. It was a treasure trove of classics and cool finds all for less than a dollar. It was the beginning of my very own collection of books and I’ll forever be grateful to my grandma for introducing me to the world of literature.

Books have seen me through during difficult times and times of great joy. And now, I’m using my love of reading every single day as my job! How cool is that? I cannot stress enough the importance that reading has played in my life. It is so important! Not only has reading helped me through my years of schooling but it’s played an integral role in my career path, it has inspired life decisions and it’s helped me find clarity in confusing times. I can relate specific books to people, places and times in my life.

I read the critically acclaimed book, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, during my second semester of graduate school. It was my first year of living in Ohio and I remember how unequipped I was to handle the weather and all the snow.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart reminds me of last summer and lazy days with the patio door open and a cool breeze passing through the room while I sipped coffee. I devoured this book in one sitting because the characters are well written and the story is gripping until the very end.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple was the first book I read after I’d started working for OverDrive nearly a year ago. The novel is told from bits and pieces of emails, newsletters, documents and storytelling. It’s a compelling read with the right amount of eccentricity and heart.

I read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins over the New Year holiday this year and was immediately persuaded to track down the rest of Stephanie Perkins’s books because of the charming love story, the realistic portrayal of teen issues and the gorgeous descriptions of Paris.

These are just a few suggestions of great reading choices in honor of Teen Read Week. Whatever the preference, there is a great book out there for every kind of reader. Here's a few more thriller choices.

written by Emma Kanagaki, OverDrive's Collection Development Analyst

6 reasons why you should be using audiobooks everyday

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 7:48am

Here at OverDrive it’s no secret that we love eBooks. They’re the best way to make sure you always have something to read anytime, anywhere. We also have a fairly substantial obsession with audiobooks though, and for good reason! Audiobooks are perfect for enjoying your favorite authors on the go when you don’t have time to sit down and read an eBook. In fact, there are numerous times when an audiobook is the perfect solution for taking the library with you:

Multitasking at work: Everyone knows that there are parts of any job that are a bit mindless. Whether its sorting through spreadsheets, filing away papers or deleting emails there are some tasks that we do so often that we can do them with some background noise. What better way to pass the time then by enjoying an audiobook like you would music or a podcast

Working Out: I’m a big fan of distance running. Most weekends you’ll find me on a road, path or trail continuously putting one foot in front of the other. For me, it’s a form of stress relief. Others may hate the idea of working out but we’ve had lots of folks tell us that the best way to pass that necessary time is by enjoying an audiobook. We’ve even shared a story about a library user who brings his audiobooks with him in the pool!

Make traffic not suck (so much): Sitting in traffic is rough. You’re angry and probably fairly tired. Instead of listening to traffic updates confirm that, yes, you are still sitting there; try enjoying an engrossing story by using an audiobook and the Bluetooth through your car speakers. You might not start to like traffic but you’ll hate it a little less.

Give your eyes a rest before bed: I’ve seen the studies that say you shouldn’t look at screens before you sleep. Honestly, it’s never bothered me but if you do find your eyes getting fatigued simply put your headphones in and set the sleep timer on your OverDrive app.

Help young readers: Audiobooks are an excellent way to help young readers learn sentence structure, grammar and get excited about books. Audiobooks are also incredibly helpful for ESL students as a language learning tool. Additionally, audiobooks offer parents a break from listening to the Frozen soundtrack on repeat in the car.

Start to enjoy chores: Cooking, cleaning, laundry, yardwork, vacuuming, walking the dog; all activities that are necessary in a household but admittedly not the most exciting. I now honestly enjoy cleaning and cutting the grass because I know I’ll have some time to enjoy my audiobooks.

How else could you use audiobooks? What are some of your favorites?

written by Adam Socket, OverDrive's Social Media Specialist

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