Books on Tap - June Follow Up

I am happy to report that reading a graphic novel didn't ruin the book group! It seems to be the overall consensus that while the format was trying for some, that the illustrations truly did enhance the story-telling that took place in Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. The themes in the book helped guide the discussion through many different topics - family relationships, discrimination, and social movements. There were some very open conversations about how group members related to the book and what themes and characters they could have done without. For anyone who would like to read more about the Bechdel family, look into Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama.

Please join us in July when we read Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.

Challenges for Week 1 - Zoology

Here are the Week 1 Challenges:

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Fizz, Boom, Read! Home Page

Summer Reading 2014 Kickoff Event

East Lansing Public Library

Summer Reading for all ages starts off with a Boom on June 10, 2014 at 11am.  ELPL will be hosting a kickoff event featuring live animals, sidewalk chalk and science activities.

During the kickoff event you will also be able to sign up for ELPL's Summer Reading Program.  Kids, Teens and Adults can sign up to earn prizes, badges on and more.  If you can't make it to the Library on June 10 don't worry, you can also sign up online starting June 9.

ELPL will be showcasing different science themed collections, programs and more each week of Fizz, Boom, Read!:

  • Week 1 - Zoology - June 9 through 15
  • Week 2 - Space - June 16 through 22
  • Week 3 - Robotics - June 23 through 29
  • Week 4 - Weather - June 30 through July 6
  • Week 5 - Architecture - July 7 through july 13
  • Week 6 - Cells, Microorganisms and Tiny Creepy Crawlies - July 14 through July 20
  • Week 7 - Science of Music - July 21 through July 27
  • Week 8 - Animation - July 28 through August 5

Out of the World Book Club - June 2014

East Lansing Public Library - Children's Storytime Room

June's title is Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.

Upcoming titles for the group are:

International Book Club - June 2014

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

June's title is Turn Right at Machu Picchu by

Books on Tap, June 2014

Jimmy's Pub, East Lansing, MI

June's book is Fun Home, by

Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year by David Ewing Duncan

Excellent overview of how our calendar developed, from the moon-watching of hunter cavepeople to the atomic clocks of today. Well written, humorous,  and readable. 

Along with agriculture, astronomy was the first science. Astronomers, were who often priests, charted the position of the sun, moon, and stars to determine the right time to plant and harvest crops.  The earliest calendars, such as those by the Sumerians and Babylonians, were lunar and not very accurate.  

The first solar calendar was developed by the Egyptians in 4236 BC, who observed that exactly once every 365 and a quarter days the star Sirius rose with the sun, which also coincided with the annual flooding of the Nile on which they depended for irrigation.  

Julius Caesar learned of the Egyptian calendar through his contacts with Cleopatra and the astronomer Sosigenes,  and instituted the solar calendar for Rome in 45 BC,  renaming some months after Roman gods and one, July, for himself. This became the Julian calendar which was used for over 17 centuries. 

But eventually it was clear the calendar was out of sync with the seasons, discombobulating  important dates such as the spring equinox and Easter. This was due to  an error of 11 minutes in the leap year which over the centuries had accumulated to 10 days . In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII convened a conference  of astronomers to fix the error. Ten days were eliminated from that year, and to prevent future time lags the leap day was omitted in century years (those ending in 00) that were not divisible by 400.  This is the Gregorian calendar we still use today, though Britain and the American colonies did not adopt it until 1752. 

Other topics covered include Stonehenge, the 4,000 year old British edifice that aligns with the sun every solstice to this day; the Mayan calendar, one of the most complex and accurate calendars in history; the monk Dionysius Exiguus who invented the "BC" and "AD" dating system for Christians; the contributions of the Greeks, Hindus, Chinese, and Arabs to math, astronomy and timekeeping: Copernicus' assertion of a sun-centered solar system; Einstein's theory of relativity; and the atomic clocks used to keep world time today based on the metal cesium, which vibrates over 9 billion times per second. 

ELPL also has excellent books for children on calendars, including The Story of Clocks and Calendars: Marking A Millenium  by Betsy Maestro;
On Time: From Seasons to Split Seconds by Gloria Skurzynski; Tools of Timekeeping by Linda Formichelli and W. Eric Martin (with experiments for kids on timekeeping such as ancient peoples practiced).

New on 3M Cloud Library - June 2014

More new titles available in the Cloud, including...

Here's the complete list of everything new.

Arabic Club

East Lansing Public Library - Tutor/Group Study Room

Arabic Club is on permanent hiatus.  We will let everyone know as soon as it starts up again.  If you are interested in facilitating this program please contact the library.***

Interested in learning Arabic?  If so, join our Arabic Conversation Group.  All skill levels welcome, no registration required.

Upcoming sessions of Arabic Club:


Check out a Park & Read pass from the Library

The MI Big Green Gym partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, and the DNR is putting free state park passes in libraries throughou

G I R L - Pharrell Williams

Most recently people have come to know Pharrell Williams as the man who wrote and produced the song Happy for the movie Despicable Me 2, but I have been a fan of the producer since 2002 when I picked up an album titled In Search Of... I was quickly mesmerized by the mixture of video game sounds, rock and hip hop mashed up together.  I soon learned that one of the band members was Pharrell Williams.  I eventually connected the dots that I had heard this sound before from the production duo The Neptunes.  The Neptunes have produced some of my favorite pop songs to date.  Over the years Williams has worked with stars of the music industry such as Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Bono and Gwen Stefani to name a few.  He frequently uses his musical talent to catapult others into the spotlight but rarely for himself.  GIRL is just his second solo album since the release of In My Mind in 2006.

Pharrell himself has described GIRL as his album dedicated to women. His eclectic style comes through on this album in a variety of collaborations with artists like Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk and others.  If you had never heard the name Pharrell Williams before Happy took the nation by storm, give GIRL a try.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology, and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige-Hill

Beyond belief: my secret life inside Scientology, and my harrowing escape is the memoir of Jenna Miscavige-Hill, a young woman raised in the Church of Scientology currently run by her uncle David Miscavige. The book tells her tale of being born into Scientology and how that influenced every move of her young life.

The Church of Scientology is a religion that was developed by science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, "that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being" (from the church's website). Jenna's parents, both high-ranking members of the church, brought up Jenna and her siblings to learn the ways of the church. They lived in church facilities, attended school and training run by the church, and were being groomed to be the next generation in charge of supporting the church and its mission. As Jenna grows up, she often finds herself at odds with the two sides of the church: the side that said one thing and the other side which frequently did the opposite of what was being said.

This book is a glimpse into a very secretive organization. I selected this book out of curiosity after reading another ex-member's account on a blog. I'm a naturally curious individual and like to know about a story from multiple points of view. After reading her account and doing some basic research of my own, I think there's a lot more going on than what the public knows on a basic level. I was drawn into her story and I'm interested to see how the organization develops through some of the controversial reports that continue to emerge.

The Power of Small by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

In an era of ever bigger goals, dreams, houses, wealth, power, etc., this book reminds us of the value of little things.  Written in story-driven style, we are lead to refocus our attention on the small details that, if disregarded, can sabotage a multimillion-dollar ad campaign or undermine your most important relationships.  It is the true paradox of shrinking your outlook to broaden your horizons.  Even the book is small.