Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

17-year-old Carrie Bradshaw is starting her senior year at Castlebury High and as far as she can tell nothing has changed over the summer. She’s still got her best friends Lali, Maggie, The Mouse and Walt; she’s still on the swim team; she still doesn’t have a boyfriend; and she definitely still wants to be a writer, even though she’s just received her rejection letter from the New School’s Advanced Summer Writing Seminar she’d planned to take after graduation. But the school year brings a few surprises. A new bad boy has enrolled in Castlebury, and Carrie falls hard for him. Friendships break up and new ones are made. Revelations are made about people Carrie has known forever. And a surprising opportunity advances Carrie closer to her dream of becoming a full-fledged writer.

Candace Bushnell wrote this book as a prequel to Sex and the City, but it can easily be read by teens unfamiliar with the TV series. In fact, the only similarities I noted were the character’s name and the last line of the book. Beyond that, The Carrie Diaries is simply an enjoyable, well-written read with interesting characters and a plot most of us will relate to. I recommend it to fans of Sex and the City, Gossip Girls and Chick-Lit Romances.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Know Your Reader!

I live 35 minutes away from work (on a non-traffic jam day). In an average week that's 350 minutes (or 5.83333) hours in the car. Trapped there with Birmingham radio. Eventually I gave in to the lure of the audiobook as a way to combat the boredom of these commutes. Some have been really good, others really annoying - like the one where the reader pronounced kudzu "koodzoo" over and over and over again. I've learned to be a bit more discerning when I browse the collection, and am paying more attention to the reader.

Last week I checked out three audiobooks based on the reader. Right now I am listening to Shiver, written by Maggie Steifvater and read by Jenna Lamia. Jenna also narrated The Secret Life of Bees, which I loved on audio. And so far I'm not disappointed with Shiver. The story is amazing and Jenna does an excellent job with the character of Grace. I wish I could point you to a sample of the audiobook, but I couldn't find one online. But I did find this fantastic  fanmade book trailer for the book...

Shiver Book Trailer

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Building Blocks in Microsoft Office 2007

Building Blocks in Microsoft Word 2007

If there is a certain word or phrase you have to enter several times throughout a document(such as your company name)while word processing, Building Blocks offers a quick and easy way to enter the information. Building Blocks is especially helpful with longer words and phrases, such as technical, scientific, or medical terminology.

For example,if I'm typing an article about Homewood Public Library, instead of typing out the 23 characters that constitute this proper name every time it needs to appear in the document, I can shorten it to three keystrokes.

Creating A Custom Building Block
Open a new document in Microsoft Word 2007 and type "Homewood Public Library".

Next, highlight the phrase by triple-clicking "Homewood Public Library".

Then, in the Office Ribbon at the top of the document, click the INSERT tab.

In the TEXT group, click QUICK PARTS.


This opens the CREATE NEW BUILDING BLOCK menu.

In the NAME field, insert the keystrokes you want to use to insert your saved Quick Part. For example, we'll use the letters "hw".

Enter the letters "hw" in the NAME field.

Click OK to return to your document.

"Homewood Public Library" has now been added to the Quick Parts gallery.

Now press ENTER to move to the next line and type the letters "hw".

Now press the F3 key in the function row.

"Homewood Public Library" should now appear after only three keystrokes.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3

The story begins with Harriet in a jail cell in 1920. While there she has time to remember her ancestors and their lives. Lynn Austin uses flashback beginning with Hannah during the days leading up to the Civil War and her involvement with the Underground Railroad. Bebe helped Hannah care for the runaways then and when WWI took Bebe's brothers to war she did their farm chores. Later she fought the use of drink in the Christian Temperance Union when her husband Horatio was controlled by alcohol. The Great Flood of 1876 was a pivotal event in the lives of Harriet's grandmother, grandfather and mother as well as those displaced by the waters when the dam broke. Through all these events we get a picture of life in America for the rich and poor and how God was working in them. Harriet is moved by Bebe's passion to win the vote for women and always to help others as she could. Maybe this is why Harriet was in jail.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stretch your Dollar!

Stretch Your Dollar featuring Lonnie Jones, Circulation Mgr.