Oak Harbor Library Blog

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cool Tricks at Your Library: Book Discussion Kits

For some reason I didn’t go to libraries much when I was a kid. Now that I work in libraries I’m constantly discovering all the cool things they offer! Since I’m sure I’m not the only one out there in this situation, I thought I’d post some not-to-be-missed tricks you’ll find at your local library.

Trick #1: Did you know that Sno-Isle Libraries offers Book Discussion Kits? In fact, there are currently 237 different books to choose from! Each kit contains ten copies of a single book title, so you and your book group can check out your own private set of beautiful books for sixty days.

And, don't forget to log in to Novelist or Reading Group Guides to prepare for your discussion.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


This week's Whidbey News Times includes a very inspiring article about the Pardos, a pair of 77-year-olds who are learning to use computers for the first time. It's a great reminder that it is never too late to learn something new. In life, we learn or stagnate. Learning is growth. It is independence, self-reliance and development. It's even fun - try it!
Call 360-675-5115 or drop into the Oak Harbor Library to "Book a Librarian" for 30 minutes of one-on-one or small group coaching on basic computer skills, email, searching the Internet or using library online resources. Or watch the Oak Harbor Senior Center class schedule for upcoming "Tech Talks" by library staff.
Never stop learning - it is your life! Mary

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love seems to be one of those books you either love or hate. I loved it. I devoured it and have since recommended it to everyone I know. I never intended to read the book, thinking, ‘oh it’s just another feel good, fix your life book, far too cheesy for my picky palette.’ Au Contraire!

Elizabeth Gilbert is a really great writer, and her account of a year spent traveling in Italy, India, and Indonesia to better understand herself is told with enough wit, depth, and grace to suit the pickiest of readers.

After several people recommended the book to me years ago, I finally picked it up one day and cannot remember putting it down until the last page. So, suffice it to say, I’m a fan.

I read interviews with Gilbert when I need inspiration, I cried when I watched her TED speech on creativity, and I’ve waited with impatient enthusiasm for the movie release.

In case you haven’t heard, the movie came out Friday August 13th. I bought tickets at my earliest opportunity and had a very nice time sitting through the on-screen retelling. The movie pales in comparison to the book’s original richness, but I loved it nonetheless.

Like a true fan, I recommend the movie, and, of course, the book to those last standing, yet to read this magnum opus of making sense of the modern world.

If you've already read Eat Pray Love, or are waiting for your turn to check it out, here are some similar books you might like:

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World

Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark

Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations

Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff


Thursday, August 12, 2010


If you enjoyed The Highest Tide when it was featured as the Whidbey Reads book for the entire community, then you won't want to miss author Jim Lynch when he returns to Whidbey Island this week. Jim is a very successful author who enjoys talking about writing and books. His presentations are as funny and engaging as his books. Border Songs, just out in paperback, has been picked as among the best books of 2009. It is currently being adapted to the stage by Book-it Theater in Seattle, which adapted and performed The Highest Tide in 2008. Border Songs is slated for the stage in the fall of 2011.
Meet Jim Lynch at the Oak Harbor Library on Wednesday, August 18 at 6pm. Book sales and signing will be available at the event, courtesy of Diane at Wind and Tide Bookstore. See you there!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Last week we met a young man on a mission. He and his dad were visiting libraries and businesses throughout Whidbey Island. The boy, about 9 or 10 years old, had collected a large bucket of pen caps. He had caps of all colors and sizes, all separated from their various pens. His goal was to match them, one by one, to pens without caps. Each time he found a match he would record his accomplishment with a click on his counter. There was one at the information desk - click! Two more over at the check-out counter - click, click!
What I loved about this story was the role of the dad. He had discovered a way for his son to feel successful and was making it work for him. That boy was accomplishing something important to him, and his dad was the one that made it possible. Kudos to parents who take the time to find ways for their children to feel successful and competent.
Here are a few of the many excellent parenting books available at the library: find more on the shelf at 649.1
How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk
Screamfree parenting : raising your kids by keeping your cool
Help! My kid is driving me crazy : the 17 ways kids manipulate their parents, and what you can do about it
Unconditional parenting : moving from rewards and punishments to love and reason

Monday, August 2, 2010

Paintings of Cakes on Display

This month's artist, Kate Hubbard, says of her art:

In my years of cake decorating, I compiled a list of cakes that were not realistic to make out of icing. For reasons of physics, probability and flavor, some just needed a different medium. When I discovered acrylic painting in 1992, I realized that Cakes in Space could actually happen. Then there were Cave cakes, Underwater cakes, and tintype photo cakes. Suddenly cake was invading the most unexpected scenarios, and popping up in all sorts of places. I even started dreaming in cake. I have now painted hundreds of versions, with a fondness for the surreal and fantastic.

I use pastry tubes and the turntable of my edible cake days, and I give lessons in both icing and paint. I welcome questions and comments, as well as random cake stories. I also love keeping track of all the countries where my work has traveled.