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Books and Beyond

Marie, Columbine Library

Take the guesswork out of choosing water-wise plants for your landscape by learning the seven principles of Xeriscaping and by using Plant Select(TM) plants.  Join us on Monday, April 22nd at 6 p.m. at the Columbine Library. 




Kay, Golden Library

If you, like me, admire the many fine cookbooks the library purchases, but rarely find time to follow a recipe from one, consider taking a look at An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, a beautifully written and inspiring book by Tamar Adler. Read it whether you consider yourself a cook or not; you’ll find that you will look at cooking differently after you do. Don’t read it for the recipes, though it has many fine ones. Read it to remind yourself that eating healthy, affordably, and responsibly is what humans have been doing since ancient times, beginning with boiling water over a fire. Adler reminds us that feeding ourselves is an integral part of being human and well-worth a little time and effort to do it well. She also offers plenty of advice along the way, making this a practical book as well as inspiring.

Susannah, Standley Lake Library

Three short (40 minute) documentary films will be screened at Standley Lake Library in April and May. Don’t miss the chance to see films that are not currently in the JCPL collection and to participate in a discussion led by Dr. Vincent Piturro, film professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Indie Prof on Facebook.

All films will show at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Standley Lake Library meeting room

April 18
Strangers No More (
At Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, children from 48 countries study, recover from their past and build new lives together.
Directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
Oscar winner, 2011 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects

April 25
Sun Come Up (
Environment refugees from Carteret Island in the South Pacific must find a new home as the ocean rises.
Directed by Jennifer Redfearn
Oscar nominee, 2011 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects

May 2
Saving Face (
Women attacked by acid in Pakistan try to rebuild their lives, and a plastic surgeon returns to his native country to rebuild their faces.
Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Oscar winner, 2012 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects

We’re also thinking about starting a film group at Standley Lake Library. It would work like a book group – the group would decide which films to watch, watch the films on their own time, and come to film group to discuss it. If this interests you, please contact Susannah ([email protected]) by email or at the Standley Lake Information Desk.

Kay, Golden Library

In this wonderfully imaginative “memoir” by Matthew Dicks, Budo tells the story of his life with Max, an eight-year old boy on the Autism spectrum. Budo is Max’s imaginary friend and not only is he is clever in a way that Max is not; he has his own internal sense of self. He helps Max navigate home and school but lives in fear of the day Max no longer needs him. When a trusted adult takes advantage of Max’s naiveté, Budo knows he must step in to save Max at any cost.

Budo is a delightful narrator. One reviewer likened Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Room. I think if you like the worlds created by Jasper Fforde and J.K. Rowling, you might also enjoy Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.

Rene, Evergreen Library

The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann is an interesting read. The main character, Emil Larsson, works in customs as a "sekretaire." In his private life, he becomes involved in card games at Mrs. Sofia Sparrow’s house. Sparrow runs gaming out of her home for the town's influential people. But are there more to the games? Mrs. Sparrow convinces Emil to let her do a prediction through her fortunetelling cards, drawing a set of eight cards called the Octavo. The goal of Emil’s Octavo is for him to find someone to love and marry. Mrs. Sparrow also draws an Octavo for herself. The characters bound to Emil and Mrs. Sparrow's Octavos intertwine with each other and with historical events. If you are looking for a novel that is a bit different, this may be the one for you!

Sean, Standley Lake Library

Did you know the Jefferson County Public Library subscribes to 99 digital magazines that you can read for free on your computer or have sent to your Kindle Fire, iPad, or just about any other mobile device?

You can start accessing the collection here. Zinio is a little more complicated than other JCPL digital downloads because it makes you create two separate accounts. When you click on the link, you’ll be asked to create a user name and password that will let you see the titles JCPL has purchased. Before you can read those titles, however, you’ll be asked to create an account with itself. You’ll use the same user name and password both times, but some may find the need to make duplicate accounts a little confusing.

Once both accounts are created, you’ll be able to access and read popular titles like 5280, Consumer Reports, Cooking Light, Men’s Health, Maxim, Everyday Food, and Esquire. With 99 titles, our digital magazine collection is bound to have something you’ll like. Best of all, there’s never a wait. The current issue of each title is available whenever you wish.

While you can read every magazine right off your computer screen, Zinio gets really neat if you happen to have a tablet PC such as an iPad or Kindle Fire (Nook users currently cannot use Zinio do to restrictions from Barnes and Noble). The magazines look absolutely awesome on these devices. You’ll need to download the free Zinio app and register it using the same user name and password you created for your account. Titles you select will be beamed to the app whenever each new issue becomes available. Zinio will also give a few free issues of non-library magazines to try out too.

If you’d like to learn more about the Zinio collection or need help with the app or creating your account, please stop by the Information Desk at any library location. We’ll be happy to assist!

Bonnie, Lakewood Library

The World to Come by Dara Horn

Attending a singles gathering at a New York art museum leads to trouble for television quiz-show writer Benjamin Ziskind. Not romantic trouble, at least not at first, but legal trouble when Benjamin sees a Marc Chagall painting he’s convinced once belonged to his family -  so he picks it off the wall and takes it home.   In a deftly woven story, author Dara Horn delves into the painting’s history, starting with a Russian Orphanage in the 1920s to the Vietnam War to see how the painting changed hands over generations. If you enjoy charming literary fiction that explores questions of moral responsibility and love, then don’t miss this title.

Jayne, Golden Library

A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El Camino de Santiago" pilgrimage trail from France to Spain. Knowing there is no longer any chance at reconciliation due to his passing, as a tribute to his son, he decides to finish the journey for him. Along the way, he meets and travels with three other pilgrims whose stories and outlooks on life all have their effects on each other. A powerful, moving, and occasionally humorous film about family, friends, and life choices. Beautiful cinematography as well. Stars Martin Sheen (father) and Emilio Estevez (son), real-life father and son.


Christina, Lakewood Library

Many of us are facing the conundrum of caring for our aging parents.  Some of us are in the sandwich generation – we still have children and teens at home and we are caring for aging parents as well.  And some of our parents are far away in another state or city. There are new realities and limitations to navigate as we proceed on this path and we are proceeding as we ourselves are aging.  It is a daunting task and fraught with twists and turns along the way.  We want the best for our parents and want to continue being with them and taking them special places.  And we wonder, are we doing this special trip or event for Mom & Dad or because we can’t bear knowing that they are no longer able to enjoy such an outing.  Here are a few resources to help you.

Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders by Mary Pipher - This exploration into the period of transition which marks the beginnings of old age offers a compassionate view of ways to build communication between generations.  Pipher examines the trials of aging in contemporary America--for all those involved.  The miniature biographies, told with respect and empathy, reveal not only a complicated reality but diverse possibilities as we all age.  We hope this “field guide” to a foreign landscape will be a help and a resource.

Story of my Father by Sue Miller - “This is the hardest lesson... for a caregiver: you can never do enough to make a difference in the course of the disease," Miller writes in this thoughtful remembrance of her relationship with her father as he succumbs to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for our Aging Parents and Ourselves by Jane Gross - In telling the story of her own struggle to learn how to care for her aging and ailing mother, this New York Times journalist offers helpful insights and advice to other caregivers who feel overwhelmed.  She offers advice for those already caring for their aging and dying parents and issues a wake-up call to those who think they are prepared should the time come.  Gross debunks misconceptions about assisted-living facilities and offers eye-opening anecdotes about Medicare and Medicaid, including how her own upper-middle-class mother ended up on Medicaid and virtually penniless due to health-care costs.  This is a well-researched and thought provoking resource for end of life care.

Caring for Your Aging Parents: An Emotional Guide to Nurturing your Loved Ones while Taking Care of Yourself by Raeann Berman - This book contains much needed direction to lots of resources for aging individuals that family members can use.The authors talk about specifics (finding living arrangements, dealing with memory loss, conversations to have with aging parents while it is still possible to have them) and then give suggestions as to how to proceed.  And for us who are in the middle of this wild ride, they give ideas for the caregiver to stay healthy and well.

Carol, Arvada Library

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Seventeen year old Evie O'Neill is sooo bored living in a small town in Ohio in the 1920’s. She is sure life is passing her by, so she spends her time defying her parents, drinking bathtub gin, and generally causing havoc. As punishment, her parents decide to send her to live with her Uncle Will, who is the curator of a folklore and occult museum known by all as The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. Evie is thrilled with her “exile” to Uncle Will’s in New York City, and soon finds herself hanging out with a Ziegfeld girl, her piano player roommate, a pickpocket, and her best friend Mable. When Uncle Will is called upon to help with a series of occult related murders, Evie worms her way into the investigation. She soon finds that she knows more than she can say, without giving away her “special” supernatural talent. As she tries to help, she meets other 17-year-olds who all seem to have talents as well, and together they work to save the future from a great evil trying to come back from the past.


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