Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Perfect Cold Weather Accessory

Who says the library can't help you if you don't go there?!?  

If it's simply too cold to get out and visit us, check out this database of public domain ghost stories and you may still get the chills!

Did you know there are haunted libraries all over the world?  I have not had any creepy experiences here, but American Libraries editor George Eberhart has put together a list of these spooky sites for different regions of the country each day this week.  So far he has posted about haunted libraries in the Northeast, Midwest, and the South.  Tomorrow libraries in the West are on the menu and international haunted libraries are due on Friday!

Visit the Shadowlands to find the most haunted places in Alabama!

If you do brave our unexpectedly chilly weather this week, there is a horrortastic display of ghosts, monsters, creepycrawlies and lists of haunted places for your scarejoyment.  Visit us today!

Spooky Reading!

Best-selling author Tony Hillerman

Mystery readers worldwide lost one of the best on Sunday October 26, 2008 with the death of Tony Hillerman.  He was best known for his detective novels featuring Navajo Tribal Policeman Joe Leaphorn.  The first novel in the series, The Blessing Way, was published in 1970.  Popularity with series has continued right up through the last installment, The Shape Shifter, published in 2006.  

Tony Hillerman is well represented among the Public Libraries of Jefferson County so now is a great time to revisit this author's work or get acquainted for the first time!


Today's Brown Bag Program!

Come over to EOL at 12:30 today (Wednesday October 29) for our Brown Bag Lunch series!  Bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided along with a great hour of entertainment!

Today's film explores the Appalachian work of renowned photographer Shelby Lee Adams.  In his pursuit of a personal, expressive view of the human condition, Lee has fostered controversy and hot debate amongst critics who contend that the Appalachian people Lee has photographed have been exploited.  This film makes the viewer question the meaning of art itself while allowing us to get to know both Adams and the extraordinary people who stand in front of his camera.

Don't miss out!  Contact Katie by phone (205/445-1117) or email ( for more information.
Happy viewing!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Genre Reading Group Meets Tonight!

Tonight's discussion will be about biographies.  Which one, you may ask?  

That's just the thing...YOU get to pick what you read each month!  

I love to see new members at the discussion so if you've read a biography lately that you would like to share with interested readers, join me in the Library's Conference Room at 6:30p.m.!

Next month we are discussion science fiction/fantasy and I will have a selection of books at tonight's meeting or you may certainly feel free to browse your library's sci-fi/fantasy collection to make your own selection.  For more information, call (205/445-1117) or email ( me and I hope to see you here tonight!

Happy Reading,

Friday, October 24, 2008

If you are having trouble sleeping . . .

. . .these books won't really help :)

There is very little that I like better that a good scary book, except maybe a good historical fiction, but for our purposes here it will be GrEaT scary books!

I have been reading THE BEST series of books by Daniel Hecht featuring parapsychologist Cree Black.  After experiencing a harrowing paranormal event, Cree went on to become a parapsychologist so that she could help others deal with paranormal phenomenon.  In the first book, City of Masks, Cree investigates sinister goings-on in an old family mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans.  Darkened hallways, sinister shadows, and terrifying (and traumatic) encounters are numerous and nerve-wracking.  The second in the series, Land of Echoes, finds Cree seeking answers in the case of a possibly-possessed teenage boy on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.  Haunted canyons, unexplained strobing lights, and a vengeful ghost work to round out this harrowing tale.  The latest in the series to be published, Bones of the Barbary Coast, is a much more introspective novel than the other two.  I am over halfway through it now and can hardly put it down.  In addition to the aforementioned bones, relationships and family dynamics are coming unraveled and making this investigation one of the toughest yet for Cree.  This entry in the series seems much more interested in the dark places of the human soul rather than an exploration of the undead, but the creep-out moments are still there, still striking.  Unfortunately I can’t find any information on when the next in this series will be published, but Daniel Hecht does have some stand-alone novels that I plan on checking out soon: Puppets, Skull Session, and The Babel Effect.

Dean Koontz’s The Taking is another favorite of mine that gave me a serious case of the fantods, especially when I had to go home to a dark house!  When the book first began, based on the behavior of the characters (both human and not), I was SURE I knew what was going on.  I didn’t know.  One of the scariest parts doesn’t even take place on the planet, reinforced what I was already thinking, and then turned my whole hypothesis on its head.  I listened to this after I read it and the audiobook (narrated by Ari Meyers) is OuTsTaNdInG!  I now own a copy of the audio that I like to listen to while I cook.  On the weekend.  In broad daylight only. 

I have to bring up one of my personal favorites, and also an audio that I own and listen to while I cook and that is Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.  I admit up front that I really enjoy dystopian (and postapocalyptic) fiction and film.  Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Jim Crace’s The Pesthouse, Robert O’Brien’s Z is for Zachariah, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Robert Kirkman’s graphic series The Walking Dead, P.D. James’ The Children of Men (and its film adaptation), 28 Days Later, Doomsday, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Waterworld, Reign of Fire, Day After Tomorrow, the Terminator franchise…well, I could go on and on but you get the point.  Matheson’s chilling tale relates the end of days for Robert Neville, the last man left on earth after the planet has succumbed to an unknown toxin causing vampirism.  It is bleak, gritty, and morose and the reader may be tempted to share Neville’s deepening depression.  Going back to my penchant for cooking while I listen…I have burned my food because I was listening instead of tending my dinner!  I have seen the first film adaptation of the book, The Last Man on Earth (starring Vincent Price), but not The Omega Man (starring Charleton Heston) or the latest adaptation (starring Will Smith).

So, those are just a few of the books I’m reading (or rereading!) this fall, how about you? 

Happy Reading!

Something wicked this way comes....

Come the library, if you dare (!!!), tomorrow Saturday October 25th, noon to 7:30pm for the 2nd Annual 
Nightmare on Oak Street 
Horror Movie Marathon!  

You'll be terrified by ghosts, zombies, and aliens all day long!  Pizza, popcorn and candy will be plentiful!

Ages 18 and up ONLY

Scary Viewing,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

National Book Award Nominees Announced

The nominees for the National Book Award were announced this past week. Have you read any of them?
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead)
Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba (Scribner)
Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country (Modern Library)
Marilynne Robinson, Home (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Salvatore Scibona, The End (Graywolf Press)

Non Fiction:
Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf)
Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
(W.W. Norton & Company)
Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday)
Jim Sheeler, Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives (Penguin)
Joan Wickersham, The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order (Harcourt)

Frank Bidart, Watching the Spring Festival (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Mark Doty, Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems (HarperCollins)
Reginald Gibbons, Creatures of a Day (Louisiana State University Press)
Richard Howard, Without Saying (Turtle Point Press)
Patricia Smith, Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press)

Young Adult Literature:
Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains (Simon & Schuster)
Kathi Appelt, The Underneath (Atheneum)
Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic)
E. Lockhart, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion)
Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now (Alfred A. Knopf)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Did you know that October is National Reading Group Month?

Contact your local library and/or neighborhood bookstore to see if there is a group you can join!

See the sidebar for information on Bookgroups @ EOL!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Calling All Alexander McCall Smith Fans!

Alexander McCall Smith is writing his first ever online novel, Corduroy Mansions, exclusively for A new chapter will appear on their page each weekday through February. The best-selling author welcomes your suggestions as the story unfolds.

You can also listen to Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Faulty Towers) read Corduroy Mansions.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Smart Finance

There is no time like the present to get smart about your finances. Today's struggling economy makes financial education imperative. Luckily, GovGab has provided links to some great consumer information to help you get the most out of your investments so take some time to explore these resources.


Don't Miss Out!

Record the vice presidential debate on Tivo and get over to the Birmingham Zoo for the Annual Fall Food & Wine Festival sponsored by Western Supermarkets to benefit the Emmet O'Neal Library!
When: October 2nd, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Where: The Pavilion at the Birmingham Zoo

What: an elegant evening of food and wine to benefit
the Emmet O'Neal Library

Tickets: $45 Advance, $50 at the door

See you there!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Annual Food & Wine Festival Tomorrow!

Don't miss your chance to attend a great event benefiting a great cause!

Tomorrow night, Thursday October 2nd, is the Annual Western Supermarket Fall Food & Wine Festival at the Birmingham Zoo.

From 5:30pm to 8:30pm, you may sample over 400 wines and a delectable selection of foods.

Discounted prices on cases of wine will be available for those who purchase at the event.

You still have time to purchase a $45 advance ticket! Tickets will be $50 at the door.

Purchase tickets from your local Western Supermarket or the Emmet O'Neal Library. For more information contact the Emmet O'Neal Library at 205/879-0459. Proceeds benefit the library.