Fun at Foster's blog
CLASSIC GUMSHOE DETECTIVE NOVELS continued (part 1):
L. A. CONFIDENTIAL : James Ellroy
Confidential Magazine was a 1950s rag that snooped on celebrities. It was based on the belief that there were a million stories in L.A., all of them enough to raise eyebrows and curl hair. And so this story revolves around that idea with a plot that intertwines itself around the Mob, police brutality, corruption and vigilantism, sex and drugs. Yet the narrative never veers far from its core theme of cops competing with crooks to see who can be more corrupt and violent. Ellroy weaves a labyrinthine plot, but the twists are always clear because the characters are so sharply drawn; we don't know who's guilty or innocent, but we know who should be.
A magazine called “Hush Hush” is run by a sleazy editor who pays one cop to make celebrity arrests catching them while involved in embarrassing situations. Vincennse is the cop who can be bribed. He is an advisor on the hit TV program “Badge of Honor”. His ability to move between two worlds and betray both is almost exemplary. But he winds up knowing too much about the local police corruption, accidentally, and pays for it with his life.
There’s the millionaire pornographer named Pierce Padgett who runs a high class call girl service, dressing up aspiring young actresses (even under the knife) to look like famous movie stars. One who gets tangled in this web of corruption is Lynn Bracken, cut to look like Veronica Lake. Padgett winds up dead as well as the plot thickens.
Then there is the ambitious but straight laced cop, Ed Exley, trying to run up the ladder and best his dead father’s reputation as a good cop, while another detective, Bud White, is aggressive and willing to accommodate the department’s relaxed ethics. They wind up as unlikely allies as things progress.
The plot involves a series of crimes that take place in the early days of the New Year, 1953. Associates of Mickey Cohen, the L.A. mob boss, become victims of gangland-style executions. There's a massacre at an all-night coffee shop victimizing one of Padgett’s hookers while one of the victims is a crooked cop, and three black youths are immediately collared as suspects, although there's suspicion that someone else is behind the crime.
Bud White thinks that the Veronica Lake look-alike may know something about the coffee shop massacre as clues slowly begin to make sense about these gangland murders; clues that could implicate the L.A. Police Captain and the local drug turf wars. He winds up falling for Bracken as does Exley which complicates the plot later when these two men (who have come to hate each other for other reasons as well) must unite to survive and bring justice to a corrupt vigilante style police force bent on taking over the underworld drug and porno business.
There are more twists and turns here than a contortionist with a pipe cleaner, and Ellroy knows just how far to bend his story in order to break the plot wide open. This is gumshoe entertainment at its classic best. James Chandler would be proud !
Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In the spirit of Earth Day, let us celebrate the wonder of small things - things that we may overlook in our daily life but which contribute to the abundance of nature all around us. Butterflies, bees and other insects are responsible for the profusion of flowers, plants & trees that are part of what makes our world beautiful. They also contribute to the cycle of life that makes our planet inhabitable. The loss of even the smallest of insects can have a tremendous impact on our environment. If you are interested in finding out more about the fascinating world of insects and their contribution to our planet, check out these items available at Foster Library.
The Resident Photographer - Aleta Rodriguez
Storytime with Miss Celeste
Fe fi fo fum
It's time for us to have some fun!
It was so wonderful to see everyone yesterday, I have missed you!
Our letter this week was 'Y'. Did your little come up with some Y words? It is an easy sign for us grups, but the littles may need a little help from you - thumb and pinky out with the index, middle and ring finger closed. Here is a beautiful picture for you to see of the Y.
Our theme yesterday was 'Noisy'. And what fun we had making all those noises! The books that we read were;
Gerald McBoing Written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss (You can watch this on youtube!) Moo in the Morning by Barbara Maitland, illustrated by Andrew Kulman and The Baby Beebee Bird by Diane Redfield Massie, illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
Our library has a LOT of noise-themed books, here are just a few of them:
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis, illustrated by Paul Rogers
The Mouse That Snored Written & illustrated by Bernard Waber
Quiet, Wyatt! by Bill Maynard illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Ahwoooooooo! by Yannick Murphy, illustrated by Claudio Munoz
Author Website of the Week: Bernard Waber
There are a lot of fun things on his site, not only does he have the list of all his books, but there are a bunch of fun things to print out and do/use. You might remember Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile from when YOU were a kid, it was published a long long time ago!
Next Week is Pocket full of Stories. We will have fun stories and silly puppets/hats/stuffed animals! Our Letter of the Week will be 'Z' - last one! Can you and your littles come up with some fun Z words? Be ready!
Miss Celeste's Favorite of the Week:
I'd like to introduce you to Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies. Not only does she have some wonderful teeshirts, but her (Melissa Wardy) blogs are fantastic -
"Our blog educates parents on media literacy, marketing, sexualization, gender stereotypes, and body image."
You can find her blog and shop here;
There is also a Facebook page.
Speaking of Facebook, don't forget to go to E.P. Foster's page and like or comment so that you can be entered into the Winchesters contest. Yum!
Until next week,
YAC (Youth Activity Council) Henna Program
E.P. Foster Library
April 23rd at 4:00pm
Permission slips need to be turned in by 4/19/2013
What is Henna?
- Henna is a paste made out of crushed leaves and twigs of henna plant. When this paste is applied to the skin and left for few hours, it leaves orange to dark maroon stain in the skin which fades away in 7 to 14 days.
Mehndi or Mehandi. What is it?
- For centuries, mehndi — the art of henna painting on the body — has been practiced in India, Africa, and the Middle East, where the henna plant is believed to bring love and good fortune, and to protect against evil. Mehndi is traditionally practiced for wedding ceremonies, during important rites of passage, and in times of joyous celebration.
Black Henna warning.
- Traditional henna is a reddish-brown coloring made from a flowering plant.
Beware of ‘black henna’ which can cause an ugly range of skin reactions. Skin redness, blisters, raised red weeping lesions, loss of pigmentation, increased sensitivity to sunlight and even permanent scarring.
Taken from: http://www.hennaarts.com/henna-faq.htm
Please join us at 5:00 on April 16th for a reading, Letter from a Birmingham Jail: 50 Years Later. We will take time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight for equality. Call 648-2716 for more information.
It’s been a busy fortnight for the “Dish” with the haiku contest and preparations for a splendid tea event at the library, it’s a wonder that I can get any cooking done! The book I chose to review is "Street food : Exploring the world's most authentic tastes" by Tom Kime, it’s a world tour of grab-and-go food. I love the photography in the book and the overall feel is like traveling the world and noshing at every street corner. Tons of tasty flavorful recipes are presented in this book; it was difficult to choose just the right one. I decided on an unusual dish called Shourba corbasi, chard soup with rice and turmeric. It was a quick meal to put together and very aromatic when it simmered on the stove. I served the soup with pita bread and some store bought hummus, someday I'll make my own hummus. The soup has very tangy and strong flavors, my palate is not accustomed to these flavors, but I believe if I expand my range of cooking I will adapt to these stronger flavors. This cookbook is for the adventurous, prepare a few of these recipes and you will travel the culinary world and not have to worry about losing your luggage.****David’s Dish
Check out the book at Foster Library, or put a hold on it - we will send it to you!
If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking.
April 9th -16th
While visiting E.P Foster Library indulge yourself in the tranquility of writing original haiku for our “Haiku wall”.
Share your creative talent and enjoy the talent of others. Haiku poetry is a great way to slow down and savor the moment, so please join us for E.P. Foster library’s haiku contest to celebrate National Haiku Day April 17th.
A prize will be awarded to the best haiku! See the rules for more information.
Livre Noir, Pulp Fiction, Gumshoe Journals; these are the classic mystery novels that still fill the bookstores and libraries around the world. From Popular Fiction, like James Chandler’s THE BIG SLEEP and THE MALTESE FALCON to Robert Tine’s MULLHOLLAND FALLS, come the stories of mystery, intrigue, murder, police corruption, sex and drugs. Often, the lines are blurred between good guy-bad guy in these stories and more often than not, there is a strong presence of dark vigilantism among the hero characters who go off script to catch a bad guy.
Some of the best stories around take place during a time frame between the 1940s and 50s, when Hollywood and Broadway were at their zeniths and when high fashion and high society were things to be envied by those whose work a day habits brought in small paychecks and little esteem. Cops, Private Eyes and Newspaper Reporters were the privileged proletariat, who got to mingle with these elite types, and with an added rush of getting in their face, when the Law was broken. Los Angeles and New York were often the playgrounds and backdrops for these crime thrillers, for those very reasons.
L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, by James Ellroy is one example of this, even though it was published in the 1990s. It has that feel of 1950s writing with its short sentences and terse language. Another is Mickey Spillane’s anti hero, Mike Hammer, Private Eye. In THE BIG KILL, He doesn’t mind mixing it up with crooks, even enjoying a good smack down and pounding of a dame or dude, no matter what their station in life. He has his own brand of justice and a few bones to pick! This is hard boiled melodrama wrapped up in one liners and craftily woven plots. It’s the kind of writing that is edgy, profane and hard hitting. I will begin with a review of THE BIG KILL, and then later in the month, review L.A. CONFIDENTIAL one of my all time favorites.
THE BIG KILL, by Mickey Spillane.
Drinking at a seedy bar in the crime ridden East Village on a rainy night, Hammer notices a man come in with an infant. The man, named Decker, cries as he kisses the infant goodbye, then walks out in the rain to be shot to death. Hammer shoots the assailant as he searches Decker's body. The driver of the getaway car runs over the man Hammer shot to ensure that he won't talk. Hammer takes care of the infant and vows revenge on the person behind such a deed.
Hammer's trail of vengeance leads him to hostile encounters with his police friend Pat Chambers, the DA and his stooges as well as beatings, assassination attempts and torture from gangsters that Hammer reciprocates in an eye for an eye fashion.
Hammer also has loving encounters with two women he meets on his quest. Marsha is a former Hollywood Actress who was beaten by Decker when he robbed her flat. Ellen is the rich daughter of a horse breeder who works for the D.A.
The plot is convoluted and littered with odd characters , “Dames with curves they know how to use and lips that work on a man like a drug”, so says Hammer. He gives and receives many severe beatings, and when he's on the receiving end his brutal and ghastly injuries respond remarkably well to the medicinal properties of good scotch, hot black coffee, a plate of steak and eggs, and a few smokes.
He learns that the dead man was an ex-con trying to go straight when he was tricked into consorting with racketeers. Mike battles with low lifes and high-living hoodlums in the course of seeking his own kind of justice…vengeance for the man and his child. But he gets caught up in the intrigue that becomes almost too much for him. As the investigation heats up, Hammer is almost killed for knowing too much and arrested by the D.A. for butting into police business. But the Private Eye avenges himself and the police by bringing all of the bookies and racketeers down and then finding out the real reason Decker was murdered. It just doesn’t get any better than this for Pulp Fiction.
Resident Philosopher Doug Taylor
No matter how far removed I get from my high school years, I still remember them. They may not always be fond memories, but they’re still mine. Yet, as much as I’d like to think I’m the only one who suffered through those trying years of high school (and really, don’t we all think like that?), I’ve found that I’m not alone.
In Tina’s Mouth: An existential comic diary, you’ll find all the teen angst you grew up with hasn’t changed. Over the course of her sophomore year, Tina deals with losing friends, making friends, boy crushes, cliques, school plays, parties, and Jean-Paul Sartre, all while trying to figure out who she is for her existentialism project. Just your average teenage experience (except maybe for the Jean-Paul Sartre part). I found myself in some familiar territory while reading this book, and although it wasn’t a trip down memory lane, it certainly put me in the near vicinity.
Named by YALSA as one of the great graphic novels for teens in 2013, Tina’s Mouth is well written, funny, and the closest I’ll ever come to understanding existentialism. No superheroes or zombies here, folks. What you have is an enjoyable look at the joys and pains of being a teenager. I found it to be an engrossing read (I read it in almost one sitting), and I think it will be relatable for both teens and adults. Who can’t relate to losing your best friend or being in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way? As written by first-time author Keshni Kashyap, it’s a very down-to-earth and approachable book, one worth reading.
During this time of year, the roadsides of Ventura County begin to show numerous wildflowers, California Poppies, Lupine, Bush Monkeyflower, and California Buckwheat, just to name a few. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but many of them can be grown in our own gardens. While imported ornamental plants can be lovely to look at, there is something uniquely satisfying in growing California native plants. The next time you take a drive, or a hike, pay attention to the purple, orange and yellow flowers growing along the trails. These attract beautiful California butterflies, as well as bees which are important to an agricultural economy. Imagine these in your own backyard!
Foster Library has many books on growing California native plants and is currently featuring gardening books in our pop-out section.