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L. A. CONFIDENTIAL

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 !

Doug Taylor

Shakespeare at 449

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 which makes today his 449th birthday.

"Born six years after Queen Elizabeth I had ascended the throne, contemporary with the high period of the English Renaissance, Shakespeare had the good luck to find in the theater of London a medium just coming into its own and an audience, drawn from a wide range of social classes, eager to reward talents of the sort he possessed."¹

There are countless opportunities to discover Shakespeare from direct sources about the man, his writing and his life and times as well as through inspired derivative works.

For now, perhaps it's best to learn to write in blank verse, or talk like Shakespeare, or, throw some Shakespearean flair or Shakespearean insults in to your next conversation.  

Hmmm, from whence might thou begin?

¹ "William Shakespeare." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography In Context. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Earth Day

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

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is an annual observance, held on April 22, to increase public awareness of our planet and environmental issues.

Each year on Earth Day, millions of people throughout the world gather to clean up litter, protest threats to the environment, and to celebrate progress in reducing pollution.¹

Reduce waste! * Earth friendly crafts! * See the Earth in the Universe!

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

¹Hayes, Denis. "Earth Day." World Book Online Reference Center. World Book, 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.

Guest Post by Miss Celeste

Storytime with Miss Celeste

Fe fi fo fum
It's time for us to have some fun!

Hello Everybody!

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;
http://blog.pigtailpals.com/
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,
Miss Celeste

 

 

YAC (Youth Activity Council) Henna Program

YAC (Youth Activity Council) Henna Program

E.P. Foster Library

 April 23rd at 4:00pm

presented by

Robin Britt

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

 

 

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Special Reading at Foster Library

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.

This is National Library Week! April 14 - 20

April 14 – 20 is National Library Week. In addition to celebrating our physical library locations, this year, Ventura County Library features online resources found in the Ventura County eLibrary.

Ventura County eLibrary offers library card holders over 18,000 free downloadable books, 105 free online magazine subscriptions, almost 3 million free downloadable music tracks, and over 12,000 streaming videos. Additionally, newspapers, encyclopedias, and phone books are all available free, online. Language instruction, career and resume help, practice tests, legal forms, and auto repair are just a few more of the resources available online at no charge.

Our eLibrary is an online branch that’s open 24/7.

Try some free databases, available this week only!

Celebrate National Library Week, and you’ll discover the best story in the library is the library.

A Perspective on FDR at Simi Valley Library

The Simi Valley Friends of the Library are hosting Eleanor, Lucy, and the Man in the Middle: A Perspective on FDR at the Simi Valley Library on Saturday, April 27th at 2pm.

Hundreds of books have been written about the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the influence of First Lady Eleanor, and the impact she had on the country, on her own. Most books touch on FDR’s close relationship with Lucy Mercer and other women throughout his life.

Join dramatist Martha Abbey Miller and learn more about these complex relationships in a interesting and insightful romp through an important part of history.

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