Blogs

Together, California Reads

CalReads YouTubeKnow about the great work our adult literacy READ staff and volunteers are doing? Perhaps you know an adult who may benefit from reading instruction.

See the CalReads video here

"What is more basic than the ability to read?" 
        -- Jackie Griffin, Director of Ventura County Library

"Your library is really a welcoming place and no one is going to judge you ..."
        -- Christy Aguirre, Librarian at Sacramento Public Library

"We're a nation of second chances. And the library is a place to provide that second chance."
        -- Rivka Sass, Director of Sacramento Public Library

The Chumash Maritime Culture @ Foster

On Wednesday, September 24, E.P. Foster Library will present a talk by Alan Salazar of the Chumash Maritime Association.

"The Chumash Maritime Culture, Past, Present, and Future" will focus on the seafaring tools used by the Chumash of the Santa Barbara coast and Channel Islands regions.

The talk begins at 6 p.m. in the Topping Room. We hope to see you there!

Looking for a Good Book?

We can help!

Just subscribe to one of our newsletters

Whether you crave biographies, romance, science fiction, award winners or horror we have a recommendation for you.

For a personal touch sign up for Staff Picks. Let us help you find your next great read. 

To opt in to a newsletter click here.

 

 

Read Me a Story & More @ Foster

E.P. Foster Library will be hosting an early literacy workshop on Tuesday, September 23.

Read Me a Story & More is an event for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-5 years old, and will provide information on the literacy skills children need to be reading-ready.

Registration is required for this event, so contact the library for more information. The workshop is for adults only, and starts at 6 p.m. in the Topping Room.

make.show.tell. @ E.P. Foster Library

Attention local makers! On Tuesday, September 16, E.P. Foster Library will be hosting its second make.show.tell. event.

Stop by the Topping room at 7 p.m. to see what some local makers, builders, and craftspeople have been up to, and to learn more about how YOU might participate in the future!

If you're a maker with a skill or hobby you would like to share with others, come by any of our makerspace events or contact the library. We would love to help you share your talents!

Font to Film: “Catch-22”

In last month’s Font to Film we talked about authors who bring a personal perspective to their subject matter in order to produce a work which asks important questions or defies expectations. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, first published in 1961, does both. Rich with satire and social commentary on the nature of war and authority, it is widely regarded as a classic that maintains its relevance today. While many would argue that war is nothing to laugh about, Heller and authors like him have successfully used dark humor to spotlight the cognitive and moral dissonance that results from being in a situation that is deadly serious while simultaneously appearing to be completely absurd.

Catch-22 focuses on Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces bombardier serving in World War II. From the start it is made apparent that a central element of Yossarian’s character is his instinct for self-preservation; he harbors a firm belief that the people around him—both the German forces and his own commanding officers—are trying to kill him, and thus does everything he can think of to avoid flying combat missions. His attempts are largely thwarted by the existence of a military regulation known as “Catch-22,” which states, among other things, that Yossarian cannot request to be grounded due to insanity because such a request would be the act of a sane man. Heller’s portrayals of Yossarian’s commanding officers offer a grimly cynical take on the chain of command, and he likewise uses war profiteer Milo Minderbinder to showcase the naked greed and ruthlessness of unchained, unregulated capitalism. Throughout the chronologically-scattered narrative more details of Yossarian’s situation are revealed, and through him we witness the sheer horror of war as it is visited upon civilian populations and military personnel alike, including Yossarian’s close friends.
The 1970 film version of Catch-22 was directed by Mike Nichols and stars Alan Arkin along with a surprising number of familiar faces, including Art Garfunkel, Jon Voight, Bob Newhart, and Martin Sheen. The film condenses the plot a bit, eliminating some elements and simplifying others but managing to maintain the book’s tone and thematic concerns. Jokes better suited for the page than the screen are replaced with more visual gags, and certain auditory motifs—for instance, the drone of aircraft engines—are used to great effect. The film also reminds us that the strengths of the medium should not be underestimated; the actors all give compelling performances, and several scenes feature gruesome effects which really drive home the war’s terrible cost in a visceral way. While the novel received both positive and negative reviews upon its release, the movie was largely eclipsed by other war films released at the time, including another dark comedy, MASH (1970). Both the book and the movie have enjoyed great success in subsequent years, however; Nichols’ version has a reputation as a cult hit, and Heller’s original is seen as one of the most important war books of our time.

Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 can be found at E.P. Foster Library in both the adult and young adult fiction collections. Mike Nichols’ film version is also at Foster, and in addition can be accessed via our new database Hoopla Digital. The film is available for streaming or downloading to those with a Ventura County Library card who have created a Hoopla account; see the staff at any of our branches or call for information on setting up an account. And as always, if the version you’re looking for is not on the shelf you can request that a copy be sent to your local branch over the phone or online through our catalog.

 

Formulated by Ronald Martin.

This One Summer

Some kids always seem to be in a hurry to grow up, to be more mature than they really are. Sometimes, they have to grow up fast, whether they want to or not. Such is the case with Rose and Windy, two young girls in This One Summer, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki.

Every year, Rose and Windy come to Awago Beach for the summer with their families. Although a year apart in age, they are best friends, spending their summers swimming, watching scary movies, and enjoying the familiarity and comfort that Awago Beach brings. However, this year, this one summer, things are very different. Rose’s mother is walking around in a deep depression, her parents are often fighting, and there’s a lingering friction between Rose and her mother. There’s also a local boy Rose is infatuated with, but his involvement with another girl leads to unforeseen trouble, and Rose catches snippets of conversations without really understanding what’s going on.

This One Summer is very much a coming-of-age story. Both girls bear witness to very adult situations, but it’s Rose who changes the most, and by the end of the story she is not the same girl she was at the beginning of summer. Both Rose and Windy have to accept certain truths about themselves, but their friendship still remains strong.

This One Summer is worth a read, not only to recall your own “summer of change,” but to remember a time when the summer seemed to go on forever, and anything was possible with your best friend at your side.

 

Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

make.show.tell. @ Foster

On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, local makers will return to E.P. Foster Library for our second installment of make.show.tell.

This series allows makers, builders, and craftspeople from all around the Ventura area to share their skills with you! Join us for demonstrations of techniques and displays of finished works.

It all starts at 7 p.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to see what your community is making!

Ojai Library - Parent & Child Together Classes

 

 

Encourage your child's self-discovery

through art and play.

Classes are free and will be conducted in Spanish and English.

Tuesdays in September 10am to 11am.

For more information click here

 

Ojai Library - Norman Rockwell: His Life and His Art

Guest Speaker Monroe Kaplan will discuss Norman Rockwell
and the stories behind many of his works.

Mr. Kaplan has been a Rockwell collector and lecturer for many years.

Share Mr. Kaplan's passion for one of America's iconic artists:

Saturday September 27th at 2pm.

 
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