Blogs

Fiction Writing Essentials @ Foster

On Saturday, January 24, local author Doug Taylor will present an interactive workshop on fiction writing at E.P. Foster Library.

This free event will cover plot development, dialogue, descriptive and action narrative, character development, subplots and counter points, and much more.

It all starts at 1 p.m. in the Topping Room. Bring your experiences and questions about writing novels with you to add to the discussion!

Congratulations, TAG, on the 2015 Gift Drive!

This year's TAG Gift Drive was a huge success! The Avenue, E.P. Foster, and Saticoy branches all served as drop-off spots for gifts through mid-December, and our dedicated teen groups were able to collect a large variety of gifts for those in need this season.

Once collected at our branches, the gifts were picked up by Spark of Love for distribution. The recipients were teens from low-income homes or who are homeless, orphaned, abused, or neglected. We all hope that our contributions made a positive difference in their lives.

Congratulations to TAG for putting on another great program!

Library LAB: Makeshop @ Foster

On Tuesday, January 20, the Ventura County Library LAB will host its second Makeshop event at E.P. Foster Library.

This activity will focus on building small vibrating robots out of motors, toothbrush heads, battery clips, and various other materials. Participants can get creative and make bots with unique movement patterns and behaviors.

This free event will take place on the second floor of the main library building at 5 p.m. All ages are welcome; we hope to see you there!

Boys & Girls Club Art Exhibit @ Foster

The City of Ventura Boys & Girls Club has set up a fine arts exhibit at E.P. Foster Library. Entries are divided into a variety of categories based on medium and the age of the artist.

This display will be featured on the second floor of the library for one week between January 12 and January 18.

On Thursday, January 15, judging of the exhibits will take place at 4 p.m., followed by a reception at 5 p.m. Drop by the library to check out the entries!

Bookbinding @ Foster

Stop by E.P. Foster Library on Saturday, January 10, for a special talk on the Craft of Bookbinding!

This presentation will include information on the history of books and on the tools and techniques necessary to maintain modern volumes. If you’re passionate about the preservation of important works—or if you’re just curious about how it’s done—this is the event for you!

This free talk begins at 10 a.m. in Foster Library’s Topping Room. Call or visit the library for more information!

Taxes and Credit and Finance - Oh my!

Local Author Reading at Ojai Library

 

Karen Banfield has an impressive resume.
She has been a tarot card reader, mental health
therapist, artist in residence, intuitive healer,
businesswoman, singer and actress.

In her latest book Karen shares her experiences in
boarding school, traveling abroad and as an
intuitive healer, all with
honesty and insight.

Join Karen Saturday, January 17 at 1pm.
Ojai Library

 

Fruits Basket

While perusing some DVDs that were new to the library’s collection, I happened upon a well-known anime that has been around for quite some time now, but one that I, curiously enough, had never seen. That anime is Fruits Basket.

Based on the manga written by Natsuki Takaya, Fruits Basket is about a young girl, named Tohru Honda, who befriends the Sohma family, whose members are cursed to turn into characters of the Chinese zodiac when hugged by someone of the opposite sex. Now, admittedly, this was not a title that I was particularly interested in. The whole idea of turning into animals sounded rather contrived to me. I can already visualize fans of this series pulling their hair out and screaming, “Noooooo!” Before you do that, let me just say that I was pleasantly surprised by this little gem of an anime. What could have been a hokey premise was actually very touching and funny.

The girl, Tohru, is taken in by the Sohma family after the death of her mother. When she discovers their secret, it’s funny, embarrassing, and a bit awkward for her. Yet there is no judgment on her part. If anything, she embraces and accepts them, something the Sohma family has not really encountered. Their curse has made intimate relationships with others almost impossible, and many family members keep to themselves.

For her part, Tohru is no stranger to hard luck. Her relatives treat her with indifference and downright nastiness. Only her grandfather shows any real concern, but he is powerless to do anything. As a child in school, she was often made to feel unwanted by her classmates, left out of games and normal play. Yet, she has found friends in Saki and Arisa, who are very protective of her. She has felt like an outsider both with classmates and her own family, yet she continues to be positive and happy, even in the face of her own sorrow. It is that determined spirit that brings hope and happiness to the Sohma clan, even to those who may not yet trust her.

Fruits Basket was certainly not what I expected. It was much better, and worth watching.

 

Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

"Dies the Fire," by S.M. Stirling

Suddenly everything stops: lights turn off, engines cool, planes fall from the sky, and police officers drawing guns in an effort to keep the peace pull triggers to no response. The year is 1998 when the “fire” dies and the world enters a new era of the “Change.”

S.M. Stirling creates a world where every modern convenience and necessity fails and humanity must struggle to relearn knowledge now hundreds of years obsolete and mostly forgotten. Within weeks, countless millions starve in cities without access to food, and desperate survivors revert to brutal and savage methods of survivaleven cannibalism. Amidst the chaos, people gather around those who remember the old ways and possess the strength to offer protection.

Stirling’s story of the Change begins as a trilogy but spins off into further stories centered on the regions of Oregon and Washington, eventually spanning across the (former) United States and elsewhere. The author draws further connections with an earlier series Island in the Seas of Time, and fans of his other works will appreciate the direct line he draws here.

Fans of science fiction, post-apocalyptic, and medieval themed stories alike will love this series. Stirling is a master of creating an exciting and fast-paced yet thoroughly developed world with rich characters.

Dies the Fire, the first book in his most recent series, is available for free as an eAudiobook on Hoopla, which you can access through our website. Just create an account and sign in to listen to it today!

Audio versions of Stirling’s other booksincluding the original Change novels, starting with Island in the Sea of Timecan be found on Hoopla as well.

Dies the Fire and the original trilogy for Islands in the Sea of Time are only available in audio through Hoopla, but the others are available for checkout or request at our various branches.

 

Alan Martin, Your Friendly Reader

Ventura County Library LAB @ Foster

The wait is over! On January 7, 2015, the Ventura County Library LAB will open its doors at E.P. Foster Library for the first of its weekly 3D printing and laser engraving workshop sessions.

For two hours every Wednesday, library staff will be available to teach you how to use the hardware and software involved with these pieces of equipment, and will work with you to find out how you can use them for projects you may be working on.

These free sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Appointments can also be made for other times during the week; call or drop by the library for more information!

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