My brother is a fifth grade teacher and he sometimes asks me for ideas for books he can read to his class. With all the hoopla that attended the release of the first couple of movies, his class was trying to get him to choose The Hunger Games, but he thought that it contained too much violence and romance for 10-year-olds. I agreed and then suggested Lois Lowry's classic dystopian novel, The Giver.

I’m excited about the movie based on The Giver, which is being released on August 15. I really love the book, about Jonah, a boy living in some future world in which individuality, intense emotion and even color are outlawed, and in which all of life’s important decisions are made by the community’s leaders. Everything seems very calm and ordinary in this world-- but then Jonah is assigned a new and mysterious job that allows him to discover the truth about his community.

Parents should know that the book contains no sexual content and not much in the way of overt violence, although there is definitely some darkness. Jonah was twelve in the book, though, and in the movie he's about sixteen, so the filmmakers seem to have taken some liberty with the story. Do have the kids read the book before they see the movie, and read it yourself, too. It’s a very good novel, beautifully written and thought-provoking. And if you have kids who are interested in young adult dystopian fiction, but you think they’re a little young for The Hunger Games and Divergent, check out this list.

Craigslist is a popular online tool for job searching. Because it’s open to anyone, there is a wide variety of jobs available, but be careful to avoid scams!

Here’s how to search, but keep in mind that services like this change all the time, so it might look different when you try these steps.

Start at Craigslist.

In the jobs column, find your field or click jobs to search all jobs.  

The default search is “all portland,” which includes Multnomah County plus six additional counties. Use the drop-down menu to refine the search to a specific county.

Choose a county

Type a keyword or keywords into the search box. Don’t enter a complete sentence, just use a few words that describe the job you want.

  1. Limit the search by using the check boxes for telecommute, contract work, internship, part-time work, or non-profit. Leaving these blank will generate the most results.

  2. Click search.

  3. Organize results the way that’s most useful for you. Map displays your results on a map so that you can see where each job is located.

  4. Click the link to read a description of the job.

Apply for the job:

Be sure to read the entire job description. Follow the application directions in the posting very closely.

Often you can apply for the job using email by clicking the reply button.

  1. Click the reply button

  2. From the drop-down menu, select the text in the copy and paste into your email field.

  1. Right click and select copy.

  2. Paste that email address into the To field in your email.

For more help, try the Craigslist help page.

For more help searching for a job, try Multnomah County Library’s Jobs and careers page, Job Seekers’ labs, and classes for job seekers.


The library has all kinds of wonderful materials that will help you learn your next language — but sometimes it seems like you need to learn library-ese to find them! 
Here are some key phrases that will help you in your search for language learning books, CDs, and more:
"Self instruction"
Search this term, along with the name of your language of interest, to find all sorts of media that will help you in your efforts to teach yourself. If you find you want to narrow down the results after you search, use the Format filter on the left — know that the ‘Book’ drop down arrow also includes a ‘Book Plus CD’ choice, so don’t ignore it if you are looking for audio! Example: Tagalog "Self Instruction"
Sound Recordings for English Speakers
This phrase will help you in finding audio-only courses. Example: Vietnamese "Sound Recordings for English Speakers"
“Bilingual Books”
A search for this phrase will bring up books that have the same content in two different languages. If you simply add your language the first results should be books in that language and English. Example: Chinese "Bilingual Books"
However, if you want a more precise search go to our Advanced Search page, use the drop down menu to select Subject and enter “Bilingual Books,” then chose your language from the drop down Language menu. Example: subject:("bilingual books") language:"spa"
Looking for more tips on searching, or other help with your language learning? Ask us!

Grand Central Baking BookOne of my favorite things to do is bake. The only kind of cooking I really like doing needs to involve some sort of baking (savory tarts, potpies, even meat loaf qualifies). I also enjoy dining at many of Portland's fantastic restaurants. One of the best ways to combine these 2 loves of mine is to find cookbooks that have been written by the fine chefs of those establishments. I give 4-star reviews to those cookbooks that actually have recipes that come out as delicious as when the restaurants whip them up.

One of my absolute favorite baking books is The Grand Central Baking Book. First of all, Grand Central Bakery is one of the best cafes around; their cinnamon rolls, jammers, and all of their breads are amazing. The recipes in this cookbook are easy to follow with lots of tips on how to create the delicious treats exactly as they are served in their cafes. Two floury thumbs up for the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made!yummy cookies

Mother's Best bookjacketAnother wonderful restaurant/cookbook combo I recommend is Mother's Bistro & Bar/Mother's Best: Comfort Food That Takes You Home Again by Lisa Schroeder. I've enjoyed everything I've made or eaten from Mother's. Again, she gives you little tidbits of information so that your recipes will be even better. Try the chicken and dumplings or the meatloaf. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Try a local restaurant then recreate those recipes at home!

AdCasebook bookjacketults so often think the world belongs to them. They are the do-ers and the deciders. What does that limited perspective look like from a kid's point of view? Two recent books in very different formats ask the question,  'what does it look like when the adults around you - the ones you rely on for stability and guidance - lose it?'

In Casebook, Miles is increasingly alarmed by his mother's erratic behavior after she and his father break up. Rather than just leaving the adults to do what it is adults do, he launches a surveillance campaign. He and his best friend Hector go from eavesdropping, to monitoring email, to setting up an elaborate phone tapping system, all so Miles can determine what his mom is thinking, how the new man in her life, Eli, will affect him and his twin sisters, and where Eli goes when he is not with them. As Miles and Hector begin to grow more suspicious of Eli's motives they pool their money to hire a private investigator - one of the sole adults who treats their concerns seriously.

In the graphic novel This One Summer, Rose and Windy are the best of summer cottage friends. This year, Rose has a crush on the clerk at the town's corner store, so the two girls create a ritual of visiting frequently for gummy bears and horror movies, all the while surreptitiously observing the dramas and relationships of the town's teenagers. All is not well at Rose's cabin either; her mother seems depressed and removed from the excitement of life at the cottage while Rose's dad tries his best to enjoy and encourage Rose's sense of wonder. As Rose and Windy move around the edges of an incomprehensible adult world, they cling to the games and activities that remind them of a world unsullied by adult complications. Dreamy line drawings evoke the joy and enthusiasm of childhood and the mystery of the encroaching adult world.

If you enjoy stories set in that precarious limbo between childhood and adulthood, these might be just what you're looking for.


The era of flipping channels may be coming to an end, and with it goes a certain variety of serendipitous discovery — the late night movie that haunts your imagination, the La Lupe performance that blows your mind.

Picture of Elaine MayMy first encounter with Elaine May was a stumbled-upon PBS special about her years performing comedy with Mike Nichols. Surprising, smart, subversive stuff (some skits available on YouTube). It gave me a hankering to seek out her work as a director. 

Of those May-directed works the library’s collection, my favorite is A New Leaf. May both directs and plays the, er, love interest of Walter Matthau. Matthau is a once rich schmo who has lived beyond his means and is broke. In his mind, the only solution is to find a wealthy woman to marry him. Enter May's character, Henrietta Lowell, an heiress and a shy guileless klutz of an amatuer botanist. Since this is May, you seriously wonder if their relationship is a romcom or a build up to a horrible crime. Rumor has it that in the original cut multiple bodies pile up.
There was a wonderful interview called "Who’s Afraid Of Nichols & May?" posted by Vanity Fair in January 2013. It is a very fun read, with May still delivering her utterly original comedy. 
And should you be interested in stumbling upon more movies made by the 50%, check out my list Flickering females.

Ebola virions through an electron microscope.The word is enough to freeze your possibly hemorrhaging blood, isn’t it? Or make you glad you (or someone you know) aren’t in West Africa. My first thought when learning of the two U.S. citizens recently transported here for medical care was ‘I’m glad I’m not on that plane.’ But unlike SARS or the flu, the Ebola virus can’t be transmitted through the air; the only way to catch it is “through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions” (Q&A on Ebola from the Centers for Disease Control, which has much more information about the current outbreak on its website).

[Edited to add 11/28/14:] Multnomah County's Health Department has a page with resources and links providing information a little closer to home).

Comforting for those of us in the first world, but not much use to those on the front lines, who won’t even seek medical attention because the hospital is where people go to die.

If you’re in the mood for some not-so-light reading, here are some suggestions.

Photo of curated clutter: plastic dinosaur, drawing, vintage cameraI admire minimalists. I really do. I totally get the peace of mind that comes with clean surfaces and simple outlines. I love natural linen, wood and neutral shades with bare hints of color. It’s just that I can’t maintain it for long.

I gravitate towards clashing patchwork patterns and ric rac. I see an amateur oil painting being discarded, and I have to rescue it. At the beach, I fill my pockets with interesting bits of wood and rock and when my father passed away, I claimed his collection of antlers to remember him by.Photo of corner clutter: oil painting, pillows, anters, books

Rather than see all of this stuff as clutter, I’ve been finding inspiration in my collections. A messy stack of books becomes an art installation when towered high on a vintage toddler chair. Tiny plastic goats balanced on the ledges of picture frames, add whimsy to a room, and in my opinion, antlers look good stacked or hung just about anywhere.

Maybe you’re a collector of objects yourself. Maybe like me, you’ve been trying to suppress your love of found, thrifted and handmade objects for the sake of living simply. Maybe you don’t have to. Check out my list for books that will inspire you to clear out your attic and display the things that bring you joy.  After all, it’s not clutter if it’s curated.

speaker buttons

Do you enjoy turning your speakers up to 11, like Nigel in Spinal Tap? Or do you find yourself craving silence in our often noisy world? How about little bit of both, like me? 

Before coming to Portland, I lived in a little house in the middle of the big woods. No neighbors. Quiet all the time, except for the occasional train, animals, birds, and frogs. Now living in the city, I enjoy a cacophany of sounds every day. You know them, the buses, the trains, the cars, the people. It's been a huge transition, as I now have to seek out the quiet that I used to take for granted, but I find it has become one of my favorite hobbies. Of course, travel outside the city limits, and one can find any number of places in which to soak in the silence:  the Columbia River Gorge is a favorite of mine. Peaceful Places, Portland is a wonderful book that will guide you to the most serene places in the city. So many opportunities exist to find solitude and quiet, and I think it is good for the mind, body, and soul to enjoy them when we can. 

Summer is a busy time for everyone. But sometimes we need to put the busy aside and just BE. This has been your friendly reminder to enjoy the silence. Check out the list of books below for some inspiration on ways to find peace and quiet in a loud world.

Now, for those who are interested...

Woodstock Library (6008 SE 49th Ave.) will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, August 5. The library was closed July 31 - August 4 to repair water damage from a plumbing failure.

Patron holds were suspended during the closure and are now available for pick up at the library. If you have questions about your account, including overdue items and fines, please call Account Services 24 hours a day at 503.988.5342. To speak to a staff member, choose option 2 during Central Library's operating hours.


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