Quick Picks from CMCL

November 21, 2014

Checking In (With the Writers)!

Filed under: Books, Checking In — Tags: , , , — Eric D @ 8:00 am

November, as some of you surely know, is National Novel Writing Month! Although I am not participating this year, I have done so in the past, and I know how hard it’s getting right about now. The clock shows it’s well past halftime, and maybe you’re a little (or a lot) behind on your writing goals. Maybe you started late and you’re trying to make up ground. Maybe you’re still on track but worried that you might not be able to keep up the momentum. Well, in any of those cases, don’t lose hope! To help you along, I’ve come up with these titles to skim through if you need some ideas or inspiration – just don’t use too much writing time!

Place a hold!Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot and Structure, by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Focusing mainly on the bone structure of a story, this book might just help you if you’re feeling like your plot is mired down or missing something fundamental.

Place a hold!Writing With Emotion, Tension, and Conflict, by Cheryl St. John

On the other side of the coin, this title glosses over all that hooey about plot and explains the importance of knock-your-socks-off dramatic storytelling.

Dialogue: TechPlace a hold!niques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue, by Gloria Kempton

Available through WCCLS as an e-book, take this one on the bus with you and learn how make your characters sound real. A hint: real-life dialogue doesn’t sound quite normal in fiction! Learning what to cut makes a massive difference.

Bullies, Bastards and Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of FictionPlace a hold!by Jessica Page Morrell

Are your villains just not seeming, well, villainous enough? This book will help in a big way. It’ll teach you how to turn your flat, uninspiring megalomaniac into a complex, deeply flawed character who compels meaningful change in your protagonist. And, since the simple equation for plot is “character change / time”, this ought to be something you want!

Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and HorrorPlace a hold! (multiple authors)

Writing a genre piece for your NaNoWriMo? Interested in genre writing in general? There are some easy pits to fall into when writing genre fiction, and this book helps you to develop compelling content while avoiding the most harmful overused tropes and groaners.

Even if you aren’t participating in NaNoWriMo this year, these titles may just help you get past that wall you’re running into with your story. Remember that there are many other resources in Portland as well – as one of the most literary cities in the nation, you’ll find an abundance of book groups and writing groups, as well as writing centers as colleges across the state who would be delighted to help you move things along. Get writing!

November 19, 2014

Straight Out Of the Box: New Games At CMCL

Filed under: Info, Straight Out of the Box — Tags: , , , — ErinM @ 4:09 pm

JacketLast Friday was International Games Day here at Cedar Mill Library. What a good time to tell you about the new video games we’ve just added to the collection. Take a browse through our shelves in both the Young Adult and Juvenile game sections, or search the catalog to see everything we have.
• Next generation first-person shooters like Destiny (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
• Ultra-realistic racing simulation games such as Forza Horizon (Xbox One) and Driveclub (PS4)
• This years’ major professional sports games, such as Madden ’15, NBA 2K15, FIFA ’15 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One), and NHL ’15 (PS3, PS4)
• Fun games for kids based on popular movies like How to Train Your Dragon 2 (3DS, Xbox 360, Wii U, PS3)
• Quirky multiplayer battling in Plants vs. Zombies : Garden Warfare (Xbox One, PS4)
• Playful fighting with Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS
• And an Innovative game in which you make games, Project Spark (Xbox One)
Take a break and play! — Katie

November 18, 2014

Blurbs From the Branch: Fun History for Teens

Filed under: Blurbs from the Branch, Books, Teens — Tags: , , , , — Becca B @ 8:00 am

howtheycroakedGeorgia Bragg makes history fun in two books that focus on lesser known facts about people that dominate our history books. These books are full of humor and interesting tidbits that you aren’t going to learn just anywhere.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully FamousFamous people don’t always die pretty deaths, and more often than not, these deaths are sugar coated for the masses. This book aims to do just the opposite by giving readers the nitty gritty details of the deaths of 14 people from history, while also clearing up some seriously incorrect myths about how these people died. For example, without giving too much away, Cleopatra was not, in fact, killed by an asp bite. This book isn’t for squeamish stomachs as some of these deaths (Henry VIII’s especially) are pretty grody. (Although, Henry VIII completely deserved it.)

How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous – Did you know that Thomas Alva Edison was a people-hating workaholic? Or that the man who owned the Titanic weaseled his way onto a life boat by saying there were no more women and children around to be saved? This book is all about how not-so-great or successful some of the most famous people in history actually were. It will definitely surprise you.

November 17, 2014

Off the Shelf: Don’t Call it a “Best of” List

Filed under: Music, Off the Shelf — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mark @ 2:41 pm

Apparently releasing a “Best of the Year” list in November is as bad as putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. So this isn’t a best of list. It is a “I really enjoyed this album at some point this year” list.

Heal by Strand of Oaks

I listened to this album once and later kept thinking, “What was that amazing song I heard recently?” It was the title track of the 2014 release by Strand of Oaks, Heal. Wanting to hear that song led to listening to the album again. And again. And again. And then again a few more times. This album is so eclectic and interesting I don’t know what else to say about it other than check it out.

Singles by Future Islands

When this album starts I feel like I’m watching a teen movie from the 80s. Then, bear with me, I am constantly reminded of the song Trey Parker finds on the radio in Baseketball. (If that sentence means nothing to you, borrow Baseketball from the library!) I find this album totally bizarre. I sometimes don’t understand why it is so good, which is probably why it is so good.

The Black Market by Rise Against

Even though they have been releasing records for fifteen years, I’ve never spent a lot of time listening to Rise Against. One listen of The Black Market and I was hooked. It’s always bittersweet to find a “new” band that has an extensive back catalogue to explore. It’s simply sweet to find that the newest album, which you cannot stop listening to, is one of their best.  Whether you’ve never heard of Rise Against or have been listening to them for a decade and a half, if you’re a fan of punk rock music, you’re going to like The Black Market.

Get Hurt by The Gaslight Anthem

The latest release from The Gaslight Anthem was one of my most highly anticipated albums of the year. Of course, looking forward to something, building expectations, nearly always results in disappointment. After the first listen I was a little disappointed. There were some great tracks, but as an album it wasn’t doing it for me. However, time and time again I was listening to it, in spite of my reservations. I grew to like it more and more. Get Hurt is a great band’s worst album. Still pretty darn good.

Hopefully, 2014 brought you plenty of new discoveries, music and otherwise. There is still time to unearth a few new, great things before the end of the year. Check out these albums before you compile your “Best of 2014”. But don’t even think of making that list before Thanksgiving!


November 13, 2014

Kid’s Corner: International Games Day Saturday!

Filed under: Event, Kid's Corner — Tags: , , , — jennytf @ 10:42 am

Thousands of people internationally will be gathering at their local libraries to play games this Saturday! This map shows who is participating. Cedar Mill Library is hosting an after-hours evening of game playing fun from 6-9 pm. Bring the whole family for a great evening of playing games. Choose from our supply of games or bring one from home to share!

PicMonkey Collage international games night

Cedar Mill Library will be celebrating International Games Day

Saturday, November 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

November 11, 2014

Blurbs From the Branch: An Egg-cellent Read!

Filed under: Blurbs from the Branch, Books, Cooking — Tags: , , — Becca B @ 8:00 am

eggHot off the hold shelf I recently received the cookbook Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient, by Michael Ruhlman. Oh my – what a book! It’s filled with recipes using the magnificent egg in every way – whole, raw, separated, even deep fried! The photos are mouthwatering, each picture designed to make your stomach seriously grumble. I assumed the recipes would be complicated, but some are not! They even have a recipe for hollandaise sauce that can be made in a blender – who knew??? And best of all, it comes with a wonderful egg chart. I won’t spoil it for you, but it is very, very clever and very, very long. So get cracking and check out this book!


November 10, 2014

Off the Shelf: Flashback Favorites of 1974

Filed under: Books, Library, Movies & TV, Music, Off the Shelf — LauraTorg @ 6:15 am

Forty years ago Cedar Mill Library was founded. Plenty has changed since then, but what’s surprising is how many of 1974’s hit books, movies, TV shows, and songs are still widely enjoyed today- and available at the library! Here’s just a taste:

blog stingIn 1974 the Robert Redford and Paul Newman caper The Sting won an Oscar for Best Picture. Mel Brooks had a big year; Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles were two of the top grossing films of the year. Multi-star ensemble disaster films were hot too, with The Towering Inferno and Earthquake also among the top grossing films.

Sanford and Son was one of the most popular TV show, and you can revisit all 6 seasons on DVD. Other must see TV included The Waltons, The Price is Right, and The Six Million Dollar Man.

blog innervisionsIn music, Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly won the Record of the Year Grammy, and Stevie Wonder garnered an Album of the Year Grammy for Innervisions. Many of 1974′s hit songs are still instantly sing-able. All it takes is seeing the titles “Rock the Boat,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” or “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” to recall them.

blog gulagForty years ago, a new hardback book would have cost you $10. Small pulp paperbacks cost just $2, while larger paperbacks averaged $7-9. Of course, in 1974, the average household income in the United States was around $12,000 per year, so everything is relative! Bestselling books still read today include the shark-attack shocker Jaws by Peter Benchley (which would become an iconic film the following year), Shel Silverstein’s delightfully irreverent Where the Sidewalk Ends, and John LeCarre’s spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  Following publication of his prison system critique The Gulag Archipelago, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn made international news when he was deported from his native Soviet Union.

For more of these flashback favorites, check out the display window next to the second set of entrance doors at the Cedar Mill Library during the month of November. Can’t make it in? Revisit all the hits here you’ll be humming Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” in no time!

~Laura T.

blog tv triple

November 7, 2014

Checking In: Lunch With An Author

If you could have lunch with an author – ANY author, alive or dead – who would you choose? Would you ask them how they came up with their great ideas? Pick a bone? Or just chat? Here are some author suggestions from your friendly circ staff!

Oscar WildePC chose OSCAR WILDE because he would like Wilde to narrate key scenes from The Importance of Being Earnest just for him. No better way to understand the nuance of the book!

- The Importance of Being Earnest

- The Picture of Dorian Gray

- The Exquisite Life of Oscar Wilde, by Stephen Calloway

Robertson DaviesJI picked ROBERTSON DAVIES, specifically to speak about his second novel called What’s Bred in the Bone.

- The Rebel Angels

- What’s Bred in the Bone

- The Lyre of Orpheus

Russell ShortoKL, who just went to Amsterdam this spring, chose RUSSELL SHORTO to chat about his experience writing a guidebook to the city.

Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City

The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America

Stephen KingLP decided on STEPHEN KING, to ask him about his writing process and talk about one of her favorite novels of his- 11/22/63.

- The Stand

- Under the Dome


Ann-RuleSMC said she wants to have lunch with ANN RULE, for two reasons: she only writes about solved cases, so she knows that “the weirdo is already in jail,” and it would be fascinating to hear Rule’s firsthand experience of friendship with Ted Bundy before anyone knew what he was. This story is chronicled in Rule’s book, The Stranger Beside Me.

- Small Sacrifices

- The Stranger Beside Me

Green River, Running Red

Octavia-ButlerCW wants to speak with OCTAVIA BUTLER and have a good philosophical talk about what is potentially her most famous novel, Kindred.

Parable of the Talents

- Kindred

robert-munschSC would love to say hello to ROBERT MUNSCH and learn more about his whimsical books for kids:

- Love You Forever

- The Paper Bag Princess

Bette HagmanMW would enjoy taking BETTE HAGMAN to a good restaurant specializing in gluten-free food and speaking about her cookbook:

- The Gluten Free Gourmet

- The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread

Barack ObamaSCH is aiming high: he calls on none other than BARACK OBAMA to grab a bite with him and discuss The Audacity of Hope.

The Audacity of Hope

- Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Jim HarrisonLW chose JIM HARRISON, whose writing she has been into for several years now – despite his scruffy appearance, he is an eminently intelligent writer whose strength of character would surely show through in a conversation over lunch.

- Dalva

- Legends of the Fall

- Brown Dog: Novellas

Cheryl StrayedHV decided on CHERYL STRAYED, because her writing is so raw and honest that it would be terrific to get a dose of that in person.

- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

- Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Life and Love From Dear Sugar

Jaime SabinesRE, who is a poet, would be delighted to have lunch with JAIME SABINES and perhaps engage in some collaborative creation. His work is originally in Spanish, but some of it has been translated to English as well for those who would like to enjoy. Although we carry none in our own collections (yet), now seems a great time to remind everyone about WorldCat and our Interlibrary Loan Service – if we don’t have it, we’ll try our best to get it from someone who does!

Harper LeeKMR wants to chat with HARPER LEE and ask her why she stopped after just one world-changing novel!

- To Kill a Mockingbird

- I Am Scout: A Biography of Harper Lee, by Charles Shields

Isaac AsimovAnd me? I waffled on this question for a while, but in the end I decided I would like to have met ISAAC ASIMOV. For lunch, in passing, at Powell’s, wherever- his curiosity, scientific optimism, and appreciation for knowledge in all forms and disciplines is a basic tenet of my life, and no books embody it more completely than his iconic Foundation series. (Plus, he’s got those wicked mutton chops)

- Foundation Trilogy

- I, Robot

- I, Asimov: A Memoir

As always, happy reading!


November 6, 2014

Kid’s Corner: Rediscover James Marshall

Filed under: Kid's Corner — Tags: , , , — jennytf @ 11:59 am

When I brought home George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends” by James Marshall, I thought it would be fun to show my kids an author whose books were a memorable part of my childhood. Well, once we started reading, we were so happy to keep reading that we read the entire book at bedtime one night. I know we all appreciated the gentle side of the stories, but we also enjoyed Marshall’s knowing sense of humor and playfulness. He was cool. And the stories are deceptively simple. Through the hippos, Marshall shows us human nature and how making it up to our friends after a misunderstanding can be a sweet and hilarious process.

George and MarthaMarshall passed away from a brain tumor on October 13, 1992 at age 50. Here is an excerpt from a wonderful and candid tribute written by his friend Maurice Sendak:

“If I remember with terrible pain my lost friend and colleague, it is only because James raised the art of friendship to an exhilarating height. I think myself the luckiest of men to have shared his sweet warmth and confidence. There is a small army of people who, I’m certain, feel the same way. He made me laugh until I cried. No one else could ever do that. He was a wicked angel and will be missed forever…Marshall’s work is undated, fresh and fragrant as a new spring garden. Nothing says this better than the 35 George and Martha stories. If one of James’s most remarkable attributes was his genius for friendship, then George and Martha are the quintessential expression of that genius. Those dear, ditzy, down-to-earth hippos bring serious pleasure to everybody, not only to children. They are time-capsule hippos who will always remind us of a paradise in publishing and — both seriously and comically — of the true, durable meaning of friendship under the best and worst conditions.” 


November 4, 2014

Blurbs From the Branch: 10 Books to Read Before the Film Adaptation is Released

Filed under: Blurbs from the Branch, Books, Books to Film, Movies — Tags: — Becca B @ 8:00 am

Rosewater_posterIf you need some ideas for what to read this fall and winter, you may want to check these out before you see the soon-to-be released movie adaptations.

Rosewater, based on Maziar Bahari’s Then They Came For Me
Wild, based on Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed
Inherent Vice, based on Thomas Pynchon’s book of the same title
Unbroken, based on Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Lauren Hillenbrand
American Sniper, based on American sniper : the Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, by Chris Kyle
Still Alice, based on Lisa Genova’s book of the same title
The Humbling, based on Philip Roth’s book of the same name
The Seventh Son, based on the first book in The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney, Revenge of the Witch
Deadpool, based on Marvel’s Deadpool character and comic series
Kingsman, based on The Secret Service comic series by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons


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