We Recommend… Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin

woman with a gunWoman With A Gun is the newest novel by Phillip Margolin.  This is a murder mystery, plain and simple.  Well, not so simple since there are numerous suspects and the original murder is not solved until the very end of the book.  The photograph of the woman with a gun on the front cover is a photograph that the author saw in a restaurant, and he was so taken with it that he bought it and wrote this novel around it.  There are a number of main characters, one of whom is the young woman novelist who sees the photograph at the Museum of Modern Art and is so excited by it that she wants to write a novel about it.  Yes, just like Margolin!  We are taken back in years to the original murder when the photograph was taken, and then the author dips into the lives of the different characters here and there through the years, finally returning to the young writer who probes in just the right places to solve everything.   This novel is well written and totally engrossing and the photograph really is begging to tell a story.

Post by Eileen Jaffe, Cataloger, Pinal County Library District

2015 Reading Challenge – How to find the right book

An interesting reading challenge is making the rounds on social media, and the Pinal County Library District office is pretty excited about it! Some of the librarians are considering tackling the challenge as a New Year’s Resolution. Reading in and of itself is a good time, but finding books to match each of the challenge criteria is also a lot of fun, and can sometimes feel like a puzzle waiting to be solved. Some of the categories however, can be a bit daunting. Scroll down for some suggestions that may make finding the right book a little easier. As always, you can also contact your local librarian for book recommendations, or write us here.
If you’re interested in trying out the 2015 Reading Challenge, you can download a handy Word version here.

Reading Challenge

How to find:

“A Book set in a different country”

This is a great way to take a vacation without ever leaving home. Begin your search for that perfect getaway by perusing Ann Morgan’s blog, “A Year of Reading the World: 196 countries, countless stories

For more suggestions, try GoodReads extensive list of books in different settings or Fantastic Fiction.

Fantastic Fiction’s homepage has links to Awards, Countries, Series and Years. Click on Countries, select a country, then click on any author. You may need to read the book’s summary to determine the setting.

“A Pulitzer Prize winning book” AND “a Play”

Visit the Pulitzer Prize website and knock out two categories at the same time. This may not be strictly “legal” but I won’t tell if you won’t.  On the right side of the page you will see their “Letters, Drama, and Music” categories. Click on Drama to find a list of award winning plays.

“A Book more than 100 years old”

Project Gutenberg has thousands of free out-of-copyright books to choose from. Browse their catalog by category, or search by author or title. I recently discovered some mystery books written by Burton Egbert Stevenson that are quite good. Download these free books to your computer, tablet or smart phone, or create a list then borrow a copy from your local library.

“A Book with antonyms in the title”

This is an intriguing category but it’s not as easy as you might think to come up with a list of antonyms and then find books you might actually want to read. A good place to start is the Opposite Word website where you can browse or search for antonyms.

Create a list of antonyms, such as odd/even or before/after, then go to our catalog and do a keyword search using each pair of antonyms. Be sure to Search By Title to find your antonyms in the title of the book and not in the summary. If you’re not finding titles of interest in our catalog then you might want to try the same search at your favorite online bookstore.

“A Book that came out the year you were born”

To find the number one New York Times Best Sellers in fiction and non-fiction for the year you were born, go to Hawes Publications site.

If none of the number one titles appeal to you, the Hawes website also has a complete week-by-week list of fiction and non-fiction New York Times Best Sellers. To see these lists, type www.hawes.com followed by the year you were born in the address bar of your web browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) Here are some examples:

Additionally, Krueger Books has list of Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten bestsellers.

“A Book with bad reviews”

Why would you want to read a book with a bad review? There are too many good books, and not enough time to read them, to waste time reading books with bad reviews. But after taking a look at BuzzFeed’s list of “11 Beloved Books with Shockingly Bad Reviews”, you may change your mind. You will be surprised at the reviews some of these well known books received at the time of publication.

You might also want to take a look at “15 Scathing Early Reviews of Classic Novels” from FlavorWire.

“A book that makes you cry”

This is a tricky category. What makes me cry might not affect you at all. And how do you know if a book will make you cry in advance? You could end up reading a lot of books before you find the one that makes you cry.

If the thought of searching for a book in this category makes you feel like crying, then take a look at LifeHack’s “20 Books that Are Guaranteed to Make You Cry” .

Or FlavorWire’s “10 Books guaranteed to Make You Cry”.

“A Book written by an author with your same initials”

While it’s easy to find books written by authors that share your same first or last name, it’s not so easy to ones that with your same initials. A good resource for finding books in this category is Fantastic Fiction.

There are two methods for finding authors with your initials:

1. Do an author search using your first name then scroll through the alphabetical list until you find authors whose last name starts with the same letter as yours.

2. Click on Top Authors, then click on the letter of your last name. Scroll through the results, looking for authors whose first name starts with the same letter as your own.

“Banned Books”

The American Library Association compiles lists of challenged/banned books in order to inform the public of censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. Visit ALA’s website for lists of books in this category but brace yourself, you may be surprised at some of the titles that have made the list.

Post by Shirley, Outreach Librarian for Pinal County Library District

New Year’s Resolution eBooks

Now that the holidays are over, your thoughts may be turning towards that anticipated (and sometimes dreaded) New Year’s Resolution. Your local public library has a large selection of books and DVDs on diet and exercise but I wanted to highlight a few eBooks from our 3M Cloud Library collection: The Paleo Diet is more popular than ever. Here are some titles to inspire you:

9781118294055 cover.indd 9781118611555 cover.indd Paleo Cooking

Living Paleo for Dummies by Melissa Joulwan

Paleo Cookbook for Dummies by Kellyann Petrucci Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry by Elana Amsterdam

Going Vegetarian? These titles will help you started:

GFL_cover.indd Living Vegan 9781440552670cvr.indd Food and Healing
Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko Living Vegan for Dummies by Alexandra Jamieson The $5 a Meal College Vegetarian Cookbook by Nicole Cormier Food and Healing by Annemarie Colbin

Peruse these titles if you want to get up off the couch and start moving, but remember reading about exercise isn’t the same as doing it!

You are your own gym Make the cut Anatomy for Runners Stretching

You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren

Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You by Jillian Michaels

Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry Stretching for Dummies by LaReine Chabut

Are you new to eBooks? Then visit our website for help with the 3M Cloud Library and all of Pinal County’s digital products. http://bit.ly/pcelibrary Good luck with whatever you decide to tackle in 2015! Post by Shirley, Outreach Librarian, Pinal County Library District

We Recommend… Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin

Neil Shubin’s Shubin Inner fishbook, Your Inner Fish: A Journey in the 3.5-Million-Year History of the Human Body, was published in 2009 and in 2014 he hosted a three-part series by the same title on PBS. Prof. Shubin, a paleontologist and professor of anatomy, tells the story of evolution by tracing the various parts of the human body back millions years. One example that I found fascinating was that the structure of our hands resembles that of fish fins.

You don’t need to be a scientist to read his book or to enjoy the PBS series, and the story of his discoveries is both exciting and thought provoking. Reviewer Oliver Sacks calls Shubin’s work “an exhilarating and compelling scientific adventure story that will change forever how you understand what it means to be human” and I agree.

Review by Shirley, Pinal County Library District Outreach Librarian

Find it at your library!

Learn more:
Your Inner Fish on PBS

Other Reviews:
Publisher’s Weekly

More by Neil Shubin:
The Universe Within

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2014


November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo.
Librarians are great advocates and participants of this challenge because it supports our goals of literacy, a love of creative fiction & reading, and it’s just plain fun!

Below you’ll find a compilation of NaNoWriMo resources, as well as a number of other helpful links to get you started on the path toward writing your novel.
Pinal County residents will find noteworthy the links to locally-oriented web forums, events, and meet-ups.

NaNoWriMo Resources

 Writing Resources

Summer Reading Fun in Pinal County!

Well it’s back to school time, but we’re proud to say the libraries in Pinal County made this summer memorable! View our summer slideshow, and learn more about libraries around the county here:  http://bit.ly/pcldlocations

Upcoming Library Closure for Remodeling

Coolidge Public Library AZ

The Coolidge Public Library will be temporarily closed for new flooring from:
07/31/2014 (Computers unavailable at 10am/Doors locked at 2pm) – 8/11/2014.

Library will resume normal business hours on August 12th.

Drop Boxes will be available to return items, however no items will be due during this closure.

New Statewide Research Databases!

On July 1, 2014 the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, in partnership with the county library districts, was pleased to announce its selection of informational databases for public libraries. This collection contains 27 sites intended to assist library patrons in a variety of areas, including homework help, online learning, hobbies, and reference. 

Below you will find links to slideshow and video tutorials on how to use this new collection of research products. 

Gale Cengage Learning Collection
Below you’ll find the Gale package of research databases listed with both their Gale Cengage Learning “On Demand Tutorial” linked, and a tutorial video from one of their official YouTube channels. Browse all the Gale Cengage Learning YouTube channels to discover more:

Academic OneFile

Biography in Context

Books & Authors

Business Insights: Essentials

Business Insights: Global

Career Transitions

Chilton Library

Gale Genealogy Connect

Gale LegalForms

Global Issues in Context

Kids InfoBits

Literature Resource Center

Opposing Viewpoints in Context


Powerspeak Languages

Science in Context

Student Resources in Context

Testing & Education Reference Center

U.S. History in Context

World History in Context

Other Arizona State Library Databases


Britannica Library

Learning Express Library

NoveList Plus

Reference USA

PCLD will be demonstrating 3D Printing at local libraries

Magic Box Flyer for Web

“Come one, come all to see the Magic Box! Watch objects materialize before your very eyes!”

It may seem like magic, or something out of Star Trek, but materializing objects are very real with 3D printing technology!

In his 2013 State of the Union Address President Barack Obama said, “3-D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything”.

Indeed, 3D Printing is a fascinating technology which will impact how we manufacture everything from everyday objects, art, and even artificial limbs!

Do you want to see a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer in action? Come see a live, free demonstration!

FREE Demonstrations*:

June 13th, 1:00pm – Arizona City Community Library

June 17th, 1:00pm – Eloy Santa Cruz Library

June 23rd, 2:00pm – Vista Grande Library

June 25th, 12:30pm (Adult Lunch & Learn) – North School Multipurpose Room 351 N. Arizona Blvd. Coolidge

June 25th, 3:00pm (Tween/Teen program) – Coolidge Public Library

June 26th, 2:00pm (Kids) – Superior Public Library

June 26th, 6:00pm (Teens/Adults) – Superior Public Library

July 8th, 3:30pm – Eloy Santa Cruz Library

July 10th, 2:00pm – Maricopa Public Library

July 15th, 3:00pm – Mammoth Public Library

*all demonstrations during Summer Reading programs unless otherwise indicated

If you’d like to learn more about Pinal County’s 3D printing programming, follow them on Facebook or Twitter. You can confirm all demonstration dates on the Pinal County Library District’s Event Calendar.

Computer & Internet Access at Your Library! [SURVEY CLOSED]

Impact Survey

We want to hear from you! From May 5th to May 30, 2014 the library will be running an online survey to understand how patrons use the library’s technology so we can provide resources and services that are valuable to the community. The Impact Survey is anonymous, available in English and Spanish, and takes 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey is confidential and does not collect any personally identifiable information.

Please support the library and help us improve our services. Go to the following website to fill out the survey or access it from one of the library’s public access computers.

Impact Survey is a project of the University of Washington Information School. For more information about the Impact Survey, inquire at the library information desk or visit http://impactsurvey.org.