Book Club Kit: Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes cover imageClose Your Eyes
by Amanda Eyre Ward
First Published: 2011
10 Copies & Reading Guide

For most of her life, Lauren Mahdian has been certain of two things: that her mother is dead, and that her father is a murderer. Before the horrific tragedy, Lauren led a sheltered life on the banks of Long Island Sound, a haven of luxurious homes and seemingly perfect families. But one morning, eight-year-old Lauren and her older brother awoke to discover their mother’s body and their beloved father arrested for the murder.

Years later, Lauren is surrounded by uncertainty. Startling revelations force her to peek under the floorboards of her carefully constructed memories, put aside the version of history that she has clung to so fiercely, and search for the truth of what really happened that fateful night long ago.

Reader’s Guide:

Random House – Includes a Summary, Author Bio, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Reviews & Articles:
Kirkus Reviews
Publisher’s Weekly

You Also Might Like:
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
The Winters in Bloom by Lisa Tucker
The Sisters by Nancy Jensen

Did your book club read Close Your Eyes? Tell us what you thought by leaving a comment or join us over at Goodreads!

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Book Club Kit: The Sandcastle Girls

Sandcastle Girls cover imageThe Sandcastle Girls
By Chris Bohjalian
First Published 2012
10 Copies & Reading Guide

When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. It’s 1915, and Elizabeth has volunteered to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian Genocide during the First World War. There she meets Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. After leaving Aleppo and traveling into Egypt to join the British Army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, realizing that he has fallen in love with the wealthy young American.

Years later, their American granddaughter, Laura, embarks on a journey back through her family’s history, uncovering a story of love, loss—and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

Reader’s Guide:
Random House

Reviews & Articles:
The Washington Post – “Chris Bohjalian’s ‘The Sandcastle Girls’ Relives the Armenian Genocide” by Eugenia Zukerman
The Armenian Weekly – “The Kernel That Led to the Novel, The Sandcastle Girls” by Chris Bohjalian
Lonely Planetmap of Armenia

Author’s Website: http://www.chrisbohjalian.com

You Might Also Like:
Toby’s Room by Pat Barker
Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd
The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian

Did your book club read The Sandcastle Girls? Tell us what you thought by leaving a comment or join us over at Goodreads!

Book Club Kit: Wild From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild cover imageWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
By Cheryl Strayed
First Published: 2012
10 Copies & Reading Guide

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered, and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Reading Guide:
Random House – Includes a Summary, Author Bio, Brief Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Reviews:
NPR – “A Walk on the Wild Side” by Michael Schaub
New York Times – “The High Road Wild, a Hiking Memoir” by Dani Shapiro

Author’s Website: http://www.cherylstrayed.com

You Also Might Like:
Home is a Roof Over a Pig by Aminta Arrington
The Old Ways: A Journey on foot by Robert MacFarlane
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Listened to a good book lately?

OneClickDigitalWe’ve talked a lot about our 3M Cloud Library eBook collection lately, but we haven’t forgotten about the eBooks digital cousin: downloadable audio books. With our OneClick Digital service, you can download audio books to your home computer with the OCD Media Manager to listen on your PC or to transfer to your MP3 player. You can also listen on the go by downloading the OneClick digital app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play for Android devices.

Our OneClick Digital collection from RecordedBooks is constantly growing with new titles added regularly. Below we’ve shared a few hidden gems in our collection:

OneClick Digital

Be sure to check out our previous posts for additional titles and tips on using the OneClick Digital platform:

If you have any issues along the way with downloading an audiobook or installing the media manager, check out OneClick Digital’s Support site for step-by-step instructions, video tutorials, and more.

3M Cloud Library App Improvements

3M Cloud LibraryWe hope everyone is enjoying our new eBook service! As with any computer or tablet applications, 3M is constantly trying to improve the service they offer through the Cloud Library. Over the past month a new Mac app launched, the PC App improved, and updates are coming to the Android and iOS apps! Finally, the 3M Portal Page has been updated with new information – including support videos!

PC APP UPDATE:

If you’ve opened the PC Application recently, you may be prompted to update the PC App. After the update has loaded you will be asked to log-in again. Please note, that any shortcuts you created to the app may also need to be changed.

These updates include a variety of new improvements – some you might notice and some that simply make the product better.

Two big changes:

A link back to the full PCLD Catalog are now available at the bottom of the search screen. So if you can’t find your favorite by Debbie Macomber, you can easily head over to the full catalog and complete your search for the physical book.

PC App Updates

A direct link back to our Digital Books page is available under the “i” icon located at the top right of the application. Once you click on the icon, a screen pops up with a few different options:

  • Feedback – You can email suggestions for improvements and new features to 3M.
  • Online Help – This is a less than helpful option that sends you to a 3M products page.
  • End User License Agreement – Provides you with text for the agreement you accept when you first log-in.
  • Library Support – This will link you back to our Digital Books page which includes FAQs and how-to guides.

Unfortunately, this update did not include a check-in feature within the PC Application, but we hope this option returns to the PC soon.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve added many new titles and are trying to stay on top of all of the wish list requests.

We’ve also posted a few eBook blog posts you might have missed:

Be on the lookout for a survey in the coming weeks relating to eBooks and the 3M Cloud Library.

Thanks for your support and for making our launch a big success!

Free Downloadable eBooks

While we’re really enjoying our new 3M Cloud Library eBook collection, there are still many hurdles to jump. EBooks for libraries are expensive and have many restrictions set by the publishers – so much to our dismay, we can’t offer you every book ever published. However, there are other ways for you to find free and less-expensive eBook options. There are thousands of free eBooks available to download to your eBook or tablet, but finding them can be difficult.

But remember, while we can provide you with resources to try out, your device still might not work with the service. Some eReaders and tablets use proprietary formats that will not allow you to download eBooks from some sources – one example is that you cannot (at this time) download Project Gutenberg titles to a Kindle Fire.

Project GutenbergProject Gutenberg – This website makes thousands of titles available that are out of copyright, plus each book is available in multiple formats. That means these titles are available to download on basic eReaders and tablets. Check out Project Gutenberg’s MobileReader How-To to find out how to get their titles on your device.

Open LibraryOpen Library – This project, part of the Internet Archive, is an editable library catalog. They provide free eBooks and books available to borrow through their lending library.

ManyBooks.netManyBooks.net – This site includes many of the Project Gutenberg eTexts, but also has public domain titles and Creative Commons works from other sources.

SmashwordsSmashwords – If you’re looking for indie eBooks, check out Smashwords – an eBook distributor. Once you register with the site, you can create your own personal Smashwords library and find affordable self-published eBooks, plus many free titles.

Baen BooksBaen Free Library – Looking for Science Fiction & Fantasy titles? Take a look at Baen’s collection of free titles. Authors choose to make their works available for free, so many of the titles are the first in the series; however, their eBooks are also reasonably priced.

feedbooksFeedbooks – The site includes free original works and public domain titles. You can sort the collection by price or simply browse the free eBooks listings.

InkmeshInkMesh – Recently published works are rarely available for free, but you can search for a title on InkMesh to compare prices across platforms and websites. InkMesh even provides you with information on what eBooks are free at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and many other eBook vendor websites.

Also try…
Depending on your eReader or tablet, you might be able to find daily discounts and a listing of free ebooks on the website for your eReader brand.

Don’t forget to search the Google Play store for your Android device and the iBooks store on your iPhone or iPad.

For more resources, check out these blog posts:

Searching in the 3M Cloud Library

3M Cloud LibraryWhen you first login to Pinal County Library District’s 3M Cloud Library, the screen will open up to the Shelves tab. On this page you will see row after row and cover after cover of books available in our eBook collection. You can also browse through the Categories tab if you aren’t sure what you want, but you know the genre you’re interested in reading.

Search Android

Click the image to enlarge

But maybe you know exactly what you want – you don’t want to waste your time browsing – you can simply do a SEARCH.

Look for the SEARCH tab at the top or bottom of your screen. The screen might look a little different depending on which version of the 3M Cloud Library app you’re using, but the basic functions are available on each app.

Search iPAD

Click the image to enlarge

Like the Categories tab, the Search tab has options available that will limit or expand your search results. You can choose one of two search options:

  • Show Only Books Available to Check Out – This option will limit your search and provide you with only those titles that you can check out immediately.
  • Include Books Not in My Library – This option will expand your search to include ALL titles 3M has available for libraries to license. This can be a very overwhelming option because it will include thousands of titles that are not available for you to check out, but you can place the titles on your Wish List.
Search_PCApp

Click the image to enlarge

You can sort your results by:

  • Relevance (default)
  • Title
  • Author
  • Rating
  • Newest/Publishing Year (varies based on app).

If you’d like to search the collection without downloading an app, you can do that on the Browsing Website. However, to read a book from the 3M Cloud Library, you will need to download one of the reader apps. Also, the apps will allow for a much faster searching experience.

Head over to our Digital Books page to find more information and to access guides to help you get started.

Another Way to Browse Our eBook Collection

3M Cloud LibraryWhen you first login to Pinal County Library District’s 3M Cloud Library, the screen will open up to the Shelves tab. On this page you will see row after row and cover after cover of books available in our eBook collection. You can browse these shelves, but not all of our titles appear here. To see even more eBooks, look through the CATEGORIES.

The screen might look a little different depending on which version of the 3M Cloud Library app you’re using, but the basic functions are available on each app.

Categories on the 3M Cloud Library Apps

Categories View on the 3M Cloud Library Apps — Click the image to enlarge.

Before you begin browsing on the Categories page, you can choose a filtering option to help you expand or limit your search (the filter button is highlighted in red on each app screenshot above):

  • Include Books Not In Library – This option will expand your search to include ALL titles 3M has available for libraries to license. This can be a very overwhelming option because it will include thousands of titles that are not available for you to check out.
  • Books Owned by Library – This is the default option and will allow you to browse the books in the Pinal County Library District’s collection.
  • Books Available to Check Out – This option will limit your browsing to only those titles currently available to check out. This is a great option if you want to start reading a title without having to worry about placing a hold.

Once you’ve selected your filtering option, you can start browsing the categories!

Each category is broken down into subcategories. For instance, FICTION includes Classics, Fantasy, Romance, and more. On tablet devices, like a Samsung Galaxy Note or an iPad, you will need to tap on one of the categories you are interested in to see the subcategories.

Below we’ve tapped on Fiction on our Samsung Galaxy Tab and now we are looking at the Subcategories for Fiction. A book’s publisher determines the categories for each title and many books have multiple categories. For example, you might find Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich in Fiction under Romance, Mystery & Detective, and Humorous.

Categories

Fiction Subcategories on a Samsung Galaxy Tab

If you’d like to see all of the titles in a Category, simple select “List View” in the Windows PC App or “Show All Books” on your Android or iOS device. The List View option in the Windows PC App functions just like the Shelves “List View.” See our previous post on browsing the Shelves for more info on this feature in the Windows PC App.

On any of the apps, you may have to scroll to the bottom of the page and click or tap “load more” for more titles to load in a category or subcategory.

If you’d like to browse through the categories without downloading an app, you can do that on the Browsing Website. However, to read a book from the 3M Cloud Library, you will need to download one of the reader apps. Also, the apps will allow for a much faster browsing experience.

Head over to our Digital Books page to find more information and to access guides to help you get started.

Want to Browse the eBook Shelves?

3M Cloud LibraryWant to browse our eBook collection to find a good book? There are a few different ways to do this, but today we’re going to go over browsing using the Shelves tab in the 3M Cloud Library apps.

When you first login to Pinal County Library District’s 3M Cloud Library, the screen will open up to the Shelves tab. On this page you will see row after row and cover after cover of books available in our eBook collection.

The Shelves are separated by different categories and we will change them out periodically – we might remove a shelf, add a shelf, or change the books on a shelf. Right now we have shelves for Holiday-themed books, Fifty Shades Readalikes, Best Books of 2012, and a variety of genre shelves.

The screen might look a little different depending on which version of the 3M Cloud Library app you’re using, but the basic functions all work the same.

3M Cloud Library Apps

You can scroll or swipe up & down to see more shelves. If you see a shelf you like, swipe across the shelf to see more titles. If you’re using the Windows PC App, click on the arrows to the left and right of the screen to navigate across a shelf.

Some shelves have more titles than can be seen on the main shelves page. To see the rest of the titles, select “List View.”

Shelves on Windows PC App

Shelves on the Windows PC App

Once you’ve clicked on “List View” a new page opens up with a list of titles on the shelf. You can sort the list by Title, Author, Rating, or Newest. “Newest” is based on when it was added to our collection. Again, where the “Sort” option lives depends on your device.

On the “List View” screen, you can also see what titles are available to Check Out. If a title is checked out by another user, you can place a hold by clicking or tapping on the gray “Add to Hold List” button. On devices with smaller screens, you will need to tap on the title and then the options to place a hold or check out will appear.

List View on 3M Cloud Library PC App

List View on the Windows PC App

Ratings are determined by 3M Cloud Library users. You can rate any book in our collection and it will be averaged with the ratings from ALL users across the country using the 3M Cloud Library.

To leave the “List View” screen, click on “Back”. The location of the “Back” button varies based on your device. On an iPhone or iPad, it will be in the top left corner. On most Android devices it will be the same curvy back arrow you use for all apps. On the PC App, it is a large “Back” button at the top left under “Shelves.”

If you’d like to browse the shelves without downloading an app, you can do that on the Browsing Website. However, to read a book from the 3M Cloud Library, you will need to download one of the reader apps. Head over to our Digital Books page to find more information and to access guides to help you get started.

“Cloud Library” eBooks Coming to your Living Room

Pinal County Press Release

FLORENCE, AZ – The Pinal County Library District is launching an eBook service at a special event at the Florence Community Library on December 4 at 5:30 PM. The Florence Community Library is located at 1000 South Willow Street.

“This is our next step in putting the library in your living room, your doctor’s office, your back yard, your vacation site or wherever you may choose to access our eBooks from your electronic device,” said Denise Keller, Pinal County Library District Director. “Our bricks and mortar libraries are here to stay but eBooks are growing in popularity so we obtained grant funding to offer them also.”

“All you need is a device like a Nook, iPhone or iPad, Kobo reader, Android phone or tablet device and a library card with a PIN number. On December 4, we can show you how easy it is to get the free Cloud Library application and check out your first free eBook,” Keller said.

If you can’t make it to the December 4 event, the Library District’s eBooks webpage has tutorials and Frequently Asked Questions available to you.

Users can download up to three eBooks at a time and the ‘check out’ period is three weeks per book. Extremely popular books may be placed on hold for a short time. This is because just like stocking hard-copy books on shelves, publishers require libraries to abide by a ‘one copy/one user’ model. The library licenses a certain quantity of eligible downloads. Once the quota is reached, you would have to place the item on your hold list and wait until it is available.

The Apache Junction Public Library and the Casa Grande Public Library entered into an agreement for a different eBook platform and those locations have eBook capabilities already. This will be a brand new service for the remaining 10 libraries in Pinal County.

The 3M Cloud Library application will host more than 400 titles at launch with more titles being added in the months and weeks to follow.

If you don’t currently have a library card and you want to obtain one, go to http://goo.gl/AHXL1 to learn about getting a library card.

This project is supported with funds granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Agency under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Using this grant, the Pinal County Library District was able to license the 3M Cloud Library application that hosts the downloadable eBooks and will be tied into the County’s full library catalog, which can be viewed on the county website.