David Cherry's blog

Book Hunters in Brief #85: Women of Rock

There was a time--not all that long ago--when a guy could say, "she plays guitar pretty good...for a girl" without being thought to be a barely-sentient accretion of cheese puff dust and questionable hygienic practices.

Those days are gone (at least among reasonably enlightened music lovers) and, in the case of rock and roll, it only took sixty or seventy years!

This week, Book Hunters give a shout out to women who rock.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Scheduled Network Maintenance: All HCPL Online Service Will Be Temporarily Unavailable

Starting at 9:30 p.m. Friday, August, 7, all Harris County Public Library online service will be temporarily unavailable.

Our Network Services team will be performing configuration and hardware upgrades this weekend. All work should be completed within 4 - 6 hours. During that time all online services will be unavailable. This includes the catalog and the digital media collection.

We thank you for your patience and assure you that we will do our best to make the downtime as brief as possible.


Book Hunters in Brief #84: Emotions

One of the more troublesome things about being a youngster is that you have all the same feelings that grown-ups do, but you don't have names for them yet. Sure, you figure out happy and angry pretty early on. It's some of the others--envy, anxiety, aggravation, desire--to name just a few that give one fits. They're all valid human reactions to the world, but they are hard even for adults to identify when experiencing them.

Book Hunters in Brief #83: Tiny Heroes

Heroes come in as many shapes and sizes as there are reasons that they are heroic. This week, Book Hunters want to celebrate the tiniest of the heroes with these reading recommendations for the younger folks (and younger at heart) in our audience.

E.L. Doctorow, 1931 - 2015

I’m afraid I owe E.L. Doctorow better than I will be able to muster here. You see his novel Ragtime was the first grown up book I ever read. It was 1976, I was twelve years old and visiting my grandparents for the summer. They had rented a cabin on Grand Lake near Alpena, Michigan. One afternoon when the adults were napping—resting up from their early morning fishing—and I had had my fill of swimming, I rummaged through the left-behind-by-renters books of the lodge’s meager library. The book was, as I recall, the only one there that neither dealt with the best ways to catch the biggest fish, nor having a picture of a muscular, bare-chested hunk and a swooning damsel on the cover. Doctorow did something that day for which I will always be indebted to him. He showed me that books written for adults were not necessarily like adults themselves: dull, prone to long, confusing lectures and all but inscrutable. This book moved.

Stay Safe, Keep Cool @ HCPL

I was going to make a joke about the heat, but it's just too hot for anything that strenuous, and besides, weather like we've been having (and will be having for the foreseeable future) is serious business, and can be dangerous, especially to those whose bodies may be more vulnerable to its effects: the very young, seniors and those who are ill. Harris County Public Library asks that you take a little time to check on your neighbors who might be at risk, lend a helping hand if needed, and always keep in mind that HCPL branches are great places to beat the heat.

Book Hunters in Brief #82: Pluto!

Pluto was my favorite planet even before it was demoted to a planetoid by some heartless poindexter with an ax to grind. I mean, the ninth planet always seemed like my kind of place: cold and dark, with very little in the way of tourism and telemarketing. The fact that it is by all accounts completely devoid of Kardashians is, for me, just icing on that little ball of ice. Pluto's downgrade just solidified my affections. It's not often a person like me can relate to a heavenly body of any sort, but when Pluto was kicked off the team because it was too small, too slow, and not good-looking enough. I, like a lot of people, knew exactly how it felt.

DC Comics Come to Hoopla!

This summer, libraries across the country, including Harris County Public Library, have been celebrating heroes and their stories. Now, Hoopla, our free streaming movie, music and more service, has added DC and Vertigo Comics to its collection, giving you digital access to some of your favorite superheroes--Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash to name just a few. With Hoopla's free app and your HCPL library card, you can download great graphic novels straight to your PC, tablet or smartphone: The Dark Knight Returns, Neil Gaiman's Sandman and the Fables series. Younger readers will find My Little Pony, Madagascar's Penguins, and Tiny Titans, among many others.

As with all of Hoopla's content, you never have to wait copy to become available. You get instant access 24/7.

Book Hunters in Brief #81: Jurassic Reads!

Humans weren't around during the heyday of the dinosaurs, and it's a good thing, too--for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is the fact that our  fast tracked evolutionary progress would have, in all likelihood, come to the proverbial screeching halt had our species represented the equivalent of the giant economy-size bag of potato chips for the various giant economy-size carnivores roaming about.

Book Hunters in Brief #80: Historical Fiction for the 4th of July

This being Houston, Texas, it's been hot since about Valentine's Day, but for me it's not really summer until the fireworks go up on the Fourth of July. That's when "It's too dang hot" becomes an acceptable excuse for avoiding any number of unpleasant chores, and doing any at all besides sipping tall cool drinks, your feet resting on a 20,000 BTU AC while you methodically work down through a big stack of books is not only ill-advised--it's very nearly insane.

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