Linda Stevens's blog

Guess the Birdies & Support the Friends of the Library

hcfolThe 2014 Shell Houston Open will be held on March 31- April 6, 2014 and the Harris County Friends of the Library will be raising funds through Birdies for Charity .  How is the money used?  The Friends help pay for the summer reading activities,  educational and cultural programs at library branches, and eBooks for the collection.  

How can you participate?  It's easy.  You make a minimum pledge of a penny for every birdie made Wednesday through Sunday by the pros at the Shell Houston Open or make a donation of $20 or more.  For every penny per birdie pledged, you get a guess as to how many birdies will be made this year.  For every $20 pledged, you get a g...

Try Out the New Library Catalog

Don't panic!  We've got the new library catalog ready for you to test, but the same familiar search is still the one you'll be using from the library website.  We think you're going to like the new features that make it easier than ever to access all of the resources in our collection, no matter the format.  Look for:

  • Smarter search technology that makes it easier to find exactly what you're looking for
  • Featured NYT Bestseller Lists and New Items Lists
  • New texting and social media features
  • Spell Check
  • Individual "My List" creation
  • Ability to place multiple holds at once

Take a test run of our new catalog:

I Heart Historical Romance Series

sweet revengeI know it is more fashionable in the romance genre right now to be reading about billionaires in dire need of therapy, but my personal favorites have always been the historicals.  Recently, I've discovered two series in particular that have really kept my Kindle clicking.

Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane Series

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Delightful Romantic Comedy

rosie projectNormally, I write about books that live strictly in the romance genre and about topics more than specific titles.  I recently finished one that is making me break out of my rut and post a review of a book that is more fiction than romance -- The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion.  Imagine the character of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory was Australian and actually someone interested in finding a wife. Then set him in a romantic comedy worthy...

New Adult Romance at the Library

beautiful disasterHave you noticed the sudden increase in the number and popularity of books about people who are no longer high schoolers, but not quite grown-ups?  It has been such a publishing phenomenon that those of us who like to categorize things came up with a genre label -- New Adult.  Usually these books feature main characters between 18 and 25, just discovering who they are and what they might want out of life.  

I could no longer even be considered a new-ish adult, but I have tried and enjoyed a few of these titles.  They are usually dramatic and intense, most dealing with overcoming a serio...

Introducing HCPL eSelect: Our Exclusive New eBook Collection

eselectHarris County Public Library is proud to introduce HCPL eSelect, an exclusive new eBook collection made up of titles purchased directly from independent authors and publishers. The items in this collection are owned and managed by HCPL, so they can be directly checked out from the library’s catalog and are listed in your main library account with any other paper books, DVDs or CDs you borrow.

HCPL’s eBooks are so popular that over 637,000 were checked out last year – about the same circulation as one of the system’s largest physical libraries. Most of us already know about the popularity of eBooks.  What you might not know is that many major publishers won’t sell their eBooks to libraries. By working directly with independent authors and publishers, HCPL is able to expand our...

Short and Sweet

governess affairI'm going to just come right out and admit it -- I am a fan of the novella.  There are some nights I come home tired and simply want to relax and read a book I can finish before I go to bed.  It seems like novellas have been experiencing a boom in popularity lately, particularly in eBook format.  Some are part of a theme, stories based on a holiday or a love of pets, for example.  Some bookend a series, giving a glimpse into the beginning or the end of a story.  Some occupy the same world as a popular series, but completely stand on their own.  So,...

Have Book - Will Travel to a Desert Island

It happened so fast, but we're in the final week of summer reading!  We've all heard a form of this question, but this week we're wondering what book you'd take with you to keep you company while you were stuck on a desert island.  Even though I've had time to think about this, I must admit that I'm still not sure what my book will be this week.  ONE book?  Unfathomable!

Will it be the book that holds my all-time re-reading record, Pride and Prejudice?  

Don't Miss Out On Summer Reading Fun

sharpie tie dyeThere's still time to sign up for summer reading -- registration runs through Saturday, August 10th!  Prize drawings for each age group will be done on Monday, August 19th, among participants who have completed the program.  Check out the celebrations at your local library this week.  Don't miss out!

  • Babies -- Drawings for Toddler Rkindle paperwhite winnereading Hats at each Branch
  • Children -- Drawings for Plush Traveling Giraffes at each Branch
  • Teens -- Drawings for Book Stuffed Backpacks at...

We Have a Winner at Maud Marks Branch Library

asrp winnerCongratulations to Katie, a reader at the Maud Marks Branch Library!  Katie is the second winner in the eReader drawings for adult Summer Reading participants and is pictured here with her brand new Kindle Paperwhite.  Don't miss your chance to be a drawing winner before the end of summer.  Register for the adult program by Saturday, August 10th and complete the program to be eligible for one of the two grand prize drawings of a Kindle Fire.  Thanks to the Harris County Friends of the Library for their generous donation of prizes for all HCPL Summer Reading programs.

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