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Upcoming Bay Area Literary Events

Upcoming Bay Area Literary Events

Springtime means the flowers are blooming, the leaves are reappearing on the trees, and new books are coming out! Check out some of these great authors making appearances near you.

thirdtwinFebruary 28, 7pm, @ Kepler’s
Are you a fan of thrilling, spine-tingling stories? Meet authors C.J. Omololu (Transcendence), Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Kimberly Derting (The Taking) and Kelley Armstrong, who are all presenting their latest suspenseful novels.

March 8, 4pm, @ Mrs. Dalloway’s
Body positivity and acceptance are things we could all be reminded of. Author Connie Sobczak will talk about her new book, Embody, which strives to give everyone strategies, tools, and inspiration to love their body.

March 9, 7pm, @ A Great Good Place for Books
This is a star-packed event for YA lit fans! Seth Fishman, Maggie Hall, Jessica Khoury, Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall, Rebel Belle), and Morgan Rhodes (The Conspiracy of Us), all authors of popular books of all genres, will appear and give you the scoop on their latest titles.

March 11, 7pm, @ Books Inc – Palo Alto
Andrew Smith sure is prolific! The author of Winger and 100 Sideways Miles has another new book already, The Alex Crow. Meet this unabashedly weird author and learn what he’s cooked up in this novel.

paintedskyMarch 12, 7:30pm, @ Kepler’s
If you read The Kite Runner and found it utterly engrossing and fascinating, you’ll want to come to this event. Debut author Elliott Ackerman will present his novel, Green On Blue, which Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner, has reviewed, and which everyone is raving about! This intense, mature novel is told from the point of view of an Afghan orphan.

March 17, 7pm, @ Books Inc – Palo Alto
Don’t you love being in on all the new books before they hit it big? Come to this event celebrating the release of the debut novel by Stacey Lee, Under a Painted Sky. If you like historical fiction, you’ll want to read this book.

March 20, 3pm, @ Hicklebee’s
Your abs will be hurting after this event. Jon Scieszka, the hilarious author of numerous books of funny poems, fractured fairy tales, and more, will present his latest book of humor, Frank Einstein. Don’t miss it!

March 24, 7pm, @ Kepler’s
You loved The False Prince trilogy. Now Jennifer Nielsen has a new book series, starting with The Mark of the Thief, about a slave boy in ancient Rome. Get your copy of the book and meet the author!

March 24, 7:30pm, @ Mrs. Dalloway’s
Whether you like speculative fiction or historical fiction, three YA authors are here to make sure you know about their latest books. Stacey Lee will talk about her historical novel Under a Painted Sky. Whitney Miller has a sequel to her adventure book The Violet Hour called The Crimson Gate. And Susan Adrian is releasing Tunnel Vision, a paranormal thriller.

March 25, 7:30pm, @ Kepler’s
Acclaimed writer Joyce Carol Oates has a thought-provoking and controversial new novel out. The Sacrifice is about the aftermath of a racially motivated crime against a teenage girl. (This is a ticketed event starting at $10.)

so-youve-been-publicly-shamed-9780330492287March 26, 7pm, @ Books Inc – Palo Alto
Did you love The Sparrow? The author, Mary Doria Russell, has a new novel: Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral. Come out and hear her speak, then pick up her new book and get it signed!

April 9, 7:30pm, @ Nourse Theater
Like weird science? Quirky people? Unknown histories? You have to meet Jon Ronson. The author of The Psychopath Test has a new book coming out, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, and he’ll appear in conversation with Jon Mooallem. (This is a ticketed event starting at $27.)

Let us know if you’ve attended an author event and want to write about it for the library website!

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Four to Read More – No Love

Four to Read More – No Love

And now we present Four to Read More, mini collections of four books that share some common theme, whether it’s the name of a character, a cover design quirk, or something else. Inspired by Kelly Jensen’s “Three on a YA Theme” series at Book Riot (take a lookwe’ll wait!), this series will highlight some books you may have missed on the shelves.

If you’re not a Valentine’s Day kind of person, have no fear! Here are some decidedly unromantic but totally engaging reads for this weekend.


Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
The only boys in this book are Nazis. But what a brilliant and inspiring read about girl power, female pilots, poetry, perseverance, and hope!
(available in print)
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
This futuristic story takes place in a new nation between the US and Mexico and is about Matt, a clone struggling to be his own person.
(available in print)
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
In the first two pages of this book, a woman vacuums her lawn and accidentally catches a squirrel in it. When he is released from the vacuum, he has superpowers.
(available in print and Overdrive ebooks)
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Four stories spanning the times of the cavemen to the future all focus around the image and idea of the spiral, in nature and human design.
(available in print)


Do you have an idea for a Four to Read More theme? Email us and let us know!

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Star-crossed Books – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Star-crossed Books – Happy Valentine’s Day!

unnamedDo you remember Blind Date With a Book from last year? By popular demand, it’s back again – but with a twist. This time, your secret brown bags continue not one, but two books, linked together by a common theme, historical moment, genre, inspiration, character….who knows? Just like Romeo and Juliet were star-crossed lovers, these books never knew they were meant to be until we found them and put them together.

The rules of the game are the same as last year: even though these books may look uninteresting to you or have absolutely terrible covers, you have to give them a try anyway. Read at least 30 pages to see if you like the book after all. They may surprise you. This is a chance to get to know the library collection even deeper and to find out that you may have an interest in a totally new genre that you never thought about before!

Look below to watch a video, made by Devon M. ’16, and then come into the library to check out your pair of star-crossed books!

Posted in Events & Celebrations, Featured0 Comments

Bibliophiles’ Mutual Aid Society: Finding time to read

Bibliophiles’ Mutual Aid Society: Finding time to read

"Minute to Midnight" by Gunter on

“Minute to Midnight” by Gunter on

Last week members of the Casti community gathered to brainstorm strategies for having a rich life as a pleasure reader. Here are the ideas shared by students and adults in our community. We would love to hear your strategies for finding time to read in the comments below!

Finding time to read:

In addition to the recent post, Five Steps For Making An Intentional Practice of Reading, community members suggested:

  1. Listen to audio books while commuting, exercising, etc. (check them out from your public library)
  2. Sit on the heating vent–very cozy!
  3. I schedule time on my calendar.
  4. I have a Goodreads account, so I can look for books that I want to read and mark books I have already read.
  5. I use Novelist (through the library databases page) to find new books, and the library Pinterest page, too.
  6. I am attempting to read 50 books in 2015–setting goals helps.
  7. Do the library reading challenges.

How to stop reading when the time is right:

  1. Don’t plan to stop at the end of the chapter. It will be a cliffhanger. Instead, plan to stop mid-chapter.
  2. Set a timer to ring when you need to stop. Leave it across the room, so you need to get up and turn it off. Put the book down when you get up to turn it off.
  3. If you are the kind of person who reads random pages in a book before you even start, read the end of the book when you know you are going to need to stop in the middle. That breaks you of the “need to know” and will allow you to enjoy the rest of the book at a reasonable pace.
  4. Read different types of books at different times-ones that are interesting but can be read in small chunks during the week/school weeks, a whole pile that I cannot put down for weekends/vacations.
  5. If you are eReading, use an app like Time Out to grey your screen and make you stop.
  6. Play some non-booky music. (Maybe set a device to start playing it when your reading time is up?)
  7. I always read over breakfast — it’s a short time span, with a hard stop, as I must get up and come to Casti! I’ve ceased worrying about making it to the end of a chapter, who cares.
  8. Listen to audio books while commuting, exercising, etc. (check them out from your public library).
  9. Read in a public space like The Circle or a community area in your home like the living room or kitchen-where distractions will come up and you’ll be reminded to look up and smile at someone getting a snack, say hi to a family member, or admire the beautiful blue sky.
  10. When you want to stop reading, take a break to do a mindfulness activity (such as a short meditation, apps like Stop, Breathe, & Think can help; Headspace is another) to get yourself out of the book, calm your mind, and ready yourself to shift gears.
  11. Sometimes, if I really need to read for relaxation, I:
    1. Re-read books I have read before;
    2. Read something that I want to read, but know will not hold my attention for long; or
    3. Read humorous essays that are just a few pages long, short stories, poems.
  12. Opening the shades and get lots of light in the room.
  13. Set page limits.
  14. Put an action item on your bookmark–get up and get a snack, do ten jumping jacks; you can list all the things you want to get done.
  15. Put a timer on your reading lamp.
  16. Choose books with dense action–even when you read a bit, you feel like something happened!
  17. Read when I have time to sit down and do it!
  18. Read realistic fiction–there is no action, so no suspense!
  19. Come to the library, and leave the book there when you leave–what you read in the library, stays in the library.
  20. Read with a buddy, parent, sibling – you can discuss the book, and you won’t want to get ahead of the other person.
  21. Read aloud (as a family) over dinner.
  22. Stop reading when you feel tired.
  23. Read a mixture of different genres–poems, short stories, essays, and magazines (that you can now check out from the library) are all things that are short.
  24. Take the train to school! That gives you time to read in both directions!


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