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Audio books and the return of storytelling

Photo courtesy Lisa Scott Students from Kristeen Harris’ second-grade class pose in front of the Book Fair wall with books that are featured at the fair. Book Fair FIESTA! will run through May 15 during school hours in the Pagosa Springs Elementary School library. Family Night will be held tonight (Thursday, May 8) from 5-7 p.m. and will feature an evening full of fiesta activities, shopping at the Book Fair and enjoying a meal together. The community, families and teachers are invited to attend this Scholastic Book Fair and join in all the activities that accompany the fiesta theme, which are all geared to instill the love of books and reading. Pictured from left to right: Lauren Monterroso, Jasmine Salas, Michelle Ray and John Cloward.

Photo courtesy Lisa Scott
Students from Kristeen Harris’ second-grade class pose in front of the Book Fair wall with books that are featured at the fair. Book Fair FIESTA! will run through May 15 during school hours in the Pagosa Springs Elementary School library. Family Night will be held tonight (Thursday, May 8) from 5-7 p.m. and will feature an evening full of fiesta activities, shopping at the Book Fair and enjoying a meal together. The community, families and teachers are invited to attend this Scholastic Book Fair and join in all the activities that accompany the fiesta theme, which are all geared to instill the love of books and reading. Pictured from left to right: Lauren Monterroso, Jasmine Salas, Michelle Ray and John Cloward.

The popularity of audio books has skyrocketed in recent years, as evidenced by the fact that our collection of books on CD is greatly used and much appreciated by our patrons. We know you enjoy audio books as you walk, garden, travel, do housework — and in other venues, as well.

Now a recent opinion piece in The New York Times suggests that we may love audio books because they take us back to our childhood when our parents, grandparents and other caregivers read out loud to us. There also is a historical context to our enjoyment of the spoken word.

As T.M. Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, wrote in The Times: “For most of human history, literature has been spoken out loud. The Iliad and the Odyssey were sung … Even after narratives were written down, they were more often heard than read.”

Upon reflection, today’s audio books may be another example of the old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Second diabetic session

Whether you are pre-diabetic, have just found out you are diabetic or have been living with diabetes for years, a new, free diabetic education series of lectures can help answer questions and provide an opportunity for group support. The second session takes place at the library on Monday, May 12, from 4:30-6 p.m., and the last on May 19. They are organized and presented by the Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s Wellness Center, where you need to register at 731-1533. You can attend all sessions or just one, as you choose.

Lifelong Learning Lecture tonight

This evening (Thursday, May 8) marks the fourth week of the library’s free six-week spring Lifelong Leaning Lecture series, with a wide variety of interesting topics to enrich your life and keep your mind agile. Tonight’s topic is “The Near-Death Experience: What Medical Professionals and Lay People Need to Know” by retired hospice doctor Pam Kircher. She will show a 30-minute film created by the International Association of Near-Death Experiences and facilitate a Q-and-A session. All lectures take place on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and last about an hour, with time for questions. Pick up a brochure at the library for the full schedule. No registration required.

Program suspensions

The free Friday morning movies for adults are taking a summer vacation. They may return next winter. There will be no karaoke in May. We hope it will return in June when we have the meeting room available again. Also, no Otaku Club for teens this month.

Wise Traditions

Join us for lively discussions and lectures on a variety of topics, including dietary needs, agriculture, medical traditions and more on the second Saturday of each month — for May, on May 10 — from 2-4:30 p.m. (Note earlier starting time this month.) Carmen Ritz returns for this May meeting. All ages welcome. No registration required.

Book club for adults

Join our book club for adults, which meets once a month to discuss fiction and nonfiction. May’s book is “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand to be discussed Tuesday, May 13, from 2-3 p.m. Contact Meg at the library if you still need a copy of the book. No registration required.

Technology classes

Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays. Join her for one-on-one informal help with your computer or tablet issues. A more formal session requiring registration is Skype on Wednesday, May 14, from 12:30-2:30 p.m., when you will learn how to make free video calls on your computer.

Tweens bookclub

If you’re in the fourth-sixth grades, like to read and share what you read with friends, this is the club for you. Tomorrow (Friday, May 9) from 2-3:15 p.m., we’ll be discussing our last book of this school year. The club will disband for the summer and resume after the new school year starts.

Teen gaming

Every Tuesday from 4-5:30 p.m. we host Teen Gaming (X-box, Wii, board games and Pokemon card battles, and you are welcome to bring other trading card battle games). Snacks provided.

LEGO Club

Kids aged 6-13 are invited to have fun with LEGOs this Saturday, May 10, from 10:30-ll:45 a.m. Bring your creativity — the LEGOs are provided.

Nonfiction

“My Life, Your Inspiration” by Craig J. Boykin is an autobiography that inspires you to turn minor setbacks into a major comeback. “The Railway Man” by Eric Lomax is a POW’s account of war, brutality and forgiveness. “Sisters in Sin” by Fort Lewis College history professor Duane A. Smith tells of the life of Nellie Spenser, now buried in Durango. “Hands Free Mama” by Rachel Macy Stafford is a guide to putting down the phone, burning the to-do list and letting go of perfection to enjoy what really matters. “Simple Fly Fishing” by Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews and Mauro Mazzo describes how to fish with a tenkara rod.

DVDs

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” stars Ben Stiller. “Berkeley Square” is a warm-hearted family drama set in London. “Philomena” stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is a two-disc special edition. “August: Osage County” stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. “Sofia the First” is a Disney Junior story of mermaids. “Hitchcock” stars Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. “De-Lovely” is a movie about Cole Porter. “Alfie” stars Michael Caine. “The Tree of Life” stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. “Sunset Boulevard” stars Gloria Swanson and William Holden.

Large print

“Hometown Sheriff” by Cheryl St. John is a romance. “When Shadows Fall” by J.T. Ellison is a mystery featuring forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens. “The Headmaster’s Wife” by Thomas Christopher Greene is a psychological thriller. “Bone Deep” by Randy Wayne White is a Doc Ford mystery. “Murder, She Barked” by Krista Davis is a Paws and Claws mystery. “Sinister” by Lisa Jackson, Nancy Bush and Rosalind Noonan is a romantic suspense story. “And the Dark Sacred Night” by Julia Glass tells of a man searching for the identity of his father. “Death on Blackheath” by Anne Perry is a Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery. “Waking the Dead” by Heather Graham is a Cafferty and Quinn mystery. “Burn” by Julianna Baggott is book three of the Pure trilogy. “The Blood of Renegades: The Loner” by J.A. Johnstone is a western.

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“A Wanted Woman” by Eric Jerome Dickey is a steamy thriller set in tropical Barbados. “Everything To Lose” by Andrew Gross is a thriller set after Hurricane Sandy. “Night Diver” by Elizabeth Lowell is a suspense story about underwater treasure hunters. “The Target” is the latest in the series featuring assassin Will Robie.

Other novels

“The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” by Claire North starts as a man nears the end of his 11th life. “The King” by J.R. Ward is the latest in the Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance series. “First Citizen Emperor” by Charles David Eyer is book one in the new Roman Emperor series. “Tattered Heart” by Annie Jackson is a fantasy set in the kingdom of Amaranyllis.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Karen and Dean Cox, Debra Gatton, Arleta Gary, Steve Michel, Rachel Montoya and Tom Thorpe, plus our many anonymous donors.

Quotable quote

“Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument.”

— Desmond Tutu, retired South African Anglican archbishop and social activist.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.

This story was posted on May 8, 2014.