Category Archives: Staff Picks

Patron Brenda Asterino Movie picks-Update

A new updated list, along with new categories from Brenda Asterino, library patron!  Her desire is to help people find DVDs when they come in to the library that match their interests. She created a series of lists which includes her own delightful commentary and a brief description of the subject. Simply click on a category and enjoy browsing!


TV Series Movies for older Adults

Movies for Older Adults over 70


Hobbies & Arts-Crafts DVDs

Genealogy books and DVD Death and Dying The Great Courses
Inspire or Illuminate

Compassion Project 1

Royalty Advocacy & Activism 1 

Human Rights – Civil Rights


Young adult book review – Lady Midnight

LadyMidnightLady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight is the first book in the Dark Artifices series by the Author Cassandra Clare. It takes place several years after the last book in The Mortal Instruments.  It follows Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn Family on their adventures. The book makes for a very satisfying read. Cassandra Clare’s writing is full of wonderfully sarcastic moments and artfully written fights. It’s dangerous how emotionally attached to Clare’s characters one can become, but it is very hard not to. I would recommend her books to anyone age twelve and up.

Review by Juniper Blomberg, Lopez Island Library Summer Intern

YARLI reads Skellig for Halloween

skellig_featherChosen by the Young Adult Readers of Lopez Island for its mild creepiness to accompany the meeting’s proximity to Halloween, David Almond’s Skellig generated broad discussion of owls, evolution, heart disease, angels, family relations, homeschooling vs. public schools, truth and dreams. The story revolves around Michael and Mina, two middle-school-aged kids from different backgrounds, who become friends through helping an odd being in a falling down garage. Skellig is an enigma who eats “bluebottles” (houseflies) but also asks for “27 & 53” and has bumps between his shoulder blades. Michael and Mina are drawn to him for different reasons: Michael as a distraction from his very ill baby sister and Mina as an inquiring mind. As the relationship between the three progresses, bizarre and beautiful events emerge.

Readers were split in their reactions, as is often true, but all enjoyed Almond’s writing, the pacing, the mystery, and certain wise phrases. Mina says: “Truth and dreams are always getting muddled.” Finally, this quote – “Sometimes we just have to accept there are things we can’t know.” – is a central theme of the story.

Members also recommend: Brilliant, by Roddy Doyle (middle-grade drama/humor); The Finisher, by David Baldacci (middle-grade fantasy); and Nolander, by Becca Mills (young adult urban fantasy).

Our next book is the award-winning historical fiction novel, Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell. We will meet on the fourth Tuesday, November 24th, 7pm at the Lopez Island Library. Come join us!

island blue dolphins

StoneNexus: a new magazine for lovers of stone and stone building

Donna Hasbrouck has generously donated a subscription and the complete back issues of Stonexus Magazine – a periodical about stonemasonry, stone building and decorative stonework to the Lopez Island Library. Featuring stonework and stonemasons from around the world in stunning photographs (above from Volume XII, page 65, of a balanced stone sculpture in Portonovo, Italy) and well-researched text, the magazine is a tribute to the wonders of all things stone. We are the only library in the U.S. that now carries this title!

And if you like words and their meanings, read the following excerpt from the title page to enjoy the significance of the title.

“stone (ston) n.

1. a. Concreted earthy or mineral matter; rock.

b. Such concreted matter of a particular type. Often used in combination.

2. A small piece of rock.

3. Rock or piece of rock shaped or finished for a particular purpose, especially a piece of rock that is used in construction.

nex-us (nek’ sas) n. pl. nexi or nexus-es.

1. A means of connection; a link or tie.

2. A connected series or roup.

3. The core or center.”


Check out your favorite magazines and newpapers for free with your library card

printHere is a current list of our periodicals.  The most current issue can be viewed and read in the library, but you can check out past issues and enjoy them at home.

Acres USA Mother Earth Living
American Craft Mother Earth News
Art in America National Geographic Kids
Atlantic Monthly National Geographic Traveler
Backpacker New York Times Magazine
Barron’s New York Times Book Review
Bead & Button New York Times Daily
Better Homes & Garden The New Yorker
Bicycling Organic Life
Car & Driver Ornament
Christian Science Monitor Pacific Yachting
Classic Boat Passage Maker
Coastal Living Poets & Writers
Consumer Reports Popular Mechanics
Cooking Light Popular Science
Cook’s Illustrated (Annual) Practical Horseman
Country Living Real Simple
Cricket (Juvenile) Resurgence
Dwell Rolling Stone
Eating Well Sail
The Economist Sailing World
Entertainment Weekly Seattle Times
The Family Handyman Smithsonian
Fine Cooking Sports Illustrated
Fine Gardening The Sun
Fine Homebuilding Sunset Magazine
Fine Woodworking Threads
Funny Times Time Magazine
Health Utne Reader
Home Power Wall Street Journal
Horticulture Watercolor Artist
The Intelligent Optimist  (Ode) The Week
Interweave Knits Wired
Islands’ Sounder Wooden Boat
Island’s Weekly Yes! Magazine
Journal of the San Juans  Yoga Journal
Mental Floss

Happy digging!

All of us in the book business have a publisher we are partial to for one reason or other – one that always delivers. Craving Science Fiction and Fantasy? I know TOR will help cure the itch. If I’m in need of a Zen moment or Asian tastes and styles? Hello, Tuttle, watcha got for me? And gardening? Well, Rodale is the literary well for my pastures. Two of my favorites come from just this source. Let’s start with the gold standard:Want proof of a well-used cook book? Look for food stains on the most loved recipes. Same thing with gardening books. Look for the books that have a lovely, soiled patina. rodalesLike Rodale’s ultimate encyclopedia of organic gardening : the indispensable green resource for every gardener by Rodale Press. It has been around for more than 50 years offering organic know-how for fruits, veggies, trees, shrubs, lawns and more. The latest version highlights new organic pest controls, new fertilizer products, improved gardening techniques, the latest organic soil practices, and new trends in garden design, and has a completely new section on earth-friendly techniques for gardening in a changing climate, covering wise water management, creating backyard habitats, managing invasive plants and insects, reducing energy use and recycling, and understanding biotechnology.

shadeI have to admit it. I love shade. Maybe growing up in the blistering sun of the southwest makes me more appreciative of the shadowy, sylvan glades and fosters my love of the myriad of greens there in. Of course, most gardeners abhor shade. Bring on the sun, they cry and for many plants they need the rays full power like we humans need oxygen. One look around our friendly isle, though, and you’ll see: shady areas abound! One book I heartily endorse is Larry Hodgson’s Making the most of shade : how to plan, plant, and grow a fabulous garden that lightens up the shadows. Even the dimmest corner of your own particular patch has a plant that would shine in it, given the chance. Hostas, ferns, and a variety of flowery shrubs and flowers and some herbs can thrive in dappled or even full shade. All I am saying, is give shade a chance…

My third pick is not from Rodale’s, however, as it is a fairly revolutionary although it has been around for almost a century and involves creating an aerobic water solution that has extracted the microbe population from compost along with the nutrients. It is called “compost tea” and is basically just a concentrated liquid created by a special brewing process to increase the number of beneficial organisms for an organic way improve soil and plants in a spray form. compostteaThe book is, Compost Tea Making: For Organic Healthier Vegetables, Flowers, Orchards, Vineyards, Lawns by Marc Remillard, Want a great guide through the often conflicting world of “compost tea?” Remillard makes this challenging but rewarding tool more straight forward. I didn’t say simple! Lots of online info on this topic but this book distills the steps and the science behind it. So brew up a batch soon. No need for a special invite. The earthworms will come crawling to this tea party! Happy garden; happy gardening!

Little Pea

little_peaLittle Pea, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace (2005)

(This review is for Rosie)

Are you having trouble persuading your children to eat vegetables? Would they rather eat sweets? Check out the picture book Little Pea and prepare for a change in attitude.

Little Pea lives happily with Mama Pea, Papa Pea and his “pea pals.” Rosenthal is spot on with her toddler language as Little Pea screams “Again! Again!” when Papa Pea flings him off a spoon in play. (Who doesn’t remember peas flying in food fights!) Corace compliments the words with simply exuberant illustrations that animate the peas into personable characters.

Little Pea also likes rolling down hills and cuddling with Mama Pea, “But there was one thing that Little Pea did not like …”

You and your little one will be surprised by this revelation and delighted with the ending of this sweet and clever story. So curl up with this book and a snack … but maybe not sugar snap peas.