Friday, October 24, 2014

Staff Picks

Find inspiration for fantastic lunches and more in Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J. M. Hirsch.

The target audience for these recipes may be children but with lunches like mini meaty cheesy quiches and DIY hoisin lettuce wraps, moms and dads will be incorporating the suggestions in their own lunches too.  This slim book includes breakfast and dinner recipes that provide handy leftovers. (The sweet and sour chicken was exceptionally easy and delicious!)  With full color photographs and helpful hints for packing tacos and making sandwiches sog-resistant Beating the Lunch Box Blues is a book that's definitely worth checking out.

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Staff Picks - Teen Middle

The House on the Gulf by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Mystery abounds in this heart-felt story centered around a single mother struggling to raise two teenagers.  Told from the thirteen year old daughter’s perspective, the tale begins as Britt and her mother and brother, Bran, move into a spacious home by the ocean in Florida, where Bran has arranged to house sit for the summer.   Having previously lived in a sparse apartment, their living conditions seem like grandeur to Britt.  This is a dream come true for their family, but Bran begins to act very peculiar, and when questioned, he behaves even more mysteriously.   Because the house is located in an area primarily occupied by senior adults, Britt’s only friendship is with Mrs. Stuldy, the next door neighbor.  Through this relationship, Britt learns facts that cause her to become even more curious about everything.  She begins digging, only to become increasingly confused.  This quick read will keep you guessing up to the end where everything satisfyingly comes together.

Julie Boyd
Youth Services Supervisor

Monday, October 20, 2014

Motivational Speaker to Help Library Patrons Dress for Success

Jackie Martin is the founder of
A Matter of Motivation, as well as
an Independent Certified Coach,
Teacher, and Speaker with
The John Maxwell Team.
Motivation and leadership coach Jackie Martin will present a seminar for women entitled “Dressing for Success: Putting Your Best Self Forward” on Wednesday, November 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sharon Forks Library at 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming.

The seminar aims to explain how career-minded women, including teens and college-bound young women, can put their best selves forward by presenting an appropriate image during job interviews, college admission interviews, and any time it’s necessary to make a good first impression.

“The biggest mistakes women make when dressing for interviews or other important events are to wear clothing that fits poorly or is too revealing, wearing too much jewelry, or ignoring the appearance of their feet,” says Martin.

There are plenty of strategies that women can use to dress professionally, even on a small budget, says Martin.

 “First, take stock of what you already own and know which pieces are appropriate for interviews and business events. Then when you’re shopping, search online for great deals and then supplement with pieces from outlet malls, consignment shops, and discount retailers.”

Part of the seminar will focus on stretching your wardrobe dollars by purchasing classic pieces that can be used several seasons and then accessorized to look on-trend. Style Fashions, a local consignment store, will stage a fashion show demonstrating how to find complete outfits on a small budget.

Dressing to be your best professional self doesn’t end with the proper clothing for women. It is also important to accessorize properly, maintain a well-groomed hairstyle, and apply makeup appropriately for a business setting. Another portion of the seminar will include presentations from Jodi Bond, a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant, and tips on wearing just the right accessories from Park Lane Jewelry.

“Good grooming, including hair, makeup, and even fingernails are like icing on the cake. They give us a polished and finished appearance. Not to mention how it makes a woman feel when she knows she’s having a good hair day,” stresses Martin.

After dressing for success, women need to be able to communicate effectively during interviews and business meetings. In another segment of the seminar, Martin will address verbal and nonverbal communication strategies to help participants communicate their strengths and appear calm and confident in any professional situation.

“We’ll have fun exploring the ways to make the best first impression,” says Martin of the seminar. “We’ll also discuss how looking good on the outside can make you feel more confident on the inside.  Standing tall, making eye contact, and giving a firm handshake will help you start off on the right foot.”

Jackie Martin is the Founder, Coach, and Chief Motivational Officer of A Matter of Motivation. In addition to hosting seminars for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and teaching continuing education courses on leadership at the University of North Georgia, she is also a John Maxwell Certified Coach, Teacher, and Speaker.

Participation in Dressing for Success: Putting Your Best Self Forward is free, but registration is requested. For more information or to register, please visit

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Staff Picks - Ghost Stories

I love a good ghost story, especially this time of year. Here are some I've particularly enjoyed recently:

From our Teen High collection:

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
(Book 1 of the Shades of London series)
Georgia Peach Award nominee for 2012-2013

A London boarding school and a Jack the Ripper copycat who must be stopped.

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
(Book 2 of the Shades of London series)

The Shades, London's secret ghost-fighting police, take on inexplicable threats lurking underground. 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Friendship, families, wealth, and amnesia. An ending you will not see coming!

From our Adult collection:

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

The Stepford Wives meets The Shining. Small town Vermont, herbalists, twins, and a plane crash.

Joyland by Stephen King

College students, small town amusement park, 1970's, and a haunted ride make for a fun summer! 

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Young short-order cook with an ‘odd’ name sees dead people and solves crimes. 

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Family, ghosts, secrets and the haunted house that holds them. 

Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Teen born into a supernatural family must come to terms with her parents' deaths.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

Set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, a coming of age ghost story about a boy trying to save his parents' marriage. 

Beth Moore

Information Specialist

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bookmarks: A Book Club for Grades 7 & up - Cumming Library - October 23rd at 1:00 p.m.

Lincoln’s Last Days by Bill O’Reilly

Even though I knew what was going to happen, I still found myself quickly turning the pages as I read this fact-filled suspenseful account of the final weeks of Abraham Lincoln’s life.  Beginning with the end of the Civil War, through the assassination with all its gruesome details, and ending with the punishment of the murderer, Bill O’Reilly, a former high school history teacher, takes the reader, often hour by hour, through the events surrounding the death of our 16th president.  The book is filled with authentic photos that provide added interest, and a section at the end recaps the lives of Lincoln’s family, friends, and enemies. This book is the October selection for the Bookmarks book club at the Cumming Library. This book club is designed for homeschooled students in grades 7 and up. Other teens who are available in the early afternoon are also welcome. Refreshments, donated by the FCPL Friends & Advocates, will be provided.

Registration is recommended.

Julie Boyd
Youth Services Supervisor
Cumming Library