Novella Carpenter FARM  CITY


by Novella Carpenter

“Carpenter , with [her] humor and step-by-step clarity, makes[s] it seem utterly possible to grow the kind of food you want to eat, wherever you live.”

-Los Angeles Times

The discussion meeting for this tile is Tuesday April  22 @ 1 p.m.

Farm City


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by | Wednesday, April, 16, 2014 · 2:14 pm

WILLY WONKA and the CHOCOLATE FACTORY at the Union City Library

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s


@ the Union City Library!

Friday, April 18

4:00 p.m. in the Meeting Room


Rated PG, No Registration Required

Space is Limited

First Come, First Served

Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult at all times


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Filed under Children, Events, Older Adults, Reading, Teens, Union City Library

Monday Children’s Book Reviews for April 14, 2014

Is That My Cat? by Jonathan Allen

“’Is that my cat? It can’t be. My cat is a slim, sleek pussy cat.’ But something’s up with this rather large kitty—the same one who used to fit through the cat door, climbed trees fearlessly, and always wanted to play. Now, it takes two hands to pick her up, and now this fussy eater finishes all her food! In true Jonathan Allen style, the story unfolds little by little, page by page—keeping us guessing right until the end, when we get a BIG, happy surprise.”             [JPB ALLEN]
Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull
“Adventure awaits in the first installment of a new series that finds sixth-grader Cole whisked through a portal to The Outskirts, an in-between world, where he must rescue his friends and find his way back home before his existence is forgotten. By the best-selling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series.”                [J MULL]
“It’s 1848, and brave families band together in covered wagons to head west. Each chapter introduces a different speaker to tell his or her part of the story: there’s Carl Hawks, son of the wagon train leader; Louisa Bailey, the newlywed; Chankoowashtay, a Sioux brave; and more. This book showcases a thrilling and often dangerous time in our history, bringing the story of the great Westward Expansion to vivid life.”                 [J978.02 WINTERS]

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First Love: Overview

Short story, 1860

Author(s):Brian Wilkie

Russian Novelist ( 1818 – 1883 )

Other Names Used: Turgenev, Ivan Sergeyevich; Turgenieff, Ivan; Turgenev, Ivan Sergeevich;

Source:Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press.

From Literature Resource Center.

The seemingly ingenuous title of Turgenev’s novella Pervaia liubov ( First Love ) is actually ironic. It implies that the principal narrator, Volodia, has gone on to experience other loves, but apparently he has not, and his elegiac tone at both the beginning and the end of the story further implies that his early love was unique. Conversely, First Love implies that adolescent love is somehow special, but by the end of the story we see that love affects people of all ages in much the same way. Among those reduced to helplessness by love (or, more exactly, by romantic love, “being in” love) are Zinaida’s assortment of suitors, from the green Volodia to the middle-aged Dr. Lushin, Volodia’s father, Zinaida herself, even the 40-year-old Mark Antony (romantically assumed by the ignorant in the story to have been a youth when he loved Cleopatra). This story is not so much about “first” love as about romantic love. Ultimately, in fact, it is about something even broader. It is about vitality, what it means and feels like to be fully alive. Romantic love is important to the story primarily because people in love feel the life within and around them more intensely than others do.

This view of the story brings a number of its elements into sharper focus. For one thing, we see that the lyrical descriptions of nature—for which Turgenev is famous—are more than atmospheric mood music; nature also functions as an objective correlative to the young Volodia’s emerging sense that life can have aliveness, and experience can have intensity. Even before he meets Zinaida, he senses these new, “feminine” presences: “But through the tears and through the sorrow inspired by some melodious poem, or by the beauty of the evening, a joyous feeling of youthful and effervescent life sprang up like grass in spring” (translated by Harry Stevens, The Borzoi Turgenev). Later, correlating with the boy’s tense awareness of rivalry in his love and of dangerous glamour in Zinaida’s situation, the nightscape becomes portentous and uncanny: “suddenly everything grew profoundly still all around me…. Even the crickets ceased to chirrup among the trees…. I felt a strange agitation, as though I had been to keep an assignation and had been left waiting alone and had passed by another’s happiness.”

Among the more perishable essences in literature are the nuances of sexual desirability and, especially, of sexual charm. First Love depends heavily on our feeling Zinaida’s attractiveness, which consists in a combination of seductive__ness and imperiousness not necessarily in keeping with the tastes (male or female) of a later age. Probably the fascination in the mock-punishments and mock-beatings (with flowers, for example) that Zinaida metes out to her male worshipers is conditioned by a paradox of female imperiousness that, today, seems less sheerly paradoxical. Fortunately, however, in light of the main thrusts of the story, these beatings (the first time we see Zinaida she is delivering one of them) are part of a thematic counterpoint that loses none of its force with changing times; pain and violence continue to be as intelligible today as ever. Zinaida, the female focus of all the love vectors in the story, repeatedly gives and takes punishment, taking it most climactically in the brutal blow Volodia’s father deals her on the arm when he visits her in Moscow. Her kissing of the wound in this scene both confounds the watching Volodia and confirms for him the meaning, depth, and power of what he now recognizes as authentic love.

It is important that we not respond to this incident as mere brutality, any more than we should respond that way to the playful beatings Zinaida doles out earlier, or even the genuine pain she inflicts on Dr. Lushin when she forces him to laugh despite the shame and pain he feels when she pushes a pin hard into his skin. Nor is this a way of saying that love is sadomasochistic. The upshot, rather, is to define love as intensity of feeling—whether pleasurable or the opposite—and to contrast it as such with the various ways of being half-responsive and half-alive. The opening frame of the story—the clichéd situation of after-dinner storytelling, along with the utter banality of the first two men’s reminiscences—is one way of conveying this half-aliveness, as is the physical and moral shabbiness of Zinaida’s mother and home surroundings. The idle warnings given Volodia by the middle-aged—Dr. Lushin and Volodia’s father himself—about the dangers of romantic love (“that happiness, that poison”) amount to warning him away from life itself, which is exactly such an oxymoronic mixture of intensely vital feelings. Neither of the two older men is the worse person for being unable to take his own advice.

It is often remarked that Turgenev, characteristically, portrays romantic love as doomed to impermanence. The comment is exasperating, not only because such impermanence is an obvious fact of general human experience but, more importantly, because the comment misses the point and Turgenev’s tone. First Love, for example, is a sad story, even tragic, but its final effect is to affirm vitality, however painful. The dwelling on death in the last pages, including the painful story of the old woman who so tenaciously and illogically clings to a life that has been sheer misery, complements the dwelling on half-aliveness at the beginning: both front and end frames are chiaroscuro that lends brilliance and color to the explosiveness and wonder of life, which is most vividly realized through romantic love. After the blissful but painful experience of Zinaida’s farewell kiss, Volodia tells us, “I would never wish it to be repeated, but I would regard myself as unfortunate if I had never known it.” Looking back from middle age, he adds later, “what is left to me more fresh, more precious than the memory of that swiftly passed, vernal thunder of my morn?” The key fact is not that such vernal thunder has passed away but rather that it has existed.

eiffel_tower_black_and_whiteJoin our senior library member Bruce Haase
and write your memoir. Bruce is life long reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction.
These are informal meetings ,
to support each other and organize your thoughts
for writing. Sharing is optional.
Meetings take place
five Tuesdays:
April 1, 15 & 29
and May 6 &20
1 p.m. — 3 p.m.
Please bring pen & paper
For more information contact Bruce Hasse
Or Lili Khalili
Union City Library 510-284-0629


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by | Thursday, April, 10, 2014 · 2:00 pm

Monday Children’s Book Reviews for April 7, 2014

The Great Day by Taro Gomi

“Join in the fun of a child’s very busy day, as he jumps, runs, and plays from morning to night. Full of youthful exuberance, Taro Gomi’s simple words and vibrant illustrations show all of the action and excitement children find in each new day.” [JPB GOMI]

Hit the Road, Helen by Kate McMullan

“In this updated version of Greek mythology, Hades, King of the Underworld, reveals the truth about Helen of Troy and the Trojan War.

“When Paris and Helen decide to hit the road together, it means more trouble than they can imagine for both themselves and the people of Troy. But who says Helen is entirely at fault? Sure she had a face that launched a thousand ships but she also had a little interference from the meddling god of love and his mother, Aphrodite. Think you know the truth behind the Greek myths? Think again. Hades is here to set you straight once more on the true story of the Trojan War.” Myth-O-Mania Book 9 [J MCMULLAN]

Skyscrapers: Investigate Feats of Engineering by Donna Latham

“Over centuries and across cultures people have defied gravity in a quest to build the tallest, grandest structures imaginable.

“Skyscrapers: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects invites children ages 9 and up to explore the innovation and physical science behind these towering structures. Trivia and fun facts illustrate engineering ingenuity and achievements from the ancient pyramids to the Empire State Building. Readers will develop an understanding of how our modern, sophisticated building techniques and materials evolved over time.” [J720.483 LATHAM]

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Celebration of Nowruz 2014@ the Union City Library in the pictures

The special performance by the Ballet Afsaneh celebrates the New Year (spring equinox ) in Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan. “Afsaneh” is a wonderful word, shared by the major languages group s of the Silk Road , meaning “legend” of “mythic story”.ImageTajikistan

Nowruz is celebrated by people from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds for thousands of years along the Silk Road and now the days around the world.




Director of Ballet Afsaneh explained the origin of each dance.


During intermission members invited to see Haft-Seen table , which was set by Sudi Noroozi, Library member.Image

Home- made cookie served to the member, the cookie was made by the Library member Sudi Noroozi.

Sudi Noroozi /Library member

Sudi Noroozi /Library member

Teen Volunteers

Teen Volunteers

Ahmad Zia/ Library member played Afghan, Persian Music .

Ahmad Zia/ Library member played Afghan, Persian Music .

art is education

Spring 2014  Art is education 035




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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for April 1, 2014

Wow! I just heard that it’s going to SNOW! And all the ducks and geese at the pond by the Library are going to put on a parade! You can’t miss it – they are all planning to make and wear fabulous fancy hats!






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Filed under Book Reviews, Children, Reading, Union City Library