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Feeling Smart : Why Our Emotions are More Rational Than We Think

feeling smartWhich is smarter your head or your gut? It’s a familiar refrain: you’re getting too emotional. Try and think rationally. But is it always good advice?

In this surprising book, Eyal Winter asks a simple question: why do we have emotions? If they lead to such bad decisions, why hasn’t evolution long since made emotions irrelevant? The answer is that, even though they may not behave in a purely logical manner, our emotions frequently lead us to better, safer, more optimal outcomes.

In fact, as Winter discovers, there is often logic in emotion, and emotion in logic. For instance, many mutually beneficial commitmentssuch as marriage, or being a member of a teamare only possible when underscored by emotion rather than deliberate thought. The difference between pleasurable music and bad noise is mathematically precise; yet it is also something we feel at an instinctive level. And even though people are usually overconfidenthow can weall be above average?we often benefit from our arrogance.

Please join us for series of talks on the family’s emotional wellbeing by Esmael Darman (MS in Clinical and Counseling Psychology).

 The program is in Farsi/Dari Language.

Saturdays: January 24, and February 7 & 21 Time: 3p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Union City Library


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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for December 22, 2014

Some classic Christmas books:

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

“Della and Jim love each other very much but have no money for getting Christmas gifts for one another. But when Della decides to make a great sacrifice that will give her enough money to buy the present Jim deserves, she soon discovers that that her selfless act may have been for naught. This is a new, richly illustrated interpretation of the well-loved, poignant short story by O. Henry.”                     [J HENRY, O]

The Nutcracker illustrated by Alison Jay

“Based on the Balanchine ballet, this sumptuous package is the perfect gift for any fan of The Nutcracker – young or old. The nicely balanced text (not too much, not too little) captures all the best moments and sets the stage for Alison Jay’s richly imagined art. Sharp-eyed readers will notice tiny details playing out thrillingly over the course of the story (keep an eye on the gifts under the Christmas tree!). From the cozy Christmas party to the delectable Marzipan Palace, Alison Jay’s artwork is truly enchanting – a snow-globe version of The Nutcracker to read every night before Christmas and all winter long.”       [JPB JAY]

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; illustrated by Brett Helquist; abridged by Josh Greenhut

“In this luminous picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge leaps off the page to warm the soul of one and all. Be swept away in an unforgettable Christmas Eve, from Scrooge’s first “Bah, humbug!” to the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past; from the courage of Tiny Tim to the glory of Christmas morning. Brett Helquist’s art bursts with spirit, humor, and an irresistible attention to detail. Here is a treasure for the whole family to share, year after year. A merry Christmas, everyone!”     [JPB DICKENS, C]

Twas the Day before Christmas: the Story of Clement Clarke Moore’s Beloved Poem by Brenda Seabrooke; illustrated by Delana Bettoli

“On Christmas Eve day, 1822, Clement Clarke Moore struggled to write a surprise for his children. While traveling to lower Manhattan from his farm, Chelsea, many thoughts ran through his head. What would his children enjoy more, a poem or a story? The final result has become a beloved classic of the holiday season, The Night Before Christmas.”            [JPB SEABROOKE,B]

The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers

“New York Times bestselling artist Susan Jeffers has created a Nutcracker unlike any that has gone before, with a lovely spare text based on the ballet.

“This is the perfect gift to share with children before they see The Nutcracker. Everyone who has seen the ballet will cherish it—as will anyone who enjoys stories where love triumphs.

“Come, take a front-row seat. The world’s most beloved holiday fairy tale is about to begin.”    [JPB JEFFERS,S]

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, illustrated by P. J. Lynch

“The story of Ebenezer Scrooge opens on a Christmas Eve as cold as Scrooge’s own heart. That night, he receives three ghostly visitors: the terrifying spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Each takes him on a heart-stopping journey, yielding glimpses of Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit, the horrifying spectres of Want and Ignorance, even Scrooge’s painfully hopeful younger self. Will Scrooge’s heart be opened? Can he reverse the miserable future he is forced to see? Now in an unabridged edition gloriously illustrated by the award-winning P.J. Lynch, this story’s message of love and goodwill, mercy and self-redemption resonates as keenly as ever.”          [J DICKENS]

A Little House Christmas Treasury: Festive Holiday Stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder; illustrated by Garth Williams

“A collection of stories which describe the experiences of a pioneer girl and her family as they celebrate various Christmases in the Big Woods in Wisconsin, on the prairie in Indian Territory, and on the banks of Plum Creek.”              [J WILDER,L]

The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown; pictures by Jim LaMarche

“They put golden tinsel on his branches

And golden bells
And green icicles
And silver stars
And red and green and blue and purple chains of shining Christmas balls.

“All alone in an empty field grew a little fir tree. It dreamed of being part of a forest-or part of anything at all. Then one winter day, a man takes the little fir tree away and it finds itself at the center of a little boy’s very special celebration.

“This treasured story by the legendary Margaret Wise Brown has been newly illustrated by award-winning artist Jim LaMarche. Warm, glowing paintings complement the gentle text to capture the true heart of Christmas.”             [JPB BROWN,M]

The Littlest Angel by written by Charles Tazewell; illustrated by Guy Porfirio

“An earth-sick little angel, newly arrived in the celestial kingdom, finds his recent transition from boy to cherub a difficult one, in a new edition of a classic story.”   [J TAZEWELL,C]

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, read by Jim Dale

“Bah Humbug!” That’s how Ebeneezer Scrooge feels about Christmas–until the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future decide to show the crotchety old miser the error of his ways. Together they travel through time, revisiting all the people who have played an important role in Scrooge’s life. And as their journey concludes, Scrooge is reminded of what it means to have love in his heart, and what the true spirit of Christmas is all about. A timeless story the whole family will enjoy!       [CDB J DICKENS,C]

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter

“When the tailor becomes sick and cannot finish the waistcoat for the Mayor, the mice finish it for him.”                             [JPB POTTER,B]

Kay Thompson’s Eloise at Christmastime

“Here she is at Christmastime
Complete with tinsel and holly
Singing fa la la la lolly, And over the roar of the jingle bells
You can hear hear hear her say, It’s absolutely Christmas
But I don’t mind a bit, I give everyone a present
For that’s the thing of it, So when it’s everly Christmastime
And you’re under your Christmas trees, Simply tinkle a bell and have a trinkle
And remember
Eloise”                                                                    [J THOMPSON,K]

A Newbery Christmas: Fourteen Stories of Christmas by Newbery Award Winning Authors

“A collection of stories about Christmas, by Newbery Award-winning authors such as Eleanor Estes, E.L. Konigsburg, Madeleine L’Engle, and Katherine Paterson”                              [J NEWBERY]

The Bells of Christmas by Virginia Hamilton

“In 1890, in Springfield, Ohio, Jason Bell awaits the arrival of Christmas and his Uncle Levi Bell and muses on the manner in which people will celebrate the holiday one hundred years from then.  Set against the carefully researched background life of a middle-class black family in Ohio a century ago, ‘Hamilton’s story moves along at an elegant pace, giving readers time to savor the holiday preparations.'”                       [J HAMILTON]

Uncle Vova’s Tree by Patricia Polacco

“Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and children gather at a farm house to celebrate Christmas in the Russian tradition. Based on Polacco’s childhood memories, this is the story of her Great-uncle Vladimir, known as Vova, and his colorful and inventive celebrations of the Russian Orthodox holiday of Epiphany. Polacco’s art warmly depicts the vibrant costumes and decorations from her family’s homeland, and the text conveys the magical feeling of a child’s wonder and joy during the holidays.”   [JPB POLACCO]

So many memories, so many wonderful stories. Enjoy, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!



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Tuesday Children’s Book Reviews for December 16, 2014

December is a LOT of things! It is the beginning of winter, and the end of the year. Many, many holidays, observations, and commemorations take place in December. The weather is – usually – changing, and it’s – usually – time to bring out the warm sweaters, scarves and gloves, and – hopefully!!! – the umbrellas, raincoats and rain boots.

December is a month for family, food, and fun!

It’s great to GET things, but it can be even better to GIVE – to your family, your friends – and to people you have never met. You and your family can donate to a food bank; you can have fun picking out new clothes and toys for the U.S. Marine Corps TOYS FOR TOTS program. Have more time than money? Practice some holiday songs, then go visit a convalescent hospital and sing!

Be thankful for the things and people you have in your life.

Want to try your hand at making gifts this year? The Library can help!

Cool Knitting for Kids: A Fun and Creative Introduction to Fiber Art by Alex Kuskowski

“Provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions for knitting projects, including mitts, scarf, and bag.”   [J746.432 KUSKOWSKI]

Knits to Give: 30 Knitted Gifts Made With Love by Debbie Bliss

“Provides thirty patterns for both beginning and expert knitters to create hand-knitted gifts for a variety of occasions.”     [746.43204 BLISS]

Crafts for Styling Your Wardrobe by Susannah Blake

“A variety of crafts for kids to make their clothes their own. Includes upcycling old clothes and basic sewing stitches”                  [J646.2 BLAKE]

Earth-Friendly Wood Crafts in Five Easy Steps by Anna Llimos

“Provides step-by-step instructions on how to create fourteen simple crafts using wood and cork”                      [J684.08 LLIMOS PLOMER]

Gifts by Ruth Owen

“Readers learn to use recycled materials to make gifts for family, friends, and even their dog.
Contents: Giving green gifts — Juice Carton Bird Restaurant — Seed-Covered Napkin Rings — Newspaper Desk Organizer — Recycled Glass Vase — Make A Pet Place Mat — Recycled Plastic Holiday Door Wreath”                       [J745.5 OWEN]

Make Your Own Gifts, edited by Margaret Parrish

“Make Your Own Gifts has more than 50 fantastic projects to make great handmade gifts that will be more memorable than their store-bought counterparts. From photo frames to handmade soap, this fun guide to arts and crafts includes awesome gift ideas for all occasions. Simple step-by-step instructions alongside detailed photographs make these gifts easy and accessible for children to make. With projects that range from fun trinkets made with materials found around the house to tasty baked treats made from scratch, this entertaining gift guide also includes instructions on how to make unique wrapping paper and gift tags to make any handmade present priceless.”          [J745.5 MAKE]

Have a wonderful December!

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Union City Library Benefits from Forest Park Service Learning Project

12-9-14 4When fourth graders Kshreya and Anushna were assigned a Service Learning Project for their class at Forest Park Elementary School in Fremont, they decided that they wanted to serve their community by donating books to the Library.

12-9-14 3They were able to rally friends and family to collect and donate over 120 books: board books, picture books, early readers, children’s paperbacks and hardbacks, and even a few teen titles. After contact Patricia Ryan, Children’s Librarian at the Union City Library, the students and parent Poornima Sundar, delivered the donated books Tuesday.

Great job, and thanks!

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for December 8, 2014

Searching For Silverheels by Jeannie Mobley

“A girl’s search for the truth about a legendary woman teaches her a lot about what bravery and loyalty really mean.

“In her small Colorado town Pearl spends the summers helping her mother run the family café and entertaining tourists with the legend of Silverheels, a beautiful dancer who nursed miners through a smallpox epidemic in 1861 and then mysteriously disappeared. According to lore, the miners loved her so much they named their mountain after her.

“Pearl believes the tale is true, but she is mocked by her neighbor, Josie, a suffragette campaigning for women’s right to vote. Josie says that Silverheels was a crook, not a savior, and she challenges Pearl to a bet: prove that Silverheels was the kindhearted angel of legend, or help Josie pass out the suffragist pamphlets that Pearl thinks drive away the tourists. Not to mention driving away handsome George Crawford.

“As Pearl looks for the truth, darker forces are at work in her small town. The United States’s entry into World War I casts suspicion on German immigrants, and also on anyone who criticizes the president during wartime—including Josie. How do you choose what’s right when it could cost you everything you have?”  By the author of Katerina’s Wish.                                       [J MOBLEY,J.]

The Swap by Megan Shull

“With one random wish, Jack and Ellie are living life in each other’s shoes. He’s her. And she’s him. ELLIE assumed popular guys didn’t worry about body image, being perfect, or talking to girls, but acting like you’re cool with everything is tougher than it looks. JACK thought girls had it easy—no fights with bullies, no demanding dads, no power plays—but facing mean girls at sleepovers and getting grilled about your period is way harder than taking a hit to the face at sports practice. Now they’re dealing with each other’s middle school dramas—locker room teasing, cliques, video game battles, bra shopping, and a slew of hilariously awkward moments—until they hopefully switch back!”                                       [J SHULL]

World War I Unclassified: Secrets of World War I Revealed! by Nick Hunter

“From the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, this book takes readers on a journey back in time to discover the amazing story behind one of the most terrible wars in history. Packed full of amazing photographs and original documents from the National Archives, real-life artifacts and documentation enable readers to build a true and real account of World War I and how it shaped the world.”              [J940.3 HUNTER]


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International Games Day at the Union City Library

Come and Enjoy

at the

Union City Library

Saturday, November 15


Come to the Reference Desk and see what games we have available to play in the Library with your family and others! Have fun and make new friends!

* * Fun for Families * *

* * FREE * *

* * No Registration * *

* * All Ages! * *


International Games Day @ your library is a national initiative supported by the American Library Association.

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Write Your Story…Halloween!

Bruce Haase ( senior library member ) has submitted the following memoir:

Bruce Haase

Bruce Haase

“Halloween Haunted House”

Ned was trying to convince No Jocks and I that he came from a long line of entrepreneurs, and we could make some cash this Halloween. He had a plan but needed the two of us to help him with the details and to back him up with the plan.

I had never been totally trusting of Ned, and asked him, “What the hell is an entrepreneur?

Naturally No Jocks answered with, “That’s a French guy that wears girl’s clothes!” I punched him on the shoulder, and Ned slapped him on the top of the head.

I made a mental note to stop at the library to find out what an entrepreneur was. Then I could figure out if Ned was one.

Ned told us his plan, I fine tuned it, and No Jocks nervously said, he’d go along with it if we would.

The plan was to brag that the three of us would go to the door of the old Haunted Mansion on Nottingham and get in, if someone answered, we said we weren’t afraid of ghosts, or whoever answered. We would bet all comers.

The rest of the plan was our secret. We would meet at one pm on the Saturday before Halloween in front of our school if we got enough kids to bet against us.

We ended up with a bunch of fifty cent bets. If we won we’d split $9.50 three ways and if we lost, well, it would be a $3 hit for each of us and Ned had to pay the extra fifty cents. It was his idea, right…

All three of us were there early on Saturday and we pedaled our bikes up Nottingham and crossed over to the overgrown drive way. We knew someone still lived there, we’d all seen the light or two in the windows at night. No one that we knew had ever been down that driveway before, at least, not in our lifetimes. It was big and old and falling apart, overgrown everything. A few outbuildings that had collapsed or were threatening to. A tall rusty flagpole leaned further than Pisa. Ned and I mumbled it was time to see if it was truly haunted. No Jocks said he could get the $3 from his uncle if we decided to back out. We both punched him…

After a breathless 200 foot ride we’re at the door, as Ned raises his hand to knock the door opens…

I swear it creaked. Now, realize that the three of us are in the seventh grade, two of us are tall, No Jocks is only about 4-11 though. The real old lady that answered is shorter then him and has a sweet smile. It turned out that there were two of them living there, both in their 80’s. They had been born in the house in the 1870’s, not in a hospital, but born in the house! There was a room especially for birthing and dying and those kinds of things. They told us you wouldn’t want to mess up a nice room with dis-tasteful goings’ on. The family had made their money selling sharpening stones to the Union Army in the Civil War and all the later wars, they added bayonets and such, all the way into WWII when they sold the company. At one time their property was 640 acres, now sold down to around 8 acres.

We explained our bet with the other kids to them and they loved it. They told us they hadn’t seen a trick-or-treater for at least ten years. They would be awake and ready for us on Halloween, only before 8pm. That was bedtime, you see.

At around 6:30 pm on Halloween eight of us showed up, five of the kids we had bet with, were the witnesses and waited at the sidewalk. None would go down the driveway with us. The old lady’s opened the door and had Witches hats on and tried to screech, we had to screech for them. We went in and closed the door and the five of us had a good laugh. We hung out for maybe ten minutes and after promising to visit them again, they gave us carrots and apples and each a brand new Two Dollar bill. There were only three kids waiting for us, two had run away.

We had won our bets, every kid had paid off without a hassle. We were famous at Saint John’s School, all the grades and even the teachers were impressed. We never told a soul about the early visit, on that Saturday afternoon.

A few days later, when I stopped a Sonny’s Garage they told me that, “The little No Jocks kid had been in there saying that we had gone to the Nottingham Haunted House on Halloween and there were two old ladies that gave us each a two dollar bill.” He didn’t have his bill for proof because he had spent it, so they didn’t believe him.

I pulled out my wallet and withdrew the new two dollar bill, with a whistle I kissed it, smiled and casual as you please, strolled out. I looked back and said, “the No Jocks never lies!”

When I delivered the afternoon paper to Moe’s Tavern they asked me about No Jock’s story, I showed the bill and smiled. I vowed to carry that bill with me from then on.

For a couple of years No Jocks and I visited the old lady’s, Ned never did. After all, he was an entrepreneur and they don’t always honor their commitments.


Write Your Story @ the Union City Library

Join our senior library member Bruce Haase

and write your memoir. Bruce is lifelong reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction.

These are informal meetings ,

to support each other and organize your thoughtseiffel_tower_black_and_white

for writing. Sharing is optional.

Meetings take place

The Third Tuesday of the month

November 18,  December 16, January 20

1 p.m. — 3 p.m.

Please bring pen & paper

For more information: Bruce Haase


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