Calling all teens! Did you know that there are weekly book-related contests at the Dublin Library this summer? Stop by the teen area each week (Monday afternoon through the following Monday morning) and fill out an entry form with your answers to the week’s contest. Last week we had book title anagrams up on the board, and this week (June 19th – June 26th in the morning) we have a character matching game. Match the character names to the book cover to which the characters’ belong. We’ll pick on lucky entry from those that guess all the characters correctly.

In addition, we will save all correct entry forms each week to enter into a grand prize drawing. The grand prize winner will be announced the first week of August. These contests are open for teens ages 13-18. These programs are sponsored with the generous support of the Dublin Friends of the Library.

Looking for a few good books? Come by the library this summer and see what others are suggesting, and leave your own suggestions, too!

Now through August 13th, 2017, the Dublin Library is asking adults to share three recent reads that they have enjoyed and three adjectives to describe each title. Come in and see our display at the library and fill out our Three Good Books form.

When you turn in your Three Good Books form you will be entered in our twice-monthly drawings for $5 gift certificates to Starbucks. Enjoy a snack or drink with your beach read!

Here are Three Good Books submitted by some Dublin Library staff…

Adult Librarian Diane’s choices:

The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
Teen Fiction
smart, endearing, romantic

A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab
Fantasy set in alternate Londons (book 2)
thrilling, engaging, clever

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Fiction- Family Saga
engrossing, intense, eye-opening,


Teen Librarian Mary’s picks:

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, by Kate Moore
Non-fiction (history, science)
Engrossing, poignant, unsettling

Bull, by David Elliott
Teen/YA (verse, mythology)
Entertaining, twisted, comical

Daughter of the Pirate King, by Tricia Levenseller
Teen/YA, Fantasy/Adventure
Fun, sarcastic, daring

Adult Librarian Eugene’s books:

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
Historic Fiction
Informative, ante-bellum society, gripping

Rocket Girl, by George D. Morgan
Biography (of author’s mother, a space scientist in the 1950s)
Inspiring, informative, presentation of societal attitudes

City of Women, by David R. Gillham
Historic Fiction (Berlin in last years of Third Reich)
Thriller, spies, resistance

Now that you have some good books to read, sign yourself up for Alameda County Library’s online Summer Reading Program for all ages!  It’s not just for the kids. No matter how young or old you are, you can read books and do activities to earn free books and enter a grand prize drawing. Just register online, log the time you’ve read and/or do the activities listed to earn points.

That should keep you busy and entertained this summer! As always, come in to the library or contact us for more reading and listening suggestions.

Have a teen ages 13-18 that’s looking for something to do this summer? The library has some fun art programs lined up, just for teens! 


We also have a Teen Read In scheduled, which is part of a larger program, #48HBC (48 Hour Book Challenge). The challenge is for teens to read, or talk about books on social media, or in person, for as much time as they can within a 48-hour time period. We are asking teens to complete this challenge between Friday, June 9th (8 pm) – Sunday, June 11th (8 pm). Keep track of your time spent reading or talking about books during the assigned weekend, and submit your totals by Monday, June 12th at noon to Mary at: There will be prizes, and the overall winner will be announced here on Monday, June 12th.

Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of another movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The DVD is now available to place on hold at the library (there is currently quite a long hold list!)

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release Date: November 18, 2016

MPAA Rating : PG-13

My rating : 4 stars

Genre : Fantasy, action, thriller

Set roughly seventy years before the timeline of the Ha rry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first entry in a five-part series of prequels that will focus on the events leading up to the climactic duel between Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore. With a screenplay penned by J.K. Rowling, F anta stic Beasts is directed by David Yates, and produced by David Heyman and Steve Kloves — all of whom worked on the original Harry Potter film ser ies. The film follows the adventures of British magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), after he arrives in 1920s New York City with a briefcase filled with magical creatures.

Newt finds himself directly in the midst of the sudden chaos and turmoil that wreak havoc on New York streets; the mayhem gradually reveals the longstanding tension and deep distrust between the American magical community and the “No-Majs” (non-magical people, the equivalent of Muggles). Although Newt evidently prefers the company of the beloved creatures he carries with him, he encounters demoted Auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), her Legilimens sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), and Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (Dan Fogler), all of whom help him in his quest to save the American Wizarding World from total anarchy.

Each of the actors deliver superb performances; Oscar-winner Redmayne, in particular, perfectly captures the charisma and charm of Newt. While not quite as emotionally powerful and gripping as on the page, Rowling’s talent still shines through her screenwriting; she expertly conveys the developing relationships between the characters through memorable lines of dialogue.

The thrilling, fast-paced action sequences are supplemented by a lilting score courtesy of James Newton Howard ( The Hunger Games, T he Dark Knight, Maleficent), who incorporates snippets of John Williams’ classic “Hedwig’s Theme” along with refreshingly original elements. However, a few scenes in the middle of the film seem a bit too drawn out, and the magical creatures — which were promoted as the core of Fantastic Beasts — are quickly forgotten in the midst of the action. Nevertheless, Fantastic Beasts makes for an entertaining fantasy adventure sure to enchant audiences; moreover, its underlying commentary about the dangers of intolerance and paranoia is just as riveting as it is deeply unsettling.


Transfixed by the hulu series based on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale? Of course you’ll want to read the original book, but why not also try some of these books that hit some of the same notes as the series and the book? Dark yet compelling, these novels are frightening plausible dystopias and/or are literary speculative fiction with philosophical themes. Give one a try and tell us what you think!

Handmaids Reads

Dystopias and Post-Apocalypse Stories:

Atwood created another grim tale of the future with Oryx and Crake, a title that with dark humor explores a world devastated by bioengineering and ecological disasters. It is the first in a trilogy, alongside The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. Another dystopic tale that slowly reveals its disturbing truths, Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro is a haunting novel about coming to terms with one’s pre-ordained role in society.

In Children of Men, P.D. James imagines the societal upheavals brought on by the human race’s unexpected sterility. It is 2021, no babies have been born since 1995, and an Oxford historian is drawn into a revolutionary movement.  Or, for a more straightforward end-of-the-world title, try Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. While not really tackling heavy issues like The Handmaid’s Tale, it is one of more lyrical and memorable entries in the growing field of dystopian and post-apocalyptic tales.

Feminism in Speculative Fiction:

If it’s the feminist edge in The Handmaid’s Tale that intrigues you, try When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan. A speculative riff on The Scarlet Letter, this novel follows Hannah Payne, a woman whose skin is dyed red for the crime of having an abortion. Or, for a thought-provoking exploration of gender wrapped into a science fiction story, look no further than Ursula K. Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, in which a human ambassador is sent to a world where the inhabitants can change their gender whenever they choose.

Octavia Butler’s science fiction often tackle issues of race, class, and gender. For readers who don’t really want the world-building and futuristic settings of the previous titles, you might like Butler’s time-traveling story Kindred. It tells the story of Dana, a black woman, who is repeatedly transported to the antebellum South, where she must protect her white ancestor.

Described as The Handmaid’s Tale meets Mean Girls, Only Ever Yours, by Louise O’Neill, is a Young Adult title set in a future world where girls are created and raised solely to please men.  With few good options, young women find themselves competing against one another for prized positions.

Class Oppression & Rebellion:

More action-packed and less literary than Atwood’s books, Pierce Brown’s trilogy may appeal to those who want a tale set in a bleak future society torn by class divisions, but also want to see the oppressed rise up in revolt. The first title in the series is Red Rising.

For a somewhat out there suggestion, try The Bees, by Laline Paull. Yes, this book is literally about bees.  But it’s also about a strictly hierarchical society where Flora 717, a sanitation worker and a member of the lowest caste in her hive, gets woke to her status and the inequities inherent in her society.

You can find the titles discussed in this post in the library’s catalog by searching for “handmaid’s reads”.

Have a title you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments.

Also of interest: Check out the book covers for Handmaid’s Tale from various editions around the world.


Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of the book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Jiwon H., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 1988

Who will book appeal to?: Adults

Rating: 5 stars

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is one of the very famous books throughout the world as it has been translated into at least sixty-nine languages getting into many different readers’ hands. The book begins with a man named Santiago who believes that the recurring dream he has is prophetic. He decides to travel to meet a Romani fortune-teller to figure out what this dream is trying to tell him. Throughout his journey, Santiago meets different people and learns about various values in one’s life. Following what his dream has shown him, his ultimate goal in the journey is to find the treasure at the pyramids, which is based on the interpretation of his dream by a gypsy woman. In the desert, Santiago meets an alchemist who teaches him about alchemy, helps him cross the desert to reach the pyramids, and talks about his wisdom about the Soul of the World.

The story tells the readers many values in our lives, such as wealth, fame, security, and health. Santiago sees how individuals prioritizing the values in different ways. Then, he looks at himself and finds what is most important in his life by the end of his journey. Paulo Coelho introduces philosophical concepts and the manner each reader perceives these varies.  In order to truly understand the message of this book and learn from it, the readers should be able to connect their own conceptions of different values in life to those of Santiago in the book. Thus, I would like to recommend this book to adults who are interested in reading inspirational books. I rated this book with five stars, because I believe that the lessons or the main message of the story is very meaningful regardless of whether or not each reader could fully understand it or get inspired by it after reading.


The 2017 Pulitzers have been announced. Have you read a Pulitzer lately?

This year’s winners, with the judge’s commentary are:


The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.

Previous Fiction Pulitzer winners.


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond

For a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.

Previous General Nonfiction Pulitzer winners.


The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar

For a first-person elegy for home and father that examines with controlled emotion the past and present of an embattled region.

Previous Biography or Autobiography Pulitzer winners.


Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson

For a narrative history that sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica prison riots.

Previous History Pulitzer winners.


Olio, by Tyehimba Jess

For a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.

Previous Poetry Pulitzer winners.


Want more award winners? Download our list of Fiction Winners and check out a book today!

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