Pass It On

Tidbits and treats from the Sunnyvale Public Library Reference Division

Estate Planning and Write Your Own Will September 30, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 7 p.m.

Estate planning attorney, Eric Norris will present an informative and entertaining seminar on estate planning.  You’ll discover the pitfalls of probate and how to avoid them. You’ll learn about the advantages of living trusts, especially for the baby boomer generation.  You’ll hear about the importance of an Advance Health Care Directive, and why the local bank may not honor your Durable Power of Attorney.  Finally, Eric will help you execute a valid simple California will on the spot.  Space is limited so please contact the Information/Reference desk at (408) 730-7300, option 5, to reserve your space.


Read-Along Shakespeare, Monday, October 6 September 29, 2008

Filed under: Programs,Shakespeare — svref @ 8:14 am
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ather with other fans of Shakespeare to read the plays and enjoy them in a very personal way. The group meets the first Monday of every month unless holidays move us to a later Monday.  This month we’re reading:

The Winter’s Tale

Monday, October 6, 2008

7 p.m.

in the Program Room


Blogs & Blogging Class September 30 September 25, 2008

Filed under: Classes,Internet,Technology — svref @ 12:42 pm
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Please join us from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, September 30 for our Blogs & Blogging class. Come hear practical ideas for launching your Web presence. Learn about free tools to create a blog in minutes and how new technologies can help you reach the world with your message. Also learn about ways to find blogs to read and how to subscribe to blogs. Please join us in the Library program Room from 2-4 p.m. No registration is necessary.


Great Books September 24, 2008

We’ve set up a new display in the fiction section of the library! For the time being, we’ve devoted a shelf to spotlighting the work of classic or renown authors. Maybe the shelf will remind you of someone whose work you loved, or maybe you’ll discover new favorite authors on the display. We hope that you’ll keep these writers in mind when you’re browsing through the many offerings in our fiction collection.

First up in our Classic Authors spotlight is W. Somerset Maugham…

This picture was taken in 1933 at Maugham’s home on the French Riviera (and was retrieved from our AP Images database). Maugham looks a bit cranky in this photo — and by some accounts, cranky was his natural state. According to Contemporary Authors Online, (accessible through our Biography Resource Center subscription), Maugham was often called “cynical, cold, uncharitable.”

But if he was hard on friends and colleagues, Maugham was arguably much kinder to his readers. Described by one contemporary as “the most continuously readable storyteller of our lifetime,” Maugham’s books are engaging, with memorable characters and clear plots, and few unnecessary literary flourishes. In his A Writer’s Notebook, Maugham  described his theory of literature this way:

The fact remains that the four greatest novelists the world has ever known–Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoi and Dostoyevski–wrote their respective languages very badly. It proves that if you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write. All the same it’s better to write well than ill.

He achieved great financial success in his lifetime, making his mark with both novels and plays. Stop by our display and peruse his work for yourself — or ask a librarian to help you find a title.

(Have a suggestion for our next author spotlight? Leave us a comment here, or stop by the reference desk and let us know.)

Click here for a catalog search of works by W. Somerset Maugham.



Monthly Book Group to Discuss “River Town” September 16, 2008

Filed under: Authors,Awards,Books,Monthly Book Group,Nonfiction — svref @ 12:33 pm

This coming Thursday, September 18, the Library’s Monthly Book Group will be discussing Peter Hessler’s River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. This is a Peace Corps teacher’s account of his two years in Fuling, a town on the Yangtze River in Sichuan province. River Town won the 2001 Kiriyama Prize for nonfiction. Please join us Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Library Program Room.


Small Business Workshops in October! September 15, 2008

Filed under: Business,Programs — svref @ 3:20 pm
Tags: ,

The library will be hosting FREE Small Business Resource Workshops* during the month of October! 

Are you thinking of starting a small business or want to expand your existing business?

Join us in one or more of the FREE Small Business Resource Workshops sponsored by the City of Sunnyvale Economic Development Department, Sunnyvale Public Library, NOVA@CONNECT! Business Services and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Last November was our first time offering these workshops.  This year, we’ve picked out the most popular ones from that series, plus two new workshops!

*To register, call (408) 730-7607 or visit

  We’ll be posting details of the program by October 1; for more details, visit the library’s website .  Also, stop by the library to pick up a flyer with the class descriptions and schedule by next week.


Under the Helmet – A Few Seconds of Panic September 9, 2008

Filed under: Authors,Books,Nonfiction,Sports — svref @ 9:00 am

If you watch television, read the newspaper, or browse the internet at all (we’ll go out on a limb and assume that most of you blog readers at least do the latter) you are probably aware that football season has begun. Although based on the length and depth of the preseason media coverage this offseason, you would not have been far off in guessing that the season began three months ago.


A Few Seconds of Panic by Stefan Fatsis

A Few Seconds of Panic by Stefan Fatsis

Preseason with the 2006 Denver Broncos is where Stefan Fatsis finds himself in his book A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL.  As the title suggests, Fatsis, who in his previous bestseller Word Freak infiltrated the odd world of competitive Scrabble players, this time joins the Broncos at training camp as a placekicker.  Naturally, players and coaches are at first skeptical, but Fatsis works hard enough to earn the respect and honesty of his fellow teammates, both on-the-field and off.


A Few Seconds of Panic provides an unusual perspective into the life of a professional football team, from the cool confidence of seasoned veterans to the nail-biting tension of fourth-stringers fighting every day for their livelihoods.  Anyone who has ever entertained the thought of stepping onto any sporting field will be entertained by Fatsis’ struggles.  Football fans will devour this book and may never view the game on the field quite the same, but even the casual observer will be intrigued by the all-too-human side displayed by these gridiron giants.

You will find A Few Seconds of Panic in the New Books section at 070.4497 F.  Other books on football can be found at 796.332.