Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas

Hello All,

I'm excited to tell you about a wonderfully exotic book that Harper was kind enough to send me for review. It's The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas, and for me, it was a "once upon a time" book.

Once upon a time, a baby girl was born in a land far away, and a flock of special birds heralded her arrival, and went with her wherever she went. For a long time, Eleanora Cohen (for that was her name) lived with her father, who traveled quite a bit, and her stepmother. Eleanora was a very intelligent girl, and remembered everything she was told, and many things that she read. Her father taught her to read at an early age, and she could not get enough of books. Her stepmother stopped Eleanora's reading when she disobeyed and read when she was supposed to be doing housework.

One day, Eleanora's father told her he would be going away on a business trip to Stamboul, a large city that she had heard about her whole life, and her father would be gone for a month. Rather than stay with her stepmother, Eleanora decided to stow away among her father's traveling things, and reveal herself when they reached Stamboul. And this was just the beginning of an adventure that would include the elegant city of Stamboul, living in the beautiful home of her father's business partner, espionage, a sultan, political intrigue, and the possibility of an unexpected future.

The Oracle of Stamboul was nothing like I anticipated, based on the original summary I read, and it is a beautiful story that I'm glad I had the opportunity to read.

Happy Reading,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary Huntington Woods Public Library!

Hello All!

I want to wish a Happy 50th Anniversary to the Huntington Woods Library ( This was my home away from home for over 10 years of my life, and started me on my career in librarianship.

My family moved to Huntington Woods in the summer of 1973, when I was 9 and going into the fourth grade. Soon after we moved in, I found out the library was in walking and/or biking distance (4 blocks) with no "busy" streets to cross--I could go by myself or with my sister! This changed my life--I could go almost anytime, and though I don't remember the amount of books I could take out, it was enough to make me happy. I also don't remember participating in any other activities than the summer reading program, but that was enough.

Two weeks after I turned 16, in August 1980, I was hired by the Huntington Woods Library as a page, to shelve the books, among other tasks. I was a page for four years, and then, while in college, I became a circulation clerk. I did that for three years.

To name drop, I worked for Virginia Platter at the beginning, then for Shelley Gach Droz and with Elizabeth Levin Gulick for the last several years I was there.

I left the Huntington Woods Library in spring 1987, to embark on several job and career adventures that did not end up being as steady and as much like "home" as the library.

I saw the light in spring 1990, quit my job at that time, and by fall I was enrolled at Wayne State University in their Library Science Program. I could not escape the fate that was probably decided at 16, quite possibly as early as when I was 9. I became a librarian.

I have since worked at the Romeo District Library in Washington, MI for 14 years (, and now with the Pima County Public Library in Tucson, AZ for over two years ( I have worked with all ages of patrons, and I am still one of those librarians who love to read and talk about books with people more than anything.

Happy Anniversary to Huntington Woods Library, and best wishes for the next 50 years!!!

Happy Reading!
Patti (Cheney) O'Brien