Now Showing on Hoopla: The Man on the Train

An aging bank robber is reluctantly persuaded to do one last job. The only hotel in the small town he is sent to is closed, so he stays at the home of a retired schoolteacher, his opposite in nearly every way. The Man on the Train has a 92% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes and can be seen both on DVD and via the Hoopla streaming media service.


France's Literary Awards

A number of important literary prizes have been announced in France this month. The Prix Goncourt for 2014 has been won by Lydie Salvayre for her novel Pas Pleurer; a number of her previous books in both English and French are listed in our catalog. A rival prize, the Renaudot, has been won by another widely translated author, David Foenkinos, best known here for Delicacy, which was also made into a film starring Audrey Tautou.


Now Showing on Hoopla: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

In 1943, a student at Munich University was arrested for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, interrogated by the Gestapo and executed. Based on transcripts found in East German archives after reunification, Sophie Scholl: the Final Days is a dramatization of her story. The Oscar-nominated film is available both on DVD and via the Hoopla streaming video service.


Who Is Elena Ferrante?

Elena Ferrante is an enigma. The Italian novelist is highly respected and has an American fan base which includes Zadie Smith, Jhumpa Lahiri and Claire Messud, but nothing is publicly known about her, and many people believe she may not exist. SFPL owns several of her books in English and Italian; you can learn more about this literary puzzle at the Guardian.


The Man Booker Prize for 2014

This year's Man Booker Prize has gone to Australian Richard Flanagan for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. More information is at the New York Times.


Patrick Modiano

The French author Patrick Modiano has won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. There is a brief appreciation in the Guardian listing five key works, while the New Statesman has a longer analysis of his writings ; you can also see titles in English in our catalog. In addition to novels, Modiano contributed to the screenplays of two films, Lacombe Lucien and Bon Voyage.


In Memoriam: Christopher Hogwood

The conductor Christopher Hogwood has passed away at the age of 73. Hogwood was a leading proponent of early classical music, using period instruments and historically informed performance techniques to reinterpret well-known compositions. Many of his recordings are available on Hoopla.


Now Showing On Hoopla: Let The Right One In

A young boy, bullied at school and neglected by his parents, befriends a girl who moves into his apartment block. His new companion is a bit odd, though; she turns out to be impervious to the cold, never eats and says she's been 13 for a very, very long time. An unusual vampire story from Sweden, Let The Right One In has a rare 98% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes and is available both on DVD and through Hoopla.


Now Showing On Hoopla: The Salt Of Life

When his employer goes bankrupt, Gianni is left with a very small pension and a lot of free time. He starts dating, attends his neighbor's rave parties and tries to hang out with the elderly men who chat in the afternoons on nearby park benches, but he feels too old for some things and too young for others. A wry comedy from Italy, The Salt of Life stars and is directed by Gianni di Gregorio; the film has an 83% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  You can borrow the movie as a DVD or via Hoopla, our new digital service.


Now Showing On Hoopla: OSS 117; Cairo, Nest of Spies

When a crisis breaks out in the Middle East, France sends its best spy to take charge. Agent OSS 117 is charming, handsome and very​ lucky, all of which prevent his superiors in Paris from realizing how spectacularly incompetent he really is. An affectionate sendup of early spy films, OSS 117; Cairo Nest of Spies was directed by Michel Hazanavicius and stars Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bernejo, all of whom went on to make the Academy Award winning film The Artist. The movie is available both on DVD and via Hoopla.

The National Book Award YA Longlist

The National Book Award longlist for teen fiction has been announced. Finalists include books by Jacqueline Woodson, Kate Milford, and Steve Sheinkin.as well as Laurie Halse Anderson  The full list is at the Los Angeles Times website.


Now Showing on Hoopla: Coriolanus

Caius Marcius Coriolanus was once a great general of Roman armies; feeling betrayed and unappreciated, he defected to Rome's enemies and nearly destroyed the nation he once served. One of Shakespeare's less well known history plays. Coriolanus has been adapted for the big screen in a modern setting by Ralph Fiennes, who both directs and stars in the film. Coriolanus received a 93% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes; the movie is available both as a DVD and via Hoopla.

The Man Booker Shortlist

The short list for this year's Man Booker Prize has been announced. Two American novels are included; To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. You can read more about the finalists at the New York Times ArtsBeat blog.


Now Showing on Hoopa: Farewell My Queen

A poor orphan girl in eighteenth-century France finally has a stroke of luck; she is sent to Versailles to serve the Queen.  Unfortunately, her timing is not good; the Bastille has been stormed, the peasants are rebelling, and the monarchy's days are numbered.  Farewell My Queen stars Diane Kruger and Lea Seydoux; the film has a 92% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and is available both as a DVD and via Hoopla, our new digital service.


L Magazine's Books for Fall

New York's L Magazine has an article discussing books they are looking forward to this autumn. Their picks include Some Luck by Jane Smiley, Marilynn Robinson's Lila and Eimear McBride's new book, which has won several major awards.  You can find the list here.


Telegraph Book Recommendations

The Telegraph maintains a list, recompiled every week, of what their reviewers consider the best books of the year.  You can find the list here.

Sylvia Plath, In Her Own Words

Last year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of Sylvia Plath, something commemorated more in her adapted country than in the land of her birth. She is still widely read and very influential, but most people only know her from the written text. In 1962, she gave a thoughtful interview to the British Council; her voice still commands attention, even after a half century.


Books for the Beach

The Guardian has started a blog discussing ideal books to take with you to the beach this summer.  Most are contemporary titles, with a few classics thrown in. Their latest recommendation is The Snack Thief by Italian mystery writer Andrea Camilleri. You can look at the ongoing list (and commentary on the choices) here.

The Hugo Award

This year's Hugo Award for science fiction has been awarded to Ann Leckie.  Her novel Ancillary Justice has also won a Nebula; finalists included Parasite by Mira Grant and Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross.You can see the full list here.


In Memorium: Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall has passed away at the age of 89. Her best known films are the ones she made with Humphrey Bogart; The Big Sleep, To Have And Have Not, Dark Passage and Key Largo.  She also had a significant role in later films, such as The Shootist, and lent her voice to a number of animated films, including the recent Oscar-nominated Ernest and Celestine. The last two can be viewed as streaming video via Hoopla.


Overdrive In Other Languages

A reminder that Overdrive offers ebooks in languages besides English. At present, you can borrow titles in Spanish, Russian, and Chinese.

Now Showing On Hoopla: The Great Beauty

When he was young, Jep Gambardella wrote an amazing novel that is still read and admired. Now in his sixties, Jep presides over Rome's literary and social scene, but hasn't written anything of importance since. He begins to suspect that he has wasted his life, and ponders what to do with the time that remains. The Great Beauty has won many awards (including an Oscar and a Golden Globe); there is currently a waiting list for the DVD, but the film can be viewed any time on Hoopla.


Reading Suggestions: The Year So Far

The Guardian recently asked readers what they believed were the best books of early 2014, then listed the top ten.  The choices were interesting, starting with J K Rowling's new crime novel (The Silkworm), an analysis of modern economics (Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century), a book about one writer's love of a classic Victorian novel (published in the US as My Life in Middlemarch), a collection of short stories by Lydia Davis (Can't and Won't) and even a novel about an author's wives (Mrs. Hemingway).  You can find the article here.

Novels Set In Africa

The book editors at the Telegraph assembled a list of their favorite novels set in Africa.  A number of them are by African authors who deserve to be better know, including Children of Gebelawi by Nobel Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz, Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Hisham Matar's In the Country of Men. Some titles are available as ebooks and in other languages; the full article is here.


Mystery Writers Of Note: Donna Leon

Guido Brunetti is a happy man. He has a wonderful wife, two well-adjusted kids, eats well and loves Venice, the city where he lives and serves as a police inspector. Still, his life is not perfect; his boss is an idiot, his children can't find work and he begins to suspect that the Italian justice system is more effective at protecting the guilty than the innocent. Brunetti is the protagonist of over twenty mystery novels by Donna Leon;  some are available as ebooks as well. 

Willful Behavior will also be the first choice of the new Golden Gate Valley Mystery Book Club this September. Please consider joining us!

Publisher Weekly's Fall Picks

Publisher's Weekly has assembled a list of some of the most anticipated books of this fall.  A few of them can already be reserved, including new releases by David Mitchell, Marlon James, Marilynne Robinson and Hilary Mantel. You can view the whole list here.

Classical Music On Demand

The world's biggest classical music festival has begun.  Every summer, dozens of orchestras visit London to perform at the Proms; for those who can't attend, BBC Radio broadcasts all of the concerts live and makes them available on demand for a limited time.  You can also listen to thousands of classical and opera recordings on Alexander Street Press and Hoopla.


PEN Award Winners

The latest winners of the PEN literary awards have just been announced; recipients include James Wolcott, Frank Bidart, Linda Leavell and Carl Hart. The award for debut fiction won't be announced until September, but you can view the list of finalists.

Haruki Murakami's Latest Novel

Japan's most popular and acclaimed living writer has a new book out in English this month. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage has already been reviewed by the Independent and excerpted by Slate; you can reserve a copy in English, Japanese, and Chinese.


Local History: The Metropolis of Western America

San Francisco; the Metropolis of Western America, was published in 1899, with descriptions of the city just a few years before the great earthquake. The full page photos show streets and neighborhoods just before cars and buses appeared. Thanks to the San Francisco History Center, there is now a high-resolution digital scan at the Internet Archive, where you can browse the book online and even download a copy to keep.

In Memoriam: Lorin Maazel

Conductor and composer Lorin Maazel has passed away at the age of 84. Born in France and raised in the United States, he was music director of major orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic and left a formidable discography.  The New York Philharmonic has created an audio archive featuring past concerts, including Sibelius, Mozart and Debussy; you can also listen to dozens of studio recordings on Hoopla.


Local History: City Directories

One of the most useful resources for researching family history or the past residents of a property are annual city directories. Published from the nineteenth century up to the early 1980s, they list who lived at a certain address and often noted their occupation as well. Businesses could also be included, usually alphabetically and by industry; many took out advertisements as well. To save time, the San Francisco Genealogy Society has produced a page with links by year.

Explore The New Yorker Archive

The New Yorker is offering free access to their archive for the next few weeks to promote their new website. This includes material back to 2007, as well as selected content from previous decades.  If you're not sure where to start, there are recommendations at Slate and the AV Club.


In Memoriam: Nadine Gordimer

Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer has passed away at the age of 90. The Guardian has an appreciation by Margaret Atwood and a piece recommending five of her books, while the Johannesburg-based Mail and Guardian notes her importance to South African literary and political life. She was also interviewed by Eleanor Wachtel.

Reading Suggestions: 100 Novels

The Telegraph has drawn up a list of 100 novels they believe everyone should read. Most of the books are standard English and American classics, but there are also some interesting suggestions from France (Old Goriot, Germinal, The Voyeur, Suite Francaise, Life: A User's Manual), South Asia (Waiting for the Mahatma, Midnight's Children, The Home and the World), China (The Dream of the Red Chamber) and Japan (The Tale of Genji). You can view the entire list here.


The Man Booker Long List

The long list for the Man Booker prize has been announced; this is the first year that American authors have been included.  The Guardian has a gallery featuring nominees, which to the surprise of many does not include Donna Tart's The Goldfinch.

We're Back!

Hello, and thanks for visiting. The staff of the Golden Gate Valley Library will resume blogging here in future, and we hope that the information is of use to our readers. Please check back regularly; you can also look at our new Facebook page.


Branch Renovation Update (9.20.210)

Below is a slideshow of the branch construction. The renovation is a part of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP). The branch is tentatively scheduled to reopen in mid 2011.

Updating the branch will enable the San Francisco Public Library to provide the Golden Gate Valley neighborhood with a branch library that is safe, modern, and accessible to all. For more information, call (415) 557-4353.


Go With the Flow! Teen Summer Reading 2010

How it works

You must be 13 by June 5th 2010 to register.

Register at your local library starting June 5th 2010. You will receive a Go With the Flow gameboard.

Complete 6 tasks on the gameboard. Activities include reading, visiting environmental places in San Francisco, getting friends to sign up, or going to library events!

When you complete your 6 activities, come back to the library by July 31, 2010, to claim your prize: a flash drive and raffle ticket–to win a MacBook, iPod Nano, Nintendo Wii or MP3 players! You must be present to win grand prizes on August 4, 2010 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm at the Main Library.

Get your game board signed off by the librarian (anywhere on the form) and keep it - this is your party invitation to the Teen Summer Read Party and the Grand Prize Raffle!!


Word Up Wine Tasting

February 21st, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, CA, 94123

Now in its second year, the WORDUP event features over 20 local talented vintners pouring their wines made from some of California’s most interesting vineyards. Meet artisan winemakers from the Richmond, Presidio, Marina, Excelsior and more, enjoy hand-crafted wines and purchase bottled wines at special prices to support the Campaign. Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and unique wine-related silent auction items up for bid.

All proceeds benefit the Neighborhood Library Campaign which is raising funds to furnish and equip the 24 branch libraries being renovated and rebuilt throughout San Francisco.

To purchase tickets online or contact Sara Bassett at sbassett@friendssfpl.org or call at 415.626.7512 x 106.


Golden Gate Valley Branch Library Renovation

The renovation is a part of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP). The Golden Gate Valley Branch Library is temporarily closed renovation. The last day open was November 7, 2009. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen in mid 2011 (about 18 months).

Updating the branch will enable the San Francisco Public Library to provide the Golden Gate Valley neighborhood with a branch library that is safe, modern, and accessible to all. For more information, call (415) 557-4353, or visit http://www.sfpl.org/.

Below are information about the temporary services during the branch renovation:

Toddler tales
Nearby branches
Bookmobile service

Bookmobile Service

Bookmobile service will be provided near the branch location. The bookmobile will offer books for adults, teens, and children, as well as media (including CDs, DVDs and audio books) and magazines.

Patrons can obtain or renew a library card, borrow and return materials, reserve and pick up materials from other SFPL collections, and request materials from other library systems via Link+ or interLibrary loan.

Bookmobile Location:

Alongside Allyne Park
1700 Green St. (at Gough)
Tuesday 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Friday 2:15 - 5:30 p.m.

For updated hours and status of the bookmobile, call (415) 557-4353 or visit http://www.sfpl.org/.

Nearby Branches

Below are the nearby neighborhood branches. Click on the link to learn more about the branch and their open hours.

Marina Branch (415) 355-2823
1890 Chestnut St. (near Webster)
San Francisco, CA 94123

Presidio Branch (415) 355-2880
3150 Sacramento St. (near Baker)
San Francisco, CA 94115

Toddler Tales During Renovation

The Golden Gate Valley Branch will continue to offer weekly Toddler Tales for children 18 to 36 months during the branch renovation.

Toddler Tales will be held at Sherman Elementary School Library. It will begin at this location on November 10, 2009.

Toddler Tales:
Tuesdays from 10:15-10:45 a.m.

Sherman Elementary School, in the School Library
1651 Union Street (at Franklin)
San Francisco, CA 94123


Toddler Dance Party with Dylan Donkin

Another successful children program at Golden Gate Valley Branch Library!

The program featured Dylan Donkin, a local musician and guitarist. His upbeat music and vocals rock the house, as children, parents, and caregivers danced and participated through the half-hour musical program. The program also featured popular children books, rythmes, and movement for toddlers 18 to 36 months.

The program was well attended ( about 97 people) and received.


Musical Program - Gary Lapow

Another great children’s musical program at the Golden Gate Valley Branch!

Children and parents came to see Gary Lapow (a famous children songwriter and singer)perform. The program was well attended. Eighty-five people showed up for the event. The room was packed and filled with fun and laughter.

For 25 years, Gary has performed his inspiring music for children, parents and teachers in the U.S. and Canada. He has appeared on radio and television, festivals, concert halls, schools and libraries. Gary’s musical programs teach children to respect themselves and their communities as well as to celebrate the joys of life. His songs have been selected as Parents Choice Recommended and Honor Recordings. For more information about Gary, click here.


Upcoming Children Program – August 2009

Toddler Tales
Tuesday, August 4, 18, and 25
At 10:15 a.m.

The program includes reading of books, rhymes, music, movement and more for toddlers 18 to 36 months and their caregivers.

Carl Winters, Kalimba King
Tuesday, August 4
At 2:00 p.m.

Come in and experience the music of the kalimba, or “African thumb piano”, with master Carl Winters. The program is for ages 5 and older.

Gary Lapow, Singer/Songwriter
Tuesday, August 11
At 10:15 a.m.
Come in and tap your toes to the tunes of Parents’ Choice Award winning artist, Gary Lapow. The program is for children and all ages.


Yoga Class for Kids!

Yoga for kids! Another successful children program at the Golden Gate Valley Branch for ages 5 and younger.

The class focused on teaching parents how to connect with their child while exercising their mind, body and spirit through yoga. The activities included the basics of yoga, warm up exercises, body stretches, movements and fun activities for parents and child.

The program was very successful and well attended (97 people showed up for the event). The room was all packed with people.


Upcoming Children Program: Pam Donkin

The Pam Donkin: A Hop, Skip and Jump program is scheduled on Tuesday, July 14th, at 10:15 a.m. Adults and children ages 5 and younger are welcomed.

Come on in and sing, play and dance along with the award winning children's performer and recording artist, Pam Donkin.

For more information about Pam Donkin, click here, or a sample of her recording tracks, click here.


Musical Program for Children

A beautiful musical program that keeps its audience entertained and mesmerized!

Destiny Muhammad, a local performer, songwriter and sound scultpress, performed at the Golden Gate Valley Branch. She captivated and mesmerized her audience with her harp, vocals, musical imagery, and classical & ethno-eclectic fusion musics. The program was well received and attended. About 107 people showed up for the program. To listen to samples of her songs, click here.

For more information about other children programs at Golden Gate Valley Branch, talk to your librarian or click here.