Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[Book Review] Stress Test by Timothy F. Geithner


Philip reviews STRESS TEST: REFLECTIONS ON FINANCIAL CRISES by Timothy F. Geithner (Crown Publishers, 2014)

Stress Test refers to the plan that Timothy Geithner, President Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, had to end the financial crisis that began in 2008.  Geithner, though, must also have meant the title to refer to what he faced during the frightening times that could have seen the complete collapse of the United States Finance System.  A collapse would have caused a subsequent global depression that would have caused unimaginable suffering for millions in the U.S. and worldwide.  

Geithner played a major role, as head of the Federal Reserve New York Bank, before becoming Treasury Secretary, in stabilizing the Financial Crisis.  This memoir of his experience during these frightening times is engrossing, and possibly surprising to some, even riveting in parts.  His account is very frank and candid and Geithner does not hesitate to talk about his shortcomings and the mistakes he made. But he makes a compelling case for why the actions he took, though politically unpopular and widely criticized by members of the right and left, ended the Financial Crisis and the possibility of a worldwide economic crisis.  

Perhaps a book many might suspect to be a difficult read, it is not.  In fact, it is a fast read, and Geithner makes comprehensible to the lay reader what leveraging, derivatives, hedge funds and other financial activities are and how they or their misuse contributed to the Financial Crisis.  This is certainly an important book, one that all people who want to understand what happened to our Financial System should read.  Readers will have to make their own judgments on whether Geithner was right or wrong in his actions and if his advice on how to prevent future financial crises is sound.

Philip, Cordova Branch

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Monday, November 10, 2014

[News and Notes] Memphis Public Library Check Out Policy Changes

Look for this sticker on all new books

As of November 3, 2014 Memphis Public Library has made the following changes:

All print books (including the former “Popular Library” books) can be requested and sent to other library branches for holds.

All print books have a 21-day check-out period

All books are eligible for two (2) renewals

All DVDs and VHS tapes have a 7-day check-out period

The library catalog also offers the new “AVAILABLE SOON” feature, which allows users to place holds on titles before they are released (Available Soon page)

If you have any questions about the new check out loan periods, please call any of our library branch locations.


Thursday, November 06, 2014


We want to send a special thank you to everyone who attended the Memphis Reads finale events at the Benjamin L. Hooks Library and Christian Brothers University November 4th. Copies of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears are still available to check out from the library. 

Photos from both events are available on the Memphis Public Library and the Memphis Reads Facebook pages. 

Dinaw Mengestu's Live at 9 interview is also available to view online at WREG's website

Thank you to Dinaw Mengestu, Della Adams, Dr. Clark Blatteis, Morris M. Gbee, Jonathan Judaken, Christian Brothers University, The Friends of the Memphis Public Library, and everyone who worked behind the scenes to make this event a success.



All locations of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center will be closed Tuesday November 11, 2014 for Veteran's Day 

Customers have the option of  reserving or renewing books by going to or calling 452-2047. The Library’s website also offers several resources customers can use anytime—24 hours a day—seven days a week.   E-books and downloadable audio books can be checked-out for free; online databases contain searchable newspaper and magazine articles, reference books and more; and blogs and newsletters on everything from fiction bestsellers to travel can be read on the web.


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Staff Recommendations: A Successful Story Time With a Good Book

Cossitt Branch Manager, Jamie Griffin, talks about a recent outreach experience and the Halloween-themed book that made it special. 

Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting
It was the night before Christmas. Oops. Wrong season? 

When it’s not the time for cheer, but the time for fear, Eve Bunting is the right choice for a little Halloween read for children.

Scary, Scary Halloween was published back in 1986, but is like the Charlie Brown television specials, timeless.

Bunting’s offerings is beautifully illustrated thanks to pictures by Jan Brett.  Although the story line is engaging, it’s the images that really help pace the work.

It is complete with skeletons, pumpkins, witches, ghost, and all the scary imagery of All Hallow’s Eve. A vampire and werewolf also make a cameo appearances. But have no fear parents, the book will not have your child waking up in fear at night. The language is very mild, and pictures tamed.

The suggested targeted audience is children age 3-8.  Perhaps to the delight of children, Scary is written with the use of rhyming couplets. Children of reading age should find it entertaining, and for those needing it read to them may find it even more of a treat, because the pictures allow for creative storytelling opportunities.

I read to a group of 3-4 year olds at New Glory Preparatory Learning in Memphis, and the book was well received.

Spoiler alert, the Grinch returns the gifts. Oops. Wrong book?  

Jamie, Cossitt Branch

Remember Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting  for next year's Halloween story time. 

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

[Library Events and Programs] Dinaw Mengestu at the Central Library and Christian Brothers University

We are one hour and thirty minutes away from the Memphis Reads city-wide event for The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and everyone is invited to attend.

If you have read the book, join us!

If you haven't read the book, join us!

If you want to read the book, join us!

If you want to learn about American life from an immigrant's perspective, join us! 

Author Dinaw Mengestu made an appearance on WREG Live at 9 this morning and he was featured in Friday's edition of The Commercial Appeal  (Author Dinaw Mengestu Makes Memphis Appearances). 

Don't miss this opportunity to see him in person, along with our guest panel of local immigrant authors. 

Dinaw Mengestu Reading  
Local Author Panel Discussion
5:30 p.m. 
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Ave. 
Meeting rooms A - C

Dinaw Mengestu Address & Book Signing
8:00 p.m.
Christian Brothers University Theatre
650 East Parkway South 

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[Library Events and Programs] Dinaw Mengestu visit and Immigrant stories panel TODAY!

November 4th is finally here!

After you exercise your right to vote in today's election, don't forget to make your way to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 5:30 p.m. for a fantastic event--a visit from Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, the Memphis Reads city-wide book selection. 

The local author panel of immigration stories will follow at 6:30 p.m.
Panelists:  Adams, Blatteis, and Gbee
Mengestu will also appear at Christian Brothers University Theater at 8:00 p.m.

We want to extend a special thank you to CBU's Fresh Reads top ten essay winners who shared personal but powerful stories for this initiative. We also want to say thanks to the organizations that made this event possible. 

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Monday, November 03, 2014

[Library Events and Programs] Dinaw Mengestu in Memphis tomorrow, November 4th, 2014

"Toward the end of Dinaw Mengestu's first novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, the book's narrator, an Ethiopian immigrant who has been living in the United States for nearly 20 years, encapsulates the bleak, unmoored nature of his life in the U.S. with an aphorism: ''A man stuck between two worlds lives and dies alone.'"  

Read the full Dinaw Mengestu interview, Stuck Between Two Worlds: A Writers' Fest Preview, from The Tyee.

Intrigued by that powerful aphorism? You can see Dinaw Mengestu in person tomorrow at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library and at Christian Brothers University Theater. 

A reminder of tomorrow's MEMPHIS READS events:

5:30 pm - Author Dinaw Mengestu's reading at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., Meeting Rooms A-C

6:30 pm - Memphis Immigrants' Panel Discussion at Central Library with Della Adams, Dr. Clark Blatteis, and Morris Gbee.

8:00  pm - Author Dinaw Mengestu's Talk and Book Signing at Christian Brothers University, CBU University Theatre, 650 East Parkway South

All ages are welcome to this free event.

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