La Mesa Reads: What’s new at the library

Posted: August 28th, 2015 | Arts & Entertainment, Featured, La Mesa Reads | No Comments

By Heather Pisani-Kristl, Librarian

Lifelong learning at the library

“Mindfulness for Mental Wellness” returns to La Mesa Library on Tuesdays, Sept. 1 and 8, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Led by licensed clinical social worker Mark Kennedy, the workshops offer techniques for managing stress and anxiety and enhancing personal relationships. Sitting and walking meditation are among the topics covered. The classes are free but enrollment is limited; sign up at the library or call 619-469-2151.

i-love-saturdays-y-domingosIs your yard showing the effects of prolonged drought? On Saturday, Sept. 12 at 2 p.m., San Diego Master Gardener Lynlee Austel-Slayer will present “Sustainable Gardening,” showing plants and gardening techniques appropriate for water-saving landscapes. Using the knowledge provided at this seminar, as well as information from the library’s large selection of gardening books, you’ll be able to replace your parched annuals and leafless shrubs.

TV host Huell Howser left a legacy of California history and culture through PBS’s “California’s Gold” series, making more than 440 episodes of the popular show. Before his death in January 2013, Howser gave unused footage of himself to producer John McDonald, asking him to finish the episode on Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain experiment, a topic that had long fascinated him. The result is a recently-completed, Howser-hosted episode about the South family, who lived in the Anza-Borrego Desert for two decades without modern conveniences. A special screening of this 65-minute episode of “California’s Gold” will take place at the library on Monday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. McDonald, the producer, will be on hand to answer questions afterward. Join us for this one-time event!

Celebrating Grandparents’ Day

Sunday, Sept. 13 is National Grandparents’ Day. Established in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter, this celebration is more than a Hallmark holiday – it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the knowledge and perspective our grandmothers and grandfathers gave us. Below are three books appealing to various ages. Perhaps you would like to share them with your grandchild or grandparent.

9789888240944“Luke & the Little Seed” by Giuliano Ferri: A grandfather mouse and his grandson discover the rewards of patience – food, a playhouse, and shade from the sun – when they plant a bag of cherry tomato seeds. Luminous drawings will hold young readers’ attention, and the story is a fun introduction to gardening.

“I Love Saturdays y Domingos” by Alma Flor Ada: In this bilingual picture book, Saturdays are for grandma and grandpa, and los domingos are for abuelita and abuelito. Each grandparent has something special about their past to share with their granddaughter; a great story for kids and grandparents to read aloud.

“The Property” by Rutu Modan: Accompanied by her adult granddaughter Mica, widow Regina Segal journeys to modern-day Poland to reclaim a family apartment lost during World War II. But when Mica follows Regina’s trail around Warsaw, she realizes that her grandmother’s visit may be motivated by something other than property. This graphic novel vividly depicts the difficulty of expressing long-buried feelings across a linguistic and generational gap and would appeal to young adult readers.

—Heather Pisani-Kristl is the manager of the La Mesa branch of the San Diego County Library. Call the library at 619-469-2151, visit in person at 8074 Allison Ave. or get information online at

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Click to enlarge


Last month’s La Mesa Reads column highlighted some of the new comics available at the library, including the latest iteration of the long-running “Ms. Marvel” series. The new Ms. Marvel is a 16-year-old Muslim girl from New Jersey named Kamala Khan, but we inadvertently ran an older photo from the Ms. Marvel series depicting a blonde-haired white woman. We regret the error. To the right is an excerpt from the new version of the comic that features Kamala Khan. Visit the library to find the full comic.

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