Friday, December 28, 2012

World Book Night 1013 - Spreading the love of reading, person to person!

World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person.  Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. go out into their communities and give a total of half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers. The date was chosen because it is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday! It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23,1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.  World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011; in 2012, it was also celebrated in the USA and Germany.
The goal of World Book Night is to seek out adult readers wherever they are, in towns and cities, in public settings or in places from nursing homes to food pantries, low-income schools to mass transit, to encourage reading in the adult population, especially those who may not have access to printed books for reasons of means or geography.

The 30 books selected to be given away are:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My Antonia by Willa Cather 
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (also available to be given away in Spanish)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (also available to be given away in Spanish)
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
Population: 485 by Michael Perry
Good Omens by Terry Patchett and Neil Gaiman
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Favorite American Poems; Large Print edition

If you would like to be a book giver you can apply now at now through January 23, 2013 by providing answers to several questions and picking a book title to give out from the above list. We are excited to again be selected as a book pick-up location.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dolphin, Baby! - A Paragraphs Pick

Swim with a baby dolphin as he learns to survive — and play — in an engaging story splashed with facts and buoyed by bright illustrations.

Pop! Tail first, head last, Dolphin is born into the blue. He’s brand new, but helped by his mother, he swims up, up, up to take his first breath.

Readers are invited to join the baby calf as he follows his mom and discovers all there is to know about life under the sea, from catching his first fish to learning how to say his name with his very own whistle. Nicola Davies’s lyrical narrative and intriguing facts are accompanied by Brita Granström’s colorful illustrations, pulsing with the energy and movement of dolphins in their natural habitat.

From Kirkus Reviews:
Born tail first, a baby dolphin swims immediately to the surface to breathe, then follows his mother, nursing, learning her call, gradually exploring his world, playing, learning and developing his own personal whistle. Zoologist Davies has long experience writing about nature for young readers. Here, she describes the first six months of a bottlenose calf's life through the story of Dolphin and Mom. A sentence or two of narrative description appears on each page, with additional facts in a smaller, italic text. She chooses appropriate information--appearance, breathing, diving, feeding and communication--and constructs her story to demonstrate the calf's increasing independence. Her facts are accurate, and readers looking for specifics will appreciate the index and page numbers. An afterword identifies the particular species and reminds readers that caring for oceans will help ensure dolphin survival. Granström's acrylic paintings are beautiful. Spreading across two pages, they emphasize the blues of the dolphin's environment. The pink of their rostrums is occasionally and gloriously echoed in the sky.
This is an absolutely beautiful book and will make a wonderful addition to any young person's library.  It will be a great resource providing a child with some additional factual material augmenting the learning experience of any of our Island dolphin watch trips. The additional notes about dolphins, provided in a smaller font, on each page are a helpful tool for parents reading the narrative to the littler ones. And most of all it is just a lovely story with beautiful illustrations.

This book was HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by Amy E. Parker, Lower School Assistant Librarian, The Kinkaid School, Houston, Texas, in her review for Library Media Connection.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Don't Forget to Vote

Early Voting Schedule

Voting will be held at the South Padre Island City Hall, 4601 Padre Blvd., for multiple elections on the designated days and hours below:

For the SPI City Election: October 22 - November 2, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 5p.m. (Note: Extended hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. will be offered Thursday, October 25, 2012 and Thursday, November 1, 2012)

For the Laguna Madre Fresh Water District Election: October 22 - November 2, 2012 and Saturday, October 27, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days.

For the Cameron County Election:
October 22-26, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Note: One Week Only)

* Cameron County Election Voting will be held in Port Isabel October 22 - November 2, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, October 27, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bennie Ochoa County Annex Building, 505 Highway 100.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

William J. Cobb author of "The Bird Saviors"

The time is finally here. William J. Cobb will be joining us at Paragraphs next Saturday, October 20, 2012, beginning at 1:00pm. We have been looking forward to this event for several months and are pleased with the interest we have received. If you love books and engaging with those talented enough to write them I am sure you will enjoy this event.

Cobb's newest novel, THE BIRD SAVIORS will be featured but we will also have copies of his previous work, GOODNIGHT, TEXAS.


When a dust storm engulfs her Colorado town and pink snow blankets the streets, a heartbreaking decision faces Ruby Cole, a girl who counts birds. She must either abandon her baby or give in to her father, whom she nicknames Lord God, and marry a man more than twice her age who already has two wives. She chooses to run, which sets in motion an interlocking series of actions and reactions, upending the lives of an equestrian police officer, pawnshop riffraff, a disabled war vet, Nuisance Animal destroyers, and a grieving ornithologist who is studying the decline of bird populations.

All the while, a growing criminal enterprise moves from cattle rustling to kidnapping to hijacking fuel tankers and murder as events spin out of control in a world in which the social fabric and economic structures seem on the verge of falling apart.

Set in a time of economic turmoil, virus fears, climate change, fundamentalist cults and illegal immigrant hardship, THE BIRD SAVIORS is a visionary story of defiance, anger, compassion and unexpected love, in which a young woman ultimately struggles to free herself from her domineering father, to raise her daughter in the chaos of the New West, and to seize an opportunity to become something greater herself. In this brilliant new novel, William Cobb offers an elemental and timely vision of resilience and personal survival, but—most of all—of honest hope.


“A stark modern-day Old Testament story in which the evil that men do is barely balanced by the good that a few manage to achieve. It's a gritty harrowing story set in a dust-blown Colorado town that seems filled with vivid characters. Cobb's expert story-telling compels us forward scene by scene to a final satisfying redemption.”—Kent Haruf

"A novel told with an unexpected and appealing warmth; the characters in The Bird Saviors become increasingly memorable, page by page, and the story pulled me in without hullabaloo or fuss-- this is good, confident storytelling."—Aimee Bender

 About the Author

William J. Cobb is the author of a book of stories and two previous novels, including the critically acclaimed GOODNIGHT, TEXAS. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and many other magazines. He has received numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, and the Sandstone Prize. He was raised in Texas and currently lives in Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the writing program at Penn State, and in Colorado.

A limited number of autographed copies of THE BIRD SAVIORS or GOODNIGHT, TEXAS will be available for purchase after the event. If you cannot attend the event, but would like a personalized copy of either book, please call us before the event at (956) 433-5057.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Children's Classics

If you are looking for a great book to share with your child, grandchild, class, or library group don’t forget the classics – these stories have withstood the test of time and as adults we still remember them fondly. Many famous authors have written some wonderful classics for children.

Great children’s stories are powerful, imaginative, and memorable; they resonate with readers of all ages and have a lasting and profound impact.

Alice in Wonderland (1865) is usually considered the first successful children’s novel. Before the time of its writing, children were viewed as adults-in-training so few works were written specifically for them. Children’s authors for the next hundred years believed that it was their duty to protect the young. Few writers exposed readers to the harsh facts of life.

Since the 1970s, the trend has been towards the depiction of a grittier realism. Children’s writers have introduced topics such as violence, death, divorce, and abandonment into their stories.

While books by Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling are extremely enjoyable and a lot of fun to read, a good classic also makes you think about life, its challenges, and the courage and determination of its characters tell you how to tackle difficult situations.

Give any of these a try:

The Oz Stories – L. Frank Baum
The Anne of Green Gables series – L.M. Montgomery
Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Heidi – Johanna Spyri
Around the World in 80 Days – Jules Verne
The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling

And anything by Edgar Allan Poe or Arthur Conan Doyle

If the thought of reading an unabridged classic is too daunting, there are many shorter and simpler versions available. So there is no reason not to get to know those timeless heroes and heroines who live within the pages of great books.

Happy Reading – Let us help you discover a new world, in the pages of a book.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sign up for Clean Beaches

Thanks to Rob Nixon and all the folks that work so hard to keep our beaches clean and safe for everyone to use.

Since the call for enforcement of our litter laws and glass restrictions at Isla Blanca Park has gone viral, the last couple of days, Judge Carlos Cascos has announced that this subject will be addressed at the County Commissioner's Court meeting on July 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

If you care about this issue -- please check out the petition and sigh if you agree and try to attend the commissioner's meeting. There is power in numbers!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Valley International Poetry Festival

One of the first events we hosted at Paragraphs was a poetry reading offered as part of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.  And we have been honored to continue to provide one of the many venues across the valley participating in this festival which is held the last weekend in April bringing a close to National Poetry Month by recognizing the value of poetry in our lives.

This year’s Festival includes more than 40 poets representing Texas, Washington, New York, California, Michigan and other parts of the US, El Salvador, Mexico and even poets from as far as Bangladesh, Denmark and England are represented in the festival’s anthology and at the festival. They will spend the weekend traveling the lower Rio Grande Valley visiting schools, putting on workshops and reading for the public.

Help us give a warm welcome to these talented poets and writers and show them our appreciation for including South Padre Island in their busy schedule of events throughout the weekend.

Appearing at Paragraphs on Saturday, April 28th


Readers: Lady Mariposa, lauren espinoza, La Erika/Poeta Power, Lina Suárez, Rudy García, Virginia Torres, Hector Gomez, Meliton Hinojosa, Erika Said Izaguirre

*2:45 – 3:45

Readers: Amalia Ortiz, Kaitlin LaMoine Martin, Edward Vidaurre, Daniel García Ordaz, Chip Dameron, Diana Domínguez, Brenda Nettles Riojas

This event is free and open to the public. The festival is a grassroots community project made possible by poets, our families, friends, educators and the media. The sponsors are the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, the McAllen Creative Incubator, and El Zarape Press to name a few.

For a full list of events visit

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

F In Exams - The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers

I love browsing through the Chronicle Books catalogs. They publish so many fun and interesting titles and this is just one example.

"F" stands for "funny" in this perfect gift for students or anyone who has ever had to struggle through a test and needs a good laugh. Celebrating the creative side of failure in a way we can all relate to, F in Exams gathers the most hilarious and inventive test answers provided by students who, faced with a question they have no hope of getting right, decide to have a little fun instead. Whether in science, the humanities, math, or other subjects, these 250 entries prove that while everyone enjoys the spectacle of failure, it's even sweeter to see a FAIL turn into a WIN.

Question: Adam cuts his arm. Blood gushes out and is red in color. What does this show?
Answer:  He is not a robot, he is a real boy.
Question: What is a fibula?
Answer: A little white lie.

Question: Give three ways to avoid heat loss in your home?
Answer: 1. Thermal Underwear, 2. Move to Hawaii, 3., Close the Door

I could provide more favorites but you need to pick up a copy of the book and read it for yourself.

Come into the store or buy online here 

or read on your preferred device as a Blio Ebook 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Press Here -- Then Smile


Irresistible . . . A cross between a high-concept picture book and an iPhone, only more charming.-- The Wall Street Journal

It's not magic . . . It's the power of your imagination! PRESS HERE. That's right. Just press the yellow dot and turn the page. Follow the instructions and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising, irresistible book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt them, and even blow on them—who knows what will happen next! Read-aloud fun for all ages!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Apothecary by Maile Melroy

It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.

This is a book that will not only appeal to the middle school reader but has enough historical significance, dealing with Cold War politics and McCarthyism, and even a little bit of romance which should appeal to the teen reader.  There is an excellent review at the School Library Journal by Elizabeth Bird, Collection Specialist for the New York Public Library's Youth Collection,

Maile Melroy is not a newcomer to literary awards or industry recognition of her talent. So it should come as no surprise that "Apothecary" has been selected as one of the YALSA titles for 2012.

Maile Meloy was born in Helena, Montana, in 1972. Her short stories have been published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Her first story collection, Half in Love, received the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters , the John C. Zacharis Award from Ploughshares, and the PEN/Malamud Award. Her first novel, Liars and Saints, was shortlisted for England’s 2005 Orange Prize. Both books were New York Times Notable Books. She has also received The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in California.

Apothecary is available at Paragraphs or can be purchased online in HardcoverUnabridged Audio Book on CD

Also available as a Blio ebook

Or as a Google ebook

Friday, January 27, 2012

Volunteer to be a part of World Book Night

The goal of World Book Night is to get 50,000 people to go out to places in their communities on the evening of Monday, April 23, 2012, and give a book to a stranger or to people you might know but believe aren’t frequent readers.

One million free books, representing 30 titles, will given away by these 50,000 volunteer book lovers across the U.S. on World Book Night.

The # 1 mission of World Book Night is to encourage reading by those who are light or non-readers, for whatever reasons, including economic or location constraints.

WBN asks that you go to a coffee shop or hospital, church or community center, an after-work party or nursing home, shopping mall or local school -- and give out 20 free paperbacks. These paperbacks will be specially-produced, not-for-resale World Book Night U.S. editions, and there will be 30 titles for you to choose from.

Time is short to register but you do have several more days and this could be a great outreach to many of the young people in the area.

The best way to get people to read is to share your passion for the worlds that become accessible in the pages of a book and then to get a good book, that speaks to that person, into his or her hands.

Please think about this and sign up before the deadline.

By the way, the books will be provided -- all you are asked to do is fill out the application and then go out, spread the word and give away the books.

The registration process for those wishing to become volunteer book givers is open through February 1, 2012.

Visit for complete details

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Allison: the One-Flippered Sea Turtle to visit Paragraphs

Discussion, Book Signing, and Reception
Monday, February 6, 2012
with David Cromwell
and Allison

Allison is a Green Sea Turtle living at Sea Turtle Inc. on South Padre Island. Greens are endangered. They are considered to be the second-largest and longest-lived of the sea turtle species. Allison was found on the beach at South Padre Island on June 16, 2005, one of 73 sea turtles that became stranded that year.

She was missing three flippers, an injury that is thought to have occurred from a shark encounter. Weighing a mere .73kg (1.6 lbs), she was taken to Sea Turtle Rescue for evaluation and medical care. Her story of survival and rehabilitation is chronicled in this new book "Allison: The Mostly True Story of a One-Flippered Sea Turtle" by David Cromwell. Combining fiction with the true rescue of Allison, this book is an entertaining and educational work that appeals to all ages.

We are really excited to be able to announce that Allison will join us on the courtyard at Paragraphs along with David and several of the knowledgeable and hard-working Sea Turtle Inc. volunteers or employees who work to protect and save these incredible creatures. While Allison is not able to autograph her biography, missing her flippers and all, David will be happy to oblige.

Cromwell likes to brag about having three careers where he couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning. First 22 years in television and news production, second as Media Service Director with the Sacramento Police Department and third rescuing turtles. David currently lives in Brownsville, Texas with his wife, Riley

Monday, January 16, 2012

William J. Cobb to visit Paragraphs

In February we will be entering our third year of business and what a couple of years we have had.  I hope to get a chance to sit down and write a post looking back on what we have accomplished, what we still haven't gotten around to that we have wanted to do since day one, and also look ahead to what things we hope to do in the near future.  But, alas that is not what is on my mind right now.

One of my main goals when opening Paragraphs was to offer the community an opportunity to meet a variety of authors and to let the publishing world know that there are book lovers and readers that live and work in the lower Rio Grande Valley, regardless of what the management of Walden and Barnes and Noble may think. To date we have had a variety of authors appear at the store and we work hard to support our local, self-published authors by providing them with a venue to sell, promote, and discuss their books. But, my vision is to become as recognized a book seller as my role models the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver and BookPeople in Austin.  Both of these stores have active event calendars full of the biggest names, which appear on all the best selling book lists. 

I not only want to provide a service to our residents and visitors but it is my goal to make Paragraphs a destination itself, which many independent bookstores are, and as such add to the economic strength of the island by helping to attract tourists from the valley and beyond to our little sandbar.

So, I was thrilled, excited and did I say really stoked, when I received an email from Rich Rennicks, who is in charge of bookstore outreach and event planning for Unbridled Books, a well-respected, independent, national publisher, asking if we would be interested in hosting an event for William J. Cobb upon the release of his new novel The Bird Saviors which will be published in June, 2012.

William J. Cobb is the author of a book of stories and two previous novels, including the critically acclaimed Goodnight, Texas. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and many other magazines. He has received numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, and the Sandstone Prize. He was raised in Texas and currently lives in Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the writing program at Penn State, and in Colorado.  So, I think you can see why I am so excited about having the opportunity to welcome this talented author to Paragraphs.

There are a couple of publishers that I consistently rely on to provide books of quality literary merit that I can always feel good about recommending for visitors to the store.  One of the things we pride ourselves on is helping an undecided reader find a great read from an author or publisher that they are not familiar with and the books from Unbridled Books are always welcome additions to our shelves.  I have recommended several of their titles in previous blog posts.  Although on my list of books and titles that looked interesting, and which I wanted to read, I had not actually taken the opportunity to read anything by William J. Cobb until Rich sent me a galley of The Bird Saviors to consider for review..  I don't have the time tonight to give this novel justice -- but once I finished it I immediately ordered Goodnight, Texas which is another incredible read written by Cobb.

So, put October 20, 2012 on your calendar and plan to show up to give Mr. Cobb a true South Padre Island welcome.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mystery Saturday

Join us on Saturday, the 21st of January and meet several of our most popular local mystery writers. Several of these authors have written books that take place on South Padre Island and Port Isabel, some in wider Texas and all are exciting adventures written to keep you turning the pages.

We will be providing everyone with a list of places mentioned in the books so you can walk in the same footsteps as the heroes and villains.

Each author will speak for approximately 15 minutes beginning at 1:15. There will be plenty of time remaining to hear each author, ask questions, or purchase and have books signed if desired.

As usual this event is free and open to the public. Everyone is invited to attend and no purchase is necessary.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Can't You Sleep Little Bear

We have been in business for two years and as many of you know when we first opened the doors our shelves had a lot of empty spaces on them.  I have had a wonderful time adding new releases but probably even more enjoyable has been the search for the perfect backlist titles that I want to make a permanent part of our inventory and that I know I can always enthusiastically recommend.

This is particularly true in our childrens section.  There are so many books to evaluate: different genres, dozens of series, commercially popular characters.  They come in all sizes and shapes, there are books for early readers, chapter books, picture books for all ages and oh, my, where to begin and end.

As a part of this search I was pleased to discover a series of podcasts offered through iTunesU featuring David Beagley and his classes on Children's Literature from LaTrobe University.  When discussing picture books, Beagley used "Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?" as an example. His description of this story and the illustrations about Big Bear and Little Bear intrigued me enough that I ordered a copy for the store.

I have fallen in love with this wonderful little picture book.  The story is simple enough -- Little Bear can't sleep because he's afraid of the dark.  After several attempts of banishing the dark with lanterns increasing in size and brilliance, Big Bear "saw that Little Bear was right" and he "thought about it for a long time" but as we find out Big Bear finally has an idea and is able to make Little Bear feel so safe that "he didn't say anything, for he had gone to sleep, warm and safe in Big Bear's arms."

The recent publishing sensation of "Go the F**k to Sleep" (available as an ebook here) is based on the same familiar tribulations which parents often experience at nighttime when putting their little angels to bed, but I definitely prefer Big Bear's patient way of dealing with his growing but very visible frustration as he tries to finish his book but is interrupted over and over again by a Little Bear that just doesn't want to go to sleep.  This story will be loved by the little one -- there is enough repetition to allow them to follow along -- and the adult reading the book will empathize with Big Bear and be able to recognize their own resignation at the loss of a quiet evening to themselves.

The edition we carry comes with a CD that can be used in a variety of ways.  Some interactive activities are included and the story is read in a couple different ways that parents can use in a variety of situations.  The paperback book is sturdy and the pictures large enough to be easily viewed and read by adult and child.  You can find other editions at our online store located here

You can buy this wonderful new children's book by the popular writer Debbie Macomber at the store or online here.

Alaska History: "The Aunt Phil's Trunk" series

Meet the Author Series at Paragraphs
Saturday, 14th January 2012 4-6 PM

Alaska History: “The Aunt Phil’s Trunk” series

Lecture followed by book signing and reception with author, Laurel Bill

Third-generation Alaskan, Laurel Downing Bill, is author of the recently released “Aunt Phil’s Trunk” series.
The four volume series developed after Laurel inherited newspaper clips, research and rare Alaska history books from her Alaska historian aunt, Phyllis Downing Carlson, who died in 1993. The series started in July 2002 as a weekly newspaper column, “Aunt Phil’s Trunk”, in The Anchorage Chronicle.

Each volume contains over 300 historical photographs to complement vivid stories about Alaska's history.

Laurel is also scheduled for a Writer's Workshop, hosted by the Valley Byliners, at the Harlingen Public Library in February.  The subject of her presentation will be "Getting that Book Published" and we are pleased to have her stop by Paragraphs for our Literary Mercado, on Saturday.

Born in Fairbanks in 1951, Laurel moved to Juneau in 1959 after her father, Richard Downing, became the state’s first commissioner of public works.

She graduated from an American high school in Mallorca, Spain, in 1969 and then attended one year of college in Leysin, Switzerland. Laurel returned to Alaska in 1970, where she eventually met her husband, Don, in Fairbanks. In 1974, the couple moved to King Salmon – a small village about 360 air miles southwest of Anchorage. There they raised their two children, Kim and Ryan, in the remote community while Don worked as area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commercial Fisheries Division and Laurel worked her way up to assistant general manager for the Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative Inc.

After 24 years, they retired into Anchorage. That’s when Laurel decided to go back to college. She graduated from the University of Alaska with a degree in journalism in 2003.

"Aunt Phil's Trunk: Volume 1," released in 2006, features a spectacular photo essay following the harrowing routes rugged prospectors traveled to get to the Klondike, including the all-water route from Seattle to St. Michael and on to Dawson, as well as the Stikine, White Pass and Chilkoot Pass trails.

"Aunt Phil's Trunk: Volume 2," hot off the press May 2007. includes stories about Alaska’s early lawmen – and the criminals they pursued – along with its pioneering postmen and rugged adventurers who challenged the Great Land’s highest peaks.

Released in May 2008, volume 3 spans 1912-1935 and highlights the pioneering spirit of early Alaskans as they enter a new era as a territory of the United States with stories about early Anchorage and the Alaska railroad, epidemics and rescues in the Far North and the daring flyboys of the 1920s.

"Aunt Phil's Trunk: Volume 4" captures the essence of life in Alaska between 1935 and 1960. Its vivid stories highlight major events of World War II, the Cold War era, a secret Russian mission to Fairbanks, Alaska's 91-year struggle for statehood, heroic Alaska Airlines flights for freedom, Alaska Natives battles against discrimination and how Anchorage blossomed into a jewel on the tundra.

Discover more about Laurel and the Aunt Phil’s Trunk series at
This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Paragraphs On Padre Boulevard,
5505 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX 
For information call us at 956-433-5057

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Children's Story Hour

We have been approached at various times and have had residents and visitors with small children ask about the possibility of hosting a Children's Story Hour at Paragraphs. I have wanted to do this for some time now, but did not have the time to devote to the organization, planning, and public outreach that starting an ongoing activity would involve.

So I was thrilled when one of our area mothers, with several children, which she teaches at home, offered to plan and lead a weekly story hour for the 2 to 5 year old group and their parents.

Children's Story Hour with Carrie
focused on children from 2-5 years of age
Offered every Tuesday beginning
January 17, 2011
1-2 pm
Paragraphs On Padre Boulevard

Please help spread the word to your friends and neighbors with small children. I believe this will be a wonderful opportunity for the mother's of young children to meet one another and just have an enjoyable afternoon while introducing the little ones to the joys to be found in a great story.

As usual this event is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend and no purchase is necessary.

Monday, January 9, 2012

El Paseo Arts Foundation

The Voxare String Quartet In Concert
January 26, 2012
South Padre Island Convention Center
6:30 p.m.  Complimentary Hors d’oeuvres and Cash Bar
7:30 p.m. Concert

“Gifted, passionate, and personable, Voxare provides a high-spirited, high-energy evening of music.”

Tickets $25 per person/$20 members
Tickets available for purchase at SPI Visitors Center, Paragraphs Bookstore, Designer Consigner, or online at