Category : Adults

Romance Scams

Submitted by Jon Freeman

Valentine’s Day may have already passed us by this year, but people can fall in love year round. When it comes to love and romance remember to guard your wallet as well as your heart – and be aware of romance scams. A romance scam is when a new love interest says they love you, but they really just love your money; and they may not really be who they say they are. The Federal Trade Commission says: “Romance scammers focus on single people, often older adults who might be more trusting. Widows and widowers, LGBT elders, and isolated single adults are common targets, but scammers look for anyone eager for a new relationship. Romance scams can happen in person, but often happen online through social media or dating websites and smartphone apps.” According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the following are warning signs of a romance scam: 1. A new love who lives far away asks you to wire them money or share your credit card number with them — even if they say they’ll pay you back. 2. Your new romantic interest asks you to sign a document that would give them control of your finances or your house. 3. Your new sweetheart asks you to open a new joint account or co-sign a loan with them. 4. Your new darling asks for access to your bank or credit card accounts. For more information on managing your money click on the link to access the GCPL Personal Finance Guide

What’s Happening at Grayson: French Club

Submitted by Grayson Branch Staff

Grayson Library’s French Club (facilitated by Ijaaz Kingston and Khojasta Ghulam Hussain) is designed to complement Trip Elementary School’s Dual Language Immersion program with a focus on social and conversational French outside of an academic learning environment. Since Trip’s DLI students are mainly taught Science and Math in French, they don’t get much practice in social aspects of the French language and culture; therefore, our French Club aims to supplement that. We provide them an opportunity to socialize with each other in a relaxed, fun environment and get that needed practice. In the French Club, we cover a theme each month and have a mini-lesson, games, songs, and other activities based on that monthly theme. We design our programs for two sets of groups from Trip Elementary, grades K-2 and 3-4 so the kids in each group are on a similar French language proficiency level.

We also offer several “Conversational French” practice programs aimed at the parents of DLI students to help them learn basic conversational French. They can communicate with their children in French at home. These programs give parents an opportunity to get familiarized with GCPL’s resources to help them learn and/or practice French, such as Mango Languages, Tumblebooks Library’s French section, as well as our French collection and some outside resource.

Pets and Plant Toxicity

Submitted by Angela Moore

Spring is here, and with it come the beautiful blooms that make the season such a delight for the senses. But if you share your home with pets, there are a few things you should know before you put that gorgeous bouquet out on your coffee table!

Curious pets may like to nibble on plants, which may seem harmless enough — but there’s more to fear than just the destruction of your centerpiece. Lilies in particular are highly lethal to cats: even very small amounts of ingestion (part of a leaf or petal) or contact with the pollen or water from the vase can cause acute kidney failure and death. Despite the danger, less than 30% of cat owners are aware of lily toxicity, and thousands of cats are sickened or killed each year as a result. And while lilies are among the most serious dangers for our furry friends, many other common blooms can cause a health issues for both cats and dogs, ranging from upset stomach to organ failure and death. So before you bring home that bouquet, check out the ASPCA’s list on plant toxicity to make sure you’re not putting your pets at risk.
For more information about lily toxicity in cats — and some suggestions for safe alternatives to brighten up your home — check out this link, and help spread the word. You just might save a life!

What To Do With Gift Cards You Don’t Want

Submitted by Jon Freeman

Were you given a gift card recently that you don’t want? Perhaps you were given a gift card for your birthday or some other occasion (like over the holidays), and the gift card is to a place or company that you don’t buy stuff from regularly. In fact, you seriously doubt that you will ever end up using it. The result could be your gift card never gets used. You may have more than one unwanted gift card like this, and you are unsure what to do about it. Did you know that you can take that gift card and sell it for cash?

According to David Pogue’s book, Pogue’s Basics: Money – Essential Tips and Shortcuts, there are websites where you can sell your unwanted gift cards for cash. You will not get full value for them, but you will receive a lot more than zero – what you would get if an unwanted gift card stays in a drawer forever. Pogue says that you could get 65 to 90 percent of the card value in cash. Here are some card exchange websites Pogue mentions in his book where you could sell gift cards: cardcash.com, raise.com, cardpool.com, and giftcardgranny.com.

You could be in a very different position. You don’t have a gift card you want to sell, but you would like to buy a gift card at a discount. You can use some of the same websites mentioned previously in this article to buy discounted gift cards other folks are selling. Pogue recommends doing this when you want to buy a gift card for a restaurant or store because you can buy gift cards for less than face value. He says, “If you’re in the market for a gift card, it’s like free money.” David Pouge’s book, “Pogue’s Basics: Money – Essential Tips and Shortcuts”, can be checked out from the Gwinnett County Public Library in book or ebook form. You can access more money management resources by visiting the GCPL Personal Finance Guide.

The Cosplayer’s Checklist

Submitted by Sarah Brubaker

Want to dress up like your favorite character from a movie, TV show, or book? Cosplay is an exciting hobby, and there are lots of factors to consider before creating your first costume.

The first step is choosing a costume that suits you and the event you’ll attend. When you have an idea in mind, ask yourself:

Where will you wear your cosplay?
Is the costume easily recognizable?
Do you resemble the character, or would you have to modify your appearance in order to fit the profile (eg: wearing a wig)?
How comfortable will your costume be (think about shoes, mobility, and temperature)?

Once you’ve decided which costume you want to wear, then you have to either buy or make it. If you’re going to make your cosplay, there are some additional considerations:
Are there any pieces that you would purchase pre-made, or will you make it all from scratch?
Can you find a tutorial from someone else who has made this costume?
How much will it cost to buy the components?
How long will it take to create?
What skills would it require to make?

Once you answer these questions, you can decide if this costume is right for you and make a plan of action. It’s best to start a cosplay at least a month before an event, especially if you’re making any part of it yourself. If you’re looking for more resources, these can get you started:

The Hero’s Closet
The Costume Making Guide
Epic Cosplay Costumes
Steampunk and Cosplay

Guide to Finances after Fifty

Submitted by Jon Freeman 

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz’s book, The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After Fifty, answers different important questions people in their fifties or older who are retiring soon or are already retired may have about their finances. There are a total of 50 questions and answers given in the book. The Q&As cover a range of topics like things to do when retirement is ten years away, what to do with your finances as you transition into retirement, maximizing what you get from social security and medicare, life in retirement, and estate planning. There is a glossary of financial terms in the back of the book as well.

There are a variety of questions the book provides answers to, and here are just a few examples:

“I’m 50 and haven’t started to save for retirement. What can I do?”
“How can I save for my kids’ college without derailing my retirement?”
“The stock market has me spooked. How should I invest as I get closer to retirement?”
“Can I keep contributing to my retirement accounts indefinitely?”
“Should I be debt free before I retire?”
“What should I do with my 401(k) when I leave my job?”
“My kids are grown. Do I still need life insurance?”
“Should I take my pension as a lump sum or monthly payments?”
“Should I buy an annuity?”
“Now that I’m retired, how should I manage my money to make it last?”
“Does a reverse mortgage make sense?”
“When should I file for Social Security benefits?”
“My husband has no interest in our finances. How can I get him involved?”
“I have a child with special needs. What can I do to make sure that she will always be taken care of?”
“I want to create an estate plan. What do I need?”

10 Delicious Foods Great For Your Heart

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concluded 610,00 people die of heart disease annually in the United States alone. Risk factors include lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, and obesity.

You can prevent heart disease by incorporating more physical activity and the right foods into your daily diet. These foods benefit your heart by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), clearing artery plaque, and decreasing inflammation. Here are 10 delicious foods great for your heart.

1. Apples

2. Asparagus

3. Avocados

4. Chia seeds

5. Dark chocolate (80% and higher)

6. Grapefruit

7. Pomegranates

8. Purple potatoes

9. Tomatoes

10. Yams

Check out GCPL’s digital resource Consumer Health Complete to learn more about how you can take care of your body. Remember: Always talk to your doctor for the best advice on your health.

You deserve a long life with a happy, healthy heart!

Look Out For These 2019 Movie Adaptations

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Hollywood has a treat for book lovers this new year! Look out for these 2019 movie adaptations coming to a movie theater near you:

1. After by Anna Todd (Adult Fiction: Romance)
-Release Date: April 12, 2019

2. The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (Adult Fiction: Historical)
Release Date: March 15, 2019

3.  Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Teen Fiction: Fantasy)
Release Date: August 9, 2019

4. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott (Teen Fiction: Romance)
-Release Date: March 15, 2019

5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Adult Fiction)
-Release date: October 11, 2019

6. Pet Sematary by Stephen King (Adult Fiction: Horror)
-Release Date: April 5, 2019

7. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (Juvenile Non-Fiction: Horror)
-Release Date: August 9, 2019

8. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Teen Fiction: Romance)
-Release Date: May 17, 2019

9. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (Adult Fiction)
-Release Date: March 22, 2019

10. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Adult Fiction: Mystery)
-Release Date: October 4, 2019

Is your favorite book on the list?

Don’t forget these 2018 adaptations too:
Annihilation by James VanderMeer
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

You can find all in our library catalog. Happy reading (and movie watching)!

Video Games Invading Our Bookshelves!

What do you play? Minecraft? World of Warcraft (aka WoW)? If playing video games isn’t enough for you, we have books based on your favorite video games!

Parents, you may find books your kids will love. It’ll get their faces away from the screen and stuck in a book!

Check out the video game series invading our bookshelves:

Assassin’s Creed (Game Debut: November 13, 2007)
Books:
-“Assassin’s Creed: The Last Descendants” by Matthew J. Kirby
-“Assassin’s Creed: The Last Descendants-The Tomb of the Khan” by Matthew J. Kirby
-“ Assassin’s Creed: Trial by Fire” by Anthony Del Col

2. Five Night’s at Freddy’s (Game Debut: August 8, 2014)
Books:
-“The Silver Eyes” by Scott Cawthorn
-“The Twisted Ones” by Scott Cawthorn
-“The Fourth Closet” by Scott Cawthorn

3. Halo (Game Debut: November 15, 2001)
Books:
-“Halo: The Fall of Reach” by Eric S. Nylund
-“Halo: Cryptum” by Greg Bear
-“Halo: Bad Blood” by Matt Forbeck

4. The Legend of Zelda (Game Debut: February 21, 1986)
Books:
-“The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Seasons; Oracles of Ages” by Akira Himekawa
-“The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” by Akira Himekawa
-“The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap; Phantom Hourglass” by Akira Himekawa

5. Minecraft (Game Debut: November 18, 2011)
Books:
-“The Quest for the Diamond Sword” by Winter Morgan
-“Quest of the Golden Apple” by Morgan Miller
-“Herobrine’s War” by Mark Cheverton

6. Plants vs. Zombies (Game Debut: May 5, 2009)
Books:
-“Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon” by Paul Tobin
-“Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse” by Paul Tobin
-“Plants vs. Zombies: Bully for You” by Paul Tobin

7. Pokemon (Game Debut: February 27, 1996)
Books:
-“Pokemon XY #01” by Hidenori Kusaka
-“Pokemon Horizon: Sun & Moon” by Ten’ya Yubuno
-“Legends of Alola” by Simcha Whitehill

8. StarCraft (Game Debut: March 31, 1998)
Books:
-“Heaven’s Devils” by William C. Dietz
-“Devil’s Due” by Christie Golden
-“Starcraft: Evolution” by Timothy Zahn

9. The Witcher (Game Debut: October 26, 2007)
Books:
-“The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher” by Andrzej Sapkowski
-“Blood of Elves” by Andrzej Sapkowski
-“Sword of Destiny” by Andrzej Sapkowski

10. World of Warcraft (Game Debut: November 23, 2004)
Books:
-“World of Warcraft: Book #01” by Walter Simonson
-“Arthus: Rise of the Lich King” by Christie Golden
-“Wolfheart” by Richard A. Knaak