A two-day book sale is coming up this weekend at the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library. On Saturday, the sale begins at 9 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. Most books will be $1 or less. On Sunday, the sale goes from noon to 3 p.m. and — what many people really look forward to — the books are a buck a bag. The sale will be held in the Community Room of the library, so use the door around to the left of the main library door. There will be lots of great buys both days.

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Books Read and Recommended

Before my husband retired, he seldom had time to read much except the technical books and journals he needed to read for his work. And he didn't check books out of the library because it took him so long to finish one. He has been retired for almost 10 years now and has been making up for lost time. He seldom reads fiction, but he does read American history, Russian history, history of science and technology and more. He recently finished David McCullough's "The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914" and thoroughly enjoyed it. He is pleased that he has been able to check out of our Costa Mesa libraries almost all the books he wants to read after seeing them reviewed in the Los Angeles Times.

I have almost finished "A Glorious Defeat: Mexico and its War with the United States," by Timothy J. Henderson, which is giving me a better understanding of the relationship between our country and its southern neighbor. Both of these books are available at our libraries.

The above two books are nonfiction, but whether a person reads that or fiction, "if any door must be opened, it is the world of books." This quote is from Win Blevins in an Aug. 16, 2004 commentary in the L.A. Times. He lamented the fact that "our schools routinely turn out kids who are marginal readers." He said that in the second grade, he didn't do well in the classroom, so the teacher gave him permission to spend his days reading. He reports that he "ripped through" an astonishing number of both children's and adult books, fiction, non-fiction, even poetry, and that they were "an unending source of joy." I don't know, maybe one way to get people to read is to let them read what they want — but of course, it helps to start early. What I do know is that it is a real pleasure to recommend to a friend a book I've enjoyed.

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At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library

The Costa Mesa Book Club meets the first Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. This book club is free to join, and new members are always welcome. Members read a mix of fiction, nonfiction, classics and bestsellers and always have interesting and lively discussions. The book of the month is always available at the checkout desk for the month prior to the meeting. For more information, call the library at (949) 646-8845 and ask for Samantha. On Dec. 3, they will be discussing "The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits," by Les Standiford.

Toddler Storytime, with stories, songs and crafts, will meet at 10 and 11 a.m. on Monday. Children and families are welcome.

For the same thing, but conducted in both English and Spanish, bring your children to Bilingual Storytime at 2 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 13.

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At the Mesa Verde Library

On Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., a holiday program will be presented by Ken Frawley, a favorite children's entertainer. There will be opportunities to sing and play along as Frawley sings and tells stories of this special season. For more information, call the library at (714) 546-5274.

On Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., stories, crafts and games will be offered by Read OC for families with at least one child under 5. Big brothers and sisters are welcome. The ideas and resources picked up at this Family Reading will help make your home a learning place.

Wednesday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. is Legos time at the Mesa Verde Library.

MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa branches of the Orange County Public Libraries.