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Some Interesting Reads for April

By Gini Rainey

Dean and Me: A Love Story

By Jerry Lewis and Arthur Kaplan

If you’re a fan of comedy, or old movies, or celebrities, this book would make a pretty interesting read for you.  Written in the first person, Jerry Lewis chronicles the life of one of the best comedy teams in history. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were definitely an unlikely couple, but together they created a comedy team that was unbeatable and riotously funny.

This book is not only interesting from the standpoint of the Martin/Lewis success, but also provides a great insight to the post-World War II life and times in America.  There’s also a seamier side of America –the mob – that has a portion of its curtain raised.  In a pretty much tell-all style, Jerry Lewis tells how he and Dean met, created a one-of-a-kind comedy team, and rose through the ranks to become one of the biggest box office draws of the ‘50s.

And yes, this is a love story.  While I personally have found myself not caring too much for the Lewis of later years, the open and honest way he talks about his relationship with Dean was raw and real.  Without a doubt, the two of them had a deep love and respect for each other that transcended all of their professional aches and pains.

Initially I was afraid this book would turn out to be the memoir of an egotistical braggart, but the humility with which Lewis writes is amazing.  He had an incredibly high opinion of Martin and actually credits him with being the one of the two who had the comedic timing and talent.  And, as hard as it might be to believe, Lewis was the one with the business savvy.

What makes this book such an interesting read is Lewis’ honest insight into the relationship that he and Martin had.  What a shame the team broke up.  Separately they were good – very good, but together they were dynamite!

5 0f 5 – Copyright 2006 – Three Rivers Press


Making Your Brain Hum: 12 Weeks to a Smarter You

By Joe Bates, MD

Operating under the age-old theory of “Use it – or lose it,” Dr. Bates, the Clinical Director at Rusk State Hospital, Rusk, Texas, has developed a program that can help maintain or increase the mental acuity of our brains as we age.  In Chapter 2 of his book he states that, although this “program is in its infancy, seven out of eleven patients in the first basic class performed higher on the RBANS (repeatable battery of neuropsychological assessment) as evidenced by pre- and post-training testing.  One patient brought his score up from 72 to 97, an increase of 21 percent.”

While not a book that you would necessarily purchase and sit down to read for enjoyment, this book can be a useful tool to begin using, no matter what your adult age.  Dr. Bates says that although you can use this book on your own, sometimes the results are even more rewarding if used in a group setting where thought processes can be shared.

Designed to be used over a 12 week period, each chapter contains a series of puzzles and brain teasers designed to give your brain a healthy workout.  With end result being an enhancement of your mental agility and endurance and will add years to your cognitive life while having lots of fun in the process.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2016 – Brown Books Publishing Group


Sweet Child Born in Texas

By Whitney Strauss with Susan Giles and Dr. Kathleen Cooter, PhD

Here’s a great idea for the Easter baskets that are going to be showing up this month.  Pick up a couple copies of this book and replace some of the candy with it.  This is a delightful children’s book that is a quick history, geography, and trivia lesson all bundled up into a book that will have appeal for young and old alike.  While the age appropriateness level stated is 3 to 8, don’t let that stop you from picking it up and reading it if you are older than that.

Written in verse form (with spot on meter and rhyming) along with colorful and intriguing illustrations by Holly Weinstein, it won’t be long before your young person has a great handle on the great state of Texas.

The first of the “Sweet Child” series, this book is leading the way for a promising series of books to come, in a smart and sassy way.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2017 – Brown Books Kids


Around East Texas

April 5th-7th: Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair

Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair:

Thursday-Saturday, April 5th-7th

The annual Book Fair, the primary fundraiser, began in 1968. A spring and fall sale event, each consisting of a three day sale, gives 75% of net proceeds funds to health career scholarships at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler.

The Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair will be held at 2004 Broussard St., Tyler. The book fair will be held April 5th-7th, 8am-6pm. Only cash and checks are accepted.

“The community looks forward to our sales and anticipates all the great ‘deals’ and wonderful books they will purchase. We have shoppers from all around the state. We enjoy greeting our seasoned shoppers and meeting new ones as they line up early Thursday morning in anticipation to opening,” said Kelly Michaels, current President of SCMSA.

She continues, “‘Achieving Dreams’ a group of exceptional young adults volunteer every Monday to sort, shelve books, clean, and help with other various jobs. The “Achievers” love working at the Book Fair and show us the meaning of giving back to the community. They are a huge part of Book Fair success.”

Now, shoppers have a nicer shopping experience with more room to roam and more books to choose from. There are books for everyone! There are children’s books, collector’s books, cookbooks, new releases, coffee table books, fiction, non-fiction, hobbies and “How To” books, autobiography and biography, sports, religion, self-help, romance, travel, children’s, gardening, history, and much more.

If you would like to donate books, please drop them off at the book shelves outside in the front of the building. Donations can be made any day, at any time. Donated books are brought in daily. For a donation receipt, please leave your name and address information with your donation or call (903)561-1353 to schedule a drop-off.

For additional information visit or call Book Fair at (903)561-1353.

We also take monetary donations. If you would like to donate to Book Fair, please see the Donations page at This is a wonderful way to honor or remember a friend or loved one and to further health care education.


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March 2018: Book Worm Events!


March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell  and discuss her book “Our Baby.” The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan. The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

April 5th-7th (8am-6pm) – Book Fair – This year’s event focuses on the sale of donated books which will go to endowed scholarships for nursing and healthcare at TJC and UT-T and for community health projects. Thousand of books will be available for purchase. This is held at SCMSA, 2004 Broussard St., Tyler.

August 4th (1-5pm) – Book Bash will be held at Harvey Hall Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler. They are doubling the authors for 2018’s Book Bash! Tickets will be on sale until the day of the event. Come on out and find a new favorite author as well as meet the authors behind the stories. For more info go to Tickets are $12.

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Spring Programs at the Library

Spring Programs at the Library

The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events are free. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to


All storytimes will be in Taylor Auditorium. Storytimes will not meet the week of Spring Break, March 12th-16th.

  • Leeme un Cuento/Read to Me Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Mondays at 10:30am
  • Lap & Play Time (babies up to 18 months) features stories, songs, and playtime with developmental toys at 9:30am every Wednesday
  • Toddler Explore Storytime (children under age 3) is on Wednesdays at 10:30am
  • Read Aloud Crowd Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Thursdays at 10:30am

March 3rd (2-4pm) – LEGO® Block Party – Children ages 3 and up, bring your imagination for an afternoon of building and playing! LEGO® and Duplo Blocks are provided.

March 10th and 24th (2-4pm) – Makerspace – This continuing STEM education for children and teens will feature March 10th, Multiplication Bingo; and March 24th, Cardboard Challenge. This will be held in the Library Treehouse.

Spring Break: March 12th-March 16th (10:30am) – Spring Break Movie Matinees – Families are invited to watch a fun feature length films in the library’s auditorium. A different movie will be shown each day. Pillows, blankets, and carpet friendly snacks welcome.


Every Tuesday (4:30-5:30pm) – Teen Tuesdays – If you are in Middle School or High School you’re in! The Library will have games, activities, and fun just for teens. Earn volunteer hours completing special projects. Descriptions for weekly activities can be found at Events are:

  • March 6th: Silent Library Games
  • March 13th: Movie
  • March 20th: Whose Line? Improv Games
  • March 27th: “And Scene!” Reader’s Theater

March 3rd (11:30am-1:30pm) – Tips and Tricks for Dog Owners – Pick up tips and tricks for handling your dog from Certified American Kennel Club Evaluator, Judy Parson. No pets in the Library.

March 7th (12 noon) – Great Decisions is a foreign policy lecture series. Books are available for $22 at the circulation desk. The March topic and speaker is “China and American: The New Geopolitical Equation,” Dr. Robert Sterken.

March 9th (11:30am) – “Raised Bed Gardening on a Hillside” with Wayne Elliot will be presented as part of the Smith County Master Gardener Series. Free to attend.

March 15th (5pm) – Reel Talk – This event is like a book-club, but for movies! Free to attend.

March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell and discuss her book “Our Baby.”

March 2nd and 16th (1-3pm) – Veteran’s Movie – Join this biweekly screening of movies presented especially for veterans. This free event is held the first and third Friday every month.

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan.

Every Tuesday (10am-1pm) – Quilting Class – Learn the art of quilting at the Library. Fabric and quilt patterns will be provided. Participants are asked to provide their own sewing machines, if you have them, plus scissors, and neutral or white thread. For details and a complete list of supplies please contact the Library’s information desk.

Every Tuesday (5:30-6:30pm) – Evening Meditation – Learn the practice of Heartfulness Meditation with Gayathri Kambhampati.

Every Wednesday (5:30pm) – Gentle Yoga – This gentle yoga class will be taught by Meagan Vrba who is certified in yoga, CPR, and first aid.

Every Saturday (11am-12 noon) – Crochet Classes will be held in the 3rd floor Internet Center Workroom. These are free classes. Learn to crochet with Library staff and volunteers. All materials are provided. All experience levels are welcome.

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