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Top 10 Reads

by on August 27th, 2015
Top 10 Reads Cover Image

You told us what you read as part of the 2015 Summer Reading Program, and we kept track.

Click on the title to place a copy on hold.

The most popular book in this year’s Adult Summer Reading Program is also one of the most popular books of the year:  The Girl on the Train  by Paula Hawkins.   Three unreliable narrators set the tone for this Hitchcockian thriller. You’ll be drawn into the story not knowing who to believe or trust, just like the characters themselves. Rachel takes the train into London every day, watching the same scenery pass day after day, the same houses, the same strangers.  But are they really strangers? Is Rachel really just watching the story unfold?  Or is she hiding from something. Full of twists, turns and lies, The Girl on The Train will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

all the light we cannot seeWinner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr begins with the stories of a young blind French girl, Marie-Laure and a gadget-obsessed German boy, Werner, and how their lives evolve as World War 11 takes hold in Europe.  When their lives collide during the occupation of France, their stories intertwine for a time, and we see how the War led them down separate but converging paths.

 

paper towns Paper Towns, written by John Green (author of The Fault In Our Stars). This young adult novel was one of the top Teen Reads for this summer too.   Quentin “Q” grew up next door to  Margo Roth Spiegelman, but the older they got the more distant their lives became.  Shortly before high school graduation, Margo talks Quentin into being her partner-in-crime for one night of practical jokes and hijinks.  Three days later Margo disappears.   Quentin and two of his friends hit the road in search of Margo, following the clues she has left for them to find.  This road trip mystery rescue adventure became a motion picture starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne.

 

husbands secret The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.   “For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick.  To be opened only in the event of my death.”  says the 15 year old letter Cecilia found mixed in with her old tax documents.  She opens and reads it, expecting a sentimental message from her husband as it is dated just after the birth of their first child.  Little did she expect its contents to blow her world – and the worlds of two others – apart at the seams.

 

 

gone girlGone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.  This psychological thriller is the story of the marriage of Nick and Amy Dune. Both newly unemployed writers, Nick and Amy leave New York City and return to Nick’s home town in Missouri to care for Nick’s dying mother.  On their 5th anniversary, Amy disappears and soon people begin to suspect Nick in her disappearance.   The deeper into the story the reader gets the more we come to realize that both Amy and Nick aren’t who or what they appear to be.

 

 

tidying upThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Japanese cleaning and organizing consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again.  Following her simple idea of only keeping things that bring you joy.

 

 

longest rideThe Longest Ride, by Nicholas Sparks.   Two love stories – one a new love, and one that lasted more than 5 decades – intertwine in unexpected ways. 90 year old Ira Levinson is stranded in his car after an accident. His late wife Ruth appears to him and helps him stay conscious by recounting the stories of their 50 years together as Ira waits to be rescued.  Luke and Sophia meet at a rodeo, and the connection is instant. After four months together they realize their lives might be heading in opposite directions.  Returning from a long weekend together,  Luke and Sophia discover Ira and the accident, and stay with him until the ambulance arrives.  Talking to Ira about his 50 year romance with Ruth, Luke and Sophia look at their lives differently.

 

the martianThe Martian, by Andy Weir.   Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  Now everyone thinks he was the first person to have died there.  But he’s not dead.  After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

 

 

HP sorcerer's stonePublished in 1997, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling is the first in the series of 7 children’s/young adult novels chronicling the adventures of a young wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  H.P & The Sorcerer’s Stone covers 11- year old Harry’s discovery of his wizardly gifts and his first year at Hogwarts.

 

 

unbrokenUnbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand, is a biography of WWII hero Louis Zamperini, a former American Olympic track star who spent 47 days drifting at sea after a plane crash in the South Pacific, and then survived more than 2 years as a Japanese prisoner of war.

ICPL Announces September Classes for Adults

by on August 27th, 2015

Get creative with digital tools! September’s classes will help you develop the skills you need to edit movies, organize your photos, write HTML code, and create graphics. These classes are meant to be interactive with a lot of great hands-on experience. Roll-up your sleeves and warm-up your keyboard and mousing skills – it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Learn to upload and use YouTube to safely edit and share your videos online. Join us on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 2 p.m. for our Editing Digital Video class.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, at 10:30 a. m., the library will offer Beginning Graphic Design. Learn how to use GIMP, a free, graphic design and photo editing software, to create shapes, cut out photos, and insert great fonts.

Digital Photos: Organizing, Sharing, and Basic Editing will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21. Getting all of your digital photography organized and in print worthy condition can be pretty daunting. Learn about the various tools you can use to store your photos, edit them or share them online.

To round out all of this digital creativity, join us on Friday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon for HTML Coding Basics. Every website you visit relies on an HTML as the skeleton that gives the site’s pages their structure. Learn how to add paragraphs, headings, images, links, and basic formatting to create a webpage.

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but space is limited to 10 people per program, so patrons should register early. Visit www.icpl.org/classes to register online. You can also register by calling the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Watch monarch caterpillars live at Iowa City Public Library

by on August 27th, 2015

photocaterpillarDo you like butterflies? Have you ever wanted to watch a caterpillar as it goes through metamorphoses? Iowa City Public Library has two monarch caterpillars on a live stream so you can check in and see what’s happening. We also have three caterpillars already in the chrysalis stage that we will put on camera from time to time. Check out our live feed here:

MonarchCam 2015 – Iowa City Public Library

Can you spot the caterpillar hidden in the milkweed?

And as always, you can come down to the library and check out some of our great books about monarchs.

Enjoy!

A sweet time at the Ice Cream Socials

by on August 26th, 2015

Thanks to the Iowa City Community School District, we had a great time at the back-to-school socials last week!  For the first time ever, library staff members went to all 13 elementary schools in Iowa City and Hills to register students and their families for library cards.  (These events were all on the same night, so it was a scheduling triumph!)  We just mailed the last of the 139 new cards out today, so we’ll look forward to seeing those new cardholders at the library soon!

Storytime Recap: New Books!

by on August 26th, 2015

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It may be a new season of storytime, but we started out with our old standard song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” We had a lot of new faces today, but everyone caught on to the song quickly. I chose to read only books from our new shelves today, which was a great reminder that while repetition is a great way for kids to learn, they also need to keep hearing new words and concepts to keep expanding their vocabularies.

I started everyone off with a nice action rhyme to wake everyone up.

Bend and stretch, (bend down)
Reach for the stars (reach up)
There goes Jupiter, (reach to the right)
Here comes Mars. (reach to the left)
Bend and stretch, (bend down)
Reach for the sky. (reach up)
Stand on tippy toes, (stand on toes)
Oh-so-high! (reach up higher)

Then I shared our first story, Duck’s Vacation by Gilad Soffer. We interrupt Duck on his vacation with each turn of the page. This interactive story breaks the fourth wall as poor, beleaguered Duck begs the reader not to turn the page.

Duck’s bad luck at the beach was followed by a finger play rhyme where we all had bad luck with a fish.

One, two, three, four, five, (count to five on fingers)
Once I caught a fish alive, (put hands together in front of you and sway them back and forth)
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, (continue counting on fingers)
Then I let it go again. (spread hands in front of you)

Why did you let it go? (lift hands up in a shrug)
Because it bit my finger so. (pretend to bite your finger)
Ouch!

The next story we read was Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman. In a disaster waiting to happen a wolf cub is adopted by a family of bunnies, with only young Dot seeing the danger. However, when a bear threatens Wolfie, it is Dot who comes to his rescue. A winning combination of humor and sibling acceptance.

With Dot’s catchphrase “He’s going to eat us all up!” in mind, we stood up to do silly food action rhyme.

(Everybody wiggle)
Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate
Wibble wobble, wibble wobble,
Jelly on a plate.

(Everybody shake and jump)
Biscuits in a tin, biscuits in a tin
Shake them up, shake them up,
Biscuits in a tin.

(Everybody hold out fingers and blow)
Candles on a cake, candles on a cake
Blow them out, blow them out,
Candles on a cake

Our last story was So Cozy by Lerryn Korda, in which a sleepy dog just wants to curl up and sleep in his cozy bed, but keeps getting interrupted by other animals wanting to join him.

We finished up with one of my favorite funny songs.
Five cows in the bed
And the little one said,
“Mooo-ve over, mooo-ve over.”
So they all mooo-ved over and one fell out.

Four cows in the bed
And the little one said,
“Mooo-ve over, mooo-ve over.”
So they all mooo-ved over and one fell out.

Three cows in the bed
And the little one said,
“Mooo-ve over, mooo-ve over.”
So they all mooo-ved over and one fell out.

Two cows in the bed
And the little one said,
“Mooo-ve over, mooo-ve over.”
So they all mooo-ved over and one fell out.

One cow in the bed
And the little one said,
“Heeheehee, all mine. Good night!”

Afterwards, we watched the animated movie based on the book Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore. Then everyone received a duck stamp on their hand.

See you in two weeks.

 

Iowa City Public Library Re-Accredited

by on August 26th, 2015

Iowa Library Services recently announced that the Iowa City Public Library met the conditions for state accreditation as outlined in “In Service to Iowa:  Public Library Standards Fifth Edition.”

“The director and board of trustees of the Iowa City Public Library and the City of Iowa City are to be commended for this achievement and their commitment to excellence in public library services for their community,” State Librarian Michael Scott said.

The accreditation is valid through June 30, 2018.

Achieving accreditation requires a significant, ongoing commitment to high quality library services. 351 of Iowa’s 544 public libraries are accredited. ICPL has been recognized for its efforts in all areas of library operations including governance and funding, staffing, library collection, services, public relations, access, and facilities.

Iowa’s accredited public libraries are responsive to their communities and exhibit excellence in providing library services. Accredited libraries receive a higher rate of compensation through Iowa Library Services’ Enrich Iowa program.

More than two-thirds of all Iowans have active public library cards. Iowa libraries play key roles in workforce and economic development, lifelong learning and e-government activities. Iowans use their libraries to find jobs, do homework, locate a good book to read, research medical conditions, access government information, and more.

Quick Guide to Local Newspaper Resources @ICPL

by on August 25th, 2015
Irving B. Weber

The headstone of Iowa City historian, Iriving Weber. Findagrave.com

Use this guide to find obituaries and articles in Iowa City area newspapers. To access the premium databases listed here, you must reside in Iowa City or one of the library’s contracted service areas. You will want to have your library card number and password ready. Call 356-5200 if you need assistance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Overdrive Tips: Read In Your Browser

by on August 25th, 2015

After checking out an eBook in overdrive you often see two buttons: Download or Read (in your Browser). I wanted to give you a little more information on the Read Image showing the download and read buttonsoption. I’m not sure if all the titles in our collection offer this option, but most do. Essentially, this button allows you to simply start reading the eBook without having to download the book and find it in your bookshelf.   OverDrive Read has many of the same features as popular reading apps and eBook readers, like the ability to add bookmarks, search for terms, add notes and highlights, look up words, and change the font. It also offers some extra features, like fixed layout support for graphic-heavy eBooks and professional narration for some titles.

 
Some downsides are that this works best if you only read eBooks where you have a reliable WiFi connection.  Also there may be some compatibility issues with older browsers. However in some situations, this might be the best option. For example, if you are reading an eBook on desktop or laptop computer (as opposed to a handheld device). Or if you find the process of downloading books, navigating between the two bookshelves and returning books confusing, this might be best.

More info from Overdrive Help

In the next tip, I’ll explain about formats available from the Download button. If you want more help we have time and staff dedicated each week to answer your questions about Overdrive in Drop-In Tech Help.

Enjoying farmer’s market bounty all year long

by on August 25th, 2015

I often say the thing that makes our winters worth it is our summers. One thing that contributes is our terrific farmer’s market. In the weeks leading up to the first market of the year I tend to get annoyingly giddy with anticipation. I start daydreaming of fresh produce and happy Iowans finally emerging from their winter habitats. I needn’t suffer all winter from a lack of good local food, however. This year I have been stockpiling fresh produce for my family in various ways.

There are lots of options for this, and ICPL has resources to help you get started. If it’s canning and freezing you’re into, we have a program on safe practices from the Johnson County Extension that you may be interested in:

ICPL has a huge selection of books on canning and preserving. You can find many of these materials under call number 641.4.

Here are just a few selections:
You Can CanBetter Homes and Gardens You Can Can (A Guide to Canning, Preserving, and Pickling)

Home PreservingBall’s Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today

I have a young one at home who will be ready to start eating solids right about the time that getting fresh local produce is impossible. I’m planning ahead by freezing some pureed fruits and veggies (and it’s also so much less expensive than purchasing jarred baby food!)cherries
“Some lovely cherries getting ready to be pureed”

I happened to use the book Realsmart Baby Food, although we have a large selection of books on making homemade baby food.

If you’re interested in batch cooking to store ready made meals in your freezer, we have a lot of options. Last fall I did a batch cook from the book “Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook” The great thing about this book is that it gives you a complete plan for your batch cook, complete with a grocery shopping list and detailed instructions about what order to prep and cook things. However, this means you’re limited to the menu plans that they outline, and if you want to alter any of the recipes you would have to factor that in. We have many more books about make-ahead cooking available in our collection.

So stop by the farmer’s market this weekend and stock up on fresh, local produce that you can enjoy all miserable tolerable Iowa winter long.

Entries Sought for ICPL’s 2015 Art Purchase Prize

by on August 21st, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will begin accepting artwork for the 2015 Art Purchase Prize, with winning pieces added to the Art-To-Go collection, on Sept. 1.

The competition is open to artists over the age 18 who live/work/exhibit in the Iowa City or the Johnson County area, and have participated in at least one juried or judged competition.

In order to foster new talent, previous winners who have had two or more works purchased by the Library are ineligible for entry. Previous winners who have had one work purchased must sit out for two consecutive contests before entering again. Library employees and their immediate family are ineligible for entry.

To enter, artists should submit a digital image representation of their original work(s), and those should be in .jpeg format, with a minimum resolution of 72 dpi and a minimum size of 1024 x 768 pixels.

Entries can be emailed to csmith@icpl.org, or mailed on disc to Candice Smith at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City, IA 52240. Entries must include the artist’s name, address, phone number and email, and the following for each artwork: Title, Medium, Size/Matted Size (if appropriate), and Price.

Artwork should be priced under $300.

Artists may enter two artworks. Any two-dimensional or low-relief media are acceptable, including: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, collage, paper/textile and mixed media.

Only original art will be accepted. All submitted artwork must have been created within the last three years.

Finished artwork must be at least 12 x 12 and no larger than 36 x 36. Works chosen for final judging should be matted and/or mounted as needed to create a finished piece. Archival or museum-quality materials must be used for printing, mounting and matting. Works must be suitable for framing and covering with Plexiglas.

The Library takes responsibility for framing works chosen for purchase.

Entries will be accepted from Sept. 1 through Oct. 4. The first round of judging will begin on Oct. 6, with the final round of judging on Oct. 13.

For more information, visit www.icpl.org/art/prize or contact Candice Smith at Candice-Smith@icpl.org





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