The newest installment of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, Top Secret 21, is out and it’s a page-turner. While I thought the last couple Plum books were not up to Janet Evanovich standards, I though with this book she was back on target with quirky characters, humor, and more adventures for bounty-hunter, Stephanie Plum. If you are looking for a quick summer chick-lit read, this is a great option.
If you haven’t read the Stephanie Plum series, we have many of the earlier books in multiple formats including regular print, large print, spoken word, eBook and eAudiobook. The plot is easy to follow and it’s not necessary to start at the beginning.
If you are a Janet Evanovich fan and looking for similar authors, there are quite a few I would recommend including Lisa Lutz (Spellman Files), Mary Kay Andrews, and Diane Mott Davidson. These authors have books that are fast paced, funny and perfect for summer reading. If you need help finding a good book, Library staff are always happy to help. Happy Summer Reading!
Rebecca Chaperon’s new picture book, Eerie Dearies: 26 ways to miss school, is a hilariously haunting abecedarian that is not for the faint of heart or humorless. While not all of her heroines, and yes they are all female, meet their demise playing hooky, a few are already undead and others are well on their way.
“I is for Insomnia”
Each of her full color acrylic illustrations are set on old and well worn book covers with many of the titles remaining visible, interacting with and commenting on the excuse for nonattendance. With their similar melancholic expressions, elongated features and the whimsical play between page design and illustration Chaperon almost alludes to Edward Gorey’s, The Gashlycrumb Tinies.
Full of excruciating detail that only multiple readings will reveal, Rebecca Chaperon has created a delightfully grim exploration of the alphabet and cutting class.
Disclaimer: I cannot recommend all of these alternatives to attending school.
Teens interested in writing have an opportunity to learn more about the process from local teen author Chideraa B. Okeoma.
Okeoma will share his thoughts on writing from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, in the Iowa City Public Library’s Koza Family Teen Center. He is the author of When Mystery Busters Came to Town, a mystery that centers around four teen sleuths working together to bring shine a spotlight on the underground criminal network in their hometown.
When Mystery Busters Came to Town was published in May.
The book is illustrated by Okeoma’s younger sister.
This event is free of charge and open to students in grades seventh through 12th.
For more information, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.
Every year, visitors flock to the Johnson County Fairgrounds to partake in a summer tradition: The Johnson County Fair.
From competitions to must-see shows, the fair is home to thousands of memories; memories the Iowa City Public Library’s Digital History Project wants you to share.
Librarians will be at the Public Libraries of Johnson County Fair Booth from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to solicit audio recordings of fair memories from all fair attendees. The recordings will be added to the Library’s Digital History Project website at history.icpl.org.
Launched in 2013, the Digital History Project is an initiative to share and explore historical images and stories of life in Iowa City and Johnson County. The project’s partners include the Iowa City Public Library, the Iowa City Host Noon Lions Club, and the Johnson County Historical Society.
Everything from fair favorites and special events to earliest recollection qualifies as a fair memory. Stop by the Public Libraries of Johnson County Fair Booth to share yours.
For more information, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.
Any new books at the Library? There’s a quick answer for that, on the front page of the catalog. Once a week–usually on Tuesday–the list of materials just added to the Library collections is updated. Not all sections will have something every week, but most do and sometimes the lists are quite long. Just click on the “New Materials Lists” link to get started.
The New Materials Lists page is easy to search and browse: it first is divided into Adult, Teen and Children’s collections, with more sub-categories listed below those headings. If you like Adult Fiction, you can limit your browsing to just Mysteries or just Large Print books. If Nonfiction is your first choice, the list is separated by the Dewey Decimal classification numbers: 100/200/300 and so on. I routinely check the 900s and Biography, because I like reading about history and travel. And then I check the DVD TV section, because I’m hooked on a number of British TV series. And then it’s on to the Mysteries…
Most formats are represented, including DVDs, music compact discs, books on disc, and eBooks and eAudio. The display of the book cover (or DVD cover, or CD cover) beside the title is helpful, and there’s a direct link to the regular catalog entry where you can place a hold if you wish.
The majority of the items on the list are newly-published, but you will also see other things new to our collection even if they were published several years ago.
It’s a great way to browse our virtual New shelves. Check back once a week!
Europe during World War II is the setting of many novels and it’s really no surprise. Such horror, fear, and devastation create an environment ripe for personal conflicts, long odysseys, and overcoming trials on an unimaginable scale. And, as with anything, there are novels that use this setting to their advantage and others that fall flat. Anthony Doerr’s latest work, All the Light We Cannot See, works with the period very well and you would do well to check it out.
For the most part, the novel intertwines the stories of two young individuals from different sides of the conflict. There is Marie-Louise, the visually-impaired daughter of the locksmith and keeper of keys for the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Her father’s position aides in her curiosity about the natural sciences and she loves to read Jules Verne. Before the occupation of Paris, she is forced to flee with her father to Saint-Malo and there is the possibility that they are carrying one of the Museum’s most prized possessions. Or is it a decoy? Marie-Louise’s story is paired with Werner’s, a German orphan with an innate understanding of radios and radio frequency. His ability opens the door for him to attend an elite military school to work on special radio projects and prepare for working with radio units in the field. Of course, this leads him to Saint-Malo on a mission to find French resistance fighters using radio transmissions, right before the allies began a bombing campaign on the port city.
There are many surprising links between Marie-Louise and Werner before this Saint-Malo connection and Doerr reveals them skillfully. I also appreciated how Doerr played with time in the narrative, starting with the bombing of Saint-Malo and weaving in the back story steadily. Many novels work this way, but his was well-paced and structured.
If you’ve been online at all in the past couple of days, you might’ve gotten wind of the disaster that has been #DashCon, a first-year convention organized by and for members of Tumblr. Elsewise, consider this a primer.
In the organizers’ own words,
DashCon aims to be the largest gathering of Tumblr users to date, concentrating on the particulars of this stand out social media site. DashCon will be a place where Tumblr users can express common site wide interests, in both fashion, art, science, and in the world of geekery.
(To be super clear, this was an unofficial event that is not affiliated with the administrators of Tumblr itself.)
Moreover, the convention’s primary target audience appears to have been Tumblr users who are also active participants in various fandoms across media, an intersection of interests that is hugely populated by teens. The inaugural event took place in Schaumburg, Illinois (my old stomping grounds!), over this past weekend and has already become a meme.
And from what I can tell, it has been outrageously disorganized and mismanaged from start to finish, the highlights of which include
mis/disinformation from DashCon organizers to attendees, performers, and possibly the host site
reports that the organizers were unable to pay agreed-upon performance, transportation, or accommodation fees for guests of honor, such as Noelle Stevenson and the Welcome to Night Valestaff, on arrival
reports that DashCon admin held a hasty (though, amazingly, successful) crowdfunding effort to raise $17,000 in the middle of the convention, ostensiblyin order to keep the convention going
reports that some panels were poorly/not moderated, and that crushed attendees who had registered for cancelled events were not refunded the cost of their ticket but were instead offered the now-infamous free hour in the ball pit
Here are some master posts that go into more detail:
Opinions vary on whether or not the chaos of DashCon’14 was a result of the organizers’ honest incompetence (managing an event of this size, with so many moving pieces, is seriously daunting stuff) or if the whole thing was a scam targeting the young and inexperienced (and their parents).
The Public Libraries of Johnson County are ready for this year’s Johnson County Fair; are you?
Representatives from all of Johnson County’s public libraries – Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, Oxford, Solon, Swisher, and Tiffin-Springmier – will host a booth in Exhibition Hall #2 during the county fair July 21 through July 24.
Stop by to learn more about how the libraries work together to promote literacy and learning throughout the county. We’ll also have giveaways to hand out, including a special kids-only prize on Kids’ Day on July 22.
All visitors to the Public Libraries of Johnson County fair booth can enter the drawing for an oversized stuffed teddy bear sporting a Public Libraries of Johnson County T-shirt.