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Author Archive for Bond Drager

Picture Books and Holiday Survival with On Air: The ICPL Podcast

by Bond Drager on November 24th, 2015

This week we’ve got two great episodes of On Air: The ICPL podcast to share.

In Episode 15, Meredith interviews Casey and Morgan from the Children’s Department about some great picture books for young readers.

Plus, enjoy this special bonus episode, a rerun of one of our favorites: How to Survive the Holidays with ICPL, which originally posted in November, 2014.


You can also get our podcast from iTunes or Stitcher

Video staff picks: Documentaries with Terri

by Bond Drager on November 10th, 2015

Do you need some fresh documentary recommendations? Come up to our second floor and enjoy all the fun and informative viewing our nonfiction DVD collection has to offer.

On Air: Episode 14

by Bond Drager on October 29th, 2015

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

Librarian Life Hacks! aka Favorite Books of All Time and Horror Recommendations from Wimpy Librarians

What we’re reading/watching/listening to
00:52 Melody: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
02:02 Jason: Beach House – Depression Cherry
05:24 Brian: Star Wars Rebels
08:45 Meredith: Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall
10:20 Favorite Books Ever
11:40 Brian: The Giver by Lois Lowry
15:10 Jason: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
18:32 Melody: Naked by David Sedaris
20:30 Meredith: 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
23:13 Bond: The Giver – SPOILER ALERT – Spoiler free at 24:10
26:55 Horror recommendations from wimpy librarians
28:54 Meredith: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
33:36 Jason: Bloodletters & Badmen by Jay Robert Nash
37:10 Melody: The Innocence, Dead of Night, Isle of the Dead
41:20 Brian: Evil Dead Trilogy, It Follows, The Babadook

Musical Revue – Music is the Word – Watch the Video!

by Bond Drager on October 17th, 2015

Did you miss the Musical Revue kickoff program for #MusicistheWord which took place at the Englert Theatre on September 20th? You can now watch the video via our YouTube channel.

Many local artists performed including Collegium Tubum, The Beggarmen, Champagne Academy of Irish Dance, Kol Shira, Combined Efforts Theatre Men’s Choir, The Extra Credit Project, Girls Rock, The Recliners, The City, Too, Cedar County Cobras, Andy Parrott Trio, Chase Garrett, and the Hawkeye Marching I-Club Band. Special thanks to the Englert Theatre and staff, Musician’s Pro Shop, University of Iowa School of Music, Smith Music Studios, and Chris Okiishi.

On Air: Episode 13

by Bond Drager on September 29th, 2015

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

Maeve from Adult Services joins the group and we can’t stop crying. Plus we’ll talk all things Music is the Word

00:52 What we’re reading/watching/listening to
Brian: Ex Machina
03:50 Jason: Mr. Robot
09:14 Maeve: Dead Wake by Erik Larson
12:30 Things that make us cry
13:30 Maeve: Where the Red Fern Grows
14:22 Brian: Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Up
21:35 Jason: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Alive Inside
27:30 Meredith: Sophie’s Choice, Homeward Bound
29:25 Crowdsourced: Where the Red Fern Grows, Bridge to Terabithia, Field of Dreams, Remains of the Day
31:35 Meredith: Rudy, Friday Night Lights, Remember the Titans
33:55 Music is the Word
Watch the Musical Revue here:

Watch monarch caterpillars live at Iowa City Public Library

by Bond Drager 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.


Enjoying farmer’s market bounty all year long

by Bond Drager 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.

Video Staff Picks: a biography of ee cummings for children

by Bond Drager on August 11th, 2015

Katherine shares the book “enormous smallness” a story of the poet ee cummings.

On Air – The ICPL Podcast: Episode 12

by Bond Drager on July 29th, 2015

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

“Summer Livin/Easy Reading and Over Hyped Releases”

In which the gang goes off the rails. This month we have a special guest, Anne from Collection Services. It’s summertime and the livin is easy, and so are the things we are reading, watching, and listening. Also Anne brings a segment on “Go Set a Watchman” and other over hyped releases. Spoiler alert: Brian loves Star Wars. 01:10 What we’re reading/watching/listening to -Anne: Penderwicks Series -Jason: The Wire -Melody: As If: The Oral History of Clueless -Brian: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera -Meredith: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 11:34 Easy Reading/Watching/Listening -Brian: Weezer, Dune Books -Melody: The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne, Road Warrior, The Dresden Files Series Audiobooks -Anne: Girl Walks Into a Bar by Rachel Dratch, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, Jaws -Jason: Kurt Vonnegut novels, Hot Chip’s album Why Make Sense, Back to the Future trilogy -Meredith: The Great Outdoors 30:52 Go Set a Watchman and other over hyped releases -Brian: Star Wars prequels -Jason: Elliot Smith’s posthumous album From a Basement on the Hill -Melody: Grand Budapest Hotel -Anne: Louisa May Alcott’s A Long Fatal Love Chase -Meredith: Maeve Binchy’s Chestnut Street

Finish Summer Reading Program with Short Audiobooks

by Bond Drager on June 29th, 2015

I find I can get a lot more reading done by using audiobooks. I may not have time to sit down and read a book every day, but I can listen to them during my commute and while doing other things. It’s the halfway point in our Summer Reading Program, so here are a few short reads (4 hours or less) to help you finish your list strong.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (2 hours, 46 minutes) (Available on Overdrive or Fiction on Disc)
Alice is wondering what to do one day, when a talking rabbit steals her attention. She is so intrigued that she follows him into his hole, and tumbles down into Wonderland. Alice soon discovers that reality and logic, as she knows them, do not apply here. In an attempt get out of the hole and into, “the loveliest garden you ever saw”, she eats a cake to grow large enough to reach the key to the garden.

Animal Farm by George Orwell (3 hours, 11 minutes) (Available on Overdrive or Fiction on Disc)
George Orwell’s classic satire of the Russian Revolution has become an intimate part of our contemporary culture, with its treatment of democratic, fascist, and socialist ideals through an animal fable. The animals of Mr. Jones’ Manor Farm are overworked, mistreated, and desperately seeking a reprieve. In their quest to create an idyllic society where justice and equality reign, the animals of Manor Farm revolt against their human rulers, establishing the democratic Animal Farm under the credo, “All Animals Are Created Equal.” Out of their cleverness, the pigs—Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball—emerge as leaders of the new community. In a development of insidious familiarity, the pigs begin to assume ever greater amounts of power, while other animals, especially the faithful horse Boxer, assume more of the work. The climax of the story is the brutal betrayal of Boxer, when totalitarian rule is reestablished with the bloodstained postscript to the founding slogan: “But Some Animals Are More Equal than Others.”

This astonishing allegory, one of the most scathing satires in literary history, remains as fresh and relevant as the day it was published.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (2 hours, 52 min.) (Available on Fiction on Disc)
In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to her at Tiffany’s. Her poignancy, wit, and naivete continue to charm.

The Breathing Method by Stephen King (2 hours, 50 minutes) (Available on Overdrive)
The Breathing Method, from Stephen King’s bestselling collection Different Seasons, takes place in an exclusive gentleman’s club in New York, where no one pays any dues. Membership is based upon a telling of tales, and one nightmarish tale about a disgraced woman determined to give birth—no matter the consequences—pays for them all.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London (3 hours, 20 minutes) (Available on Overdrive or Fiction on Disc)
The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy (2 hrs., 45 min.) (Available on Fiction on Disc)
As an unusual illness plagues Russian public official Ivan Ilyich, his life is forever changed as he deals with doctors who cannot diagnose or treat him, as well as a certain death sentence.

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (3 hours, 10 minutes) (Available on Overdrive or Fiction on Disc)
Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. Jenny Offill’s heroine, referred to in these pages as simply “the wife,” once exchanged love letters with her husband, postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes–a colicky baby, bedbugs, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions–the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it, as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art. With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation can be read in a single sitting, but there are enough bracing emotional insights in these pages to fill a much longer novel.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (3 hr., 42 min.) (Available on Overdrive or Fiction on Disc)
The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.

A Load of Hooey by Bob Odenkirk (2 hours, 27 minutes) (Available on Overdrive)
Bob Odenkirk is a legend in the comedy-writing world, winning Emmys and acclaim for his work on Saturday Night Live, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and many other seminal television shows. This book, his first, is a spleen-bruisingly funny omnibus that ranges from absurdist monologues (“Martin Luther King Jr.’s Worst Speech Ever”) to intentionally bad theater (“Hitler Dinner Party: A Play”), from avant-garde fiction (“Obit for the Creator of Madlibs”) to free-verse poetry that’s funnier and more powerful than the work of Calvin Trillin, Jewel, and Robert Louis Stevenson combined.

Odenkirk’s debut resembles nothing so much as a hilarious new sketch comedy show that’s exclusively available as a streaming video for your mind. As Odenkirk himself writes in “The Second Meeting of Jesus and Lazarus,” it is a book “to be read aloud to yourself in the voice of Bob Newhart.”

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (2 hrs., 45 min.) (Available on Fiction on Disc)
The story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.