Author Archive for Bond Drager



Video Staff Picks: Biographies & Memoir

by Bond Drager on November 13th, 2017

Items mentioned include:
Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented The Wild West by Candace Fleming

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Mama Tried: Dispatches From the Seamy Underbelly of Modern Parenting by Emily Flake

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Video Staff Picks with Terri: October 2017

by Bond Drager on October 18th, 2017

Terri’s back with more great picks from Iowa City Public Library’s nonfiction collection.

Items mentioned include

Tower
directed by Keith Maitland

Newtown
directed by Kim A. Snyder

Gimme Danger
directed by Jim Jarmusch

Eat that Question: Frank
Zappa in his Own Words
directed by Thorsten Schütte

The New Bloody Mary
by Vincenzo Marianella and James O. Fraioli

In Julia’s Kitchen
by Pamela Heyne and Jim Scherer

Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family
by Kathy McKeon

Twenty-Six Seconds: a Personal History of the Zapruder Film
by Alexandra Zapruder

JFK: a Vision for America in Words and Pictures
edited by Stephen Kennedy Smith and
Douglas Brinkley

Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth
of Modern Comedy
by James Curtis

Room D has been…. upgraded!

by Bond Drager on June 8th, 2017

2017-06-12-room-dYou may have noticed that Meeting Room D has been “closed for upgrades” for a few weeks. I’m happy to report it’s back open, and it has new and improved service.

We had two goals for this space: we wanted to incorporate modular furniture so that groups could move tables and chairs and adjust the space to their needs, and we wanted advanced tech options which would allow groups to do presentations and web conferencing (Skype, Webex, GoToMeeting, Zoom, etc) with ease.

The room now has a large white board along one wall for brainstorming sessions. The tables and chairs are fully modular, so groups can set them up classroom style, board-room style, or even fold them all up and use the open space.

We now have two large flat-screens mounted on either end of the space and set up to mirror one another, so no one should have trouble reading your Powerpoint presentation.

We’ve also incorporated a high end webcam and audio system that runs off of a Windows computer – this allows groups to use pretty much any software they want to conference in speakers, meeting participants, etc. to their meetings.

You can use our computer to display your presentations on screen or connect wirelessly with your devices. We use Airserver software, which works with most iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

What to Read Instead of Fifty Shades… Part Two – A Video Staff Picks Episode

by Bond Drager on March 27th, 2017

Terri’s back with more author recommendations in erotic fiction and urban fiction.

Modern Reads for Women’s History Month

by Bond Drager on March 6th, 2017

I recently wondered how March came to be National Women’s History Month. Luckily National Women’s History Project had some great information.

If you’re like me and you like to celebrate holidays by nerding out on information overload, here’s a great list of book titles to pick up from ICPL. For this list, I’m choosing to focus on more recent choices that highlight great feminist literature and nonfiction.

My Real Children by Jo Walton

I won’t go into too much detail about this book because I don’t want to give this wonderful book away. If you’re a fan of realistic fiction like John Green and Rainbow Rowell, but you’re willing to read something written for and about adults, you’d like this book. This is a story about what it means to have choices in life, and ultimately how women function and age within society.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This book has won a zillion awards for its powerful story of race and identity. Bonus: North Liberty Community Library has selected it for its Bring Your Own Book Club on March 31 at Beer Burger – you’ve still got time to participate.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

There’s a reason the City of Literature recently awarded Roxane Gay with the 2016 Paul Engle prize. She’s a tremendous writer doing important work across media and genre. This book of essays is a great introduction to her writing, and it’s also really fun to read.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

So much of the story of 90s music in the pacific northwest comes from the perspective by and about men, that it’s particularly interesting to read this story of a young woman finding her calling as part of that scene.

Not only is this story riveting, but Brownstein is a just a fantastic writer and I often recommend this as one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. She not only chronicles her turbulent journey but is impressively self-aware, finding deeper meaning as she looks at her story in hindsight.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This debut novel from Angie Thomas just came out in February and is already proving very popular. It’s a YA book that everyone should read. The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books describes it as follows: “Ultimately the book emphasizes the need to speak up about injustice. That’s a message that will resonate with all young people concerned with fairness, and Starr’s experience will speak to readers who know Starr’s life like their own and provide perspective for others.”

Video Staff Picks: New & Favorite Cookbooks for Fall 2016

by Bond Drager on November 7th, 2016

Video Staff Picks: New nonfiction for fall 2016 with Terri

by Bond Drager on October 18th, 2016

Jackson Pollock’s Mural: The Transitional Moment

by Bond Drager on October 2nd, 2016

JacketIf you’ve ever been curious to learn more about Pollock’s monstrous work that was heroically saved from the flooded art museum building in 2008, we have some great resources. The book “Jackson Pollock’s Mural: the transitional moment” is written by the conservators at the Getty Center who completed restoration of the painting recently.
One of those conservators, Yvonne Szafran, gave a talk here at ICPL in 2012 about exactly what was done to the painting. It’s a fascinating story, and it’s one of my personal favorite programs we have on The Library Channel.


IPTV recently premiered a documentary about the painting’s history and just which of the many tall tales surrounding it have any truth. That video is on their website: http://site.iptv.org/video/story/24252/jackson-pollocks-mural-story-modern-masterpiece

Even if you aren’t a fan of abstract expressionism, this painting has an incredible story behind it, and it is an important piece of culture at University of Iowa. I look forward to seeing it again in all its glory when the new UI Museum of Art opens.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

by Bond Drager on August 15th, 2016
Kitchens of the Great Midwest Cover Image

I recently enjoyed the book Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. I love books about food (Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle is one of my all-time favorites) and Kitchens of the Great Midwest not only vividly captures the sensory experience of some terrific meals, it also evokes memories of my own Midwestern childhood and the foods I grew up with.

It has a unique structure: Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character, and sometimes there are jumps forward of several years at a go. This left me wanting more with every chapter change.

Here’s an excerpt of Amazon’s synopsis: When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine–and a dashing sommelier–he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter–starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

I didn’t want to put this book down. It was funny and sweet, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to the characters.

Enjoy!

New local biography series – Iowa City People: Steve Bridges

by Bond Drager on June 28th, 2016

The first episode of our new biography series, “Iowa City People” has made its debut online and on Library Channel 20. Our guinea pig guest, “Captain” Steve Bridges, has a fascinating story. Most people in Iowa City know him as the morning co-host on KCJJ 1630, but there’s a lot more to his tale.