Don’t let your kids lose steam in their summer reading! Here are some picks from library staff for kids of all ages.
Author Archive for Bond Drager
Terri shares some of her favorite (and not so favorite) celebrity biographies, memoirs, and retrospectives.
I’ve just come back from a maternity leave, and here’s my advice for new parents everywhere: get some fun, light things to watch while you’re feeding your kid. You’ll spend a crazy amount of hours parked on the couch, not able (or unwilling) to focus on anything with much depth. The library makes a great first outing for a new family – there are changing tables and a private lactation room in the children’s area, and parking is free at the Sheraton for an hour. Here are a few shows I’d recommend grabbing the next time you’re here.
Alias – College student is super secret spy on her days off. Bradley Cooper takes his shirt off. ‘Nuff said.
Arrested Development – Dysfunctional formerly rich family loses everything when their dad goes to jail. This show lends itself to binge watching because jokes build on themselves throughout the episodes.
Broad City – If you want some very adult humor to keep you going, this is your show. It is modern and totally funny.
The Good Wife – Former attorney who’s been a stay at home mom for years has to start over when her husband, the State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois, gets caught up in a sex scandal and is sent to jail. Surprisingly high quality for a “murder of the week” type show.
IT Crowd – British sitcom about three lazy people who work in an IT department. If you’re a little bit nerdy, you’ll love this show.
Louie – A comedian aptly named Louie lives in New York and shares custody of his two young daughters. As the seasons have gone on, this relatively simple show from standup comedian Louis CK has matured and now each episode is almost a short film.
The Mindy Project – a lighthearted sitcom about Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a single gynecologist who lives in New York. Of course there’s a will they/won’t they plot with her handsome colleague.
Orange is the New Black – suburban girl/former drug smuggler goes to prison. Kind of a comedy, kind of a drama. It’s easy to get hooked on this show.
Parks and Recreation – The main character is a woman who accomplishes terrific things for a small town using her brain and with the help of her friends. This show is terribly funny and the kind of thing I would be okay with my daughter watching one day. Skip the first season and start with the second.
Scandal – A DC “fixer” who is also secretly the President’s former mistress. This show is plot heavy and full of overacting. Lots of twists and mysteries without being super deep. Just the thing for a sleep deprived parent.
Silicon Valley – A comedy about a brilliant programmer who comes up with an algorithm that’s going to “change everything” and how he and his friends try to build a start-up company. Again, over-the-top adult humor (This show aired on HBO), but very funny.
I count myself among the lucky few: I work at Iowa City Public Library. The staff here are truly dedicated to what they do, and their knowledge of books is formidable. Since I’m expecting my first child in a few weeks my coworkers threw me a wonderful baby shower. I was completely overwhelmed with new books.
Because their choices are so considered, I thought others might be curious to know just what books library staff think someone should have for a new baby’s library. Here’s a list of what they chose. Most, if not all of these books are available in our collection or Prairie Lights Bookstore.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
Doggies by Sandra Boynton
Moo Baa La la La by Sandra Boynton
Snuggle Puppy! by Sandra Boynton
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
Zoom, Zoom, Baby! by Karen Katz
Baby Loves to Boogie! by Wednesday Kirwan
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle by Beatrix Potter
The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
Circle by Justine Smith
That’s Not My Dinosaur by Fiona Watt
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Snoozefest by Samantha Berger
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Imogene’s Last Stand by Candace Fleming
The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke
This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
Hey Diddle Diddle and Other Nursery Rhymes (Stories in Stitches) Illustrated by Dawn Mitchell
Just Go to Bed by Mercer Mayer
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
You Are My Baby: Woodland by Lorena Siminovich
ABC by Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Tails by Matthew Van Fleet
Cat by Matthew Van Fleet
One Night, Far From Here by Julia Wauters
“Great Movies that Didn’t Win Oscars, and Jen’s Dating Game Results”
This month the gang discusses Great Movies that Didn’t Win Oscars plus Jen is back with follow up on how her Blind Date with a Book went.
00:41:What we’re reading/watching/listening to Jen: Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
01:19 Brian – The Martian by Andy Weir
03:21 Melody – Tim Johnston’s Descent
04:41 Jason – Louise Penny
6:02 Melody Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction
06:40 Meredith – Maeve Binchy’s new biography
08:35 Great Movies that Didn’t Win Oscars
09:10 Brian – LA Confidential loses to Titanic
14:35 Jason – Movie Scores – Psycho
19:25 Melody – Bechdel Test Movies – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night/Before Midnight
26:27 Jen – Sense and Sensibility
28:03 Meredith – Shawshank Redemption
30:17 Brian – Short Term 12
32:39 Jason – Last of the Mohicans
36:53 Jen – The Descendants
41:37 Jen’s Dating Game Follow Up – The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This month we share a musician who will be performing at the upcoming Mission Creek Festival, a quick read, a mystery, and a book Maeve describes as a “Gateway from fiction to nonfiction.” Enjoy!
This month’s very special episode is an interview with the staff of City of Literature: John Kenyon and Rachael Carlson. They’ll talk about books, reading, and writing in Iowa City and what their organization does. They also talk about the upcoming One Book Two Book Festival. More information on that can be found here: http://www.onebooktwobook.org/
If you found the Fifty Shades series a little lacking, or if you loved it and want to explore more books of the genre, Terri has some great recommendations for you.
“Books that make you look smart, and short books to help you fulfill your resolution to read more books this year.”
First up, what we’re reading/watching/listening to:
00:47 Melody finished Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series and is on to her Alpha and Omega books 02:26 Brian is reading Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series
04:18 Jason is reading Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Emma Rios. He’s also enjoying music from Father John Misty who will be at Mission Creek this spring.
07:46 Bond likes My True Love Gave to Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins and Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar
10:54 Books that Make You Look Smart Melody suggests Nabokov among other Russian authors. She also suggests Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Sonnets to Orpheus by Roca, among other poets.
20:03 Brian brings up Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty as an example of a book we think people check out but don’t actually read, and talks literary fiction mentioning Nicole Krauss’s History of Love
25:05 Jason talks poetry and adds Nikolai Gogol as a Russian author making a comeback, plus The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
29:22 Bond mentions a bunch of filmmakers if you’re looking to get started in Cinema with a capital C, and suggests Kubrick and Malick as more approachable jumping off points.
35:10 Short books to help you fulfill your resolution to read more this year – Jason suggests 4 short novels to get you started on a year of reading -The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway -Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote -The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide -We the Animals by Justin Torres
Deep Down Dark : The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar
Just in time for those with the common New Year’s resolution to “Read More Books,” NPR’s Morning Edition has started their own book club. The premise of the club is simple:
A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We’ll all read it. Then, you’ll send us your questions about the book. And about a month later, we’ll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.
This month’s choice, selected by author Ann Patchett, is “Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free” by Hector Tobar. Morning Edition is taking questions for Hector Tobar on their Facebook page, and Twitter and Instagram under the hashtag #morningreads. On January 20th the show will select questions and have a conversation with the author.
I heard the description of the book on NPR and while it’s not a book I think I normally would have picked up, I’m glad I did. My main concern during the first chapter or two was whether I would be able to keep straight the many different characters. With 33 miners, all men with sometimes similar names, I started to wonder how I would remember who was who. I needn’t have worried: the author does a terrific job using callbacks and reminders to help the reader along. The story was gripping and well told.
Patchett described the author’s writing thusly: “He’s taking on all of the big issues of life,” she says. “What is life worth? What is the value of one human life? What is faith? Who do we become in our darkest hour?”
Though I remembered how the story ended because of the massive news coverage at the time, I had not realized the details of what was truly a miraculous and surprising rescue. It was fascinating reading about how the miners dealt with such a grim situation only to be faced with a media storm as soon as contact was made – though they remained trapped for many more weeks.
This was a terrific read; it’s a page turner that I would recommend to a broad audience.
Find the book in our catalog record here:
Listen to NPR’s interview with Hector Tobar here:
Bond Drager at the Library