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Author Archive for Bond Drager



Deep Down Dark : The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar

by Bond Drager on January 12th, 2015

deep down dark

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:

http://alec.icpl.org/record=b1442811

Listen to NPR’s interview with Hector Tobar here:

http://www.npr.org/2015/01/20/377462181/book-club-hector-tobar-answers-your-questions-about-deep-down-dark

 

 

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 7

by Bond Drager on December 18th, 2014

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

This month we’re talking about 2014 Year End! Do we really need another best of list? Sure! We also talk about things we started watching or reading but just couldn’t get into, and reading resolutions for 2015.

Top picks for 2014 Books, Movies and Music:
00:55 Brian talks about Andrew Smith’s books 100 Sideways Miles and Grasshopper Jungle
06:46 Jason loves Bob’s Burgers and Owen Pallett’s album In Conflict
14:44 Melody talks Best Essays. Her top five of the year are Loitering by Charles D’Ambrasio, Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, Young Widower by John Evans, and honorable mentions for True Stories, Well Told and Happiness: Ten Years of n+1.
18:52 Reluctant Reads and Watches
19:38 Brian brings on a lively discussion about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and why we should always start with season 2
29:52 Jason talks Neil Gaiman’s American Gods
36:10 Meredith’s choices are Grapes of Wrath and Da Vinci Code, plus Jason mentions Moby Dick and Brian never got around to reading Catch 22.
40:12 The group shares their Reading Resolutions for 2015

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 6

by Bond Drager on November 26th, 2014

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

Episode 6: “How to Survive the Holidays Using Library Resources”
00:52 What we’re reading/watching/listening to Brian – My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories – Edited and with a story by Stephanie Perkins
02:17 Jason – The Secret Place by Tana French, and Veep
04:51 Melody – Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive
06:50 Meredith – Habibi by Craig Thompson
08:53 How to Survive the Holidays with Library Resources
09:58 Melody (Stimulating conversations) – What to Talk About: on a plane, at a cocktail party, in a tiny elevator with your boss’s boss by Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker, National Geographic’s Extreme Weather Survival Guide, History Books, including Ada’s Algorithm by James Essinger, Digging for Richard III by Mike Pitts, The Roman Guide to Slave Management by Jerry Toner The Brewer’s Tale by William Bostwick, Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi
17:19 Jason (Music You Won’t Hate) – Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, David Bowie Nothing Has Changed, Queen – Forever, Paul McCartney – Wings Over America, Wilco – What’s Your Twenty, Now That’s What I Call Music
24:03 Brian (Movies to Watch at a Family Gathering) – Hundred Foot Journey, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Begin Again, Bend It Like Beckham, Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent, King’s Speech, Saving Mr. Banks, Jersey Boys
32:43 Meredith (Menus for Guests with Dietary Considerations) – Gluten Free & Vegan Bread by Jennifer Katzinger, Eating Well Fast and Flavorful Meatless Meals by Jessie Price & the EatingWell Test Kitchen, Vegan desserts by Hannah Kaminsky, How to Cook a Turkey by the editors of Fine Cooking Magazine
37:57 Melody – ICPL’s Online Magazine Collection – Guess the Magazine by the Headline

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 5

by Bond Drager on November 4th, 2014

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

Episode 5: “Favorite Picture Books & The Book Genre Dating Game”
01:15 Brian talks the TV show Arrow
02:26 Jen is watching Inspector Lewis
04:00 Jason is listening to the new Caribou album
06:30 Meredith is watching The Walking Dead and reading This is Where I Leave You
07:52 It’s National Picture Book Month so the staff are recommending both old and new favorites.
Old favorites: Jen shares Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer, Brian likes Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, Jason loves the Berenstein Bears series, and Meredith likes the Eloise series by Kay Thompson.
New favorites: Jason recommends Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, Brian likes Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, Jen shares The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, and Meredith is a fan of The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers.
30:39 It’s the Book Genre Dating Game – Jen will ask the other panelists questions and they will answer as the book genre of their choice. At the end Jen promises to choose one and read a recommended book!

Video Staff Picks: All Iowa Reads with Susan

by Bond Drager on October 15th, 2014

Need a good book to read? Join our library director Susan for some wonderful book recommendations taken from the All Iowa Reads list.
This year’s author, Thomas Maltman, visited ICPL recently. A video of that talk is here: http://video.icpl.org/maltman

Video Staff Picks: with Terri

by Bond Drager on August 29th, 2014

Terri’s back to talk about some great biographies from musicians and sports heroes.

Video Staff Picks: Book Club Recommendations and Epistolary Novels

by Bond Drager on August 4th, 2014

Meredith talks about one of her favorite epistolary novels (stories made up of letters or correspondence) and Katherine shares a novel that was a hit at her local book club.

Video Staff Picks – British TV and Getting the Body of a Werewolf

by Bond Drager on July 10th, 2014

Jason talks about a British mystery series you may have missed, and Melody shows that the library can teach you how to have the body of a werewolf.

Video Staff Picks with Terri

by Bond Drager on March 17th, 2014

On this episode of Staff Picks, Terri tells us about some great documentaries in the ICPL collection, some CDs, and coffee table books.

Valentine’s Dessert with Candice – Video Staff Picks

by Bond Drager on February 14th, 2014

Candice takes us behind the scenes at ICPL to make a special chocolate caramel sauce from the Mast Brothers Chocolate Cookbook.

 




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