by Melody Dworak on June 25th, 2014
The other day a patron asked what the meteorological term for when you see rain falling in the distance. He said had a bet with a friend, and as I am more than happy to use information-seeking skills to stack the odds, I started searching. It turns out, as I learned, the term he was looking for was “virga.”
According to the National Weather Service, virga is actually “Precipitation falling from the base of a cloud and evaporating before it reaches the ground.” It’s common enough of a phenomenon that I could picture it when he asked, but if you don’t know what that looks like, check out this image from Wikipedia.
Thanks to Simon Eugster for the wiki pic!
by Melody Dworak on May 27th, 2014
True Blood fans waiting for the final season to start on June 22 have lots of other vampire works they can explore. The recent spate of popular vampire stories has a rich past, and the curious can learn all about it in How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film, and Fiction by Liisa Ladouceur. Read the rest of this entry »
by Melody Dworak on March 28th, 2014
Alright, so in the past two posts, I shared how to find out a property’s recent owners and specs via the Iowa City Auditor’s website, find a thorough history of ownership (and in some cases, renter-ship) through the Polk Directories, and connect familial relationships through obituaries in ProQuest back to 2002. How to search further back? Read the rest of this entry »
by Melody Dworak on March 27th, 2014
Yesterday I took a first look into the history of a property’s owners through the Iowa City Assessor’s website. Today we dig deeper.
The Assessor’s site only listed one sale in 2006, and that sale was code 14—“Exchange, trade, gift, transfer from Estate,” and it includes the names for both the buyers and the sellers. From there, I go to the 2nd floor Page Station’s City Directories to look for a deeper history of ownership. The listing states the house was built in 1963, so I start with the 1963 Polk Directory and look the house up by its address. Hmm. The Directory lists the property under the same family name as the name on the Estate. Could this mean the house was in the same family for 50 years? I grow hopeful. Read the rest of this entry »
by Melody Dworak on March 26th, 2014
Recently, my partner and I—both well into our 30s—took a step to officially becoming adults that there is no going back from: We bought a house. *Gulp*
“Potter house in Godric’s Hollow”–photo courtesy of Rob Young on Flickr.
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by Melody Dworak on February 27th, 2014
Hi, guys. I made a Storify of people talking about B. J. Novak’s new book One More Thing. Long story short: I loved it, and others did too. Visit this —> Storify post <— to see the buzz this new book is getting.
by Melody Dworak on February 5th, 2014
Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Anthony Marra, graduate of Iowa Writers’ Workshop
The recommendation came to me from a book group I had been invited to attend, and it happened to be perfect timing. I had just finished Jess Walters’s Beautiful Ruins and wasn’t yet tempted by the fill-my-head-with-applicable-knowledge nonfiction books I have checked out. So there I was, putting off what I *have* to read for what I *want* to read. What I had heard about the book: it’s sad. You’ll like it if you like the gut-wrenching ones. What I now know about the book: my recommender was right. Read the rest of this entry »
by Melody Dworak on December 30th, 2013
Back in November, I plugged a few books where football was a driving force. I am happy to report that I’ve been able to finish reading two of those books and have good things to follow up with. Here’s one:
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
By Ben Fountain
Published May 2012
Claim to fame: 2012 National Book Award Finalist
This is a book that I can’t stop gushing about. I haven’t read a literary fiction book in years, put off by the genre’s ability to attract authors with the biggest egos. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk feels like Ben Fountain wrote this book for me, the reader, over himself as the writer. Read the rest of this entry »
by Melody Dworak on November 8th, 2013
Fall football season is in full swing. What better way to pregame the night before the big matchup than to grab a hot toddy and a Hawkeye Snuggie and curl up with a great read? Read the rest of this entry »