Bad Habit Becomes Good Habit

by Mary Estle-Smith on October 13th, 2017

Coffee has been around for a long time and blamed for many ills — from stunting your growth to  heart disease  to insomnia (that one is pretty accurate for many)— but newer research shows that it may actually have a number of  good perks (pun intended).

Recently I have read about several studies indicating that my favorite “starter fluid”  has many health benefits.   An article in Time magazine states that it can help you live a longer and healthier life.  Another article in the NY Times echoes and expands on this data, while clarifying that the studies refer to plain black coffee.  Of course, moderation should also be used.  Drinking a gallon every day would not be optimal.  The  myriad of calorie dense milk and sugar based coffee drinks available apparently do supply the same health goodies,   so if that’s your preferred version this information may not apply.

Coffee drinkers have lowered risks of diabetes, some types of cancers, fewer strokes and heart problems. It also tastes good,  and let us not forget the energizer bunny effect that many of us  seek as an immediate plus.

This is all good news for me as I can not start the day without at least 2 oversized cups.   I no longer have to think of my morning ritual as a guilty pleasure.

Here are a few examples of books in our collection to help you to enhance your coffee drinking experience  so give them a look.

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Stephen King books for young adults

by Melody Dworak on October 19th, 2017
Stephen King books for young adults Cover Image

Today I helped a family look for classic Stephen King books that tweens and teens might like. You wouldn’t expect a list like that to be very long, given that he’s a horror writer. Still, I found lots of books that young adults could pick up and read and still sleep at night (maybe).

The library has a book recommendation tool called NoveList. It’s one of our online resources that you can log into from home with a resident library card and password. NoveList has a genre called “Adult books for young adults,” which helps younger readers branch out from the Young Adult Fiction section and find good books on the first floor as well. Lo and behold, 27 of Stephen King’s books fit this criteria for NoveList.  Read the rest of this entry »

Get your craft on to support ICPL.

by Beth Fisher on October 19th, 2017

2017-craft-bazaarAttention all crafters!   Donations are now being accepted for the Annual ICPL Friends Foundation Fundraising Arts & Crafts Bazaar.  This year the bazaar will be on Saturday, December 2nd, so you still have time to get let your craftiness fly to support ICPL.   Information about the Bazaar is available online and you can download a donation form or pick one up here at the Library.  Donations can be dropped off at the Help Desk up until November 30th.

If you’re looking for ideas to get your crafting juices flowing, here are a few new craft books in our collection:

 

 

homemade-holiday

Homemade Holiday: Craft your way through more than 40 festive projects  by Sophie Pester and Catharina Bruns.  Jam packed with fun ideas, from ornaments, wreaths, and small gifts to fun holiday apparel, there is sure to be something for everyone no matter your skill level. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

by Mari Redington on October 14th, 2017

pashminaAll of the Children’s librarians were abuzz this week after voraciously reading Pashmina, the first graphic novel from artist Nidhi Chanani. Born in Kolkata, Chanani brings her Indian heritage and her talent and love of art together in this story about Priyanka, a young girl who knows very little about India. As a second generation Indian American, Priyanka is torn between two worlds. She tries not to stand out too much at school by shortening her name to Pri, and she doesn’t understand all of the Hindu traditions her family practices at home.

India is her mother’s homeland which she fled at a young age and where she has vowed to never return. Pri can only imagine what it would be like to live in India until she discovers a forgotten pashmina in her mother’s belongings that transports her to beautiful and fantastical Indian landscapes too good to be true. She doesn’t realize the truth about why her mother left until a cash prize from an art contest allows her to travel to India to stay with her aunt. Pashmina explores bicultural and immigrant culture clashes as well as a feminist look at ways women are constrained by patriarchy. Chanani’s beautifully drawn images uses color to draw a clear contrast between Pri’s real life which is shown in pale neutrals and her wondrous visions of India, bright and vivid like the cover art. capture

Heartbroken over Tom Petty’s death

by Maeve Clark on October 11th, 2017

I’ve always liked Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and thought someday I’d get to hear them live, but I waited too long.  His death last week at the tom-petty age of 66 came as a shock.  I wanted to learn more about Petty’s influence and found a fantastic DVD on his life at the library, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Runnin’ Down a Dream. The documentary, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, is long, nearly 4 and 1/2 hours, but so worth the investment.  It begins with his childhood in Gainesville, Florida and ends with the final stop on his 30th anniversary tour on September 21, 2006 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, University of Florida in Gainesville.  Petty was a phenomenal songwriter and performer.  It’s hard for me to name a favorite son;  maybe American Girl, or Southern Accent or Mary Jane’s Last Dance.  There are so very many great songs to choose from.

Tom Petty’s first band Mudcrutch,  formed in 1970 and broke up in 1975. In late 1975 the band moved from Florida to California and a new band, the Heartbreakers was formed including several of the original band members.  The documentary chronicles all of the iterations of the band from 1975 to 2006. It features interviews with George Harrison, Eddie Vedder,  Stevie Nicks, Dave Grohl, Jeff Lynne, Rick Rubin, Johnny Depp, Jackson Browne and Jimmy Iovine among others.  Petty embraced change. He was one of the first artists to make music videos for MTV.

800px-tom_petty_walk_of_fameTom Petty’s fight with his record company to retain the rights to his music is highlighted as are other principled stands he took such as holding firm on the price an album would cost. Petty’s solo career is also  featured as is the Heartbreakers’ tour with Bob Dylan. His time with the Traveling Wilburys is a focus of the film.   Runnin’ Down a Dream ends in 2006, but Tom Petty’s career didn’t.  To hear more of his music or to read about him, check the catalog, we have 11 Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker  cds and a selection of other cds where he sang and played guitar.

Treat Yo Shelf at the library

by Stacey McKim on October 10th, 2017

What would Leslie Knope read?treat2017_1

This year for Treat Yo Self day — a holiday created by characters on the TV show Parks & Recreation and celebrated by fans every October 13th — we have a display of books that Parks & Rec characters might like.  Donna has some books on glamour, becoming a real estate agent, and fine leather goods.  treat2017_3Tom’s got big-picture entrepreneurial books, The Sartorialist, and a ridiculous photo book of cats wearing candy-colored wigs.  Ben has Batman, early-90s REM CDs, and something boring about the history of accounting.

But if you’re a book-lover (or movie- or magazine- or music-lover), we invite you to adopt the Treat Yo Self mind-set every time you enter the Iowa City Public Library, and load up on the most decadent, luxurious stuff you can find.  Treat Yo Self 2017!

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

by Brian Visser on October 5th, 2017
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman Cover Image

You probably don’t need any encouragement to read a Neil Gaiman book.  They are treats to be savored, and, honestly, Gaiman writing about Norse mythology is a bit of a no-brainer.  Like peanut butter and chocolate together.  If you’re on the fence at all, though, let me tell you this: I liked it even MORE than I was expecting to.

Norse Mythology has Neil Gaiman retelling the tales of Odin, Thor and Loki that he fell in love with in his youth.  Gaiman was introduced to the characters the same way that I was–from reading the Thor Marvel Comics.  I was astonished by how different the characters were from their comic book counterparts.  These are self-absorbed, competitive, and temperamental gods, but strangely likable.  It was always amusing to hear that Loki was Thor’s first suspect when any mischief occurred.  Actually, I was surprised by how humorous the stories were in general.  I found myself laughing out loud at the god’s shenanigans and Gaiman’s witty writing.

We get 15 separate stories that, when you read them all, feel like an adventure or journey with old friends.  The stories are told roughly in chronological order and flow into each other well.  He begins with the creation myth which was my least favorite.  I need characters and relationships.  Once those were introduced, there wasn’t a single tale that was a miss.  The stories culminate in Ragnarok: The end of all things, but there’s beauty in the destruction.  There’s rebirth and hope and the promise of new tales.  I listened to half of the book as a Book on Disc.  Gaiman reads it himself, and his voice adds magic.  One of my favorite reads of the year.

 

Murderous reads for the season

by Candice Smith on October 4th, 2017
Murderous reads for the season Cover Image

When I was a child, I used to love watching scary movies with my dad. He had this great La-Z-Boy chair that the two of us could fit in, and on weekends we would rent a movie or two (VHS, mind you), make popcorn, and terrify ourselves silly. Well, I was terrified (hence, two people in one chair), but I don’t think he was. We watched all the biggies from the day: Halloween, Carrie, The Shining, Friday the 13th, Alien (I made him take me to that in the theatre, I was like 6, what was he thinking?), The Omen, The Exoricst, The Amityville Horror…the list goes on. I loved it, letting myself be scared just as much as I wanted to, but being safe and able to cover my eyes whenever I needed to. As I got older, I didn’t really enjoy being scared as much (real world too scary, maybe?), and I stopped watching horror movies for the most part. I still enjoy a good mystery and have a certain predilection for murder stories, so in honor of the upcoming Halloween season (who doesn’t like a bit of scare for Halloween?), I’ve rounded up some new books about murder. They are all nonfiction, which makes them all the more scary. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone to speak in Iowa City

by Maeve Clark on September 22nd, 2017

trouble-with-realityBrooke Gladstone,  WNYC’sbrooke On the Media‘s co-host, will kick off Iowa City Public Library’s Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival this Sunday.   Brooke will be joined by Lyle Muller, the executive director – editor of IowaWatch.org. Gladstone’s most recent book, “The trouble with reality : a rumination on moral panic in our time” is an brief but studied examination of current state of news and media.  She states that everyone is subjective and that even those serious consumer of the news needs to be aware of their biases, especially in this hyper-charged time.  It is even more important that we pay attention to what is said, written, viewed, posted and shared.  She cites Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, Philip K. Dick and Jonathan Swift in showing that there is an art to persuading us that a lie is really the truth.

If you aren’t familiar with Brook Gladstone, On the Media airs on Iowa Public Radio on Sundays at 5 pm.  You can listen to past shows or stream an interview with Brooke Gladstone and Lulu Garcia Navarro discussing her book.

Please join us on Sunday, September 24 at 2 pm at the Englert Theatre.  Doors open at 1:30 and there is no cost to attend. Prairie Lights Bookstore is selling books and Brooke will sign books after the program.