Baby It’s COLD Outside!

by Kara Logsden on November 13th, 2017

We don’t need Dean Martin crooning the classic holiday song to remind us it is cold outside. My daughter is living in an old home that is always cold. Recently we went shopping for weatherizing materials to keep the heat in and cold out. This reminded me of the old Amana Society house we restored during graduate school. We had an annual ritual of putting plastic up on all the windows and stuffing rubber weather-stripping caulk into drafty spaces. Now that we live in a newer home, I still find myself weatherizing. It has made a difference in home energy costs. If you are looking for ideas to winterize your home, check out the many resources available at the Library.

The book Spend-A-Little Save–A-Lot Home Improvements: Money-Saving Projects Anyone Can Do by Brad Staggs is a great place to start. Chapter 3 is dedicated to saving energy and includes information about insulating and weather-sealing. The chapter begins with a practical discussion about where and why air leeks occur.

Although not dedicated to winterizing ideas, Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley shares many good ideas divided between free, low-cost, and large renovation projects. Suggestions are practical and well-explained. Findley advocates for sealing all openings to and from your home, including cracks, seals, door frames, cable installations, and other opening into your home.

Family Handyman magazine has articles about energy efficiency and winterizing projects. The magazine is available for checkout from the Library’s Magazine area on the first floor and as an eMagazine digital checkout via RB Digital. The October 2016 edition has a list of 10 projects to complete before winter. The November/December 2016 edition of This Old House magazine has a an article called “Stop Winter Drafts.” It is also available as a digital magazine via RB Digital.

The Library also has locally produced online videos about energy conservation that you may watch at home. These include two Eco Iowa City programs with helpful suggestions for preparing your home for winter. In Energy Efficiency in your Home, John O’Roake, Energy Efficiency Manager at MidAmerican, offers energy savings tips and ways to heat and cool your home efficiently. Bob Yapp shares information about winterizing windows in Preserving Old Windows.

Make your house cozy and warm this winter with help from the collections at Iowa City Public Library.

All Iowa Reads Program is now for All Ages

by Beth Fisher on November 5th, 2017

 

Begun in 2003 by the Iowa Center For The Book, the All Iowa Reads program was created to build a sense of community through reading.  Once a year adults across the state were encouraged to read and talk about the same book. The All Iowa Reads titles are selected by a committee of ten rotating members representing public libraries, academic libraries, a publisher or bookstore, a state government agency, and the State Library Commission.  They read a variety of books to come up with each years selection.  A list of the runners up can also be found at the All Iowa Reads website.

In October at the annual Iowa Library Association state conference the AIR selection for the next year is announced.   This year there was an even bigger announcement: the all All Iowa Reads Program is no longer just aimed at adults.  There are now three All Iowa Reads selection each year: one for Kids (ages 8-12),  for Young Adults (ages 13-18), and for Adults (18+).

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Real Friends

by Angela Pilkington on November 3rd, 2017

Last week Publisher’s Weekly announced their best books of 2017 list. While looking over the children’s list I came across a couple titles that I had somehow missed, so I have set out to read them before the end of the year.

The first one I grabbed was Real Friends by Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale, with artwork by LeUyen Pham. This graphic novel is a semi autobiographical account of Shannon growing up from Kindergarten to fifth grade and finding her real friends.

If I told you this book did not bring up memories of my own childhood and finding friends or that I am now going through this with my own 10 year old daughter, I would be lying. I can vividly remember my mother soothing my tears and giving me her best advice on how to deal with the cruel words or actions of the girls. I now have her advice and this book to talk to my daughter with when situations, like being a part of the club arise’s.  Like Shannon in the book, there were days when I was part of the club and other days when I suddenly found myself on the outs.

That said, I still really enjoyed this book and Shannon’s story. LeUyen did a wonderful job with her artwork to bring out the emotions from Hale’s characters with facial expressions. You will truly feel Shannon’s insecurities, her happiness, her sadness, and her confusion. More importantly, though, you will feel. You’ll be feeling the entire time, but you’ll root for Shannon, and a lot of that comes from Phan’s artwork.

This story was perfect for my 10-year-old and really for any child. Real Friends looks at the complex relationships among elementary school girls and by reading it together we were able to discuss important feelings and our reactions. The book echoes to readers that good friends don’t treat you badly and that in the end, all the hard work and the journey that comes with it are worth it.

Get ready … get set … WRITE!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 25th, 2017

In one week, writers of all ages will take on the ultimate challenge: to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.typewriter-801921_640

National Novel Writing Month is an internet-based creative writing project that encourages anyone who has ever thought of writing a book to use the 30 days of November to accomplish that goal. Participation is easy. Just sign up on their website before November 1 and you’ll receive notifications of local writing meet-ups, pep talks from well-known authors, tips for beating writer’s block, etc. throughout the challenge.

The Library is a great NaNoWriMo resource. We have plenty of space for you to write, nonfiction titles about writing, databases and other research materials for the fine details pertinent to your story, and published books that started as NaNoWriMo novels to inspire you. These include:

Each one of these writers started with a dream. NaNoWriMo gave them the incentive they needed to get the first draft of their dream on paper/a computer screen. There’s no reason why the next author on this list can’t be you! As Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Happy writing!

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

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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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.