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The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch

by Maeve Clark on April 11th, 2016
The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch Cover Image

Quick, what happened almost ten years ago to the date?  BINGO! The F2 tornado that hit Iowa City on the night of April 13, 2006.  Where were you that night and what were you doing when the twister hit?  ICPL wants to know.  You can stop in the library and add your story to the tornado board and even place your tale on the exact location of where you were that monumental night.  And you can share your photos of the aftermath of the storm with all the world through ICPL interactive tornado map. tornado smallWe already have over 2000 photos but we are looking for more, especially ones from where the tornado first touched down, the south end of town.  On Wednesday, you are all invited to share your stories of the the night of the tornado and the days of recovery afterwards.  Iowa City, while suffering millions of dollars in damage saw not loss of life.

The National Weather Service has linked 15 tornadic events from April 13, 2006 on one page, starting with a tornado north of Marion, Iowa and ending in Alexis, Illinois.  The tornado activity began at 7:40 in Iowa and ended at 10:15 in Illinois.  Wikipendia calls all of the tornado activity that weekend and the following Monday, the Easter Week Tornado Outbreak, as the first tornadoes started on Maundy Thursday, April 13 and ended on Tuesday, April 18.  The tornadoes moved across the plains and prairie and spread a path of destruction.

The library has a wealth of information on tornadoes real and fictional.  Watch Twister, filmed in Madison County, Iowa, or everyone’s favorite, The Wizard of Oz, or better yet, read the L. Frank Baum stories on which Victor Flemming based the his film production.   Look under the subject heading of tornadoes to find out what it takes for the atmosphere to roil to the extent that every home in a town is destroyed and many lives are lost or why in another locality a house can be sucked into a swirling vortex and set down in a field of corn with nary any damage .

And finally, do you know the difference between a twister and a tornado?

We have our Book Madness winners!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 11th, 2016

It was a heated competition, but Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 defeated Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games to be named ICPL’s 2016 Book Madness champion in the Teens & Adults bracket.

The Children’s bracket winner was Wonder by R. J. Palacio. This wonderful (pun intended) book beat out Erin Hunter’s Warriors series.BookMadness

Nearly 100 patrons turned in completed brackets, but only four had the winning title in their bracket — one in the Teens & Adults bracket, and three in the Children’s bracket. We moved to a point system to determine our winner in the children’s bracket (one point for every correct title moving on to Round 2, two points for every correct title in the Sweet 16, three points for every correct title in the Elite 8, etc.). We will contact the winners this week.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Book Madness! Remember, you can find a list of all 2016 titles here. Please let us know if there’s a category and/or book title you’d like to see in next year’s competition!

Spruce Up For Spring

by Anne Mangano on April 7th, 2016
Spruce Up For Spring Cover Image

It is finally spring and time to throw open the sashes and take in the fresh air. But it is also time for spring cleaning, to dust the baseboards, turn the mattresses, and wash those windows. Why not change things up a bit? Perhaps it is time to rethink the rooms entirely.

If you haven’t thought about home design, start with Emily Henderson’s Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves. Henderson helps you determine your style and then provides tips on how to show off those design inclinations in your home. Styled doesn’t call for a complete overhaul. Small changes in rearranging furniture or adding a few elements like a rug or a lamp can go a long way to transform a room. habitat

After months of the winter doldrums, you probably can’t get enough of the outdoors. Lauren Liess’ Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating uses nature as inspiration in home design. Her rooms are sophisticated, but also simple, comfortable, and achievable. Habitat works through explaining the basics of interior design, offering advice on lighting, color combinations, and accessories.

Need to surround yourself with a little more glamor? The Elements of Style by Erin Gates is your best bet. This book shows off Gates’ personality from beautiful, dramatic dining rooms to elegant, yet serene bedrooms. If you are interested in adding bold prints and lush rugs to your abode, this book is for you.

Perhaps you would prefer to go traditional? For this, check out Ben Pentreath’s English Decoration, inspired by British manor houses and country cottages. Some of Pentreath’s work isn’t practical for us Iowans; there is an entire chapter on “Rooms of Display.” Nonetheless, there are some beautiful color combinnovelations and intriguing room arrangements.

We are a UNESCO City of Literature and your style may be influenced by your favorite books. Novel Interiors by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti showcases rooms inspired by sixty different novels, including those by Jane Austen, Evelyn Waugh, L. M. Montgomery, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Borgnes Giramonti finds passages describing chairs, plates, and linens and builds the rooms from there. For booklovers and design aficionados alike.

Beware of the 3 Czech Ice Kings!

by Kara Logsden on March 28th, 2016
Beware of the 3 Czech Ice Kings! Cover Image

2016 03 Spring FlowersLonger days, spring flowers, and sunshine have me in the mood for garden planning. A little voice in the back of my head, though, has been telling me I shouldn’t get ahead of myself and to remember the Three Ice Kings my Grandmother, Mother, and Father have always warned about. I remembered to “Beware of the Ice Kings” but I couldn’t remember the details beyond they had something to do with planting tomatoes (a staple in my garden).

I was talking to a Master Gardener, who also happens to be an ICPL Reference Librarian, and asked if she’d ever heard of the Three Ice Kings. Expert sleuth she is, she found a couple articles including this one from Homegrown Iowan:

“As the story goes, the three kings or saints – Pankrac on May 12, Servac on May 13 and Bonifac on May 14 – were frozen when the temperature dropped while they were fishing at sea. On May 15, St. Zofie came along with a kettle of hot water to thaw out the three frozen kings.

The legend, brought to the United States by Czech immigrants, means that, for Iowans,  it’s a good idea to wait until May 15 to plant your tomatoes, peppers and other tender vegetables and flowers, or at least provide them with some protection in case overnight temperatures drop below freezing.”

My Grandmother is 100% Czech and first generation Iowan from Czech immigrants, so it makes sense she would know about the Ice Kings Legend.

So with a few more weeks to wait before planting, I decided a quick trip to the Library’s New Nonfiction Collection would help with garden planning. The first book I found is Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest by Michael VenderBrug. Not only does this book share a calendar for garden planning, but it also focuses on Midwest gardening issues. I especially liked the section addressing trellising tomatoes.

Foodscaping by Charles Nardozzi gives practical information about introducing edibles into regular landscaping. The pictures are great and I appreciated the information about container gardening.

Mystery writer Diane Mott Davidson’s book, Goldy’s Kitchen, weaves some of my favorite things into one book: Mysteries and Food. The Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe from her book, Fatally Flaky, looks perfect for my future tomato and basil harvest.

While I’m waiting for the Three Ice Kings, it’s nice to know I can find spring gardening inspiration at the Library.

Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy

by Morgan Reeves on March 25th, 2016
Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy Cover Image

History is full of stories about interesting people and I love reading them in the form of picture book biographies. Often these biographies are about familiar figures, but sometimes neglected names are given overdue recognition. Fittingly during National Women’s History Month, pioneering sportswriter, Mary Garber, came to my attention via the new book Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Video Staff Picks: Memoirs, Music, and More with Terri

by Bond Drager on March 24th, 2016

Memoirs, Music, and More (in March!) with Terri

Book Madness Update: Elite Eight

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 21st, 2016

Here it is: your 2016 Book Madness Elite Eight!Book Madness

It seems a lot of brackets busted this weekend in that other March Madness tournament that’s going on; we hope your Book Madness bracket is in better shape!

Voting for the Final Four titles begins today. Stop by and make your selections before the Library closes on Sunday. We’ll reveal our Final Four next Monday.

If you would like a list of every title in this year’s Book Madness competition, click here.

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

PICTURE BOOKS

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt vs Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

ALL AGES FAVORITES

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence & Richard Atwater vs Wonder by R. J. Palacio

GREAT SERIES

Warriors by Erin Hunter vs The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

MUST READS

Redwall by Brian Jacques vs Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – TEENS AND ADULTS BRACKET

REQUIRED READING

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen vs Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

BUZZ-WORTHY BOOKS

Still Alice by Lisa Genova vs Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

YOUNG ADULT

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins vs I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

ADD TO YOUR READING LIST

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella vs The Martian by Andy Weir

Fill Up Your Holds List with These Upcoming Book Releases

by Anne Mangano on March 17th, 2016
Fill Up Your Holds List with These Upcoming Book Releases Cover Image

The spring publishing season is just starting up and that means there are so many books to be excited about. Here is a rundown on some of the most anticipated releases of the next few months:

Later this month:

The Year of the Runaways / Sunjeev Sahota

Short-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, we’ve waited a long time for this novel to cross the pond. The book follows the paths of three Indian men, who are recent immigrants to England, as they try to navigate living in a new country and coming to terms with what they left behind. Publishers’ Weekly writes, “Sahota’s characters are wonderfully drawn, and imbued with depth and feeling.”

The Nest / Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This book, about four siblings grappling with the possibility of losing their inheritance, is on everyone’s Read the rest of this entry »

Ready to ride after a long winter on the couch?

by Mary Estle-Smith on March 15th, 2016

If you  pretty much take the winter off from riding to assume the position of your horse(s) personal slave once daylight time ends, Goodnight’s Principles of Riding  DVD series may be just what you want to sharpen you up for the new year.

Julie Goodnight is a well known clinician who travels the country giving clinics and assisting people in overcoming issues with their horses as well as honing their skills.  She also has a weekly program on RFD-TV.   Her teaching manner is positive,  clear and concise for anyone from beginner to advanced riders wanting to raise their knowledge and refinement level.

I have been riding most of my life and still find many helpful lessons in this series.  One of the great things about working with horses is that it is an ongoing education.  I would recommend you start with volume 1, Balance and Rhythm and move on from there.  She also gives you some exercises to build strength and balance that can be done as you watch.   The information in these DVDs can be used in any discipline to assist is problem solving and build the skills and confidence of both horse and rider.  Take a look then go forth and prosper in your horse life!

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Book Madness Update: Sweet Sixteen

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 14th, 2016

BookMadnessHere it is: your 2016 Book Madness Sweet Sixteen!

Voting is getting harder, as we have favorites going head-to-head with other favorites. The phrase “Why do you hate me?” might have been muttered by more than one staff member while making their selections. Still, without votes, we won’t have a winner!

It’s time to dig deep, power through and make sure to get your selections in before the Library closes on Sunday. We’ll reveal our Elite Eight next Monday.

If you would like a list of every title in this year’s Book Madness competition, click here.

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

PICTURE BOOKS

Eloise by Kay Thompson vs The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak vs Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

ALL AGES FAVORITES

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence & Richard Atwater vs Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White vs Wonder by R. J. Palacio

GREAT SERIES

Warriors by Erin Hunter vs Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne vs The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

MUST READS

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett vs Redwall by Brian Jacques

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley vs Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – TEENS AND ADULTS BRACKET

REQUIRED READING

1984 by George Orwell vs Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald vs Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

BUZZ-WORTHY BOOKS

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr vs Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline vs Dead Wake by Erik Larson

YOUNG ADULT

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell vs The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins vs I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

ADD TO YOUR READING LIST

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella vs The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

City of Thieves by David Benioff vs The Martian by Andy Weir




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