Attention all crafters! Donations are now being accepted for the 5th Annual ICPL Friends Foundation fundraising bazaar. The bazaar is on Saturday, December 3rd, so you still have time to get your craft on to support ICPL. Donation forms area available online or in the Library.
If you’re looking for ideas to get your crafting juices flowing, on the 2nd floor near the Information Desk we’ve put together a display of a few of the many, many craft books from our collection. Some of the books on the display include:
Christmas Crafting in No Time by Clare Youngs Contains 50 fun holiday projects in a variety of different crafts, including paper crafting, sewing, clay modelling, papiermache, printing, candle making. Each project has easy to follow step by step instructions, and project rage from quick and simple to time consuming and more advanced. A guide to embroidery stitches in included at the end of the book.
Confession time: When I heard there was a new Janet Evanovich series starting I might have groaned a bit. I enjoy the Stephanie Plum series and thought the Barnaby series was laugh-out-loud funny, but I haven’t really enjoyed the Fox and O’Hare series Evanovich has been writing with Lee Goldberg. I’m happy to report I think the new series, Knight and Moon, written with Phoef Sutton, has a lot of potential. Phoef Sutton was a co-writer on Evanovich’s Wicked Charms, part of the entertaining series featuring the character Diesel. Read the rest of this entry »
Formerly derided as lazy reading, these days graphic novels have come into their own and offer some of the most complex and interesting stories around. Classic comics themes of adventure and humor are still the most prevalent in the format, but nonfiction and historical fiction are gaining in popularity. Some of the newest additions to our jGraphic Novels collection showcase the format’s growing diversity. Let’s start with the sixth volume in the American history series “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales,” Alamo All-Stars. This book covers the convoluted early history of Texas and its ties to Mexico. The historical facts are kept flowing through the funny narration of Nathan Hale and questions from his executioners. Tangential stories from the lives of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Vicente Guerrero help keep the story personal.
The days are getting shorter, the political sniping is at an all- time high (or is that low?) and won’t end for weeks (or is it perpetual?), up north they just had a serious flood and down south they are evacuating for a hurricane. It’s time to read some dystopian fiction to give you some perspective.
Wikipedia says, “A dystopia …is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It is translated as “not-good place”, an antonym of utopia, …Dystopian societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in the future. Some of the most famous examples are 1984 and Brave New World. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society..”
Not surprisingly, there is a lot of dystopian fiction written for young adults (think of the Hunger Games and Divergent series), but I’ve recently read several novels aimed at adults that fall into this genre. After hearing a radio interview with the author, I wanted to read Underground Airline by Ben H. Winters. All our copies were checked out so I had to put a hold on it, and in the meantime I read the author’s Last Policeman series. These are very engaging books. The last policeman is Detective Palace. He is trying to do the right thing as civil society disintegrates around him in the face of earth’s collision with a massive asteroid that will happen in 6 months. The scenario in Underground Airlines is worse somehow because the fault lies in humans, not some natural outside force. The story takes place in modern day United States, however, Read the rest of this entry »
As of October 1, Digital Johnson County has added 6 new Zinio digital magazine subscriptions that you can own for FREE with your library card! When you go to check one out, make sure to check the box so you can get an email when the next issue of your favorite magazines are available.
If you’ve ever been curious to learn more about Pollock’s monstrous work that was heroically saved from the flooded art museum building in 2008, we have some great resources. The book “Jackson Pollock’s Mural: the transitional moment” is written by the conservators at the Getty Center who completed restoration of the painting recently.
One of those conservators, Yvonne Szafran, gave a talk here at ICPL in 2012 about exactly what was done to the painting. It’s a fascinating story, and it’s one of my personal favorite programs we have on The Library Channel.
Even if you aren’t a fan of abstract expressionism, this painting has an incredible story behind it, and it is an important piece of culture at University of Iowa. I look forward to seeing it again in all its glory when the new UI Museum of Art opens.
ICPL’s Karen and Morgan read a high-contrast book to my 6-week-old baby on his first trip to the library.
Today my baby turns 10 months old. That’s 10 whole months of me learning firsthand about early literacy. He doesn’t sit still much these days. Rather than listening to a book beginning-to-end, he’d rather turn their pages, or pull as many books off the shelf as he can, which staff in the Children’s Room found out Saturday at close. Still, he has delighted at many of the books I’ve put in front of him, and I’d like to share the types of books that have captivated him even before he can understand their words and stories.
ICPL’s board book collection in the Children’s Room is one of those high-turnaround beasts. They take a beating and we buy whatever we can to replace them when they are mangled. If you can’t find one of these titles, look for the following features that make them attractive. Read the rest of this entry »
Shakespeare in prisons is a thing, a powerful and life-changing thing. The library has books and documentaries on how Shakespeare’s works are used in prisons and other unconventional locations, such as Shakespeare Saved My Life : ten years in solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates about her Shakespeare in Shackles program at the Indiana Federal Prison. Caesar must die Cesare deve morire, a is a documentary about inmates at a high-security prison in Rome preparing for a public performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The prisoners discover how the play resonates with them as they rehearse.
On Tuesday, September 28, Collen Kennedy will lead a discussion at the library on another work about Shakespeare in prison, Hamlet’s Dreams: the Robben Island Shakespeareby David Shalkwyk. Shalkwyk uses the circulation of the so-called ‘Robben Island Shakespeare’, a copy of the Alexander edition of the Complete Works that was secretly circulated, annotated and signed by a group of Robben Island political prisoner in the 1970s (including Nelson Mandela), to examine the representation and experience of imprisonment in South African prison memoirs and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It looks at the ways in which oppressive spaces or circumstances restrict. Copies of Hamlet’s Dreams are available from the Info Desk on the second floor of the library. This brief, but powerful work, is fascinating in its examination of the Robben Island prison and just how Shakespeare changed the lives of the political prisoners who read his works. Please join us to share your thoughts on Shakespeare and the beauty and force of his words. This program and other Shakespeare related programs and displays are done as a partnership with the University of Iowa Library and its First Folio exhibition.
Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield’s book “On Bowie” is an ode to rock legend, David Bowie, who died in January of this year. Sheffield, a Bowie fanatic, was approached immediately following the news of Bowie’s death and asked to write a book with a very short turnaround. “On Bowie” reads quickly, there are concise chapters that could easily be individual columns for his magazine, covering impressions of a specific time period or album. His writing is confident and somewhat off-the-cuff, it conveys that he’s someone who has thought deeply about Bowie’s music and life and has read widely on the subject. It’s easy to skip around to read his thoughts about your favorite Bowie period or uncover juicy anecdotes culled from larger works on the artist. Despite his obvious adulation, Sheffield isn’t afraid to critique Bowie’s personal decisions or output (even the biggest Bowie fan can’t justify the two albums following “Let’s Dance”). I wasn’t as interested in the author’s lyric dissection or penchant for shoehorning lyrics into the bigger picture writing. There is obvious passion and respect in this short overview, I found it to be a terrific gateway for some larger works (ex. “Moonage daydream: the life and times of Ziggy Stardust”) as well as an inspiration to check out some of the eighteen different albums carried here at ICPL.
There are books that stick with you for your entire life, but do you know what book was most popular on the year that you were born?
Thanks to Good Housekeeping, you can now find out what people were reading the year that you entered the world. These were the books making people cry, laugh, and stay up late to finish just one more chapter in homes across the country as your story got its page one.
The interfaced that is used is horrible to click through, but I had fun looking at all the books, starting in 1930 to see how many I have read or even recognized. I really started to pay attention to some years that have special meaning to me. I was excited that I had read the books that were most popular the years my parents were born; 1952-The Catcher in the Rye, the teenage angst filled novel by J.D. Salinger and 1956- the classic children’s book, Eloise, by Kay Thompson. As a Children’s Librarian, I was delightfully surprised by Eloise, as it was the first (and as it turns out only) picture book on this list. Next year on my list was the year I was born, 1979, and I was disappointed. I recognized the title, but I have never read, Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I guess it will go on my to be read list! However, I was born with only 16 days left in 1979, so close to 1980, that I paused to see what title was popular that year and I have read it! It was the first book in the Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum.
Take a look through the list. How many of the top books from the past 87 years have you read?