Posts Tagged ‘Prairie Lights’


ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH Reading

by Maeve Clark on October 25th, 2018
ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH Reading Cover Image

 

Alexander McCall Smith, the author of No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, will be reading from his newest book, The Colors of All the Cattle in Iowa City on Monday evening, November 12 at the First United Methodist Church @ 214 Jefferson Street. While this is a ticketed event, (with your ticket you can receive a book to be singed by the author, you can ask questions and take home your book to read that night), but if you can’t attend, don’t despair, you can find nearly all of his books at the Iowa City Public Library, including The Colors of All the Cattle.  To place a hold on this title or any others, just click on the link below and reserve a copy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alexander McCall Smith at an earlier author event and, he is, as you might imagine, as charming as the day is long. McCall Smith, a Scotsman, was born in Bulawayo in 1948 in the British colony of Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). His father worked as a public prosecutor in Bulawayo. McCall Smith was educated at the Christian Brothers College in Bulawayo before moving to Scotland at age 17.   Zimbabwe is adjacent to Botswana and McCall Smith writes knowingly of the urban and rural lands and their people in southern Africa. He earned a PhD in law at the University of Edinburgh.  He returned to southern Africa in 1981 to help co-found the law school and teach law at the University of Botswana. While there, he co-wrote The Criminal Law of Botswana with Kwame Frimpong.

Mma Precious Ramotswe is one of my favorite characters in detective fiction.  Her understated means of detection by learning as much about those involved are more important to her than finding who committed the crime. Mma Grace Makuts, her sole employee, who began work as secretary, first as secretary, then as assistant detective, and then as an associate detective, and finally as a partner in business. They and others in their circle of friends and acquaintances always do solve the mysteries. Obed Ramotswe, Precious’s father, figures highly in the stories.  He lived in the rural area of Botswana, and was a keen cattleman with an eye for the best. It was Precious’s inheritance, her father’s cattle, that allowed her to move to the capital Gabarone, purchase a home and set up her agency.  If you haven’t read the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, I suggest you get started tout suite.  There are now 19 books, but each is captivating and you will want to read them all.

If you are already a fan of McCall Smith, he has more series to his name – the 44 Scotland Street series, The Sunday Philosophy Club series, the Corduroy Mansions series, the  Professor Dr von Igelfeld Entertainments series, a good number of children’s titles, including several series and many stand alone novels for both children, teens and adults.  He has also authored a number of academic and professional texts on law and medicine.  The library has 181 titles by McCall Smith in print or on compact disc and 60 titles to listen to or to read online.

 

 

 

 

 

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ICPL, Prairie Lights Host Writing Program for K-2 Students

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 26th, 2017

Budding young authors will have the chance to put their imagination on paper during Invent Your Own Story from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, in the Storytime Room at the Iowa City Public Library.

Attendees will write the story they’ve been dying to tell, and then share it in a book also created at the event. This program is for students in kindergarten through second grade. Registration isn’t required and there’s no cost to attend.

Invent Your Own Story is co-sponsored by the Library and Prairie Lights Bookstore in celebration of Children’s Book Week. Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, it is the country’s longest-running national literacy initiative.

For more information, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

Author Rosemary Wells at ICPL on Dec. 6

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on November 25th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library and Prairie Lights Books are pleased to welcome children’s author and illustrator Rosemary Wells to the Library at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in Meeting Room A.

Wells is the creator of many popular children’s book characters, including Max and Ruby, Yoko, and McDuff. She is known for using animal characters rather than humans in her stories, telling the children’s journal Stone Soup that this allows her to “address sophisticated, controversial topics in way children can understand and adults can accept.”yoko

Wells’ presentation at the Library will include a video tour through her studio, as well as her thoughts about reading, writing, and illustrating. There will be a book signing afterwards. Copies of Wells’ books will be for sale at the event and at Prairie Lights Books prior to the event.

This author reading is co-sponsored by the Library and Prairie Lights Books, and will be broadcast live on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

Author Michael Perry at ICPL June 3

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 26th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library and Prairie Lights are pleased to welcome New York Times bestselling humorist Michael Perry to the Library on Wednesday, June 3.jesus cow

Perry will read from his first fictional novel, The Jesus Cow, a story about how Harley Jackson’s low-key life was turned upside down after a calf in his barn bears the image of Jesus Christ. Does he try to hide the calf from the media circus pounding on his barn door or does he gamble anonymity for fame and fortune?

A review in Publishers Weekly states that “Perry’s novel wrestles with some big issues — religion, environmentalism, community — but he resists letting his narrative get too bogged down in them. The result is a purposeful story that doesn’t overwhelm, an often charming read that rarely takes itself too seriously.”

Perry’s reading will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Library. Prairie Lights will have copies of The Jesus Cow available for purchase at the program.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Author Jon Katz: “Iowa got to me”

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 7th, 2015

The Library and Prairie Lights were pleased to host New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz at the Library this week. We were the last stop on his self-organized book tour for Saving Simon.

Author Jon Katz

Author Jon Katz

As the host of numerous author readings, film screenings, events and presentations every year, the Library strives to plan programming that speaks to our community. Patron feedback guides future programming and we are grateful for the comments we receive. However, being curious people, we sometimes wonder what kind of impression we — the Library, our community, the city and our beloved state — make on outside visitors.

That’s why reading Katz’s blog post about his trip to Iowa is so rewarding. Katz made three stops in Iowa — Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City — and writes that he and his wife were charmed by what they saw.

“The people were the nicest and warmest people I have met anywhere – they really love authors and books and strangers – the food was as good as any we have eaten in New York City.” According to him, Iowa City “is the state’s proud answer to the East Village or Brooklyn.”

Thank you, Jon Katz, for including Iowa and the Iowa City Public Library on your tour. We’re happy you had a great visit and that you got the chance to experience firsthand what makes our state so great. We hope you’ll visit again soon!

 

 

 

Author Jon Katz at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 29th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library and Prairie Lights are pleased to welcome New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz to the Library Tuesday, May 5.simon

Katz, the author of The Last Housewife: A Suburban Detective Mystery and The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family, will read from his newest book: Saving Simon: How a Rescue Donkey Taught Me the Meaning of Compassion.

In the spring of 2011, Katz received a phone call from an animal control officer. She had found a neglected donkey on a farm in upstate New York and hoped Katz and his wife, Maria, would be willing to adopt him. The recovery process was long, but as Katz helped Simon heal, the two formed a bond that illustrates the wondrous ways animals make humans wiser and kinder.

The author reading will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Library. Prairie Lights will have copies of Katz’s books available for purchase at the program and will donate 10 percent of the sales made that night to the Iowa City Animal Shelter.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.