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    by Lincoln Collection | Jan 29, 2018
    Photo Jan 29, 10 57 14 AM

    Saturday, February 17
    9:00 am to 12:00 pm

    Main Library - Great Hall

    Abraham Lincoln’s 209th birthday is February 12, 2018.  Come celebrate with us by Learning Lincoln’s Legacy at our Main Library on Saturday, February 17, 9:00 am to Noon.  There will be activities for ages 9 to 14, including a behind-the-scenes look into the vault where the Lincoln Collection is kept, a Lincoln historical scavenger hunt through the library, time to watch Lincoln in the movies, and a hands-on recreation of a real 19th-century photograph.There will also be an exclusive collection of books about Lincoln available for you to check out.


    The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection at the Allen County Public Library is an incomparable repository and resource for information on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

     

    by Evan | Jan 29, 2018
    The Telomere EffectBook Review:  The Telomere Effect by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel

    Exercise, meditate, eat right. Avoid sugar, tobacco, depression and constant stress. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    OK, we know how to raise the odds of a long, healthful life, and we know how to wreck our bodies before we are 60. But what's at the core of all this? Why does this advice help you avoid such seemingly diverse diseases as diabetes, cancer and heart attacks? 

    In The Telomere Effect, Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel have an answer for you. Remember the old line warning you not to burn the candle at both ends? Substitute chromosome for candle and you're close to current scientific understanding of aging and body decline.

    Chromosomes are the long chemical strands that contain your DNA -- the code that built and maintains your body. As your body cells die off, their chromosomes copy themselves to make new cells. The chromosomes have end caps called telomeres. When chromosomes duplicate, the telomeres erode a bit. Over decades, the telomeres get so short that they don't protect the chromosomes well enough and new cells have copying mistakes that can lead to disease.

    If you protect your telomeres with healthy living -- and the authors even tell ways you can lengthen them a little -- you are much more likely to enjoy an active life into your 80s than if you burn those chromosome end caps with a self-destructive lifestyle. The Telomere Effect is not about how to live a super-long life, but if you can spend your 50s, 60s and 70s doing what you want to do instead of being disabled or dead, that qualifies as a good deal. 

    As someone who started a surgeries hobby after I entered my 50s, I was chagrined reading this book. My daughter and many others have been giving me good health advice for a long time, and I've resisted some of it. One rationalization was that I didn't see any over-arching scientific basis for different diets, exercise routines and, worst of all, hours of meditation. 

    Now Blackburn and Epel are denying me that excuse. How about you? 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Cindy H | Jan 26, 2018

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    When Starr Carter was just a young child she saw one of her best friends get murdered before her eyes in a drive-by shooting. Soon after, her parents enrolled her and her siblings in a private school an hour away to help them escape some of the violence of their neglected neighborhood. Now, Starr is sixteen years old and will witness another friend get murdered, this time by a police officer. Can Starr possibly overcome the feelings of grief and guilt of watching the lives of two friends end? Will she be able to face her fears to speak the truth and seek justice for her friend?

    This powerful story by first-time author Angie Thomas speaks to the current issues of police brutality and violence against minorities, particularly the black community. I think sometimes it can be hard to relate to what people of different backgrounds experience; this book does an excellent job of helping you understand the feelings of confusion, fear, and ultimately powerlessness that those affected by gun violence and discrimination face. Thomas makes Starr and the other characters in the book come alive through Starr’s first-person narrative. She seamlessly weaves tragedy with humor to create an engaging story that anyone, regardless of their race or upbringing, can relate to. I feel this is an important book that not only every teen, but adult, should read.

    This book has won or been nominated for many awards, including being nominated for the prestigious 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Please be aware that this book contains some profanity, racial slurs, and graphic descriptions of violence; it may be too mature for some younger teens. It is available at the library in print and audiobook, and as an ebook and electronic audiobook on Overdrive.

    by Becky C | Jan 26, 2018
    Ursula Le Guin

    Perhaps known best for her literary science fiction, Le Guin is one of few authors whose works can be found in libraries' collections for children, teens, and adults.  A prolific writer, she wrote across genres (and truthfully wasn't all that concerned with labels anyway).  In addition to her novels, she wrote poetry and short stories.  The one description I think holds true for all of her work?  Thought provoking.

    If you haven't read anything by this groundbreaking author yet, but would like to, Mindy and I have a few recommendations for getting started.  Mindy is one of our readers advisory rock stars at ACPL -- she reads A LOT and has a good sense of what books to recommend at any given time.  She's also a huge fun of Ursula Le Guin so she was the perfect person to team up with for this post. 

    If you like Science Fiction, the Hainish stories are a solid choice.  This is a series that comes with the question -- do I read them in publication order or chronological order?  There's no wrong or right answer to that question as Le Guin herself indicates in this introduction -- and rather than summarize this "universe", I'll recommend that you click on the link, as Le Guin addresses the individual titles AND her writing process in a wonderfully conversational way.  Titles in this series include:  Planet of Exile, Rocannon's World, City of Illusions, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, The Word for World is Forest, Four Ways to Forgiveness, and The Telling.

    If you like Fantasy, particularly if you like the Harry Potter series, The Earthsea Cycle is highly recommended.  The world building is exquisite (and its wizard school was around long before Hogwarts).  As this is a continuation of a story, so you'll want to read them in this order:  A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, The Other Wind, Tales From Earthsea, and The Daughter of Odren.

    If you're looking for something light and fun, try the Catwings series.  It's a kids series but don't let that stop you -- it's about cats with wings.  What could be better?  The books you are looking for are Catwings, Catwings Return, Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, Jane on Her Own, Tales of the Catwings, and More Tales of the Catwings

    One final recommendation for this post is the memorial written by Margaret Atwood.  While there are many lovely memorials being written for Ursula Le Guin this week, Atwood's is a heartfelt testimony from one literary great to another. 



    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 24, 2018
    Have a favorite movie hero or television character?
    We've got plenty of books to keep you reading and enjoying their adventures.
    Here are just a few new titles from this month.

    cover image for tiana's best surprise
    cover image for dragon pox
     cover image for the leia chronicles
    cover image for justice league the official guide cover image for garfield grumpy cat
    cover image for the great egg race
    cover image for the villainous venus flytrap  big baking bonanza
    cover image for fast as the flash
    by Kayla W | Jan 24, 2018

    “You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold.” – The Alchemist

    The Holy Mountain

    While all films are meant to be viewed, there are some very few that seem to exist as a means of reflecting not just the true values of a culture, but the viewer’s own soul.   Not many succeed in that, with the goalposts of cultural zeitgeist (what can be seen as the individual "spirit" of a time or era) shifting and morphing, so that what was once a thing that spoke to a whole generation of people is now clichéd and therefore next to worthless, in terms of an ideal of reflecting a peoples' values back to them.

    This movie seems to be one that has something to say about the nature of anything and everything, running the gamut of transformation, capitalism, militarization, commodification, mysticism (especially Tarot), cult of personalities, religion, and irreligion. I don't see the key points being made in this movie becoming outdated for as long as Western society continues.  And there’s likely so much more that I haven’t even thought of yet, topics and themes that will become apparent to me through a second, third, fourth viewing.  Such is the power of surrealism and almost purely symbolic characterization.  

    What we’re confronted with in the movie are characters at once almost entirely individualized from one another (albeit, almost purely symbolic of the planets of the solar system), only to be made into mirror images of the Alchemist.  The enigmatic Alchemist is played by the movie's auteur director - and writer, producer - Alejandro Jodorowsky, a choice of self-referential and potentially third-wall breaking casting that says a lot about what we're meant to draw from the role.  The Alchemist is a master who seeks to change his disciples from the materialistic and bizarre, fixated people they once were to those capable of achieving immortality. 

    However, this path to immortality appears to be a veiled ascendance towards a metaphysical enlightenment - a fact that the selfish followers are either oblivious of or are willfully ignorant to.  Most of them exhibit traits belonging to the most abhorrent of what humanity has to offer – opportunistic in a foul way, cruel, possessing strange desires and traits more in line with what we typically see in almost cartoonishly evil characters.  The one we're meant to most follow – and the most likeable - is the one known as the Thief, who is a clear stand in for a confused and near-helpless version of Jesus Christ.   

    All of the members of the Alchemist’s group have been assembled with the goal of losing their ties to the material world that gave all but the Thief riches and fame, with the express goal of finding - and taking the place of - the immortal Gods on Lotus Island who live atop the Holy Mountain.   The movie goes from the lost wanderings of a clear stand-in for Jesus Christ to a description of a group of strange and hedonistic, monstrous people to a mystic heist movie without missing a beat. And it is glorious, unapologetic.

    Throughout the movie, we find that perhaps the most interesting thing touched on (from a first time viewer’s perspective) is this idea of how foolish it is to use spiritual enlightenment as a tool to gain something as selfish as godhood for the "mere" sake of immortality.

    The story is an archetypal journey that seems to go through the Tarot deck, from the Fool to the World, a dream that nevertheless has a line of logic that you can (thankfully) latch on to in order to weather the emotional and mental storm that this movie puts you through. 

    The film itself is a feast for the eyes, contrasting bright colors and bizarre, truly novel concepts (such as a factory, where “art” is made via assembly line… from the nude parts of paint-slathered people).  Most importantly for something so surreal, the movie never seems to stray far into taking itself so seriously that it loses touch with a sense of humor, which ranges from almost infantile to this sort of deep satire on the nature of human existence.

    As deeply enlightening and beautiful as it is silly and grotesque, this movie may be my favorite movie ever.  It was a wonderful surprise to me when the ACPL acquired a DVD of the beautifully restored film.  I found that the special feature in which Alejandro Jodorowsky explains his personal interpretation of the major Arcana of Tarot to be one of the most enlightening pieces I've ever experienced on the topic.  To me, it is a feature not to be missed.

    Kayla loves all things weird, wonderful, and macabre. Her soul’s in writing, and her hobbies include gaming, watching movies and television shows, and reading anything and everything. Her black cat’s TOTALLY, 100%, not evil.

    by Alayne Johnson, Gallery Coordinator | Jan 23, 2018

    The Art of Fort Wayne is a collaborate exhibit featuring 40+ artists from the area. From graphic design to photography, oil paint to acrylics, you’ll find a wide variety of mediums used to create works of art celebrating the city of Fort Wayne!

    This exhibit will be on display in the Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery at the Main Library until February 25, 2018.

    The awards given for this exhibit are as follows:

    1st place – Jerry Etnier – Photography – “Fort Wayne’s Famous”

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    2nd place – Coleman Geiger – Adobe Illustrator – “City of Fort Wayne”

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    3rd place – Joel Fremion – Fabric Collage – “City Utilities Park”

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    Judge's Choice (3 total)

     

    Katherine Rohrbacher – Oil on Wood – “Johnny”

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    Brian Sirois – Photography – “Embassy through the Eyes of Grand Wayne”

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    Sharmalene Gunawardena – Photography – “Wells Street Bridge”

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    Below is a list of a few featured artists as well as some additional images of the exhibit!

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    Bryan Ballinger:

    Bryan is an Indiana photographer and illustrator, as well as a professor of Digital Media Arts at Huntington University in Indiana. He enjoys shooting local architecture, Indiana landscapes, and dogs. Bryan also does illustration for children’s books, websites, games, videos, ads, etc.

    Website: http://www.breadwig.com

    Email: bryan@breadwig.com

     

    Jerry Etnier:

    I'm the owner of Images by Jerry photography. I enjoy all types of photography: wedding, portrait, action, and special events. I prefer to do very little Photoshop modifications to my photos. I visualize the photograph and capture it in the camera.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imagesbyjerry

    Contact:  260-704-8018


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    Joel Fremion:

    Joel is trained in Architectural/Interior Design but with a strong Fine Arts background including: painting, printmaking, ceramics, stained glass, metal-smithing, furniture design and art history. His self-taught technique evolved out of his frustration with finishing paintings and his family's long history in the fabric industry. He describes his collages as small building projects.

    Email: joelfremion@yahoo.com   

    Website: fremionart.com

     

    Coleman Geiger:

     

    I am a junior at the University of Saint Francis, majoring in Graphic Design with concentrations in illustration and web design. This piece was part of the "city poster" series I've been working on. This is a project where I sum up a city’s historical importance based on culture, monuments, and buildings with an illustration. Fort Wayne was the first one in the series because it's the most dearest to me. 

    Social media: @geigerdesign

    Contact: (260)-797-3171

    Email: cmgeiger96@gmail.com

     

    Diane Allen Groenert:

    My favorite thing to paint is Historic Buildings Housing Local Owner Owned Businesses.  I've been doing a series of painting about Fort Wayne since 1999.  I attempt to infuse them with the personality of the owner by using color, line and perspective.  Some are more animated than others.

    Website: DAGROENERT.COM

    West Central Studio:  260-420-4717

     

    Sharmalene Gunawardena:

    I am a creative story- teller. I believe that photographing the beauty that surrounds us is a meaningful way to express myself. Come follow my journey!

    Website: www.sharmalene.weebly.com

    Email: sharmalene.photo@gmail.com

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    Lynn Harlow:

    My piece was inspired by Anthony Cross' poem about a cat he saw one night while walking along the historic belt line. The illustration is rather whimsical for my work. The structures are warped to represent a strong imagination that Anthony still has even in his adult age. The focus is on a small cat, which he projects his wants onto.

    As for myself, generally my art is entirely self-focused. In this case the piece is not at all about me and instead my perception about Anthony and this light hearted work of his. Website: http://thoughtparadigm.tumblr.com/

    Email: s.l.e.harlow@gmail.com

    Anthony’s contact: 260-310-7123

    Anthony’s email: dravenr2190@hotmail.com

     

    Karen Harvey:

    I was born and grew up in a small city in upstate New York. With a move to the mid-west (Fort Wayne) and becoming empty nesters I renewed my interest in art. I have come to enjoy oil painting, sketching and a bit of watercolor.  I love God’s ever-changing landscapes and find myself often out viewing those for new ideas. Life is good, one day at a time, for as long as He gives. The Art Guild has been a source of growth as an artist and with it came the ability to meet many wonderful people both in and out of the field of art.

    Email: karen@theharveys.org

     

    John C. Kelty:

    John is a local artist working exclusively in watercolor. In the studio, as well as plein air, he brings his vision of small town and urban landscape to the viewer. Street scenes that we all consider every day and mundane are transformed into images that convey the beauty and atmosphere that exists all around us.

    Website: Johnckelty.com

    Email: jckwatercolors@gmail.com

    Contact: 260-415-9251

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    Nicholas J. Klein:

    Nicholas Klein is a local Fort Wayne artist specializing in photography, but he also works in video, graphic design, and web design. A graduate of IPFW with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Concentration Photography as well as an Associates Degree in Business. His business, Nicholas J Photography, was founded in 2013 and specializes in local small business marketing productions, from websites and corporate videos to product photography and design. His personal photography works are focused on landscape, travel, and aerial photography.

    Website: www.nicholasjphotography.com

    Email: nick@nicholasjphotography.com

    Contact: 260-348-4729

     

    Bonnie Manning:

    My mission is to capture the tranquility in everyday life with an eye toward the whimsical.  It is my hope that the viewer takes a moment to stop and refresh the mind and spirit with this sense of tranquility.  It is then that we gather ourselves up to do the daily tasks we know we must do with renewed energy. I am a lifelong resident of Fort Wayne, graduate of The University of Saint Francis with a B.S. Art/Education, and owner of B.T. Manning Photography.


    Darlene Selzer-Miller:

    I have enjoyed painting and sketching as far back as I can remember and spent most of my artistic career in the graphic design industry. I was born, raised and educated in the area, enjoying oil, graphite and ink as a medium and landscapes and portraits as a subject. You will see a number of my landscape paintings and drawings of the farms and countryside surrounding Fort Wayne.

    Email: dsmiller7123@hotmail.com


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    Alison Resac:

    Alison is a conceptual photographer who captures photos in a youthful and gritty way. The French Saucisse explains that she "dusts off” her taboo subjects to make them beautiful, attractive and interesting."

    Website: http://www.alisonresac.com

    Instagram: @alisonresacphoto (http://instagram.com/alisonresacphoto)

    Facebook: @alisonresacphoto (https://www.facebook.com/alisonresacphoto/)

    Email: alisonresac@gmail.com

     

    Brian Michael Sirois: 

    I capture moments of time and parts of an adventure, each portraying a point of interest along life’s travels. Instead of merely focusing on the "destination," I look at all three parts of a journey: Embark, Travel, and Arrive. This ETA tells us that every part of life is equally worthy of our observation.

    Website: www.studiosirois.com

    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/BrianMichaelSiroisPhotography

    E-mail: studiosirois@gmail.com

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    Charles Sizemore:

    My name is Charles Sizemore –Simmers. I was born in London, raised in Boston, and after my parents passed when I was very young, moved to New Haven, Indiana. I started painting when I was 32, 16 years ago, when I was recuperating from a fall that left me disable. I live with my best friend in the world and 3 cats. Painting is my therapy.

     

    Samantha Smith:

    I am an educator by day and a photographer always, specifically an outdoor nature photographer. Not everyone in our great city gets the opportunity to travel; it is my goal as an artist to capture both the beautiful, mysterious, and sometimes scary parts of our earth. My overall goal is to work for National Geographic and travel the world to preserve even more of our earth's beauty and wonder. 

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSSPhotography
    Instagram: Samantha.S.Smith.Photography

     

    Eunice Sully:

    The art quilt brings together my love of fabric, color and art.  The tactile feel of the fabric along with movement that can be made with a cut and a seam excite my creative spirit. The stitches become the added brush strokes that give additional movement and depth. My hope is that the viewer will see fabric as a wonderful art form.

     

    Anita Trick:

    My artistic goal is to capture the excitement that I feel when I look at a fresh snowfall, a brilliant fall leaf, an unusual structure, or a spectacular sunset.  I am an avid photographer and use my photos as references for most of my paintings; however, I do paint en plein aire occasionally. I enjoy painting in oils, pastels, watercolors and acrylics.  My paintings are an attempt to celebrate the beauty of what I see around me, both in what man and in what God has created.

    Contact: tricksunflower@frontier.com

    Website: www.angelhavenstudio.com

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    by Community Engagement | Jan 23, 2018
    Celebrate our great city of Fort Wayne by viewing a collaborative exhibit featuring work inspired by Fort Wayne.
    The Art of Fort Wayne
    by Angie N. | Jan 20, 2018

    cover image for beyond the bright sea
    Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
    Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2017
    283 pages

    Crow has spent every day of her twelve years living in an isolated area of the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts, where she washed ashore in an old boat and was rescued by Osh when she was just hours old. Osh took her in and has raised her with the help of their strong willed neighbor, Miss Maggie. Crow is happy and enjoys her life with Osh and Miss Maggie, even though the other people on the island have always kept their distance from her. Crow never questioned the islanders’ treatment of her much, but as she is getting older, she begins to wonder why they act like they are afraid to be near her. She also begins to ask questions about who she really is, where she came from, and who set her adrift on the sea when she was just a newborn. Her curiosity leads her down a path where she seeks the answers to her questions, but the path proves to be a dangerous one, and Crow risks losing the only home she’s known and the people she loves.

    Lauren Wolk has crafted a beautiful story about belonging, understanding who you are and what it means to be a family. As someone who has spent a great deal of time on Cape Cod, her descriptions of the islands and the sea brought the scenery to life. One I particularly enjoyed describes the beginning of a storm, “We listened for a while to the rain having its own conversation with the sea, the wind chiming in when it had something to say.” There are so many amazing passages like this in the book, but will it rise above the others in our discussion and voting on mock election day?

    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

    by Becky C | Jan 19, 2018
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

     Wishtree  Red Rising Jhereg 
     Yendi  What Happened  The Lost Plot
     Midnight Confessions  Freud  Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts
     The Legends Club  The Woman in the Window  The Ocean at the End of the Lane
     Judges Brief  The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes  The Generals
     PrairyErth  Les Miserables  The End We Start From
     Its All Relative  Lappart  Communicating Better
     Devotions  What Unites Us  On Tyranny
     Golden Hill  Why Bob Dylan Matters  Maisie Dobbs
       Beyond the Bright Sea  

    Want more recommendations?  Click here for previous What We're Reading posts. 

    Please let us know what books you've been reading that you've really enjoyed.  We're always looking for our next great read!

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Angie Nitza | Jan 18, 2018

    image of rolls of tape
    Do you know someone who loves to build things and who has fun doing hands-on activities? Does the Lego builder in your life set aside the directions of their Lego sets and prefer to create something new? If so, please join us in Children’s Services at the Main Library on Wednesday, January 24 at 3:30pm for our very first Design It! program called Cardboard Construction.

    We’ll provide lots of different sizes of cardboard and super colorful masking tape for the designer and builder in your life to create whatever they can imagine. They can build something tall, short, skinny or wide, create a bridge, building, statue or anything else. It’s up to your young builder to decide!

    by Cindy H | Jan 17, 2018

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    The Warden’s Daughter By Jerry Spinelli
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2017
    352 pages

    The Warden’s Daughter opens with Cammie in 2017, now an old woman, looking back on her time as the warden’s daughter. Quickly, the story flashes back to the summer of 1959, when Cammie was just a young, rambunctious tomboy desperately trying to find someone to replace her mother, who died when she was just a baby. Cammie is granted a lot of freedom while her father is at work. She loves riding bikes, playing baseball, talking to inmates, and dreaming of the future with her flamboyant and confident best friend Reggie. She also spends a lot of time in their apartment above the prison, where Eloda Pupko, an inmate and prison trustee charged with cleaning the apartment and taking care of Cammie, becomes the fantasy mother Cammie has been longing for. Eloda is a stern and cold woman, and despite Cammie’s blatant attempts to get her attention, Eloda does not seem interested in having any kind of intimate relationship. Cammie is not to be deterred, however, and will stop at nothing to get Eloda to be the mother she’s always wanted.

    I really enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio book version, and the voice actor, Carrington MacDuffie, does an excellent job of portraying the various characters, particularly the boisterous gruffness of Cammie. Despite covering some very difficult topics, like the death of a parent, the penal system, underlying racial issues, and suicide, there are some wonderful heart-warming and funny moments that keep the story from getting too dark. The characters and setting are beautifully developed, and the historical context is very engaging. This would be an excellent book for parents to read together with their children; it is sure to inspire nostalgia in adults and peak children’s curiosity about the past.

    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion, which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below! We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.


    Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

    by Kayla W | Jan 17, 2018

    When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? – The Joker, The Killing Joke

    Batman-The-Killing-Joke-Cover


    Even as a novice Batman connoisseur, I get the impression that storylines involving Bruce Wayne or the Joker’s sanity have been done to death and back.

    I can certainly see the appeal of this storyline, but with perhaps a new point of view and a coat of paint.  However, there’s a reason it’s been used so often that it's gotten pat at this point.  This is a storyline, capable in the right hands, of standing the test of time. 

    It's an elemental tale, a parable with the two rivals on such opposites that they actually come close to touching one another because of how they've wrapped themselves fully around to come almost full circle.    And I don’t think the thin veneer between what separates a hero from their supposed opposite, in the form of their nemesis, has ever been made as clear as it can be made between Batman and the Joker.  To the point where the two can be seen as different sides of the very coin that Harvey Two-face flips. 

    One, the seemingly pristine Dark Knight, the other, the irreparably damaged and deranged parody of what was once a humble, but a nevertheless honorable man.   At the end of the day, what exactly DOES differentiate one from the other?

    Alright, I may be wrong on that point.  I have been semi-keeping up with what is considered to be the high lights of Batman’s stories, so I am by no means a professional Batman “person”, but I have seen this story done worse.  Way worse.  Batman R.I.P is a comic I will never fully understand the appeal of, for example.  It’s also the movie adaptation of The Killing Joke that has, ironically, proven to be a poor representation of its original (keeping the worse aspects of the comic and magnifying them, such as the objectification of Barbara Gordon which has become a bad joke related to the movie).

    In spite of the comic's defects, it is full of personality and color, and it feeds off of its own moral ambiguity, as opposed to drowning you in it.  That is one problem which the hardcore “dark” comics of its era were more inclined to do - point out the unfairness of the world and leave it at that.  The world's terrible and there's no real heroes - doesn't that feel bad?

    This comic's narrative is, at its core, a parable told from Alan Moore at the height of his ability.  What that translates into, however, is a story that feels like much more than what is basically being told, wealth beyond the sum of its parts. 

    The Killing Joke is story of discomforting ambiguity, and the ease for madness to consume a “good” person whole.   Of course, there is a shocking amount of depth that one can easily be lost in below the surface. That is a key reason why the comic is easily re-readable.

    To praise a comic book’s story is sometimes translated as being a backhanded compliment – after all, a good two thirds of the medium that Will Eisner once named the “sequential art” tells its story through illustration (generally).  It would also be unfair to the illustrator, Brian Bolland, who was half of the reason why this comic is as legendary as it is.

    And I am happy to say that this comic has an aesthetic that is sometimes dark, moody, and depressive, and other times it is borderline manic, brightly colored, and downright vicious and viscous.  Bolland is to thank for the comic's unique, disquieting beauty.

    The thing I have always loved about Alan Moore is how thoughtfully he he plans, with his legendarily overly descriptive instructions for what he wants his panels to look like standing as a testament to perfection and precision with character and world building.   To look at these instructions that he leaves for his artists is intense!   The tradeoff with his obsession for detail is that what seems like clutter and quick reactions builds in an intelligent manner that expresses his characters and the world they inhabit in a way I cannot say that any other writer's work has managed to.  A character in their home or place of work is depicted surrounded by the things that most value to them and say something immediate and mindful about their character. 

    By the time something terrible – and abrupt – happens, it can feel like it’s happened to someone that we feel like we know, even in a short period of time.

    So – if it is the “Dark Knight” version of Batman that you’re interested in, may I suggest that you give one of the more groundbreaking comics a chance?  It doesn’t hurt that the ACPL has multiple physical and a digital copies available.

    Kayla loves all things weird, wonderful, and macabre. Her soul’s in writing, and her hobbies include gaming, watching movies and television shows, and reading anything and everything. Her black cat’s TOTALLY, 100%, not evil.
    by Mary Voors | Jan 15, 2018
    Cover image of Stormy Seas
    Stormy Seas - Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale
    Annick Press, 2017
    56 pages

    Immigration.

        Discrimination.

           Refugees.

             Hostility.

                 Asylum.

    Fear.

    These topics are increasingly in the news. Stormy Seas – Stories of Young Boat Refugees is a very powerful collection of five stories of young people who endured risking everything, including their lives, in order to seek refuge in a new land.These are true stories of leaving everything behind in search of safety and peace.

    • Ruth. An 18-year-old who set sail for Cuba to escape the Nazis in Germany
    • Phu. A 14-year-old who takes a risky voyage on the South China Sea in hopes of finding a better life in the United States
    • Jose. A 13-year-old Cuban boy who travels on a boat to the United States.
    • Najeeba. An 11-year-old who takes a risky voyage on the Pacific Ocean to attempt to escape the Taliban in Afghanistan
    • Mohamed. A 17-year-old who is crossing the Mediterranean Sea looking for a place he can live in peace after his parents were killed in a bombing

    Heart-wrenching and compelling, these true stories are important glimpses into a world which – through the luck of my birth – I was fortunate enough to escape. It is a difficult book to read. But it is an important one. And it left me wanting to know more.


    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.

    Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

    by Craig B | Jan 15, 2018
    cover for SZA's studio album, CTRL

    I don’t think I really liked this album, CTRL, and yet I do have a fond appreciation for its stripped down, heartbreak vibe.  I guess I wish it could see its way to having a couple of more upbeat tracks, not in tone, just in pace/rhythm, because it’s so sleepy I was getting bored by the end.  That said, it also felt quite definite about doing what it set out to do, and consistency, my friends, is not to be underrated.

    Suggested Use: Did this year solidify a dislike of holiday music within you?  Consider taking this album and some discrete earbuds with you to your next family gathering where some crazy uncle is cranking "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" repeatedly.  CTRL’s low-key musicality and deliberate lyrics should not only allow, but even more, enable you to smile and nod at small children, small talk, and sudden bursts of questionable hilarity.  I mean don’t be rude, but we’ve all got to preserve a little of our own personal space, and there’s nothing quite as personal as another party’s heartbreak.

    by Becky C | Jan 12, 2018
    image-from-dennis-skley-flickr-page0f6e932f9a7c69dab002ff000041e4fb

    How do librarians know what titles are coming out when?  How do we decide which of those titles we'll purchase for the collection?  We have several sources, but Publishers Weekly (PW) is one of my personal favorites.  PW reviews around 9,000 books a year. 

    For this month's post, I've taken the liberty of going through the November issues of Publishers Weekly (PW) and sharing the upcoming releases their reviewers are most excited about.  Each of these titles received a starred review.  We don't have all of these titles in the collection yet -- most are due to hit the shelves in bookstores and libraries next month -- but you can place a hold on your copy now.  Or, if you're like me, and you're typically at the 5 holds per person max, you can keep tabs on your picks a couple of ways.

    My favorite way to keep track of books I want to read is through ACPL's catalog.  Heather wrote an excellent post on how to do this -- click here for the details.  Goodreads and LibraryThing are also options.

    Which of these catches your eye? 


    Fiction coming to the collection January 2018

    Walking the Bones  The Wife Between Us In the Shadow of Agatha Christie 
     The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny With a Dashing Stranger  The Bachelor Contract  How to Stop Time
     Sunburn  The Graves a Fine and Private Place  Down the River Unto the Sea
     The Bastard Legion  Heart on Fire  I Parrot
     Wild is the Wind  Beneath the Mountain  You Were Never Really Here
     Murder Has a Motive  Gnomon  This Is What Happened
     The Questionable Behavior of Dahlia Moss  Walk in the Fire  Mood Indigo
     Olympus Bound  Tempest  


    Nonfiction coming to the collection January 2018

    The Meaning of Birds  When They Call You a Terrorist  Hawker Fare
     This Will Be My Undoing  Advice Not Given  A False Report
     The Wizard and the Prophet  The Matter of the Heart  


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Audio Reading Service | Jan 10, 2018

    Craig Smith

    Is one of your goals for the year to be more involved in our community  by volunteering? Do you enjoy reading? What if you could make a difference in hundreds of people’s lives by reading just a couple of hours a week, or only once every month or two?

    Volunteer with the Audio Reading Service, and provide a valuable service for people who aren’t able to read for themselves!

    The Audio Reading Service records volunteers reading local and area newspapers, magazines, and more; then provides that audio via radio broadcast, online streaming, and podcasts for people who have difficulty reading independently.

    Many of our listeners live with visual, physical, learning, or language challenges to reading traditional print, and this free service provides them with information they would otherwise not have access to, as well as a means to connect them with the rest of the community, improving their quality of life. 

    It’s easy and fun! Our volunteers are all ages, from all backgrounds, and all enjoy helping others through reading. We have opportunities for regularly scheduled volunteers to read for a couple of hours one day a week, periodic weekends, or as a substitute reader when your schedule allows. To see our current openings, click here – and if your skills and passions match our needs, we’d love to have you join our team of volunteers! An interview and audition is required.

    As volunteer Craig Smith (pictured above) says, “I love reading for the ACPL Audio Read Service because it combines my love of reading with my love of hearing myself talk.”


    by Business, Science & Technology | Jan 10, 2018
    Photo Jan 04, 10 02 49 AM

    As our lives are increasingly impacted by scientific discoveries and technological creations, we find ourselves eager to learn more about how things work, how they affect our lives, and what might happen next.

    Join us at our NEW Science and Technology Book Club on the third Thursday of each month. We meet at the Main Library in the Business, Science & Technology department conference room, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Our first meeting will take place on January 18th.

    In January, we'll be reading  "The Telomere Effect" by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel.  Reserve a copy here: http://bit.ly/2qqEcEk

    This month's book, "The Telomere Effect," will make you reassess how you live your life on a day-to-day basis. It is the first book to explain how we age at a cellular level and how we can make simple changes to keep our chromosomes and cells healthy, allowing us to stay disease-free longer and live more vital and meaningful lives.

    Want to read ahead? Our next meeting will be February 15th. We'll be discussing "The Inner Life of Animals" by Peter Wohlleben. Reserve a copy here: http://bit.ly/2lWhOy1


    by Kay S | Jan 10, 2018
    Time for some upcoming releases which will be hitting the shelves sometime between January 15 and February 14, 2018!  Keep a look-out -- I'm hearing good things about these titles!

    Historical Romance
    Tempest by Beverly Jenkins  Beverly Jenkins
    Tempest
    Old West series
    January 30
     A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch Suzanne Enoch
    A Devil in Scotland
    No Ordinary Hero series
    January 30
     Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath Lorraine Heath
    Beyond Scandal and Desire
    Sins for All Seasons series
    January 30


    Historical Fiction

    White Chysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht  Mary Lynn Bracht
    White Chrysanthemum
    January 30
     As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner Susan Meissner
    As Bright as Heaven
    February 6


    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction/Women's Fiction

    I'll Stay by Karen Day  Karen Day
    I'll Stay
    Mainstream Fiction
    January 30
     Kiss me, Sweetheart by Cody Gary Codi Gary
    Kiss Me, Sweetheart
    Something Borrowed series
    Contemporary Romance
    February 13
     Two Man Station by Lisa Henry Lisa Henry
    Two Man Stations
    Contemporary Romance
    January 22


    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense

     This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong Kelley Armstrong
    This Fallen Prey
    Casey Duncan series
    January 30 
     Breaking Point by Allison Brennan Allison Brennan
    Breaking Point
    Lucy Kincaid series
    Suspense
     Need to Know by Karen Cleveland Karen Cleveland
    Need to Know
    January 23
     If you knew her by Emily Elgar Emily Elgar
    If You Knew Her
    January 26
     Look for Me by Lisa Gardner Lisa Gardner
    Look for Me
    Detective D.D. Warren series
    Mystery
    February 6
     Clairvoyant and Present Danger by Lisa Gregory Lena Gregory
    Clairvoyant and Present Danger
    A Bay Island Psychic Mystery series
    Mystery
    February 6
     Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt Margot Hunt
    Best Friends Forever
    Suspense
    January 23
     A dangerous crossing by Ausma khan Ausma Zehanat Khan
    A Dangerous Crossing
    Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak series
    February 13
     The Honorable Traitors by John Lutz John Lutz
    The Honorable Traitors
    A Thomas Laker Thriller series
    thriller
    January 30
     Keep Her Safe by KA Tucker K.A. Tucker
    Keep Her Safe
    January 23


    Paranormal Romance/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

     Aliens Abroad by Gina Koch Gini Koch
    Aliens Abroad
    Alien Novels series
    Paranormal Romance
    February 26
     Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira David Pedreira
    Gunpowder Moon
    Science Fiction
    February 13
     Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara Michelle Sagara
    Cast in Deception
    The Chronicles of Elantra series
    Fantasy
    February 23
    ;The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch Tom Sweterlitsch
    The Gone World
    Science Fiction
    February 6


    Young Adult/Teen

    The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert Melissa Albert
    The Hazel Wood
    Debut
    January 30 
    The Belles by Clayton Dhonielle Clayton
    The Belles
    Duology
    February 6
    Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones S. Jae-Jones
    Shadowsong
    Sequel to Wintersong
    February 6
    Say you'll remember me by Katie McGarry Katie McGarry
    Say You'll Remember Me
    January 30
    The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith Amber Smith
    The Last to Let Go
    February 6
    The Dangerous Art of Blending in by Angelo Surmelis Angelo Surmelis
    The Dangerous Art of Blending In Debut
    January 30
    When Light Left Us by Thomas Leah Thomas
    When Light Left Us
    February 13


    Erotic

    After Hours by Aicher  Lynda Aicher
    After Hours
    Boardroom series
    January 22


    Inspirational Romance/Mainstream

    A Light on the Hill by Connelyn Cossette  Connilyn Cossette
    A Light on the Hill
    Promised Land series
    February 6
     Phoebe's Light by Fisher Suzanne Woods Fisher
    Phoebe’ Light
    Nantucket Legacy series
    February 6
     Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller Kathleen Fuller
    Words from the Heart
    Amish Letters series
    February 13
     A Refuge Assured by Green Jocelyn Green
    A Refuge Assured
    February 6
     The MAsterpiece by Francine Rivers Francine Rivers
    The Masterpiece
    February 6
     The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma Liz Tolsma
    The Melody of the Soul





    Kay SpearsKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Erin | Jan 10, 2018

    Amina's Voice

    Amina’s Voice
    By Hena Khan

    Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster, 2017

    197 pages

     

    Amina has a beautiful singing voice, but she is too shy to use it in front of anyone other than close friends and family. To make matters worse, middle school is turning out to be tougher than what she originally expected: her best friend, Soojin, is both thinking about changing her name to something more Americanized and hanging out with one of the popular girls at school. How is Amina supposed to find her voice when everything around her is changing?

     

    While this book has all the basic components of other coming of age stories, it also deals with themes of religion, racism, and the idea of what it means to be American. Overall, this book is about a community that overcomes hurdles to join together in a time of need.

     


     

    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.

     

    Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)