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    by Kay S | Jul 11, 2016
    Yes, my little buckaroos, it's time for a few upcoming book releases coming to a library near you. These books are due to be released July 15 to August 14, 2016. And, as before, those are the publishing dates not the dates they will line your favorite library shelves.
    Historical Romance
    kelly bowen KELLY BOWEN
    A Duke to Remember
    Season for Scandal series
    July 26
    The Highlander
    Victorian Rebels series
    August 2
    Historical Fiction
    Phillippa Gregory PHILLIPA GREGORY
    Three Sisters,
    Three Queens

    The Tudor Court, series
    August 9
    MJ Rose M.J. ROSE
    The Secret Language of Stones
    The Daughters of La Lune series
    July 19
    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream
    Lorelee James LORELEI JAMES
    Just What I Needed
    Need You series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 2
    Jen McLaughlin JEN MCLAUGHLIN
    Dare to Stay
    Sons of Steel Row series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 2
    Allison Morgan ALLISON MORGAN
    Can I See You Again?
    August 9
    Angela Pisel ANGELA PISEL
    With Love From the Inside
    August 9
    Sally Thorne SALLY THORNE
    The Hating Game, debut
    August 9
    Susan wiggs SUSAN WIGGS
    Family Tree
    August 9
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense
    Sidney Bristol SIDNEY BRISTOL
    Hot Rides series
    Romantic Suspense
    July 26
    John Connolly JOHN CONNOLLY
    A Time of Torment
    Charlie Parker series
    August 2
    Iris Johansen IRIS JOHANSEN
    Night and Day
    Eve Duncan series
    July 19
    Kevin Obrien KEVIN O'BRIEN
    You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone
    July 26
    Ridley Pearson RIDLEY PEARSON
    White Bone
    Risk Agent series
    July 19
    Nico Russo NICO RUSSO
    One Minute to Midnight
    Black Ops Automatick series
    Romantic Suspense
    July 18
    PJ Tracy P.J. TRACY
    The Sixth Idea
    Monkeewrench series
    August 2
    Stuart Woods STUART WOODS
    Smooth Operator
    Teddy Fay series
    August 2
    Paranormal Romance/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
    Jayne Castle JAYNE CASTLE
    Illusion Town
    Ghost Hunters series
    July 26
    Christine Feehan CHRISTINE FEEHAN
    Dark Carousel
    Carpathian series
    Paranormal Romance
    August 2
    Max Gladstone MAX GLADSTONE
    Four Roads Cross
    Craft Sequence series
    Urban Fantasy
    July 26
    CA Higgins C.A. HIGGINS
    Lightless series
    Science Fiction
    July 26
    Faith Hunter FAITH HUNTER
    Blood of the Earth
    Soulwood series
    Urban Fantasy
    August 2
    Joseph Nassise edited by
    Urban Allies
    Urban Fantasy, Anthology
    July 26
    Willow Palecek WILLOW PALECEK
    City of Wolves
    Urban Fantasy
    July 26
    Colleen Houck COLLEEN HOUCK
    Reawakened series
    August 2
    Mary Pearson MARY E. PEARSON
    The Beauty of Darkness
    The Remnant Chronicles
    August 2
    Beth Revis BETH REVIS
    A World Without You
    July 19
    Jackie Ashenden
    Dirty for Me
    July 26
    Kim Jones KIM JONES
    Sinner's Revenge
    Sinner’s Creed series
    July 19
    Inspirational Romance/Fiction
    Jennifer Beckstrand
    A Bee in Her Bonnet
    Honeybee Sisters series
    July 26
    Joanne Bishof JOANNE BISCHOF
    The Lady and the Lionheart
    August 1
    Carrie Parks
    When Death Draws Near
    Gwen Murrey series
    August 2
    James Rupert JAMES RUBART
    The Long Journey to Jake Palmer
    August 9
    Beth Vogt BETH K. VOGT
    Almost Like Being in Love
    Destination Wedding series
    July 28

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Craig B | Jul 08, 2016

    cover for Ariana Grande's studio album, Dangerous WomanArguably the new album by Grande, Dangerous Woman, would have made a better EP (as long as I got to choose those four or five songs) but then, the existing full album is all about “Bad Decisions.” 

    That said, I do have to applaud Grande for her general self-restraint on Dangerous (despite the fact that it has 15 tracks).  The title song has its reins strung tightly back making for a tense and memorable (dare I say pleasantly “dangerous) experience and she only pronounces the semi-famous “princess” lyric once.  Most artists could not have held themselves to a one-off like that, but Ariana seems to understand that, so much of the time, less is indeed more.

    Suggested Use: Poker night with the pals?  Betting money on a game that reliant on chance and facial expressions seems to me to coincide nicely with an album about “Bad Decisions.”  (See, even I couldn’t hold myself to a one-off in “cleverness”.)

    by Evan | Jul 06, 2016
    The phrase "eastern philosophy" was swirling around the West about the same time Ravi Shankar was sitting around with his sitar. Add the popularization of yoga and meditative Buddhism and it was easy for an American in the 1960s to equate eastern wisdom with Indian culture.

    Meanwhile, China was into its Cultural Revolution. Other than to a few home-bred Maoists -- largely inspired by opposition to our war in Vietnam -- dirt-poor, chaotic China seemed to have little to teach the rich and democratic United States. 

    Things have changed. China was the global economic engine of the past generation, and while its government still stifles freedoms, you can understand people who might like its seeming orderliness today compared to the frequent reports of sectarian and sexual violence coming out of India and its neighboring states. 

    Now a new little book goes way back in history to explain to Westerners the wisdoms that made China the most successful ongoing civilization for 2,000 years -- and may be helping it surge again now that Mao Tse-tung is long dead. 

    The PathAs Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh demonstrate in The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life, at the same time the first Greek philosophers were doing their deep thinking, so too were several brilliant Chinese, including Confucius. While Greek thinking led to theological and scientific advances, the Chinese thinkers focused more on how people can live together peacefully and prosperously. Much of their advice soon became embedded in Chinese society. 

    The Greco-Roman world worked well enough for a few centuries and then fell apart, but China kept chugging along so steadily that even when invaders occasionally conquered it, the Chinese way of ordering society quickly absorbed them. And for most of that time, Chinese culture kept coming up with technologies superior to those in the West or India.  

    India saw the rise and fall of many empires and city states with little to show in what could be called material progress. And while they don't make the explicit comparison, I think Puett and Gross-Loh would put part of the blame on the inward-focused meditative aspect of Indian culture, somewhat comparable to the quest for personal salvation that was central to Medieval Western culture. Instead of looking inward or skyward for life's answers, the authors emphasize, the Chinese philosophers looked for the best ways for people to use the material world and relate to each other. 

    China in the 21st century is no utopia, but given the turbulence in the Islamic world, China's vision of economic prosperity combined with social controls is the dominant philosophical argument against the West's emphasis on personal freedom. Reading The Path is one way to understand the long-term power of that challenge. 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Becky C | Jul 04, 2016
    Editor's Note: Originally published July 4, 2013

    Skirmishes between the colonial militiamen and British troops may have begun in April 1775, but it was in June of 1776, that representatives of the 13 colonies met to consider officially declaring their independence from Great Britain.  On July 2nd, the Second Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later, on July 4th, its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence.
    • Because the vote in favor of independence occurred on July 2nd, John Adams believed that was the correct day to celebrate. Legend has it that he would turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest of celebrating the “incorrect” day.
    • Celebrating Independence Day didn’t truly become widespread until after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced off against Great Britain. The 4th of July became a federal holiday in 1870, but it wasn’t until 1941 that it became a paid holiday for federal employees.
    • The British may have been our adversary long ago, but for the past century they have been a close ally.
    • In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the United States was 2.5 million. Today, that number is 313.9 million.

    Intrigued?  The Library of Congress offers an extensive online collection of resources related to Independence Day:

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Becky C | Jun 29, 2016
    planetfallBook Review:  Planetfall by Emma Newman

    “Someone’s coming toward the colony.  From outside.”

    Lee Suh-Mi felt called to establish a colony on a world far beyond Earth and 1,000 people felt called to join her.  Something happened when they arrived at the planet in Suh-Mi’s vision however, and a couple of decades later, Ren is still haunted by it.  She and Mack are the only two who know the truth; whatever happened was considered so potentially devastating that the other members of the original landing team were murdered to prevent them from telling the other colonists.  Or were intended to be murdered.  When Suh-Mi’s  twenty-something grandson approaches the colony, it’s clear that at least some members of the team managed to survive.  What’s not immediately clear is what Sung-Soo knows.

    Sung-Soo’s close resemblance to Suh threatens Ren’s ability to continue playing along with Mack’s carefully constructed tale.  Told from Ren’s perspective, hints at what happened are slowly revealed, as she reflects back to the beginning of her relationship with Suh, what she left behind back on Earth, and the events of that first Planetfall.

    There’s a lot to love about this story.  To begin with, it’s beautifully written and stunningly subtle.  Set in the future, it features advanced technology including 3D printers capable of printing everything a self-sustaining colony requires, and chip implants capable of connecting individuals to the web and to each other.  It also features an environmentally-friendly, successful colony established on an Earth-like planet.  it’s not a utopia — while there are advantages to being as connected as they are, the story points out that there are disadvantages as well.  And people will always be people.  Add a mysterious alien structure,  a slow reveal from a character slowly cracking under the burden of guilt, and a twist I didn’t see coming, and you have a story worth reading again and again.

    The question of religion versus science underlies the story but the reader isn’t pushed one way or the other.

    I was exasperated by Ren but that’s not a bad thing.  Tormented by whatever happened, she can’t face it directly, but the arrival of Sung-Soo won’t let her continue to bury it.  Hence the slow reveal.  I like having to work for my mystery so I was hooked even though I was never able to connect with her.   I didn’t pick up on her illness right away and when Sung-Soo discovered it, I knew it was important but I didn’t realize how important it was — I was mostly stuck on not understanding the illness itself.

    I love it when an author can genuinely catch me off-guard and Newman did just that when the book hit its climax.  The clues were there — I just didn’t pick up on them.  Stunningly subtle.  Reading the book through a second time, I couldn’t believe that I’d missed what was so obvious.

    I did have a few quibbles with the book but they were minor.  There was a detail that seemed like it would be bigger than it was — ah well.  In addition to Planetfall, there was another “event” that was mentioned but never really fleshed out.  And for all of the description provided, there wasn’t any about the local wildlife — it’s mentioned on a few occasions, so you know it exists, but that’s it.  I want to know what’s roaming the grasslands and why nothing ventures close to God’s City.

    The first time I read the book, I thought the ending felt rushed.  The second time, I appreciated it more.  I would love to see a sequel.

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Cathy B | Jun 27, 2016

    The idea for a post about jewelry books in the Art, Music & Media collection first occurred to me after coming across Chats on Old Jewellery and Trinkets by McIver Percival and Jewellery by Clifford Smith .  I was delighted by these very old books.  Soon after, I came across the Vogue book and was enchanted by the beauty of the book itself.  There are certainly many more books on jewelry and its creation among AMM’s shelves but these few jumped out at me because of their historical importance and/or their beauty:

    Jewellery by H. Clifford Smith, M.A.  1908.Treasures

    “Jewellery is not only worn with the purpose of attracting attention and setting off the beauty of the person, but satisfies the desire, not less deep-rooted in humanity, of establishing a distinctive mark of rank and dignity.”

    It is from this book that I first decided to do a piece on jewelry.  I was at first wowed by the age of the book.  After skimming just the surface, I was captured by the detail of the history of European jewelry, from the pre-historic through to “the modern” (19th century).  Chapters on frauds and forgeries and Memento Mori, jewelry for remembering the dead, are included.

    Opening at random, I found a treatment of the historical development of brooches which “originated from the simple pin, which itself was preceded by and probably derived from a thorn.”  From there the evolution of the safety pin proceeds.  Among chapter titles these stand out as absolutely fascinating:  Prehistoric (Celtic) Jewellery, The Barbaric Jewellery of Europe (The Great Migrations), Anglo-Saxon Jewellery (Fifth to Seventh Centuries), Merovingian Jewellery.  This is the history of humanity as told through its jewelry. 

    There are many photographs of early pieces, including the ring of Ethelwulf, King of Wessex (836-858), found in 1780 (pictured above.) I didn’t know I could be so interested in the history of jewelry!

    VogueVogue, the Jewellery by Carol Woolton.  Foreward by Alexandra Shulman, editor-in-chief, British Vogue.  2015.

    From the foreward:  “In this book Carol Woolton has drawn on her 14 years of experience as British Vogue’s jewellery editor to highlight the role jewellery has played in the pages of the magazine.”  “…Carol’s writing contains a world of knowledge and entertaining facts.”

    This book is a gorgeous and sumptuous collection of photographs from Vogue magazine from the 1930’s until the present. “Photography in Vogue is a famous element of the creative zeitgeist and it is fascinating to see how both the wearing of jewellery and the style of the pictures has adapted to the times…”

    This bound book is itself a thing of beauty, and oversized.  It is organized by chapter into the following subjects:  Show-Stoppers, Rock Chick, Minimalist, Exotic and Classic.

    Faberge, the Imperial Jeweler by Geza Von Habsburg and Marina Lopato.  1993.Faberge

    ​This is a beautiful and historically important book.  It served "as the catalogue of a landmark exhibition held in 1993-94 at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersurg, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.”  The pieces included are stunning and were not well known in the West before the Soviet Union opened the Russian archives to scholars. 

    From the dust jacket notes:

    “…the most comprehensive study of Faberge and his innovative creations to date…”

    From the introduction by the Faberge Arts Foundation: 

    “An unusual opportunity to organize this exhibition was presented by extraordinary developments in Russia.  After more than seventy years of repression, Russia could honour, freely, its cultural heritage.  Glasnost – the opening of the Soviet system – presented an even more specific opportunity:  the archives of the Hermitage harbouring the historical records of the House of Faberge could now be explored.  …and it provides the historical framework for this exhibition.”

    Jewelry from the OrientJewellery from the Orient:  Treasures from the Bir Collection by Wolf-Dieter Seiwert.  2009.

    I love the idea of jewelry from the Orient, especially juxtaposed with the European jewelry found in other books in this post.  It is jewelry of "extraordinary regional breadth and a diversity rarely, if ever encountered."

    “This book takes readers by the hand and leads them on an imaginary journey.  They discover the jewellery of Oriental Europe and the magnificence of Ottoman ornaments.  They criss-cross the Mediterranean, are fascinated by enameled and coral jewellery in north-western African and are astonished by the art of silversmithing in the Maghreb.  Passing Moorish and Tuareg treasure chests, they travel on beyond the Sahara.  In Ethiopia and Yemen they admire the legacy of the Queen of Sheba. Their journey ultimately takes them via Indonesia to the Hindukush.”

    belperronJewelry by Suzanne Belperron.  Patricia Corbett, Ward Landrigan, Nico Landrigan, Foreward by Karl Lagerfeld.   2015.

    “Suzanne Belperron, brilliant, beautiful, aloof and incredibly talented was the only female master jeweler in the twentieth century to create her own indelible aesthetic.  She achieved greatness in a male-dominated world and shattered the status quo, creating a signature style that in 2012 The New York Times labeled “Modern, before the world was.”   From the preface.

    This is a stunning book showcasing the work of a master jeweler.  It is beautiful!

    mastersMasters:  Gold, Major Works by Leading Artists curated by Marthe LeVan.  2009

    This book showcases the work of 41 contemporary artists who “honor gold by letting it speak to and through them in distinctive ways.” 

    From the Introduction: “Each chapter…reveals the groundbreaking work of a singular talent.  From chapter to chapter, the visual vocabulary shifts radically from minimal geometries to opulent fantasies, from still lifes to social commentaries.”

    The sculptural quality of these works is stunning!  Trying to choose a single photograph was almost impossible.  From a plaster face mask with a gold nose to a necklace of gold Zoloft pills, from flora and fauna relief images to stark geometric design, the scope of the subject matter delights and amazes.

    Chats on Old Jewelry and TrinketsChats on Old Jewellery and Trinkets by MacIver Percival.  1912. 

    The title of this book and its age sparked the germ of the idea for this piece on jewelry.  It appears that this is one of a series of “chats.” The books lists chats on English china, old lace and needlework, miniatures, autographs and old pewter, to name a few. 

    The preface states that “This little book has been written mainly for minor collectors – those who love old things, but cannot afford to pay large prices for them.  A piece, the possession of which involves the writing of a cheque for three figures, is definitely out of the their reach; even two figures is not a light matter to them, and they prefer to pursue their hobby in those less exalted regions where ten pounds goes a long way, and quite desirable things can be had for a sovereign or two.”  (!)

    The author begins with a short history of jewelry through the 17th century followed by more detailed accounts of the 18th, 19th and early 20th century.  From there it is organized by type of jewelry – brooches, rings, shoe buckles, and so on.

    This is a charming book.  It is not visually enticing, using all black and white photos and drawings, but it is a wonderment of information!

    Cathy is a circulation assistant in Art, Music & Media. She is a painter and her work has been displayed in the library's Krull Gallery. In addition to painting, Cathy hooks rugs and nurtures her little bonsai trees.









    by Kay S | Jun 24, 2016
    When I picked up How to Manage a Marquess by Sally MacKenzie I had my fingersSally MacKenzie
    crossed. I had issues with the first book in her new Spinster House series, What to do With a Duke. But because I found Ms. MacKenzie's earlier writings to be fun, I hadn't given up on her. So I was hoping that this book would be the light at the end of the tunnel I was looking for. Sigh.

    Spoilers litter this review.

    Concurrently. I'm not sure how I feel about books which have story lines running concurrently. A number of those books I have liked. But looking back on the books I liked, I believe most of those were published close together. In the case of What to do With a Duke and How to Manage a Marquess there is a spread of a whole stinkin' year. In order for those books to work for me I needed to read them closer together. Maybe some of you would be able to remember why that couple was leaving the room or why they've been gone for an hour or what they were whispering about, but I couldn't. This was an issue for me in this book. The previous hero, Marcus, was still a big part of the storyline - but, gee-willikers it's been a year! I didn't know what was going on and I'm didn't go back and reread just so the light bulb would go off. Anyway, I thought the whole rehash of Marcus' plot line made for a disjointed story. Since there are three books in this series, I suspect the next story about Jane and Alex will be just as problematic.

    Family curses. In the previous story we learned about a 200 year old curse which claims the life of all the male Dukes of Hart once their wife is sprouting. You would think that the line would have died out by now - wrong. No those guys just keep plugging away. You see there was a codicil to that curse. If the heir falls in love the curse will no longer be valid. But, this book wasn't about the Duke of Hart or the curse or the breaking there of. Nope this book was about Nathaniel, Marcus' cousin. Once upon a time Nathaniel promised his mother (on her death bed) that he would watch out for Marcus and never let him die. Now, why his dying mother extracted this promise from her son was not clear to me, but she did. That wasn't the disturbing part of this curse. The disturbing part was Nate. You see Nate takes his job seriously. Real seriously. He's right there following his cousin around day and night, night and day. He's making sure that Marcus wasn't poking spaces that should be left un-poked. One might even say Nate was in Marcus' space - all the time, everywhere Marcus goes, everything he does -there's Nate. Nate was a real oppressive presence in Marcus' life. I found Nate to be more than a little irritating. I just wanted to throw something at him, shout at him - leave that 30 year old Marcus-guy alone. Get off of his back!

    Family curses continued. I had a hard time stretching my belief with this curse. If the time period for this story had been placed in the medieval era or even the early 1600s I might have bought into it. But we are talking 1817 and for me this particular curse just didn't work. This story was a Regency romance not a Regency Gothic romance or a Regency paranormal. I think for the curse part to have worked in this book, Ms. MacKenzie should have been a little bit heavier handed with the supernatural atmosphere. I like spooky stuff, the unexplained, ghosts, spirits, witches, stuff etc. I know I've read other books where there were Regency hero and heroines who were affected by a 300 year old curse and those stories worked - but this one didn't. I can't explain it except to say it must have been the writing.  This time around the curse part of this story didn't work for me.

    Mean, nasty people. When I read the first book in this series I had an issue with the supposed friendship between the three women: Jane, Cat and Anne. They were supposed to be friends, but they treated each other abominably, they were nasty, catty and mean. They were not what I would ever consider a friend. I was hoping in this book we would see something likeable in Anne, but it was not to be. She was a brat. She was horrible to everyone; not just her friends, but her father, her father's fiancée, and the hero. Anne was one unpleasant person and I could feel no sympathy for her, even when I should have. But she isn't the only horrid person in this book. In fact it would be easier to say there were two characters in this book who were enjoyable. Those two characters would be seven-year-old Stephen and five-year-old Edward.  This book is full of unpalatable people; from Anne's unfeeling, selfish father to his unpleasant, rigid fiancée Eleanor to a house full of oblivious relatives.

    Nosedive time. There came a time in this book, (which I was struggling to finish) that it took a real nosedive. Almost a wallbanger moment - so to speak. Anne and her father have lots of obstacles. They don't get along, they don't talk and when they do it's more along the line of sniping. Anne knew her father wanted to marry a much younger woman; in fact this woman, Eleanor, was a year younger than Anne. There were some really harsh feelings between all three of these people. But do not fear, there's a party they were invited to. On the journey there, Anne's father had all kinds of time to talk to her - he didn't. Maybe he was a little put off because every time he tried, she bit his head off. She was a little off-putting. We arrive at the party. Eleanor's entire family was at the county party, plus our hero. There was this biggggg family dinner. It was at this dinner that her father decides to announce his engagement to Eleanor - without telling Anne. Without giving her any kind of warning. Anne is hurt, outraged, livid. Oh by the way, her father also announces that Eleanor and he have been a little precipitous in celebrating their wedding vows. He makes a public announcement that his fiancée Eleanor was with child. Anne precedes to get roaring drunk and throws-up all over our hero. My ears are still ringing from this What-the-Hey scene. First of all Eleanor was a widow of about two months! That's some pretty salacious quick work there. Secondly, how embarrassing - how scandalous - how historically inaccurate would a public announcement of an unwed woman being pregnant be? I couldn't believe this scene. From the surprise announcement to the pregnant shout out to the drunken throw-up, it was a wallbanger moment. Do you see why I didn't like any of these people? Shall I go on?

    Unchaperoned. I had another What-the-Hey moment when Anne traveled back to her home with the hero and no one was chaperoning her except her soon to be step-brothers: a five and seven-year-old. It was unbelievable. Just one more thing to add to my growing list of OMG moments.

    The magical big "C". Once again there is an overabundance of the "C" word (rhymes with rock). I have no idea why that word is used soooo much in this story. Saying C___ a million gazillion times didn't mean it's hot or sexy or passionate. It's not as if Timothy Toad did anything, except in this case - talk. Yes, Nathaniel's Timothy Toad talks to him - all the time. It urges
    timothy Toadhim on, encourages him to seek shelter in the nearest wet cave. But that's ok, because you see Nate talks back to his Mr. Toad. He tells him to shut up, he tells him his hopes and dreams and reads him bed time stories and they play the piano together. I made some of that up. However, I hear that they are going on the road - the Marquess of Haywood and his amazing talking "C" Toad.  Haywood can join those other greats: Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney, Jimmy Nelson and Farfel the wonder dog, Sherry Lewis and Lamb Chop, Edgar Bergan and Charley McCarthy, Wayland Flowers and Madame, Senor Wences and his hand.  By the way, when the big bazooga moment happened, I had to reread the paragraph to actually make sure it had occurred.

    There were so many things in this book I had a problem with. Badly written woman-getting-drunk-not-funny-scene; nasty, horrible characters; a stretch of historical accuracy which even I could not overlook; an unfeeling father and a snotty daughter; a I-can't-marry-because-I have-to-follow-my-cousin-around-and-make-him-miserable hero; the overuse of the c-rhymes-with-rock word and last but not least a talking Mr. Toad.

    Time/Place: 1817 England
    Sensuality: Don't Blink

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Cheryl M | Jun 22, 2016

    Todd PelfreyReading books in a series brings Todd Pelfrey into the library to return one book and check out the next one.  He enjoys the library as a place to slow down and change gears.  Rather than buy books online, he prefers the ambiance of the library, which he regards as “one of the great assets of the community.”

    As Executive Director of The History Center, Todd Pelfrey reads a lot for his job.  It’s a good thing he has always loved to read!  An early library user and a budding historian, he loved reading about ancient history.  He also remembers enjoying a series called Childhood of Famous Americans

    Executive Director for 8 years, Pelfrey has been with the organization for 12 years, previously as Education Director.  To prepare for Indiana’s bicentennial year, he has been reading a lot of local and state history, including early, obscure texts that can produce new, arcane facts. Even for pleasure reading, Pelfrey tends toward history.  A favorite author is Bernard Cornwell, known for fiction series like The Saxon Stories. Another favorite author, Allan Eckert, writes American history in a blend of fact and fiction.  Eckert’s The Frontiersmen, tells of events and people of the Northwest Territory, from which Indiana was formed.  As a change from history, Pelfrey likes to read National Geographic magazine from cover-to-cover.  A member of Quest Club, which provides a forum to present original research, Pelfrey dug into the subject of blood ivory and elephant poaching for his paper.

    Asked what book he would recommend that the President of the United States and presidential candidates read, Pelfrey suggested Common Sense, by Thomas Paine.  Written in 1775, it laid out in plain language, a case for independence from Great Britain.  For Allen County residents, Pelfrey highly recommends History of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, 1700-2005At over 1,700 pages, that 2-volume set might be intimidating.  So, his second recommendation is Fort Wayne: On the Heritage Trail, written for the 1994 bicentennial to commemorate local people and events.  It is now a “fantastic” stand-alone history chronicle and the only history book Pelfrey keeps on his desk.

                               "A historian is a prophet in reverse" - Friedrich von Schlegel

    History Center 2016

    cheryl-mCheryl likes reading, bicycling, scrapbooking, travel, history, and cats. Because every life tells a story, her favorite books to read are biographies.
    by Craig B | Jun 20, 2016

    cover of William Faulkner's novel, The ReiversBook Review:  The Reivers by William Faulkner

    I told some folks recently I was reading William Faulkner’s last novel (his 1963 posthumous Pulitzer win), The Reivers.  I explained to them what a reiver (ree’-ver) was (basically, a 16th century Anglo-Scot robber-baron) and that Faulkner’s novel was set in turn-of-the-20th-century Mississippi/Tennessee.  They asked how then the novel could be called The Reivers.  At the time I didn’t have an answer, but now I think I do.  It’s a metaphor!  Of course, as my last post declared, this is mostly supposition.  And yet, the characters in this novel do have a lot in common (metaphorically) with the historical reivers of the British Isles.  Simply put, both groups spent a lot of time running around stealing from each other and inspiring each other to new heights of thievery.  I’m not sure what the socio-economic, geopolitical moral is for the historical reivers, but for Faulkner’s novel the moral seems to be, “This is life!”; that whether or not we are literally “stealing” from each other, we are all in some way impinging upon others (no matter our nobility of intentions) and removing resources from off of others’ tables to supply our own.  The most difficult part of all this is for us to learn to live with this fact, to reconcile our ‘nobility’ and high-falutin’ notions about ourselves with the simple brass tacks of our thefts, self-centeredness, and general pillaging of the individuals and cultures alike that surround us.  Put in those terms, I have to say, Faulkner’s novel is rather brilliant, providing food for thought, unexpected twists, and some very welcome, gleeful, and giggle-worthy episodes of naughtiness.

    As for the critics, they didn’t care much about Faulkner’s later novels like The Reivers and A Fable, even though The Reivers continues the mythology of Faulkner’s famous and “apocryphal” Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, the setting for nearly all of his novels.  Critics pay more attention to Faulkner’s earlier novels (for which he was made a Nobel Laureate in 1952), but having read As I Lay Dying, I can assure you, the critics are wrong.  The later novels, which get so ignored critically, have, for me, managed quite well to disperse the dark cloud of stream-of-consciousness tom-foolery As I Lay Dying left me under.  I’m just glad the Pulitzers support me in my opinion of these later novels’ worthiness, and agree that The Reivers easily “steals” the show from As I Lay Dying. But wait, now I’m putting words in other people’s mouths.  We may all be reivers to some extent but that’s a level of reiver-ness I shall seek to avoid no matter how much it would serve my ego in the short term.  Perhaps the title of this post should now be, “The critics could be, some say, less than correct!”

    by Emma R | Jun 15, 2016

    In a dystopian future, Katniss stuns everyone when she volunteers to take her sister's place in the brutal Hunger Games.  As the story progresses, she will have to choose between fighting for herself or fighting for others.  The one is encouraged . . . and the other is not.

    If you liked The Hunger Games, check out some more titles on taking—or not taking—a stand. You probably know the new titles in the business, so we thought we’d give you some of the older, classic dystopias! Don’t be afraid to take your own stand and share your recommendations/thoughts in the comments!

     1984 by George Orwell. Big Brother never stops watching you in Orwell’s dystopian vision of the world in the year 1984. When you remember that 2 + 2 actually equals 4—along with a score of other things—instead of whatever Big Brother tells you to think, you’re going to run into trouble. Winston faces just that problem, and will have to face the consequences of wanting to think of things his way…instead of Big Brother’s
     Animal Farm

    Animal Farm by George Orwell. In another of Orwell’s dystopian visions, the animals of Mr. Jones’s farm have decided to revolt. But they aren’t in favor of anarchy. Instead they create their own political system, with their own political hierarchy, and they find themselves in rather the same place as they had been before.

     Lord of the Flies
     Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Golding’s depiction of a society without limits talks about a lot more than just no limits. When several boys find themselves on an island where there are absolutely no adults…and absolutely no rules…the world has a lot of potential. But when the inevitable fun and games are over, and human nature butts in, suddenly the situation doesn’t sound so pleasant. 
     Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury shows readers a world where books are off limits for anything other than government sanctioned reasons…a world where a job exists whose sole duty is to burn every other book. But governments don’t change just because a man paid to burn books starts questioning his job. When Guy Montag stops burning books and starts keeping them, he’ll have to flee the government…

     The Giver

    The Giver by Lois Lowry. A world in black in white isn’t a bad deal for a world with no pain, no suffering, and no death. However, someone has to be in charge of making that world possible, and when the job falls to Jonas, he realizes that the world he’s lived in has only been maintained by hard—and sometimes horrifying—choices.

    Emma did a complete 180 late in high school, abandoning dreams of a degree in Music Performance to pursue a degree in English Literature. She finished her B.A. in December 2015, and now she’s working on her MLS while working in Material Support Services. When she’s not working at the library or on her degree, she spends time with her parents, her siblings, her boyfriend, and her two cats.
    by Becky C | Jun 13, 2016

    Editor's Note:  Originally published June 14, 2012

    While the 4th of July is a day for celebrating our independence, the 14th of June is a day to celebrate the adoption of the Stars & Stripes as the official flag of the United States.  A young teacher, Bernard Cigrand, planted the idea for such an observance back in 1886 when he placed  a 10-inch, 38- star flag on his desk and then assigned essays on the flag and its significance.   From that point through the 1930’s, he publicly called for a holiday celebrating the symbol of our independence.

    Long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about this holiday finally began to pay off during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.  President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of the event on June 14, 1916. However, Flag Day did not become official until August 1949, when President Harry Truman signed the legislation and proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day.

    Many Americans celebrate Flag Day by displaying the Red, White & Blue in front of homes and businesses.  Flag-raising ceremonies, Flag Day services, musical salutes and street parades are popular ways to observe this holiday.

    Before you ready Old Glory for display, you may want to check the American Legion’s website to ensure that you are following flag etiquette.  Here are a few rules to keep in mind:

    • Torn, tattered or faded flags should be replaced.  The American Legion accepts worn flags and disposes of them respectfully.
    • If a flag is flown at night, it is supposed to be illuminated.  Any type of lighting, even a porch lamp, works.
    • If multiple flags are being flown, the American flag owns the right.  This means that no other flag should be to its right  (the viewer’s left).
    • Flags should only be flown at half staff when authorized by the president or the governor.
    • Flags should only be flown upside down as a distress signal, for example, when a ship requires immediate assistance.

    Did you know that there have been 27 official versions of the flag to date?  Arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers’ preferences until 1912 when President William H. Taft standardized the then-new flag’s 48 stars into six rows of eight.  The 49-star flag (1959-60) and the 50-star flag also have standardized star patterns.  The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960 after Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959.

    Further Reading:  Flag Code, Flag FAQ, Ask the Expert, Flag Day, America’s Story: Flag Day, National Flag Day Foundation

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Becky C | Jun 08, 2016
    My husband and I have spent the last two years fixing up our fixer-upper.  We still have some projects underway but we're getting to the point where we can start thinking about building a patio and adding some landscaping.  If you're looking for ideas or how-to's for your outdoor spaces, here are just a few titles you may be interested in.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that! 

    What's especially wonderful is that there are a lot more titles to choose from!  I used the subject search Garden Structures for this post but, depending on what your focus is, you might also be interested in Gardening , Landscape Design, or Water Gardens.  I promise, I don't have them ALL checked out.  :)

    Have you used the library's collection to make improvements to your home or yard?  Please share pics in the comments!

    Backyard Building
    Complete Outdoor Builder
     Sheds and Garages
     Landscape Projects
     Outdoor Carpentry
     Complete Guide to Stonescaping
     Garden Cottages
     Backyard for Kids

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Heather | Jun 06, 2016
    Yes! The summer reading program is for adults too! Keep track every half hour you read or listen (audiobooks count as reading) on your timesheet--a stylus pen and three books can be yours! We also have three programs thru the system just for adults. Click the photo link for the full schedule.

    ASRP Art for Everyone
    Art for Everyone
    : Learn art from an Artlink artist in an inviting and relaxing environment.

    ASRP Coloring Therapy
    Coloring Therapy
    : Escape from your hectic wired world and explore your inner-child and creative side with an adult coloring program! All supplies are provided and all ages are welcome.

    ASRP Classical Music & You

    Classical Music and You!
    : Relaxing duets by Fort Wayne Philharmonic players at your local library.

    We have an adult summer reading Facebook event you may want to join--we'll be sending reminders, encouragement, and book related links thru the program's end on July 31st. Happy reading!
    by Craig B | Jun 03, 2016

    cover for The Strumbellas' album, HopeFor this newest album titled Hope there is an awful lot of use of the word “darkness” in its lyrics.  That said the album does still manage to give me quite a bit of hope and I’m pretty sure, based on the buzz, that the band’s “hopes” are pretty high for major chart success.  There’s nothing quite like being #1, or so I’ve heard.  If that happens we’ll all just have to hope that fame doesn’t ruin The Strumbellas like it certainly would some of us … hrmm, me.

    Suggested Use: If you’re looking for an undergrad album for the summer this one’s anthem-y enough and Simon Ward sings just ugly enough to be relatable.  You know, kind of like we do when we’re in our car with the windows down and we just can’t be bothered by stoplights.

    by Evan | Jun 01, 2016
    It's taken 27 years of listening to audiobooks, but I'm almost at the point where I can say without embarrassment that I have "read" a book that I actually listened to on tape, CD, or smart phone. You know, the idea is that if you hear a book you don't get moral credit for really reading it. I hope that's just my own hangup, and that when June rolls around and everyone celebrates Audiobook Month (brought to you, of course, by the Audio Publishers Association), you will be listening to books guilt free.
    There are  those who say listening to a book causes you to get less out of it. There are those who say listening is just a different way of learning. There are those who used to disdain audiobooks but have seen their value. And there are those (me) who think audiobooks are just great, great, great.

    My bottom line is that I have listened to hundreds of books that I would never have found time to read. Seriously, would you ever visually read Les Miserables, or The Brothers Karamazov? Granted they each took me many weeks, but still, they made their way into my head via my ears when they had no chance of ever entering through my eyes.
    Jim Dale
    I've had so many sublime discoveries, such as Barbara Savage's Miles from Nowhere or the voice of the late and truly great Frank Muller. Visual readers of the Harry Potter books missed out on Jim Dale's 134 amazingly distinctive voices.

    Meanwhile, I've listened to so many Great Courses from the Teaching Company that I deserve a General Studies diploma.

    Without books on tape and then on CD, I would have been driving around for a quarter of a century listening to the radio. I'd have been doing yard work with a grudge instead of with something just short of enthusiasm. Maybe I'd even by dead by now, because I never took long, healthful walks before I could listen to books while I strolled. 

    Of course, if you are the rare American who can actually sit back, relax, and listen to a book, then all the better for you. You might even choose books that have accompanying websites so you can see photos and other graphics that are admittedly missing from a standard audiobook. 

    Like e-books, audiobooks fill a niche. They don't make paper books irrelevant. If you haven't tried them, however, and you wish you could read more books, you owe it to yourself to see if you fit in that niche as well as I do.

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Kay S | May 27, 2016
    As summer crawls a little closer maybe it's time to take a few books to the beach. Here are a few upcoming releases coming to you between June 15 and July 14, 2016. These books are garnering good reviews. And, remember by little Petunia's these are the publishing dates not the dates they will line your local library shelves.
    Historical Romance
    h_lindsey  Johanna Lindsey
    Make Me Love You
    July 5
     Mary Jo Putney Mary Jo Putney
    Once a Soldier
    Rogues Redeemed series
    June 28
     maya Rodale Maya Rodale
    Chasing Lady Amelia
    Keeping Up With the Cavendishes series
    June 28
    Historical Fiction
    Andersen  Laura Andersen
    The Virgin's War
    Tudor Legacy series
    July 12
     Beatriz Williams Beatriz Williams
    A Certain Age
    June 28
    Mainstream Fiction
    Arella Cohen  Ariella Cohen
    Sweet Breath of Memory
    June 28
     Tiffany Reisz Tiffany Reisz
    The Bourbon Thief
    June 28
     Rosen Jane L. Rosen
    Nine Women, One Dress
    July 12
    Suspense/Romantic Suspense
     David Bell David Bell
    Since She Went Away
    June 21 
     Kate Douglas Kate Douglas
    Intimate Relations series
    Romantic Suspense
    June 28
     Gerry Schmitt Gerry Schmitt
    Little Girl Gone
    Afton Tangler series
    July 5
     F Paul Wilson F. Paul Wilson
    July 5
    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
     Kristen Callihan Kristen Callihan
    Darkest London series
    June 28 
     Sherriyln Kenyon Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Born of Legend
    The League series
    June 21
     Terry Spear Terry Spear
    Billionaire in Wolf's Clothing
    Billionaire Wolf series
    July 5
     Jo Walton Jo Walton
    July 12

    Pintip Dunn  Pintip Dunn
    The Darkest Lie
    June 28 
    Erotica Romance
    elle Kennedy  Elle Kennedy
    Outlaws series
    June 28
    Inspirational Romance/Mainstream
    Tracie Peterson  Tracie Peterson
    A Beauty Refined
    Sapphire Brides series
    July 5 
     William Sirls William Sirls
    The Reason
    July 12

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Becky C | May 25, 2016
    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!

    Symphony for the City of the Dead
     A Game for All the Family
    Keepers of the House
     Just Mercy
     Look Whos Back
     Shady Hollow

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Becky C | May 23, 2016


    Did you know that ACPL has a fantastic selection of online newsletters?  Created with readers in mind, the BookTalk section of our website offers more than a dozen newsletters to choose from.  You can sign up to receive free newsletters via email, and we’ve also included links to free lists elsewhere on the web.  Each ACPL newsletter contains brief descriptions of the titles listed as well as links to our catalog so you can more easily place holds on items of interest.

    • New Arrivals.  This newsletter highlights a different ACPL location each month and features recent additions to the collection.  This is a great way to browse the new bookshelf from the comfort of your home.
    • New Audiobooks.  Each month, you’ll read about new spoken-word audios to keep you entertained, enlightened and in-the-know.
    • New eBooks.  Do you have an eReader?  We’re adding new titles each month. Get a first look at them here.
    • Most Popular.  Curious about what other people are reading?  This is the newsletter for you.
    • Staff Picks.  Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Staff Picks gives you an inside look.
    • Best Sellers and Awards.  Here’s one of those collections of links I mentioned.  Like the Best of  lists I like to check out from time to time, I personally love these lists because they remind me of titles I’ve been meaning to read and they alert me to many wonderful new-to-me authors.

    In addition to the newsletters mentioned above, we have several other options to offer!  Interested in business titles, children’s books, mysteries, romance novels, or science fiction?  Newsletters on those topics and more can be sent to your inbox with just 3 easy steps.  Step 1: On the Newsletters Signup page, click on the check box next to all of the newsletters you wish to receive.  Step 2:  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and Enter your email address in the box provided.  Step 3:  Click the Subscribe button below the email address box.

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Becky C | May 20, 2016
    You never know who's going to show up at the library!  The force was with us  -- these guys put aside their differences to share their love of reading when they visited the Pontiac Branch Library on May 14, 2016.  Our visitors from a galaxy far, far away, were just part of  Rally to Read, an annual event focused on supporting reading in the community through activities, entertainment, and book giveaways.

    Photo courtesy of Colette

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Cheryl M | May 18, 2016
    DimestoreI recently read Dimestore: A Writer's Life by Lee Smith, telling of growing up in the small coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia, in the 1950s and 60s.  Her father ran the downtown dimestore, and Smith got to play there among the dolls and other toys, helping with Christmas displays of dolls, fluffing their dresses. Her memories got me reminiscing about the dimestores of my youth. Dimestores, also called Five-and-Dimes or variety stores, were a sort of general store without the food, although some may have had a lunch counter or small diner.  They had a bit of everything else - hardware, clothes, toys, candy, cards, sewing "notions", books, pots & pans, glassware. They probably still exist in some small towns, relatively untouched by development.  But, elsewhere, they have dwindled, usurped by big box stores, and pharmacies that sell candy, food, school supplies, and greeting cards alongside the medications.

    Growing up in Goshen, Indiana, downtown was rich in dimestores.  Side by side were Murphy's and Newberry's and further down on Main Street was Maley's variety store. My first job for a paycheck was as a cashier at Maley's on Saturday's during my high school years.  During the summers, it was a full-time job, cashiering or filling for vacationing clerks. On slow days, it could be monotonous, looking at the same merchandise for hours. At other times, it was the best of times --laughing & joking while working the cash register with a colleague.  I loved the creaky, wooden floors, and trips to the basement with a big, wicker basket to bring up more merchandise. The woman who ruled the candy counter, Margaret, would roast Spanish peanuts and the warm, delicious smell would permeate the whole store. The cash registers being near the candy counter was handy for buying Sweet Tarts and Bit-O-Honey candy bars to help that last hour go faster on a Saturday night.

    The dimestore is evolving away, similar to little corner grocery stores.  That may be the natural evolution of things, but have we lost in personal service and quaintness what we've gained in scale and efficiency? I miss the creaky, wooden floors.

    cheryl-mCheryl likes reading, bicycling, scrapbooking, travel, history, and cats. Because every life tells a story, her favorite books to read are biographies.