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    by Craig B | Aug 28, 2017

    cover for Saul Bellow's novel, Humboldt's GiftBook Review: Saul Bellow's winner of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize, Humboldt's Gift

    I off-handedly said to my friend the other day that Bellow’s 1976 Pulitzer winner, Humboldt’s Gift, was really just Bellow writing about himself.  What I didn’t know, was that I had Inigo Montoya-ed my way into the Pit of Despair.  If you haven’t seen The Princess Bride ignore that last statement, but understand this: Humboldt’s Gift is considered a Roman a Clef work.  (Don’t worry, I didn’t know what that meant either until I Wikipediaed it.)  Basically that means that Bellow was “literally” writing about himself and other actual people and a reader just needs to have the “key” (the Clef) to make the connections.  

    Maybe that sounds gimmicky (okay, it totally sounds gimmicky), but I would argue that the novel stands on its own; that is, it easily achieves a life beyond that of its literal basis.  And this is sort of doubly good news because since the novel stands on its own, the Roman a Clef thing adds an interesting layer, a sort of frosting to the novel.  And sure, I’ll give you that all of this might still seem like it’s mostly for the author, for Bellow himself, than it is for the reader, but you know, someone loses a dear friend in a bout of insanity and that someone is going to need catharsis, closure.  And if that person chooses to write a book initially intended to be just a short story that then wins a Pulitzer and leads pretty directly to a Nobel, I mean, we’ve got to be happy for them, right?  Maybe suspend our judgement a little?

    And if I seem like I’m being a bit snarky let me affirm, I love Saul B.  I’ve read a few of his books now and they’ve made me laugh, think, use the dictionary, and you know I’m a sucker for self-deprecating literature and epic mythology.  (You didn’t know that?  Well, I am.) I mean my favorite books are Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, a book about how much it stinks to get old, and The Silmarillion, which single-handedly creates a mythological back-story for the Britons.  Humboldt’s Gift does both of those things and here’s what I mean.  The novel’s main character, Charles Citrine a.k.a. Bellow, continually validates insults to his person, looks askance at his increasing age, and is quite self-critical.  Follow that with the great mythologizing force that is Roman a Clef writing.  In this mode, a writer takes confusing, nuanced historical circumstances and imposes on them the coherency and dynamism of a narrative.  Narrative becomes legend, legend becomes myth (to borrow from Galadriel), and in most cases a god is born.  Thus, this myth of Bellow/Citrine and the poet Humboldt’s relationship is now what we will remember; a beautiful created thing with its very own vocabulary and generosity of spirit.  Sure, there’s a “clef” if you want to go the literal route, but this story is also an epic poem that opens itself to all who would enter.  The reader is given the comfort of not having to take every single happenstance as literal truth.  We are, in fact, encouraged by the very narrative cherry-picking of the author to also cherry-pick this new legend and to put upon it our own interpretation, generation after generation.  We would do this anyway, (we do it with “factual” memoirs and historical accounts and novels) but Bellow, through his “gimmick,” has removed the ever-present shadow of guilt for us (as well as for himself!) that can come when we knowingly lay our own “stamp” upon incontrovertible facts.  We/he can remember what we want to remember, interpret what we want to interpret, and for me that’s what Humboldt’s gift actually is.  A poetic generosity that reaches out to you, your children, your children’s children … forever.

    by Kay S | Aug 25, 2017
    Sometimes when you go digging through the dust and cobwebs of the past, all that happens is a sneeze. But other times you find a forgotten treasure and you say to yourself – now I know why this author is still around.

    Book Review:  The Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh

    My brain hurts.

    I will put out a warning to all my little Petunias -- don't glom Mary Balogh. I should know better, I've been reading Ms. Balogh for years, ever since she wrote her first novel for Signet. But silly me, I discovered some of her early Signets have been turned into Mary Baloghelectronic books -- so, what the hey! It was time to reread!!! Did I go to the library storage area? Did I go to ye' ol' book shelf and pull out my paperbacks? That would be too economical of me -- I ordered the electronic copies. And, now I have reread five of her books in a roll. Yes! Five. In. A. Roll. My brain hurts.

    In case you have never read a Mary Balogh book, you should know that you are required to use those little brain cells when you read. You have to feel along with all the characters. It is a requirement! A Mary Balogh book is an experience. A Mary Balogh book is always character-driven, full of emotions and plenty of angst. Are all of them winners? She's written over 60 books, so what would be your guess? She's a very popular writer, has been around for a long time, and everyone has their favorite Mary Balogh book. Also, not so favorite. And, you are not allowed to skip words, because each one of her words is important to the storyline. So, yes, my brain is overtaxed right now -- but I will get over it. Let's take a look at the stories that I reread, starting with The Temporary Wife.

    The Temporary Wife was first published in 1997 and has been recently republished along with another of her early books The Promise of Spring. The Temporary Wife is not part of a series or connected to any other book. The Promise of Spring is connected to her Web trilogy.

    mary BaloghThe Temporary Wife stars Anthony Earheart, Marquess of Staunton, as our hero, and Charity Duncan as our heroine. Anthony has advertised for a governess. Here's the thing -- he doesn't have any children. Well, why has he advertised for a governess? Anthony thinks that governesses are desperate, meek, unattractive women -- just the kind of woman his father would hate. So, what better way to seek revenge on his father than to marry a perfect doormat of a woman and drag her kicking and screaming to the family estate? He thinks the only way to get this kind of wife is to advertise for a governess and then tell her it's actually a wife job she's interviewing for. Sounds logical to me. But poor Anthony hasn't had too much luck finding a woman gruesome enough or desperate enough to fall in with his plans. Enter Charity Duncan.

    Charity needs a job. She wants her family to have a nice comfortable life. But Charity has had problems keeping a job. She's either too pretty, or too outspoken, so her brother suggests she tone her next interview down a bit. Which she does. Anthony offers her the job of not a governess but a wife. Oh yes, he intends to pension her off after he's had his revenge. Charity is a little surprised, but after a few moments she accepts -- sort of. She ups the amount of pension. Poor Anthony, even when confronted with a woman who barters for more money, doesn't have a clue that's she's not as meek as she appears. He thinks he is just imagining the gleam in her eye. If only these guys would read romance novels, they'd know.

    Anyway, Anthony is expecting a marriage of convenience. He's expecting to drag his mousy wife to his family estates, irritate his family, especially his father, and leave. It isn't long before Anthony figures out that his wife isn't what he expected her to be. Once he figures out that she's not what he anticipated, he still finds a way to use her against his father. Let me tell you, his father was a hard person to like, in fact I never warmed to him. Anthony's father is a cruel man who also sees a chance to use Charity. So Charity is caught in the middle of these two men who are trying to hurt each other. However, Charity is no martyr. She ever so subtlety maneuvers Anthony's dysfunctional family back together again. There is even a reconciliation between father and son. And, through all of this family quagmire Anthony and Charity fall in love.

      The Temporary Wife is one of Mary Balogh's better books. It's an emotional journey for Anthony and Charity and we get to watch from the sidelines as all of it slowly develops. I highly recommend this one.




    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 | Aug 23, 2017
    Editor's Note:  Becky is one of our roaming librarians.  She works at each of the Ask Here desks as needed.  The variety of questions keeps her on her toes and that's one of her favorite things about working at ACPL.

    Readers Services Entrance

    Located on the first floor of ACPL's Main Library, Readers' Services is a book-lover's dream.  The second largest department at the Main Library, we offer a mix of adult fiction and nonfiction. 

    Readers Services paperback collectionWhile we're located somewhat in the middle of the library, our collection actually begins at the end of the main hallway near the Plaza entrance.  Our Popular Library paperback section is located directly across from Dunkin Donuts.  This collection has earned its name -- it's definitely popular!  Recently published paperbacks are arranged by genre for your browsing convenience.  Adventure/Suspense, Based on the Movie, Classics, Horror, Inspirational Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Western -- we have something for everyone.  There are even a couple of spinner racks dedicated to general nonfiction and true crime.  

    Also part of the Popular Library is New Adult Fiction -- a great collection to visit when you're short on time!  It's located next to the paperback section.  Our newest adult fiction is highlighted here and typically calls this spot home for around two months before moving further down the hallway into Readers' Services.

    Readers Services magazines collectionNext to New Adult Fiction, and the final piece of our Popular Library, is our Magazine collection.  Approximately 278 magazine titles currently call this section home and are available to check out.  Cooking, crafting, gardening, lifestyle, news -- we've got you covered.  (We also have a Periodicals collection within the department.  Our Periodicals collection is a reference collection only -- it does not check out.  Look for a future post going into more detail about these collections.)

    I hope you brought a book bag or two with you, because now we're ready to enter Readers' Services, the department with 70 double-sided and 28 single-sided rows of books!

    Readers Services Counter

    As you enter the department, you'll notice study rooms on the left and book displays on the right.  The Ask Here desk is straight ahead.  Make sure you stop by sometime!  While we're at work, the only thing we like more than looking up information (librarians tend to be curious folks), is talking about books.  If you're looking for a new author to try, come by the desk.  Tell us what authors/titles you've particularly enjoyed and we'll suggest a few others.  We'd love to help you find your next great read!

    Fiction is off to the left.    If you love a good novel, you owe it to yourself to pay us a Readers Services computers and fictionvisit.  We offer 24 double-sided rows of general fiction, 8 double-sided rows of Mysteries, and 10 sections of Science Fiction/Fantasy.  Five double-sided rows of Large Print Fiction are on the north side of the department, behind the computers.

    Winding your way through the stacks, you may pass by our Graphic Novel section and our World Languages section.  The low shelves between our computers and our study tables house our Literacy Collection.  The north side of our department offers a lovely view of Wayne Street.  As does our Silent Reading Room, complete with comfy wingback chairs.

    Readers Services nonfictionOur nonfiction collection begins in the northeast corner of the department, near the Silent Reading Room.  We have 22 double-sided rows of regular nonfiction plus 18 sections of oversize nonfiction, which wrap around the east side of the department.  Our nonfiction Large Print Collection currently occupies Row 13, just to the east of the Ask Here desk.  Seven double-sided rows of Biographies are located next to the Silent Reading Room.

    Our nonfiction collection includes popular topics such as Self Help, Religion, Education, Languages, Sports, Writing, Travel, and History

    While we cover several subjects within our department, Readers' Services is one of 6 specialized departments within the Main Library.  Topics we may only touch aspects of will be more fully represented in either Art, Music & Media; Business, Science & Technology; Childrens'; Genealogy; or Teens(Look for posts about each of those departments in the weeks to come). 

    Other popular features specific to our department include a TDD phone and a Videophone for our patrons with speech impairments.  We also provide a scanner which can scan documents to either a USB drive or e-mail address -- there is no charge to use the scanner. Our study rooms may be reserved in advance.

    Whew!  I hope you enjoyed this "tour" of the department!  If you did, and if you're interested in follow-up posts about specific features, please leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you! 

    Perhaps you'd like to contact the Readers' Services Department directly?  We can be reached at 260-421-1235



    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 Becky C | Aug 21, 2017
    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!

    Im Judging You
     American Elsewhere
     The Orchadist
     Curious Minds
     Buffering
     Love in the Time of Dragons
     Trading in Danger
     Fierce Kingdom
     Churchill and Orwell
     The Light We Lost
     Salt to the Sea
     Borne
     Dietland
     The Hidden Life of Trees
     Brown Girl Dreaming






    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 Kay S | Aug 18, 2017
    Sometimes when you go digging through the dust and cobwebs of the past, all that happens is a sneeze. But other times you find a forgotten treasure and you say to yourself -- now I know why this author is still around.

    Mary Jo PutneyBook Review:  The Rogue and the Runaway by Mary Jo Putney

    A long long time ago there used to be a publisher by the name of New American Library, or NAL, and they had this wonderful little branch called Signet Regency Romance. They started printing in the late 1970s and lasted until sometime in 2006. Many, many, many authors began with Signet. I loved these little books. I think they would publish three or four books a month and I would be waiting for those books to hit the stands. One of the authors who first came to my attention through Signet was Mary Jo Putney -- I loved her early stuff. Then she started writing longer books and then she turned to the dark side and started writing contemporary romance. She even dabbled a little bit in paranormal. She has, of course, returned to historical, but nothing beats some of her older writing. And if any of you have never read The Rake, you should. It is one of my ten favorite romances. But this review isn't about that story, it's about another older book by Ms. Putney. First written in 1990 as The Rogue and the Runaway, it was published by Signet. Later Ms. Putney added a few more pages and it joined her Fallen Angels series under the new name of Angel Rogue (1995). Well, it has recently floated to my attention again through the wonderful world of electronic books. At last, a book with some wonderful words and great characters. It was a pleasure to reread this story.

    This story revolves around Maxima (Maxie) Collins and Lord Robert Andreville (Robin). There is also a secondary romance between Desdemona, Maxie's aunt, and Giles, Robin's brother. Both of these romances are quite good, and unlike some stories which have two romances going on at once, they do not distract from each other. Also helping in making this story a lovely read was its length. It is just a tad bit longer than stories which are published today -- so there is more substance on these pages.
     
    Here's the plot-line. Lord Robert Andreville, aka Robin, is home from years and years of spying. He's been through a lot. He's got dirt on his hands, he's been through some awful terrible stuff. Plus, his mistress is now his friend and married to a fellow hero from another book. Not only is Robin sad and blue because of his lost love, he also has some pretty angst-like spy stuff to get over. Unlike a lot of angst-filled heroes, Robin does not drag the entire world down with him. He has hidden his melancholy side under a happy-go-lucky facade. That doesn't mean his friends aren't worried about him, because they are -- especially his brother Giles and his ex-mistress Maggie. But don't fear, my little Petunias, because help is on the way in the form of our heroine Maxie.

    Maxie is an American. She is also the child of an English aristocratic father and a Mohawk Native-American woman. Most of her life was spent in America living with her mother's people or traveling around with her free-spirited father. By the way, she loved her life with her mother and father -- no Romanceland horrible parents here! Maxie's parents are both dead so she is living in England with her uncle and his snooty wife and daughters. Maxie is an interesting character because she is really quite good at standing up for herself. There's a wonderful scene in the beginning when she threatens her cousin with an arrow. When Maxie overhears her uncle talking about her father's death and how "things" must be kept from her, she knows she must find out what happened. She sees nothing wrong or silly with packing her bags, binding her boobs, and hiking 250 miles to London. By this time in the book, we the reader have learned what makes Maxie tick and see nothing silly about this premise. So she's off. Oops! She trips over something on the way out. That would be Robin, who is taking a little nap under a tree.

    Mary Jo PutneyRobin wakes up and knows right away that he has an arm-full of woman. No bound boobs are going to get past this hero. After some talking, Robin and Maxie decide to join forces and journey to London together. This journey covers more than just miles, because during their time together they get to know each other. Along the way they become friends, comrades and eventually lovers. They share their good and bad memories. They also share a number of adventures. The road trip is quite an experience and I enjoyed most of it. I did have a few eye-brows raised moments when Maxie was doing her "talk to the trees, butterflies and clouds" routine, puffing away on her hookah and chanting OMMMMMMmmm. I lied, she didn't have a hookah, but she did come awfully close to an OM moment. Regardless of Maxie's mother-nature incidents, Robin and Maxie were a wonderful couple.

    But they weren't the only wonderful couple in the book. There was also a secondary romance between the stodgy older brother Giles and the antagonistic, pushy aunt, Desdemona. These two had absolutely nothing in common and were great fun to watch as they circled each other and gave chase to their little lost lambs. I almost wish they had their own book, but ‘twas not to be. But I had great fun reading when they were in the book.

    Except for the "mother-nature" moments I only had one other small quibble. Even with all the extra pages which were added to the story, the ending still had a rushed feel to it. But other than that, this story is a great classic romance and it should be picked up and read. I recommend either the original The Rogue and the Runaway or the one with all the sex, Angel Rogue. It's a truly wonderful novel by one of Romanceland's very gifted authors - Mary Jo Putney.



    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 | Aug 16, 2017

    The 'E' in e-music should really stand for ‘easy’ instead of for ‘electronic’ … with one condition.  That condition is: It’s easy once you get past the learning curve of a new technological experience!  Taking the leap into that new experience can seem overwhelming, especially when an enthused librarian tells you, “Have you checked out FreegalHoopla?  Do you have a smartphone?  Unlimited data?  Just sign here!” 

    A good starting point for your e-music experience at ACPL, one that you’re already familiar with and will probably have little trouble navigating, is your app store.  Because digital databases out on the open web can be confusing with their unending unfurling of new tabs, Freegal and Hoopla have both created free apps that sit attractively on the ‘desktop’ of your device and quietly remind you of the wealth hidden away inside.  And once inside, the closed environment of the app makes it easy to acclimate to the item catalog and the different functions of the database like streaming, borrowing, and downloading music.

    (Now some of you are already throwing up a hand.  You’re saying, “Wait!  I just haven’t got anymore room on my phone for yet another app!”  Well, that’s ok, because you can still access these databases through your browser already installed on your device by visiting our website and logging in to the databases, listed under the "Explore" tab, separately.)

    Still not convinced?  Don’t worry we’re here for you.  Let us make our sales pitch to you in person and even back that pitch up with some good ol’ hands-on demonstration of the e-ease with which you can access Hoopla and Freegal.  Stop by one of ACPL’s locations anytime during regular business hours or consider registering for some scheduled time with a librarian at one of our technology help sessions.  There’s a whole sea of resources here at ACPL and nothing floats our boat quite like seeing customers dive into something new!

    Waynedale Branch Library: Tech Help with Kiera, Every Thursday from 10 am to 11 am.  Walk-Ins welcome or call (260) 421-1365.

    Shawnee Branch Library: May We Help You? Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 10 am to 11 am.  Register online at www.acpl.info or call (260) 421-1355.

    Grabill Branch Library: Tech Time with Craig, Call to make an appointment: (260) 421-1325.

    by Becky C | Aug 14, 2017

    Read an eBook Day

    When I saw the announcement that OverDrive would be giving away 12 free e-readers, I knew that I had to share that information with my fellow book lovers.  While this is an OverDrive initiative and ACPL has no partnership in the program, a chance at a free e-reader is a chance at a free e-reader, right?  Here are the details:

    In celebration of Read an eBook Day, OverDrive will be giving away 12 Kobo Aura ONEs.  To enter the contest, readers must post a video to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram sharing why they love reading eBooks.  Videos must have the hashtag #eBookLove and may be posted any time during the month of August 2017.

    Winners will be selected by reader voting on Read an eBook Day and announced on September 18, 2017.

    Good luck!  We hope to see lots of ACPL videos -- tag us too!


    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 Becky C | Aug 11, 2017
    Book Review:  The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

    In a world of parallel universes, the Library exists in its own space and time, and collects unique books from all realities.  Irene literally grew up in the library and she’s now a junior grade librarian.  She’s accustomed to traveling between universes to retrieve important items.  She’s not accustomed to being sent on missions with students however.  Nothing about this mission is typical:  not the secrecy, not the student partner, not the quarantined alternate London they must infiltrate in order to get the book.

    The Invisible LibraryI love this book!!!  I've already read it twice and I purchased my own copy so that I can re-read it whenever I like.  Which I expect to be often, despite the fact that my To Read List is currently 8 pages long.  It's a brilliant beginning to a series.

    The story begins as Irene is attempting to retrieve an elusive copy of a famous necromancer's book.  This particular alternate world is filled with magic and she finds herself pursued by the security systems set in place by Prince Mordred's Private Academy for Boys.

    "There was no time for her to pause and feel smug, so she ran.  Then the howling started.  It was either hellhounds or teenagers, and she suspected the former."

    Irene escapes but that's the last spoiler I'm offering.  It's what happens next that drives the story.  Within minutes of returning to the Library, her supervisor gives Irene a new assignment.  That's unusual in itself.  The lack of detail, the inexperienced trainee she's partnered with, and the urgency are unsettling.  This is one assignment Irene isn't looking forward to.

    Steampunk typically isn’t my thing, and there are steampunk elements in this story, but they are simply characteristics of this particular London.  This particular London also features fae, vampires, and werewolves, so it’s definitely a happening place.   While Irene and Kai encounter trouble from a variety of sources, it’s the Chaos that’s the real challenge. Chaos throws all of the rules -- natural, magical, and technological -- out of the window.  Everything tends to work in unexpected ways.

    Lots of action, lots of adventure.  Intriguing mysteries.  Interesting characters.  This is simply the most fun book I've read since The Spellman Files.  I’ve also read (and purchased) the next two books in the series, The Masked City and The Burning Page -- LOVE them!!!  The fourth book in this entertaining series, The Lost Plot, comes out January 2018 and guess who has already preordered it? 


    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 Evan | Aug 09, 2017
    You want a list of potential customers for your new business. Or you want to find an address for your aunt in Toledo. Or you want to find a list of orthodontists in Fort Wayne. 

    We have an online resource that specializes in those types of searches:  AtoZdatabases.  You can access this database from any of our public computers.  You can also access this database from home -- you'll just need to provide your ACPL card number, beginning with 21833 to login.

    Click on the Research tab at the top of ACPL's home page and then again on Research Tools from the drop down list. Scroll down and click on Business and Finance. When you see the next drop down list, choose AtoZdatabases. You will be asked to type in your library card number (unless you are using a computer at the library.) Then you hit the jackpot.

    A to Z

    You can see three main options near the top of the page. One lets you search for a specific business anywhere in the country. The second provides job listings in your community. The third option lets you search for individuals by name -- or, if you activate the Search by Phone button -- you can search for who has a certain telephone number (although in the cell phone age, there's often no result available).

    Things get even more interesting in the middle of the main page, where you can generate lists of businesses or people. For instance, you can put together a list of businesses of a certain size and certain type in all of Indiana. Or, you can generate a list of all married people in New Haven who live in houses valued between $75,000 and $125,000. 

    Much of the data in AtoZ is estimates, and sometimes the addresses and phone numbers are out of date, but it's a far better resource than what you will find for free on the Internet, especially for creating lists. There are some limits on how long the lists can be, but once you have a list, you can print it or save it to a file. 

    If you are comfortable playing around with databases, I encourage you to spend a half hour with AtoZ. The service is, of course, free for ACPL card holders who live in Allen County. If you would like guidance on using it, stop by the Business, Science & Technology Desk at the Main Library or give us a call at 260-421-1215. We'll be glad to help you with your personal or professional project.



    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Craig B | Aug 07, 2017

    cover for Lillie Mae's album, Forever and Then SomeI made a note near the beginning of listening to Lillie Mae’s new album, Forever and Then Some, that I wondered if the dominant way in which her voice was recorded over the music was “intimate” or “amateurish.”  By the time I got near the end of Track 2, though, I was more strongly wondering, based on the rawness of the recording and the advanced country specialties of the band, if the album had been recorded in Nashville … at Third Man Records … And yes, it had.  At that point wondering and objectivity went out the window replaced simply by wonderment (I have a pretty big man-crush on Jack White).  I no longer cared about qualitative discussions like “intimate vs amateurish” and I was all primed to fall in love with Track 3, "Wash Me Clean," as it made its appearance.

    I won’t say your response will be true love, but I will say, “Go.  Listen to this album.  Check out ACPL’s physical disc, borrow it through Hoopla, give Track 3 a chance to fell you with its earnestness.”  Also, try the Title Track.  Can’t currently exorcise it from my brain.

    Suggested Use: One of these days I’m going to start learning to knit and this album will be on rotation.  A little Tennessee whiskey, a summer breeze, and Forever and Then Some should go a long way to fortifying the patience needed to develop the muscle memory for creating consistently sized stitches.  On the chance I never learn to knit, though, I can still listen to this album and pull more of the ever-present weeds in my flower garden.  Earthy, intimate, and ready to bloom … Thank you, Lillie, for this metaphor, but lest I verge on kidding myself, let me reaffirm: It’s Jack White I love.

    by Kay S | Aug 04, 2017
    Yes, it's once again time for a selected few upcoming release for the months of August 15 to September 14, 2017. I've been hearing some good things about these picks. As always, these dates are the publishing dates not the date they will be at a library near you. But they're coming!!!

    Historical Romance
    Rosanne Bittner Rosanne Bittner
    http://www.rosannebittner.com
    The Last Outlaw
    Outlaw Hearts series
    September 5
    Tessa Dare Tessa Dare
    http://tessadare.com
    The Duchess Deal
    Girl Meets Duke series
    August 22
    Anna Harrington Anna Harrington
    http://www.annaharringtonbooks.com/
    When the Scoundrel Sins
    Capturing the Carlisles series
    August 29
    Sarah Hegger Sarah Hegger
    http://sarahhegger.com
    Releasing Henry
    Sir Arthur’s Legacy series
    August 29
    Nicole Jordan Nicole Jordan
    http://www.nicolejordanauthor.com/
    My Fair Lover
    Legendary Lovers series
    August 26

    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream/Women's Fiction

    Tessa Bailey Tessa Bailey
    http://www.tessabailey.com
    Disorderly Conduct
    The Academy series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 29
    Stacey Ballis Stacey Ballis
    http://www.staceyballis.com
    How to Change a Life
    Mainstream
    August 15
    Renee Carlino Renee Carlino
    http://www.reneecarlino.com/
    Wish You Were Here
    Contemporary Romance
    August 15
    Sarah Faber Sarah Faber
    https://twitter.com/sarahjadefaber?lang=en
    All Is Beauty Now
    Mainstream
    August 15
    Cody Gray Codi Gary
    http://codigarysbooks.com/
    Don’t Call Me Sweetheart
    Something Borrowed series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 15
    Melissa Hill Melissa Hill
    http://www.melissahill.ie
    Keep You Safe
    Mainstream Fiction
    August 22

    Julia Ann Long Julie Anne Long
    http://www.julieannelong.com/index.shtml
    Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap
    Hellcat Canyon series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 29
    Susan Mallery Susan Mallery
    http://www.susanmallery.com/
    You Say It First
    Happily Inc
    Contemporary Romance
    August 22
    Kate Meader Kate Meader
    http://katemeader.com
    Irresistible You
    The Chicago Rebels Series
    September 14
    Brenda Novak Brenda Novak
    http://www.brendanovak.com
    Until You Loved Me
    Silver Springs series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 29
    Meredith Wild Meredith Wild
    http://www.meredithwild.com/
    Chelle Bliss
    http://www.chellebliss.com
    Misadventures of a City Girl
    Misadventure’s series
    Contemporary Romance
    September 12
    Maisie Yates Maisey Yates
    http://www.maiseyyates.com
    Wild Ride Cowboy
    Copper Ridge series
    Contemporary Romance
    August 29

    Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Suspense

    Allison Brennan Allison Brennan
    http://www.allisonbrennan.com/
    Shattered
    Max Revere series
    Suspense
    August 22
    May Bridges May Bridges
    https://maybbooks.com/
    Binding Hope
    Saved by Sin series
    Romantic Suspense
    September 5
    Christina Dodd Christina Dodd
    http://www.christinadodd.com
    The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream
    Virtue Falls series
    Romantic Suspense
    September 5
    Sue Grafton Sue Grafton
    http://www.suegrafton.com/
    Y is for Yesterday
    Kinsey Millhone series
    Mystery
    August 22
    Sadie Hartwell Sadie Hartwell
    https://sadiehartwell.com/
    A Knit before Dying
    A Tangled Web Mystery series
    Mystery
    August 29
    Rosalind Noonan Rosalind Noonan
    https://www.facebook.com/RosalindNoonanAuthor/
    Pretty, Nasty, Lovely
    Suspense
    August 29

    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy

    GA Aiken G.A. Aiken
    http://www.gaaiken.com/
    Bring the Heat
    Dragon Kin series
    Paranormal Romance
    August 29
    C. Robert Cargill C. Robert Cargill
    http://www.crobertcargill.com/blog/
    Sea of Rust
    Science Fiction
    Sept 5
    Christina Feehan Christine Feehan
    http://www.christinefeehan.com
    Dark Legacy
    A Carpathian Novel series
    Paranormal Romance
    September 5
    Jeffrey Ford Jeffrey Ford
    http://www.well-builtcity.com
    The Twilight Pariah
    Fantasy
    September 12
    NK Jemisin N.K. Jemisin
    http://nkjemisin.com
    The Stone Sky
    The Broken Earth series
    Fantasy
    August 15
    Seanan McGuire Seanan McGuire
    http://www.seananmcguire.com
    The Brightest Fell
    October Daye series
    Urban Fantasy
    September 5
    Diana Rowland Diana Rowland
    http://www.dianarowland.com
    White Trash Zombie Unchained
    White Trash Zombie series
    Urban Fantasy
    September 5

    Young Adults/Teens

    McCall Hoyle McCall Hoyle
    http://mccallhoyle.com
    The Thing with Feathers
    September 5
    Jessica kapp Jessica Kapp
    http://www.jessicakapp.com
    Body Parts
    August 15
    Maggie Martin Maggie Ann Martin, debut
    http://maggieannmartin.com
    The Big F
    August 29
    Katharine McGee Katharine McGee
    http://katharinemcgee.com/
    The Dazzling Heights
    The Thousandth Floor series
    August 29
    Oakes Stephanie Oakes
    http://www.stephanieoakesbooks.com
    The Arsonist
    August 22
    Daniel Older Daniel Jose Older
    http://www.danieljoseolder.net
    Shadowhouse Fall
    Shadowshaper Cypers series
    September 12

    Erotica

    Calista Fox Calista Fox
    http://www.calistafox.com
    The Billionaires: The Bosses
    Lovers Triangle series
    September 5

    Inspiration Romance/Mainstream

    Kathleen Fuller Kathleen Fuller
    http://www.kathleenfuller.com
    The Promise of a Letter
    Birch Creek series
    August 15
    Kendig
    Ronie Kendig
    http://www.roniekendig.com
    Crown of Souls
    The Tox Files series
    September 5
    Jane Kirkpatrick
    Jane Kirkpatrick
    http://www.jkbooks.com
    All She Left Behind
    September 5
    Michelle Phoenix Michele Phoenix
    http://michelephoenix.com/
    The Space Between Words
    September 5
    Cindy Woodsmall Cindy Woodsmall
    http://www.cindywoodsmall.com
    Gathering the Threads
    The Amish of Summer Grove series
    August 1



    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 Ask a Librarian | Aug 02, 2017
    Wow!  We've received a lot of feedback regarding the post, Why I Love Flipster, and we're thrilled.  Whether you commented, emailed, or called -- thank you!!! It's good to know that we've alerted you to a resource you were previously unaware of.  And it's good for us to be alerted to questions that crop up as you access that resource.

    While we've added some updates to the original post (check the comments too), here's a screenshot guide to questions asked so far -- sometimes it's easier to actually see what we're trying to describe.

    It's asking for my Username and Password???
    When you set up the Flipster app, you may be asked for Username and Password.  Click on Login Options to choose the Patron ID Login option (under Login button) and then enter your 14-digit library card number, beginning with 21833, as your Patron ID.  ***Licensing agreements allow us to provide Online Resources privileges to Allen County, Indiana residents only.***   

     

    flipster login

    How do I access older issues?
    Clicking on cover of magazine, for most of our subscriptions, should present you with a screen like this, allowing you to see previous issues that are also available for checkout via Flipster.

    Flipster covers

    Why is my page yellow??
    When a page first loads, you may notice a lot of yellow.  This indicates hyperlinks to pages within the magazine and/or to websites mentioned.  Give it a minute and the yellow goes away, though the hyperlinks are still there.

    Flipster yellow screen

    How do I access the Table of Contents?
    Clicking on the menu icon (upper right) when in the reading view will allow you to access the table of contents for that magazine and jump ahead to a particular article.

    Flipster Table of Contents

    How do I know how much time I have left?
    Click on My Shelf to see downloaded magazines and time left.  Click on the cover to open and read a downloaded issue, whether connected to the internet or not.  Downloads should just take a few minutes to complete.

    You can also remove/trash unwanted issues using the trash can symbol.  If you have read some of the magazine, the percentage will show.  The magazine will open to where you left off reading.  Click on Explore to head back to the main menu for Flipster to select more magazines to download. 

    Flipster My Shelf

    From the Desk of Ask a Librarian (ask@acpl.info)
    by Evan | Jul 31, 2017
    Public domain image by Eric Adamshick via flickr

    Some people, including the author's wife, buy wooden animals, crops and people to enhance verisimilitude in their Agricola board game experience
    .
                                                                 

    When you were a kid playing Candyland, you salivated over the illustrations of candies and pastries and imagined you could eat them all forever. You didn't, however, actually do much of anything in the game. You drew a card and moved your pawn to the next space of the right color. Then your sister did then same thing. No choices. No decisions. 

    It kind of reflected your life. Go where your parents said to go. Do what the teacher said to do. You might get to watch TV, which meant you weren't really doing anything except salivating over advertised toys your parents wouldn't let you have.

    Now you are an adult, an independent agent, making life decisions by the hour. You are competing for money and esteem. Maybe you're even one of those uber adults who tell other people what to do. Or you wish you were. Either way, you are ready for real board games.

    One of the most popular ideas in the 21st century board game hobby has been "worker placement" games. "Workers" can be imagined as stand ins for employees, resources or time -- all those things we have only so much of in real life and have to decide how best to use.

    Variations abound, but the basic idea is that you have a few "meeples" you can place on the board and a lot of places where you might place them. Some games let you make most decisions on your own board without bumping elbows with the other players too much, but other games force you do decide which action you really need right now because you know your opponents will choose the other ones before you get another chance. 

    A good early example -- with a literary heritage -- is The Pillars of the Earth, designed by Michael Rienick and Stefan Stadler and based on the hit novel by Ken Follett. We play to build a cathedral, and if you use one of your workers to take the stone this turn, then I'll take the wood -- or maybe I'll take the card that will reward me for my wood more than you will get for your stone. 

    I said in a recent post that sexual activity doesn't show up much in these modern "adult" games, but there's a bit of an exception in a popular one called Stone Age by Bernd Brunhoffer. If you put two of your workers in the hut together, by the end of that turn -- voila! -- you have a new worker. If you have rabbit ancestry, by the end of the game you can have twice as many workers as you had when you started.  

    Those two games are relatively simple, but in some games the worker placement decisions are agonizing. The toughest one I know is Uwe Rosenberg's true classic, Agricola. You have to think long and hard about which cards to use and which placements to make, or else your little pre-industrial German farm will fail while your opponents are flourishing. And if your family members can't eat, well, that pretty much defines losing the real game of life, doesn't it?

    My favorite worker games include Le Havre, where players race to evolve from simple French fishing folk to industrial ship builders; Dominant Species, where my arachnids compete for survival with your amphibians before the glaciers overwhelm us all, and; Tzolk'in, where you must plan many turns in advance where to place your Aztec workers on the ever-revolving wheels of time. 

    Decisions, decisions. I'm actually a mediocre-to-bad player at all these games, but I always have fun. 

    Did I leave any of your favorites off the list?


    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 24, 2017
    The Uncommon Appeal of CloudsIn August, the Chapter Two Book Club will discuss the The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith.

    "Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie finds herself tested as a parent, philosopher, sleuth, and friend in the ninth book of her mystery series. When a wealthy art collector seeks her help when a valuable painting is stolen from him, she discovers that the thieves are closer to the owner than he would have expected. At the same time, Isabel must decide what to do with her son when she discovers he's a budding mathematical genius."  Publisher Summary.


    *Chapter Two Book Club:  The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith
    *Main Library, Business Science & Technology meeting room
    *August 17, 2017
    *10:00 am
    *No registration
    *Free


    Mark your calendars for October 12, 2017!!!  Philip Gulley will visit the Main Library on Thursday, October 12th at 2:00 pm to present the topic Storytelling, followed by a book signing and meet-and-greet with the author.

    Hope to see you at both events!


    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 Craig B | Jul 22, 2017

    cover for Michael Shaara's novel, The Killer AngelsBook Review: Michael Shaara's winner of the 1975 Pulitzer Prize, The Killer Angels

    Imagine my delight … at opening The Killer Angels, and finding a fast-paced narrative full of concrete, measurable historic events and famous military decisions that lives at about half the page count of its 15-Minute Pulitzer Predecessor, Gravity’s Rainbow.

    Imagine my delight at realizing that Michael Shaara, who’s book I quite enjoyed, taught for a while at Florida State University, my alma mater.

    Imagine my delight at realizing that I might actually be connected to some sort of artistic spirit when I realized that Michael Shaara’s son is the writer of Gods and Generals, a book I had begun, as I worked my way through The Killer Angels, feeling inspired to read (or at least watch on the big screen).

    Imagine my despair at the unfolding of this battle of Gettysburg as that battlefield was brought to life on the page and I realized in a whole new way the tragedy of the American Civil War.  Brother against brother, old friend against old friend, but perhaps most disturbing, men who are on the same side hating each other more than more obvious enemies.  The posturing and maneuvering against one another becomes so astounding the reader may find themselves shouting at the characters, “You know the men across the Emmitsburg Road want to see you dead, right?!” 

    And this despair can’t be completely attributed to Gettysburg.  It also comes from the fact that I see similar forces at work in my own life.  Have I grown so frustrated with my neighbor that I secretly hope for the compromising of all his plans, even the best ones?  Why are not all of us more united by a common enemy and why does there have to be a common enemy for us to be united?  We’re all in this together, right?  We’re all people with “inalienable rights,” correct?  Even adversaries can respect the spark of life within the other’s breast, yes?  Not always, I guess.  It’s just easier to hate than it is to empathize. 

    But perhaps we can take hope.  As Shakespeare says (the Bard who indirectly gave Shaara’s book its name), What’s past is Prologue,” and maybe, just maybe, we can learn something from the past.  Maybe the past can really be the antecedent to something better, something informed by the facts of history and enlivened by powerful narratives like The Killer Angels and yes, even Gravity’s Rainbow.  (I mean, my reading and quite potential re-reading of Pynchon’s novel has to count for something, right?)  At the very least we’ve got to dream.

    by Kay S | Jul 21, 2017
    Yes, as Groucho Marx may or may not have said, time is flying by. Half the year is gone and soon we will be dragging out our shovels - maybe. But before that cold front moves down from Canada, here are some releases which will be coming out between July 15 and August 14, 2017. And, remember these are the publishing dates not the dates they will be on library shelves.

    Historical Romance
    h_broday Linda Broday
    https://lindabroday.com/
    Knight on the Texas Plains
    Texas Heroes series
    August 1
    grace Burrowes Grace Burrowes
    http://www.graceburrowes.com/
    Too Scot to Handle
    Windham Brides series
    July 25

    Historical Fiction

    dUKES Kristopher Dukes
    http://www.kristopherdukes.com/
    The Sworn Virgin
    August 8
    Rose M.J. Rose
    https://www.mjrose.com/content/
    The Library of Light and Shadow
    Daughters of La Lune series
    July 18

    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream/Women's Fiction

    hEACOCK Summer Heacock
    http://www.fizzygrrl.com/
    The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky
    Mainstream Fiction
    July 25
    Lorelei James Lorelei James
    http://www.loreleijames.com/
    When I Need You
    Need You series
    Contemporary Romance
    July 25

    Julie London Julia London
    http://www.julialondon.com/
    Suddenly Engaged
    Lake Haven series
    Contemporary Romance
    July 25
    Sarah Skilton Sarah Skilton
    http://www.sarahskilton.com
    Club Deception
    Mainstream Fiction
    July 25

    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense

    Liliana Hart Liliana Hart
    http://www.lilianahart.com
    Say No More
    Gravediggers series
    Romantic Suspense
    July 25
    Iris Johansen Iris Johansen
    http://www.irisjohansen.com/
    Roy Johansen
    http://www.royjohansen.com/
    Look Behind You
    Kendra Michaels series
    Mystery
    July 18
    Ronald Malfi Ronald Malfi
    http://www.ronmalfi.com/
    Bone White
    Thriller
    July 25
    Susan MacNeal Susan Elia MacNeal
    http://www.susaneliamacneal.com
    The Paris Spy
    Maggie Hope series
    Mystery
    August 5
    Margaret Mitzushima Margaret Mitzushima
    http://www.margaretmizushima.com
    Hunting Hour
    Mattie Cobb/Timber Creek series
    Mystery
    August 8
    Michael OBrien Kevin O’Brien
    http://kevinobrienbooks.com
    Hide Your Fear
    Suspense
    July 25
    Elizabeth Peters Elizabeth Peters
    http://www.ameliapeabody.com/elizabethpeters.htm
    Joan Hess
    http://www.maggody.com
    The Painted Queen
    Amelia Peabody series
    Mystery
    July 25
    Layla Reyne Layla Reyne
    http://www.laylareyne.com
    Barrel Proof
    Agents Irish and Whiskey series
    Romantic Suspense
    August 7
    Marcus Sakey Marcus Sakey
    http://www.marcussakey.com/
    Afterlife
    Brilliance series
    Mystery
    July 18
    pf tracy PJ. Tracy
    http://pjtracy.com/
    Nothing Stays Buried
    Monkeewrench series
    Mystery
    August 1

    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy

    Rachel Aaron Rachel Aaron
    http://www.rachelaaron.net/
    A Dragon of a Different Color
    Science Fiction
    July 28
    Ilona Andrews Ilona Andrews
    http://ilona-andrews.com/
    Wildfired
    Hidden Legacy series
    Paranormal Romance
    July 25
    Molly Harper Molly Harper
    http://www.mollyharper.com/
    Accidental Sire
    Half-Moon Hollow series
    Paranormal Romance
    July 24
    Thea Harrison Thea Harrison
    http://www.theaharrison.com/
    Spellbender
    Moonshadow series
    Paranormal Romance
    July 18
    David Levine David D. Levine
    http://www.daviddlevine.com/
    Arabella and the Battle of Venus
    Adventures of Arabella Ashby series
    Science Fiction
    July 18
    Leena Likitalo Leena Likitalo
    http://leenalikitalo.tumblr.com/
    The Five Daughters of the Moon
    Waning Moon series
    Fantasy
    July 25
    marina Lostetter Marina J. Lostetter
    http://www.lostetter.net
    Noumenon, debut
    Science Fiction
    August 1

    Young Adult/Teen

    Colleen Houck Colleen Houck
    http://colleenhouck.com
    Reunited
    Reawakenned series
    August 8
    Emily Jones Emily Lloyd-Jones
    http://www.emilylloydjones.com/
    The Hearts We Sold
    August 8
    Sirowy Alexandra Sirowy
    http://www.alexandrasirowy.com
    First We Were IV
    July 25
    Mary Taranta Mary Taranta
    http://marytaranta.com
    Shimmer and Burn
    August 8
    Kara Thomas Kara Thomas
    https://karathomasbooks.wordpress.com/
    Little Monsters
    July 25
    Martin Wilson Martin Wilson
    http://martinwilsonwrites.com/
    We Now Return to Regular Live
    August 1

    Erotica

    Sierra Cartwright Sierra Cartwright
    http://www.sierracartwright.com/
    Boss
    The Donovan Dynasty
    August 1
    Jodi Malpas Jodi Ellen Malpas
    http://www.jodiellenmalpas.co.uk/
    The Forbidden
    August 8
    Inspirational Romance/Mainstream Fiction
    Brittain D.A. Brittain
    https://www.dabrittain.com/
    Judah’s Scepter and the Sacred Stone, debut
    July 30
    Heidi Chiavaroli Heidi Chiavaroli
    http://www.heidichiavaroli.com/
    Freedom’s Ring
    August 8
    Pam Hillman Pam Hillman
    http://www.pamhillman.com
    The Promise of Breeze Hill
    August 3
    Thomas Locke Thomas Locke
    http://tlocke.com/
    Fault Lines
    Fault Lines series
    August 1
    Carrie Parks Carrie Stuart Parks
    http://www.carriestuartparks.com/index.html
    Portrait of Vengeance
    August 8



    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 Ask a Librarian | Jul 19, 2017

    I’m convinced that a lot of our iPad, Android tablet, and Kindle Fire library users have no idea that the library has popular magazines that you can download for free.  You can also view these 57 magazines on any computer too!  Just go to Explore on the ACPL homepage and scroll down to click on Flipster.  If you're not on a library computer, you'll be prompted to enter your 14-digit ACPL card number for access.

    Click on a magazine cover to begin reading.  Within that issue, you can then click on All Issues to view any available back issues for that magazine.  A few magazines have limits on how many people can access a title at once, but most of the time titles are immediately available.

    I can’t tell you how much I love this service!  I almost bought an iPad just to use Flipster, but then they finally offered an app for the Kindle Fire, which I already own.  Flipster also offers the app for Android devices and iPhones, though I would think an iPhone screen would be too small, at least for the types of magazines I read.  The iPad is the sleekest -- lucky you, if you own one! 

    For most devices (except for the Kindle Fire), you can find the Flipster app in the App Store/Play Store.  Install and Open.  Find Allen County Public Library, select Patron ID login, and enter your library card number.  You're in!

     ​flipsterlogin


    Flipster

    It is a little clunkier to get the Flipster app installed on a Kindle Fire.  Here's how: 

    1. From the home screen of your Kindle Fire, go to Settings.
    2. Select Applications > Apps from Unknown Sources (allow installation of applications that are not from Appstore) and select ON. Or find this under Security options.
    3. From your Kindle Fire, download the APK (app installer) by tapping this link (i.e. open up the Silk Browser and head to this blog post and then tap this link; or, email this to yourself and then check your email on your Kindle Fire to click on the link.) You can also find this information under Help on our Flipster website:
    4. Once the download is complete, tap on the file and select Install.

    I subscribe to several print magazines, but Flipster lets me look at ones that I don’t love enough to spend money on (or that are not available in the US – hello Woman & Home).  It also lets me browse magazines that only interest me now and again (Money, People, Consumer Reports, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, Conde Nast Traveler).  I never seem to have enough time or hold spots to get physical magazines from the library, though we offer a ton more titles in print than via Flipster. Each year, we add and drop some titles as publishers change their Flipster offerings. 

    It’s nice to preload some magazines to read before a vacation, a long weekend, or a trip to the doctor’s office.  (I always feel a little queasy flipping through waiting room magazines at the doctor’s.)  I hope you will make time for a little light reading with Flipster and see if you love it as much as I do!

    From the Desk of Ask a Librarian (ask@acpl.info)
    by Sara Gabbard, Executive Director of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection | Jul 14, 2017

    Ian RollandIan Rolland, the long-time local business leader who died July 1, had a long-standing respect for Abraham Lincoln.  He spent a lifetime preserving the legacy of our 16th President.

    As Lincoln National's CEO, Ian was responsible for moving the world-famous Lincoln Financial Collection out of the "basement" of the corporate headquarters, to a new location in what is now Citizens' Square in Fort Wayne.  The new Lincoln Museum opened to the public in 1995.  When that location was closed in 2008, a nationwide search was conducted to find a location for the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection of historical documents. 

    Under Ian's leadership, the State of Indiana submitted the winning proposal (competing against such national sites as the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Gettysburg, and Springfield, Illinois), and the $20 million collection was donated to the State of Indiana. The three-dimensional artifacts were to be preserved at the Indiana State Museum and the two-dimensional items (newspapers, documents, 18,000 books, etc.) at the Allen County Public Library.  A significant factor in the selection of the State of Indiana was the promise to digitize the Collection at ACPL, an undertaking which is still in progress.

    The initial success having been achieved, Ian then chaired a statewide capital campaign which raised $9.5 million to provide immediate "moving expenses," capital for the first four years of operation, and then an endowment which would provide long-term financial stability for the preservation of this significant collection.

    Ian then served as vice president of Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana, the collection's support group, until his death on July 1, 2017.

    Abraham Lincoln's words in his Message to Congress on December 1, 1862, clearly apply to Ian MacKenzie Rolland: "Honorable alike in what we give and in what we preserve."



    by Kay S | Jul 12, 2017
    Spoilers ahead.

     The Most Dangerous Duke in London begins Madeline Madeline HunterHunter's Decadent Dukes Society series. Don't let the title fool you into believing this is a light and fluffy story, because it's not. This is a story about revenge, not my favorite plotline. The character bent on revenge in this book is our hero Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton. By the way, he has two duke friends - Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford; and Eric Marshall, Duke of Brentworth. They are in this book because we need to have a few buddy talks scattered throughout. Anyway, Adam is bent on revenge against someone in the Cheswick family. He hasn't quite put all the pieces together, but he believes one of the Cheswicks is responsible for his father's death. When the story begins he is on the way to the Cheswick's home. Much to his surprise he has been summoned by the Dowager Countess of Morwood. The dowager is a Cheswick; and let me tell you I had some problem keeping all the titles and surnames straight. Oh, for the days of just plain Smith.

    The dowager wants to put aside the ol' family feud between Adam's family and the Cheswick family. It could be that Adam's reputation as a duelist has preceded him and she wants to protect her grandson Theo. Or it could be something else.  When Adam arrives, he finds that she is going to settle the feud by offering up her youngest granddaughter as the sacrifice. She figures he wouldn't shoot his brother-in-law.

    Well, Adam's no dummy, he holds his cards close to his vest/chest; he's on to her game. And, he's not all that excited about it, but remember he's looking to exact some kind of revenge and this young girl might be the answer. But wait! Who is that magnificent creature on that horse? He can tell from a distance that she's got spirit! He must have her! What! She's the old lady's other granddaughter! Revenge! Revenge! You know I never quite understand how marrying someone is revenge, especially if there is some kind of attraction. Now, he could throw her in a dungeon, but that would only hurt her, not the rest of the family. But hey, this is Romanceland and I don't have to understand revenge plots.

    Anyway, up on the hill in the distance is the exciting Lady Clara Cheswick. And, she can see the handsome man staring at her. Being a strong woman who takes no guff from anyone, she sticks her nose in the air and rides off. This only makes Adam more intrigued and he gives chase. And, the story begins.

    This story was hard for me to review. I like Madeline Hunter. I like her writing. I can depend on her stories to be filled with characters who have more of a mature voice. There are some interesting back stories which weave their way slowly throughout the entire tale. And, there is just a little bit of a twist to the end of the tale.

    Ms. Hunter ties up all the loose ends and it was enjoyable traveling down the path to get there. The interesting thing for me about the book was that in the beginning I didn't really care about the mystery of Adam's father's death, but the closer to the end of the book I read, the more engrossed I became with the secret. On the other hand, the romance between Adam and Clara had the opposite effect on me. I started out enjoying their romance, but the closer I got to the ending, the less I cared. The reason I found the romance less than thrilling was mainly due to Adam.

    I liked Clara a lot. She was a strong, independent woman. Yes, yes - I know there are a lot of "independent" women in romance books, but often those women are portrayed as being so strong-willed they become a caricature of what strong women really are. Yes, Clara is a secret publisher, and she supports other women in their efforts - but at no time in the book did I feel as if I was being hammered over the head by her strong convictions. Everything about Clara - her stubbornness, her strength, her intelligence - was mature. There was a completeness about her. She could see through almost everything that Adam was up to and she would confront him. He changed in the book because she asked him to, not because she forced him. That part of the romance was lovely.

    The problem with Adam. I could not connect to Adam, and not because of the revenge thingy. He was like a pod-person. There was just nothing there. All I saw was a handsome facade which was supposed to be sexy, similar to a cologne advertisement - looks good, but there is nothing behind the eyes. I was never able to see any vitality. There just wasn't any charisma. He was boring, and he shouldn't have been. For me, Adam was just too cold. I couldn't work up any sympathy for him when it came to his father. While there was tons of hippedy-hopping-bedroom-floor-chair-wall sexcapades, they were all rather tedious. And there was even a pool table scene! Nothing better than a hot pool-table. Could have been a spark - but nooooooo, he had to run upstairs with her - ruined the mood. On top of that I had an ewwwwww moment.

    My ewwwwww moment. Why did you include this in your book, Ms. Hunter?  Let's just say that there's too much description of the evidence of a particular night's activities -- with commentary from Clara's grandmother AND brother.  EWWWWWW!!!

    Overall there was much to like about this book, Clara for one, the mystery for another. But I found the hero to be cold and problematic and the ewwww moment jerked me out of the story. It was an okay book, but not one of Ms. Hunter's best.

    Time/Place: 1822 England
    Sensuality level: Warm/Hot (depending on your definition of sensuality)



    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 Evan | Jul 10, 2017
    Playing_Settlers_of_Catan

    The only way in which I've ever been anything like a trend-setter is in playing board games for grown-ups before they started to catch on. It's still a niche hobby, but news reports have been coming out for a few years now with themes along the lines of, "Wow, there are a bunch of modern board games you can play that are a lot better than Monopoly!"

    Here's a recent article from Detroit about people who teach people to play them at bars. Here's one about a game store in North Carolina where people gather to play. (There are at least two such stores in Fort Wayne.) 

    And the library has a new book -- It's All a Game by Tristan Donovan -- that tells the story of board games from the time before written records to their 21st century renaissance. 

    Part of the story today is that board games are thriving even though electronic games are a much bigger market. Another part is that there are crossovers, with good board games turned into good apps (Carcassone) and good computer games turned into good board games (Sid Meier's Civilization). 

    I'm using the term "grown-ups" because the phrase "adult games" implies risque themes. Those show up a little bit in new games, but mostly in party games such as Cards Against Humanity, or in some of the artwork tied to role playing games.

    By contrast, the modern board game hobby owes its momentum to European game designers who want to make challenging games for the whole family -- or at least those members who have "grown up" enough to play them. The Settlers of Catan gets credit as the breakthrough game that revolutionized the hobby in the 1990s, but, in my opinion, many better games are available today.

    We American males of a certain age got into the hobby decades ago mostly through war games, although there have long been a few good American games, such as the business game Acquire, that also appealed to women. When I went to game conventions in the 1970s, I doubt even 10 percent of attendees were women; now I'd say it's more than 30 percent. 

    In the months ahead, I hope to write blog posts about some of the best modern games, but, for now, if you like to browse, I encourage you to visit Board Game Geek. It has articles on just about any board game you can name -- and thousands more that you can't. Have fun. 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.