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    by Kay S | Sep 15, 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 Plumed Bonnet by Mary Balogh

    The Plumed Bonnet is another 2-in-1 re-releases of Mary. Balogh's traditional regency. 690059First published in 1996, it is connected to the Stapleton-Downs series. This is a story of misconception and misunderstanding. While the story has a strong beginning, it is a tad bit slow in the middle, but comes to a satisfying ending. The hero of the books is Alistair, Duke of Bridgewater, and he has had a strong presence in some of the previous books. He's the guy in the background handing out wise advice, which he does not follow in his own book. As the story begins he is ruminating about the fate of his friends who were all trapped into marriage. He observes that even though they all appear to be perfectly happy, he isn't about to let anything like that happen to him. No sir, he's going to be on his toes and not fall into any kind of trap. Famous last words.

    As his coach travels along, his eyes are drawn to woman standing along the side of the 9349851road. She is dressed in a fuchsia colored cloak and on her head is a plumed pink bonnet. He instantly jumps to the conclusion that she is a "bird of paradise". For all of you who have never read a Regency novel and are not familiar with that particular cant, a "bird of paradise" is a woman of easy virtue. Now, whether that term is real slang from Regency times, or a term invented by the great Georgette Heyer, is something which can be debated at a later date. But for now, Alistair thinks she's a bird of paradise and he's eager to enjoy her "favors." Well, the supposed bird is our heroine Stephanie Gray and she has run into a bit of trouble.

    Stephanie has inherited a fortune -- sort of. She needs to claim that fortune and in order to do that, she quit her governess job (which she hated), packed her valise of all her worldly goods, put most of her money in that valise, climbed on board a public coach, and headed toward her fortune. Well, on the way she ran into some less than honest folk and everything in her valise was stolen. So, she decided to walk -- what else could she do? Along the way, she ran into some "show-folk" who lent her some stage clothes -- hence the outlandish ensemble. She is ever so grateful for the ride from the nice gentleman. Really grateful, for he saved her life. She proceeds to tell him her story.

    I found the carriage ride scene quite fascinating. Stephanie is perfectly honest with Alistair, she tells him almost her entire story, all about her inheritance and how she was robbed, etc. But here's what Alistair hears: blah, blah, blah. All the time she is telling him the truth, he is thinking she's making the entire story up. He is bound and determined to not believe her and that is because he wants her to be something other than what she is. They travel together a couple of nights; he even shows up in the bedroom thinking to have his way with her. She, on the other hand, thinks he just lost his way; for a kind, fine, gentleman like him would never think of seducing her.

    When they arrive at her soon-to-be inherited estate, she warns him that his presence may be taken the wrong way. She suggests to him that he should just drop her off and she will walk the rest of the way. But Alistair is still stubborn and he wants to see her squirm out of the lies he thinks she's still creating. He wants to see just how far she'll go. He pooh poohs her and walks right into the marriage trap he was trying to avoid. Unlike a lot of Romanceland books, Alistair does not hold Stephanie responsible for the mistake. He knows it's his own stubbornness that has landed him at the altar and he takes it very calmly. It is also at this point that Stephanie finds out that he isn't a Mr. but a duke. Appearances can be deceiving; Stephanie isn't a strumpet and Alistair isn't a Mr. That particular misunderstanding is cleared up. Then the story journeys down another path and here is where some heavy-duty angst takes over.

    The next portion revolves around Stephanie being sooooo grateful to Alistair that she does everything she can to change. She attempts to change into the perfect duchess thanks to some heavy-handed lessons from Alistair's mother. Alistair spends a great deal of time saying the wrong thing to Stephanie which only makes her even more determined to be perfect. When she is eventually the perfect duchess, Alistair realizes that maybe that isn't what he really wants.  But how can he change her back to the woman he realizes he fell in love with?  This is a story filled with some pretty complex people and it takes Alistair and Stephanie a while to realize that neither one of them has to change to be perfect for each other.

    I recommend this story.


    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 | Sep 14, 2017
    FPT Baskerville actors

    Have you been to see Baskerville yet?  If you love a good mystery -- and you love shenanigans -- buy your ticket now. 

    While staying true to the basic storyline of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, Baskerville offers comic relief to offset the otherwise ominous and spooky tale.  For the most part, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, played by Michael Coale and Jim Matusik, remain the serious fellows Doyle's fans are acquainted with.  The remaining cast of 40+ characters are played with fast-paced dexterity by 3 actors:  Todd Frymier, Jim Nelson, and Morgan Spencer.  Liberties are taken.  Farce is afoot. 

    Nearly every scene is played for laughs.  Frymier, Nelson, and Spencer make the most of silly accents and mannerisms to differentiate among the various characters each plays.  Quick costume changes are sometimes deliberately incomplete and props occasionally malfunction -- you may even find yourself handing a prop back to one of the actors -- it's all part of the fun. 

    I saw this last weekend and loved it.  No need to take my word for it though -- you still have two weekends left! 
     
    "Ken Ludwig's Baskerville:  A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" continues at First Presbyterian Theater through September 23, 2017 (260-426-7421 ext 121). 

    Looking for more reinterpretations of this sharp-minded consulting detective?  Look for a booklist next week!

    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 | Sep 13, 2017
    Book Review:  Life on the Edge by Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili

    Life on the EdgeCertain core mysteries of life -- such as how it first started, how enzymes work, or how a bunch of molecules can be conscious -- have been very hard for scientists to understand. Classical physics, thermodynamics, and organic chemistry have so far come up short.  Starting in the late  20th century, however, a new approach has begun to show promise: quantum biology.

    The idea is that life is different from non-life because it is tied to the weirdness of the sub-atomic world in ways that rocks and water and other inanimate things are not. Life goes beyond the rules of Newtonian physics deep into quantum realities most of us can barely comprehend. 

    For instance, the earth's magnetic fields may trigger minute quantum effects in the brains of European robins that guide them on migrations across thousands of miles. The magnetic fields are too weak to trigger the kinds of chemical changes that normally affect living things, but quantum effects are much more sensitive. 

    Don't take my unsophisticated word for it; read Life on the Edge by biologist Johnjoe McFadden and physicist Jim Al-Khalili.  It is one of the first books on the subject but is only three years old. The authors will hold your hand quite firmly as they guide you through both evidence and speculation about the strange abilities of protons and electrons. They provide new clues to questions that have confounded lifetimes of  biological study. 

    Life on the Edge is, of course, only one of thousands of science books we own. They exist to help you understand what scientists are constantly discovering about how the universe works. One reason your library exists is to make that knowledge available to you. Let us know what we can help you understand. 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Emily M | Sep 11, 2017

    Looking for a book recommendation?  Look no further!  Here are a few good books I've enjoyed recently.

    Book Review:  In the Land of Armadillos: Stories by Helen Maryles Shankmaninthelandofarmadillos

    With careful attention to detail and a touch of magical realism, Shankman presents a collection of fascinating and heartbreaking interrelated short stories set in a Nazi-occupied town in Poland during World War II. In her stories, we meet Max Haas, the ruthless Nazi personally responsible for the murders of countless Jews.  Haas wants to keep his “pet Jew”, the illustrator of his son's favorite picture book, alive.  We also meet Pavel Walczak, a Polish Jew-hater who risks his life to save a little Jewish girl.  And Zosha Luft, a young Jewish girl trying to keep her head down long enough to survive.  We meet William Reinhart as well, the Reich Regional Commissioner of Agricultural Products and Services, an Oskar Schindler-like figure, who believes he can keep hundreds of Jews alive by employing them on the massive estate he has commandeered.  And many others.

    Shankman creates complex, realistic characters who don’t fall into simple categories of “good” or “bad” but, like all of us, are made of shades of gray.  Though each of these stories can stand on their own, together they create a narrative in which the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts.    

    Note: This book has also been published under the title They Were Like Family to Me: Stories. 

    Book Review:   thepatriotsThe Patriots: A Novel by Sana Krasikov

    Florence Fein is a twenty-something Jew of Russian descent who emigrates to the Soviet Union from the U.S. during the 1930s.  She's searching for a summer love who has returned to his country -- and a chance at the freedom she believes she will find as she helps build the Soviet “worker’s paradise.”  However, Florence is unprepared for the realities of life there, and with the American government turning its back on American citizens stuck in the Soviet Union, she soon finds herself entangled in a web from which she cannot escape.

    Meanwhile, the nonlinear timeline of The Patriots introduces us to the stories of Florence’s son Leon, who, after being denied his PhD due to Jewish quotas set by the Soviet government, decides to immigrate to the U.S. with his wife and two young children during the 1970s, and Florence’s grandson, Lenny, who, like his grandmother before him, moves to Russia in search of a better life.

    The Patriots is many things: a sweeping family epic, a well-researched history of nineteenth century Russia, and an exploration of political ideas. Coming in at over 500 pages, it is not a quick and easy read; nonetheless, The Patriots is worth your time.

    Book Review:  longbournLongbourn by Jo Baker

    Longbourn is one of many spin-offs of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice published in recent years.  While Austen’s classic was concerned with the loves and trials of the Bennett family, Baker’s Longbourn reveals to readers the loves and trials of their servants: Mrs. Hill, the housekeeper/cook; Mr. Hill, the butler; Sarah and Polly, the housemaids; and James, the newly acquired footman. 

    While Sarah’s love story moves the plot along, what I most appreciated was how Baker shined a new light on the events of the original novel.  Elizabeth’s delightful and invigorating walks through the countryside in Pride and Prejudice meant hours of scrubbing mud-encrusted petticoats with painful, chilblained hands for Sarah in Longbourn.  In Pride and Prejudice Mr. Bingley is charming, handsome, and, most importantly, wealthy; in Longbourn Mr. Bingley’s wealth is revealed to have been obtained through slave labor.  Mary Bennet and Mr. Collins are portrayed as ridiculous and somewhat obnoxious in Pride and Prejudice, but Baker reveals both to be surprisingly sympathetic characters in Longbourn.

    Overall, I found Longbourn to be an enjoyable read that I would recommend for fans of Downton Abbey, Upstairs, Downstairs, and of course, Pride and Prejudice. 


    EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

     

    by Kay S | Sep 09, 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:  Lady with a Black Umbrella by Mary Balogh

    Lady with a Black Umbrella by Mary Balogh is one of my all-time favorite Balogh mary baloghbooks. Why? It's funny. Yes, Mary Balogh did write a fun, light-hearted book. This book proves that she can write more than just angst; I just wish she'd do it more often. This is another Signet book, written in 1989 and just recently re-released. It is not connected to any of her other novels.

    Our hero, Giles, Viscount Kincade, is having a bad day. Not only did he lose some money in a card game, but sometime during the night he was robbed. Now, he doesn't have the blunt to pay his gambling debt, the bill from the innkeeper, or the oh-so-charming barmaid he spent the night with. He has promised to pay everything he owes on his return to London and they all have begrudgingly accepted his word. However, he is totally embarrassed. You see, dignity is very important to this man and that is too bad because he is about to meet someone who will make him lose his dignity over and over again -- Daisy Morrison.

    Daisy Morrison is staying at the inn with her younger sister and she is watching the view of the inn's yard from her window. She notices something which the oblivious Giles fails to. There are three men approaching him from different sides and they appear to be up to no good. This thinking proves to be true when the three men start beating Giles up. Well, what’s a girl to do? She rushes to the rescue, along with her curlers, disappearing freckle cream, nightgown, and trusty umbrella. She is incensed and proceeds to whack the crap out of the three attackers. Giles is not necessarily grateful to his savior. In fact, he is just a tad bit afraid of the wild eyed woman -- but he thanks her. He and his black eye get in his carriage and head back to London, hoping to leave all the embarrassing moments behind him. God forbid that any of his London friends should find out.

    umbrellaOne of Giles’ problems is that he left Daisy behind to her own devices. You see, Daisy likes to help others. She must! She must! She must right wrongs! She doesn't care who she must help, she is oblivious to the niceties of society. She is also oblivious to the havoc she creates. Daisy is a delightful heroine. I found her humorous. She is not a TSTL heroine, and just because she is innocent to the things going on around her, doesn't mean she’s written as a farce. Some people may find her irritating, but I believe Ms. Balogh did a wonderful job of writing a refreshing heroine. When Giles, left he didn't know that Daisy was still going to help him. She pays his gambling debt, the innkeeper, and even the lady of the evening for him. Then Daisy and her sister leave the inn and journey on their way to London unaware of how angry Giles will be when he finds out what she's done.

    Indeed, it doesn't take long for stuff to hit any nearby fan. Giles has sent his man to pay his debt, but the man returns and hesitantly tells Giles that everything has been paid -- even the barmaid's inflated fees. In the meantime, Daisy, who is 25, has brought her 19 year-old sister to London. Daisy believes she will make a wonderful chaperon for her beautiful sister. This is another example of Daisy's manner of thinking. She wants only the best for her sister, so she wants to introduce her to society in London. Even though they are wealthy, they really don't know anyone -- so when Giles shows up to confront her, Daisy sees this as a perfect opportunity to introduce her sister. Before Giles knows what is happening, he has promised that his aunt will introduce both Daisy and her sister to society. Of course, Daisy doesn't see the need for herself but she's willing to go through with it -- and, besides that wouldn't Giles make a perfect husband for her sister? Giles never has a chance; Daisy is a whirl-wind. It's a lot of fun watching Daisy right wrongs, save dogs, save prostitutes, and thwart kidnappers.

    All of it was great fun, but along with the fun is Ms. Balogh's trademark slow-building of a love story between our two protagonists. This is a rare light-hearted Mary Balogh book and I highly recommend it.


    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 | Sep 07, 2017
    With the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, wildfires raging across the Pacific Northwest, and Hurricane Irma pummeling the Caribbean and heading towards Florida, many of us want to help. 

    The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) offers a checklist of things to keep in mind before giving to a charity.  Scammers are out there, ready to prey upon our good will -- and many of them are good at what they do.  Please take some time to review the FTC's checklist.  At the very least, research any charity far enough to make sure it's legitimate.  Scam charities often go by names so similar to actual charities that they manage to snag money intended for a genuine cause.

    A more specific source worth reading is an article recently published by Forbes "Help Houston: 4 Ways to Avoid Fake Harvey Charities."  Among other things, this article highlights some of the highest-rated local non-profits currently working in the Houston area.  It also includes a cautionary note about crowdfunding.

    That said, my Facebook newsfeed has been full of questions about the percentage of donations that go to relief, rather than administrative costs.  If that's on your mind as well, two online resources immediately come to mind:  Charity Navigator and CharityWatch.  Both are reputable sources which provide information on the percentage of donations spent on charitable programs versus administrative expenses.

     

    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 | Sep 06, 2017

    John BeattyJohn Beatty is the author of several books and articles about local history. He grew up in Michigan but has ancestral roots in Fort Wayne. He began working on genealogy at age 10 and has been a member of the Allen County Public Library's distinguished Genealogy Center staff since 1984.  

    Q. A person might assume a genealogist reads a lot of history and biography and maybe historical fiction in his spare time. Is that true for you?

    A. I enjoy American and Irish history, as well as biography. I finished Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin late this spring. I don’t read very much historical fiction, but I am interested in reading classic works of fiction that I had missed in my literature classes. My son is a sophomore at Canterbury High School, and he finished Charles Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities.” After he was done, I read it and loved it, so more Dickens will be on my reading list. I also read some theology and poetry.

    Q. Do you have favorite authors, or do you perhaps lean toward favorite subjects?

    A. I’m a big fan of John Meacham and David McCullough. Although they are popular, rather than academic, historians, I consider them muses of mine. They write so extremely well that I wish I could “channel” them in my own writing. In terms of history, I am most interested in the late 18th century, and I tend to be drawn to books about that time period.

    Q. What books have you most enjoyed or have most strongly influenced you?

    A. I’m an Episcopalian and a Christian liberal, and I often find myself drawn to tough theological issues in my reading, including works by the Jesus Seminar. I suppose the “Book of Common Prayer” is my favorite, most influential book (especially the service of Compline). I connect to God through the mysticism of that service. I’ve been greatly influenced by the work of Bishop John Shelby Spong after meeting him in Maine a few years ago. I don’t agree with all of his conclusions or viewpoints, but I appreciate his efforts to bring together science, rationality, history and theology. His latest book on the Gospel of Matthew has literally changed how I read the Bible.

    Q. Were you an early, avid reader as a child? Have there been trends in your reading across your life?

    A. I was not an avid reader as a child. While I read children’s books, I started reading more consistently during and after college. I spent a lot of time reading biographies in my early middle life (everything from presidents to musicians and cultural figures). I have a big personal collection of presidential biographies. Lately, as I said, I’ve been drawn to reading the classic works of fiction that I’ve missed, because I believe they are culturally important, just like seeing a painting or hearing a symphony. I’ve enjoyed Dickens so much that I will probably read a lot more.

    Q. ​What roles have libraries played in your reading outside your professional life?

    A. I have always had a library card from childhood, and I do check out some books that I don’t want to purchase. That is especially true of some biographies and theologies. However, I’m much more likely to purchase an inexpensive paperback of a classic fiction book, rather than check it out, just so I can read it at my own pace and put it down for a week if my schedule gets too busy.

    Q. Do you listen to audio books or stick to the printed word?

    A. Definitely the printed word. I’m a traditionalist in that respect.

    Q. What are some of your favorites among the books and articles you have written? Were your decisions to write them triggered by any particular things you had read?

    A. After the 2-volume Beatty family history that I wrote in 2010 (which I consider my magnum opus), I suppose the Fort Wayne histories are my favorite. My writing interests are often triggered by local history writing that I see being done for other parts of the country. When I see a topic well treated in an article in some journal, it leads me to apply those topics locally. For example, I remember reading an article about prostitution in the West, and it lead me to ask, what happened in Fort Wayne in the 19thcentury? When I viewed pioneer-era portrait paintings in the History Center and read Wilbur Peat’s book about Indiana portrait painters, it lead me to want to find out more about local artists and photographers in the 19th century. There is so much in Fort Wayne that hasn’t been fully explored, especially with regard to social history.

    Q. Please comment on how being an author has affected your reading choices and your reactions to what you read.  

    A. I always want to be a better writer, and the only way to do that is to be an observant reader, looking carefully at the writing techniques of others. Writing history is an art, not a science, and the masters of the craft have beautiful, descriptive ways of telling stories that draw readers into their narratives. Remember, the Greeks had a history muse called Clio. When I read David McCullough, for example, I can hear his distinctive speaking voice telling the story. I try to aim for writing in a way that captures my own voice. With respect to local history, I am always looking for books that treat local history in new, innovative ways. The Genealogy Center has a history of Madison, Wisconsin, by David Mollenhoff titled Madison: A History of the Formative Years. He takes a social-geographical view of his city that should be a model for all local history writing. I draw inspiration from new approaches like this.




    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Craig B | Sep 04, 2017

    cover for Vic Mensa's album, The AutobiographyI may have found my gateway album to Rap.  I thought maybe it was going to be Deltron 3030 a few years ago, but that didn’t really take.  With Vic Mensa’s The Autobiography, though, I feel like maybe I’ve got an in.  Maybe it’s the confessional nature of many of the tracks -- or maybe I’m just finally ready.  All I know is I had no trouble getting through this album and even started it over soon after I first finished it.

    Suggested Use: Got something to confess?  Let this album get you primed.  Sure, sometimes Mensa postures pretty hard, but he’s kind of earned it and is more than equally vulnerable and transparent throughout the other parts of the album.  Let Vic show you the way.  And to get the confessing started, I have to say in response to that lyric from “Memories on 47th St.”

    “fell over 30 feet / The doctor said I should be dead, still alive and still ain't scared,”

    I’m still alive but I sure am scared.  Maybe Vic can help show me the way.

    by Kay S | Sep 01, 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:  A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh.

    Now on to A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh. Originally written in 1990, A Promise of Spring is connected to her Web trilogy. It has also been re-released with The Temporary Wife as part of a package.mary balogh

    Have I mentioned before that Mary Balogh is the queen of angst? Now when I say that, I don't mean the kind of angst where the hero has a scar on his face and he can never luv another. No, Ms. Balogh's angst is based on her characters’ insecurities. So, in a lot of her stories there is a plethora of internal thoughts buzzing through our characters’ heads. The Promise of Spring is filled with these thoughts, so be prepared to be bombarded with some heavy-duty contemplation.

    The main contemplation in this story revolves around age difference -- 10 years in fact. What's the big deal, you may ask. Well, it's the heroine Grace Howard who is older than the hero Peregrine Lampman. That means that there are alllll kinds of insecurities to think about. By the way Peregrine is one of the nicest beta guys ever -- almost toooo nice, but more on that later.

    mary BaloghGrace Howard is the sister of Abbotsford village pastor Paul. She's a quiet woman, does her duty, cleans his house, and keeps to herself. She sits in the corner sewing when Paul's best friend Peregrine comes to visit. Peregrine is Mr. Sunshine; everyone loves him. He's charming, charming, charming -- there just isn't anyone who can find a bad thing to say about Peregrine. Then one day Paul is killed while saving a child, and Grace is left all alone and lost. Everyone in the village is trying to figure out what to do about Grace -- and I do mean everyone. But, before any of their plans can be put into action, Peregrine asks her to marry him. You see he's a nice guy and Paul was his best friend, so it's the least he can do. He proposes.  At first Grace turns him down, then thinks better of it. But, before she accepts, she tells him her secret. She is living in Abbotsford because earlier in her life she gave birth to a child out of wedlock. Her child died and she and Paul broke with their family; they left to live out their lives in the small village. She also tells Peregrine that the father of the child died. Here's comes Mr. Nice Guy again -- he indicates that this won't be a problem.

    They marry and begin a quiet life, in the quiet little village -- she tends the garden and sews, and he reads in his little corner. The only fly in the ointment is Grace occasionally wonders if Peregrine will continue to want her after a while. They grow together, they become friends, and they have a great sex life. Well, we all know that this bucolic life cannot continue. Grace has finally worked up enough nerve to write her family that Paul has died. She doesn't expect any kind of reply, so imagine her surprise and concern when she receives an invitation for her and Peregrine to visit. Well, the little gray cells just start chattering away -- not only hers, but Peregrine’s as well. She worries how long Peregrine will be interested in her and he worries how long he can keep her interested in him. She's sooooo old she can't compete with the younger women and he's sooooo much younger he can't compete with the more sophisticated men. After some thinking, they decide to make the step into Grace's past and try to mend some fences. So, more thinking and angst.

     Are you keeping angst count? We have the age difference angst, Grace and Perry's, so that's two angstssss', now we have the family angst which would be the father, another brother and the sister-in-law (allll of them guilt-ridden). But the best angst is about to happen -- guess who isn't dead? Oops, did Grace tell a little white lie? Gareth, the guy who impregnated Grace alllll those years ago, is still alive and now he's the Viscount Sandersford. Guess what else, he still wants Grace. Hey that's not all, Grace doesn't tell Perry that Gareth is the guy, but he finds out anyway. So we have alllll kinds of angst -- the “age thing”, the “family thing”, the “old lover”, the “why didn't she say anything”, the “why isn't Perry saying anything”, the “should I leave Perry”, “should I go with Gareth”. There was so much angst going on my ears started to ring. Even with Ms. Balogh’s gentle cohesive writing all of that stuff was a little tooooo much.

    I mentioned before that Perry was one of the nicest guys ever and I like nice guys in romance books. But Perry needed to be just a little bit more aggressive. Ms. Balogh wrote him as a pretty passive guy; so passive he doesn't do anything when he figures out who Gareth is. Even when Gareth becomes this extra pushy, obsessive guy, Perry remains passive. He lets Grace make up her own mind, afraid all the time that she will choose overbearing Gareth over him. As always with Ms. Balogh, her words are clear and Perry's actions are clear, it's just that I wished that Ms. Balogh had written him saying something -- anything to Grace. Perry does eventually confront Gareth, but Gareth doesn't really care. This was just such a small part in the book, but it weakened the story for me.

     You may think I didn't like this book, but you’d be wrong. I did like it. It wasn't the most comfortable book to read and there are some things I would have changed if I'd written it -- but I didn't. There was a lot of quiet angst that this couple went through to find their HEA. When I finished reading this book I felt drained. I do give it a recommendation, but just remember it may not be your cup of tea and you might need a gallon of wine to help you get through it. This is a great example of Mary Balogh's strong writing.




    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 30, 2017
    Image from Dennis Skley flickr page

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

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

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

    Which of these catches your eye? 


    Fiction coming to the collection September 2017

    Sing Unburied Sing
     The Devouring
     Stone Sky
     The Bedlam Stacks
     Solar Bones
     Fever
     The Hangmans Sonnet
     Faithless
     Autonomous
     Little Fires Everywhere
     The Ninth Hour
     Katalin Street
     Dont Call Us Dead
     Good Me Bad Me
     Lie to Me
     The Downside
     The Man in the Tree
     The Last Outlaw
     Five Carat Soul
     Lightning Men
     White Bodies
     The Quality of Mercy
     An Inconvenient Beauty
     

    Nonfiction coming to the collection September 2017

    The Perfect Cookie
     This Blessed Earth

    Blood and Faith
     
     The Great Shift
     Holy Rover
     The Last Arrow
     The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve
     The Origin of Others
     Ignore It
     After the Eclipse
     Crash Override
     The Riveria Set


    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 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.