"Matt Phelan’s retelling of Snow White brings the classic fairy tale to the 1920’s, starting in the glamour of the Jazz Age and on into thFrom Morgan:
"Matt Phelan’s retelling of Snow White brings the classic fairy tale to the 1920’s, starting in the glamour of the Jazz Age and on into the Great Depression. While Snow is still very familiar, most other characters are given interesting updates, as seven dwarfs become seven street urchins and the Evil Queen is the Queen of the Vaudeville Follies. The mostly grey-scale illustrations draw inspiration from film noir, giving an atmosphere of intrigue to a familiar story. We’ve included this title on our Mock-Caldecott Award List because of that extra interest the illustrations add to the story."...more
From Morgan: "Formerly derided as lazy reading, these days graphic novels have come into their own and offer some of the most complex and interestingFrom Morgan: "Formerly derided as lazy reading, these days graphic novels have come into their own and offer some of the most complex and interesting stories around. Classic comics themes of adventure and humor are still the most prevalent in the format, but nonfiction and historical fiction are gaining in popularity. Some of the newest additions to our jGraphic Novels collection showcase the format’s growing diversity. Let’s start with the sixth volume in the American history series “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales,” Alamo All-Stars. This book covers the convoluted early history of Texas and its ties to Mexico. The historical facts are kept flowing through the funny narration of Nathan Hale and questions from his executioners. Tangential stories from the lives of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Vicente Guerrero help keep the story personal."...more
"Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield’s book “On Bowie” is an ode to rock legend, David Bowie, who died in January of this year. SheffieldFrom Jason:
"Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield’s book “On Bowie” is an ode to rock legend, David Bowie, who died in January of this year. Sheffield, a Bowie fanatic, was approached immediately following the news of Bowie’s death and asked to write a book with a very short turnaround. “On Bowie” reads quickly, there are concise chapters that could easily be individual columns for his magazine, covering impressions of a specific time period or album. His writing is confident and somewhat off-the-cuff, it conveys that he’s someone who has thought deeply about Bowie’s music and life and has read widely on the subject. It’s easy to skip around to read his thoughts about your favorite Bowie period or uncover juicy anecdotes culled from larger works on the artist. Despite his obvious adulation, Sheffield isn’t afraid to critique Bowie’s personal decisions or output (even the biggest Bowie fan can’t justify the two albums following “Let’s Dance”). I wasn’t as interested in the author’s lyric dissection or penchant for shoehorning lyrics into the bigger picture writing. There is obvious passion and respect in this short overview, I found it to be a terrific gateway for some larger works (ex. “Moonage daydream: the life and times of Ziggy Stardust”) as well as an inspiration to check out some of the eighteen different albums carried here at ICPL."...more
"Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure by Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman combines retro-looking art with comics inspiration to explaFrom Morgan:
"Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure by Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman combines retro-looking art with comics inspiration to explain physics concepts in a kid-friendly way. Covering topics ranging from the scientific method to particle physics, Professor Astro Cat and friends walk readers through the basics of each concept while providing in text and illustrated definitions to bolded terms. Related topics are grouped together and a glossary/index helps keep the contents organized."...more
"Smart About Sharks by Owen Davey showcases all sorts of shark facts using vintage style illustrations. Did you you know that a Dwarf LantFrom Morgan:
"Smart About Sharks by Owen Davey showcases all sorts of shark facts using vintage style illustrations. Did you you know that a Dwarf Lantern Shark is the size of a pencil? Or that the Megamouth Shark has a glow-in-the-dark mouth? The silhouette of a seal and turtle next to a human on a surfboard next helps explain why sharks might sometimes attack humans, but the importance of sharks in mythology and ocean ecology emphasize more positive human-shark connections. Standard explorations of adaptations, species, and life cycles are elevated by eye-catching page compositions and interesting infographics. Compare sizes and shapes in the illustration below. The included index is organized by scientific name for each order and species."...more
"The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer is full to the brim with interesting and educational facts about different types of bugs (not just iFrom Morgan:
"The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer is full to the brim with interesting and educational facts about different types of bugs (not just insects), including how to differentiate between different families of creepy crawlies. The whimsical illustrations are sure to enthrall young entomologists while still creating accurate representations of the invertebrate subjects. Report writers will find the index useful too."...more
"Once again it has happened … I came to the end of a wonderful book and I want more!
Chris Cleave artfully crafts a World War II fiction novFrom Kara:
"Once again it has happened … I came to the end of a wonderful book and I want more!
Chris Cleave artfully crafts a World War II fiction novel based on love letters between his grandparents. With the backdrop of war, bombing, starvation, bravery, society, and personal sacrifice, Cleave weaves together unforgettable characters in a story that requires pondering long after the book is finished.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven is set in London and Malta. Mary is a socialite who feels compelled to contribute to the war effort. Alistair signs up for service reluctantly because he has an obligation to duty. Tom would rather forget the war, but with Alistair’s enlistment it’s a topic that can’t be forgotten. Three people, three friends, and three wars. Innocence is lost, London is bombed, Malta is devastated, friendship is tested, and morals are questioned.
I listened to the story and Luke Thompson’s narration brings the story to life. When the story was over, I backed it up and listened to the ending again. Highly recommended."...more
From patron recommendation: It will teach basic life lessons and matters. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Something school never taugFrom patron recommendation: It will teach basic life lessons and matters. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Something school never taught me....more
"I’m relatively new to audiobooks, having listened to my first one a few months ago, but I agree with my colleagues who say they are a gFrom Meredith:
"I’m relatively new to audiobooks, having listened to my first one a few months ago, but I agree with my colleagues who say they are a great way to pass the time on long drives, during a run or cleaning the house.
I also agree with them that a narrator makes, or breaks, the audiobook.
I recently finished listening to I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: My Life as a Co-Star by Judy Greer. She also voiced the audiobook. If the name isn’t familiar, I’m sure it will be after you Google it. With more than 16 working years in Hollywood, and 90+ film and TV credits to her name, she’s one of those actors who seems to be in everything. She’s a star, yet she isn’t. She’s worked with George Clooney and Paul Rudd and Jennifer Lopez, but can still run to a 24-hour drug store without fear of being recognized. In fact, if/when she is recognized, the people who stop her aren’t sure why they’ve stopped her. Best of both worlds? The work, some fame, but no paparazzi?
(If you aren’t going to Google Judy Greer, she played Lucy in 13 Going on 30; Maggie Lang in Ant-Man; Karen Mitchell in Jurassic World; and Kitty Sanchez in Arrested Development.)
This was an entertaining memoir. Greer is funny, honest – some might think she’s too honest, but I loved it – and anyone who’s curious about what happens behind-the-scenes in Hollywood will get a little bit of gossip. Not dirt – she’s not stupid; she still has to make a living – but the next time you see a celebrity looking like the wish they were anywhere else on the red carpet or at a press junket, Greer’s book will explain why both aren’t fun."...more
"I recently enjoyed the book Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. I love books about food (Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal VegetablFrom Bond:
"I recently enjoyed the book Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. I love books about food (Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle is one of my all-time favorites) and Kitchens of the Great Midwest not only vividly captures the sensory experience of some terrific meals, it also evokes memories of my own Midwestern childhood and the foods I grew up with.
It has a unique structure: Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character, and sometimes there are jumps forward of several years at a go. This left me wanting more with every chapter change.
Here’s an excerpt of Amazon’s synopsis: When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine–and a dashing sommelier–he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter–starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.
I didn’t want to put this book down. It was funny and sweet, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to the characters."...more
"I, like many people I work with and see here at the Library, am interested in genealogy. I’ve done a little bit of research here and theFrom Candice:
"I, like many people I work with and see here at the Library, am interested in genealogy. I’ve done a little bit of research here and there, mainly on my mother’s side of the family. Her maiden name is Klein, her father’s first name was Henderikus, and this ended up being a good name to start with. Aside from the fact that it was often misspelled, it is a somewhat unique name which made it a little easier to trace, and I was able to find him in the census records, as well as documentation of his family’s immigration from the Netherlands. Working backwards, I eventually hit a genealogy jackpot, when I found someone from the Netherlands who had done the research for the same relatives I was looking at, all the way back to the 1600s.
My father’s last name is Smith. I have resisted doing any research on that side of the family out of fear that I would be lost in a morass of Smiths in the midwest, unable to go much further than a couple generations. However, I recently decided to give it a try. I started with my grandfather, Carl Smith (sidenote: for some reason, his nicknames were Bus and Buster. I was honestly surprised when, in my teens, I found out his name was Carl.) Using Ancestry, and searching his name with the city of Oelwein, Iowa, I find several people with that name. The first Carl Smith listed was born in 1897, and while I don’t know my grandfather’s exact birth date, I know it’s not that. There is a Carl listed born in 1923, and that looks more likely. The record is from a 1925 state census, and at first the names of the parents don’t ring a bell for me–Fred and Manna. However, I know from my grandfather’s obituary that his father was named Ferd, so an easy misspelling, and I also see a sister named Mardell on this record, whom I do recall. This is the right Carl Smith.
This state census recorded other data, as well. When using Ancestry and viewing the images, you sometimes need to be sure to use the arrow buttons to page back and forth, to see if information for the same family is continued on the previous or next page(s). In this case, the second page of information tells me that Ferd, and my grandfather, were born in Missouri–this is something I did not know! For each person in the census, it also lists their parents names, places of birth, and the state that they were married in. A little goldmine of information, all in one census. I now have my great-great grandfather’s name, along with his wife’s, to look for in older records.
Looking through these records is so interesting, for many reasons. You find out things about your family that you didn’t know, you find specific details about them that lets you know a little more about them; Ferd Smith was in the Army during World War I, he completed grade 6 and his wife completed grade 9, he was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church, she with a Christian one. These small details let me know a little bit more about the family my own grandfather grew up in, they let me know more about him.
Next up: looking for John and Effie Smith."...more