Holiday Break Boredom Busters

December 17th, 2014

happy holidays3Staying in town for Christmas break? We can help keep your kids happy, busy and entertained! Between The Wonderful WatercolorBot, Family Building Bricks Parties, a MarioKart Tournament and much more, there won’t be any time for boredom. Click here for a complete list of our programs taking place December 22 – January 4.

With your bank account a bit depleted after all that holiday shopping, don’t worry about spending money keeping your kids busy… all KDL programs are free!


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Watch Basketball, Watch Babies Win

December 17th, 2014

First Steps kitPlanning on going to a Grand Rapids Drive game over your holiday break? Please consider bringing a new baby board book for KDL’s Play-Grow-Read to Your Baby program. Books will be collected at the games taking place on December 20, 27 and 28.

The Play-Grow-Read to Your Baby initiative introduces parents of newborns to the crucial role they play in the literacy development of their children.

Working in partnership with First Steps Kent, first-time parents in our service area are presented with a tote containing a:

  • Children’s board book
  • Baby snack cup
  • Library card registration
  • Baby Reading Guide

Swoosh indeed! Thank you!

 


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New Teen Booklist: Paranormal

December 16th, 2014

Looking for a new spine-tingling new book to curl up with on a chilly winter night? Perhaps one featuring vampires, werewolves, or even the Grim Reaper? Check out this new booklist featuring great paranormal teen titles, with these books and more!

Croak      Raised by Wolves       Claire de Lune

Check out more booklists in KDL Recommends for Teens!

 


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January LibraryReads Staff Picks

December 15th, 2014


You already know that your local KDL staff provide great recommendations when you’re looking for your next favorite book. Now library staff across the nation have connected to offer LibraryReads, a nationwide “Top 10″ list of favorite titles each month! Check out these upcoming titles that librarians across the country have read, loved, and want to share with you.

  1. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel LibraryReadsFavoriteAs Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel
    by Alan Bradley
    “After the unexpected recovery of her mother’s body brings the de Luce’s family secrets to light, Flavia’s life is turned upside down. Now on her way to a Canadian boarding school, she must survive her first term — and more importantly, uncover the mystery of a corpse found in her dorm room chimney the night she arrives. A delightful installment in the series!”
    Lizzie Gall, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI
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  3. The Rosie EffectThe Rosie Effect: A Novel by Graeme Simsion
    “Don Tillman and Rosie are back again, and they’ve relocated to New York. Rosie is continuing her studies, while Don is teaching and even adding to his small circle of friends. But when Rosie announces that she is pregnant, Don is once again out of his depth. What follows are crazy situations that could only happen when Don is involved. Funny and heartwarming.”
    Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, CT
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  5. The Magician's Lie: A NovelThe Magician’s Lie: A Novel by Greer Macallister
    “Arden is a famous illusionist whose show involves sawing a man in half, but one night, she grabs an axe instead of a knife and her husband is found dead under the stage. Can Arden, an expert at deception, get away with murder — or is she really innocent? Recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction, strong women characters, and surprisingly twisty plots.”
    Paula Jones, Brockton Public Library, Brockton, MA
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  7. The Girl on the Train: A NovelThe Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
    “Rachel is a washed-up thirty-something who creates a fantasy about the seemingly perfect couple she sees during her daily train ride into London. When the woman goes missing, Rachel manages to insert herself into the investigation of the woman’s disappearance. In the vein of Gone Girl, this dark psychological thriller is fast-paced and features some very unreliable narrators.”
    Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL
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  9. Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
    “After reading Red Rising, I was looking forward to seeing more of the politics of this world. Darrow has infiltrated the Golds and works to bring them down from the inside, end their tyranny, and free his people. There’s so much political drama and action. Brown does a wonderful job describing it all through Darrow’s eyes. It’s exhausting, thrilling, and heartwrenching!”
    Nita Gill, Brookings Public Library, Brookings, SD
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  11. The Dress Shop of Dreams: A NovelThe Dress Shop of Dreams: A Novel by Menna van Praag
    “Tidy, romantic, and fine escapism. All the characters here have interesting back stories: Cora is believable as a no-nonsense gal trying to rebuff sweet Walt’s advances, and Etta is someone I’d like to meet in real life. Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S. I Love You, this cute little book is recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love.”
    Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
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  13. The Bishop's WifeThe Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison
    “As a practicing Mormon, I felt Harrison did a great job of detailing Mormon culture and doctrine without evangelizing. I appreciated that the bishop is a good man, and the bishop’s wife is a woman who has been through her own struggles. The bishop’s wife sometimes can barely keep up with all the drama and mysteries around her. But she does, and does it quite well under the circumstances. This is a rather brave book.”
    Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA
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  15. Vanessa and Her Sister: A NovelVanessa and Her Sister: A Novel by Priya Parmar
    “Told uniquely as part diary, part epistolary novel, Parmar focuses on the relationship of Vanessa (later Bell) and Virginia (later Woolf) Stephens, one filled with unspoken jealousy and a fierceness of love that will ultimately destroy their kinship. This well-researched novel with gorgeous prose brings the characters to life with a unique perspective.”
    Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
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  17. First FrostFirst Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
    First Frost is a great continuation of the stories of sisters Claire and Sydney, and Sydney’s teenage daughter, Bay. Each of the Waverlys has their own somewhat supernatural gift, and all of them struggle with issues of identity and family. As with Allen’s previous works, this novel will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and readers who enjoy family stories that are not overflowing with angst and drama.”
    Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Libraries, Tucson, AZ
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  19. Full Throttle (Black Knights Inc.) Full Throttle (Black Knights Inc.) by Julie Ann Walker
    “Readers can always count on Walker to deliver a suspenseful, action-packed read, and she delivers on all counts. However, it isn’t the heart-pounding adventure that makes this a fabulous story — it’s the characters. Abby and Steady, college friends who were torn apart by a mutual loss, have great chemistry. Walker has created a complete and suspenseful narrative.”
    Vanessa Gempis, Dallas Public Library, Hampton-Illinois Library, Dallas, TX

 

See http://libraryreads.org for more information and find your next great read!

 


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KDL on WGVU Radio — Winter Programs

December 13th, 2014

Kip & Theresa at WGVUEach month KDL staff join Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk about what’s going on at the library. This month, listen to Adult Services Librarians Kip Odell (Grandville Branch) and Theresa Duffy (Byron Township Branch) talk about our upcoming winter programs for adults, including:

•  Gluten-Free Lifestyle
•  KD aLe
•  Trash into Treasure
•  Zentangle
•  3D Paper Snowflakes
•  KDL Gives Back: Go Red for Women / SpartanNash Labels (coming in February)

They also recommended the following books that they are currently reading:

•  Theresa: The Southern Living Community Cookbook by Sheri Castle
•  Kip: Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull

Enjoy!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download WGVU12-4-14.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)

 


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World War II from the Other Side

December 11th, 2014

The back of the box for “Generation War” calls it a “German ‘Band of Brothers.’”  Starting in 1941 and ending with the war itself in 1945, “Generation War” in its scope—Germany, Russia, Poland—and cast of characters is certainly worth comparing with that epic HBO mini-series originally broadcast in 2001. The most important difference is the fact that this 3 part series—each part a feature-length movie—is purely from the German point of view—to be specific, two brothers, both soldiers; a nurse working behind the front lines, an aspiring singer, and a tailor who also happens to be Jewish. Believing the war will be over by Christmas (of 1941), these five young people are of course unaware of the horrors they are going to encounter. As viewers we watch them lose their innocence as the nightmare of Nazism and the world war envelope them.

There are a couple reasons I found this series compelling. For one, watching the story of the war in Europe from the German side rather than the American is powerful, giving us faces and voices that we wouldn’t normally encounter in a drama set in this era.  Beyond that though, the story gives us fully human characters—characters who start out agreeing with Hitler’s cause (or at least sympathetic to it) but, over the course of four brutal years, see its costs both in personal and national terms. These people draw our sympathy rather than our ire, and that of course makes us care for them, despite (or because of) their predicaments. The second reason “Generation War” (originally titled in German “Our Mothers, Our Fathers”—an apt title for younger generations to think about) works so well is its use of parallel stories—moving us from the Russian front to Berlin and occupied Poland, each character’s fate different than the other but united by the fact that these five were and are friends who ultimately want nothing more than to be reunited with each other and get on with their lives. I won’t give away the ending, other than to say that in its sadness and joy it brings us to a conclusion that is both sobering and believable.

 


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Help for Job Seekers

December 10th, 2014

job successWant to brush up on your job-hunting skills? We can help with a series of free Career Transitions Workshops occurring this winter. These classes are presented in partnership with Career Transitions Center West Michigan. Registration is required. Please call 616-784-2007 to register or click on the program titles below.

LinkedIn Boot Camp
Optimize your use of the professional networking website and develop your networking experience. Please bring your own laptop if possible.

Thursday, December 18, 6:00 PM, Gaines Twp. Branch
Thursday, January 15, 6:00 PM, Grandville Branch
Thursday, February 19,  6:00 PM, Plainfield Twp. Branch

Developing Your Personal Brand
Learn how to identify, develop and market your innate talents to best “sell what you do well,” whether it’s through verbal or written communications.

Wednesday, February 4, 6:00 PM, East Grand Rapids Branch

Communicating Your Brand 
Learn how to best share your personal brand by focusing on elevator pitches, résumés and online profiles, with emphasis on aligning your message with your professional value in the marketplace.

Wednesday, February 11, 6:00 PM, East Grand Rapids Branch

Networking Strategies
A lot of getting connected to job opportunities is about who you know. Explore strategies and techniques needed to build and nurture effective relationships with contacts.

Wednesday, February 18, 6:00 PM, East Grand Rapids Branch

Behavioral Interviewing
Create a positive and lasting impression. Learn essential techniques of how to ace interviews in today’s job market and how to negotiate terms of employment.

Wednesday, February 25, 6:00 PM, East Grand Rapids Branch


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Book Club in a Bag

December 10th, 2014

Book Club in a BagDid you know that we offer a Book Club in a Bag program, which allows book groups to check out a bag of everything they need for their book discussion? Learn more, including current available titles, by clicking here.

If you have used our Book Club in a Bag service, we need your help. Please take this short survey by December 15. You will be entered to win a copy of Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder or a set of Lit W!t trivia cards. Thanks so much!

 

 


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Author Kent Haruf Died Over The Weekend

December 6th, 2014

kent-haruf

Author Kent Haruf died Sunday at the age of 71.  His last novel, “Our Souls at Night,” will be published next year.  Kent Haruf wrote novels set in the quiet fictional town of Holt, Colorado. This includes Plainsong, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

 


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Author P.D. James Died Last Week

December 5th, 2014

pdjames

Well-known author P.D. James died last week Thursday at her home in England at the age of 94.  P.D. James wrote mysteries beloved by many readers, including her last book Death Comes to Pemberley in 2013 which paid homage to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

 


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