Author Archive

The Future of Football

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Concussion Movie PosterOn Christmas Day, Will Smith’s new film, Concussion, premiers in theaters.  Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a pathologist whose discoveries of brain damage in retired football players has become the forefront of the concussion controversy.

KDL carries many resources on this topic including the newly released companion book to the film written by Jeanne Marie Laskas.

Omalu’s story was also told in Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru’s League of Denial.  The reporters examine recent discoveries concerning head trauma and the reaction of the NFL.  The book also became a PBS Frontline special, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.

Why Football MattersEarlier this year, two writers penned books on both sides of the debate.  Mark Edmundson’s Why Football Matters details his positive experiences with football.  Edmundson believes that the sport taught him self-discipline and teamwork and was a necessary part of his growth as a young man.  The counterpoint is Steve Almond’s Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto.  Almond writes from a fan’s perspective and how he became troubled following a sport that arguably advocates for violence and greed.

A lighter, but no less entertaining perspective of football is covered in The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a Lifetime of College Football.  Stuart Stevens writes about his relationship with football and his 95-year old father as they attend a full season of Ole Miss football games together.

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Saturday KDL Caffeinated Tour

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

KDL CaffeinatedKDL Caffeinated wraps up with an immersive coffee experience Saturday, May 23 at 3 PM.  Experts at Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters will demonstrate the roasting process and brew some great coffee.  Learn how to make your own perfect cup of coffee in the unique atmosphere of a 100-year-old brick factory building.

The demonstrations will be held at Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters at 1111 Godfrey Avenue in Grand Rapids.

Construction Note: Due to road construction on Hall Street, patrons coming from 131 should exit west on Hall Street.  Turn left (south) onto Grandville Avenue. Then turn right(west) onto Liberty Street. Turn right (north) onto Godfrey Avenue. At the corner of Godfrey Avenue and Hall Street, you will see a five-story brick building. Turn left onto Hall Street to access the parking lot behind the building.

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Sufjan Stevens Releases Carrie & Lowell

Monday, April 13th, 2015

The new album by Michigan native Sufjan Stevens is gaining positive reviews and is one of the best albums of 2015.  Named after his mother and step-father, Carrie & Lowell is a deeply personal, intimate album from the former Hope College student.


Stevens is probably best known for albums about states with Greetings from Michigan and Illinoise.  The multi-instrumentalist has experimented with a lot of different styles during his career including the electro-orchestral sound of 2010’s The Age of Adz.


On Carrie & Lowell, Stevens returns to a simple, acoustic sound giving much of the album a ghostly vibe.   Steven’s lyrics focuses on longing, spirituality and brokenness, as he writes a lot about family and childhood memories.


To get more familiar with this indie-folk artist, check-out his CDs and find some of his soundtrack contributions on Hoopla.  To listen to similar artists try Andrew Bird, Bon Iver and Nick Drake.

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Experience Summer Online

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This summer KDL patrons have been learning new skills, visiting area parks, downloading e-books, and much more for Experience Summer Online. You still have time to join them in a wide variety of activities for chances to win prizes — just complete some simple and fun activities by Saturday, August 9. Check out these pictures of KDL patrons experiencing summer:

Learning How to Knit Morning Stories Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival4th of July on Reed's Lake


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More Ways to Experience Summer!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Have you already completed your 30 days of reading for this summer? Don’t worry — there is much more to do, read and experience! With KDL’s Experience Summer Online anyone can complete activities, read books and attend library programs for more chances to win prizes. This is the perfect program for those who finish the traditional program early or just want some more fun summer reading options. Go to Experience Summer Online to get started!

Ignite Happiness: Summer Reading @ KDL

Ignite Happiness: Summer Reading @ KDL


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New Fantasy Series at KDL

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Emperor's BladesNeed a new fantasy series to get you hooked?  Have you waited long enough for the new George R.R. Martin novel?  Try these new series of fantasy and adventure!

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley is the first book in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series.  When the emperor of Annur is assassinated by an unknown enemy, his daughter and two sons work to reveal the assassin and survive the new world.

Star Wars author Drew Karpyshyn’s new novel is Children of Fire.  This epic fantasy focuses on three magical talismans that were lost and a protective magical barrier that is fading with time.


Speaking of George R.R. Martin, fans of the Song of Ice and Fire series will enjoy Scottish author Anthony Ryan’s debut novel, Blood Song.  The first in the Raven’s Song trilogy, Blood Song is about Vaeliln Al Sorna who has trained his whole life to be a warrior in the Brothers of the Sixth Order.

Australian fantasy author Jay Kristoff’s The Lotus War series is not as new as the others on this list, but is just as imaginative.  Check out Stormdancer and Kinslayer for novels of Japanese-influenced steampunk fantasy.





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Summer Reading on Your Own Terms

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Summer Reading @ KDL is in full swing, but don’t forget to Experience Summer Online. Be entered for great prizes by completing categories such as Get Outside, Play or Go Digital. Check out the possibilities and join in by performing activities, attending library programs and reading. For inspiration, here are some fellow KDL patrons who experienced summer on their own terms!

Holding a ChickenA birdfeeder made out of a juice bottle.Cool driveway artA visit to the GRAM!


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The Novel World of James Bond

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

If you watched Skyfall and need more James Bond in your life, what do you do now?  There are plenty of great options to immerse you in the James Bond Universe, like reading the original novels by Ian Fleming. Fleming’s first book, Casino Royale, is a good place to start and it was also the first Daniel Craig film as Bond. There are 12 original novels by Fleming plus some short stories, though some authors have taken the series further, including Jeffery Deaver who wrote Carte Blanche: 007.

There are also Bond books for teens, like Charles Higson’s Young Bond series that begins with SilverFin. In SilverFin, a 14-year old James is fighting evil villains in the 1930s.  Another good choice is the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, which is heavily inspired by James Bond. In Stormbreaker, Alex’s uncle dies a mysterious death, leaving Alex to discover the truth and become a superspy himself.

If you are looking for similar action-filled novels with a bit of the James Bond aesthetic, try out Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books and Ted Bell’s Alex Hawke novels.  There is plenty to watch and read for any Bond fan while waiting for the next movie installment.


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Swish! Teen Basketball Books

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The game of basketball is going full force for fans, whether you follow high school, college or the NBA. Earlier this year a great new book was released by Paul Volponi, The Final Four. Volponi follows four players trying to win a March Madness tournament game between the touted Michigan squad and the underdog Troy Titans. You find out how each player became a college star along with exciting play-by-play action.

Similar fiction on basketball includes Walter Dean Myers’ Game and Matt de la Peña’s Ball Don’t Lie, where you learn why their characters are in love with the game.

If you are more into mysteries or crave books about college basketball, national sportswriter John Feinstein’s sports mysteries include Last Shot. Two eighth-grade reporters win a contest that allows them to cover the Final Four, where they discover that the game might be rigged.

And for manga and graphic novel fans there’s Slam Dunk, a furious comic series from Japan featuring two rival basketball players.


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Meet the Author Events with Mark Crilley

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Author and Illustrator Mark Crilley will visit the Cascade Township and East Grand Rapids branches in March.  The Michigan author is the creator of Akiko, Miki Falls and other great books and graphic novels. 

Mark was raised in Detroit and while teaching English in Japan, he created Akiko in 1992. He went on to publish many Akiko comics and several novelizations of Akiko for young readers.  Mark has also published the Billy Clikk series, the Miki Falls manga series and the new graphic novel, Brody’s Ghost

Make sure to come see Mark Crilley at one of his two stops at KDL branches!

Cascade Township Branch: Thursday, March 8, 5:00 to 6:00 PM.  Mark will host an interactive program featuring his books for school-age and teen audiences. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cascade Library and Forest Hills Northern Trails School.

East Grand Rapids Branch: Monday, March 12, 3:30 to 4:30 PM.  Teens, come for a cartooning workshop with Mark!  Sponsored by EGR Middle School and the Friends of the EGR Library.

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