KDL Blog ‘Books & More’ Category

KDL on WGVU Radio — Local Indie Fest

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Pete @ 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 Pete Lewandoski, Adult Services Librarian at the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch talk about the Local Indie collection and the upcoming Local Indie Fest (Wednesday, August 20, 4:00–7:00 PM at the Kentwood Branch).  Enjoy!

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Download WGVU7-10-14(2).mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)





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Top Ten — eBooks

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Pack light for your next vacation, and still bring along a ton of reading material! Check out a virtual suitcase full of books from KDL’s eBook site.  And to see what others are downloading, take a look at this week’s Top Ten list.  These are the 10 most popular eBooks at KDL right now:

Top Ten eBooks 07-18-2014

For help getting started, visit our eBooks & Downloads Help and FAQs page.


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James Patterson Readalikes

Friday, July 18th, 2014

While you’re waiting for the #1 bestseller Invisible by James Patterson and David Ellis, why not check out a book by these other popular suspense authors:

Rules of Prey by John SandfordLike Patterson, John Sandford writes hard-edged mystery suspense with strong language and graphically-portrayed violence. In Rules of Prey, Police Lt. Lucas Davenport find himself tracking a cunning serial killer who has created a terrifying game out of the murder of young women.

For a face-paced read alike with psychologicalThe Devil's Teardrop by Jeffery Deaver overtones, Jeffery Deaver‘s suspenseful book, The Devil’s Teardrop, will keep the pages turning. On New Year’s Eve 1999, Washington D. C. officials receive a threat. Unless they comply with his demands, an assassin will commit one terrorist attack in the city every four hours.

Suspense author Ridley Pearson’s books tend to be more thought-provoking than face-paced, but they share that same bleak outlook, series detectives, serial killers, graphic violence, and psychological insights that many readers of Patterson enjoy. In The Risk Agent two very different private investigators, Grace Chu and John Knox, must work together to find the kidnapped employee of an American company amid the chaos of Shanghai, China.

Sworn to Silence by Linda CastilloFor a more rural and romantic suspense novel with a similar bleak outlook, try Linda Castillo’s Amish Crime Thriller Series featuring police chief Kate Burkholder. In the first book, Sworn to Silence, Kate returns to her Ohio hometown only to find a serial killer from her past has struck again — only this time it’s up to her to stop him.

Jonathan Kellerman is called a “master of the psychological thriller” by People magazine. In Bones, Kellerman once again pulls his readers into a suspenseful, plot-twisting tale of serial murder and the unlikely duo who bring the killer to justice: Alex Delaware, a child psychologist, and Milo Sturgis, LAPD homicide detective.



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An Absorbing Local Indie Read

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

polish doctorKDL’s Local Indie collection highlights independently published works by local authors & artists. It’s a great way to discover new writers, musicians & filmmakers right in your own back yard.

I recently read A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps: My Mother’s Memories of Imprisonment, Immigration, and a Life Remade by Barbara Rylko-Bauer.  It is the true story of a young Polish Roman Catholic doctor, Jadwiga Lenartowicz Rylko, known as Jadzia, arrested by the Nazis in January 1944. She was detained as a suspected member of the resistance, though her only crime was listening to the news on the radio.

Written by Jadzia’s daughter, the book tells of her fifteen months in concentration camps, ending with a forty-two day death march. During part of her time as a prisoner, she doctored the Jewish laborers in the camps. After being liberated, Jadzia attempted to return to life as a doctor, first in Germany and later in the United States. Reading a non-Jewish account of imprisonment was compelling, though the narrative of Jadzia’s childhood, education, marriage and later life is as interesting as reading about her time in the concentration camps, especially her reactions to various things her daughter asks her in interviews for the book.

Bonus: Rylko-Bauer will be speaking about her book at KDL’s East Grand Rapids branch on October 7 at 7:00 PM.

Currently the Local Indie collection is housed at the Cascade Township and Kentwood Branches, but all of the items may be borrowed system-wide. Try it – you’ll like it!


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Chatting with D.E. Johnson

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

D.E. Johnson was fascinating, informative and funny, answering questions on KDL’s Goodreads Discussion Board. The Michigan author of four historical mystery novels (including his latest, Detroit Shuffle) talked about Detroit after the turn of the twentieth century and about his writing. He also disclosed a little about the next series of mysteries that he is working on!

Check out the chat transcript on our KDL Goodreads Group page.


D. E. Johnson           Detroit Shuffle

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August LibraryReads Staff Picks

Tuesday, July 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. One KickOne Kick: A Novel by Chelsea Cain
    “Kick Lannigan survived being kidnapped as a child. Now, at twenty-one, determined never to be a victim again, she has reinvented herself. Martial arts and weapons handling are just a few of the skills she has learned over the years. Kick catches the attention of John Bishop, a mystery man with access to unlimited funds, and together they go after a cabal of child pornographers. A read-in-one-sitting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.”
    Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

  3. Lucky UsLucky Us: A Novel by Amy Bloom
    “Is a family the people you are born to, or the people who you find along the way? That’s what Bloom explores in this novel set in pre- and post-WWII Ohio, Los Angeles, New York and Germany. The story follows resourceful Eva, who was abandoned by her mother at an early age, and her sister Iris, an aspiring actress who tries to find love at a time when her kind of love must be secretive. Every character is beautifully drawn, warm, and believable.”
    Kathryn Hassert, Henrietta Hankin Branch Library, Chester Springs, PA

  5. Heroes Are My WeaknessHeroes Are My Weakness: A Novel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    “Any Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel is going to make it onto my must-read list, but this one is particularly wonderful, and here’s why: she creates, then cheerfully destroys, the romance cliche of the brooding hero with a dark secret who lives in a crumbling mansion and captivates a plucky heroine. The hero is a horror novelist, and the heroine a failed actress-turned-puppeteer. This warm, witty, comedy-drama is a perfect summer read.”
    Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH

  7. Lock InLock In by John Scalzi
    “There’s been a good run of fantasy and science fiction books this year. Joining the list of great fantastical reads is John Scalzi’s Lock In. Scalzi is best known for his military SF (especially the Old Man’s War series), so his latest is a change of pace. A blending of SF and police procedural that hits every note just right.”
    Jane Jorgenson, Madison Public Library, Madison, WI

  9. The MiniaturistThe Miniaturist: A Novel by Jessie Burton
    “A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’”
    Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY

  11. Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
    “A horrible act of violence occurs at the Pirriwee Public School’s trivia night fundraiser for parents, but what happened and who was involved? The novel begins six months before that fateful evening and lets us in on the lives of single mother Jane, divorcee Madeline, and Celeste, who secretly suffers from domestic abuse. Big Little Lies is another page-turning read from Moriarty that had me gasping with surprise at the end.”
    Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

  13. The Truth about LeoThe Truth about Leo by Katie MacAlister
    “I always adore Katie MacAlister! Her sense of humor is outstanding, and her heroines have real bodies. This is another installment in the delightful historical Noble series, and it doesn’t disappoint. Fans of humor with their romance are sure to enjoy this regency romp.”
    Jessica C. Williams, Westlake Porter Public Library, Westlake, OH

  15. An Unwilling AccompliceAn Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd
    “Bess Crawford, a courageous World War I battlefield nurse, is faced with another complex mystery. A patient about to receive a high honor from the King manages to disappear on Bess’s watch, sending her life into a tailspin. In order to clear her name, she must find the missing patient and find out why he is now accused of murder. Intelligent and fantastic, just like the others in this series!”
    Monicah Fratena, La Porte County Public Library, La Porte, IN

  17. The Magician's LandThe Magician’s Land: A Novel by Lev Grossman
    “Even if you haven’t read the first two books in the wonderful Magicians Trilogy, you will enjoy the escapades of Quentin Coldwater. Now 30 years old, Quentin finds himself back at Brakebills, experiencing school from the teacher’s side of the desk. But his adventures are far from over! Although I’m not generally a fantasy reader, I’ve been rooting for Quentin ever since I first picked up this series and am sad to see it end.”
    Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

  19. The Story HourThe Story Hour: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar
    “Another beautifully written novel by Thrity Umrigar. A relationship develops between Maggie, a psychologist, and Lakshmi, a troubled Indian woman. As their stories develop, it is hard to figure out which woman does more to impact the other’s life. Highly recommended.”
    Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY


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


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KDL on WGVU Radio — LBPH

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Shelley @ 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 LBPH Librarian Shelley Roossien talk about the Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped. Enjoy!

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Download WGVU7-10-14(1).mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)




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And the Share Your Story Winner Is…

Monday, July 14th, 2014

sharestory graphicWow. Just, wow! More than 60 people entered our Share Your Library Story contest and boy, were their stories compelling. A family from Kenya who felt welcomed into their new community via visits to their KDL branch, a school library volunteer who uses KDL resources to serve students better and a number of Storytime families who gave shout-outs to their favorite librarians… just to name a few. We look forward to contacting some of those people and sharing their full library stories with you soon.

And oh, the randomly selected winner of the gift card from Schuler Books & Music is Kelly Mansfield of Caledonia!

Cardholders can always share their library stories with us by filling out the brief form here.



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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Down by the BaySummer is here and it’s time to move music outdoors! Explore the wonderful world around you and find music everywhere. Find a cool spot under a shady tree and listen to the wind blow through the leaves, the birds singing or the sounds of traffic. Do rhythm activities by tapping sticks on fences, garbage cans or sandbox toys. See if children can follow your lead when you count out a rhythm. Call and response songs are a great way to stimulate imagination and practice working with patterns. Try a few rounds of “Down By the Bay,” changing up the rhyme at the end to create silly and entertaining lyrics.  Children repeat each line until the final rhyme.

“Down by the bay (repeat)
Where the watermelons grow (repeat)
Back to my home (repeat)
I dare not go (repeat)
For if I do (repeat)
My mother will say (repeat)
Did you ever see a duck driving a truck
Down by the bay?”

Alternate the underlined words with other rhyming pairs such as a dog chasing a frog or a moose sipping some juice. Use the sights and sounds around you to make up the next line. Challenge your child to come up with sillier or more difficult rhymes. Having fun with words and sounds through singing is a great way to add to your child’s vocabulary and get them ready for reading.

–Sara M. at KDL’s Sand Lake/Nelson Township Branch



This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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KDL Top Ten — Grilling

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Top Ten Cooking Grill 07-11-2014

This week’s Top Ten is good enough to eat! Savor 10 of the most popular books in our COOKING GRILL nonfiction section.

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