KDL Blog ‘Books & More’ Category

YALSA 2015 Top Ten Teen Books Nominees

Friday, May 1st, 2015

YALSA has announced the nominees for the Top Ten Teen Books. TeensTopTen_logo_web The list of books come from different teen book groups from around the country.  And teens get to decide on the top ten too.  So start reading now and get ready to vote!  Voting will take place between August 15th & October 18th. Below are the nominees:

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“Tanner ’88” and American politics

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015


Though “Tanner ‘88” is not a brand-new release, and first appeared on cable TV (HBO, to be exact) over 25 years ago, the Criterion Collection edition at Kent District Library is new to our collection, and so merits a review in this space. Directed by Robert Altman, and written by Gary Trudeau of “Doonesbury” fame, “Tanner ‘88” strikes just the right tone of satire and seriousness, and there’s no doubt this is due to Altman and Trudeau’s collaboration.  As anyone who has watched even a handful of Altman’s films would know, his approach was almost always one that didn’t shy away from humor, but that at the same time grappled with serious underlying issues. The “issue” in this case is the nature of the system that produces our American president.  Though filmed (on videotape, thus giving it an even more news-like quality) during the 1988 campaign—ancient history for many people nowadays—the series, produced in 11 half-hour episodes, seamlessly melds footage of real candidates—Bruce Babbitt, Bob Dole and Jesse Jackson–with that of Jack Tanner, a fictional Democratic Congressman from Michigan who is running on a liberal political ticket and juggling numerous crises as he begins in snowy New Hampshire and finishes at the August Democratic convention in Atlanta. Using a documentary approach (there’s even a man with a video camera hovering around the main characters), Altman’s world of primaries and politics is rich in layers, particularly in his typical use of multiple conversations on the soundtrack and his revealing look into the back room maneuvers of political campaigns, including the serendipitous origin of Tanner’s campaign TV ad, shot through the top of a glass coffee table. Ending with the Democratic convention gives the series a thrilling but doomed sense of how things work at such events, and wraps it up in a thoroughly believable, though perhaps heightened, way.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid Month

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

April is Wimpy Kid Month!  Celebrate with us by checking out one of Kinney’s popular titles or grabbing a read alike from this KDL recommended reading list. Want to try something new? We have Wimpy Kid titles as audiobooks, ebooks, and DVDs.

Wimpy Kid

Visit Wimpykid.com for more Wimpy Kid fun.  While you are there, enter for a chance to win a daily drawing, design your own book cover, or even plan a Wimpy Kid party.  Waiting for book 10?  Author Jeff Kinney will reveal all the juicy details of the new book during a live webcast on April 27.  Enjoy!

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Introducing Beanstack: Reading Recommendations for Kids

Monday, April 20th, 2015

beanstackWe are so excited to offer our patrons Beanstack, a resource that offers free personalized recommendations for children’s book and apps! It’s a great way to connect children with books that match their specific age, interests, reading level and background. Sign your children up today and every week you will be sent a book recommendation for each child via email. Recommendations are also available via an online profile that you can access anytime from any mobile device!

Watch this short video to learn more:


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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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Author Ivan Doig Dies at Age 75

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

ivandoigIvan Doig, well known author of stories featuring the American West, died at his home on Thursday at the age of 75.  Doig was raised along the edge of the Rocky Mountains and set his later books on a fictionalized version of where he grew up. His first book “This House of Sky” was a memoir and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

His most recent book, “The Bartender’s Tale“, was published in 2012 and was inspired by his own experiences being raised by a single-parent father who worked as a ranch hand.  His final book, “Last Bus to Wisdom“, will be published in August.

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May LibraryReads Staff Picks

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

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. UprootedLibraryReadsFavoriteUprooted by Naomi Novik
    “A young girl is unexpectedly uprooted from her family and becomes involved in a centuries-old battle with The Wood, a malevolent entity which destroys anyone it touches. Fast-paced, with magic, mystery and romance, Novik’s stand-alone novel is a fairy tale for adults.”
    Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO

  3. A Court of Thorns and RosesA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    “The human world is in peril. Feyre, a semi-literate girl, hunts for her family’s survival. After she kills an enormous wolf, a fierce fey shows up at her doorstep seeking retribution. Feyre is led to beautiful eternal springs, but the journey is not without danger. Maas masterfully pulls the reader into this new dark fantasy series which feels like a mix of fairy tales, from Beauty and the Beast to Tam Lin.”
    Jessica C. Williams, Westlake Porter Public Library, Westlake, OH

  5. A God in Ruins: A NovelA God in Ruins: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
    “In A God in Ruins, we become reacquainted with Teddy Todd, the beloved little brother of Ursula from Atkinson’s last book. As with Life After Life, this novel skims back and forth in time, and we see the last half of the 20th century through Ted’s eyes and the eyes of his loved ones. At times funny and at others heartbreaking, Atkinson revels in the beauty and horror of life in all its messiness.”
    Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT

  7. The Water Knife: A NovelThe Water Knife: A Novel by Paolo Bacigalupi
    “Bacigalupi’s novel looks at the possible struggle for water rights in the southwestern United States. Reading Bacigalupi’s novel made me thankful for the current easy access to clean drinking water, yet fearful for our future. A great read for any fan of dystopian fiction.”
    Lindsay Atwood, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

  9. The Knockoff: A NovelThe Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
    The Knockoff is a digital-age mash-up of old-school movies The Women and All About Eve, set in the Devil Wears Prada world of a high fashion magazine. I absolutely loved this fresh, charming, addictive and ultimately heroic story of 40-something cancer survivor Imogen’s quest to rescue and rebuild her career, despite the machinations of a younger tech-wiz rival.”
    Janet Schneider, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY

  11. Early Warning: A NovelEarly Warning: A Novel by Jane Smiley
    “In the second book of the Langdon trilogy, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist follows the next generation of the unforgettable Iowa family introduced in Some Luck. Beginning with the death of the patriarch Walter in 1953, Smiley chronicles the social consciousness in America of the 1960s. The book goes up to events in the 1970s and early 1980s that touch each family member in unforeseen ways.”
    Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

  13. Seveneves: A NovelSeveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
    “Stephenson’s back in fine form with this hard science fiction masterpiece, combining the detail of Cryptonomicon with the fast-paced action of Reamde. Fans of Anathem will appreciate Stephenson’s speculation about the possibilities of human evolution. This book is a great follow-up for readers who enjoyed the science of Weir’s The Martian. I heartily recommend Seveneves to SF readers.”
    Keith Hayes, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

  15. The Ghost FieldsThe Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths
    “Griffiths has written another strong entry in her excellent Ruth Galloway series. Here, Ruth is called in when a World War II plane is excavated, complete with pilot—but the pilot is in the wrong plane. Strong characters combine with an absorbing puzzle to create a hard-to-put-down mystery.”
    Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

  17. Our Souls at Night: A NovelOur Souls at Night: A Novel by Kent Haruf
    “Beautiful, elegant and poignant, this novel is a distilled experience of Haruf’s writing. The story of how two elders attempt to poke at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds them will stick with me for a long time to come. I’m amazed at how Haruf says so much with such spare prose. He will be missed.”
    Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

  19. Little Black Lies: A NovelLittle Black Lies: A Novel by Sharon Bolton
    “Set in the Falkland Islands, this novel grabs you from the opening paragraph. A child is missing, and he’s not the first. The incident sets off a chain of events leading to multiple characters confessing to murder. Accustomed to living in an idyllic community, fear and anger escalate among the locals. Bolton has created a page-turner of a story with a surprise ending.”
    Elizabeth Kanouse, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ


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


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KDL on WGVU Radio — KDL Caffeinated

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Kip 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 Kip Odell, Adult Services Librarian at the Grandville Branch, talk about our KDL Caffeinated series of coffee and tea brewing and tasting events, as well as Creative Canvas Painting and Recycled Reads programs. Kip also recommends the book Scary Close by Donald Miller.


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Download WGVU4-2-15.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)





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MI Thumbs Up Top Ten Teen Books 2015

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

ThumbsUpAlong with spring comes this exciting book announcement: the Top Ten MI Thumbs Up books!!

And don’t forget that you can help choose the next MI Thumbs Up book by voting.  The poll will remain open until May 31st for Teens between 13 and 18 years old.

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New Booklist: It Happened in Michigan

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Who knew so much happened in Michigan! If you’re looking for something new to read, why not try something set in our beautiful, unique state? Check out this list of both fiction and nonfiction set in Michigan, featuring the great titles pictured here and many more!

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man             Motor City Burning: A Novel               If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers: Stories from the Detroit Tigers' Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box

Other new adult booklists:

Left-Brain Candy

Blinding Me with Science

Find other great booklists over in KDL Recommends.

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