KDL Blog ‘Books & More’ Category

Vera B. Williams, author and illustrator, dies at age 88

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

VeraWilliamsVera B. Williams, award-winning illustrator and author died last Friday at the age of 88.  Vera Williams received her BFA from Black Mountain college in North Caroline and worked as an artist and teacher for the first part of her career.  At the age of 46, she started illustrating children’s books.

In 2004, Vera Williams was the first U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.  She won the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009 and a Caldecott Medal in 1983 and 1991.  While Vera B. Williams wrote & illustrated many books, she is best known for A Chair For My Mother, although my personal favorite is More, More, More, Said the Baby.

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KDL Anywhere, Anytime with KDLCast

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

KDL Cast WEB TRANSPARENTTake us on the road with you! Kent District Library’s podcast, KDLCast, is up and running and ready to entertain you. Bringing in professionals once a month, KDL covers topics to enhance your life from exploring the back roads of Michigan to advice on incorporating gluten-free meals in your diet. Join the fun and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Happy listening!

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October LibraryReads Staff Picks

Thursday, October 15th, 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. City on Fire: A NovelLibraryReadsFavoriteCity on Fire: A Novel by Garth Risk Hallberg
    “WOW! An excellently executed work with intricate plot lines and fascinating characters. It’s a story of how the stories of many different people of New York City in the late seventies crash into each other like waves on rocks. This work may encapsulate the whole of New York City, as it has wealth, love, filth, passion, aimless angst, and the myriad of other aspects of humanity swirling in that amazing city.”
    Racine Zackula, Wichita Public Library, Wichita, KS

  3. After You: A NovelAfter You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes
    “I loved Me Before You and thought it ended in the perfect place, but any doubts I had about continuing the story were quickly erased when I started this sequel. Jojo Moyes is a master at tugging on your heartstrings. I laughed, I cried, and I nearly threw my Kindle against the wall at one point. Give this to anyone in your life who has experienced a tragic loss. With a box of tissues.”
    Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH

  5. A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley NovelA Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George
    “Still reeling from a previous fall from grace, police detective Barbara Havers has a chance to redeem her standing—if she can unravel the very twisted threads that led to the murder of a prominent English feminist. Meanwhile, her superior officer Thomas Lynley pursues a love interest even as he keeps a sharp lookout for any slip-ups by Havers. This is the strongest addition to the series in years.”
    Starr Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, Falls Church, VA

  7. Slade House: A NovelSlade House: A Novel by David Mitchell
    “Every nine years, Slade House appears in a little alley in London, and every nine years, someone disappears into it, never to be seen again. Fans of The Bone Clocks will inhale this compact, six-part work that draws on Mitchell’s established mythology and reintroduces a familiar character or two. New readers, however, won’t be lost. Literary fiction, fantasy, and a dose of horror combine here to make a deeply satisfying book.”
    Jenny Arch, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

  9. The Heart Goes Last: A NovelThe Heart Goes Last: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
    “The premise of Atwood’s latest is interesting, grounded strongly in current social and economic issues. The writing is as elegant and beautiful, as always with Atwood. I recommend this book because it is a wonderful and thought-provoking novel. People who have enjoyed other Atwood works should definitely take a look at this one.”
    Lauren Mitchell, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ

  11. The Secret Chord: A NovelThe Secret Chord: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
    “Brooks does it again, in this fascinating and richly detailed fictionalized account of the life and times of King David. We see David as he might actually have been: a charismatic leader of men, both brutal and conflicted. This is perfect for historical fiction readers who enjoy lots of detail and believable characters. It transports you to the times and places inhabited by David.”
    Marilee Cogswell, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA

  13. Welcome to Night Vale: A NovelWelcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
    From the creators of the popular podcast about a nameless town where the supernatural and strange are commonplace comes a new mystery novel. “This is classic Night Vale in written form. It’s an absolute must for Night Vale fans, and will possibly provide an introduction for those who haven’t found this snarky little podcast yet.”
    Debra Franklin, York County Public Library, Rock Hill, SC

  15. In Bitter ChillIn Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward
    “Great new mystery set in the atmospheric Peak District of England. When a woman’s suicide is found to be related to an unsolved case of a missing girl, the police must reinvestigate a long cold case. I hope this book will be the first in a new series!”
    Pamela Wiggins, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

  17. Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMAThen Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA
    by Roberta Kaplan with Lisa Dickey
    “The attorney who argued before the Supreme Court for the plaintiff in this landmark case gives the story behind the headlines. Kaplan integrates personal narrative with legal strategy throughout, combining her own struggles with a fascinating look at the brave and unconventional life led by her client. This is a heartwarming and inspiring account of one widow’s pursuit of justice and dignity.”
    Darren Nelson, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA

  19. We Were BrothersWe Were Brothers by Barry Moser
    “Moser’s deeply personal memoir of his volatile relationship with his brother in the segregated south is thoughtful and beautifully written. Strong differences of opinions divided the brothers. Late in life, reconciliation came, but only after years of heartache. There is much to ponder from this work, which is timely given current racial tensions.”
    PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC


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


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A.S. King Visits THIS WEEK!

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

In preparation for our October 15th author visit from A.S. King – yes friends, that is in TWO DAYS! – I thought it would be a good time to reminisce about some of my favorite A.S. King books. She is one of my favorite go-to authors when I am in need of a book that will shake my reading list up a bit.

If you have not read King, I suggest going with one of two books: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future or Ask the Passengers. Both of these books ease you into Kings writing style; greeting you with depth of character and an unusual story that does an impeccable job presenting real life teen issues in a unique and powerful way. These change-of-pace books are sure to add great variety to any readers list.

17453303Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

 Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities–but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions–and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

13069935Ask the Passengers
Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. They’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl. As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect the lives of strangers–and her own–for the better.

 If you are ready to jump right into a King book then I suggest Reality Boy:

17332968Reality Boy

A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” struggling to break free of his anger. Gerald Faust started feeling angry even before his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth–which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle–and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education at school. No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they’re all just waiting for him to snap. And he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that…until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved.

Great news! If you are an avid King reader you’re in luck! Her new novel I Crawl Through It was released late September of this year to great review thus far!

23203744I Crawl Through it

Four teenagers are on the verge of exploding. The anxieties they face at every turn have nearly pushed them to the point of surrender: senseless high-stakes testing, the lingering damage of past trauma, the buried grief and guilt of tragic loss. They are desperate to cope, but no one is listening. So they will lie. They will split in two. They will turn inside out. They will even build an invisible helicopter to fly themselves far away…but nothing releases the pressure. Because, as they discover, the only way to truly escape their world is to fly right into it.

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Author Henning Mankell Dies At Age 67

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Henning-MankellSwedish novelist, Henning Mankell died Monday in Sweden at the age of 67.  In terms of Scandinavian novels, Henning Mankell‘s gritty Inspector Kurt Wallander lead the way for other authors from that region to find a broader audience.  Henning Mankell did end his well loved series 2009 with the publication of “The Troubled Man“.

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Rick Riordan’s The Sword of Summer is Here!

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Rick Riordan, the popular author of The Lightning Thief, and the Red Pyramid has just released the first book in a highly anticipated new series.

Sword of Summer, book one of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, follows Magnus Chase as he goes from being homeless on the streets of Boston to discovering he is the son of a Norse god.

Sword of Summer

Watch the book trailer here!

Happy reading!


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Two eBooks, No Wait!

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

BigLibrary ReadJoin millions of readers around the world reading one eBook. As part of Overdrive’s Big Library Read program, we are pleased to offer our patrons unlimited access to the eBooks The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley and In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters now through October 21. No matter how many KDL patrons are reading or listening to this book, we will have a copy available for you to download — no holds, no waitlists!

Click here to learn more about the featured titles.

We encourage you to join this global “library book club!” Download The Door in the Hedge or In the Shadow of Blackbirds today.


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Meet the Author: Emily St. John Mandel

Monday, October 5th, 2015

EmilyStJohnMandel1SMALLWe are so excited that Emily St. John Mandel, author of the Great Michigan Read book Station Eleven, will be visiting the Cascade Township Branch at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, October 6.  Guests will enjoy a light breakfast and a chat with the author. Registration is required and spots are limited, so sign up today by clicking here or calling 784-2007. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Cascade Library.

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Who Is Your Favorite Author?

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

As someone who works with books all day, one of the hardest questions to answer is: “Who is your favorite author?”  Truthfully, we all have more than one favorite author, that author who we will read no matter what they publish.

Combining almost 10 years of staff favorite lists and about 40 different authors, here are the two authors that stand out from the many beloved authors.










JoJo Moyes has only recently become a sensation in the United States but staff LOVE her books!  Her books are generally historical fiction with two voices, one current and one in the past.   Favorite book of staff is Me Before You with a recently published sequel called After You.

Harlan Coben has been writing for a while and is best known for mystery/suspense stand alone books.  His books are suspenseful but not too graphic and they feel like something that could actually happen.  My two personal favorites are The Woods and Hold Tight.

So, who is YOUR favorite author?

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MeLCat Now Available for Interlibrary Loan

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

For this last segment of our migration to our new KDL catalog, we have good news and bad news.MeL_logo_color_188466_7

The Good News:  As promised, KDL’s participation in the statewide resource sharing system, MelCat, was reinstated on October 1. MeLCat makes nearly 46 million items accessible to cardholders of the 442 participating public, academic and school libraries. If you did not find a title you are looking for in the KDL catalog, you will be prompted to Continue Search in MeLCat.

  • KDL cardholders may request up to 50 print items using MeLCat, but not audio or video material.
  • Delivery to your KDL branch will average about one week.
  • You may only request items that are currently on the shelf at participating MeLCat libraries. You cannot place a hold on checked out material.
  • Non-KDL Cardholders must use their home library to access MeLCat services.
  • Cardholders may check on the status of MeLCat requests and renew MeLCat material that is not yet due by accessing My MelCat. If a MeLCat item is overdue, KDL staff may renew it at their discretion. Please check at your branch, or call 616-784-2007.


The Bad News:  After our migration to the new KDL catalog was well underway, we learned that the MeLCat servers are moving to a new environment, resulting in a temporary disruption of interlibrary loan services.

  • Beginning Wednesday, November 18, no new MeLCat requests can be placed. Incoming and outgoing materials will continue to be processed, and currently checked out materials can still be renewed and managed using My MeLCat.
  • From Wednesday, December 2 through December 11, MeLCat items will not be processed.
  • Full MeLCat services are expected to resume on Saturday, December 12.

We understand that this will be a hardship for our customers, especially our homeschool families and we deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause. We were very disheartened to learn of MeLCat’s downtime after our customers have already endured so much time without access to interlibrary loan services! With this advance notice, we hope to help you plan accordingly. As always, please visit your local KDL branch or call our friendly Patron Services Department at 616-784-2007 for assistance.


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