KDL Blog ‘Books & More’ Category

Author Billie Letts Dies At Age 76

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

billielettsBillie Letts, author of the Oprah Winfrey-picked “Where The Heart Is,” died August 3rd at the age of 76. Ms. Letts didn’t start writing until she was in her 50s after teaching English for two decades. Her first book went on to be a bestseller and was made into a movie, partially thanks to Oprah’s endorsement.

Billie Letts’ later works included “The Honk and Holler Opening Soon” in 1998, “Shoot the Moon” in 2004 and “Made in the U.S.A.” in 2008.

 

 


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KDL Top Ten — Romance

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Running out of beach reads? Re-stock with some romance! Here are ten of the most popular romance titles at KDL for the past month.

TopTenRomance

 


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Local Indie Spotlight: Hans Giplaye

Friday, August 15th, 2014

shadow of death

An interesting and sad tale is told by this Grand Rapids nurse as he remembers his life in Liberia in the 1990s. In the Shadow of Death: Growing up During the Liberian Civil War, Hans Giplaye tells of the horrors he witnessed at the hands of the rebels, such as civilians massacred because they are from a different tribe. He was 9 when the civil war began; when it was over he was 16. Hans and his siblings manage to survive thanks to his uncle, whose own family is killed. His uncle leads them all over Liberia searching for peace and safety but often the tranquility does not last long as the rebels or government forces advance and inflict horrific pain and suffering. Hans’s parents manage to escape to the U.S. early in the conflict but due to strict  immigration policies and lack of a stable government in Liberia, Hans is not able to reunite with his family for many years. This book gives an interesting first-hand account of the Liberian civil war and tells a bit about the history of Liberia.

Hans Giplaye’s book is part of the Local Indie @ KDL collection, housed at the Cascade Township and Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branches. It was created to give independent authors, filmmakers and musicians the opportunity to be added to our shelves and to be featured by staff in order to increase viewers, readers and listeners.

Click here to browse our Local Indie @ KDL collection.


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Mary’s Movie Picks

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Mary Long, staff member at the Englehardt Branch in Lowell, is an avid movie fan. She enjoys a variety of movies from fiction to nonfiction. She is the go-to staff person when a patron wants a movie, but can neither remember the title or major parts of the plot, but knows “it’s got that woman who used to play a nurse on “ER” and is now a lawyer in the TV show “The Good Wife” . . . Here are some documentaries Mary has recommended and enjoyed:

The Address, a 90-minute feature length documentary by Ken Burns, tells the story of a tiny school in Putney, Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address:

Tim’s Vermeer might be a good choice if you enjoyed the movie The Monuments Men. This documentary is a Penn and Teller film about Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor who attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: how did 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically, 150 years before the invention of photography?

The Whale: The True Story of Luna  is narrated by Ryan Reynolds and tells the remarkable true story of a young wild killer whale who lost contact with his family on the coast of British Columbia and became famous around the world when he tried to make friends with human beings.

Find other great documentary suggestions on our Documentary Films page on the KDL website.

 


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September LibraryReads Staff Picks

Wednesday, August 13th, 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. Smoke Gets in Your EyesLibraryReadsFavoriteSmoke Gets in Your Eyes:
    And Other Lessons from the Crematory
    by Caitlin Doughty
    “Part memoir, part exposé of the death industry, and part instruction manual for aspiring morticians. First-time author Doughty has written an attention-grabbing book that is sure to start some provocative discussions. Fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff and anyone who enjoys an honest, well-written autobiography will appreciate this quirky story.”
    Patty Falconer, Hampstead Public Library, Hampstead, NH
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  3. Station ElevenStation Eleven: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel
    “An actor playing King Lear dies onstage just before a cataclysmic event changes the future of everyone on Earth. What will be valued and what will be discarded? Will art have a place in a world that has lost so much? What will make life worth living? These are just some of the issues explored in this beautifully written dystopian novel. Recommended for fans of David Mitchell, John Scalzi and Kate Atkinson.”
    Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC
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  5. The Secret PlaceThe Secret Place by Tana French
    “French has broken my heart yet again with her fifth novel, which examines the ways in which teenagers and adults can be wily, calculating, and backstabbing, even with their friends. The tension-filled flashback narratives, relating to a murder investigation in suburban Dublin, will keep you turning pages late into the night.”
    Alison McCarty, Nassau County Public Library System, Callahan, FL
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  7. RoomsRooms: A Novel by Lauren Oliver
    “A family comes to terms with their estranged father’s death in Oliver’s first novel for adults. Told from the perspective of two ghosts living in the old house, this unique story weaves characters and explores their various past connections. Great book!”
    Rachel Fewell, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO
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  9. The Children ActThe Children Act by Ian McEwan
    “Judge Fiona Maye is at a difficult point in her marriage. Taking refuge in addressing other people’s problems in family court, Fiona extends herself more than usual, meeting a boy whose future is in her hands. McEwan is a masterful observer of human distress. With a simple story and flawed, genuine characters, this novel is poignant and insightful.”
    Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis, MO
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  11. The DistanceThe Distance: A Thriller by Helen Giltrow
    “Imagine a modern-day Robin Hood who deals not in money, but identity. Karla, the protagonist of The Distance, is a tech guru with a conscience, and the security of several nations dependent on her. This nuanced book kept me on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait until the next one comes out.”
    Cathy Scheib, Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, IN
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  13. HorrorstorHorrorstor: A Novel by Grady Hendrix
    “You know how some horror movies would work better as novels? Horrorstor is that book, perfectly capturing everything that is terrific about the horror genre. In its catalog-style pages, you’ll find a hefty dose of satire, as a Scandinavian furniture store is transformed overnight into a prison. With characters that you’re rooting for and terror that creeps up on you, Horrorstor will keep you up all night in the best possible way.”
    Donna Matturri, Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington, OH
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  15. The Paying GuestsThe Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
    “You can almost bet that a situation with long-term guests — paying or not — is not going to turn out well. This novel by Waters, who many know from her earlier books Tipping the Velvet and The Little Stranger, will keep you turning the page to see just how tense things can get, and how far fear and passion can push someone.”
    Elizabeth Angelastro, Manlius Library, Manlius, NY
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  17. The Witch with No NameThe Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison
    “In this book, Harrison ends her long-running Hollows series, featuring witch Rachel Morgan, vampire Ivy, and pixy Jenks. Rachel’s come a long way; now, she and her friends attempt the impossible and face their toughest battle yet. Harrison skillfully wraps up many plot points, leaving readers sad that the series is over but satisfied by its ending. Fans will surely cheer Rachel on and shed a tear or two.”
    Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ
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  19. Season of StormsSeason of Storms by Susanna Kearsley
    “Once again, Kearsley introduces you to a cast of characters who will quickly hold a special place in your heart. Celia and Alex mirror lovers from decades past, sharing similar secrets and passions. Flashbacks are woven seamlessly into the storyline, and the strong family component is handled beautifully, with surprising twists and turns.”
    Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

 

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

 


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KDL on WGVU — Post-Millage Plans

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Lance 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 Library Director Lance Werner talk about what the future holds for KDL now that the millage has passed. 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 WGVU8-7-14.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)

 

 


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute — “Love Bug”

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Love BugRaffi is one of North America’s most well-known children’s musicians. He has delighted children and parents for nearly 40 years. From “Baby Beluga” to “Shake My Sillies Out,” his music is a staple of early childhood programs in schools and libraries. The release ofLove Bugmarks Raffi’s first new collection of original songs in over a decade. Engaging new songs share fundamental topics of love, nature, playtime and teamwork. Celebrate this legendary musician as you enjoy the summer sunshine. Relive childhood favorites and find a new one with your family.

– 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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Author L. A. Meyer Died July 29

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

meyer

The well-known author of the Bloody Jack series for teens, Louis A. Meyer died on July 29 of complications from refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  The 12th and last book of the Bloody Jack series, Wild Rover No More, will be published in September.

 


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New Macmillan eBooks Now Available!

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Good news for eBook fans — new titles from Macmillan Publishers are now available from the library! Macmillan had previously chosen to only sell titles that were published more than 12 months ago to libraries, but they are now making their entire frontlist of eBooks available to libraries as well.

KDL has purchased a number of new Macmillan eBook titles, including:

Visit http://ebooks.kdl.org and download one today!

 

The Fortune Hunter  A Colder War  The Dead Will Tell  Landline

 


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KDL Top Ten — Books on Writing

Friday, August 8th, 2014

If you love to write, or would like to learn more about it, take a look at this week’s Top Ten. These are 10 of the most popular books on Writing in KDL’s nonfiction collection right now:

Top Ten Books on Writing 08-08-2014

And speaking of writing — we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line or two on our Experience Summer Online @ KDL web page, and you could win prizes! But enter soon, this program wraps up on Saturday, August 9.

 


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