KDL Blog ‘Books & More’ Category

Back to School Books for Teens

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

sophomoresotheroxymSurprise sequel and in time for back to school!  Sophomores and Other Oxymorons by David Lubar, is the followup book to Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie.  Scott Hudson survived last year despite his mother being pregnant but now he has a little brother and a bunch of new challenges at school.

orbitingjupiterAnd coming in October, Gary Schmidt has a new book, “Orbiting Jupiter“.  12-year old Jack has always been an only child so it is a new experience when his parents bring 14-year old Joseph to the family farm.  Joseph spent time in juvie and just wants to see his daughter Jupiter but he also has to deal with a new school and a family life very different than his own.




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Laugh a Little. Laugh a Lot!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

In need of a good laugh?  Try these new nonfiction humorous titles.  They’re guaranteed to get you in the right mood for back to school season.

Modern Romance (2015) by Aziz Anzari: The acclaimed comedian teams up with a New York University sociologist to explore the nature of modern relationships, evaluating how technology is shaping contemporary relationships and considering the differences between courtships of the past and present. 

Why Not Me? (2015) by Mindy Kaling: The star of The Mindy Project and author of the best-selling Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? presents a second collection of uproarious essays, observations, fears and advice on everything from prisoner fan mail to celebrity interactions.  

Yes Please (2014) by Amy Poehler: The actress best known for her work on Parks and Recreation and Saturday Night Live reveals personal stories and offers her humorous take on such topics as love, friendship, parenthood, and her relationship with Tina Fey.

Sick in the Head (2015) by Judd Apatow: Presents a collection of conversations with some of today’s most popular comedians, drawing on the author’s teenage radio hosting days to include pieces from the early years, and including interviews with such names as Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and Sandra Bernhard. 

Gumption (2015) by Nick Offerman:  The star of Parks and Recreation  and author of Paddle Your Own Canoe pays tribute to inspiring mischief makers, from George Washington to Willie Nelson, while expounding on such topics as religion, handcrafting, and meat. 

Furiously Happy (2015) by Jenny Lawson: A #1 New York Times best-selling author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened presents a memoir about the most compelling theme in her work: living with severe depression and mental illness and taxidermied roadkill raccoons.

Not That Kind of Girl (2014) by Lena Dunham: The creator and star of HBO’s Girls documents her coming-of-age in and out of the spotlight, recounting her experiences with everything from dieting and embarrassing sex to dirty old men and performing in less-than-ideal conditions.

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Take a Sneak Peek at KDL’s New Catalog!

Monday, August 17th, 2015

With one month until our September 17 launch of the new, exclusive KDL catalog, we thought a status update and a sneak peek may be in order. As you can see from this photo taken in KDL’s learning lab, we’ve been very busy training our staff on the new setup. TrainingLab_Photo1-smaller

We apologize for the temporary inability to access interlibrary loan services while we migrate to our new system. By October 1, KDL cardholders can use MeLCat, the statewide resource sharing system, to request items KDL does not own. There will be a direct link to MeLCat from the KDL catalog and it is an easy electronic process to request books. By going directly to MeLCat from the KDL catalog, we will offer our customers access to much larger library collections around the state. Over 400 of Michigan’s public, school, college and university libraries participate in MeLCat, including 39 of the 41 Lakeland Library Cooperative member libraries.

The new catalog will be a significant improvement for KDL cardholders; offering a better search experience, easier access our digital collection and more customer-friendly policies, like increased allowable holds and the ability to avoid overdue fines by renewing material (that does not have holds) up to three times.

Change can be a struggle, but we think within a short time, you will come to love the enhanced features of the new catalog, while still enjoying the ability to interlibrary loan material. Please bear with us through this process as we work on increasing and improving our services to you. For more information on the new KDL catalog, please see our previous blog post and read through our Frequently Asked Questions.

Here’s a sneak peek of the new KDL catalog …

Results for Title Search for “girl on the train”

Here’s a quick look at a fictional, demonstration patron’s Holds when logged into her account…

Sample display of customer holds in the new KDL catalog

Sample display of customer holds in the new KDL catalog

And here’s how Digital Checkouts will display for this demonstration library patron…

A library patron account will show both "Digital Checkouts" and "Library Checkouts" in the new KDL catalog

A library patron account will show both “Digital Checkouts” and “Library Checkouts” in the new KDL catalog

Here’s how “Library Checkouts” will display…

A library patron account will show both "Library Checkouts" and "Digital Checkouts" in the new KDL catalog

A library patron account will show both “Library Checkouts” and “Digital Checkouts” in the new KDL catalog

We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of KDL catalog! Stay tuned for more information on our September 17 launch!

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September LibraryReads Staff Picks

Friday, August 14th, 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. The Art of Crash Landing: A NovelLibraryReadsFavoriteThe Art of Crash Landing: A Novel by Melissa DeCarlo
    “At once tragic and hilarious, this book is a roller coaster of a read. You’ll find yourself rooting for the snarky and impulsive but ultimately lovable Mattie. At the heart of this tale is a beautifully unraveled mystery that has led Mattie to her current circumstances, ultimately bringing her to her first real home.”
    Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

  3. Make Me: A Jack Reacher NovelMake Me: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
    “Jack Reacher is back. Jack gets off a train at an isolated town. Soon, he is learning much more about the town, and its residents are learning not to mess around with Jack Reacher. Readers new to this series will find this book a good starting point, and fans will be pleased to see Jack again.”
    Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

  5. House of Thieves: A NovelHouse of Thieves: A Novel by Charles Belfoure
    “Belfoure’s intriguing novel is set in Gilded Age New York City. John Cross, head of the family, finds an unexpected talent for planning robberies, while his wife and children also discover their inner criminals. The historical details and setting evoke old New York. I enjoyed every minute of their escapades.”
    Barbara Clark-Greene, Groton Public Library, Groton, CT

  7. Fates and Furies: A NovelFates and Furies: A Novel by Lauren Groff
    Fates and Furies is a modern portrait of marriage. Lotto Satterwhite is the center, the hub around which all the characters revolve in the first half of the book. In the second half of the book, the lens turns to Lotto’s wife Mathilde, and her side of the lopsided partnership gives us a totally different view. Groff is a master of language. It’s not a gentle read. But it’s magnificent.”
    Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

  9. Did You Ever Have A FamilyDid You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg
    “Clegg’s devastatingly beautiful fiction debut is the portrait of a community in the aftermath of a tragedy. June Reid, the broken woman at the epicenter of the novel, is struggling with a loss so profound that she is unable to see beyond her grief, unaware that it has touched many people. Clegg tells their stories with heartbreaking sensitivity and insight.”
    Mary Coe, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, Fairfield, CT

  11. The Gates of EvangelineThe Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
    “Journalist Charlie Cates goes to gloomy, swampy Louisiana to write a book about the disappearance of a young child. Her research uncovers family secrets, lies, and clandestine affairs. This first book in a new series is incredibly suspenseful, with a vivid setting, a supernatural tinge, and an intricate plot that keeps you guessing until the end.”
    Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

  13. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible ThingsFuriously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
    “Lawson’s hilarious memoir is a romp between absurdity and despondency. Passages alternate from ridiculously funny stories of her life to episodes of her sometimes debilitating depression. Lawson embraces living life, rather than merely surviving it. Why be just happy when you can be furiously so? Recommended to fans of David Sedaris and Sloane Crosley.”
    PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

  15. This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison
    “Harriet Chance receives word that her recently deceased husband, Bernard, has won an Alaskan cruise. Deciding to go on the trip, she is given a letter from her close friend Mildred, with instructions not to open it until she is on the cruise. The contents of this letter shatter Harriet and she begins to reevaluate her life and her relationships.”
    Arleen Talley, Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation, Annapolis, MD

  17. Girl Waits with GunGirl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
    “When the Kopp sisters and their buggy are injured by Henry Kaufmann’s car, Constance Kopp at first just wants him to pay the damages. As she pursues justice, she meets another of Kaufmann’s victims, the young woman Lucy. Stewart creates fully developed characters, including the heroine, Constance, who is fiercely independent as she faces down her fears. The time period and setting are important parts of the story as well, providing a glimpse of 1914 New Jersey.”
    Maggie Holmes, Richards Memorial Library, North Attleboro, MA

  19. The Scribe: A NovelThe Scribe: A Novel by Matthew Guinn
    “A shunned detective is pulled back to Atlanta to solve some brutal murders that seem to be the work of a serial killer. Political intrigue, a fascinating time in this country’s history, and a good old-fashioned murder mystery make this one fascinating read. This book asks the question: when a man has had everything taken away, will he still fight for what is right?”
    Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX


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


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A Book of Mystery, Friendship, and Talent

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015


mysterious benedict society“Are you brave?”…the main character of The Mysterious Benedict Society (an upper elementary – teen book), Reynie, must answer this question at the beginning of the book.  After much thought, his answer is “I hope so.”

And, thus begins Reynie’s discovery of how brave he is.  Reynie is not alone, however.  He is one of four children, of various ages, who pass the test and are asked to serve on a very dangerous and very important mission.  Each person holds a unique talent, a strength that only he/she possesses.  And working together, with help from their talents, they hope to accomplish their mission.  These talents are not all immediately known.  The children have never met before.  Will they succeed?

Of course, the answer can be found in reading The Mysterious Benedict Society, as well as the two other books in the series:  The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous JourneyThe Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma.  You can also check-out the webpage here.

These books are similar to AND different from the Harry Potter series, Ron Dahl books, and Blue Balliett books.  The kids discover their talents, work together, and fight injustice.  The kids are in a real world, dealing with real people, and dealing with themselves as growing young adults.  These books are appropriate for very young readers with higher reading levels, as well as middle schoolers (and I would argue that older teens and adults would enjoy the books as well …I certainly did!)

Place a hold here.


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KDL on WGVU Radio — Literary Libations

Monday, August 10th, 2015

linda_krombeenEach 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 Development Manager Linda Krombeen talk about Literary Libations, the library’s gala fundraiser.

The event, which takes place on Sept. 10 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, features four bestselling authors: Laura Lippman, Paula McLain, Christopher Moore, and Ron Rash. There will be a cocktail hour and an opportunity to meet the authors followed by dinner with author presentations. This event raises money to support Kent District Library programs and services.

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 WGVU8-6-15.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)

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The Animals Take Control

Friday, August 7th, 2015

enslaved_by_ducks August is the time for the Kent County Youth Fair held in Lowell. Fairs bring to mind carnival rides, corn dogs and of course animals.  If you enjoy books about animals, you might want to try Lowell author Bob Tarte. You can learn how someone goes from being a non-pet person to having a major focus of life of caring for and feeding an expanding mixed menagerie.

Enslaved by Ducks was followed by Fowl Weatherand most recently, Kitty CorneredHumor is the most prominent feature of these books, but the sadness of pet care/loss and life’s struggles as well, round out the stories.  To learn more about Tarte, visit his website.  Happy Fair Week!

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The Story of a Cardinal

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Jean-Marie Lustiger was born into a Jewish family in France, but World War II came and his family, knowing the dangers all around them, had their son hide with a Catholic family.  His mother died in the camps and he, to the disappointment and surprise of his family, joined the Church and became a priest, a bishop and finally a cardinal under John Paul II. This background is just barely recreated for us in “The Jewish Cardinal”, a new DVD, but it is important to the movie, and gives it its dramatic urgency. Based on a true story, the film opens in 1979 with Lustiger as a priest who is about to be promoted to bishop. His energy—visualized by his manic cigarette smoking and use of a moped—has caught the attention of higher-ups, as they realize this convert to the Church can be of great use to French society as it grows increasingly secular. But as he is promoted, the new bishop also has to deal with his elderly father, who continues to live with the grief of losing his wife to the Nazis and his son to the Church. But they do communicate—Lustiger’s cousin helps—while not resolving their differences. The story here, while it might seem foreign or uninteresting, is compellingly told.  It reaches a climax when Lustiger learns of the plans, in 1984, of nuns setting up a convent on the grounds of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The working out of this issue, as Lustiger seeks the aid of John Paul II, meets with Jewish leaders, and continues his work as a cardinal, is deftly and dramatically done; the conflict strikes directly into the heart of this Jewish/Catholic man and so perfectly symbolizes his journey from one world into another and the emotional toll it cost him. As the film draws to a close, we see a life well-lived—a life of hope, compassion and perserverence.

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Change to Placing Holds

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

KDL_logo_300dpiAs we prepare for our exclusive new catalog, we regret some
temporary inconveniences. As of July 31, KDL cardholders may continue to place holds on material owned by KDL. However, non-KDL cardholders will no longer be able to place holds on KDL material. KDL cardholders will no longer be able to place holds on non-KDL material.

Interlibrary loan between KDL and most Lakeland member libraries will resume by October 1 when KDL rejoins MelCat, the statewide resource sharing system.

For more information, please see our previous blog post about KDL’s new catalog  and our list of Frequently Asked Questions.


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True Crime Author Ann Rule Dies at 83

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Michigan born author Ann Rule, ann-rule-768who wrote true-crime stories, died Sunday at the age of 83.  Her most well known book “The Stranger Beside Me” profiled Ted Bundy, who she briefly worked with before he was arrested and admitted to killing multiple women.

She wrote over 30 books, all of which were well received because of her empathetic perspective and focus on the victims.  She attended numerous workshops on crime topics which, along with her focus on serial killers, made her a valuable resource for local law enforcement as well as the FBI and the Justice Department.





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