Archive for May, 2008

What do I read next?

Friday, May 16th, 2008

BooksOur libraries are full of books, but how do you find that perfect book to read next? Check out some of the services that KDL offers:

  • NoveList — Contains information about over 150,000 fiction titles. Browse author read-alikes, award winners, or search for genres or plot elements that you enjoy.
  • DearReader — Get the first few chapters of a book e-mailed to you Monday through Friday. Enjoying the book so far? — Check it out from the library. Not quite your style? — New books start every Monday.
  • What Do I Read Next? — This aptly-named resource includes over 115,000 recommended titles, more than 62,500 plot summaries, and awards information from 561 awards, all to help you uncover new reading adventures, find long-remembered favorites, and discover award-winning titles. Search by genre, subject, author, title, series, and more.
  • What’s Next?: Books in Series™ — If you’re a fan of a specific series of books, but can never remember what book comes next, check out KDL’s very own series database. Search by author, series, or book title. Includes forthcoming titles still on order so you can place holds for when the books are released.

Access all of these amazing services on our Literature Resources page.

Still can’t find that perfect book? Ask your local librarian for a recommendation.

Have you used any of these services? What is your favorite way to discover new books?

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John Otterbacher visit rescheduled

Friday, May 16th, 2008

John Otterbacher, author of Sailing Grace and a Michigan Notable Author, was scheduled to visit KDL’s Sand Lake/Nelson Township branch on Monday, May 12, but unfortunately Mr. Otterbacher had to cancel his visit.

The good news is it has been rescheduled!

On Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. you’ll have an opportunity to meet Otterbacher, hear about his adverse battle with heart disease and learn about his love for sailing. The author, a former Michigan legislator, will visit the Sand Lake/Nelson Township branch to discuss his Michigan Notable Book.

Our apologies for any inconvenience to those who came to see the author on the originally scheduled date. We hope you will join us next month to welcome Mr. Otterbacher to KDL!

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Nerd Fighters Invade East Grand Rapids!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

The East Grand Rapids branch author visit involving the Green brothers and Maureen Johnson last week was a great success despite the late notice.  Almost one hundred Nerd Fighters (defined below), some from as far afield as Toledo, came to meet these authors and hear what they have to say.  Below is a brief video created by Hank Green showing a bit of the event. Enjoy.


Nerd Fighters: Fans of Brotherhood 2.0 often refer to themselves as Nerd Fighters, which Urban Dictionary describes as “A special kind of nerd, who instead of having blood and organs and tissues inside, is made entirely of awesome. Nerd Fighters are best known for their efforts to decrease world suck.”

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Tamora Pierce Author Visit a HUGE Success!

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Thanks to everyone who came to the Cascade Branch last week to see fantasy author Tamora Pierce.  Over a hundred VERY excited fans were present to hear Tamora talk and have their books signed.  She was scheduled to appear from 6:30 until 8:00, but the last book was signed at around 10:30 p.m.  She insisted on staying until every last book was signed, and some went through the line FOUR TIMES!  Clearly Tamora loves her fans as much as they love her!

 Were you there?  We’d love to hear what you thought!

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June Nonfiction Titles at KDL

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

How many of you out there skip right past the Fiction stacks and head directly to Nonfiction when you’re looking for a new book?  Or are you a diehard Fiction fan, but are looking for something different to read?  Here’s a list of some of the new nonfiction books being published in June that will be available from Kent District Library.

Biography & Memoir

Undiscovered by Debra Winger
A lyrical assessment of the creative life by the Oscar-nominated actress describes the personal, artistic, and spiritual transformations she experienced by living among people who inspired her existence outside of performance arenas. 





All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-down House by David Giffels
Traces the author’s attempts to renovate a crumbling Gilded Age mansion into a functional home for his growing family, an effort challenged by such factors as a lack of plumbing and electricity and a motley band of two- and four-legged squatters.





American Son by Oscar De La Hoya with Steve Springer
A poignant and inspirational memoir by one of America’s greatest boxers describes his hard-won journey to the top of the sports world, from his early struggle as the son of Mexican-born parents, the work ethic that brought him success, his boxing career, and the pitfalls of celebrity.





Doris Day: the Untold Story of the Girl Next Door by David Kaufman
At last, Kaufman has written the long-awaited, definitive biography of Doris Day.  Kaufman reveals Day’s fascinating story and tell the reader why she was in many ways the opposite of “the girl next door.”






Me of Little Faith by Lewis Black
A biting assessment of modern religion by the “Daily Show” comic describes his haphazard Hebrew school education, witness to the link between faith and drugs throughout his 1960s college days, and perspective on the hypocrisy of faith-toting politicians.





The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death:  Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal by Laurie Notaro
A compilation of essays shares the author’s humorous reflections on turning forty, laser hair removal, how her cat broke her nose, and the discovery of how her image as a badass suffered from driving a Prius.





When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris  
A collection of essays celebrates the foibles of the author’s everyday life in France and America, from an attempt to make coffee with water from a flower vase to a drug purchase in a North Carolina mobile home.






The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi 
Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers. The author delivers a searing indictment of the President and his administration.





War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq by Richard Engel
A long-serving Nightly News television journalist in Iraq presents a detailed account of the war on the front lines that addresses such topics as the hiding place of Saddam Hussein, the political process of ayatollahs within Shiite seminaries, and life within al-Qaeda safe houses.





Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters by Richard A. Clarke
An analysis of America’s national security policies by a White House-appointed national coordinator for security and counter-terrorism evaluates the U.S. government’s mistakes and why they have occurred, in a report that poses alternative solutions.





Current Events

Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer
Elissa Wall tells the incredible and inspirational story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of America’s most notorious criminals to justice.





This Land Is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation by Barbara Ehrenreich 
The social commentator and author of Nickel and Dimed presents a satirical critique that denounces the twenty-first-century’s first political decade as the cruelest in memory, in a report that analyzes such modern challenges as political and corporate corruption, the widening economic gap, and a rise in extreme conservatism.





Psychology & Science

Simplexity : Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) by Jeffrey Kluger
Draws on cutting-edge theories to describe the basic workings of everyday objects and principles in accessible language, covering a wide variety of topics from cell phones and viruses to economics and parenting.





The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes, and How We Can Do Better by Amanda Ripley
Offers a glimpse at disasters and their aftermath, describing the three stages of disaster response, how we react €” or do not react €” in moments of catastrophe, and how we can train ourselves and other victims to survive in the event of a disaster.





Spirituality & Religion

End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World by Sylvia Browne
Addresses the most daunting and difficult predictions about the human race, commenting on all the End of Days prophecies and offering insight into what can be done to prevent a catastrophe of biblical proportions.





Why Is God Laughing?: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism by Deepak Chopra
A proponent of a holistic mind, body, and spirit approach to life and the best-selling author of Life After Death and The Third Jesus shares his inspirational guidelines for those seeking the path to spiritual enlightenment and true joy.





Check back soon for more new books in Adult Nonfiction, and highlights of some great new books and DVDs that you might have missed.  Have I listed any books that you are looking forward to reading?  Please post your comments. 

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Surprise Author Visit

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

The East Grand Rapids Branch is hosting a special author visit by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Hank Green on Thursday, May 8th at 6:30pm! 

John Green is the award winning author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, while his brother Hank runs a website called EcoGeek, which explores the symbiosis between nature and technology.  Together they are the Vlog Brothers behind last years very popular Brotherhood 2.0, where the two brothers attempted to spend the whole year communicating through a series of video blogs sent back and forth to each other daily.


Maureen Johnson is an author of teen books – all written with a female teenage audience firmly in mind, the latest of which, is Suite Scarlett.   She also appeared regularly on Brotherhood 2.0 with the Green Brothers. 

Their books and websites are all great, and now is your chance to see them in person.  Make sure to stop by the East Grand Rapids branch on Thursday, May 8th at 6:30pm for this exciting event!

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May is “Leave A Legacy” Month.

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008


May is “Leave a Legacy” Month

It is a time to inspire people just like you to make a charitable bequest to your favorite organization — such as Kent District Library.

A planned gift to the KDL Fund will allow you to create a legacy for your community libraries while meeting your own financial and personal objectives.  Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to:  reduce income, gift and estate taxes; secure a source of cash flow for the rest of your life; or reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes. 

What better way to thank the people or organizations that have had an impact on your life, than to make a legacy contribution that will live on forever? 

Gifts large and small are important, and there are many different ways to “Leave a Legacy” to KDL through planned giving.  For more information contact Janice Fonger at 616-784-2092.

For Today . . . For Tomorrow . . . For Forever!

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Meet KDL’s Training Manager: Heidi Nagel

Monday, May 5th, 2008

On April 7, the Kent District Library welcomed Heidi Nagel as KDL’s new Training Manager. Heidi will be overseeing the training of new and existing KDL employees in areas like technology and customer service. She will also be monitoring library trends in order to ensure that KDL staff continue to provide cutting-edge and exceptional information services to the public.

Heidi plans to revamp the orientation program for new hires and perform a needs assessment of the kinds of knowledge KDL staff need and want to offer great service. She will also examine the library’s internal education system, KDL University, to refine and focus its efforts and make the most of staff time and tax dollars.

“I am thrilled to be part of KDL. I’ve worked with staff from the library over the years and believe KDL exemplifies the best that a modern public library has to offer,” says Nagel. Heidi comes to KDL from Ionia Community Library where she acted as director.

We are happy to welcome Heidi to the Kent District Library!

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May 11th is Mother’s Day at Your Library

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Sunday, May 11 is Mother’s Day, and the Kent District Library has books and movies to help make her day special.

Books for Moms:

A Remarkable Mother by Jimmy Carter
President Carter’s admiring homage to Miss Lillian reveals her redoubtable, generous, and forward-looking nature and ascribes to her the inspiration for his own life’s work of commitment and faith.

Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History by Janine Turner
Life lessons from single mothers throughout history form the inspiration for single mothers today.

Mama Rock’s Rules: Ten Lessons for Raising a Houseful of Successful Children by Rose Rock and Valerie Graham
“To be a parent is and should be a calling. There is absolutely nothing as great, challenging, or rewarding as raising a child.” So says Uber-mom Rose Rock, who has raised 10 children in addition to caring for 17 foster children in her 40-plus years as a mother.

Mother Nurture: Life Lessons from the Mothers of America’s Best and Brightest by Stephanie Hirsch
The mothers of America’s brightest stars — from Uma Thurman to Dr. Mehmet Oz to Tim McGraw — share their wisdom and advice in this inspiring collection of essays and stories.

Wise Women: A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage, and Beauty by Joyce Tenneson
In ancient times, older women were the keepers of primal mysteries and were revered for their special wisdom. For this very special book, Joyce Tenneson traveled throughout America to photograph and interview women ages 65 to 100. What she found was a revelation — women who were vital, energetic, and deeply beautiful, inside and out.

Motherhood: Poems About Mothers by Carmela Ciuraru
Celebrating mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, grandmothers and grandchildren, Motherhood is a glorious, wonderfully intimate tribute to the first love in every reader’s life.



Movies for Moms:

“Cheaper by the Dozen” by Shawn Levy
In this remake of the 1950 film, the Baker brood moves to Chicago after patriarch Tom gets a job coaching football at Northwestern University. His writer wife, Mary, and the couple’s twelve children seem to adjust well, until work demands cause the parents to be home more sparingly, leaving the kids frustrated, bored and increasingly mischievous.

“Juno” by Jason Reitman
Facing an unplanned pregnancy, worldly teen Juno devises a plan to locate the proverbial perfect parents to adopt her baby. But the seemingly ideal couple Juno chooses appears to still have some growing up to do. Now, everyone in Juno’s world must do a little soul-searching.


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Local Congressman Honored with Library Award

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

KDL is proud to announce that local Congressman Vern Ehlers was the recipient of the 2008 Public Service Award from Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA). Congressman Ehlers was recognized for his efforts as a national leader on behalf of America’s libraries.

This award is given annually to a U.S. representative or senator who has worked in support of America’s libraries. Ehlers was chosen for his service to his local library board, his co-sponsorship of the loan-forgiveness efforts for librarians, and his work as one of the original sponsors of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act, legislation that seeks to guarantee that students across America will be served by highly qualified, state-certified school library media specialists and will have the library resources they need to succeed.

Ehlers has said, “I am most honored and pleased to receive this award and will continue to share my passion for reading and libraries with others.”

FOLUSA’s 2008 Public Service Award will be presented at the closing reception of National Library Legislative Day on Wednesday, May 14 in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. 

KDL congratulates Congressman Ehlers on his accomplishments and award!


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