Archive for June, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou Pulitzer?

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Salvage the Bones coverBy now you have probably heard there was no selection for the Pulitzer Prize Fiction category — maybe you saw it here on this blog. While the $10,000 prize would be a welcomed addition to any author’s inkwell and blotter fund, one benefit is increased exposure of their work.  The following three titles were the finalists who did not take home the prize:

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Twelve-year-old Ava must travel into the Underworld part of the swamp in order to save her family’s dynasty of Bigtree alligator wrestling.

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

Welcome to the banal world of the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, and the host of strange people who work there, in a novel that was unfinished at the time of the author’s death.

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Robert Grainer is a day laborer in the American West at the start of the 20th century, an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime.

Another prizeworthy read is Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, the National Book Award winner, a story of a Mississippi girl and her family facing brewing storms on the horizon.

Which book do you think should have won?


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KDL Top Ten – 6/8/2012

Friday, June 8th, 2012

June is Audiobook Month!  To view the 10 most checked-out eAudiobook titles at KDL this week, click on the link to the KDL Top Ten List!  These titles and many more are available on KDL’s Downloadable eBook site!



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Oprah’s Book Club Returns

Friday, June 8th, 2012


Oprah has brought back her wildly popular book club to the delight of many fans!   Her first selection (since 2010) is Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“I love this book. I want to shout it from the mountaintop. I want to shout it from the Web. In fact, I love this book so much and want to talk about it so much, I knew I had to reinvent my book club,” declared the Mighty O.

 The club is being promoted as 2.0 to include digital books which will include margin notes from Oprah. Check out our booklist with all Oprah’s picks through the years — which one is your favorite?


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Disappearing Soon at a Library Near You…

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Libraries can be magical places,  not to mention when you make room amongst the stacks for a magic show that’s fun, funny, educational and entertaining!

Beyond Magic with Tom Plunkard is a high-impact show loaded with masterful illusions, including many new tricks and silly stories. As always, birds and bunnies are bound to make an appearance and/or disappearance.

Thursday, June 14, 1:30 PM – Alto branch
Thursday, June 14, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Tuesday, June 19, 1:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Thursday, June 21, 2:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch
Friday, June 29, 2:00 PM – Comstock Park branch
Tuesday, July 3, 10:00 AM – Kentwood branch
Tuesday, July 10, 4:00 PM – Spencer Township branch
Wednesday, July 11, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Wednesday, July 11, 6:00 PM – Alpine Township branch
Thursday, July 12, 10:30 AM – Englehardt branch
Thursday, July 12, 6:30 PM – Wyoming branch
Thursday, July 19, 6:00 PM – Tyrone Township branch
Thursday, July 26, 1:00 PM – Walker branch
Thursday, July 26, 7:00 PM – Cascade Township branch
Monday, July 23, 6:30 PM – Krause Memorial branch

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Hey Teens — Free Subs at the Library!

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Visit select library branches from June 12 to August 31  for our “Super Sub Sampler,” where you will get to taste submarine sandwiches from local restaurants and vote for your favorite! For teens grades 6-12.

Tuesday, June 12, 1:00 PM – Englehardt branch
Thursday, June 14, 3:00 PM – Cascade Township branch
Tuesday, June 26, 1:00 PM – Walker branch
Tuesday, June 26, 3:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Wednesday, June 27, 2:00 PM – Byron Township branch
Wednesday, June 27, 2:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch
Thursday, July 12, 2:00 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Tuesday, July 17, 2:30 PM – Wyoming branch
Tuesday, July 17, 4:00 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Tuesday, July 24, 3:00 PM – Alpine Township branch
Wednesday, July 25, 1:00 PM – Grandville branch
Tuesday, August 14, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Tuesday, August 21, 4:00 PM – Tyrone Township branch

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Celebrate Summer at Kentwoodpalooza!

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

We are celebrating the end of school and the beginning of Summer Reading @ KDL with Kentwoodpalooza, held next Wednesday, June 13, from 4:00–8:30 PM at the Kentwood branch. All ages welcome!

Join us outside in the amphitheatre for:

  • Live music from local teen and professional bands
  • Renowned caricaturist Corey Ruffin
  • Free pizza and root beer
  • Poetry reading featuring winners of the KDL teen poetry contest
  • Summer Reading sign ups

Entertainment Schedule:

4:00 — 6 degrees
4:30 – the 70’s
5:00 – Breaking Habit
5:30 – Big Dudee Roo
6:30 – Poetry Reading
7:30 – Delilah DeWylde and The Lost Boys

This event is sponsored in part by The Awesome Foundation, Dr. Joseph Antonucci, Breton Gardens Family Dentistry, and the Friends of the Kentwood Library.


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Michigan Notable Authors To Visit KDL

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

We are pleased to present an author visit that is part of the Library of Michigan’s 2012 Michigan Notable Authors Tour.

Christine Byron and Tom Wilson will visit the Krause Memorial branch at 6:30 PM on Thursday, June 14. Their new book, Vintage Views Along the West Michigan Pike: From Sand Trails to US-31was selected as one of the Michigan Notable Books this year. The book tells the story of the 400-mile meandering ribbon of mostly coastal road’s early beginning as serpentine sand trails and rutted dirt pathways, and its transformation to US-31 used by today’s traveler.

The authors will offer a powerpoint presentation on the book and will take questions and comments from the audience. Books will be for sale at the event.

Michigan Notable Books is designed to promote reading and raise awareness of Michigan’s literary heritage.  The program annually selects 20 of the most outstanding books published in that year – titles that are reflective of Michigan’s diverse ethnic, historical, literary and cultural experience. 


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Ray Bradbury, Brilliant Writer, Dies in LA at 91

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Author Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the age of 91.  Many an impending homage will likely refer to him using some form of “Science Fiction writer.”  I prefer to think of him as Ray Bradbury, Brilliant Writer.  There are at least three reasons I have a special fondness for Ray Bradbury.

  1. As a self-made intellectual, he wrote the 1971 essay, “How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.”
  2. I read somewhere that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 while feeding the timer on a public typewriter in the basement of the New York Public Library dime after dime after dime.  I didn’t fact-check that detail and I don’t want to know if it isn’t true.  It strikes a poetic wistfulness about Perseverance which I have always appreciated.
  3. The last line of The Martian Chronicles.  “The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water…”  [Pop Quiz.  Who are the Martians?  Who are any of us?  Why do I find this so profoundly moving?]

When I next see Mars as a little yellow dot in the sky, I will wish upon Ray Bradbury.  Thank you, my friend, for helping me see who we are.


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A Brand New Literature Award

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

For those of you who like lists (which I do), there’s a new literary prize out there beginning this year. The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction will be awarded — with $5,000 cash — to the author of the best book for adult readers in those two categories. Two additional finalists will also be chosen, and they will get $1,500.  The winners will be chosen this month.

The new award is sponsored by two divisions of the American Library Association. One of these divisions, The Notable Book Council, has since 1944 issued a list of “25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader.”  The new Carnegie Medal award winners will be drawn from the Notable Book list, and also from Booklist’s Editor’s Choice Awards. Check out these Carnegie Medal finalists — have you read any of them?




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KDL by the Numbers

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Did you know?

  • On a typical day in 2011, over 9,000 people visited KDL branches, checking out almost 19,000 items.
  • Over 190,000 eBooks, eAudiobooks, and digital music files were downloaded in 2011 – an increase of almost 200% from 2010!
  • KDL provided over 4,500 programs for our patrons in 2011. Thanks to some wonderful partnerships, more than 150,000 people were able to attend free programs at KDL last year at a cost to the library of just 77 cents per attendee.

For these statistics and more, check out the 2011 Fact Book and Annual Report. The Fact Book is a full publication of KDL information from the past year, while the Annual Report is a shortened “Cliff’s Notes” brochure version. Check them out not only for the hard numbers, but also for a nice summary of all the KDL programs, resources, initiatives and achievements from last year, as well as a financial breakdown of revenue and expenditures.


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