Archive for November, 2013

The Kennedy Assassination

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination coincides with the release of several new books on the topic. Five Days in November and The Kennedy Detail are both written by Secret Service agents who were on JFK’s detail. End of Days by James L. Swanson presents an hour-by-hour account of the day Kennedy was killed, while A Simple Act of Murder by former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman examines the evidence and witness testimonies to sort out the myths and misinformation about the murder.

If fiction is more your style, The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter follows Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger as he exposes the mastermind behind a third bullet that mysteriously exploded. And in Top Down by Jim Lehrer, a young reporter endeavors to determine the day’s outcome if the security bubbletop from John F. Kennedy’s parade car had been in place. There’s also the alternate history book 11/22/63 by Stephen King, in which high-school English teacher Jake Epping is enlisted by a friend to travel back in time to prevent Kennedy’s assassination.

Finally, on DVD try Parkland, the true story behind that tragic day told from the vantage point of individuals who are forced to make split-second decisions after this incomprehensible event (based on the book by Vincent Bugliosi). Or The Day Kennedy Died, in which the minute-by-minute story of the death of a president is told through rarely seen film and photographs shot on the tragic day.

For more books on JFK’s assassination, check out our online booklist.


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December LibraryReads Staff Picks

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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. No Good Duke Goes UnpunishedLibraryReadsFavoriteNo Good Duke Goes Unpunished: The Third Rule of Scoundrels
    by Sarah MacLean
    “In the third book of Maclean’s Rule of Scoundrels series, Mara Lowe mysteriously disappears on the eve of her wedding day. Widely believed to be responsible for her murder, Temple leaves society in disgrace and becomes a partner in the Fallen Angel club. He doesn’t remember what happened that night 12 years ago, until Mara returns asking for his help. Seeking his vengeance and eager to return to his Dukedom, will Temple sacrifice Mara to make it happen?”
    — Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA 

  3. The Yellow Eyes of CrocodilesThe Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol
    “When Joséphine Cortès finally kicks her do-nothing, two-timing husband out of the house, she struggles to make a living for herself and her two daughters. Despite the criticism and contempt of her own family members, the mousy and insecure Joséphine gradually emerges as an entirely new creature. The secondary characters add lots of personality and drama to the tale, and the overall effect is entertaining and light — with some touching moments and bright flashes of insight as well.”
    — Nancy Russell, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH 

  5. Vatican WaltzVatican Waltz by Roland Merullo
    “Cynthia Piantedosi has always lived an interior life filled with a devotion to prayer. As she becomes older and her world changes, the spiritual messages that she receives become more and more urgent with a message that appears to be counter to the Church’s doctrine. Should she trust her faith, or should she meekly follow the teachings of the Church? Merullo’s writing gives depth and breadth to this winning heroine and her spiritual quest. You can’t help but love her and cheer her on her way.”
    — Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT

  7. How to Run with a Naked WerewolfHow to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
    “Molly Harper’s third book in the Naked Werewolf series is a relatable romance with a supernatural twist. Doctor Anna Moder spent several years hiding among werewolves in Alaska, but in order to protect herself and those she cares about from an ex, she runs away, and right into the arms of Caleb, who happens to be a werewolf. This supernatural romance is not only light-hearted and fun, but also has characters who face real-life problems.”
    — Emily Savageau, Thief River Falls Public Library, Thief River Falls, MN

  9. The Supreme Macaroni CompanyThe Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani
    “Adriana Trigiani’s new novel covers all the major milestones in life from birth to death, with a wedding and much Italian family drama in the middle. As Valentine struggles to figure out how to grow her successful shoemaking business while adjusting to life as Gianluca’s wife and partner, she learns to rely on her extended family for support. This is a beautifully written novel that will make you laugh and cry.”
    — Jean Anderson, South Central Library System, Madison, WI

  11. The Secret RoomsThe Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess,
    and a Family Secret
     by Catherine Bailey
    “Catherine Bailey’s The Secret Rooms is a very interesting and intriguing read. The author attempted to write a book about World War I, but ended up researching a historical mystery and presenting great historical facts about the war. This is an easy book to suggest to readers who like historical fiction and nonfiction alike.”
    — Joni Walter, Nappanee Public Library, Nappanee, IN

  13. Dangerous WomenDangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois
    “With a range of amazing voices — from Martin to Butcher, Abercrombie to Gabaldon — comes a range of amazing, dangerous women. Queens and bounty hunters, magicians and bandits, these 21 stories will take you all over the world, and other worlds, and proves the adage wrong: women are definitely not the weaker sex!”
    — Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Library, Easthampton, MA

  15. My Age of AnxietyMy Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel
    “Scott Stossel, editor of The Atlantic, has written an all-encompassing treatise on the condition of anxiety, one of the most pervasive yet most misunderstood human conditions. Stossel not only recounts the history of the condition itself, its causes, and its treatment, but bravely relates his own lifelong battle with anxiety. Sits well alongside other works on mental health like Daniel B. Smith’s Monkey Mind and Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon, and highly recommended for anyone who struggles with anxiety or who has loved ones who suffer.”
    — Cristella Bond, Anderson Public Library, Anderson, IN

  17. The Trip to Echo SpringThe Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking by Olivia Laing
    “What a unique way of looking at some of the most written-about 20th century authors. Olivia Laing, with prose that draws the reader in, traces the connections between alcohol and the relationships of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver. As she travels the United States following their trails, she beautifully weaves together their stories, hopes, dreams, fears and failures, while at the same time exploring the history of alcohol and alcoholism in our society. An engrossing book.”
    — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

  19. InnocenceInnocence by Dean Koontz
    “Dean Koontz’s new novel Innocence goes beyond anything he has written before. He brings us two unique and complex characters who are against all humanity in a battle against all battles. What seems to be more sci-fi than horror ends with a beautiful spiritual ending that puts Koontz in a whole new light!”
    — Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC


See for more information and find your next great read!


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KDL on WGVU Radio

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Melissa 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 Collection Development Manager Melissa DeWild talk about the national LibraryReads staff picks list and our new hoopla streaming video service.

Want to request any of the books that Melissa recommended? Click on the links below!

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
Parasite by Mira Black
• Chasing Chaos by Jessica Alexander


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 WGVU11-7-13.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)


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Two for Tuesday — Love Stories

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013


2 love stories in the midst of the beauty
and harshness of historic Kenya.

The Ashford Affair
by Lauren Willig
A potent story that spans generations and continents, bringing an Out of Africa feel to a Downton Abbey cast of unforgettable characters. From the inner circles of WWI-era British society to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the red-dirt hills of Kenya, the never-told secrets of a woman and a family unfurl.

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn
Exiled to Kenya in 1923 after her latest scandalous exploit, Delilah Drummond, now the mistress of her step-father’s estate, falls into the decadent pleasures of society until she meets Ryder White, who becomes her guide to this complex land.


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Deck the Shelves!

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Has the snow got you longing for some Christmas reads? Check out this roundup of new holiday fiction titles:

Highlights include funny, Southern fiction from Mary Kay Andrews, a Walt Longmire story from Craig Johnson, a great romance and mouth-watering recipes from Susan Wiggs, and a new western from William and J.A. Johnstone.



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Humane Society Collection: Boo-yah!

Monday, November 11th, 2013

KDL staff and patrons donated what amounted to three van-loads of pet food and supplies to the Humane Society of West Michigan, which were delivered last week. Thanks to everyone for their kindness. You did a good thing. Oh yes you did. Oh yes you did!!


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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — If I Had a Hammer

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

If I Had a HammerPlay-Grow-Read

Many youngsters struggle with handwriting. In a world full of computers and keyboards, it might no longer seem an important skill for children to learn. Reading and writing, however, are closely linked. Both are ways to represent spoken words and communicate information and tell stories. Children develop an understanding of the purpose and meaning of reading through the act of writing. Developing fine motor skills can go a long way toward helping children become better writers. Here is a fun activity to make at home that will encourage squirmy preschoolers to sit still long enough to exercise their hand muscles. Be sure to supervise this activity with your preschooler and work on a sturdy play surface.


  • an empty egg carton or a large chunk of Styrofoam
  • golf tees
  • toy hammer or a small wooden mallet


Detach the lid from the egg carton and turn the bottoms of the cups facing up. Have children pound golf tees into the bottoms of the egg cups, or into a piece of Styrofoam. The tees can then be pulled out and hammered in again. Holding the tees, gripping the hammer and pulling the tees out again are all great ways to develop fine motor skills.

Other ideas:

Give children a plastic lettuce knife and let them saw a piece of Styrofoam. This is an amazingly fun and messy activity, so have a vacuum on hand to clean up afterwards. Make sure to supervise this activity and clean up any bits of foam that might be choking hazards for smaller children in the house.

– Anjie G.

Walker 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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KDL Top Ten – 11/8/2013

Friday, November 8th, 2013

In honor of Veterans Day, this week’s Top Ten list features ten of the most popular Military-related books at KDL. To view these titles, click on the link to your KDL Top Ten List.

Top Ten History Military 11-8-2013

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Happiness Is… Friendship

Friday, November 8th, 2013

November always brings to mind friendship and family. Celebrate with a book from our Frienships and Happiness booklist:



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Survey Results: We’re Meeting Your Needs

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

SurveyWe recently asked you to fill out a survey to track the progress of our 2013 Strategic Plan goals. A big thank you to all of you who took a few minutes to let us know how we are doing. We are pleased to report that we received over 90% positive ratings on each of our goals: making sure you find what you are looking for; helping your child develop the skills they need to be ready to learn to read, write and listen; and satisfaction with our Internet services.

Everyone who filled out the survey was entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card to Schuler Books & Music. Congratulations to the lucky winner, Jean from Sand Lake!


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