New Year Teen Series Alert

December 13th, 2015

willtosurviveSo January is fast approaching bringing the release of new to the series books.  So yes, if you start now, you can read the first books and still catch the release of these great books!

Will to Survive by Eric Walters:  This is the third book in the series about Adam and his neighborhoods quest for survival after a global computer failure.  They have survived armed attacks and food shortages but can they survive an attack from a former ally, someone who knows all their defense strategies?  Set to be released in January.calamity

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson:  This is also the third book in the series about David and the Reckoners fight to bring down the Epics.  After the exciting events in New York, is David ready to take on one of the most powerful Epics of all time?  And salttoseawhat exactly is Calamity?  Set to be released in February.

The last one is not exactly a series but a companion book, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: this historical novel is about the tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff and the mysterious cousin mentioned by Lina in Between Shades of Gray.  Set to be released in February.

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Borrow a Launchpad (An iPad for Kids)

December 11th, 2015

LaunchpadWe are excited to announce that we now offer Playaway Launchpads, secure, pre-loaded learning tablets designed for children. The Launchpads come pre-loaded with 10 or more high-quality learning apps that your kids are sure to love.

Several branches have Launchpads available for three-week checkout to KDL cardholders: Alpine Township, Byron Township, Cascade Township, East Grand Rapids, Gaines Township, Grandville, Kentwood (Richard L. Root), Plainfield Township and Wyoming.

Some branches have a Launchpad available for use inside the library: Alpine Township, Byron Township, Cascade Township, Kentwood (Richard L. Root), Nelson Township/Sand Lake, Spencer Township, Walker and Wyoming.

“I think these are a great alternative to the circulating iPads we offer for adults,” said Tammy Schneider, Collection Development Librarian. “They are made especially for kids, and have no Internet access, so parents can be sure their child isn’t going to accidentally get to a website that’s not appropriate.”

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2016 Golden Globe nominees

December 10th, 2015


The Hollywood Foreign Press announced its nominees for the 73rd annual Golden Globes today and we’ve got a lot of the shows in our collection already for your viewing enjoyment! Many of the movies haven’t yet debuted in the theaters or made it to DVD yet but the ones we’ve got are linked below. Many of the films were based on books, so I’ve linked to those as well. Plenty to keep you busy as the holidays approach!

And if you’re an awards-watcher, the Golden Globes take place on Jan. 10.

Best Picture — Drama

Best Picture — Musical/Comedy

Best Director

Best Screenplay

Best Actress in Motion Picture — Drama

  • Cate Blanchett, Carol (based on Patricia Highsmith’s book The Price of Salt)
  • Brie Larson, Room (based on Emma Donoghue’s book Room)
  • Rooney Mara, Carol (based on Patricia Highsmith’s book The Price of Salt)
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn (based on Colm Tóibín’s book Brooklyn)
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl (based on David Ebershoff’s book The Danish Girl)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical/Comedy

  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Melissa McCarthy, Spy
  • Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
  • Maggie Smith, Lady in the Van
  • Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Jane Fonda, Youth
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Helen Mirren, Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs (adapted from Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama

  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant (based on Michael Punke’s book The Revenant)
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs (adapted from Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs)
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
  • Will Smith, Concussion (based on Jeanne Marie Laskas’ book Concussion)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy Film

  • Christian Bale, The Big Short (based on Michael Lewis’ book The Big Short)
  • Steve Carell, The Big Short (based on Michael Lewis’ book The Big Short)
  • Matt Damon, The Martian (based on Andy Weir’s book The Martian)
  • Al Pacino, Danny Collins
  • Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
  • Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation (based on Uzodinma Iweala’s book Beasts of No Nation)
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Original Song

Best Animated Feature

Best TV Series — Drama

Best TV series, Comedy

Best TV Movie/Limited Series

Best Actress in a TV Drama

Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy

  • Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
  • Lily Tomlin, Gracie & Frankie

Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie

  • Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
  • Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Sarah Hay, Flesh & Bone
  • Felicity Huffman, American Crime
  • Queen Latifah, Bessie

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series/Movie/Mini-series

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama

Best Actor in TV series, Comedy

  • Aziz Ansari, Master of None
  • Rob Lowe, The Grinder
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
  • Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk
  • Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle (based on Blaine Tindall’s book Mozart in the Jungle)

Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie

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Race and Identity

December 8th, 2015



Recent events and the ongoing debates around them have forced many of us to face hard questions concerning race relations in the United States.  Many books have been written in recent years which attempt to address those questions, and many classic books that have remained in print for decades address many of these issues as well.

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, was awarded the National Book Award for Nonfiction last month.  Written in the form of a letter to his son, Mr. Coates is firing on all cylinders in this attempt to address the question of our fraught history of race relations, as well as what it means to live as a black man in America today.

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, offers a timely and original framework for understanding mass incarceration, it’s origins, and our modern caste system.

The Warmth of Other Sons, by Isabel Wilkerson, also received the National Book Award in 2010 for her acclaimed historical study of the migration of African Americans out of the Southern United States into the Midwest, Northeast, and West between 1915 and 1970.

The Other Wes Moore, by Wes Moore, tells the story of two boys from Baltimore who share a name and a similar history, but whose lives turn out very differently.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, by Jeff Hobbs, is about a young man from a rough neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, who attends an ivy league school only to return to his familiar life.

Classic books that deal with race and identity include Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison; Native Son, by Richard Wright; and Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin.

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The Stanford Prison Experiment

December 6th, 2015

Experiments involving human subjects are often controversial, and have caused no small amount of hand-wringing and grief, especially when it’s revealed that the subjects were not aware they were the “guinea-pigs” of an over-zealous scientist. The new DVD, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” shows that, even when the subjects have signed on and are fully aware of what they’re getting into, the results can be surprising and depressing in what they reveal about human nature. Based on a real experiment done in 1971, “Stanford” captures, in dramatic form, through its use of claustrophobic sets and camera work, an experiment run by Dr. Philip Zimbardo. The movie opens with the professors interviewing their prospective subjects, and we soon realize they are intent on screening out those who might take advantage of the extreme situation they are applying for.  The men, once chosen, are then divided into two groups: the prisoners and the guards. The latter are given numbers and primitive coverings, while the former receive khaki uniforms and, to add to their air of power, large, aviator-style sunglasses.  A university building, out of use for the summer, was converted into a “prison”, complete with cells, a mess hall, a “hole” (i.e. a closet where disobedient prisoners could be kept) and, most importantly, camera eyes mounted into various walls so the entire experiment could be watched and videotaped by Zimbardo.  The film then proceeds to show us the results of this, and it unfolds powerfully.  What struck this viewer was how the drama, despite (or maybe because of) its cramped locations and stripped-down look, echoes the familiar and not so familiar beyond its walls—the Vietnam war (still going at that time), movies (the most egregious guard almost immediately references “Cool Hand Luke” as an inspiration), and even some performance art, in which the safety of traditional art is thrown out the window in favor of far edgier viewer-artist relations.  With all these and its revealing insights into human behavior—including an ending that deepens the complexity and becomes truly bizarre—The Stanford Prison Experiment is well worth your time.

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LibraryReads Favorite of Favorites 2015 Staff Picks

December 5th, 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 favorite titles of 2015 that librarians across the country have read, loved, and want to share with you.

  1. The Girl on the TrainLibraryReadsFavoriteThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
    “Rachel is a washed-up thirty-something who creates a fantasy about the seemingly perfect couple she sees during her daily train ride into London. When the woman goes missing, Rachel manages to insert herself into the investigation of the woman’s disappearance. In the vein of Gone Girl, this dark psychological thriller is fast-paced and features some very unreliable narrators.”
    Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

  3. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the LusitaniaDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
    “In cinematic terms, this dramatic page-turner is Das Boot meets Titanic. Larson has a wonderful way of creating a very readable, accessible story of a time, place, and event. We get three sides of the global story—the U-boat commander, British Admiralty and President Wilson—but what really elevates this book are the affecting stories of individual crew and passengers.”
    Robert Schnell, Queens Library, Jamaica, NY

  5. The Rosie Effect: A NovelThe Rosie Effect: A Novel by Graeme Simsion
    “Don Tillman and Rosie are back again, and they’ve relocated to New York. Rosie is continuing her studies, while Don is teaching and even adding to his small circle of friends. But when Rosie announces that she is pregnant, Don is once again out of his depth. What follows are crazy situations that could only happen when Don is involved. Funny and heartwarming.”
    Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

  7. The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache NovelThe Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
    “Louise Penny set the bar high with her last two books, but she had no trouble clearing it with this one. All our old friends are back in Three Pines where a young boy with a compulsion to tell tall tales tells one true story with disastrous results. But which story is the truth and why is it so threatening? Exquisitely suspenseful, emotionally wrenching and thoroughly satisfying.”
    Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

  9. A Spool of Blue Thread: A NovelA Spool of Blue Thread: A Novel by Anne Tyler
    “In this book, we come to know three generations of Whitshanks—a family with secrets and memories that are sometimes different than what others observe. The book’s timeline moves back and forth with overlapping stories, just like thread on a spool. Most readers will find themselves in the story. Once again, Tyler has written an enchanting tale.”
    Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

  11. Circling the Sun: A NovelCircling the Sun: A Novel by Paula McLain
    “I couldn’t stop reading this fascinating portrayal of Beryl Markham, a complex and strong-willed woman who fought to make her way in the world on her terms. McLain paints a captivating portrait of Africa in the 1920s and the life of expats making their home there. Highly, highly recommended.”
    Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC

  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. The Little Paris Bookshop: A NovelThe Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel by Nina George
    “Quirky and delightful, Nina George’s book focuses on Jean Perdu, owner of the Literary Apothecary, a floating bookshop. When a new tenant in his apartment building sets in motion events that force Jean to re-evaluate his past, he finds himself floating off down the rivers of France in search of lost love, new love, and friends he didn’t know he needed.”
    Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

  17. Kitchens of the Great Midwest: A NovelKitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal
    “This novel is quirky and colorful. The story revolves around chef Eva Thorvald and the people who influence her life and her cooking. With well-drawn characters and mouthwatering descriptions of meals, Kitchens of the Great Midwest will appeal to readers who like vivid storytelling. Foodies will also enjoy this delicious tale.”
    Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

  19. A God in Ruins: A NovelA God in Ruins: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
    “In A God in Ruins, we become reacquainted with Teddy Todd, the beloved little brother of Ursula from Atkinson’s last book. As with Life After Life, this novel skims back and forth in time, and we see the last half of the 20th century through Ted’s eyes and the eyes of his loved ones. At times funny and at others heartbreaking, Atkinson revels in the beauty and horror of life in all its messiness.”
    Jennifer Dayton, Darien Library, Darien, CT


See for more information and find your next great read!


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If you liked “If I Stay”… try these!

December 4th, 2015

Are you a sucker for sappy stories?  If so, then chances are you have read the book “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman.  Want more like it?  Check out these titles and more!

where she went

Where She Went

Gayle Forman


Adam, now a rising rock star, and Mia, a successful cellist, reunite in New York and reconnect after the horrific events that tore them apart when Mia almost died in a car accident three years earlier.


The Beginning of After

The Beginning of After

Jennifer Castle


In the aftermath of a car accident that killed her family, sixteen-year-old Laurel must face a new world of guilt, painful memories, and the possibility of new relationships.


This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life

Leila Sales


Nearly a year after a failed suicide attempt, sixteen-year-old Elise discovers that she has the passion, and the talent, to be a disc jockey.


Faking Normal

Faking Normal

Courtney Stevens


Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in “the Kool-Aid Kid,” who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.


Also check out the movie as well:

If I Stay

If I Stay



Mia Hall thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam. But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate.

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Mark Your Calendars: Programs for Adults

December 3rd, 2015

SoapsOf course we are offering a slew of exciting programs for kids and teens this winter, but we didn’t forget about the adults! Check out these offering for the grown-ups. Click the program title for dates, times and locations.

Creative Canvas Painting
Release your inner artist by creating a unique and beautiful painting with the guidance of instructors from Wine and Canvas (sans wine). All supplies will be provided and no previous experience is needed to create a masterpiece in our fun and relaxing environment. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited.

Gluten Free/ Allergen Free Lifestyle
Whether you’re considering a gluten-free lifestyle out of curiosity or necessity, Chef Terri Rees will help you explore tasty and convenient ways to go gluten and/or allergen-free. If you’ve spoken to your doctors or registered dieticians and it all sounds confusing; learn from a chef the tips, tricks, techniques and substitutions for making changes in your diet.

Intro to Soap-Making
Learn the centuries-old method of making traditional soap (a.k.a. cold process) from an experienced soaper. Class time runs 1.5 hours, and you will leave with a soap bar that you mixed, colored and scented. Gloves, apron and goggles will be provided. Please wear closed-toe shoes, an old long-sleeved shirt and pants (or a long skirt) to protect your skin. Preregistration is required and spots are limited.

Vegan-ize Your Favorite Comfort Food
Learn how to embrace veganism while still enjoying your favorite comfort foods like macaroni, pesto and chocolate cake. Enjoy a cooking demo and tasting of vegan treats and hear more about vegan resources in Grand Rapids.

We are also offering our KD aLe series and Early Childhood Essentials Classes.

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Online fine pay restored

December 2nd, 2015


You can now pay your fines online again. You no longer have to come to a branch in person (although we’d love to see you if you did!) to take care of that.

You can access Online Fine Pay by:

  1. Visit the catalog.
  2. Click on “Pay my fines” in the left-hand sidebar.
  3. Log in with your library card number and PIN.


We know it’s taken a while to get this service back up and running, and appreciate your patience!

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Celebrate the Season!

December 1st, 2015

6520996585_24780a3c20_bCelebrate the holiday season with KDL! We are offering all kinds of exciting programs for families this winter.  Don’t miss out on all the free fun! Please click on the program title for dates, times and locations.

The Reindeer are Coming
Traveling all the way from the North Pole (via Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms), live reindeer will be visiting the library. Dress warmly and don’t forget the camera! For all ages.

Gingerbread Lane
Stroll down Gingerbread Lane and enjoy tasty gingerbread stories. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited. For all ages.

Mush! Meet the Sled Dogs from Tun-Dra
Tun-Dra Kennels owners will talk about sled dogs, mushing equipment and the Iditarod. Families can meet the dogs and watch a demonstration outside, weather permitting. For all ages.

Countdown to Happy Noon Year
We’re giving kids an exciting way to ring in 2016 with a countdown, noisemakers, goodies and fun — at an hour that won’t keep them up way past their bedtimes. For all ages.

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