Local Indie Spotlight: Anne Brandt

October 16th, 2014

The Square Root of SomeoneThe Square Root of Someone by Anne Brandt


This collection of biographical essays is an insightful window into Brandt’s views on living, friendships, family relationships and getting older. Her tone is insightful and low-key, yet her words paint intimate images of what it’s like to view the world through her eyes. Those that enjoy Tom Rademacher’s column or collection of essays, Splitting Wood, will like Brandt’s no-nonsense way of conveying her memories.  The Square Root of Someone is a quick and entertaining read.

From her website, http://annebrandt.com:

“Anne Brandt has been in love with creative writing since second grade when her four-line poem about cats appeared in a school journal. Today her writing includes personal essays, short stories, children’s stories, and one mainstream novel. She still writes poems too.

Brandt’s work has appeared in a variety of the publications. For example, her essay about meeting her biological father for the first time in 45 years was a cover story for the Chicago Tribune Magazine. Her essay about getting a tattoo in honor of her fiftieth birthday appeared in Senior magazine. Other work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Herald, and the Denver Post. A collection of her essays was published under the title The Square Root of Someone.

Brandt has also written for clients in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds, and her writing of annual reports, newsletters, and speeches has won several awards. She makes her home in St. Joseph, Michigan.”

Anne Brandt’s book is part of the Local Indie @ KDL collection, housed at the Cascade Township and Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branches. It was created to give independent authors, filmmakers and musicians the opportunity to be added to our shelves and to be featured by staff in order to increase viewers, readers and listeners.

Click here to browse our Local Indie @ KDL collection.


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Spooky Views for the Squeamish

October 15th, 2014

ghostbustersOctober is the perfect time to pull out some of your favorite spooky movies and spend quality time cuddled under a warm blanket while the wind chases leaves around the yard.  But some of us have to draw the line at watching movies that make each leaf tap on the window sound like a creepy crawly coming to get us!  So here are a few DVDs that you can enjoy that still are spooky but probably will not keep you up at night!

Ghostbusters – (rated PG) Okay, so this one is listed as a Comedy, but it is the perfect creepy movie that isn’t too much for the squeamish.  Because seriously, that possession bit freaks me out, but I really enjoy the ghost hunting and humor!

warm-bodiesThe Sixth Sense – (rated PG-13)  Haley Joel Osment was such a adorable kid and he played the young boy in this movie to perfection.  But a certain pivotal scene (no spoilers) really sends a shiver down my spine.

Warm Bodies – (rated PG-13) Zombies; yep a sure way to make me stop watching, but really MOST of these zombies are not that bad!  This one really does have some finer points, so if the zombies have turned you off from it, give this one a second chance.

Race to Witch Mountain – (rated PG) Now we are moving on to aliens and lots of car chases.  Really low spooky levels but still a good one for October.

Nightmare-Before-ChristmasThe Nightmare before Christmas – (rated PG) Some of those animated characters are very freaky and overall it has a creepy storyline.  Jack representing Christmas?  That’s enough to give us all shivers!  But it is animated so really no need to hide under the covers.

Dark Shadows – (rated PG-13) Now vampires are another on the “really don’t want to watch” list, but this vampire, played by Johnny Depp, isn’t a typical vampire.  Yes, there are some gross things, but not that much, so grab that popcorn and blanket and watch some movies!


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British Pop Music

October 14th, 2014

It probably is not fair to compare one musical artist to another or to say that they sound like some other artist when they are all trying to have their own style and stand out from the crowd. But with so many artists making music, there is bound to be some overlap and similarities. Since British culture is popular in America right now thanks to Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Sherlock, I have discovered a few British pop musicians who are trying to branch out into the American market.

While each have their own style, here are a few who either could be mistaken for their American counterparts because they sounds so much alike, or their style of music is so similar you might not notice a difference.

1205-lloyd-split-2If you like Katy Perry…   475c4c2ace7311e3b3430002c9e17aaa_8
Try Cher Lloyd, who released her sophomore album Sorry I’m Late in May 2014.  This new album has seen her grow as an artist when looking back at her 2011 album, Sticks and Stones, which was very poppy with a bit of hip-hop and R&B mixed in. On Sorry I’m Late you might find Lloyd’s song Sirens paying homage to Katy Perry’s Firework. Both share similarities as they begin almost like a ballad and evolve into a catchy chorus. Another stand-out song is Sweet Despair.



KillsTroubleIf you like Lady Gaga
Try Natalia Kills — her sophomore album Trouble has several tracks that will remind you of Lady Gaga, both in the way Natalia sounds and in the style of tracks that are produced. The one track that really stands out is Saturday Night, as Natalia is able to deliver a song that is heavily laced with synthesizers, and a voice that stands out to deliver a memorable electro-pop sound. Along with the song Devils Don’t Fly, you might think this was a Lady Gaga side project.





If you like Miley Cyruslily-sheezus-standard-artwork
Try Lily Allen; her third studio album Sheezus was released in May and picks up where her 2009 album It’s Not Me, It’s You left off. Lily recently opened up for Miley Cyrus on her last tour in the USA. But Lily’s content is sometimes more subtle and cheeky in the delivery. Her song Hard Out Here shines a light on inequality in the music industry, while her song Sheezus makes light of all of the comparisons between some of the big names in music industry like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lorde and Rihanna (which I have done in this post by trying to draw similarities between different artists, so this post is not Lily Allen-approved).



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The eBook Everyone is Reading!

October 13th, 2014

Anatomy of a MisfitJoin millions of readers around the world reading one eBook. As part of Overdrive’s Big Library Read program, we are pleased to offer our patrons unlimited access to the eBook Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes now through October 28. No matter how many KDL patrons are reading or listening to this book, we will have a copy available for you to download — no holds, no waitlists!

In this Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower tale, narrator Anika Dragomir is the third most popular girl at Pound High School. But inside, she knows she’s a freak; she can’t stop thinking about former loner Logan McDonough, who showed up on the first day of tenth grade hotter, bolder, and more mysterious than ever. Logan is fascinating, troubled and off-limits. The Pound High queen bee will make Anika’s life hell if she’s seen with him. So Anika must choose — ignore her feelings and keep her social status? Or follow her heart and risk becoming a pariah. Which will she pick? And what will she think of her choice when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, changing her forever? An absolutely original new voice in YA in a story that will start important conversations — and tear at your heart.

We encourage you to join this global “library book club!” Download the book today!


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

October 12th, 2014

Fun with Scarves

Fall is a great time to incorporate scarves into music play. The flowing movement of the scarves simulates the movement of leaves floating down from the trees. Trying singing the following song together:

Autumn Leaves (to the tune of “London Bridge”)
Autumn leaves are falling down,
falling down, falling down.
Autumn leaves are falling down,
to the ground.

Red and yellow, orange and brown,
orange and brown, orange and brown.
Red and yellow, orange and brown,
on the ground.

With a scarf in each hand, children can practice swinging their arms in time to the rhythm or act out motions.

Scarves are a good way to combine music with movement.

Give children a dance challenge. Can you dance with the scarf on your head? Your knee? Continue to add body parts as children dance to the music.

Looking for good music to use with scarves? Try “Shake Your Scarves” from The Second Line: Scarf Activity Songs by Johnette Downing or “The Airplane Song” from Laurie Berkner’s Whaddaya Think of That!

— Sara M. at KDL’s Sand Lake / Nelson Township 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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November LibraryReads Staff Picks

October 11th, 2014

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. Us: A NovelLibraryReadsFavoriteUs: A Novel by David Nicholls
    “Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that makes you wish you could meet the characters in real life. This is the case with Us, the poignant story of a middle-of-the-road British family spiraling out of control, and one man’s attempt to win back their love. Quirky, delightful and unpredictable, the novel delves into what makes a marriage, and what tears it apart.”
    Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

  3. Never Judge a Lady by Her CoverNever Judge a Lady by Her Cover: The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean
    “Having lost her innocence in a teenage love affair, Lady Georgiana is a social pariah. Trying to save the tatters of her reputation, she must marry and marry well. By night, she is Anna, the most powerful madame in London, and a powerful seductress in her own right. Will Georgiana succeed in re-entering society, or will her past catch up with her once and for all?”
    Emily Peros, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO

  5. Lives in RuinsLives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble
    by Marilyn Johnson
    “Johnson takes a fascinating look at the field of archeology, profiling a number of archaeologists at work. She visits sites as diverse as an army base, Rhode Island, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Peru, but the best part of this book is learning about the archaeologists and their passions. A fun, interesting read that may cause an uptick in field school applications.”
    Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

  7. The Burning RoomThe Burning Room by Michael Connelly
    “In this page-turning procedural, the veteran Harry Bosch is paired with a rising star in the cold case department. Bosch may be nearing the end of his service in the LAPD, but he still has many tricks of the trade to pass along to his young partner, who has a personal stake in one of their investigations. Another great entry in the Bosch series.”
    Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

  9. Mortal HeartMortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
    “Annith has been forbidden from leaving the convent of St. Mortain, so she breaks the rules to find out why. On her journey, she meets someone unexpected: the leader of the Hellequin, a group of dead souls repenting for their past wrongs and trying to track down those who are left wandering the earth in order to help them cross over. This is the best of all three books!”
    Hannah Berry, Aurora Public Library, Aurora, IL

  11. The Ship of BridesThe Ship of Brides: A Novel by Jojo Moyes
    “Moyes presents a different take on the war bride novel, telling the story of four Australian women who must travel to their husbands in England at the end of World War II. It is a difficult journey under the best circumstances, but for the 650 brides making the trip, it is almost unbearable. These four are the last of the brides to be shipped out on an aircraft carrier.”
    Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

  13. The ForgersThe Forgers by Bradford Morrow
    “Narrator Will and Adam Diehl have something in common: they are both forgers, able to produce and sell authentic-looking inscriptions of Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry James’ books. When Adam is found bludgeoned and missing his hands, Will is inevitably drawn into the murder investigation. The clues and horror mount until realization bursts upon the reader at the end.”
    Nancy Russell, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

  15. In the Company of Sherlock HolmesIn the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon
    edited by Leslie S. Klinger and Laurie R. King
    “A unique, engaging collection of short stories written in honor of Sherlock Holmes. It’s wonderful reading all of the different styles with twists on the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales, such as a Facebook-type narrative and a story written from the point of view of a horse. Sherlock aficionados will appreciate the whispers of the great detective on every page.”
    Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

  17. Jane and the Twelve Days of ChristmasJane and the Twelve Days of Christmas: Being a Jane Austen Mystery
    by Stephanie Barron
    “Jane, her sister Cassandra, and her mother are spending Christmas with her brother’s family at Steventon Parsonage. They’re invited to visit the Vyne, where the weather and then a murder (or two) keep them houseguests. Jane’s personality and all of those around her shine throughout this story. I’m now planning to start back at the beginning of the series.”
    Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA

  19. Mermaids in ParadiseMermaids in Paradise: A Novel by Lydia Millet
    “This delightful book starts out as almost chick-lit, turns into a fantasy adventure, then leads into an underdog heist. The tone reminds me of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, with just enough absurdity in a tropical location to keep you on your toes. Protagonist Deb’s husband, Chip, is a total babe (in a nerdy way) and her BFF, Gina, is the best kind of snarky. A highly entertaining read!”
    Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA


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


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Ominous Beginnings…

October 11th, 2014

It’s late at night. The howling wind is scraping the tree tips across your window; shadows are casting gloomy figures that are crawling up your walls. You do the only reasonable thing a young adult would do — beeline it straight for your bed and pull the covers up over your worried, albeit excited adrenaline-filled, head. It’s that time of year again where we all feel a little more uneasy about what’s around the corner. But isn’t it the best! Invite that rush of excitement under that tented blanket of apprehension with one of the following book titles. Here I give you some of the most ominous beginning sentences from teen books…


“Here is the boy, drowning.”

More Than This by Patrick Ness


“My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.”

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta


7824322“They took me in my nightgown.”

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys


“You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.”

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke


“As my bare feet sank into the wet earth, I tried not to think about the dead bodies buried beneath me.”

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia


24770“The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.”

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


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KDL Top Ten — Teen Science Fiction

October 10th, 2014

View 10 of the most popular Teen Science Fiction titles right now at KDL – click on the link to the Top Ten List!

KDL Top Ten Teen Science Fiction Copy 10-10-2014

Celebrate Teen Read Week, October 12–18!

Teen Read Week YALSA logo


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Patron Story: Kristin Buursma

October 9th, 2014

Buursma2Kristin Buursma is always looking for opportunities to help her three-year-old business stand out and thrive. The Belmont resident and owner of Northlight Nannies found just the thing recently at Kent District Library: free Early Childhood Essentials classes.

Read Kristin’s story here.





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2015 Book Lover’s Calendars For Sale

October 8th, 2014

Book Lover's calendarBook Lover’s Calendars are here!

Are you an avid reader or do you have friends who like to read? Looking for the perfect teacher or hostess gift? Stumped about what to buy the person who has everything?

Here’s the perfect solution! Buy everyone a 2015 Book Lover’s Calendar, and pick one up for yourself as well. Packed with hundreds of great reads, Book Lover’s is the calendar that keeps you reading.

Sponsored by the KDL Alliance of Friends, the 2015 Book Lover’s Page-a-Day Calendar is available for purchase at any KDL branch. Proceeds help support the Kent District Library’s projects and programs.

Calendars are only $7.00!


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