Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Be Adventurous! Read a Children's Book!

October is Children's Literature month at the library so we are sharing our favorite books. 

For as long as I can remember, I have been an avid reader and frequent visitor to the library.  My mom would take us every week or two to check out books.  I even remember once, after the Blizzard of '78, walking in the street past the snow piles towering above our heads to get to the library on Salem Avenue.  

I loved solving mysteries with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and traveling the South Seas with Pippi Longstocking.
I remember devouring books by Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and S. E. Hinton and reading classics such as White Fang by Jack London and Just-So-Stories by Rudyard Kipling. These library books opened so many new worlds for me and my siblings and had a huge impact on my life (I am now a librarian).

The following are some of my absolute favorites:

The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods
Farmer Boy
Little House on the Prairie
On the Banks of Plum Creek
By the Shores of Silver Lake
The Long Winter
Little Town on the Prairie
These Happy Golden Years
The First Four Years

Stormy, Misty's Foal and Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West 
by Marguerite Henry

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  The Magician's Nephew
  The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe
  The Horse and His Boy
  Prince Caspian
  Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  The Silver Chair
  The Last Battle

Never underestimate the power of children's literature, and please remember how vital books and libraries are for a child's growth, enrichment, and down right fun.

2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winners

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize (DLPP) began in 2006. The express mission of the award is to honor the advancement of peace through literature. The DLPP is the only annual literary award in the United States to take on this mission. Works of adult fiction and nonfiction promoting peace and humanity published within the past year are able to be nominated for cash prizes. It is a unique and prestigious award, and it is a Dayton original!
The 2016 winners of the DLPP offer an interesting range of subjects, which is not uncommon to the awards. Each year four books and one lifetime achievement winner are recognized.

Holbrooke Award Winner for Lifetime Achievement
This year Marilynne Robinson was selected to receive the Richard C. Holbrooke Lifetime Achievement award. Graceful and accomplished, ethical and humane, Robinson’s writing has for over thirty years reminded, encouraged, pushed, and sometimes prodded readers to do that right thing and, in the process, to become reacquainted with what a U.S. President (who would surely also have admired her work) called “the better angels of our nature.”

Fiction Winner
Viet Thanh Nguyen's debut novel The Sympathizer  is
 a profound, startling, and beautifully crafted story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. 
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

Nonfiction Winner
Susan Southard wrote Nagasaki : Life After Nuclear WarPublished on the seventieth anniversary of the bombing, Nagasaki takes readers from the morning of the bombing to the city today, telling the first-hand experiences of five survivors, all of whom were teenagers at the time of the devastation. Susan Southard has spent years interviewing hibakusha (“bomb-affected people”) and researching the physical, emotional, and social challenges of post-atomic life. She weaves together dramatic eyewitness accounts with searing analysis of the policies of censorship and denial that colored much of what was reported about the bombing both in the United States and Japan.A gripping narrative of human resilience, Nagasaki will help shape public discussion and debate over one of the most controversial wartime acts in history.

Fiction Runner-up
Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

Nonfiction Runner-up
Find me unafraid : love, loss, and hope in an African slum by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner

To place holds on the books or view last year's winners, please check out our new Dayton Literary Peace Prize booklist.

For more information on the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, please go to

Monday, October 17, 2016

The One and Only Ivan: An Unforgettable Award Winning Crossover Novel

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is one of my favorite novels. This is a story of hope and resilience. It illustrates how an unexpected friendship can change your life. It may seem odd that this hauntingly beautiful tale is told by Ivan, a silverback gorilla. However once you read won't question it any longer.  Ivan lives at the Big Top Shopping Mall in a glass enclosure on display. People stop and watch him daily as he paints. Yes, Ivan enjoys painting. He is quite happy with his painting and enjoys talking with his friends. His friends Stella, an elderly elephant and Bob, a stray dog, enrich his life. 

His life begins to change when Ruby, a baby elephant arrives.  Ruby, as all children do, questions everything and, when she asks Ivan where he lived before he was at the Big Top, he begins remembering, and his life transforms. He does not recall being free, but he has a vague recollection of green bushes. As his past begins to resurface, Ivan starts painting pictures of what he recalls. One child notices, and as all children do, asks questions.

This NY Times best-selling novel is a Newbery Award winner. I urge you to read this book. If you can't get past the idea that this is a children's book, find a child, a grandchild, a niece, a nephew, and read it to them. You and the child will fall in love with Ivan and his friends!

If you are still apprehensive about reading a children's book, let me give you additional incentive. This is a fictionalized account based on a true story of Ivan, a gorilla who lived for nearly three decades in a shopping mall.  Public outcry helped the real Ivan get a new home at Zoo Atlanta, where he became a beloved celebrity for his paintings. This was made into a nonfiction story called, Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

I urge you to make time to read this beautiful story. If you have time, read both books. 


Sunday, October 2, 2016

October's In the Queue

You'll find dazzling debut novels, suspenseful thrillers and hot new books from your favorite author in October's In The Queue.


Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
A psychologically charged story inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest.

The Mothers: A Novel by Brit Bennett
This dazzling debut novel is a surprising story of young love, a big secret in a small community and ultimately the things that end up haunting us the most. Nadia Turner's life is turned upside down after her mother commits suicide. When she lapses into self-destructive behavior it impacts not just herself, but also her community.

The Guineveres by Sarah Domet
Domet's debut is brimming with wisdom and intrigue as four girls with the same name, are left at an orphanage to be raised by nuns. Bound by their pain and secrets, the story details how the girls survive rejection from their families.

The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P. D. James
Here are four uncollected stores by Mystery Writers' Grand Master. These stories are destined to be a treat!

By Gaslight by Steven Price
A sweeping tale of hunter and hunted, a gothic novel which combines suspense with literary fiction.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
A laugh-out-loud funny and heart-filled, day-in-the-life romp filtered through Maria Semple's brilliant microscopic eye.

The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith
In occupied 1945 Venice, a fisherman rescues a Jewish woman on the run from the Wehrmacht SS and chooses to protect her from the Nazis. His decision leads them into a turbulent love affair marked by danger.

New Books By Best Selling Authors

No Man's Land by David Baldacci
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
Chaos by Patricia Cornwell
Odessa Sea by Clive Cussler
Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich
All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris
Faithful: A Novel by Alice Hoffman
Night Watch by Iris Johansen
A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury
Twelve Days of Christmas: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber
Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes
Missing by James Patterson
The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas J. Preston
Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
The Award: A Novel by Danielle Steel
Sex, Lies and Serious Money by Stuart Woods


The Princess Diarist By Carrie Fisher
The Hollywood icon shares her life adventures including, her childhood, life on the sets of Star Wars and her struggles with bipolar disorder.

The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy by Jean Kennedy Smith
An intimate portrait of the last surviving child of Joe and Rose Kennedy, which details her childhood and the strong work ethic instilled by her family.

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love and Writing by Jennifer Weiner
Hungry Heart is about yearning and longing, love and loss, and a woman who searched for her place in the world and found it as a storyteller.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Forgotten Voyage: the Deadliest Maritime Disaster You’ve Never Heard Of

I just listened to two amazing audiobooks. These books had me staying in my car long after I reached my destination. These stories are  exquisite and the narrators are gifted story tellers.  I recommend you settle in your favorite chair and prepare for a wonderful listening experience.

Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys 
Read by Jorjeana Marie, Cassandra Morris, Will Damron and Michael Crouch

In 1945 World War II is drawing to a close and bands of refugees attempt to escape the oncoming onslaught of the Russian soldiers, by boarding a ship to safety. Among the refugees are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find strength, courage and learn to trust one another as they journey toward freedom. Each hopes to recover something lost during Hitler's reign of terror. Told in alternating voices, this story will enthrall you and as you realize the story is a fictionalized account of the true story of the Wilhelm Gustloff you will hold your breath as you wait to learn the fate of the beloved characters. This is a story you will not soon forget.

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne read by Derek Perkins

Truthfully I like this story, but I absolutely adore the narrator, Derek Perkins. Derek's voicing talent makes this a truly enjoyable read. I must confess,  I have never listened to a romance novel. This one was definitely worth listening too.
The story begins in an orphanage where a precocious 8-year-old girl,  Farah Leigh finds an injured 11-year-old boy named, Dougan of the clan Mackenzie and tends his wound. Farah names the boy her friend. She is his first friend ever and they become inseparable. In the way of children they vow to love each other forever and Doughan at the age of 13 handfasts with his Fairy. Unfortunately misfortune befalls them and they are separated. 17 years later Farah Leigh Mackenzie is a widow. Farah meets Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben. Dorian is wealthy villain and will fight to the death to get what he wants and to wreak vengeance on those who have wronged him. What he wants now is Farah Leigh Mackenzie. Farah has never met Dorian before and cannot understand why he is interested in her or her secrets. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Woodcarving Books

This month the library is highlighting our Crafting and Home Decorating collection.  I've chosen my favorite craft: woodcarving!  First a few definitions and then on to the great resources here at the library.

Chip--a style of carving in which knives or chisels are used to remove small chips of wood from a flat surface in a single piece.

In the Round--a style of carving that is completed in its entirety and generally has a more "life like" surface and texture.  They can be any topic and any size.

Relief--figures are carved in a flat panel of wood in 3 dimension.  They project only slightly from the background rather than standing freely.

Whittling--a style where an object is carved from wood by repeatedly cutting small pieces from it.

No matter which style you prefer we have books for every woodcarver:

General Carving

Woodcarving: Techniques and Projects for the First-Time Carver by Everett Ellenwood

Woodcarving: 20 Great Projects for Beginners by John Hillyer

Wood Carving Basics by David Sabol

Chip Carving

Chip Carving: Design and Pattern Sourcebook by Wayne Barton

Complete Guide to Chip Carving by Wayne Barton

In the Round Carving

Carving Fantasy and Legend Figures in Wood by Shawn Cipa

Carving Caricature Animals by Desiree Hajny

Halloween Woodcarving by Cyndi Joslyn

Carving and Painting Christmas Ornaments by Betty Paddon

Carving in the Round by Andrew Thomas

Relief Carving

101 Artistic Relief Patterns for Woodcarvers by Lora S. Irish

Great Book of Carving Patterns by Lora S. Irish


Complete Starter Guide to Whittling: 24 Easy Projects You Can Make in a Weekend--736.4 Comp

The Art of Whittling by Walter L. Faurot

The Little Book of Whittling by Chris Lubkemann

Tiny Whittling by Steve Tomashek

Whittling Pencils by Randy True


Art of Chainsaw Carving by Jessie Groese

Make Your Own Walking Sticks by Charles Self

The Complete Book of Gourd Carving by Jim Widess and Ginger Summit

Carving Found Wood by Vic Wood

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September's In the Queue

I know it's September but publishers are releasing Christmas stories early this year. In the hopes that, if you love Christmas stories, you may get one of these before the holidays, I placed them on this month's list. If you don't like holiday reads, never fear there are mysterious murders, tales of traitors, gales of laughter and even Bruce Springsteen's own story found in September's In the Queue. Find a cozy spot and settle down for a great story.


Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton
When a wealthy land developer who plans to turn a community garden into a housing estate winds up dead, Agatha Raisin is hired to find the real killer.

The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson
Four women inspired by their late friend's gifts to them, decide to become someone else's Christmas Angel and find their own lives enriched by the experience. 

Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini
The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker returns with a riveting work of historical fiction following the notorious John Wilkes Booth and the four women who kept his perilous confidence.

Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke
The holidays have arrived, and Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town's annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say "Bah, humbug!" a Santa-sized sack of trouble ensues.

Reckless Creed by Alex Kava
Ryder Creed, his K-9 search-and-rescue dogs, and FBI agent Maggie O'Dell are at the center of a mysterious murder investigation, which involves three murders in Chicago, Missouri and Alabama. They soon discover an ominous connection among all the deaths.

Mischling by Affinity Konar
A brave and magnificent testament to a shaken world, this novel tells the harrowing story of Pearl and Stasha, twin sisters who are forced to become curiosities of Mengele's Auschwitz Zoo. Pearl disappears after a performance, and Stasha vows to find her, no matter the cost.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by the Bolshevik tribunal and sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel. His attic room overlooks the Kremlin where he watches the world move on without him. Great characters, beautiful settings and prose make this a  fascinating read as the count attempts to understand why he is imprisoned and what it means to be a man of purpose. 

New Books By Best Selling Authors
The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg
Order to Kill by Vince Flynn
Closed Casket: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah
The Wish by Beverly Lewis
Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
Escape Clause by John Sandford
Pharaoh: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Wilbur Smith
Seduced by Randy Wayne White


In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett shares a behind-the-scenes look at her popular show and explores the elements that made it a success.

Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O'Reilly
O'Reilly portrays the events of World War II in 1944, when escalating Pacific battles between U.S. forces and the Japanese army lead to the development of humanity's deadliest weapon and President Truman's impossible choice.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.