“The name’s Moneypenny. Jane Moneypenny.”

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as James Bond, does it? But what if Miss Moneypenny, M’s personal assistant who is usually portrayed in the Ian Fleming books and the movies as subserviant and madly-in-love with Bond, was actually much more influential? What if she was the one who saved Bond on more than one occasion and went on missions that were critical to the security of the free world? Set mostly during the Cuban Missile Crisis and cleverly tied to real, historical events as well as incidents from the Fleming novels, The Moneypenny Diaries are written as if they are actual diaries recently discovered by Moneypenny’s niece. This is alternative history with a twist – alternative fictional history if you will. This is the first of a trilogy of the adventures of Moneypenny, already published in England.

July 8th

Stop-Loss – Starring Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Decorated Iraq war hero Sgt. Brandon King makes a celebrated return to his small Texas hometown following his tour of duty. He tries to resume the life he left behind. Then, against Brandon’s will, the Army orders him back to duty in Iraq, which upends his world. The conflict tests everything he believes in: the bond of family, the loyalty of friendship, the limits of love and the value of honor. Includes commentary, featurettes, making-of documentary, deleted scenes, and more. IMDB

July 15th

Penelope – Starring Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon and James Mcavoy and Peter Dinklage. In a modern day romantic tale, Penelope is about a young girl’s inspiring journey, a mysterious family secret and the power of love. This is the story of Penelope, who is the victim of a curse placed on a wealthy family by a witch. Many generations ago, a witch placed a curse on the Wilhern family that would result in the next girl being born into the clan having the face of a pig. The otherwise-normal girl Penelope is forced to endure life with a pig’s snout instead of a conventional nose, which has sent many a potential suitor running off into the streets, shouting in terror. Eventually, she runs away from her sheltered existence and overprotective parents, to explore the world on her own. As she meets new friends and a potential lover who doesn’t run away, she begins to discover happiness – while all the while her parents believe the only way she can be happy is through an arranged marriage, which will hopefully break her curse. IMDB.

Other releases for July:

College Road Trip

Step up 2, The Streets

Here’s just the read to cool you down during hot summer nights! Consumption takes place primarily in northern Canada, near the Arctic Ocean. The main character, Victoria, suffers from consumption (TB) and at the tender age of ten she is sent away from her Inuit home to spend several years in a sanitarium “down South” in Manitoba. When she finally returns as a young, educated woman, she has trouble adjusting. She shudders at the thought of eating seal or half-rotted walrus meat. The community has also changed, with most of the natives who once lived off the land now living in town in government housing. After getting pregnant by a white man, Victoria marries him, but his ambitious nature is not well-received, especially when he connives with a mining company to dig for diamonds in the frozen tundra.

Interspersed throughout the novel are fascinating chapters full of medical insight, written through the voice of Dr. Balthazar, the town doctor. In this first novel by Kevin Patterson, the author intertwines sex, love, murder, loss and isolation into an all-consuming read.

Charles Milne WWII PodcastPeculiar thing about Kamikaze planes, they tended to decrease the number of available carriers for fighter planes to land on. That didn’t stop local WWII veteran Charles Milnes, who fashioned runways in the water out of steel sheets. Enjoy this story and Gen. Douglas McArthur’s lack of fear of incoming artillery shells, in Davenport Public Library Podcast #8.

Charles and other area WWII/Korean War Veterans were interviewed 7 years ago by our Special Collections staff. The DPLcasts blog is condensing those interviews down to a best-of format and attempting to bring you the best library news you can hear.

Welcome to Your Brain is a fascinating look at the mysteries of the human brain and how it functions. It’s also lots of fun to read. Find out the answers to puzzles like why yawns are contagious, why you can’t tickle yourself and yes, why you remember how to drive even though you’re always losing your keys. Included are practical tips such as how to hear a conversation on your cell phone in a noisy room, how to protect your brain as it ages and how to recover from jet lag. Along the way several myths are shattered – that we only use 10% of our brain, that women are moodier than men, that listening to Mozart can make your baby smarter. All of this and more is presented in a highly entertaining manner with stories and examples – and you don’t have to have a medical degree to understand it!

We’re a long way from sunny southern California but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a taste of summer at the beach. The Summertime Anytime Cookbook by Dana Slatkin is filled with dazzling pictures and easy, hip recipes. It’s divided by mood rather than by meal or main ingredient (chapters include “Sunny Days”, “Balmy Nights”, and “Misty Mornings”) so you will want to take advantage of the index. While the emphasis is on fresh seafood and vegetables, favorites like pasta and chicken also appear. Deserts are simple and tend toward portable – bars and cookies – to take along on your beach picnic. Sprinkled throughout the books are ideas for bringing some of the beach home with you – such as how to make your backyard pool more inviting and decorating with shells and sand. Try some of the recipes now, while it’s warm and sunny and then again this winter, when it’s cold and snowy, just when you some summer memories the most.

The biggest factor in a successful vacation is achieving a change of perspective, and in these times of rising costs many people are choosing to “get away from it all” while staying close to home. The Quad Cities have a lot to offer – we’re a vacation destination for many. In fact, in an April, 2008 article entitled “Great River Road Trip” the National Geographic Traveler magazine recommends Davenport, Iowa, as the “most rewarding stop.” A family could have more than enough activities to fill a week’s worth of vacation right here at home.

The Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau has a wealth of recommendations and ideas for vacationing close to home. And if you’d like to explore surrounding areas, the site also has some great Day Tripping suggestions.

The Davenport Library recommends these titles for Iowa travel:

The Great Iowa Touring Book: 27 Spectacular Auto Tours by Mike Whye

Great Iowa Walks: 50 Strolls, Rambles, Hikes and Treks by Lynn L. Walters

Country Roads of Iowa by Loralee Wenger

Perhaps your family would enjoy a day trip, or longer, to one of the many beautiful Iowa State Parks. And, of course, there are many beautiful state parks across the river in Illinois.

Whatever you do, where ever you go in the QC region, have a great summer!

written by Angela

Have you read the “All Iowa Reads” selection for 2008, Digging to America, by Anne Tyler?

Unfamiliar with All Iowa Reads? Each year the Iowa Center for the Book, a program of the State Library of Iowa and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, chooses one book that they feel all Iowans statewide should read and talk about in a single year. Criteria used to select the All Iowa Reads title includes:

The book must:

* Be available in paperback, large print and unabridged audio

* Lend itself to in-depth discussion and raise universal social issues relevant to Iowans

* Be accessible to adults and high school age youth

It is desirable, but not required, that the book:

* Have an Iowa or Midwest connection

* Is a recent publication that has not been widely read

On June 11, the Library held a one-time-only book discussion of this modern literary tale of overseas adoption, friendship, and what it means to “be American.” The attendees had mixed emotions about this book, but all agreed that it was worth reading. The book averaged a “B” rating, and fueled a great discussion. For die-hard Anne Tyler fans, this book does not follow her traditional formula of writing. Although slightly humorous and satirical, the biggest criticism of the book was that Tyler did not explore characters as deeply as with past works like A Patchwork Planet and The Accidental Tourist. With that said, it’s still a great summer read!

Here’s a list of past All Iowa Reads titles that could help bulk up your reading list:

2007. Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio by Jeffrey Kluger

2006. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

2005. The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

2004. Niagara Falls All Over Again by Elizabeth McCracken

2003. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

For more information about the Iowa Center for the Book, visit their website at: www.iowacenterforthebook.org.

written by Samantha

Asian Vegetarian FeastIf you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, you will definitely want to check out Ken Hom’s delightful cookbook Asian Vegetarian Feast: Tempting Vegetable and Pasta Recipes from the East. Hom is the author of more than 25 Asian cookbooks, and Asian Vegetarian Feast is one of his greats. While not strictly vegetarian (he frequently uses oyster sauce, chicken stock, and fish sauce in his recipes), the cookbook offers up an assortment of utterly delicious recipes which can generally be adapted for either a strict vegetarian diet or a meat-eater’s palate. Some favorties include Vietnamese-Style Vegetarian Spring Rolls (easier than you might think!), Corn and Ginger Soup, Cantonese-Style Bean Curd with Chinese Greens, and his Hot and Sour Noodles recipe, a nod to the beginning of his career when he taught people to make homemade pasta while studying art history at Berkeley. For the most part, the recipes are simple and clear, though a few may require a special trip to your local Asian grocery store. It’s well worth the trip, though, as the end results are fantastic. And don’t miss his incredibly informative sections on ingredients and techniques, as they are filled with advice on topics such as picking out good soy sauce and properly stir-frying vegetables. Great Asian recipes from one of the leading authorities on Asian cuisine.

Okay, it’s not the best for the ol’ waistline, but it sure helps get the lawn mowed. Extreme Brewing by Sam Calagione is a useful tool for novice zymurgists. Pssst…that’s geek speak for folks that make their own beer.

While The Complete Joy of Homebewing by Charlie Papazian is considered the de facto standard for homebrew instruction, I find Calagione’s book a much more pleasurable read. It is practical, gives hints for cutting corners, and suggests ways to kick recipes up a notch.

Unlike most homebrew books, this guide is loaded with attractive full color photos which makes it especially useful. Also, Mr. Calagione is the owner and founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, so you know he knows what he’s talking about.

And if you screw up, you’ve got 5 gallons of bratwurst marinade.