play-deadLounging in the back yard with your pup? Pick up  Play Dead by David Rosenfelt to while away the afternoon. Lawyer Andy Carpenter is a smart aleck, with the redeeming quality of his love for dogs (he used a windfall to found the Tara Foundation – named for his golden retriever).

A trend in mysteries  is the deployment of pets as an integral part of the plot. There’s long been a tradition of cat mysteries (Lilian Jackson Braun and Rita Mae Brown) and now man’s best friend is catching up. Try  The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Carol Lea Benjamin or one of Susan Conant’s many (such as New Leash on Death ). After reading about their crime-solving skills, you may look at your dog with new respect.

FlagJust a reminder that the Davenport Library will be closed today in observance of Independence Day.  We’ll be open again on Monday July 6 as usual. Now get out there and enjoy some parades and hot dogs.  Have a safe and happy holiday!

Independence Day is coming and we have materials to help you celebrate!

fourth of julyred white blue murderred white muslim

If you haven’t already read James Patterson’s book, 4th of July, this is the perfect time to do so.  For those of you already familiar with Patterson’s story lines or characters, this is part of his Women’s Murder Club series and features San Francisco police lieutenant Lindsay Boxer.  (Perhaps you’ve even caught some  of the TV crime shows with Boxer as the main character, as played by Angie Harmon.)

Another appropriate title is Red, White & Blue Murder by Bill Crider.   This is the thirteenth novel in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series, in which Rhodes is presented as a likeable Texan lawman.  His character is wry and warmhearted, in a humorous,  down-home and folksy way.

If you’re looking for something a little more serious, try Red, White , and Muslim: My Story of Belief by Asma Gull Hasan.  Described on the back cover as “a warm, witty, wonderful story about what it means to be both Muslim and American in a post 9/11 world, ” this should be an enlightening and educational read for those of us less familiar with the Muslim faith.

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday!

Independence Day is coming and we have materials to help you celebrate!

fourth of julyred white blue murderred white muslim

If you haven’t already read James Patterson’s book, 4th of July, this is the perfect time to do so.  For those of you already familiar with Patterson’s story lines or characters, this is part of his Women’s Murder Club series and features San Francisco police lieutenant Lindsay Boxer.  (Perhaps you’ve even caught some  of the TV crime shows with Boxer as the main character, as played by Angie Harmon.)

Another appropriate title is Red, White & Blue Murder by Bill Crider.   This is the thirteenth novel in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series, in which Rhodes is presented as a likeable Texan lawman.  His character is wry and warmhearted, in a humorous,  down-home and folksy way.

If you’re looking for something a little more serious, try Red, White , and Muslim: My Story of Belief by Asma Gull Hasan.  Described on the back cover as “a warm, witty, wonderful story about what it means to be both Muslim and American in a post 9/11 world, ” this should be an enlightening and educational read for those of us less familiar with the Muslim faith.

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday!

junkPush it in, pull it in or drag it in…then write it off.  If you’re in the market for a vehicle, first drop a couple dollars on a gas hog.  Either scour the want ads, or go through the boonies looking to liberate “yardcars.”  Then, that junker just became your primary vehicle….wink.

According to this brand new piece of legislation, a new vehicle buyer will get up to $4500 in incentive money for buying a vehicle with significantly improved mileage.

Dark Water by Robert ClarkLast summer, while walking home from the University of Iowa Main Library very late in the evening, I came to a stop in front of a large truck parked in front of the Museum of Art. I stood and watched as workers and museum guards struggled to manuever a very large crate into the building–a crate that looked to be the exact size of Pollock’s Mural.. The flood was coming and the museum staff was frantically trying to get the entire university’s collection to safety. This meant not only removing the artwork from flood danger, but also going forth with a complex evacuation plan that involved secretly moving the artwork out in the middle of the night and transferring it to a secure location. Working around the clock, it still took about four days to save the Museum’s artwork (now on display at the Figge Art Museum).

In Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces, Robert Clark tells the story of the devastating flood that hit Florence, Italy on November 4, 1966. With almost no warning, the Arno River rose into the city in the early morning hours–giving the Florentines no time to save their families, their homes nor their city full of art. As soon as photos of the destruction began to surface, volunteers from around the world (nicknamed “mud angels”) rushed to Italy to help save the priceless paintings, manuscripts and architecture from the deluge of water and mud. Clark does an amazing job describing the incredible efforts to save the treasures of Florence, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli, but also the lack of attention given to the actual people affected by the flood. While the world pumped money into conservation efforts, the Florentines spent weeks without food, water, and electricity bringing to light difficult ethical questions of history vs. present vs. posterity.

As one of the most enjoyable nonfiction books I have ever read, I found Dark Water both fascinating and emotional with a great combination of art, history and personal stories to which we in flood country can sympathize. This is a must read for all those who enjoy art or have ever visited the amazing city of Florence.

Those who are interested might also went to watch Restoration of Books, Florence 1968, a 40 min. documentary currently viewable online from the University of Utah.