Banned Books Week is an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association; it’s purpose is to celebrate the freedom to read. At the Davenport Public Library, we’ve got displays up at our three locations showing some of the many books that have been challenged, banned or restricted over the years.  You might be surprised to find some of your favorite titles on the list!  Here are a few of my favorites that someone, at sometime, deemed inappropriate:

Come check out our display and accompanying brochure with titles of even more banned books.  Maybe this would be the perfect time to read one!

October 5

Karate Kid – Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan

Dre Parker finds himself in China after his mother’s latest career move. He and classmate Mei Ying immediately fall for each other, but cultural differences make this friendship impossible. Even worse, his feelings make an enemy of class bully Cheng, who is quite adept at kung fu. Dre turns to maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a kung fu master, and learns that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm. However, Dre realizes that this may be the fight of his life.

Splice – Adrien Brody

Two young scientists become superstars by splicing different animal DNA to create fantastical new creatures. Ignoring legal and ethical boundaries, the scientists, who are romantically involved, introduce human DNA into their experiment and risk the dawn of a terrifying new era.

Nightmare on Elm Street – Jackie Earle Haley

Five teenage friends living on one street all dream of a sinister man with a disfigured face, a frightening voice, and a gardener’s glove with knives for fingers. One by one, he terrorizes them within their dreams, where the rules are his and the only way out is to wake up. But when one among them dies, they soon realize that what happens in their dreams happens for real and the only way to stay alive is to stay awake.

October 12

Jonah Hex – Josh Brolin, John Malkovich

Having survived death, Jonah’s violent history is steeped in myth and legend and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the ‘other side.’ His one human connection is with Lilah, whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. But Jonah’s past catches up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he can’t refuse: to wipe out the warrants on his head, he must hunt and stop dangerous terrorist Quentin Turnbul.

October 15

How to Train your Dragon

Hiccup is a Viking teenager who aspires to hunt dragons, but doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. His world gets turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

October 19

Please Give – Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt,

Kate has a lot on her mind. There’s the ethics problem of buying furniture at estate sales and marking it up at her Manhattan store. There’s the materialism problem of not wanting her teenage daughter to want the expensive things that she wants. There’s the marriage problem of sharing a partnership in parenting, business, and life with husband Alex but sensing doubt nibbling at the foundations. And worst of all are the neighbors: cranky, old Andra and the two granddaughters who look after her.

Predators – Adrien Brody, Topher Grace

Royce is a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors mysteriously brought together on a jungle planet. But when these cold-blooded human ‘predators’ find themselves in all-out war against a new breed of alien Predators, it’s the ultimate showdown between hunter and prey. Explore the Predator universe like never before with exclusive Motion Comics that take you beyond the movie.

The Girl Who Played with Fire ( Swedish) – Noomi Repace

Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. A researcher and a Millennium journalist about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander’s prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and violent behavior makes her an official danger to society. Digging deeper, Blomkvist unearths evidence implicating highly placed members of Swedish society, as well as shocking details about Salander’s past.

Sex and City 2 – Sarah Jessica Parker

The fun, the fashion, the friendship: this hilarious sequel brings it all back and more as Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda come together to take another bite out of the Big Apple and beyond. What happens after you say ‘I do’? Life is everything the ladies ever wished it would be, but it wouldn’t be Sex and the City if life didn’t hold a few more surprises. After all, sometimes you just have to get away with the girls.

It’s a lovely time of year to take a scenic drive through our bedroom communities’ rustic backroads while watching the leaves turn.  Here are a few major names in the Country genre (and a couple Folk) churning out albums in September and October.

Lock in those holds on your copy at Davenport Public Library.

L-R: Kenny Chesney – Hemingway’s Whiskey
Sugarland – The Incredible Machine
Darius Rucker – Charleston, SC 1966
Toby Keith – Bullets in the Gun
Taylor Swift – Speak Now
Neil Young – Le Noise
Zac Brown Band – You Get What You Give

Five Thousand Days Like This One is from an Italian toast and reflects the hope for legacy and whatever permanence exists these days. This memoir by Jane Brox is  beautifully written, and it’s  also a fascinating insider look at running an orchard and farm stand in Massachusetts Merrimack Valley.

This very slim book is specific to one family, and the history of textile mills. Yet it is also  a universal story of  losing one’s heritage – either that of a family’s or an industry or a region.

Here and Nowhere Else: Late Seasons of a Farm and its Family is an earlier book and also evokes the simple pleasures and the back-breaking rigors of farm life. Brox is a master of the telling detail; the satisfaction of growing things  blue Hubbard squash, corn, blueberries and tomatoes.

Meet the Walker family – a large California family whose trials and tribulates make for a superb television drama on Brothers and Sisters. The award winning cast includes Sally Field, Calista Flockhart and Rob Lowe as well as a handful of other well known actors. The series is funny, serious and heartbreaking all at the same time and is combined with smart and sophisticated writing. The fifth season of series will begin on television at the end of September and if you haven’t caught the series yet, it is a great time to check out Seasons One, Two, Three and Four, which are available on DVD and get to know the Walker family.

The family, which is made up of five vastly different siblings, own a fruit and vegetable company that was started by their father.  The series opening scene starts out with a large birthday celebration that ends tragically with the death of William Walker, the patriarch of the family.  This event sets forth a chain of events that serves as the setting for the entire series, including: their father’s secret life, a new sibling and the threat of losing the family business.  Many twists and turns throughout the series will make you believe you are part of the family!

Hey crafters! Have you finished making gifts for the coming Christmas season? No? But you’ve started them, right? Um – do you at least know what you’re going to make for the lucky people on your list? Oh dear – Christmas is just a little over three months away – you need to get busy! Here’s some great new crafting titles to help you out.

Embroidery Companion by Alicia Paulson –  Alicia’s new book is just as fun and charming as her popular blog Posy Gets Cozy. Clear instructions for a variety of lovely projects, with personal stories sprinkled throughout (including the adventures of Clover Meadow, Alicia’s corgi), you’ll be reaching for needle and thread in no time.

Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts by Martha Stewart – Martha sets the standard – highest quality workmanship and precise directions covering a wide range of techniques and skills.

More Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson – The first title (Last Minute Knitted Gifts) created a sensation in the knitting world with several of the patterns in it becoming iconic; you can expect the same from this one. The patterns are simple yet sophisticated and modern and cover a range of moods and wishes. One note of caution – your idea of “last minute” and Joelle’s idea might not be the same!

One Ball Knits: Gifts by Fatema Habibur-Rahman – Here’s a great way to use up some of that leftover yarn you might have hiding in a closet. A nice variety of fun and useful projects for everyone from babies to grandparents make this a go-to source. And who wouldn’t love to receive a warm pair of slippers this winter?

Simply Sublime Gifts by Jodi Kahn – Whimsical yet stylish, these crafts are fun, inexpensive and quick to make; many require no sewing. Ideas range from baby onsies to fabric notecards to the amazing Wonder Bread wrapper apron shown on the cover.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that until recently, I had no idea that the movie The Princess Bride was a book first.  So this is one of those rare instances where I saw the movie before I read the book.  Typically that hinders my enjoyment of the book, but I can solidly say that this wasn’t the case with The Princess Bride.

Everyone knows how the movie The Princess Bride goes:  Buttercup realizes she loves the farmboy Westley just as he is about to leave the country to make a name and fortune for himself.  After receiving word that he is dead, and knowing she will never love again, she agrees to marry the dreadful Prince Humperdink.  When Buttercup is kidnapped shortly after the announcement of their engagement, the story pushes forward with adventure, romance, and many surprises and beloved characters along the way.  It’s fun, romantic, and easily quotable.  I know I’m not the only person who at any mention of the movie must say, “Hello.  My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.”

I’m happy to say that even though I saw the movie first, I found the book The Princess Bride by William Goldman even more enjoyable.  The movie followed the book’s plot very closely, but the book has lots of valuable extra detail and backstory that you miss out on in the movie.  The book also included many fun little asides by the author, who wrote the book as though it’s an abridgement of a classic tale.  His little notes peppered in about what parts were so dreadful he had to cut them out and what happened when the original tale was read to him as a child made the book such a fun read that I couldn’t put it down.  If you’re looking for a book with a little bit of everything (humor, adventure, sword fights, romance, and so much more), I highly recommend checking out this book and then watching the very faithful film adaptation.

AT has visited the former Soviet Union before but feels it deserves another look – the hidden nature of it’s government and society makes it the  perfect  setting for countless spy novels.  John Le Carre, the master of the Cold War suspense novel, has  real-life experience in espionage. He was an officer in both MI5 and MI6 in the 50’s and ’60’s, when he began writing fiction.

One of my favorite le Carre novels  is Our Game, largely due to the friendship of the main chararcters and the English and Russian setting. The finale takes place in Ingushetia,  an unstable Russian subject next to Chechnya. The book starts out with a mystery; the Bath (England) Police are looking for Larry Pettifer and come to the door of his friend , and former handler, Tim Cranmer.  Tim is forced to re-enter the spy world to protect himself and to help his friend – if he can. It turns out that Larry is not just a brilliant University lecturer, but also involved in a quixotic attempt to aid the Ingush rebels.

There is no one better than le Carre in depicting the moral complexity of this murky world, in which the name of the game is deceit and deception, and he  shows how such a career is inseparable with your private life, even in retirement.

If you have already read Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) and want to try a different type of Swedish crime fiction, I would highly recommend Camilla Läckberg’s first novel, The Ice Princess, set in the picturesque town of Fjällbacka, Sweden.

The Ice Princess centers around writer Erica Falck who returns to her hometown after the death of her parents in a car accident.  Shortly after she arrives from Stockholm she happens to discover her childhood friend, Alexandra, who has died of an apparent suicide.  Grieving for their daughter, Alexandra’s parents ask Erica to write an article about Alexandra for the local paper.  While researching Alexandra’s death Erica runs into an old friend, Patrick, who is a police officer in town.  The two discover many secrets about Fjällbacka’s most prominent family whose past is intertwined with the death of Alexandra and eventually learn that her death may not have been at her own hand.

I’ve also included a beautiful photo of Fjällbacka, Sweden which happens to be the hometown of a friend.  She snapped this photograph over the summer (which was taken late in the evening).  Since Läckberg is also a native of this fishing village, she uses authentic street names, landmarks, and other notable and unique features of the village, including Ingrid Bergman Square, named for the Swedish actress who spent a good amount of time in Fjällbacka.

submitted by Sarah W.

After the quickest courtship on record and one year of marriage, lonely Andie left workaholic North in Maybe This Time by Jennifer Cruise. Ten years later, she comes back with unwelcome news: she’s marrying someone who will appreciate her.

North wants Andie to be happy, so he stalls her by offering her a job while he investigates the new fiancé. She hasn’t touched any of her alimony, but maybe she’ll accept a paycheck. Besides, he really does need her help taking care of his recently orphaned niece and nephew, who have driven off every caretaker he’s found for them since the mysterious death of their aunt. And who knows…maybe this time she’ll stay.

Andie agrees to move into the remote and crumbling Archer House and prepare the kids to move into less Gothic surroundings. Two weeks, tops, and she’ll be planning her wedding to a man who won’t let her down. But when two implacable remnants, a nympho ghost and a soulless investigative reporter threaten her and the kids she’s starting to call her own, who’s she gonna call?

All signs point North…