The story of the American Quilt Trail, featuring the colorful patterns of quilt squares writ large on barns throughout North America, is the story of one of the fastest-growing grassroots public arts movements in the United States and Canada. In Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement Suzi Parron travels through twenty-nine states (including Iowa and Illinois) and two Canadian provinces to visit the people and places that have put this movement on America’s tourist and folk art map.

Through dozens of interviews with barn artists, committee members, and barn owners Parron documents a journey that began in 2001 with the founder of the movement, Donna Sue Groves. Groves’s desire to honor her mother with a quilt square painted on their barn became a group effort that eventually grew into a county-wide project. Today, registered quilt squares form a long imaginary clothesline, appearing on more than three thousand barns scattered along one hundred driving trails.

With more than fifty full-color photographs, Parron documents a movement that combines rural economic development with an American folk art phenomenon.

One Sweet Cookie by Tracey Zabar is a delectable collection of cookie recipes from New York’s best chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers. Cookies are the perfect end to a wonderful meal from one-bite meringues and macaroons that melt in your mouth to linzers and tuiles that are the ultimate fanciful confections.

Tracey Zabar has selected distinctly original cookie recipes from seventy-five of the very best culinary talents in Manhattan. Some are the chefs’ personal recipes, while others are the signature creations of top restaurants such as Le Cirque, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Artisanal and City Bakery. This irresistible array of more than ninety cookie recipes for the home baker includes butterscotch and oatmeal cowboy cookies from Chef Mario Batali and his son Benno; coconut macaroons from master baker Sarabeth Levine; a chocolate chip cookie invented by Chef Todd English of Olives that combines his children’s favorite chocolate flavors with walnuts; Chef Jason Weiner of Almond’s rugelach; and Eli Zabar’s tempting buttery sugar cookies. There are also international cookies-Jammy Dodgers from England, wedding cookies from Puerto Rico, Kipferl from Austria, and Lamingtons from Australia.

This beautifully photographed book will not only appeal to discriminating dessert lovers but also to fans of New York City’s culinary scene, the cookie-swap aficionado, and the bake-sale maven.

One hundred years ago this week the unsinkable ship sank. The ship may be gone, but the fascination for the Titanic never ends. Here are some new publications, just in time for the anniversary of the tragedy.

Shadow of the Titanic: the Extraordinary Stories of those Who Survived by Andrew Wilson – Although we think we know the story of Titanic –the famously luxurious and supposedly unsinkable ship that struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America–very little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did they cope in the aftermath of this horrific event? How did they come to remember that night, a disaster that has been likened to the destruction of a small town?

Titanic, First Accounts compiles first hand accounts, testimonies, and letters by notable Titanic survivors, including Archibald Gracie, Lawrence Beesley, Elizabeth W. Shutes, and the “unsinkable” Molly Brown.

Titanic Tragedy: a New Look at the Lost Liner by John Maxtone-Graham includes dramatic survivors’ accounts of the events of the fateful night, the role of newly invented wireless telecommunication in the disaster, the construction and its ramifications at the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and the dawn rendezvous with the rescue ship Carpathia.

Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats and the Worlds they Came From by R.P.T. Davenport-Hines – a magnificently written history that brings into focus the people involved in this legendary tragedy–the deal makers and industry giants behind the ship’s creation as well as its passengers, both aristocrats and immigrants, and its crew.

The Band that Played On: the Extraordinary Story of the Eight Musicians Who Went Down on the Titanic by Steve Turner reveals a fascinating story including dishonest agents, a clairvoyant, social climbers, and a fraudulent violin maker. Read what brought the band members together and how their music served as the haunting soundtrack for one of modern history”s most tragic maritime disasters.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is a mystery set 6 years after Pride & Prejudice, when Lizzie’s disgraced sister Lydia comes to the Darcy estate screaming that her husband – the notorious rogue George Wickham – has been murdered. Everyone has a different opinion on Pride & Prejudice sequels. “Glorified fanfiction,” some say. “Total crap,” or “completely wonderful,” say others. I think the line between success and failure depends not only on good writing, setting, plotting, and characters, but on a critical distinction: no one but Jane Austen should write Jane Austen’s characters. Elizabeth’s wit and Darcy’s mysterious motives are the critical features that make Pride & Prejudice such an enduring classic, and any other authors trying to inhabit these characters inevitably struggle to do as well as Austen did. P.D. James, although an accomplished and talented author by any definition, is regrettably no exception. Her Darcy is wooden and boring, her Elizabeth does little but turn up every 25 pages and agree with her husband, and her speculation on Colonel Fitzwilliam’s future and character is hardly in line with the lovable, friendly man we know from P&P. The characters she invents – a dashing suitor for Georgiana, the staff of Pemberley – are much more vivid and entertaining.

James can turn a phrase admirably; even in its most stilted information-dumping passages (lots of early 19th century criminal law needs to be explained – feel free to skim these parts), the writing isn’t at fault here. It’s revealing that the best chapter of the entire book is the first one, where James neatly summarizes the events of Pride & Prejudice and weaves in the 6 years of additional plot she’s invented. You would expect a summary to be boring, but this one’s remarkably engaging; it’s the plodding mystery that stalls this book.

If you love mysteries and you love Austen continuations, give Death Comes to Pemberley a try. Although truth be told, you might be happier re-reading the original, especially if you’re an Austen purist or a demanding mystery fan. Despite a few good ideas, this book doesn’t satisfy on either end of that spectrum.

It’s Opening Day for Major League Baseball! We’ve got one more day before the Cubs start breaking our hearts (they open tomorrow at Wrigley Field against the Washington Nationals); here’s a reminder that the Cubs weren’t always the lovable losers.

Before the Curse: The Chicago Cubs’ Glory Years, 1870-1945 brings to life the early history of the much beloved and often heartbreaking Chicago Cubs. Originally called the Chicago White Stockings, the team immediately established itself as a powerhouse, winning the newly formed National Base Ball League’s inaugural pennant in 1876, repeating the feat in 1880 and 1881, and commanding the league in the decades to come.

The legendary days of the Cubs are recaptured here in more than two dozen vintage newspaper accounts and historical essays on the teams and the fans who loved them. The great games, pennant races, and series are all here, including the 1906 World Series between the Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Of course, Before the Curse remembers the hall-of-fame players  -Grover Cleveland Alexander, Gabby Hartnett, Roger Hornsby, Dizzy Dean – who delighted Cubs fans with their play on the field and their antics elsewhere. Through stimulating introductions to each article, Randy Roberts and Carson Cunningham demonstrate how changes in ownership affected the success of the team, who the teams’ major players were both on and off the field, and how regular fans, owners, players, journalists, and Chicagoans of the past talked and wrote about baseball. (description from the publisher)

Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as co-host of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career in Life Itself.

Roger Ebert’s journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime’s adventures. In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese. This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir – it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself. (description from publisher)

As someone who loves to read mysteries and is always on the hunt for another series to start, I stumbled upon the Bailey Weggins mystery series by Kate White and just finished If Looks Could Kill, the first book in the series.  Bailey Weggins is a freelance writer of crime and human interest stories for the monthly fashion and lifestyle magazine Gloss.  Early one Sunday morning Bailey is roused out of bed by her boss and the editor of Gloss, Cat Jones, who can’t get her live-in nanny, Heidi, to answer the door of her basement suite.  Bailey springs to action to help her boss figure out where Heidi has gone – and it isn’t far – when Bailey discovers the nanny dead in her suite.  Cat pleads with Bailey to use her sleuthing skills to try and figure out why Heidi was murdered.  Bailey, who puts her investigative skills right to the test, dives into the case.

The mystery heats up when it is determined that Heidi died from eating poisonous chocolate truffles that were an intended  hostess gift for Cat.  Who was the intended victim – Cat or Heidi?  Bailey uncovers evidence that points to someone trying to poison the editors of high profile magazines and she puts her life at risk with her unofficial investigation.

If Looks Could Kill is a light (as far as mysteries are concerned) and easy read that effortlessly blends fashion, vibrant New York City life and murder.

Determined to provide only the best for our patrons, we search far and wide for products and services that will make your life easier, smarter, better. In light of these goals, the Davenport Public Library is pleased to announce the addition of a new format now available for check-out! Introducing – DogAways™!

DogAways™ is a fun and unique program that allows you to check out a dog. Go for a walk! Snuggle on the sofa while you watch a DVD! Chase a ball together! DogAways™ dogs will improve your health, increase your finances and help with the laundry. Dogs come in a variety of sizes – small (dachshunds, toy poodles), medium (Jack Russell  terriers, beagles) and large (labradors, Great Danes) – and can be reserved just like a book! Each dog is trained to be smarter than you. Health certificates and medical records are on file and available for viewing.

Each dog comes with its own Care Pack containing dog care tips, leash, brush, tennis ball or frisbee, 3-day supply of food, treats and multiple poop bags. Dogs are trained to bite you if you mistreat them; these dogs are picky about care so you may wish to have your doctor’s or emergency care provider’s phone number handy (but don’t expect any sympathy from us if you do get bitten). DogAways™ check out for three days with one renewal. Overdue fees for the late return of a dog is $30 a day, plus the dog will bite you so don’t be late!

The library is not responsible for any damages or personal injuries.

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Haha! Of course we’re not going to be lending out dogs from the library! April Fool! However, it’s not completely crazy – Yale Law Library lends out Monty, a “certified library therapy” dog to aid in stress reduction during finals week  (Monty can be checked out for 30 minute sessions) Therapy dogs have been used at other universities including Tufts, Oberlin College and UC Santa Barbara and the role of pets as stress-reducing has long been acknowledged. After all, anyone can use a warm, furry, non-judgemental friend!