John Carter  – Taylor Kitsch, Willem Defoe

Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’s classic novel, a war-weary former military captain is inexplicably transported to Mars and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It’s a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands. PG – 13

Safe House –  Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds

Tobin Frost, one of the CIA’s most dangerous traitors, resurfaces in South Africa after eluding capture for almost a decade. During his interrogation, the safe house he’s being held in is attacked by brutal mercenaries, forcing rookie agent Matt Weston to take the infamous Frost on the run. As the masterful manipulator toys with his reluctant protege, shaking the young operative’s morality and idealism, the unlikely allies must fight to stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them dead. R

Act of Valor – Rosie Sanchez, Nestor Serrano

When a covert mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative uncovers a chilling plot, elite, highly trained U.S. SEAL teams speed to hotspots around the globe, racing against the clock to stop a deadly terrorist attack. Pulse-pounding combat sequences, cutting-edge battlefield technology and raw emotion fuel this unprecedented blend of real-world heroism and original filmmaking, a thrilling tribute to the skills, courage and tenacity of the world’s most revered warriors. R


Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengenence – Nicolas Cage

Johnny Blaze is still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter. However, he may risk everything as he teams up with the leader of a group of rebel monks to save a young boy from the devil, and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.PG – 13



Big Miracle – Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski

Inspired by the true story that captured the hearts of people across the world, the rescue adventure, tells the amazing tale of a small town news reporter and a Greenpeace volunteer who are joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. PG

Wanderlust – Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston

After George loses his high-stress Manhattan job, he and his wife Linda hit the road and wind up crashing at Elysium, a free-spirited community of hippies, tree-huggers, and the occasional nudies. R



The Artist – Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo

In 1927, George Valentin is a silent movie superstar. However, the advent of the talkies will kill his career and he will sink into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller, it seems the sky’s the limit as major movie stardom awaits. Though their careers are taking different paths their destinies will become entwined. PG – 13

21 Jump Street – Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring. R



Mirror Mirror – Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer

An exiled princess is assisted by seven rebels in order to reinstate her stolen birthright. PG


Eat fruits and vegetables not because you’re told you should, but because you want them in every sense of the word. Because they are beautiful. And satisfying. And you want their freshness, flavor, and simplicity. That’s why Ripe is arranged by color, not season.

Author and food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule and award-winning food photographer Paulette Phlipot, have teamed up to bring inspiration to hungry home cooks. Their goal is not to deliver another lecture on eating for the sake of nutrition or environmental stewardship (though they affirm that both are important), but to tempt others to “embrace the vegetable, behold the fruit” because these foods are versatile, gorgeous, and taste terrific. Starting with red and progressing towards a calmer white, Ripe is arranged by color to showcase the lush, natural beauty of fruits and vegetables. Each is accompanied by a lighthearted essay, breathtaking photography, and one showcase recipe, along with three “quick-hit” recipe ideas. With 150 photos and 75 recipes, this unique cookbook will quicken your pulse and leave you very, very hungry. (description from publisher)

The Davenport Public Library will be closed on Monday, May 28th in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. All of our buildings will re-open on Tuesday with their regular business hours – Main, 9:30am to 5:30pm, Fairmount, Noon to 8pm and Eastern, 9:30am to 5:30pm.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Iowa’s Rochester Cemetery (near Tipton) is one of the most unusual and bio-diverse prairies left in America, boasting more than 400 species of plants–337 of them native to the region–on its thirteen-and-a-half acres. Among them are fifteen massive white oaks that stood watch as the surrounding landscape was converted into farmland after Euro-American settlers arrived in the 1830s. The cemetery is the last resting place of these pioneers and their descendants, down to the present. Graves are scattered among the wildflowers, across hills that geologists consider sand dunes held in place by the deep roots of the plants and people and is beautifully presented in Life and Death on the Prairie by Stephen Longmire.

Pioneer cemeteries have been recognized as important prairie remnants and seed banks ever since Aldo Leopold, another Iowa native, called attention to them in his landmark essays of the 1940s, as he developed the new field of ecological restoration. At Rochester Cemetery, the drama of the prairie’s survival continues to this day, in a controversy that flares up as reliably as spring’s shooting stars. To botanists across the country, this place is a pilgrimage site. To local residents, it is either a source of pride or a shameful weed lot (some feel regular mowing would show more respect for the dead). To the photographer and writer Stephen Longmire, it is a place where the stories of the rural Midwest are written on the land-a long exposure, extending back to the days when Meskwaki Indians camped nearby and wildfire held back the forest. In the creative tension between people and place, Rochester’s prairie holds its native ground. Historic cemetery plantings grow wild among the native wildflowers, and bright plastic flowers decorate modern graves.

In compelling photographs and prose, Longmire shows this patch of original Iowa to be a living record of all the land’s uses since its settlement. (description provided by publisher)

This beautiful book, The Viennese Kitchen by Monica Meehan, based on an original notebook and recipe journal of a 1900s baroness, takes readers on a journey through fin de siecle Viennese high society.

With over 100 original recipes, all of which have been tested and brought up to date for the modern cook, it is not only a wonderful collection of recipes but also a fascinating look at the life of a Viennese family. Filled with anecdotes and personal stories to bring the recipes to life, this book is a charming insight into a bygone era. The classic recipes cover a variety of dishes both savory and sweet, with a strong emphasis on the desserts and pastries for which Vienna is famed. Enchanting photographs of Vienna grace the book, capturing the architecture, cafe culture, and beauty of this elegant city.

This novel is everything good and everything bad about so-called “chick lit.” Bet Me is a contemporary romance that follows an actuary, Minerva Dobbs, who falls in love with a businessman, Cal Morrisey. All the great things about chick lit are here: a comforting happy ending, a heroine who struggles with her weight (how relatable!), a sizzling romantic connection, and the kind of supportive female friendship that anyone would wish to be part of. But all the cliche chick lit negatives are here too: love at first sight and rapid-fire courtships, a heroine with a negative body image (how typical!), Krispy Kreme donuts used as a tool of seduction, overbearing and critical moms, boring B-stories, way too many descriptions of shoes, a poorly realized setting (neglected no doubt to give more text to the developing romance, which doesn’t need it), absurd coincidences, and a ridiculously neat happy ending.

It’s a pretty sharp novel overall; the characters aren’t deep or unique, but they’re not hateful or wooden either. The dialog is crisp and cute and the whole book reads really quickly, so it’s a great choice for light reading. If you’re picky, be warned: there are quite a few breaks with reality. There are only about a dozen characters in this book and they all interact very intimately, whether they’re lovers, ex-lovers, old friends, family, or strangers – it reads very high school even though these are all supposedly career-oriented individuals in their thirties. The wedding subplot with Min’s sister as a bride is hopelessly unrealistic (at one point, Min has to take over catering the rehearsal dinner, which is for only 14 people AND it doesn’t include an actual wedding rehearsal. what?!). Min lets a feral cat into her house and feeds and sleeps with it without even giving it a bath or a once-over with a comb, let alone taking a trip to the vet. This is another classic problem of chick lit: authors tend to steamroll over realism to achieve the symbolism or plot developments that they have planned, and it’s just plain distracting. You can’t tell me that Min is a smart woman and then show me her sleeping with a mangy wild cat in her bed; one of those two things is a lie. If that kind of light touch doesn’t bother you, Bet Me is as scrumptious and sweet as a Krispy Kreme – but like the fabled donut, it’s mostly hot air.

Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe and built her back up again.

 At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State-and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise”. But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail.

Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. (description from publisher)

In all of Frances Mayes’s bestselling memoirs about Tuscany, food plays a starring role. This cuisine transports, comforts, entices, and speaks to the friendly, genuine, and improvisational spirit of Tuscan life. Both cooking and eating in Tuscany are natural pleasures. In her first-ever cookbook, Frances and her husband, Ed, share recipes that they have enjoyed over the years as honorary Tuscans: dishes prepared in a simple, traditional kitchen using robust, honest ingredients.

A toast to the experiences they’ve had over two decades at Bramasole, their home in Cortona, Italy, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook evokes days spent roaming the countryside for chestnuts, green almonds, blackberries, and porcini; dinner parties stretching into the wee hours,  and garden baskets tumbling over with bright red tomatoes.

Lose yourself in the transporting photography of the food, the people, and the place, as Frances’s introductions and headnotes put you by her side in the kitchen and raising a glass at the table. From Antipasti (starters) to Dolci (desserts), this cookbook is organized like a traditional Italian dinner.

Frances and Ed also share their tips on stocking your pantry, pairing wines with dishes, and choosing the best olive oil. Learn their time-tested methods for hand rolling pasta and techniques for coaxing the best out of seasonal ingredients with little effort.

Throw on another handful of pasta, pull up a chair, and languish in the rustic Italian way of life. (description from publisher)

If you lived through the ’70’s, you’ll love this movie about a group of kids making a movie in the summer of 1979 who inadvertently uncover a government conspiracy when a train they were filming spectacularly derails and reveals an incredible secret.  It’s fun to spot the things that are really specific to the era ( 8-track tapes, giant tv’s with small screens and the very straight, limp hair styles) or spotting things that weren’t common, at least around here (wearing backpacks and saying, “Totally!)

The kids are charming and their movie-filming sequences are a riot. (Super 8 is a bit of an homage by J.J. Abrams to Steven Spielberg, who also produced the film).The plot about a government conspiracy is secondary to the setting and the whole vibe of the time. The kids seem very independent compared to today; they run around the town and into the countryside at night, on their own. They take their movie craft very seriously, but the ongoing squabbling amongst themselves is typically juvenile.

A visit to 1979 for a couple hours; far out.

After finding out that her husband has just accepted a job in Luxembourg, Kate Moore is secretly thrilled that she can move to a foreign country and leave her deepest secret behind in the United States in Chris Pavone’s debut thriller/mystery, The Expats.  After the family settles in their new home country, her husband, Dexter, throws himself into his job working long hours and taking many work related trips.

Kate begins to fill her days with children’s playgroups and lunches with other expat wives who she has met.  Quickly, she makes friends with Julia, another expat and her husband, Ben who live in Luxembourg with their young children.  After some time, Kate begins to have misgivings about Julia and Ben and is convinced they are not who they seem.  Kate is thoroughly convinced that they know her secret and they are working to expose her.

She sleuths into Julia and Ben’s background and she discovers their true identities.  At this point the plot takes so many twists and turns, it becomes confusing and hard to piece together at times.  The conclusion is ambitious, creative and completely unexpected.  Overall, I really enjoyed Pavone’s debut novel even though the plot didn’t always come together as I would have hoped, but I am looking forward to Pavone’s next thriller.