Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious – or at least edible. Tools shape what we eat, but they have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. Technology in the kitchen does not just mean the Pacojets and sous-vide of the modernist kitchen. It can also mean the humbler tools of everyday cooking and eating: a wooden spoon and a skillet, chopsticks and forks.

In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson provides a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of everyday objects we often take for granted. Knives-perhaps our most important gastronomic tool-predate the discovery of fire, whereas the fork endured centuries of ridicule before gaining widespread acceptance; pots and pans have been around for millennia, while plates are a relatively recent invention. Many once-new technologies have become essential elements of any well-stocked kitchen-mortars and pestles, serrated knives, stainless steel pots, refrigerators. Others have proved only passing fancies, or were supplanted by better technologies; one would be hard pressed now to find a water-powered egg whisk, a magnet-operated spit roaster, a cider owl, or a turnspit dog. Although many tools have disappeared from the modern kitchen, they have left us with traditions, tastes, and even physical characteristics that we would never have possessed otherwise.

Blending history, science, and anthropology, Wilson reveals how our culinary tools and tricks came to be, and how their influence has shaped modern food culture. The story of how we have tamed fire and ice and wielded whisks, spoons, and graters, all for the sake of putting food in our mouths, Consider the Fork is truly a book to savor. (description from publisher)

In these spectacular photographs taken in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara Natural Reserve in Kenya, Anup Shah reveals African wildlife as never before, through the use of remote hidden cameras planted across the plains in Serengeti Spy.

Organized by season from January through December, here is life on the plains in all its dynamism and vitality. Readers find themselves literally face-to-face with hyenas and cheetahs as they feed on a kill; elephants communing at a watering hole; playful lion cubs; wildebeests hauling themselves out of a river; a leopard growling a warning; and inquisitive monkeys gazing at their reflections in the camera lens. Many of these animals have noticed the camera, to them an odd device that makes a strange clicking sound. Captions tell the story of the daily ebb and flow of life on the African plains.

These stunning photographs bring armchair travel to new level of up-close-and-personal in marvelous fashion.(description from publisher)


Does your home tell the story of who you are? In The Things That Matter, Nate Berkus shares intimate stories from his life, introduces us to people who influenced him and helped him forge his sense of style, and opens up about the remarkable experiences that have left him forever changed, all of which find expression in how he lives today. From his most cherished flea market finds, to his beloved books and photos, to the many extraordinary mementos he’s collected in his travels, every piece defines who he’s become and what endures in his world.

Berkus invites readers into his own home as well as into twelve others, including a sleek steel-and-glass high-rise that soars above Chicago, a rustic cottage in the Hudson Valley, an ultra-chic atelier that maximizes every inch of space, a Greenwich Village townhouse that holds multiple art collections, and a study in meaningful minimalism in Marfa, Texas. The distinctive interiors beautifully displayed in this book offer revealing portraits of their owners’ lives and the inspiring choices that have made them who they are today.

The Things That Matter convincingly lays out Nate Berkus’s philosophy that things do matter. Our homes tell our stories, they reflect the places we’ve been and the people we’ve loved along the way–and there can be no more beautiful design for living than that. (description from publisher)

Liza Klaussmann’s debut novel, Tigers in Red Weather, follows two cousins, Nick and Helena, throughout the decades after World War II and chronicles the twists and turns in their lives.  The girls grew up spending much of their time together on the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard and return over the years with husbands, children and family secrets galore.

Told from the point of view of five characters (with each character’s version of reality differing greatly), Tigers in Red Weather’s concludes with a stunning twist, which was just slightly evident  throughout the novel.  I enjoyed Tigers in Red Weather for the banter between the characters on life pre and post World War II but when I began to see the true nature of one of the characters, the book moved in an entirely different direction – a direction that is as much frightening as it is shocking.

By popular demand, the library now has Nintendo DS games available for checkout!  Instead of spending tons of money on new games for your kids (or yourself!), now you can check them out for free.  These games (as well as our games for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3) check out for one week and can’t be renewed or placed on hold, but feel free to stop in and see what we have in stock.

Here are a few of the Nintendo DS games we have added to the collection:

New Super Mario Bros.

Mario Kart DS

Pokemon Black and White Versions


Plants Vs. Zombies


Lego Star Wars

Mario Party DS

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 and 5-7

Dragon Quest IX

Chrono Trigger


Here are some of the new releases from popular authors that are coming out in December. Reserve your favorites today!




Tom Clancy – Threat Vector

Joy Fielding – Shadow Creek

Aaron Elkins – Dying on the Vine

Earlene Fowler – The Road to Cardinal Valley

W.E.B. Griffin – Empire and Honor




Cynthia Harrod-Eagles – Blood Never Dies

Greg Iles – The Bone Tree

James Patterson – Private London

Douglas Preston – Two Graves

Karen Robards – Shiver

Barbara Vine – The Child’s Child

For more new titles, be sure to check out Upcoming Releases on the Davenport Public Library webpage!

More novels will be making their way to the big screen this holiday season!  Before you head to the theater, pick up the book version from the library.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: “Embracing a philosophy that life is a movie produced by God, neural health patient Pat Peoples endeavors to win back his estranged wife by making strategic sacrifices and coordinating their communications through a depressed widow.”  The film version starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence is now in theaters.

Team of Rivals: The Poilitical Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin: “An analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s political talents identifies the character strengths and abilities that enabled his successful election above three accomplished candidates, in an account that also describes how he used the same abilities to rally former opponents in forming his cabinet and winning the Civil War.”  The film Lincoln, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis and covers part of this book, is now in theaters.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien: “Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.” The film, which stars Martin Freeman as well as many returning cast members from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is in theaters on December 14th.

One Shot by Lee Child: “Ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is called in by James Barr, a man accused of a lethal sniper attack that leaves five people dead, and teams up with a young defense attorney to find an unseen enemy who is manipulating events.”  The film adaptation, titled Jack Reacher, stars Tom Cruise and is in theaters on December 21.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: “Trying to forget his past and live an honest life, escaped convict Jean Valjean risks his freedom to take care of a motherless young girl during a period of political unrest in Paris.”  The film stars Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe and will be in theaters Christmas Day.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac: “This counterculture classic records the escapades of members of the beat generation as they seek pleasure and meaning while traveling coast to coast.”  Starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart, the film can be seen in theaters on December 21st.

*all book descriptions are from the publishers