nightingaleAfter their mother dies and their father virtually abandons them, Vianne and Isabelle must learn to forge their own way. Vianne marries and starts a family in an idyllic country setting outside of Paris while Isabelle becomes rebellious, expelled from one boarding school after another. When the Germans occupy Paris in 1939, Isabelle is sent to live with her sister but the horrifying experiences of escaping with other refugees opens Isabelle’s eyes to the pain and suffering the war will bring.

The changes brought by the Germans are inexorable – the men are sent away to prison camps, food is rationed, soldiers are billeted in private homes, valuables ruthlessly taken, Jews and other “subversives” are persecuted then transferred to prison camps. Vianne, in the countryside, desperately walks a line between loyalty to her friends and neighbors while remaining unseen by the occupying soldiers. Isabelle joins the French Underground and risks her life again and again in an effort to make a difference. Their stories intertwine as they struggle to survive and protect those they love.

There are a lot – a lot – of books about World War II both fiction and non-fiction. It’s one of the most popular subject areas at the library. And while most of us learned the basic facts about the war from school and history books – dates, countries, famous battles – the stories of what it was like to actually live through the war are slowly disappearing as that generation ages and passes away. The Nightingale may be a dramatic, fictional account of living in war torn France, but the messages it sends are very real – remember for those that no longer can. What they did to survive, to change the course of events, whether big or small, mattered. We should not forget.

closedThe Davenport Public Library will be closed on Friday, April 3rd in observance of Good Friday. All buildings will be open their regular hours on Saturday – 9:00am to 5:30pm at all three locations.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

A newly discovered insect genus, liber vermis, is threatening library collections across the globe. This pest, which comes in various shapes and sizes, voraciously consumes books in large quantities, devastating carefully managed collections within a matter of days. Difficult to identify and nearly impossible to stop once it has begun attacking, the library world has been forced to take drastic action, beginning immediately.

Interim Library Director Amy Groskopf assures the public that Davenport Library will not give up without a fight. “Libraries have long been the repository of human thought. The potential loss could change the course of history. We must remain calm and united”.

Sadly, liber vermis has been detected near the Davenport Public Library and we are asking you, our loyal patrons, for your support during this difficult and potentially catastrophic crisis. Everyone will now be required to walk through a bleach spray bath (fairly low health risk) before entering the library. All patrons will be required to wear a face mask and disposable gloves (available for a small fee at the Customer Service desk)

Books and magazines can no longer leave the facility. Glass viewing boxes have been installed at all three Davenport libraries; the 12 most popular titles (as determined by our librarians) will be shown each month, with the pages turned once every hour. There will be no “turn backs” for slow readers or missed pages – you will need to wait for the next time the book is shown.

If you think that ebooks will save you, think again. Although it is still not clear exactly how the liber vermis destroys books, scientists believe they attack the actual word, not the material of the book. In fact, ebook words are far more vulnerable, and one infected book can wipe out an entire ebook collection within minutes!

The best way for you to fight this invasion is to memorize your favorite books. Then you can read and review them in the privacy of your own head as frequently as you wish, safe from invading liber vermis. Good luck.

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APRIL FOOL! Haha! There is no such insect called liber vermis (very badly translated Latin for book worm!) and, at least at this writing, there is no need for bleach baths or disposable gloves. Also, you are still free to touch and choose any book you would like to take home (provided you have a valid library card of course!).

This fake story was beginning to sound a little bit of a cross between George Orwell’s 1984 and Jasper Ford’s Thursday Next series wasn’t it?! It does help make you appreciate the great freedom we enjoy, to read what we want, when we want and to maintain free thought. That’s what libraries have always done best – open doors for everyone, no matter your education, interests or beliefs, there is a place for you at the library (again, so long as you are polite to all and bring back your library books!)

Happy April Fool’s Day!

It was a little touch-and-go there for awhile, but it looks like spring really will be back. That means it’s time for getting outside again and getting into the garden. In other words, it’s the best time of the year! Here are some new garden books to inspire you:

small space vegetable gardensSmall Space Vegetable Gardens by Andrea Bellamy – Here are the basics of growing a bounty of edibles in a minimal amount of space: how to find and assess a space, and how to plan and build a garden. Bellamy also highlights the top sixty edible plants and offers complete information on how to sow, grow, and harvest them.

 

 

 

 

designing and planting a woodland gardenDesigning and Planting a Woodland Garden by Keith Wiley – Woodlands are magical places and even small gardens can capture the atmosphere with a carefully chosen tree and some shade-loving plants. Selecting the right plant for the right place is essential and expert plantsman Keith Wiley explains how to combine plants that will thrive together and even how to create shade if you don’t already have it.

 

 

 

 

flower farmers yearFlower Farmer’s Year: How to Grow Cut Flowers for Pleasure and Profit by Georgie Newbery –  how to plant, maintain, and keep evolving a productive cut-flower garden. Whether you want to devote a corner of your garden to a stand of sweet peas and some cosmos, take up flower production for gate sales, or make a livelihood from cut flowers, Georgie Newbery will take you through everything from planning your garden to budgeting and marketing.

 

 

 

 

right size flower gardenRight Size Flower Garden by Kerry Ann Mendez –  We’re busy, we’re aging, and the demands of the garden can feel overwhelming. What to do? Make smarter use of the space we have and the plants we select, says garden expert Kerry Ann Mendez. She shares her successful recipe for having a garden we can manage and love again…the right-size, low maintenance, drought tolerant garden. The goal is ditching 50% of the work by choosing high-value plants and making simple design changes.

 

 

 

tao of vegetable gardeningThe Tao of Vegetable Gardening by Carol Deppe – explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. In her latest book Carol Deppe focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables – tomatoes, green beans, peas, and leafy greens – and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.

closedThe Davenport Public will be closed on Monday March 2nd for a Staff In-Service day. All buildings will re-open for their regular business hours on Tuesday March 3 – 9am to 5:30pm at Main and Eastern and noon to 8pm at Fairmount.

Remember, you can access our catalog and numerous reference databases through our website, davenportlibrary.com all day any day!

cat out of hellFor people who both love and hate cats comes the tale of Alec Charlesworth, a librarian who finds himself suddenly alone: he’s lost his job, his beloved wife has just died, and to top it all off, his sister has disappeared. Overcome by grief, he stands in his sister’s kitchen staring at the only witness to what’s happened to her – her cat, Roger. Who then speaks to him.

It takes a while for Alec to realize he’s not gone mad from grief, that the cat is actually speaking . . . and that much of what we fear about cats is true. They do think they’re smarter than humans, for one thing. And, well, it seems they are! What’s more, they do have nine lives. Or at least this one does – Roger’s older than Methuselah, and his unblinking stare comes from the fact that he’s seen it all.

And in Cat Out of Hell he’s got a tale to tell, a tale of shocking local history and dark forces that may link not only the death of Alec’s wife, but also several other local deaths. But will the cat help Alec, or is he one of the dark forces? (description from publisher)

pocket wifeDana Catrell’s life is in chaos. She’s married to a lawyer who makes her feel trivial, as if stuck inside his pocket like loose change. She’s also sliding toward the brink of insanity. Devastated by mania, part of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of her friend Celia’s death. She’s horrified to learn she’s the only other person with a key to Celia’s house – and the last person to see her alive. She and Celia had shared recipes and gossip. But not secrets – until that final afternoon. Closing her eyes, Dana can see images, loose pieces of a hazy puzzle. Sangria in a glass, a tiny rip in Celia’s screen door, Celia lying in a pool of blood, the broken vase beside her head, the kitchen knife just so above her hand. But there are infuriating, terrifying gaps. Is murder on her mind–or is it all in her head?

 

As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana will use the clarity her mania brings her to fill in the blanks and clear her name before her demons win out. But her husband’s odd behavior and the persistent probing of Detective Jack Moss complicate Dana’s search for answers. The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the closer Dana comes to falling apart. Is there a killer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again?

 

A story of marriage, murder, and madness, The Pocket Wife is a sophisticated, gripping tale of psychological suspense that explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge. (description from publisher)

french bistroThe corner bistro offers all the highlights of French cuisine: crepes, bouillabaisse, ratatouille, and beef bourguignonne – all with rustic flair, simple ingredients, and impeccable flavors. Now, with Maria Zihammou’s French Bistro, you can cook up the authentic tastes of France in your own kitchen.

Each recipe shows how intricate meals steeped in culinary tradition can be re-created with simple techniques using modern ingredients and equipment. This is a tribute to proper French cuisine, featuring bistro takes on such classics as: Marinated olives, Croque-monsieur and croque-madame: open sandwich with ham and cheese, Pan-bagnat: picnic sandwich with tuna and veggies, Quiche Lorraine, Soupe à l’oignon: French onion soup, Entrecôte with béarnaise and many more mouthwatering dishes. In addition, a chapter on cheese shows the proper making of a cheese course, a French tradition.

French Bistro takes you into the world of cozy French neighborhoods and cuisine with a charming design and gorgeous, photographs. Discover the joys of French cooking and be inspired by passionate food! (description from publisher)

american-flagThe Davenport Library will be closed Monday February 16 in observance of President’s Day. All three buildings will reopen on Tuesday with their regular hours: Main and the Eastern Branch 9am to 5:30pm and the Fairmount Branch noon to 8pm.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

parks and redWhat, you’ve never heard of Galentine’s Day?! Why, it’s just the most wonderful holiday of the year! In the words of the infamous Leslie Knope:

“What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas. — Leslie Knope”

In case you’re still befuddled, check out the delightfully off-center comedy Parks and Recreation, led by the amazing Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks department of fictional Pawnee, Indiana. A great ensemble cast, sharp and witty writing and characters that are both funny and real, this is a laugh-out-loud comedy with a big heart. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching Parks and Recreation, you’re in luck – the Davenport Library has all six seasons available on DVD (the seventh and final season of the series is running now with the final episode scheduled for February 24th – we’ll be getting that season on DVD as soon as it’s available) And the episode that introduces Galentine’s Day? Season 2, episode 16.

In case you’re wondering, Galentine’s Day has become real – you can buy Galentine’s Day cards for your BFFs and the internet and Pinterest are full of ideas for gifts and parties for your gal pals. And don’t worry guys – the celebrations are appropriate for you too! Friends are important no matter your gender.

Now go out there and celebrate your friends (preferably over breakfast)!