The Quad Cities is celebrating Money Smart Week  April 18-25th.  Besides the multitude of informational programs being offered throughout the week, you can also get more in-depth suggestions from current materials at the library.

s In this struggling economy, the Penny Pincher’s Almanac by Reader’s Digest may be just the ticket for many of us.  Presented in the typically quick and clever digest style, it’s full of easily accessible ideas.


Who isn’t interested in money?  In Greenback: the Almighty Dollar and the Invention of America by Jason Goodwin, the author explains how “money has always been at the heart of the American experience. ”


For practical points on getting out of debt, try Girl, Get Your Credit Straight! by Glinda Bridgforth.  The book is organized to encourage readers to get their priorities straight and to plan their spending.  It also has ideas on ways to increase one’s income.

Be sure to check out all the events sponsered by the Davenport Library this week including supermarket shopping and budgeting tips as well as a Community Shred Day at the Fairmount Library on Saturday, April 25.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

April is National Poetry Month too!

Okay, okay — this little rhyme won’t win a Pulitzer prize.  But maybe, just maybe, it’ll get you to come into the library and check out a book of poetry; you might just find some old favorites you’ve forgotten and discover some new ones along the way.

kickThe children’s collection has some beautiful books — often illustrating just one poem, so they’re very appealling to both young and old alike. Try Shel Silverstein’s classic A Light in the Attic, filled with whimsical, playful, clever (and very funny) word play, or Paul Janecsko’s A Kick in the Head, a delightful, laugh-out-loud introduction to poetry forms.  Both will have you bouncin’ to the beat!


And, if you’ve never read Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, what better time than now?  Set in a fictional Midwestern village in central Illinois along the Spoon River (which isn’t all that far from here), it tells the stories of “the dead sleeping on the hill” who awaken and tell the truth about their lives. Although written in 1915, the themes are universal and heartfelt.

If you don’t find something on the display shelf, just check out the 811’s for a treasure chest of American poetry.

Ahhh, Spring!  It’s a fresh start for everything — including your home! April just happens to be National Decorating Month, so if you’re looking for some ideas to update your lovely abode, stop by the library and check out what we have to offer.  These books have beautiful photographs and offer simple (and inexpensive) solutions to your decorating dilemnas.  You know, all you need is a new coat of paint or a change of pillows on your couch! Well, maybe a little bit more.

For more detailed ideas, here are some great resources for some creative new home decorating ideas:

the-nestbefore-and-after baths style-by-nature

HGTV Before & After Decorating

Better Homes and Gardens Beautiful Baths

Style by Nature: Beautify Your Home with Pattern, Color and Texture by Rebecca Jerdee

Can’t Fail Room Makeovers by Lucianna Samu

The Nest Home Design Handbook by Carley Roney

binder-twine3Did you know that April is National Humor Month?  What better way to start it off than with an April Fool’s joke!  Tickle your funny bone and find some easy April Fools joke ideas in the current issue of Martha Stewart’s Living magazine.

If you’re a fool for fun, or just want a good LOL (laugh out loud) book, check out some of these authors: Erma Bombeck, Dave Barry or Steven Colbert.  Plus, we also have joke books and cartoons (such as Garfield) and sound recordings of several comedians,  so you have lots of options.

Here’s a favorite of mine by a local author, D.D. Dunn — it’s called Binder Twine ‘n Bandaids: Homegrown Humor from the Heartland. Her “Pretty as a Picture” describes the ordeal many of us may remember in getting ready for the all-important annual school photo.  I don’t think they offered re-takes in those days, either!  Her “First Date” story is hilarious, too! Have fun reading!

s-history-monthMarch is National Women’s History Month, celebrated every year since 1978. This years theme is Women: Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet and spotlights Rachel Carson, author of A Silent Spring.

Of course, the library has the expected biographies about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, but how about Billie Jean King, Sally Ride or Betty Friedan? Setting individuals aside, I found these two titles very interesting:

Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons and Completely Corsetless Ladiesby Autumn Stephens.

Cowgirls by Candace Savage

And, for today’s history makers, don’t forget  Ms. Magazine.

virtuous-victorian1 cowgirls ms

If you like basketball, then look for our March Madness display. Not only do we have books about college basketball and the final four, but  also about the pro teams and individual biographies. There’s a new Rick Pitino title that should prove popular, Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0, but I also found a few other gems hidden in the stacks.

I’d never envisioned the author of Prince of Tides and Beach Music as being particularly athletic, but My Losing Season by Pat Conroy is his rendition of what happened on the court during his senior year of college at the Citadel.  It reads more like a novel than a basketball book, and if you’ve liked his other works, you’ll like this, too.  One unexpected tidbit is a reference to his father playing basketball at St. Ambrose, right here in Davenport, Iowa!

Counting Coup: A True Story of Honor and Basketball on the Little Big Horn, by Larry Colton, also reads like fiction.  This  story  is a journalist’s peek into the profound effect of girls’ basketball on an impoverished  Crow Indian Reservation in Montana.  Though he focuses on one especially talented player, Sharon LaForge, he also brings the reader along into the struggles of her family and her teammates as well.

pitino conroy counting-coup

What better time than St. Patrick’s Day than to honor the Irish?  Just so you have something green to read,  we’ve put together a display of some popular Irish authors at the Fairmount Branch.

When Frank McCourt came on the scene with Angela’s Ashes, it seemed everyone was speaking with an Gaelic lilt.    If you’ve already read that, then try his Tis or Teacher Man.

If you’d like a fun little romp, try The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell.  I blogged about it last year, so I won’t repeat myself.

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle, and for good reason.  If you’re thinking about traveling, this beautifully green country has got to be on your list.  Check out our travel section and then reserve your chance to kiss the blarney stone.


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March is National Craft Month, so if you’ve ever felt the urge to be creative, now’s a great time to try something new. No matter whether you’d like to try a paper craft, such as origami, or you’re more interested in making jewelry (with beads or clay) or you’re just looking for a fun activity to keep your kids occupied, we’ve got something for you at the Davenport Public Library. Check out some of these titles:

Rosie O’Donnell’s Crafty U

Ceramic Bead Jewelry: 30 Fired & Inspired Projects by Jennifer Heynen

The Papercraft Weekend Workbook by Fiona Jones

rosie-crafts beads papercraft

lincoln-railsplitting2Lincoln and Darwin had vastly different childhoods.  We know that Lincoln was born dirt-poor and was largely self-educated, whereas Darwin was born to wealth and privilege, privy to the best education money could buy. Still, even 200 years later, both have left their mark upon our world.  Unfortunately for both, that mark, or legacy, has become somewhat limited over time.

In the words of Adam Gopnik in his “Twin Peaks” article for the February, 2009 issue of the Smithsonian, ” With the usual compression of popular history, their reputations have been reduced to single words . . . “Evolution!”  for one and “Emancipation!” for the other.”  How true this is.  Both were complex individuals who contributed in many other ways to our relative societies.

One of Lincoln’s legacies, of sorts,  is the vast amount of literature that has been written about him.  At least in the Western world, it is estimated that there have been more books written about Lincoln than any other individual (save possibly Jesus and Napoleon).  And still, writers and researchers are uncovering new information and reformatting the old into numerous intriguing titles about Lincoln.  Check out some of these new tomes about our legendary 16th President:

In Lincoln’s Hand: his Original Manuscripts

1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History by Charles Flood

“They Have Killed Papa Dead”: the Road to Ford’s Theater, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder and the Rage for Vengeance by Anthony Pitch

Giants: the Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer

Looking for Lincoln: the Making of an American Icon by Philip Kunhardt

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James McPherson

lincolnThere are very few individuals who are famous enough for society to continue to celebrate them 200 years after their birth, but on February 12, 1809, two very famous men were born. One, Abraham Lincoln, is very familiar to Americans, as our 16th President.

darwin1Another influential individual, born across the Atlantic on the very same day, was Charles Darwin. Though most people know that Darwin wrote about evolution in his On the Origin of the Species, there continues to be much controversy regarding this subject. So, why not use the month of February to find out more about both of these influential men? Drop by the library and see our displays on both! And check back here for continuing blogs on both of these birthday buddies.