Featured new additions to DPL’s Religion and Spirituality collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.


51zqYF24+iL__SX337_BO1,204,203,200_The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis – In his first book published as Pope, and in conjunction with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis here invites all humanity to an intimate and personal dialogue on the subject closest to his heart—mercy—which has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy.

 

 

 


Breaking+Busy+CoverBreaking Busy: How to Find Peace on Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington – Marrying popular secular research with solid biblical principles, Allie Worthington instills confidence that you, too, can move from crazy busy to confident calm. With refreshing candor, uproarious true stories, and a Christian worldview, Alli delivers truths that dismantle common happiness myths. Then she empowers you to get unstuck, to let go of the good to make way for the great, to know yourself and your Creator, and ultimately to find peace and purpose in this world of crazy.

 


9781611801002The Vow-Powered Life: A Simple Method for Living with Purpose by Jan Chozen Bays – Making a vow is a powerful mindfulness practice—and all you have to do to tap into that power is set your intention consciously. A vow can be as “small” as the aspiration to smile at someone at least once every day, or as “big” as marriage; as personal as deciding to be mindful when picking up the phone or as universal as vowing to save all sentient beings. It can be deeply spiritual, utterly ordinary, or both. Zen teacher Jan Chozen Bays looks to traditional Buddhist teachings to show the power of vows—and then applies that teaching broadly to the many vows we make. She shows that if we work with vows consciously, they set us in the direction of achieving our goals, both temporal and spiritual.


Battling-the-Gods-coverBattling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World by Tim Whitmarsh – How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities.

 


Out-of-Sorts-Cover-525x800Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey – Blogger Bessey  shares with her readers the power of uncertainty in the face of the transformative reality of the Spirit. Instead of arguments, Bessey invites readers into a conversation of loosely topical vignettes. These biographical reflections are a feast of wit, passion, criticism, intelligence, and, above all, gentleness. Whether Bessey is addressing how to handle theology, the authority of Scripture, social justice, or the problem of evil, it is always as a story. Along the way, we walk with her in her early embrace of the Charismatic Movement, her disillusionment with it and Christianity in general, and finally her critical reconciliation.


for_the_love_jhFor the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker – Best-selling author Jen Hatmaker is convinced life can be lovely and fun and courageous and kind. She reveals with humor and style how Jesus’ embarrassing grace is the key to dealing with life’s biggest challenge: people. The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, go to church with, don’t like, don’t understand, fear, compare ourselves to, and judge. Jen knows how the squeeze of this life can make us competitive and judgmental, how we can lose love for others and then for ourselves. She reveals how to: Break free of guilt and shame by dismantling the unattainable Pinterest life.

symphony for the city of the deadBiographies or any sort of nonfiction relating to the siege of Leningrad that occurred amidst World War II can become depressing to read because of the many, many atrocities committed and the vast number of people who died. Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson is the opposite of the traditional heavy nonfiction. Anderson breaks up his story of Shostakovich and the evolution of Leningrad by dropping in back-and-white historical photographs that allow readers to put a face to a name. This inclusion breaks up the chaos and destruction happening within his descriptions of Stalin’s purges and the eventual siege of Leningrad by bringing in pictures and maps to connect the history presented with an actual physical place and actual people. It may seem easy for people to ignore and write off atrocities committed, but I find that when authors choose to add pictures into their books, the subject matter becomes even more real and life-changing.

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad really brought to life for me the importance of art and culture to a nation and its citizens, both in a negative and a positive light. Anderson tells readers the story of Stalin and his purges: how he rid the country of top military officials, science experts, and a wide variety of other people and effectively set his country up for more widespread disaster when Hitler invaded and he had no experts to ask for advice. This book focuses on art and culture, specifically music and Dmitri Shostakovich. This Russian composer escaped death at the hands of Stalin and instead found himself navigating the tricky tight-rope of composing the music that Stalin finds appropriate while still staying true to himself. Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony is the one that he writes for Leningrad, “The City of the Dead,” and this book effectively sets the stage for discovering Shostakovaich’s mindset around that time and also the necessary cultural and political framework that he was up against. Highly recommended!

Check out the following fiction and nonfiction books for more information about the siege of Leningrad and related topics!

the madonnas of leningradcity of thievesleningrad siege and symphonyinferno the world at warstalin the court of the red tsarabsolute war

atomicDid you get a new eReader for Christmas?  Are you having trouble figuring out how it functions?  The library may be able to help you!

Davenport Public Library subscribes to a database called Atomic Training.  This database has thousands of videos that will teach you how to use your Kindle, iPad, Nook or Android device.  And since you have a library card from the Davenport Public Library, you are able to watch these videos at your convenience!

If you have an iPad, you can learn about the different settings and how to install iBooks.  Also, there are tutorials about the Kindle app and the Nook app that you can install on your iPad.  You can also watch videos about finding apps to read newspapers and magazines.

If you have a Kindle, you can learn how to manage your Kindle library, share content on multiple devices, and the different settings and features available.  Also included are videos on how to locate free materials for your Kindle.  Tutorials about Amazon Prime and apps available for Amazon Prime.  You can also find help for how to use your Kindle Fire as a tablet and its Internet Browser.

Nook users can find help on a variety of topics.  You can learn how to set up your Barnes and Noble account along with the different features.  Also, there are are tutorials about using Chrome and Google Play.  Videos have information on how to find newspapers, magazines and other free materials.

To access Atomic Training, go to Research Tools on our website. From there, go to Online Resources. Once you are there, you will find Atomic Training. You will have to set up a free account to access the database.  All it requires is an email adress and password.

Read 2016

It is a new year and the perfect time to start a reading challenge. I struggle at times with what to choose, because there is so much out there to read, and my time is limited. A reading challenge consists of following a set of specific reading guidelines over a certain period of time. The reading criteria all depends on the kind of reading challenge it is. You can usually find a local summer or winter reading challenge at your public library where you can read for prizes. But there are other reading challenges that you do for fun or to broaden your reading repertoire. There may be a requirement on your reading challenge for a type of book you would have never picked up on your own, but for the sake of the challenge you give it a try. It could be the best or worst thing you ever read, but that is the fun of the challenge. You just never know what you will have to pick up. In this blog are a list of reading challenges that span the entire year. They are different so you can pick out one that appeals to your style or current interest.

Committing to a year long challenge is great for keeping you reading, and for guiding you on what to read next. I’m not quite sure which one I will pick, but I will be participating in one of these challenges. I hope your year in reading is a good one!

Bustle Reads Challenge 2016 Read books by women and writers of color. Includes 20 book categories to complete.

Modern Mrs Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge Read one book a month. Categories are broad and leave room for you stay in your comfort zone if you want to.

The 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge  Challenge consists of 24 books and includes a downloadable chart to keep track. A wide range of books are covered including read a play and read a food memoir. Definitely a challenge that will get you out of your comfort zone.

Popsugar Ultimate  2016 Reading Challenge  If you read a lot, this may be the challenge for you! This list includes 40 different categories and you won’t find any books that you can read in a day. Unless you read very fast! But there are a slew of fun topics like read a book written by a celebrity. 

Challies 2016 Reading Challenge This challenge is pretty cool because it has a challenge for every reader! The Light Reader challenge is the first of four different challenges and consists of 13 books for about 1 book every 4 weeks. The Obsessed Reader is the fourth and most difficult, with 104 books! That’s 2 books a week folks. There are two other challenges that fall somewhere in between light and obsessed.

Daring to Live Fully Reading Challenge I liked this challenge because it gives you book suggestions under each category to get you started. There are 12 books on list which makes it very doable.

Back to the Classics Reading Challenge As the name suggests, all the books in this challenge are considered “classics”. Site gives detailed explanation of each category and one book recommendation.

2016 Diversity Reading Challenge  These are books either written by or about a person of diversity. Two categories include a book in which a character suffers from a mental illness and a book with a LGBT main character. There are 12 categories.

Intrigued? The Davenport Public Library is about to launch their own online reading challenge! It will be a low-stress, no obligation way to expand your reading horizons and maybe help you find your next great read! Watch this space for details coming next week!

 

 

star-wars-the-force-awakens-book-coverWhile the movie is still in theaters, the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by SF veteran Alan Dean Foster, has arrived at DPL!

Set years after Return of the Jedi, this new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.

So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens…

miles morales ultimate spidermanMiles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man is a graphic novel that introduces the world to a brand new Spider-Man. In this world, Peter Parker has been killed in a major superhero-villain brawl and everyone is left in the lurch, mourning the loss of Spider-Man, dealing with the fall-out of learning his identity, and coming to terms with the fact that they don’t have a hero anymore. Along this same storyline, runs the story of junior high student, Miles Morales, and the various happenings of him and his family.

Miles lives with his parents and has his name entered in the lottery to go to a charter school, instead of a public school. After learning his school fate, Miles heads to his Uncle Aaron’s apartment, his dad’s brother, the one person that he is constantly told to stay away from. Once there, Miles is bitten by a spider with a number written on its back, a spider that escaped from Norman Osborn’s laboratory in Uncle Aaron’s bag while he was robbing the place. Everything seems normal until Miles runs out of the apartment and discovers that he can turn invisible. With that one discovery, his life is turned completely upside-down.

With his roommate, Ganke, being the only person who knows he has spider-like powers, Miles wrestles with what to do. Was he given these powers for a reason? Should he become a new Spider-man since the old one is deceased? What will his dad, a vocal non-supporter of any kind of mutant activity, think of him? How will he balance fighting crime and being a normal every-day junior high student? These questions and more are answered in this collection as Miles begins to fight crime, is introduced to Nick Fury and various members of the Avengers, and as he struggles to deal with balancing family, school, and his brand new superhero life. The author has added in some twists that are guaranteed to make you question everything that you think you’ve learned about the old Spider-Man and the new Spider-Man.

apocalyptigirlA theme that seems to be present in most of the materials I have been reading recently is the apocalypse and the end of the world. ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times is no exception. Aria is stuck alone on the planet at the end of the world with only a cat named Jelly Beans as her companion. She discovered tunnels under this overgrown city and has transformed them into her living chambers. Although Aria is by herself, she has a mission to complete and one important part of this is to find working parts to transform Gus, a giant robot machine, back into working order.

Aria’s main mission? To find an ancient relic with immeasurable power called the Grand Photon. This gift from above is perfect energy because of its ability and power to transform an entire planet into a veritable Garden of Eden. History says, though, that the inhabitants of this planet had used the Grand Photon for evil, harnessing its power and weaponizing it, which eventually led to the scorching of the planet and the killing of almost every living thing. Aria was sent to this planet for what she thought would be three months, armed with a tracking device on her arm, to find the Grand Photon. Those three months turned into six years.

Andrew MacLean has put together a beautifully illustrated story about a young woman’s struggle in an action-packed adventure comic about the extremes of humanity and how even in a world that has been completely ravaged by war, we still long for a place to call our home. The artwork is bright and reminiscent of manga with woodblock art and a very-detailed, almost old American comic feel to it. Through the first few pages, it definitely becomes apparent that this story takes place not in this time period, but the art has you wanting to pay close attention to the vividness of each color and the different story lines. This graphic novel is not overly filled with back story; MacLean chooses instead to give us glimpses of history through Aria’s streaming consciousness, in essence she is talking to herself and through this talking, readers are privy to a much-needed-to-know history. With no one to talk to on this planet, Aria would naturally keep a running commentary in her head and also with her cat, Jelly Beans. This graphic novel was both serious and humorous; two things that if done right, work perfectly together.

the flashI’ve been on a superhero kick lately, as evidenced by all of my recent blog posts featuring superhero graphic novels. I decided to branch out on my last library check-out and snagged the first season of The Flash.

The Flash is a television series that began in 2014 and is currently running its second season on the CW. This show is based on the DC Comics run of the Flash and is actually of spinoff of Arrow, another show that is running its 4th season on the CW right now (the library has the first three seasons!). Don’t worry! It’s not necessary to watch all of Arrow in order to understand the story of The Flash. When the characters cross over, they do a good job of explaining their back stories.

In The Flash, Barry Allen is a crime scene investigator for the Central City police department. He’s an incredibly smart young man, one who is endearingly awkward and geekishly handsome. Barry moved in with his best friend, Iris, and her father, Joe, after his mother was murdered and his father was sent to jail for having killed her. Despite having to grow up with only Joe has a parental figure, Barry chose a career path that would help him learn all he can about the science behind his mother’s murder, something that would help him free his father from prison, and find the mysterious “man in yellow,” the man Barry believes to have killed his mother. After an explosion at Star Labs, Barry wakes up and realizes that he has become the fastest man alive. Every superhero has to have partners in crime and Barry found his in a group of scientists operating out of Star Labs since it was shut down. Realizing that he has an opportunity to help people, Barry and friends help to fine tune his abilities and he uses his new power to race through the streets of Central City to fight crime. Check out this first season to watch Barry test the limits of his speed, figure out ways to fight the other metahumans(what they call the people who were also affected by the explosion at Star Labs), and cheer for Barry as he struggles to find a way to free his father from prison.

izombiebook2What would you do if you couldn’t remember who you are? If when you tried to remember your past experiences, you froze and realized you couldn’t remember anything? This problem happens to Gwen on a daily basis, but luckily she’s found a way to sort of fix this problem: she eats the brains of the recently deceased. Did I forget to mention Gwen is a zombie? She is…

In iZombie: Dead to the World, readers are introduced to the undead life of Gwen Dylan, a zombie who works as a gravedigger at an eco-friendly cemetery and who also lives in one of the vaults at said cemetery. Gwen keeps company with a were-terrier that she’s nicknamed Spot and a ghost best friend who has been dead since the 1960s. If her life sounds weird already, Gwen has to eat a human brain about once a month, so she doesn’t turn full zombie and also so she can keep her memories intact. Interesting little tidbit about that brain eating: Gwen is flooded by the dead person’s memories and thoughts right after she eats their brains and as a result, she feels the urge to help them fill their last requests: be it through finding their killer or delivering a message to their mourning families. Gwen has a lot on her plate, but she soon discovers that there are visitors to her town who are there to kill any paranormal creature who is existing when they should really be dead. Throw in Halloween, a full moon, a pack of blood-thirsty female vampires, and a mysterious mummy man who wants Gwen to join him in his killing of not-so-innocent people, and Gwen soon realizes her peaceful life is about to go crazy.

If this first volume sounds interesting to you, keep your eyes on our shelves for the release of the next three volumes. You can also check out the television show, iZombie, whose first season is available for check out at all three Davenport Public Library locations.

graysonI’ve been reading tons of graphic novels lately. The main reason? I can usually get through a whole graphic novel in one sitting, usually even multiple ones in a day! It’s fabulous. Throw in a flashy cover and a high-paced story and I’m hooked. Grayson: Volume 1, Agents of Spyral fits all of my necessary graphic novel markers and BONUS: It’s about Robin/Nightwing, a thoroughly over-looked DC character if you ask me.

You need to understand some basic Robin/Nightwing backstory in order to not get confused, though Seeley and King do a very good job explaining his past life. Grayson: Volume 1, Agents of Spyral covers the story of Dick Grayson, a former circus acrobat, who after his parents were tragically killed in a trapeze accident(YES, I know this sounds ridiculous, but come on, as a superhero/spy, being an acrobat comes in SUPER handy), eventually comes to live with Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Once Grayson figures out that Wayne is actually Batman, Grayson becomes his partner, Robin. They exist in peace, fighting crime in Gotham City, but once Grayson gets older, he decides to become Nightwing and continues to fight crime. Nightwing eventually is captured and killed by the Criminal Syndicate. Or is he?

Not a spoiler: He isn’t killed or this graphic novel would be over before it even began. Instead he goes on his merry way dispensing out justice across the globe and is eventually recruited into Spyral, a top-secret spy ring that is hunting for pieces of the Paragon, a God who was killed and who had his body parts distributed all over the world. Oh yeah, those body parts all just happen to be individual weapons of mass destruction. No biggie. So to recap, Grayson is now a spy for Spyral and is hunting down weapons disguised as body parts. Oh also, he’s actually a secret agent spying on Spyral and reporting to Batman because Spyral is actually looking to discover the secret identity of every superhero on the globe. (Turns out each superhero bestowed something special on each body part, hence how they became weapons of mass destruction). This plotline is fantastic! So many twists and turns that left me eagerly flipping the pages to find out what happened next. I also really enjoyed the bright pops of color and the way the artist decided to give such a lifelike feel to each character. Be on the lookout for the next Grayson volume!