Even if you haven’t actually started your holiday shopping yet, it is bound to be on your mind. Shopping for the holidays can be very stressful, especially when you are shopping for someone that has everything. If you have teenagers, maybe you aren’t sure what’s really “in” right now. Budgets are always a factor too. If you have a lot of people on your list, you may be looking for great gifts that don’t break the bank. There are many resources available to help shoppers find great gift ideas. The best part is, you don’t have to leave home to find them.

Let’s talk about a database called Zinio. Zinio is a magazine internet database that is free for Davenport library card holders. All you need is your library card number and you can create a free account. Once your account is created, you can check out magazines and read them online in your browser.  This database is a no limit, permanent check out. Which means you can check out as many as you like and keep them for as long as you like.

More and more libraries are subscribing to this database. If you are a patron of a different library, check with your library to see if they subscribe. Below are some of the magazines available right now through this database. Not only are there tons of gift ideas inside, but it is a one stop holiday destination. To get started browsing magazines, click here.

If you are just looking for some quick ideas, check out the links below.

For Him... Top 25 Gifts for Him    Gifts for Boyfriend    Top 32 Gifts for Men this 2015 Holiday Season

For HerBest Christmas Gifts for Her in 2015    100 Best Christmas Gifts for Women 2015    Gifts for Her

For TeensGifts for Teens    Best Christmas Gifts for Tweens

Gift Guides for EveryonePopsugar Gift Guide    2015 Holiday Gift Guide    Zumiez Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts that won’t break the bank…Unique Gifts Under $25    Cool Gifts Under $10

If you can make it, then I bet there is a day reserved on the calendar to celebrate it. Every once in a while I like to peek at the holidays and special recognitions assigned to the current month. Many of the days are filled with celebrations of a particular food. What better way to surprise your friends, family, or coworkers than to treat them to a platter of goodies to celebrate the unique holiday?

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Egg Day: November 2 – My taste buds do not understand the satisfaction and joy that is invoked by this tiny smelly yellow thing, but I must admit this side dish shows up at nearly every function I attend that includes food. Therefore, I must be in the minority. Even my children have succumbed to the powers of this egg, mustard, and mayonnaise thing. For the egg lovers out there check out D’lish Deviled Eggs by Kathy Casey. I might even find a twist on this that I enjoy. For a few quick ideas, check out Huffpost Taste by the Huffington Post.


sandwich recipes Sandwich Day: November 3 – We all have our favorite sandwiches. Asking someone their Hungry Hobo number is a fun way to get to know someone. Try it with a friend or family member, you might be completely surprised by the answer. Eventually you will meet your sandwich twin! But I tend to get bored eating the same sandwich; I need to change it up. Chef Tom Colicchio’s book wichcraft includes sandwich recipes from the New York restaurant chain of the same name. These sandwiches are very unique and full of flavor. Cooking Light has 102 Super Sandwiches you can sink your teeth into right now!


bold recipesCook Something Bold Day: November 8 – Sure, why not? The idea behind this holiday is to create a dish that will fill your home with amazing flavors. It works well this time of year as many parts of the country are locking up windows for the winter to keep the heat in. Asian Grill by Corinne Trang has over 80 recipes for dressings, breads, desserts, vegetables, and meats bursting with bold Asian flavors. For more tips, recipes and Asian flavor, click Cooking By Feel.


 bread cookbookHomemade Bread Day: November 17 – Nothing beats bread fresh out of the oven, so how about you make it fresh out of your own oven! Thanks to authors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois making bread is quick and easy. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is fully revised and updated from the 2007 edition. New additions include 30 additional recipes and a gluten free chapter! For more gluten free bread ideas, visit Allrecipes. 



proposal dayDid you know that March 20th is National Proposal Day? The date, March 20th, was chosen as it was said to signify the beginning of spring(it is the first day of spring!) and is also the vernal/spring equinox. If you missed the March 20th proposal day, don’t worry! There is another “National Proposal Day” on September 23rd, the autumnal equinox or the first day of fall. Both the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox were chosen as National Proposal Days as the length of both night and day are equal, so proposing on this day is seen to put both people on a balanced scale and to symbolize their equality as they enter into marriage (I personally love the idea of linking it to the first day of a season!).

Once the proposal is over though, the fun part begins. The couple chooses venues, finds dresses and tuxes, picks flowers, and decides just who is going to be in their wedding party. If you’re lucky enough to be closely related to the engaged couple or even in the wedding party, you may find yourself on the receiving end of having to give a speech at the reception. I don’t know about you, but I simultaneously DREAD and LOVE the speech portion of wedding receptions! I can usually tell within the first couple of sentences whether that speech is going to make me laugh or cringe.

irish toasts


In order to help prepare said speech-giving people, I have found some toast-giving books to make designing your speech a little easier. First up let’s try something humorous like the book Irish Toasts, illustrated by Karen Bailey. *DISCLAIMER – Please make sure you know the couple REALLY WELL before decided to go a little crazy in your toast. If they’re okay with it, YOU. ARE. GOLDEN!* While some of these may be uniquely set to Ireland, note that they can also be changed to fit your specific circumstances. These are meant to give you ideas. Read these classic and witty Irish toasts and find the one that will fit your toast.






wedding toasts and speeches


Perhaps the couple is more along the traditional sense and you are as well. Maybe you’re looking for the right quotes and toasts about love to add to your speech or need some inspiration. If so, check out Wedding Toasts & Speeches: Finding the Perfect Words by Jo Packham. In this book, Packham has compiled a wide variety of quotes that can easily be slipped into any wedding toast. Whether you’re looking for something long/short, funny/romantic, or well-known/by a nobody, this book has gathered something for you. It even offers you advice on how to be a good speaker in front of a crowd. Extra Bonus.


If you’re still looking for inspiration to create that perfect wedding toast, head to the library and we can help you find something that will help you wish that lucky couple the very best in their new life!

george washington When I was a child, I learned in school that President’s Day was the Monday in between President Lincoln’s birthday and President Washington’s birthday.  Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12 and George Washington was born on February 22 which usually meant that my sister got a three day weekend for her birthday (which is the 18th).

But according to the Federal Government, the official name of the holiday is George Washington’s Birthday.  On January 31, 1879, Congress declared February 22nd a holiday observed by federal employees in the District of Columbia. In 1885, the holiday was expanded to the whole country. For close to one hundred years, the nation celebrated Washington’s Birthday on the actual day of his birth.  This changed after the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1971 which moved federal holidays to Mondays in an effort to provide people with three day weekends.  George Washington’s Birthday was declared to be the third Monday in the month of February.  Since it fell between Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, some states started calling the day President’s Day.

If you ask most Americans what they know about George Washington they will tell you three things:

  1. He chopped down a cherry tree
  2. Washington was the commanding General during the Revolutionary War
  3. And of course, he was the First President

From what I recall in history class, Washington became President and that was the end of the discussion on him. Of course, there was more to whiskey rebellionthe story. Recently I came across the book The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty by William Hogeland.  When the new Federal Government needed revenue, Congress decided that they needed to tax domestic products. Whiskey was the first American made product to be taxed.  People on the western frontier were outraged and they attacked a tax collector. The new nation was already facing a rebellion. President Washington and Congress had to decide how to react. How much power did this new government have? William Hogeland’s book provides insight to the President that we think we all know and details a forgotten chapter of American history.

Davenport Public Library offers a variety of sources about George Washington. Visit the library today to learn more about our First President.



american-flagThe Davenport Public Library will be closed on Friday July 4th in observance of Independence Day. All buildings will re-open on Saturday, July 5th for regular business hours – 9am to 5:30pm at all three locations.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Copy of happy new yearThe Davenport Public Library will be closed on Tuesday December 31 and Wednesday January 1 in observance of the New Years holiday. All locations will reopen their regular scheduled time on Thursday January 2 – Main and Eastern Avenue at 9am and Fairmount Street at noon.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Copy of happy holidaysThe Davenport Public Library will be closed Tuesday December 24th and Wednesday December 25th in observance of the Christmas holiday. All locations will reopen on Thursday December 26th at their regularly scheduled time – Main and Eastern Avenue at 9am and Fairmount Street at noon.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

There are a lot of great things about holiday parties: cookies, presents, drinks, friends & family, drinks, decorations, food, and did I mention, drinks?  If you’re considering shaking things up and trying a new drink, we have a wide range of books to wet your whistle.

Here are a few of my favorites  (visit the reference desk for additional suggestions!):

cocktails for a crowdCocktails for a crowd : more than 40 recipes 
for making popular drinks in 
party-pleasing batches by Kara Newman is a great go-to for people with a long guest list.  From punches to drinks served with an umbrella, this book covers its bases well.  Featuring beautiful photography, easy to follow directions, tips from bartenders, and a modern aesthetic, this is a great resource all year long.

tequila mockingbirdTequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle is a pun heavy book of drink recipes.  While the drinks may not be revolutionary, the names breathe new life into old standards.  Who could pass up a “Are You There God?  It’s me, Margarita.” or a “Brave New Swirled”?  Federle includes some bar tip staples, a few non-alcholoic drinks featuring familiar names from children’s literature (“Charlie and the Chocolate Fake-tini”), and bar bites like “The Develed Egg Wears Prada”.

drunken botanist

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks
by Amy Stewart has been on a number of best non-fiction book lists this year.  Part history, part science, and part cookbook, The Drunken Botanist is an examination of how humans created the drinks that we consume today.  With over fifty recipes and growing tips for libation minded gardeners, this is a great choice if you want to share some trivia along side your cocktail.

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