Oprah Book Club Pick – June 2020

Oprah has just announced her latest book club pick: Deacon King Kong by James McBride! Oprah is one of the celebrities featured on our Best Sellers Club. If you would like to make sure that you don’t miss a single one of Oprah’s book club picks, be sure to join our Best Sellers Club today!

Deacon King Kong by James McBride is her latest pick. A work of domestic psychological fiction set in 1969 in a housing project in South Brooklyn.

Need more information? Check out the information below provided by the publisher:

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride’s funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood’s Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself. As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters–caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York–overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion. Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Online Reading Challenge – July

Greetings Challenge Readers!

Well, we made it to another month. I think that deserves something fun, like – baseball! Which works out perfectly since this month’s movie is Field of Dreams!

Like so many other things in 2020, baseball is going to look a little different, but at least there will be some baseball – the MLB just announced a shortened, 60 game season scheduled to begin at the end of this month. And, at least at the time of this writing, the special game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees will probably still be held at in Dyersville, Iowa on the field made famous by the film Field of Dreams . That could change of course, but right now things are looking up, baseball-wise!

So what should you read to get you back in the baseball mode? There actually a lot of great books, fiction and non-fiction, that have been inspired by this most American of past times. You could also read something about Iowa, or father-son relationships or any sports-centric book – it’s your choice. Here I’ve listed some baseball favorites – clicking on the title will take you to our catalog where you’ll find a brief description and the location of the book. Remember, we’re open to the public again so you can stop by and pick up a book, or you can take advantage of curbside pick-up at Main and Eastern, or our drive-up window at Fairmount!

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

The Natural by Bernard Malamud

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

The Cactus League by Emily Nemens

Blockade Billy by Stephen King

There are also lots of non-fiction about baseball from famous players like Ernie Banks and Babe Ruth, to great games and rivalries, to the science and statistics that make the game tick. Check out the 796.357 Dewey number for a wide range of choices.

I’m planning to read Calico Joe by John Grisham which a baseball- and Grisham-loving fan told me was well worth reading.

Now, what about you, what will you be reading this month?

Online Reading Challenge – Wrap-Up

Hello Challenge Readers!

So, it’s been another difficult month in the year 2020. I know many of us – myself included – are taking a hard look at long-held beliefs and starting the ongoing work of educating ourselves. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s minor compared what too many of our citizens have suffered. Reading and comprehension are more important than ever – reading can be a source of education, a way to get a glimpse of another person’s life and it can be a comfort. I hope that this month you were able to find exactly what you needed, including for our monthly Reading Challenge!

I read Lawyer for the Cat by Lee Robinson, a lighter than air mystery about a cat that has inherited a large plantation house and a fortune.  Attorney Sally Baynard is assigned to choose a caretaker for the cat (and therefore live in the house and earn a substantial salary) from the three candidates listed in the will of the cat’s former owner.

Beatrice the cat is quite self-contained and has strong opinions about who she likes and who she won’t tolerate. Sally has to juggle finding the right fit for Beatrice (and the estate) while juggling a Mother with advancing Alzheimer’s, her regular load of Family Law cases and a boyfriend that is pushing for more of her attention. Not all of the candidates in the will seem above-board either – there seems to ulterior motives as some people are more interested on getting their hands on the estate than taking care of Beatrice.

Overall, this was an interesting mystery. Sally is a woman who has found success in the old boys club of Southern politics and law. I did worry some about how casually she handled Beatrice – at one point losing her altogether! – but you can be assured that Beatrice comes out with the best possible results. Interesting and fun, but very light.

What did you read this month? Let us know in the comments!

Virtual Book Club – July 1st

On Wednesday, July 1st at 2pm central time, the Virtual Book Club will be discussing Lock Every Door by Riley Sager. Information on how to join is available at the end of this blog post. We are using GoTo Meeting which will allow patrons to talk with the librarian about the book!

Want to know what the book is about? Check out the following blurb provided by the publisher:

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Taken in by the splendor of her surroundings Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. She is drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems, that the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her– and the next day she disappears. Can Jules discover the truth– and escape before her temporary status becomes permanent?

This book is also available in the following formats:

Virtual Book Club
Wed, Jul 1, 2020 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (CDT)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/406198773

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (669) 224-3412

Access Code: 406-198-773

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/406198773

Jenna Bush Hager JUNE Celebrity Book Club Pick

Have you joined our Best Sellers Club yet? We have started a new club for Davenport Public Library patrons that allow you to have automatic holds put on new releases from your favorite authors, stay current with three different celebrity book clubs, or receive nonfiction picks chosen by our librarians four times a year.

One of the celebrities on our Best Sellers Club is Jenna Bush Hager. The Read With Jenna book club picks a new book every month to read.

A Burning by Megha Majumdar is Jenna Bush Hager’s June 2020 pick. Curious what the book is about? Check out the following blurb provided by the publisher:

After a fiery attack on a train leaves 104 people dead, the fates of three people become inextricably entangled. Jivan, a bright, striving woman from the slums looking for a way out of poverty, is wrongly accused of planning the attack because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir, a slippery gym teacher from Jivan’s former high school, has hitched his aspirations to a rising right wing party, and his own ascent becomes increasingly linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely, a spirited, impoverished, relentlessly optimistic hjira, who harbors dreams of becoming a Bollywood star, can provide the alibi that would set Jivan free–but her appearance in court will have unexpected consequences that will change the course of all of their lives. A novel about fate, power, opportunity, and class; about innocence and guilt, betrayal and love, and the corrosive media cycle that manufactures falsehoods masquerading as truths–A Burning is a debut novel of exceptional power and urgency, haunting and beautiful, brutal, vibrant, impossible to forget.

This book is also available in the following format:

Wii’s Last Dance — Just Dance 2020

On a rainy, mid-quarantine day, I dusted off my old Nintendo Wii. My goal was the play the the last game made for the Wii: Just Dance 2020.

It was the perfect pick-me-up for a day stuck indoors after days of not going anywhere. While I’m not a super-fan of any of the songs, the game is filled with upbeat tracks. I giggled at the throwback “Everybody” from Backstreet Boys. Not having kids of my own means that even “Baby Shark” was a refreshing change of pace. Other songs from around the world kept me challenged to follow along with the unfamiliar beats and rhythms. I threw enough energy at the game so that it counted as my workout for the day. I would recommend this game to fans of the Zumba workout. It was fun to unlock new avatars, compete for stars and rack up points.

Don’t worry if you’ve let your Nintendo Wii fall into disrepair after switching to a Switch or another platform. Just Dance 2020 is available from the Davenport Public Library in the Switch format as well as PlayStation 4 and XBox One.

Reese Witherspoon JUNE Celebrity Book Club Picks

Every month Reese Witherspoon releases a new pick for the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine book club. June is an exception! She has announced TWO books for June and we are so excited to tell you about them.

If you want to make sure that you don’t miss any celebrity book club picks, join our Best Sellers Club and have those automatically put on hold for you.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley is her fiction pick for the month. This book is available in the following formats: OverDrive eAudiobook and OverDrive eBook.

Below is a description of this book provided by the publisher:

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Reese Witherspoon’s second book club pick for June is I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. This book is also available as an OverDrive eBook.

The following is a description provided by the publisher:

The author’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents told her they named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. She grew up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, and has spent her life navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, a speaker, and an expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. While so many institutions claim to value diversity in their mission statements, many fall short of matching actions to words. Brown highlights how white middle-class evangelicalism has participated in the rise of racial hostility, and encourages the reader to confront apathy and recognize God’s ongoing work in the world.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

What do you do when your life collapses around you and the future you had planned on is gone? How do you move beyond the pain, who do you lean on for support and comfort? And what if there was an alternative – would you grab it, no matter the cost? These questions and more and explored in the compelling book The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver.

Lydia and Freddie have been a couple since they met when they were 14. Their lives, past and present, are intertwined and their future planned with bright promise. All of that comes to an abrupt  end when, on Lydia’s birthday, just a few months before they were to be married, Freddie dies in a car accident.

Torn apart by her grief and her pain and unable to sleep at night, Lydia starts taking sleeping pills prescribed by her doctor. Every time she uses one of the pills, she magically slips into an alternate universe where Freddie is still alive, their future is proceeding as planned and Lydia is blissfully happy again. Waking up returns her to the world where Freddie has died and her crippling grief so the pills quickly become a crutch, allowing her to visit a world that doesn’t exist.

Pretty soon it becomes evident that not everything is perfect in this alternate universe, and it becomes increasingly difficult for Lydia to sustain both narratives. But how can she choose between the love of her life and moving on without Freddie?

This is an intriguing look at the process of working through grief and how grieving doesn’t follow a straight path or can be predicted by a timeline. It’s also about learning to stand on your own, how to move on while still honoring what has been lost, about the love and support of family and friends and about how you are responsible for your own happiness.

This may sound like a real downer of a book, but it has lots of funny moments – it’s British so the humor is very dry and Lydia’s circle of friends aren’t afraid to both poke her and hold her up. While it’s about grief, it’s also about love and joy and living your best life on your own terms.

 

Virtual Book Club – June 17th

Have you joined our Virtual Book Club yet? Every Wednesday at 2pm central time, we discuss a new book! Using GoTo Meeting, patrons are able to practice social distancing while still participating in a book club through the library. On Wednesday, June 17th, we will be discussing Conviction by Denise Mina.

Conviction by Denise Mina is a 2019 piece of murder mystery detective fiction that was the December 2019 pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Curious what the book is about? Check out the following blurb from the publisher:

A true crime podcast sets a trophy wife’s present life on a collision course with her secret past in this “blazingly intense” Reese Witherspoon book club pick and New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year (A. J. Finn).
The day Anna McDonald’s quiet, respectable life exploded started off like all the days before: Packing up the kids for school, making breakfast, listening to yet another true crime podcast. Then her husband comes downstairs with an announcement, and Anna is suddenly, shockingly alone.
Reeling, desperate for distraction, Anna returns to the podcast. Other people’s problems are much better than one’s own — a sunken yacht, a murdered family, a hint of international conspiracy. But this case actually is Anna’s problem. She knows one of the victims from an earlier life, a life she’s taken great pains to leave behind. And she is convinced that she knows what really happened.
Then an unexpected visitor arrives on her front stoop, a meddling neighbor intervenes, and life as Anna knows it is well and truly over. The devils of her past are awakened — and they’re in hot pursuit. Convinced she has no other options, Anna goes on the run, and in pursuit of the truth, with a washed-up musician at her side and the podcast as her guide.
Conviction is “daredevil storytelling at its finest” (NPR’s Fresh Air), a breathtaking thriller from one of the most “superbly talented” writers of our time (Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author of Trust Me).

This book is also available in the following formats:

To join the book club, follow the link below! We will be using GoTo Meeting for this program.

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/224067037

Access Code: 224-067-037

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States: +1 (646) 749-3112

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/224067037

Online Reading Challenge – Mid-Month Check-In

Hello Challengers!

Half way through June and summer is really heating up. Have you found your 12 Angry Men inspired book yet? Maybe you’d prefer spending some time in the air conditioning, watching a movie or tv show. There are plenty to choose from!

Dark Waters with Mark Ruffalo, based on a true story about an attorney that takes on a large corporation whose carelessness is causing countless deaths.

Mr Civil Rights, a documentary about Thurgood Marshall and his triumph in the Brown v. the Board of Education case which led to the desegregation of schools.

Anatomy of a Murder, a classic starring Jimmy Stewart about the trial of a husband accused of murdering his wife’s rapist.

Philadelphia with Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks covering a case that battles against AIDS discrimination.

As for television shows, there are almost too many to mention, from the classic Perry Mason to LA Law, Boston Legal, J.A.G., The Good Fight, Suits, Law and Order or one it’s many off-shoots, The Good Wife and Better Call Saul, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.

 

Bad Behavior has blocked 1555 access attempts in the last 7 days.