With the New Year, it seems like everyone is making a resolution. One popular resolution is to get rid of the many possessions that you no longer use, which many believe will lead you to fill your home and life with items that are meaningful to you. Popular blogger Joshua Becker’s new book, The Minimalist Home, is a guide to only filling your home with things that create a simpler life. The author guides you from room to room within your home, helping you to decide what to keep and what to discard. He addresses not only the easy stuff – the chair that is being used as storage in the corner – but even the most difficult things to part with – the items that have sentimental value. He speaks as to why so many Americans have so much stuff and how accumulating items begins in the first place. His advice is practical, straightforward and helps with the tough questions that are bound to arise when discarding possessions.
One of the beneficial parts of the book is how the author came to be a minimalist by sharing his story. Before Becker discovered minimalism, he was very similar to many others before their journey of owning less. A casual conversation with a neighbor led him to question why he owned so many items when it was distracting him from what really mattered in life. In his case, this was spending quality time with his wife and son and enjoying their time together. After converting to minimalism, he boasts that he and his family were able to be more generous with their time and live a simpler life, surrounding themselves with things they use and truly enjoy.
The author’s main takeaway is that the reader can create their own journey of minimalism, making it unique to them. Becker’s book supplies the framework to help readers make the journey. Even if you do not decide to get rid of nearly everything you own, The Minimalist Home will make you think more about how you view the objects you possess in your home.
Taking a long trip this summer? Check out a great resource available to you from the Davenport Public Library. We are pleased to offer Recorded Books OneClickdigital, an online service that allows patrons to download a wide range of audiobooks, including best-sellers, Recorded Books exclusives, classics, selections for children and young adults and much more.
Davenport Public Library patrons have free access at home or on the go! The titles are all multi-access, so there is no need to place any holds. OneClickdigital is compatible with all popular listening devices and mobile apps are available for iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire. OneClickdigital features an easy-to-use interface with streamlined navigation, fast downloads and automatic software updates. Free technical support is available too!
Visit www.davenportlibrary.com and click on “eBooks & More” for access to Recorded Books OneClickdigital or contact the Reference Department for more information.
WILBOR has a new look and now it is even easier to enjoy your favorite eBooks and eAudiobooks! A few of the highlights:
-An icon in the corner of a book cover will tell you whether the title is an eBook or an eAudiobook. If the icon is black, the title is available. If it is gray, the title has a wait list.
-Click on “Borrow” to choose your title.
-After you have logged into your account and accessed your “Bookshelf” you will be given the option to download your selection or return your title (once you download your selected format, you may only be able to return the title via the software). Clicking the “Download” button once will allow you to select your desired format.
–Overdrive Read is available for select titles, which allows you to open your eBook selection immediately and read from a browser on your computer or mobile device.
Questions? Contact the Reference Department!
For Dr. Gabriella Mondini, there is no other option besides following in her father’s footsteps into a life of medicine in Regina O’Melveny’s debut, The Book of Madness and Cures. She is passionate about healing the citizens of Venice. For a woman residing in this part of the word in the late 16th Century this proves to be a challenging feat. In the male dominated Italian medical society, Gabriella gains credibility with her father’s colleagues by assisting him with research on “The Book of Diseases.”
A few years prior, Gabriella’s father, the elder Dr. Mondini, disappeared unexpectedly with only an occasional letter as to his whereabouts. In addition to the sporadic correspondence, his writings are cryptic and give little clue to Gabriella and her mother of his condition, which has a tendency to gravitate toward madness. With the prospect of continuing her medical career in jeopardy without her father’s guidance, Gabriella, her maid and a few additional servants embark on a journey to solve the mystery of what happened to her father. The journey takes them across Europe to France, Germany, England, Spain and south to the tip of Morocco, all the while encountering danger while traveling and encountering locals who met her father and are able to provide clues to the group of travelers.
While in Morocco, Gabriella finds out the shocking truth about her father, his nearly completed book on diseases and her own future. O’Melveny’s debut provides a rich look at late 16th century day to day life, the logistics of cross continent travels and the lives of women during this time.
While working at the reference desk, the librarians at the Davenport Public Library have many questions from patrons about the titles and authors that are available through our eBook catalog, WILBOR. Did you know there are many titles that are not available as eBooks for library patrons? Do you also know that we cannot buy eBooks from many of the biggest publishers because they refuse to sell or license eBooks to libraries? We want to offer as many eBooks as we can to our patrons, however the publishers’ policies are preventing us from doing so.
A library, unlike a regular person, cannot pay Amazon or Barnes and Noble for an eBook and then lend it out to our patrons. To provide digital rights management (the thing that keeps pirates from pirating the eBook file) we have to pay a third party vendor, Overdrive, to purchase our eBooks. Our purchasing power is diminishing in the digital world, meaning we can’t get certain titles for you at all, or we can’t afford to buy all the titles we should have available.
Please know that the Davenport Public Library is committed to advocating for a change to these policies!
Below is a listing of a few publishers who currently refuse to sell eBooks to libraries or only provide a limited number of titles:
-Simon & Schuster
-Hachette Book Group
Liza Klaussmann’s debut novel, Tigers in Red Weather, follows two cousins, Nick and Helena, throughout the decades after World War II and chronicles the twists and turns in their lives. The girls grew up spending much of their time together on the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard and return over the years with husbands, children and family secrets galore.
Told from the point of view of five characters (with each character’s version of reality differing greatly), Tigers in Red Weather’s concludes with a stunning twist, which was just slightly evident throughout the novel. I enjoyed Tigers in Red Weather for the banter between the characters on life pre and post World War II but when I began to see the true nature of one of the characters, the book moved in an entirely different direction – a direction that is as much frightening as it is shocking.
Award winning mystery writer Louise Penny is back with her eighth book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series. The Beautiful Mystery is a bit of a departure (as far as the location) from her previous books, but it just as captivating and engrossing as her previous titles. I hold a soft spot for Three Pines, the quaint and picturesque village where the previous books are located, and even though I was a little leery of the new setting, it is definitely another superb mystery. The book takes place in a remote Quebec monastery where 24 monks live in complete isolation and silence. Ironically, the rest of the world has just discovered this group through their voices and a recording of their haunting and beautiful chants that have been released to the world with rave reviews.
The Beautiful Mystery opens with the shocking murder of one of the monks, Frere Matthieu, the choirmaster of the group. Matthieu has been a champion of releasing the chants to the world in order to raise much needed funds for improvements to the monastery. Chief Inspector Gamache and his right hand man, Jean-Guy Beauvior arrive on the scene to interrogate and question the monks, attempting to piece together the puzzle of which of the remaining monks could possibly commit murder. In addition to solving the crime at the monastery, Gamache and Beauvoir confront personal issues and demons that could have the ability to tear apart their own lives.
The Beautiful Mystery is intriguing enough on its own but if you want to start with the first book in the series pick up Still Life.
Adam Newman’s destiny has been predetermined as far back as he can remember in Francesca Segal’s debut novel, The Innocents.
In his close knit Jewish community of North London, Adam has known everyone since birth, including Rachel Gilbert, to whom he is now engaged. Adam and Rachel have been a couple since their were 16 years old and their wedding is fast approaching. The couple has a seemingly perfect life – Adam has been embraced by Rachel’s family, especially her father, who has become a father figure to Adam after he lost his own father at a young age.
Their life is moving ahead rapidly when Rachel’s cousin, Ellie, surprisingly appears in town and everything Adam has every known is thrown into upheveval. As his attraction to Ellie is growing, he is torn between the life that has been scripted for him and a life that he never could have imagined with a person he has not seen for years. This love triangle is coupled with another scandal that could tear his new family apart.
Segal takes her inspiration from Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, but spins a story that is fresh and modern. I am eagerly waiting for Segal’s next novel.
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman is the latest epic biography by Robert Massie, an author who has written many fascinating books dealing with Russia and her historic leaders (including one of my favorites, Nicholas and Alexandra). Catherine the Great started her life simply enough as Sophie, a minor German royal whose mother had lofty aspirations of her daughter marrying well.
After traveling to Russia as a teenager to marry Peter, the nephew of Empress Elizabeth and heir to the throne, Sophie is initially embraced by the members of the Russian court – but that quickly changes. What follows is a whirlwind of betrayals, affairs, and power struggles as Catherine eventually ascends the Russian throne, guided by her studies of philosophy. She used these principles to rule Russia during civil wars and foreign conflicts throughout her reign and the author portrays these events in vivid detail. Massie’s writing style brings the entire era to life and personalizes Catherine as only he can – a highly recommended biography.
After finding out that her husband has just accepted a job in Luxembourg, Kate Moore is secretly thrilled that she can move to a foreign country and leave her deepest secret behind in the United States in Chris Pavone’s debut thriller/mystery, The Expats. After the family settles in their new home country, her husband, Dexter, throws himself into his job working long hours and taking many work related trips.
Kate begins to fill her days with children’s playgroups and lunches with other expat wives who she has met. Quickly, she makes friends with Julia, another expat and her husband, Ben who live in Luxembourg with their young children. After some time, Kate begins to have misgivings about Julia and Ben and is convinced they are not who they seem. Kate is thoroughly convinced that they know her secret and they are working to expose her.
She sleuths into Julia and Ben’s background and she discovers their true identities. At this point the plot takes so many twists and turns, it becomes confusing and hard to piece together at times. The conclusion is ambitious, creative and completely unexpected. Overall, I really enjoyed Pavone’s debut novel even though the plot didn’t always come together as I would have hoped, but I am looking forward to Pavone’s next thriller.