Cinco de Mayo is only the beginning! The entire month of May has been designated as Latino Books Month by the Association of American Publishers. Simply put, it’s an effort to encourage people to read books by and for Latinos. What’s great is that you can choose to read many titles in either English or Spanish.
If you read Spanish, you’ll be able to check out some books that, in English, never seem to be on the shelf! For example, Luna Nueva by Stephanie Meyer.
If you prefer Latino authors, try Carlos Ruiz Zafon and his El Juego del Angel or Para Salvar el Mundo by Julia Alvarez. Can’t read Spanish? No problem, we have the English versions of those titles as well. Hint: Look for The Angel’s Game and Saving the World.
Also, in the children’s section, we feature many bi-lingual editions as well as clever videos. Did you know that exposing children to another language at a young age can really help their fluency in later years? Why not give it a try?
I have to give credit where credit is due; this idea was posted on a list serve by Glenda Mulder from Laurens (Iowa) Public Library. Thanks for sharing Glenda!
Given the You-Tube popularity of the Britain’s Got Talent segment, I thought I’d share the idea with you as well. (If you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen this video clip of Susan Boyle yet, drop everything and do so now. It will make your day and let you look at life in a whole new way!)
As I was pulling items for this display, I realized (to my dismay) that I, too, am guilty of judging a book by it’s cover. Since our selectors do a top-notch job of weeding, I thought there might be slim pickins. Instead, what I discovered was a wonderful wealth of the old classics — books like Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and James Joyce’s Ulysses and Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. These books date back to the days when well-loved copies were sent to be rebound — not that we don’t do that anymore, just not as much! Most of them have plain covers, with no pictures or glossy photographs or even the title! But open them up and the magic is still inside.
April 22 is Earth Day! This holiday has been celebrated in America since 1970, but due to the timeliness of this topic, there’s a vast array of newer materials on all things having to do with “green” and the environment. Check out some of these titles:
From the Bottom Up: One Man’s Crusade to Clean America’s Rivers by Chad Pregracke with Jeff Barrow. Talk about a home-town hero! Chad started his river clean-up project right here on the Mississippi in the Quad Cities. His Living Lands & Waters, a not-for-profit organization, has received tons of corporate sponsorship and has now expanded its efforts to clean up other rivers.
The Green Book: the Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen. This compact little book is clearly organized, which makes it easy to quickly check the areas you most interested in — be it home, work , school or travel. Another appealing addition (interspersed between chapters) is the series of quotes from celebrities, such as Robert Redford and Martha Stewart.
Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman. This book by a Pulizter Prize winning author has received rave reviews and has been a number-one bestseller. Basically, the sub-title sums it up: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America.
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.
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.
The 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:
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
Did 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!
March 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 Ladies …by Autumn Stephens.
Cowgirls by Candace Savage
And, for today’s history makers, don’t forget Ms. Magazine.
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.
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.