The President’s Table by Barry Landau

The President’s Table by Barry LandauHappy President’s Day! Every third Monday in February has been set aside to observe the birth anniversaries of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22), although it is now generally used to honor all former US presidents.

Ever wonder what goes on at those lavish Presidential State Dinners? The beautifully illustrated The President’s Table: Two Hundred Years of Dining and Diplomacy by Barry Landau gives us a unique picture of the world and work of the Presidents. Showing us history from a social rather than strictly factual viewpoint, Landau makes history fascinating and personal. Included are photographs of menus and invitations, descriptions of meals served, and details of trends in entertaining which reflect the birth, growth and dominance of the United States.

First day of spring

Spring trainingThat’s the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on the ball. – Bill Veeck, 1976

Every baseball fan knows that spring starts this week – pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training. Just knowing that somewhere there is warm sunshine and blue skies and green grass and that the boys of summer are working out the kinks makes the promise of spring seem closer. If you’re lucky enough to be able to escape the Midwestern winter and visit one of the leagues (the Cactus League is in Arizona and the Grapefruit League is in Florida) check out out Spring Training Online for in-depth information about the teams, the parks they play in during spring training, how to get tickets and directions on how to get there as well as spring training game schedules. Spring Training Tips offers lots of valuable information from people who have gone to spring training including information on how to rent a house for your visit, where to go to squeeze in a round of golf and what kind of weather to expect. Major League Baseball has a wealth of information including the most sacred to baseball fans: statistics. Check out all the news about your favorite team and what players to watch this season.

And for the rest us, hang in there – the Cubs home opener is March 31 and the newly renamed Quad Cities River Bandits open April 3!

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean

Madonnas of LeningradThe past is still vivid to Marina, even though the present fades in a fog of age and approaching Alzheimer’s. Now elderly and living in America, as a young woman she had been a docent at the State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad. When Leningrad comes under siege during World War II, Marina and the other museum workers carefully hide the priceless artworks, leaving the frames behind as a promise of their eventual return. Marina painstakingly memorizes each painting and sculpture, memories she can escape to as the winter and continuing siege worsen, memories that now seem more real than her current life. Interspersed with vivid descriptions of the artwork and the suffering of the Russian civilians, this is a beautiful book about the power of memory.

Graphic Novels — Fun for New Adult Readers

Call of the Wild graphic novelDo you know a struggling reader? Check out our Learning Center at the Main Library!

We have many new graphic novels packaged along with audio CD’s and/or cassette tapes. Using them together, one can listen to the words while reading, thereby reinforcing the words one sees on the page. Also, since graphic novels arebooks for struggling readers very similar to comic books in format, they are more appealing to teens or adults who don’t like to read. We have many classic titles that are often required reading in high school. We also carry other Hi-Lo (high-interest, low-reading level) materials and literacy aides. Check them out!

Little known fact about Frank Lloyd Wright

Death in a Prairie HouseThe most pivotal and yet least understood event of Frank Lloyd Wright’s celebrated life involves the brutal murders in 1914 of seven adults and children dear to the architect and the destruction by fire of Taliesin, his landmark residence, near Spring Green, Wisconsin. Unaccountably, the details of that shocking crime have been largely ignored by Wright’s legion of biographers—a historical and cultural gap that is finally addressed in William Drennan’s exhaustively researched Death in a Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders.

Supplying both a gripping mystery story and an authoritative portrait of the artist as a young man, Drennan wades through the myths surrounding Wright and the massacre, casting fresh light on the formulation of Wright’s architectural ideology and the cataclysmic effects that the Taliesin murders exerted on the fabled architect and on his subsequent designs.

Brothers by Da Chen

Brothers by Da ChenDo you like historical fiction? Try Brothers by Da Chen. The book takes place in China during the Cultural Revolution and concerns two brothers, Tan and Shento, one born to wealth and privilege , the other to poverty and shame. The story follows their lives as they grow to manhood and fulfill their destinies. Though a work of fiction, the author has also written memoirs of his life in China, and this book draws upon his experiences during those tumultuous times.

And The Oscar Goes To …..?

oscar-statuette.jpgHollywood’s big night is coming – The Academy Awards. Oscar’s red carpet will be unrolled on Sunday, February 24th. See the lists of nominees at www.oscar.com.

To learn more about the history of movie making take a look at the 791.43 area within the Library. Here are some titles that might spark your interest:




Movies That Changed Us by Nick Clooney (Yep, that’s George Clooney’s dad.) 791.43 Clo

100 Years of Hollywood by Time-Life Books 791.42 One

The Golden Age of “B” Movies by Doug McClelland 791.43 McC

A Great Tip for Staying Warm this Winter

exterior-drive-up-lane-11-28-07-004.jpgUse the library’s drive-up window! Our Fairmount Street Library location offers a drive-up window that is available the same hours that the Fairmount Library is open. You can use this window to pick up available holds and also to pay fines. If a staff person is not immediately visible, simply press the marked button and a staff person will be with you in a few moments.

Love Notes edited by Jan Stephenson

Love NotesOne charming tradition of Valentine’s Day is to make a card for your intended; somehow the fact that you took the effort to make something by hand suggests just how important that person is to you. Love Notes, edited by Jan Stephenson, shows you how creative and beautiful a handmade card can be. Full of exquisite detail and fresh ideas from a variety of artists, the techniques used are generally easily mastered by anyone. So grab the scissors and glue gun and put your imagination to work!

2 things are certain in life…and this one isn’t death

020708.jpgIt turns out Uncle Sam still wants his cut, gang. Furthermore, he would appreciate the efficiency of you, Mr. or Ms Citizen, filing electronically.

DPL tries to accommodate taxpayers on both sides of the technology divide. The library is one of the few places which still distributes tax forms and publications. If the form you need is not one of the standard issue we stock in our displays at Main and Fairmount, one of the crack reference staff can help you locate it on the IRS’s labyrinthine site.

Some printing charges may apply. Seriously. Running off a few of those 90+ page tax tomes could contribute to deforestation.

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