Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Did you know that the Davenport Public Library offers book clubs that you can join for free? We currently offer four book clubs that you can join: Book to Film, See YA, Short & Sweets, and True Crime Book Club. More information about the book clubs can be found on our website, by calling 563-326-7832, or by stopping by any service desk.

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse is the September book club pick for See YA, our adult book club that reads young adult books.

Girl in the Blue Coat tells the story of a teenage girl fighting to survive in 1943 Amsterdam. Amsterdam in 1943 is now Nazi-occupied with citizens scared as family and friends are either being killed in front of them or are being shipped out of town in transports. Hanneke has found a way to help her family survive by working the black market.

Hired to work at a funeral home, her boss has ‘errands’ for her to run on the side. Hanneke is good at finding whatever people need. With a network of contacts, she hunts down cigarettes, makeup, perfume, lotions, food, etc. While out on a delivery, Hanneke is asked by a repeat customer to find a Jewish girl that the customer had previously been hiding. The girl has seemingly disappeared into thin air.

Beginning the search for the missing girl, Hanneke is drawn into the resistance. Asking questions leads her down a road filled with underground resistance, activities, and secrets. Not sure about wanting to join the resistance, but wanting to find the missing girl, Hanneke has to decide how far she is willing to go in order to save the missing girl and solve the mystery surrounding her disappearance.

Sound interesting? Want to join one of our book clubs or have questions? Stop by any Davenport Public Library location and we can help! If you can’t make it to the book club, read the book anyway and let us know what you thought about it in the comments below.

The German Kitchen by Christopher and Catherine Knuth

german kitchenChristopher and Catherine Knuth take you into Oma’s German kitchen, sharing traditional comfort food to warm your heart. These authentic recipes, including meatloaf, rouladen, sauerkraut and seafood, bring the diverse tastes of Germany to your table.

Complete with clear instructions as well as full-color food and location photography, The German Kitchen is more than just a fantastic German recipe book. It is almost as though you are being taken by the hand on a cooking tour of Germany, where you would learn the recipes and techniques needed to cook culinary specialties such as goulash soup, beef rouladen, pork chops with mustard sauce, and spicy, herb-infused seafood native to the riverside outskirts of Hamburg.

Learn how to cook traditional German recipes without having to leave the comfort of your own kitchen. With enough seafood, vegetable, meat, dressing and dessert recipes inside, transform your kitchen into a truly German kitchen. (description from publisher)

The Original Energy Drink

beer exhibitBefore Red Bull and Monster Drink the victual of health around Davenport was a frothy mug of suds. There weren’t national brands in refrigerated trucks endorsed by athletes and scantily-clad models in the first half of the century. Each town had their own local brands, crafted by mustachioed laborers using recipes from the Fatherland.

For the 20 percent of Davenport Germans, it was a beverage steeped in tradition and culture, and one of the few remaining creature comforts they could control. They did so with a flourish as a number of brands sprung up in Davenport, including Mathias Frahm and Son, Koehelr and Lange (also known as the Arsenal Brewery), Littig Brohers, and Zoeller Brothers.

All of this information is featured in the latest exhibit at the German American Heritage Museum as you look at snapshots of the malthouse workers, tavern operators, and ancient conetop cans and vessels.

I found it to be a fascinating little tour and a great excuse to visit the GAHC for the first time, at the low Depression-era price of $2.