Libby Book Awards, aka The Libbys

Did you know that Libby by OverDrive has book awards? The winners of the inaugural Libby Book Awards were announced on March 12th, 2024. How does this work? Well, these books are considered to be the best of 2023 by an expert panel of librarians. Said panel nominated five finalists in seventeen different categories. After that, librarians and library workers across North America vote and the winners are announced online in a virtual ceremony!

Below you will find the winners and honorable mentions from a variety of categories. You’ll notice that not all categories have honorable mentions – these were chosen when the race was close.  For a list of the nominees as well as more information, visit the Libby Life blog. Descriptions have been provided by the publishers or authors.

Best Adult Fiction

Winner: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. Chicken Hill was where Moshe and Chona Ludlow lived when Moshe integrated his theater and where Chona ran the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state came looking for a deaf boy to institutionalize him, it was Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe’s theater and the unofficial leader of the Black community on Chicken Hill, who worked together to keep the boy safe.

As these characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us. – Riverhead Books

Honorable Mention: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family’s orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.  – Harper

Best Adult Nonfiction

Winner: The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann

On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.

But then … six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death—for whomever the court found guilty could hang. – Doubleday

Best Young Adult Fiction

Winner: Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.

To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love. – Wednesday Books

Honorable Mention: What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez

Bolivian-Argentinian Inez Olivera belongs to the glittering upper society of nineteenth century Buenos Aires, and like the rest of the world, the town is steeped in old world magic that’s been largely left behind or forgotten. Inez has everything a girl might want, except for the one thing she yearns the most: her globetrotting parents—who frequently leave her behind.

When she receives word of their tragic deaths, Inez inherits their massive fortune and a mysterious guardian, an archeologist in partnership with his Egyptian brother-in-law. Yearning for answers, Inez sails to Cairo, bringing her sketch pads and a golden ring her father sent to her for safekeeping before he died. But upon her arrival, the old world magic tethered to the ring pulls her down a path where she soon discovers there’s more to her parent’s disappearance than what her guardian led her to believe.

With her guardian’s infuriatingly handsome assistant thwarting her at every turn, Inez must rely on ancient magic to uncover the truth about her parent’s disappearance—or risk becoming a pawn in a larger game that will kill her. – Wednesday Books

Best Audiobook

Winner: I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past—the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. Though the circumstances surrounding Thalia’s death and the conviction of the school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans, are hotly debated online, Bodie prefers—needs—to let sleeping dogs lie.

But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws. In their rush to convict Omar, did the school and the police overlook other suspects? Is the real killer still out there? As she falls down the very rabbit hole she was so determined to avoid, Bodie begins to wonder if she wasn’t as much of an outsider at Granby as she’d thought—if, perhaps, back in 1995, she knew something that might have held the key to solving the case. – Penguin Books

Best Debut Author

Winner: The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.
 
Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.
 
At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin. . . . – Dutton

Best Diverse Author

Winner: Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling

In remote northern Canada, a team led by a visionary American architect is break­ing ground on a building project called Camp Zero, intended to be the beginning of a new way of life. A clever and determined young woman code-named Rose is offered a chance to join the Blooms, a group hired to entertain the men in camp—but her real mission is to secretly monitor the mercurial architect in charge. In return, she’ll receive a home for her climate-displaced Korean immigrant mother and herself.

Rose quickly secures the trust of her target, only to discover that everyone has a hidden agenda, and nothing is as it seems. Through skill­fully braided perspectives, including those of a young professor longing to escape his wealthy family and an all-woman military research unit struggling for survival at a climate station, the fate of Camp Zero’s inhabitants reaches a stunning crescendo. – Atria Books

Best Comic/Graphic Novel

Winner: The Talk by Darrin Bell

Darrin Bell was six years old when his mother told him he couldn’t have a realistic water gun. She said she feared for his safety, that police tend to think of little Black boys as older and less innocent than they really are.

Through evocative illustrations and sharp humor, Bell examines how The Talk shaped intimate and public moments from childhood to adulthood. While coming of age in Los Angeles—and finding a voice through cartooning—Bell becomes painfully aware of being regarded as dangerous by white teachers, neighbors, and police officers and thus of his mortality. Drawing attention to the brutal murders of African Americans and showcasing revealing insights and cartoons along the way, he brings us up to the moment of reckoning when people took to the streets protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. And now Bell must decide whether he and his own six-year-old son are ready to have The Talk. – Henry Holt and Co.

Best Memoir & Autobiography

Winner: Pageboy by Elliot Page

“Can I kiss you?” It was two months before the world premiere of Juno, and Elliot Page was in his first ever queer bar. The hot summer air hung heavy around him as he looked at her. And then it happened. In front of everyone. A previously unfathomable experience. Here he was on the precipice of discovering himself as a queer person, as a trans person. Getting closer to his desires, his dreams, himself, without the repression he’d carried for so long. But for Elliot, two steps forward had always come with one step back.

With Juno’s massive success, Elliot became one of the world’s most beloved actors. His dreams were coming true, but the pressure to perform suffocated him. He was forced to play the part of the glossy young starlet, a role that made his skin crawl, on and off set. The career that had been an escape out of his reality and into a world of imagination was suddenly a nightmare.

As he navigated criticism and abuse from some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, a past that snapped at his heels, and a society dead set on forcing him into a binary, Elliot often stayed silent, unsure of what to do. Until enough was enough. – Flatiron Books

Best Cookbook

Winner: Start Here: Instructions for becoming a better cook by Sohla El-Waylly

Honorable Mention: Let’s Eat: 101 recipes to fill your heart & home by Dan Pelosi

In his debut cookbook, larger-than-life personality Dan Pelosi offers up a warm hug of home cooking, sharing both comfort food and connection with 101 of his nearest and dearest Italian American recipes. Some have been passed down through his family, and others have been cooked up from scratch—but all are made with love and accompanied by fun, meaningful stories to warm your heart while filling your belly. Read how Bimpy (the 100-year-old grandpa the internet loves to love!) smuggled homemade subs into Yankee Stadium, then craft your ultimate Big Italian Sandwich. Relive the memory of Dan learning how to make his friend’s mom’s stuffed chicken cutlets in their Jersey Shore house (and getting himself adopted into their family), then level up with Prosciutto & Mozzarella–Stuffed Chicken Parm. Learn how Dan’s mom would spring him out of school before the final bell (just to preheat the oven), then make your own Early Dismissal Pot Roast. And rewind to the beginning of Dan’s relationship with his boyfriend, Gus, then recreate the Zabaglione (and the romantic Cheesecake Factory ambiance) that inspired their first “I love you.”

In addition to the staple chapters like Eggs, Appetizers, Pasta, Meat & Fish, and Sweets, you’ll also find deep dives on Italian food recipes like Dough and Marinara, presented with hero recipes you can spin into all kinds of deliciousness. (Don’t worry—his viral Vodka Sawce is here!) Also sprinkled throughout this recipe book are Grossy’s Guides to cooking, cleaning, organizing, and everything you need to become intuitive in your kitchen.

Approachable and tasty, Dan’s recipes are meant to be shared with the ones you love. Set the table, grab a chair, roll up your sleeves . . . now LET’S EAT! – Union Square & Co.

Best Mystery

Winner: Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Best Thriller

Winner: Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll

Masterfully blending elements of psychological suspense and true crime, Jessica Knoll—author of the bestselling novel Luckiest Girl Alive and the writer behind the Netflix adaption starring Mila Kunis—delivers a new and exhilarating thriller in Bright Young Women. The book opens on a Saturday night in 1978, hours before a soon-to-be-infamous murderer descends upon a Florida sorority house with deadly results. The lives of those who survive, including sorority president and key witness, Pamela Schumacher, are forever changed. Across the country, Tina Cannon is convinced her missing friend was targeted by the man papers refer to as the All-American Sex Killer—and that he’s struck again. Determined to find justice, the two join forces as their search for answers leads to a final, shocking confrontation. – Simon & Schuster / Marysue Rucci Books

Best Romance

Winner: Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn

Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back.  – Kensington

Honorable Mention: We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian

New York City, 1959

Nick Russo has worked his way from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood to a reporting job at one of the city’s biggest newspapers. But the late 1950s are a hostile time for gay men, and Nick knows that he can’t let anyone into his life. He just never counted on meeting someone as impossible to say no to as Andy.

Andy Fleming’s newspaper-tycoon father wants him to take over the family business. Andy, though, has no intention of running the paper. He’s barely able to run his life—he’s never paid a bill on time, routinely gets lost on the way to work, and would rather gouge out his own eyes than deal with office politics. Andy agrees to work for a year in the newsroom, knowing he’ll make an ass of himself and hate every second of it.

Except, Nick Russo keeps rescuing Andy: showing him the ropes, tracking down his keys, freeing his tie when it gets stuck in the ancient filing cabinets. Their unlikely friendship soon sharpens into feelings they can’t deny. But what feels possible in secret—this fragile, tender thing between them—seems doomed in the light of day. Now Nick and Andy have to decide if, for the first time, they’re willing to fight. – Cat Sebastian

Best Fantasy

Winner: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die. – Rebecca Yarros

Best Romantasy

Winner: Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

Everyone expected Violet Sorrengail to die during her first year at Basgiath War College—Violet included. But Threshing was only the first impossible test meant to weed out the weak-willed, the unworthy, and the unlucky.

Now the real training begins, and Violet’s already wondering how she’ll get through. It’s not just that it’s grueling and maliciously brutal, or even that it’s designed to stretch the riders’ capacity for pain beyond endurance. It’s the new vice commandant, who’s made it his personal mission to teach Violet exactly how powerless she is–unless she betrays the man she loves.

Although Violet’s body might be weaker and frailer than everyone else’s, she still has her wits—and a will of iron. And leadership is forgetting the most important lesson Basgiath has taught her: Dragon riders make their own rules.

But a determination to survive won’t be enough this year.

Because Violet knows the real secret hidden for centuries at Basgiath War College—and nothing, not even dragon fire, may be enough to save them in the end. – Rebecca Yarros

Best Science Fiction

Winner: System Collapse by Martha Wells

Am I making it worse? I think I’m making it worse.

Following the events in Network Effect, the Barish-Estranza corporation has sent rescue ships to a newly-colonized planet in peril, as well as additional SecUnits. But if there’s an ethical corporation out there, Murderbot has yet to find it, and if Barish-Estranza can’t have the planet, they’re sure as hell not leaving without something. If that something just happens to be an entire colony of humans, well, a free workforce is a decent runner-up prize.

But there’s something wrong with Murderbot; it isn’t running within normal operational parameters. ART’s crew and the humans from Preservation are doing everything they can to protect the colonists, but with Barish-Estranza’s SecUnit-heavy persuasion teams, they’re going to have to hope Murderbot figures out what’s wrong with itself, and fast!

Yeah, this plan is… not going to work. – Tordotcom

Best Historical Fiction

Winner: Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward

Let Us Descend describes a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation. A journey that is as beautifully rendered as it is heart wrenching, the novel is “[t]he literary equivalent of an open wound from which poetry pours” (NPR).

Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Annis leads readers through the descent, hers is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation. – Scribner

Best Book Club Pick

Winner: Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves. – William Morrow

Together We Read

If you use Libby through the library, you can participate in Together We Read, a book club connecting readers in the United States! The current title is One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris. This book will be available until March 6th with no waitlists or holds.

Curious what One Summer in Savannah is about?

A compelling debut that glows with bittersweet heart and touching emotion, deeply interrogating questions of family, redemption, and unconditional love in the sweltering summer heat of Savannah, as two people discover what it means to truly forgive.

It’s been eight years since Sara Lancaster left her home in Savannah, Georgia. Eight years since her daughter, Alana, came into this world, following a terrifying sexual assault that left deep emotional wounds Sara would do anything to forget. But when Sara’s father falls ill, she’s forced to return home and face the ghosts of her past.

While caring for her father and running his bookstore, Sara is desperate to protect her curious, outgoing, genius daughter from the Wylers, the family of the man who assaulted her. Sara thinks she can succeed—her attacker is in prison, his identical twin brother, Jacob, left town years ago, and their mother are all unaware Alana exists. But she soon learns that Jacob has also just returned to Savannah to piece together the fragments of his once-great family. And when their two worlds collide—with the type of force Sara explores in her poetry and Jacob in his astrophysics—they are drawn together in unexpected ways. – Sourcebooks

Looking for more information? Try the following:

OverDrive Records – No Longer In Catalog

PATRON: Do you still have eBooks and eAudiobooks?

LIBRARIAN: Why, yes, we do.

PATRON: I don’t see them listed in the catalog any more.

LIBRARIAN: Well, we removed the records.

PATRON: Why?

 

During the first week of 2024 the RiverShare Libraries de-integrated (removed) the records of OverDrive items from our catalog.

Checking our statistics, we found that less than 3% of OverDrive users visit the RiverShare catalog to find what eBooks and eAudiobooks are available. Over 97% of you go directly to the Libby or Sora site to borrow your items and place holds.

So, we decided to save the staff time spent entering this data and also save the cost of the MARC records to be added.

Did you know that we do not “own” some OverDrive items? Many items are “metered.”  We have access to them for X number of circulations or for a particular number of months/years. Once we no longer have the rights to circulate these items, their records need to be removed from the catalog. That’s right, more work! Or looking at it from our new angle, more time saved!

What impact will this change have to you? Well, for 97% of you, none.

For the 2-3% of you who are use to locating the records in the RiverShare catalog, you will want to change your approach and go directly to the OverDrive site.

There you will be able to check out up to 5 items at a time, place reserves on up to 10 items, check out an unlimited number of magazines, and use the Settings option to control the default length of time items are charged to your account.

Don’t you just love OverDrive!?

Well, we just found a way to love it even more!

 

Library Closed for Veterans Day

All three Davenport Public Library locations will be closed in observance of Veterans Day on Saturday, November 11th, 2023. All three buildings will reopen with their regular hours on Monday, November 13th: Main (321 Main Street) 9am to 8pm, Eastern (6000 Eastern Avenue) 9am to 8pm, and Fairmount (3000 N Fairmount St) noon to 8pm.

Even though our physical locations will be closed, you can still access free digital content for all ages. Your Davenport Public Library card gives you access to free eBooks, digital audiobooks, magazines, movies, and music through Libby, Freegal, TumbleBooks, QC Beats, and Kanopy!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Library Closed

All three Davenport Public Library Branches are closed today, Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, May 30th.

Our physical locations may be closed, but you can still visit us virtually!

Your Davenport Public Library card gives you access to FREE digital materials such as e-books, digital audiobooks, magazines, movies, and music online 24/7.

Here are my top five favorite digital content resources! Check these out and we’ll see you again on Tuesday, May 30th when the library opens.

Libby – All you need to access e-books, digital audiobooks, and digital magazines is your Davenport Public Library card. We recommend downloading the Libby app for best performance.

Freegal – Freegal Music gives you access to millions of songs from over 40,000 labels. Stream 24-hours a day. Download up to 5 songs per week.

TumbleBooks – Both children and their parents will enjoy this online collection of animated, talking picture books that teach kids the joys of reading in an exciting, new format they will love.

QC Beats – Built in partnership with Davenport Public Library, River Music Experience and St. Ambrose University, QC Beats is an online streaming audio collection of original music of Quad Cities musicians and artists.

Kanopy – Provides a variety of popular and classic movies, documentaries, and foreign films to stream. Kanopy Kids offers parental controls.
The Great Courses present a wealth of learning.

Do You Need To Update To OverDrive’s Libby App?

Still using the old OverDrive app?  The time is upon you to switch to the newer Libby app.

The old OverDrive app will become inactive at the end of April.  Downloading the Libby app takes just a few minutes.  There is no impact to your account.  The items that you have checked out and on hold will be there in the Libby app.

To use on a mobile device, you may need to update your Smartphone software.  Ensure your device is running at least:

  • Android 4.4+ (you’ll also need Chrome, not the stock Android web browser)
  • iOS 10+
  • Fire OS 4.5.4+

To download Libby to a Smartphone:

  • Go to your App Store.
  • Search for the words “Libby” and “OverDrive.”
  • Download the app.
  • Enter your App Store password to install the app on your device.
  • The app will ask you to associate your account with a library. Search for “Davenport” or “RiverShare.”  (Be careful.  Be certain to select Davenport, IOWA.)
  • Enter your library card number into the app.

After that, you should be good-to-go!

 

If you use a laptop or desktop to access OverDrive, you may still use OverDrive Read in your favorite browser.  OverDrive Read is compatible with:  Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari.

 

The end of April is fast approaching.  Spend the time today to ensure you’ll be able to checkout in May!

 

Do You Read eMagazines?

You should.

In addition to eBooks and eAudio titles OverDrive offers a wealth of magazines that are available to you 24/7.

That’s right, with our OverDrive magazine subscription our patrons have access to over 4,000 magazine titles, many with three years of back issues.  You’ll be able to see the magazines just as they appeared in print.  All the images and all the advertisements, viewable right on your device’s screen.

Magazines do not count toward your OverDrive title limit, so check out as many as you want.   You could have 5 eBooks/eAudio items checked out and, say, 30 magazines.  You also can determine your own loan period, 7, 14, or 21 days.

You will likely never need to wait to check out a title, because issues can be used by multiple simultaneous users.

OverDrive has titles for young and old on topics such as:  sports, new & current events, finance & business, home & garden, celebrities & gossip, and much more.

Seeking non-English language titles?  OverDrive has them.    

Practice your French with Vogue France, L’Ami des Jardins, Closer France, or Marie Claire Maison.

How about Spanish?  OverDrive offers ¡Hola!, Maxim Mexico, Horoscopos, and TvNotas.  And that is just to name a few!

Magazines can be viewed by using OverDrive Read in your favorite browser or in the Libby app.

Give it a try!  Check out the eMagazine section the next time you are using OverDrive (Libby).

The Wild Robot

An uncharacteristic thing has happened to this librarian lately: I haven’t felt much like reading. Of all the strange happenings in our world right now during this COVID-19 pandemic, this was yet another unexpected experience. I have no shortage of reading material. I have a reliable device I can use to download a variety of digital books. This seems like the perfect time to work my way through that looming stack of print books on my table waiting to be read.

And yet, my heart is just not in it. I sit down for about five minutes and then I am distracted and put it down and go do something else.

There has been one exception, however. I happened to be in the middle of reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown with one of my children before bedtime each night before all this began. The chapters are short, and at one chapter a night, it was taking us a while to work our way through this 279-page book about a robot stranded on an island. But each night I read it aloud, the Wild Robot and its island populated by many animals and no humans endeared itself to me more and more.

You might think that reading a book with no humans in it during a pandemic is a lonely choice in an already lonely situation. Or perhaps on the contrary, you think it is a logical and fitting choice to read about being stranded on an island when it often feels exactly like that as we are isolated in our homes. I think there was something reflective about this mechanical protagonist who gradually (though paradoxically) becomes more humane through time and experience that captured my interest and my heart. Human interaction right now -when it does happen- is less warm and personal, more technological. Somehow the mirror image of a technological being becoming more warm and personal through challenging life experiences was a sort of balm to my woes.

Brown’s writing made reading effortless for me once again. His animal characters have unique personalities. The events that happen on his remote island, both tragic and joyful, are magically relatable. I have always been a fan of anthropomorphism. I am even more so now.

I wish I could point you to a digital version of this title that you can download immediately for free through the library, but our library currently only owns this in print. If you would like to request it for purchase in digital format, you can log into your library account using either the Libby or Overdrive apps and request this title. Be aware that it ends on a cliffhanger and you will probably want to read its sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes.

In the meantime, here are some similar books with anthropomorphic characters available digitally when you log into Overdrive with your Davenport Public Library account that you may enjoy: