Black History Month Challenge 2024

Celebrate Black History Month! This month, learn more about Black history, celebrate Black authors and illustrators, and explore Black history through the arts. Log your reading and activities throughout the month to earn badges and tickets to enter into our prize drawings!

This reading challenge is live on Beanstack from February 1st, 2024 to March 2, 2024. Curious what you need to do? Sign up on Beanstack today either online or on the app!

 

Needs ideas about what to read? Try any of these Black history books

Juvenile Nonfiction

I am Ruby Bridges by Ruby Bridges

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford

Seeking Freedom: The Untold Story of Frances Monroe and the Ending of Slavery in America by Selene Castrovilla

Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi

Young, Gifted and Black, Too by Jamia Wilson

Young Adult Nonfiction

And We Rise: The Civil Rights Movement in Poems by Erica Martin

The Burning: Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Tim Madigan

Nearer My Freedom: The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano by himself by Lesley Younge

Revolution in Our Time: the Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon

Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone

Adult Nonfiction

Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation by Kris Manjapra

Black Rodeo: A History of the African American Western by Mia Mask

Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip through the Living History of Black Resistance by Alvin D. Hall

Invisible Generals: Rediscovering Family Legacy, and a Quest to Honor America’s first Black Generals by Doug Melville

Twice As Hard: The Stories of Black Women who Fought to Become Physicians from the Civil War to the 21st Century by Jasmine Brown

Need to finish your reading goal? Try these short books!

As it nears the end of 2023, the pressure is mounting for those of us who set lofty reading goals at the beginning of the year. Do you need to finish your reading goal, but you’re worried you might not make it? As someone who always believes that she can read more books than she usually has time for, I frequently find myself reaching for short books to hit my goal at the end of the year. Since I was looking for short books for myself, I figured making a list to share would be beneficial for all.

Many more short books can be found at the library, but I focused on titles owned by the Davenport Public Library that were published from 2021 to 2023. Below is a list of fiction and nonfiction titles that have less than 200 pages. The descriptions are provided by the publisher. Want more suggestions or have a favorite short book? Drop a comment below.

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Fiction:

The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson

New York Times bestselling author Peter Swanson pens a spectacularly spine-chilling novella in which an American art student in London is invited to join a classmate for the holidays at Starvewood Hall, her family’s Cotswold manor house. But behind the holly and pine boughs, secrets are about to unravel, revealing this seemingly charming English village’s grim history.

Ashley Smith, an American art student in London for her junior year, was planning on spending Christmas alone, but a last-minute invitation from fellow student Emma Chapman brings her to Starvewood Hall, country residence of the Chapman family. The Cotswold manor house, festooned in pine boughs and crammed with guests for Christmas week, is a dream come true for Ashley. She is mesmerized by the cozy, firelit house, the large family, and the charming village of Clevemoor, but also by Adam Chapman, Emma’s aloof and handsome brother.

But Adam is being investigated by the local police over the recent brutal slaying of a girl from the village, and there is a mysterious stranger who haunts the woodland path between Starvewood Hall and the local pub. Ashley begins to wonder what kind of story she is actually inhabiting. Is she in a grand romance? A gothic tale? Or has she wandered into something far more sinister and terrifying than she’d ever imagined?

Over thirty years later the events of that horrific week are revisited, along with a diary from that time. What began in a small English village in 1989 reaches its ghostly conclusion in modern-day New York, many Christmas seasons later. – William Morrow

This title is 96 pages.

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Blue Hour by Tiffany Clarke Harrison

What is motherhood in the midst of uncertainty, buried trauma, and an unraveling America? What it’s always been—a love song.

Our narrator is a gifted photographer, an uncertain wife, an infertile mother, a biracial woman in an unraveling America. As she grapples with a lifetime of ambivalence about motherhood, yet another act of police brutality makes headlines, and this time the victim is Noah, a boy in her photography class. Unmoored by the grief of a recent devastating miscarriage and Noah’s fight for his life, she worries she can no longer chase the hope of having a child, no longer wants to bring a Black body into the world. Yet her husband Asher—contributing white, Jewish genes alongside her Black-Japanese ones for any potential child—is just as desperate to keep trying.

Throwing herself into a new documentary on motherhood, and making secret visits to Noah in the hospital, this when she learns she is, impossibly, pregnant. As the future shifts once again, she must decide yet again what she dares hope for the shape of her future to be. Fearless, timely, blazing with voice, Blue Hour is a fragmentary novel with unignorable storytelling power. – Soft Skull Press

This title is 140 pages.

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Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher

There’s a princess trapped in a tower. This isn’t her story.

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right?

But nothing with fairies is ever simple.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He’s heard there’s a curse here that needs breaking, but it’s a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold… – Tor Books, imprint of MacMillan Publishers

This title is 116 pages.

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If An Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, an Egyptian American woman and a man from the village of Shobrakheit meet at a café in Cairo. He was a photographer of the revolution, but now finds himself unemployed and addicted to cocaine, living in a rooftop shack. She is a nostalgic daughter of immigrants “returning” to a country she’s never been to before, teaching English and living in a light-filled flat with balconies on all sides. They fall in love and he moves in. But soon their desire—for one another, for the selves they want to become through the other—takes a violent turn that neither of them expected.

A dark romance exposing the gaps in American identity politics, especially when exported overseas, If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English is at once ravishing and wry, scathing and tender. Told in alternating perspectives, Noor Naga’s experimental debut examines the ethics of fetishizing the homeland and punishing the beloved . . . and vice versa. In our globalized twenty-first-century world, what are the new faces (and races) of empire? When the revolution fails, how long can someone survive the disappointment? Who suffers and, more crucially, who gets to tell about it? – Graywolf Press

This title is 186 pages.

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And Then I Woke Up by Malcolm Devlin

In the tradition of Mira Grant and Stephen Graham Jones, Malcolm Devlin’s And Then I Woke Up is a creepy, layered, literary story about false narratives and their ability to divide us.

In a world reeling from an unusual plague, monsters lurk in the streets while terrified survivors arm themselves and roam the countryside in packs. Or perhaps something very different is happening. When a disease affects how reality is perceived, it’s hard to be certain of anything…

Spence is one of the “cured” living at the Ironside rehabilitation facility. Haunted by guilt, he refuses to face the changed world until a new inmate challenges him to help her find her old crew. But if he can’t tell the truth from the lies, how will he know if he has earned the redemption he dreams of? How will he know he hasn’t just made things worse? – Tordotcom, imprint of MacMillan Publishers

This title is 167 pages.

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Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists—he a photographer, she a dancer—and both are trying to make their mark in a world that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over the course of a year they find their relationship tested by forces beyond their control.

Narrated with deep intimacy, Open Water is at once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body; to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength; to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, and blistering emotional intelligence, Caleb Azumah Nelson gives a profoundly sensitive portrait of romantic love in all its feverish waves and comforting beauty.

This is one of the most essential debut novels of recent years, heralding the arrival of a stellar and prodigious young talent. – Black Cat, imprint of Grove Atlantic

This title is 166 pages.

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Assembly by Natasha Brown

Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Go to college, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy an apartment. Buy art. Buy a sort of happiness. But above all, keep your head down. Keep quiet. And keep going.

The narrator of Assembly is a black British woman. She is preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend’s family estate, set deep in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can’t escape the question: is it time to take it all apart?

Assembly is a story about the stories we live within – those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers.And it is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life. With a steely, unfaltering gaze, Natasha Brown dismantles the mythology of whiteness, lining up the debris in a neat row and walking away. – Little, Brown and Company

This title is 106 pages.

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Nonfiction:

This Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world–for us all. – Berett-Koehler Publishers

This title is 159 pages.

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The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

“When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, I am not exaggerating,” begins Isabel Allende. As a child, she watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children without “resources or voice.” Isabel became a fierce and defiant little girl, determined to fight for the life her mother couldn’t have.

As a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, she rode the second wave of feminism. Among a tribe of like-minded female journalists, Allende for the first time felt comfortable in her own skin, as they wrote “with a knife between our teeth” about women’s issues. She has seen what the movement has accomplished in the course of her lifetime. And over the course of three passionate marriages, she has learned how to grow as a woman while having a partner, when to step away, and the rewards of embracing one’s sexuality.

So what feeds the soul of feminists—and all women—today? To be safe, to be valued, to live in peace, to have their own resources, to be connected, to have control over our bodies and lives, and above all, to be loved. On all these fronts, there is much work yet to be done, and this book, Allende hopes, will “light the torches of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.” – Ballantine Books

This title is 174 pages.

Hispanic Heritage Month Challenge 2023

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Log your reading and activities to earn badges throughout the challenge then enter your tickets into the prize drawings! This reading challenge is live on Beanstack from September 15th to October 16, 2023. Curious what you need to do? Sign up on Beanstack today either online or on the app!

This reading challenge has four different prize bundles for different ages!

Picture Book Bundle:

Middle Grade Chapter Book Bundle:

YA Bundle:

Adult Prize:

AAPI Reading Challenge and Recommendations

May is the month of many celebrations, one of those being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

To educate on and represent the lives of AAPI individuals, we have put together a list of reading recommendations to celebrate the many heritages uplifted this month.

The library is also conducting a reading challenge in honor of AAPI Heritage Month. Check it out and start logging your reading on Beanstack!

Adult Fiction:

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

“Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society-she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.” –  Publisher

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

“With a poetic voice of crackling electricity, K Ming Chang is an explosive young writer who combines the wit and fabulism of Helen Oyeyemi with the magical realist aesthetic of Maxine Hong Kingston. Tracing one family’s history from Mainland China to Taiwan, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and womanhood.” – Publisher

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

“Inspired by dystopian classics such as 1984, Never Let Me Go, and The Handmaid’s Tale, the novel eviscerates the dominant American parenting culture, while highlighting the tragedy of state-sponsored family separation. Is there one right way to mother? Can a bad mother ever be redeemed? With warmth, heart, and dark humor, the novel tells a timeless story of a mother fighting to win back her child, and her struggle to hold onto her integrity while being indoctrinated.” – Publisher

Adult Nonfiction:

Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H

Spanning childhood to an elite college in the US and early adult life in New York City, each essay places Lamya’s struggles and triumphs in the context of some of the most famous stories in the Quran. She juxtaposes her coming out with Musa liberating his people from the Pharoah; asks if Allah, who is neither male nor female, might instead be nonbinary; and, drawing strength from the faith and hope of Nuh building his ark, begins to build a life of her own-all the while discovering that her identity as a queer, immigrant devout Muslim is, in fact, the answer to her quest for safety and belonging.” – Publisher

My Life: Growing Up Asian in America

“There are 23 million people, representing more than twenty countries, each with unique languages, histories, and cultures, clumped under one Asian American. Though their experiences are individual, certain commonalities appear. Through a series of essays, poems, and comics, thirty creators give voice to moments that defined them and shed light on the immense diversity and complexity of the Asian American identity. Edited by CAPE and with an introduction by renowned journalist SuChin Pak, My Growing Up Asian in America is a celebration of community, a call to action, and a road map for a brighter future.” – Goodreads

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement

“From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is a searing examination of the killing and the trial and verdicts that followed. When Ebens and Nitz pled guilty to manslaughter and received only a $3,000 fine and three years’ probation, the lenient sentence sparked outrage in the Asian American community. This outrage galvanized the Asian American movement and paved the way for a new federal civil rights trial of the case. Extensively researched from court transcripts and interviews with key case witnesses-many speaking for the first time-Yoo has crafted a suspenseful, nuanced, and authoritative portrait of a pivotal moment in civil rights history, and a man who became a symbol against hatred and racism.” – Publisher

Graphic Novels:

 Skim by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki

“Heartbreakingly funny, moving and vibrantly drawn, Skim is an extraordinary book—a smart and sensitive graphic novel of the highest literary and artistic quality, by and about young women. “Skim” is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When Skim’s classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As concerned guidance counselors provide lectures on the “cycle of grief,” and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit, Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression. And falling in love only makes things worse…” – Publisher

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

“The Best We Could Do, the debut graphic novel memoir by Thi Bui, is an intimate look at one family’s journey form their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent–the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through.” – Publisher

Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine

“With Killing and Dying, Adrian Tomine presents six new stories unlike any he has told before. Unpredictable, darkly funny, and deeply moving, they display an exceptional range of focus and technique. The Village Voice called Tomine “one of the most masterful cartoonists of his generation,” and this is his most ambitious and empathetic work to date.” – Publisher

Young Adult:

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

“Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father–despite his hard-won citizenship–Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.” – Publisher

Shine by Jessica Jung  

“What would you give for a chance to live your dreams? For seventeen-year-old Korean American Rachel Kim, the answer is almost everything. Six years ago, she was recruited by DB Entertainment—one of Seoul’s largest K-pop labels, known for churning out some of the world’s most popular stars. The rules are simple: Train 24/7. Be perfect. Don’t date. Easy right? Not so much. As the dark scandals of an industry bent on controlling and commodifying beautiful girls begin to bubble up, Rachel wonders if she’s strong enough to be a winner, or if she’ll end up crushed… Especially when she begins to develop feelings for K-pop star and DB golden boy Jason Lee. It’s not just that he’s charming, sexy, and ridiculously talented. He’s also the first person who really understands how badly she wants her star to rise.” – Publisher

Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi

“Jayne Baek is barely getting by. She shuffles through fashion school, saddled with a deadbeat boyfriend, clout-chasing friends, and a wretched eating disorder that she’s not fully ready to confront. But that’s New York City, right? At least she isn’t in Texas anymore, and is finally living in a city that feels right for her. On the other hand, her sister June is dazzlingly rich with a high-flying finance job and a massive apartment. Unlike Jayne, June has never struggled a day in her life. Until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer. Suddenly, these estranged sisters who have nothing in common are living together. Because sisterly obligations are kind of important when one of you is dying.” – Publisher

 

Hispanic Heritage Month Reading Challenge

Summer Reading might be over, but we have a new challenge open now! September 15th – October 15th, patrons can participate in our Beanstack exclusive Hispanic Heritage Month Reading Challenge. National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from Sep. 15 to Oct. 15. This year, the theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” Honor diverse voices, unique perspectives, and rich cultural traditions through activities and book recommendations. Log your reading and complete activities to earn badges throughout the challenge. Enter your tickets into the prize option of your choice for a chance to win! Visit davenportlibrary.beanstack.com to sign up or join in the Beanstack app!

Unlike past off-season reading challenges, we have prizes for this one! It’s an all ages challenge with two prize drawing options listed below.

Adult & Teen Prize:
A Mercado on Fifth gift basket including

  • a $25 gift certificate to Restaurante El Mariachi in Moline
  • Mercado on Fifth t-shirt
  • Mercado on Fifth cantarito
  • Group O magnetic koozie
  • two books on Latino leadership
  • a Mercado on Fifth lanyard

This prize was generously donated by Maria Ontiveros – co-founder of Mercado on Fifth.

Children’s Prize:
Win a mini home library of picture books by Hispanic and Latinx authors and illustrators including:

  • Bright Star by Yuyi Morales
  • ¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge by Raul the Third
  • Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler
  • My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
  • ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raul the Third
  • Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika A. Denise
  • Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt be la Peña
  • Islandborn by Junot Díaz
  • Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
  • Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor
  • Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Mendez
  • Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

Now Departing for: Paris

Bonjour!

April in Paris! We’re traveling to the City of Light this month in our Online Reading Challenge, a city of art and beauty (and fantastic croissants!) and a long, complex, fascinating history. Who could resist?

First, a confession: I love Paris. I’ve been three times in the past few years and plan to go again and again for many years. I love the museums and the architecture, the cafe culture (and the food!) and the history. I did not expect to fall so completely head-over-heels in love with this city on my first visit, but I did, almost from the first moment I emerged from the Metro station and glimpsed the top of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Like any big city, Paris has serious issues to deal with and it is far from perfect, but that doesn’t take away from what’s right and beautiful about it either.

There are oodles of books set in Paris – almost too many. I’ve found that some/too many writers use a Paris backdrop as a shortcut to creating mood and atmosphere – everyone has heard about Paris (usually heavily romanticized) so there’s no need to create a world for their novel. I consider this cheating and rather poor writing and it never feels “true”. Another habit I’ve run across is name dropping, for example “she tied her Hermes scarf around her neck, picked up her Louis Vuitton bag and walked down the Champs Elysees to Laduree’s for a macaroon”.  Um, yeah. All of those are very French, but not very “real” – using name dropping and stereotypes is just lazy writing. On the other hand, there are some incredibly good books set in Paris. Here’s a few to get you started:

The Greater Journey by David McCullough tells the story of American artists, writers and doctors that went to Paris between 1830 and 1900 and how what learned and experienced and then brought back in turn greatly influenced American history. McCullough’s writing is as honey smooth as his voice (he’s narrated several of Ken Burn’s films) and the stories he tells are fascinating.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain is historical fiction about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife Hadley and their life in Paris. This is the time period when Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises and developed friendships with other rising stars such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. But the hard-drinking, fast-living lifestyle of Jazz-age Paris puts a strain on Ernest and Hadley’s marriage and threatens the happiness of their early romance.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Although this is a lighter, happier story, this book has a lot of depth that is a lot of fun to read. Anna is sent to Paris against her wishes for her final year of high school but it becomes a pivotal year in her life as she learns what she is capable of and gains independence and confidence. Paris is beautifully integrated as backdrop here.

A Family in Paris by Jane Paech. This is the true story of an Australian family that moves to Paris for the husband’s job. Their two girls are enrolled in the local school and Jane works to integrate herself into daily Parisian life. Fascinating insights into the lives and rituals of ordinary Parisians, the French educational system and the reality of Parisian bureaucracy. Lots of photos too.

Sarah’s Key by Titiana Rosnay is a novel that brings to light a rarely told, shameful chapter in Parisian history – the deportation of Jews from Paris during the Nazi occupation in 1942. Heartbreaking and often difficult to read, this story shows the suffering, the impossible decisions that had to be made and the guilt carried by the survivors. Long unacknowledged, there is now a memorial in Paris dedicated to the victims of the deportation.

Paris Letters by Janice Macleod. Another story of someone packing up and moving to Paris and finding her happily-ever-after. It’d be kind of annoying except that Janice worked really hard to make it happen and she’s pretty funny. The book also acts as motivation to work for what you want and to hold onto those dreams. Also, lovely hand drawn illustrations.

If you’d rather watch something this month you have nearly as many choices. Three of my favorites:

Hugo is breathtakingly beautiful and magical. That train wreck really did happen (in 1895) and that clock is based on the iconic clock at the Orsay Museum. The book the movie is based on, The Invention of Hugo Cabret won the 2008 Caldecott Award and is well worth reading too.

Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen’s love letter to Paris. I’m not always a Woody Allen fan but this movie is gorgeous and fun with just the right amount of fantastical. Paris never looked so beautiful.

Amelie. If you have not seen this, drop everything and find a copy immediately. It’s quirky and delightful and sweetly romantic and very funny. Filmed entirely on location in Paris, you see the “real” Paris beyond the tourist sites. Yes, it’s in French and yes you have to read subtitles – grow up! Read a movie! It is so worth it.

There are so many more books and movies about Paris from classics (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, A Moveable Feast) to mysteries (Cara Black has a series set in Paris) to history (look in the 944 Dewey subject area) to cookbooks (David Lebovitz and Julia Child to name just two) that there is sure to be something that catches your eye. We’ll have displays at all three of our buildings too so stop in and get your ticket (er, book or movie!) to Paris!

Allons-y! (“let’s go!”)

Online Reading Challenge – Year End Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Readers!

We’ve come to the end of another year and the end of the 2016 Online Reading Challenge. I hope you tried something new and found and enjoyed books you might not have otherwise. The main goal of our Reading Challenge is to have fun while expanding our horizons.

Did you read any Holiday themed books this month? I have to confess, I didn’t succeed this month. I tried a couple of titles, but found them dreadful (nothing really wrong with them, just not my cup of tea) and, with all of the other activities going on in December, I didn’t have a lot of time for leisurely reading (I did manage to read – and loved – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman which I blogged about earlier this month, so it wasn’t a complete wash) Some months are like that though and now that the holidays are (nearly) over, I’m looking forward to lots more reading time.

Speaking of more time to read, have you seen the news about the 2017 Reading Challenge? We’re going to travel the world, reading about a different location each month. This time I encourage you to read any genre you’d like including non-fiction, and to watch movies or listen to music. It’s a chance to not only find great new authors and titles, but an opportunity to get a taste of a different culture. Bookmarks listing the lineup for the year will be available at each Davenport Library location beginning January 3rd and I’ll have updates on the blog each month with suggestions and ideas. Also beginning in January you’ll have a chance to sign up for a great new feature, the Info Cafe newsletter! Every few weeks we’ll send out a short newsletter that will highlight some of the most interesting recent blog posts and keep you updated on the Reading Challenge. Watch for more information next week!

Happy New Year from the bloggers at the Info Cafe! May your 2017 be filled with lots of great reading!

 

New Reading Challenge in 2017!

challenge-logo-2017Hello Fellow Readers!

2016 is almost over which means it’s time to start thinking about our next Reading Challenge. In 2017 we’re going to travel the world! Don’t worry about buying plane tickets or packing a bag though, we’re going to explore the globe through the magic of books!

Just like last year, the Reading Challenge is very low-pressure with an emphasis on discovering books and authors you may not have tried yet. You can participate every month, or only the months that interest you. Remember – there are no Library Police that will come knocking on your door if you fail to finish a book each month! Read for fun, for discovery, to learn something new – kind of like travel which opens your eyes to cultures and sights beyond your own backyard.

Unlike last year, we’re going to include non-fiction (great for history buffs), movies and music as part of a well-rounded experience. You can read a book or listen to it on audio, watch a movie or delve into the music of the culture or any combination of these. All without leaving your home! (Well, you might want to plan a trip to the library to pick up your books and movies!)

There will be new bookmarks available at the library beginning in January and we hope to have some free printables for you over the course of the year – more bookmarks, a reading journal, inspirational quotes, etc. Watch the blog for updates.

Here’s the lineup for 2017:

January – Rome

February – Seattle

March – Japan

April – Paris

May – Kenya

June – San Francisco

July – Alaska

August – Texas/American Southwest

September – London

October – China

November – St Petersburg/Leningrad

December – New York City

Looks like fun, doesn’t it? So grab your passport (um, library card!) and join us in 2017!