Two-month Time Capsule

Here’s an opportunity to give yourself a little pre-Christmas bonus.  November is going to be a huge month for fiction.  The biggest names are going to hit the shelf with what I assume is what they intend to be everyone’s stocking stuffers.

Nothing says you can’t get your hold in right now on DPL’s copy.  Here’s a taste.  Hit the forthcoming fiction page for a full look at what’s to come as things start to chill out outside.

Clive Cussler — The Wrecker
John Grisham — Ford County
James Patterson — I, Alex Cross
Sue Grafton — U is for Undertow
Robert Jordan — Gathering Storm
Sandra Brown — Rainwater
Stephen King — Under the Dome
Dean Koontz — Breathless

President Obama, The First Reader

Any book the President picks up instantly becomes the subject of analysis and fascination. Everyone knows that Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwobama-booksin which describes Lincoln choosing several political rivals for his cabinet and staff, is an Obama favorite.

According to, The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria, and Lincoln: the Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan are some other books he has been seen with.

Check out Mr. Obama’s Facebook page for some of his favorite books, such as Moby Dick, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and the Bible.

Libraries love the fact that, not only is he the world’s most famous reader, he is also a talented writer (both attributes can do no harm to our bottom line…the number of materials that are checked out).

According to the New York Times, Mr. Obama’s own Dreams from My Father, “evinces an instinctive storytelling talent…and that odd combination of empathy and detachment gifted novelists possess.” Obama won the 2006 Grammy for “Best Spoken Word Album” for his reading of his memoir and search for identity.

So, check out one of these books, carry it around and see if anyone snaps a photo….

Favorite Books from our Blogging Librarians, 2008

The end of the year always brings an avalanche lists and awards – winners for being the “best” in various fields and lists of the “Top 10” of just about everything. In that spirit, the Davenport Library is joining in with our own end-of-year list. Here are the favorite books that our Blogging Librarians read in 2008.

Lynn’s favorite was The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett about the Queen of England taking up reading. It had great insight into the life of the Queen and the (sometime subversive) value of reading. Read her description of it here.

Bill liked Red White and Brew : an American Brew Odyssey by Brian Yaegaer. Follow Yaeger cross-country as he explores the brew pubs and small breweries of America.

Rita recommends following the Harlan Coben mystery series on CD. With great characters and interesting puzzles to solve, you’ll want to read/listen to them all.

Rebecca loved Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, about a boy who runs away with the circus. Rebecca says this was one of those rare books that is life-changing, making you stop and see the world from an entirely new perspective. She blogged about it here.

Tana’s favorite was The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Tana wrote about it before Oprah picked it for her bookclub, predicting that this was a book that would take the country by storm. Read her blog post here.

My choice is So Young Brave and Handsome by Leif Enger, a poignant coming-of-age story set at the end of the Wild West era. Full of adventure and emotion, I wrote more about it here.

Those are our picks – what about you? What was your favorite book that you read in 2008?

International Literacy Day

Today is International Literacy Day! What better way to celebrate than to teach someone to read?

At the Davenport Main Library, we have two special sections which can help you do just that. Our ESL (or English as a Second Language) area is located on the second floor in the southwest corner. If English is not your native tongue, this is a good place to start. Picture dictionaries are an example of the material found here. If you can’t remember the word, you can always point to the picture of it!

Another area located in the same corner at Main is the Learning Center, which deals primarily with literacy issues. Most of the items here help those with limited reading abilities who want to master basic life skills. For example, there’s a whole series called Life Skills Literacy which includes titles such as Things to Know About Personal Paperwork or Things to Know About Spending and Saving Money, all by Richard Kimball. Come to think about it, even some very literate people could use these books!