American Gods by Neil Gaiman

 American Gods by Neil Gaiman is a twisted fantasy tale of gods come to life in modern-day America. There is a battle soon to rage between the ancient gods and the gods of today. The historic gods of European tales were brought to North America and other countries around the world in the minds of the people who believed in them. They grew stronger in those new places every time someone talked about them or thought of them. The old gods are coming up against a struggle now. The new gods (gods of media, television, Internet, etc) feel like the old gods have reached their limit. The old gods feel like they’re being usurped by gods that will vanish from the public’s minds in a few years, an idea that infuriates them. Spiritual warfare runs rampant through this book as readers discover that gods walk among us, hidden as humans or animals. These ancient divinities may struggle against the new trends and fads, but their struggle for survival is necessary in this new supernatural climate.

Thrown into this conflict, our antihero rises. He is a convict named Shadow, a man who has feelings that the world is going change drastically. Through Shadow, readers witness the behind-the-scenes relationship between the gods and humans. Humans and their faith play a very large part in this book with Shadow and the gods constantly struggling in this massive religious upheaval. Shadow soon finds himself thrust into the middle of this skirmish between the ancients: Odin, Anansi, Those, Loki One-Eye, etc, and the contemporary deities: geek-boy god Internet, the goddess Media, etc. It’s a fascinating journey as Shadow takes a job as a kind of bodyguard for Mr. Wednesday, a human representation of the Norse god Grimnir, as they travel across the country trying to recruit more gods to actively fight on their side. The magical and the mundane are, for the most part, evenly balanced throughout this book, a fact that I greatly appreciated since it helped me better understand what was happening.

I listened to this book through OverDrive and greatly enjoyed it because the author actually read the prologue! Getting to hear authors speak is one of my favorite things because you really get to hear their viewpoint and how their cadence influences the writing of the book. His discussion of the creation of this book was also invaluable knowledge. I greatly enjoyed this book.

This book is also available in the following formats:

The Newest Seasons of Your Favorite TV Shows on DVD

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August and September are when the majority of TV shows release the previous season on DVD. It gives you just enough time to binge watch and get caught up before the start of next season. The shows listed on this blog can be placed on hold now and you will automatically be notified when it is your turn. Just click on the TV show title to get started!

Action Shows: Arrow season 3, Chicago Fire season 3, Hawaii Five-O season 5, and Rogue season 2

Comedy Shows: 2 Broke Girls season 4, The Big Bang Theory season 8, Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 2, The League season 6, Mike and Molly season 5, and The Mindy Project season 3

Dramas: Blacklist season 2, Blue Bloods season 5, Castle season 7, Chicago P.D. season 2, Criminal Minds season 10, Elementary season 3, The Good Wife season 6, Greys Anatomy season 11, Last Tango in Halifax season 3, Nashville season 3, NCIS Los Angeles season 6, NCIS season 12, Once Upon a Time season 4, Orange is the New Black season 2, Person of Interest season 4, Revenge season 4, Scandal season 4, and Vampire Diaries season 6

Horror: The Walking Dead season 5

SciFi: Bitten season 2, Falling Skies season 4, Helix season 2, and Supernatural season 10


Interested in the most popular shows at the library? The following shows took top circulation honors for the last fiscal year.
Action: Chicago Fire season 2 circulated an average of 25 times per copy.
Comedy: The Big Bang Theory season 7 circulated an average of 29 times per copy.
Drama: Blacklist season 1 and NCIS Los Angeles season 6 circulated an average of 30 times per copy.
Horror: The Walking Dead season 4 circulated an average of 28 times per copy.
SciFi: Supernatural season 9 circulated an average of 26 times per copy.


More TV shows will be added to the library catalog as we get closer to September. If you don’t see your favorite show on this list, keep checking the catalog.

Coming Soon: American Horror Story season 4, CSI season 15, The Following season 3, The Goldbergs season 2, Grimm season 4, Haven season 5, Penny Dreadful season 2, Portlandia season 5, Reign season 2

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

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It’s that time of year again…when we are forced to say goodbye to shows that have been part of our lives for years. They were characters and stories we could count on to teach us, shock us, entertain us, and so much more. The following shows are ones that I have watched from the beginning and would recommend if you are looking to start watching a great show.

Boardwalk Empire is all about corruption and bootlegging in 1920’s Atlantic City. The makers of this show took real events, a real place, and even real historical figures and wrote their own version of history. There are some accurate historical accounts in the show, but the writers took many liberties. Some characters stayed true their real life counterparts such as in the case of Al Capone. During the decade of time covered by the show we see Al Capone get his start as a lackey for Johnny Torrio, rise to fame and power, then his inevitable arrest in 1931. The real star of the show is Enoch “Nucky” Thomson played by Steve Buscemi. This is one of the real life figures that the writers completely changed in order to create the story line for this show. Boardwalk promises a lot of action, drama, and history. This is a great show for anyone interested in the 1920’s and the original gangsters. I personally liked the drama that the first few seasons offered. I continued to watch the show in the last couple seasons, but shows would often pile up on my DVR as my enthusiasm had waned. Nevertheless, this was a great show. This show is rated TV-MA.

If you watched Boardwalk Empire and would like to learn more about the real life figures, check out Time Magazine.

Total Seasons: 5


Glee is one big giant ray of sunshine. I have always had such a strange relationship with Glee. I think the difficulty I had was the time slot. There were other shows happening at that time that won out on my DVR, but I always found a way to catch up on this good natured show. When I finally did watch the show, I would be completely uplifted and wonder why the heck I’d put off watching it for so long.

Anyway, lets state the obvious. Yes this is a show about teenagers singing…but it is fantastic! The actors have amazing vocal range and ability and the choreography is top notch. What I found to be most enthralling were the arrangements of the music they sang. Some songs were written decades ago and others were new, but all of them had the Glee take on it. This group can sing anything! One of my favorite performances was a mix of the classic Singing in the Rain and Rhianna’s Umbrella. For the YouTube video, click here. Other awesome things about this show include guest appearances by loads of actors and singers, the hilarious commentary of Sue Sylvester played by Jane Lynch, and watching teens make mistakes but learning to do what is right and why you do the right thing. You can’t go wrong with this show.

Total Seasons: 6


 The Newsroom is very different than any show I have ever watched. I am quite sad that this show was only three seasons. Despite having a short life span, Aaron Sorkin (writer) wrapped up the show very well. No surprise that the set of this show is a fictional newsroom for a nightly news program in New York City. Early on it becomes the goal of this news show to start telling the news as it is, no matter the consequence. The twist is that although season 1 airs in 2012, the story line begins in April 2010. This allows the news station to cover events that have already happened for the viewers. We get inside information on the news stories we kind of heard about in real life. There are many ‘ah ha’ and ‘you don’t say’ moments as Sorkin picks and chooses what information he wants to recreate on his news show.

This show is very smart. It can be difficult to keep up at times and I often had to rewind to catch this or that. The intelligent banter is a refreshing change from what you usually see on TV.

Total Seasons: 3


Mad Men  is another period TV drama, but very different from Boardwalk Empire. The show begins in the 1960’s at a New York ad agency. There is an interweaving of history with fiction as a cast of made up characters live in a world that is bound by real fashions, products, and events that leave little room for error. The products they are trying to sell are the real products of that time. This show is the story of how a group of ad agency workers stop at nothing to be the best at what they do. Each person has their own story and as the years go by we see the ups and downs, but they never give up.

You never know quite what you are going to get with each episode. Sometimes episodes will be very straightforward and serious, but other times a song and dance will make its way into a scene. What you can count on with this show is guts. The characters take risks and often put it all on the line.

Total Seasons: 7


If you would like to see a complete list of canceled shows visit

Watch a Little TV with Me: America’s Most Watched Television Shows Available at Your Local Library

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Last summer TV Guide released an article titled America’s Most Watched: The Top 50 Shows of the 2013-2014 TV Seasonand as you may have guessed it included a list of the 50 most watched TV shows last year. I thought it would be interesting to weigh the DPL video collection against what America is watching. Are we keeping our finger on the remote of the Nation?

As a rule I do not believe in suspense, so we are going straight to the top! The Big Bang Theory was named the top TV show of the 2013/2014 season based on number of viewers per episode according to TV Guide. At this point I have to ask myself, how have I never watched this show!? Honestly settling in to a Big Bang marathon has been in the back of my mind for quite some time. But I just keep putting it off because it isn’t on Netflix yet. Well guess what? It is season eight and it is still not available on Netflix yet it continues to be one of the most talked about shows on television. So I am taking matters into my own hands and utilizing the best free source of entertainment in the Quad Cities!

The Davenport Library did not disappoint me. There is a copy of the first season of The Big Bang Theory available at each library location. Further yet, Eastern and Main have complete seasons on the shelves! Perhaps that is a bit deceiving, since this show is incredibly popular you will likely need to place a hold as I did, but the wait on older seasons is usually a short one.

Enough about Big Bang, let’s look at the rest. Out of the 50 titles the Davenport Libraries carry 34 titles. You may be wondering why we don’t have them all. TV Guide rated all television programs, which includes live events and reality TV. However out of the 36 purchasable titles, we do own 34. While I won’t list all 34 of them, I will review some of my favorites.

The Walking Dead on AMC is ranked 4th on the TV Guide list and that is a well deserved place mark. About a year ago, I decided it was about time I get on The Walking Dead bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about. Zombies have never really appealed to me, but when a show hits a certain level of popularity you just have to watch at least one episode. While some fans may tune in for guts and gore, most of us have found ourselves relating to the show on a human level. The writers of this show excel at getting the audience to feel exactly what these characters are feeling. We all know zombies aren’t real, but we can understand and identify with the intense emotions of love, friendship, triumph, and loss. This show oozes all of those with every episode. There have been many times that I found myself at a loss for words as my heart breaks and soars for these characters. Full seasons available at Eastern and Main.

 Downton Abbey from PBS came out of nowhere and has exploded in popularity in the U.S. I’ll admit when this show jumped on my radar, I was quick to check out the first two seasons of this show because I have a deep love of historical fiction and period pieces. Downton is a world of it’s own. Each week we are transported back in time to the days of servants and masters, carriage rides and afternoon tea. What really makes this show a hit, is the strength of it’s characters. There are so many different personalities and story lines there seems to be someone for everyone. At the very least you will feel smarter each week as you learn a little more about upper class England in the early 1900’s. Sound like something you would like? All three libraries have multiple copies of each season, with the current airing season available soon.

Once Upon a Time broadcast on ABC is something the entire family can watch and enjoy. This year it seems I haven’t had much time for live TV, and this show was starting to pile up on my DVR. With more free time over the holidays, I started watching this season’s episodes with my six year old daughter and eight year old son. They are hooked! Now whenever we have a free hour together, we pile on the couch and play the episodes from this season. While my children are just tuning in, I have been a Once Upon a Time fan from the beginning, finding the pretense genius. All of your favorite fairy tale characters and their perspective stories weaved together with a present day twist. Each week brings something new to the stories we have all heard time and time again. What I like best about this show is that a traditional fairy tale villain can be a hero, and well known heroes can be villains. You never know who is going to be good and who will be bad when a new character is introduced. What you can always count on from this show is that good will always win in the end and true love conquers all.