Archive | #FDL RSS feed for this section

#FDL: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

Kazuo Ishiguro

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro has won the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017.  He has written seven critically acclaimed novels. The following are his most notable:

The Remains of the Day

Stevens, a retired butler in 1956, reflects on his life serving Lord Darlington.  During his thirty year career, he saw many changes in England from the beginning of World War I to the rise of Nazism and the Second World War.  Stevens is rather oblivious to certain facts about his employer and his devotion to service causes him to ignore Darlington’s dangerous political affiliations as well as the housekeeper’s love for him.  This novel was made into the 1993 film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go is a dystopian love story told from the perspective of Kathy.  Kathy lived at Hailsham, a secluded English private school where the students were told they were special. The reader is taken back in time to Kathy’s childhood at the school and her friendship with fellow classmates, Ruth and Tommy. Though the narrative never overtly states the reason why the children are special, the reader is able to figure it out as the story unfolds. This novel was made into the 2010 film starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly, and Andrew Garfield.

Buried Giant

A historical novel set after the death of King Arthur, Buried Giant is a about a couple who go looking for their long lost son.  A strange mist has caused them to have amnesia, making difficult to remember many things that have happened. There are other people on a journey as well, including a knight, a warrior, and an orphan. They begin to travel along side the couple and eventually start to recall the memories of the past.

When We Were Orphans

Christopher Banks is a English boy who was born in Shanghai when it was still controlled by the British. Both of his parents go missing when he is still very young and Christopher is sent to live in London.  Now a renowned investigator twenty years later, Christopher returns to Shanghai to unravel the truth behind his parents’ mysterious disappearance.

 

 

 

Post by: Susie Rivera, Reference Specialist

 About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL: To Boldly Go…

First Officer Michael Burnham

To Boldly Go…

How many of you reading this have been watching the new Star Trek series, Discovery? Only four episodes have aired so far, but it is so cool! Discovery takes place ten years before the original Star Trek series with Kirk and Spock. It follows former first officer Michael Burnham on the slightly mysterious science vessel Discovery. The rest of the crew is also intriguing, but I can’t say much without giving away some things for those of you who haven’t seen it. But I can say that Discovery looks like it’s going to be an incredible ensemble show, like many of the other Star Trek series. Discovery also has a lot of firsts going for it, including a first female person of color lead, and Star Trek’s first openly gay character. This series is so far boldly going in some new directions but also very much staying true to the spirit of Star Trek through the ages. Discovery embraces diversity, intrigue, rich character development, and multi-layered plot developments. I mean, these new Klingons, you guys!!

With Discovery airing, and a number of staff members being pretty excited about it, I thought I would put together a short list of books and multimedia that you all might like if you also enjoy Star Trek of any kind.

  1. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. A lot of people refer to this book as feel good science fiction. I’m not sure if that counts as a spoiler. It has the feel of original series Star Trek camaraderie, with Discovery Trek technology (even though Discovery comes before the OS in the Trek timeline – bear with me). This book is a mostly closed ship narrative about a tight knit crew who explore their differences among themselves in addition to wide open outer space. There’s also fungus fuel for the ship in both. And a warlike species bent on causing trouble for their small part of the universe.
  2. Firefly. This show is probably an obvious choice, but in case you haven’t seen it, give it a shot. It’s another closed ship narrative about a crew with a lot of differences but the ability to get along with each other. Mostly. I would suggest this one to fans of Enterprise or again, the original series.
  3. Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. The premise of this is a bit dark. Six astronauts run a generation-type ship through space. But instead of reproducing, they clone themselves at the end of every life-cycle and keep all of their knowledge and experience. However, someone has murdered them all, forcing their clones to regenerate with no knowledge of their many years on the ship. And then destroyed the cloning devices. It could only be one of the six. But who? And will they strike again?
  4. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. This one is for those who like the world building of Star Trek. An abundance of technology has created a universal utopia built on a complex system of castes and houses and the outlawing of religion. This book, the beginning of a series, follows two misfits in this seemingly perfect but complex world along with a child who might bring ruin to all of it.
  5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. This slim non-fiction volume may not be as completely outlandish as Star Trek but it really makes you think about humanity and our place in the wider universe. Will Vulcans find us some day? Will we ever develop warp speed technology? Does the Mirror Universe really exist? This book gives hope that we aren’t completely alone in the universe and that someday, we’ll develop the technology to find out for sure.

In addition to these titles, check with library staff about the Star Trek titles we have in television, movies, and books.

Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL: Scary Movies for Big Babies

October = Spooky Time

For a lot of people, the month of October means a month long Halloween celebration. It’s generally the spookiest month of the year. All of the most important horror movies and books come out around this time and it’s also a great time to dust off old favorites. Some people really enjoy the horror aspect of Halloween. Other people, not so much. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. I can read horror books just fine, but horror movies make me cry and sleep with the lights on. However, I thought I would share with you a few horror movies that are pretty good, even if they were frightening (to me). If you’re reading this on our social media sites, feel free to chime in with horror moves that you like.

  1. The Ring. So, I saw this one in the movie theater when it came out. The basic plot is about some teens who find a mysterious video tape and watch it. If they don’t pass it on to someone else to watch within seven days, a creepy kid crawls out of the television and kills them. I haven’t been this afraid of television static since Poltergeist. I know I’m easily scared but I thought this movie was well done and the fear factor comes from a lack of control. How do you make someone else watch this movie? And how do you live with the responsibility of putting a potential death sentence onto someone else to save your own life? I still don’t trust video tapes because of this movie and I don’t think I turned on my television for weeks after I saw it.
  2. Saw. I really like this movie despite the fact that it’s gory as all get out. The gore doesn’t bother me as much as the premise. This movie asks what you would do to save your own life. Like The Ring, Saw puts its characters into tricky moral situations. The gore is like a bonus. Saw is about a serial killer who doesn’t actually do any killing. He forces his victims to commit crimes against others or themselves to force them to value the lives they have. I like this and The Ring because of their psychological aspects.
  3. Pan’s Labyrinth. This movie is only kind of horror. Parts of it are definitely scary, but it’s very much a character based story and it’s a total tearjerker. Pan’s Labyrinth is about a little girl who is sent to live with her new step-father who is a captain in Spain’s army in 1944. Her life is… not that great. But she has a fantastical world that she can enter. She is told that if she completes three gruesome tasks within this world, she will be declared a princess. Do not watch this movie without tissues.
  4. 10 Cloverfield Lane. This movie is plenty scary without relying on gore or jump shots or other major staples of horror films. It’s a slow burn with this air of menace that you can never really be sure you should be feeling. This is the story of Michelle, who gets into a car accident and is rescued by John Goodman (his character’s name is Howard). Michelle wakes up in a room, chained to a bed. The situation only gets more bizarre from here as John Goodman/Howard explains that she’s in a bunker with him for her own safety as an alien attack is currently going on above-ground.
  5. Get Out. This is another movie that I saw in the theater and I loved it so much. What makes this movie so terrifying both in real and existential terms is that there are a lot of moments that are almost funny. This movie tries to trick you into laughing at it. This movie wants you to feel like you’re watching one type of movie but then switches things up. It works, too. Get Out was written and directed by Jordan Peele, a modern king of comedy. It follows Chris, a black man, who travels with his white girlfriend to meet her family for the first time. Chris gets to his girlfriend’s parent’s house and things seem a little off. Or do they? Is he being paranoid? All these little weird things happening can be laughed off later, right? Nope.All of these movies are available for checkout or hold – so enjoy!

    Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

     

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL – Happy Banned Books Week!

Happy Banned Books Week!

Hi everyone, and happy Banned Books Week! This week is like librarian Christmas. But instead of getting presents, we all talk about our most excellent freedom to read whatever we want, the books that have been targeted the most in the past year, and how we can open up dialog with our varied communities on the importance of being free to read anything we like. While Banned Books Week is an excellent way to celebrate freedom of information and access to information, it’s a little bit of a misnomer.

When we think of a book being banned, we think of it has having been removed entirely from a library, school, or book shop. This actually rarely happens. Far more often, books get challenged. The ALA defines a challenge as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.” Perhaps Banned Book Week has better alliteration than Challenged Book Week, or has a more dramatic flair. But the bottom line for either term in regard to our celebration of the week is that no one person or group has the right to decide what everyone should and should not be reading.

A lot of times, books that get challenged are books for children and teens. This makes sense as small children and even teens don’t always make their own reading choices. Parents and other supervising adults feel protective of their young people and that’s natural. Another type of book that gets challenged fairly regularly is the graphic novel, partly because young patrons check them out and partly because images convey ideas more clearly than words sometimes. But, we have to remember that one one person finds offensive, another is completely okay with. It’s up to us as individuals to make our own reading choices and when it comes to those who can’t yet do that, choose whether or not to use controversial material as a teaching moment or save it for another time. Banned Books Week is all about the celebration of these freedoms.

The American Library Association helps ensure our freedom to read year after year. For more information on the ALA and Banned Books Week, check out this link. For a look at the most challenged books by year, you can click here. Are there books on the yearly lists that you’ve read? Good job, you biblio-rebel!

 

Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL: Getting Started With Margaret Atwood

Getting Started With Margaret Atwood

Maybe you all saw the Emmy’s this weekend and noticed that the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale cleaned up. Or maybe you didn’t see the awards show but have watched The Handmaid’s Tale and really liked it. Maybe neither of those statements are true but you’ve heard of Margaret Atwood and wanted to read something by her. Or maybe you’re just between books right now and in the mood for something that will twist up your brain. Margaret Atwood is one of those unique and awesome writers where you can’t really pin down what type of fiction she writes and so she appeals to a wide variety of readers. Her books are a little bit mystery, a little bit contemporary fiction, a little sci-fi, and a little bit women’s lit. If any of that appeals to you, here are a few good selections on where to start.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale – This pick is a little obvious, but it’s an amazing and unfortunately timely book that has been adapted into an incredibly popular television show. Published in 1985, the narrative follows Offred, a Handmaid in the near future Republic of Gilead. The story alternates between Offred’s current role in a wold where women are only valued for their ability to produce children, and her past where she had her own life and her own name.
  2. Oryx and Crake – This book will suit the sci-fi fan and is my own personal favorite novel by Atwood. It starts with a disjointed account of life by the weirdly named narrator, the Snowman. Gradually, the book takes into Snowman’s past and our future, telling of a world where genetic engineering is a part of every day life and cities and colleges are owned and funded by corporations. Snowman’s personal story involves his best friend Crake and a mysterious woman tied to both of them named Oryx.
  3. The Year of the Flood – Some people have a difficult time with Oryx and Crake because it gets off to a confusing start. The Year of the Flood tells a story set in the same universe and at the same time as Oryx and Crake but featuring different characters. It’s a more traditional beginning to the MaddAddam trilogy and you can read either book first. Atwood is a fan of time jumping narratives and The Year of the Flood goes between the childhood lives of Ren and Toby as disciples of Adam One and his eco-religious group God’s Gardeners, and their current predicaments hiding in their respective strongholds from what remains of humanity after a mass-extinction event.
  4. Hag-Seed – Hag-Seed is Margaret Atwood’s take on The Tempest in a contemporary setting with a psychological twist. After Felix is fired from his artistic director position at the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival, he exiles himself to rural Ontario with his imaginary daughter, Miranda. He takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, where his class stages their own bizarre production of The Tempest.
  5. Stone Mattress: Nine Tales – Short story collections are always a great way to introduce yourself to a new author. Each story in this collection is classic Atwood – a total genre mash-up. And with short stories, you can figure out a lot faster whether this author is right for you.
    Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

    About #FDL

    Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

 

#FDL: Five Questions

Welcome to #FDL’s feature column, Five Questions, where we ask library staff and other East Peoria residents roughly the same five questions. For this Five Questions column, we’re interviewing Genna Buhr, FDL’s Director – the lady who makes the wheels on this bus go round and round.

1. Who are you?

Hi! I’m Genna Buhr, Library Director of Fondulac District Library. I’ve been at the library for about seven years and have been leading our staff of about thirty as Director for the past two years. I’m a mom to two young boys who keep me on my toes and have been married for almost eleven years. I’m a member of the East Peoria Kiwanis and active in various library organizations. I like futzing in my yard when I have time, Muppets, and cheese. I can’t hold a tune, and I’m not a speed reader. I do like fast cars, though.

2. What is your favorite part of working at FDL?

My favorite part is that none of my days are the same. One day I might be working to ensure that the library’s budget for the next fiscal year is ready, the next day I might be helping launch a new service for the public, and the day after that I might be hanging out with Clifford the Big Red Dog. Every day brings a new surprise, and there’s always something happening at FDL.

3. What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?

I’m reading Ray and Joan by Lisa Napoli. It’s the story of Ray and Joan Kroc of the McDonald’s fortune. The book looks at not only at their complicated relationship, but also how he led the business to making its billions and how she used it for the greater good.  My family is kind of wrapped up in watching the end of the latest season of America’s Got Talent, mostly because it’s entertaining and something on which we can all agree. (We agree on the show, not necessarily on which acts are our favorites!) We also like to watch The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, which highlights past and current inventors and innovators who use (or have used) technology and design to solve problems. On the off chance I get to watch something all on my own, it’s usually a movie I brought home from the library (no horror films for me, though) or maybe something I saved to the DVR and have had every intention of watching for months, but still have gotten around to. I listen to the radio back and forth to work, but if you were sneak a peek at my Pandora or iPod, you’d see a lot of 80s, 90s, and alt-rock, some Patsy Cline, Jim Croce, Carole King, and Jimmy Buffett, and about 6  different renditions of Wild Horses.

4. If you didn’t already have your dream job, what would you be doing?

If you mean in lieu of working, I’d want to be traveling! I’ve been fortunate to see many places, but there are so many more I’d like to visit or revisit, both in the U.S. and abroad.  I’ve always loved sightseeing, but I’m learning to appreciate being on a beach with a book and a frozen concoction more and more.

5. Who would win in a fight – the monster truck Bigfoot or the sasquatch Bigfoot?

That’s a toughie. So, assuming the furry Bigfoot does exist, I figure she’s fairly intelligent to have eluded everyone for this long and would probably just avoid the fight with the truck altogether. (Yeah, I’m going with a girl Bigfoot.) Then again, toe to tire, I’m not sure the yeti stands a chance against nearly 11,000 pounds and 1,000 horsepower. That’s a lot of truck. Of course, that’s assuming Bigfoot has a driver who has eluded the sasquatch! In the end, though, I think I have to pick big blue as the winner. I’ve been to the monster truck shows several times. They’re capable of some serious tricks.

Interviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL: Stephen King is Having a Heck of a Year

Photo used with permission by photographer Tyler Liston, Assistant Store Manager of the Peoria Barnes & Noble.

Stephen King is Having a Heck of a Year

2017 appears to be a banner year for Stephen King and his fans. The author is going through a bit of a rediscovery process in Hollywood, which multiple works of his either having been adapted or slated to be adapted to television or film in the next year or so.  He also has new written material coming out soon. Here’s a quick rundown of all 2017 things King for new and seasoned fans alike.

Television/Movies

The Mist. This SpikeTV series is based on King’s novella of the same name and is its second film adaptation. This series focuses on the individuals trapped by a deadly mist and how they live out their lives from one moment to the next, not knowing if anything remains of the outside world. The series just wrapped up on television so is not yet available on DVD.

The Dark Tower. This is a complicated adaptation. It’s named after the entirety of King’s magnum opus, starting with book 1 – The Gunslinger. But, this film adaptation isn’t a true re-creation of the series or a prequel. It’s a sort of sequel, following Roland of Gilead and Jake Chambers as they fight to stop the Man in Black from destroying the eponymous tower and the universe. A dvd release date is set for October of this year.

It. This movie that adapts of one of King’s most popular works opens tomorrow in movie theaters. Like The Mist, it is based on a book by the same name and is a second film adaptation after a two-part television mini-series from 1990. It follows a group of bullied teens taking action after they discover that a monster is hunting them one by one.

Mr. Mercedes. This adaptation is a television show currently in the middle of its first season and available through local cable providers. It’s based on King’s novel by the same name and follows retired detective Bill Hodges as he tries to find a murderer who uses a Mercedes as his weapon of choice.

Gerald’s Game. This movie adaptation of King’s book also comes out in theaters this month – on September 29th. Jessie and her husband Gerald try to add a little something extra to their marriage, and Jessie unexpectedly finds herself fighting for survival.

Books

Gwendy’s Button Box. King released this title in May of this year, co-authored by Richard T. Chizmar. This short novel takes place in Castle Rock, in the summer of 1974, when Gwendy’s daily routine is interrupted by a man dressed all in black.

Sleeping Beauties. To be released on September 26th, King has authored this book with his son, Owen King. Women all over the world are falling asleep and not waking up. With the exception of a lone woman, men are left to their own devices in this strange, new world.

The Outsider. This title will be released sometime in 2018, and very little is known about it. King was quoted by USA Today as saying, “There’s a lot of things I want to say about [this book], but I can’t. It’s too cool to talk about right now. All I can say is it won’t be out in 2017 because I’ve got enough going on.” No kidding.

Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL: Better Know a Dewey Number: 364.1523

I know that this is a picture from a fictional crime scene on a post about true crime, but just roll with it.

Better Know a Dewey Number: 364.1523: True Crime

Once while I was working at the reference desk, someone asked me, “Where are the murder books?” After asking a couple of questions, I figured out that what this patron wanted was the true crime books. While not everyone asks for them by calling them “true crime books,” they’re pretty popular at FDL. However, not everyone knows we have a section of books devoted to true crime, or they know we do but don’t know that true crime covers a number of different scenarios. So, here is a sample of what FDL has in its true crime section. As always, if you have any questions, please ask our awesome reference librarians. If there’s a true crime book you would like but don’t see, we can always try to find it for you from a different library!

The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder and the Agony of Engine 57 by John N. MacLean. This book tells the story of Raymond Lee Oyler, the man accused of setting the Esperanza Fire in 2006 – a wildfire in the San Jacinto Mountains in California. This fire ended up killing five men on a U.S. Forest Service engine crew, causing Oyler to also be accused of murder.

Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption by Nancy Mullane. Mullane details her interviews with five men in San Quentin prison over the course of four years. Each of these men committed murder, and Mullane’s discussions with them ask the question: Can murderers redeem themselves and live again in the regular world?

The Valley of the Shadow of Death: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption by Kermit Alexander. This book is written by a surviving victim of true crime. Kermit Alexander, former 49ers cornerback, recounts the murder of his mother, sister, and two nephews and his attempts to find answers and justice for their deaths.

The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt that Changed the Nation by Joe Urschel. This book is both true crime and history. It takes place in 1933 at the height of Prohibition and follows Machine Gun Kelly’s attempt at kidnapping, in addition to J. Edgar Hoover’s quest to find him and boost his career into what would be the director of the FBI.

The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Companion by Stewart P. Evans and Keith Skinner. No list or sampling of a true crime collection would be complete without Jack the Ripper. This book claims to be the most extensive work on the Ripper case ever to be published and runs at 758 pages.

Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

#FDL: Short Stories for the Semester

Short Stories for the Semester

School has started back up for high school and college students alike, and many of them (including myself) are bemoaning their lack of free time now that there’s so much work to be done for class. Some people like to binge watch shows or movies on Netflix or listen to endless podcast episodes. My favorite form of escapism is reading – especially science fiction and fantasy. When it comes to Netflix, there’s not much advice I can give except to pace yourself and balance awesome shows with classwork, and I know that’s easier said than done. But if reading is your thing and you find yourself strapped for free time due to school, I have found that short stories go a long way toward allowing you to get in some leisure reading in between assignments. Here are five books of short stories to get you through the semester.

  1. Get in Trouble by Kelly Link. This is a book of weird fiction. All of Link’s stories are just strange enough to be outside the bounds of reality but not so strange that they aren’t relatable. I think that’s what makes them extra weird.
  2. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu. Ken Liu is also the author of the epic fantasy series The Dandelion Dynasty and translator of Liu Cixin’s epic science fiction series Remembrance of Earth’s Past. However, if you’re super busy with school, I recommend his short science fiction and fantasy stories for a perfect break in your classwork.
  3. Press Start to Play, edited by Daniel H. Wilson. This is a book of video game oriented short stories by a variety of authors, including Ernest Cline, Seanan McGuire, T.C. Boyle, and Andy Weir. This is a good one if your jonesing for books and games.
  4. Shoggoths in Bloom and Other Stories by Elizabeth Bear. As the title indicates, Elizabeth Bear’s collection is Lovecraftian in nature. Like Kelly Link, the stories within are weird and highly readable. Bear also has a special gift for writing beautiful sentences.
  5. Mostly Void, Partially Stars by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. This collection is a bit of a cheat. The chapters within are transcripts of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale with author and actor insight. This is excellent for fans of the show and newbies, but if you haven’t listened to the podcast, give it a shot. Cecil Baldwin has the best voice.

Post by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

FDL Reads: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Cover image for Astrophysics for people in a hurryAstrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

Genre: Astrophysics, Non-Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: This book is a primer in astrophysics for people, who are, well… in a hurry. Tyson’s specialty is making science accessible to the average person. He hosted the reboot of the television show Cosmos, and currently hosts the popular podcast StarTalk where science meets pop culture. Astrophysics is a short book, where Tyson covers such topics as the beginning of the universe, regular matter and dark matter, how much stars weigh, and the role of astrophysics in every day life.

My Review: Overall, I found this book informative and interesting. However, there were times when the information went over my head. It’s difficult to get an intellectual grasp on a topic so physically and ideally huge as the universe. I often wondered how Tyson could go about his day to day life with such knowledge and not explode. Tyson’s tone tough is light and at times humorous and he explains astrophysics basics in language that works for people outside of science fields.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Fun, accessible, authoritative

Give This a Try if You Like… Cosmos (either Carl Sagan’s or Neil deGrasse Tyson’s show), The Big Bang Theory, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

imagine, inform, inspire