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FDL Reads: The Trespasser

Cover image for The trespasserThe Trespasser by Tana French

Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Adult and Reference Services

Genre: Mystery

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Antoinette Conway is both the only female in the Dublin Murder Squad and a newbie. At the end of an all-night shift, Conway and her partner, Steve Moran, are called to investigate a murder case. The victim, Aislinn Murray, who appears to have been living a squeaky clean life, has been found dead in her apartment after an anonymous phone call alerted the police to a woman who had “fallen and hit her head.” Conway’s position on the squad is tenuous. Except for her partner, the other detectives do not like her, they want her gone, and she has been subjected to harassment. This uncomfortable position forms the foundation of Conway’s inner dialogue, and it also adds to the intrigue of the plot. Conway must not only find out who killed Aislinn Murray, she must also discover who is behind the harassing and who amongst her squad is giving her truthful or false information about the case.

My Review: Conway is a flawed character with a hot temper, but that is part of what makes this book such an engrossing read. Since the book is written in the first person point of view, the reader “hears” all of Conway’s thoughts:  outrage, anger, frustration, disappointment, puzzlement. This makes Conway into a sympathetic character. The inner dialogue and complicated work situation together make for a taut, gotta-finish-this-soon mystery!

Three Words That Describe This Book: gutsy, complex, believable

Give This a Try if You Like…  Lynda La Plante mysteries, especially Prime Suspect (Jane Tennison mysteries) or La Plante’s Anna Travis mysteries.

Rating: 5/5

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!

FDL Reads: The Killer of Little Shepherds

Cover image for The killer of little shepherds : a true crime story and the birth of forensic scienceThe Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas P. Starr

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: At the end of the nineteenth century, a killer stalked France.  Yes, all of it.  His name was Joseph Vacher, a former soldier and patient of 2 different mental asylums. In his wanderings as a vagabond he killed at least eleven people in locations all around the country.  His favorite targets were young shepherds, isolated and helpless.  His attacks were violent and brutal. During this same time, the new fields of forensic science and psychology were developing at a rapid pace.   Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the preeminent head of forensics in France, was investigating more accurate and thorough methods for autopsy and for determining the age and physical aspects of unknown corpses.  Methods for tracking repeat offenders were being developed, as were set procedures for crime scenes.  The causes of criminality (nature vs nurture, the “inherent criminality” determined by physical traits, and even mental illness) were being put under the microscope as well. These worlds were brought together after Vacher was caught, and the full weight of scientific evidence was used to determine his guilt, and his competence to stand trial.

My Review: This was eye-opening.  I knew that forensic science had to begin sometime, and Starr did a great job showcasing its beginnings and the obstacles it had to overcome.  This book also raised the question of how one could determine sanity, especially in light of apparent sane-ness and or episodic madness.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Engrossing, Intriguing, Informative

Give This a Try if You Like…  CSI, Sherlock Holmes

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!

Star Wars Day 2017

Fondulac District Library announces Star Wars Day, which celebrates reading and the stories of one of the most popular sagas of all time. The all-ages event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 8, 2017, at Fondulac District Library in East Peoria, Illinois.

Free activities and programs for all ages will run throughout the day and include a new, expanded Jedi training, crafts, a sketch workshop with artist Kiley Beecher, games, Star Wars Bingo, prize drawings, and much more. Special guests from the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, and the Mandalorian Mercs costume clubs will be in attendance and available for photographs. Additionally, members of the East Peoria Robo Raiders and Retro Robotics, local First Tech Challenge (FTC) teams, will participate in a presentation and demonstration of the real-life “droids” they design, build, and take to competition. The library also offers Star Wars-related books and movies on display and available for check out.

For more information about this special event, visit www.fondulaclibrary.org or call (309) 699-3917.

Special Activities

10:15   Star Wars Bingo
11:00   Star Wars Sketch
11:30   Jedi Training (both Jedi training sessions are the same)
12:30   Jedi Training
2:00     Real-Life Droids: East Peoria Robo-Raiders and Retro Robotics

Ongoing Activities

I Spy with My Jedi Eye: Starting at the Children’s Information Desk
Craft Cantina: Children’s Department: Story and Craft Room – Darth Vader and C3PO lanterns
Star Wars Puppet Theater: Children’s Department
Photo Booth: Children’s Department
Jedi Training Obstacle Course: Children’s Department & Atrium
X-wing Miniature Game: Library Lobby
Video Arcades: Second Floor (Teen Space)
Tattooine Tattoo Parlor: Second Floor
Perler for Padawans: Second Floor
Boba Fett’s Badge Factory: Second Floor
Force Fair: Atrium – Star Wars Bowling, Star Wars Angry Birds, and Blast-a-Trooper.
Star Wars Science Station: Atrium
Admiral Ackbar’s Snack Bar: Treats for sale from the Friends of the Library

Get the Most Out of Your Library Card

Get the Most Out of Your Library Card

Did you know that you can use your Fondulac District Library card at area libraries?

  • Enjoy the convenience of checking out materials from other libraries—all with one card.
  • When placing a hold, simply choose a library from which to pick up the items.
  • You can return most materials from FDL to other local libraries, and return from other area libraries at FDL. Library staff takes care of the rest!
  • Don’t have an FDL card? Don’t worry! Other area library cards offer the same features and flexibility, and most are accepted at FDL.

For more information, visit or call the library at 309-699-3917.

Spring Newsletter Available

The latest issue of Community Connection, Fondulac District Library’s quarterly newsletter, is now available! It is mailed to residences within the library district and also is available for download and printing from our website. Printed copies can also be picked up at the library.

Whether you are into history, writing, gaming, music, science, or crafts, we’ve got something planned for everyone at the library this spring! Please take a moment to review the newsletter and mark your calendars with the great lineup of programs happening at Fondulac District Library through June. Enjoy!

Download this file. (PDF, Unknown)

FDL Reads: The Nightingale

Cover image for The nightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Reviewed by: Susie Rivera, Reference and Adult Services

Genre: Historic Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: The Nightingale focuses on the lives of two sisters, Isabelle and Vianne. Isabelle enjoys the city life in Paris, while her older sister is happy living in the country with her family. But, the sisters’ lives are changed forever at the outbreak of World War II. Vianne’s husband is sent to the front while Isabelle is forced to flee the city.  Soon France becomes occupied by the Nazis who bring oppressive conditions to the French.  When Isabelle and Vianne get a hint of Hitler’s plans for the Jews, they find themselves in situations that are unexpected and that test their courage.

My Review: I listened to the audiobook of this novel, which received an Audie Award in 2016. Polly Stone narrates and does an impeccable job with the French and German accents.  The narrative goes back and forth between the sisters’ perspectives and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish one from another, but it doesn’t take long to figure it out due to the setting or circumstances described. I enjoyed the author’s descriptions of iconic locations in Paris contrasted with the idyllic small town of Carriveau in the French countryside.  I truly felt connected to and cared very much about the main characters as well as the plight of women during this time period.  I did not know much about the French Resistance or underground and was excited to learn more about this aspect of WWII.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Engaging, Relatable, Enlightening

Give This a Try if You Like…  Lilac Girls, All the Light We Cannot See, and Firefly Lane

Rating: 5/5

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!

New & Upcoming Titles for Spring 2017

An updated list of New & Upcoming Titles at Fondulac District Library has been added to the website! The books on this list are available to check out or place on hold.

Here is a sampling of a few of the latest titles:

Download this file. (PDF, Unknown)

FDL Reads: The One Good Thing

Cover image for The one good thingThe One Good Thing by Kevin Alan Milne

Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Reference and Adult Services

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: This book has been written from the perspectives of different characters from two families in present day Texas. The principal character, Nathan Steen, is in his pastor father’s fourth grade Sunday school when he meets Maddy by throwing a spit wad at her face. In the present day, Nathan now has two children, Ty and Alice with his wife Halley. Ty is a popular athletic high school student, and Alice is a diminutive junior high school brain and blogger. Alice named her blog ‘My Own Little Wonderland,’ because she is constantly bullied at school with the nickname of Alice in Wonderland. Following Nathan’s sudden accidental death, his acts of kindness toward others, as well as secrets are revealed through a dedicated Facebook page. Nathan had a habit of moving six small stones from one pocket to the other as he completed these gestures throughout the day; and he always said that one good thing can lead to another. After Nathan’s funeral, each family member reacted to the secrets and lies that are discovered through one of the Facebook’s posts from Maddy, now known as Madeline Zuckerman.

My Review: I enjoy stories that have worthwhile characters, as I have said before in my reviews. Therefore, one of my favorite books of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird. I have read (but didn’t really like) Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, and The Goldfinch. All of these were acclaimed novels that had some good qualities, but the characters were detestable in my opinion. I think all of the characters in the book, The One Good Thing are drawn true to life and affable. Nathan Steen was a well-liked man, who had his flaws yet you want him to be redeemed by his family in the end. You want Alice, Ty, and Halley to remember Nathan fondly and to pass on his legacy of unselfishly doing the right thing to help people when they need it… the one good thing.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Inspirational, heartfelt, and redeeming

Give This a Try if You Like…  Barbara Delinsky’s Blueprints or While My Sister Sleeps; Donna VanLiere’s The Good Dream; Beth Hoffman’s Looking for Me; Lauraine Snelling’s Reunion

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!

Playaway Launchpads

Playaway Launchpad tablets for kids are available for checkout at Fondulac District Library.

Features:

  • Preloaded with high quality, ad-free apps that are both fun and educational.
  • Provides hours of interactive learning and play without exposure to unintended content or the need for a network connection or downloading. Launchpads are secure and do not have wi-fi access or a camera.
  • The library’s collection spans subject areas from math and science to critical thinking and creativity.
  • Launchpads are powered by an Android operating system and feature a 7-inch high definition touch screen, external speaker, universal audio jack, and a protective bumper.
  • One Launchpad can be checked out to a library card at a time for a 7 day lending period. Launchpads must be checked out and returned at the Youth Services desk with all of their accessories.

For additional details, click here, or visit or call the library at 309-699-3917.

FDL Reads: Soulless

Cover image for SoullessSoulless by Gail Carriger

Reviewed by: Joscelyn Lockwood, Childrens Department

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Miss Alexia Tarabotti is a spinster in Victorian England facing more issues than just her lack of marriage prospects. Besides being a tad too old, a tad too strong willed, and a tad too Italian, Alexia is also a preternatural. You see, in this version of Victoria’s Britain, vampires and werewolves walk among the normal humans. A preternatural, also negatively called a “Soulless”, is a person lacking a soul, and who therefore cannot be changed from human to vampire or were. A series of disappearances in both the werewolf and vampire communities cause fingers to start being pointed Alexia’s direction.  Will she be able to prove her innocence?

My Review: I am big fan of strong female characters, and Alexia definitely fits the bill. She often disregards her mother’s worries over her spinster status in favor of high tea with her friend Ivy, and doing everything she can to drive the local werewolf Alpha bonkers. The supporting characters also bring their own fun to the party in the form of a flamboyant vampire, crazy step sisters, and a bookish beta werewolf that is both nerdy and adorable. The events that take place and make up the bulk of the mystery in the book are interesting without overwhelming the main storyline. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the series is like.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Sassy, Hilarious, and Very Fashionable (for the Victorian Era, of course.)

Give This a Try if You Like…  Headstrong women, gratuitous descriptions of both food and fashion, and a little mystery thrown into your paranormal novels.

Rating: 5/5

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