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FDL Reads: 5 Minute Facial Workout

Cover image for 5 Minute Facial Workout by Catherine Pez

Reviewed by: Jessica Reeves, Reference Specialist

Genre: Face Workout (it’s a genre now)

Suggested Age: Everyone

Today we’re posting FDL’s first video book review ever! Enjoy!
https://youtu.be/8c6CzgjavNA

 

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: Shadow and Bone

Cover image for Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Reviewed by: Joscelyn Lockwood, Youth Services Assistant

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Alina Sarkova is an orphan, raised in the household of a Duke known for taking on charity cases. Drafted into the army with her childhood best friend Mal, a dormant power reveals itself to save his life… and change Alina’s forever. She’s swept away to the capital, to be trained as a Grisha under the enigmatic Darkling. The Grisha are treated as a Second Army in Ravka, using their magic, often referred to as “small science” to provide support to the First Army. Attacked on all fronts, the nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold. A strange, almost living swatch of darkness filled with monsters and crossed only by the bravest, or most foolhardy, people. But Ravka, its ruling family, and its people, will soon find out that they have more to worry about than just the Fold.

My Review: Admittedly, what hooked me into this book was the description of magic and the Grishas. What kept me reading? Wanting to know how it would end. There were some annoying inconsistencies, and most of the time, I couldn’t stand Alina or the superficial Grisha.  But I ended up caring about other characters in the story, especially as I got into the second and third books. Overall, it was enjoyable but a bit unremarkable in the ever-growing field of YA books available.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Decent, Enjoyable, a Bit Predictable

Give This a Try if You Like… Quick reads, happily ever after.

Rating: 3/5

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: Took: A Ghost Story

Cover image for Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn 

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Anderson, Communications Specialist

Genre: Horror

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: Daniel and his family relocate to a ramshackle house in a new town after his father loses his job in the economic recession. Life is miserable for the entire family. The inhabitants of the small town see them as outsiders and Dan’s parents are working unhappily at their new jobs. Dan watches them slip into depression and bad habits, and his sister, Erica, begins to behave the most strangely of all. When she disappears, Dan realizes that the townspeople’s talk about the legendary “Old Auntie” taking a girl and keeping her as a slave for 50 years isn’t a farfetched legend after all. Determined to rescue his sister, he summons all of his courage to face the witch and her monstrous minion – before it’s too late.

My Review: One of the things that I appreciated the most about this book was that it implemented elements of a folktale into a modern story with seamless ease. Took presents the disturbing manifestation of a legend in a real world setting. The story features both the realistic elements of a missing child, with police searches and interrogations, as well as the supernatural chills of someone being kidnapped by an otherworldly entity. Hahn delivers a fast paced story with no shortage of immersive sensory details and light touches of tactful humor in her characters’ observations and personalities.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Folktales, Family, Witchcraft

Give This a Try if You Like… Ghost stories by Dan Poblocki, such as The Ghost of Graylock, “The Books of Elsewhere” series by Jacqueline West, or Coraline, by Neil Gaiman.

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 Book of Dust

Cover image for The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

Reviewed by: Dave Gibbons, Library Volunteer

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: People come and go from the trout pub, bringing with them news and gossip. Few notice young Malcolm Prescot the unassuming son of the pub’s owners, but he notices them. This sort of notice draws him into a intriguing world of spy work and espionage that comes abruptly to a head when the adventurous Lord Azrael leaves his daughter, a baby named Lyra at the local convent. Events quickly escalate as a flood tears through Malcolm’s world. Psychotic assassins, religious authorities and even the occasional obsessive witch are all trying to get the child, so it falls to Malcolm and his co-worker Alice to take the infant Lyra on a journey from their small hamlet up the flooded waters to find her father, all the while learning fragments of information about the mysterious substance called Dust.

My Review: As the first volume of a prequel to the His Dark Materials trilogy also by Pulman, this book unfortunately suffers from the problems that many prequels do. Readers essentially know the ending, so the stakes are not exceptionally high. It is also nearly impossible to build up suspense regarding Dust and the science behind it as it has already been explained in previous books. The oppressive religious authorities that were the antagonists in the His Dark Materials trilogy are further demonized in The Book of Dust, eliminating even the scantest bit of subtlety. This heavy handed injection of Pulman’s views toward organized religion becomes a distraction, pulling even those who share his views out of the story. This being said, the story is a well written and exciting adventure, the main characters and their associates are relatable, and you do come to care about them. The world itself is colorful with an air of a “dungeons and dragons” campaign about it. Unfortunately I was still left with the question ”what was the point of all that?” something I hope will be explained in future volumes.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Adventure, Rebellious, Prequel

Give This a Try if You Like… The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and Willow by Wayland Drew, George Lucas, and Bob Dolman

Rating: 3/5

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!

Winter 2018 Newsletter Now 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 winter! Please take a moment to review the newsletter and mark your calendars with the great lineup of programs happening at Fondulac District Library through March. Enjoy!

Download this file. (PDF, Unknown)

FDL Reads: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Cover image for The Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Library Volunteer

Genre: Coming-of-age fiction

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: Rose first tastes the emotion in cooked items as she nears her 9th birthday. She arrives home from school to find her mother preparing to bake a cake. On the counter are eggs, sugar, flour, lemon peel, chocolate icing, and rainbow sprinkles.  When the cake finishes baking, Rose sneaks a taste. The bite was initially delicious, but that impression is quickly replaced. Rose’s mouth filled “with the taste of smallness, the sensation of shrinking, of upset, tasting a distance [she] somehow knew was connected to [her] mother.” Her second taste – although yummy – includes “in each bite:  absence, hunger, spiraling, hollows.” These are Rose’s first bites of tasting the emotion in her food, food of any and all types made by and grown by all kinds of people of varying emotions from many places. It is, at first, a heavy and frightening burden, made worse because nearly no one believes what she is encountering.

My Review: I don’t normally like coming-of-age fiction, but the premise of this book – as well as the delicious cake on the cover – intrigued me. I ended being very glad that I read this book! It’s written in the first person, so you are immediately drawn into Rose’s life and what she is thinking and feeling. Page by page, her emotional tasting expands, leading her to learn unimagined things about her dysfunctional family:  a rather depressed mother who hasn’t found satisfaction in life, a father who is a good provider but retreats emotionally and a brother who echoes his parents’ dissatisfaction with life and emotional retreat. While my description here might make the book sound rather depressing to read, in fact it was quite interesting to read how each of the characters coped (or didn’t cope) with their lives and how Rose grows into her exceptional gift.  I was left at the end with a sense of hope that a person could learn to cope with exceptional gifts and daunting circumstances. It’s a creative and satisfying read!

Three Words That Describe This Book: Extrasensory, Imaginative, Psychological

Give This a Try if You Like… thinking about where food comes from or reading about psychic phenomena

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: Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury

Cover image for Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury by Mike Mignola

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation Specialist

Genre: Graphic Novel – Horror

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: Nimue, former consort of Merlin, has raised an army of displaced and disgruntled magical beings. They are intent on destroying the world of men and of summoning The Dragon. Hellboy is all that can stand against them, and both sides are pushing him to take up the crown and summon his army. Which crown, you ask? Either the crown of Hell or the crown of England; both are his by right of birth. Destiny is pushing, but Hellboy is having none of it. Will he be able to fight an army alone and save the world?

My Review: The previous 11 volumes of the Hellboy series, as well as several issues of B.P.R.D., Lobster Johnson and Edward Grey have been leading us up to this point. Little incidents prove to be the pebbles before the rock slide that catches up the world. You don’t have to have read them all, but it does fill in lots of gaps. This volume also seems to be the story line that will be the basis of the new Hellboy movie, slated to come out in 2018. Hellboy has had it rough. By this point, he’s been beaten more times that I can remember. He’s even died, although that might have been part of a hallucination (the pain was real enough for him to remember it). And as the story unravels, he learns of his heritage – the truth about who his mother and father are, and the purpose of his conception – and multiple versions of his destiny. He’s also found love in the form of Alice, a woman he saved from the fairies when she was a baby. I just want Hellboy to be happy, but it’s not in the cards.What surprised me with this is the tackling of the question free will and destiny/fate. Since the beginning, Hellboy has been told he has a destiny, that he was created for a purpose. He’s fought it every step of the way. Each person who tells him of his fate is usually met with a “screw you” response. Every person has also had different versions of what his destiny is, each one true, but not complete. This volume ties them all together and shows that no matter what path he takes, Hellboy was going to end up here. He takes on the task on his terms, but how much of it was his choice?

Three Words That Describe This Book: Wow, Exciting, Brutal

Give This a Try if You Like… Paranormal Adventure, Action Movies, Philosophical questions of freewill

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!

#FDL: High School Study Night

High School Study Night

One of the really cool things that happens at FDL is our lock-in study night program for students in grades 9 through 12. Twice a year, in May and December, the library opens its doors to high school students only for a few hours on the Sunday night before their midterm or final exams. This December, study night will be on the 17th. The library’s doors close to the public at 5pm and open back up to students at 5:30. Study night usually ends around 8pm. Although we hope students actually get studying done in the time they’re here, there are a couple of other reasons to come to study night.

  1. You get the library all to yourselves. Study night is a time for high school students to come to FDL and check it out without adults taking up all the space and shushing them. FDL has a dedicated Teen Area, but study night is a time for high school students to sit wherever they want and be themselves.
  2. Food. FDL knows that your brain needs fuel. That’s why we provide a wide variety of snacks and drinks for study night. Cookies, candy, chips, crackers, pretzels, soda, and water – it’s all there for you to much on while studying.
  3. Free books. Throughout the year, FDL gets books that are called ARCs. ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy. What that means is the book is not available yet for the general public to buy but will be soon. We get these books to promote them. A number of these books that we get are for teens. FDL holds onto those books for study night and gives them away to the students who show up. They’re pretty good books too.
  4. Gift cards. Before everyone leaves for the night, we do a drawing for gift cards to Barnes & Noble (sometimes Target). Anyone who comes to study night and stays until the end is automatically entered into the drawing.
  5. Extra credit. A lot of high school teachers offer extra credit to students who attend study night and stay for the duration of the event. You’ll have to check to see which teachers offer this, but the extra credit it totally worth it if your grade needs that extra bump.

So, FDL goes all out for study night. Signing up ahead of time is voluntary (you can also sign up at the event) and no ID is required to attend. Just bring your books and your brains – we hope to see you there!

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.

Seasonal Activities at FDL

Fondulac District Library is hosting a variety of events and activities to welcome the winter season!

Snow Day at the Library • November 21 • 10 a.m.
Friends of the Library Holiday Sale • December 7 • 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. & December 8 • 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop • December 9 • 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Music with Tracy: Holiday Edition • December 13 • 10 a.m.
Celebrations Around the World • December 17 • 1 p.m.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas • December 20 • 6-8 p.m.
Nitsch Theatre Arts: NFP Rising Stars • December 28 • 2 p.m.

Please visit or call the library at (309) 699-3917 with questions.

FDL Reads: Mort

386372Mort by Terry Pratchett

Reviewed by: Dave Gibbons, Library Volunteer

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: It’s tough being an apprentice in Discworld – learning a new trade, getting along with co-workers, growing into your place in the world. Mort’s apprenticeship is not made any easier by the simple fact that he has been apprenticed to Death. On the surface an apprenticeship to Death seems like it would be all smiting the enemies of the world and learning the finer points of scythe sharpening. The grim reality is that it is a lot of hard work. This is a fact that will become apparent to all the first time Mort is sent out on his own only to bungle the death of a princess. Now it is up to Mort, with the help of Death’s daughter and maybe even some wizards to try to put everything right lest it wipe out all of reality. No pressure.

My Review: If you don’t like humor and fantasy to mix then this book is absolutely the wrong one for you. Terry Pratchett uses a very “real world” approach to the fantasy genre taking care to point out the weird little quirks of life and making the story feel real. Though this does take place on the magical land of Discworld, the characters, whether human or forces of the very nature of life itself, are the sort that you feel could meet in real life. This is the fifth of the Discworld novels, but a new reader would have no problem jumping right in. This story does not answer the bigger questions of death and reality – rather it takes them out and dances around them, but in a comfortably relatable way that is very down to earth… well as down to earth as Death himself can be.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Humor, Epic, Magical

Give This a Try if You Like… The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Squirrelgirl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

 

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