Sculpture Installed

“Books Flying Off The Shelf,” sculpted by Gregory Johnson, was installed this morning by a very helpful crew from the City of East Peoria. The sculpture was purchased by Fondulac District Library with funds donated by the Peg and Ray Bahnfleth Memorial. The sculpture will be dedicated on the first anniversary of the library’s relocation to 400 Richland Street. All are welcome to attend the celebration at 1 p.m. November 2, 2014.

We’re hiring!

We're hiring!Love the library? Why not work here?!

Fondulac District Library is currently seeking enthusiastic, tech savvy, and fun qualified applicants for a Desk Assistant position.

Please see the Library Job Openings page for information about the position, job description, qualifications, and more.

FDL Reads: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory

Smoke Gets in Your EyesSmoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlyn Doughty

Reviewed by: Laura Warren, Reference Assistant

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoirs

Suggested Age: Adult

What is the book about?: Caitlin Doughty has been obsessed with death since childhood. Growing up, she concealed this morbid part of herself from those around her, but upon entering college, she decided to embrace it. With a Master’s Degree in Medieval History, she began a job at a San Francisco crematory. This book follows Doughty as she finds her way through her new job responsibilities. We meet a myriad of mesmerizing characters, both living and dead. As she finds her way through each new experience with a death, the diversity of the rituals each culture follows becomes clearer and clearer. Through philosophers and anthropologists, Doughty discusses both the ritual and the physical activities surrounding an individual’s death or the death of a loved one. She also discusses how removed we, as the developed world, are from physically preparing those who have passed on. Through our distance from the dead, Doughty insists, we have stunted our personal, as well as cultural, understanding and acceptance of death. She advocates for reclaiming our dead and truly looking into the face of death as the only way to accept this inevitable part of life.

My review: I devoured this book in two sittings and found a kindred spirit in Caitlyn Doughty. I, like Doughty, have always found myself to be a little on the morbid side. I have a background in Anthropology, so studying cultures and death are not shocking to me, but this might not be the case for the majority of readers. I respect the frankness and humor which is weaved throughout this book. Individuals who must literally stare death in the face every day have to adapt the psychological tools needed to do this type of work. The author explained how different cultures approach death and framed the differences beautifully. Doughty argues that we, as westerners, have lost all contact with our dead. They have become another commodity, which we pay others to deal with. We, as individuals who are not part of the death business, do not deal with the bodies of our deceased, and because of this distance, we have lost the ability to handle death in a healthy manner. Though I do not agree that we have fully lost our death rituals, and do not necessarily agree with all of her other points, I find her arguments well thought out, soundly researched, thought provoking, and wonderfully assembled. 

Heads up:  This book is not for the squeamish. Doughty discusses, in detail, what happens to the body in death, and what goes on with the body behind closed doors. I understand this subject is taboo, and not for the faint of heart.

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 Tuesday 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: Horrorstör

HorrorstörHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Assistant

Genre: Horror

Suggested Age: Adult

What is the book about?: Amy works at ORSK, an IKEA knockoff store. She feels like her life is a mess and nothing at all goes right for her. But her life is about to get a whole lot worse. Bad things are happening in the ORSK store after hours. Merchandise gets broken and goes missing, and one morning, the staff arrives to find what looks like blood all over one of the Brooka sofas. Amy’s boss, Basil, enlists her to stay overnight at ORSK and catch whoever is breaking in. But Amy and Basil quickly realize that the terrible things happening in ORSK are way beyond your average creepy hobo.

My review: The concept behind this book is really clever. The actual book is modeled on an IKEA catalogue complete with furniture diagrams with inspirational instructions, available colors, and item ID codes. This is a horror book, but it was hard not to chuckle at the big box store, retail as religion, mockery. However, I would have liked this book a lot more if the author wasn’t constantly pointing out how clever he was. Hendrix explains every joke and reference, even the fact that ORSK is an IKEA knockoff. I feel like he doesn’t trust his readers to get even the most basic references. I was also thrown out of the narrative by Hendrix’s lack of a grasp on time. Theoretically, only 7 hours pass in the main narrative of the book but certain characters are tortured for what might pass as days. A flashlight also runs out of power in 30 minutes. These seem like little problems, but they’re constant – enough to fracture the narrative. Overall, I liked this book well enough, but it didn’t feel like a final draft. It’s definitely one to borrow instead of buy.

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 Tuesday 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!

Fall Newsletter Available

FDL Fall Newsletter Front PageThe 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. Read all about the great events, programs, and services from FDL. Can you believe the library is celebrating the new building’s first birthday? We hope you’ll join us November 2 to celebrate! We’ve got something for everyone this fall, including new clubs, author events, a visit from an Emmy-winning broadcaster, contests, workshops, movies, and so much more!

FDL Reads: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon

Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Reference Assistant

Genre: Contemporary Inspirational

Suggested Age: Adult

What is the book about?: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good has Father Tim making life decisions about his Episcopal Church parish and his town. He is retired and diabetic, but still is surrounded by his family and quirky friends

My review:  Jan Karon has written another novel in her well-known Mitford series. This has Father Tim and wife Cynthia back from their travels and with all of their friends and some new ones in Mitford. This title, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good is the tenth book of the Mitford series, which began in 1996. Karon has also written two holiday books, as well as two that take Father Tim away from Mitford and his parish. Therefore, the characters are loved by many fans that have read stories of the Episcopal priest Father Tim Cavanaugh and his life in the small town of Mitford, North Carolina.

Jan Karon has enjoyed success as a New York Times bestselling author after a previous career in advertising. In an interview, she explained that she was lead to write this series by God. She believes He has had a hand in her writings.

I have enjoyed reading about old friends and characters and how they have changed and stayed the same in the small mountain community. Travel with Father Tim and Cynthia to the cozy streets of Mitford, North Carolina.

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 Tuesday 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!

 

Illini Legend Coming to FDL

Stephen BardoStephen Bardo, Emmy-winning television college basketball analyst (Big Ten Network, Fox Sports 1) and member the University of Illinois 1989 men’s basketball team that reached the Final Four, will discuss his book about the team and participate in a question and answer session at 7 p.m., Monday, October 6, at Fondulac District Library in East Peoria. Copies of his book, The Flyin’ Illini – The Untold Story of One of College Basketballs’ Elite Teams, will be for sale, and the event will conclude with a book signing.

An all-state point guard during his junior and senior years at Carbondale (Illinois) Community High School, Bardo served as the University of Illinois’ starting point guard for all four years of his college career and helped the Fighting Illini reach the NCAA Tournament each season. During his career, he was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was a two-time all-conference team member. In 1989, his team, nicknamed the “Flyin’ Illini,” reached the Final Four.

Upon graduating from the University of Illinois, Bardo was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1990 NBA Draft. He went on to have a 10-year career with stops in the NBA, CBA, and overseas in France, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Venezuela. Right after the draft, Bardo played in the CBA, leading the Quad City Thunder to Game 7 of the CBA Championship. In the NBA, he had stints with the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs.

Bardo began his broadcasting career as the color analyst for the Illini radio network, covering the University of Illinois men’s basketball team during the 2000-2001 season. In 2002, he joined CBS 2 Chicago as a sports reporter covering all professional, collegiate, and high school sports in the Chicago-land area. His work at CBS 2 Chicago included an Emmy for his reporting on the Chicago Marathon. In 2005, Bardo joined CBS Sports as a college basketball color analyst during the first and second rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

In July 2005, Stephen joined ESPN as a national college basketball analyst and frequently contributed to the morning debate show First Take on ESPN2. Last season, Bardo joined the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports 1 as a college basketball analyst. Additionally, he works as a motivational speaker and authored the book How to Make the League without Picking up the Rock.

FDL Reads: The Martian

The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir

Reviewed by: Sylvia Shults, Circulation Assistant

Genre: Science Fiction

Suggested Age: Adult

What is the book about?: This book could easily be described as “Robinson Crusoe on Mars”, but it’s so much more than that. The hero, one of the astronauts on a six-person mission to Mars, gets left behind on the Red Planet during a ferocious dust storm. His crewmates, thinking Mark is dead, have no choice but to leave without him. When he wakes up, he finds himself a very, very, very long way from home. Luckily, the crew had left behind a survival module, and there is another module several hundred kilometers away — the landing base for the next Mars mission, due to arrive at the planet in four years. So if Mark can stay alive that long … he just might make it home.

My review:  I hugely enjoyed this book. The science was just complex enough to make me feel smart reading it, but not at all overwhelming. Mark is the perfect hero: he faces unimaginable odds, but he finds a way to survive, and he’s got a great sense of humor while doing it. I really recommend this to anyone, not just people who normally read science fiction.

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 Tuesday 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!

 

Edible Book Contest

Edible Book ContestLike to read and play with your food? Create an edible book! “Books” will be displayed and photographed September 13. Call 699-3917 by September 6 to reserve your space.

Links to edible book ideas
http://www.pinterest.com/texasdogmom/library-edible-books/
http://www.pinterest.com/nanlynsto/edible-book-festival-ideas/

About challenged or banned books
What does it mean for a book to be challenged or banned? A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

Top 10 by year
100 Most challenged books from 1990 – 1999
Most challenged books from 2000 – 2009

Edible Book Contest Rules
1. Each food creation must be at least 95% edible. Edible means made of food or foodstuffs. This can mean anything from candy to vegetables.
2. Entries must be inspired by a banned/challenged book, literary figure, or book character.
3. The base can be no larger than 24 x 24 inches. Edible books will not be refrigerated. Creations must survive at room temperature for at least two hours.
4. All entries will be photographed and photographs will be displayed for voting in the adult reference area. By entering this contest the creator of the edible book is giving the library permission to photograph and publish information on the creation and its creator on the library’s website, in library publications such as the newsletter, and other community publications of the library’s choosing such as the local newspaper as well as promotional materials by co-sponsoring organizations.
5. Fondulac District Library reserves the right to reject any entry that is unsuitable for the festival. (Please do not submit entries in poor taste).
6. Each entry will be judged on the following criteria: (a) Originality and Creativity; (b) Skill and Construction; (c) Visual Appeal; and (d) tie-in with the literary work being depicted.
7. Categories will be as follows: Adult (18 and older), Young Adult (12 – 18) Child, (12 and under).
8. A winner in each category will be selected by library patrons and staff. An overall Judges Choice winner will be selected by members of the Library Board of Trustees.
9. Judging will be determined by the number of votes a work receives from those viewing the displays live, or by their picture as posted in the adult reference area.
10. Voting will continue from September 13 at 3 p.m. to September 19 at 6 p.m.
11. All Decisions will be final.
12. Entry is free and open to all ages, public and staff.
13. Entries can be by an individual or a group.
14. All entries must be dropped off between 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. on September 13, 2014 and the contestant is asked to remain with the entry until close of floor display at 4:00 p.m.
15. Winners will be announced September 20, 2014.

FDL Reads: The Magicians Trilogy

The Magicians Trilogy (The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land) by Lev Grossman

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Assistant

Genre: Fantasy(ish)

Suggested Age: Definitely Adult

What is the book about?: It’s hard to talk about one of these books without talking about all of them. I will do my best to avoid spoilers. This trilogy is about Quentin Coldwater, a regular kid in Brooklyn who happens to also be a genius. His senior year of high school, he gets invited to test into Brakebills, a secret college that teaches magic. Real magic. Quentin is obsessed with the idea of a magical “other” land. He thinks he’s found it at Brakebills, until he actually does find the kingdom of Fillory (a stand-in for Narnia). The Magicians is largely Quentin’s journey. The Magician King focuses on Julia, Quentin’s high school friend who did not get into Brakebills and had to learn magic on the streets. The Magician’s Land goes where few fantasy series dare to tread: adulthood. It explores what life is like for the magical adventurer after the fun and games are over.

My review:  These books have been called “Harry Potter for adults,” but I think that does a disservice to both series. First, Harry Potter is already for adults. It’s for everyone! Second, the Magicians trilogy is so vastly different in so many ways. There’s a magical school, but it’s definitely not Hogwarts. Grossman breaks the fourth wall on a number of occasions with Harry Potter references. Where Harry is your typical Chosen One, Quentin is the anti-Chosen One. Quentin is a jerk. He whines. He drinks too much. He hides from danger. He cheats on his girlfriend. He gets everything he wants without much effort, and for a while, it doesn’t seem like he learns much of anything about life. A lot of readers really hate Quentin, and I don’t blame them. I kind of hate him, too, but this is one of those few stories where the narrative trumps the characters involved. I hate Quentin, but he’s real. If we weren’t him at that age, we knew someone like him. Quentin’s journey is only epic on the surface – it’s actually very insular. Yeah, this book is full of magic and swords and talking sloths and clockwork boats, but it’s about the journey into adulthood. And really, that journey is hard enough without also being asked to save the world.

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 Tuesday 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