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FDL Reads: Ink and Bone

Cover image for Ink and boneInk and Bone by Rachel Caine

Reviewed by: Joscelyn Lockwood, Youth Services

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Imagine a future where the Great Library of Alexandria never burned down and all the books in the world are under the control of the Library. Personal ownership of books is illegal. Jess Brightwell is from a family of book smugglers, but he values the books more than most. Instead of taking his father’s place in the family business, he’s sent to go through the testing to become a Scholar within the Library. What Jess and his fellow Postulates soon discover, is that within knowledge is power, and the Library will do anything to keep a firm grip on their power.

My Review: This book captured me with a fascinating concept and by appealing to my love of dystopian fantasy. It had a bit of a slow start, but the latter half of the book had me totally hooked. Jess and his group of Postulates (aspiring Scholars of the Library) are diverse and interesting. It was especially fascinating to see them grow as people as they go through the trials and tribulations of their schooling and other unexpected situations. The climax and ending had me begging for more, with a twist that I really wasn’t expecting. I can’t wait to dive into the second book of what is definitely going to be a worthwhile series.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Adventure, Deception, Intrigue

Give This a Try if You Like… Harry Potter, Alternate History,  Dystopian Fantasy

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: Dead Until Dark

Cover image for Dead until darkDead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Supernatural/Mystery

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in the small Louisianna town of Bon Temps. Her life is fairly normal except for one thing – she’s a telepath and can read the thoughts of others. This makes life difficult for Sookie, so when a vampire walks into the bar she works in and she can’t hear a single thing he’s thinking, she feels relief. Vampires have “come out of the coffin” all over the world and Sookie is to drawn Bill (the vampire) for both his mental quietude and his exotic nature. However, as Sookie and Bill fall for each other, humans are getting murdered in Bon Temps and it appears that vampires are to blame. Is Bill’s appearance in Bon Temps a coincidence, or are he and his vampire friends killing humans and jeopardizing the lives of vampires who want to live mainstream lives?

My Review: I am a little late to the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood party, but better late than never. I had a lot of fun reading this book. Charlaine Harris might not be the best, most literary writer, but this book was entertaining and presents a thought provoking alternative world. What would we all do if vampires and other supernatural beasties were real? Would we welcome them into mundane human life or push them away? I think Sookie and Bill (and eventually Eric) are fun characters. I enjoy them as individuals and I enjoy their romance. This book as a whole is surprisingly nuanced and overall good enough for me to keep going with the series. I’m currently on book 6 and plan on finishing them all.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Fun, Sexy, Toothy

Give This a Try if You Like… Bram Stoker’s Dracula, deadpan humor, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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: What happens after you return a library item?

Demystifying Librarian Life – What happens after you return a library item?

Hello, and welcome to another installment of #FDL where we demystify library life and lingo. For this post I went downstairs to the circulation department to talk to one of our circulation and inter-library loan librarians, Theresa Johnston, about what happens to library items after you return them to the library either via circulation desk or drive through book depository. There’s an awful lot that goes into they way library items travel – much like a human body, a library needs a good circulatory system to stay healthy.

At FDL, you can return books inside the library or at a drive through book drop. How often do those depositories get emptied?
The inside book drop gets emptied pretty constantly all day. The drive through book drop gets emptied every hour or so and always first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Why can’t I put some items in the book drops?
While you can put books, DVDs, and CDs into the book drop, other items have to be returned directly to a librarian, like Launch Pads, puzzles, board games, Rokus, and Speck devices. One of the reasons for this is because some of these things have multiple pieces that we have to count and that should all stay in the same container so nothing gets lost. If a patron puts those items in the book drop, pieces might get separated or broken especially if other items are being piled on top of them. Secondly, some of those items are expensive, and we want to make sure we’re giving the best patron service possible by checking those items back in while you’re in front of this so you can be secure in the definitive knowledge that that item was returned.

How long does it take an item to get from the book drop back to the shelf?
This depends on the time of day and the day of the week in which an item is returned, but most likely within 24 hours. An item is going to get from book drop to shelf more quickly if one of our invaluable pages is on duty to shelve items. But, there are two important things to know in regard to this process:

What happens to items that belong to different libraries? Or items that belong to FDL that I return elsewhere?
One of the great things about the libraries that are part of RAILS is that you can return items to any library within RAILS even if you did not check it out from that same library. For example, if you have an item that belongs to the library in Dunlap, you can return it to FDL. First, the good folks in circulation will check that item in so it is no longer checked out on your library card. Then, they fill out a return label, telling a delivery driver where the item needs go home to. The delivery driver then picks up all items that need to go back to their home libraries and takes them to a delivery hub (the one that serves central IL is conveniently in East Peoria). From there, items are sorted based on where they need to be delivered to. A second delivery driver then takes these sorted items back to their home libraries. While an item is travelling, it is no longer attached to anyone’s library card and considered “in transit.”

What happens if I return an item after the library closes or before the library opens?
People might need to return something at 11:59 on the day it’s due, but unfortunately, FDL isn’t open 24/7. Items that are returned between 9pm and 9am the next day are backdated on a person’s library card to avoid fining them for returning an item when no one is at the library – which isn’t their fault. What that means is, if you return an item at 10pm on say August 1st, the circulation worker who checks it in on August 2nd, still uses the check in date of August 1st.

What happens to items that come back to the library a little worse for wear?
Sometimes, people can be a bit careless with items. Occasionally, libraries have to charge patrons to replace damaged items. However, in the case of easy fixes, like a lightly cracked book spine or a gently scratched DVD, we have repair services. You’d be surprised at how much help tape and glue can be in book repair. If you have a library item that got accidentally damaged, it never hurts to give us a call and ask if it can be fixed.

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.

Library Services by Text Message

Shoutbomb PromoWebsiteWith the library’s Shoutbomb text messaging service, you can use your mobile phone to:

  • Receive text notices about holds and reserved items that are available for pickup, items that are due soon, overdue items, and fines.
  • Send a text to request renewal of an item.
  • Easily manage your family’s library accounts by associating multiple cards with a single phone number.

To get started, text the message SIGNUP to rsacat@shoutbomb.com, then reply to the messages from Shoutbomb asking for your library card number and PIN. If you don’t know your PIN, have questions, or would like to learn more about the service, please visit or call the library at (309) 699-3917. Additional information can also be found here.

FDL Reads: Phoebe and her Unicorn

Cover image for Phoebe and Her UnicornPhoebe and her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

Reviewed by: Sylvia Shults, Circulation

Genre: Fantasy (Graphic Novel)

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: This fun, energetic graphic novel series takes a different look at childhood. Phoebe goes to her thinking spot to escape the latest unfairness of being a kid, and skips a rock as she sulks. The rock hits a unicorn who’s been gazing at her own loveliness in the pond. Granted a wish, Phoebe wishes for the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, to be her best friend. What happens next is a Calvin-and-Hobbes style friendship, reinvented for the 21st century.

My Review: Just as the adventures of Calvin and his stuffed tiger transcended cartoons and appealed to adults too, this series isn’t just for kids to enjoy. I found it interesting that although comparisons to the older cartoon are inevitable, there are significant differences — for example, Phoebe’s parents are perfectly capable of seeing Marigold and having conversations with her. Marigold interacts with every other character – not just Phoebe. (And Phoebe is much less of a holy terror than Calvin was.) A nifty addition to the books can be found in the back pages, where the author puts extra fun stuff, like drawing lessons and recipes. I fully intend to make Unicorn Poop Cookies for my next birthday party. Why should ten-year-olds have all the fun? I binge-read all five of the books in this series one Friday afternoon, sitting on the porch swing with a glass of juice. Every once in a while, it’s fun to lose yourself in a book, pretend you’re ten, and have a unicorn for a best friend.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Funny, light-hearted, sly

Give This a Try if You Like… Calvin and Hobbes

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: Spill Zone

Cover image for Spill zone. 01Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland

Reviewed by: Dave Gibbons, Library Volunteer

Genre: Science Fiction (Graphic Novel)

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Collectors are paying top dollar for Addison’s photography, and for good reason. The photos she takes are of the reality warped weirdness of the Spill Zone – an area devastated during the cataclysmic event that claimed her parents and struck her sister mute. She has successfully skirted the law so far but when she is tasked by an eccentric millionaire to acquire something from within the Zone she will have to break the rules for survival one last time, but at what cost?

My Review: This is a graphic novel that really takes advantage of the medium. Using a seemingly simple technique of “coloring outside the lines” Puvilland’s skillful color use contrasts the “real” world with the Spill Zone, providing a quasi-abstract feeling that heightened my sense of unease in a way that can only be done in a comic. The stunning art enhances bestselling author Scott Westerfeld’s masterful storytelling in which he weaves a tale that in less skilled hands could quickly fall back on genre tropes and become forgettable. If there is any downside, it would be that this book feels more like the first chapter of a longer epic then a standalone book. Though the critique of “I want more” is not a bad problem to have.

Three Words That Describe This Book: color theory, mysterious, intense

Give This a Try if You Like… Stranger Things, Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, original X-Files

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!

Check Out Magazines at the Library

Fondulac District Library carries a variety of popular magazines for both adults and children. Enjoy your favorite titles without the cost and hassle of managing a subscription.

  • All issues can be checked out for one week and renewed once.
  • Cardholders can have a maximum of 10 magazines checked out at any time.
  • The library keeps issues for the current calendar year and one previous calendar year.

Choose from a selection of more than 75 titles for adults, including, but not limited to:
Better Homes & Gardens
ESPN the Magazine
Family Handyman
Field & Steam
InStyle
Make
This Old House
Time

Magazines for kids include, but are not limited to:
American Girl
Highlights
National Geographic Kids
Sports Illustrated for Kids

A complete list of the library’s magazine subscriptions can be viewed here.

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

#FDL: New Fiction for Fall

These titles are up for publication in August and September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: The Bedlam Stacks

Author: Natasha Pulley

Pulley’s follow up to her 2015 novel, The Watchmaker of Filligree Street is a mix of fantasy, steam punk, and magic realism.  The story opens in 1859 England with a bed-ridden Merrick Tremayne, a character who is recovering from terrible leg injury.  Tremayne is soon recruited by the India Office to go on mission to Peru to gather quinine, a cure for malaria.  Filled with tales of a cursed woods, lost time, and animated statues, this novel will appeal to fans of magic realism and fantasy. (Publication: August 2017).

Title: George & Lizzie

Author: Nancy Pearl

NPR’s book commentator, Nancy Pearl, tackles a marriage in distress in her new novel George and Lizzie.  Lizzie, the protagonist, has been married to George for some years but can’t seem to forget her college boyfriend or the psychological consequences of something terrible she did in high school.  George knows that he and Lizzie have issues and that she may not even truly love him, but chooses to ignore their problems and focuses on this dental career instead. (Publication: September 2017)

Title: See What I Have Done

Author: Sarah Schmidt

The infamous case of Lizzie Borden is brought to life in this new novel by Sarah Schmidt.  August 4, 1892 begins when Lizzie claims to find her parents dead in their Massachusetts home. The reason behind their murder is mysterious to those who knew the Bordens.  As investigators try to understand what actually happened on the morning of the killings, the reader is pulled into the various perspectives of Lizzie, her sister Emma, a maid, and a stranger. (Publication: August 2017)

Title: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere focuses on Elena Richardson who is perfectly content with her suburban life in Ohio.  Elena’s life is shaken up by the arrival of Mia Warren, a single mother and artist. When Mia begins renting a home from Elena and her husband, everyone seems drawn to the new neighbors, including the Richardson’s four children.  Mia’s nontraditional life and mysterious past is intriguing, but also threatening to the suburbanites who become determined to uncover her secrets.   (Publication: September 2017)

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.

New Exhibit on Display from Local Artist Daniel Botkin

Fondulac District Library announces a new exhibit from local artist Daniel Botkin as the latest installment for its ongoing Fine Arts at FDL program.

His mixed media series, Visions of Johanna: The Life and Lyrics of Bob Dylan, will be on display at the library through August. Botkin’s artwork portrays bold and vibrant interpretations of Bob Dylan’s songs, and features thoughtfully executed elements of surrealism. Botkin studied art at Illinois Central College and Illinois State University and graduated with a B.S. in Art. He has exhibited his work in galleries and juried competitions across the nation and has been the recipient of several awards and grants. He also has published three comic books, which are in the archives of the Graphic Novels Collection at Columbia University, and he has recorded three CDs of his music. To learn more about the exhibit, click here, and be sure to stop by the library to enjoy the artwork!

FDL Reads: Salad Cookbooks

FDL Reads Special Edition! A message from Dawn Dickey, Reference Assistant:

It’s too hot to cook, so I’ve been checking out cookbooks. I mostly prefer cookbooks that have nutrition information for each recipe, plenty of photos, and ingredients that are relatively easy to find.-Dawn Dickey, Reference Assistant

Cover image for Cooking Light : big book of salads.Cooking Light Big Book of Salads

Shaun Chavis, ed. 288 pp.

The editors of Cooking Light know how to publish recipes that catch the eye of cooks and consumers. This well-rounded cookbook includes

  • Pictures with every salad recipe + nutritional analysis of each salad
  • Ingredient guides; “100 Calorie Salad Boosters” (like 1 Tablespoon crunchy Chinese noodles); and “Shout-out” sections for various ingredients, like couscous, mangoes, or artichokes
  • Try: Soba noodles with chicken and vegetables p. 123; Greek chicken and barley salad, p. 155

Three Words that Describe this Book:  colorful, helpful, mouth-watering

Give this a try if you like to try easy-to-make recipes that will likely please your palate!

Rating:  5/5 – top notch!!

 

Cover image for Tossed : 200 fast, fresh, and fabulous saladsTossed:  200 Fast, Fresh, and Fabulous Salads

by Jane Lawson. 432 pp.

This cookbook has an intriguing title, but for me, the intrigue stopped there. I think the cookbook tries to be trendy but falls short on practicality. For example, the “poolside” section has a recipe for “marinated baby octopus salad,” not something I’m going to take to the pool any time soon – ditto for recipes asking for quail eggs and smoked trout. Not all the recipes have photos, and the text, interspersed with extra-large words, is annoying. And there is no nutrition information for the recipes – an essential for me. Interesting recipes to try:  chicken with mixed rice, golden raisins, and cashews (p. 254) or Thai-style chicken salad (p. 329).

Three Words that Describe this Book:  trendy suburban eats

Give this a try if you don’t mind slogging through uninspiring text/font to find some interesting recipes.

Rating:  3 out of 5 because of the annoying things & lack of nutrition information

 

Cover image for Salad as a meal : healthy main-dish salads for every seasonSalad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season

by Patricia Wells. 360 pp.

The title of this book is a bit misleading. The author writes:  “In my own personal definition, a salad as a meal does not need to include lettuce or greens; it can simply be a light and refreshing salad-related entity.” This runs counter to my own definition of “salad” and means that the cookbook contains many types of main dishes. The recipes reflect the author’s location in southern France. For a Midwesterner in the U.S., this poses a challenge in locating ingredients such as fresh mackerel or mussels or buffalo-milk ricotta cheese. There is no nutrition information, and, although there are photos, the photos are often artful garden photos and not photos of the actual dishes. Try:  Provence on a Plate (p.92).

Three Words that Describe this Book:  fresh, flavorful, unique

Give this a try if you like … cooking with a French flair, especially seafood

Rating:  3 out of 5 for interesting recipes but lacking in practicality

imagine, inform, inspire