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!

Online Research Resources

These and other online research resources are available at the library or online 24/7 with your Fondulac District Library card:

News, Magazines, and JournalsEast Peoria Times Courier, Peoria Journal Star, popular magazines, and articles from scholarly publications
Genealogy – Ancestry Library Edition* and HeritageQuest Online
Automotive – Driving permit practice tests and car repair and maintenance information from Chilton Library
Careers and Education – Tools for resume building, job searching, certification exams, and more
Technology – Tutorials for Microsoft Office, social media, and Internet usage
Health – Wellness information and guides to symptoms, treatments, and drug interactions
Finance and Law – Legal forms, legal self-help, and information on the Constitutional Amendments
Geography, History, and Culture – Maps, statistics, and other information on nations worldwide

*Due to licensing restrictions, these resources are only available to users in the library.

Please visit or call the library at (309) 699-3917 if your have questions or need assistance with accessing these resources.

#FDL: Five Questions

Jacob with one of his favorite books this year.

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 Jacob Roberts, one of FDL’s new faces upstairs in adult and reference services.

1. Who are you?

Hey everyone! My name is Jacob and I work upstairs as a part-time Adult Service Reference Assistant! I am a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in Spanish at Bradley University. I’m also married to my beautiful wife Sarah, and we both live in Peoria near campus. I grew up in Creve Coeur, and I loved growing up in the area, even though there are many people that would disagree. In my free time, I run, read, write, pray, and play my saxophone; but enjoying new experiences is where I get the most enjoyment from. I love going to new places,  learning new information, and trying new things. I think working at the library is a perfect job, exactly because of this. It allows me new experiences and knowledge each and every day.

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

My favorite thing about the library is the atmosphere. Whether it is the library staff or the visiting patrons, there is an infectious friendliness and good mood that pervades through it.

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

As my semester is winding down, I am currently finishing up my last assigned reading, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and plan on starting on my winter break reading list. I also have been able to find some time here and there to watch some of The Officeprobably a little too much time, if I’m honest. I also enjoy listening to a couple Catholic Podcasts for about half an hour every day. My favorites are by far Father Mike Schmitz and “Pints With Aquinas.”

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

I honestly love working in the library setting, and can imagine a long career remaining within the folds of the library system. If I were to do anything else with my life, I would try and make a career out of writing fiction. It’s a passion of mine that I do in my spare time, but to be able to write as a career would be just as fulfilling as working in a library.

5. Donde esta la bibliotecha? Es la bibliotecha increíble?

La biblioteca está cerca de Target en East Peoria. ¡Además, está increíble y mucha interesante! Todas personas en la cuidad, y otros lugares, pueden beneficiar desde nuestra biblioteca. Me interesa porque, tenga la impresora digital, las películas, los libros de todos temas, las computadoras, y muchas actividades que son muy divertidas. ¡La mejor razón que estos recursos son tantos increíble, es porque no deben nada para todas estas cosas (menos la impresora digital)!

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 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: What We’re Reading (and loving!) Right Now

Check out what the FDL staff is reading and loving right now!   Click on each book cover to view it in our online catalog or to place a hold.

Oathbringer

By: Brandon Sanderson

Recommended by Jessica R. “I just finished Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson, and I already want to read it again! It was an emotional roller coaster of a book, both exciting and heartbreaking. I can’t wait for the next one!”

 

Killing Floor

By: Lee Child

Recommended by Jacob. “Killing Floor is the first book of the Jack Reacher series and is a phenomenal crime novel full of action, suspense, and mystery!”

 

 

Changes: A Novel of the Dresden Files

By: Jim Butcher

Recommended by Sarah. “That title is an understatement; it could also have been called Murphy’s Law. That’s how much goes wrong.”

 

 

The Year of the Flood

By:  Margaret Atwood

Recommended by Susie. “This is the second book in Atwood’s dystopian trilogy.  I’m going back and forth between the print and audio book.  It’s probably one of the strangest visions of the future out there.”

 

 

 Magic Burns

By: Ilona Andrews

Recommended by Melissa. “I am listening to Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. This is the second book in the series that follows Kate Daniels, a snarky, mercenary-turned-heroine, through a futuristic Atlanta where sometimes magic works and sometimes technology reigns. Kate has to battle undead creatures with the help of a werewolf and a vampire to get to the bottom of what’s going on.” *Contains explicit language

 

 The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food

By: Lizzie Collingham

Recommended by Jonathan. “An interesting perspective on the role food played in World War II, discussing everything from strategy, politics, logistics, and technology.”

 

 

Strange Weather

By: Joe Hill

Recommended by Tom. This book is a collection of “four novellas about a Polaroid camera that erases memories, a multi-sided look at the gun debate, a solid “cloud,” and what happens when it rains nails.”

 

 

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: 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 our next Five Questions column, we’re interviewing Kris Tyler, one of FDL’s youth services specialists and library craft queen.

1. Who are you?

My name is Kris. I’m a Youth Services Specialist in the Children’s Department, and I love it!  In my spare time I like to crochet, however, I can only make afghans. My family stays pretty warm in the winter. I also like to read, play Sudoku, and I collect used books.

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

I really like the people that I work with here. I like helping kids find just the right book that they want to read. I love planning programs in the Children’s Department.

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

Right now I’m reading Economics in Wonderland by Robert Reich, Oh, Fudge by Nancy Coco and Junk Drawer Physics by Bobby Mercer. I am listening to Girls Who Code by Reshma Saujani and watching reruns of Perry Mason.

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

I would like to be a LEGO Product Designer.

5. If you were a pirate, what would you name your boat?

The Arrrg-a-naut.

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: ‘Tis the Season at the Library

If you want to get into the holiday spirit, Fondulac District Library has much to offer. 

The Dewey Decimal System has a specific number for holiday materials.  Our library catalogs Christmas books  under 394.2663.  They cover a range of topics including gift-giving, crafts, cookbooks and more.

If you are looking for a great novel with a holiday theme, there are many in our collection.  We have created a bookmark that lists authors who have written holiday novels. Ask for one of these at the Information Desk.  These novels also have genre stickers on their spines in case you feel like browsing the shelves for a good read.  The sticker has a Christmas tree on it. If you can’t find a specific book you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to ask a staff member.  We can always search area libraries and place a hold on a particular item if we don’t own a copy or if it’s checked out.

The library also has a collection of holiday music and films.  Classic movie favorites like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer are located in our “DVD Kids” section. Others like A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life can be found in the “DVD Film” collection.

We’re not just about checking out items.  There are several holiday events going during the month of December. Take a look at our  calendar for more information or to register.

 

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 Reads: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

25150798The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Reviewed by: Susie Rivera, Reference Specialist

Genre: Historical/Cultural Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Li-Yan is a member of the Akha people, an ethnic minority in the remote hills of China. The Akha are known for cultivating tea, a practice that has been passed down for generations.  Li-Yan plans to follow in the footsteps of her mother and become a midwife, but when she meets and falls in love with another Akha boy, Li-Yan’s plans are forever changed.

My Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Lisa See.  I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by the same author several years ago and learned so much about the Chinese practice of foot-binding.  See has again done quite a bit of research for The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.  The details about the Akha culture and the art of cultivating tea are fascinating.  This novel is full of emotion as the author explores the relationships between mother and daughter, the pain of loss, and the joy of finding yourself.  I highly recommend this novel if you are interested in Asian culture and identity.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Heartbreaking, emotional, engaging

Give This a Try if You Like… Other books by Lisa See, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Leavers

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!

New & Upcoming Titles for Winter 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)

Online Catalog

Have you checked out the library’s online catalog? For the best experience, log in with your library card number and PIN. Manage your account, browse Fondulac District Library’s collection, as well as those of other area libraries, and place holds on items to pick up at the library of your choosing. If you don’t have a library card, or don’t know your PIN, contact the library at 309-699-3917 for assistance.

imagine, inform, inspire