Library Chat Podcast: April 2021

April’s Library Chat celebrates National Library Week by reviewing books and a podcast about libraries and librarians. Library staff also discuss an episode from the podcast 99% Invisible hosted by Roman Mars.  Episode 415 titled “Goodnight Nobody” explores the complex figure of Anne Carroll Moore, a New York Public librarian, and her role in making libraries accessible to children.

Library Chat:  April 2021 Book List

The bodies in the library DB97038 by Marty Wingate

The giver of stars DB96907 by Jojo Moyes

Her perfect affair DB100847 by Priscilla Oliveras

Information hunters: when librarians, soldiers, and spies banded together in World War II Europe DB98976 by Kathy Lee Peiss

The Library of the Unwritten DB96922 by A.J. Hackwith

Reading behind bars: a true story of literature, law, and life as a prison librarian DB96548 by Jill Grunenwald

Upright women wanted DB98684 by Sarah Gailey

The midnight library DB100906  by Matt Haig

Syria’s secret library: reading and redemption in a town under siege DB97420 by Mike Thomson

The library book DB92869 by Susan Orlean

The midnight library DB100906 by Matt Haig

Ink and Bone: the Great Library DB85432 by Rachel Caine

The time traveler’s wife DB57102 by Audrey Niffenegger

Dewey’s nine lives:  the legacy of the small-town library cat who inspired millions DB72898 by Vicki Myron

Children’s Titles

The boy who was raised by librarians DBC06351 by Carla D. Morris

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s library DB77918 by Chris Grabenstein

Goodnight moon DB24603 by Margaret Wise Brown

Also, check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

Throwback Thursday

It’s Throwback Thursday, where we talk about a book we enjoyed years ago!  Today Tim, Digital Recording Specialist/Studio Manager for the library, takes us back.

Are you looking forward to warmer weather, outdoor activities, and longer days? I know I am! When I was a kid, one of the things that spring meant to me was – get out the bat, ball, and glove – we’re going to play baseball! Fast forward to Spring 2008, I’m one year shy of 50 and still playing, albeit a little more “leisure” version – softball. It’s April, and I’m in the Studio at the Iowa Library for the Blind with volunteer narrator David, recording the book Playing with the enemy: a baseball prodigy, a world at war, and the long journey home (DBC01551). We both got completely immersed in this book! This is one of the few books I have recorded in our studio, that at one point (later in the book) it had both David and myself crying – we had to stop the recording session and finish that chapter on a different day! I loved reading this book, and if you like baseball – even a little – and have some memories of the war, I imagine this book will also really touch you in a good way.

Two things really struck me after we finished this book – one, I had a lot of “forgotten” fantastic memories of how much I really loved baseball, and two – the “game” of baseball can really shape a person with many aspects of life – like supporting and encouraging one another, learning how to graciously win and lose, how to work hard and see positive results – even when “defeated”!

There is a reason baseball is often referred to as “America’s National Pastime” and I think in part because it inspires, it instills pride, and even it can even heal!

About the book:
Playing with the enemy: a baseball prodigy, a world at war, and the long journey home DBC01551
Moore, Gary W, (Gary Warren). Reading time: 11 hours, 58 minutes.

Read by David Saurman. A production of Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Iowa Department for the Blind.

Gene Moore was a country boy who could hit a baseball a country mile. He was so good that the Brooklyn Dodgers came calling. When Gene’s baseball career was interrupted by World War II, he joined the U.S. Navy, and in 1944, he found himself on a top-secret mission: to guard the German sailors captured from a U-505 submarine carrying an Enigma decoding machine. Stuck with guard duty, Gene taught the enemy how to play baseball. It was a decision that irrevocably changed his life… and maybe baseball itself. Inspired by true events. 2006.

Is there a book that takes you back?

Library Chat Podcast: March 2021

March’s Library Chat focus is on true crime. Join members of our Library Staff as they discuss the vast genre of true crime, including books and podcasts.  They also discuss the true crime podcast, Today in True Crime a Parcast original.  Each day the Today in True Crime podcast examines a true crime event with the same date from years ago.  Check out the book list below for the books mentioned during this month’s Library Chat podcast.

Library Chat:  March 2021 Book List

Titles with Iowa or Midwest Ties

The Drake Diner Murders by Pete Hale and Jim Rowley  DBC01711

Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America’s Heartland by Patricia L. Bryan  DBC015556, BRD23320

Morning Ran Red:  the Villisca Axe Murders by Stephen Bowman  DBC15042

The man from the train: the solving of a century-old serial killer mystery by Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James  DBC15034, Bridges

Other True Crime Titles

All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward DB50574, BR13143, Bridges

American predator: the hunt for the most meticulous serial killer of the 21st century by Maureen Callahan  DB95743

Catch Me If You Can: the amazing true story of the youngest and most daring con man in the history of fun and profit! by Frank Abagnale  DB55517

The Devil in the White City: murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America  by Erik Larson  DB55748

The feather thief: beauty, obsession, and the natural history heist of the century by Kirk Wallace Johnson  DB90801, Bridges

The five: the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold  Bridges

Helter Skelter: the true story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi  DB36994, BRN2670, Bridges

I’ll be gone in the dark: one woman’s obsessive search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara  DB90637, Bridges

In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and Its consequences  by Truman Capote  DB22726

Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI by David Grann  DB87767, Bridges

The midnight assassin: panic, scandal, and the hunt for America’s first serial killer by Skip Hollandsworth  Bridges

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: a Savannah story by John Berendt  DB38077, BR11463, LT4644, Bridges

Mindhunter: inside the FBI’s elite serial crime unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker  DB43669, Bridges

The Poisoner’s Handbook: murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum  DB72307

The road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn  DB88119, Bridges

Say nothing: a true story of murder and memory In Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe  DB94329, Bridges

The stranger beside me: Ted Bundy: the classic case of serial murder by Ann Rule  DB29031, LT6194, Bridges

Also, check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

Library Chat Podcast: February 2021

February’s Library Chat focuses on braille. Library staff discusses the programs the library offers for our braille readers and those who would like to know more about braille.  They also discuss the library’s own podcast Braille Bits by Youth Services Librarian, Denise Bean.

Also, check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

Library Chat Podcast: January 2021

January’s Library Chat focuses on the New Year and setting goals (or New Year’s resolutions). Members of the Library staff discuss all types of books that have to do with setting goals, personal and professional growth, and more. They also discuss an episode from the podcast Happier With Gretchen Rubin which is co-hosted by one of the popular voices on the subject of happiness, habits, and human nature, she’s the author of several New York Times bestsellers.  The Happier With Gretchen Rubin episode discussed is Podcast 307:  We Reveal Our “21 for 21” Lists.

Check out the book list below highlighting the books we discussed during the podcast.

Library Chat:  January 2021 Book List

The 4 disciplines of execution: achieving your wildly important goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling (Bridges)

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss (Bridges)

Best self : be you, only better by Mike Bayer  DB94722

Crucial Conversations: tools for talking when stakes are high by Kerry Patterson  DB55247

Everything is negotiable: the 5 tactics to get what you want in life, love, & work by Meg Myers Morgan, PhD  DB93263

The path made clear: discovering your life’s direction and purpose by Oprah Winfrey  DB94349

Pick three: you can have it all (just not every day) by Randi Zuckerberg  DB97701

Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come: one introvert’s year of saying yes by Jessica Pan  DB96264

What would Dolly do? [sound recording] : how to be a diamond in a rhinestone world by Lauren Marino  DB95006

Year of Yes by Shondra Rhimes  DB83604

Titles by Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before  DB81121  BR20894

The Four Tendencies: the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better (and other people’s lives better, too)  DB89131

Happier at Home:  Kiss more, jump more, abandon a project, read Samuel Johnson and my other experiments in the practice of everyday life  DB75542  BR19637

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent A Year Trying To Sing In The Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, And Generally Have More Fun  DB70275  BR18710

Outer Order, Inner Calm: declutter and organize to make more room for happiness  DB94115

Also check out the library’s monthly Library News podcast and Braille Bits podcast.  Check out the library’s Podcast Page for information on all the library’s podcasts and episodes.

Beyond the Book

Beyond the Book with Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

This month we are going Beyond the Book with Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. (DB74646) The author, Cheryl Strayed, at the age of 26, decides on a whim to make the 1,100 hike up the Pacific Crest Trail by herself after years of devastating personal losses.  She experiences many mishaps and adventures along the way while meeting new people in the locals and fellow hikers she encounters. This was not a “how-to” book about hiking, or an informational book about the Pacific Crest Trail, or even a self-help book.  It is the thoughts of a woman who used her journey to work through her thoughts and emotions about her life up to that point. I thought this book would be a good book to take us into the new year as it can make you think about your own life experiences and how you ultimately handled and reacted to them.  2020 was a hard and interesting year that put us all outside our comfort zones and made us look inwardly at how we handle situations.  This reminded me of Strayed’s journey up the Pacific Crest Trail as she traveled alone with only her own thoughts as company.  This book was made into a movie in 2014 starring Reese Witherspoon.  In my opinion, the book is almost always than its movie and that holds true here.  However, the movie was very well done and I really enjoyed it and would strongly recommend it!

Next time we will go Beyond the Book with The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver (DB98810) A contemporary romance about Lydia and Freddie who had been together for more than a decade when Freddie died in a car accident. Deeply grieving, it takes time for Lydia to take the first steps to move on. But in her dreams, she has another chance at her old life with Freddie. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, a romance seems like the perfect fit! Call the library to request this book!  Once you have read it, call or email with your review or thoughts.  You might hear your words in the next Beyond the Book segment in the March Library News. We would love to hear from you!  Call 515.452.1329 or email

Thanks for reading with us!