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 library@blind.state.ia.us.

Thanks for reading with us!

Join the Adult Winter Reading Challenge

The Adult Winter Reading Challenge has begun! 

It’s not too late to sign up.  Go to iowablindreads.readsquared.com to register. Registration is easy!  You just need to create an account with your name and address and then choose the Adult Winter Reading Challenge to get started. If you read 7,500 minutes between January 4 – February 28, 2021, you will be entered to win a Winter Reading Themed Gift Basket.  You can log your minutes right from that website! Please call Leslie at 515.452.1329 with any questions.

These D-Lists (Digital List Including Special Titles) might help get you started on your path to 7,500 minutes.  Call the library (515-281-1323) to get signed up for one!

Reading Across America – comprised of books about or set in all fifty states

Books to Movies – includes books that have been made into movies

Plants in Name Only – includes books with a kind of plant or flower in the title.

TGAR (The Great American Read) – features the 100 books chosen during the PBS 2018 eight part series. Each cartridge will have ten of the 100 books from the Great American Read list.

VOICE (Voices Of Iowa Connecting Everyone) – features our local narrators and the great audio books they have recorded for our collection.

The Bookmark Series – 50 titles that we think would make a great movie for the Hallmark Channel.

Staff Picks  – filled with our staffs’ all-time favorite books.  As with our staff, there is a wide variety of books included, from true crime stories to romance to mystery to historical fiction.  With a little horror and fantasy thrown in there!

Adult Winter Reading Program Starting January 4, 2021!

Start the New Year with a fun challenge!  The Adult Winter Reading Challenge will begin on January 4, 2021.  Go to iowablindreads.readsquared.com to register.  If you read 7500 minutes between January 4 – February 28, 2021, you will be entered to win a Winter Reading Themed Gift Basket.  You can log your minutes right from that website! Please call Leslie at 515.452.1329 with any questions.

Here are the top fiction books downloaded from BARD this month that might help get you started.

The return by Nicholas Sparks DB100846

Thick as thieves by Sandra Brown DB100485

Hush by James Patterson and Candice Fox DB99916

The coast-to-coast murders by James Patterson and J.D. Barker DB100857

Choppy Water by Stuart Woods DB100390

The silent wife by Karen Slaughter DB100185

Half Moon Bay by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman DB100241

Cajun justice by James Patterson and Tucker Axum DB100128

Fair warning by Michael Connelly and Peter Giles DB99807

The book of two ways by Jodi Picoult DB100856

The midwife murders by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo DB100127

Our Old Time Radio Show Collections and Special Christmas Episodes

Ever since the Library added cassette books to their collection, old time radio shows have been a part of that collection. The radio shows were a relatively easy way to help the collection grow. The early cassette radio show collection generally had one cassette (one hour) per show title. So naturally, we were worried about this collection when we switched from cassette to digital format. We didn’t want to lose these great collections.  We also wanted to take advantage of the digital format to make listening to these shows more enjoyable. The digital format allows us to add information and organize the shows.  It has become a special project for Audio Librarian Karen to convert these radio shows. With hundreds and hundreds of titles available and tens of thousands of episodes, she’ll be occupied for quite some time.

To check out the radio shows the library has available:

  • Go to our Online Catalog
  • Use Advanced Search and select Series in the drop down menu
  • Search for Radio Shows

Christmas Mysteries and Suspense Programs: an Old Time Radio Show Collection   DBC19884

Crime doesn’t pay attention to the calendar. Mysteries, murder and mayhem can happen at any time – including at Christmas time! Old time radio shows would sometimes recognize the calendar and present special episodes around December 25th.  If the show was a mystery or suspense program, that meant a very special episode indeed. Combining the happy season of Christmas with wrong-doing required a light touch.   Some programs used the famous Charles Dickens story The Christmas Carol and its’ three ghosts as the basis for their story. Others were inspired by the story of the Nativity. There are tales of ex-cons going straight and good men going bad. Of course, there are also bad people doing bad things.  With all this detecting going on, you would think someone could solve the mystery of the red-suited intruder who leaves presents everywhere he goes!  There are 29 different shows in this collection with 61 episodes (some shows have more than one Christmas episode). If you like dramatized stories set a Christmas – but with a touch of mystery – this is the collection for you!

Reminder:  the Library will be closed on December 24th and 25th
Happy Holidays!

Library Chat Podcast: December 2020

December’s Library Chat focuses on one of our favorite topics – food. Library staff discusses all types of books that have to do with food, from recipe collections to mysteries. They also discuss an episode from the podcast The Sporkful which is hosted by Dan Pashman of Cooking Channel’s You’re Eating It WrongThe Sporkful episode discussed is called “LeVar Burton Even Reads Recipes Dramatically“.

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

Library Chat:  December 2020 Book List

Some Non-Fiction Titles:

I’m Just Here for the Food:  food + heat = cooking by Alton Brown  DB60619

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen  Bridges

The Best American Food Writing 2019  DB97578

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: mastering the elements of good cooking by Samin Nosrat  Bridges

Memories Cookbook:  collection of recipes used in the Iowa Department for the Blind Orientation Center  BRD20286

Some Mystery Titles:

Agatha Raisin Mystery Series by M.C. Beaton
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, Book 1  DB38163

Goldy Bear Mystery Series by Diane Mott Davidson
Catering to Nobody, Book 1  DB68789

Pennsylvania-Dutch Mystery Series with Recipes by Tamar Myers
Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth, Book 1  DB49800

Hannah Swenson Mysteries by Joanne Fluke
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Book 1  DB54603

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: November 2020

November’s Library Chat focuses on humor and laughter. Library staff discuss humorous adult and youth books and what makes them laugh. They also discuss Laughter: The Best Medicine episode from the podcast Hidden Brain hosted by NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam.

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

Library Chat:  November 2020 Book List

Adult Titles

Good omens: the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch : a novel  by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman  DB37043 BR21217

If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits? by Erma Bombeck DB11627  LT555

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams  DB18339  BR14438

I feel bad about my neck: and other thoughts on being a woman by Nora Ephron  DB63378

Three men in a boat: (to say nothing of the dog) by Jerome K. Jerome  DB66776  BRN10235

The world according to Garp: a novel by John Irving  DB11764

Why not me? by Mindy Kaling  DB82596

Live right and find happiness (although beer is much faster): life lessons and other ravings from Dave Barry  DB82269

A walk in the woods: rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail  by Bill Bryson  DB46519  LT5740

The life and times of the thunderbolt kid: a memoir by Bill Bryson DB63131  BR16929

Marley & me: life and love with the world’s worst dog by John Grogan  DB61561  BR16584

The importance of being earnest, and other plays by Oscar Wilde  DB26431  BRN8395

If you ask me: (and of course you won’t) by Betty White DB73334  LT10032

Skinny dip by Carl Hiaasen  DB58649  LT7552

Children and Youth Titles

Princess and the pony by Kate Beaton  DB83927  Print/Braille

Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! by Mo Willems  DBO00481  Print/Braille

The book with no pictures by B.J. Novak  DBC09571  Print/Braille

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.