Three Bookish Wishes

What if you could rub a lamp and a Book Genie appeared offering you three wishes….three bookish wishes?  Wishes that had to deal with books and reading.  Maybe you want to meet a certain author?  Wish that your favorite author would write a sequel to your favorite book?  See a character come to life?  Have the time to read all the books you want?

Here are three bookish wishes from Leslie, the Special Services Librarian:

  1. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors.  I wish I could love to travel to Maine where most of his books are set and visit his home and surroundings.
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is one of my favorite books.  I wish to be able to step into that world filled with magic, love, and spell-binding intrigue.
  3. My last wish is a little more basic.  I wish I could remember all the books I read as a child, teen and now an adult with greater clarity.  I tend to forget the details of the books I’ve read and it would be great to remember every last detail of every last book I have ever read!

I have many more bookish wishes.  But I will keep it to three for now!

What would you wish for if the Book Genie visited you?

Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!  by Fannie Flagg
Dena Nordstrom’s life is out of control.  She is drinking too much, cannot maintain a relationship and it is affecting her health. Dena is beautiful and has a high powered job as a TV personality.  She goes into therapy. As the therapist pushes, she learns Deana’s mother, Marian Chapman abandoned her at age 15.  As Dena digs deeper into her past, she finds out Marian Chapman did not exist.  Who was her mother?  Why did she leave Dena alone? What happened to her?  DB47006, LT5786
Link to Title on BARD

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon
Rhonda Farr was at a gas station when she sees someone in a rabbit suit get out of a car and go over to a car with a young girl, take her by the hand and lead her to his car and take off. Rhonda can’t believe what she has just seen.  Thinking back, Rhonda remembers a similar rabbit costume from long ago. Her best friend, Lizzie’s father dressed up as the Easter bunny. Lizzie’s father, Daniel disappeared almost three years after that and Lizzie disappeared several years later. The last time Rhonda heard from Lizzie was a number of years ago, when she was in high school. Lizzie sent a postcard claiming to be with Daniel. Rhonda feeling guilty, turns “detective” to find out who took the little girl from the car.  DB67786
Link to Title on BARD

Losing It and Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli
This is a gossipy book about the girl next door and her tumultuous marriage to a rock star.  Valerie Bertinelli, star of “One Day at a Time”, writes of her dysfunctional marriage to Eddie Van Halen.  The couple always seemed to be going in different directions with their careers, never taking time to be together and work on their marriage. Valerie suffered from body image problems from her teens into adulthood. She learned she always tried to solve her problems with food.  She later became a spokeswoman for Jennie Craig and learned to love herself as she was.  DB66058
Link to Title on BARD

 

 

 

 

Reading With a Purpose

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesMany writers and readers would agree that reading or getting lost in a good story CAN be so powerful and essential to life. But why read? The reasons are endless…

IMAGINATION
By reading, you are exposed to so many wonderful things. This helps your imagination when it comes to creating and thinking. By reading, you are painting those pictures of the story in your mind. Books can take you anywhere you want to go!

FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
When you are reading, you are focusing and concentrating on one thing. Almost as if you are mediating. Did you know that meditating for just 30 minutes a day helps create a healthier you!

IMPROVES MEMORY
When you read you are using your memory muscle which lies in the Cerebrum part of your brain. Using this muscle helps your memory long term.

READING MAKES YOU SMARTER
Readers display greater knowledge of how things work, vocabulary and language development, as well as information on people, places, and things.

Our library is brimming full of books just waiting to be read.

Thank you for allowing us to fulfill your craving for a good book!

Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
This book is told through the viewpoint of three women in the 1930’s and 1940’s as World War II begins. Caroline is a New England socialite whose passion is saving the orphaned children of France, Kasia, is a 16 year old Polish girl who eventually joins the resistance movement, Herta is a strong believer in the Nazi movement and wants to become a doctor. As the story progresses these three women’s stories cross paths. The story is based on the true story of Caroline Ferriday and her philanthropy for the children of France and those who survived the war.  DB84356
Link to Title on BARD

Caroline: Little House, Revisted by Sarah Miller
If you loved Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child or enjoyed the TV show Little House on the Prairie this book might appeal to you.  The book Caroline is a fictionalized account of how life might have been for Caroline Ingalls, mother of Laura Ingalls. The Ingalls family left their home in Wisconsin and set out by covered wagon while snow was still on the ground, for Kansas with two little girls.  The book tells the story of the hardships they faced in Kansas away from civilization and family. The book was researched by Miller and the reasons they left and later moved from Kansas is well-documented.  DB89267
Link to Title on BARD

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
Pino Lella, as a teenager becomes involved in the resistance movement to ferry Jews out of Italy and over the Italian mountains into the safety of Switzerland.  Rather than be drafted into the Italian army his parents convince him to sign up for the German army.  Pino becomes a driver for Nazi General and a spy for the Allied forces. He faces several terrifying moments when he is nearly caught by the General working for the Allies. This is based on a true story.  DB90012
Link to Title on BARD

Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim
California 1923:Mei Ling comes to America through a matchmaker for an arranged marriage.  Her husband, Kai Li is a merchant and a U.S. citizen needing a wife for his son. On board the ship to America Mei Ling meets a young orphan girl, who coming to America with an “uncle”.  Mei Ling comes to care about the girl.  Mei Ling and Kai Li have both been untruthful with each other. Can their marriage survive and will they learn to love each other?  DB93176
Link to Title on BARD

Looking for something to read or add to your book list?

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Do you remember as a child enjoying fairy tales?   Return to a childhood fantasy by reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.   This is the story of an older estranged couple who build a snow child. During the night the girl comes alive, through the love of the child, she brings the couple together.  This is set against the harsh landscape of Alaska in the 1930’s.  It is a magical, nostalgic tale sure to please people of any age.  DB75862

Link to Title on BARD

The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron–Mike Bowditch gets a strange phone call from his father on his answering machine.  Mike has not spoken to his father in over two years. Mike, who is a game warden, learns from his supervisor that a police officer was shot and they have arrested his father. While being taken in to custody, his father escaped and now there is a manhunt. If you find this book enjoyable, you might also like books by C.J. Box.  DB72532

Link to Title on BARD

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History by Garrett M. Graff.   I have read at least half a dozen books on Sept 11.  Having said that, there were many things I learned about that day from this book. They talked to many survivors, first respnders, and family members of those lost. I believe it is a must read for those who were born after the event or were too young to remember.  DB96933

Link to Title on BARD

Join Us Next Week for IDB Read

Join us next week as we begin IDB Read.  Call in and listen to one of our wonderful volunteer narrators read live on the phone, followed by a short chat about the book.

  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00pm-5:00pm, you call in and listen to our narrator, Christine Mach, read a cozy mystery. The first one is titled A Scone to Die For by H.Y. Hanna.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am – 11:00 am, you can call in and listen to our narrator, Bob White, read a western, titled Sackett’s Land by Louis L’Amour.

Please call the library at 515.281.1323 to get the conference call number for IDB Read.

We look forward to reading with you!

Special Edition of Library News March 2020

Greeting Readers!   We hope this finds everyone safe and healthy. The Library is dedicated to your safety and well-being, as well as to the safety and well-being of our employees who are serving you!  Although we are asking the public not to come to the Iowa Department for the Blind building, library staff are continuing to work (some in the building, some at home) and will be providing services through all avenues as best we can such as mail, email, BARD and phone calls.

We are also offering some alternative programs that you can participate in from your own home.

IDB Read.

With IDB Read you can call in and listen to one of our wonderful volunteer narrators read live on the phone, followed by a short chat about the book. IDB Read will start the week of March 30th.

  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00pm-5:00pm, you call in and listen to our narrator, Christine Mach, read a cozy mystery. The first one is titled A Scone to Die For by H.Y. Hanna.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am – 11:00 am, you can call in and listen to our narrator, Bob White, read a western, titled Sackett’s Land by Louis L’Amour.

Please call the library at 515.281.1323 to get the conference call number for IDB Read. We look forward to reading with you!

Tech Time with Tyler

Wednesdays from 8:00am-11:00am you can call Tyler Swett, Accessible Media Specialist, and get your tech questions answered.  The phone number to call is 515.452.1343.

Braille Bits Online.

Monday and Wednesday at 2:00 pm. starting March 30th. It will be conducted over Zoom, an online meeting platform that is very easy to use. Join us twice a week for 45 minutes as we listen to a Braille Bits podcast and have a fun and lively conversations surrounding all things Braille. Please contact Denise Bean at 515.452.1338 for more information or to register. You can also register by completing this registration form

While our building is closed to visitors, we hope that you will stay connected with the library through these additional programs. We hope that we can bring a little distraction and some happiness during this uncertain time. If you have any questions, please call the library at 515.281.1323. Stay safe, stay connected and happy reading!

 

January S.O.A.R. Saturday

1,000BooksLogoEditJoin us for January 26, 2019 join us for S.O.A.R. Saturday from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Iowa Department for the Blind.  This S.O.A.R. Saturday will be held alongside our 2019 Regional Braille Challenge.

At this program, children and their families will learn about library and services that can help youth patrons become Successful, find Opportunities, develop Aspirations, and READ.

Register for January S.O.A.R. Saturday Here

During our January S.O.A.R. Saturday, we will have special activities throughout the day.  One of those activities will be The Mini Braille Challenge that will focus on the braille alphabet, tactile recognition and form words by using 2 to 3 letters. You will also get to braille your name by using the Perkins brailler and write a special note to share with a friend.

If you would like to learn more about the Braille Challenge take a look at our Braille Challenge page on this blog.

Whether you are participating in S.O.A.R. Saturday or the Braille Challenge – join us for a great day!

For more information, contact Lois Crozier at 515-281-1295 or lois.crozier@blind.state.ia.us.

The Holidays Are Coming!

library-treeTo celebrate the holidays, library staff created a holiday tree out of books.  The picture on the left shows the book tree. The book tree was created using around 75 large print books.  Books were placed in a circle with their spines facing out to create a base.  Smaller and smaller circles of books were added to create the tree shape.   The tree is about 4 feet tall with a yellow book on top to serve as the star.

Here are some books in audio, braille and large print to get you ready for the holidays.

The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Cleveland Amory – DB26048, LT631, BR7225

As head of The Fund For Animals, the author is forever saving and housing homeless dogs, cats, and birds in his New York City apartment. But he never allows himself to keep one as a pet because of his heavy travel schedule. Everything changes one fateful Christmas Eve, however, when Amory rescues and brings home an injured, terrified cat, and finds that he can’t part with it. This is the story of their first year together, as the lives of man and cat intertwine.

 

A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories that Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit by Mike Huckabee – DB69899

Talk-show host Mike Huckabee — a former presidential candidate, Arkansas governor, and pastor — shares experiences that taught him the true meaning of Christmas, emphasizing God, family, love, and hope instead of shopping and presents.

 

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – DB68134, BR15182

Six short Christmas tales by humorist, playwright, and National Public Radio commentator. Sedaris relives his stint as a department store elf in “SantaLand Diaries.” In “Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!,” a housewife facing homicide charges updates loved ones in her annual holiday newsletter.

 

Christmas in Plains: Memories by Jimmy Carter – DB53307, BR13767

Carter, who served as the thirty-ninth president of the United States, reminisces about family Christmases over the years, beginning with his childhood on a Georgia farm, through his years in the U.S. Navy, the Georgia governor’s mansion, the White House, and then back to Plains.

 

Keeping Christmas: An Edwardian-Age Memoir –  BRN1184

A homey, amusing recollection of Christmas in the German neighborhood of Baltimore’s Union Square. Included are stories of decorating an oversize tree with candles, indulging in elaborate, mouthwatering feasts, and exchanging gifts.

 

Hanukkah in America: a History by Dianne Ashton – DB81412

Professor of religion examines regional variants of the ancient Jewish tradition. In New Orleans, Hanukkah means decorating a door with a menorah made of hominy grits; latkes in Texas are seasoned with cilantro and cayenne pepper; children in Cincinnati sing Hanukkah songs and eat oranges and ice cream.

An Irish Country Christmas by Alice Taylor – DB48633

Taylor recalls the work and the celebration of a Christmas that “glowed like a warm fire in the middle of a long, cold winter,” when she was nine years old. She describes preparing the Christmas goose, cleaning the chimney, gathering the holly and ivy, and having a parcel arrive on Christmas Eve.

 

Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating our Cultural Harvest by Dorothy W. Riley – DB42533

An anthology of essays, folktales, poems, personal profiles, and recipes on the African American festival of Kwanzaa. The selections serve to illuminate the seven principles of the event and to guide in its celebration.

The Thirteenth Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle by Joanne H. Smith – DB80286

Journalist describes receiving mysterious gifts on the twelve days leading up to her first Christmas alone following the death of her husband. Details her efforts, with the help of her three children, to identify the sender of the gifts, and the impact the gifts had on them.

 

Light Another Candle:  the Story and Meaning of Hanukkah by Miriam Chaikin – BRN18835

The story of Hanukkah told against a background of highpoints in Jewish history that help explain its significance.

 

Kwanzaa: an African-American Celebration of Culture and Cooking by Eric V. Copage – DB34528

Kwanzaa is a week-long (December 26-January 1) African-American celebration of the ‘first-fruits’. The author has compiled a sourcebook for the observance. Included are selections from historical works, folklore, and biographies that illustrate the ‘Nguzo Saba’ (seven principles of Kwanzaa), interspersed with a host of recipes from the African diaspora.

Happy Thanksgiving!

turkeyThe library will closed on Thursday, November 24th and Friday November 25th.  We would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and share with you some Thanksgiving themed books that can be downloaded from BARD.

An old-fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott   DB09773

A warm Thanksgiving tale with a surprise ending. The seven Bassett children decide to prepare Thanksgiving dinner themselves after their parents leave suddenly to care for an ailing grandmother. Includes recipes from the dinner. For children and adults.

It’s Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky   DB20097

Twelve original, humorous poems about Thanksgiving feature the traditional family dinner, the first Thanksgiving, turkey thoughts, Dad’s disastrous carving job, and too many turkey leftovers. For grades 2-4 and older readers.

Thanksgiving  by Janet Evanovich    DB63690

Williamsburg, Virginia. A chance encounter with a wayward pet rabbit introduces potter Megan Murphy to the animal’s owner, pediatrician Patrick Hunter. Megan and Patrick become unlikely guardians of an abandoned infant, and as Thanksgiving approaches, the pair contemplates making their makeshift family legitimate.

Thanksgiving on Thursday By Mary Pope Osborne   DB55024

The magic tree house takes Jack and Annie back to the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving celebration with the Wampanoag Indians. Preparing for the feast is harder than Annie and Jack realize and makes them even more thankful for living in modern times.

Thanksgiving poems by Myra Cohn Livingston   DB26292

A rich collection of poems of Thanksgiving by authors such as Valerie Worth and David McCord, as well as selections from Native Americans and the Bible. For grades 4-7 and older readers.

Thanksgiving prayer by Debbie Macomber and Jillian Hart   DB75671

Two romance novels. In the title story Seattle medical student Claudia meets Seth, an Alaskan businessman, but is torn between marriage in an unfamiliar environment and her potential career. In A Handful of Heaven waitress Paige and a divorced customer are in love–but both are afraid of commitment.

Wall-to-wall Thanksgiving by Kenneth Jernigan   DB44870

Ten short stories by National Federation of the Blind members focusing on how they have overcome difficulties they faced growing up and how their views on these problems changed as they grew older. The title story tells how Barbara Pierce handled a Thanksgiving celebration in England.
BARD is a web-based service that provides access to thousands of special-format books, magazines, and music scores provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). If you need to set up a BARD account, please contact the library.