Take Ten: A “Fair” to Remember

Next week, the Twin Falls County Fair begins, bringing exciting entertainment, cool exhibits, and best of all, fair food! With tons of stuff going on, we doubt you’ll get too bored, but in case you’ve got some downtime, here are a few books – all featuring a fair in their plotlines – to read while you’re waiting to hit the Midway. We can smell the corndogs and elephant ears already!

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FICTION

The Alehouse Murders – Maureen Ash

  • As Lincoln’s midsummer fair is about to begin, Templar Bascot de Marins is called upon to assist in the investigation into four victims found slain in the town alehouse, risking his life once again for the justice of God’s will.

City of Light – Lauren Belfer

  • In 1901 Buffalo, New York, Louisa Barrett, the progressive headmistress of the exclusive Macaulay School for Girls, stumbles upon a secret involving the powerful members of her school board that could destroy everything for which she has worked as well as her relationship with her goddaughter and the child’s widowed father.

Key Lime Pie Murder – Joanna Fluke

  • While getting ready to judge the baking contest at the local town fair, Hannah Swensen stumbles upon the dead body of a fellow judge, along with a smashed key lime pie.

The Hatbox Baby – Carrie Brown

  • A baby born three months early is brought to the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1933 by his father, who hopes the fair’s famous baby doctor will save the infant’s life.

Light from Arcturus – Mildred Walker

  • A bored and lonely housewife, Julia Hauser feels restless, until she steps beyond sacrifice and duty, impresses herself on a larger scene, feeds her spirit, and grows in dignity.

Swan Gondola – Timothy Schaffert

  • A tragic love story set amid the fanciful inventions, gothic amusements, spiritualists, flimflam men, and other crooked characters who populated the 1898 Omaha World’s Fair.

Swing – Rupert Holmes

  • Jazz musician Ray Sherwood, playing at the 1940 World Fair, becomes involved in the investigation into the death of a mysterious Frenchwoman, who had previously propositioned him.

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NONFICTION

County Fairs: Where America Meets – John McCarry

  • Describes the origins and continuing popularity of county fairs, and visits the exhibits, animals, entertainment, carnival attractions, and commercial vendors. (Annotation from TFPL catalog.)

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America – Erik Larson

  • An account of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event–architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.

Purebred and Homegrown: America’s County Fairs – Drake Hokanson

  • Presents the nearly 200-year-old county fair as a fountainhead of American ideals and rural life, as a place of reunion, and as perhaps the most traditional of all American celebrations. (Annotation from TFPL catalog.)

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Annotations courtesy of NoveList Plus (unless noted). Log into NoveList Plus with your TFPL card for more about books, authors, and all things literary.

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 2001

Not too far back this time – just 14 years – to the summer of 2001. We all remember the event in September that shadowed the rest of the year (and decade) for us, but can you remember what happened the rest of that year? Here are a few events to jog your memory:

  • Wikipedia goes online and writing school reports – and library blogs! – gets simpler. (January)
  • Halle Berry and Denzel Washington take home the top acting awards at the Oscars. (March)
  • The Green River Killer is arrested, ending one of the longest U.S. homicide investigations ever. (November)

And, of course, we read some great books that year, including the following from the New York Times Best Sellers list for the week of August 12, 2001:

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FICTION:

1. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

2. Cane River by Lalita Tademy

3. The Fourth Hand by John Irving

4. Any Way the Wind Blows by E. Lynn Harris

5. Open Season by Linda Howard

6. Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman

7. Leap of Faith by Danielle Steel

8. “P” is for Peril by Sue Grafton

9. The Jury by Steve Martini

10. Lawrence Sanders: McNally’s Chance by Vincent Lardo

11. A Traitor to Memory by Elizabeth George

12. Seven Up by Janet Evanovich

13. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs

14. Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara

15. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler

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NONFICTION:

1. John Adams by David McCullough

2. Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides

3. Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir and Michèle Fitoussi

4. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

5. Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis

6. Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments by Dominick Dunne

7. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

8. Napalm & Silly Putty by George Carlin

9. The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

10. The Truth Is . . .  by Melissa Etheridge with Laura Morton

11. Supreme Injustice by Alan M. Dershowitz

12. Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo

13. It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins

14. The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon

15. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

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Great Online Resource: gfclearnfree

If you are looking for some free learning tools – especially for technology – try out gcflearnfree.org. The site, maintained by the Goodwill Community Foundation, provides lessons in all sorts of topics; from reading to math to mobile apps. There are tutorials, videos, and activities for visitors of all ages. There are even resources and topics in life-skills and careers. And, the best part is that it’s all free!

The technology guides and tutorials are not only straightforward, but fairly comprehensive. You can learn more about your operating system, a specific program (like Microsoft Word), or even social media basics. There are also guides for smartphones and other mobile devices. Give gcflearnfree.org a shot next time you want to beef up your tech knowledge!

End of Summer Reading 2015

There are only a few days left to complete your Summer Reading activity charts. Get them turned in before Saturday, August 1 so that we can enter you in our drawing for an Android tablet. Plus, even better, you can brag about getting your summer reading goals accomplished!

Visit the Summer Reading page for a Comic Panel Chart, in case you’ve misplaced yours, as well as links to the calendar and the Summer Music Playlist. And, just because Summer Reading is finished doesn’t mean you can’t continue to read this Summer. Ask one of the Reference Librarians for a recommendation.

Take Ten: Playing Games

Last night we had our first Adult Game Night! We brought out the Wii and a few board games and managed some fun and friendly competition. And, it worked so well, we think we’ll try it again next month. In celebration, here are a few novels that feature a game as an important part of the plot.

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A Clue for the Puzzle Lady by Parnell Hall

  • Bakerhaven Police Chief Dale Harper is perplexed by a piece of evidence in his first murder investigation–an apparent crossword puzzle clue found on the body of a teenage girl–so he recruits the town’s famed “Puzzle Lady,” the eccentric author of a weekly syndicated crossword puzzle column. (First in a series)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

  • Young Ender Wiggin is recruited into the International fleet’s legion of child warriors, training to become a commander in Earth’s defenses, and he struggles to find himself in the grueling ranks of the Battle School.

The Eight by Katherine Neville

  • A young novice during the French Revolution risks her life to keep a jeweled chess set that Moors gave Charlemagne, and in the 20th century, a computer expert and a chess master try to solve its mystery.

The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez Reverte

  • When a young art expert discovers a murder hidden in a valuable fifteenth-century Flemish painting, she must overcome some unscrupulous twentieth-century characters to uncover the identity of the killer.

Interstellar Pig by William Sleator

  • Barney’s boring seaside vacation suddenly becomes more interesting when the cottage next door is occupied by three exotic neighbors who are addicted to a game they call “Interstellar Pig.”.

Last Call by Tim Rogers

  • When a high-stakes card game went awry, professional poker player Scott Crane went into hiding. Twenty years later, Crane now finds himself the target of the country’s most ruthless gangster: his father. Crane Sr. has ruled the West since 1948, when he killed famed criminal Bugsy Siegel. To save his life (and his soul), Crane must sit down for one final showdown at the card table.

The Maze of Bones (39 Clues #1) by Rick Riordan

  • When their beloved aunt–matriarch of the world’s most powerful family–dies, orphaned siblings Amy and Dan Cahill compete with less honorable Cahill descendants in a race around the world to find cryptic clues to a mysterious fortune. (Juvenile Fiction)

Pocket Kings by Ted Heller

  • Frank Dixon’s first novel, Plague Boy, is sinking into oblivion on Amazon, and neither his nor anyone else’s literary agent will return his calls. Then Frank discovers online poker, and is soon addicted to the rush he feels as the successful, popular ‘Chip Zero.’ But as he wins thousands of dollars, it soon becomes clear that his Internet success is not the solution to his problems. And when the virtual world comes crashing in on Frank’s real life, it can only mean trouble.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

  • Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world’s creator.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

  • The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance. (Juvenile Fiction)

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Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus. Log into NoveList Plus with your TFPL card for more book summaries, reviews, and series information.

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1970

We’re going back to a time when the swinging 60s were transforming into the “Me” decade – 1970. That year saw the endings of some things (the Supremes, the Beatles) and the beginnings of others (Earth Day, All My Children). You can see how the tone of things was set to change…

Here are some other events that occurred that year:

  • Two iconic cars, the AMC Gremlin and the Ford Pinto go on sale! (What is it about ugly cars and the 70s?)
  • Apollo 13 makes it back to Earth safely (April).
  •  The North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York is finished, making it the tallest in the world (December).

Get a taste of this changing era through its popular literature. The following books were all on the New York Times Best Sellers list for the week of July 19, 1970. Groovy.

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FICTION

1. Love Story by Erich Segal

2. Great Lion of God by Taylor Caldwell

3. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

4. Deliverance by James Dickey

5. Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow

6. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

7. The Lord Won’t Mind by Gordon Merrick

8. Losing Battles by Eudora Welty

9. The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight by Jimmy Breslin

10. Such Good Friends by Lois Gould

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NONFICTION

1. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex by Dr. David Reuben

2. The Sensuous Woman by “J”

3. Up the Organization by Robert Townsend

4. Zelda by Nancy Milford

5. Human Sexual Inadequacy by William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson

6. Hard Times by Studs Terkel

7. Ball Four by Jim Bouton and Leonard Shecter

8. Mary, Queen Of Scots by Antonia Fraser

9. The New English Bible

10. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Great Online Resource: Zinio

Magazine subscriptions can get expensive – and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them. If you’re like me, a pile will build up at home before I get a chance to sit down and read (and often, I scan them instead of reading in depth). Of course, you can always ease this fix by dropping in to the Library to read the latest issue. But in case that’s not possible, we have a database that will make it a lot easier to read your favorite magazines wherever and whenever you want.

First, navigate to our homepage and then click on the “digital” tab. On that menu, choose “downloads” and then “e-magazine” which will take you to our collection via ZINIO. We offer over 100 magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Motortrend, National Geographic, and Glamour, plus a ton more hobby/interest based. From the Zinio main page, click “Create New Account” and enter some basic information. Once that’s done, you can read a magazine in your browser, or download the app for free to use on your mobile device.

Using the app is easy – when it prompts you for your Library, just click on “Idaho Digital Libraries” and enter the information that you used to set up your account. Then download the magazine. Since the entire magazine downloads into the app, you’ll be able to read your magazine even if you don’t have a wifi connection. You can keep any magazine you download for as long as you like, and you can also delete magazines within the app.

Easy, peasy – right? And you don’t have a pile of magazines making you feel guilty. Give us a call at 733-2964 ext 200, or stop by the Reference Desk if you have questions or need help with the app.

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