Take Ten: “Independence” Day

Whether you’re chillin’ or grillin’ this weekend, you still might find yourself with a little extra time to read. And what better way to celebrate the 4th of July holiday than to read a little about “independence?” Each of the following books uses that word in the title, so there’s a built in excuse to justify your interest in something other than the fireworks. (Oh, who am I kidding – nothing beats fireworks!)



Daughter of Independence – Simon Brown

  • As the people of Kydan, in an attempt to survive, work to make the New Land a trading empire, Strategos Galys Valera, the war leader of the colonists, must search for the secret papers hidden by her murdered lover, which hold the key to keeping the evil magic of the Hamilayan Empire at bay.

Independence! – Dana Fuller Ross

  • In 1837, a group of pioneers sets out from Long Island to Independence, Mo., on the first leg of a journey to claim the Oregon territory. Among them are the fiery widow Claudia Humphries and Sam Brentwood.

Independence Day – Richard Ford

  • Real estate agent Frank Bascombe moves into his newly married ex-wife’s old home, and is looking forward to the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, but somehow nothing turns out the way he expects.

Independence Day: Silent Zone – Stephen Molstad

  • A “prequel” to the tale of extraterrestrial invasion dramatized in the blockbuster 1996 film, Independence Day, details an evil government conspiracy to conceal the reputed UFO landing in Roswell. National ad/promo.

The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet – Colleen McCollough

  • The best-selling author of The Thorn Birds presents a sequel to Pride and Prejudice that finds the willful third Bennet sister setting out in her late thirties in pursuit of adventure while her sisters worry about her at home.



Beyond Fossil Fools: The Roadmap to Energy Independence by 2040 – Joseph M. Shuster

  • Develops a plan to fulfill the energy needs of the United States through a combination of sun, wind, and atomic energy.

In Hock: Pawning in America from Independence through the Great Depression – Wendy A. Woloson

  • The definitive history of pawnbroking in the United States that demonstrates that the pawnshop was essential to the rise of capitalism.*

Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too – Jenni Schaefer

  • The story of a woman’s break from an abusive relationship and how she began seeing her eating disorder in a new light, which helped her overcome it.*

Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality – Danielle Allen

  • Explores three major themes of the Declaration, equality, liberty, and the abiding power of language, while discussing the challenges of writing a document designed to forge a social contract that reflected the desires of the population.

Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence – Joseph J. Ellis

  • Presents a revelatory account of America’s declaration of independence and the political and military responses on both sides throughout the summer of 1776 that influenced key decisions and outcomes.


Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus and the TFPL Catalog(*).

Masked Book Challenge

As part of Adult Summer Reading, we’re inviting you to participate in the Masked Book Challenge. Starting on Monday, June 29, we’ll have a selection of books ready to be checked out – the kicker is that they’ll all be disguised! A short clue to their identity will be available, and based on this, we dare you to take one home and read it.

Give your Masked Book a chance – at least a couple of chapters. Once you’re finished, fill out the included ratings form (or pick another up at the Reference Desk), and tell us what you thought. Drop off the form before August 1 and we’ll enter you into our drawing for a cool prize.

That’s it! Do you think you have what it takes to accept the Masked Book Challenge?

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1993

It’s starting to warm into Summer here in the Magic Valley, so let’s get in the Way Back Machine (I’m sure it’s air-conditioned) and zoom back to 1993. I can’t guarantee it will be any cooler in temperature, but we were all “cool” then, amiright? If you’re having trouble remembering back that far, here are a few 1993 events that might trigger your memory:

  • Bill Clinton is sworn in as the 42nd President of the U.S. (January)
  • Professional tennis player Monica Seles is stabbed in the back by an unbalanced fan. (April)
  • Actor River Phoenix dies outside The Viper Room in Hollywood, CA. (October)

And what were we reading? The following were all at the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list for the week of June 20, 1993.



1. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

2. Pleading Guilty by Scott Turow

3. The Client by John Grisham

4. The Scorpio Illusion by Robert Ludlum

5. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

6. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

7. I’ll Be Seeing You by Mary Higgins Clark

8. Gai-Jin by James Clavell

9. The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

10. A Season in Purgatory by Dominick Dunne

11. Paper Doll by Robert B. Parker

12. J Is for Judgment by Sue Grafton

13. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

14. Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons

15. The Red Horseman by Stephen Coonts



1. Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

2. The Way Things Ought to Be by Rush H. Limbaugh

3. The Real Anita Hill by David Brock

4. Secret Ceremonies by Deborah Laake

5. Healing and the Mind by Bill Moyers

6. Embraced by the Light by Betty J. Eadie With Curtis Taylor

7. Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore

8. The Fifties by David Halberstam

9. Thinking Out Loud by Anna Quindlen

10. Remembering Denny by Calvin Trillin

11. Bankruptcy 1995 by Harry E. Figgie Jr. With Gerald J. Swanson

12. Culture of Complaint by Robert Hughes

13. A World Waiting to Be Born by M. Scott Peck

14. Conduct Unbecoming by Randy Shilts

15. Race Matters by Cornel West

Take Ten: Superheroes

With Summer Reading underway, it’s a good time to take a look at our theme, in a slightly different way. Across the board – Kids, Teens, and Adults – we have a superheroes theme, which is popular for all sorts of reasons. And, while we’re more familiar with the comic books and graphic novels, there are also some great superhero novels and nonfiction to be found. Take home one of the following for a great adventure!



After the Golden Age – Carrie Vaughn

Hero – Perry Moore (YA)

Masked – Lou Anders, editor

Soon I Will Be Invincible – Austin Grossman

Vicious – V.E.Schwab



The Law of Superheroes – James Daily

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story – Sean Howe

The Physics of Superheroes – James Kakalios

The Secret History of Wonder Woman – Jill Lepore

Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Creators of Superman – Brad Ricca

Summer Music Playlist

We’ve been doing a monthly playlist, featuring songs you can download (5 free each week) using our Freegal service. But, for Summer Reading, we thought we’d do something a little different. Instead of us creating a list we think you’d like, we’re asking you to help us create a list!

Think about “summer songs” – you know, those songs that just scream long days, warm nights, baseball, swimming, and barbecues. The music you listen to on vacation, hanging out in the back yard, or even blasting in the car with the windows rolled down. Find your favorite summer song on Freegal, and then post the title in the comments section of the Summer Music Playlist page. We’ll add it to the page list – with a link – so everyone can find it and enjoy. Posting also helps you to complete one of the tasks on the Adult Summer Reading Comic Panel Chart, which gets you that much closer to winning a prize drawing. How easy is that?

Then, each week, don’t forget to download your 5 free songs so you can create your own custom Summer Music Playlist. Then blast it as loud as you want (or as loud as the kids will let you) this summer!

Summer Reading Is Coming…

Escape the Ordinary_K copy

Summer Reading starts next week – June 8 – and runs through August 1, so now’s a good time to start planning! Check out our website for information, or stop in and ask a Librarian. We’ve got some fun activities planned for Kids, Teens, and Adults – plus prizes! Come in this summer and “Escape the Ordinary.”

Great Online Resource – Goodreads

Imagine you’re browsing in the Library. Perusing the shelves, you stumble across a book that seems a little familiar, but you’re not sure why. You take a good look at the cover and read the blurb carefully, then open the book and thumb through a few pages, scanning the text waiting for something to click. You might have read this book before, and you don’t want to wait until you get halfway through to remember that not only did you read it, but that you didn’t like it very well. What to do?

If you’re like a lot of bibliophiles we see, you’ve probably got a (partial) list of books you’ve read, and the list is probably in a notebook full of random slips of paper, with ambiguous titles, handwriting you can’t read, and missing authors. Why not try something new, something that helps you keep that list organized?

You can download a dozen apps that let you keep a list, but only a few sites let you connect to other readers and friends, sharing recommendations, and even entering drawings for book giveaways. Here at TFPL, many of us are members of Goodreads, which lets readers do all of the above, and more. It’s a great resource for learning which books are part of a series, and you can use it as much, or as little, as you need. Plus, there’s an app, so you can check your list whether you’re in the Library, the bookstore, or even the checkout line at the supermarket.

Give it a try  Рwe think it might help you replace that ratty notebook and let you browse the Library shelves with more confidence!


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