Archive for September, 2012

Looking for a Good Book?

Check out our revamped booklists! We’re still updating a few, but we’ll post them as they are completed. And, if you have a request for a subject or genre, let us know!

Civil War Sesquicentennial – Battles

Dead Confederate artillerymen, in front of Dunker Church, Battle of Antietam

On September 17, 1862, one of the bloodiest battles in American history took place near the small town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Battle of Antietam lasted only one day, but resulted in over 23,000 deaths. The victory, claimed by the Union forces, encouraged President Lincoln to issue his Emancipation Proclamation on September 22.

Antietam, unfortunately, was only one bloody battle in a war of many. Tuesday night, PBS broadcast a look at the toll of death on the young United States; the documentary, Death and the Civil War, is based on the book by Drew Gilpin Faust (This Republic of Suffering). Because the war was fought entirely by Americans, and because military technology far exceeded the medical advances of the time, the amount of deaths that occurred during many battles of the Civil War were beyond almost all comprehension. Learn more about the individual land battles through one of these books:


The American Civil War: A Military History – John Keegan

Antietam, South Mountain, and Harper’s Ferry: A Battlefield Guide – Ethan Sepp Rafuse

Atlas of the Civil War: A Comprehensive Guide to the Tactics and Terrain of Battle

Battle at Bull Run: A History of the First Major Campaign of the Civil War – William C. Davis

The Battle of Gettysburg: The Country, the Contestants, the Results – W.C. Storrick

Battles and Leaders of the Civil War edited by Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel




The Civil War, A Narrative – Shelby Foote

Civil War Battlefield Guide

The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg’s Forgotten History: Immigrants, Women, and African Americans in the Civil War’s Defining Battle – Margaret S. Creighton

Fields of Honor – Edwin C. Bearss

First Manassas

The Fog of Gettysburg: The Myths and Mysteries of the Battle – Ken Allers, Jr.


Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage – Noah Andre Trudeau

Gettysburg: Day Three – Jeffry D. Wert

Gettysburg: The Final Fury – Bruce Catton

Gettysburg: The Second Day – Harry W. Pfanz

Gettysburg: You Are There – Robert Clasby

Hearts Touched by Fire: The Best of Battle and Leaders of the Civil War – edited by Harold Holzer

Jeff Shaara’s Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America’s Hallowed Ground – Jeff Shaara

The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War – David J. Eicher

Pickett’s Charge: A Microhistory of the Final Attack at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 – George R. Stewart

Second Manassas

Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War – Herman Hattaway

Shiloh, 1862 – Winston Groom

Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War – Larry J. Daniel

Smithsonian’s Great Battles and Battlefields of the Civil War – Jay Wertz and Edwin C. Bearss

The Third Day at Gettysburg and Beyond

Travels to Hallowed Ground: A Historian’s Journey to the American Civil War – Emory M. Thomas

The Wilderness

Witness to Gettysburg – Richard Wheeler

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1985

Put on your fluorescent tees, throw on the gigantic, oversize earrings, and get ready for 1985. If you can remember back that far, you probably also have your Sony Walkman locked away somewhere, thinking that you’ll use it again someday. Besides, the 80s are cool again right now.

Doesn’t it seem just like yesterday that:

  • We Are the World was recorded and released (January)
  • The remains of the Titanic were found (September)
  • “New Coke” was introduced – and the backlash began (April)

Even if 1985 doesn’t strike a memory chord, you can relive those days with one of these books, which hit The New York Times Best Seller List for the week of September 15. Radical, dude!


  1. Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
  2. Lucky by Jackie Collins
  3. Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
  4. The Fourth Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders
  5. The Two Mrs. Grenvilles by Dominick Dunne
  6. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
  7. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  8. Too Much, Too Soon by Jacqueline Briskin
  9. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
  10. Jubal Sackett by Louis L’Amour
  11. If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon
  12. Hold the Dream by Barbara Taylor Bradford
  13. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  14. The Class by Erich Segal
  15. Fall from Grace by Larry Collins
  16. A Maggot by John Fowles
  17. The Lover by Marguerite Duras



  1. Yeager: An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos
  2. Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca with William Novak
  3. A Passion for Excellence by Tom Peters and Nancy Austin
  4. Smart Women, Foolish Choices by Connell Cowan and Melvyn Kinder
  5. Loving Each Other by Leo Buscaglia
  6. The Mick by Mickey Mantle with Herb Gluck
  7. The Amateurs by David Halberstam
  8. Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga by Stephen Davis
  9. Final Cut by Steven Bach
  10. Confessions of a Hooker by Bob Hope with Dwayne Netland
  11. The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach
  12. The Nutcracker by Shana Alexander
  13. The Heart of the Dragon by Alasdair Clayre
  14. Martina by Martina Navratilova with George Vecsey
  15. The Grasshopper Trap by Patrick F. McManus

Infographics and Library Numbers

I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of info-graphics lately. They are basically just visual representations of information (this site offers one a day on random stuff), and I’ve wondered how easy they are to create. You could probably design them using any graphics program – a librarian at the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas did this one on The Hunger Games readalikes using PowerPoint Publisher – but like anything when you’re starting from scratch, it can take some time. So, I researched a few of the sites that do it, for free, just to see how they work.

I used for the one below (though there are many others including and It was basically easy – in fact, it probably took me longer to decide a topic than it did to actually make it. My infographic includes statistics for the Twin Falls Public Library from 2011. Behold:

Not perfect, but not too bad. And, it gives you an idea of the scope of our services and programs. If you’re looking for a fun or more interesting way to present information, you might try creating an infographic. See what kinds of cool (or boring) info you can jazz up!

E is for Elementary, My Dear

Sherlock Holmes seems to be rather popular recently – perhaps because his methodical, observant mind is a bit of an antidote to the forensic-technology-heavy procedurals we’re used to. In addition to the original creation, we’re seeing modern interpretations and works inspired by Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle might have been surprised at all of the ado over his enduring character, but then again, Sherlock always was a bit ahead of his time.

Pick up one of these to deduce a real interest in Sherlock:


Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Mary Russel and Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King

  1. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
  2. A Monstrous Regiment of Women
  3. A Letter of Mary
  4. The Moor
  5. O Jerusalem
  6. Justice Hall
  7. The Game
  8. Locked Rooms
  9. The Language of Bees
  10. The God of the Hive
  11. Pirate King
  12. Garment of Shadows


Sherlock Holmes series by Carol Bugge

  1. The Star of India
  2. The Haunting of Torre Abbey


The Return of Sherlock Holmes series by Barry Grant

  1. The Strange Return of Sherlock Holmes
  2. Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Letter
  3. Sherlock Holmes and the Swedish Enigma


Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins series by Andy Lane (young adult)

  1. Death Cloud
  2. Rebel Fire


Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars by Tracy Mack (children’s)

  1. The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas
  2. The Mystery of the Conjured Man
  3. In Search of Watson
  4. The Final Meeting


The Baker Street series by Michael Robertson

  1. The Baker Street Letters
  2. The Brothers of Baker Street


Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes series by David Pirie

  1. The Patient’s Eyes
  2. Night Calls
  3. The Dark Water


The New Adventures of the Great Detective series by Donald Thomas


Between the Thames and the Tiber: The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in Britain and the Italian Peninsula by Ted Riccardi

The Disappearance of Edwin Drood by Peter Rowland

The Final Solution: A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon

Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes edited by J. R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec

Holmes for the Holidays edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Jon L. Lellenberg and Carol-Lynn Waugh

The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel by Ian Edginton and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz

The Italian Secretary: A Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes by Caleb Carr

More Holmes for the Holidays edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Jon L. Lellenberg and Carol-Lynn Waugh

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes edited by Martin Henry Greenberg and Carol-Lynn Rossel Waugh

The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes edited by Leslie S. Klinger

The Resurrected Holmes: New Cases from the Notes of John H. Watson, M.D. edited by Marvin Kaye

Shadows Over Baker Street edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan

Sherlock Holmes in America edited by Martin Henry Greenberg, Jon L. Lellenberg, and Daniel Stashower

Sherlock Holmes: The American Years edited by Michael Kurland

Sherlock Holmes: The Unauthorized Biography by Nick Rennison

Sherlock in Love: A Novel by Sena Jeter Naslund

A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin

A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger

The Whitechapel Horrors by Edward B. Hanna


More about Doyle and the world of Holmes:

Conan Doyle Detective: True Crimes Investigated by the Creator of Sherlock Holmes by Peter Costello

Holmes and Watson – June Thomson

The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett

The Real World of Sherlock Holmes: The True Crimes Investigated by Arthur Conan Doyle by Peter Costello

The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest Cases by E.J. Wagner

The Sherlock Holmes Scrapbook: Fifty Years of Occasional Articles, Newspaper Cuttings, Letters, Memoirs, Anecdotes, Pictures, Photographs and Drawings Relating to the Great Detective by Peter Haining



BBC: Sherlock Season 1 and Season 2

Mystery Classics

Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: Case Files