artistworksIt’s never too early to talk about resolutions, right? Well, in case you’re starting to think about learning something new (whether or not you actually craft the idea into a resolution), you might want to pick up an instrument – and then pick up a book or two on lessons. You now also have the option of an online lesson, courtesy of our newest service, ArtistWorks.

Artistworks offers beginning to intermediate lessons – for kids as well as adults – in a variety of musical instruction. There is also a course on art, in case you’re interested in expressing your creativity along those lines. Create an account using your Library card, and start learning right away!

From piano to guitar to voice, you’re sure to find the course that “artistworks” for you!

Book Club

We’re entering a new year of book club next month, so we thought we’d try and spice things up a little with our January read, Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. We’ll be discussing this book at 5:30 PM on January 10, so pick up a copy and drop in for refreshments and a lively conversation.

If you can’t make it into the Library physically, you can still share your opinion. If you have a Goodreads account, check out our Group – TFPL Book Posse – and comment on our thread there. You can also leave a comment on our Book Club Jan 2017 page here. And, as we get closer to Jan 10, we’ll give you opportunities to share with us through Facebook and Twitter.

Whether online or in person, we hope you join us in a great book discussion!

Pearl Harbor Attack at 75 Years

USS Arizona, at height of fire, following Japanese aerial attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (LOT 11710-1; Library of Congress)

This year marks the 75th Anniversary (Dec 7), and with that milestone comes a number of books written about the event and its aftermath. Pick up one of these titles – both new and classic – to learn more about the “Day of Infamy.”


At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor – Gordon W. Prange

Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack – Steve Twomey

Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor – Robert B. Stinnett

Day of Infamy – Walter Lord

Fields of Battle: Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl, and the Boys Who Went to War – Brian Curtis

A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame, and a Family’s Quest for Justice – Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan

Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, 1941 – Stanley Weintraub

Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness – Craig Nelson

Seven Days of Infamy: Pearl Harbor Across the World – Nicholas Best

Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor – James M. Scott

Best of 2016

Although many of us are probably glad to see the end of such a crazy year, it’s time to look back. But we promise we’ll only look at something we can all get behind – books!

The “Best of” lists are out, and it’s always interesting to see the differences in opinion among those in the book world. Each year, we look through the lists of, The New York Times, and Publishers Weekly and create another list of the books they highlight that TFPL actually owns (and, we’re proud to say, we usually carry most of them). So, if you’re interested in picking up a highly-recommended read, peruse one of these lists:


Another tradition at this time of year is to survey our staff and ask what their favorite reads were for the past year. Whether we have read something published in 2016 or in years past, we’re always happy to share (and recommend) what we’re reading. Here’s what we loved this past year:



Alamo All-Stars – Nathan Hale (Stephanie)

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet: Book 1 – Ta-Nehisi Coates (Katie)

Calamity – Brandon Sanderson (Cody)

Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow – Rainbow Rowell (Erica)

The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena (Susan)

The Crown – Kiera Cass (Sarah W.)

The Forest Feast for Kids: Colorful Vegetarian Recipes That Are Simple to Make – Erin Gleeson (Kasi)

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles (Jennifer)

Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard (Hannah)

Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (Erica)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne (Hannah)

The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman (Jessica)

Joan of Arc: A History – Helen Castor (Gerson)

Kill 6 Billion Demons – Tom Parkinson-Morgan (Sara S.)

League of Dragons – Naomi Novik (Stephanie)

Love and Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch (Amy)

My Name is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout (Jennifer)

Nine Women, One Dress – Jane L. Rosen (Susan)

The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey Through Pearl Harbor and the World of War – Jim Downing (Katie)

The Passenger – Lisa Lutz (Sara S.)

The Secret History of World War II: Spies, Code Breakers, and Covert Operations – Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop (Rebekah)

Traces of Guilt – Dee Henderson (Amy)

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World – Rachel Ignotofsky (Kasi)

You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice – Tom Vanderbilt (Cody)



$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America – Kathryn J. Edin and Luke H. Shaefer (Jennifer)

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (Jessica)

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest – Stephen E. Ambrose (Katie)

Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (Sarah W.)

Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith (Jennifer)

Contact – Carl Sagan (Kasi)

Deep Secret – Diana Wynne Jones (Sara S.)

The Four Feathers – A.E.W. Mason (Gerson)

Golden Son – Pierce Brown (Jordan)

Hollow City – Ransom Riggs (Cody)

I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust – Livia Bitton Jackson (Rebekah)

Letters from Skye – Jessica Brockmole (Susan)

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (Rebekah)

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto – Mitch Albom (Susan – audio version)

Morning Star – Pierce Brown (Jordan)

Nimona – Noelle Stevenson (Erica)

The Painter’s Daughter – Julie Klassen (Amy)

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard (Hannah)

Red Rising – Pierce Brown (Jordan)

The Selection – Kiera Cass (Emily)

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (Erica)

Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut (Kasi)

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith (Sarah W.)

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved my Life – James Bowen (Stephanie)

Terrier – Tamora Pierce (Stephanie)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han (Emily)

Uprooted – Naomi Novik (Sara S.)

With Every Letter – Sarah Sundin (Katie)

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 2009

We’re gearing up for Thanksgiving, so let’s make today’s trek to the past just a short hop – I think you can remember most of these, right? (And, if not, you might want to bulk up on the broccoli next week!)

In addition to the books listed below, 2009 was the year that:

  • Somali pirates hijacked the Maersk Alabama; Captain Richard Phillips was rescued four days later. (April 8)
  • Michael Jackson died. (June 25)
  • Windows 7 launched, replacing the much maligned Windows Vista OS. (October 22)

Take a quick ride back and pick up one of the books you missed reading the first time around! Titles are from the New York Times Best Seller list for the week of November 22, 2009.



1. Ford County by John Grisham

2. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

3. Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb

4. The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

5. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

6. True Blue by David Baldacci

7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

8. Pursuit of Honor by Vince Flynn

9. The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

10. Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving

11. No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara

12. Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly

13. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

14. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

15. Heat Wave by Richard Castle



1. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom

2. Superfreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

3. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

4. Arguing with Idiots by Glenn Beck, Kevin Balfe and Others

5. The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons

6. The Audacity to Win by David Plouffe

7. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

8. The Sellout by Charles Gasparino

9. Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin

10. When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson with Jackie Macmullan

11. The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi

12. True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy

13. Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

14. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

15. Bon Jovi by Jon Bon Jovi

Take Ten: War Movies

If you’re looking for something to binge-watch this weekend, why not watch a few war movies in observation of Veterans’ Day tomorrow. The best ones not only reflect what the experience is like for the combatants, they also show us the inhumanity and the humanity of war (and maybe help us understand how to prevent them in the future). Besides, some are just plain good entertainment!


Grab one of these:

All Quiet on the Western Front (WWI)

Black Hawk Down (Operation Restore Hope: Somalia)

Drums Along the Mohawk (Revolutionary War)

Glory (Civil War)

Green Zone (Iraq)

The Great Escape (WWII)

The Last of the Mohicans (French and Indian War)

Pork Chop Hill (Korean War)

The Thin Red Line (WWII)

We Were Soldiers (Vietnam War)

NaNoWriMo 2016


It’s NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth! Your challenge: Write a 50,000 novel in 30 days. We know you can do it!

Check out and register for free – you’ll get access to forums with other writers, pep talks and other writing tips, and a chance to “officially” list your word count (you know, for those of us who need to answer to an authority greater than ourselves).

Don’t forget that the Library is a great place to write if you need a quiet change. Plus, we’re throwing a “Write-In” on Tuesday, November 15 from 6:30-8:30 PM, a time to share, commiserate, inspire, and snack!

The next big Best Seller may be rattling around in your brain – let it out this November!