Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Notable Children's Books

"This is Not My Hat" by Jon Klassen won this year's
Caldecott Medal for outstanding illustration. 
Each year, a committee made up of members for the American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children (or ALSC) pulls together a list of Notable Children's Books.

Here we've highlighted some of the notable books that we have in our library collection. Stop in or order these online or over the phone today!

For Young Readers:
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrations by Erin E. Stead.
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs retold by Mo Willems
Let's Go For a Drive (an Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems
Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

"The One and Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate
won this year's Newbery Medal for outstanding
writing in children's literature.
For Middle Readers:
Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (on CD)
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles (on CD)
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (on CD)
Unspoken: a Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead by Rebecca L. Johnson

Stay tuned next week for more notable books, including those for older juvenile readers and young adult readers! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Best Books of 2013: Adult titles

'Tis the season for "best of" end-of-year lists! For this week's blog post we took a look at the Best Books of 2013 according to review publication Publisher's Weekly. From there we located all the books on their list that we have here at Eager Free Public Library. Find these titles on our shelf or give us a call and we'll put them on hold for you!

Fiction titles

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Tenth of December by George Saunders
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterston 
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
Non-fiction titles

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein
Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
There are lots of good "best of" lists for 2013 - meaning you have plenty of books to choose from in case these aren't of interest to you, or if you've read all of these!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Curl Up with a Classic

Our cozy classics corner!
As we start hunkering down for a Wisconsin winter, why not pick up one of the many classic books we have at Eager Free Public Library? It’s a great time of year to dig in to a work by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and many more.

A sampling of titles found in our classics section:

The charming Emma Wodehouse is convinced that she knows better than just about everyone when it comes to matters of courtship and love.

Looking for a quick read? This classic detective story showcases the keen observation skills of Sherlock Holmes in all their glory.

You may have read Tom Sawyer or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain in high school, but his short stories are wonderfully smart and funny too.

A Christmas Carol and Other Stories by Charles Dickens
The holiday ghost story is one of several short stories by this famous nineteenth century English writer.

Beloved by Toni Morrison
This award-winning novel tells the powerful, harrowing story of a family of former slaves in post-war Ohio.

Find these titles and many more in our classics corner - just look for the green spine labels! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Anthologies

Believe it or not, there’s only one library due date between now and the end of 2013! That means that there’s never been a better time to check out an anthology of holiday stories to share with family and friends, or to snuggle up with on your own, armed with hot cocoa (candy cane swizzle stick optional).

For Grown-Ups
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – a collection of irreverent short stories by humorist David Sedaris.
At Christmas the Heart Goes Home: a Holiday Treasury by Marjorie Holmes.
818.5409 H736
Christmas Poems, Stories, and Carols from Gramercy Books.
394.2 Christmas
Seven Stories of Christmas Love by Leo Buscaglia.
394.2 B96
Journey into Christmas, and Other Stories illustrated by James Aldrich.
F Aldrich

For Families
Christmas Stories for the Very Young selected and edited by Sally Grindley; illustrations by Helen Cooper.
+P Christmas-White H-C
Hark! A Christmas Sampler by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Tomie dePaola; music and arrangements by Adam Stemple.
J808.8 Yolen
A Family Christmas from the Readers Digest Association.
394.2 F21
A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder; illustrations by Garth Williams.
+J Wilder
The Christmas Book: Stories, Poems, and Carols for the Twelve Days of Christmas selected by Caroline Royds; illustrations by Annabel Spenceley 
J808.8 Christmas

Here's a tip: give us a call or put these on hold through RockCat now since holiday books tend to go really fast! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ender's Game was first published in 1985, so naturally I was late to the game and did not read this amazing novel until a week before the movie came to theaters.  I was able to read the book and see the movie right away; I really enjoyed both.  Although, I would recommend the book over the movie as there is much more depth to the characters and storyline.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card tells the story of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin.  Ender is only six years old when the story begins, and he is the most talented result of Earth's quest to create a military genius that the planet needs to win its war with an alien enemy.  The only way to know if Ender is capable of leading in battle is to throw him into harsh training.  Will he be the hero everyone has been hoping for?  Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Want more Ender?  Try one of the other books in the series.

Ender's Saga:
Shadow of the Hedgemon

Looking for something similar?  Try one of these titles.

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein tells the story of a young recruit's experiences in boot camp and as an officer during the interplanetary war against the "Bugs."

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix: Every Prince wants to become Emperor, and the best way to do so is to kill, corrupt, or otherwise eliminate any potential threat.  One Prince, Khemri, is sent on a secret mission where he meets a young woman named Raine.  She challenges his beliefs regarding the Empire, Princes, and himself.

Divergent by Veronica Roth takes place in a future Chicago where Beatrice Prior must choose between predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan: When a village is attacked by monsters, three young men flee in the company of Lady Moiraine, a sinister visitor.  The first in an adventure series set in a world of wonders and horror.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau follows Lina as she and her friend attempt to decipher an ancient message that could save their city.

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Monday, November 18, 2013


The November selection for our Book to Movie Club is The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman.  We will meet on Thursday, November 21st at 6:00 p.m.

Growing up, I had watched the movie The Princess Bride numerous times.  I just loved it!  I had no idea it was a book until I was in high school, and I never got around to reading it until I was in college.

The Princess Bride tells the love story of a farm boy named Westley and Princess Buttercup.  The movie follows these two on their adventures through foreign lands, sword fights, and evil plots while the book also includes comments from the author as writes the story.

Now's your chance to read the book, watch the movie, and discover which one you prefer.

Want more ?  Try one of the titles listed below.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult is narrated by Prince Oliver, who wants to break free of his fairy tale existence and by Delilah, a teen who is obsessed with Prince Oliver and the book in which he exists.  Together they work together to try and gain his freedom.

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl: Althea Crawley hopes to save her family and their home from a state of poverty.  To do so, she must marry a wealthy man.  She soon sets her sights on Lord Boring, but obstacles continue to get in her way.  A humorous take on the traditional fairy tale.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede is a children's book that follows a princess as she goes off to live with a group of dragons.  She soon becomes involved in the fight between the dragons and the wizards who want to steal the dragons' kingdom.

In Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney, Anaxndra is taken from her home as a young girl.  She calls on her goddess for protection while she poses as two different princesses over the next few years before she ends up as a servant in the company of Helen and Paris as they journey to Troy.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare tells the story of two pairs of lovers: Benedick and Beatrice and Claudio and Hero.  Shakespeare develops their story from antagonism to love and affection with a great sense of humor.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman is another children's book.  Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository.  When she gains access to its Grimm collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a world of adventure involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

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Monday, November 11, 2013


As the weather gets colder, we have plenty of sports to keep us occupied.  The World Series just ended, but Football is underway along with hockey and basketball.  What better way to enjoy the cold than to learn a little bit more about some of your favorite athletes, coaches, and sports?

Adult Biographies:
Driven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journeys On and Off Lambeau Field by Donald Driver
Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays: the Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age by Allen Barra
Dream Team by Jack McCallum
Rafa by Rafael Nadal
The John Carlos Story: the Sports Moment That Changed the World by Dave Zirin
Solo: A Memoir of Hope by Hope Solo
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel Brown
The Yankee Years by Joe Torre
Brett Favre: The Tribute by Sports Illustrated
Opening Day: the Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season by Jonathan Eig
The DiMaggios: Three Brothers, Their Passion for Baseball, Their Pursuit of the American Dream by Thomas Clavin
Packers: Green, Gold, and Glory by Sports Illustrated
Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition by William Povletich
Eleven Rings: the Soul of Success by Phil Jackson
Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective by Pat Summitt
One Last Strike by Tony LaRussa
Alan Ameche: the Story of "the Horse" by Dan Manoyan
Dr. J: the Autobiography by Julius Irving

Children's Biographies:
Joyce Westerman: Baseball Hero by Bob Kann
Shaun White by Blaine Wiseman
Henry Aaron's Dream by Matt Tavares
Raising the Bar by Gabrielle Douglas
The Story of the Green Bay Packers by Sara Gilbert
The Milwaukee Brewers by Mark Stewart
Something to Prove: the Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio by Robert Skead

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Monday, November 4, 2013


Jane Austen's work has been around for years, inspiring authors to become writers, and sometimes, serving as a starting point for a spin-off.  Some authors use similar themes and plot devices while others use the same characters with a new tale.

Do you love Jane Austen, and want more of your favorite stories?  Then some of these books may be just the right choice for you!

Longbourn by Jo Baker: There is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs.  When a new footman arrives, the orderly world of the servants' hall threatens to be upended.  Jo Baker takes the reader beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice, and into the domain of the housekeeper and kitchen maid.

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollop is a modern retelling of the Jane Austen classic of the same name.  The reader follows Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret as they come to terms with their own lives without the status of their home or the comfort of an inheritance.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice.  It begins with the arrival of Lydia Wickham at Pemberley which leads the residents to the discovery of her husband kneeling over a dead body.  Then follows the investigation and trial.  Who is the killer, and what was the motive?

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron: The first in a series, this story tells of Jane's visit to the home of her friend Isobel, Countess of Scargrave.  Isobel and her husband host a ball after returning from their honeymoon.  On the night of the ball, the earl dies of apparent poisoning.  As rumors begin to circulate, Jane becomes a detective.  Who is responsible for the earls death?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Green retells the story of Pride and Prejudice with the addition of zombies.  A plague has fallen upon Meryton, and the dead are returning to life.  Elizabeth Bennet is determined to stop the zombies, but she is soon distracted by the arrival of the arrogant Mr. Darcy.

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo is inspired by Sense and Sensibility.  This story follows two modern-day sisters, Ellen and Mimi Dodge, as they embark on a walking tour of Jane Austen's England along with a diary that belonged to Jane's sister Cassandra.  This diary holds secrets, and someone doesn't want Ellen and Mimi to discover the truth.  As they make their way through the tour, they learn how Jane and Cassandra inspired the original Marianne and Elinor Dashwood.

A sequel to Sense and Sensibility, Eliza's Daughter by Joan Aiken tells the story of the illegitimate daughter of Colonel Brandon's sister as she is passed along from one relative to another and as she discovers her parentage and claims her birthright.

Want more?  Try one of these movies inspired by Jane Austen's work:
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
The Jane Austen Book Club
Becoming Jane

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Books & Media for Zombie Fans

This week the library, BASE (Building A Safer Evansville) and the Evansville Youth Center team up to bring middle school students a safe, entertaining Halloween event: our first-ever Zombie Night!

Here are the important details:

When: Wednesday, October 30th
What time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Creekside Place, 104 Maple Street
Who: 6th – 8th grade students

What goes on at a Zombie Night? Here’s a sampling:
  • Zombie lurch race
  • Zombie (or victim!) costume contest
  • Movieoke (just like karaoke, but with movies instead of songs)
  • Creepy cupcake bar
  • Zombie mural making

To get you ready for this evening of fun, here are a handful of zombie books, graphic novels, and movies that you can find at the library:

General fiction about zombies:

World War Z: an oral history of the zombie war by Max Brooks (also available as an audiobook)
The End Games by T. Michael Martin
Zom-B Series by Darren Shan

Zombie movies:

Do you have questions or want to RSVP for Zombie Night? Call the library at 882-2260 or stop in and see us! We'll see you at Creekside on the 30th!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Books for Football Fans

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s football season! Whether you’re a die-hard Packers or Badgers fan or find the obsession with the sport to be totally nerve-wracking, there are books and more for you at the library.

Books on the ins and outs of the sport:

Books about leagues, teams, and people:

Football movies:

Stop in or give us a call if you’d like us to put one of these titles on hold for you, or do so yourself by signing in to RockCat. And enjoy the rest of the 2013 football season!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Celebrate the Wisconsin Book Festival!

This week we celebrate the Wisconsin Book Festival, which comes to our neck of the woods (it’s based in Madison at the branches of Madison Public Library) at the end of the week. The weekend is packed full of literary events, from author signings to writing workshops to poetry readings, and on and on. So, on the blog this week, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the wonderful Wisconsin writers we have in our collection. 

Sidenote: our wonderful library clerk Barb N. has been setting up a little display next to the CD rack highlighting a different Wisconsin writer every couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for those!

Popular Wisconsin writers:
  • Jerry Apps – a popular writer of Wisconsin farm and rural life, Mr. Apps writes both fiction and non-fiction/memoirs.
  • Ilsa J. Bick – a young adult author from Wisconsin. Ms. Bick’s books are mysteries with a blend of fantasy and realism.
  • Jacquelyn Mitchard – writes for all ages, including picture books, young adult mystery novels, and love stories for adults.
  • Kathleen Ernst – Ms. Ernst’s books follow a range of Wisconsin cultural mainstays, from the American Girl stories to a mystery involving Old World Wisconsin!
  • Ruth Ann MontgomeryEvansville’s own wonderful historian and former library director has a number of books that celebrate Evansville’s storied past.
  • Jennifer Chiaverini – Ms. Chiaverini is the author of the popular Elm Creek Quilts novel series.

Other Wisconsin titles to enjoy:

There are many more where those came from, but we’re out of time for today! If you make it up to Madison this weekend, have a great time at the Book Festival!

P.S. Our assistant director Laura will be up at the Central Branch of the Madison Public Library hosting drop-in art-making workshops all day on Saturday October 19th. Feel free to drop by and make some art with her!

Monday, September 30, 2013


Ray Bradbury was born in 1920 in Michigan.  Upon graduating high school, Ray sold newspapers in Los Angeles while spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter.  He became a full-time writer in 1943.  Ray Bradbury has been awarded the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, the PEN Center USA West Lifetime Achievement Award, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

This year, the library is participating in the Big Read.  The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.  UW-Whitewater received and coordinated the grant.  All participating libraries will read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  For more information on the Big Read, go to  
We will be hosting a book discussion on Saturday, October 12th at 10:00 a.m. At the same time, we will have a Fire Truck Storytime for kids.  Then, on Friday, October 25th Sam Weller, author of The Bradbury Chronicles, will be at the library at 5:00 p.m.

Want more Bradbury?  Here are some of his other works:

Looking for something similar to Fahrenheit 451?  Try one of these titles.

1984 by George Orwell
Matter by Iain Banks
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Next month the Antemeridians will be meeting on October 15th to discuss The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  The Language of Flowers tells the story of Victoria Jones, a young woman who has spent her childhood in the foster-care system.  Now at the age of 18, she is emancipated from the system with nowhere to go.  Victoria realizes that she has the gift for helping others through her knowledge of flowers, but an unexpected encounter with a stranger has her questioning what has been missing in her life.

For more information on Vanessa Diffenbaugh and her work go to

Finished with The Language of Flowers and looking for more?  Here are some nonfiction books related to flower arrangements.

Flowers by Malcolm Hillier

Looking for similar works of fiction?  Try one of these titles:

White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Countdown by Iris Johansen
Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen
Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
A Good American by Alex George
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen


Monday, September 16, 2013


I am a huge fan of Philippa Gregory's books, so it will come as no surprise that I read her newest book, The White Princess, as soon as it was available. 

The White Princess is the latest entry in the Cousins' War series.  Caught between loyalties, the mother of the Tudors must choose between the red rose and the white.  Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen, must marry Henry Tudor upon his victory on the battlefield.  When a young man leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth will have to choose between her husband and the boy who claims to be her lost brother.  This is the story of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York: parents to King Henry VIII.

The Cousins' War Series:
The White Queen
The Red Queen
The Lady of the Rivers
The Kingmaker's Daughter
The White Princess

Want more historical fiction reads in the years prior to the Tudors reign? 

Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell - Nicholas Hook is haunted by what he has failed to do and banished for what he has done.  Now a wanted man in England, he fights as a mercenary archer in France.  After surviving the massacre at Soissons, he heads home to England.  Instead of a capture and death, he is discovered by Henry V, King of England and joins the royal army.  This leads Hook back to France as Henry attempts to claim the French crown.

Mistress of Mourning by Karen Harper takes place in a time of political unrest.  Varina Westcott, a candle maker for court and church, agrees to perform a secret service for Queen Elizabeth, wife of Henry VII.  She will carve wax figures of four dead children: two of Elizabeth's children lost in infancy and her two brothers, the Princes of the Tower.  Then, news comes of the unexpected death of Prince Arthur, the heir to the throne.  Elizabeth suspects that Arthur was murdered and sends Varina to investigate.  As she uncovers one clue after another, she begins to fear that the conspiracy is more ambitious than the queen had imagined.
Looking for more information on the Cousins' War and/or the predecessors to the Tudor family?  Check out the nonfiction works below.

The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir: For much of the fifteenth century the Lancaster and York families were locked in battle for control of the British throne.  Kings were murdered and deposed and armies marched on London.  The war between these to royal houses is one of the longest and most complex in British history.

Elizabeth of York: the Mother of Henry the VIII by Nancy Lent Harvey is the biography of Elizabeth of York, daughter of a King and mother to another.

Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens by Lisa Hilton - England's medieval queens were instrumental in shaping the history of England.  From Matilda of Flanders, William the Conqueror's queen, to Elizabeth of York, the first Tudor consort, England's queens helped build the nature of the monarchy.  This work examines the lives of the twenty women who were crowned queen between 1066 and 1503.

The Year of Three Kings by Giles St. Aubyn takes a look at the House of York, more specifically the three rulers of 1483: Richard III, Edward IV, and Edward V.

Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the War of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood covers the histories of Margaret of Anjou (Henry VI), Cecily, Duchess of York, Elizabeth (Edward IV), Anne (Richard III),
Margaret of York (Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy), Elizabeth (Henry VII), and Margaret Beaufort.

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