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People telling their library stories on YouTube

April 14, 2016 by Reader's Connection

It’s always fun to visit the library’s YouTube page, but new videos have been bursting out all this week, in celebration of National Library Week.

Click on the pictures to hear these people tell their stories.

Attorney Lacy Johnson talks about how much the library (especially the Rauh Branch, which used to be at 30th & Meridian) has meant to him.



Book sale volunteer Charles Callery talks about how much he has enjoyed volunteering at the sale.


Seema Shah and her son Desmond love going to story hours at College Avenue Library.

Shanika Heyward, Manager of the East 38th Street Branch and winner of a Library Journal Mover & Shaker Award, talks about serving the neighborhood.



Art Ugalde of Art’s Skillet (8255 Pendleton Pike ) talks about how the library has helped him to start and operate his restaurant.



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What does a library branch look like without any books or people in it?

April 12, 2016 by Reader's Connection



If you haven’t noticed elsewhere on our website, this is National Library Week. We’re all celebrating in different ways, and the gargoyle at the East Washington Branch–who also lives at the top of this blog page–is going fishing.


No, wait, that’s not true.



The branch really is closed, though. It is being renovated, and will remain closed for the month of April. At some point (we’ll keep you posted) a temporary location will open, and the renovated East Washington will open later in 2016.




After the branch had closed, Manager Doriene Smither took some pictures, and if you’ve ever wondered what a library looks like without the people and books in it, have a look at these pictures. There are more of them on East Washington’s Facebook page.



While the branch is closed, please visit nearby branches like Spades Park or Irvington, or any other branch in the system.



An artist’s rendering of the renovated East Washington Branch

When East Washington re-opens,  7,800 square feet will have been added. Additional seating, ADA access (with a new accessible entrance and an elevator) will be provided, and there will be two private study rooms, a children’s program meeting room, and a new computer lab with 20 computers.

Happy National Library Week! (Share your library story with us.)


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Love Beneath the Covers – a film followed by a discussion among romance authors

April 11, 2016 by Reader's Connection

Convicted“Love Between the Covers” is a documentary that follows five published romance authors as they navigate the ever-changing world of romance publishing. The film will be shown in Central Library‘s Clowes Auditorium on Saturday, April 23 at 2:00 pm.


RebelFollowing the film, a panel of local romance authors will share their stories and give advice to prospective authors. The discussion will be moderated by Ava Cuvay, and the featured authors will be Gina Dryer, Donya Lynne, Cheryl Brooks, Aleatha Romig and A.D. Ellis.


For Nicky
This program is presented in partnership with the Indiana Romance Writers of America.




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The Heart

April 7, 2016 by Reader's Connection

The Heart

Maylis de Kerangal’s new novel is about a heart transplant, and it was originally written in French, but don’t yawn. The Heart is thrilling. How often do I use that word?

We meet Simon Limbres, a devoted surfer who is injured, and we meet the doctor who understands that Simon’s injury is so severe as to make him a potential donor. We meet the nurse who awaits a phone call in connection with a passionate love affair, while she cares (very conscientiously) for the boy in his coma; and we meet the male nurse who sings as a form of therapy and who owns an expensive goldfinch (who also sings). This is the fellow who organizes transplants.

And we meet Simon’s parents. There’s a scene I can’t describe, for fear of giving too much away; but it takes place by a river, with a barge passing in front of Simon’s parents, and it moved me to tears. (How often do I admit that?)

The narrator is a jazz artist, sometimes knowing what’s going on in her character’s minds and sometimes not. Here, sitting in his office at the hospital, is Pierre Révol–the doctor who has realized the depths of Simon’s coma.




Huh? In all likelihood? What kind of story-teller is this?

The mention of the peyote-memory turns out to make sense–it fits with the medical situation at hand–but I love the way de Kerangal weaves around (sometimes inside, sometimes not) the minds of her heroic characters.

And in this reader’s eyes they are heroic, not because they always behave well, or are brave at all moments, but because they are so alive as humans that they give me a charge. They remind me that I’m human, and I’m grateful.

If you think I’m gushing, most of the reviews that you can reach from our catalog are in agreement with me. The exception would be the review in Kirkus, but that critic needs to have some organs inspected.

The Heart is also available as a downloadable e-book.


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Fairy Tales with a Twist

April 4, 2016 by Reader's Connection

From Selector Emily Chandler: Since the beginning of time, people of all ages have delighted in the magic of fairy tales and folklore. Passed down from generation to generation, many of these tales have transcended centuries, oceans, and even cultures. Their influence is absolute, producing works featuring beloved fairy tale characters film, stage, and literature. Their popularity is so widespread, in fact, that many tales have been retold and rewoven into modern adaptations. Here are some adult fiction titles that offer a different approach to some popular fairy tales!


Brackston, Paula   Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints: a Brothers Grimm Mystery

Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints: a Brothers Grimm Mystery

Bavaria, 1776. When Albrecht Durer the Much Much Younger’s Frog Prints go missing, he knows exactly where to turn for help. Gretel (yes, that Gretel), now thirty-five and still living with her gluttonous brother Hans, is the country’s most famous private investigator, and she leaps at the opportunity to travel to cosmopolitan Nuremberg to take on the case. But amid the hubbub of the city’s annual sausage festival, Gretel struggles to find any clues that point toward the elusive thief — Dust jacket flap.




Card, Orson Scott   Enchantment



In a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale, American graduate student Ivan stumbles upon a mysterious sleeping maiden in the Carpathian forest whom he awakens with a kiss, setting in motion a series of events encompassing the modern world and a world that vanished a thousand years ago. — From the library’s catalog







Chance, Maia   Snow White Red-Handed

Snow White Red-Handed

Miss Ophelia Flax is a Victorian actress who knows all about making quick changes and even quicker exits. But to solve a fairy-tale crime in the haunted Black Forest, she’ll need more than a bit of charm. 1867: After being fired from her latest variety hall engagement, Ophelia acts her way into a lady’s maid position for a crass American millionaire. But when her new job whisks her off to a foreboding castle straight out of a Grimm tale, she begins to wonder if her fast-talking ways might have been too hasty. The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White’s cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton. And when her millionaire boss turns up deadpoisoned by an apple, the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene. To keep from rising to the top of the suspect list, Ophelia fights through a bramble of elegant lies, sinister folklore, and priceless treasure, with only a dashing but mysterious scholar as her ally. And as the clock ticks towards midnight, she’ll have to break a cunning killer’s spell before her own time runs out — Publisher’s description


Cunningham, Michael   A Wild Swan: and Other Tales

 A Wild Swan: and Other Tales

Fairy tales for our times from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours. A poisoned apple and a monkey’s paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan’s wing; and a house deep in the forest, constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away–the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder–are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation. Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed: the years after a spell is broken, the rapturous instant of a miracle unexpectedly realized, or the fate of a prince only half cured of a curse. The Beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier. A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother’s basement to getting a job, until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans. Reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true. — From the library’s catalog


Maguire, Gregory   Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister


A retelling of the classic fairy tale of Cinderella, told from the point of view of one of the ugly stepsisters, turns the entire legend around in a thoughtful look at what it means to be beautiful.– Publisher’s description








Novik, Naomi   Uprooted

UprootedOnce every ten years, a powerful wizard known as the Dragon chooses one young woman from Agnieszka’s valley and spirits her away to his enchanted tower. Agnieszka expects him to take her best friend, Kasia, who’s beautiful, clever, and brave. However, when Agnieszka is chosen instead of Kasia, she discovers untapped talents, challenges the Dragon’s rules (and patience), and battles the malevolent influence of the nearby enchanted Wood in order to save the people she loves. Based on Polish folklore, this stand-alone novel by Temeraire series author Naomi Novik, is a fantastical coming-of-age tale combining magic, warfare, politics, and romance. —from NoveList


Oyeyemi, Helen   Boy, Snow, Bird

Boy, Snow, Bird

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty– the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Now Boy, Snow, and Bird must confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold. — Publisher’s description


Pinborough, Sarah   Beauty



Offers a steamy re-telling of the classic tale of a beautiful princess slumbering under a curse that can only broken by a true love’s kiss. — From the library’s catalog








Turgeon, Carolyn   Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale

Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale


Falling in love with a prince whose rescue by a mermaid she secretly witnessed, Princess Margrethe is promised in marriage to the prince to bring peace to their warring kingdoms only to discover that he has taken a familiar-looking lover. By the author of Godmother: A Secret Cinderella Story. —Publisher’s description







Valentine, Genevieve   The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

This reimagining of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses” traces the story of a family of flappers who work in a 1920s speakeasy until their suspicious father decides to marry them off, prompting a confrontation with a bootlegger from the eldest sister’s past. — from the library’s catalog



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