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Celebrate National Craft Month!

March 9, 2014 by Reader's Connection


Crafts and hobbies provide a creative outlet, a way to relax and an opportunity to learn something new. If you want a go-to resource about hobbies and crafts , explore the Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center database. It includes how-to instructions and creative ideas for more than 160 crafts, including knitting, camping, homebrewing and photography.
With full text articles from craft magazines, instructional videos and recipes, you’ll find many ways to express your creativity.



On our homepage, go to the section called The Resources, and click on Articles & Databases.




alpha2When the iLibrary Databases page opens up, choose the alphabetical arrangement . . .

. . .and scroll down to Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center. Click there.

. . .

To search, type your term into the search box and click the Search button.guitar_search2




Search results are listed by relevance.

















But over to the right, you’ll see a Relevance button.





If you  click there, you can rearrange your results. We’ll pick Date Newest . . .





. . . so the most recent results are brought to the top.


Click the Full Text link . . .






. . . to see the article as it appears in the magazine.









Click on the article’s title . . .title_link
. . . to see details about the article.





You can print the article, email it, bookmark it or save the article to computer. Articles can be saved to a folder once you’ve created an account.



If available, related videos will appear on the right hand section of the screen marked “Related Hobbies and Craft Videos”.




Return to the database’s homepage anytime by clicking the Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center logo in the upper left hand corner of the screen.




This homepage features a Crafts Spotlight. This month is St. Patrick’s Day Crafts, with ideas for recipes and crafts to celebrate the day.








Also on the homepage is the Featured Video, which shows how to complete a simple project.






vid_link2Want to search the 720 how-to videos? Click the Video/Images link in the bar across the top of the screen.





Enter your subject in the search box, and click Search.








If some videos are available, click on a video link to view the video.












pubs2Wondering if your favorite craft magazine is included in the database? Click the Publications link at the top the screen to see the titles of the 1500 magazines and books.

Celebrate National Craft Month and make something today. Let the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center spark your imagination!

–Selector Beth Baker Schoch


LibraryReads March 2014

March 6, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Reporting in from 9 states around the country, librarians have picked 10 favorites from among the books being published in March. (Illinois picked 2 this month.)

Cheryl Holtsclaw (West Indianapolis Branch) picked an Owen Laukkanen novel last October, so she’ll be glad to see that Laukkanen’s newest has made it onto LibraryReads.


The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

The Weight of Blood


The Dane family has been keeping secrets in the Ozark town of Henbane for years. An outsider steals the heart of one of the Dane brothers, and the secrets threaten to unravel. When sixteen-year-old Lucy’s friend is found murdered after being missing for a year, Lucy begins to ask questions–the answers to which may destroy her family. Atmospheric and visceral, McHugh’s story is vividly and effectively told. — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ



The Accident by Chris Pavone

The Accident


Kudos to Pavone for coming through with another captivating international suspense novel. How ironic that I couldn’t put down a book about Isabel, a literary agent who stays up all night to finish an unsolicited manuscript that’s so explosive, some will kill to keep it from being published. During the 24 hours that Isabel is on the run, readers will be on the edge of their seats. Be prepared to lose some sleep! — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI




The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

The Divorce Papers


When Sophie, a loveable 29-year-old lawyer, gets roped into working on a divorce case, her life takes an unexpected turn. Though this gives her a new perspective on life, it also forces her to confront some unresolved childhood issues. Except for a few tearful, poignant moments, I had a smile on my face for the entire book. Engaging and humorous, this debut epistolary novel has become a favorite read. — Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL




The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths



After the bones of the notorious Mother Hook are possibly uncovered in Norfolk, forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway finds herself on TV. Was Mother Hook truly guilty of child murder? This is just one strand in a mystery that revolves around children and the people who care for them. One of the most addictive mystery series being written today. — Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC




Panic by Lauren Oliver



A deadly high-stakes game of Panic takes place in modern-day small town America, and Oliver does a wonderful job making all of it seem real. I loved that the book didn’t take place in a post-apocalyptic future like so many titles do nowadays. Oliver is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! — Carol Brumfield, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA





A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante

A Circle of Wives


When prominent plastic surgeon Dr. John Taylor is found dead, the police investigation uncovers his secret polygamous life. As the narration alternates between Taylor’s three wives and a young female detective, the story explores the characters’ motivations and relationships. Part psychological thriller and part literary mystery, the end result is wholly captivating reading. — Melissa DeWild, Kent District Library, Comstock Park, MI




Gemini by Carol Cassella



After an unidentified hit-and-run victim is received in ICU, Dr. Charlotte Reese struggles to keep her alive, questioning how far medical technology should go to do so. Meanwhile, in an alternate story, teens Bo and Raney explore their budding friendship and attraction. Book groups will devour this compulsively readable novel with thought-provoking themes. Perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult and Chris Bohjalian. — Robin Beerbower, Salem Public Library, Salem, OR




Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

Precious Thing


Clara and Rachel have been friends since high school. Life has intervened and they’ve grown apart, so when Clara invites Rachel for drinks to catch up, it’s a chance to reconnect. But before that can happen, Rachel is called to cover a missing girl story, and the missing girl is Clara. Was she abducted, murdered or did she simply leave on her own? In the vein of Gone Girl and The Husband’s Secret, this is a fast read that is sure to entertain. — Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH




Kill Fee: A Stevens and Windermere Novel by Owen Laukkanen

Kill Fee: A Stevens and Windermere Novel


In the third book in this series, Carla Windermere and Kirk Stevens find themselves reunited when people around the country seem to be dying from contract hits. Young war veterans, under the influence of a mysterious man, are turning into emotionless killers. Stevens and Windermere try piecing together who’s behind the crimes, but keep falling one step behind. Reminiscent of Thomas Perry’s novels, and fast-paced. — Lora Bruggeman, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL




Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon (The title is somewhat different in our catalog, but that may change when the book is received and fully cataloged.)

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Show Your Work! is a wonderful follow-up to Austin Kleon’s first book, Steal Like an Artist. Utilizing the same fun, graphic novel-ish type of format, Kleon gives practical recommendations about using the Internet and social media to create a community. I particularly appreciate his advice to concentrate on process, not on product, and the rest will follow. A must-read for anyone involved in the creative process. — Rebekka Hanson, Madison Library District, Rexburg, ID


Cactus or Grapefruit?

March 3, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Spring Training Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide To The Ballparks Of The Grapefruit And Cactus LeaguesI know it may not look like it, but SPRING is at hand! Baseball teams have reported to Arizona and Florida, so Spring Training is underway, at least. And after the winter we’ve had, I’ll take any sign of Spring the universe will throw my way. But, to be honest, this is my favorite sign of Spring. The new season is full of possibilities. There are no wins and, most importantly, there are NO LOSSES. Cactus or Grapefruit refers to which league a team is in for Spring Training. Cactus league is in Arizona, and Grapefruit is in Florida. You can see the history of the leagues (and the stadiums) in the Spring Training Handbook or, for the most up to date information, Spring Training Online.

There are shelves and shelves of baseball books covering everything from the official rules to your favorite teams, players and games. But, the truly beautiful books belong to the stadiums.
America’s Classic Ballparks : A Collection of Images and Memorabilia
America's Classic Ballparks : A Collection of Images and MemorabiliaThis one starts with the (not at all) famous William Cammeyer, who turned his Brooklyn ice rink into a summertime baseball field, and covers a variety of famous parks, ending with the closing of Yankee Stadium in 2008. There are plenty of pictures, trivia, and even some reproductions of programs and tickets from some special games. My favorite factoid from this book (besides the introduction of Mr. Cammeyer) is the fact that the first home run hit in Wrigley field….was by a Cincinnati Reds player Johnny Beall on April 22, 1916. The Cubs would win their first game there on April 26, 1916. Don’t blame the goat.


Fenway Park at 100 (Also known as 100 Years of Fenway Park)

Fenway Park at 1002012 was the 100th anniversary of Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. This book covers the history of the park, of course, but focuses a lot on the modern day history. There are pictures of every aspect of the park, with a variety of famous faces (check out a young looking Ben Affleck on pg. 64) and the park under a variety of conditions (check out the stadium seats covered in ice and snow on pg. 65) If you’re a fan of the Red Sox, or of Boston, this is the book for you.


500 Ballparks : From Wooden Seats to Retro Classics

500 Ballparks : From Wooden Seats to Retro ClassicsPick a ballpark, any ballpark! This book covers the gamut, including our own hometown Victory Field. This is a great book if you’re interested in parks big and small, past and present. In fact, I learned some Indianapolis history from this book. There is a picture of the 1888 Indianapolis Hoosiers (pg. 38) and the index mentions numerous parks where baseball was played around the city. Athletic/Tinker Park (Seventh Street and Tennessee Avenue), Bruce Park (23rd and College Avenue) and many more. Unexpected local history in a book of ballparks old and new.



New York Yankees Then & NowIf you have a thing for pinstripes, New York Yankees Then & Now will give you the pictorial history of the Bronx Bombers. Dozens (Hundreds? Thousands?) of books have been written about the Yankees, but with chapters on Historic coaches, Celebrity fans, wives and girlfriends, female fans and, of course Yankee Stadium, you’ll get a great snapshot of what makes the team so famous. Trivia: the book speculates a lot about why the team, officially, adopted the name ‘Yankees’ in 1913. Was it because the crowd used to see ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’? Because ‘Highlanders’ or ‘New York Americans’ weren’t popular with sportswriters? Because the term ‘Yankees’ was already unofficially used to describe the team in the press and popular with the fans? Whatever the reason, the name was officially changed and the rest is history.


Big League Ballparks : The Complete Illustrated History

Big League Ballparks : The Complete Illustrated HistoryIt’s only as complete as it’s copyright date, of course, but if you’re looking for a book that details the history of the parks you know and love, this is that book. Beautiful color pictures of the historic stadiums still hosting baseball (Wrigley Field, Fenway Park) to historic parks that were famously upgraded (Comiskey Park to U.S. Cellular Field, or Tiger Stadium to Comerica Park) to brand new facilities. It gives a little history of each club, and interesting changes either in wardrobe, cap style, and famous games. It has a little bit of everything for the general baseball fan.


I appreciate Spring for the end of snow. I love it for the beginning of baseball!

–Selector Robin Bradford


2 poems by Bob Hicok, and hey, Franklin Road’s book discussion has moved to March 17th.

February 28, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Due to impending horrible weather, Franklin Road’s book discussion, scheduled for Monday, March 3rd, has been postponed. The discussion of No Pulling Back: Tale of a Fighter Dog, with author Ruth Hanley in attendance, will be rescheduled.

Elegy Owed

“Love” and “The days are getting longer” appear in Bob Hicok’s collection Elegy Owed (© 2013 Copper Canyon Press) and are reprinted by permission.

“Love” is a late valentine for you. ”The days are getting longer” is an example of what the jacket cover means when it says that in Hicok’s poems “the rules of mourning are broken and salvaged.”

I’m sorry for the crude dry-walling I’ve done with this first poem. Couldn’t get the blogging software to behave poetically.





The days are getting longer

The birds I feed seed every morning
never thank me, and I tell on them
to my mother, who I assume
raised them and everything
from pups. She’s begun to forget
why my voice shows up in her ear
each week, let alone
what the real name of the ruby-
throated-whatsit is, it’s hard
to help the dead be dead
before they are. Mourning

doves, cardinals, chickadees
strip the cupboard bare
in a matter of hours,
as tiny guillotines cut each leaf
from every tree, the leaves
fall orange & brown, a muted rainbow
arting-up the forgiveness
of October air, which smells naked,
new, and accepts the shape
of everything in its mouth. She asked

the other day how my day was,
I told her, she asked again,
as if I hadn’t answered
or slept in the rumpus-room
of her womb. Do you ever look
at a crust of bread and wonder
if that’s God, if the quiet
that lives there is the same hush
we become? I never do too,
but is it, and why are we dragging
these anvils behind us?


The Internal Enemy

February 26, 2014 by Reader's Connection

The Internal Enemy : Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832

Of the many things I didn’t know about the War of 1812, this may be the most important: It gave slaves in the Chesapeake Bay area a chance to reunite their families.

In July 1813 a twenty-one-year-old slave named Benjamin escaped from his master in Calvert County. A few days later the runaway guided a British attachment to a different farm, to retrieve his wife, Cecelia, so that they could reunite in freedom. Similarly, Joe Lane fled from his master in Northumberland County, Virginia, and went to the British, who then helped him retrieve his wife, Barbara, and their three children, from another owner in the county. In October 1814 in the same county, Sall escaped with three of her children from the farm of Robert Forester. Then she led a British officer to another farm forcibly to retrieve her two daughters who had been sold to a different owner.

By traveling at night, slaves had maintained ties with spouses and children on other farms in the neighborhood, constituting a community across multiple white-owned properties.

That’s from Alan Taylor’s The Internal Enemy : Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, which was nominated for the 2013 National Book Award. It covers the American Revolution and runs through Nat Turner’s 1831 rebellion, but focuses for the most part on the War of 1812.

The Civil War of 1812 : American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies

I’ve requested Taylor’s 2010 book The Civil War of 1812 : American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies, and look forward to reading about the invasion of Canada by the not-really-very-United States. But there’s no need to read these books in the order they were written, and I’m glad to have read The Internal Enemy during African-American History Month.

Taylor thinks that at least 5,000 slaves escaped from the United States during the war. 2,400 of them escaped from the Chesapeake area. This was a small number, compared with the total number of slaves in Virginia, but

the importance of the wartime escapes lay primarily in the psychological and political overreactions provoked among the Virginians, who felt shocked by any surge in runaways as a dangerous slippery slope toward slave revolt. Despite their modest numbers, the wartime runaways terrified Virginians who dreaded slaves as their “internal enemy.”

And to give credit where it’s due, some of the runaways were organized into a special British unit called “Colonial Marines,” and they fought bravely. In any case, freedom was of titanic importance to those who escaped, whatever their number. We see this after the war, when, for example, the British don’t keep all the promises they’ve made to the runaways who end up in Nova Scotia.

Although most remained poor, they were still better off free in Nova Scotia than as slaves in America. In their new homes, they had restored the family ties that had been their prime goal in escaping from slavery . . . Despite their mistreatment in Nova Scotia, they could live without fear that a master’s death, debt, or whim would sell someone precious far away never to be seen again.

This is a moving, fascinating book, full of info that was new to me. Check out pages 256-259. I was thinking all backwards about “slave names.” (“No act of submission, taking a master’s surname was instead as defiant as taking his pig at night.”)


Francis Scott Key was inspired during the War of 1812 to write the poem that became our National anthem. I had known that, but I hadn’t known that our anthem has a third verse wishing horror and death to escaping slaves. “Key regarded the land of the free and the home of the brave as properly a white man’s republic”–Alan Taylor.