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2 Reviews from IndyPL Patrons

September 14, 2014 by Reader's Connection

One patron is reviewing a book, and the other is reviewing an IndyPL web feature.

The Seventh Mother

The Seventh Mother (©2014) by Sherri Wood Emmons, 2012 Emerging Author Award Nominee, Indiana Authors Award 

This was an excellent book. It was difficult to take a break from reading it. A must read! – Jennifer

The Seventh Mother is also available as a downloadable e-book.


The library’s Freegal music catalog is pretty great. I downloaded the Freegal app to my iPhone, and now download songs on a weekly basis. #Galactic #BobDylan #BlackRebelMotorcycleClub – Ryan


Side note: The September 30th meeting of the Spades Park Poetry Program, announced in an earlier post, has been cancelled.


Before You See the Movie

September 11, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Books have always served as inspiration for Hollywood, but right now is an especially exciting time for book and movie lovers. This year saw the release of some major book-to-movie titles, and movie studios continue to craft hundreds of bestsellers and beloved classics into big-screen adaptations.

Now is the perfect time to freshen up your reading list and read the book before the movie comes out. Let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s always better that way! Check out this list of 25 books to read before you see the movie.


A Long Way Down


A Long Way Down- Nick Hornby




A Walk in the Woods


A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson




Beautiful Ruins


Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter






Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín




Child 44


Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith




Dark Places


Dark Places – Gillian Flynn




Every Secret Thing


Every Secret Thing – Laura Lippman




Far From the Madding Crowd


Far From the Madding Crowd




If I Stay


If I Stay – Gale Forman




In the Garden of Beasts


In the Garden of Beasts – Erik Larson




Live by Night


Live by Night – Dennis LeHane






Serena – Ron Rash




Suite Francaise


Suite Francaise – Irène Némirovsky




The Best of Me


The Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks




The Engagements


The Engagements – J. Courtney Sullivan




The Glass Castle


The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls




The Maze Runner


The Maze Runner – James Dashner




The Night Circus


The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern




The Zookeeper’s Wife


The Zookeeper’s Wife – Diane Ackerman




Then They Came for Me


Then They Came for Me – Maziar Bahari




Thirteen Reasons Why


Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher




This is Where I Leave You


This is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper






Trash – Andy Mulligan






Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand






Wild – Cheryl Strayed



You can check out all of these titles and more at the Indianapolis Public Library!

-Selector Jessica Lawrence



IUPUI Visiting Authors Fall 2014

September 8, 2014 by Reader's Connection

The Rufus and Louise Reiberg Reading Series at IUPUI begins it fall session on October 9th. All readings are free and open to the public.


Marcus Wicker
Thursday, October 9, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
University Library Lilly Auditorium
755 West Michigan Street

Maybe the Saddest Thing : Poems

Maybe the Saddest Thing : PoemsDense with echo and vibrant with syncopation, Wicker’s debut deploys a festive panoply of characters from African-American culture and music to make serious claims about memory, sadness, race, self-consciousness, and desire. “Love Letter to RuPaul” appraises “the hourglass-shaping choke hold/ you can put on a mic”; “The Break Beat Break” considers “the body’s// never-ending addiction to movement… spun/ backward on a turntable.” Wicker gets introspective too, self-conscious and self-mocking: “I’m only telling you this because/ you’re reading a poem,” he says in a deceptively serious “I’m a Sad, Sad Man. So Sad.” Prose blocks, couplets, short stuttered lines and long ones that repeat his own name (as in a ghazal) give the collection exciting variety, while its memories–sexy, pathetic, guilty or all three, as in pages about Wicker’s Michigan teenage years–give the work a cumulative gravity. — Publishers Weekly


Marianne Boruch
Thursday, October 30, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Emerson Hall Anatomy Lecture Hall
545 Barnhill Drive

Cadaver, Speak

Cadaver, Speak

Born out of a gross anatomy course, the title poem of Boruch’s eighth collection is a 30-part sequence in the voice of the 99-year-old woman whose body was dissected in the class: “The body–before they opened me–the darkest dark// must live in there. Where color is wasted./ Because I hear them look:/ bright green of gallbladder, shocked yellow fat.” Boruch’s broad attention, intelligence, and imagination manage questions of death, physicality, and the transactions of knowledge both within the lab and across history. Every moment is charged with multiple meanings–narrative, scientific, epistemological, ontological–as the deceased speaker references her own life and death, comments on dissection techniques, explores anatomical formalities, and ponders the clinical and social negotiations of the medical students (“The way one of them,// I’m sorry to me/ when her knife flashes wrong.”). Equally concerned with mortality and meaning, the collection’s other poems are contained lyric meditations anchored in the real and specific. – Publishers Weekly


Randa Jarrar

Monday, November 17, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Herron School of Art & Design
Eskanazi Hall Basile Auditorium
735 West New York Street

A Map of Home

A Map of Home

Jarrar’s sparkling debut about an audacious Muslim girl growing up in Kuwait, Egypt and Texas is intimate, perceptive and very, very funny. Nidali Ammar is born in Boston to a Greek-Egyptian mother and a Palestinian father, and moves to Kuwait at a very young age, staying there until she’s 13, when Iraq invades. A younger brother is born in Kuwait, rounding out a family of complex citizenships. During the occupation, the family flees to Alexandria in a wacky caravan, bribing soldiers along the way with whiskey and silk ties. But they don’t stay long in Egypt, and after the war, Nidali’s father finds work in Texas. At first, Nidali is disappointed to learn that feeling rootless doesn’t make her an outsider in the States, and soon it turns out the precocious and endearing Arab chick isn’t very different from other American girls, a reality that only her father may find difficult to accept. Jarrar explores familiar adolescent ground–stifling parental expectations, precarious friendships, sensuality and first love–but her exhilarating voice and flawless timing make this a standout. — Publishers Weekly


Visitor parking is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St. and the Vermont Street Garage, 1004 W. Vermont Street.
For more information about the series, contact Terry Kirts at or (317) 274-8929.


Interview with David Hoppe

September 4, 2014 by Reader's Connection

David Hoppe’s new collection Personal Indianapolis: Thirteen Years of Observing, Exhorting, and Satirizing the Hoosier Capital was released this summer.

On October 20th, he will be featured at one of the Indy Author Evenings at Central Library–and he’ll also appear at the Irvington Branch on November 25th as part of their Read Local series.

Click on the picture to hear Hoppe talk about his new book (he doesn’t really like books that are collections of columns), his friendship with Kurt Vonnegut, and how he thinks Indianapolis is doing.


3 poems by Tracy K. Smith

September 1, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Life on Mars

On September 17th, Tracy K. Smith will be the first author to appear in this fall’s Visiting Authors Series at Butler.

These poems are from her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Life on Mars  (2011) and are reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.

That cover art, if you’re wondering, is the Cone Nebula. Smith’s father worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, and pictures of the nebula and other astonishments are available for your desktop at HubbleSite.

A beautiful extended poem about the death of her father was too long to reprint. (Extinct tiger species are brought in as she deals with what it means for him to be gone.) But she mightn’t have written a soundtrack for the universe if she hadn’t had that dad; so his influence is felt here.

I think another poem here is an homage to a therapist. I’m not sure how many of those I’ve read.

I couldn’t resist the third poem, directed as it is toward my favorite rock band’s drummer. I love the way Levon is driving in donuts through the back woods of her mind while she struggles with a poem, and how a song has to climb out of him like a man from a mine. (Levon played Loretta Lynn’s father in Coal Miner’s Daughter.)



The first track still almost swings. High hat and snare, even
A few bars of sax the stratosphere will singe-out soon enough.

Synthesized strings. Then something like cellophane
Breaking in as if snagged to a shoe. Crinkle and drag. White noise,

Black noise. What must be voices bob up, then drop, like metal shavings
In molasses. So much for us. So much for the flags we bored

Into planets dry as chalk, for the tin cans we filled with fire
And rode like cowboys into all we tried to tame. Listen:

The dark we’ve only ever imagined now audible, thrumming,
Marbled with static like grisly meat. A chorus of engines churns.

Silence taunts: a dare. Everything that disappears
Disappears as if returning somewhere.



I spent two years not looking
Into the mirror in his office.
Talking, instead, into my hands
Or a pillow in my lap. Glancing up
Occasionally to let out a laugh.
Gradually it felt like a date with a friend,
Which meant it was time to end.

Two years later, I saw him walking
Up Jay Street into the sun. No jacket,
His face a little chapped from wind.
He looked like an ordinary man carrying
Shirts home from the laundry, smiling
About something his daughter had said
Earlier that morning. Back before

You existed to me, you were a theory.
Now I know everything: the words you hate.
Where you itch at night. In our hallway,
There are five photos of your dead wife.
This is what we mean by sharing a life. Still,
From time to time, I think of him watching me
From over the top of his glasses, or eating candy

From a jar. I remember thanking him each time
The session was done. But mostly what I see
Is a human hand reaching down to lift
A pebble from my tongue.



aaaaaaaaaaafor Levon Helm

I’ve been beating my head all day long on the same six lines,
Snapped off and whittled to nothing like the nub of a pencil
Chewed up and smoothed over, yellow paint flecking my teeth.

And this whole time a hot wind’s been swatting at my door,
Spat from his mouth and landing smack against my ear.
All day pounding the devil out of six lines and coming up dry,

While he drives donuts through my mind’s back woods with that
Dirt-road voice of his, kicking up gravel like a runaway Buick.
He asks Should I come in with that back beat, and whatever those

Six lines were bothered by skitters off like water in hot grease.
Come in, Levon, with your lips stretched tight and that pig-eyed grin,
Bass mallet socking it to the drum. Lay it down like you know

You know how, shoulders hiked nice and high, chin tipped back
So the song has to climb its way out like a man from a mine.