Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Club in a Box

Nominations are now being taken for titles to be included in the 2016 Book Club in a Box collection. You can get a nomination form from the 3rd floor desk at the IFPL, or download it from the Book Club Blog. We ask that all nominations be submitted on a nomination form.

We will add all nominations to the voting ballot that are available in a paperback format by December 5, 2015.

If you have questions, contact Jenniffer 612-8460 or jhentzen@ifpl.org

Friday, August 28, 2015

Let's Talk About It

We only have just 20 sets of the books for this read-and-discuss book series, and the books will go out on a first come, first served basis in the Idaho Falls Public Library... get yours today!

The selections for this year: 
Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life, Robert Utley 
(Scholar: Steven Hall) 
Billy the Kid is both a simple narrative of the life of Henry McCarty Antrim (alias William Bonney aka Billy the Kid) and an analysis of his place and times, and the context of his life. It provides a means for considering his real importance to American history and, particularly, American myth. In fact, Robert Utley says that his purpose is to comment on violence in American society. Utley is known primarily as a historian of the Idaho Wars. As a National Park Service historian, he produced guides for such complex sites as Custer (now Little Bighorn) Battlefield. Billy the Kid grew out of Utley’s highly regarded analysis of New Mexico’s Lincoln County War, High Noon in Lincoln: Violence on the Western Frontier, and is aimed, he says, at “stripping away the veneers of legendry


English Creek, Ivan Doig 
(Scholar: Steven Hall)
The days of arriving summer, the rangeland green at last across northern Montana, the hundred-mile horizon of the Rocky Mountains, form the backdrop for Jick McCaskill's coming-of-age late in the Depression. Jick is fourteen and able now to share in the full life of family and town and ranch in the sprawling Two Medicine country. His father is a roustabout range rider turned forest ranger; his mother, from a local ranching family, is a practical woman with a peppery wit. His idolized brother Alec is eighteen and strong-minded, set on marriage to a town girl and on a livelihood as a cowboy. Alec's choice of "cow chousing" throws the McCaskills into conflict, and through Jick's eyes we see a family at a turning point—"where all four of our lives made their bend."

Reservation Blues, Sherman Alexie 
(Scholar: Carlen Donovan)
To read about Native American reservation life is usually to read about illness and despair. Fiction originating from that life is also, of course, capable of wild happiness and celebration; but the darkness is a fact of life and art. James Welch, in his superb novel “Winter in the Blood,” observes his characters’ suffering from the corner of his narrative eye; Reynolds Price, in his moving novella “Walking Lessons,” confronts the sorrow directly. Sherman Alexie, whose 1993 collection, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” was justly applauded, writes about characters who are squarely in the middle of reservation life but who report it to us from a point of view that is simultaneously tangential to the mainstream of that life as well as part of its sad, slow rhythms. Here, for example, from his first novel, “Reservation Blues,” is Mr. Alexie’s description of the Indians’ mythic coyote: “a trickster whose bag of tricks contains permutations of love, hate, weather, chance, laughter and tears, e.g., Lucille Ball.” He catches the ancient and the contemporary, the solemn and the self-mocking, at once; he evokes dreary days of watching black-and-white television reruns in a place of “poverty, suicide, alcoholism,” where “Indian Health only gave out dental floss and condoms.” When Mr. Alexie writes at his best, he creates stinging commentary, and he shows his determination to make you uncertain whether you want to laugh or cry.

The Brave Cowboy, Edward Abbey 
(Scholar: Michael Corrigan)
Caught in his own limbo, the cowboy Jack Burns has been reduced to herding sheep. Jack Burns is a cowboy, not of cows, but of nature. Abbey has drawn Burns’ character out of the western land, that geography, specialized topography where supposedly all good cowboys come from—pine forest, surrounding desert flats and mountains, all bordered by a winding river. Yet we get little of the calf-roping, hard-hitting, straight-shooting, bronc-busting stereotype Hollywood has conned us to expect. There are many approaches one could take in evaluating this novel. Symbolism, imagery, the unities, character, plot, theme, structure, and more. The jail is a microcosm of the world. We have the intruder, Jack; the inmates; the caretakers, guards, both good and bad; the overseer, a well-intentioned but inept and bungling sheriff. Devoid of and unaffected by pure cool water, lush green grass, fresh cold wind, or snow-pocked peaks to which Burns, as a would-be “everyman,” must return for purification, rejuvenation, life.

Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner 
(Scholar: Leslie Leek)
Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for its distinction as a novel about the West that transcended “regional” and “pioneer” stereotypes. Geologically, the angle of repose is the slope at which rocks stop rolling down a mountain. In the novel, it serves as a metaphor for the accommodation, the equilibrium, that Susan and Oliver Ward arrive at in relation to each other and to the circumstances of their lives. In its larger application, it suggests “the uneasy truce in which all paired opposites rest,” the opposites in the marriage of the Wards and in the culture of the American West. Lyman Ward, the narrator, sifts through his grandmother’s letters trying to penetrate the “hidden lode of Susan Ward’s woe.” Himself orphaned as a small boy and brought up by this grandmother, he is now crippled, fifty-eight years old, and a retired historian. In his searching, he comes upon what turned the marriage of his grandparents into an unloving, unforgiving truce that lasted the rest of their lives, and in doing so confronts some hard truths in his own existence.

 Questions? Call Liza 208.612.8460 or levens@ifpl.org

Friday, August 7, 2015

Book Club in a Box Collection

We are so pleased to be able to offer our area book clubs Book Club in a Box book sets. These sets contain 10* copies of a single title that can be checked-out for a six-week period and shared with a book club.... it's a sweet deal!!

And now, we are taking nominations for the 2016 Book Club in a Box collection, and IFPL is looking to you for your suggestions of great books that belong in the collection. To nominate a book, please download the form from the Book Club in a Box blog, or grab a form from the 3rd floor library staff. All nominations need to be returned by September 19 to be considered.

Voting for the Book Club in a Book titles will begin on October 1... more information about voting to come soon!

Thanks for your help!

*some sets have missing copies, so there are some sets with just 9 copies.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August Journal Group

Please note that there's slight change in the Journal Group meeting in August--it will be on THURSDAY the 13th, rather than on Wednesday. 

Here are some pages I made quickly to show you what we'll be working on during our group time on the 13th:

And sticking with the theme of HOME, here's some prompts to get your thoughts "homeward" bound...

  • Make a list of 20 things you love about your home.
  • When did you move into your home? What kind of day was it when you moved in?
  • When was it built, what style of home is it? 
  • Who do you share your home with? 
  • Do you entertain in your home... or prefer to have other people host parties? 
  • What projects are waiting to get done in your home? 
  • What are your dream projects for your home? (there's no budget constraints when you're dreaming) 
  • What is the one home task you must do every night before you can fall asleep? 
  • Do you know your neighbors? If you do, write about your favorites... and/or your least favorites. 
  • What memories do you have of your childhood home? 
  • What traditions did you bring from your childhood home into your home? 
  • Describe your childhood bedroom and compare it to your current bedroom... what are the similarities and differences? 
  • If money was no object, where would your home be? Or what style of architecture would it be? Or... 
  • Do you have a favorite quote about HOMES? Add it (or all of them) to your journal pages.

If you haven't been to our journal groups, we are excited to offer you:
  • materials and guidance to making your own journal.
  • monthly journal prompts via this blog and on Facebook to get you moved to write and/or create in your journals.
  • monthly meetings with time to write/create and share as desired... sharing is optional :)
Any other questions can be answered by emailing Jenniffer 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adult Makerspaces

On the elusive 5th Wednesdays of months that are lucky enough to have a 5th Wednesday, we offer Adult Makerspaces for those crafty adults* in the IFPL community!

This week we are making something like this:

 or even, something like this...

Keep in mind, that this is what we (and people on Pinterest) made with the materials... you can let your imagination and creativity take you in different directions! Call 208.612.8462 to sign-up for tomorrow's Makerspaces!

Why do we do Makerspaces? 
We do it because it gives people of all ages a place for self-directed learning by experimentation with individual idea development and conception. We encourage all participants to be in control of their own life-long-learning goals.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

August Book Club title...

Mark your calendars for the next IFPL Book Club, Chapter 2 meeting on August 26 @ 7pm on the 3rd Floor

August 26 @ 7pm
Julie Otsuka’s long-awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine is a tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago.

In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

July Journal Prompts

Sadly, I'm a day late about this as Journal Group met last night... but here are the prompts to get you going during this very busy month of July!
  • what's a favorite thing to do on your own?
  • what is a special summer memory?
  • use paint, crayons, or markers to add color to a page in your journal
  • who is your best friend--today or one from the past?
  • what are you missing about Winter?
  • what's your dream job?
  • what or who makes you laugh?
  • what's your favorite movie?
  • what exactly have you done TODAY?
Remember... Journal Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month in Conference Room 2. The next meeting will be on August 12 at 7pm. If you have questions about Journal Group and what we do, please call Jenniffer 208-612-8460 or email her jhentzen@ifpl.org.

*Thanks to EmilyJane.Typepad.com for inspiring these journal prompts!!