Looking for a Good Book
How Personal History Affects Reader Satisfaction
When two people read the same book they remember slightly different stories, and may reach completely different conclusions about the experience.
Why? Because the human brain has been trained to pay attention to, and remember, specific details based on a lifetime of experiences, feelings, thoughts and values unique to each individual’s history. In the case of reading, we may forget scenes, characters, and even entire chapters, thanks to this subconscious decision to focus on what is meaningful to us. The more meaningful touchpoints a story offers, the more satisfying the read. Librarians call this “appeal.” Appeal captures the essential essence of what each reader likes about a story. And librarians excel at helping readers identify and articulate their personal appeal elements.
Do you like mysteries, or is it the pacing, characterization and tone that many who-dunnits offer? Biography and memoir may follow similar story lines (chronological) and include comparable detail (factual and anecdotal), but they can vary from scholarly and serious to conversational and humorous. Do you like a clear resolution? Are you drawn to multigenerational family relationships? Do you require characters to evolve or change? Do you want character-driven or action-based plots?
Understanding your reading taste is the key to finding your next good book. In fact, successfully matching appeal elements with author styles and storylines can turn a good read into a great one. Discover your personal preferences; Library staff are eager to help—let’s talk about it!
My Library Story
I’ve seen firsthand how reading, and being able to read well, makes such a difference in someone’s life. As a retired school librarian, I have time to read several books a week; and I LOVE this Library! —Harriett
Library tech talks are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month from 6 to 7:30 pm in The Wilbur Aalfs Library SNB Conference Room. Bring your questions and your devices. Need wifi? The Wilbur Aalfs Library and the Morningside Branch offer wall-to-wall wifi. The Morningside Branch Library had a record 451 wifi logins in March.
Digging Summer Reading
Reading Fun for Everyone • June 1—July 31
It’s that time of year! Readers from preschool through fifth grade are invited to “Dig into Reading,” while students in grades six through nine will go “Beneath the Surface” in the 2013 summer reading initiative. Older teens and adults can explore new interests in “Groundbreaking Reads,” a theme that entices readers to discover new authors and genres.
The summer reading initiative, comprising movies, activities, reading, special guests and more, is free to participants—thanks to the Friends of the Sioux City Public Library. Beginning June 1, participants in preschool through ninth grade earn fun prizes and a paperback book to keep just by visiting any Library location four times before July 31.
“We’ll team with the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines, the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, and our own Sioux City Field Services, to present science, nature and construction programs,” says Youth Services Manager Jeanette Bobeen, “along with storytelling, comedy and juggling thrown in for even more good times.” Calendars are available May 4 at all Library locations and on the website.
A Fresh, Practical Way to Learn a Language
Stop thinking about it and do it. The means to learn a new language, or at least to equip yourself with a pocketful of key phrases, is as close as your fingertips. Mango Languages is now available at the Sioux City Public Library Online Branch. With a full-service Library card, you can learn anywhere on just about any device.
This interactive database provides engaging step-by-step lessons in Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish (Latin America), Thai and Vietnamese. Mango Languages is perfect for improving English language skills, providing ESL lessons in 16 languages.
To get started, visit www.siouxcity library.org and follow the Downloads link to Mango Languages.
Open Book Club
The Library’s book club encourages lively discussion with fellow reading enthusiasts. Upcoming selections include:
May 6 Rules of Civility
June 3 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
July 1 Gone Girl: A Novel
Aug 5 The Round House: A Novel
Sept 9 The Absolutist and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Oct 7 Caleb’s Crossing
Nov 7 The Night Circus: A Novel
Join us at 11 am at the Perry Creek Branch (before we open) or at 6:30 pm at the Morningside Branch. Drop-ins welcome!
It’s Book Sale Time
Plan to attend the annual used book sale beginning Friday, April 26 and ending Saturday, May 4, under the clock tower in Gordon Plaza, 3241 Gordon Drive, Sioux City. Sponsored by the Friends of the Sioux City Public Library, proceeds from the sale enrich public library service in Sioux City, funding the children’s summer reading initiative and providing books, recordings, online resources and more. Call 255-2933 x 221 for details. (PDF flier)
First Saturday = Family Fun
Youth Services introduced a new series of family programming during the Saturday, February 2 celebration of Take Your Child to the Library Day. Lasting approximately 30 minutes and repeated several times that day, staff gave attendees three ways to experience The Three Billy Goats Gruff – as a picture book story, as a puppet play the children helped present, and as a shadow puppet story.
“This was very different from our usual storytimes, where we read as many books as time allows on one theme,” says Jeanette Bobeen, Youth Services Manager. “Presenting only one story in three very different ways really imprints it on the child’s brain and involves both visual and aural learning skills. Young or old, I doubt anyone in the room will forget the mop puppet goats cavorting over the troll bridge made from chairs, or their first introduction to shadow puppets which showed up so well in the darkened room. Parents could see how they could improvise at home to enjoy books with their children.”
First Saturday fun continued on March 2 when over 250 parents and children celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday at the Library, and again April 6 with Silly Stories and Foolish Friends. The May 4 event will feature the stories of Mo Willems (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Elephant and Piggie and Knuffle Bunny). On Saturday, June 1, the fun will be at the Morningside Branch, and on July 6, at the Perry Creek Branch. We’ll continue to celebrate Take Your Child to the Library every month, if not every day!
Welcome to a reader advisor page featuring new or popular titles. For a complete list of new titles visit www.siouxcity library.org and click the All About Books tab. Use the dropdown menu under Our Newest Titles for a list of items by category. Visit the Kids Zone and Teen Scene pages to find the newest additions for these reading levels. Questions? Call us at 255-2933 x 221.
L.A. burglar Junior Bender has a knack for locks and a heart of gold. In Crashed, a new mystery by Timothy Hallinon, he dabbles in stolen art and rescues a former child star in the process. Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton is another entertaining mystery involving dishonest art collectors. In Be Cool by Elmore Leonard, Chili Palmer contends with crooked managers, gangsta-rappers and the Russian Mafia, while developing the plot for his next movie, solving his friend’s murder, and helping a talented female singer hit the big time in Tinseltown.
Written from letters and interviews, Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden (371.1 Wic) recounts the adventure of two childhood friends and socialites, who, born in 1887 and living into the 1970s, traveled from New York to the wilds of Colorado in 1916 to be teachers for a year. In Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, grandmother Lily (1903-1967), who grew up on the Texas frontier, also traveled by horseback to teach school. All three left an indelible impression on the children in their care.
The End of Your Life Book Club (New Nonfiction 616.99 Sch) has two members. Navigating the path through treatment for pancreatic cancer, Will and Mary Anne Schwalbe share their hopes and concerns while talking about their “book club” selections. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but mother and son, strengthened and comforted by the power of the printed word. A younger “families sharing books” story is The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared, by Alice Ozma (028.9 Ozm), about a young girl and the books she and her father read aloud together. For a novel that champions the power of reading to ease life’s many stressors, try The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Fan of Downton Abbey? We have seasons 1-3 on DVD. Or check out The Chronicles of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis (New Nonfiction 791.4572 Fel). This takes readers deeper into the story behind every important member of the estate. Then there’s Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon (New Nonfiction 942.27 Car). This is the true story behind Highclere Castle, the setting for the Emmy Award-winning PBS show. Or, try Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir that Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Margaret Powell (Nonfiction 641.5092 Pow).
The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening and Life by Margaret Roach (New Nonfiction 635.01 Roa) combines the author’s musings with an array of practical gardening tips. In the novel The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, a damaged teen uses the hidden meaning of flowers to improve the lives of others, while struggling to overcome her own past. More fanciful still, are the Waverley women in Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. In a family endued with peculiar gifts, even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers.
Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwyne (978.0049 Gwy) recounts the 40-year war with the Comanche and the story of Cynthia Ann Parker. Kidnapped in 1836, she became infamous as the “White Squaw” who refused to return until forcibly “rescued” by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior whose guerrilla tactics in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend. Readers of historical fiction might try The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles. Amid similar themes and settings, a former slave pursues and rescues his kidnapped wife and children. The what-if novel, One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus, advances a Cheyenne chief’s request to exchange white brides for horses to establish a cultural alliance and avoid war.