Murder on the Orient Express

Do you enjoy intelligent murder mysteries, trains, movies made from books about murder on trains, and/or anything by Agatha Christie? If so, here are some other things you might be interested in.

Murder on the Orient Express Shelf End Ditto NU


National Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Day

Beverly Cleary
April 12 is also Beverly Cleary’s birthday. This is not a coincidence.

Cleary, one of the most successful authors alive today (she’s 103 today, which is a kind of  achievement in itself), having sold over 90 million copies of her work worldwide.

Beverly Cleary created several beloved characters and chief among them for many young readers are Ramona Quimby and older sister Beezus (although, I was always partial to Ralph the Motorcycle Mouse myself). It was in the book Ramona Quimby, Age 8 that Cleary first wrote of Drop Everything And Read Day and ever since then fans have been carrying on the tradition in honor of Ramona and Beverly.

To celebrate families are encouraged to take at least half an hour today to stop, take a deep breath and read together (or at least simultaneously). Enjoy.

And if you need help finding something to read the Friends of the Moline Public Library Foundation is having a huge overflow book sale until 5pm today. In addition to all the books the library has available for check out of course.

Best Books on the Art of Storytelling

There’s something thrilling about the way certain writers can take readers behind the curtain of how stories are told. Some authors bring the same verve and deftness to their accounts of the process as they do with their acclaimed fiction and nonfiction; others turn the building blocks of stories into something unpredictable, leading readers to view the telling of stories in a whole new light.

Go to Penguin Random House to see a list of 10 books with 10 distinct takes on storytelling.


It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Maybe your day wasn’t bright (it’s been raining here for hours), but it was probably colder than you would’ve liked.

Either way, something about today put me in mind of the opening line from George Orwell’s classic 1984. Something ever so mildly bleak in the air. I’m sure it is a passing thing and that spring will arrive in full force soon, but still…

Image result for 1984

I guess, what I am trying to say is that it is a great day to go some place quiet and comfortable with lots of reading material, and maybe an attached cafe where you can get a sandwich and a cup of coffee, and hold up for hours reading. Maybe learning about any other services that such a magical place could provide or, at the very least, assembling a small stack of books that I would then see if I could borrow.


If only such a wonderful place existed. *wink*



Best Sellers: April Update

New York Times Best Sellers: Combined Print & E-Book Fiction


36809135For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

  1. RUN AWAY by Harlan Coben (NEW)
  2. CELTIC EMPIRE by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler (NEW)
  3. THE FIRST LADY by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois (NEW)
  6. WOLF PACK by C.J. Box
  7. THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS by Pam Jenoff
  8. CEMETERY ROAD by Greg Iles
  9. THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides
  10. DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  12. THE FALLEN by David Baldacci
  13. SILENT NIGHT by Danielle Steel
  14. THE HUNTRESS by Kate Quinn

Music, Fighting Spirit and Winning the Civil War

how an illinois music store helped win the civil war

Christian McWhirter, research historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, presents of fascinating program about the Chicago-based music publishing firm of Root & Cady.

During the American Civil War, the company rose quickly to become the most successful and influential in the nation, providing the Union with some of its most popular and meaningful patriotic anthems, such as “The Battle Cry of Freedom” and “Just Before the Battle, Mother” during the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Christian McWhirter is the author of Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

The free, hour-long program is opened to all ages.

Robert Frost, Poetry and The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost in 1941Today is Robert Frost’s 145th birthday.

Regarded as one of greatest poets of the 20th century and winner of numerous awards, honors and accolades; including a Congressional Gold Medal, 4 Pulitzer Prizes and 31(!) nominations for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Robert Frost is a towering figure in literature and was (and is) the face of American poetry for many people. And yet…

When was the last time you read some of his poetry? Any poetry really?

Uh-huh. I thought so. With few exceptions, most of us don’t really do poetry. Even though those devoted to it go on and on about how beautiful, how powerful it can be, how it can convey a message much deeper than you’d think at first glance, most of us are just not into it. For us, poetry is the road not taken.

Of course we aren’t going down that road. It’s weird, with all the flowery language, symbolism, strange imagery, rhythms and meters, verses and lines. Plus, a lot of it doesn’t even rhyme!

… But…

I’ve heard readers and non-readers have very similar discussions about books… and when a reader is told by a non-reader that they don’t like books because they are too slow or because they are hard to follow or they are too wordy, the reader normally responds with something along the lines of, “Well, you just haven’t found the right book yet.”

Maybe we, those of us that don’t do poetry, are right and poetry is just too weird or too much effort, or maybe we just haven’t found the right poet yet.

In honor of Mr. Frost, this evening or later this week when you have a moment, why not stop by the library and browse the poetry section (2nd floor, non-fiction, call number 811) and take the path most of us have been avoiding. It could make all the difference.