Treasures From the Stacks

I don’t know if you saw it, but recently there was an excellent online New Yorker article on one of my favorite websites of all times: Awful Library Books.  If you haven’t seen the blog before, it’s just a sheer delight.  All librarians have, at one point or another, weeded (removed from the collection due to lack of use, poor condition, or outdated content) books that should have been removed from our shelves years ago.  This book was my own personal favorite, found about 5 months ago in our ELA section:

150 Ways

Publication date?  1990.  I kid you not.

For every fifty awful books, there’s a gem.  A book that somehow in all the hustle and bustle has gotten lost in the cracks.  Here are some older titles I discovered recently and really enjoyed.  Maybe you’ll like them as well.

Death by Dickens, edited by Anne Perry

Death by Dickens

Awww. I probably should have weeded it since it hasn’t gone out in an inordinately long time, but look at it!  Anne Perry and a bunch of other mystery writers go out of their way to create original Dickensian murder mysteries.  On beyond Drood, as it were.  And if you’re able to resist a title like Mr. Pickwick and the Body Snatchers then you’re a stronger man than I.  Put your copy on reserve here.

Much Ado About Murder , edited by Anne Perry

Much Ado Murder

Subtract Dickens.  Add Shakespeare.  Murdery murdery Shakespeare.  Contains little short stories with titles like “Ere I killed thee” (too easy), “Exit, pursued”, and “Those are pearls that were his eyes”.    Put your copy on reserve here.

The Scoop & Behind the Screen: Two Long-Lost Gems by the Masters of the Art


When you read the premise of this book it’s hard to resist its siren song. It contains two radio plays written by members of Britain’s Detection Club.  And, as you can see from the cover, they weren’t exactly two-bit writers.  Awfully cool.  Awfully obscure. Place your copy on reserve here.

Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian


And if THAT isn’t the most random thing you ever did hear of, I don’t know what is.  At the same time, I was so fascinated by the premise that I just couldn’t weed it.  For you Janis Ian fans out there (check out her picture book The Tiny Mouse, which is rather surprisingly charming). Put your hold on Stars here.

Visions of Tomorrow: Science Fiction Predictions That Came True

Visions of Tomorrow

Need I do any more than merely show you the cover?  Tell you what.  I’ll put the chapters here as well.  They are:

Balloon hoax by Edgar Allan Poe
Land ironclads by H.G. Wells
Deadline by Cleve Cartmill
Prize of peril by Robert Sheckley
Directed energy by Jeff Hecht
Matchmaker by Thomas A. Easton
A logic named Joe by Murray Leinster
Scarred man by Gregory Benford
Infodict by James Van Pelt
E-Mage by Rajnar Vajra
How we saved the human race by David Gerrold
Misprint by Vonda N. McIntyre
Excellence by Richard A. Lovett
Mechanic by Hal Clement
Skystalk by Charles Sheffield.

Such a good idea for a book.  Place your copy on reserve here.

Mrs. Chippy’s Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton’s Polar-Bound Cat by Caroline Alexander

Mrs. Chippy

Be warned.  It really is from the cat’s p.o.v.  That said, it’s a true story about how one cat ended up visiting the Arctic.  The first of its kind to do so?  I suspect not.  Cat’s have a way of popping up where they don’t belong all the time, after all. Put your copy on reserve here.

Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston

Writing Jane

Here’s the plot: “Critically acclaimed and award-winning, but hardly bestselling, author Georgina Jackson can’t get past the first chapter of her second book. When she receives an urgent email from her agent, she is shockingly offered a commission to complete a newly discovered manuscript by Jane Austen.”

The crazy thing about the premise of this book is that it has already sort of happened.  Unfinished manuscripts by Jane have appeared and folks really have tried their hands at finishing them (with limited success/fanfare).  Place your copy on reserve here.

Under the Andes by Rex Stout

Under Andes



I’ve saved the best for last.  I have not read this book but I’m crazy about it.  I put more than one cover up because it just looks like the pulpiest bit of pulp to ever pulpify.  If you’re like me then you know Rex Stout primarily for his Nero Wolfe mysteries.  Apparently he also dabbled in other genres.  If you love Stout, consider your curiosity piqued.  Put a copy on reserve here.


Upcoming Interesting Books

Good morning!

As the Collection Development Manager of Evanston Public Library, it’s my job to buy the books for the library.  Along the way, I notice some pretty interesting titles that folks might want to know about.  So hold onto your hats while I promote some of the most interesting books coming out in the next few months.  From goat exoskeletons to wax women you can dissect to penis thieves, we’ve some really interesting titles coming into the library soon.  Be sure to check them out!

TED Talks

Description: The definitive practical guide to public speaking, by Chris J. Anderson, the heralded curator of TED Talks, offering pragmatic tips and advice to anyone who wants to develop, polish, and refine their ability to deliver a powerful presentation. The work is based upon the author’s longtime association with the world’s most popular TED speakers, and will feature inside stories and anecdotes.


Description: An uproarious behind-the-scenes account of the creation of the hit television series describes how comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld dreamed up the idea for an unconventional sitcom over coffee and how, despite network skepticism and minimal plotlines, achieved mainstream success.

DIY Tattoos

Description: Thinking about trying a brand-new look, but without the commitment? Here’s all the info you need to design and create personalized temporary tattoos! Try out a design for a permanent tattoo, create a unique look for a special night out, design buzz-worthy wedding favors, or incentivize your kids to eat their veggies with a reward scheme. Comprehensive practical information explains how to draw patterns to express your individual style or adapt designs from the web, and shows you how to print your creation onto temporary tattoo paper. Plus, inspirational galleries cover a range of classic and contemporary tattoo themes, including Celtic symbols, animals and flowers, lettering, ships and mermaids, stars, and holiday motifs.DIY Temporary Tattoos has all the know-how you need to completely transform your look (even if it’s just for one night!).

Useful Book

Description: A modern and energetically designed encyclopedia of DIY with everything you need to know to roll up your sleeves and cook it, build it, sew it, clean it, or repair it yourself. In other words, everything you would have learned from your shop and home ec teachers, if you’d had them.  Home Ec and Shop features 138 practical projects and how-tos, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations, relevant charts, sidebars, lists, and handy toolboxes. There’s a kitchen crash course, including the must-haves for a well-stocked pantry; how to boil an egg (and peel it frustration-free); how to grill, steam, sauté, and roast vegetables. There’s Sewing 101, plus how to fold a fitted sheet, tie a tie, mop a floor, make a bed, and set the table for a formal dinner.


Description: The Geography of Madness is an investigation of “culture-bound” syndromes, which are far stranger than they sound. Why is it, for example, that some men believe, against all reason, that vandals stole their penises, even though they’re in good physical shape? In The Geography of Madness, acclaimed magazine writer Frank Bures travels around the world to trace culture-bound syndromes to their sources—and in the process, tells a remarkable story about the strange things all of us believe.


Description: Like humans, cities are mortal-they are born, they thrive, and they eventually die. InAtlas of Lost Cities, Aude de Tocqueville tells the compelling narrative of the rise and fall of such notable places as Pompeii, Teotihuacán, and Angkor. She also details the less well known, including Centralia, an abandoned Pennsylvania town consumed by unquenchable underground fire; Nova Citas de Kilamba in Angola, where housing, schools, and stores were built for 500,000 people that never came; and Epecuen, a tourist town in Argentina now swallowed up by water. Original artwork shows the location of the lost cities, as well as a depiction of how they looked when they thrived.


Description: Of all the artifacts from the history of medicine, the Anatomical Venus―with its heady mixture of beauty, eroticism and death―is the most seductive. These life-sized dissectible wax women reclining on moth-eaten velvet cushions―with glass eyes, strings of pearls, and golden tiaras crowning their real human hair―were created in eighteenth-century Florence as the centerpiece of the first truly public science museum. Conceived as a means to teach human anatomy, the Venus also tacitly communicated the relationship between the human body and a divinely created cosmos; between art and science, nature and mankind. Today, she both intrigues and confounds, troubling our neat categorical divides between life and death, body and soul, effigy and pedagogy, entertainment and education, kitsch and art. The first book of its kind, The Anatomical Venus, by Morbid Anatomy Museum cofounder Joanna Ebenstein, features over 250 images―many never before published―gathered by its author from around the world. Its extensively researched text explores the Anatomical Venus within her historical and cultural context in order to reveal the shifting attitudes toward death and the body that today render such spectacles strange.


Description: From Vogue contributor and Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, a personalized guide to eighties movies that describes why they changed movie-making forever—featuring exclusive interviews with the producers, directors, writers and stars of the best cult classics. For Hadley Freeman, movies of the 1980s have simply got it all. Comedy in Three Men and a Baby,Hannah and Her Sisters, Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future; all a teenager needs to know inPretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, andMystic Pizza; the ultimate in action from Top Gun, Die Hard,Beverly Hills Cop, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; love and sex in9 1/2 Weeks, Splash, About Last Night,The Big Chill, andBull Durham; and family fun in The Little Mermaid, ET, Big,Parenthood, and Lean On Me. In Life Moves Pretty Fast, Hadley puts her obsessive movie geekery to good use, detailing the decade’s key players, genres, and tropes. She looks back on a cinematic world in which bankers are invariably evil, where children are always wiser than adults, where science is embraced with an intense enthusiasm, and the future viewed with giddy excitement. And, she considers how the changes between movies then and movies today say so much about society’s changing expectations of women, young people, and art—and explains why Pretty in Pink should be put on school syllabuses immediately.


Description: An exciting and in-depth follow up to One Zentangle A Day, Beckah Krahula guides you along with her sure-footed instruction and beautiful examples as she shows you how to take tangle drawing to the next level. From florals and organics to journal drawings and cityscapes, all kinds of experimentation are explored. Gain deeper insights into how tangles can be combined to create more complex and realistic forms, how to use contour and shading, how to work with midtoned papers by adding highlights and shadows, how to use introduce color-based media, how to integrate mixed-media techniques, and how to work on various surfaces.


Description: The dazzling success of The Toaster Project, including TV appearances and an international book tour, leaves Thomas Thwaites in a slump. His friends increasingly behave like adults, while Thwaites still lives at home, “stuck in a big, dark hole.” Luckily, a research grant offers the perfect out: a chance to take a holiday from the complications of being human—by transforming himself into a goat. What ensues is a hilarious and surreal journey through engineering, design, and psychology, as Thwaites interviews neuroscientists, animal behaviorists, prosthetists, goat sanctuary workers, and goatherds. From this, he builds a goat exoskeleton—artificial legs, helmet, chest protector, raincoat from his mum, and a prosthetic goat stomach to digest grass (with help from a pressure cooker and campfire)—before setting off across the Alps on four legs with a herd of his fellow creatures. Will he make it? Do Thwaites and his readers discover what it truly means to be human?


Recommended by Readers: Books for Stroke Victims and Their Families

Morning, folks. This is the first in a series where we highlight recommendations from your fellow patrons.  This week, a patron wrote us about attempting to find good books for people aiding stroke victims.  Here was her message, and recommendations:

A friend just had a stroke.  When I visited, her husband was frustrated that he understood so little of what her doctors were talking about when they rounded on her.  Plus, from personal experience I have learned the importance of being not only an informed consumer, but also an informed patient or caregiver in that situation.  Where to go for help?  Why EPL, of course.  And sure enough (and with the help of the Reference Desk), I found three excellent books for my friend’s husband, that I am also appreciating.  One was Kirk Douglas’s “My Stroke of Luck” which I had forgotten about and which gave me all the more reason to admire Mr. Douglas, who will be 100 next December, 20 years after the stroke he overcame despite the odds.  Although I’ve already loaned it to Steve, I look forward to reading it next.  Meanwhile I’m studying “Navigating the Complexities of Stroke” (Caplan, 2013) and “Stroke Survivors” (Bergquist, McLean, Kobylinski; 1994) which I also borrowed.  As you can guess, the 1994 book was no longer as helpful as Caplan’s, which is a revelation.  It turns out that Dr. Caplan (Professor of Neurology, Harvard and a senior neurologist at Beth Israel) himself had a stroke at age 26 and writes with that insight, thus anticipating topics such as “How Does One Person’s Stroke Affect Others?” and “What Does the Future Hold?” that are immediately relevant to my friends.

Recommended Books

My Stroke of Luck by Kirk Douglas

My Stroke
Place the book on reserve here.

Navigating the Complexities of Stroke by Louis R. Caplan


Place the book on reserve here.

Stroke Survivors

by William H. Bergquist, Rod McLean, and Barbara A. Kobylinski

Stroke Survivors

Place the book on reserve here.

Cool Library Card Ideas

Psst!  Over here!

I know this is a blog about Evanston Public Library, the sheer awesomeness that encapsulates that very institution, and all things EPL.  But . . . when a nearby library does something neat I just gotta give ’em credit.  We libraries need to stick together, after all.  So check out the new library card Niles Public Library has going on.  I gotta say, this is a great idea:


The Review So Interesting You’ll Have to Read the Book

I don’t usually do this.  As the Collection Development Manager I end up reading a lot of reviews in professional journals in a given week.  After a while they all just sort of blur together.  But once in a great while I’ll read one that’s so interesting I feel like I just have to share.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the following from Kirkus:

Seed Collectors
“A gnarly family drama from the acclaimed author of Our Tragic Universe (2010) and The End of Mr. Y (2006). It’s probably best to start by explaining who will hate this book. Readers who require likable protagonists will hate this book; the members of the Gardener family and its satellites are, almost without exception, a catalog of human weakness and vice. Readers who are unsettled by formal experiment will hate this; Thomas uses a cacophony of voices, moves around in time, and frequently interrupts the narrative with thought experiments. And readers who shy away from profanity and perversity will hate this book; freewheeling British usage of language that is intensely objectionable to American ears just compounds the problem. So, the colonial audience for this book is, perhaps, narrow. But, O! How that audience will love it! Thomas’ latest is a multigenerational saga, but it’s also an extended meditation on the Buddhist concept of attachment. And it’s a hyperbolic, raunchy, hilarious immersion in the connected lives of some intensely imperfect people. The catalyst for the story is the death of Oleander Gardener, the guiding spirit of both her botanist family and a spiritual retreat that houses various refugees, weirdos, and the occasional celebrity. Oleander’s bequests include her home, a hunting lodge in the Outer Hebrides, and the seedpods of a plant that several members of her family died trying to find. Oleander is dead, but her presence looms, and the people she’s left behind are compelled to figure out what they’re going to do with their complicated inheritance—a question that expands beyond Oleander’s material gifts and reaches into the Gardener family’s past. Thomas is a literary star in the United Kingdom. She should be in the United States, too. Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.”

Place your copy on reserve here today.

Pulitzer Prize Winners

They’re here! They’re here!  Not many books on the old list, but what there is, we have.  Check out what the 2016 Pulitzer Prizes are going to these days:

“The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen


Reserve your copy here.

“Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America,” by T.J. Stiles

Custer's Trials

Reserve your copy here.

“Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life,” by William Finnegan


Reserve your copy here.

General Nonfiction

“Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” by Joby Warrick

Black Flags

Reserve your copy here.

“In for a Penny, In for a Pound,” by Henry Threadgill

In for a Penny

Reserve your copy here.

And as a special additional note,

“Hamilton,” book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton (2)

Be sure to listen to the soundtrack on Hoopla for free and then to read the book it was based on.  After that, reserve a copy of the brand new Hamilton, the Revolution, out just last week for true Hamilton die-hards.

For the complete listing of the Pulitzer Prize winners, go here!

And Now, Another Thing You Didn’t Know About Hoopla . . .


You know Hoopla, the simply lovely database we acquired that allows you to instantly get a wide range of ebooks, music, and movies?  Well, here’s your daily tip of what else you might find on Hoopla . . .

It has all the Ferrantes on audiobook.

My Brilliant Friend

Yep.  The current popularity of Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan book series has swept the nation.  Currently physical copies of My Brilliant Friend have 163 holds and there are 14 holds on the usual ebook copies.  But guess what?  If you go on Hoopla you can hear it right away.  Seriously.  No lines, no waiting, no holds.  Same goes for all the other books in the series, as well as ebook copies of other New York Times bestsellers like The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Consider that your tasty little tip of the day.

hoopla icon 53x53

Poetry Month Means Celebrating in Weird Ways

*yawn* Poetry. Am I right?  If it’s not your thing it’s not your thing and no amount of jibber jabbing is going to change that.  So thought this librarian for a number of years (and my own mother’s a published poet, so you know it’s not due to lack of exposure). Seems my old attitude is shared by just too many people out there too.  Mention that April is Poetry Month and their eyes take on a distinctly glazed appearance.

So what’s the solution?  Two words: Weirdo Poetry.  Today, ladies and germs, I intend to show you poetry that will not move your soul to gladness nor speak to a secret spot inside yourself that you never thought anyone else would know.  Nope.  Today it’s all about the goofy poetry.  The brain teasing poetry.  The poetry that makes you sit up and say, “Whaaaa?”  In short, poetry for people who don’t much care for the stuff.

Weirdo Poetry Example 1: Spine poetry

Pretty self-explanatory.  Basically, you create poetry out of the spines of books.  Here are a couple prime examples:




This doesn’t have to be limited to poetry, of course.  In a rather fascinating case, the Kansas City Public Library and the Toronto Public Library got into an all time spine poetry slapdown Twitter feud . . . in a nice way.  You see, apparently The Kansas City Royals were playing The Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series and the libraries started tweeting spine poetry at one another.  You can read two different articles (and see a LOT of smack downs via spines) here and here.

Weirdo Poetry Example 2: Fibonacci Poems

Good old Fibonacci poetry.  In late 2013 children’s literary blogger Greg Pincus published a middle grade work of fiction.  The 14 Fibs of Gregory K dared to combine the uncombine-able (not a word, I know): math and poetry.  Mr. Pincus, you see, is the creator behind this particular form.  Back in 2006,  Motoko Rich wrote the New York Times article Fibonacci Poems Multiply on the Web After Blog’s Invitation.  As Greg explained on his blog GottaBook: “I wanted something that required more precision. That led me to a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – the classic Fibonacci sequence. In short, start with 0 and 1, add them together to get your next number, then keep adding the last two numbers together for your next one.” Here’s an example:


Weirdo Poetry Example 3: Blackout Poetry

I’ve enjoyed this form for years, but it wasn’t until I tried it out on a couple different groups of kids that I saw how effective and interesting it can be.  Consider it a forced found poem.  The poet’s job is to find a newspaper article or horoscope and to blackout everything except the words for their poem.  Intrigued?  Read a whole swath of them here.  Kids, as it turns out, are preternaturally gifted in this area.  Some glom onto the form instantly.  Others need some help.  Whatever the case, just be sure you have enough black markers on hand if you try this.  Here’s an example:


Weirdo Poetry Example 4: Reverso Poetry

Best illustrated by children’s book poet Marilyn Singer.  She perfected the form in books like Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow (though I harbor a very great love for her Nixon reverso in Rutherford B.: Who Was He?).  The poet writes broken lines down and then uses the same lines but reverses them to tell the other side of the story.  Here’s an example:


Weirdo Poetry Example 5: Single Word Poetry

I call it this because insofar as I can tell Bob Raczka made up this kind of poetry and I can’t find it in existence anywhere but his book Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed From a Single Word.  Basically you take a word and then turn the letters in that word into a poem.  To read it, your eye has to follow the letters down the page in a very specific order or the poem won’t make any sense.  An example:


Can you see it saying “A silent lion tells an ancient tale”?  Because that’s the poem and it’s a darn clever one too.  Try this with your kids if you want to, y’know, watch their heads explode or something.  It’s poetry as codebreaking as far as I can tell.

Weirdo Poetry Example 6: Snowball Poetry

According to BoingBoing, “A ‘Snowball’ is a poem ‘in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer’.”  In other words, not too different from a Fibonacci poem in that math is involved in some way.


And that’s all she wrote!

Want to know what the best poetry of Spring 2016 is at the moment?  Check out this list from Publishers Weekly and then order some copies from the library today!

Return of the Falcons: A Reading List for Bird Brains

200706081008As you well and truly know (and as I reported at the beginning of this blog lo these many months ago) Evanston Public Library plays host to nesting peregrine falcons every single year.  Well this year they’re back, baby!  Nona and Squawker have set up shop on one of the columns outside the library where so far they’ve been seen sitting on up to three eggs (it might be four as of this post).  My days are now filled with the sight of them nesting and occasionally flying in with a big fat pigeon for dinner.  [FYI: They tend to eat them not in the nest but either across the street from the library or in the eaves of the columns.]

Now aside from being the fastest animals on earth (and this is true), peregrine falcons are just generally fascinating.  But how much do you really know about them?  Announcing the official Peregrine Falcon Reading List!  With each and every one of these books now available here at Evanston Public Library:

For the Adults

On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth With the Peregrine Falcon

 On the Wing

Where do Nona and Squawker go when they aren’t in Evanston?  “Alan Tennant, a passionate observer of nature, recounts his all-out effort to radio-track the transcontinental migration of the peregrine falcon–an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths.” Place the book on reserve here.

Urban Nature: Poems About Wildlife in the City

Urban Nature

Daniel Tobin’s poem is to the peregrine falcons of NYC but that won’t make you enjoy this collection any less.  Be sure to place your copy on reserve here.

Peregrine by William Bayer


Considering the fact that peregrine falcons are bloodthirsty killers (raptors tend to be) perhaps it just makes sense to put them in a murder mystery.  Even better, the killer in this book “terrorizes New York with a lethal peregrine falcon.”  The quickie description reads, “Circling high over Rockefeller Center is a peregrine falcon, the most awesome of the flying predators. She awaits a signal from her falconer. It is given: the bird attacks, plummeting from the sky at nearly 200 miles an hour, striking a young woman and killing her instantly. So begins Peregrine, a chilling tale of obsession.”  Place the book on reserve here.

Return of the Peregrine : A North American Saga of Tenacity and Teamwork by editors Tom J. Cade and William Burnham

Return Peregrine

One review of this book began by saying, “There are few success stories in the recovery of endangered species, and the return of the peregrine falcon to North American skies is one of the best.” In this book you will find the most comprehensive history of the massive efforts to save our falcons.  A beautiful coffee table book, be sure to place your copy on reserve here.

The Rites of Autumn : A Falconer’s Journey Across the American West by Dan O’Brien
Rites of Autumn
Just the story of a man, his two dogs, and his young peregrine falcon.  A true story, no less.  This is one for you outdoorsy types. Place your copy on reserve here.

For the Kids

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World by Celia Godkin


Turns out, it was DDT that was significantly responsible for the downturn in the number of peregrine falcons in the wild.  This book chronicles how most of the eggs laid by falcons in the past were lost. This book covers the story of how scientists brought the birds back from near extinction.  Reserve a copy here.

Peregrine Falcon: Dive, Dive, Dive! by Natalie Lunis


Learn about where the peregrine falcon lives, how it hunts, and the special ways its body helps it reach its record-breaking speeds. Place it on reserve here.

Frightful’s Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Frightful's Mountain

From the author of Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain comes a book series where the heroine is a falcon!  Place a reserve on the book here. And once you’re done reading this you can follow up with the sequels Frightful’s Daughter and Frightful’s Daughter meets the Baron Weasel.

The Falcon’s Feathers by Ron Roy

Falcon's Feathers

This is part of the early chapter series A-Z Mysteries.  The premise? “Josh and his two friends look for the person who stole a peregrine falcon from its nest.”  I find this plot particularly terrifying.  I mean, have you seen the claws on those babies?  Place a copy on reserve here.

What’s Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah? by Robert E.Wells


You get three guesses and the first two don’t count.  Put the book on reserve here.

Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers by Priscilla Belz Jenkins


Or libraries for that matter. Put the book on reserve here.

For the Teens

Wildwing by Emily Whitman


And what falcon booklist could be complete without a little falconry on the side?  In this time traveling tale, a girl is sent back to 13th-century England where she is mistaken for a Lady engaged to a local lord.  Naturally she falls in love with a falconer’s son instead.  Consider it Outlander for teens. Place it on reserve here.

Did You Know . . . ?

You are no doubt aware that the Evanston Public Library contains a vast wealth of materials, the like of which may astound with its breadth.  Why there are 485,000 print items in our collection alone.  And because we are so very large and impressive, there are whole swaths of the collection you could easily never know about.  In this series, I’d like to highlight different areas of the collection that your average patron might not be aware that we own.  Today it is . . . .

Music Scores

That’s right.  Evanston Public Library owns a whole heaping helpful of music scores.

To the average layman, this may sound strange.  If musicians need sheet music, surely there are online databases or websites where they can just download that information, right?  Not so much.  Sure, there are databases.  There are websites.  But you must consider too the fact that scores online are haphazard in scope.

Now imagine you’re a music student.  Due to the fact that here in Evanston we are local to The People’s Music School, The Bienen School of Music at Northwestern, The Evanston In-School Music Association, The Music Institute of Chicago, The Evanston Symphony Orchestra, and The Musical Offering and Chicago Academy for the Arts, this is not much of a stretch of the imagination. You need to audition and you need music to do so.  What some people don’t know is that a lot of auditions do not allow students to play off of electronic scores.  Yet if you need a print edition which can be hard (or expensive) to come by.

Currently the music scores take up about 216 feet of shelving.  They range from full symphonies to lighter fare.  Not long ago I was forced to remove from our shelves a dilapidated copy of what may well be my favorite score of all time.  There was no saving it, and this was a pity because check out this song list:


That’s right.  “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough”

In respect for that score and song, I shall embed this truly bizarre music video that went with the song, in tribute.  Fare thee well, oh absent friend.  And check out our music scores if you get a chance!

And yes. It has two parts.  Because your day is not complete if I can’t fill it with a little Andre the Giant action.