My Library and Me: making life better one book at a time

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 9:13am

This video was a big hit at DigiPalooza, so I wanted to share it with you, and tell you a little bit about the inspiration behind the video.

Emma's 10 deserted island books

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 9:08am

Ed. Note: This is the 2nd in our series of books we’d take on a deserted island if we could only pick 10. Thanks again to Time Magazine for the idea!

The Likeness by Tana French

Tana French is one the best mystery/thriller writers that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. If I had to pick just one of her novels, it would be this. Murder, mystery, doppelgängers and the Irish countryside? Count me in.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Perhaps I’m just desperate to rekindle the way it felt to read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books for the first time, but to me, the Cormoran Strike series is like Harry Potter for adults. A bit grim at times, this novel is well-written, gripping and makes you question how you didn’t identify the killer from the start.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

I’m a sucker for a tragic love story, especially one that contains some unexpected twists. The prose is beautifully done. I can’t say enough good things about this book, which might be why I wrote several papers on it during my undergraduate and graduate years.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen since I was 13 and she’s one of the only authors I’ve stuck with even into adulthood. I am always excited for the release of her next book and her newest work, Saint Anything, doesn’t disappoint. This story of family and forgiveness and friendships might be my favorite one of Dessen’s yet.

London Walks by David Tucker

London is the best city in the world (in my opinion). Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” This book holds a special place in my heart (the author, David Tucker, was my professor and tour guide when I studied abroad in London) for the way it describes the city in nice little vignettes. It is meant to be read in London itself and comes with suggestions of where each chapter should be enjoyed.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky

I picked up a copy of this book at Shakespeare and Co. in Paris and then read it on the 3-hour train ride back to Grenoble (where I was studying abroad at the time) so my memory of reading this book for the first time is quite charmed. Perks is relatable at any age and perfectly captures what it means to grow up and navigate all the messy parts of life.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

This classic resonated with me a lot when I first read it in high school. I admire Edna’s wish to do as she pleases, during a time when it was frowned upon if a woman was anything less than a great wife and mother.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

“Something wicked this way comes…” Who doesn’t love plotting, murder and great monologues in Scotland? As an English major and a literature student, I’ve read a good amount of Shakespeare, but none is as interesting to me as this one. Lady Macbeth is a villain I love to hate.

Monarchy by David Starkey

Concise, informative and dramatic, this history of the Monarchy in England is a page-turner. It covers the early aught of the monarchy all the way up to the Windsor family that we so knowingly love and adore today.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

This series doesn’t really need any explanation. It’s amazing. I grew up with these books. Prisoner of Azkaban is crucial because of the introduction of Sirius Black, and, for the first time, Harry sees firsthand that everyone deserves forgiveness, not matter how difficult it seems. Plus, I always wanted a time turner so I could be in two places at once!

post by Emma Kanagaki, Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Pick the next Big Library Read!

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 9:11am

The next Big Library Read is coming this October and we want your help in selecting the title the whole world will be reading! The genre this time around will be Juvenile/Young Adult and our publishing partners have provided a number of great titles to choose from. Now that we have the submissions from the publishers we want you to tell us which title we’ll all be reading!

To vote simply go to the survey and pick which title you’re most interested in reading. Voting will be live until August 24th at which point we will reveal the winning selection! Let your voice be heard and help decide the next Big Library Read title!


Perfect marriage of ingredients

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 12:31pm

It happens a couple times a year that you come across a book that hits all the right notes and leaves you wandering around the house afterward wondering what you do with yourself now that you are finished with it. I found myself in this state of ennui last night after finishing J. Ryan Stradal’s extraordinary foodie novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

Eva Thorvald has a gift. Her palate is beyond compare and her intelligence and taste are exceptional. Throughout the novel the reader spies on Eva as she matures in her taste and understanding of ingredients. From walleye caught and grilled directly after, to the perfect variety of heirloom tomato, and corn fresh off the stalk, the novel follows a young woman who becomes a legend in the food world. Eva eventually runs a dinner club whose waiting list is hundreds deep and so secret that it changes location. The final chapter in the novel reveals Eva’s true prowess and brings all the ingredients that have shaped her young life together.

Each chapter of the novel is from a different perspective. From her father, to her, her cousin, a boyfriend, and then people she has brief encounters with. The novel moves from direct contact and insight into our main character to a distant glimpses of her. It is a wonderful set up to reflect how elusive and legendary she becomes. Likewise, the ingredients and dishes featured in each chapter build up. Each of them eventually make their way into the dinner at the end of the book and are a reflection of who our chef is. They are a testament to the foodie world and how different people look at food and utilize it. One story of a woman who makes contest winning peanut butter bars then takes them to a competition where all the other recipes state where the ingredients are sourced from is the perfect example of the clash of cultures.

Underneath all the food and ingredients that marry the novel together is the story of individual struggles and characters that are beautifully flawed. Often when reading books that diverge from the main character’s side, I get upset because I’ve formed a relationship with that person, but I found myself digging into each new chapter with vigor, wanting only to consume a new person’s story.

Pick this novel up. Read it with a glass of wine, iced tea, or a sandwich (you’re going to want to eat/drink something tasty while reading it), and revel in the perfect marriage of ingredients that J. Ryan Stradal lays before you.

reviewed by Adam Sockel, Collection Development at Overdrive

Kubica's "Pretty Baby" is thrilling

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 12:19pm

How often do we walk past people that might be in need of our help and do nothing? How often do we toss a few dollars or coins at someone that looks like they could use more? How much can we trust someone we don’t really know?

In Mary Kubica’s Pretty Baby, Heidi Wood sees a young girl struggling with a baby on the platform of the train station one chilly day. For a few days after, Heidi keeps seeing that same girl, and wonders if there is anything she can do to help. When she can’t stand it any longer, Heidi offers to take the girl, Willow, and her baby in and help get them on their feet.

Heidi’s husband, Chris, is less than welcoming to the thought of a homeless girl and her infant child staying in his home. As Chris and Heidi learn more and more about Willow and her history, they have to decide how far they’re willing to go for a stranger. Things become complicated when people start to get attached.

I must admit that I am already a fan of Kubica. Last year, I read The Good Girl and the suspense and plot twists of that story were amazing. I anticipated that the newest work from Kubica, Pretty Baby, would be just as psychologically thrilling and exciting and I was right.

I won’t give away any spoilers but I promise you, the ending is a crowd-pleaser. With each chapter, the reader gains more and more information on the fates of these people and what they might be hiding. A tangled web leads to a pretty large confrontation.

If you’re looking for a new read in the veins of Tana French, Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn then this is the book for you.

reviewed by Emma Kanagaki, Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.

Saying goodbye to the old online catalog

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 4:07pm

Carol Burnett said it....."I'm so glad we had this time together.....comes a time we have to say so long."

It's "Go Set a Watchman" by Harper Lee

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 2:50pm


Don't read the reviews. Read it for yourself. Get it from your Library.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee is "a wonderful new novel from one of America's bestselling authors which explores the tensions between a local culture and a changing national political agenda". Look for family arguments and love. It's an instant classic.

Looking for read-alikes? Check these out!



Celebrating #JimmyV: Raising awareness for cancer research

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 8:07am


Every year in the middle of July ESPN host’s their annual award show, the ESPY’s. The show honors the best athletes and athletic moments of the year but the most meaningful awards of the night are The Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. The Arthur Ashe award is given to a person whose actions transcend sports. The first recipient was Jim Valvano, the coach who the Jimmy V award for Perseverance was named after. Coach Valvano’s acceptance speech is perhaps the most famous in recent history and certainly the most meaningful as it launched The V Foundation for cancer research.

ESPN now considers the day of the ESPYs as #JimmyV day where they auction off prizes and experiences to raise money for the V foundation. Valvano’s motivational words to make sure you “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” have touched millions. Someone else who Jimmy V inspired was Stuart Scott, who received the Perseverance Award for the way he battled cancer until the final days of his life.


Stuart also left a lasting legacy and memory during his acceptance speech when he reminded the world that, “When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Shortly before he passed away Stuart Scott wrote his memoirs, a love letter to life itself, inspiring the world to keep fighting or, as Jimmy V would put it, “Don’t ever give up.”

Checkout/download Stuart’s book. Today may be #JimmyV day but these moving stories of battling cancer can raise awareness about the fight of this disease all year long. Jimmy V As Jimmy V would put it, “That’s a full day.” 


written by Adam and Jason Sockel, brothers who work at OverDrive. FYI.....Jimmy V is an idol to them both.

STREAM IT through your Library

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 10:34am

Who says you can't have your very own inhouse theater? You can with the library.  Did you know that your Library offers streaming videos? We do, and there are two options. 

The first option for streaming videos comes from our newest product called Hoopla.

Borrow 30 titles per month with a 72 hour checkout for movies.

Find Disney, family movies, independent cinema, documentaries, award winners, and comedies within the collectionAll titles are available for streaming using on a PC/Mac.

Borrowed titles are only available for download on mobile devices, such as iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) and supported Android phones or tablets.

For additional support, visit this webpage.


The second option comes from OverDrive, offering it's line of streaming videos that includes Paddington Bear (kids), and Highlander (adults).

Borrow and watch free movies right in your web browser, without having to download files or use special software. Similar to all other formats that is offered, the checkout limit is 10 at a time.

Streaming videos work on mobile devices and computers as long as you're using an up-to-date browser with HTML5 support (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer).

Some DRM-protected videos may require the OverDrive app for iOS or Android or Adobe Flash Player (on a computer).

Some videos have extra permissions (digital rights) that are set by the publisher and may restrict how you can watch the video. For additonal help with streaming videos, visit this page. (

Your library offers additional entertainment options such as emagazines, comics, and music. Check it out!

Entertainment just got better

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 10:07am

Guess what? Both e-books and comics have been added to CPPL’s entertainment collection from Hoopla. Now users can borrow these formats along with audiobooks, movies, TV shows. These two newly added formats have a borrow time of 2 weeks.

To make this the ultimate superhero encounter, here's your chance to experience all of the DC Comics close-up action with hoopla’s Action View – our immersive-reading technology!

Hoopla takes pride in announcing the addition, today, of DC Comics and Vertigo to you. And, just like heroes are known to do, all the iconic DC Comics Superheroes have arrived just in the nick of time for the Library's summer reading program theme of “Heroes”! Speaking of which, have you signed up for this year's Summer Reading Program for kids, teens, and adults? Hello? Now's the time!

Hugely influential graphic novels The Dark Knight Returns, All-Star Superman, Watchmen, and The Killing Joke are just a taste of what to expect. The Vertigo imprint is also represented as well, with Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Vol. 1 joining our ranks.

Here are a few features for both formats when using Hoopla’s app (Android, iOS, Kindle fire tablets and other mobile devices).

  • The reading feature in the app includes options similar to Amazon's Whispersync with the ability to read a book across multiple devices and the options to adjust fonts, line spacing, columns and background.
  • For comic book fans, a feature called "Action View" enlarges individual panels with a double tap for easier reading on mobile devices. 
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