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Just For The Grown Ups

                The 2015 Adult Summer Reading Program results are in. We had 162 people participate with 58 people finishing the program. The adults read 485 books during June and July and did 263 book reviews! Congratulations to our weekly bag winners; Shantell Sebastian, Dale Glackin, Henery Brown, Linda L. Jackson, Jay Oldenkamp, Marjean Hanno, Connie Drake, and Marlis Kuiper.  A big congrats to our grand prize winner – Melanie Lekwa – who received a Kindle Fire with a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
                Remember to sign-up to read Homer Hickam’s memoir, “October Sky”. The Book Into Movie Club will be reading the book in September and watching the movie in October. “October Sky” is about Hickam’s escape from a West Virginia coal mining town into a career as a NASA Engineer.
DIY Club is back. We will be making lavender sachets to hang anywhere you need to freshen up. This is an easy, fun, and  no-sewing required project.  Registration required.
                The library will be showing “Cinderella” starring Cate Blanchet and Helena Bonham Carter in September. The 2015 “Cinderella” follows the classic fairy tale closely with Blanchet as the wicked step-mother and Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother. Registration required.

                Thanks to all for a great Summer Reading program!

15 Literary Facts Every True Nerd Should Know

John Steinbeck was an American writer best known for Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. J. Edgar Hoover was on a fight against communism.
He was convinced that Steinbeck was a full-blown Red communist. Steinbeck was a proud patriot who tried to give a voice to the powerless and defenseless. J. Edgar had nothing to charge Steinbeck with, though. Instead, J. Edgar used his power to encourage the IRS to audit Steinbeck’s taxes every single year of his life to be politically annoying.
The FBI denied all allegations that they were harassing Steinbeck let alone have a full fledged investigation going on about him. Steinbeck was heavily tied to communists through the League of American Writers and the United States Communist Party’s John Reed Club for writers. He was in contact with leftist authors, journalists, and labor unions. He was a close associate of playwrite Arthur Miller, too.

JRR Tolkien considered Sam Gamgee the "chief hero" of The Lord of the Rings. If you’re unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings, it is a world famous story of the struggle of a group of people to destroy a powerful ring before it results in the resurrection of the evil Sauron. The “main character” of the story is Frodo Baggins, a hobbit (a person with large hairy feet and short stature).
Frodo is tasked with taking the ring to Mordor, the place where it can be destroyed. Frodo is joined by his gardener, Samwise Gamgee. Throughout the course of the story, it might seem obvious that the main character and carrier of the ring is the story’s hero. J. R. R. Tolkien, the author, saw things differently though. Tolkien claimed that Sam was the true hero of the story.
To be fair, the claim holds some merit. Sam did beat a man eating giant spider in single combat, storm a tower full of orcs on his own, resist the temptation of the ring, and carry Frodo up the side of a volcano essentially carrying the fate of the world on his back- all while suffering from starvation and dehydration. So it seems to stand to reason.

Author Joseph Conrad was working on a book called Suspense: A Napoleonic Novel in 1925 when he died leaving it unfinished. It was published uncompleted after his death. The great irony is that his readers will be forever in suspense with the story, never able to complete it, as if it’s title were a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Conrad was a fairly prolific writer, contributing his works to the fields of novels, novellas, short stories, and essays. Though somewhat influenced by romanticism, his work tends more towards modernist literature. He is particularly known for his anti-heroes.
Interestingly, though his writings are in English, Conrad did not always speak English fluently and always spoke with a Polish accent. Many of Conrad’s books have been made into movies including Victory, Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, An Outcast of the Islands, The Rover, The Shadow Line, The Duel, Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, and Almayer's Folly.
William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes died on the same date, but not the same day.

April 23 is regarded as World Book Day, marking the anniversary of the deaths of two literary giants, English playwright William Shakespeare and Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes. Both men died on April 23, 1616, but they did not really die on the same day. Cervantes’ death date is based on the modern Gregorian calendar, while Shakespeare’s is based on the old Julian calendar that was still being used in England at the time. If he used the Gregorian calendar, Shakespeare would have died in May.

William Wordsworth also died on April 23, though it was many years later in 1850.

Stan Lee of Marvel Comics gave several of his characters alliterative names so they’d be easier to remember.

Betty Brant, Bruce Banner, Doctor Doom, Fantastic Four, Green Goblin, Happy Hogan, J. Jonah Jameson, Matt Murdoch, Otto Octavius, Pepper Potts, Peter Parker, Silver Surfer, Sue Storm, Stephen Strange, Scott Summers, Wade Wilson, Warren Worthington III...if you couldn’t tell by now, Stan Lee is OBSESSED with alliteration! Over the years, his constant consonance has developed not only into a personal trademark, but also into an industry cliché! His reasons for using this literary technique are actually threefold:
  1. He has a terrible memory, so he figured that if he could remember half of a character’s name the repeated letter would provide a clue for recalling the other word. This theory didn’t always succeed though - early on in his career, Stan blundered by mistakenly calling the alter-egos of Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk “Peter Palmer” and “Bob Banner”! FAIL.
  2. Alliterative names and catchphrases are more memorable for his readers. Lee believes these should be “like a really memorable advertising slogan. It sticks in your head and you can’t stop humming it. Let’s face it, superheroes are just really selling themselves as products.”
  3. He just REALLY likes alliteration. Stan has said that he adores not only this sort of wordplay, but the sound of words in general. His penchant for flowery diction makes even more sense given the fact that his favorite writer is Edgar Allan Poe.

In 2004, a French author wrote a book without using a single verb.

Le Train de Nulle Part (The Train from Nowhere) is a book that takes place on a train. It features flowery prose and, in lieu of any action, is limited to a narrator describing and criticizing the passengers on the train.

The author, under the pseudonym Michel Thaler, wrote this book as part of a crusade against verbs. He says that the verb is an "invader, dictator and usurper of our literature". He even staged a funeral, to ceremonially "bury" the verb.

"The verb is like a weed in a field of flowers. You have to get rid of it to allow the flowers to grow and flourish. Take away the verbs and the language speaks for itself".

Somehow, 300 people attended Thaler's mock funeral for the verb at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Imagine sending invitations for a mock funeral without using verbs!
Stephen King started an impromptu book signing at an Alice Springs book store in Australia. The problem was that the employees didn’t realize who he was and that he was signing his own books. They mistook him for a vandal. Later, the employees said King was nice and charming. They said they’d have baked him a cake had they known he was coming to their book store.
Many of Stephen King’s novels have been adapted to films. He’s written Carrie, The Shining, and Misery. Most of the books he signed at the book store are being donated to charity. King’s representative in Australia said he wasn’t aware King was even in the country at the time of the signing. The manager of the book store said that it isn’t uncommon for authors to come into the store and see if their work is on the shelves. It is really embarrassing if they don’t have the author’s work.

Anybody who’s ever read E.B. White’s classic novel “Charlotte’s Web” knows it’s a touching story. The friendship between the pig (Wilbur) and the spider (Charlotte) has stood the test of time, being enjoyed by multiple generations over the last sixty years. E.B. White, a self-professed animal lover, said he wrote the children’s story to amuse himself.
It all started in 1933 when White and his wife bought a farm, and it was his experiences there that inspired him to write the book. He once observed a spider spinning its web night after night above the pig trough, and then he spied her egg sack one morning. He cut it down when he moved away to New York, watched the spiders hatch, and then finished writing the story.
Apparently this experience touched the author profoundly. White himself recorded the audio book for “Charlotte’s Web,” and it took him SEVENTEEN takes to get through the part about Charlotte’s death. Why? He became so emotional each time he read it that his voice would break and he’d begin to cry.

To put it bluntly, Lisbeth Salander could probably kick your butt (if she were real). The unforgettable character was played by Mara Rooney in the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
The film is based on the highly acclaimed novel of the same name by Swedish author Stiegg Larsson. Surely such a dynamic character was inspired by someone, right? In interviews, Larsson states that Lisbeth is based on what he imagines Pippi Longstocking would be like as an adult.
HUH? Well, Pippi did take on a 250 pound pirate bare-handed. She could also lift her horse over her head and was a loner who was content to live with her pet monkey. Okay, I get it now, Mr. Larsson.
Interesting fact: in the movie, the words “V. Kulla” are displayed on Salander’s door. V. Kulla is an abbreviation for Villa Villekulla, the name of Pippi Longstocking’s house.

WILBOR and NEIBORS are now BRIDGES: Iowa’s eLibrary

WILBOR and NEIBORS, Iowa's eBook and audiobook consortia through Iowa Library Services, have merged to form BRIDGES: Iowa's eLibrary. BRIDGES takes up where NEIBORS and WILBOR left off; user information has been transferred and the service will function the same as before.
Participating libraries' members have access to more than 16,500 eBooks and 7,500 audiobooks. Many titles offer multiple copies for checkout, and users can request to be emailed or automatically check out items when they become available. Digital content is borrowed for a set period of time and titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period with no late fees.
Users can browse the library's website, check out with a valid library card, and access borrowed titles via PC, Mac, and mobile devices with free desktop and mobile apps.
This service is powered by OverDrive, which supports all major computers and devices and is free for patrons with their library card. To view participating libraries and start downloading audiobooks & eBooks, visit

Fandom Club

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Fans of TV, books, movies, video games and more are invited to join us once a month to get crafty and talk about your favorite fandoms. Saturday, August 15th @ 12:00 pm.


Anime & Japanese Culture Club: Saturday, August 15th at 10:00 am

Thursday Storytime

It's our second-to-last Thursday Storytime! Join Sarah Beth for a fun jam session as we learn all about music & rhythm!

Code Club

The next Code Club Meeting will take place on August 12th at 10:30 am. Please remember that attendance is very important. We'll see you there!

Anime & Japanese Culture Club

AJCC: Saturday, August 8th at 10:00 am.
The Anime & Japanese Culture Club is an open club for fans of anime, manga, Japanese video games, and Japanese culture. Weekly on Saturdays.

August Adult Programs at Spencer Public Library

August 6 @ 6:30 PM –DIY Club at Spencer Public Library: Plaster Flowers– We will be dipping artificial flowers in plaster making beautiful hard flowers that can be used for many future craft projects. Please call 580-7290 for more information.
August 10 @ 7:00 PM – Movie Night at the Spencer Public Library – We will be watching, “The Second Best Marigold Hotel” starring Judi Dench. There are no rooms available at the original, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The manager pursues his dream and opens a second hotel.  A quirky comedy you won’t want to miss. Please call 580-7290 or sign-up at the front desk for registration.

August 24 @ 6:30 PM – Book to Movie at Spencer Public Library – Watch “The Maltese Falcon” starring Humphrey Bogart; an iconic film that changed the genre of detective movies. Our next Book to Movie is a 1999 memoir by Homer Hickam, “October Sky” - A wonderful memoir about a teenager escaping his West Virginia coal mining town to become a NASA Engineer. Please call 580-7290 or sign-up at the front desk for registration.

Code Club

The next Code Club meeting is August 5th at 10:30 am. Must be pre-registered to participate.

Bugs! Storytime

10:30 am on Tuesday, August 4th.
Bugs! Storytime will be repeated on Thursday morning at 9:30 am.


Sadly, the 2015 Adult Summer Reading Program has come to an end, but we have plenty of fun programs planned for adults in the months to come. The “D.I.Y Club” will be making plaster flowers that could be used later for all sorts of craft projects – and the best part, these flowers will never die! Registration required.
            For August we will be watching the movie “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” starring Judi Dench. There are no rooms available at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The manager pursues his dream and opens a second hotel.  A quirky comedy you won’t want to miss. Registration is required.
            Join the Book To Movie club by either reading the book, watching the movie, or both. We are currently reading “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett and will be watching the movie starring Humphrey Bogart in August. Our next book to movie is “October Sky” a memoir by Homer Hickam. Written in 1999, the story tells of Hickam’s teenage dream to build rockets and escape the dying West Virginia mining town of his youth. We will be watching the movie starring Jake Gellynhaal and Laura Dern in October, so sign-up to read the book today. Registration required.     

Summer Reading Program Children's Carnival

If you read 15 hours for the 2015 Summer Reading Program you're invited to the Carnival!

Great job reading this summer! If you read at least 15 hours this summer, you will have earned an invitation to the End of the Summer Reading Program Carnival!

Make sure that you bring your ticket with you to the library at 2:00 on Sunday, August 2nd to join in the fun. Food, fun, games, and prizes are in store for you at Spencer Public Library!