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87 Years and Counting April 13, 2015

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April 12th – 18th

It’s time to celebrate the contributions of libraries and librarians and to promote use and support.

Rocky River Public Library Historic Milestones


April is National Poetry Month April 1, 2015

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We pay tribute to the great legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets

and the vital place of poetry in American culture.

In addition to a wide variety of books on poets and poetry, the Rocky River Public Library subscribes to-

Poets & Writers – the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers.

Writer’s Digest – a resource for writers, celebrating the writing life

and what it means to be a writer in today’s publishing environment.


Tea is the New Coffee! February 24, 2015

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It’s been bitterly cold out here in the Cleveland area! Or, haven’t you noticed? Rather than complain about it, I’ll share one of the ways I’ve been staying warm during this (seemingly endless) winter! I’m drinking more tea!

We no longer want to pitch our tea into the Boston harbor. (An act which would be less effective given its current frozen-over state). We just want to drink it.

It’s nothing new. Tea has been around for thousands of years, and yet, just in recent years, tea is growing in popularity all over the U.S., including the Cleveland area where we have new tea shops like: The Tea Lab in Lakewood, Cleveland Tea Revival on w. 29th Street, Tea-vana on Cedar Road, and the airport’s Inca Tea, just to name a few! Americans are craving this tasty, hot beverage more than ever!

cupofteaAnd with good reason! Did you know that drinking tea is good for you too?

Tea can neutralize free radicals in the body, decrease your blood cholesterol, reduce your body fat, and inhibit high blood pressure. Some types of teas can stimulate digestion and stimulate the elimination of fats! Tea is antibacterial, anti-fungal, has Vitamins C, B, E, Folic Acid, B Carotene, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Fluorine, and Chlorophyll.

Want to learn more? Check out these articles:




Or stop in Rocky River Public Library for these books:

Tales Of A Tea Leaf : The Complete Guide To Tea Cuisine by Jill Yates

Liquid Jade : The Story Of Tea From East To West by Beatrice Hohenegger

The Ultimate Tea Diet : your guide to good health one cup of tea at a time : how tea can boost your metabolism, shrink your appetite, and kick-start remarkable weight loss by Mark Ukra

So, grab your book, make a cup, drink up, and (try to) stay warm!   


Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here? February 17, 2015

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 Who are you? No, really?

 Do you know your grandparent’s names? What about your great-great grandparent’s names? Do you know where they lived? If they were born in America or Overseas? Were they Italian, Irish, Middle Eastern?

 I love learning about my own ancestry, and based on the popularity of PBS shows like Genealogy Roadshow, African-American Lives, and Finding Your Roots, as well as the use of websites like Ancestry.com, it is obvious that many other people do too.

 Did you know that you can research your family roots with resources provided by your favorite library? Here at Rocky River Public Library, we subscribe to two genealogy research databases, Ancestry (for in-library use only) and Heritage Quest. Did I mention they are free to use with your library card? You can find access to those resources at: http://www.rrpl.org/research/research_subject.html#genealogy We also link to cool searchable websites like Ellis Island passenger lists (http://libertyellisfoundation.org/passenger), the Ohio Death Index, and others that can help you get to the bottom of just how and when your people got here, their occupations, and who they lived with. Just think, you might just find a long-lost cousin or two.

I found census records for my family from 1920, enlistment cards from my Grandfather’s time in the Army, death records for family members I didn’t know existed, and much, much more! One of my favorite discoveries is a picture of the ship my grandparents emigrated upon, the Oropesa:

oropesaAre you curious about your origins? Why not try searching your family tree? What might you discover?

I hope you enjoy finding out!


We’re readers! Let’s talk about it! February 10, 2015

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Love your library? Me too! Love to read? Oh, me too! Hey, have you read the latest John Grisham book? So did I!

I hear conversations like the above every day here at Rocky River Public Library. As a matter of fact, I’m often in the middle of one of them.

 I don’t know about you but when I finish reading what I consider a “really good” book, I like to share, recommend, and talk about it! And when my friends inside or outside of the library have read that same book too, it makes the conversation even better–even if they *gasp* didn’t love it, or even if they *worse* hated it! There’s something about this kind of shared experience and connection of the book that I just don’t get when discussing a TV show or a movie. Reading can be so personal—you hear the author’s words your own voice; you imagine the characters’ looks and nuances as you read; you can share a specific experience or thought with a character in a story. And yet, so many of us love to talk about the book experience when it is over. Is this validation we are looking for? Excuses to avoid our real-world responsibilities in order to sit and read? Whatever the reason, for many of us, that ‘follow-up’ is just as much of a need as the original desire to read a book.

 Looking for a place to get that need met? Stop in the library, browse our books, and talk to our librarians about what you like to read. We love sharing our favorites too! Want to delve a little deeper? We host book clubs for all ages! Come join one! You can find out about our book clubs (and other programs) here: http://oh.evanced.info/rrpl/lib/eventcalendar.asp We hope to see you soon.

 Now, go ahead, get back to that book!


It’s Groundhog Day (Again)! February 2, 2015

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Today is Groundhog Day! “Why celebrate?” you ask. Yes, I agree that it’s a day of tradition that usually just brings us bad news. Indeed, according to news reports today, Punxsutawney Phil has already seen his shadow. If you believe his forecasting skills, we now we have six more weeks of winter to look forward to. Don’t be too sad–just think of all the great reading and movie watching you can do stuck inside all those extra days.

In fact, I’m sure I’ll be able to catch one of my all-time favorite movies on TV. Groundhog Day will no doubt be on at least one channel this evening. I love this movie, and not just because it stars the wonderful, Bill Murray. I love Groundhog Day, because it is the ultimate ‘do-over’ film. I love nothing better than a story where the character gets a chance to relive their past to get it right.

Another great ‘do-over’ movie is Sliding Doors. Gwyneth Paltrow stars as a London woman whose future hinges on whether or not she catches a train. Her character’s two realities run parallel in this film about fate and choices, but it’s hard not to root for her ‘better’ half to get it right in the end.

For great ‘do-over’ reading, pick up Rainbow Rowell’s newest novel, Landline. This novel is about a marriage on the rocks. Georgie and Neal are separated at Christmas, and the only way Georgie can talk to her husband is on an old landline phone in her childhood bedroom. In there, the Neal who answers her calls is Neal from her past college days, pre-marriage. Can Georgie get her husband to fall for her all over again?

Sure, this is pure escape, reading and viewing fun! But, think about it! What would you do if you had a chance to do something over again?    ~Carol

Happy New Year to All! January 2, 2015

Posted by Maureen in Book List, Fiction, New Books, Thoughtful Ramblings, Uncategorized.
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Here’s hoping 2015 is a great year for everyone!

A few books on my nightstand already to help me ring in this new year of reading:

The Paris Winter

by Imogen Robertson


The Paying Guests

by Sarah Waters

paying guests

Gray Mountain

by John Grisham

gray mountain

My resolution to read more is already well on its way! Best of luck to you on all of yours!


2014 Top Ten plus 4 and 1 Tribute December 12, 2014

Posted by Donna in Book List, Fiction, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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Woo Hoo! I love talking books so I am very grateful to have a chance to share my favorite books of 2014 with other readers. I do have to apologize for not having all of these titles in our Reading Room but I will work on it as one of my top resolutions for 2015. If you have been following our lists this past week, you can easily see that all of us have different reading interests! We are a very diverse staff! My favorite kinds of books are the ones with quirky, likeable characters and sentimental, mushy stories that tend to have happy endings. It was hard to whittle my list down to just 10 books but here it is:

otherwise engaged    Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) never disappoints me. Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler and guidebook writer, is one sassy heroine and no one can stop her, not even a serial killer!

lost lake   Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

One word describes the author’s books — Magical. Kate and her daughter attempt to find their lives again at Lost Lake, the run-down summer resort owned by her great-aunt Eby.

book of life  The Book of Life by Deborah E. Harkness

In this conclusion to  All Souls trilogy, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont must find Ashmole 782 before the birth of their children. This is a perfect book with fantasy, romance, magic, history and science all blended together.

mimi mallooy   Mimi Malloy at Last: A Novel by Julia MacDonnell

It is never too late for a second chance at love even for sixty-something Mimi Malloy with a fading memory. Tissues are needed for the end of this one.

all you can dream   The All You Can Dream Buffet: A Novel by Barbara O’Neal

I needed tissues for this book too but along with the tears, I laughed and laughed with food blogger Lavender Wills and her online food blogger friends who visit her on her organic farm.

chestnut street   Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

This posthumously published collection of short stories revolve around the imaginary Chestnut Street in Dublin where neighbors may come and go but their lives are all intermingled together.

monogram murders   The Monogram Murders: the New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah

He’s back! With permission from the Agatha Christie estate, the author, Sophie Hannah, has created a new Hercule Poirot mystery filled with red herrings, twists and turns that will puzzle  new and old Agatha Christie fans. Ooh-la-la!!

goodnight june   Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my favorite’s childhood books. When June Anderson finds some lost letters between her great-aunt and Margaret Wise Brown, she is determined to prove that their friendship was the inspiration behind the classic book.  I absolutely adored this book!

secret life   The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

Gosh darn! I don’t know how this author can blend two such  fascinating stories in one but she does! In 1964, Vivian Schuyler receives an overseas package that had been lost in the mail. This  draws her back into her family’ past and into the life of an aunt that she never knew from the 1940s.

oneplusone  One Plus One: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

This was another book that I laughed and cried because of the quirky characters and their off-kilter romance during their horrible, disaster-prone road trip with a moody stepson, a 10 year-old math whiz  and one stinky dog that was just too-too much!

happyface  Now for my Plus 4:

grimm warning  The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

This is the third book in the Land of Stories series and each one gets better and better. Alex is now training to be the next Fairy Godmother in the Land of Stories. When Connor discovers a clue left by the Grimm Brothers that warns of danger to the Land of Stories, he must get back there to warn his sister.


Horton  Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

This is a collection of lost stories written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss that were first published in the 1950s in various magazines. Since I love Horton the Elephant, I loved the new story with Horton and how he deals with the Kwuggerbug.

nancy knows   Nancy Knows by Cybele Young

I love elephant stories and this one is my new favorite. What an original! The story is simple as Nancy tries to remember something important but the illustrations are so imaginative and delightful that makes this picture book stand out!

alexander best   Alexander, Who’s Trying his Best to be the Best Boy Ever by Judith Viorst; illustrated by Isidre Mones in the style of Ray Cruz

This is a wonderful installment to the Alexander books first published in 1972.


Finally, my Tribute to P.D. James

 P.D. James, an English crime writer famous for her detective novels featuring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh, died at the age of 94 on November 27, 2014.

Her last book, Death Comes to Pemberley death comes to pemberly was published in 2011 so I really couldn’t include it in my top ten list of 2014 but it too is one of my favorite books. I love Jane Austen and I definitely loved how P.D. James adapted Pride and Prejudice to create this mystery whodunit. This book has also been made into a PBS Masterpiece Mystery. Take a look at her interview on YouTube, P. D. James on Jane Austen and Death Comes to Pemberley.

santa46Happy Reading! Happy Holidays! Donna

My Top Ten (Plus Four) Reads of 2014! December 10, 2014

Posted by carol in Book List, Fiction, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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What a great year! What great reading!


While 2014 has practically flown by for me, I did manage to get quite a bit of reading done along the way! As usual, it was hard to narrow down my favorites, but I also did manage to come up with a list of winners.  In no particular order, here are the books that moved me this year:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Paris Winter by Imogene Robertson

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Martian by Andy Weir

A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

My Real Children by Jo Walton

Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

California by Eden Lepucki

One Kick by Chelsea Cain

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

You can find our staff’s book reviews on the above titles (and about 8,000 other books) in our Reading Room at http://readingroom.rrpl.org

Check it out and maybe you will discover your new favorite book!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!


Maur-een in 2014 (see what I did there?): Books I Liked This Year! December 9, 2014

Posted by Maureen in Book List, Thoughtful Ramblings, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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I had a bit more time to read this year I think but I find that perhaps I am getting a wee bit choosy about my books as the years go on? It seems harder and harder to make it on to my list of “I really liked you” but there were at least a few I can say were definite contenders…

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

A great “tween” read for anyone, regardless of age. Tells the story of Rose Howard, a fifth grader with Asperger’s Syndrome who gets by in life with the help of her sincere love of homonyms (Rain, Reign), her uncle Weldon who understands her, and her rescued dog, Rain. Reminiscent of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. A story of courage and overcoming obstacles.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Who knew a group of moms could be so interesting and full of secrets? A real page-turner that grabs you and holds on. Being a mom, I could relate to a lot of the small details which made the book all that more believable. Madeline, Celeste and Jane are characters that jump off the page. A fast read!

The Bear by Claire Cameron

Not for the squeamish, this book is one of those rare gems written in a very unique style that is perfectly suited to the story it is telling. After a bear attacks their campsite in rural Ontario’s Algonquin Park, five-year-old Anna must help her two-year-old brother survive in the wilderness alone. Told in Anna’s child voice, the story packs a lot of punch in very few pages. Needless to say, I won’t be camping in the Algonquin Park any time soon.

The Untold by Courtney Collins

A fictionalized account of Jessie Hickman, a real-life livestock wrangler in the mountains of Australia, this debut novel tells the remarkable story of Jessie from the perspective of the child she buried: her neglected childhood, her circus days, and finally her outlaw days following the murder of her abusive husband, Fitz. I really enjoyed this book. The story unfolds slowly but you really get to know Jessie and the descriptive language is beautiful.

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

Ok, let me begin by saying that it seems you will either really like Herman Koch’s books or you will really hate them. I haven’t found too many people in the middle on that one. I happen to like them, even though I hate all the characters while reading his books. I didn’t say it had to make sense! Koch just has a way with evil-ness and twisted storylines…it is his gift. His newest book revolves around a doctor who, shall we say, is a bit lacking in the ethics department. Dr. Marc Schlosser doesn’t much care for being a doctor, and doesn’t really want to help people. But he does, here and there, enjoy the perks of his profession, one of which is crossing paths with the rich and famous. In Summer House with Swimming Pool, Dr. Marc ends up befriending a movie star but both of their lives will change in ways even he couldn’t foresee. Sinister!

Thirty Girls by Susan Minot

Told in alternating chapters, this novel follows the lives of Esther, a Ugandan teenager kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army, and Jane, an American journalist, who has traveled to Africa to delve deeper into stories like Esther’s. Both of the characters have struggles and as Minot interweaves their stories, you discover more about who each character really is. Based on true life events of girls kidnapped in boarding schools and enslaved or married off, this book came out before the events that are now unfolding in Nigeria with Boko Haram and so is very timely.

Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

Another timely book…this one mainly covering the subject of death with dignity, Five Days Left tells the stories of two individuals, Scott and Mara, and how each is dealing with the limited time they have left with their loved ones, both for different reasons. Mara, once a powerful and successful attorney, was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease and is planning how to end her life to save her loved ones the embarrassment and stress of coping for her. Scott, a teacher with a first baby on the way, is coping with having only a limited time left with a foster child he has become very attached to. An interesting take on death with dignity, from a character living with having made up her mind.

Three Bargains by Tania Malik

Madan is growing up poor in India with a father that could take him or leave him (and would probably rather leave him). After his father makes a horrible mistake and costs his little sister her entire future, Madan makes a deal with his father’s employer, Avtaar Singh, the most powerful man in town, to bring her home and protect her. The bargain costs Madan his own future, as he becomes a mentee to Avtaar and learns the ropes of his many business dealings, but in the end, who will have the power? An involved story with a lot of descriptive detail of life in India.

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

When 12-year-old Eva is dumped on her estranged and recently widowed father’s doorstep by her mother, she is thrown into a whole new world with a whole new dynamic. There she meets her older half-sister and film star want-to-be, Iris. Together, brainy and thoughtful Eva and daring and beautiful Iris decide to pursue Iris’ dream and run away to Hollywood. After a scandal drives them out of town, Eva and Iris end up crossing the country with a cast of characters (and family) in tow. An entertaining read about some crazy family relationships.

Caribou by Charles Wright

Tennessee native Charles Wright has written poetry for over 20 years and was named Poet Laureate of the United States this year. He often focuses on nature themes and the human condition in his works, trying to inform the reader and make them think and reflect about their position and effect in the world. While his latest collection, Caribou, is a slender volume, it still delivers quite the punch, addressing themes such as aging, death, saying goodbye, redemption, and regret. I am amazed by the feeling Wright can evoke in so few words; most of the poems take up less than one small page. A wonderful, lyrical short read that will leave you pondering life’s big mysteries for a long time to come.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

Book 6 in the Flavia de Luce mystery series was another speedy and enjoyable read as usual. This one was a bit more melancholy as Flavia’s life is becoming complicated by the fact that Buckshaw, her beloved home, may be in jeopardy of being sold. Flavia is growing up but still has the spunk and determination we have come to love her for. A great series! Book 7 due out January 6!!

The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

Together, my son and I finished all 5 books in this series this year: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. It was a wonderful adventure following Percy, first as he discovered his demigod status, and later as he battles monsters and fellow evil demigods to save Olympus. A series worth visiting, with or without a 10-year-old son!

Happy Holidays!















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