March 2014

South Korean Cinema

DVD cover of the Korean crime thriller Oldboy.

In the past fifteen years, South Korea's domestic film industry has had a renaissance, emerging as a producer of quality cinema whose best films once again outperform megabudget foreign releases from Hollywood and elsewhere. In the process, South Korean movies have gained an international audience, as well.

After Gone Girl

Cover of He's Gone by Deb Caletti

Have you ever finished a book so quickly that you wish you could go back and read it (minus the spoilers) again? That's how I felt when I read Gone Girl. I read it so fast and liked it so much, I just wanted to read it again. So what did I do? Well, first I read everything else that Gillian Flynn wrote. That took up another few days, and then I had to start looking for new authors and read-alikes. That's when the library comes in handy!

The Iowa Honey War

honey pot and bees

In 1839, a boundary dispute erupted between Iowa and Missouri.  Missouri claimed the boundary was further north and Iowa claimed it was further south.  The original boundary was based on the Sullivan line.  In 1817, J.C. Sullivan surveyed Iowa to mark boundaries for Osage Indian lands.  As northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa were settled, confusion set in on where exactly this line was.

Sweet Philly Soul

The CD cover for the Spinners' anthology The Very Best of Spinners.

Eastern Iowa in the sixties and early seventies wasn't exactly a hotbed for R&B. Local radio stations played the biggest hits, but nothing more. The cultural landscape was changing, however, and thanks to television shows like The Midnight Special, even whitebread America had a chance to groove to such things as the oh-so-smooth stylings of Philly Soul.

A Year of Reading Sharon

Bookmark for "A Year of Reading Sharon"

If you’ve visited one of the Des Moines Public Library locations recently, you may have seen a bookmark for “A Year of Reading Sharon.” The story behind this bookmark is lovely — it celebrates friendship, love and a passion for reading. In December 2012, just two months after being diagnosed with cancer, Sharon Kurns passed away. Sharon was an avid reader — she enjoyed just about any genre and read a variety of formats, including books, audiobooks and E-books.

Winter Reading Wrap-Up

Cover of "The Impossible Knife of Memory"

The Winter Reading Program is complete! I wish the end of the program also meant the end of winter, but sadly, it doesn’t. However, I hear we may have some warm weather soon, so hopefully the of winter is near. We had some great reviews and were thrilled that you wanted to share your reading with us. I posted the first week’s reviews a few weeks ago and now I have the rest of the submitted reviews to share with you. Enjoy and thanks to everyone who participated!