Preview Shelf: January 2017

January 5, 2017

A Better New Year with CDPL

Jodie WilsonBy Jodie Wilson
As a New Year’s tradition, most of us make specific resolutions, or at least set a few general goals we hope to achieve for our new year. To make meeting these new goals easier, we’d like to suggest a few possibilities from our library’s collection.
Paying down debt, saving for retirement, and making investments are common financial goals. “Retire Inspired” by Chris Hogan is one of our newest books in this subject area; another is Jane Bryant Quinn’s “How to Make Money Last: The Indispensible Retirement Guide.” Other popular authors on finances include Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman. You can find these items in the 332 call number range, or just ask, and we’ll be happy to direct you right to it.
As we add another year to our ages, it’s a worthy goal to take better care of ourselves. Thankfully, CDPL has many great guides on how to do this. We have brand-new cooking, health, and exercise materials. New cookbooks such as “Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore: Dinner for Everyone at the Table,” by Anna Thomas and “The Skinnytaste Cookbook” by Gina Homolka give some great ideas on lightening up our menus. You’ll find more cookery choices at call number 641.5.
Deepak Chopra, author of “Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being, and Miranda Esmonde-White, author of DVDs on classical stretch and a book on aging reversal, provide hope to improve our health even as we age. Check in the area around 613.71, or ask us for assistance in finding these titles.
Maybe a bigger concern is organizing your home. Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” was a big hit at CDPL, and her follow-up, “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up,” has also proved very popular. Find more at 648 & 648.5.
Would you like to learn a new hobby in 2017? We’ve got the materials for that, too! Whether your interests are in music, learning a new language, making jewelry, learning crochet, beginning a new sport, or in some other area, chances are great that we have something to offer that is just what you had in mind. Among the brand-new bookshelf choices, we have “The Art of Woodworking: Restoring Antiques,” “Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More Than 200 Stitches,” by Lucinda Ganderton, or even a book on how to make maple syrup. You can get ready now for when the sap runs by reading “Maple Syrup: An Introduction to the Science of a Forest Treasure,” by Mike Rechlin.

Planning for travel is another fun goal for 2017. Whether you’re planning a big trip to a foreign destination such as London, Cuba, Scandinavia, or the Middle East, or something a bit closer to home, we have a great collection of new travel guides! Domestic titles include “My Old Kentucky Road Trip: Historic Destinations and Natural Wonders;” “Off the Beaten Path Indiana: A Guide to Unique Places;” “Indiana Wineries: The Ultimate Guide to Wine in Indiana,” by Todd & Becky Outcalt; and “The National Parks: An American Legacy,” by Ian Shive. Travel information may be found in the 914-918 call number range.

Regardless of your other resolutions, here’s one more we hope you add to your list: visiting CDPL! Whether you visit often or have never visited before, we look forward to seeing you. Please stop by, apply for a new library card, or renew your old one, and allow us to help you find just the thing you’re looking for. Library collection items are available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year now, with free digital collections by Hoopla, Freegal, RB digital and more. Happy New Year!


January 12, 2017

The Victorian Love Story

By Dianne Combs

If you are an Anglophile like myself, you will be quite enchanted with our latest acquisition, “Victoria,” by Daisy Goodwin, which tells the fictional story of Queen Alexandrina Victoria, or “Drina,” as her family called her, and her early romance with Albert, her cousin. Their romance and marriage would become one of the greatest love stories in English history. This book begins with Drina living a secluded life at Kensington with her mother, a German woman who had married Prince Edward, the fifth son of George III. Her Uncle King, William IV, is in poor health, and Drina wishes that if he is to die of drink, that he do it after she turns eighteen. Her mother has been in a relationship with the controlling Sir John Conroy, and if Drina is to make it as an independent monarch, she knows she must shed her mother’s special friend, and get on with it herself. And as for that dreadful name, Alexandrina, well, she will soon have her way and be called “Victoria” from the French Victoire, a family name. This is an odd name at the time for an English woman, but shows the impact that Victoria had on our culture in that we have all known someone named Vicky, or Victoria.

Victoria is an extremely young and sheltered eighteen-year-old when her king dies and she is to mount the dais as Queen of England. She finds a great confidante in Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, a much older widowed man. As they become closer friends, Victoria begins to seek out his face in the crowd, and his arms around her at royal fancy balls. As in all court politics, who the queen is seeing is of utmost importance, and suspicions are aroused at the closeness between the two. Suggestions are made about Victoria meeting her cousin, Albert, of Saxe-Coburg. All she remembers of him is a lazy, tired boy from three years ago, when they were both much younger. The meeting is finally made, and the romance dance begins. This book is a great jumping off point for anyone wanting to know more about the beginning of the Victorian era.

CDPL has many more books about the reign of Queen Victoria. “Dearest Mama: Letters Between Queen Victoria and the Crown Princess of Prussia, 1861-1864,” edited by Roger Fulford, shares the letters written between the queen and her daughter who married Frederick III of Prussia. “Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and Rebirth of the British Monarchy” by Paul Thomas Murphy. This book provides well-researched details behind the seven known attempts on Queen Victoria’s life, and follows the lives of the would-be assassins through their incarcerations, or deportations rather, to Tasmania. “Victoria,” a PBS eight-part series also written by Daisy Goodwin, will be aired in January.


January 19, 2017

Bliss Writes a Deliciously Refreshing Story

By Lacey Wallace

“To women everywhere, of any size or shape. You’re all beautiful” — Alison Bliss

Come check out CDPL’s brand new adult fiction additions! “Size Matters” by Alison Bliss is one of the most recent and definitely worth the trip! Bliss writes a refreshing, compelling tale that will reach men and women of all shapes and sizes. We finally have a main character that extends relatability to more than just one small group.
Leah Martin owns and runs her own bakery where she gets to be personally and professionally passionate about her sweet treats. When Leah and her friend Valerie go out one evening, she sees a guy that is absolutely delectable. Unfortunately, Leah and Sam have a rough start getting to know one another. Sam Cooper tends to say all the wrong things at all the wrong moments and has trouble explaining himself. Understandably, Leah’s insecurities prevent her from being immediately forgiving.
The plot starts to really unfold when Sam attempts to make up for his unintended insults by stopping by the bakery to apologize. He ends up giving Leah a ride to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding to deliver one of her mind-blowing cakes. When Sam puts his foot in his mouth in front of Leah’s mom, he and Leah have to carefully scheme together to get out of an impulsive white lie. Much to Leah’s dismay, Sam “reveals” that she is engaged and that Sam is the groom-to-be! Now he has to travel as her plus one to Leah’s annual family vacation and attempt to make everyone dislike him in order to get them both out of the fiasco Sam put them in.
Alison Bliss knows how to create an exciting scenario that keeps you intrigued! She has a gift when it comes to writing charming and identifiable characters that make you feel warm and cozy in the middle of winter. This sinfully sweet story is full of surprises that will keep you laughing and sometimes blushing. Be sure to come check it out or submit an online request to hold it on our website: . Click the “check your account” link that appears in the “Quick Catalog Search” box. Click on the “My account” tab to log in and place a hold. “Size Matters” is located in the New Adult Fiction collection at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.

January 26, 2017

Actually, it’s the Clem Scheme…

By Kerith Bourff
She was attractive, personable, and walked among the upper echelons of society. She was clever, financially savvy, and had a mind for business. Although originally from Kentucky, she called Indianapolis, Indiana, her home. Her name was Mrs. Nancy Clem and she was responsible for one of the most sophisticated scams of the 19th century. Indeed, she is the assumed originator of the Ponzi scheme (which was not given its name until 1920 when Charles Ponzi attempted the same fraudulent investment operation). As if being a con artist weren’t enough, the cunning Clem was also an accused murderess.

At the time, Indianapolis was a young city, growing rather rapidly after the Civil War. Nopolis, as it was sometimes called, had grown from 8,000 citizens to 50,000 virtually overnight. And did you know Alexander Ralston, the architect who designed Washington D.C., also designed Indianapolis? Thus, the circular nature of the “City of Indiana.”

Unfortunately, in September of 1868 the gruesome remains of Jacob and Nancy Jane Young were found lying on the banks of the White River. Shockingly, all suspicions pointed to Jacob Young’s business partner at the time . . . the charming Mrs. Clem.

Wendy Gamber, a history professor at Indiana University, is the author of this true crime thriller titled, “The Notorious Mrs. Clem.” She offers impeccable research and cagey characters who are addled by a society not quite ready for independent women. As the book proposes, “Was Mrs. Clem on trial for murder? Or was she on trial because she engaged in business?” As it turns out there was a third partner by the name of Bill Abrams, who had a sketchy alibi for his whereabouts at the time of the murders.

Although, Mrs. Clem was indeed the unfortunate mastermind behind the con, she was also likely the victim of deep betrayal. And guess who the prosecuting attorney was for Mrs. Clem’s trial . . . none other than her old neighbor and future U.S. president, Mr. Benjamin Harrison. Clem’s ordeal quickly becomes fodder for partisan politicking, but “As they argue over her guilt or innocence…ordinary citizens pondered competing ideas about gender, money, and marriage.”

Stop in at CDPL to find out how the true story of “The Notorious Mrs. Clem” comes to its conclusion.