All posts by rgray

What do you think?

We are working on a Strategic Plan this fall and we need your input! Please take a few minutes to fill out our Community Survey and let us know what direction you see us going.  No library experience or knowledge required.

Free Notepad

You can fill out the survey online or come in  for a paper copy of the survey here at the library. Either way, ask library staff for a small notebook as a thank you from us to you!

Announcing our Summer Reading Grand Prize Winners!

Congratulations to our Grand Prize Winners!

#1: Handmade Harry Potter Basket: Hannah Johnson

#2: Hugo and Pete’s Dragon Movie Night: Maleah Browns

#3: Harry Potter Lego Set: Greta Hemingson

#4: Secret Life of Pets and Emperor’s New Groove Movie Night: Amarah Dennison

#5: Family Game Night: Charles Nelson

#6: Disney Storybook, Wooden Puzzle, and Peter Pan Basket: Gemma Bauer

Upcoming Programs

We are very excited to announce a couple of concerts this summer!

The Magic of Celtic Music
Laura MacKenzie

Laura MacKenzie is performing July 18 at 7:00pm. Join us in the Pine Island City Hall’s Council Chamber on the 2nd floor.

“Celtic” can describe music from a number of areas, including Ireland and Scotland, regions of France, Northern Spain, Wales and Nova Scotia. “The Magic of Celtic Music” presents traditional music on a fascinating array of wind-powered instruments, including a variety of wooden flutes and tin whistles, various types of bagpipes (bellows and blown), concertina, gemshorn and voice. In a program intriguing to both youth and adults, we learn how air is transformed into music on the various wind-powered instruments and what makes the airs, dance tunes, and songs “Celtic.” We explore the rhythms of traditional Irish and Scottish dance music, and even use the voice (a wind instrument) to sing jigs and reels in Gaelic.

Minnesota’s Ordinarily Unsung Concert

Elisa Korenne is coming  to the Olde Pine Theatre on August 6 at 7:00pm.

Elisa Korenne is gaining a reputation for her songs about characters and events that are too fascinating for the history books, and she has mastered the art of telling those untold stories from the stage. Minnesota’s Ordinarily Unsung Concert is an award-winning concert series about unsung, unique, and unusual people in Minnesota history. The Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission commissioned award-winning songwriter and student of history to create Minnesota’s Ordinarily Unsung concerts and workshops to celebrate Minnesota’s 150th anniversary as a state.

We hope you can join us for these exciting singers this summer!

Devil in the White City

Cover of Devil in the White CityChicago in the 1890s was a place for dreams. Daniel Hudson Burnham was one of the architects that dreamt of bringing the world to Chicago for a World’s Fair to celebrate Columbus’s discovery of the New World. Henry H Holmes, on the other hand, dreamt of bringing death to pretty young ladies attending the fair. Both of their stories are told and intertwined by Larson with his deft storytelling and extensive research. This book bounced between these and other major players of the World’s Colombian Exposition, but I did not find that distracting. Instead, it was a very smart way to allow readers to have a rest from the trickery and death of Holmes so they are not overwhelmed by him.

My favorite bit about this book was learning a lot about the challenges and wonders of the Fair, including the creation of the original Ferris Wheel that stood 264 feet in the air and allowed for 2160 people to ride at any given time. Of course, I was also fascinated with the story of Holmes and his self-designed “castle”/hotel that had airtight rooms, a crematorium, and multiple other macabre mysteries.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in American History or just like a well told story. Holmes’s story and methods are told in a manner of fact fashion and is not gory. You can find our copy in the Large Print section of the library. It’s call number is LP 364.15 LAR.

Book Talk Thursday 7

Song of Achilles book cover

While I have not read the Iliad, I am almost knowledgeable in the ins & outs of the Trojan War…after all, I’ve see Troy! Madeline Miller tells the story in Song of Achilles, from a slightly different view of this chaotic time in history – we see it through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles’s lifelong companion and lover. The novel starts with Patroclus’s unhappy childhood. He is awkward and not the son his father wanted. The anthesis of Achilles who was a lovely demigod who was the gold standard of being the perfect son – he was musical, a fierce warrior and a good scholar. These 2 young, 10 year old boys meet and become friends when Patroclus is exiled for causing the death of a powerful nobleman’s son. Achilles takes him under his wing as his father takes Patroclus on as a foster, as he did for many many other boys. As his chosen companion, Patroclus is given pretty much the same privileges as Achilles himself – including the same education and training. Their relationship blossoms and becomes a true love story that is treated with respect by Miller. They later go together to Troy to “rescue” Helen from Paris, which ended poorly for both young men. 

The characters come to life in this novel and I had no trouble believing them and believing in them. I was pulled in by them, and really wanted to know how they would turn out, even though I have seen Troy. Another aspect I really enjoyed about this is the fact that it deals with the mythical and realistic aspects of the story in the same matter of fact manner. Miller describes very real battles and school-aged angst in the same way she deals with the boys being taught by a centaur and Achilles’s mother being a sea nymph.

You can find this book in our adult fiction section with the call number F MIL.



The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray by B.A. Williamson.

Book cover of The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn GrayGwendolyn Gray lives in a predictable, gray world. Everyone wears gray uniforms, the sky is always overcast & cloudy, everyone conforms to the social norm and no one has any imagination. No one, that is, except Gwendolyn. Not only can Gwendolyn imagine the world as a different, more colorful place, but sometimes the things she imagines come to life like an emerald green leaf and a pair of bright birds. This unique trait of Gwendolyn’s gets her in trouble, as you can imagine, and she gets to meet pirates and dirigible captains and scary creatures that try to erase her and everything else that has a spark of creativity in them.

This is a YA adventure book that has good adult crossover appeal. You can find if on our shelves downstairs in our Youth Library in the J section. It’s call number is PPB J WIL. 

Book Talk Thursday 5

Book cover for America for BeginnersThree strangers from very different backgrounds travel the United States together in America for Beginners by Leah Franqui. Pival is the rich Indian widow who booked a trip to California via New York, Las Vegas and many other American cities in between. Satya is her tour guide, although this is his first tour and doesn’t know much more about America and the sights they’re seeing than Pival. Rebecca is the female companion hired for the tour at Pival’s request. Each of them is running from suffocation, shame, or fear in their lives; until, without realizing it, they all start running towards something more.

This is a character driven story that pulls at the heartstrings without being sentimental. I’d recommend it for anyone want to reading travel fiction, but also for anyone looking for a character-centric narrative. This is our book club selection for August. You can find it on our shelves both in our regular fiction at F FRA and also in Large Print at call number LP F FRA.