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Thursday, September 22, 2016

20s & 30s Book Club meets next Thursday

Join fellow 20 & 30-somethings once a month for good food, good fun, and a great discussion on the books you want to read! At the September meeting, we'll discuss The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. As always we'll meet at a local restaurant. Come join us on Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm - ??? For more info (and the name of the local restaurant) contact Matt Wieck, or call 630.529.1641 ext.*211. Whether or not you can attend our next meeting (especially if you cannot attend), join our Goodreads Group and share your comments in the online discussion.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Adult Book Discussion Group meets next Tuesday

The Adult Book Discussion Group meets Tuesday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m. Join us to discuss H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Copies of the book are available to borrow at the Reference Desk.

For information about the Adult Book Discussion Group, contact Marcia Bose at the Library’s Reference Desk, (630) 529-1641, press 3. Visit the Library's website to see upcoming selections for the Adult Book Discussion Group.

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YLP (Youth Lit Picks) meets next Tuesday

YLP, the Youth Lit Picks book group, meets next Tuesday afternoon, September 20, at 4:30 p.m. Join us for a lively discussion of nominees for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award and the Abraham Lincoln Award: Illinois' High School Readers' Choice Award.

This month we are reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Abertalli (Abe) and The Screaming Staircase by (Caudill). For more information about YLP, contact Leann Skeens at the Library’s Ask Me Desk, (630) 529-1641, x *351.

Whether or not you can attend our next meeting (especially if you cannot attend), join our Goodreads Group and share your comments in the online discussion.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

September at the Roselle Public Library District

September is a month of change: the kids are back at school, the air during your morning walk is a little crisper, and new colors are starting to peek out of the leaves. At the Roselle Public Library District, September is also a month of diversity, with programs for all ages.

We start with Wak*ka*doodle Wednesday on Wednesday, September 14, 4:30-6:30P, where crafty kids can create a new masterpiece. No registration is required, but a parent or caregiver must accompany children younger than 8.

The next evening holds a few more crafty hours with Cable Me This: Crochet Cables, Thursday, September 15, 7-8:30P. Encounter new friends as you encounter new techniques, learning to crochet traditional, mini, and braided cables using front post and back post stitches.

Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *222. Participants should bring one solid-color skein of any worsted weight yarn and a size H or I crochet hook.

On Saturday, September 17, 10-10:45A, it's time to encounter more new friends while honoring old ones at A. Teddy Bear's Birthday Party! Join the celebration by singing, dancing, listening to stories, and playing games.

Each child can bring a teddy bear or other favorite stuffed animal to the party. Parents and caregivers must accompany them. Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *351. Children must be between two and six years old.

While kids have their jam session on Saturday, adults have their own Sunday, September 18, 1:30-3P with traveling singer-songwriter Kraig Kenning at the season's first Musical Sunday. A longtime patron favorite, Kenning will perform his special blend of contemporary folk, blues, roots rock, American fingerstyle, and more.

Refreshments will be served, including coffee and cookies. No registration is required.

The string of great programs continues with Medicare 101, Monday, September 19, 7-8P. Insurance expert David Wylly is back by popular demand to provide an overview of how Medicare works and the important decisions made during open enrollment periods.

Wylly will discuss what Medicare covers, what it doesn't, and options for additional coverage like supplemental insurance plans, Part D Drug Prescription plans, and Advantage plans.

Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *222.

If you need to unwind after Monday night, the next evening's Coloring Night at the Library! will tickle you pink! Join other armchair artists on Tuesday, September 20, 6:30-8P for an hour and a half of the hottest (and possibly unexpected) relaxation trend: coloring.

We'll provide the pages, pencils, and markers, but feel free to bring your own supplies. Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *222.

Then on Wednesday, September 21, 6:30-7:30P, it's time to harness a different sort of creativity with Hands-On Robot Lab. Kids in third through fifth grades will learn about robots and coding firsthand, cooperating to complete a series of challenges using Ozobots. No experience necessary, but registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *351.

Did you know Thursday, September 22 is World Rhino Day? Celebrate with us 4:30-5:15P and learn rhino facts, hear rhino stories, and create a rhino craft!

This program is limited to children in kindergarten through second grade. Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *351.

We take a break for a few days, but return with more guidance on Monday, September 26, 7-8P with Filing for Social Security: Flexibility & Choices for Retirement.

Are you filing for Social Security within the next five years? Mike Heatwole of Waddell & Reed will teach you how to optimize your benefits. Workbooks are provided to each participant.

Registration is required through our online calendar or by phone at 630.529.1641, ext. *222.

Our last hurrah for September is a big one: National Voter Registration Day. Get engaged and register to vote in the upcoming election with one of the library's 12 registrars from open to close (9:30A-9P).

Bring two forms of identification, with at least one showing your current residential address. Examples include a valid Illinois driver's license or state ID, employee or student ID, Social Security card, birth certificate, utility bill, valid U.S. passport, or lease or rental contract.

Questions? Call us at 630.529.1641, ext. *222, or contact the DuPage County Election Commission at 630.407.5600 or

By the end of September, you may be ready for the quieter pace of fall, but with our help, you may also have learned new things, listened to good music, and participated in national events. Not bad for one month, huh?

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Mens Book Discussion Group meets next Monday

The Mens Book Discussion Group meets Monday, September 19, at 7:00 p.m. This month, the book selection is  Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. Copies of the book are available to borrow at the Reference Desk.

For information about the Mens Book Discussion Group, contact John Rimer at the library’s Reference Desk, (630) 529-1641, press 3.

Visit the Mens Book Discussion Group on Goodreads for a preview of the discussion questions, information about the author and much more.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

#RPLDiscover: "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War" by Mary Roach

Review by Brett Peto
Public Services Assistant
Reference & Adult Services Department

In a book about military science and technology, you might expect to read about combat. You might expect to read about maneuvers, strategy, and the violence of war. And you will.

But with acclaimed science writer Mary Roach's latest, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, you'll mostly read about—in her funny, easy style—"the quiet, esoteric battles with less considered adversaries: exhaustion, shock, bacteria, panic, ducks."

It's a book about recognizing scientists whose work is unknown outside of small circles, who toil to prevent and treat the worst effects of war. It's also about the science you don't tend to think about, but ends up in our lives and our homes more often than we realize.

Like this: have you ever wondered what military uniforms are made of?

You will after Roach visits the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center to explore how flame-resistant, stain-resistant, and water-resistant materials are developed. This technology is useful for the military, but also for civilians.

Nomex is a synthetic blend that "buys you at least five seconds before your clothes ignite"; it's used in firefighter uniforms.

The newest generation of stain- and water-resistant clothes, where the spill beads up and slides off, copies the "super-repellent coating" of the leaves of the water lily, which have molecular structures similar to paraffin wax.

Sometimes the technology is so new, it hasn't permeated the whole military yet, let alone civilian society.

Thus is the case with TCAPS (Tactical Communication and Protective System), a set of ear cuffs that analyzes and adjusts the volume of different types of incoming sound. Loud noises are made quieter and quiet noises are made louder. TCAPS incorporates squad communications, too, becoming a total filter of the battlefield's landscape of sound.

It's a potential solution to the epidemic of hearing loss spreading through the armed services, but for now only Special Operations forces are using TCAPS, due to "skepticism among leadership" and money, which comes out of the radio budget for equipment like this.

As you can likely tell from the bursts of information here, Roach doesn't loiter too long on almost anything. She slips in and out of subjects as if she's dipping an ice cream cone: just enough to provide a thorough coat, but not so much it drips.

And so, from chapter to chapter, she examines how travelers' diarrhea ("Leaky SEALs") afflicted 77 percent of soldiers in Iraq, 54 percent in Afghanistan, and why, at large, three out of four don't seek medical treatment, and what's in the works to prevent more cases.

She investigates whether there's a universally bad smell ("What Doesn't Kill You Will Make You Reek") that could be made into a stink bomb.

She discusses how the shift work on submarines ("Up and Under") leaves everyone perpetually sleep-deprived, coasting on three or four hours per 24, day in and day out, woken up several times during those precious winks by other sailors, alarms false and real, and their own out-of-whack sleep cycles.

Roach brings such curiosity to everything she ponders, you may wonder how she can keep it up. In an interview with Publishers Weekly, she reveals it's due to not having "a knack for science" when she was young.

"It wasn't interesting to me, which is amazing to me now," she says.

Instead, Roach majored in psychology at Wesleyan University, because "I wanted to go abroad for my entire junior year, and the psych department didn't care."

After years as a freelance copy editor, public affairs spokesperson for the San Francisco Zoological Society, and magazine feature writer, she published her first book, expanding an article she wrote for Salon into Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, today a favorite of maverick book clubs and reading lists nationwide.

From there, Roach's subsequent books have reported on scientific inquiry into the afterlife, the digestive system, life in space, sex, and more, gaining fans with her humor, thoroughness, and accessibility.

She'll probably gain even more fans with Grunt. There's hardly a page—hardly a paragraph—where you don't learn something new. Though this is about the intellectual preparation for war, which can seem unfit for much humor, Roach's sure hand and good sense makes it both enjoyable and respectful, something she echoed in that same interview.

"I have a lot more respect for the people who not only serve as soldiers but the people who dedicate themselves to work that will make that experience more survivable or more bearable," Roach said.

And for being so fearless in her choice of subjects, I have a lot of respect for Mary Roach.

You can find Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War in Adult New Nonfiction, 355.07097 ROA.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Mike's Picks #7

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project
 On her new album, The Hope Six Demolition Project, PJ Harvey continues where she left off on 2011's acclaimed Let England Shake.  While that album focused on the history of war within her homeland, this new record takes her outside of her usual comfort zone (if her usual zone could be called comfortable), giving stark glimpses of a world torn apart by violence and poverty.  It's an interesting shift in focus for an artist who has spent the better part of the last two decades making some of the most personal records in rock, but it is a welcome one.

Like it's predecessor, Demolition is a collaboration between Harvey and war photographer Seamus Murphy.  The pair spent time in Kosovo, Washington D.C. and Afghanistan doing interviews and getting a sense of the devastation.  The introspective lyrics found on previous records like Rid of Me and White Chalk are replaced with something more akin to journalism.  The best example of this is with the opening track "The Community of Hope," a damning portrayal of gentrification gone wrong in Washington D.C.'s Ward 7.  The word "hope" may as well be replaced with "false promises" as the song ends with the chant of "They're gonna put a Walmart here."  It got her in some hot water with some D.C. politicians, who were unhappy with her less than positive portrayal of the nation's capital.  Like a true investigative journalist, she has gotten on the bad side of the people in power.

But what about the music?  Much of the press on the album was about it's lyrical content, but it goes nowhere without quality songs, and there are plenty to be found here.  She continues the direction she started with Let England Shake, mixing elements of rock, jazz, blues and gospel, but with more focus on heavier, almost Morphine style back beats and droning, middle eastern horn parts.  She isn't reinventing the wheel here, just tightening some screws.  Because of this, Demolition feels like a companion piece of Shake, more concise and raw, yet with a wider spectrum topically.

After years of hearing PJ Harvey pull her heart out in her music, it's a bit startling to see her turn her focus so outward on her last few albums.  What's refreshing about it is that she never goes full Green Day, making fashionable political statements wrapped in pompous rock opera grandeur.  She's merely speaking from the viewpoint of a bystander.  This album isn't here to place blame or point fingers, but it does put a mirror in the face of the world, and it's not pretty.

Key Lyrics:
A tableau of the missing
Tied to the government building
8,000 sun-bleached photographs
Faded with the roses
(From "The Wheel")

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