Tompkins County Public Library

Monday, June 16, 2014

Library Announces 2014 Community Read

Tompkins County Public Library, in partnership with Cornell University’s New Student Reading Project, has announced the selection of “Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio,” by Amara Lakhous, as the 2014 Community Read.

Winner of Italy’s prestigious Flaiano Prize, “Clash of Civilizations” uses social satire and murder mystery to tell the story of a mixed community thrown into chaos as police investigate the murder of a neighbor.

Copies of “Clash of Civilizations” will be available for circulation at TCPL beginning July 1.

Now in its 13th year, the Community Read encourages community members to experience the bond of literature by reading and discussing the same title. 

Programs related to the 2014 Community Read will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information, or to request free copies of the book for a book group or community agency, contact Community Read Coordinator Teresa Vadakin at (607) 272-4557 extension 272 or

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to post your book reviews for the TCPL Reads Blog

Have you just read a wonderful (or not) book that you want share with others?  Post your reviews here! 

There are three ways to do this!
1. Send me your book reviews and I will post them for you.  Just email them to They will be published as soon as possible.

2.  Click on the "Comment" link  below this post, type in your review and submit. In order to reduce spam, we'll review your submission and then publish it.

3. If you don't like working online, you can bring your reviews to the Library! Come to the Adult Reference Desk and ask for Teresa or Joyce.

GUIDELINES for book reviews
1. Please provide the title, author and date of publication.
2. Please include a short summary of the book and the reasons why you did or didn't like it.
3. Please provide your name contact information will be helpful in case we have questions about the review. (Contact information will be deleted and will NOT be published.)


Book Review -- Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (2013)

This book hooked me at the start by this sentence:

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

This work of fiction relates the experiences of one family and particularly those of Frank Drum, a pre-teen boy, during a summer in the 1960s in a small town in Minnesota. Mysterious deaths are taking place and Frank Drum, the narrator, meets them head-on. He suffers loss, grief and growth as his family reels from their personal impact.

Frank's father is a minister and his mother, a frustrated musical artist, is the choir director who does not share her husband's faith in God.  Frank's gentle, younger brother, Jake, is wise beyond his years, but communication is difficult for him due to a stutter.  Their sister, Ariel, a beautiful, a musically-gifted young woman is preparing to leave home to study music at Julliard. Then deaths start occurring and everything changes for them. Life is different.

I was prepared for a powerful experience and was not disappointed. The voice of Frank and the humanity of the main characters in this book carries the tale along as I tried to unravel who the killer or killers might be. I felt almost transported to New Bremen, Minnesota and my own experiences of growing up in the 1960s in the Midwest.

I first became interested in Krueger's mystery when I learned that it had been nominated for the 2014 Edgar Award for best mystery. It won!

-- Joyce Wheatley

Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 Adult Summer Reading Program

Tompkins County Public Library has announced the June 23 launch of “Book Your Summer at the Library,” TCPL’s inaugural summer reading program for adults.

“Book Your Summer at the Library” will provide an opportunity for adult readers to connect with and explore the library through books and programs.  Registered participants who complete five activities featured on the “Book Your Summer” game board will be entered into a drawing for an assortment of exciting prizes donated by local businesses.

Game board activities include reading books, attending special Summer Reading programs and writing book reviews.

To register and receive a game board, visit the Library’s Adult Services Reference Desk.  The first 50 registrants will receive a Pristine Screens screen cleaner for mobile devices.

Completed game boards must be received by August 22 in order to be eligible for prizes!

For more information, contact Teresa Vadakin at (607) 272-4557 extension 272 or, or visit 

Friday, May 30, 2014

New Book Blog for Adults

Coming Soon! TCPL will post your book reviews and comments.