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Holiday Fun for Families!

Looking for some holiday fun for the kids?  Then head to the library on Tuesday and Wednesday evening for some festive fun for families!

On Tuesday, December 18th we’ll host our annual Jingle Bell Jammie Jam story time at 6:00 PM in the story well – we’ve got the jingle bells covered, so all you need to do is get cozy in your favorite PJs and join Megan and Cyd for holiday stories, songs, and plenty of cheer!  We even wrote a letter to the North Pole to see if a certain someone in a red suit would be available to take a little break from toy making to join us for a story.  We think we’ve been pretty good this year, so here’s hoping!

If you’re looking to create something lovely and homemade (or library-made!) for your tree this year, we have a special family ornament crafting night planned on Wednesday, December 19th from 4:00 – 6:00 PM in the Foot Room.  We have more than a few different types of ornaments planned for you to design, make and take home to hang in a special spot – including the pour paint ornaments Anna from ArtReach showed us how to make!  All ages welcome – the ornaments can be as easy or as complicated as you’d like to make them.

See you next week!

From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia by Michael McFaul

Book jacket cover of From Cold War to Hot PeaceThe relationship between Russia and the US is an enormously important and fraught one. Michael McFaul brings both academic expertise and personal experience to the subject. Booklist gave his book a starred review, writing “American foreign policy is personal for McFaul, who began observing U.S.-Russian relations as a student in the 1970s and 1980s, engaged them as a pro-democracy activist and academic in the 1990s and 2000s, served on President Obama’s National Security Council, and was the American ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. McFaul, therefore, witnessed the end of the Cold War, the dissolution of the USSR, and the two ensuing decades of complex Russian engagement with democracy that, he argues, ended with Vladimir Putin’s return to power in 2012. His engaging political memoir centers on his work as part of the Obama administration and as ambassador in Moscow, as his ideas were tested by the constraints of policy making and challenged by life in a Russia that was rapidly returning to autocracy. He focuses on political elites and their actions, presenting them, including the often-stereotyped Putin, as complex, human characters. McFaul ends by bringing his depth of perspective to bear on current U.S.-Russian relations, concluding that the hot peace of the Putin era is here to stay. An expert political chronicle that often reads like a fast-paced thriller, this title is highly recommended.”

Storm Lake by Art Cullen

Book jacket cover of The Armored SaintI have a soft spot in my heart for small town Iowa journalism since my nephew worked as a reporter in Le Mars (Ice Cream Capital of the World!). Unlike Art Cullen, the author of Storm Lake, my nephew hasn’t yet won a Pulitzer, but he’s young… Booklist gave the book a starred review, writing “Cullen, editor of Storm Lake, Iowa’s small hometown newspaper, the Storm Lake Times, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for a series of editorials about farming practices and water quality in northwest Iowa. Here, Cullen chronicles his early life in Storm Lake, his journalistic forays at various Midwestern newspapers, and his ultimate return home when his older brother, John, needed help managing his fledgling paper. An engaging storyteller, Cullen recounts the deeds (and misdeeds) of youth, but his writer’s passion shines when he discusses the events that led him to write the prize-winning editorials. He cares deeply about his community and the changes it has undergone. Storm Lake, like many other small Midwestern towns, has seen manufacturing jobs dry up and farming morph into a corporate concern, but more uniquely, it has welcomed immigrants in search of a better life, and it is thriving. The moral, economic, and social history of a small town in Iowa might not seem like much of a story, but in Cullen’s hands, it is. He and his family have sunk their roots deeply, engaged with the issues of their place, and cared enough to call out injustice.”