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Important Messages

NYS Education Department has discontinued its subscription to the “Evanced” Reading Program that we have been using for the 2018 TCPL Adult Reading Challenge. The Evanced site for posting book reviews and ratings will be turned off on April 15, 2018.

We did not see this coming, and I apologize for those of you who have been participating in the Reading Challenge through this site.

Please do not continue to post reviews here on the Evanced TCPL Reading Program site! I have downloaded all reviews so this will not affect anyone's reading challenge totals at the end of the year.

What’s next?

The good news is that we are going to continue the Reading Challenge. Hopefully, there will be a new tool for submitting reviews available soon, but, in the meantime, you can submit reviews in two ways.

1. Goodreads – Post reviews online at our Goodreads group site. We planned to stop using Goodreads because it was difficult to share and track books unless one was friends with everyone in the group, but we think we have a solution.
a. If you’re not a member of Goodreads, sign up at and join the 2018 TCPL Reading Challenge Group. It’s free!
b. On the right hand side of the group’s home page, click on “Bookshelf.” Then, in the top left corner of the Bookshelf page, search for a title under “Add a book” (This lets you add your books to our Group bookshelf and you get to maintain privacy of your personal Goodreads site.)
c. Provide a rating (1 - 5 stars).
d. Post a review for the book which you added to the Group’s bookshelf. Even if you have already written a review for your personal Goodreads page, you have to repost it here or it will not be considered for the challenge. (Just copy and paste.)
e. Tag the book with the monthly category IF you want it to enter the monthly mini-challenge.
2. Email your review to me at . Please include:
a. Your name
b. The title of the book you are reviewing
c. The author of that book
d. Your rating (1- 5 stars)
e. A short review
f. Include the subject if it meets the criteria for one of the upcoming monthly challenges

If you have trouble or need help with Goodreads, I’m happy to help.

1. Finally, yes, we are today starting an April Challenge! There will be two winners of a TCPL umbrella selected by random drawing. The category for April is …. Poetry! Read and review books of poetry, biographies of poets, novels on poets, etc.

To get started, explore some of the books on these booklists, Novels on Poets, or Poetry, .

Happy Reading,
The TCPL 2018 Reading Challenge Team


Congratulations to K.S. Milligan, winner of the Trivia segment of TCPL's Winter Reading Challenge. She wins a $5.00 gift certificate to Ithaca Bakery for correctly answering Question 3 from the Trivia Jar!

QUESTION: If you exhibit mental confusion, lack of coordination, and slurred speech in cold weather, what are you suffering from?
ANSWER: Hypothermia


Thanks to everyone who participated in the March Mini-Challenge of our 2018 Adult Reading Program. We called for reviews of books you read in March on the subjects of Women's History, Ireland, and Spring/Renewal and you answered! (Unfortunately, no one reviewed a book, fiction or nonfiction, related to the subject of "basketball.")

Winners were randomly selected from reviews submitted on our Reading Program Site ( or this Goodreads Group.

Each review = 1 chance to win.

Dolina M. wins a brand new copy of "In Praise of Difficult Women" by Karen Kardo for her review of "Great Short Stories by American Women" edited by Candace Ward.

Winners of 1 GB flash drives with TCPL logo are:

1. Travis H. for his review of "Dear Ijeawele or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Women's History)
2. Barbara K. L. for her review of "A Week in Winter" by Maeve Binchy (Ireland)
3. Diane W. for her review of "The Relaxation Response" by Herbert Benson.

Congratulations everyone! You can pick up your prizes at the Information & Learning Services desk in the Library.

Stay tuned for the April mini-challenge contest announcement. Think Poetry.


Winter Reading Challenge Winners! (Update March 22, 2018)

The results are in!

Top reviewers for the 2018 TCPL Winter Reading Challenge are:

Kim RJ - 29 reviews
Dolina M - 23 reviews
Barbara K L - 14 reviews

Each winner receives a Cinemapolis "Movie 5 Pack" generously donated by Cinemapolis for the Winter Reading challenge.

Our year-long Reading Challenge Program continues with the March "mini-challenge" through March 31st. Submit your reviews here or on Goodreads.(Beginning April 1st, though, reviews will only be accepted for the challenge through this website.)

Congratulations, Kim, Dolina and Barbara!

Happy reading!

March 5, 2018 UPDATE

It’s March, month of leprechauns, basketball, women, and spring! Read and submit reviews of books related to any of the topics noted below for a chance to win a 1 GB flash drive with TCPL's logo or a brand new copy of “In Praise of Difficult Women” by Karen Karbo.

Women’s History
Renewal (spring, get it?)

Books can be fiction or nonfiction.

A random drawing for a copy Karen Karbo's book will select one winner from reviews of books that fall into the subject of Women's History.

Three flash drives will be awarded through a random drawing from reviews of books that fall into the subjects of Ireland, Basketball or renewal.

Please be sure to share how your review fits the categories you are entering.

Book lists with suggested titles soon to come!

Stay tuned!
TCPL Reading Challenge Team *******************************************************************************

February 5, 2018 UPDATE!!!

It’s time for the February mini-challenge!

Win a gift certificate from local Ithaca Library Lovers, Bool's Flower Shop or Life's So Sweet Chocolates.

Tell us about books related to the following topics. They can be fiction or non-fiction (e.g. biography/memoir, history, poetry, short stories, graphic novel, etc.). Just be sure to say how the book meets the challenge. Submit through February 28th. Winners announced the first week of March.

1. February is Black History Month - read and review a book about African or African American culture or heritage.
2. February is Library Lovers’ Month - read and review a book set in or involving a library.

Eligible reviews will be randomly drawn from both the Evanced Reading Site,, and the TCPL 2018 Reading Challenge Goodreads Group


TCPL's first *ANNUAL* Reading Challenge is off to a great start!

This program runs throughout the year. The WINTER session begins January 1, 2018 and ends March 21, 2018. Winter Challenge winners will be selected through random drawings of entries. One Winter Grand Prize will be awarded for the most books read and reviewed.

We also encourage you to join the 2018 TCPL Reading Challenge Group on Goodreads,, and be eligible for more prize drawings!

Tell us about the books you love, the books you hate, the books that thrilled you, the books that bored you. Get reading, get writing, get talking with us about books. Share pix and tag us on Facebook or Instagram #TCPL18Challenge.

This first annual TCPL Reading Challenge ends December 15, 2018. A Grand Prize winner and three honorable mentions will be selected and notified the last week of December, 2018.

* Library staff are encouraged to participate in the 2018 Reading Challenge(s) but are not eligible for prizes.
Read this book
I know why the caged bird sings
maya angelou
a gripping story of a young Maya growing up black and female in rural and urban America during a time many people don't even know existed. He innocence and determination made her an endearing young woman and once I got started I had a difficult time putting it down.   Read this book
a must read for all young women and old
Read this book
Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan
Margery Wolf
This is an older book based on research done in the 1950s and 1960s when urbanization and industrialization were beginning to change the traditional rural Chinese family structure. More girls were being educated, finding city jobs, and demanding more say in their marriages. There is particular attention to the roles of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Also an interesting chapter on adopted daughters joining the family as infants to provide cheap wives for sons. This custom was dying out as it seemed too much like brother-sister marriage for both raised together.  Read this book
Read this book
The Girls in the Picture
Melanie Benjamin
Very well researched historical novel about Mary Pickford, the evolution of the motion picture industry and Frances Marion, a screenwriter responsible for most of Pickfords movie hits. I really felt like I was living in the teens and twenties, as this story unfolded.  Read this book
Read this book
The Guns Above: A Signal Airship Novel
Robyn Bennis
Josette Dupre barely survived the last battle she was in against the Vinzhalian forces. Tales of her efforts made the papers, despite her being an "auxiliary" Lieutenant in the Air Signal Corp. All women are considered "Auxiliary" members of the corp and they are supposed to be dropped off at a safe location prior to the airship entering battle. For her efforts Dupre is awarded her own ship to captain - making her the first female captain of an airship however, she is given a new engineering design of an airship (a deathtrap) and her commanding officer has placed his foppish nephew Lord Bernat on board as a spy so that he can remove her from the corps and stop all discussion about making the military completely co-ed.

This is a fantastic opening salvo for a steampunk military series. Josette Dupre is a strong female character. She understands the politics around her position and that they want her out of the military. She wants command of her ship and her crew to respect her. She also has her own personal issues to deal with as well.

Robyn Bennis has created a wonderful world in this introductory novel as well as great characters. Her imagery is so good you can imagine being right there in the airship with them.

I would recommend this novel to all my friends.  Read this book
Read this book
The Doctors Big Beautiful Woman
Cher Etan
Two books in one

This book has two BWWM romances included. The title taken from the first of the two. The first story is lacking quite a bit. The concept of the couple is okay...the doctor is responsible for the treatment of the main character's sister when they first meet. The problem is that other parts of the story don't really contribute to that concept. There is something going on with her job but that doesn't get developed well at all. I was left feeling like there was something criminal about her job. This first book wasn't really good and I was hesitant to read the rest of it. I did read the second story and it was better than the first. That is why I ended up giving it three stars.  Read this book
Read this book
Death of a Coupon Clipper
Lee Hollis
Hayley Powell is at it again!

Hayley Powell enters to be a contestant on a coupon clipping game show just when she needs the prize money the most. Her car is totalled, the roof of her garage has caved in and the furnace just quit...all during a big winter storm.

When Hayley's competitor turns up dead it's up to Hayley to solve the mystery.

This is another cute cozy mystery and the recipes look like they would be easy and delicious. This is an enjoyable read.  Read this book
Read this book
Murder in the Paperback Parlor
Ellery Adams
I was so encouraged by the first installment in this series that I had to continue with the second!

This time the mystery happens during the Romance themed week at Storyton Hall. A famous author is found murdered and it's up to Jane Steward, the Fins and the Cover Girls to solve the murder.

I will say that this time around I was able to pick out who the culprit was in the beginning of the book but I did read the entire thing to make sure I was correct. I was also excited to see what other books were referenced in this book.

I will continue to read this series, I want to see how things play out with the special collection library at Storyton.  Read this book
Read this book
The Earthsea Trilogy
Ursula K. Le Guin
This full cast BBC Radio dramatization of the Earthsea trilogy is a great overview of the books. It has convinced me to revisit the series.

Ged is a young man from Gont with great innate power. He is in a rush to learn all that he can do with his powers and inadvertently releases a dark shadow into the world. He must find a way to defeat the shadow and bring Balance into the world.

Tenar is a young girl who has become Arha, Priestess Ever Reborn and guardian of the Tomb of Atuan. It is in these tombs that Tenar meets Ged.

This is a great listen if you just want a condensed version of the story within the first three books of the series. I would recommend it to my friends that enjoy epic fantasy and it is a good listen for commuters or those travelling.   Read this book
Read this book
The Christie Curse
Victoria Abbot, Carla Mercer-Mayer
I have admittedly been on a Cozy Mystery reading jag. I borrowed this one from the library because it was the first in the Book Collector Mystery Series. What could be better than a book about book collections?

Jordan Bingham, returns to her upstate New York hometown of Harrison Falls, looking for a job to help with the expense of her graduate studies in English. She wants to stop living off the "charity" of her uncles who raised her after the death of her mother. So when she parlays her experience handling rare manuscripts and her love of books into a job with Vera Van Alst, the sole survivor of the illustrious family, she will do all that she can to keep her job.

Ms. Van Alst is searching for the rumored Agatha Christie manuscript, a play that she supposedly wrote during her 11-day disappearance in 1926. It is Jordan's job to track it down. Jordan's predecessor died in a freak accident while in NYC tracking down the manuscript. The more Jordan learns, the more it seems it wasn't an accident at all.

I was delighted to learn that this book was set in New York and that it even mentioned Ithaca College on multiple occasions. I did find myself trying to make sure that the upstate region was in fact "upstate". The location of Harrison Falls NY seems a little suspect when it refers to going "up to Albany" but I don't hold that against it.

I was really entertained by the story and the large cast of characters. It was a great introduction to a series. I didn't find myself solving the mystery in the first few chapters either. I would recommend this book to all of those mystery lovers in my circle.  Read this book
Read this book
Felix Yz
Lisa Bunker
I took a break from my current cozy mystery mode and took on this YA Sci-Fi work. Felix Yz (pronounced Is) was three years old when he was exposed to a lab accident that took the life of his father and fused him with *zyxilef a being from the 4th dimension. No one outside of his small family (his mother, his sister and his father's non-binary parent) and "the powers that be" know about Zyx. Everyone else thinks that there is something wrong with Felix because they only see the effects of Zyx trying to communicate with him.

This book takes place when Felix is 14 and just about a month before he is scheduled to have a procedure to separate him and Zyx. If he does not have the procedure he and possibly Zyx will die, if he does it is possible that he will die as well. So Felix is writing a secret blog chronicling this time. Including his bully and his crush.

I was really interested in this book that took on so much. We have the science fiction of the multiple dimensions and how a being crossed the divide and was attached to a being in our reality. Then you have the typical teen problems of bullies, crushes, homework and life with a single parent; not to mention the LGBTQ and non-binary characters.

The story flowed right along and is a quick read. I probably would have liked it to be a bit more in depth about the multiple dimensions and the science but I had to remind myself that this is the journal of a young teen coming of age, facing an uncertain future with no confidant other than this being he has been joined with most of his life. How much of the science is he likely to know or express when he is still trying to navigate the typical teen life?

I think this is an enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone.  Read this book