Library Hours
Monday
10:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday
10:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday
10:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday
10:00am - 6:00pm
Friday
10:00am - 3:00pm
Saturday
10:00am - 2:00pm
Sunday
Closed

We're Opening!

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Beginning Monday, February 22, Belmond Public Library will reopen to the public for browsing, public computer use, and other in-person services. To ensure the safety of our visitors and staff, masks and social distancing are required while in the library. In addition, seating has been limited and the restrooms remain closed in an effort to provide services and move visitors in and out of the library as efficiently and safely as possible. In person programming and meeting room rentals continue to be suspended. Staff assistance while in the library will be limited and we will not be able to offer up close personalized computer help. We will continue to offer curbside service during open business hours.
When entering the library use the front entrance as the back entrance will be dedicated to curbside services only.

Recommended by the Librarians

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The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey 
Mandi Rink, Technical Services Librarian

Evelyn Caldwell, a genius scientist, recently finds her husband is having an affair. Martine is “the other woman”. Evelyn soon finds out her husband has used her life’s work, replicating humans, to give himself everything he wanted in a marriage… the looks of Evelyn with the personality of a “Stepford Wife”. After a very awkward meeting between the two women, Evelyn receives a phone call from Martine. Their husband is dead…and Evelyn begins the work to clean up his final mess.

I enjoyed this book. It was not what I was expecting and moved a bit slow. Once the book took off…it takes off running! The inner monologue of the main character is at times mind numbing. With that being said, that is just how the character is. Evelyn grew on me. The ending was wild! I really do recommend this book! Not too science-fictiony that you feel you need a dictionary beside you and not too thrillery that you feel you cannot relax while reading.

 

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Sonya Trager, Director


Genre: Fantasy
Available to check out at our library.
Synopsis: (Excerpt of review taken from Goodreads) In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
My Thoughts: I love Rebecca Roanhorse's writing. She jumps in from the get go creating images and a world that grabs you. To me, it feels like there is a gritty earthiness to her writing. I know when I open one of her books the words will cover me like windblown dirt and the feeling with stay with me for hours after closing the pages. Like her Sixth World series, Black Sun is creative, gripping and highly engaging. The storyline is interesting and feels unlike anything out there, or at least that I've ever read before. Her world building it top notch. Black Sun is written mainly from the perspective of four characters. The point of view changes throughout the book. Generally, I struggle in books of this type. I am guilty of actually skipping chapters of characters which I struggle to connect. Not this book. I found each of the character’s point of view interesting and diverse. Love it!

 

 

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Mandi Rink, Technical Services Librarian

"Poverty was a soul-crushing thing. A cave that tightened around you, its pinprick of light closing a
little more at the end of each desperate, unchanged day."

Kristin Hannah has cemented herself as one of my favorite authors with this book. I really am not a fan of historical fiction but when Ms. Hannah writes it, I find myself devouring it the same way I do a thriller. I think this is because she always makes it apparent that while the events you are reading about are in the past, they still have correlation with current events. "The Four Winds" isn't as full of romance as "The Great Alone", but it is full of mother daughter relationships that are insightful for both mother readers and daughter readers. Set in the depression, dust bowl era, this heavy read actually taught me a lot and prompted a lot of searches about the era. Above all else, this book is a story about a woman who never gave up, no matter how hard it was. This is a story about a child coming of age under the great pressures of financial strain.
Five GOLDEN stars.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Sonya Trager, Director


Genre: Fantasy
Available to check out at our library.
Synopsis: Galaxy “Alex” Stern is new to Yale’s freshman class. She’s not like other students coming from a difficult background and personal history. While her benefactors and acceptance to Yale are still a mystery, she is thrust into a world of secret societies with a darkness of their own.
My Thoughts: This is my first real endeavor into one of Bardugo's books. I really enjoyed her writing. The book read very much like a thriller/mystery with a conspiratorial secret society element that really piqued my interest. The addition of magic, ghosts, and all things relatively spooky really got me excited. Let us face it, I like to read a lot of unusual and rather ‘weird’ stuff. This fits nicely into my tastes but had enough normality to it that I think any average reader of dark thrillers might enjoy the tale. I found the dynamics of the characters intelligent and well thought out. At times I struggled to understand the background and motivations of the main character. A lot about her remains a bit of a mystery but develops as the story progresses. I enjoyed the writing, pacing, and momentum of the story. Bardugo creates a dark fantasy atmosphere and backs it up with some strong theories and ideas. By mixing the past and present, the author provides a history while keeping the story moving forward. I found myself fully engaged and guessing at the mystery elements of the story. I will definitely read book two when it comes out.

Layla by Colleen Hoover 
Mandi Rink, Technical Services Librarian

“When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.” – Publisher Supplied Synopsis.

I’m not sure if you know this but, I adore Colleen Hoover. I have not yet read a bad book by her. This probably unhealthy obsession started when I picked up her novel, Verity. Hoover is primarily a romance author but she decided to go out of her comfort zone and write a thriller and man…it was awesome. I picked up “Layla” expecting to be wowed and I was, just not in the same way. Layla starts with a very attention-grabbing interview, and the book follows Leeds’ memories until you are lead back to the present time interview. The formatting made the book that much more interesting. There is, of course, a twist…and another twist. I loved it. Five stars, read it!

The Hollow Places
Mandi Rink, Technical Services Librarian

Kara finds a hole to another universe within her uncle’s creepy museum. Naturally, she and her friend have to investigate this unknown world. The pair instantly regret their curiosity when they find the place overcome with unnatural creatures. Will they ever get home?
T. Kingfisher knows how to scare the absolute pants off me. I will avoid talking about my behavior after reading “The Twisted Ones”. Moving on…

Kara is likable. Her inner monologue is funny enough to break some of the tension within this quick read. Simon is the gay, funny best friend we all wish we had. The descriptions Kingfisher weaves about the Willow World is scary enough to give you goosebumps and quickly regret reading this book at night. Newsflash…it isn’t hair!

You’ll laugh..you’ll cringe…and you’ll close the book and NEVER look at willow trees again…

 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Sonya Trager, Director

Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Plot Summary: (published on Goodreads) “A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget. France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is beautifully written. The story of Addie bounces between the present and her past, weaving a tale of freedom, loneliness, self-discovery, and the concept of being invisible, both figuratively and literally. This is my first experience with the writing of V.E. Schwab. Her style at times seems almost melodic. I found myself absorbed into Addie's life, her deal with Luc, and her interactions with others. I found the concept of love and relationships interesting especially in the construct that one of the people involved is forgotten. The introduction of Henry brings hope to the story. I think that maybe we all feel invisible, isolated, and alone at some time in our lives. In the end, I think we all want to be remembered or to matter to something or someone. Over all, I really enjoyed reading the book and am interested in exploring other writings from Schwab. Count me a new fan.


Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
Mandi Rink, Technical Services Librarian

Oh, the final in Elin Hilderbrand’s drama packed trilogy… how I have been looking forward to you since 2019! Irene’s and her family’s life is turned upside down, yet again. There is reason for the family to believe the helicopter crash that killed Russ and Rosie may not have been an accident. Irene wonders if she is moving on too quickly, Baker goes for it and Cash…better get his own book.
As always, Hilderbrand nails it. The book was an island breeze to read, to get lost in and forget about your own issues for a while. I feel like the ending was abrupt, but that could also be because I just did not want to say goodbye to the very resilient Irene Steele and her (what I visualize to be) very striking sons.




Deadly Education by Naomi Novic
Sonya Trager, Director

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Coming soon to our library!

Plot Summary: Scholomance isn't your usual magic school that you find in other books. In this world, teens are sent to study or face their magic having deadly consequences. The school has not teachers that anyone can see. They aren't really necessary because in this school, either learn, or become victim to one of the frightening creatures that infest the school. Learning is a matter of survival and even if you make it alive to graduation, there is no guarantee you will get out alive. The story focusses on the main character Galadriel (El) who struggles to fit in. Orion Lake, the hero type, keeps coming to her rescue, one more thing she doesn't need in her life. Galadriel navigates the Scholomance and learns a lot along the way about herself, others, and looking beneath the surface.

My Thoughts: Novik is an amazing world builder. The beginning of the book can be a little tedious as she sets up the story and background, but it's well worth working through to get to the rest of the book. The second half of the book is filled with character development, action and craziness. The world building is imaginative and original. I loved the twist on 'magic school', where learning was important for survival. The characters are diverse and interesting. There is a lot of angst in the book on the part of the main character, El. I felt this to be very much in line with her judgmental attitude towards other characters and their motivations. I really liked seeing the growth in El through the book and how she eventually began to open up to the other characters. Over all, an enjoyable, interesting and exciting read. I finished the book very excited to read the next installment. This is definitely a series I will follow in the future.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Mandi Rink, Technical Services Librarian

“Few things in life are more disappointing than knowing your parents aren’t being honest with you.”

 

Twenty-five years ago, Maggie Holt and her parents left Baneberry Hall under very mystery pretenses. Maggie’s father, Ewan, published a book detailing their haunted experience in the house. His nonfiction book was instant worldwide success and has since been following Maggie around like a dark cloud. Maggie does not believe a word in her father’s book, and never has. Ghost are not real, according to Maggie. After Ewan’s death, Maggie finds out she is to inherit Baneberry Hall…and perhaps, all of its ghosts.
People, I love a good ghost story. I also love a book with two timelines. This book has both of those elements. Riley Sager just sucks you right into this world and as soon as you think you know where it is going…turns out you do not. This book is unlike other books Mr. Sager has written but I believe it to be his best one yet! If you are one of those people (I mean, monsters) that like to flip to the very last page in the book before you begin the book, I urge you not to! This book is so twisty and eerie; you will not know what is really happening until the final page. You will never be able to look at snakes in the same way either…

Bridges Update

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You will now need to use the last
five digits of your library card to log in to
Bridges, Belmond's Online Library.
This is due to the State Library of Iowa authenticating our users.
If you have any issues or questions, contact a librarian at 641-444-4160.

Friends of the Library

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The Friends of the Belmond Public Library was formed in 1995.  They are an auxiliary group of the Library Foundation.  Their mission is to maintain an
association of persons interested in the library, to focus public attention on the library, to lend financial support, to coordinate volunteer efforts,
and help promote the programs and services of the Talbot Belmond Public Library. 

As a Friend, you will have the satisfaction of supporting one of our most important educational institutions, playing an important role in making books and other materials available to the community. 
You will also have the opportunity to volunteer for various events and programs.

  You can join for as little as $5.00 per year as an individual, or $15.00 as a family.
If you are already a Friend of the library, please stop by today to renew your membership. 

Please contact the library with any questions. 
The library would love to have you as a Friend!

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Sat Feb 27 – Fri Mar 26, 2021
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