It's a freaky fun time of year at the Des Moines Public Library. We have several fun pumpkin and Halloween events coming up for kids, families, and adults. Take a look at our events calendar below, and don't forget to check out our quick links section for Halloween safety tips and more. Finally, we have put together some great reading lists for you at the bottom of the page. Borrow those books from us today!
Links and Information
#1 New York Times Bestseller * A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism.
The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.
On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.
"Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present." --The New York Times
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
#1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 International Bestseller
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
The Giver of Stars
Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium
Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.
The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.
What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they're committed to their job--bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives.
Based on a true story rooted in America's past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is a richly rewarding novel of women's friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.
Until the End of Time
From the world-renowned physicist and best-selling author of The Elegant Universe comes this captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose.
Until the End of Time is Brian Greene's breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to understand it. Greene takes us on a journey across time, from our most refined understanding of the universe's beginning, to the closest science can take us to the very end. He explores how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience: in narrative, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and our longing for the eternal. Through a series of nested stories that explain distinct but interwoven layers of reality--from quantum mechanics to consciousness to black holes--Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we are headed. With this grand tour of the universe, beginning to end, Brian Greene allows us all to grasp and appreciate our fleeting but utterly exquisite moment in the cosmos.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Yes We (Still) Can and cohost of Pod Save America, a sharp political playbook for how Democrats can take on Trump, McConnell, Fox News, and the rest of the right-wing circus dominating American politics.
There is nothing more important than beating Donald Trump in 2020, but defeating Trump is just the start of this timely book. Un-Trumping America offers readers three critical insights: first, Trump is not an aberration, but rather the logical extension of the modern Republican Party; second, how Democrats can defeat Trump in 2020; and third, preventing the likes of Trump from ever happening again with a plan to fix democracy.
While the catalog of the president's crimes is long and growing, undoing Trumpism -- the political platform of racism, authoritarianism, and plutocracy that gave rise to Trump and defines the Republican Party -- is a long and continuing fight. Through a craven, cynical strategy engineered by Mitch McConnell, funded by the Kochs, and fueled by Fox News propaganda, Republicans have rigged American politics to drown out the voices of the people in favor of the powerful. Without an aggressive response that recognizes who the Republicans are and what they have done, American democracy as we know it won't survive this moment and a conservative, shrinking, mostly white minority will govern the country for decades.
Un-Trumping America dismantles toxic Trumpism and offers a way forward. Dan Pfeiffer worked for nearly twenty years at the center of Democratic politics, from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill to Barack Obama's White House. But it was Trump's victory and Republicans' incessant aiding and abetting of Trumpism that has radicalized his thinking. Here, Pfeiffer urges Democrats to embrace bold solutions -- from fixing the courts to abolishing the electoral college to eliminating the filibuster -- in order to make America more democratic (and Democratic).
Un-Trumping America is a powerful call for Democrats and progressives to get smarter, tougher, and more aggressive without becoming a paler shade of orange.
Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump and an Epic Trail of Destruction
A searing exposé by an award-winning journalist of the most scandalous bank in the world, including its shadowy ties to Donald Trump's business empire.
In January 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. As he delivered his fiery Inaugural address, a grey-haired woman named Rosemary Vrablic sat in the VIP section of the audience. Vrablic was an executive at Deutsche Bank, and without her, Donald Trump probably wouldn’t have been moving into the White House.
This is the never-before-told story of how a 150-year-old German bank became the global face of financial recklessness and criminality, a history that traces back to its role helping the Nazis build Auschwitz. In the 1990s, a succession of ruthless executives made the fateful decision to chase Wall Street riches—and set Deutsche Bank on an epic path of devastation. Its sins included manipulating markets, violating international sanctions, and laundering money for Russian oligarchs.
Desperate for an American foothold, Deutsche started doing business with a self-promoting real estate magnate who most banks deemed too dangerous to touch: Donald Trump. Over the next 20 years, Deutsche executives—including a man with a damaged brain, the son of a Supreme Court justice, and Rosemary Vrablic—loaned billions to Trump and the Kushner family. Why?
To unravel this mystery, the book traces the rise and fall of Bill Broeksmit, an American executive who was regarded as the conscience of Deutsche Bank. In 2014, he was found hanging in his London apartment. His son gets access to Broeksmit’s computer files and embarks on a wild quest to understand why his father killed himself. The answers he finds will help explain how Deutsche Bank became the financial equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction.
Big Lies in a Small Town
From New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes a novel of chilling intrigue, a decades-old disappearance, and one woman’s quest to find the truth...
North Carolina, 2018:
Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will get her released from prison immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to be free, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.
North Carolina, 1940:
Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and in great need of work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.
What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?
"Chamberlain’s depictions of creative beauty and perseverance across time and in the face of inevitable obstacles will keep readers turning the pages."—Publishers Weekly
"Chamberlain’s writing is reminiscent of a quilt made up of pieces from different people, places, and times, stitched together into a single, emotional story."—Booklist
In this sexy, heart-stopping tale, one smart, sizzling mami robs the rich and protects the exploited--until one heist too many puts everything at stake. . .
Marisol Rivera barely survived being abused with nowhere to turn. So there's nothing she won't do to keep her Lower East Side women's health clinic open and give disadvantaged women new lives. Running an exclusive escort service for New York City's rich and powerful 1 percent is the perfect way to bankroll her business--not to mention the perfect cover for robbing corrupt CEOs. And when times get even tougher, pulling a heist on a mega-billionaire will secure the clinic's future--and her gorgeous crew's--for good. . .
There's just one problem: Marisol didn't anticipate bad news even more dangerous than her curves. A seductive ex-cop who's too close for comfort, and a powerful thug with a score to settle, are turning Marisol's precise planning and seductive fail-safes into insidious traps. Now this beautiful modern-day Robin Hood will have to play some lethal wild cards without rules or limits to save those she loves--and live to steal another day. . .
Barbie Forever: Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy presents a detailed, fully authorized portrait of this beloved doll through all-new interviews, original sketches, vintage photos, advertisements, and much more—including a foreword by Olympic fencing medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad. A double-sided foldout timeline showcases important moments in Barbie history. Explore how the doll came to be, what it takes to create one of her many looks, and how her legacy continues to influence the world.
Since her debut in 1959, Barbie has been breaking boundaries and highlighting major moments in art, fashion, and culture. She has been an interpreter of taste and style in every historic period she has lived through and has reflected female empowerment through the more than 200 careers she has embodied. Today, an international icon, Barbie continues to spark imaginations and influence conversations around the world.
Barbie Forever is a vibrant celebration for the "Barbie Girl" in all of us.
When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the Gaudy, the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies, and poison-pen letters, including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup." Some of the notes threaten murder; all are perfectly ghastly; yet in spite of their scurrilous nature, all are perfectly worded which makes Harriet suspect that the perpetrator is probably a member of the Senior Common Room. But which of the apparently rational, respectable dons could be committing such crazed acts? And Harriet finds herself ensnared in a nightmare of romance and terror, with only the tiniest shreds of clues to challenge her powers of detection, and those of her paramour, Lord Peter Wimsey.
The great Dorothy L. Sayers is considered by many to be the premier detective novelist of the Golden Age, and her dashing sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, one of mystery fiction's most enduring and endearing protagonists.
The Man Without Talent
A Japanese manga legend's autobiographical graphic novel about a struggling artist and the first full-length work by the great Yoshiharu Tsuge available in the English language.
Yoshiharu Tsuge is one of comics' most celebrated and influential artists, but his work has been almost entirely unavailable to English-speaking audiences. The Man Without Talent, his first book ever to be translated into English, is an unforgiving self-portrait of frustration. Swearing off cartooning as a profession, Tsuge takes on a series of unconventional jobs -- used camera salesman, ferryman, and stone collector -- hoping to find success among the hucksters, speculators, and deadbeats he does business with.
Instead, he fails again and again, unable to provide for his family, earning only their contempt and his own. The result is a dryly funny look at the pitfalls of the creative life, and an off-kilter portrait of modern Japan. Accompanied by an essay from translator Ryan Holmberg that discusses Tsuge's importance in comics and Japanese literature, The Man Without Talent is one of the great works of comics literature.
Yes, I'm Hot in This
Popular Instagram cartoonist and Muslim-American Huda Fahmy presents a hilarious, relatable, and painfully honest new collection of comics that break down barriers and show how universal our everyday problems, worries, and joys actually are.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt a little out of place. Huda Fahmy has found it’s a little more difficult to fade into the crowd when wearing a hijab.
In Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda navigates the sometimes-rocky waters of life from the unique perspective of a Muslim-American woman, breaking down misconceptions of her culture one comic at a time. From recounting the many questions she gets about her hijab every day (yes, she does have hair) and explaining how she runs in an abaya (just fine, thank you) to dealing with misconceptions about Muslims, Yes, I’m Hot in This tackles universal feelings from an point of view we don’t hear from nearly enough.
Every one of us have experienced love, misunderstanding, anger, and a deep desire for pizza. In Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda’s clever comics demonstrate humor’s ability to bring us together, no matter how different we may appear on the surface.