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Take a break from your normal reading

By Paul Birkhead

Rowan Public Library

Summer brings with it a lot of things. Trips to the beach, cookouts and family gatherings are all part of this time of year. Another part is a break in our normal routines.

The biggest shakeups tend to be the kids getting out of school and vacations affecting our regular work schedule. Perhaps this is a good time of year to break out of your reading routine, as well. Rowan Public Library has many new books on a variety of topics that you may not normally read about.

“Cabin Porn” by Steven Leckart is one of the new titles that just arrived at the library. Yes, you read that title correctly. This book is an offshoot of a very popular blog where subscribers are regularly treated to images of cabins, shelters and cottages tucked away in serene settings. If you love cabins or just the thought of living in the great outdoors, you will be inspired by what you find inside this book. The photography is amazing and will keep you turning the pages. Prepare to spend hours gawking at some of the prettiest getaways you’ve ever seen.

“Small Data” by Martin Lindstrom is another book with an interesting title. Lindstrom is a marketing genius and an expert on studying human behavior. His talent for analyzing minutia and translating it into increased sales and customer satisfaction is what keeps businesses and worldwide brand behemoths paying for his advice.

Lindstrom travels the globe throughout the year and spends most nights in ordinary folks’ homes soaking up valuable information on their habits. In “Small Data,” you can read about how his observation of a refrigerator magnet resulted in an e-commerce boom or how small changes spurred big profits for North Carolina-based grocery store chain, Lowes Foods.

Another North Carolina-based success story you can read about is Emily Maynard Johnson. In her book, “I Said Yes,” Johnson tells her story of growing up, losing the love of her life, and finding fame on the set of TV’s “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”

After a couple of failed (and very public) relationships, Johnson finally said yes to the one constant in her life — her relationship with God. Lately, all the pieces seem to be falling into place for Johnson. She is happily married and lives in Charlotte. She has a popular website and blog and designs and markets her own line of jewelry.

This year, 2016, marks 100 years since the birth of the famous crooner Frank Sinatra. While everyone knows Frank Sinatra as a singer, he was also a very well-respected actor with an impressive list of film credits. In “The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra,” author David Wills presents a collection of Sinatra’s works accompanied by beautiful photos from the films or film sets. Not only will fans of Sinatra find this book fascinating, but so will anyone who appreciates cinematic history or reading about American icons.

“United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists” is a book just published in February that seems even more relevant after the tragic events which unfolded in Orlando last month. Author Peter Bergen used his renowned researching skills to focus on the reasons why individuals are leaving America to fight overseas and why the likelihood of lone-wolf attacks may be increasing. While not a pleasant subject to read about, homegrown terrorism is a relevant topic and something that definitely needs to be studied and understood.

Summer is the perfect time to break free of any ruts you may have developed. Your choice of reading material may be one of those. Come to Rowan Public Library and find new materials that cover a variety of subjects.

Summer reading: Children ages 3 to 5 to rising fifth-graders are invited to participate in On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!! Summer Reading Program at all branches. Programs run through July 28. Cleveland reading program Thursdays, 10 a.m., Cleveland Town Hall, for all age groups.

Reading programs for 1- and 2-year-olds have ended for the summer. Little Leaguers for 3-5 year-olds continues through July 28, as do the other programs for school-age children, teens and adults.

Olympic Readers: rising first- though fifth-graders, July 11-14, Life as Art Productions with April Turner; July 18-21 Grey Seal Puppets.

Get in the Game … READ!: Open to rising sixth- through 12th-graders. All at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, headquarters; Wednesday, East; Thursday, South Regional; July 12-14, Art-thletics; July 12-14 there’s No “I” in Team. July 29, National Teen Lock-in, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Permission slip required.

Adult Summer Reading Program: Exercise Your Mind … READ! Program, July 12 at South Rowan Regional; July 25 at headquarters.

Summer movie series: Headquarters, Tuesdays, starting at 6:30 p.m. Free popcorn and lemonade served. July 12, headquarters, “42” (PG13). Depicts the early career of Jackie Robinson as he became the first African-American Major League Baseball player when he was signed to the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers. July 19, “Iron Will,” PG.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, July 26, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “The Aviator’s Wife,” by Melanie Benjamin. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7731.

Displays: All three branches, lunch box collections and more.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

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