Saturday, January 30, 2010

Journeys Series Begins February 17 at Central Library

I know, I promised an announcement of the 2010 AViD Series--but first, I want to be sure you know about several authors who will be visiting in February and March. Since all four writers have written stories about global travels, we decided to call it JOURNEYS.

Chip Duncan will be coming to Des Moines to speak at the Downtown Rotary and has been kind enough to agree to a program on February 17 at 6:30 PM at the Central Library. Chip has travelled all over the world since growing up in Shenandoah, Iowa and has many film credits from his work at The Duncan Entertainment Group. I haven't had a chance to read the actual book, but the cover is gorgeous and the topic is certainly timely. Enough To Go Around: Searching For Hope in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Darfur.

Then mark your calendar for:
March 2, Kevin Michael Connolly
March 8, Steven Roberts
March 23, Tori Murden McClure

Check out all the events on our web site at:, Then click on the box at the bottom of the home page, marked JOURNEYS.

Friday, January 29, 2010

AViD Announcement Soon!

Hard to believe but 2010 will be our tenth anniversary of the AViD Author Series at the Des Moines Public Library! So we are hoping to offer another stellar lineup. My goal was to feature ten authors in '10. Would you believe, I am having trouble trimming it to just ten?

We plan to kick off the series on April 13 with a return visit by Peter Hedges! And we have already confirmed Ivan Doig, James Grippando, Claire Cook, and several others. My goal is to have the rest of the lineup finalized next week but we are still awaiting word from a couple of publishers.

Stay tuned.....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

GregAlan Williams Coming Back to Des Moines

Sometimes author programs just drop out of the sky! Des Moines native GregAlan Williams is coming home for the annual I'll Make Me A World in Iowa events and has agreed to stay over to do a program at the Central Library on Monday,February 1. GregAlan is a familiar face to many TV and movie watchers--recently has played a judge on three episodes of Drop Dead Diva. He was the assistant coach in Remember the Titans and is still fondly remembered by lots of folks from his work on Baywatch! But GregAlan is much more than a pretty face.

He does a lot of work with troubled youth and I saw him give a talk a few years ago to about 100 young men at a boot camp facility in my town. Within the first ten minutes of his talk, I watched those kids settle down, lean forward in their chairs, and give their full attention to what he had to say. He has a commanding voice--he sang as a kid growing up in the inner part of Des Moines. His mother raised him as a single mom, and I would have to say, she did a great job.

GregAlan has written a new book called, Heart of a Woman, and he will stop by the library to talk about it at 6:30 PM on February 1. I just got a copy of it and plan to read it this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The tenth season of the AViD Author Series is quickly approaching and so we are hard at work finalizing this year's lineup.

Peter Hedges will kick it off on April 13, followed by distinquished northwestern writer Ivan Doig on April 19. Mystery writer James Grippando will be here on May 17 and it looks like Nick Reding, author of Methland, will be coming on June 3 to kick off his paperback tour. We are still awaiting further word on several outstanding authors and 2010 promises to be another great year for writers and readers in Des Moines! Once we have everything confirmed, we will be publicizing the whole lineup on the library's web site at:

I am more than halfway through Greg Mortenson's second book, Stones into Schools and am enjoying it just as much as Three Cups of Tea. Greg is a wonderful storyteller and so humble about all the dangerous and difficult work that he has done. His book is now required reading for senior officers serving in the military. His committment to the communities and his dedication to education is so commendable and I hope that someday it will be recognized offically--perhaps by the Nobel committee. Pakistan awarded him one of their highest honors in 2009--much deserved.

I am personally enjoying the book because I had the pleasure of spending almost two days driving him around Des Moines when he visited here in 2007. I saw Greg in NYC last summer and in spite of a huge line of folks waiting for his signature, he took the time to give me a big hug. As I read the book, I am just amazed at how much devastation he had experienced in the Pakistan earthquake prior to his visit to Des Moines.

Greg recently donated many copies of his books to our library, making it possible for us to offer book discussion sets--for kids and teens, as well as the adult books. So if you are in a book group, check out our book discussion sets.

Perhaps it's time to ask Greg to make a return visit to Des Moines?