The heat as of late gives us the perfect excuse to sit inside and read, and with these new titles, I can think of nothing else I’d rather be doing. August brings us thrillers, robots, reincarnation and love, among other things. Check out this month’s LibraryReads: the top 10 books librarians across the country recommend.
“Young Jane Young” by Gabrielle Zevin
“Aviva Grossman was involved in a relationship with her boss, who just happened to be a member of Congress. She becomes ostracized as her name is associated with scandal and reinvents herself as Jane Young. She has a daughter, Ruby, who decides to run away to look for her father. Ruby learns things are not always what they seem. I loved Zevin’s engaging style. The characters are flawed and real. You are rooting for them until the end.”
~Audra Bartholomew, Bossier Parish Library, Bossier City, LA Continue reading “August 2017 LibraryReads: Top 10 Books Librarians Love”
“Cinder” is set in the future: it’s about a girl who is part cyborg. She lives in present-day China with her mean stepmom, two stepsisters and her best friend — who is a computer. She works as a mechanic and meets the prince of her country when he seeks her out for a job. On top of this, an evil queen is desiring to marry the prince. Further complicating things, a terrible disease is infiltrating the city and a cure is desperately being sought. I like this book because it’s fun and quick to read, the story is different with the creation of a Lunar world and it plays off of Cinderella.
Three words that describe this book: Futuristic, Science, Fiction
You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy young adult novels, quick reads or easy/enjoyable plot lines.
On Monday, August 21, Mid-Missouri will experience the most anticipated two and a half minutes of the century, as a total solar eclipse engulfs the region. All local hotel rooms have been booked for months, and events are taking place throughout the area to celebrate our plunge into the dark.
Though totality will last for only a couple of minutes, the whole eclipse, start to finish, will take about three hours. The moon will begin its journey across the sun at 11:45 a.m., eclipsing it entirely at around 1:12 p.m., and finishing its business at 2:40.
“Where can I learn more about the eclipse?” you might ask. At your library, of course. DBRL will hold events at all three buildings, featuring Dr. Angela Speck, a professor of astrophysics. Continue reading “Eclipse Fever”
The young ladies with the glamorous opportunity to paint the first luminous watch dials and navigational instruments come to life as Kate Moore takes you through America’s love affair with radium. “The Radium Girls” is so much more than a sordid tale of corporate greed. It is a celebration of the lives and spirits of the ladies who lived each day to its fullest despite being charter members of the “Society of the Living Dead.” Kate Moore’s work is laudable in that she brings the human dimension to the forefront while uniting the social, economic, scientific, medical and legal facets of the story. This book is well-rounded and thoroughly researched. It is inspiring, heart wrenching, infuriating and timely. Mollie, Grace, Catherine and their comrades would be proud. These women have finally had their stories told in a way that allows us to understand their roles and sacrifices in improving industrial health and safety, workers’ rights, labor laws and medicine. The final line of the postscript continues to haunt me: “How quickly we forget.”
Three words that describe this book: well-researched, visceral, captivating
You might want to pick this book up if: you are interested in early 20th century history, environmental/industrial health or you want to know a little bit more about that antique, glowing watch in your family.
Because it is a page-turner, Maile Meloy’s “Do Not Become Alarmed” is the sort of novel often recommended to beach goers. This makes sense, because people on beaches need novels that distract them from the ever-present threat of sharks, the maddening bites of sand fleas and the absurd slow-motion jogging of lifeguards. What else, but an utterly absorbing novel, could make time spent on a beautiful beach endurable?
Unfortunately for beach goers who choose “Do Not Become Alarmed” as their distraction from their sandy reprieve from reality, the novel is set during a traumatic vacation. Fortunately for those readers, it is the sort of gripping read that will make them forget all about the hungry horrors lurking beyond the water’s edge. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Maile Meloy”
“Every Heart a Doorway” shows you a whole different side of fantasy and adventure that you may have never considered. What happens when kids fall into portals and doors to mysterious new worlds? And then what happens to them once they return? This short novel covers the heartbreak and despair of characters who found their homes, but cannot return. This school for children teaches them to come to terms with reality, and how to accept the fact they may no longer be able to return to their magical land of whimsy and fairies, or wicked lands of vampires and lords of death. McGuire effortlessly seams magic, realism and humor in this short novel. My only complaint is that I wanted more!
Three words that describe this book: Fantasy, Magic, Mystery
You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a short, unique and fascinating read. This book will make you wonder what exactly happened to those children in the classic fairy tales we loved as kids.
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
Website / Reviews
This documentary played locally at Ragtag Cinema and focuses on the story of John Roland Redd, an African American from Columbia, Missouri who migrated to Hollywood in 1939 and reinvented himself as a musician from India. The newly-named Korla Pandit found fame as an actor, spiritual guide and recording artist, and was later celebrated by a new generation of fans who crowned him the Godfather of Exotica music. Continue reading “New DVD List: Korla & More”
The premise of “Outliers” is that extraordinary success is difficult to achieve without opportunity and fortuity. The book abounds with examples: The Beatles having the opportunity to hone their craft in Hamburg, Germany; Bill Gates’ computer club membership in high school and proximity to the University of Washington computer lab; the legendary lawyer Joe Flom getting castoff work from white-shoe law firms; European and Asian children having longer school years than American children; Canadian youth hockey players gaining an advantage over their peers based on the month of their birth, and other examples too numerous and nuanced to describe here. The author does not argue that opportunity automatically begets success. Time on task and hard work are necessary prerequisites to success, in his view, but he also argues persuasively that being in the right place at the right time, or even being born at the right time, can have tremendous consequences. I liked the book because it challenged conventional wisdom and was thought-provoking.
Three words that describe this book: Fascinating, provocative, counter-intuitive
You might want to pick this book up if: You appreciate ideas that cause you to reexamine conventional wisdom.
The dog days of summer are upon us, and I can’t think of a better way to spend them than with a good book. Sometimes, though, finding that good read can feel next to impossible. We at the library are always happy to help you solve your “what-to-read-next blues,” and so we are especially excited to invite you to a special Book Buzz event this Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m. in the Friends Room at the Columbia Public Library.
Stop by the Book Buzz for a number of ways you can discover your next great read: Continue reading “Book Buzz: Finding Your Next Great Read!”