New DVD List: Three Identical Strangers & More

Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by Dewey Decimal Diver

Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.

Three Identical Strangers
Website / Reviews
Playing at the True False Film Fest in 2018, this film tells the astonishing true story of three men who make the chance discovery, at the age of nineteen, that they are identical triplets, separated at birth and adopted to different parents. The trio’s joyous reunion in 1980 catapults them to fame but it also sets in motion a chain of events that unearths an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes far beyond their own lives. Continue reading “New DVD List: Three Identical Strangers & More”

Literary Links: Global Politics in the 21st Century

Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 by Seth

As another midterm election winds down in America, a bitter partisan spirit remains. Global politics are also in a general state of turmoil and flux, and the library has many books on that subject.

Let’s first take a look at that bastion of European and global stability — Germany. The country’s centrist party has won the vast majority of federal elections, and is considered a major player in Angela Merkel book coverEuropean politics partly because of the party’s emphasis on a robust social safety net coupled with moderate cultural stances. “Angela Merkel, Europe’s Most Influential Leader” by Matthew Qvortrup discusses Merkel’s early life in East Germany and her later role as the leader of a unified country amidst a disintegrating European consensus. Continue reading “Literary Links: Global Politics in the 21st Century”

Support Local Authors!

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2018 by Eric

As part of the library’s mission to connect people to ideas and be at the heart of our community, we are always happy when we have an opportunity to Complete Handbook of Novel Writing book coversupport local creative endeavors. Obviously, providing access to books and encouraging literacy are also in the library wheelhouse, so we try to support local authors whenever we can. One way we do this is by adding their books to our collection in the hope that they will be discovered by their fellow community members. We provide resources for aspiring writers to help hone their craft, or guide them in their quest to get published. We also host some programs for those ambitious people who are spending this month participating in National Novel Writing Month. And we are now about to embark on the third year of our Local Authors Open House, this Saturday, November 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During that time we will have tables set up for 50 local authors on the first floor of the Columbia Public Library. That provides an opportunity for the authors to meet each other and the general public, as well as to promote and sell their books. The writing that will be on display spans an impressive range of genres and styles. There will be books of poetry, young adult fantasy novels, mysteries, historical fiction, memoirs, picture books, books of local interest and books about national politics. That’s just a small sample, so please come to the library this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to meet some local authors and peruse their work.

Nonfiction Roundup: November 2018

Posted on Friday, November 9, 2018 by Liz

Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released this November. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.

Top Picks

Becoming book coverIn her memoir, “Becoming,” a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it — in her own words and on her own terms. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: November 2018”

Armistice Day — 100th Anniversary

Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 by Ida

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the fighting ceased. The Great War (as it was then called) had been raging for more than four years and had cost millions of lives. November 11, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of Compiègne, the peace agreement that silenced the guns of World War I.

Above the Dreamless Dead

A lot of powerful poetry came out of the war, much of it written by soldiers in the field. Some of these authors became identified as the Trench Poets. Their verse was known for its gritty detail and lack of romantic illusions. “Above the Dreamless Dead” is a collection of 20 World War I poems illustrated by contemporary comics artists. The styles are as varied as the poems, but all help to capture the realities of combat. Continue reading “Armistice Day — 100th Anniversary”

Time for Tea at the Library!

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2018 by JessB

Steaming mug of tea on a tableWith dropping temperatures and falling leaves, fall is the perfect time to cozy up with your favorite book and a hot cup of tea. Whether you are a long-time tea enthusiast or just beginning to explore the world of tea, check out our Time for Tea program at the Callaway County Public Library on Thursday, November 8 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. This program will be hosted by tea enthusiast Alex Moore and will include tea, treats and an afternoon of learning about tea.

Tea has a long and complex history. The origins of the popular drink can be traced back to legends from China and India. The Chinese legend tells the story of Emperor Shen Nong who accidentally discovered tea when a leaf from the wild tea tree fell into a pot of water he was boiling in his garden. After this happy accident occurred, the Emperor enjoyed the infusion so much that he began to investigate the plant and discovered its medicinal properties. According to the Indian legend, tea was discovered by Prince Bodhi-Dharma, the founder of what would later be called Buddhism. While Prince Bodhi-Dharma was meditating, he fell into a deep sleep and when he woke up he cut off his eyelids and a tea tree sprung up from the ground where they fell. Continue reading “Time for Tea at the Library!”

Literary Epitaphs

Posted on Friday, November 2, 2018 by Alyssa

Robert Frost Grave Bennington VermontWriters are immortalized through the written word, but there is one unique piece of writing inextricably linked to their mortality: their epitaphs. My favorite thing about literary epitaphs is how reflective they often are of the life and work of the writers they commemorate. In honor of National Plan Your Epitaph Day (seriously), I’ve collected some literary gems that are now set in stone.

Robert Frost wrote his epitaph years before his death in his poem “The Lesson for Today.” The final four lines read: “And were an epitaph to be my story / I’d have a short one ready for my own. / I would have written of me on my stone: / I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.” Similarly, Dorothy Parker selected her own epitaph. Because she was cremated, there was no actual tombstone on which to engrave it, so it was immortalized in a plaque in her memorial garden, dedicated by the NAACP. With her signature wit, Parker suggested:  “Excuse my dust.” Unfortunately, as Aphra Behn points out in her own epitaph, “Here lies a Proof that Wit can never be Defense enough against mortality.” Continue reading “Literary Epitaphs”

Know Your Dystopias: The Drowned World

Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 by Eric

The Drowned World book coverIce caps have melted and most of the planet is submerged. The majority of the surviving human population has relocated to the Arctic, now a land of more moderate temperatures. In London only the tallest buildings rise out of the water and it is overrun with huge, overgrown plants and giant lizards. This is “The Drowned World” by J.G. Ballard, where a warming climate is either pulling life on Earth backwards into a more primitive state or triggering a new stage in evolution.

This book was written in 1962, before terms like global warming or climate change were commonplace, and the climate change in this book does not appear to be human caused.  Regardless, the change has been devastating to humanity. What remains of civilization is primarily relegated to a state of survival. The plot follows Dr. Robert Kerans, part of a scientific and military team that has traveled to London to study the flora and fauna that have overtaken the city. It’s unclear how much progress he has made in studying the life populating the lagoons that were once city streets. When the book begins Kerans no longer resides on the research vessel the team arrived on but is staying by himself in one of the half-submerged skyscrapers. He spends the days there hiding from the oppressive heat and being haunted by strange dreams. Continue reading “Know Your Dystopias: The Drowned World”

How to Read Horror When You Are Afraid of Everything

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2018 by Melissa

Creepy Horror Silhouette Scary Hand HelpI grew up with a mom who loved horror books and movies. Our bookcase was full of Clive Barker and Stephen King and every anthology she could get her hands on. We would make regular trips to the used bookstore so she would never run out of scary material. She could watch even the most terrifying horror movie alone in the dark. When I was about 11 years old, I read Stephen King’s short story collection, “Night Shift,” and couldn’t sleep until I was 35. So the apple can fall pretty far from the tree.

World War Z book cover

I have, though, come up with some guidelines to help fellow scaredy-cats who are determined to read horror. Obviously, never read it before bed. Read reviews —  they are usually not specific enough to elicit detailed nightmares but can give you an indication of what to expect if you have certain triggers. Continue reading “How to Read Horror When You Are Afraid of Everything”

Monsters and Witches and Ghosts, Oh My!

Posted on Friday, October 26, 2018 by Liz

Book, skull, potion and candle

Check out these creepy creature nonfiction titles at the library today!

The Monsters book coverThe Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein” by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler: One murky night in 1816, on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lord Bryon, famed English poet, challenged his friends to a contest — to write a ghost story. The famous result was Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” a work that has retained its hold on the popular imagination for two centuries. Within a few years of “Frankenstein’s” publication, nearly all of those involved met untimely deaths. Drawing upon letters, rarely tapped archives and their own magisterial rereading of “Frankenstein” itself, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have crafted a rip-roaring tale of obsession and creation. Continue reading “Monsters and Witches and Ghosts, Oh My!”