“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!”
This July, our northern neighbor celebrates its sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary. The Dominion of Canada, formed on July 1, 1867, included the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Now 10 provinces and three territories strong, Canada will hold festive events nationwide to celebrate the event known as Canada 150. So how can you celebrate Canada’s rich heritage through literature? Let the library help!
Trip planners headed to Canada will want to check out an excellent pair of guides from National Geographic. Their “Guide to the National Historic Sites of Canada” features the beautiful photography National Geographic is known for, and it details Canada’s 168 national historic sites, which include archaeological sites, battlegrounds, natural features and other heritage sites. Readers can take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America, or head northwest to Dawson City — a town that played a significant role in the late-1800s Yukon Gold Rush. July is also National Parks Month in Canada, so you might want to check out National Geographic’s “Guide to the National Parks of Canada.” Readers can explore the country’s 46 national parks, from the majestic Columbia Mountains of Canada’s Glacier National Park in British Columbia to the breathtaking fjords and oceanic landscapes of Gros Morne in Newfoundland and Labrador. Canada’s natural landscapes have something for everyone to enjoy. Continue reading “Literary Links: O Canada! Celebrating 150 Years”
What better way to show a little love for the environment — and for crafting — than by turning something old into something new! Drop by Monday, July 10 between 6:30 and 8:30 in the Friends Room of the Columbia Public Library, where we’ll be upcycling t-shirts into fun crafts.
Bring a t-shirt you’d like to re-purpose (or help yourself to one of ours) and I’ll show you how to turn it into a shopping bag. Learn how to make fabric yarn out of t-shirts and old sheets. Fabric yarn can be used for dozens of different crafts, but Monday night we’ll be using it to create headbands, infinity scarves and even rag rugs if you have the time!
Continue reading “Upcycled T-Shirt Crafts”
“A Bend In The Road” is about two individuals who have suffered losses in their lives. They meet and wind up deciding to get to know each other better. The story is about their past and present lives.
I enjoyed the book, and it kept me interested in its storyline. I did not wanting to stop reading. It is more than a feel-good love story: it’s about real life, and how things are beyond our control and may not always be what they seem. As we go through life, what we do has both direct and indirect impacts on others’ lives, whether we intend for it — or even realize it.
Three words that describe this book: hope, forgiveness, love
You might want to pick this book up if: you want to relax, see into someone’s life and how they overcame huge hurdles of grief and moved forward.
Here’s a look at some of the most exciting books being published by first-time authors in June and July.
“The Waking Land” by Callie Bates (June)
After her father’s failed rebellion against Caeris’s conquering kingdom of Eren, young Elanna is taken hostage to ensure her father abandons his treasonous plans. Raised by her father’s enemy, King Antoine, Elanna grows to love him and loses almost all connection to her family and her country. But when someone poisons the king and frames Elanna, she finds herself forced into an uneasy alliance with her father and reconnects with the nature magic she’s spent years repressing.
“The Windfall” by Diksha Basu (June)
A modern Indian family discovers how difficult it can be to keep up with the Chopras. Anil Jha sells his company and moves his family to an upscale neighborhood and away from their cramped, but close-knit apartment complex in East Delhi. Soon Anil finds himself struggling to keep up appearances through increasingly extravagant purchases while his wife, Bindu, struggles to adapt to her luxurious new surroundings. Also affected by the Jhas’ upward mobility are their son, Rupak, who is studying for his MBA in America and a young widow from their former neighborhood. Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: June/July”
There are many good books in the world, but they don’t all stay with you. When you read a book that speaks to your heart and your world and you can’t stop thinking about it in terms of how your life is different because of it, then you know you’ve found something special.
“Small Great Things” is one of those books. I’ve read a number of Jodi Picoult’s books over the years, and although this one has the major hallmarks of her work — gripping courtroom drama, monumental twist at the end — it feels different. The characters, with the exception of Turk, the white supremacist, are all people whose hearts are basically in the right place and who have their lives together. This doesn’t feel like reading a novel, where you can see the artifice. It feels like reading about real people you know.
She’s not subtle in addressing her theme. Race is present on every page. It’s addressed through the eyes of well-intentioned white people, black people trying to fit in, and black activists trying to make white people see what they (we) don’t want to see. She even takes us into the point of view of Turk, a white supremacist, and in so doing helps us see how people become what seems incomprehensible to most of us. Continue reading “Reader Review: Small Great Things”
Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in July. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.
“Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned With the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler” by Bruce Henderson
Drawing on veteran interviews and archival research, this account of the lesser-known contributions of the German-born, Jewish-American soldiers, known as the Ritchie Boys, describes how they risked their lives to join major combat units and gather crucial intelligence from German POWs.
“American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land” by Monica Hesse
This Washington Post reporter documents the trial of a man who was charged with dozens of counts of arson in rural Virginia county and shares insight into the perpetrator’s struggles with addiction, his relationship with his accomplice girlfriend and the impact of the fires on their community. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: July 2017”