A Mystery By a Person of Color or LGBTQ+: Read Harder 2018

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by cs

As I am writing this blog, sheets of rain are pouring down — the perfect time to talk about or read a mystery. Read Harder 2018 challenges you to read a mystery by a person of color and/or a LGTBQ author, and I have a few to recommend. We have a more extensive list in our catalog if none of these make you want to curl up under your covers with a cup of hot tea.

Land of Shadows book coverIf you like the mystery genre, but feel the stories are all starting to sound the same, try Rachel Howzell Hall’s “The Land of Shadows.” Hall begins this series about Detective Lou Norton, a female detective who is investigating the death of a 17-year-old girl in gritty South Los Angeles. The death of this girl strangely mirrors the disappearance of Norton’s teenage sister 25 years ago. The author really shines in the development of her characters and the community in which they live. With snappy dialogue, brisk pacing and just enough plot twists, this is a refreshing new voice in the police procedural. Continue reading “A Mystery By a Person of Color or LGBTQ+: Read Harder 2018”

Nonfiction Roundup: June 2018

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 by Kirk

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


First in Line book cover

First in Line” by Kate Anderson Brower, the best-selling author of “First Women” and “The Residence,” explores the lives and roles of 13 vice presidents of the modern era, from Richard Nixon to Mike Pence, discussing the complicated relationship between president and vice president and how this connection influenced each vice president’s political future.

Conan Doyle for the Defense book cover

For all the scores of biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the most famous detective in the world, there is no recent book that tells this remarkable story — in which Conan Doyle becomes a real-life detective on an actual murder case. In “Conan Doyle for the Defense, Margalit Fox takes us step by step inside Conan Doyle’s investigative process and illuminates a murder mystery that is also a morality play for our time — a story of ethnic, religious and anti-immigrant bias. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: June 2018”

Lewis & Clark in Missouri and Beyond

Posted on Friday, June 1, 2018 by Eric

Lewis and Clark Trail markerOn the 25th day of the Corps of Discovery Expedition, Lieutenant William Clark noticed some rock paintings on a bluff that he wanted to examine. On that day, June 7, 1804, he noted in his journal, “a Short distance above the mouth of [a] Creek, is Several Courious paintings and carving on the projecting rock of Limestone inlade with white red & blue flint, of a verry good quallity.” Clark also included drawings of three of those rock carvings in his journal. That bluff was a short distance above a creek they called “Big Monetou” and we know as Moniteau Creek. Lewis & Clark had stopped in the area where the town of Rocheport, Missouri now sits. Continue reading “Lewis & Clark in Missouri and Beyond”

Escape Room: Breaking Up Pangea

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Ida

model of Dimetrodon in a forestIt’s an exciting evening for pre-history buffs, as they flock to a 3-D screening of the movie “Pangea: the Biggest Breakup in History.” The event has been organized by a local scientist, Dr. Viola Figueroa. Unfortunately, she is unable to attend, having taken ill. In her place, she has sent her nephew Alfredo. He arrives at the last minute, flustered, clutching a list of written instructions that he has not yet had time to read.

As the lights dim and the movie begins, a narrator’s voice says, “Prepare to journey more than 250 million years into the past, to a time when the earth contained only one supercontinent, known as Pangea.” Dozens of large dragonflies dart right out of the screen and the audience gasps in amazement at the realistic effects.

A buzz of cicadas fills the air, while huge ferny plants appear all around. Audience members realize they are no longer in theater seats, but rather are perched on rocks or sitting flat on the ground. Colorful beetles scurry about, and in the distance a lizard-like animal with a fin on its back lumbers between the trees. This is no mere movie. Continue reading “Escape Room: Breaking Up Pangea”

Adult Summer Reading 2018: Libraries Rock!

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Kat

If you thought Summer Reading was only for kids, I’ve got some news for you! The Daniel Boone Regional Library is challenging adults to read three books, submit three book reviews and do seven fun, library-related activities. Complete the challenge, and beginning July 5, you’ll receive a prize. You’ll also be entered into a drawing for other fun rewards including an Amazon Fire tablet or a book store gift card.

Step One: Register for the Adult Summer Reading Challenge. Download a reading record to help you keep track of your reading, reviews and activities.

Step Two: Read three books and submit three book reviews.

Step Three: Complete any seven of these activities: Continue reading “Adult Summer Reading 2018: Libraries Rock!”

History Comes Alive: Mary Paxton Keeley

Posted on Friday, May 25, 2018 by Tim

photo of reenactor at 2017's event
Author’s photo of 2017’s event

The Columbia City Cemetery is the oldest and longest running business in Columbia. Burials began as early as 1821. The original entrance to the cemetery was actually on the east side where Locust Street becomes the entrance of Lucky’s Market. You will notice that most of the stones face the east. It was much later that the current entrance on the north side — off Broadway — became the main entrance. The cemetery’s original gates were removed and placed at the entrance of what is now the Maplewood Home in Nifong Park.

History Comes Alive is put on by the Historic Columbia Cemetery group, and is in its second year. In our previous posts, six notables were featured: Victor Barth, James L. Stephens, Odon Guitar, R. B. Price, Henry James Jesse and John Lange, Sr. Our final notable will be Mary Paxton Keeley. Continue reading “History Comes Alive: Mary Paxton Keeley”

Act Long & Prosper: Docs Featuring Actors From Star Trek

Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Dewey Decimal Diver

Still from For the Love of Spock documentary

The Star Trek franchise launched in the 1960s, giving viewers a unique view of our culture as reflected through science fiction. The actors who have portrayed characters on Star Trek have themselves lived interesting lives due to the cultural influence of their work. Check out these documentaries featuring actors from the Star Trek franchise.
Continue reading “Act Long & Prosper: Docs Featuring Actors From Star Trek”

The Great American Read: Some Alternate Reads

Posted on Monday, May 21, 2018 by Reading Addict

Great American Read Banner
Beginning May 22, PBS is hosting The Great American Read, “an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels.” (Sorry nonfiction readers.) To choose the 100 novels, a public opinion poll surveyed approximately 7,200 people and the list was narrowed to the top 100 responses, filtering for just one title per author and combining series titles into one. You can find the list of 100 here. Over the course of the PBS series, there will be a nationwide vote to choose one book as America’s most loved novel.

I was surprised about many of the books on the list and wondered how in the world they made it. There are many on the list that I love and many that I just really didn’t like. I have seen, in post after post, people say they think they have to read them all. I have personally read 55 of the 100, and I will probably try to read a few more during the course of the series, but I resist the inclination to HAVE to read all of them. There are some that I just have no interest in reading. So, I have come up with a few alternatives. Continue reading “The Great American Read: Some Alternate Reads”

History Comes Alive: R. B. Price and Richard Henry Jesse

Posted on Friday, May 18, 2018 by Tim

photo of reenactor performing in cemetery with audience
Photo by the author of 2017’s event.

The Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery will be hosting their second annual History Comes Alive event on Memorial Day, May 28 from 1-4 p.m. Seven different “well-knowns” who are buried in the cemetery will come alive in monologues given by local actors. Chris Campbell, executive director of the Boone County History and Culture Center, wrote the scripts for these actors. In charge of costuming for the event is Monica McMurry of the Stephens College Theatre Department.

We have discussed Victor Barth and John B. Lange, Sr. and Odon Guitar and James L. Stephens in previous posts. In this installment we will be touching on the lives of R. B. Price and Richard Henry Jesse. Continue reading “History Comes Alive: R. B. Price and Richard Henry Jesse”

Classics of Genre Fiction: Read Harder 2018

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by Ida

It’s May, the season for flowers, graduations and assessing your progress on the Read Harder Challenge. I’m sure there are a handful of overachievers who have zipped through all 24 categories on the checklist already. The rest of us, however, still have several titles to curate. Here are a few suggestions for challenge number three — a classic of genre fiction.

Science Fiction:
Do Androids Dream of Electric SheepPhilip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” has also been published under the title “Blade Runner.” It has inspired a movie, a TV show and a series of graphic novels. The novel is an android-filled contemplation on the nature of consciousness. Sort of. Any androids reading this? If you were an android, would you know?

The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. Le Guin is a book aboutThe Dispossessed walls: physical, psychological and social. The story begins with a physicist crossing a wall that contains the only “no trespassing” sign on his entire planet. Le Guin’s science fiction has space ships and cool technology, but it’s less about the wow factor of the technology than about its effect on societies and individuals. Continue reading “Classics of Genre Fiction: Read Harder 2018”