It’s neat when a novel reminds you of the practically limitless possibilities of fiction. It’s also neat when it reminds you of the practically limitless possibilities of reality. If you’d like to be reminded that one can not only write a fictional account of a race of super-intelligent monster dogs, but that, given the time, brilliance, resources (robot arms, 19th century Prussian fashion, etc.) and willingness to ignore a slew of ethical concerns, one might even create a race of super-intelligent monster dogs, read “Lives of the Monster Dogs” by Kirsten Bakis.
As a gentleman who is nearly as enthusiastic about dogs as I am about cravats and monocles, Bakis’ debut novel seems engineered to appeal to me. But while there are plenty of dogs dressed in the fashion of 19th century Prussian aristocrats, there is also a fair bit of animal murder, human murder and gruesome experimentation. One cannot build a race of dog soldiers without first trying and failing to attach wings to a squirrel or swapping the rear and front legs of an unfortunate cow. So, a century before the monster dogs make their home in Manhattan, Augustus Rank experiments wildly on all sorts of critters. Fortunately for the reader, rather than follow this path to its natural culmination of serial killing, Rank begins to achieve success and earns a patron. His patron funds him, and eventually, as an adult, Rank sets up an outpost in the Canadian wilderness where he can nurture a cult, mandate that the cult maintains 19th century Prussian customs, and continue to follow his dream of creating a race of dog super soldiers complete with robot arms and robot voice boxes. Though he dies before achieving his goal (but not before promising he would return from the dead when the time was right), his followers eventually complete his goal for him. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Kirsten Bakis”
This summer, the Daniel Boone Regional Library wants to applaud the awesomeness of libraries all over the world with the Summer Reading theme “Libraries Rock!” To celebrate this theme, I’ve compiled a list of books that are sure to strike the right note if you love music as much as I do. Our Summer Reading program is free, and we have versions for all ages. Sign-up begins May 30.
For Ages 0-5
Do you love the song, “The Wheels on the Bus”? Then you should try reading “The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk” by Kabir Sehgal. Drive around with the tuk tuk wala (driver) to see the fine sights India has to offer. As you sing along to the familiar tune, you will absorb tidbits of Indian culture, tradition and vocabulary.
What do you get when a cute little kitten paws at a piano? Musical history! In Lesléa Newman’s book “Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed,” composer Moshe Cotel tries his hand at a music contest but is feeling uninspired. When he’s about to give up, a stray kitten ambles across his piano, producing a compelling melody. Moshe quickly jots the notes down, and together he and his new companion compose an award-winning piece that captures the hearts of all who listen. Continue reading “Literary Links: Summer Reading 2018”
Countless numbers of people suffer with illness, some acutely, some chronically, some with mild, non-debilitating symptoms and some with devastating symptoms that severely impact their ability to lead normal lives. Often we aren’t aware of it because they don’t appear to be sick — they have “invisible” illnesses.
At the same time, many suffering with invisible illness are “missing,” because they are incapacitated to the point of being home bound or bedridden. They may be able to engage in life to a certain extent, but the quality of their lives is significantly altered by not being able to participate fully. For instance, taking care of basic necessities may be possible, but then there is no energy left for things that bring joy, connection or build community. Continue reading “May 12: CIND International Awareness Day”
On Monday, May 28 from 1-4 p.m. the Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery will be hosting their second annual History Comes Alive event to teach attendees about notable citizens buried in this historic cemetery. Seven different “famous” former residents of Columbia will be represented by various talented actors in period dress who will explain why they were important to local history. The actors are being directed by Chris Campbell, executive Director of the Boone County History and Culture Center. Monica McMurry of Stephens College Theatre Department is in charge of costumes. You will be guided to each of their graves to experience these brief monologues.
In a previous post we talked about Victor Barth and John Lange, Sr., and in this installment we will discuss Brigadier General Odon Guitar and James L. Stephens. Continue reading “History Comes Alive: Odon Guitar & James L. Stephens”
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
Website / Reviews
When Nazi U-Boats torpedo a ship carrying school children during World War II, Hollywood movie star Hedy Lamarr decides to exact revenge. At night, after shooting her scenes on set, she works on a secret radio system that will allow the Allies to torpedo Nazi U-Boats with deadly accuracy. The secret communication system she creates is groundbreaking and eventually changes the course of history. Continue reading “New DVD List: Bombshell, Dolores & More”
Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in May. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.
David Sedaris, the master of the humorous essay, returns this months with “Calypso.” Including darkly funny musings on aging, his inability to enjoy his newly purchased beach house and the antics of his quirky family, this new collection should please his many fans as well as anyone looking for a nonfiction beach read. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: May 2018”
Have Memorial Day plans? Mark your calendar to spend time with us as some old faces of Columbia come to life at the Columbia Cemetery. On Monday, May 28, the Friends of the Historic Columbia Cemetery will be hosting their second annual History Comes Alive tour of notable people buried in the cemetery. This free event will have local actors portraying the lives of seven of the citizens who helped make Columbia the community it is.
Last year’s event was very successful — many enjoyed the sunshine while re-enactors explained their lives and what they did to become a “notable” in their lifetimes. This year should be just as great! Below are highlights of just a couple of the citizens being featured. Continue reading “History Comes Alive: Victor Barth & John Lange, Sr.”
Book I Read: “The Silent Companions” by Laura Purcell
Why I Checked It Out: I won’t lie — that beautiful cover with its gold inlay-enhanced imagery was the first thing that made me consider picking up this book. The eye staring out of the keyhole is just super creepy. I, of course, immediately had to open the cover and see who it was that was staring back at me. And then I figured out it was a Gothic-style horror, complete with haunted manor house, secretive servants and a protagonist with a secret from her past that has come back to haunt her. So, yeah, it had me hooked pretty quickly. Continue reading “Staff Book Review: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell”
Did you have a disappointing spring break? Did you miss it altogether? Was the weather dreary? Or did you have so much fun that you want more? I say, do it again! Logistically, you may not be able to luxuriate for a week at a beach, especially if you live in Missouri, but you might be able to squeeze a little extra fun into a weekend. So set the bar a little lower than snorkeling in Cancun, and head somewhere closer to home.
Did you know about the World’s Largest Rocking Chair in Cuba, MO? What about Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence? Maybe you would like to visit the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph. Missouri is full of surprises.
Do you enjoy spelunking? You’re in luck! Missouri has over 6,300 caves, second only to Tennessee. Approximately two hours southeast of Columbia, you will find Onondaga Cave State Park. It is one of the most beautiful caves in the state due to its variety of cave formations and its well-placed lighting. Plus, if you are in the area, you are very near plenty of floating and camping sites. Spend a day relaxing on the Meramec River. Continue reading “Spring Break Do-Over”
There are a lot of wonderful debuts coming to DBRL in April, especially if you are a fan of historical fiction! Please visit our catalog for a longer list of authors making their debuts this month.
“Between Earth and Sky” by Amanda Skenandore
After the Indian Wars, the “savage-taming” Stover School was created to assimilate the children of nearby reservations by robbing them of their language, customs, and even their names. Asku — renamed Harry Muskrat — was once the most promising student at the boarding school, but is now accused of murdering a federal agent.
Alma Mitchell, a childhood friend of Asku’s, convinces her lawyer husband to defend him, believing that he could never commit murder, no matter how cold and bitter he has become as an outsider in two worlds — the white world and his own. But to help Asku, Alma must revisit the painful secrets of her childhood.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: April 2018”