It’s my favorite LibraryReads list yet! Why, you may ask? Because this month’s list of forthcoming titles that librarians across the country recommend includes “Arrowood,” the latest from local author Laura McHugh. The novel follows Arden Arrowood as she returns to her declining Iowa hometown and her childhood home after a failed attempt at graduate school. She is haunted by the memory of her twin sisters, kidnapped from the front yard while they were in her care. McHugh is masterful when it comes to vividly rendering place and setting, as well as the psychology of her main characters. This novel is moody, atmospheric and melancholy with a delicious undercurrent of suspense. Place your hold now, and enjoy this month’s other recommendations!
“A Great Reckoning” by Lousie Penny
“Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended.” – David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC
“The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena
“This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat, the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end, you won’t be disappointed.” – Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS Continue reading “Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The August 2016 List”
Congratulations to Naidra, a Southern Boone County Public Library patron, for winning our eighth Adult Summer Reading prize drawing of the summer. She is the recipient of a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble.
Adult Summer Reading is winding down, but you can still submit book reviews to increase your chances of winning one of our final drawings. Good luck and happy reading!
Pokémon Go is the latest app craze taking over the country. And while the game is gluing kids (of all ages) to their phones, this app has added a twist; it is used outside.
(For reference, outside is a magical place with a giant ball of energy in the sky and other life forms. It’s cool.)
Before we get into what the app does and how it works, let’s start by asking a question: what is a Pokémon?
Pokémon began as a video game back in the 1990s for the Nintendo Game Boy. From there it grew into a collectible card game, cartoons, toys and more. Pokémon are creatures in the wild that can be caught, trained and evolved. Trainers can also battle with their Pokémon against other trainers.
Now, here is how the app works:
You walk around a map of your area and use your device (typically a smartphone) to look for Pokémon. They appear, and your device vibrates to let you know.
Continue reading “An Adult’s Guide to the Pokémon Go Craze”
Anyone familiar with Jeanette Winterson (“Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit“) has heard some of her story before. “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” is a memoir of a rough time with her family that leads to a level of hope and resilience that is inspirational and satisfying to read. I knew much of the author’s story from other books of hers, but it was compelling to hear her tell her own story in her own voice. I loved her description of wanting to be a big writer and her development as a feminist.
While Winterson ultimately leaves the fundamentalist Christian faith of her family, she doesn’t look back on it with complete harshness or despair. Instead, she describes religion and religious community as infusing life with something larger than mundane daily existence and providing a forum for discussion of philosophy, ethics and politics. Has religion moved away from these goals today?
I’m so glad to have had the chance to read this one.
Three words that describe this book: inspiring, heart-breaking, literary
You might want to pick this book up if: you want to read about the power of literature to bring redemption, you want to know more about this fabulous author, or you want to listen to an author read her own memoir.
Running is a sport that attracts many people young and old. What drives them to run, and how has it transformed them as people? Check out these documentaries that give insight into different kinds of runners.
“Spirit of the Marathon” (2008)
A look at the Chicago Marathon, which stretches 26.2 miles, and the runners who participate from all walks of life, each with their own story. The film is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph — a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike. Continue reading “Racing Forward: Docs About Runners”
In his book “David and Goliath,” Gladwell outlines tales of the underdog and challenges the reader to view being the underdog as not always undesirable! There are advantages to being the underdog. He discusses examples of people rising from the loss of parents, dyslexia, mediocre colleges, persecution and political oppression. He uses a series of stories to outline his points. While not a scientific work, the stories are challenging to a typical worldview. Small is not always weak. Large is not always strong. Continue reading “Reader Review: David and Goliath”
Congratulations to Beth D. of Columbia on winning our seventh Adult Summer Reading 2016 prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
We have only two drawings remaining this summer, so make sure you turn in any last minute book reviews to increase your chance of winning and keep your fingers crossed.
The dog days of summer are upon us. Long stretches of 90 degrees-plus temperatures are the norm. And this being Missouri, it’s not the heat but the humidity that makes it so uncomfortable, right?
Finding a nice place in the shade with a good book is a great way to keep cool. And if that book happens to be set during the dead of winter, that’s even better. Here are some books that will chill you to your core on these hot days!
If a dark and icy-cold New England winter sounds perfect right about now, you should try Jennifer McMahon’s “The Winter People.” Set in a small town in Vermont, the novel recounts the mysterious murder of Sara Harrison Shea outside her home in 1908. A hundred years later, Ruthie, Fawn and their mother move into Sara’s old house. The girls find Sara’s diary hidden under the floor, revealing what may have actually happened to her. This sets into motion a series of horrific events that threaten to destroy their family. McMahon’s writing is spell-binding in this unique approach to the typical ghost story. You won’t want to put this one down! Continue reading “Bone-Chilling Reads for the Dog Days of Summer”
The brain is not really a muscle, but there’s a lot of advice out there to treat it like one and exercise it. A huge industry has been built around this concept. But this post comes with a disclaimer: I recently read an article stating that “brain-training effects might be nothing more than placebo effects” and questioning how long those positive effects last. So you might think twice about spending a lot of money on brain-training programs and gurus, but there’s a lot you can find for free at the library to boost your brain power. What could it hurt to do a little mental calisthenics? Continue reading “On Your Mark, Get Set, Exercise Your Brain!”
“Kindred Spirits” is about a group of women who become the best of friends and establish their own society as a result of a failed Parent Teacher Association meeting. Their society (The Society for the Conservation of Martinis!) is based on their friendship and having fun together. The story follows the women through the quick death of one and a journey by her best friends to find the secret she never shared. Sarah Strohmeyer’s characters are “real women” I related to. Their journey together shows the true meaning of friendship.
Three words that describe this book: friendship, love, understanding
You might want to pick this book up if: You might want to read this book if you enjoy Sarah Strohmeyer’s writing. She has created another group of wonderful characters who are fun-loving and know the true meaning of being friends to the end.