Reader Review: Trigger Warning

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2016 by patron reviewer

Book cover for Neil Gaiman's trigger warningRanging from the mildly strange to the hauntingly bizarre, “Trigger Warning” is a collection of short writings that should please fans of fantasy, magical realism and (in some stories) science fiction. I enjoyed Gaiman’s nods to both Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who, as well as his ability to play with format (the story “Orange” is told via responses to interview questions; the questions themselves are never seen, requiring the reader to stitch the story together as the narrative moves along). In the introduction, Gaiman includes brief notes about each story. I recommend book-ending your reading by reviewing the corresponding author notes both before and after each story. It’s a rare glimpse into the author’s process and the impetus behind the stories, which I feel adds to the enjoyment of the book. That being said, it’s Neil Gaiman, so my brain still hurt at the end of some stories, and many do not end well. As the author states in his introduction, “Consider yourself warned.”

Three words that describe this book: strange, creepy, beautiful

You might want to pick this book up if: you are a fan of bizarre, intriguing narratives or would like to explore the same by starting with short stories rather than a novel.

-Katie

New DVD List: The Fear Of 13, Elena & More

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 by Dewey Decimal Diver

fear of 13 image

Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
fear of 13The Fear of 13
Website / Reviews / Trailer
Playing at the 2016 True/False Film Fest, this film presents former death-row inmate Nick Yarris as he tells the story of how he was charged with the murder of a woman in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, sentenced to death, and, after twenty-one years behind bars, exhonerated based on DNA evidence. Continue reading “New DVD List: The Fear Of 13, Elena & More”

Reader Review: Sleeping Giants

Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 by patron reviewer

sleeping giantsEven as “Sleeping Giants” is clearly a heightened, science fiction reality, I found myself really appreciating the realism on display in this story. If we somehow wave a wand and bring to life all the fanciful elements of this tale, then I could see the rest of the plot playing out very similarly to the way Sylvain Neuvel describes it.

One story element that I found lacking was an emotional connection to the characters. The way I really get invested in a story is if I’m actively rooting for someone or a relationship; I didn’t find that here. These characters, for the most part, are calm, cool, collected types. Ryan lets emotion get the best of him once, but it’s a wholly negative response. I wanted to really root for Kara and Victor’s partnership, but I felt no real thrill there. Continue reading “Reader Review: Sleeping Giants”

Literary Links: National Parks

Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 by Anne

Anne Girouard, Public Services Librarian

“There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks…is that the country belongs to the people…for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

My First Summer in the Sierra

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service (NPS), which manages sites throughout the country deemed to be of historic or natural significance. Each year, millions of people from all over the world visit the parks and other areas managed by the NPS, including historic sites, monuments, and seashores. These places contain some of the most unique landscapes and animal life found in the country, and offer affordable vacation options. Surprisingly, these natural wonders have not always been so highly valued in this country. It is thanks to the tireless efforts of early conservationists that these areas are still here for us to enjoy today. Continue reading “Literary Links: National Parks”

Fifth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

Posted on Saturday, July 9, 2016 by Kirk

Winner's trophyCongratulations to Judy of Columbia on winning our fifth Adult Summer Reading 2016 prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

If you have not registered for the library’s Adult Summer Reading program, you can still do so online or by visiting any of our locations. Once you sign up, you are automatically entered in the prize drawings. Also, don’t forget to submit book reviews to increase your odds of winning. (That’s what this week’s winner did!) There are plenty of drawings left this summer, so keep reading and sharing your reviews with us!

In Memory of Elie Wiesel

Posted on Friday, July 8, 2016 by Svetlana Grobman

Book cover for Open Heart by Elie Wiesel“Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.”
~ Elie Wiesel (September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016)

When, in 1990, at the age of 39, I emigrated from the USSR to the United States, I did not know about Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank and other victims — or survivors — of the Holocaust. In fact, I didn’t even know the term “Holocaust.” And not because I was a bad student who failed to learn it in school, but because the anti-Semitic politics of the Third Reich were not covered in our school curriculum and our mass media — not before or during WWII, or afterwards. As a result, the atrocities that were well known in the West were hardly mentioned in the East. There, coverage of WWII was dedicated to the bravery and suffering of Soviet troops and, until 1956, to Stalin’s military genius. So the mass killings of Jews — in Europe and Ukraine — did not qualify.

This is not to say that the Russian population had it easy. The war was devastating for the USSR. Overall, more than 26 million Russian citizens died during the war, not to mention those who came back as invalids and hopeless alcoholics. Still, the fact that the Jews were systematically exterminated was not revealed in Russia (where casual anti -Semitism was the norm) for a very long time. Well, we knew about concentration camps, including Auschwitz, Treblinka and Buchenwald. In fact, there was a popular song written about the latter, which went like this: Continue reading “In Memory of Elie Wiesel”

Reader Review: Long Division

Posted on Thursday, July 7, 2016 by patron reviewer

long divisionThis book is about a 20-something woman who is an elementary school teacher. She is writing a book, sort of journal entry style, documenting the time in which she and her boyfriend are apart while he is in the military in Iraq. Hence the title “Long Division,” a double meaning with her school teacher job title and her long distance relationship. The book was a touch difficult for me to get into but after a few chapters, I fell in love with Annie and all her quirks. I love the relationship she found with an elderly woman in a nursing home and the depth of the relationship she had with her childhood friend. There was just the right balance of romanticism, cynicism and whimsy for my taste.

Three words that describe this book: utterly, totally, relatable

You might want to pick this book up if: You are a teacher, you have experienced restlessness, you have ever thought about getting a pet chicken 😉

-Kristen

Get Gaming!

Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 by Dana

Photo of gamers playing Settlers of Catan, photo by sewing puzzle via FlickrLooking for games to play with your kids and the thought of one more round of Candy Land makes you want to cry?  Desperate to pry the smartphone or the tablet away from your teens?  Tired of starting another game of Monopoly you know you’ll never finish?

Oh friends, I am about to change your world.

Table-top gaming is diverse and entertaining, ranging from dice and cards to miniatures and tiles.  Some can be played in 15 minutes and some may take hours, depending on what you’re looking for.

Games indirectly teach problem-solving skills, math, strategy and adapting to other players’ actions. There is also the etiquette of listening, taking turns and teaching new players the rules of the games.

You can find something for every age. There are games that focus on math and spatial skills and are appropriate for preschoolers. There are also games that are definitely NOT for children and make for a fun evening with your grown-up friends. Continue reading “Get Gaming!”

Fourth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 by Kirk

Winner's trophyCongratulations to Margaret, a Callaway County Public Library patron, for winning our fourth Adult Summer Reading prize drawing.  She is the recipient of a $25 Well Read Books gift card.

All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online.  Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning.  There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.

Reader Review: Better Off

Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 by patron reviewer

Book cover for better Off by Eric BrendeMore articles and experts are recommending we get away from screens and our technology addiction. Ever had a craving to live the low-technology, Amish-like lifestyle (without the religious doctrine)? “Better Off” is about a couple that tried it and all the benefits they reaped! They were worried it would be all about survival, but the shared workload created a natural camaraderie with their neighbors and natural exercise. They realized it’s in our current world where we are running in a gerbil wheel, trying to enjoy it. This should be the next One Read!!!

Three words that describe this book: transforming, anti-technology, discovery Continue reading “Reader Review: Better Off”