You know those writers whose work is so captivating that you’d read their grocery lists? Jennifer McMahon is definitely one of those writers for me. As one half of a pair of sisters, I’m also sucker for a book where sisters play a prominent role, so it’s likely “The Night Sister” would’ve ended up on my bedside table one way or another. If you enjoy mysteries that feature multiple timelines, numerous points of view and the setting of a deliciously creepy house (or in this case, hotel-as-castle), then this book might be for you as well.
“The Night Sister” begins in the present with sisters Piper and Margot receiving the shocking news that childhood friend Amy has brutally slain almost her entire family and herself, with only her daughter escaping. Then the novel turns back half a century to the childhood of Amy’s mother and aunt. Rose and Sylvie live in the Tower Motel, built like a castle complete with tower. Sylvie dreams of escaping to Hollywood and becoming an actress, while Rose is caught up in the stories their grandmother told them of mares, shape-shifting monsters hidden inside regular-seeming people. Continue reading “Staff Review: The Night Sister”
Beginning later this month, the Daniel Boone Regional Library will honor the contributions of Latino Americans through story, song, dance and film. As a Mexican-American, I look forward to inviting our community to join in this region-wide celebration.
The roots of my family were planted in this country nearly a century ago and have been cultivated with much love, or as my Grandma Flora would say, “con mucho cariño.” In 1917, my grandmother immigrated to the United States as a toddler with her parents and older sister, Ruth. The Mexican Revolution had swept through their birthplace of Zacatecas and my great grandparents were seeking safety and security for their young family. Continue reading “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History”
The library recently added a copy of “The Ferguson Report” to the collection, and it is very much worth reading. The report covers an in-depth investigation into both the police department and the judicial system in Ferguson, Missouri where black teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer. The report shows a systemic and “implicit bias” in these institutions. For those who have had to live as the targets of this system, this is not news and not isolated to this one municipality. The report is very critical, but it also offers specific recommendations, such as a publicly accessible database to track use of force.
For a broader understanding of race in America, pick up one of these excellent, recently published books. Continue reading “Race in America”
The world of print is rapidly changing. Many of the large metro daily newspapers are folding – think of the sad case of the Rocky Mountain News, once the beacon of newspaper publishing in the West, which died a slow death in the 1990s and 2000s and finally stopped printing in 2009. To survive, magazines and newspapers are either switching their format to a much reduced publishing schedule or even changing their look and format entirely. A good example of how the newspaper and magazine publishing industry is having to adapt is the example of the Christian Science Monitor. Once a daily newspaper, it is now published in a slick magazine format, just once a week. Continue reading “New Magazines at DBRL”
Halloween is around the corner, but the list of books publishing in October that librarians across the country love isn’t scary. Well, unless you fear your to-read pile growing too tall. This month’s LibraryReads list includes novels from big names in literary fiction, like Geraldine Brooks (“March,” “Caleb’s Crossing“), David Mitchell (“Cloud Atlas,” “Bone Clocks“) and Margaret Atwood (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” MaddAddam Trilogy) – perfect for longer nights and cooler days. Enjoy!
“City on Fire” by Garth Risk Hallberg
“WOW! An excellently executed work with intricate plot lines and fascinating characters. It’s a story of how the stories of many different people of New York City in the late seventies crash into each other like waves on rocks. This work may encapsulate the whole of New York City, as it has wealth, love, filth, passion, aimless angst and a myriad of other aspects of humanity swirling in that amazing city.” – Racine Zackula, Wichita Public Library, Wichita, KS
“After You” by Jojo Moyes
“I loved ‘Me Before You‘ and thought it ended in the perfect place, but any doubts I had about continuing the story were quickly erased when I started this sequel. Jojo Moyes is a master at tugging on your heartstrings. I laughed, I cried and I nearly threw my Kindle against the wall at one point. Give this to anyone in your life who has experienced a tragic loss. With a box of tissues.” – Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH
“A Banquet of Consequences” by Elizabeth George
“Still reeling from a previous fall from grace, police detective Barbara Havers has a chance to redeem her standing–if she can unravel the very twisted threads that led to the murder of a prominent English feminist. Meanwhile, her superior officer Thomas Lynley pursues a love interest even as he keeps a sharp lookout for any slip-ups by Havers. This is the strongest addition to the series in years.” – Starr Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Here are the remaining October titles for your holds-placing pleasure! Continue reading “Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The October 2015 List”
“The Aeronaut’s Windlass” by Jim Butcher
Why I Read It: Jim Butcher + Steampunk = Gimme. Now.
What It’s About: Humanity lives in huge, stone Spires that rise above the surface and the monster-filled mists that cover it. Society is ruled by aristocratic houses that develop scientific marvels and build fleets of airships to keep the peace. Continue reading “Staff Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass”
Buses can be versatile tools of transportation. They can be used for a daily commute, to guide a tour or as a way to travel cross country. Check out these docs that explore some unique stories that have unfolded on various kinds of buses.
“The Cruise” (1998)
Take an unforgettable bus ride through the concrete canyons of Manhattan with “Speed” Levitch as your tour guide. This acclaimed doc launched the career of Levitch, who has worked on several films with noted director Richard Linklater and given tours during the True/False Film Fest. Continue reading “Going Round & Round: Docs About Buses”
As I read this year’s One Read selection, “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, I repeatedly thought of the Ray Bradbury classic, “Fahrenheit 451.” In my mind, the two books convey many of the same ideas, yet in much different ways.
In “Station Eleven,” a plague has decimated the population. Those who remain are left with a world where infrastructure and social systems have collapsed. The characters in “Fahrenheit 451” have everything Mandel’s lack: health, ample food, material comforts, advanced technology. But I believe Bradbury’s characters suffer more. Continue reading “Classics for Everyone: Fahrenheit 451”
This spring, the Columbia Public Library celebrated the grand opening of our new creative digital lab, the Studio. Since then, we have helped over 600 patrons make sense of their mobile devices, discover new apps, download free e-Books, scan old family photos and organize their digital photo collections. We’ve invited children to make their own stop-motion animated films and promoted literacy among preschoolers using fun learning tools like Tiggly Shapes. After such a successful launch, the library is happy to announce several new Studio programs for library lovers of all ages.
This summer we introduced our newly reorganized class, “iPhone and iPad Basics.” Through this two-hour program, we help patrons master the basic functions of their Apple devices. The class has been so popular that we will be offering an advanced course beginning October 28. Attendees will learn how to run updates, back up their data and explore shortcuts to use their Apple device more efficiently. Continue reading “Creative Learning at Your Library”
In addition to drop-in classes and presentations on the online resources (HeritageQuest and Ancestry.com) for family researchers available through your library, there are a couple of upcoming events genealogists should add to their calendars.
The 40th anniversary celebration of the Genealogical Society of Boone County and Central Missouri — formerly the Genealogical Society of Central Missouri — will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library on Friday, October 9. That’s exactly 40 years to the date the society was formed at the Columbia Public Library in 1975! Come learn more about what we have achieved these past four decades. Current and back issues of our quarterly, The Reporter, are in our CPL reference collection, as well as many other publications that will help you find your ancestors who lived in central Missouri and elsewhere. Continue reading “Free Genealogy Events and Family History Research Help”