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Labor Days

Next Book Buzz - 9 hours 1 min ago

Book cover for Working by Studs TerkelThe death throes of summer will soon be marked by Labor Day weekend. Many of us will spend that time barbecuing or taking advantage of Great Labor Day Savings! This was not the original purpose of Labor Day. The intended meaning of the day was to honor “the social and economic achievements of American workers.” This purpose has mostly been lost, except most American workers do get a free day off. Unless they are one of the over 4,500,000 employed in retail.  Then they are probably helping people take advantage of those Labor Day sales.

We spend so much time working that it’s surprising there aren’t more more books on the subject. There’s a constant stream books about job interviews, changing careers or finding fulfilling work, but books that evocatively capture this experience that composes so much of our lives are rare. There are some good ones, and even some classics, but the number days we spend laboring isn’t really matched by the books out there.

Book cover for The Jungle by Upton SinclairThe Jungle” is a classic many of us probably had to read in high school. The book tells the story of a poor immigrant family that tries to make a living working in the Chicago stockyards. The  descriptions of the unsafe and unsanitary conditions became a catalyst for the passing of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food Act.

I’m not sure if Studs Terkel’s “Working” is technically considered a classic (who makes these decisions?), but it should be. Terkel conducted interviews with people from all walks of life about their jobs. You don’t just get insight into what the routine tasks of their jobs are, but you also learn how their time spent at work makes them feel.

Harvey Pekar adapted “Working” into a graphic novel. Pekar was a perfect fit for the job. In his long-running series “American Splendor,” Pekar wrote about the mundane details of his life in Cleveland in an unexpectedly compelling way. Many of those stories involve his job as a file clerk at the Cleveland’s Veterans Administration Hospital.

When Philip Levine died earlier this year, exhausted workers looking for breakfast after the late shift lost representation in American poetry. Many of his poems described the prosaic details of the lives of working people. Levine grew up in Detroit, and while working in the auto plants there he decided to give voice to the people with whom he worked.

Book cover for Blue Collar, White Collar, No CollarBlue Collar, White Collar, No Collar” is a collection of short stories about work.  It’s edited by Richard Ford, who also contributes a story. It’s fitting that a writer who won a Pulitzer Prize for a book about a real estate agent should edit such a collection.

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” details a man’s struggle with his inane PR job as he tries to provide for his family. It is often cited as an inspiration for the television show “Mad Men” because of their shared themes of a restless veteran trying to adapt to his working world and find his identity.

Then We Came To The End” tells the story of a Chicago advertising firm as a dysfunctional family that is gradually shrinking to nothing due to layoffs. It is a funny, insightful and empathetic examination of workplace culture.

In “Looking for A Ship,” John McPhee accompanies a merchant marine on a 42-day trip to South America. The book describes the difficulties of making a living as a merchant marine and is filled with seafaring stories that illustrate the dangers of this job. Might make a nice accompaniment to “Deadliest Catch.”

If you’ve ever been asked to do something at your job and wanted to respond, “I prefer not to,” then I suggest you take a look at Herman Melville’s enigmatic short story, “Bartleby, the Scrivener, A Story of Wall Street.” A man who is essentially employed as a human copy machine gets a sort of paper jam in his brain and keeps repeating that phrase.

Finally, whether you’re barbecuing, shopping or (sadly) working this Labor Day weekend, the Smithsonian has some sweet Labor Day jams for you.

The post Labor Days appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Labor Days

DBRL Next - 9 hours 1 min ago

Book cover for Working by Studs TerkelThe death throes of summer will soon be marked by Labor Day weekend. Many of us will spend that time barbecuing or taking advantage of Great Labor Day Savings! This was not the original purpose of Labor Day. The intended meaning of the day was to honor “the social and economic achievements of American workers.” This purpose has mostly been lost, except most American workers do get a free day off. Unless they are one of the over 4,500,000 employed in retail.  Then they are probably helping people take advantage of those Labor Day sales.

We spend so much time working that it’s surprising there aren’t more more books on the subject. There’s a constant stream books about job interviews, changing careers or finding fulfilling work, but books that evocatively capture this experience that composes so much of our lives are rare. There are some good ones, and even some classics, but the number days we spend laboring isn’t really matched by the books out there.

Book cover for The Jungle by Upton SinclairThe Jungle” is a classic many of us probably had to read in high school. The book tells the story of a poor immigrant family that tries to make a living working in the Chicago stockyards. The  descriptions of the unsafe and unsanitary conditions became a catalyst for the passing of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food Act.

I’m not sure if Studs Terkel’s “Working” is technically considered a classic (who makes these decisions?), but it should be. Terkel conducted interviews with people from all walks of life about their jobs. You don’t just get insight into what the routine tasks of their jobs are, but you also learn how their time spent at work makes them feel.

Harvey Pekar adapted “Working” into a graphic novel. Pekar was a perfect fit for the job. In his long-running series “American Splendor,” Pekar wrote about the mundane details of his life in Cleveland in an unexpectedly compelling way. Many of those stories involve his job as a file clerk at the Cleveland’s Veterans Administration Hospital.

When Philip Levine died earlier this year, exhausted workers looking for breakfast after the late shift lost representation in American poetry. Many of his poems described the prosaic details of the lives of working people. Levine grew up in Detroit, and while working in the auto plants there he decided to give voice to the people with whom he worked.

Book cover for Blue Collar, White Collar, No CollarBlue Collar, White Collar, No Collar” is a collection of short stories about work.  It’s edited by Richard Ford, who also contributes a story. It’s fitting that a writer who won a Pulitzer Prize for a book about a real estate agent should edit such a collection.

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” details a man’s struggle with his inane PR job as he tries to provide for his family. It is often cited as an inspiration for the television show “Mad Men” because of their shared themes of a restless veteran trying to adapt to his working world and find his identity.

Then We Came To The End” tells the story of a Chicago advertising firm as a dysfunctional family that is gradually shrinking to nothing due to layoffs. It is a funny, insightful and empathetic examination of workplace culture.

In “Looking for A Ship,” John McPhee accompanies a merchant marine on a 42-day trip to South America. The book describes the difficulties of making a living as a merchant marine and is filled with seafaring stories that illustrate the dangers of this job. Might make a nice accompaniment to “Deadliest Catch.”

If you’ve ever been asked to do something at your job and wanted to respond, “I prefer not to,” then I suggest you take a look at Herman Melville’s enigmatic short story, “Bartleby, the Scrivener, A Story of Wall Street.” A man who is essentially employed as a human copy machine gets a sort of paper jam in his brain and keeps repeating that phrase.

Finally, whether you’re barbecuing, shopping or (sadly) working this Labor Day weekend, the Smithsonian has some sweet Labor Day jams for you.

The post Labor Days appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Staff Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

DBRLTeen - 13 hours 51 min ago

Fifth WaveWhy I Checked It Out: The 5th Wave” has been constantly flying off the shelves here at the library. I’ve picked it up a few times, but not checked it out, mainly due to my fear of alien invasion stories (I think they are scary, yes, and tend to avoid things that scare me). But when I heard that “The 5th Wave” was a Gateway nominee, I decided it was time I read it.

ALSO, IT’S GOING TO BE A MOVIE! WOOOO!

What It’s About: “The 5th Wave” starts off inside the head of Cassie, a 16-year-old who has survived the first four waves of the alien invasion. She is lost, confused, and very alone, her mission to save her younger brother the only thing keeping her going.

Cassie has come to believe she’s it. There might not be anyone else alive on the planet. But then she meets a boy who changes her world, and helps her survive right when she considers herself out of options.

What I Liked About It: I mean, really, this was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The writing was fresh and the characters felt real. I breezed through the entire book. And, don’t worry, the blurb makes it sound a little heavy on the romance, but it’s really not. It’s more about survival than anything else.

Similar Titles: Not a Drop to Drink” by Mindy McGinnis, “Enclave” by Ann Aguirre and “All Our Yesterdays” by Cristin Terrill.

Don’t forget that “The 5th Wave” is the first in a trilogy, so be sure to check out the other books in the series. The second title has already been published, “The Infinite Sea,” and the final book, “The Last Star” comes out in September.

Originally published at Staff Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

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Haven’t Read “Station Eleven” Yet?

One Read - August 28, 2015

It’s not too late! You can listen to the audiobook version of “Station Eleven” on KOPN, or read topical essays on the book in the Sunday Ovation section in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Starting August 31, the entire book will be available in 30-minute segments on KOPN (89.5 FM) every weekday from
1-1:30 p.m. (No broadcast on Monday, September 7, Labor Day.)

Each Sunday in September, the Ovation section of the Columbia Daily Tribune will feature an article by Library Associate Elaine Stewart reflecting on a topic or theme in “Station Eleven.”

And when you are looking for a way to participate in this year’s One Read event, you can find all of the programs in the library’s online guide.

The post Haven’t Read “Station Eleven” Yet? appeared first on One READ.

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Tim O’Mara Back-to-School Book Giveaway

DBRL Next - August 28, 2015

Book cover for Dead Red by Tim O'MaraReturning to school can be murder. Alarm clocks buzzing before dawn, heavy traffic on the roads, homework and assigned books (so rough after a few months of summer leisure reading). But at least we aren’t Raymond Donne, New York City cop turned high school teacher in Tim O’Mara‘s latest mystery, “Dead Red.”

After his friend and fellow former cop is murdered in a shower of bullets, Donne vows to not rest until he discovers who wanted Ricky dead, and why. This fast-paced, character-driven thriller is a great antidote to any dry textbooks or student handbook you are supposed to be reading, and you can win one of two signed copies from your library!

Enter to win a copy of “Dead Red” signed by author Tim O’Mara.

(Contest limited to residents of Boone and Callaway counties. One entry per person, please. Winners will be notified after September 25.)

The post Tim O’Mara Back-to-School Book Giveaway appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Deep Thoughts: Docs That Make You Think

DBRL Next - August 26, 2015

nostalgia for the light - header

Who are we? Where did we come from? How should we live? Check out these docs that might get you thinking about these big questions.

nostalgia for the lightNostalgia for the Light” (2011)

Director Patricio Guzman travels to the driest place on earth, Chile’s Atacama Desert, where astronomers examine distant galaxies, archaeologists uncover traces of ancient civilizations, and women dig for the remains of disappeared relatives.

examined lifeExamined Life” (2009)

Examined Life takes philosophy into the hustle and bustle of the everyday. The “rock star” philosophers of our time take “walks” through places that hold special resonance for them and their ideas. These places include crowed city streets, deserted alleyways, Central Park and a garbage dump.

cave of forgotten dreamsCave of Forgotten Dreams” (2011)

Werner Herzog explores the Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. An unforgettable cinematic experience that provides an unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back to human hands over 30,000 years ago.

amongst white cloudsAmongst White Clouds” (2007)

American director Edward A. Burger documents his journey into the lives of China’s forgotten Zen Buddhist hermit tradition. The Zhongnan Mountains have been home to recluses for some five thousand years; Burger’s experiences demonstrate that the tradition continues to thrive.

The post Deep Thoughts: Docs That Make You Think appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Let’s Learn American History with Sarah Vowell

DBRL Next - August 24, 2015

When I was in school, history was not my favorite subject, but Sarah Vowell has convinced me I didn’t give it a fair chance. Vowell’s chatty books about American history relate the stories of our country in a way that brings alive the figures involved and paints a vivid picture of the times in which they lived, with the bonus of showing how past events still affect our lives today.

Book cover for Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah VowellUnfamiliar Fishes,” a volume about Hawaii, opens with these words: “Why is there a glop of macaroni salad next to the Japanese chicken in my plate lunch? Because the ship Thaddeus left Boston Harbor with the first boatload of New England missionaries bound for Hawaii in 1819.” Vowell makes a pretty good case for giving Hawaii the ‘Most Multicultural State’ award. As she explains how this came to be, she examines the effects of 19th century missionaries plus vacationing sailors on the island culture. It wasn’t all roses and butter, we discover. The story of Queen Lili’uokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, makes for compelling – if heartbreaking – reading.

Book cover for The Wordy ShipmatesIn “The Wordy Shipmates” Vowell shows us the Puritans as interesting, complex human beings with more layers than the earth’s core. Much of the narrative centers on John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, along with his best frenemy, Roger Williams. The ins and outs of their friendship proves junior high drama predates the existence of junior high and can present itself in the cloak of religious disputes. After Winthrop banished him from Massachusetts, Williams founded Rhode Island. He was soon joined there by the remarkable and also exiled upstart, Anne Hutchinson, who had convinced her husband to pack up their 15 children and follow the clergyman John Cotton across the ocean to the colonies.

Book cover for Assassination VacationSpeaking of travel, what’s a dedicated historian’s dream vacation? Visiting landmarks associated with assassinations, of course. “Assassination Vacation” is a road trip book like no other, focusing on sites important in the lives and mostly the deaths of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. Vowell speaks not only of the facts of the events, but explores how legends surrounding these political murders have been used to shape and sometimes exploit culture and politics. Also, a fascinating bit of trivia about Robert Todd Lincoln.

The future of history includes Vowell’s forthcoming book, “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States,” due out in October. I can’t wait to find out everything I don’t know about the French general who played such a large role in the American Revolution.

The post Let’s Learn American History with Sarah Vowell appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Let’s Learn American History with Sarah Vowell

Next Book Buzz - August 24, 2015

When I was in school, history was not my favorite subject, but Sarah Vowell has convinced me I didn’t give it a fair chance. Vowell’s chatty books about American history relate the stories of our country in a way that brings alive the figures involved and paints a vivid picture of the times in which they lived, with the bonus of showing how past events still affect our lives today.

Book cover for Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah VowellUnfamiliar Fishes,” a volume about Hawaii, opens with these words: “Why is there a glop of macaroni salad next to the Japanese chicken in my plate lunch? Because the ship Thaddeus left Boston Harbor with the first boatload of New England missionaries bound for Hawaii in 1819.” Vowell makes a pretty good case for giving Hawaii the ‘Most Multicultural State’ award. As she explains how this came to be, she examines the effects of 19th century missionaries plus vacationing sailors on the island culture. It wasn’t all roses and butter, we discover. The story of Queen Lili’uokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, makes for compelling – if heartbreaking – reading.

Book cover for The Wordy ShipmatesIn “The Wordy Shipmates” Vowell shows us the Puritans as interesting, complex human beings with more layers than the earth’s core. Much of the narrative centers on John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, along with his best frenemy, Roger Williams. The ins and outs of their friendship proves junior high drama predates the existence of junior high and can present itself in the cloak of religious disputes. After Winthrop banished him from Massachusetts, Williams founded Rhode Island. He was soon joined there by the remarkable and also exiled upstart, Anne Hutchinson, who had convinced her husband to pack up their 15 children and follow the clergyman John Cotton across the ocean to the colonies.

Book cover for Assassination VacationSpeaking of travel, what’s a dedicated historian’s dream vacation? Visiting landmarks associated with assassinations, of course. “Assassination Vacation” is a road trip book like no other, focusing on sites important in the lives and mostly the deaths of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. Vowell speaks not only of the facts of the events, but explores how legends surrounding these political murders have been used to shape and sometimes exploit culture and politics. Also, a fascinating bit of trivia about Robert Todd Lincoln.

The future of history includes Vowell’s forthcoming book, “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States,” due out in October. I can’t wait to find out everything I don’t know about the French general who played such a large role in the American Revolution.

The post Let’s Learn American History with Sarah Vowell appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Registration Deadlines for Upcoming ACT & SAT Exams

DBRLTeen - August 24, 2015

Exam by Flickr User Alberto GThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT and SAT exams.

  • Registration for the October 24 ACT exam is due Friday, September 18. Sign-up online.
  • Registration for the October 3 SAT exam is due Friday, September 4. Sign-up online.

If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our online guide to ACT/SAT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).  If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call  (800) 324-4806.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Photo by Flickr User Alberto G. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Registration Deadlines for Upcoming ACT & SAT Exams.

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Fall Program Preview: One READ

DBRL Next - August 21, 2015

OR-logo-2015-light-backgroundSeptember is coming, and here at DBRL, that means One READ month! One READ is a community-wide reading program coordinated by the library and supported (and planned and promoted) by an incredible group of area organizations, media and educational institutions. Each year area readers help select a single book for exploration and discussion with the goal of creating community around this common reading experience.

This year’s selection, “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, provides ample opportunity to investigate topics as diverse as Shakespeare, comic books, the nature of fame and how to survive an apocalypse. Here are just a few of the programs happening in Columbia and Fulton at the beginning of the month. See the full line-up at oneread.org.

“Station Eleven” Audiobook Broadcast
August 31 – September 30, 1-1:30 p.m.
89.5FM/KOPN
Listen to the audiobook version of this year’s One Read selection and hear announcements on additional One Read programming every weekday August 31-September 30 (except Sept. 7, Labor Day).

AJ GaitherRambler’s Club Unplugged
Tuesday, September 1 › 7 p.m.
Columbia, Rose Music Hall (formerly Mojo’s), 1013 Park Ave
89.5 KOPN and DBRL present an evening of free music to kick off this year’s One Read program. The world of “Station Eleven” is postapocalyptic, unplugged and off the grid. Join local musicians as they play short sets with no amplification for this One Read edition of the Ramblers’ Club. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)

First Wednesday Book Discussion
Wednesday, September 2 › Noon-1 p.m.
Fulton, Callaway County Public Library
Join us as we discuss this year’s One Read selection, “Station Eleven,” by Emily St. John Mandel. Twenty years after a deadly flu outbreak kills most of the world’s population, what survives? What matters? This haunting novel threads together the connected stories of people living before and after the end of the world into a lyrical examination of the importance of art and what it means to be human.

George HodgmanOne Read Discussion With George Hodgman
Wednesday, September 2 › 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
We’ll kick off our month of One Read programs by discussing “Station Eleven” with George Hodgman, the author of “Bettyville.” Mr. Hodgman, a former book editor, will share his insights about this year’s One Read novel and lead an informal discussion.

First Thursday One Read Discussion
Thursday, September 3, 2015 › Noon-1 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Join us as Daniel Regional Library Board member Julie Baka leads us in a discussion of “Station Eleven.” Bring a sack lunch if you wish!

One Read Film: “The Giver”
Thursday, September 3, 2015 › 6 p.m.
Fulton, William Woods University Library Auditorium
Based on Lois Lowry’s iconic and influential Newbery Award-winning science fiction novel, visionary director Phillip Noyce’s 2014 film explores weighty and provocative themes similar to those in “Station Eleven.” Dr. Greg Smith, WWU associate professor of English and film, will lead a discussion following the film. (Rated PG-13)

The post Fall Program Preview: One READ appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Staff Review: Monstrous Affections

DBRLTeen - August 20, 2015

Why I Checked It Out: This book is an anthology–it’s a bunch of short stories by a variety of different authors published in one book. I checked it out because I am always looking for new authors, and this specific anthology was geared toward fantasy and speculative fiction, which is what I love to read.

What It’s About: Well, that really depends. Which story are you talking about? One story is about a group of girls who call forth a demonic mom ghost. Another is about a demon whose friend is going insane. There’s even a story about a girl who falls in love with a robotic boyfriend. I loved most of the stories, a few weren’t for me, but either way, I checked out books by some the contributing authors that had stories I loved.

What I Liked About It: The variety! It was nice to get a bunch of different voices in one book, and story idea was unique. The nice thing is, if you don’t like one story, you can skip ahead to the next, and if you do fall in love, then you can explore more work by that author.

Other Anthologies: If you enjoyed this anthology, then definitely check out some others the library has. Here are some to get you started: “Firebird: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction“, “What We Remember, What we Forget: The Best Young Writers and Artists in America: A PUSH Anthology“, “The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows: An Original Science Fiction Anthology“, and “Geektastic Stories: From the Nerd Herd“. There are loads more, so be sure to check them all out.

Originally published at Staff Review: Monstrous Affections.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The September 2015 List

DBRL Next - August 19, 2015

Library Reads LogoThe kids are back in school, and the September LibraryReads list is here! Time to brew a cup of tea and enjoy a freshly published book. Here are the books hitting shelves next month that librarians across the country recommend, including the latest from the hilarious, refreshingly honest, irreverent, library-loving Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess. “Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things” has gone immediately on to my personal holds list. Add a few of these forthcoming titles to your list, and enjoy!

Book cover for The Art of Crash LandingThe Art of Crash Landing” by Melissa DeCarlo
“At once tragic and hilarious, this book is a roller coaster of a read. You’ll find yourself rooting for the snarky and impulsive but ultimately lovable Mattie. At the heart of this tale is a beautifully unraveled mystery that has led Mattie to her current circumstances, ultimately bringing her to her first real home.” – Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

Make Me” by Lee Child
“Jack Reacher is back. Jack gets off a train at an isolated town. Soon, he is learning much more about the town, and its residents are learning not to mess around with Jack Reacher. Readers new to this series will find this book a good starting point, and fans will be pleased to see Jack again.” – Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

House of Thieves” by Charles Belfoure
“Belfoure’s intriguing novel is set in Gilded Age New York City. John Cross, head of the family, finds an unexpected talent for planning robberies, while his wife and children also discover their inner criminals. The historical details and setting evoke old New York. I enjoyed every minute of their escapades.” – Barbara Clark-Greene, Groton Public Library, Groton, CT

And here is the rest of this list with links to the catalog for your holds-placing pleasure.

The post Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The September 2015 List appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The September 2015 List

Next Book Buzz - August 19, 2015

Library Reads LogoThe kids are back in school, and the September LibraryReads list is here! Time to brew a cup of tea and enjoy a freshly published book. Here are the books hitting shelves next month that librarians across the country recommend, including the latest from the hilarious, refreshingly honest, irreverent, library-loving Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess. “Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things” has gone immediately on to my personal holds list. Add a few of these forthcoming titles to your list, and enjoy!

Book cover for The Art of Crash LandingThe Art of Crash Landing” by Melissa DeCarlo
“At once tragic and hilarious, this book is a roller coaster of a read. You’ll find yourself rooting for the snarky and impulsive but ultimately lovable Mattie. At the heart of this tale is a beautifully unraveled mystery that has led Mattie to her current circumstances, ultimately bringing her to her first real home.” – Patricia Kline-Millard, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH

Make Me” by Lee Child
“Jack Reacher is back. Jack gets off a train at an isolated town. Soon, he is learning much more about the town, and its residents are learning not to mess around with Jack Reacher. Readers new to this series will find this book a good starting point, and fans will be pleased to see Jack again.” – Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

House of Thieves” by Charles Belfoure
“Belfoure’s intriguing novel is set in Gilded Age New York City. John Cross, head of the family, finds an unexpected talent for planning robberies, while his wife and children also discover their inner criminals. The historical details and setting evoke old New York. I enjoyed every minute of their escapades.” – Barbara Clark-Greene, Groton Public Library, Groton, CT

And here is the rest of this list with links to the catalog for your holds-placing pleasure.

The post Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The September 2015 List appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Final Gift Card Winner Announced

DBRL Next - August 19, 2015

TrophyCongratulations to Michelle from Columbia on winning our ninth and final Adult Summer Reading 2015 prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

That wraps up our Adult Summer Reading program for this year. If you didn’t win a prize, we hope you will try again next year. A big thank you to everyone who signed up and submitted book reviews. Make sure to come back to DBRL Next to see what other patrons have recommended. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming One Read program. This year’s selection is “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel.

The post Final Gift Card Winner Announced appeared first on DBRL Next.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Jesse Ball

DBRL Next - August 17, 2015

Book cover for a Cure for Suicide by Jesse BallWhile making for the nearest suitable reading cubby, I hold my chosen novel aloft as a means of recommending it without the need for electricity or wires (though, to be fair, I often employ a complicated series of large wires and pulleys to ease the burden of its weight upon my musculature and indeed have been researching the possibility of adding an electric motor to my contraption). This month’s recommendation did cause me some consternation, though. Fine book though it is, “A Cure for Suicide” is a title apt to raise eyebrows among those that don’t wish to see you dead. I bypassed this conundrum by merely regularly exclaiming, “Fear not for my well-being – this is a novel. I do not intend to curtail my glorious traversal through this magnificent existence!” My calls, in addition to allaying concerns and dispelling confusion as to why such a distinguished gentleman might consider cutting short his glorious traversals, earned me wide, respectful berths, providing me expedited arrival to the nearest cozy chair or nest of pillows and wigs (wigs are soft) that I’ve secreted around town so that I might recline comfortably with my reading material.

Onlookers’ dismay aside, reading Jesse Ball’s newest novel was a pleasure. Not only was it a fancy book, indicated clearly by the significant amount of blank space between most of the paragraphs, but it was also good. And that blank space wasn’t just indicative of fanciness and the author’s and publisher’s contempt for trees but was actually a useful style choice that emphasized the elegiac tone of the work and its fable-like qualities.  And, as time passes, this novel continues to provide fodder for my mind monkeys to vigorously pull their various levers and add coal to their various furnaces. (Editor’s note: this book made the gentleman think.)

The premise is: a man, known initially only as the “claimant,” awakens with no memories. His “examiner” is at his side. Her task: to teach him the names of objects, how to interact with people and generally how to exist. We watch the claimant improve and regress and some twisty psychological drama enters the stage: there are injections, creepily idyllic villages and villagers, the claimant goes to sleep in one house and village and wakes up in a different house and village, etc. There is a great deal of discussion about the “whys” of things, sure to please the philosophy buffs that, as I understand it, make up much of our modern civilization. Then we come to perhaps the novel’s best section, the one that explains why our claimant is here, why he was driven to spoiler alert seek a cure for suicide. This relatively lengthy chapter foregoes the lovely blank space that dominates the rest of the novel, the better with which to gently bludgeon you with heartbreak. Later we return to the previous format and tone and are left with a doozy of a closing section and a complex query that might have the reader lingering in their nest of pillows and wigs, contemplating several facets of existence while they conceal the title from onlookers (as the reader is too deep in thought to be capable of calling out an explanation for the title of the work they hold, and so must hide it to ensure no one is concerned for their well-being).

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The Gentleman Recommends: Jesse Ball

Next Book Buzz - August 17, 2015

Book cover for a Cure for Suicide by Jesse BallWhile making for the nearest suitable reading cubby, I hold my chosen novel aloft as a means of recommending it without the need for electricity or wires (though, to be fair, I often employ a complicated series of large wires and pulleys to ease the burden of its weight upon my musculature and indeed have been researching the possibility of adding an electric motor to my contraption). This month’s recommendation did cause me some consternation, though. Fine book though it is, “A Cure for Suicide” is a title apt to raise eyebrows among those that don’t wish to see you dead. I bypassed this conundrum by merely regularly exclaiming, “Fear not for my well-being – this is a novel. I do not intend to curtail my glorious traversal through this magnificent existence!” My calls, in addition to allaying concerns and dispelling confusion as to why such a distinguished gentleman might consider cutting short his glorious traversals, earned me wide, respectful berths, providing me expedited arrival to the nearest cozy chair or nest of pillows and wigs (wigs are soft) that I’ve secreted around town so that I might recline comfortably with my reading material.

Onlookers’ dismay aside, reading Jesse Ball’s newest novel was a pleasure. Not only was it a fancy book, indicated clearly by the significant amount of blank space between most of the paragraphs, but it was also good. And that blank space wasn’t just indicative of fanciness and the author’s and publisher’s contempt for trees but was actually a useful style choice that emphasized the elegiac tone of the work and its fable-like qualities.  And, as time passes, this novel continues to provide fodder for my mind monkeys to vigorously pull their various levers and add coal to their various furnaces. (Editor’s note: this book made the gentleman think.)

The premise is: a man, known initially only as the “claimant,” awakens with no memories. His “examiner” is at his side. Her task: to teach him the names of objects, how to interact with people and generally how to exist. We watch the claimant improve and regress and some twisty psychological drama enters the stage: there are injections, creepily idyllic villages and villagers, the claimant goes to sleep in one house and village and wakes up in a different house and village, etc. There is a great deal of discussion about the “whys” of things, sure to please the philosophy buffs that, as I understand it, make up much of our modern civilization. Then we come to perhaps the novel’s best section, the one that explains why our claimant is here, why he was driven to spoiler alert seek a cure for suicide. This relatively lengthy chapter foregoes the lovely blank space that dominates the rest of the novel, the better with which to gently bludgeon you with heartbreak. Later we return to the previous format and tone and are left with a doozy of a closing section and a complex query that might have the reader lingering in their nest of pillows and wigs, contemplating several facets of existence while they conceal the title from onlookers (as the reader is too deep in thought to be capable of calling out an explanation for the title of the work they hold, and so must hide it to ensure no one is concerned for their well-being).

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Categories: Book Buzz

Summer Reading Extended Until August 19!

DBRLTeen - August 17, 2015

Comic Book Bam 1Because the Columbia Public Library was unexpectedly closed part of last week, we still are welcoming Summer Reading finishers through Wednesday, August 19! We’ve gotten some great book reviews so far, and we look forward to hearing what you have to say and seeing what free book you choose when finished!

Originally published at Summer Reading Extended Until August 19!.

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Voting Begins for 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten”

DBRLTeen - August 17, 2015

The “Teens’ Top Ten” is a list of recommended reading sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. In fact, it’s the only reading list with titles nominated and voted on by teens.

How does it work?

Vote for the “Teens’ Top Ten!”

  • Sixteen young adult book clubs from libraries nationwide are responsible for narrowing down a list of nominees for teens to consider. (Does your book club want to get involved? Learn how.)
  • Based on the recommendations of these teen book clubs, the list of this year’s 24 nominees was announced in April during National Library Week.
  • Throughout the summer months, teens are encouraged to read as many of these titles as humanly possible.
  • Readers ages 12-18 are invited to vote online through October 17.
  • After Teen Read Week, October 18-24, the 10 most popular titles will be announced as the official 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten” list. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates to have this and other teen book news delivered to your email inbox!

Originally published at Voting Begins for 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten”.

Categories: More From DBRL...

Voting Begins for 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten”

Teen Book Buzz - August 17, 2015

The “Teens’ Top Ten” is a list of recommended reading sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. In fact, it’s the only reading list with titles nominated and voted on by teens.

How does it work?

Vote for the “Teens’ Top Ten!”

  • Sixteen young adult book clubs from libraries nationwide are responsible for narrowing down a list of nominees for teens to consider. (Does your book club want to get involved? Learn how.)
  • Based on the recommendations of these teen book clubs, the list of this year’s 24 nominees was announced in April during National Library Week.
  • Throughout the summer months, teens are encouraged to read as many of these titles as humanly possible.
  • Readers ages 12-18 are invited to vote online through October 17.
  • After Teen Read Week, October 18-24, the 10 most popular titles will be announced as the official 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten” list. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates to have this and other teen book news delivered to your email inbox!

Originally published at Voting Begins for 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten”.

Categories: Book Buzz

Reader Review: Saga

DBRL Next - August 14, 2015

Book cover for Saga, Volume IA fun, sprawling sci-fi comic book series about a forbidden love between children of two warring factions. The story is told using the humorous voice of the two lovers’ (not yet born) daughter. A heavy dose of humor, fantasy, violence and a little more nudity than necessary makes up this series. The universe in which the story is set contains some very imaginative characters, alien races, technologies and socio-political structure. It is probably the most entertaining fictional universe I have encountered since Star Wars. The story itself is ok, but the characters that fit into the story are the best part. My favorite pair of characters is a bounty hunter and his pet that looks like a lion, hired to track down these forbidden lovers. The cat has a special power where it is compelled to purr the word “lyyyyying” whenever someone is not telling the truth. This, among other quirks, keeps the reader on their toes while the story takes tremendous twists and turns. Note, the story is not finished yet, but at least the first four volumes are available from the DBRL.

Three words that describe this book: Cosmic, imaginitive, humorous

You might want to pick this book up if:

  • You are ok with HBO-type mature themes.
  • You enjoy large space operas with fun new universes.
  • You want to see one of the most exciting new comics currently out there.
  • You are ok with not having the complete story available yet, as new issues are still being created.

-Kevin

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