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Reader Review: Cake Pops

DBRL Next - August 9, 2016

cake pops cookbookCake Pops” by Bakerella is a wonderfully inspirational book that definitely inspired me to be more adventurous and creative in the kitchen. The author shares her baking passion with the reader in a way that is fun and easy to relate to. The book runs through different cake pop methods, tools you need, and lays out step-by-step how to create the perfect cake balls. The author then goes through a number of tutorials for different designs — pandas, froggies, pumpkins, etc. What I liked about this book is that it gave me so many new ideas and tricks. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes and practice in my own kitchen. My only dislike, the reason it was given four stars instead of five, is that I would have preferred more step-by-step photos. I learn best from reading instructions and seeing a photo of the step. If you are an individual who learns best by simply reading the instructions, then this will not be a problem for you.

Three words that describe this book: creative, inspirational, enjoyable

You might want to pick this book up if: you feel inspired to have fun making little treats that are fun, popular and customizable to any occasion. If you’re interested in cake-pop decorating, then this is a book you should read.

-Anonymous

The post Reader Review: Cake Pops appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Fall Program Preview: It’s All About STEAM

DBRLTeen - August 9, 2016

STEAM Header

This fall we are expanding our programming to focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math. Explore robotics, experiment with blacklights, learn about  digital special effects or build your own customized remote control vehicle. We will also continue to offer our regular video gaming and tabletop gaming events. Registration is required for most programs and begins two weeks prior to the event. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Wii U Family Game Time
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Saturday, September 3, 3-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 19, 6-7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 18, 4-5:30 p.m.
Compete for the gold cup in “Mario Kart 8” or chase spooks in “Luigi’s Ghost Mansion.” A variety of games will be available for group play. Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins two weeks prior to program. To sign up, please call (573)443-3161.

Wii Just Dance, Dance Off
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Tuesday, September 27, 5:30-7 p.m.
So you think you can dance? Put those happy feet into your dancing shoes, and get ready to cut a rug as we dance our way through the original “Just Dance” game all the way to “Just Dance 2016!” Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins Tuesday, August 30. To sign up, please call (573)443-3161.

Put Your Stamp on History. Be Part of National History Day.
Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room
Thursday, September 15, 6:30-8 p.m.
Join us for an evening of films, exhibits, and stories. Learn how you can uncover history and produce a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website to enter in the National History Day competition. Your project may even take you to the University of Missouri or to Washington D.C.! Facilitated by Shelly Croteau and Maggie Mayhan (NHDMO coordinators). Recommended for ages 10 and older.

Circuit Science: Teen
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Monday, September 19, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
“Snap Circuits” is a colorful building set that lets youth safely and easily learn about electricity. From building simple machines to more complex projects like a remote controlled Snap Rover, Circuit Science strengthens your understanding of physics while providing an hour of fun! Ages 12-18. Registration begins Tuesday, September 6. To sign up, please call (573)443-3161.

Project Teen: Creepy Photos
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Monday, September 26, 1-2:30 p.m.
Use costumes, make-up and digital tricks to create creepy photos inspired by “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” Ages 12-18. Registration begins Tuesday, September 13. To sign up, please call (573)443-3161.

Project Teen: Duct Tape Creations
Monday, October 10, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library
No school. Nothing to do? Join us as we use incredible, versatile duct tape to create pouches or bags of various sizes to carry your pencils, make-up or other essentials. We’ll even feed you pizza. Ages 12 and older.

Sphero-nauts
Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room
Wednesday, September 28, 5:30-7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8, 2-3:30 p.m.
Meet Sphero, a robotic ball that easily and playfully introduces the basic concepts of computer programming. Young engineers will learn how to use long exposure photography that captures an image over time. Then we’ll use Sphero to draw with light. Ages 10-14. Registration begins Tuesday, September 13. To sign up, please call (573)443-3161.

Bookface Teen Photo Contest
Begins Sunday, October 9
Celebrate Teen Read Week by “bookfacing” your favorite book. Replace your face with the book’s cover, creating the illusion that you and the jacket art are one. Snap a photo and then submit it at teens.dbrl.org. Pick a book among a selection of titles available at the children’s desk at your library or use one of your own choosing. Winners will receive a Barnes & Noble gift card. Entries are due December 2. Ages 12-18.

Gamer Eve
Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room
Monday, October 17, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Bring your table top games and your Magic: The Gathering cards for an evening of gaming! Play Gloom, Pandemic, Small World or something new. Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older.

Blacklight Art
Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room
Monday, November 7, 5:30-7 p.m.
Learn about the science of light while creating glowing works of art with special fluorescent paint. Ages 10 and older. Registration begins Tuesday, October 18. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Fall Program Preview: It’s All About STEAM.

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Classics for Everyone: To Canterbury and Beyond

Next Book Buzz - August 8, 2016

book cover for Canterbury TalesIf you’re reading this in English, thank Geoffrey Chaucer. His “Canterbury Tales”, published in 1400, was the first book of poetry written in English, rather than Latin or Italian. By using the common language, he made literature accessible to the common person. Having opened the way for everyone from William Shakespeare to Janet Evanovich, Chaucer can rightly be called the father of English literature.

The poems in his book relate the stories shared by travelers in a group heading from London to Canterbury. The members of the group come from disparate backgrounds, and their tales run the gamut from bawdy comedy to sober religious parables. Pieced together, they provide a picture of life in Medieval England. The larger story, about the trip itself, serves as a frame for this picture.

Though this story-within-a-story framing wasn’t new with Chaucer, his use of it influenced later writers. “Canterbury Tales” is well worth reading, but the Middle English requires some effort. If you want a Chaucer-like read without as many trips to the footnotes, I can recommend a few titles with layered narratives.

  • The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood is about two sisters, one of whom is an author and has died a mysterious death. Her novella, which might provide clues to her demise, is contained within the pages of the larger story. Within the inner novel, readers will find another complete short story – “The Blind Assassin.”
  • Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell, contains six stories set in different time periods, past and future. The first half of the book provides the beginning of each story, while the second half gives their conclusions, in reverse order. So the sixth story is sandwiched between the pages of the fifth, which is nested within the fourth, etc. All of the narratives connect – the diary of one character falls into the hands of a character in a different story, who writes about it in letters to a friend who ends up with his own tale.
  • A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd merits its own category as a novel started by one author (Dowd) and, after her death, completed by another (Ness.) 13-year-old Connor lives with his mother, who has cancer. He has been abandoned by his father and is a target of bullies. A monster appears in his dreams and tells him three fables in return for hearing Connor’s own story.

Chaucer understood that each language is worthy of a cultural heritage, even though it takes all languages to make up the world of human communication. All of these authors help us remember that each individual’s story is complete and worthy to be told on its own but is also only one part of the larger picture of humanity.

The post Classics for Everyone: To Canterbury and Beyond appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Classics for Everyone: To Canterbury and Beyond

DBRL Next - August 8, 2016

book cover for Canterbury TalesIf you’re reading this in English, thank Geoffrey Chaucer. His “Canterbury Tales”, published in 1400, was the first book of poetry written in English, rather than Latin or Italian. By using the common language, he made literature accessible to the common person. Having opened the way for everyone from William Shakespeare to Janet Evanovich, Chaucer can rightly be called the father of English literature.

The poems in his book relate the stories shared by travelers in a group heading from London to Canterbury. The members of the group come from disparate backgrounds, and their tales run the gamut from bawdy comedy to sober religious parables. Pieced together, they provide a picture of life in Medieval England. The larger story, about the trip itself, serves as a frame for this picture.

Though this story-within-a-story framing wasn’t new with Chaucer, his use of it influenced later writers. “Canterbury Tales” is well worth reading, but the Middle English requires some effort. If you want a Chaucer-like read without as many trips to the footnotes, I can recommend a few titles with layered narratives.

  • The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood is about two sisters, one of whom is an author and has died a mysterious death. Her novella, which might provide clues to her demise, is contained within the pages of the larger story. Within the inner novel, readers will find another complete short story – “The Blind Assassin.”
  • Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell, contains six stories set in different time periods, past and future. The first half of the book provides the beginning of each story, while the second half gives their conclusions, in reverse order. So the sixth story is sandwiched between the pages of the fifth, which is nested within the fourth, etc. All of the narratives connect – the diary of one character falls into the hands of a character in a different story, who writes about it in letters to a friend who ends up with his own tale.
  • A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd merits its own category as a novel started by one author (Dowd) and, after her death, completed by another (Ness.) 13-year-old Connor lives with his mother, who has cancer. He has been abandoned by his father and is a target of bullies. A monster appears in his dreams and tells him three fables in return for hearing Connor’s own story.

Chaucer understood that each language is worthy of a cultural heritage, even though it takes all languages to make up the world of human communication. All of these authors help us remember that each individual’s story is complete and worthy to be told on its own but is also only one part of the larger picture of humanity.

The post Classics for Everyone: To Canterbury and Beyond appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Road Trip! Apps for Your Summer Travel

DBRL Next - August 5, 2016

My original idea for this article was to list some of the best travel apps available. However, as I got into researching apps, I quickly realized how ludicrous that idea was. There are a ton of travel apps to choose from, and most specialize in just a specific part of traveling. So, instead of telling you which travel apps are the best, let me introduce you to a variety of apps that may help you with different aspects of your summer travels.

Navigation:

Cover artWaze
Waze touts itself as a “community-based” traffic and navigation app. One of its most popular features shows road construction and how long it is taking other Waze users to get through it. You can report hazards in the road, cars on the shoulder or accidents so others can be aware of their locations and avoid them. The app can also display gas prices for finding the cheapest price, and users can submit updates if that price has changed.

Cover artRoadTrippers
This app lets you put in start and finish points, then shows you points of interest or businesses along the way. You can filter what you are looking for, like restaurants or historical sites, based on different categories. This app also shows places to visit a little out of your way and helps you navigate to them.

Planning:

Cover artTripsee
TripSee is an app to set up your trip itinerary. Put in a destination, and it provides suggestions. You can then organize each day with points of interests, lodging, restaurants and anything else you’d like to see on your trip.

Cover artTripAdvisor
You can sort through reviews, photos, opinions and videos to plan and book your travel. Hotels, airfare and restaurants are featured. Many praise the app for having honest opinions by actual travelers.

Cover artDogFriendly
Is your four-legged buddy coming on vacation too? DogFriendly lets you find pet-friendly lodging, restaurants, attractions and more.

Booking:

Cover artKayak
Kayak is an app to research and book flights, hotels and rental cars. It also has real-time flight status updates and has won multiple awards for best travel apps.

Cover artBooking.com
Booking.com’s app lets you research and book from over 800,000 properties. They offer paperless booking and reservations. Changes to your trip can also be made through the app.

Restaurants:

Cover artYelp
Yelp is a great way to research and read reviews on restaurants and other local services in cities you’re traveling through or visiting. You can filter offerings by ratings, price or how close it it to you. You can make reservations, view photos, and leave your own comments as well.

Cover artZomato
This app lets you find restaurants near you and also access some menus. Reviews, ratings and photos are also available.

There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to travel apps, but I’m hopeful this list gets you pointed in the right direction. Just remember that most of these apps will be using your location and data plans, so plan accordingly. Happy road-tripping!

The post Road Trip! Apps for Your Summer Travel appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Reader Review: A Box of Matches

DBRL Next - August 4, 2016

box of matchesFor the most part, the chapters in “A Box of Matches” are glorious little nuggets of observation. Even if I can’t specifically relate to every idea that is brought up (for example, the notion of needing to think suicidal thoughts in order to fall asleep), the process by which these thoughts arise feels universal. AND so many of these ponderings are exactly in line with things I’ve considered — such as deciding to sit down to pee in the middle of the night or the excruciating loveliness of watching your own children grow up.

I do feel like the book loses a little of its momentum by the end. Plus, the simple nature of this style of writing (without a real plot) makes it so that some of the passages will resonate more than others. But on the whole, Baker has crafted another (“The Mezzanine” and “Room Temperature“) fantastic little book of pensiveness.

Three words that describe this book: thoughtful, insightful, quick

You might want to pick this book up if: you appreciate rather stream-of-consciousness writing that touches on those small moments in life we all share but don’t usually take the time to contemplate.

-Xander

The post Reader Review: A Box of Matches appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Summer Reading Ends August 13

DBRLTeen - August 4, 2016

TSRP 2016 300 pxAugust 13 is the final day for participants of all ages to claim rewards and enter into the final drawings for Summer Reading incentives. Those who have completed the Teen Summer Reading Challenge can claim their free book at any of our three libraries or bookmobile stops. Finishers’ names will also be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Fire and other surprises!

If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment, email us at teen@dbrl.org or call (573) 443-3161. It has been a pleasure for our staff to work with the over 300 teens who participated in this year’s program!

Originally published at Summer Reading Ends August 13.

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A Reading Slump: Pick My Next Read

Next Book Buzz - August 3, 2016

Have you ever been in a reading slump? Your to-be-read pile can be bursting with books you’ve been meaning to read, but nothing sounds good, or, once you start to read one, it just doesn’t stick. A slump happens to me occasionally, and I’m in one now. I’ve tried reading books from various genres, I’ve tried new authors, and I’ve even tried revisiting old favorites, but to no avail! So now I turn to you, fellow readers. I’ve gathered a few books that look promising and want your feedback so I can decide what to try next.

Man Called Ove book coverA Man Called Ove” has been receiving praise as a New York Times bestseller. It’s quite popular here at DBRL, with a long holds list and more copies on order. This debut novel by Swedish author Fredrik Backman tells the story of a cranky old man whose wife has recently died. His depression leads him to consider ending his own life, but when a young family moves in next door and runs over his mailbox, a comical string of interactions begins. This book is promised to be witty and heartwarming.

Small Blessings book coverMartha Woodroof’s first novel, “Small Blessings,” is touted as a book for bookish people. Sign me up! The story follows Tom Putnam, an English professor with a wife who, because of an affair between Tom and a poetess a decade earlier, is a complete shut-in. When the two take part in a social engagement for the first time in a long while, Tom hopes that things are changing. However, when they return home, he finds a letter from the poetess telling him that he fathered a son, and the 10-year-old is on a train heading his way. The vibrant, quirky cast of characters carries this sweet tale of life and the unexpected. 

Marriage of Opposites book coverOne of my favorite authors is Alice Hoffman, so it’s surprising that I haven’t read this one yet: “The Marriage of Opposites” is an historical fiction novel about the mother of Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Hoffman provides the readers with a slightly dysfunctional family saga taking place on the tropical island of St. Thomas. The main character, Rachel, is forced to marry an older man to save her father’s business. When she becomes a widow, she starts a scandalous, passionate affair with her late husband’s nephew. Their relationship affects her entire family, including her son, who would become known as the father of Impressionism.

Have you read any of these titles? Maybe you’ve been wanting to read one of the books I’m considering, but want another opinion on it before you take the plunge. I’ll write a review of whichever book you folks pick for me. Leave a comment so I can decide which book to read next!

The post A Reading Slump: Pick My Next Read appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

A Reading Slump: Pick My Next Read

DBRL Next - August 3, 2016

Have you ever been in a reading slump? Your to-be-read pile can be bursting with books you’ve been meaning to read, but nothing sounds good, or, once you start to read one, it just doesn’t stick. A slump happens to me occasionally, and I’m in one now. I’ve tried reading books from various genres, I’ve tried new authors, and I’ve even tried revisiting old favorites, but to no avail! So now I turn to you, fellow readers. I’ve gathered a few books that look promising and want your feedback so I can decide what to try next.

Man Called Ove book coverA Man Called Ove” has been receiving praise as a New York Times bestseller. It’s quite popular here at DBRL, with a long holds list and more copies on order. This debut novel by Swedish author Fredrik Backman tells the story of a cranky old man whose wife has recently died. His depression leads him to consider ending his own life, but when a young family moves in next door and runs over his mailbox, a comical string of interactions begins. This book is promised to be witty and heartwarming.

Small Blessings book coverMartha Woodroof’s first novel, “Small Blessings,” is touted as a book for bookish people. Sign me up! The story follows Tom Putnam, an English professor with a wife who, because of an affair between Tom and a poetess a decade earlier, is a complete shut-in. When the two take part in a social engagement for the first time in a long while, Tom hopes that things are changing. However, when they return home, he finds a letter from the poetess telling him that he fathered a son, and the 10-year-old is on a train heading his way. The vibrant, quirky cast of characters carries this sweet tale of life and the unexpected. 

Marriage of Opposites book coverOne of my favorite authors is Alice Hoffman, so it’s surprising that I haven’t read this one yet: “The Marriage of Opposites” is an historical fiction novel about the mother of Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Hoffman provides the readers with a slightly dysfunctional family saga taking place on the tropical island of St. Thomas. The main character, Rachel, is forced to marry an older man to save her father’s business. When she becomes a widow, she starts a scandalous, passionate affair with her late husband’s nephew. Their relationship affects her entire family, including her son, who would become known as the father of Impressionism.

Have you read any of these titles? Maybe you’ve been wanting to read one of the books I’m considering, but want another opinion on it before you take the plunge. I’ll write a review of whichever book you folks pick for me. Leave a comment so I can decide which book to read next!

The post A Reading Slump: Pick My Next Read appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Reader Review: The Flicker Men

DBRL Next - August 2, 2016

flicker menThe Flicker Men” is about a troubled research physicist who stumbles on a surprising truth about the universe and the hidden mechanisms that run our everyday lives. In doing so he uncovers the invisible world of the Flicker Men and their influence on everything. I liked this book because it was real world science fiction with a lot of physics thrown in and because the author wasn’t afraid to go down some very deep physical and metaphysical tunnels.

Three words that describe this book: adventure, quantum physics, sci-fi

You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy reading the works of Einstein or Asimov with a touch of Ludlum.

-Chris

The post Reader Review: The Flicker Men appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The August 2016 List

Next Book Buzz - August 1, 2016

Book cover for Arrowood by Laura McHughIt’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!

Book cover for A Great ReckoningA 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

Book cover for The Couple Next DoorThe 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

Book cover for Watching EdieWatching Edie” by Camilla Way
“Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school, and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present, and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page.” – Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

And here’s the rest of the list for your holds-placing pleasure!

The post Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The August 2016 List appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The August 2016 List

DBRL Next - August 1, 2016

Book cover for Arrowood by Laura McHughIt’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!

Book cover for A Great ReckoningA 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

Book cover for The Couple Next DoorThe 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

Book cover for Watching EdieWatching Edie” by Camilla Way
“Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school, and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present, and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page.” – Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

And here’s the rest of the list for your holds-placing pleasure!

The post Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The August 2016 List appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Project Teen: Dance!

DBRLTeen - August 1, 2016

HydrateProject Teen: Dance!
Friday, August 12, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library

A certified REFIT instructor will show you some dance steps then put them together with music. Follow along or bust out your own moves. After the workout, enjoy a slice of pizza. Dress for exercise. Ages 12-18.

Originally published at Project Teen: Dance!.

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Eighth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

DBRL Next - July 29, 2016

TrophyCongratulations 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!

The post Eighth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner! appeared first on DBRL Next.

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An Adult’s Guide to the Pokémon Go Craze

DBRL Next - July 29, 2016

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.
Pokemon Go screenshot

Tapping on the Pokémon will bring up an interface where you throw balls to try and capture them.
Pidgey Pokemon

If you are successful, then that Pokémon is registered to you. There are common Pokémon that will pop frequently, and some that will be uncommon or rare. Each Pokémon will have a CP, or Combat Power. The more powerful CP a Pokémon has, the tougher it could be to catch.

Powering up:
When you catch a Pokémon, you get candy for that particular type of Pokémon. This candy can be used to power up Pokémon to a higher CP and better health.

Evolving:
If you have several of the same type of Pokémon, you can Transfer them. This gives you more candy. After you gather enough of that candy, you can use it to to evolve Pokémon into bigger, stronger or more magical versions.

Pokéstops:
A Pokéstop is a landmark that has been designated by the game. Visiting a Pokéstop and spinning the picture will drop items you can use for catching and training your Pokémon.

Gyms:
A Gym in Pokémon Go is a place you can battle your Pokémon against others. Having a Pokémon at a gym will let you claim coins that can be used to buy items for the game.

Teams:
There are 3 teams in Pokémon Go, Team Instinct (Yellow), Team Mystic (Blue) and Team Valor (Red). When you reach Level 5 in the game and visit a gym, you can decide which team you would like to join.

Battles:
Gyms that are owned by another team can be battled and overtaken. You can put six of your Pokémon up against the gym and battle by attacking each of the Pokémon occupying the gym.

Training:
If a gym is owned by your team, you can train there. Training is the same as battling except you fight with only one Pokémon. If you successfully defeat enough of the Pokémon occupying the gym you can add one of yours to the gym and raise that gym’s level, making it harder for another team to take it over.

Eggs:
Eggs can be collected from Pokéstops, and these can be hatched into Pokémon by using an incubator and walking a certain distance. There are eggs that hatch at 2 km, 5 km and 10 km.

AR:
The game has an Augmented Reality (or AR) function that allows virtual elements of the game to appear in the real world using your device’s camera. This allows the trainer to experience trying to catch Pokémon in reality.
Pokemon at the library

The game has been out less than a month, so be patient with glitches and server issues the creators are working on. Keep in mind that this game uses your devices’s data and location. It also uses a lot of your battery, so be prepared to charge often. Please be aware of your surroundings, and never, ever play Pokémon Go while driving.

This app is extremely fun, very addictive and a great way to increase your activity level, so get out there and try to catch them all!

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Reader Review: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

DBRL Next - July 28, 2016

why be happy when you could be normalAnyone 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.

-Anonymous

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Racing Forward: Docs About Runners

DBRL Next - July 27, 2016

spirit of the marathonRunning 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 marathonSpirit 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.

desert runnersDesert Runners” (2013)

A diverse group of non-professional runners attempt to complete the most difficult desert ultra-marathon series on Earth. Their intense journey takes them to the driest, windiest, hottest and coldest deserts in the world: the Atacama in Chile, the Gobi in China, the Sahara in Egypt and finally, Antarctica.

my runMy Run” (2011)

After losing his wife to breast cancer and struggling to raise his children, Terry Hitchcock had an idea. He wanted to accomplish the impossible by running 75 consecutive marathons in 75 consecutive days to bring attention to the incredibly difficult lives of single-parent families.

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Reader Review: David and Goliath

DBRL Next - July 26, 2016

david and goliathIn 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.

My favorite part of the book was the portion that described stories from famous and less famous black civil rights activists. We played this portion out loud to my teenage son, and it struck his interest as well. “Are these people real?” Wyatt Walker was described in the book as the Brer Rabbit of civil rights. He staged protests and riots with hopes of tricking authorities into arresting and causing a national scene to draw attention to racism and inequality. His strategies were very carefully thought out and enacted. In all ways he was an underdog, but he used that to his advantage.

Overall this was a fun read – full of anecdotes of unlikely successes. It will change how you view “the underdog.”

Three words that describe this book: underdog, nonfiction, hope

You might want to pick this book up if: If you enjoy critically thinking about your own world, this will be a fun read. It will help change your view of the underdog or facing life with disabilities, difficult upbringing, racism and a number of challenges.

-Katie

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Seventh Adult Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

DBRL Next - July 26, 2016

winnerCongratulations 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.

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Bone-Chilling Reads for the Dog Days of Summer

Next Book Buzz - July 25, 2016

Book cover for Winter PeopleThe 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!

Book cover for AbominableMount Everest is definitely colder than Missouri right now, making for an awesome book setting. In the 1920s, the world’s tallest peak still had not been summitted. The race to reach the top always ended at best in disappointment and at worst in tragedy, as in the case of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine who disappeared during a climb. In “The Abominable,” Dan Simmons tells the story of a group of adventurers in the late 1920s who set out against nearly impossible odds to reach the top the mountain. Their journey is fraught with difficulties — the cold and snow is expected, but the mysterious person or creature who seems to be pursuing them in the night is not. The book is tense and action-packed, full of nail-biting scenes as the climbers face off against unbelievable terrors. Simmons presents the tale as a “found manuscript,” intricately weaving historical figures and events into a fictional tale that will chill you to the bone.

Book cover for SnowblindOf course, on hot days like we’ve been experiencing, a blizzard doesn’t sound all that bad. Christopher Golden delivers not one, but two blizzards in his terrifying novel  “Snowblind.” Several folks mysteriously die during the worst snowstorm the town of Coventry has seen in years. 12 years later, a new storm is blowing in and the ghosts of those lost seem to be returning. The story is told ensemble-style, which allows readers to fully immerse themselves into the horrors the townsfolk are experiencing, not only from the endless snowfall, but also from the evil the snow has brought with it. This is honestly one of the scariest books I’ve read in a long time.

Happy (and cool) reading!

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