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Staff Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

DBRLTeen - January 14, 2016

Walk on Earth a StrangerWhy I Checked It Out: “Walk on Earth a Stranger” is by Rae Carson! That’s why! I mean, I loved her “Fire and Thorn” series, so that was really the only reason I needed to put this on hold and excitedly wait for its release.

What It’s About: I didn’t know the book was a historical fantasy until I got it in my hands and started reading. It’s set during the great California gold rush, and follows Lee Westfall, a young girl with the ability to magically sense gold. Can you already see the complications that might cause? A gold rush and a girl who can sense gold? The book focuses on her struggle to cross the country and keep her secret safe.

What I liked About It: It’s a very unique idea. It’s not a knock-off, or a combination of two different stories already published. It is fresh and different. It also covers a historical time period that YA books have yet to really focus on. 

Besides that, Rae Carson is an amazing writer and Lee Westfall is a great character who is easy to love. Overall the book was a bumpy, suspenseful wagon ride across the country.

What I didn’t Like About It: Although original, “Walk on Earth a Stranger” was a little expected. Once Lee sets off for California, you kind of knew what was going to happen. People were going to die while they crossed the country from the expected Oregon trail traveling blunders– wagon train attacks, starvation, and illness.

After a point, some parts of the long journey across the country dragged. I did get to a point where I was like, “Can’t we just get to California already!?” That aside, I still had no trouble reading it in a couple weeks, and not once did I even consider putting it back on the shelf. I would still highly recommend it.

Similar Titles: If you haven’t read Rae Carson’s other trilogy yet, I would highly suggest checking out the first book in the series, “The Girl of Fire and Thorns.” While more fantasy than “Walk on Earth a Stranger,” it is still a great read!

For some other historical fantasy reads, check out Libba Bray’s “A Great and Terrible Beauty,” set in the Victorian era or “Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers which takes place during the Middle Ages.

And remember, “Walk on Earth a Stranger” is the first in a trilogy, with the next book coming out sometime next year.

Originally published at Staff Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson.

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New DVD List: Meru, Finders Keepers & More

DBRL Next - January 13, 2016

meru imageHere is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.

meruMeru
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Playing last year at the True False Film Fest, this film follows three renowned climbers as they navigate nature’s harshest elements and their own complicated inner demons to ascend Mount Meru, the most technically complicated and dangerous peak in the Himalayas. Meru is the story of that journey – one of friendship, sacrifice, hope and obsession.

finders keepersFinders Keepers
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Another True False Film Fest pick, this film finds recovering addict and amputee John Wood in a battle to reclaim his mummified leg from Southern entrepreneur Shannon Whisnant, who found it in a grill he bought at an auction. The stranger-than-fiction chain of events soon sets John heading to his certain demise.

hunting groundThe Hunting Ground
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Playing in 2015 at the Missouri Theatre, this film is a startling expose of sexual assault on US campuses, their institutional cover-ups and the devastating toll they take on students and their families. Weaving together footage and first person testimonies, the film follows the lives of several undergraduate assault survivors.


kurt cobainKurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Playing at the 2015 True False Film Fest, this film explores Kurt Cobain like never before in the only fully authorized portrait of the famed music icon. Directed by acclaimed film maker Brett Morgen, who blends Cobain’s personal archive of art, music, movies, animation and revelatory interviews from his family and closest friends.

twinstersTwinsters” 
Trailer / Website / Reviews
A remarkable true story of identity and journey into sisterhood. Raised on different continents, with no idea the other existed, and connected 25 years later through social media, Samantha and Anais discover that they are identical twin sisters separated at birth. The film explores the ideas of family, adoption, nature vs. nurture and the power of social media.

Other notable releases:
Seymour” – 
 Website / Reviews / Trailer
Burroughs” –
Website / Reviews / Trailer
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” – Website / Reviews / Trailer
1971 – Website / Reviews / Trailer
Fear the Walking Dead” 
 – Season 1 – Website / Reviews
One Cut One LifeWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
HannibalSeason 3 – Website / Reviews
Matt Shepard Is A Friend of MineWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
Doc MartinSeries 7 – Website / Reviews
Emptying the SkiesWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
ShamelessSeason 5 – Website / Reviews

The post New DVD List: Meru, Finders Keepers & More appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Finding Summer Jobs for Teens

DBRLTeen - January 12, 2016

Finding Summer Jobs for Teens
Wednesday, January 27, 4-5:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Starting a summer job search now can help you find work that will contribute to a fun and profitable summer vacation. We’ll look at local resources for teen job-seekers. You will leave with resources in hand, including a personalized form which will make it easier to complete applications. Snacks provided. Ages 15-18. Registration begins Tuesday, January 12. Please call (573) 443-3161 to sign up. 

Originally published at Finding Summer Jobs for Teens.

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Classics For Everyone: Brave New World

Next Book Buzz - January 11, 2016

Book cover for Brave New WorldKids these days, with their “Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” The millennial generation thinks they’re the first ones to discover futuristic dystopian literature? I’ll show them futuristic dystopian literature. Aldous Huxley was writing it before their grandparents were born.

His 1932 book, “Brave New World,” presents a society where lives are created by cloning and controlled through technology and drugs. Fulfillment is meant to be found in consumer goods, and Henry Ford is worshiped. A caste system is enforced through genetic engineering. There are no families, no personal attachments. Or at least there aren’t supposed to be.

Enter John, aka “the Savage.” Through happenstance, he has grown up removed from the World State, raised by a mother, even, albeit not a stable one. His development was largely influenced by an old volume of the works of William Shakespeare, and it provides his frame of reference as he tries to understand what passes for the civilized world, once he is dropped into its midst. He repeatedly speaks of the “brave new world,” a quote from Miranda in Shakespeare’s play, “The Tempest.” But each time he utters the phrase, it takes on a different meaning.

John’s three main companions in his new life are Bernard Marx, who oversees psychological sleep training at the (human) Hatchery and Conditioning Center, Bernard’s friend Helmholtz Watson, a university lecturer and Lenina Crowne, a giver of vaccines at the Hatchery. All three are, in their own ways, discontent with life in their supposed Utopia, though Lenina tries her best to find happiness, or failing that, at least numbness.

“Brave New World” tackles questions that are still relevant today, issues about the role of technology and medical ethics. To what extent should we meddle with nature? How much can we improve life and health by doing so, and what do we risk losing? Is complacency the same as happiness? How much social engineering is acceptable in order to maintain a stable society?

Kids these days. Do they think they’re the first one to ask those questions? They’re not. Every generation asks them. Aldous Huxley saw this.

The post Classics For Everyone: Brave New World appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Classics For Everyone: Brave New World

DBRL Next - January 11, 2016

Book cover for Brave New WorldKids these days, with their “Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” The millennial generation thinks they’re the first ones to discover futuristic dystopian literature? I’ll show them futuristic dystopian literature. Aldous Huxley was writing it before their grandparents were born.

His 1932 book, “Brave New World,” presents a society where lives are created by cloning and controlled through technology and drugs. Fulfillment is meant to be found in consumer goods, and Henry Ford is worshiped. A caste system is enforced through genetic engineering. There are no families, no personal attachments. Or at least there aren’t supposed to be.

Enter John, aka “the Savage.” Through happenstance, he has grown up removed from the World State, raised by a mother, even, albeit not a stable one. His development was largely influenced by an old volume of the works of William Shakespeare, and it provides his frame of reference as he tries to understand what passes for the civilized world, once he is dropped into its midst. He repeatedly speaks of the “brave new world,” a quote from Miranda in Shakespeare’s play, “The Tempest.” But each time he utters the phrase, it takes on a different meaning.

John’s three main companions in his new life are Bernard Marx, who oversees psychological sleep training at the (human) Hatchery and Conditioning Center, Bernard’s friend Helmholtz Watson, a university lecturer and Lenina Crowne, a giver of vaccines at the Hatchery. All three are, in their own ways, discontent with life in their supposed Utopia, though Lenina tries her best to find happiness, or failing that, at least numbness.

“Brave New World” tackles questions that are still relevant today, issues about the role of technology and medical ethics. To what extent should we meddle with nature? How much can we improve life and health by doing so, and what do we risk losing? Is complacency the same as happiness? How much social engineering is acceptable in order to maintain a stable society?

Kids these days. Do they think they’re the first one to ask those questions? They’re not. Every generation asks them. Aldous Huxley saw this.

The post Classics For Everyone: Brave New World appeared first on DBRL Next.

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New Year, New You? Three Books for Your Best Self

Next Book Buzz - January 8, 2016

Year of Yes book coverI rarely make resolutions. I do like the notion of the coming year as a clean slate, a calendar full of possibilities, and I’m a proponent of self-improvement. However, I bristle at the typical resolution’s focus on weight loss or basis in dissatisfaction, what I don’t have or don’t do but should. And because they are so often abandoned, making resolutions feels like I’m setting myself up for failure.

This year I bucked my own trend and made some resolutions. Why? Maybe it’s because I’m in my 40s now and feel like I need to make some lifestyle adjustments for my future health. (Calcium supplements! Weight training!) Maybe it’s because I really like checking items off of to-do lists. (Session with personal trainer scheduled? Check! Best calcium supplements researched – I am a librarian, after all – and purchased? check!) Whatever the reason, I’ve started off 2016 as a goal-setter. If you want to join me and need some inspiration for shaking up your status quo, finding work-life balance or otherwise becoming a better version of yourself, pick up one of these books.

Book cover for 10% Happier10% Happier” by Dan Harris

Subtitled, “How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-help That Actually Works – a True Story,” this often funny narrative winds up a convincing argument for meditation and mindfulness. While I haven’t read it yet, a woman in my book club quietly asserted that this book changed her life. Endorsement enough for me.

Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes

Chronicles of the year a writer spent conducting some sort of personal experiment – strictly living according to the bible, only eating food grown within 100 miles of home, etc. – are not new. However, Rhimes’ fresh and personal voice keeps her memoir from feeling like it’s something we’ve already heard. On her sister’s challenge, Rhimes embarks on a year of saying yes to things that scare her, from public speaking engagements to promotional opportunities. The outcomes are pretty dramatic, and Rhimes’ journey inspires.

Book cover for OverwhelmedOverwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time” by Brigid Schulte

I often think that if I added up all of those little chunks of time I spend at the end of my day scrolling through Facebook posts, I could get a whole lot more novel reading done. Or at least some laundry. Schulte investigates why modern workers (particularly women with kids) have so little leisure time. She looks to European countries for alternative models and makes some practical suggestions for time-management and reclaiming time we waste attempting to multitask or spend on manufactured busyness.

Happy New Year!

The post New Year, New You? Three Books for Your Best Self appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

New DVDs: “The Roosevelts”

Center Aisle Cinema - December 1, 2014

roosevelts

We recently added “The Roosevelts” to the DBRL collection. The seven episode series played on PBS earlier this year, and is the latest from documentary filmmaker Ken Burns who has done other series such as “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” “Jazz,” “The War,” “The National Parks,” and “Prohibition.” Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Profiles Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics. It is the first time in a major documentary television series that their individual stories have been interwoven into a single narrative. This seven-part, 14 hour film follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962. Over the course of these years, Theodore would become the 26th President of the United States and his beloved niece, Eleanor, would marry his fifth cousin, Franklin, who became the 32nd President of the United States. Together, these three individuals not only redefined the relationship Americans had with their government and with each other, but also redefined the role of the United States within the wider world. The series encompasses the history the Roosevelts helped to shape: the creation of the National Parks, the digging of the Panama Canal, the passage of innovative New Deal programs, the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil rights at home and human rights abroad. It is also an intimate human story about love, betrayal, family loyalty, personal courage, and the conquest of fear.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Docs Around Town: Nov. 28– Dec. 4

Center Aisle Cinema - November 26, 2014

wattstaxDecember 3: Troublemakers” 6:00 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)
December 4: Wattstax” 6:00 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)

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New DVD: “Six by Sondheim”

Center Aisle Cinema - November 24, 2014

sixbysondheim

We recently added “Six by Sondheim” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown last year on HBO and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

An intimate and candid look at the life and art of legendary composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, as revealed through the creation and performance of six of his songs, and remembered by the man himself. The six songs featured in the film are: Something’s coming, Opening doors, Send in the clowns, I’m still here, Being alive and Sunday. Art and life are intertwined for Sondheim, and it is a story of both.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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New DVD: “Tim’s Vermeer”

Center Aisle Cinema - November 17, 2014

timsvermeerWe recently added “Tim’s Vermeer” to the DBRL collection. This film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2014, and currently has a rating of 89% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did seventeenth century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically, 150 years before the invention of photography? Spanning ten years, his adventure takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces, to the north coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney, and even to Buckingham Palace to see a Vermeer masterpiece in the collection of the Queen.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Docs Around Town: Nov. 14 – Nov. 20

Center Aisle Cinema - November 13, 2014

perfectvictimNovember 18: Perfect Victim” 6:00 p.m. at Ragtag, free/donation. (via)

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“Rich Hill” on January 14th

Center Aisle Cinema - November 12, 2014

richhill-coverWednesday, January 14, 2015 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

The film “Rich Hill” (91 min.) examines the rural community of the same name that lies seventy miles south of Kansas City, Missouri. This impoverished Midwestern town is the setting for this documentary that examines the turbulent lives of three boys and the fragile family bonds that sustain them. Directed by Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, this film was a selection of the 2014 True/False Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Rich Hill – Theatrical Trailer from Andrew Droz Palermo on Vimeo.

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New DVD: “Jodorowsky’s Dune”

Center Aisle Cinema - November 10, 2014

jodorowskysduneWe recently added “Jodorowsky’s Dune” to the DBRL collection. This film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2014, and currently has a rating of 98% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from the film website:

This fascinating documentary explores the genesis of one of cinema’s greatest epics that never was: cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s (EL TOPO) adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune, whose cast would have included such icons as Salvador Dali, Orson Welles and Mick Jagger. In 1975, following the runaway success of his art-house freak-outs EL TOPO and HOLY MOUNTAIN, Alejandro Jodorowsky secured the rights to Frank Herbert’s Dune – and began work on what was gearing up to be a cinematic game-changer, a sci-fi epic unlike anything the world had ever seen.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Docs Around Town: Nov. 7 – Nov. 13

Center Aisle Cinema - November 6, 2014

hornetsnest

November 10: “The Hornet’s Nest” 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. at  Forum 8. (via)
November 11: 
Bag It” 6:00 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)
November 13: Tiny” 7:00 p.m. at the MU Student Center, free. (via)

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New DVD: “Finding Vivian Maier”

Center Aisle Cinema - November 3, 2014

findingvivianmaierWe recently added “Finding Vivian Maier” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown earlier this year at Ragtag Cinema and currently has a rating of 95% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Vivian’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photos, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Docs Around Town: Oct. 31 – Nov. 6

Center Aisle Cinema - October 30, 2014

girl_rising

October 31: Citizen Four” starts at Ragtag. (via)
November 3: “20,000 Days on Earth” 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. at  Forum 8. (via)
November 3:  “Girl Rising” 6:00 p.m. at Missouri Theatre. (via)
November 3: Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” 6:00 p.m. at the MU Student Center. (via)

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New DVD: “Valentine Road”

Center Aisle Cinema - October 27, 2014

valentineroadWe recently added “Valentine Road” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown last year on HBO and currently has a rating of 90% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from the film website:

In 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King at point blank range. Unraveling this tragedy from point of impact, the film reveals the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well as the aftermath.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Docs Around Town: Oct. 24 – Oct. 30

Center Aisle Cinema - October 23, 2014

mistakenforstrangers

October 27: “Mistaken for Strangers” 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. at  Forum 8. (via)
October 28: One Day Pina Asked…” 6:00 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)

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“American Revolutionary” on November 12th

Center Aisle Cinema - October 22, 2014

americanrevolutionary

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

The documentary “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs” (82 min.) is the latest from Columbia-native filmmaker Grace Lee (“The Grace Lee Project“). This film focuses on Grace Lee Boggs, a 98 year old Chinese American philosopher, writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. In this film we see how Boggs continually challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times. The screening is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.

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New DVD: “12 O’clock Boys”

Center Aisle Cinema - October 20, 2014

12oclockboys

We recently added “12 O’clock Boys” to the DBRL collection. The film played at various film festivals in 2013 and currently has a rating of 91% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

A notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore that pops wheelies, weaves at excessive speeds through traffic, and impressively evades the hamstrung police. Their stunning antics are viewed through the eyes of adolescent Pug, a bright kid from the Westside obsessed with the riders and willing to do anything to join their ranks.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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