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New DVD: “The Green Wave”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 28, 2014

greenwave

We recently added “The Green Wave” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 91% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Green is the color of hope. Green was the color of Islam and the symbol of respect among the supporters of presidential runner Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who became the figure of the Green Revolution. The election in 2009 was about change, but contrary to all expectations, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was set in office. A collage illustrating the events and the stance of the people behind the rebellion: their initial hope and curiosity, fear, and the courage to continue to fight.

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

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Books for Cooks: “Jerusalem” and “Share”

DBRL Next - May 28, 2014

I’ve finally reached that age where I need to learn how to cook. I no longer have the excuse of college to explain my diet of pizza and coffee, and while microwaveable dinners are oh, so delicious, I think it’s time I educated myself on the world of cooking.

The library has a section of cookbooks so ginormous that it’s almost overwhelming. Perusing it is like trying to pick only one candy from a candy store to taste - nearly impossible. I started my selection inspired by a book I’d seen around my parent’s kitchen, thinking, “Yeah, I’ll start by cooking something I’ve already tasted.”

Book cover for JerusalemThis led me to the cookbook “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. It’s hard not to love a cookbook full of delicious looking pictures and dishes rich with history. I found myself overwhelmed with the choices. I often had to judge if I had the required patience to cook the more complex recipes within “Jerusalem.” I’m newer to this cooking thing, so I thought, keep it simple. I tried the baby spinach salad with dates and almonds. I did cut corners with the pitas, using old bread instead, but it was still delicious.

Picture of clementine syrup cakeThere is one recipe in this book I will dance around and scream at you to try, and that’s the clementine and almond syrup cake. I am currently dieting, but of course, I sit, drooling, staring at this recipe and thinking back to the time I ate it at my parents’ house. It was an explosion of yummy goodness. It’s sweet but not too sweet, sticky with a citrus syrup and so good you could gobble up the whole thing. I love lemon and orange cakes, and this was a perfect mix of sweet, smooth and sticky.

Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” wasn’t a cookbook I’d seen before, but I couldn’t pass it by. It was full of pictures, and the recipes felt full of heart. They come from hard-working and loving women across the world. The cooking isn’t as fancy as the stuff in Jerusalem, but it’s just as delicious. I was, of course, drawn to its sweet and drool-worthy desserts – all of which I shouldn’t eat but can’t help fantasizing about.

Book Cover for ShareThe dish I want to try the most is Manal Alsharif’s Basbosa. This is definitely a recipe I am saving for that time in my dieting when I can’t take it anymore and need a sweet. Basbosa is a dessert that looks similar to Jerusalem’s clementine and almond syrup cake, which is probably a large reason why I want to eat it. The base cake is made with cornstarch and coconut, cooked till golden, drizzled with syrup made of sugar and lemon juice and finally sprinkled with almonds and pistachio nuts. Yum.

Check out the cookbook section (starting at call number 641.5) and whip yourself up a dish one of these nice summer evenings.

The post Books for Cooks: “Jerusalem” and “Share” appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The June List

Next Book Buzz - May 27, 2014

Library Reads LogoLibrarians clearly have summer on their minds. The June edition of LibraryReads – the monthly list of forthcoming titles librarians across the country recommend – is full of books set near water – cities on the ocean, summer homes with pools, sandy beaches. From thrillers to family dramas, many of these books would make fantastic vacation reads.

Book cover for China Dolls by Lisa SeeChina Dolls
by Lisa See
“Set in 1938 San Francisco, this book follows the lives of three young women up through WWII. Grace travels to California seeking stardom, where she meets Helen, a young woman from Chinatown, and the two find jobs as nightclub dancers. While auditioning, they cross paths with Ruby, and the book alternates between all three viewpoints. Lisa See is one of my favorite authors, and her newest title doesn’t disappoint.”
- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Book cover for The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard StreetThe Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
by Susan Jane Gilman
“In the tenements of old New York, a young Russian Jewish immigrant woman is taken in by an Italian family who sells ice. Through sheer persistence and strong will, she manages to build an ice cream empire. Lillian Dunkle is a complex character who will make you cheer even as you are dismayed. Have ice cream on hand when you read this book!”
- Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI

Book cover for I Am Having so Much Fun Here Without YouI Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
by Courtney Maum
“Set mainly in Paris, this love story for grown-ups tells the story of a decent man who almost ruins his life and then goes to great lengths to restore his marriage. If your path to a happy marriage has been straightforward, you may not appreciate this book – but it’s perfect for the rest of us!”
- Laurel Best, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, AL

Here is the rest of the list, with links to the library’s catalog so you can place holds on these on-order books!

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

Categories: Book Buzz

Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The June List

DBRL Next - May 27, 2014

Library Reads LogoLibrarians clearly have summer on their minds. The June edition of LibraryReads – the monthly list of forthcoming titles librarians across the country recommend – is full of books set near water – cities on the ocean, summer homes with pools, sandy beaches. From thrillers to family dramas, many of these books would make fantastic vacation reads.

Book cover for China Dolls by Lisa SeeChina Dolls
by Lisa See
“Set in 1938 San Francisco, this book follows the lives of three young women up through WWII. Grace travels to California seeking stardom, where she meets Helen, a young woman from Chinatown, and the two find jobs as nightclub dancers. While auditioning, they cross paths with Ruby, and the book alternates between all three viewpoints. Lisa See is one of my favorite authors, and her newest title doesn’t disappoint.”
- Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Book cover for The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard StreetThe Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
by Susan Jane Gilman
“In the tenements of old New York, a young Russian Jewish immigrant woman is taken in by an Italian family who sells ice. Through sheer persistence and strong will, she manages to build an ice cream empire. Lillian Dunkle is a complex character who will make you cheer even as you are dismayed. Have ice cream on hand when you read this book!”
- Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI

Book cover for I Am Having so Much Fun Here Without YouI Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
by Courtney Maum
“Set mainly in Paris, this love story for grown-ups tells the story of a decent man who almost ruins his life and then goes to great lengths to restore his marriage. If your path to a happy marriage has been straightforward, you may not appreciate this book – but it’s perfect for the rest of us!”
- Laurel Best, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, AL

Here is the rest of the list, with links to the library’s catalog so you can place holds on these on-order books!

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

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“Spark a Reaction” Bookmark Contest Winners

DBRLTeen - May 23, 2014

Earlier this spring we asked area young adults to help us prepare for Summer Reading by designing an original bookmark based on the teen theme, “Spark a Reaction.” Using ink, colored pencils and a great deal of imagination, this year’s teen winners artfully presented their interpretation of what this meant to them. Congratulations goes to Garett Ballard and Ruth Wu! You can pick up your own copies of these bookmarks at any of our three branch locations or bookmobile stops.

Originally published at “Spark a Reaction” Bookmark Contest Winners.

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Docs Around Town: May 23 – May 29

Center Aisle Cinema - May 22, 2014

unknownknown

May 23: The Unknown Known” starts at Ragtag. (via)

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“Particle Fever” on June 18th

Center Aisle Cinema - May 21, 2014

particlefever

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

A hit at the 2014 True/False Film Festival, the film “Particle Fever” (99 min.) explores a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Imagine if you could have watched footage of Thomas Edison turn on the first light bulb. This film directed by Mark Levinson follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation. 

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Questions from “The World Before Her”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 21, 2014

worldbeforeher

Thanks to everyone who came to the “The World Before Her” showing at the Columbia Public Library. Here are some questions about the film that you can respond to in the comments section of this blog post:

  1. What do you see in each young woman’s experience that gives her confidence? What experiences undermine that confidence?
  2. What’s the difference between modernization and Westernization? What might India look like if it modernized, but not in a way that emulated Western nations? Is that possible?
  3. In Prachi and Ruhi we see what pageant advocate Sabira Merchant describes as “the two Indias.” How would you describe the way each of those “Indias” defines success for women?
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While the Library Is Closed…

DBRL Next - May 21, 2014

Photo of a sign reading open 24 hoursOn Friday, May 23 we’ll be closed for staff training, and on Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26 we’ll be closed in observance of Memorial Day. While our buildings are closed and the bookmobiles are parked in the garage, don’t forget that the digital branch is always open. Below are just a few of the ways you can use the library this holiday or any day.

photo credit: Tallent Show via photopin cc

The post While the Library Is Closed… appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests

DBRLTeen - May 20, 2014

LearningExpress LibraryRaise ACT/SAT test scores, prepare for the GED or improve math and writing skills, all with just the click of a mouse with LearningExpress Library, available through your library’s digital branch.

LearningExpress Library is a comprehensive, online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial courses designed to help students and adult learners succeed on the academic or licensing tests they must pass. On June 2, 2014, LearningExpress will be updated to LearningExpress Library 3.0. This new version has a cleaner, updated look and is much easier to navigate and use but houses the same quality content.

Free with your library card, use this resource to practice and prepare for:

  • The HiSET Exam, which has replaced the GED for Missouri High School equivalency testing.
  • College and graduate placement tests (ACT, SAT, GRE, MCAD, LSAT).
  • Elementary and high school tests (Advanced Placement; high school, middle school, and elementary school skills).
  • Career preparation exams (EMS, Firefighter, PPST – Praxis, Civil Service, and reading, math and writing skills practice).
  • TOEFL and U.S. Citizenship Exams.

The update and the shift to a new platform requires existing users to re-register their accounts. Existing accounts will not be carried over to the new version. Work done on the old LearningExpress will be not be available after June 2, 2014. Users should finish their current tests and courses and register for a new account at their earliest convenience after June 2. To see the new look of this learning platform check out www.learningexpresslibrary3.com.

Originally published at Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests.

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2014 One READ Winner: About “The Boys in the Boat” and Daniel Brown

One Read - May 20, 2014
 bitbAbout the Book

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” is an uplifting and fast-paced Cinderella story.

This nonfiction work describes the journey of nine working class young men from the University of Washington as they row their way out of obscurity and into the gold-medal race at the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler’s Berlin. The story of poor, twice-orphaned Joe Rantz anchors this cinematic tale of passion and perseverance set against the struggles of the Great Depression and a looming Second World War. Drawing on interviews, journals and period photographs, Brown tells the fascinating story of these unlikely American heroes.

The book’s publisher calls “The Boys in the Boat” an “irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times.”

About the Author

Daniel James BrownDaniel Brown grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Diablo Valley College, the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA. He taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a technical writer and editor. He now lives outside of Seattle, Washington and writes narrative nonfiction full time.

Brown’s book, “Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894” was named by the American Library Association as one of the best books of 2006. He is also author of the 2009 work, “The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride.”

Biographical info from danieljamesbrown.com and the Books & Authors Database.

 

 

More information:

The post 2014 One READ Winner: About “The Boys in the Boat” and Daniel Brown appeared first on One READ.

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2014 List of Suggested Titles

One Read - May 20, 2014

Each winter, the public submits suggestions for next year’s One Read book. In January, a panel of community members reviews the suggestions, narrowing that list down to 10 titles, and then chooses two or three books to present for a public vote.

 

Final 10 Selections

Other Suggested Titles
  • 1984
    George Orwell
  • Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future
    Robert Reich
  • American Gods
    Gaiman, Neil
  • The Arabian Nights
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
    Jan-Philipp Sendker
  • Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum
    Atkinson, Kate
  • Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland
    Nina Mukerjee Furstenau
  • Black and Blue
    Anna Quindlen
  • The Book Thief
    Markus Zusak
  • The Burgess Boys
    Elizabeth Strout
  • Carnivorous Carnival
    Lemony Snicket
  • A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home
    Steve Pemberton
  • The Coldest Winter Ever
    Sister Souljah
  • Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness
    Pete Earley
  • Day After Night
    Anita Diamant
  • The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland
    Jim DeFede
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of A President
    Candice Millard
  • A Dog’s Purpose
    W. Bruce Cameron
  • Dominique Ick Lessont and the Dragon Knight
    Eric Tripp
  • The Dovekeepers
    Alice Hoffman
  • Each Little Bird That Sings
    Debbie Wiles
  • Easter Island
    Jennifer Vanderbes
  • Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-making Race Around the World
    Matthew Goodman
  • Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success
    Phil Jackson
  • Enemy Women
    Paulette Jiles
  • Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale
    Lynda Rutledge
  • Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing
    Daphne, Miller
  • The Fault in Our Stars
    John Green
  • Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown
    Eric Blehm
  • First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
    Loung Ung
  • Flight Behavior
    Barbara Kingsolver
  • A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story
    Qais Akbar Omar
  • From Far Away
    Kyoko Hikawa
  • Girl Stolen
    April Henry
  • A Good American
    Alex George
  • The Good Lord Bird
    James McBride
  • The Green Trap
    Ben Bova
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    Mary Ann Shaffer
  • The Happiness Project
    Gretchen Rubin
  • Heart and the Fist: The Education of A Humanitarian, the Making of A Navy SEAL
    Eric Greitens
  • The Heart of a Soldier
    Kate Blaise
  • Coming Home
    Lauren Brooke
  • Here Comes Doctor Hippo: A Little Hippo Story
    Jonathan London
  • Hidden
    Helen Frost
  • Hide and Seek
    Katy Grant
  • Hobbledehoy Boy
    Richard Stickann
  • Home Front
    Kristin Hannah
  • The Horse Whisperer
    Nicholas Evans
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
    Malala Yousafzai
  • I Am Number Four – The Lost Files: The Search for Sam
    Pittacus Lore
  • I Am Troy Davis
    Jen Marlowe
  • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
    David Eagleman
  • Joyland
    Stephen King
  • Junebug
    Cherie Doyen
  • Ladies of the Night : A Historical and Personal Perspective on the Oldest Profession in the World
    Gene Simmons
  • The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life
    Rod Dreher
  • The Maid’s Version
    Daniel Woodrell
  • Me Before You
    Jojo Moyes
  • Meant to Be
    Lauren Morill
  • Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave
    Jennifer Fleischner
  • Nexus
    Naam Ramez
  • The Night Circus
    Erin Morgenstern
  • No, David!
    David Shannon
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    Neil Gaiman
  • Odd Duck
    Cecil Castellucci
  • Old Yeller
    Fred Gipson
  • The Orphan Master’s Son
    Adam Johnson
  • Pie
    Sarah Weeks
  • Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife
    Eben Alexander, M.D.
  • The Prophet
    Kahlil Gibran
  • The Red Garden
    Alice Hoffman
  • The Rent Collector
    Camron Wright
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
    Jonathan Haidt
  • The Round House
    Louise Erdrich
  • Rules of Civility
    Amor Towles
  • The Shoes of the Fisherman
    Morris West
  • Show Me the Murder
    Carolyn Mulford
  • Sisterland
    Curtis Sittenfeld
  • So Much Pretty
    Cara Hoffman
  • The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius
    Kristine Barnett
  • The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease
    Daniel E. Lieberman
  • Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
    Rita Golden Gelman
  • Telegraph Avenue
    Michael Chabon
  • Telex From Cuba
    Rachel Kushner
  • Tenth of December
    George Saunders
  • Thank You for Your Service
    David Finkel
  • This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
    Ann Patchett
  • A Thousand Pardons
    Jonathan Dee
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
    Harper Lee
  • Together Tea
    Marjan Kamali
  • Tom T’s Hat Rack: A Story About Paying It Forward
    Michele Spry
  • Toxic Charity
    Robert Lupton
  • TransAtlantic
    Colum McCann
  • The Uglies Series
    Scott Westerfied
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Warmth of Other Suns
    Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Watchman’s Rattle
    Rebecca D. Costa
  • Wave
    Sonal Deraniyagala
  • When I Grow Up
    Juliana Hatfield
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette
    Maria Semple
  • Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It
    Gary Taubes
  • Wild
    Cheryl Strayed
  • The Wilderness Series
    David Thompson
  • The Woman in White
    Wilkie Collins
  • Wonder
    R.J. Palacio
  • Year of Wonders
    Geraldine Brooks
  • Zeitoun
    Dave Eggers
  • Zorro
    Isabel Allende

The post 2014 List of Suggested Titles appeared first on One READ.

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New DVD: “Winter Soldier”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 19, 2014

wintersoldier

We recently added “Winter Soldier” to the DBRL collection. The film was originally released in 1972 and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Vietnam veterans speak about atrocities committed upon Vietnamese soldiers and civilians during their time in the U.S. armed forces in Vietnam. Through testimony given at the Winter Soldier Investigation held by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971, press conferences, and interviews with individual participants, the film graphically portrays the effect of U.S. government policy and practice, which turned soldiers into animals bent on destruction and Vietnamese into “gooks”–Non-human “targets” for murder, rape, and mutilation. The veterans struggle to come to terms with the devastation they caused so that others will not make the same mistake again.

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

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The Gentleman Recommends: Bill Cotter

Next Book Buzz - May 19, 2014

Book cover for The Parallel Apartments by Bill CotterA modern gentleman buys his monocles fair-trade, extends his habits of refined discourse to the Internet and understands that literature sometimes pulls the curtain back on acts of marital intimacy that are often neither preceded nor followed by nuptials. Even so, I was unable to prevent the frequent dropping of my monocles during the course of reading Bill Cotter’s “The Parallel Apartments.” But not all droppings were related to the artfully depicted acts of often artless intimacy. Indeed, the monocle carnage extended past the reading of the novel and to the reading of reactions to it. I ruined one when I read a review focusing on the ribald aspects rather than the myriad less scandalous reasons to recommend the book. As Cotter alludes to in this charming interview, the Puritanism regarding a few scenes of bodily congress is surprising given erotica’s stranglehold on bestseller lists.

But now I’m guilty of focusing on the tawdry when I should be trying to convince fans of tragicomedy and exquisite writing to check out this book. “The Parallel Apartments” aims most of its focus on three generations of mothers and most of the remaining on assorted inhabitants of the titular complex. One character has $400,000 of credit card debt, and when she inherits enough to pay it off, she instead decides to invest in a robot gigolo and start a brothel in her home, which is both a good business plan and an aid in avoiding her greatest fear: becoming pregnant. Another’s desire to become pregnant is intense enough to require the reader have several backup monocles at the ready. Another character yearns to be a serial killer but thwarts himself, among other ways, by tipping his darts with harmless frog juice rather than deadly frog poison. A retired prostitute hopes to defeat AIDS by having a guru and his unfortunate raccoon clean her blood. She’s accompanied back to Austin by a man that fled it for reasons, revealed brilliantly and late in the novel, that will again have your monocle in shocked descent. Eventually the characters converge to form an ending I’d love to prattle on endlessly about.

The author says his focus was on the sentence level, and the attention to pretty and amusing sentences shows. Cotter’s plot is also worthy of praise, though. The story’s timeline weaves back and forth through decades in a way orchestrated to maximize the impact of various alarming bits of back story and have your eyewear flying off your face. “The Parallel Apartments” is a unique novel, and it gave me a unique feeling (that has nothing to do with the aforementioned scenes of fleshy goings-on). I was heartbroken, delighted, awed and some other stuff there’s probably words for in German. This emotional cocktail caused both a special breed of the weird melancholic elation that often accompanies the finishing of great books and also the need to replace several shattered and/or irreparably moistened monocles.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Bill Cotter appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

The Gentleman Recommends: Bill Cotter

DBRL Next - May 19, 2014

Book cover for The Parallel Apartments by Bill CotterA modern gentleman buys his monocles fair-trade, extends his habits of refined discourse to the Internet and understands that literature sometimes pulls the curtain back on acts of marital intimacy that are often neither preceded nor followed by nuptials. Even so, I was unable to prevent the frequent dropping of my monocles during the course of reading Bill Cotter’s “The Parallel Apartments.” But not all droppings were related to the artfully depicted acts of often artless intimacy. Indeed, the monocle carnage extended past the reading of the novel and to the reading of reactions to it. I ruined one when I read a review focusing on the ribald aspects rather than the myriad less scandalous reasons to recommend the book. As Cotter alludes to in this charming interview, the Puritanism regarding a few scenes of bodily congress is surprising given erotica’s stranglehold on bestseller lists.

But now I’m guilty of focusing on the tawdry when I should be trying to convince fans of tragicomedy and exquisite writing to check out this book. “The Parallel Apartments” aims most of its focus on three generations of mothers and most of the remaining on assorted inhabitants of the titular complex. One character has $400,000 of credit card debt, and when she inherits enough to pay it off, she instead decides to invest in a robot gigolo and start a brothel in her home, which is both a good business plan and an aid in avoiding her greatest fear: becoming pregnant. Another’s desire to become pregnant is intense enough to require the reader have several backup monocles at the ready. Another character yearns to be a serial killer but thwarts himself, among other ways, by tipping his darts with harmless frog juice rather than deadly frog poison. A retired prostitute hopes to defeat AIDS by having a guru and his unfortunate raccoon clean her blood. She’s accompanied back to Austin by a man that fled it for reasons, revealed brilliantly and late in the novel, that will again have your monocle in shocked descent. Eventually the characters converge to form an ending I’d love to prattle on endlessly about.

The author says his focus was on the sentence level, and the attention to pretty and amusing sentences shows. Cotter’s plot is also worthy of praise, though. The story’s timeline weaves back and forth through decades in a way orchestrated to maximize the impact of various alarming bits of back story and have your eyewear flying off your face. “The Parallel Apartments” is a unique novel, and it gave me a unique feeling (that has nothing to do with the aforementioned scenes of fleshy goings-on). I was heartbroken, delighted, awed and some other stuff there’s probably words for in German. This emotional cocktail caused both a special breed of the weird melancholic elation that often accompanies the finishing of great books and also the need to replace several shattered and/or irreparably moistened monocles.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Bill Cotter appeared first on DBRL Next.

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I (Finally) Have a Smartphone! Now What?

DBRL Next - May 16, 2014

iPhone 4SI have a love-hate relationship with technology. I enjoy the ways technology has democratized access to information and transformed librarianship. Yes, we still have books printed on actual paper (my preferred way to read), but we also provide downloadable eBooks, audiobooks and digital magazines, as well as streaming music and movies. I love being able to have something to read or listen to, any time and anywhere.

However, I don’t want to always have my face in a screen, and I don’t want my young children to become device addicts either, always clamoring to play Minecraft or Angry Birds. So I’ve resisted smartphone ownership (being ridiculed for my old-school cell phone with its slide-out QWERTY keyboard) until this Mother’s Day when I received a shiny new Galaxy S 5. Now I have to figure out how to make this device work for me and not become a slave to its many tempting features and functions.

I could start with a class. Every month or so the library offers a training session called Maximizing your Android Device. (We also have similar classes for Apple device owners.) The next class will be at 2:30 p.m. on June 9 at the Columbia Public Library. (Call 573-443-3161 to register starting May 27.)

Of course, there are books I could consult as well. We have a slew of books about smartphones, from the Missing Manual series to the Teach Yourself Visually books.

Book cover for Hamlet's BlackBerry by William PowersIn order to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the number of apps available for download, I’m starting with my library favorites, including our mobile catalog app from BiblioCommons, the OverDrive app for my eBooks and Hoopla for music and video. (All of these apps are featured at DBRLTeen in a handy guide that includes links for downloading.)

Finally, to make sure I don’t let this very seductive device ruin my real-life relationships with friends and family, I’m going to check out William Powers’ book “Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age.” In hardback. :-)

photo credit: Jonas Tana via photopin cc

The post I (Finally) Have a Smartphone! Now What? appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Docs Around Town: May 16 – May 22

Center Aisle Cinema - May 15, 2014

worldbeforeherMay 16: Finding Vivian Maier” starts at Ragtag. (via)
May 21: “The World Before Her” 6:30 p.m. at Columbia Public Library, free. (via)

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New DVD: “Disco & Atomic War”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 14, 2014

discoandatomicwar

We recently added “Disco & Atomic War” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 90% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Hijacking broadcasts from Finland with makeshift yet powerful TV antennas, the people of Estonia, while still under the rule of the Soviet Union and its propaganda, found new heroes in JR Ewing and David Hasselhoff, and quickly became obsessed with the forbidden fruit that was western pop culture.

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

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Mental Health Awareness Month

DBRL Next - May 14, 2014

Book cover for Health With the ArtsWhen someone in the family suffers appendicitis, breaks an arm or develops an insufferable case of poison ivy, we usually know where we can look for help. For mental health needs, it’s not always obvious.  Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, this is a good time to highlight resources related to this topic.

On Tuesday, May 20, the Columbia Public Library will host a Mental Health Forum focusing on local resources for children and youth. Refreshments will be available at 6:30 p.m., and the panel presentation will take place from 7:00 to 8:30. No registration is required.

During the month of May, two of our branches will have displays focusing on the subject of mental health. The Callaway County Public Library exhibit can be found outside their Friends Room. It features winning artwork from the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s 2013 poster contest, with a theme of “Recovery, Hope and Stigma Reduction.”

Beginning Thursday, May 15, the Columbia Public Library will have a table display on the second floor. This will include books for checkout, along with brochures, flyers, bookmarks and stickers provided by the Missouri Mental Health Foundation and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in partnership with the Missouri Department of Health.

Pillow case artwork from The Pillows of Unrest & Hope ProjectThe Columbia Public Library will also provide space for the “Pillows of Unrest & Hope” display, beginning Saturday, May 17. This exhibit includes pillow cases used as artistic canvases by clients of the Fulton State Hospital. They were asked to depict their struggles with mental illness or developmental disability and what gives them hope.

Of course, the library has a plethora of helpful resources available year-round:

Our Mental Health To-Go Kits address a variety of specific issues – depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse and more. Each kit contains books and DVDs for checkout, plus pamphlets, magnets and other items you can keep.

Junebug” is an autobiographical novel with fantasy elements. Local author and Cherie Doyen penned this empowering story of a girl overcoming the trauma of sexual abuse in the hopes that others suffering similarly would not feel alone or powerless.

Healing With the Arts” speaks to integrating the arts into medical care, both physical and mental, as an essential part of the healing process. Literature, visual arts, dance and music are all part of the program.

After the Crisis: Using Storybooks to Help Children Cope” provides a list of 50 book recommendations with related activities to help kids recover from traumatic life events such as natural disasters, homelessness and loss of a loved one. The book is geared toward teachers, but other adults will find it useful, too.

For more items, see our catalog list. And remember, these resources wouldn’t exist if there were no demand for them. That means you’re not alone.

 

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New DVD: “A Brief History of Time”

Center Aisle Cinema - May 12, 2014

abriefhistoryoftime

We recently added “A Brief History of Time” to the DBRL collection. This film by Errol Morris was originally released in 1991, but has been re-released by the Criterion Collection with new material. The film currently has a rating of 93% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Errol Morris (The Fog of War) turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris’s documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking’s body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination.

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

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