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Staff Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter

DBRLTeen - July 15, 2015

Sin Eater's DaughterWhy I Checked It Out: I read a blurb on “The Sin Eater’s Daughter” by Melinda Salisbury and learned it was an up-and-coming, stand-alone fantasy release. This is refreshing because most fantasy novels these days are written as part of a series, and sometimes waiting for the next book can just be too stressful! I didn’t find out until later that Salisbury had signed on for second, and a third title, until after I’d finished the book, and by then I was so pleased with the read, it didn’t matter to me anymore that it wasn’t actually a stand-alone, but the first in a trilogy–but don’t worry, the ending is still neatly tied up, and if you want, you can read only “The Sin Eater’s Daughter” and feel satisfied–there’s no crazy cliff hanger ending here.

What It’s About: Twylla is a Goddess embodied. Each month she must take a poison to show that she is special, and each month there’s a chance the Gods will turn against her, and instead of living, she’ll die. The poison Twylla takes also makes her touch deadly to anyone but the royal family. The Queen, believing it is Twylla’s job, forces Twylla to use her deadly touch to kill traitors to the crown. And, Twylla hates every moment of it.

When the Prince, Twylla’s betrothed, returns to court, the Queen’s crazy behavior becomes even more erratic, and suddenly Twylla is trying to figure out what it means to be a Goddess embodied. When her belief is forced into question, Twylla must decide what she truly wants in life beyond what she is simply ordered to do.

What I Liked About It (And, What I Didn’t): Salisbury is not a fast-paced writer. She draws you in by slowly dipping you into the present, then the past, and beautifully working the two together until you know Twylla inside and out. This didn’t bother me–I enjoyed a break from the rapidly paced books that are so popular right now–but, other readers might not agree with me and find the book too slow for their tastes.

Similar Titles: If you are looking for other stand-alone fantasies, try these: “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater, “The Space Between” by Brenna Yovanoff and “Beastly” by Alex Flinn. All three share a darker, more sinister, fantastical aspect.

Originally published at Staff Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter.

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Reader Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

DBRL Next - July 14, 2015

ocean at the end of the laneNeil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is the amazing story of a nameless man who returns to his childhood home to remember. His childhood, no matter how his adult mind skews it, was a magical adventure that he shared with his childhood friend Lettie Hempstock. This story is filled with darkness, intrigue and relatability. Though you may have not had the fanciful upbringing the young boy from the book had, you will find things that make you really stop, close the book and realize what a tremendous piece of work you are reading. I loved this book and was able to finish it in a day. Definitely give yourself time to truly delve into yet another one of Neil Gaiman’s amazing worlds.

Three words that describe this book: enchanting, thrilling and magical

You might want to pick this book up if: If you enjoy dark imagery, magical realism and nostalgia you will love this book. There are elements that make you simply shiver with delight.

-Taylor

The post Reader Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane appeared first on DBRL Next.

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What to Read While You Wait for Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event

Next Book Buzz - July 13, 2015

Book cover for Judy Blume's in the Unlikely EventWhen you hear Judy Blume’s name you probably think of children’s novels.

One of the first Judy Blume books I read to my kids was “Freckle Juice.” From there we progressed to “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and others.  My kids loved the silliness of theses stories, which most always give way to what can be considered a learning moment of the character as well as the reader!

Blume’s newest novel, “In the Unlikely Event,” is her first novel for adults in 16 years. The story is set in Elizabeth, New Jersey during the winter between 1951 and 1952 when three planes crash within 58 days of each other. The story deals with how her 15-year-old protagonist Miri, her family, friends and the community deal with technology failure, tragedy, social change and fear and learn to find the good in all that has gone wrong. If you find yourself looking for something else to read while you wait for your hold, try one of these titles that are also family sagas set during the 1950s.

Book cover for Gilead by Marilynne RobinsonGilead” by Marilynne Robinson
It’s 1956, and Reverend John Ames is 77 years old and in failing health, which compels him to write a letter (that he has been putting off) chronicling three generations to his young son. Ames tells his son about his heritage. He describes his prophet-like grandfather who had a vision that sent him to Kansas to be useful to the cause of abolition, the conflict between his fiery grandfather and pacifist father, the birth and death of Ames’ first wife and child and the legacy of slavery that dates back to the Civil War.

Book cover for Cutting for Stone by A. VergheseCutting for Stone” by A. Verghese
In Ethiopia in 1954, twin brothers slightly joined at the head are born to a British surgeon and  an Indian nun who dies shortly after their birth. Their horrified father runs off, leaving them to be raised by the surgeons who separated them. The boys, Marion and Shiva Stone, are raised on the grounds of the mission hospital where both are drawn towards the medical field. As they come of age, they are driven apart by a country in upheaval and the love they have for the same woman.

The Garden of Evening Mists” by Twan Eng Tan
Seeking solace in her remaining years, retired, ill Chinese-Malaysian judge Teoh Yun Ling leaves Kuala Lampur for the highlands of Malaysia to discover Yugiri, which means the garden of evening mists. While there she reflects on the life she and her sister lived while interred in a Japanese slave labor camp during World War II and decides to build a commemorative garden for her sister with the help of Aritomo, the former gardener for the Emperor of Japan who reluctantly takes her on as an apprentice.

The post What to Read While You Wait for Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

What to Read While You Wait for Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event

DBRL Next - July 13, 2015

Book cover for Judy Blume's in the Unlikely EventWhen you hear Judy Blume’s name you probably think of children’s novels.

One of the first Judy Blume books I read to my kids was “Freckle Juice.” From there we progressed to “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and others.  My kids loved the silliness of theses stories, which most always give way to what can be considered a learning moment of the character as well as the reader!

Blume’s newest novel, “In the Unlikely Event,” is her first novel for adults in 16 years. The story is set in Elizabeth, New Jersey during the winter between 1951 and 1952 when three planes crash within 58 days of each other. The story deals with how her 15-year-old protagonist Miri, her family, friends and the community deal with technology failure, tragedy, social change and fear and learn to find the good in all that has gone wrong. If you find yourself looking for something else to read while you wait for your hold, try one of these titles that are also family sagas set during the 1950s.

Book cover for Gilead by Marilynne RobinsonGilead” by Marilynne Robinson
It’s 1956, and Reverend John Ames is 77 years old and in failing health, which compels him to write a letter (that he has been putting off) chronicling three generations to his young son. Ames tells his son about his heritage. He describes his prophet-like grandfather who had a vision that sent him to Kansas to be useful to the cause of abolition, the conflict between his fiery grandfather and pacifist father, the birth and death of Ames’ first wife and child and the legacy of slavery that dates back to the Civil War.

Book cover for Cutting for Stone by A. VergheseCutting for Stone” by A. Verghese
In Ethiopia in 1954, twin brothers slightly joined at the head are born to a British surgeon and  an Indian nun who dies shortly after their birth. Their horrified father runs off, leaving them to be raised by the surgeons who separated them. The boys, Marion and Shiva Stone, are raised on the grounds of the mission hospital where both are drawn towards the medical field. As they come of age, they are driven apart by a country in upheaval and the love they have for the same woman.

The Garden of Evening Mists” by Twan Eng Tan
Seeking solace in her remaining years, retired, ill Chinese-Malaysian judge Teoh Yun Ling leaves Kuala Lampur for the highlands of Malaysia to discover Yugiri, which means the garden of evening mists. While there she reflects on the life she and her sister lived while interred in a Japanese slave labor camp during World War II and decides to build a commemorative garden for her sister with the help of Aritomo, the former gardener for the Emperor of Japan who reluctantly takes her on as an apprentice.

The post What to Read While You Wait for Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Fourth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner Announced

DBRL Next - July 13, 2015

TrophyCongratulations to Deanna T., a Southern Boone County Library patron, for winning our fourth Adult Summer Reading prize drawing.  She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online.  Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning.  There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.

The post Fourth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner Announced appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Reminder: Cosplay Costume Con Begins Next Week

DBRLTeen - July 13, 2015

Cosplay Banner 2Cosplay Costume Con for All Ages
Come to the library dressed as your favorite character! Whether superhero, anime, sci-fi or your own original design, we want to see you as you usually aren’t! Prizes will be given for costumes in different age categories, and participants can pose for some great photo ops. This program is for all ages! No registration required.

Columbia Public Library
Wednesday, July 22
at 6:00 p.m. Callaway County
Public Library
Thursday, July 30
at 6:30 p.m. Southern Boone County
Public Library
Tuesday, August 4
at 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Flickr User Marnie Joyce. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Reminder: Cosplay Costume Con Begins Next Week.

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New DVD List: Joplin, Missouri & More

DBRL Next - July 10, 2015

joplin missouri

Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles in fiction and nonfiction recently added to the library collection.

joplin missouriJoplin, Missouri
Trailer / Website 
Playing in 2012 at Ragtag and on the MU campus, this film is a documentary that focuses on firsthand accounts of the tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri May 22nd, 2011. Columbia, Missouri filmmaker Chip Gubera takes a first person personal journey into how the tornado has affected the town.

justified season 6Justified
Season 6
Website / Reviews
The sixth and final season of this drama features the climax of the rivalry between Raylan and Boyd. Boyd is recruited to rob banks, specifically targeting a safety deposit box belonging to Avery Markham, and Raylan will stop at nothing to capture him, even enlisting the help of Ava.

koch coverKoch
Website / Reviews
Appearing last year on the PBS series POV, “Koch” is a look at former New York mayor Ed Koch who held the office during three terms from 1978 to 1989. Through candid interviews and rare archival footage, Koch thrillingly chronicles the personal and political toll of running the world’s most wondrous city in a time of upheaval and reinvention.

Other notable releases:
Lunch – Trailer / Website / Reviews
Rogue” – Season 1, Season 2 – Website / Reviews
Manhattan
Season 1Website / Reviews
Rizzoli & IslesSeason 5 – Website / Reviews
Ray Donovan
– Season 2 – Website / Reviews
The MentalistSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, Season 7Website / Reviews
Golden GirlsSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6, Season 7 – Website 

The post New DVD List: Joplin, Missouri & More appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Books for Dudes – Jinxes, Mazes and More

DBRLTeen - July 10, 2015

Summer is officially here. Time for kicking back and relaxing, trying new book series, and then scrambling to get the next part when you get to a riveting cliffhanger…yep, suckered again.

JinxJinx. Jinx had a rough childhood – his parents died, his step parents tried to abandon him off the path in the Urwald (and the number one rule is don’t step off the path), and then he’s found by a possible evil wizard. And that’s all in the first chapter! While Jinx has his doubts about the wizard Simon, he finds this crotchety magician isn’t as evil as he appears. And when Jinx realizes that Simon isn’t the only one with magic, his real adventure begins. He better learn the rules fast though, as he’ll eventually encounter the real evil wizard…the Bonemaster.

I loved the creatures in this book – in addition to typical werewolves and trolls, we have witches that ride butter churns, werebears, and more. Even the trees have character (although not necessarily kind) in this fun novel. But of course, author Sage Blackwood couldn’t leave us without a cliffhanger, and Jinx’s adventures continue in Jinx’s Magic and Jinx’s Fire. I’ll be adding them to my pile…

Maze RunnerThe Maze Runner. Shame on me. I’ve read most big dystopian series and fantasy series (and most of them before they ever become a big deal), but James Dashner’s popular series was always under my radar. Now I’ve finally entered the maze…and it’s a pretty freaky place!

When Thomas wakes up, the only thing he remembers about himself is his name. He’s also surrounded by teenage boys whose memories are also gone, and their words are strange. The first thing he hears is, “Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.”  The Glade is one part work community and one part terrifying maze deathtrap. Me, I admit my survival instinct would be put more firmly on the working to keep the established community going, but Thomas has a surprising instinctual urge to join the Maze Runners – those teens who run the ever-changing maze each day in hopes of finding a way for everyone to escape. Oh yeah, and there are terrifying creatures in the maze called Grievers, which basically resemble giant slime balls with a bunch of sharp tools and needles sticking out of them waiting to kill you. Lovely. (Dear readers–if you’re currently figuring out where you’re going to take a vacation this summer, please skip the Glade.) This adventure is really fast-paced, and of course, three more books (two parts sequel with The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, one part prequel with The Kill Order) are also now on my reading pile.

 

Originally published at Books for Dudes – Jinxes, Mazes and More.

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Reader Review: Sweet Tooth

DBRL Next - July 9, 2015

sweet toothSweet Tooth” is a fun, light graphic novel series from Vertigo Comics. A virus has swept across the world, wiping out almost all of humanity. Only a few human survivors remain, but it is only a matter of time until they also catch the virus and pass. The real survivors are a new race of half human/half animal beings. Gus, the main protagonist of the story, is a boy with antlers who finds out that he might be the key to finding out the cause of the virus. The premise may sound similar to “Station Eleven” but it plays out quite differently. There are far more elements of sci-fi and fantasy, and a large amount of heart, for how desolate the setting is. A good introduction to a non-super hero comic series.

Two words that describe this book: Post-apocalyptic, artistic, light

You might want to pick this book up if: You wanted “Station Eleven” to be a little more “out there.” You also might want to pick it up if you want to get into a comic series that is fairly short, light, enjoyable and not your typical “Spider-Man”.

-Kevin

The post Reader Review: Sweet Tooth appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Ask the Author: An Interview with Marta Ferguson

Next Book Buzz - July 8, 2015

Book cover for Drawn to MarvelIn keeping with this summer’s superhero reading theme, DBRL will be hosting a book talk on Thursday, July 9 featuring an anthology of poetry about superheroes, “Drawn to Marvel.” Editor and contributor Marta Ferguson and a good-natured band of fellow comics fans will be appearing in costume to give a readers’ theater presentation of many of the poems from Drawn to Marvel, with a brief Q&A to follow. Books will be available for sale and autographing. In anticipation of the event, Dr. Ferguson answered some questions about the anthology.

DBRL: In the editor’s note you mention that when you were the poetry editor at The Missouri Review you accepted superhero themed poetry from two different writers (Bryan D. Dietrich and Nicholas Allen Harp), and that the discussion among the three of you sparked the idea for this anthology. It’s such a niche subject, so was it difficult to find poetry in the superhero genre? Is there a community of poets creating work about superheroes?

MF: Back in 2003, when we began talking about superhero poetry, all three of us knew somebody else who’d written and published at least one poem having to do with superheroes. Bryan’s book of Superman sonnets (“Krypton Nights,” Zoo Press, 2002) had come out the year before, and it was arguably the first really visible collection of all-superhero poems in the academic-literary poetry arena. It won the Paris Review Prize and came out with a hip little press that had a terrifically well connected publication team, so lots of people saw it. However, over in the speculative poetry arena (presided over by the Science Fiction Poetry Association and capped by the annual Rhysling award), there was already lots of superhero energy stirring among poets like Bruce Boston and Marge Simon. And there were already classic superhero poems, like Albert Goldbarth’s “Powers,” which we were lucky enough to get, and Simon Armitage’s “Kid” (Robin), which we weren’t, because of the permissions pricing.

Over the decade that we gathered work, there was always MORE work to gather. In 2013 when we put out a call for superhero poems, we were almost buried under the submissions pile: 800? 1,000 pieces? And we already had about 100 pages? Whoo hoo! At this point, it’s a sub-genre. And we got to be the first anthology to honor it, which feels great.

DBRL: I was excited to see how many of these poems were about female/feminine superheroes, and how several of the pieces analyzed how gender is portrayed in superhero myths. Gender in comic books and in ‘geek culture’ in general has been a hot news topic this year. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share on this issue?

MF: Comic books themselves have welcomed female authors and characters for a long time. There’s still more cover cleavage than most of us non-illustrated women feel is necessary, but there’s no doubt that women have an established place in comics culture.

I think the controversy you’re referring to is over women in video games and female video game reviewers. There’s a lot I could say on that as well, not much of it suitable for a public forum. So I’ll leave it at this: Boys, it’s time share the clubhouse. If you keep pulling up the rope ladder, we’ll just jetpack in through the windows.

DBRL: The intro, an excerpt from Bryan D. Dietrich’s “A Defense of Superhero Poetry”, discusses superheroes’ place in mythology and superhero poetry’s juxtaposition of the mundane and the super. Would you be able to quickly summarize that for someone who hasn’t yet had a chance to read the book?

MF: Sure, Bryan’s argument, which has been echoed by other critics as well, is that superheroes are the new mythology. Just as the Greeks used their gods to speculate about why the sun came up and how we learned to use fire, superheroes help us explore our relationship to technology, our evolving understandings of race and gender, our increasingly globalized world and our place in the larger universe.

DBRL: DC or Marvel? And do you have a favorite superhero?

MF: I have to be honest, I grew up in the DC universe. My dad collected old fishing tackle, and my brother and I would tag along with him to garage sales. Any box of comics we could negotiate down to a dollar, he’d pay for—and my favorites were always the Batman books. I spent a lot of time just before I fell asleep at night deciding who I’d rather be: Robin? Batgirl? Poison Ivy? The Joker? Funny that I never wanted to be Bruce himself. Since I now write as Barbara Gordon (Oracle/Batgirl), I’d have to say she’s my favorite, though I have an affinity for the entire Cape-and-Cowl set.

DBRL:  Have you read any good books recently that you would like to recommend to our readers?

MF: Always! In keeping with the theme, I highly recommend two new superhero poetry collections, both on the shelves at DBRL:

Ray McDaniel’s “Special Powers and Abilities” (Coffee House Press, 2013)
Gary Jackson’s “Missing You, Metropolis” (Graywolf Press, 2010).

DBRL: Other than Daniel Boone Regional Library, where can readers get a copy of “Drawn To Marvel”?

MF: Yellow Dog Books on 9th Street has copies available! Many thanks to Joe & Co. for keeping us on the shelf! Electronic copies can be purchased through our publisher’s website.

Don’t miss the “Drawn to Marvel” book talk at the Columbia Public Library this Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m. in the Friends Room. Due to adult themes and violent content, the event is recommended for mature readers. A free copy of the book will be given to the best-costumed attendee.

The post Ask the Author: An Interview with Marta Ferguson appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Ask the Author: An Interview with Marta Ferguson

DBRL Next - July 8, 2015

Book cover for Drawn to MarvelIn keeping with this summer’s superhero reading theme, DBRL will be hosting a book talk on Thursday, July 9 featuring an anthology of poetry about superheroes, “Drawn to Marvel.” Editor and contributor Marta Ferguson and a good-natured band of fellow comics fans will be appearing in costume to give a readers’ theater presentation of many of the poems from Drawn to Marvel, with a brief Q&A to follow. Books will be available for sale and autographing. In anticipation of the event, Dr. Ferguson answered some questions about the anthology.

DBRL: In the editor’s note you mention that when you were the poetry editor at The Missouri Review you accepted superhero themed poetry from two different writers (Bryan D. Dietrich and Nicholas Allen Harp), and that the discussion among the three of you sparked the idea for this anthology. It’s such a niche subject, so was it difficult to find poetry in the superhero genre? Is there a community of poets creating work about superheroes?

MF: Back in 2003, when we began talking about superhero poetry, all three of us knew somebody else who’d written and published at least one poem having to do with superheroes. Bryan’s book of Superman sonnets (“Krypton Nights,” Zoo Press, 2002) had come out the year before, and it was arguably the first really visible collection of all-superhero poems in the academic-literary poetry arena. It won the Paris Review Prize and came out with a hip little press that had a terrifically well connected publication team, so lots of people saw it. However, over in the speculative poetry arena (presided over by the Science Fiction Poetry Association and capped by the annual Rhysling award), there was already lots of superhero energy stirring among poets like Bruce Boston and Marge Simon. And there were already classic superhero poems, like Albert Goldbarth’s “Powers,” which we were lucky enough to get, and Simon Armitage’s “Kid” (Robin), which we weren’t, because of the permissions pricing.

Over the decade that we gathered work, there was always MORE work to gather. In 2013 when we put out a call for superhero poems, we were almost buried under the submissions pile: 800? 1,000 pieces? And we already had about 100 pages? Whoo hoo! At this point, it’s a sub-genre. And we got to be the first anthology to honor it, which feels great.

DBRL: I was excited to see how many of these poems were about female/feminine superheroes, and how several of the pieces analyzed how gender is portrayed in superhero myths. Gender in comic books and in ‘geek culture’ in general has been a hot news topic this year. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share on this issue?

MF: Comic books themselves have welcomed female authors and characters for a long time. There’s still more cover cleavage than most of us non-illustrated women feel is necessary, but there’s no doubt that women have an established place in comics culture.

I think the controversy you’re referring to is over women in video games and female video game reviewers. There’s a lot I could say on that as well, not much of it suitable for a public forum. So I’ll leave it at this: Boys, it’s time share the clubhouse. If you keep pulling up the rope ladder, we’ll just jetpack in through the windows.

DBRL: The intro, an excerpt from Bryan D. Dietrich’s “A Defense of Superhero Poetry”, discusses superheroes’ place in mythology and superhero poetry’s juxtaposition of the mundane and the super. Would you be able to quickly summarize that for someone who hasn’t yet had a chance to read the book?

MF: Sure, Bryan’s argument, which has been echoed by other critics as well, is that superheroes are the new mythology. Just as the Greeks used their gods to speculate about why the sun came up and how we learned to use fire, superheroes help us explore our relationship to technology, our evolving understandings of race and gender, our increasingly globalized world and our place in the larger universe.

DBRL: DC or Marvel? And do you have a favorite superhero?

MF: I have to be honest, I grew up in the DC universe. My dad collected old fishing tackle, and my brother and I would tag along with him to garage sales. Any box of comics we could negotiate down to a dollar, he’d pay for—and my favorites were always the Batman books. I spent a lot of time just before I fell asleep at night deciding who I’d rather be: Robin? Batgirl? Poison Ivy? The Joker? Funny that I never wanted to be Bruce himself. Since I now write as Barbara Gordon (Oracle/Batgirl), I’d have to say she’s my favorite, though I have an affinity for the entire Cape-and-Cowl set.

DBRL:  Have you read any good books recently that you would like to recommend to our readers?

MF: Always! In keeping with the theme, I highly recommend two new superhero poetry collections, both on the shelves at DBRL:

Ray McDaniel’s “Special Powers and Abilities” (Coffee House Press, 2013)
Gary Jackson’s “Missing You, Metropolis” (Graywolf Press, 2010).

DBRL: Other than Daniel Boone Regional Library, where can readers get a copy of “Drawn To Marvel”?

MF: Yellow Dog Books on 9th Street has copies available! Many thanks to Joe & Co. for keeping us on the shelf! Electronic copies can be purchased through our publisher’s website.

Don’t miss the “Drawn to Marvel” book talk at the Columbia Public Library this Thursday, July 9 at 7 p.m. in the Friends Room. Due to adult themes and violent content, the event is recommended for mature readers. A free copy of the book will be given to the best-costumed attendee.

The post Ask the Author: An Interview with Marta Ferguson appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Project Teen: Tremendous T-shirt Art

DBRLTeen - July 8, 2015

Batman's ToolbeltProject Teen: Tremendous T-shirt Art
Bring some old t-shirts and redesign them into something super! We’ll work with bleach and paint, so dress accordingly. There will be free pizza. Ages 12-18.

Columbia Public Library
Monday, July 20 at 1 p.m.
Registration required.
To sign up, call (573) 443-3161. Southern Boone County Public Library
Thursday, July 23 at noon.
No registration required.

Photo by Flickr User Reclamation Revolution. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Project Teen: Tremendous T-shirt Art.

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Reader Review: One Plus One

DBRL Next - July 7, 2015

one plus oneOne Plus One” is about life – real life. About how people struggle to make ends meet and will do anything for their family. All this determination and desperation to survive can change a person – makes you stop living life.

I loved this book because the characters were so relatable to what is going on in families across the country every day. However, despite these hard times and a whole lot of negativity, some beauty can truly emerge. It’s a beautiful story.

Three words that describe this book: relatable, heartbreaking, strong

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a great summer read. A true story that everyone can relate to at one point in their life or another. The depiction of a single mother just trying to get by is very accurate and profound.

-Amanda

The post Reader Review: One Plus One appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Third Summer Reading Gift Card Winner Announced

DBRL Next - July 6, 2015

TrophyCongratulations to Margie M., a Callaway County Public Library patron, for winning our third Adult Summer Reading prize drawing.  She is the recipient of a $25 Well Read Books gift card.

All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online.  Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning.  There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.

The post Third Summer Reading Gift Card Winner Announced appeared first on DBRL Next.

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2015 Audie Award Winners

Next Book Buzz - July 6, 2015

Audiobook of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard BookJust in time for all of your summer road trips, on May 28 the Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the winners of its 2015 Audie Awards competition, honoring spoken word entertainment. The top prize – audiobook of the year – went to “Mandela: An Audio History” by Nelson Mandela and narrated by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Joe Richman. Here are some of the other award winners available for check-out from your library.

Distinguished Achievement in Production
Neil Gaiman’s full-cast production of “The Graveyard Book
While this book for young readers was originally published in 2008, this new recording by a group of British all-stars brings Gaiman’s dark tale delightfully to life. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

Alan Cumming's audiobook Not My Father's SonAutobiography/Memoir
Not My Father’s Son” by Alan Cumming (narrated by the author)
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

Fiction
All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (narrated by Zach Appelman)
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris and is blind by age 6. Her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo on the coast. In Germany, Werner grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, which wins him a place with the Hitler Youth. Werner travels throughout Europe during the war, and finally to Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie Laure’s inevitably converge.

Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully PulpitHistory/Biography
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” by Doris Kearns Goodwin (narrated by Edward Herrmann)
Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the ‘muckraking’ press Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business.

Mystery
Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith (Read by Robert Glenister)

This is J.K. Rowling’s second mystery novel written under the pen name of Robert Galbraith. The fast-paced narrative focuses on a missing novelist, Owen Quine, and private detective Cormoran Strike. Quine has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives. That means that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

Nonfiction
Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him” by David Henry and Joe Henry (narrated by Dion Graham)
David and Joe Henry bring Richard Pryor to life both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the influences that shaped both his persona and his art.

Find the full list of this and past years’ winners at the Audio Publishers Association’s website. What audiobooks are you listening to and loving this summer?

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Categories: Book Buzz

2015 Audie Award Winners

DBRL Next - July 6, 2015

Audiobook of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard BookJust in time for all of your summer road trips, on May 28 the Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the winners of its 2015 Audie Awards competition, honoring spoken word entertainment. The top prize – audiobook of the year – went to “Mandela: An Audio History” by Nelson Mandela and narrated by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Joe Richman. Here are some of the other award winners available for check-out from your library.

Distinguished Achievement in Production
Neil Gaiman’s full-cast production of “The Graveyard Book
While this book for young readers was originally published in 2008, this new recording by a group of British all-stars brings Gaiman’s dark tale delightfully to life. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

Alan Cumming's audiobook Not My Father's SonAutobiography/Memoir
Not My Father’s Son” by Alan Cumming (narrated by the author)
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

Fiction
All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (narrated by Zach Appelman)
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris and is blind by age 6. Her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo on the coast. In Germany, Werner grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, which wins him a place with the Hitler Youth. Werner travels throughout Europe during the war, and finally to Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie Laure’s inevitably converge.

Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully PulpitHistory/Biography
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” by Doris Kearns Goodwin (narrated by Edward Herrmann)
Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the ‘muckraking’ press Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business.

Mystery
Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith (Read by Robert Glenister)

This is J.K. Rowling’s second mystery novel written under the pen name of Robert Galbraith. The fast-paced narrative focuses on a missing novelist, Owen Quine, and private detective Cormoran Strike. Quine has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives. That means that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

Nonfiction
Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him” by David Henry and Joe Henry (narrated by Dion Graham)
David and Joe Henry bring Richard Pryor to life both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth appreciation of his talent and his lasting influence, as well as an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the influences that shaped both his persona and his art.

Find the full list of this and past years’ winners at the Audio Publishers Association’s website. What audiobooks are you listening to and loving this summer?

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Reminder for Summer Reading Finishers

DBRLTeen - July 6, 2015

KindleAs part of the Teen Summer Reading Challenge, we have asked area young adults to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews and complete seven fun library-related activities. Beginning Monday, July 6, Summer Reading finishers can visit any of our three library branches or bookmobile stops and claim their free book. We will have a wide selection of juvenile and young adult titles for you to choose from.

Best of all, if you finish, your name will also be entered into a drawing for a free Kindle E-reader (black and white)! This program is ongoing through August 15, so there is still several weeks of good reading time left.

Originally published at Reminder for Summer Reading Finishers.

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Online Genealogy Resources From Your Library

DBRL Next - July 3, 2015

HeritageQuest-newGenealogical research is becoming more and more popular with our patrons – have you caught the bug? Here at DBRL Next, we will continue to share news and resources that might help you in your search of your family’s heritage, resources like the online databases Heritage Quest and Ancestry Library Edition. The coolest part about these two databases is that they are FREE if you have a current library card with us!

While Heritage Quest can be accessed wherever you are, Ancestry Library Edition can only be accessed at one of our three branch facilities (Columbia, Fulton, Ashland) due to licensing restrictions. Another tip you might not be aware of is that on the third floor of the Columbia Public Library is a computer set aside strictly for research using the library’s databases that you can access for more than an hour at a time.

At www.dbrl.org you’ll find these databases in the menu of items under “research.” Click on the genealogy category and choose Ancestry (within the library only) or Heritage Quest and you are well on your way! From home you will be required to enter your library card number, but within a library building, whether you are using one of our computers or are on your own laptop connected to DBRL’s Wi-Fi, this step isn’t required.

At least once a quarter I give a presentation on these two databases in the Friends Room of the Columbia Public Library. Many months of the year I host a “Genealogy Help” drop-in class where you can come and sit at a computer and ask questions about your research. I’ll give pointers on other databases or sources you can use to further your family tree! As a rule, always check in the index of the quarterly program guide under “Genealogy” or search our online program guide to see when the next program will be. Happy Hunting!

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Reader Reviews: What Alice Forgot

DBRL Next - July 2, 2015

Book cover for What Alice ForgotIn “What Alice Forgot,” Alice Love wakes up on the gym floor after falling off her bike in Spinning Class. She thinks she’s 29 and it’s 1998. But it’s not. It is 2008 and she is almost 40. She discovers she has three children, she and her husband are getting divorced, and her relationships with people she once loved have become strained. The book was funny, touching and thought-provoking. Alice wonders who this driven, grouchy, super-busy woman she’s become is, and she wonders how she got that way. Readers will definitely look at their own lives during this book, wondering if they are putting the important things first.

Two words that describe this book: funny, love story

You might want to pick this book up if: you want a light summer read that makes you laugh out loud but also think and reflect on your own life and where it now is.

-Anonymous

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Three Great American Novels for Your Fourth of July

Next Book Buzz - July 1, 2015

Book cover for Freedom by Jonathan FranzenThe label “Great American Novel” is often applied to a book that captures something essential about American culture and its people, a story grounded in and informed by the American experience. Others use the term to identify a work as the best representative of the kind of literature being written in America during a particular time period. And of course, a great many other readers and critics dismiss the idea of any book being able to capture the diverse experiences and realities of all Americans. Whatever your opinion, this July 4th you can celebrate our nation’s independence with these books that – if the honorific were actually to be awarded – could be contenders for the title of Great American Novel.

Freedom” by Johnathan Franzen
The Berglunds, the suburban family at the center of this book, appear perfect on the outside, but looks are deceiving. The story follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration. Their lives begin to unravel when their son moves in with aggressive Republican neighbors, green lawyer Walter takes a job in the coal industry and go-getter Patty becomes increasingly unstable and enraged. Desire, entitlement, marriage, family – Franzen plumbs these and many other weighty topics in this study of middle class American life.

Book cover for Gilead by Marilynne RobinsonGilead” by Marilyn Robinson
This lyrical and thoughtful novel takes the form of a letter from the dying Reverend John Ames to his son, revealing Ames’ deep reverence for his life, his work and this country. He chronicles three previous generations of his family, including a fiery abolitionist grandfather and pacifist father, both also men of faith. The story stretches back to the Civil War, reveals uncomfortable family secrets and examines the bond between fathers and sons.

To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
First published in 1960, the racial injustice described in this novel unfortunately has strong echoes in today’s America. Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building tree houses, swimming and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman and her father defends the man in the courtroom, Scout’s carefree days come to an end. She joins her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice in their small Alabama town.

What books do you recommend as stories that uniquely capture the American experience? Toni Morrison’s “Beloved“? F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby“? Let us know in the comments.

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Categories: Book Buzz
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