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The Gentleman Recommends: Charlie Jane Anders

DBRL Next - March 14, 2016

Book cover for All the Birds in the SkyIt feels like I’ve read millions of stories about smart and awesome children who are bullied by their peers and hated, or at least mistreated, by their parents (or, more likely, their legal guardian(s) or orphan master), but eventually they find the right mentor and/or peers and flourish. But when this template is used by a good writer, it remains satisfying no matter how many times it’s been slipped past my…head windows. And Charlie Jane Anders is, at least in this gentleman’s estimation, a great writer. And “All the Birds in the Sky” is a great novel, a new classic in the genre of “extra-special kid(s) with unfortunate upbringing(s) rise above their station and show the world their greatness.”

In order to judge the novel outside of the shadow of novels with similar conceits, I took the groundbreaking and head-breaking measure of attempting to induce amnesia. I tapped my noggin vigorously with all manner of mallets and took a number of tumbles down staircases, and in one regrettably memorable experience, sent myself plunging down my dumbwaiter, only to find that not only had my butler not been removing the now very rotten food scraps, but also one can earn a nasty infection from moldy silverware, and I don’t have a butler, and my dumbwaiter is just a second story window. Alas, the amnesia did not take. My mind, unfortunately, is still as sharp as…one of those, uh, sharp stabby things, the ones you use to affix pictures of your favorite monarchs to your dormitory walls…wallstabbers? Yes, wallstabbers.

Anyway, with my memory still as simultaneously boundless and confining as a prairie town, I am unable to judge “All the Birds in the Sky” without the knowledge of somewhat similar works coloring my perception. But, after further consideration, in what is a cruel twist given all I went through in order to provide a recommendation that would shatter all notions of what a recommendation could be and also my orbital bones, “All the Birds in the Sky” is a singular work.

For one, there are two protagonists. And the melding of science fiction, fantasy, comedy and action is so smooth, one would be forgiven for forgetting, even without a freshly battered head, to comment on its smoothness. Anders’ delivery and gift for jump-cutting to punchlines induce bountiful mirth.  Also, I can’t think of another novel that features a school for witches. The school, Eltisley Maze, is fantastically imagined, and I doubt another author could, even with, like, seven whole volumes, create as fascinating a setting as Anders has here in just a few pages. It’s so cool. Go read the book, which describes the school, which I will not do.

The story begins with a girl saving a bird and learning she can talk to it. Soon she meets a boy who has followed cryptic instructions from the Internet to build a time machine capable of propelling the wearer two seconds into the future. This is a small aid in his quest to avoid bully fists, but using it too much will give the user a tremendous headache, as will wrapping your entire body save for your head in blankets and rolling down the steps of an amphitheater.

Difficulties abound. In order to get witchy again, Patricia must resort to taking unheard of amounts of spice in her food. Laurence’s parents insist he must go outside more. The guidance counselor at their school is actually an assassin (from an ancient order, naturally) plotting the pair’s demise. (To his credit, he’s only doing so because of a vision of apocalyptic catastrophe that featured the two children as adults at its center.) The children drift apart, though Patricia still converses with the artificial intelligence that is devouring Laurence’s closet space.

The novel really hits its highest…springy wheel thing with teeth that attaches to its wheel siblings to produce movement…when it jumps ahead to their early adulthood. Patricia is a witch who spends her time fixing wrongs, from turning a very bad man into a turtle, to making a heroin addict’s skin impervious to needles. Laurence is working as part of a billionaire’s think tank to create a wormhole that will transport a portion of the earth’s population to a fresh planet before this one is irrevocably torched. Also, this portion of the novel is home to the coolest tablet computer anyone has ever imagined, even if it is shaped like a…thing you use to scrape sounds out of a guitar.

With the duo at the height of their powers, and Patricia and her coven keen to save the world, and Laurence and his think tank keen to save some of the people on the world, even if the wormhole ray blows this one up in the process, one sees how the assassin’s apocalyptic vision may come to pass. Read the book and see if it does. Now I’m going to see a…person that puts cold metal on you to check for sickness.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Charlie Jane Anders appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Laugh Your Way to Winter’s Finish

DBRL Next - March 11, 2016

Photo As you’ve heard before, laughter is one of the best medicines, having positive effects on us physically, mentally and socially. This seems like a pretty big deal, that something free and fun can be such a gold mine of therapeutic benefits. If winter has you down low and feeling cabin-fever-confined, then stock up on some books from the library’s wit and humor collection and get your laughter fix.

Book cover for Let's Explore Diabetes With OwlsNo list of suggested humor reads would be complete without books by David Sedaris.  I picked up his most recent title, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Essays, Etc,” hoping for some comic relief. Within the first paragraph of his essay “Dentists Without Borders,” I started laughing, deep from the belly. I knew we were off to a great start! Sedaris is a gifted storyteller and uses his unique, quirky and twisted brand of humor in a quasi-autobiographical, non-fiction approach to recount tales of his odd-ball upbringing, job histories and ordinary daily life experiences. He tempers his humor with a dose of poignancy, lending insight to our human foibles.

Book cover for Zen ConfidentialAnother side-splitting set of essays (in my humble opinion) is “Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk” by Shozan Jack Haubner. In hilarious (and sometimes crude) essays, Haubner scripts his trajectory from Midwestern Catholic boy, to Los Angeles screenwriter and stand-up comic, to Zen Buddhist monk living contemplatively in a mountain monastery. In this honest spiritual memoir, he describes, with biting wit, the rigors and challenges of monastic life, which provide him a longed for pathway to understanding his true nature.

Book cover for That Should Be a WordFor short, pick-me-up chuckles, try this clever dictionary of neologisms, “That Should Be a Word: A Language Lover’s Guide to Choregasms, Povertunity, Brattling, and 250 Other Much-Needed Terms for the Modern World,” by Lizzie Skurnick. A clever wordsmith, Skurnick authored a column (“That Should Be a Word”) for the New York Times Magazine where many of her originally coined words first appeared. Each word includes pronunciation, definition and usage as illuminated in these three choice entries:

Figital (FIJ-ih-tul). adj. Excessively checking one’s devices. Example: “Victoria grew tired of watching her figital fiancé glance at his iPhone every five seconds.”

Pagita (PAH-ji-tuh), n. The stress of the unread. Example: “Roderick stared desperately at the stack of New Yorkers before he went on his business trip, trembling with pagita.”

Roogle (ROOG-ul), n. Regret of a search. Example: “Samir stepped away from the computer filled with roogle. He hadn’t needed to know his new boss was a Civil War reenactor.”

Book cover for the Pretty Good Joke BookAlso, in the vein of quick laughs, try perusing “A Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book,” with an introduction by Garrison KeillorMy family and friends have enjoyed many laughs from this title, thanks to my son, who brought it along on car trips or to parties to read aloud and entertain us.

Whatever the persuasion of humor that tickles your funny bone, we have it here at DBRL, so stop in and take advantage of this storehouse of humor. We want to help you scatter the last vestiges of winter with some hearty laughs.

photo credit: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. via photopin (license)

The post Laugh Your Way to Winter’s Finish appeared first on DBRL Next.

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2016 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced

DBRLTeen - March 10, 2016

2016 March Madness Top Books

VOTE NOW through March 15 for the Final 4!

We’ve officially moved into the third round of our single elimination teen book tournament. So far, 24 books have been struck from the list to determine the Elite 8. Did Kiera Cass make the cut with her book, “One,” or did Lois Lowry’s book,“The Giver,” win? Who survived the last round: “The Fault in Our Stars” or “The Fellowship of the Ring?”

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare
  3. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  4. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die” by April Henry
  5. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  6. Cinder” by Marissa Meyer
  7. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  8. Legend” by Marie Lu
How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:

Through a series of votes, we are narrowing the library’s list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. By supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble! Prize winners will be announced on April 8 when we announce our book tournament champion.

  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: Voting complete for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: VOTE NOW through March 15 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 17-22 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: March 24-April 5 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 8: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite four titles by Tuesday, March 15 at 3 p.m. You may vote online at teens.dbrl.org or pick up a paper ballot at one of our three branch locations. Limit one ballot per person, per round.  The Final Four will be announced next Thursday, March 17.

Originally published at 2016 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced.

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New DVD List: The Look of Silence & More

DBRL Next - March 9, 2016

the look of silence

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

look of silenceThe Look of Silence
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. Playing last year at the True/False Film Fest, this unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of 50 years of silence.

fargoFargo
Season 2
Website / Reviews
Set in 1979, this all-new true crime saga kicks off with violent foul play at a South Dakota Waffle Hut. In a flash, the case ensnares a small-town beautician, a Minnesota state trooper and a local sheriff all set against the backdrop of an explosive Midwestern mob war.

captivatedCaptivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Another True/False Film Fest pick, this film examines a small-town murder in New England that became one of the highest-profile cases of the twentieth century. As the first fully televised court case, the Pamela Smart trial rattled the consciousness of America. But did the media circus surrounding the case prevent a fair trial?

unrealUnREAL
Season 1
Website / Reviews
“UnREAL” gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program. A producer manipulates her relationships with, and among, the contestants to get the dramatic footage that the executive producer demands.

Other notable releases:
The Homestretch” –   Website / Reviews / Trailer
Girls – Season 4 – Website / Reviews
A Brave HeartWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
Thought CrimesWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
12 MonkeysSeason 1 – Website / Reviews
Welcome to LeithWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
Leftovers  – Season 2 – Website / Reviews
How to Dance in OhioWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
TogethernessSeason 1Website / Reviews
AlumbronesWebsite / Reviews / Trailer
Covert AffairsSeason 5 – Website / Reviews
UnbrandedWebsite / Reviews / Trailer

The post New DVD List: The Look of Silence & More appeared first on DBRL Next.

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The Sound of Gravel: Memoirs of Survival

Next Book Buzz - March 7, 2016

Book cover for The Sound of GravelWhen asked about the best early training for a writer, Ernest Hemingway reportedly answered, “An unhappy childhood.” This snappy reply may hold more than a bit of truth if we take as evidence the number of captivating memoirs written about growing up in (and surviving) extraordinary circumstances.

The Sound of Gravel” by Ruth Wariner is one such memoir. In this intense and moving account of the author’s coming-of-age in a polygamist Mormon colony-bordering-on-cult, Wariner describes living on a rural Mexican farm as one of her father’s more than 40 welfare-dependent children. She recounts the extreme religious beliefs that haunted her daily life, the abuse she and her siblings suffered and her escape after a devastating tragedy.

At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19,  Wariner will talk about her book at the Columbia Public Library. Copies of “The Sound of Gravel” will be available for purchase and signing.

Want more memoirs of survival? Read on!

Book cover for Look Me in the Eye by John Elder RobisonLook Me in the Eye” by John Robison details an abusive childhood made more complicated by undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome. This memoir describes Robison’s difficulties communicating and the resulting social isolation, his discovery of his mechanical aptitude, his struggle to live a “normal” life, his diagnosis at the age of 40 with Asperger’s and the dramatic changes that have occurred since that diagnosis. Robison’s understated humor and fascinating journey (he designed flaming guitars for the band Kiss and founded a successful high-end car repair business) make this an enjoyable, moving and memorable read.

Book cover for A House in the SkyTo mentally escape abuse, young Amanda Lindhout lost herself in the pages of National Geographic magazine. When she turned 18, she left home, determined to see the world. Lindhout became an experienced backpacker, and her memoir “A House in the Sky” (co-written by Sara Corbett) details a harrowing story centered around Lindhout’s kidnapping, along with an Australian photographer, by Somali Islamist rebels. The two were held prisoner for more than 15 months, and Lindhout’s account of the ordeal is compelling, dramatic, disturbing and ultimately an incredible testament to her will to survive and how the worst imaginable circumstances can inspire something good.

Book cover for The Tender Bar by J.R. MoehringerThe Tender Bar” by J.R. Moehringer details his relationships with the father stand-ins he found at Publicans, a local bar and his uncle’s favorite haunt. Poor, and living with his single mother, he bonds with the bar’s regulars who form “one enormous male eye looking over my shoulder” as Moehringer grows up, taking him on outings, teaching life lessons and providing a refuge when relationships fail. This reflective, heart-warming book reminds us that home can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

For even more memoirs about survival and resilience, check out our book list in the library’s catalog.

The post The Sound of Gravel: Memoirs of Survival appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

The Sound of Gravel: Memoirs of Survival

DBRL Next - March 7, 2016

Book cover for The Sound of GravelWhen asked about the best early training for a writer, Ernest Hemingway reportedly answered, “An unhappy childhood.” This snappy reply may hold more than a bit of truth if we take as evidence the number of captivating memoirs written about growing up in (and surviving) extraordinary circumstances.

The Sound of Gravel” by Ruth Wariner is one such memoir. In this intense and moving account of the author’s coming-of-age in a polygamist Mormon colony-bordering-on-cult, Wariner describes living on a rural Mexican farm as one of her father’s more than 40 welfare-dependent children. She recounts the extreme religious beliefs that haunted her daily life, the abuse she and her siblings suffered and her escape after a devastating tragedy.

At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19,  Wariner will talk about her book at the Columbia Public Library. Copies of “The Sound of Gravel” will be available for purchase and signing.

Want more memoirs of survival? Read on!

Book cover for Look Me in the Eye by John Elder RobisonLook Me in the Eye” by John Robison details an abusive childhood made more complicated by undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome. This memoir describes Robison’s difficulties communicating and the resulting social isolation, his discovery of his mechanical aptitude, his struggle to live a “normal” life, his diagnosis at the age of 40 with Asperger’s and the dramatic changes that have occurred since that diagnosis. Robison’s understated humor and fascinating journey (he designed flaming guitars for the band Kiss and founded a successful high-end car repair business) make this an enjoyable, moving and memorable read.

Book cover for A House in the SkyTo mentally escape abuse, young Amanda Lindhout lost herself in the pages of National Geographic magazine. When she turned 18, she left home, determined to see the world. Lindhout became an experienced backpacker, and her memoir “A House in the Sky” (co-written by Sara Corbett) details a harrowing story centered around Lindhout’s kidnapping, along with an Australian photographer, by Somali Islamist rebels. The two were held prisoner for more than 15 months, and Lindhout’s account of the ordeal is compelling, dramatic, disturbing and ultimately an incredible testament to her will to survive and how the worst imaginable circumstances can inspire something good.

Book cover for The Tender Bar by J.R. MoehringerThe Tender Bar” by J.R. Moehringer details his relationships with the father stand-ins he found at Publicans, a local bar and his uncle’s favorite haunt. Poor, and living with his single mother, he bonds with the bar’s regulars who form “one enormous male eye looking over my shoulder” as Moehringer grows up, taking him on outings, teaching life lessons and providing a refuge when relationships fail. This reflective, heart-warming book reminds us that home can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

For even more memoirs about survival and resilience, check out our book list in the library’s catalog.

The post The Sound of Gravel: Memoirs of Survival appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Columbia’s Unbound Book Festival: A Reading List (Part Two)

Next Book Buzz - March 4, 2016

Unbound book fest logoOn April 23, Columbia will welcome an impressive list of writers to the inaugural Unbound Book Festival. We’ve already highlighted the writers of fiction and nonfiction appearing at various venues on the Stephen’s College campus, and here are the poets who will be sharing their work. (Author information courtesy of Unbound Book Festival.)

  • book cover for Elegy by Mary Jo BangMary Jo Bang is known as a poet of “gorgeous phrasing and imaginative leaps” (Washington Post) and as “an ingenious phrase maker, startling English out of its idiomatic slumber” (New York Times Book Review). Her poems are products and portrayals of our fractured twenty-first century world, yet timeless, whether concerning silent movie star Louise Brooks or of the tragic death of her son. She is the author of six poetry collections, including “The Last Two Seconds” and “Elegy,” which won the 2009 Nation Book Critics Circle Award, and the translator of a groundbreaking rendition of “Dante’s Inferno.”
  • David Clewell is the author of 10 collections of poems and two book-length poems. His work has appeared regularly in a wide variety of national magazines and journals – including Harper’s, Poetry, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review and New Letters – and is represented in more than fifty anthologies. Among his honors are several book awards: two Four Lakes Poetry Prizes (for “Taken Somehow By Surprise” and “Almost Nothing to Be Scared Of”), the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize (for “Now We’re Getting Somewhere”), and a National Poetry Series selection (“Blessings in Disguise“). He served as Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2010-2012.
  • Book cover for Trouble by Walter BargenWalter Bargen has published 18 books of poetry. Some of his most recent books are: “Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems” (2009), “Endearing Ruins” (2012), “Trouble Behind Glass Doors” (2013) and “Gone West” (2014). He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009). His awards include a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship (1991), Prose Award from Quarter After Eight (1996), the Hanks Prize (1996), the Chester H. Jones Foundation prize (1997), the William Rockhill Nelson Award (2005) and the Short Fiction Award – A cappella Zoo (2011).

  • Mark Doty is one of America’s most acclaimed and beloved poets. His gorgeous, colloquial verse touches movingly on matters personal, natural and political, oftentimes weaving together these realms with wisdom and grace. Doty is the author of nine poetry collections, including “Deep Lane,” recently published, and “Fire to Fire: New & Selected Poems,” which won the 2010 National Book Award. Doty’s additional honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize.
  • book cover for Incorrect Merciful Impulses by Camille RankineCamille Rankine has been featured in O: The Oprah Magazine, New York Daily News and American Poet as one of the country’s most impressive emerging poets. Her debut collection, “Incorrect Merciful Impulses,” is among the most anticipated first books of 2015; incisive, lyrical and intimate, it establishes her instantly as a literary force to be reckoned with.
  • Patrick Rosal is one of America’s most dynamic poets of the immigrant experience, his poems ringing with the music of a multicultural existence. A writer of fierce conscience and big heart, Rosal is known internationally for his captivating recitations, his poems written to be performed and heard as much as read. He is the author of four poetry collections, including “Boneshepherds” and “My American Kundiman,” which won the 2006 Book Award in Poetry from the Association of Asian American Studies and the 2007 Global Filipino Literary Award.
  • William Trowbridge is currently Poet Laureate of Missouri. His latest collection is “Put This On, Please: New and Selected Poems” (Red Hen Press, 2014). His poems have appeared in more than 35 anthologies and textbooks, as well as on The Writer’s Almanac and in such periodicals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, TriQuarterly, The Georgia Review, Boulevard, The Southern Review, Columbia, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Epoch and New Letters. He teaches in the University of Nebraska Low-residency MFA in Writing Program.

The post Columbia’s Unbound Book Festival: A Reading List (Part Two) appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Columbia’s Unbound Book Festival: A Reading List (Part Two)

DBRL Next - March 4, 2016

Unbound book fest logoOn April 23, Columbia will welcome an impressive list of writers to the inaugural Unbound Book Festival. We’ve already highlighted the writers of fiction and nonfiction appearing at various venues on the Stephen’s College campus, and here are the poets who will be sharing their work. (Author information courtesy of Unbound Book Festival.)

  • book cover for Elegy by Mary Jo BangMary Jo Bang is known as a poet of “gorgeous phrasing and imaginative leaps” (Washington Post) and as “an ingenious phrase maker, startling English out of its idiomatic slumber” (New York Times Book Review). Her poems are products and portrayals of our fractured twenty-first century world, yet timeless, whether concerning silent movie star Louise Brooks or of the tragic death of her son. She is the author of six poetry collections, including “The Last Two Seconds” and “Elegy,” which won the 2009 Nation Book Critics Circle Award, and the translator of a groundbreaking rendition of “Dante’s Inferno.”
  • David Clewell is the author of 10 collections of poems and two book-length poems. His work has appeared regularly in a wide variety of national magazines and journals – including Harper’s, Poetry, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review and New Letters – and is represented in more than fifty anthologies. Among his honors are several book awards: two Four Lakes Poetry Prizes (for “Taken Somehow By Surprise” and “Almost Nothing to Be Scared Of”), the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize (for “Now We’re Getting Somewhere”), and a National Poetry Series selection (“Blessings in Disguise“). He served as Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2010-2012.
  • Book cover for Trouble by Walter BargenWalter Bargen has published 18 books of poetry. Some of his most recent books are: “Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems” (2009), “Endearing Ruins” (2012), “Trouble Behind Glass Doors” (2013) and “Gone West” (2014). He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009). His awards include a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship (1991), Prose Award from Quarter After Eight (1996), the Hanks Prize (1996), the Chester H. Jones Foundation prize (1997), the William Rockhill Nelson Award (2005) and the Short Fiction Award – A cappella Zoo (2011).

  • Mark Doty is one of America’s most acclaimed and beloved poets. His gorgeous, colloquial verse touches movingly on matters personal, natural and political, oftentimes weaving together these realms with wisdom and grace. Doty is the author of nine poetry collections, including “Deep Lane,” recently published, and “Fire to Fire: New & Selected Poems,” which won the 2010 National Book Award. Doty’s additional honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize.
  • book cover for Incorrect Merciful Impulses by Camille RankineCamille Rankine has been featured in O: The Oprah Magazine, New York Daily News and American Poet as one of the country’s most impressive emerging poets. Her debut collection, “Incorrect Merciful Impulses,” is among the most anticipated first books of 2015; incisive, lyrical and intimate, it establishes her instantly as a literary force to be reckoned with.
  • Patrick Rosal is one of America’s most dynamic poets of the immigrant experience, his poems ringing with the music of a multicultural existence. A writer of fierce conscience and big heart, Rosal is known internationally for his captivating recitations, his poems written to be performed and heard as much as read. He is the author of four poetry collections, including “Boneshepherds” and “My American Kundiman,” which won the 2006 Book Award in Poetry from the Association of Asian American Studies and the 2007 Global Filipino Literary Award.
  • William Trowbridge is currently Poet Laureate of Missouri. His latest collection is “Put This On, Please: New and Selected Poems” (Red Hen Press, 2014). His poems have appeared in more than 35 anthologies and textbooks, as well as on The Writer’s Almanac and in such periodicals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, TriQuarterly, The Georgia Review, Boulevard, The Southern Review, Columbia, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Epoch and New Letters. He teaches in the University of Nebraska Low-residency MFA in Writing Program.

The post Columbia’s Unbound Book Festival: A Reading List (Part Two) appeared first on DBRL Next.

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April 1 Deadline for Bookmark Contest

DBRLTeen - March 4, 2016

Ready-Set-Read-stampHelp us get ready for Summer Reading by designing an original bookmark based on the theme “Ready, Set, Read!” Winning artwork from each library will be printed on bookmarks to be distributed throughout Boone and Callaway counties.

Please prepare two-dimensional artwork using crayons, markers or any other medium, or create it on the computer. Photography is also acceptable, as long as it is your own! Your entry should be drawn onto or sized to match the entry form. Download an entry form or pick one up at your library or the bookmobile. Ages 18 and younger. Entry deadline is Friday, April 1.

Originally published at April 1 Deadline for Bookmark Contest.

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2016 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced

DBRLTeen - March 3, 2016

2016 March Madness Top Books

VOTE NOW through March 8 for the Elite 8!

After an exciting two months of voting, DBRL Teen is proud to announce the Sweet 16 in our March Madness Teen Book Tournament. However, if you are just joining in the fun, here’s a little background to get you caught up. Through a series of votes, we are narrowing the library’s list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. By supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble!

How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:
  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: VOTE NOW through March 8 for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Vote March 10-15 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 17-22 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: March 24-April 5 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 8: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite eight titles by Tuesday, March 8 at 3 p.m. The winners from this round of competition will be announced next Thursday, March 10.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  3. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  4. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  5. The 5th Wave” by Richard Yancey
  6. Cinder” by Marissa Meyer
  7. If I Stay” by Gayle Forman
  8. Legend” by Marie Lu
  9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs
  10. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die” by April Henry
  11. Elemental” by Antony John
  12. City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare
  13. Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson
  14. One” by Kiera Cass
  15. The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  16. Crossed” by Ally Condie

Originally published at 2016 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced.

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Confronting Climate Change: Free MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium

DBRL Next - March 2, 2016

 MU Life Sciences SymposiumAccording to NASA and NOAA, 2015 was the hottest year on record. While some still argue about whether climate change is real, most scientists agree that it is and are studying its effects and ways to slow or reverse the damage.

MU’s 12th Annual Life Sciences & Society Symposium, held March 12 and 17-19, 2016, addresses the complex and controversial topic of how we should confront climate change by gathering seven expert speakers in search of answers to a few key questions. How and why is climate change happening? What are its consequences likely to be for weather, agriculture, health and society? And what can and should be done – in terms of energy, technology and policy – to mitigate it? All events are free and open to the public. See the full schedule and event locations at the symposium’s website.

 The Operator's ManualFeatured speakers include Richard Alley (Saturday, March 12, 10:30 a.m.), a professor at The Pennsylvania State University, an environmental scientist, author and one of the contributors to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He hosted the recent PBS miniseries “Earth: The Operators’ Manual,” (the companion book is available for check-out from DBRL) and has been called a cross between Woody Allen and Carl Sagan for his enthusiastic efforts to communicate the excitement and importance of science to everyone.

Book cover for Consulting the Genius of PlaceWes Jackson, the founder and president of The Land Institute, will speak about natural systems agriculture (Saturday, March 19, 9:00 a.m.). He was a Pew Conservation Scholar in 1990, a MacArthur Fellow in 1992 and received the Right Livelihood Award in 2000. His books include, “Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to A New Agriculture” and “Nature as Measure,” a collection of essays.

Naomi Oreskes is a professor at Harvard University, as well as a respected essayist and author. Her 2010 book, “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming,” co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize and received the 2011 Watson-Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. She’ll be speaking about climate change denial on Saturday, March 19 at 3:30 p.m. You can be super prepared for her talk by making time on Monday, March 14 to see a 5:30 p.m. screening of “Merchants of Doubt” at Ragtag Cinema. This documentary film is inspired by Oreskes’ book and will be followed by a discussion with Mike Urban (MU Department of Geography) and Sara Shipley Hiles (MU School of Journalism).

For additional reading on climate change, its causes and what we can do about it, check out these books in our catalog.

The post Confronting Climate Change: Free MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Wii U Family Game Time

DBRLTeen - March 1, 2016

Mario Kart 8Wii U Family Game Night
Friday, March 18, 4-5:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance,” a gold cup winner in “Mario Kart 8” or a party animal in “Mario Party 10.” Snacks provided. Registration required. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Wii U Family Game Time.

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HerStory – In Government and Public Service

DBRL Next - February 29, 2016

Book cover for Sisters in LawMarch is National Women’s History Month and the theme for 2016 is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”

What perfect timing for me! I have just finished reading two wonderful books about the first two women on the Supreme Court who have worked tirelessly to make this a “more perfect union.”

In “Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World,” Linda Hirshman alternates between these two amazing women’s stories. Sandra Day O’Connor, as the first woman of the Supreme court, said that it was great to be the first, but she didn’t want to be the last. She was a product of the West, growing up on a ranch.  She was a Christian and a Goldwater Republican, whereas Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a liberal, Jewish ACLU lawyer. But, with all their differences, their experiences in the world trying to make it as women were very much the same. The pair truly transformed the courts – and America in the process – to make it a more hospitable place for women.

Book cover for Notorious RBGI loved “The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Erin Carmon even more than “Sisters in Law.” Ginsburg has a plan for gender equality that she has been building on, brick by brick, case by case, since her early days as an ACLU lawyer. Did you know that she also has a rap song written about her? She truly has become an icon.

While we are knee deep in the primaries, this might also be a good time to reflect on the first ladies who were swept into service – often whether they liked it or not. My favorites are Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt, but I should probably also read about our current first lady, Michelle Obama. And then, of course, there is also our current female candidate and first lady, Hillary Clinton.

There are so many wonderful women leaders whose stories deserve to be read and told: the first female governor, the first female representatives, the first female senator. I’m excited to read about the first female Cabinet member, Francis Perkins, who was the “The Woman Behind the New Deal.”  There are so many!  So I did what I always do and made a list. I invite you to read along and celebrate National Women’s History Month with me.

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After School in Ashland

DBRLTeen - February 29, 2016

Mark your calendars now for these cool after-school events scheduled for March at the Southern Boone County Public Library in Ashland.

Snap CircuitCircuit Science
Tuesday, March 15, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Use Snap Circuits, a hands-on electronics learning kit, to discover the basics of electrical circuits. This session, we’ll make a musical doorbell, construct an AM radio and more. Ages 8-14.

Wii Game Time
Wednesday, March 16, 2:45-4:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Think you have the best dance moves? Prove it! Can you drive like Mario? Bring it! Come play a variety of games on the Wii U. Treats served. Teens.

Originally published at After School in Ashland.

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Camp Ca-Pow: College Planning for Middle-Schoolers

DBRLTeen - February 26, 2016

Camp Ca-Pow Students

Be your own hero and expand your college knowledge this spring break with Camp Ca-Pow! Camp Ca-Pow (College Access – Planning Our Way) is a free camp for middle school students that will focus on planning for the future. It gives students the opportunity to visit campuses, explore career paths and hear college students share their stories. This camp is made possible through the collaboration of MU College of Education- Educational Leadership Policy Analysis, Missouri 4-H and Family Impact Center.

Camp Ca-pow takes place from Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 1. It is limited to students in grades 6-8. Application deadline is March 1. Camp Ca-Pow meets at the Family Impact Center, and there will be daily field trips to 4 local colleges: University of Missouri-Columbia, Lincoln University, Linn State Technical College and Columbia College.

For More information, contact Ashley Guillemette at guillemettea@missouri.edu or call 573-882-2428.

Originally published at Camp Ca-Pow: College Planning for Middle-Schoolers.

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“Bad Feminist” Writer Roxane Gay to Speak in Columbia March 3 (NEW LOCATION)

DBRL Next - February 26, 2016

Book cover for Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay“I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.” – Roxane Gay, “Bad Feminist

Roxane Gay, a Purdue University associate professor of English, will visit MU on March 3 as part of the Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series. The reading, with a reception and book signing to follow, begins at 7:30 p.m. at 22 Tate Hall (auditorium on the lower level of the building). Note that this is a change from the originally publicized location.

Gay’s essays tackle culture and politics, and are sometimes funny, sometimes sharp, but always insightful, honest and engaging. Her debut novel, “An Untamed State,” is similar in its unflinching look at a brutal world. The book follows a woman kidnapped for ransom in Haiti, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

In addition to her printed work, Gay is a prolific blogger and – if I can use the word – tweeter, often live-tweeting television shows or the event she is attending. (Warning: if you are allergic to curse words, maybe don’t read her Twitter feed.) Her bio on Twitter is charming: “I write. I want a tiny baby elephant. I love Ina Garten. If you clap, I clap back.” She proclaims to have both great confidence and low self-esteem. She’s critical of society’s deeply entrenched misogyny, but she also enjoys Vogue magazine and rap music. Gay is complicated, but so are the issues of body image, race and sexuality, all of which she addresses with refreshing honesty and wit. Read her work, and see her in person on March 3.

The post “Bad Feminist” Writer Roxane Gay to Speak in Columbia March 3 (NEW LOCATION) appeared first on DBRL Next.

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A Is for Author: Making Children’s Books

DBRLTeen - February 24, 2016

D is for DoodleA Is for Author: Making Children’s Books
Saturday, February 27 › 10 a.m.-Noon
Columbia Public Library, Virginia G. Young Room

Author and illustrator Deborah Zemke loves words, pictures and letters! Join her in a hands-on workshop as she swoops through the alphabet with zeal to touch on the many aspects of making children’s books. Using her own books, pictures, stories and experiences as an example, Deborah will help participants mine their brains and engage their funny bones, make a dummy and use a magic wand to turn nothing into something. You’ll learn more about the world of children’s publishing as you make your own accordion book.

Deborah is the author/illustrator of over 20 books and has illustrated books by authors like Harriet Ziefert. Her newest work, an illustrated chapter book, comes out in early 2016. Adults and ages 12 and older. Registration required. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at A Is for Author: Making Children’s Books.

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Previous Docs From True/False 2016 Directors

DBRL Next - February 24, 2016

true-false-2016

We’ve compiled a list of previous documentaries available at DBRL from the directors who are presenting films at the upcoming True/False Film Fest. Check out their old films before you attend the fest for their new films!

David Sington
True/False 2016 film: “The Fear of 13
Past films as director: “The Flaw,” “In the Shadow of the Moon

Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady
True/False 2016 film:  “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
Past films as directors: “Detropia,” “The Boys of Baraka,” “Freakonomics

Ido Haar
True/False 2016 film: “Presenting Princess Shaw
Past film as director: “9 Star Hotel

Jeff Feuerzeig
True/False 2016 film: “Author: The JT LeRoy Story
Past films as director: “The Real Rocky,” “The Devil and Daniel Johnston

Keith Fulton & Louis Pepe
True/False 2016 film: “The Bad Kids
Past film as director: “Lost in La Mancha

Kirsten Johnson
True/False 2016 film: “Cameraperson
Past film as director: “Deadline

Morgan Neville
True/False 2016 film:  “The Music of Strangers
Past films as director: “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” “Troubadours,” “Respect Yourself” (Robert Gordon co-director), “Muddy Waters” (Robert Gordon co-director), “Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan” (Robert Gordon co-director), “Iggy and the Stooges

Ramona Diaz
True/False 2016 film:  “Untitled Ramona Diaz Project
Past films as director: “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Imelda

Robert Greene
True/False 2016 film: “Kate Plays Christine
Past films as director: “Actress,” “Katie with an i

Roger Ross Williams
True/False 2016 film: “Life, Animated
Past film as director: “God Loves Uganda

To see more about the films showing at True/False 2016, check out the list of films on the True/False website. Be sure to check out our True/False Film Fest films at DBRL to see lists of past True/False films available from your library.

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March 4 Deadline for April ACT Exam

DBRLTeen - February 24, 2016

Cracking the ACTBe sure to register online by Friday, March 4 if you plan to take the April 9 ACT exam. If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to ACT/SAT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

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

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

Originally published at March 4 Deadline for April ACT Exam.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The March 2016 List

DBRL Next - February 22, 2016

The March LibraryReads list is here! This month we have historical fiction, a smart thriller, an urban fantasy and even Jane Eyre re-imagined as a gutsy serial killer. Place your holds now on these 10 titles recommended by librarians across the country.

Book cover for The Summer Before the WarThe Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson
“Fans of Simonson’s ‘Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand‘ have reason to rejoice. She has created another engaging novel full of winsome characters, this time set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I. Follow the story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Make a cup of tea, and prepare to savor every page!” – Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Book cover for Jane Steele by Lyndsay FayeJane Steele” by Lyndsay Faye
“Jane Steele is a great read for lovers of Victorian literature who especially love their characters to have a lot of pluck! Jane Steele is the adventurous, irreverent, foul-mouthed broad that I so often loved about Jane Eyre, but in more wily circumstances. Remember that fabulous scene in Jane Eyre when she stands up to her aunt for the first time, and how you wanted to stand up from your comfy reading chair and cheer for her? Imagine an entire book just of those sorts of scenes. Absolutely fabulous fun!” – Abbey Stroop, Herrick District Library, Holland, MI

Book cover for The Passenger by Lisa LutzThe Passenger” by Lisa Lutz
“This is a compulsively readable story of a young woman who has to keep switching identities and stay on the run. Is she a reliable narrator or not? What was the original event that sent her on the run? There is a lot of action and suspense as she tries to survive and evade the law while trying to keep her moral center intact. Unlike Lutz’s Spellman books, this reads more like a Charles Portis road novel, though considerably more serious and dangerous. Highly recommended.” – Beth DeGeer, Bartlesville Public Library, Bartlesville, OK

And the rest of the list for your holds-placing pleasure:

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

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