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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The March List

Next Book Buzz - February 24, 2014
Library Reads Logo

LibraryReads_banner1_MARCHLibraryReads is a monthly list of forthcoming books librarians across the country recommend. The March list is particularly awesome because local author Laura McHugh’s book (partly written at the Columbia Public Library) is the number one pick!

Book cover for The Weight of Blood by Laura McHughThe Weight of Blood
by Laura McHugh
“The Dane family has been keeping secrets in the Ozark town of Henbane for years. An outsider steals the heart of one of the Dane brothers, and the secrets threaten to unravel. When 16-year-old Lucy’s friend is found murdered after being missing for a year, Lucy begins to ask questions–the answers to which may destroy her family. Atmospheric and visceral, McHugh’s story is vividly and effectively told.”
- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Book cover for The Accident by Chris PavoneThe Accident
by Chris Pavone
“Kudos to Pavone for coming through with another captivating international suspense novel. How ironic that I couldn’t put down a book about Isabel, a literary agent who stays up all night to finish an unsolicited manuscript that’s so explosive, some will kill to keep it from being published. During the 24 hours that Isabel is on the run, readers will be on the edge of their seats. Be prepared to lose some sleep!”
- Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Book cover for The Divorce Papers by Susan RiegerThe Divorce Papers
by Susan Rieger
“When Sophie, a loveable 29-year-old lawyer, gets roped into working on a divorce case, her life takes an unexpected turn. Though this gives her a new perspective on life, it also forces her to confront some unresolved childhood issues. Except for a few tearful, poignant moments, I had a smile on my face for the entire book. Engaging and humorous, this debut epistolary novel has become a favorite read.”
- Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

Here is the rest of the list for your browsing and hold-placing pleasure!

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

Categories: Book Buzz

Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The March List

DBRL Next - February 24, 2014
Library Reads Logo

LibraryReads_banner1_MARCHLibraryReads is a monthly list of forthcoming books librarians across the country recommend. The March list is particularly awesome because local author Laura McHugh’s book (partly written at the Columbia Public Library) is the number one pick!

Book cover for The Weight of Blood by Laura McHughThe Weight of Blood
by Laura McHugh
“The Dane family has been keeping secrets in the Ozark town of Henbane for years. An outsider steals the heart of one of the Dane brothers, and the secrets threaten to unravel. When 16-year-old Lucy’s friend is found murdered after being missing for a year, Lucy begins to ask questions–the answers to which may destroy her family. Atmospheric and visceral, McHugh’s story is vividly and effectively told.”
- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Book cover for The Accident by Chris PavoneThe Accident
by Chris Pavone
“Kudos to Pavone for coming through with another captivating international suspense novel. How ironic that I couldn’t put down a book about Isabel, a literary agent who stays up all night to finish an unsolicited manuscript that’s so explosive, some will kill to keep it from being published. During the 24 hours that Isabel is on the run, readers will be on the edge of their seats. Be prepared to lose some sleep!”
- Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Book cover for The Divorce Papers by Susan RiegerThe Divorce Papers
by Susan Rieger
“When Sophie, a loveable 29-year-old lawyer, gets roped into working on a divorce case, her life takes an unexpected turn. Though this gives her a new perspective on life, it also forces her to confront some unresolved childhood issues. Except for a few tearful, poignant moments, I had a smile on my face for the entire book. Engaging and humorous, this debut epistolary novel has become a favorite read.”
- Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

Here is the rest of the list for your browsing and hold-placing pleasure!

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

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Mar 7 Deadline for April ACT Exam

DBRLTeen - February 23, 2014

Standardized TestThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT exams. Registration for the April 14 ACT exam is due Friday, March 7. Sign-up online.

If you would like to know more about testing locations, costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to SAT/ACT 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 Mar 7 Deadline for April ACT Exam.

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Let’s Travel: Steamboat Springs, CO

DBRL Next - February 21, 2014

“Slow down!” I screamed at my husband when a gust of wind threw another clump of snow at our front window, obscuring the world outside our car. We were driving through a blizzard, and my rhetorical question “Are we there, yet?” no longer reflected boredom but acquired a true urgency. Yet – finally! – our Subaru, loaded with ski clothes, equipment and electronic gadgets (just the number of chargers is unbelievable!) reached Rabbit Ears Pass and began descending to Yampa Valley – the town of Steamboat Springs within it.

Steamboat 4Those who’ve never seen the Rocky Mountains in the winter should definitely rethink that (if you live outside the U.S., substitute a mountain region in your country :) ), for, as far as I’m concerned, the austere beauty of snow-covered peaks and valleys is incomparable with any other natural setting. As for Steamboat Springs, its charm is in preserving the aura of a 19th century miners’ and ranchers’ town, where herds of cattle still run along its wide main drag to the rodeo grounds every 4th of July.

Ranching, of course, is no longer the main occupation there. The thing that puts Steamboat Springs on the map now is outdoor activities: skiing in the winter (mostly downhill but Nordic skiing and snowshoeing as well); biking, whitewater rafting and hiking in the summer; and bathing in hot springs year around. Yet despite new fads and diets, there are establishments in this town that are over 100 years old, where you can order an old-fashioned burger and unabashedly brush peanut shells on to the floor (don’t worry, there are fancy restaurants there, too :) ). Also, as it was in the past, the town is full of people with faces burnt by the sun, wind and snow, although they are more likely to work in the ski village several miles away than on a ranch.

Steamboat 1Since we first came to this area, it has grown considerably, especially the village: new houses and condos have popped up all over the valley, new inns and hotels brighten long winter nights with their perpetual Christmas lights and shops and galleries have spread all over. Yet the village, bustling with activity by day, largely empties by night – some visitors stay put while many drive (or take a shuttle) to the town.

Our first morning started slowly – it’s hard to feel vigorous at 6,900 feet when you have spent most of the year at 758. Besides, the blizzard was still raging, adding low visibility to our almost forgotten skiing abilities (when you ski once a year, your body forgets what it’s supposed to do). When, at the end of the day, a young receptionist asked us where we skied that day (easy runs only), our response didn’t impress him.

“That sure is mellow,” He said condescendingly.

“We’ll see where you’ll be skiing where you’re our age!” I wanted to say, but my husband wouldn’t allow it. My husband is always like that. He never lies (what damage can a couple of white lies cause?), he never cheats on line calls in tennis (we’re not playing for money, so what if I call something out when it is in?!) and he never argues with sales clerks (recently, when he tried on crooked reading glasses, a clerk told him that his face was crooked, and my husband thought that was funny!?).

Steamboat 2Our second day was even worse. Without much thought, we took the Storm Peak Express (should the name have told us something?) and found ourselves in a whiteout so dense that we could hardly see each other two feet apart! Yet, as often happens in the mountains, the blizzard retreated as quickly as it came, and on our third morning, the bright sun illuminated the mountains and the surrounding valley, transforming everything into a sparkling-white playground. Seemingly overnight, our bodies found their perfect balance, our skis followed our every move (almost :)) and we no longer fought against the landscape but enjoyed the views, the fresh air and the swift movements. We even had enough energy left for a night on the town: sizzling fajitas and fried ice-cream in a Mexican restaurant, a stroll through local galleries and a photo walk under the starry sky.

The next two days were picture-perfect as well: skiing under the gorgeous blue sky, stopping for lunch at a mountain lodge and watching early afternoon shadows spread their blue wings on the snow – winter days in the mountains are short. At that point, my main task always is not to lose the sight of my husband. The thing is, I have no sense of direction, and left to my own devices, I can easily end up on the other side of the mountain, alone. My husband, however, is always aware of his whereabouts. In our 16 years of skiing together, he lost that ability only once – after a fall that left him so disoriented that he asked me where the base village was. That scared me out of my wits – not because I had no idea where it was, but because it was a sign of something being very wrong with him. Lucky for me, his confusion didn’t last long, and after we got safely down, I made him buy a helmet, so he won’t scare me like that again.

Being directionally challenged, I, however, tend to ski first, ignoring (according to my husband) landscape markers and signs (trust me, I don’t – I just don’t see them!). Once in a while, I stop and wait for his directions, unless – in rare moments of absolute self-assurance, usually visiting me on our last run of the day – I take the wrong turn and hear, “No-o-o! Not there!!!” from my long-suffering ski companion.

Steamboat 3A week in the mountains passes too quickly, and soon we were preparing to go home (didn’t we just unpack everything?!). As usual, I wondered — would we enjoy a longer stay more or would it become monotonous? After all, we do the same things every day, and we don’t speak much to anybody. Well, we talk to people in shops and restaurants, and we have short conversations on the chairlifts – this time we mostly met Texans, Australians (where it’s summertime :) ), college students and several locals. I’ll never know, since we never stay for more than a week.

What I do know is this: it’s great to spend time outdoors, and it’s great to be able to enjoy physical activity while surrounded by natural beauty. And when I watch ski competitions from the Sochi Olympics, I feel that my humble experience allows me to more fully appreciate the spirit of the competitors, the agony of defeat and the colossal efforts of the athletes.

So if, like me, you enjoy watching the 2014 Winter Olympics, remember that you don’t have to be a champion to see what they see and do what they do (well, to some extent:) ). All you need to do is travel!

The post Let’s Travel: Steamboat Springs, CO appeared first on DBRL Next.

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What We’re Reading: February 2014

Teen Book Buzz - February 21, 2014

Library staff have spent the winter reading from a wide assortment of genres: historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. However, mystery and intrigue seems to be a prevailing theme among many of titles.  Have you already read one of these books? Submit your own book review or share your thoughts as a blog comment below!

What We’re Reading:Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Secrets” by Jennifer McGowan
A story of intrigue surrounding Queen Elizabeth I.

This is not a Drill” by Rebecca McDowell
Tense hostage situation.

Battle Magic” by Tamora Pierce
The continuing tale of Briar, a plant magician.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by April Genevieve Tucholke
Lovely, atmospheric Gothic horror.I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell
Heartbreaking, inspiring, and highly quotable.

I Hunt Killers” by Barry Lyga
Dark and gruesome, but fun.

Everybody Sees the Ants” by A.S. King”
Raw and honest with a bit of magical realism thrown in.

Stardust” by Neil Gaiman
A young man’s quest for love in the world of Faerie.Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes
Human lab rat.

Cinder” by Marissa Meyer
Beautifully retold Cinderella cyborg science fiction mash up.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making” by Catherynne Valente
Charming and delightfully strange in an Alice-in-Wonderland sort of way.

Originally published at What We’re Reading: February 2014.

Categories: Book Buzz

What We’re Reading: February 2014

DBRLTeen - February 21, 2014

Library staff have spent the winter reading from a wide assortment of genres: historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. However, mystery and intrigue seems to be a prevailing theme among many of titles.  Have you already read one of these books? Submit your own book review or share your thoughts as a blog comment below!

What We’re Reading:Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Secrets” by Jennifer McGowan
A story of intrigue surrounding Queen Elizabeth I.

This is not a Drill” by Rebecca McDowell
Tense hostage situation.

Battle Magic” by Tamora Pierce
The continuing tale of Briar, a plant magician.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by April Genevieve Tucholke
Lovely, atmospheric Gothic horror.I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell
Heartbreaking, inspiring, and highly quotable.

I Hunt Killers” by Barry Lyga
Dark and gruesome, but fun.

Everybody Sees the Ants” by A.S. King”
Raw and honest with a bit of magical realism thrown in.

Stardust” by Neil Gaiman
A young man’s quest for love in the world of Faerie.Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes
Human lab rat.

Cinder” by Marissa Meyer
Beautifully retold Cinderella cyborg science fiction mash up.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making” by Catherynne Valente
Charming and delightfully strange in an Alice-in-Wonderland sort of way.

Originally published at What We’re Reading: February 2014.

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Docs Around Town: Feb. 21 – Feb. 27

Center Aisle Cinema - February 20, 2014

movingmidway

February 24: “The Michigan Beer Film” 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. at  Forum 8. (via)
February 25: “Moving Midway” 7:00 p.m. at Ragtag. (via)
February 26: The Crash Reel” 8:00 p.m. at Wrench Auditorium, free. (via)
February 27-March 2: True False Film Fest in downtown Columbia. (via)

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New DVD: “Ain’t in It for My Health”

Center Aisle Cinema - February 19, 2014

levonhelm

We recently added “Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 93% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Rock and roll legend Levon Helm is at home in Woodstock, NY, in the midst of creating his first studio album in 25 years. Shot during the course of two-plus years, this highly anticipated film focuses in on the four-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member after his 2007 comeback album, Dirt Farmer, brought him back to the spotlight.

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

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Books For 20-Somethings

Next Book Buzz - February 19, 2014

Artwork by Allie Brosh, creator of Hyperbole and a HalfI recently stumbled across a BuzzFeed article that offers advice which is even more useful than tips on creative ways to use mason jars! “Twenty-Nine Books To Get  You Through Your Quarter-Life Crisis” is a compilation of books about people in their 20s and issues that people face during this stage of their life. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction books, most of which we have in our collection (and the ones we don’t have you can get through our ILL service). As a 20-something, I enjoy learning about the various directions in which people choose to steer their lives and about the different ways people carve out their identities. Here are a few books I’ve found interesting:

  • Book cover for Wild by Cheryl StrayedWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. The author’s collection of advice columns, “Tiny Beautiful Things,” made it on to the BuzzFeed list instead of this book, but “Wild” also tackles issues people in their 20s face. I’ve never been a fan of memoirs or books about nature, but this book completely won me over. At age 26 Strayed’s life was in shambles from her mother’s death four years earlier. With nothing left to lose, she impulsively decided to hike the entire 1,000+ mile Pacific Crest Trail. Armed with only a giant backpack, paperback books and no wilderness experience, the author treks through physical and emotional pain to ultimately become healed. Heart-wrenching, honest and totally inspiring.
  • Book cover for The Defining Decade by Meg JayThe Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now” by Meg Jay. This is definitely not a feel-good book, but rather a therapist’s argument for what people should be doing while they’re in their 20s. Reading it was frustrating at times, because I disagree with a lot of things Dr. Jay had to say. She assumes the reader has a certain amount of privilege, and also that people in their 20s feel like they have all the time in the world. (I don’t know anyone my age that feels that way!) I could go on and on about the ways this book is problematic, but that being said, I still felt like I was able to glean some valuable information from this book. The author uses real-life examples of her clients’ struggles, which are common issues to people in their 20s. This book also includes some solid advice on moving forward in your career. Check it out and decide for yourself!

If you’d like more advice on what to read to get you through your quarter-life crisis, be sure to take a look at Book Riot’s article on this subject.

Image credit: Artwork copyrighted by Allie Brosh, creator of Hyperbole and a Half, and used according to guidelines outlined on the Hyperbole and a Half website.

The post Books For 20-Somethings appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Books For 20-Somethings

DBRL Next - February 19, 2014

Artwork by Allie Brosh, creator of Hyperbole and a HalfI recently stumbled across a BuzzFeed article that offers advice which is even more useful than tips on creative ways to use mason jars! “Twenty-Nine Books To Get  You Through Your Quarter-Life Crisis” is a compilation of books about people in their 20s and issues that people face during this stage of their life. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction books, most of which we have in our collection (and the ones we don’t have you can get through our ILL service). As a 20-something, I enjoy learning about the various directions in which people choose to steer their lives and about the different ways people carve out their identities. Here are a few books I’ve found interesting:

  • Book cover for Wild by Cheryl StrayedWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. The author’s collection of advice columns, “Tiny Beautiful Things,” made it on to the BuzzFeed list instead of this book, but “Wild” also tackles issues people in their 20s face. I’ve never been a fan of memoirs or books about nature, but this book completely won me over. At age 26 Strayed’s life was in shambles from her mother’s death four years earlier. With nothing left to lose, she impulsively decided to hike the entire 1,000+ mile Pacific Crest Trail. Armed with only a giant backpack, paperback books and no wilderness experience, the author treks through physical and emotional pain to ultimately become healed. Heart-wrenching, honest and totally inspiring.
  • Book cover for The Defining Decade by Meg JayThe Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now” by Meg Jay. This is definitely not a feel-good book, but rather a therapist’s argument for what people should be doing while they’re in their 20s. Reading it was frustrating at times, because I disagree with a lot of things Dr. Jay had to say. She assumes the reader has a certain amount of privilege, and also that people in their 20s feel like they have all the time in the world. (I don’t know anyone my age that feels that way!) I could go on and on about the ways this book is problematic, but that being said, I still felt like I was able to glean some valuable information from this book. The author uses real-life examples of her clients’ struggles, which are common issues to people in their 20s. This book also includes some solid advice on moving forward in your career. Check it out and decide for yourself!

If you’d like more advice on what to read to get you through your quarter-life crisis, be sure to take a look at Book Riot’s article on this subject.

Image credit: Artwork copyrighted by Allie Brosh, creator of Hyperbole and a Half, and used according to guidelines outlined on the Hyperbole and a Half website.

The post Books For 20-Somethings appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: “Divergent” Celebration

DBRLTeen - February 19, 2014

“Divergent” CelebrationDivergent Movie Poster
Monday, March 3, 2014 › 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Pick your faction and choose your fate! Join us for the celebration of the release of “Divergent,” the film based on Veronica Roth’s popular novel. We’ll discuss the book and do a variety of faction-related crafts. Ages 11 and older. To register, please call (573) 443-3161.

While you are waiting for the March 21 release date, here are some fun online activities to check-out:

Originally published at Program Preview: “Divergent” Celebration.

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One Read 2014

One Read - February 18, 2014

Be a part of choosing the book for the 2014 One Read program. The two finalists will be announced on April 14, and you can cast your vote here at oneread.org or any library building through May 2. On May 20, we’ll announce the winner!

The post One Read 2014 appeared first on One READ.

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New DVD: “Manhunt”

Center Aisle Cinema - February 17, 2014

manhuntdvd

We recently added “Manhunt” to the DBRL collection. This film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2013 and currently has a rating of 100% from audiences at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

The May 1, 2011 raid on Abbottabad, Pakistan that culminated in the killing of Osama bin Laden took 40 minutes. The CIA’s hunt for Bin Laden took two decades. An official selection of the 2013 Sundance Festival, Manhunt tells the remarkable true story of the nearly 20-year pursuit of the world’s most notorious terrorist. Directed by Emmy-nominee Greg Barker, the film features testimony and recollections – some shared for the first time – from top CIA officers, many of them women, who labored to eliminate Bin Laden’s terrorist organization and eventually the man himself. Based on the book “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden – from 9/11 to Abbottabad” by Peter Bergen, this documentary feature is a real-life spy thriller that reveals behind-the-scenes accounts from CIA analysts, targeters and operatives, who testify to the disagreements, frustrations, tragedies and triumphs that make up this fascinating yet painful chapter in American military and political history.

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

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The Gentleman Recommends: Patrick deWitt

Next Book Buzz - February 17, 2014

Book cover for The Sisters BrothersBooks and movies provide the fuel for allowing a gentleman to reminisce of simpler times, even when he’s born long after whatever simpler time about which he wishes to reminisce. So it’s good for some of that fuel to remind the unscrupulous reminiscer that simpler times were terrible. One such time occasionally pined for is the gold-rush era, a time when a forward thinking person might be willing to spare a penny for a toothbrush, but a time when forward thinking people were often hunted for sport. Indeed, for every attractive aspect of the era (horse emissions pale when compared to an automobile, disagreements could be solved by a simple duel), there are significant drawbacks (horses age and poop and get attacked by bears and travel at a fraction of the speed of even the slowest autos, a duel ends in murder). Patrick deWitt’s hilarious, violent and gripping novel, “The Sisters Brothers,” is a potent reminder that even though cowboy hats are awesome and spurs make you sound really cool while you walk, now is a much better time to be alive, what with medicine and civil rights and whatnot. Remember, for every glass of whiskey only costing a penny there’s a gypsy keen to curse you or a little girl poisoning dogs, and both folks have terrible breath. (Because they don’t own a toothbrush.)

The novel is narrated by Eli Sisters, a sensitive and relatively kind-hearted killer with a penchant for giving his excess cash to friendly prostitutes and becoming attached to horses even when they’re unable to meet his robust travel needs. Eli’s voice is hilariously mannered and often poetic, and the book brims with brilliant movie-ready dialogue. One can easily imagine it as the next Coen Brothers masterpiece. The book joins, among others,  ”Deadwood“ (fans of which should love this novel) as evidence that the western isn’t dead.

Eli accompanies his brother, the less sensitive and more cold-blooded killer Charlie Sisters, on a mission to hunt down Hermann Kermit Warm for a man called The Commodore. Until deep into the book the reader must presume the reason for the hunting is The Commodore’s jealousy over Warm’s spectacular name. Which the reader finds weird as it’s pretty neat to be addressed as “The Commodore” and must thus presume The Commodore is a terribly petty man and doesn’t want anyone else to have a cool name. The reveal of the real reason for the hunting leads to some brilliant images and devastating scenes.

“The Sisters Brothers” is even more impressive for being the follow-up to deWitt’s first novel, the also wickedly funny but decidedly less cowboy laden “Ablutions: Notes for a Novel.”  It is told in second-person and concerns a man tending bar in Hollywood. The book is loaded with people getting loaded and all the hijinks and misery that often entails and will serve as a stern reminder to next century’s reminiscers to be satisfied with their cyborg bodies and talking furniture and not pine for a time when one had to drink alcohol rather than simply turn the virtual knob on their intoxicant interface.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Patrick deWitt appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

The Gentleman Recommends: Patrick deWitt

DBRL Next - February 17, 2014

Book cover for The Sisters BrothersBooks and movies provide the fuel for allowing a gentleman to reminisce of simpler times, even when he’s born long after whatever simpler time about which he wishes to reminisce. So it’s good for some of that fuel to remind the unscrupulous reminiscer that simpler times were terrible. One such time occasionally pined for is the gold-rush era, a time when a forward thinking person might be willing to spare a penny for a toothbrush, but a time when forward thinking people were often hunted for sport. Indeed, for every attractive aspect of the era (horse emissions pale when compared to an automobile, disagreements could be solved by a simple duel), there are significant drawbacks (horses age and poop and get attacked by bears and travel at a fraction of the speed of even the slowest autos, a duel ends in murder). Patrick deWitt’s hilarious, violent and gripping novel, “The Sisters Brothers,” is a potent reminder that even though cowboy hats are awesome and spurs make you sound really cool while you walk, now is a much better time to be alive, what with medicine and civil rights and whatnot. Remember, for every glass of whiskey only costing a penny there’s a gypsy keen to curse you or a little girl poisoning dogs, and both folks have terrible breath. (Because they don’t own a toothbrush.)

The novel is narrated by Eli Sisters, a sensitive and relatively kind-hearted killer with a penchant for giving his excess cash to friendly prostitutes and becoming attached to horses even when they’re unable to meet his robust travel needs. Eli’s voice is hilariously mannered and often poetic, and the book brims with brilliant movie-ready dialogue. One can easily imagine it as the next Coen Brothers masterpiece. The book joins, among others,  ”Deadwood“ (fans of which should love this novel) as evidence that the western isn’t dead.

Eli accompanies his brother, the less sensitive and more cold-blooded killer Charlie Sisters, on a mission to hunt down Hermann Kermit Warm for a man called The Commodore. Until deep into the book the reader must presume the reason for the hunting is The Commodore’s jealousy over Warm’s spectacular name. Which the reader finds weird as it’s pretty neat to be addressed as “The Commodore” and must thus presume The Commodore is a terribly petty man and doesn’t want anyone else to have a cool name. The reveal of the real reason for the hunting leads to some brilliant images and devastating scenes.

“The Sisters Brothers” is even more impressive for being the follow-up to deWitt’s first novel, the also wickedly funny but decidedly less cowboy laden “Ablutions: Notes for a Novel.”  It is told in second-person and concerns a man tending bar in Hollywood. The book is loaded with people getting loaded and all the hijinks and misery that often entails and will serve as a stern reminder to next century’s reminiscers to be satisfied with their cyborg bodies and talking furniture and not pine for a time when one had to drink alcohol rather than simply turn the virtual knob on their intoxicant interface.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Patrick deWitt appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Voting for Sweet 16 Ends February 23

DBRLTeen - February 17, 2014

Book-Tourney-graphic-2013VOTE NOW through February 23 for the Sweet 16

Daniel Boone Regional Library has received nearly 50 ballots in our March Madness Teen Book Tournament! Through a series of votes, we are narrowing our list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. Voting for the Sweet 16 will end on Sunday, February 23. We’ll take a few days to tabulate the results and then announce those titles that will advance in our single elimination bracket on Tuesday, March 4.

Which titles will be among the Sweet 16?  “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak? “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25” by Richard Paul Evans? “Reached” by Allie Condie? Voice your opinion by voting today! Don’t forget that by supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Who can participate?

March Madness is open to all teens ages 12-18 who live in either Boone or Callaway County, Missouri.

How It Works:
  • Round 1: VOTE NOW through February 23 for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: Vote March 4-10 for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Vote March 11-17 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 18-24 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 25-31 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 2: The champion is announced!

Originally published at Voting for Sweet 16 Ends February 23.

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Catalog Improvements: Small Changes, Big Impact

DBRL Next - February 14, 2014
BiblioCommons logo

BiblioCommons logoBiblioCommons, the library’s online catalog, has some updates and features that make book discovery and sharing content even better.

Everyone’s a critic
On a book’s title page, you will now see a feature called From the Critics, which integrates professional reviews from a wide variety of publications into the catalog. If a title has been reviewed in any of over 2,000 source publications, this page will feature an excerpt from and a link to that review, so that you can learn more about a title right within the catalog. And as always, you can write your own reviews by clicking the “add a comment” button when you are viewing a title. Love something? Hate something? Did a book leave you lukewarm? Help others with similar tastes decide on their next read.

online catalog screen shotLet’s share
We’ve added the sharing widget on all pages that can be permalinked. This means you can share an individual comment, summary or video to Twitter or Facebook, or via email. Let your online friends know what you are reading, listening to or watching.

Lovely Lists
In the catalog you can make lists, both private and public, of titles on favorite topics, genres and more. You can also add links to other websites to your list. Now, when you add a website link to a list, an image-generating widget will create a thumbnail of the associated website, replacing the current generic icon. You can click the thumbnail to go to the associated website. The general appearance of the lists has also been improved, with larger images and the Add to My Shelves and Place a Hold links now in a more obvious place under the title’s descriptive text.

If you are a DBRL cardholder but haven’t set up your account within the library’s catalog, do it today! You can place holds on about-to-be-published books, review titles, keep track of books you want to read in the future, and more.

The post Catalog Improvements: Small Changes, Big Impact appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Books for Dudes – Jeff Smith’s “Bone”

DBRLTeen - February 14, 2014

While I enjoy checking out new series, there’s something to be said about enjoying an existing series from start to finish. Jeff Smith’s “Bone” series  has a complete story in the form of nine graphic novels. While these graphic novels can be quick reads, fun dialogue and bright characters pop on every page and will likely stay with you long after the story concludes.

Out_from_BonevilleIn the first graphic novel, “Out from Boneville,” we meet our main protagonist, Fone Bone. A small white creature, Fone Bone finds himself lost in a valley separated from his two cousins. Showing a talent for getting into trouble, Fone Bone immediately gets on the menu of hungry rat creatures, falls in love with a teenage girl who lives with her cow-racing grandmother, and even catches the attention of the mysterious Red Dragon. Fone Bone’s troubles have only just started.

“Bone” has something for everyone. Do you want a good fantasy story? Check. Do you want your characters to entertain you with humor? Check. Do you want an epic story with sword fights, a little romance, a lot of danger, and even some death? Check. Do you want a story featuring a sweet old lady who is just as likely to beat up monsters as to race cows? OK, maybe that last one is a little unique…

This story has lots of twists and turns to keep readers guessing. I enjoy how versatile this story is. While initially starting out like a Mickey Mouse adventure, readers are soon thrust into an adventure that actually more closely resembles “The Hobbit” and  “The Lord of the Rings.” Be sure to read the story in order, as most books spoil surprises in preceding volumes.

Jeff Smith is an excellent storyteller in not only his writing, but also his art. Characters’ humorous expressions really tickle the funny bone (pun very much intended). These stories were originally done in black and white and updated later with  coloring. From the greens of the Valley to the dark colors of the Dragons’ caves and the Rat Creature battles, each page pops with color and action. I highly recommend this series for travelers, quest seekers, troublemakers, adventurers, and fantasy lovers.

Originally published at Books for Dudes – Jeff Smith’s “Bone”.

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Docs Around Town: Feb. 14 – Feb. 20

Center Aisle Cinema - February 13, 2014

cutieandtheboxerFebruary 17: “Cutie and the Boxer” 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. at  Forum 8. (via)
February 19: “Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin” 6:00 p.m. at the MU Student Center, free. (via)
February 19: Dirty Wars” 7:30 p.m. at MU’s Arts & Science building, free. (via)
February 20: “First Generation” 6:00 pm at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, free. (via)
February 20: “Taking Pinhook” 6:00 p.m. at the MU Student Center, free. (via)

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“Herman’s House” on April 23rd

Center Aisle Cinema - February 12, 2014

hermanshouse2Wednesday, April 23, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

Herman’s House” (90 min.) tells the story of Herman Wallace, who may be the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States—he’s spent more than 40 years in a 6-by-9-foot cell in Louisiana. Imprisoned in 1967 for a robbery he admits, he was subsequently sentenced to life for a killing he vehemently denies. When Herman meets artist Jackie Sumell, he finds a remarkable expression for his decades-long struggle. In this documentary by Angad Singh Bhalla we see the transformative power of art. The screening is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.

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