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Project Teen: Heroic Journeys

DBRLTeen - July 20, 2015

Lego Avengers

Project Teen: Heroic Journeys
Friday, August 7 •  Noon-1:30 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library

The very first tales were hero tales. They were written in clay, on papyrus and performed before huge crowds in open theaters. The heroes of ancient myths are still present in the books and movies of today. Join us for activities based on heroes old and new. Free pizza lunch. Ages 12-18.

Photo by Flickr User Andrew Becraft. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Project Teen: Heroic Journeys.

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“Nature Red in Tooth and Claw” ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

DBRL Next - July 17, 2015

Cardinal attacks window“It’s raining cats and dogs,” my husband said.

“It sure is,” I said, still – after all my 25 years in America – trying to envision what raining animals would look like.

Pouring rain is common in Missouri, and some years, mowing a lawn once a week no longer cuts it (excuse my pun). Yet this summer the grass hasn’t seemed to grow like crazy, while the rest of our plants have.

One day, after work, I walked around the house and realized that our property has turned into a jungle: the trees have spread their branches as if trying to swallow our house, the plants beside our walk have oozed onto it for about a foot, and our deck appears much shadier than I ever remembered it.

The result looks spooky, reminding me of a book I read some time ago – “The World Without Us” – which postulates that plants could cover all traces of human existence within about a hundred years or so.

“Do you have the feeling that everything is encroaching on us?” I asked my husband.

“I don’t know about that,” he said. “But I do have a feeling that we’re under attack.”

“What attack?” I said, but before I finished my question, something hit our living room window.

“That’s a bird crashing into our window,” my husband said. “It’s been doing that all day. I’m surprised you didn’t hear it in the morning.”

“A-a-h, that’s what that racket was about,” I said. “I heard something in the bathroom, but I thought it was a woodpecker.”

“It’s a cardinal,” my husband said. “I had the same problem with a robin in my old house. I had to spread glass wax on the windows to stop him from attacking them.”

“We’re not greasing windows in our living room!” I said firmly, conveying that whatever solution he had found before he married me would not be used now. However, at that moment, something struck the dining room window, too.

“Why is it doing that?!” I said.

“Some birds gather in flocks, but robins and cardinals are territorial. The males try to chase away competitors, so, when they see their reflection in the window, they attack it,” my husband said, and a series of loud collisions echoed his speech.

This isn’t the first time that nature has altered my American dream. Deer were the first culprits. They ate everything in our yard. I tried to fight them with “Deer-off” and folk remedies like moth balls, strong-smelling soap, human hair (one of my friends is a hair stylist) and a concoction of pepper, hot sauce, and ketchup. In the end, I gave up and planted boxwood bushes everywhere – which deer don’t eat.

Over the years, we’ve also had squirrels digging flowers out of flower pots on our deck (I now have artificial flowers there), groundhogs building burrows under our porches, and raccoons trying to get into our basement. And now, we have cardinals trying to destroy our windows – two of which we just replaced for $1500!

“If you don’t like glass wax, what do you suggest we do?” my husband said.

“I don’t know. Maybe we should get a scarecrow. A toy owl or something,” I said.

OwlSeveral days later, a large inflatable owl appeared behind our dining room window, looking very ferocious and scaring me every time I accidentally looked at it. The cardinal took notice, too. It stopped striking the window directly in front of the owl and concentrated its efforts on the rest of the window.

“We should change its position,” I offered. “Like it’s moving.”

We did, and I can report that the cardinal never hit the exact spot protected by the owl – just the space immediately around it.

Then I had a Eureka moment: “Let’s put our window screens up!”

“I don’t like screens …,” my husband started to say, but a series of direct hits against his study window changed his mind, so he headed to the garage to look for screens that he had put away years ago because they “obstructed” his view.

These screens didn’t solve the problem completely, but they sure helped – the constant attacks were replaced with occasional sallies, and the sharp blows were replaced with the dull thumps.

Yet the upper, arch-shaped part of our living room window had no screen, so it became the cardinal’s main battleground.

“Does anybody have problems with birds flying into windows?” I asked my colleagues the next day.

One answered. A winged kamikaze flew into her window and killed itself.

“They don’t see glass,” she said. “So, they just fly through it.”

“What are you going to do?” I said.

“I heard that Songbird Station sells a spray that makes glass visible for the birds, but people don’t notice it much.”

This product, which is advertised as a “UV Liquid,” comes in a small canister filled with a whitish translucent substance that is spread in thin lines on the window in decorative patterns – the picture on the package shows a heart. To my dismay, these lines were very visible to us. In fact, we seemed to be the only creatures who noticed my husband’s messy drawing. Our cardinal ignored it completely.

Next my husband bought a stick-on strip of translucent film that he applied to the glass – also from Songbird Station. Now we had two spots the bird avoided: a piece of stained glass, which replaced the inflatable owl, and the strip underneath. The rest of the area became the cardinal’s last stand.

As I’m writing this story, the bird is still crashing into our windows, while my husband contemplates covering them with translucent strips from top to bottom. (He has already smeared glass wax on the doors to the basement and the garage.) The latest development is that we have become so used to constant banging that I sometimes stop worrying about our window (or my headache) and start worrying about whether the cardinal has any time to eat or do other birdy things. But that doesn’t usually last long.

So, what’s the lesson of this story? I don’t really know. It could be a warning about the power of nature. Or it could be a lesson about futility. After all, don’t we humans do the same sort of thing cardinals are doing – endlessly repeating the same fruitless attempts, marrying the wrong kinds of people, or doing other self-destructive things? In fact, it could be me who behaves like that cardinal when I try to promote my book, constantly hitting my head on the obstacles imposed by the publishing industry. Should I stop? Should all of us stop trying? What are our chances of success?

Well, I guess, if we don’t try, we’ll never know.

Svetlana Grobman is the author of “The Education of a Traitor: A Memoir of Growing Up in Cold War Russia.” See Svetlana’s interview with Paul Pepper at “Radio Friends with Paul Pepper.”

The post “Nature Red in Tooth and Claw” ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Fifth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

DBRL Next - July 17, 2015

winnerCongratulations to Bree, a Southern Boone County Public Library patron, on winning our fifth Adult Summer Reading 2015 prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

If you have not registered for the library’s Adult Summer Reading program, you can still do so online or by visiting any of our locations. Once you sign up, you are automatically entered in the prize drawings. Also, don’t forget to submit book reviews to increase your odds of winning. There are four drawings left this summer, so keep reading and sharing your reviews with us!

The post Fifth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner! appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Entries for Teen Photo Contest Due August 15

DBRLTeen - July 17, 2015

Superhero Photo ContestThis is a reminder to all our blog readers that August 15 is the deadline for submitting your photos for the “Every Hero Has a Story” Teen Photography Contest. Winners will receive a gift card to Barnes & Noble and their artwork will be posted at teens.dbrl.org. Be sure to review the complete list of contest rules and submission guidelines before capturing your images. If you have questions regarding this contest, you can speak with a librarian by calling (573) 443-3161 or emailing teen@dbrl.org. In the meantime, check out this list of photography resources available at your library!

Image by Pixabay.com. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Entries for Teen Photo Contest Due August 15.

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Reader Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

DBRL Next - July 16, 2015

girl with all the giftsThe Girl With All the Gifts” was written with by a screenwriter, and it shows. The action unfolds like a movie in the best dystopian sci-fi tradition, beginning with the very limited worldview of Melanie, a genius-level 10-year-old who knows only her classroom and her cell. As Melanie’s understanding of her world grows, so does the reader’s, assisted by short chapters that bring in other characters’ points of view. By the end, the whole horrifying picture is clear, yet unlike so much of the literature in this genre it manages to not be completely depressing. After the first 25 pages or so I was completely hooked and basically just had to put the rest of my life on hold and finish it.

Three words that describe this book: engrossing, horrifying, hopeful

You might want to pick this book up if: Highly recommended for readers who enjoyed “World War Z” (the book, not the movie) or “A Matter of Days.”

-Anonymous

The post Reader Review: The Girl With All the Gifts appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Mark Twain Wrote Fanfiction

Next Book Buzz - July 15, 2015

Book cover for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtUsually, when people throw around the term fanfiction (fanfic for short), they mean the stories you find on websites such as fanfiction.net or quotev, pieces written by fans of an original comic/novel/movie/TV show, using characters from that universe, and shared with other fans. The quality of the writing can vary wildly, but the level of enthusiasm remains consistently high. In the past couple of years Kindle Worlds has allowed fanfic authors to garner pay for their work through a licensing structure that keeps everyone on the legal side of the copyright line, something that can be a nebulous issue. Legalminimum supplies some good guidelines for using established fictional characters. Since most fanfic is created out of a desire to celebrate and promote the original, rather than to make money or compete with it, many writers are happy to allow their characters to lead alternate lives.

Though the Internet has helped to popularize fanfiction, storytellers have been borrowing from their forebears for century upon century. Mark Twain wrote fanfiction. Yes, it’s true. In “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” he used recognized characters from Camelot in a new tale of his own. William Shakespeare often repurposed figures from Greek, Roman and Celtic legends to populate his tales. Think of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Tempest.”

In the past fifty years or so, many established authors have found publishing success by continuing this tradition of literary borrowing. “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire takes an adult look at L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz, providing a sympathetic portrayal of the Witch of the West. Totally fanfiction. Similarly, Jean Rhys took up the cause of Jane Eyre’s antagonist, the purportedly insane Mrs. Rochester, in her 1966 novel, “Wide Sargasso Sea.” The continually growing spate of Jane Austen spin-offs contains too many titles too list. Meanwhile, James Deaver and others are keeping Ian Fleming’s James Bond alive.

My point is, if you enjoy reading and/or writing fanfiction, don’t be shy about it. Don’t feel it’s something less worthy than “real” literature. You’re in the company of Mark Twain and Shakespeare, after all.

Note: Why yes, there is a list in our online catalog.

The post Mark Twain Wrote Fanfiction appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Mark Twain Wrote Fanfiction

DBRL Next - July 15, 2015

Book cover for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtUsually, when people throw around the term fanfiction (fanfic for short), they mean the stories you find on websites such as fanfiction.net or quotev, pieces written by fans of an original comic/novel/movie/TV show, using characters from that universe, and shared with other fans. The quality of the writing can vary wildly, but the level of enthusiasm remains consistently high. In the past couple of years Kindle Worlds has allowed fanfic authors to garner pay for their work through a licensing structure that keeps everyone on the legal side of the copyright line, something that can be a nebulous issue. Legalminimum supplies some good guidelines for using established fictional characters. Since most fanfic is created out of a desire to celebrate and promote the original, rather than to make money or compete with it, many writers are happy to allow their characters to lead alternate lives.

Though the Internet has helped to popularize fanfiction, storytellers have been borrowing from their forebears for century upon century. Mark Twain wrote fanfiction. Yes, it’s true. In “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” he used recognized characters from Camelot in a new tale of his own. William Shakespeare often repurposed figures from Greek, Roman and Celtic legends to populate his tales. Think of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Tempest.”

In the past fifty years or so, many established authors have found publishing success by continuing this tradition of literary borrowing. “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire takes an adult look at L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz, providing a sympathetic portrayal of the Witch of the West. Totally fanfiction. Similarly, Jean Rhys took up the cause of Jane Eyre’s antagonist, the purportedly insane Mrs. Rochester, in her 1966 novel, “Wide Sargasso Sea.” The continually growing spate of Jane Austen spin-offs contains too many titles too list. Meanwhile, James Deaver and others are keeping Ian Fleming’s James Bond alive.

My point is, if you enjoy reading and/or writing fanfiction, don’t be shy about it. Don’t feel it’s something less worthy than “real” literature. You’re in the company of Mark Twain and Shakespeare, after all.

Note: Why yes, there is a list in our online catalog.

The post Mark Twain Wrote Fanfiction appeared first on DBRL Next.

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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.

Categories: More From DBRL...

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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