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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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POTUS: Books and Biographies About Our Presidents

Next Book Buzz - February 12, 2014

“With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined.”
- President Franklin Pierce, 1847

Book cover for Don't Know Much About the American Presidents by Kenneth DavisFebruary is a month when we often reflect upon our presidents, celebrating the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  Washington’s birthday is now a federal holiday and in some areas of the country is referred to as “President’s Day.” The library has many books about the 44 presidents who have occupied the White House since George Washington took office.

First, let’s first turn back the clock thirty years to 1984. The United States legislative and executive branches looked very different than they do today. Democrats had an entrenched hold on both the House and Senate, while a very popular Republican president was running for his second term in office. However, while political ideology was trumpeted throughout Capitol Hill, gridlock was often averted because of the basic pragmatism of two figures: President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. “Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked,” written by Chris Matthews of MSNBC fame, investigates their relationship in detail. Matthew’s point is the following: that ultimately the good of the country seemed to be the overwhelming concern for both of them. “Their way of life comprised an ongoing series of alliances and antagonisms, but did not include personal analysis of themselves or others,” Matthews writes. And he continues: “In his own way, each was a true gentleman in a way we don’t ask our leaders to be anymore.” Civility has since vanished from much of our political discourse.

Franklin Pierce, quoted above, is perhaps an obscure president, but he led the country during an important time. The 1850s were perhaps one of the most divisive points in American history, and Pierce’s efficacy as president was questionable. The book “Don’t Know Much about the American Presidents” by Kenneth Davis covers the lives, loves and frailties of American presidents. Speaking of Pierce, Davis says, “He was among a trio of pre-war presidents whose uninspired, shortsighted, and even cowardly administrations did nothing to avert the Civil War.” “Don’t Know Much About the American Presidents” also includes helpful timelines and a research guide.

Book cover for The Kennedy YearsDuring his three years as president, John Kennedy was a familiar figure in the press. “The Kennedy Years: From the Pages of the New York Times” retells the Kennedy story through the pages of the Times. As Richard Reeves points out in the introduction to the chapter about 1962, “An astonishing series of events punctuated the Kennedy years. In 1962 alone, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, Jacqueline Kennedy became a beloved, style-setting public advocate of high culture, and a walled-off, fearful West Berlin was suddenly isolated from the American sector by a Communist regime in East Germany that could no longer face the international embarrassment of a rising river of fleeing refugees.” Sadly, the November 23rd, 1963 issue heralded the end of Kennedy’s presidency and his life.

 Gentleman Warrior by Stephen BrumwellMost of us know George Washington as one of the country’s founding fathers and as a diplomat; less is known about his military service, which prepared him for those greater roles. Stephen Brumwell’s book “George Washington: Gentleman Warrior” describes in rich detail his beginnings as a military commander and his ultimate triumph as Commander in Chief during the Revolutionary War. His career did not begin auspiciously. Washington was a commander for British forces during the French and Indian War, and his initial foray (called Braddock’s Defeat) ended terribly. Of his first time as a commander, Brumwell reports that the mission “had failed at all levels” and that “Washington himself bore a large share of responsibility.” However, as history shows, Washington was a quick study. Despite this inauspicious start, Washington’s early history did mold his future. Brumwell says, “Without his youthful hankering after military fame, kindled by his half-brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon and the Fairfaxes at Belvoir, Washington would, in all probability, have remained a footnote in history; a respectable, if unremarkable, surveyor and planter.”

No current review of books about American presidents would be complete without a title about President Obama. Dozens of books have been printed about our 44th president since he came into office in 2008. Last year, Jonathan Alter, a correspondent for NBC news, sketched Obama’s incumbency in the book “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies.” A book ostensibly about the run-up to the 2012 election, it is also about how the embrace of social media might have won the election for Obama. “While Romney lumbered through his convention, Obama was on Reddit, a crowdsourced social news site known by few of the Tampa delegates, though popular with many of their children . . . The Reddit appearance was another sign that Obama’s dominance of the digital campaign was not only not bad, it was a pretty good indicator that he was on the winning track.”

Find these books about American presidents (and many more!) here at the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

The post POTUS: Books and Biographies About Our Presidents appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

POTUS: Books and Biographies About Our Presidents

DBRL Next - February 12, 2014

“With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined.”
- President Franklin Pierce, 1847

Book cover for Don't Know Much About the American Presidents by Kenneth DavisFebruary is a month when we often reflect upon our presidents, celebrating the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  Washington’s birthday is now a federal holiday and in some areas of the country is referred to as “President’s Day.” The library has many books about the 44 presidents who have occupied the White House since George Washington took office.

First, let’s first turn back the clock thirty years to 1984. The United States legislative and executive branches looked very different than they do today. Democrats had an entrenched hold on both the House and Senate, while a very popular Republican president was running for his second term in office. However, while political ideology was trumpeted throughout Capitol Hill, gridlock was often averted because of the basic pragmatism of two figures: President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. “Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked,” written by Chris Matthews of MSNBC fame, investigates their relationship in detail. Matthew’s point is the following: that ultimately the good of the country seemed to be the overwhelming concern for both of them. “Their way of life comprised an ongoing series of alliances and antagonisms, but did not include personal analysis of themselves or others,” Matthews writes. And he continues: “In his own way, each was a true gentleman in a way we don’t ask our leaders to be anymore.” Civility has since vanished from much of our political discourse.

Franklin Pierce, quoted above, is perhaps an obscure president, but he led the country during an important time. The 1850s were perhaps one of the most divisive points in American history, and Pierce’s efficacy as president was questionable. The book “Don’t Know Much about the American Presidents” by Kenneth Davis covers the lives, loves and frailties of American presidents. Speaking of Pierce, Davis says, “He was among a trio of pre-war presidents whose uninspired, shortsighted, and even cowardly administrations did nothing to avert the Civil War.” “Don’t Know Much About the American Presidents” also includes helpful timelines and a research guide.

Book cover for The Kennedy YearsDuring his three years as president, John Kennedy was a familiar figure in the press. “The Kennedy Years: From the Pages of the New York Times” retells the Kennedy story through the pages of the Times. As Richard Reeves points out in the introduction to the chapter about 1962, “An astonishing series of events punctuated the Kennedy years. In 1962 alone, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, Jacqueline Kennedy became a beloved, style-setting public advocate of high culture, and a walled-off, fearful West Berlin was suddenly isolated from the American sector by a Communist regime in East Germany that could no longer face the international embarrassment of a rising river of fleeing refugees.” Sadly, the November 23rd, 1963 issue heralded the end of Kennedy’s presidency and his life.

 Gentleman Warrior by Stephen BrumwellMost of us know George Washington as one of the country’s founding fathers and as a diplomat; less is known about his military service, which prepared him for those greater roles. Stephen Brumwell’s book “George Washington: Gentleman Warrior” describes in rich detail his beginnings as a military commander and his ultimate triumph as Commander in Chief during the Revolutionary War. His career did not begin auspiciously. Washington was a commander for British forces during the French and Indian War, and his initial foray (called Braddock’s Defeat) ended terribly. Of his first time as a commander, Brumwell reports that the mission “had failed at all levels” and that “Washington himself bore a large share of responsibility.” However, as history shows, Washington was a quick study. Despite this inauspicious start, Washington’s early history did mold his future. Brumwell says, “Without his youthful hankering after military fame, kindled by his half-brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon and the Fairfaxes at Belvoir, Washington would, in all probability, have remained a footnote in history; a respectable, if unremarkable, surveyor and planter.”

No current review of books about American presidents would be complete without a title about President Obama. Dozens of books have been printed about our 44th president since he came into office in 2008. Last year, Jonathan Alter, a correspondent for NBC news, sketched Obama’s incumbency in the book “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies.” A book ostensibly about the run-up to the 2012 election, it is also about how the embrace of social media might have won the election for Obama. “While Romney lumbered through his convention, Obama was on Reddit, a crowdsourced social news site known by few of the Tampa delegates, though popular with many of their children . . . The Reddit appearance was another sign that Obama’s dominance of the digital campaign was not only not bad, it was a pretty good indicator that he was on the winning track.”

Find these books about American presidents (and many more!) here at the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

The post POTUS: Books and Biographies About Our Presidents appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: Crafts and Job Help for Ashland Teens

DBRLTeen - February 12, 2014

Duct Tape RosesOn a Roll With Duct Tape
Tuesday, February 25 › 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Duct tape is amazing stuff. People make wallets, purses, clothing and even shoes out of it. What can you make out of duct tape? We’ll provide the tape and some ideas to get you started. Students in grades 6-8.

Finding Summer Jobs for Teens
Tuesday, February 25 › 6:30-8 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Starting a summer job search now can help you find work that will contribute to a fun and profitable summer vacation. We’ll look at local resources for teen job-seekers and help you identify jobs you may be interested in and employers who may be interested in you. You will leave with resources in hand, including a personalized form which will make it easier to complete applications. Snacks served. Ages 15-18.

Photo credit: Duct Tape by hcplebranch via Flickr. Used under creative commons license.

Originally published at Program Preview: Crafts and Job Help for Ashland Teens.

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New DVD: “20 Feet from Stardom”

Center Aisle Cinema - February 10, 2014

20feetfromstardom

We recently added “20 Feet from Stardom” to the DBRL collection. This film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2013, and currently has a rating of 99% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

They are the voices behind the greatest rock, pop and R&B hits of all time, but no one knows their names. Now, in this award-winning documentary, director Morgan Neville shines the spotlight on the untold stories of such legendary background singers as Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, and more.

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

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The Beatles Fifty Years Later

DBRL Next - February 10, 2014

Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles“Can we listen to ‘Yellow Submarine’?” I asked for approximately the 500th time.

I was around 7, and my brother, older by 10 years, wanted to make sure I was properly enlightened regarding the Beatles. He tried to explain their deep songs to me – “The Fool on the Hill,” “Eleanor Rigby.” But I only wanted to hear “Yellow Submarine” over and over. And over. I think he wore out his copy of it on my behalf.

As I got older, I came to appreciate more Beatles’ songs. In my teen years, I liked the danceable numbers. “Twist and Shout” was a favorite. I was thrilled to discover the group recorded a number about my hometown: “Kansas City/ Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey.” These days I gravitate more to their mellower tunes, such as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Yes, I do still listen to the Beatles, all this time later.

And I’m not the only one. The group made their American Debut on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago, on February 9, 1964. Since then, eight-track tapes have come and gone, as have cassettes. Through the rise and decline of MTV, and the advent of the Internet, downloadable music and YouTube, the Beatles have remained a popular listening choice. In DBRL’s music collection, their CDs are among the most widely circulated. One copy of “Abbey Road“ has been checked out 222 times.

In addition to dozens of their music CDs, the library has a number of Fab Four-related books and DVDs. You can see how things began on this side of pond with a DVD of “The Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles.” For those who want more details, Bob Spitz chronicles the group’s first American tour in his new book “The Beatles Invasion.”  For a broader overview of the band’s music, there’s “All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release.” And for pure frivolous entertainment, George, Paul, John and Ringo star in the zombie fiction book “Paul is Undead.”

The post The Beatles Fifty Years Later appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Staff Review of Winger by Andrew Smith

DBRLTeen - February 10, 2014

Winger by Andrew SmithWhy I Checked It Out: I read “Winger” by Andrew Smith because my book club was reading it and it has a pretty great cover.

What It’s About: Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

Why I Liked It: This book is funny. I don’t mean mildly amusing. I mean, from start to almost the end, it is laugh-out-loud entertainment. Ryan Dean is a smart, quirky, talented guy trying to navigate a world where all his friends and teammates are years older than him. His voice is painfully fourteen and realistic, at times immature, whiny and obsessed with girls. I loved reading and learning about rugby, because it is a sport that is tough to follow if you don’t know the rules. I even ended up watching some videos online!

What I Didn’t Like: This book has a controversial ending that is an avalanche of awful that completely does not match the rest of the book. In discussing this book with other people, many liked the abrupt ending and felt it was true to real life: loss can come unexpectedly. Which is true. But if you’re going to deal with it in a book, you need to do better than wrap it up neatly in the last 20 pages. I feel like the author created a situation for cheap, emotional manipulation.

Who Will Like It: All being said and done, I would still recommend this book to people. I feel like 99.5% of the book is fun and enjoyable. And some readers may disagree with my assessment of the last little bit, so if you like sports and the inner workings of teenage boy brains, give Winger a try.

Originally published at Staff Review of Winger by Andrew Smith.

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The Monuments Men – Art in Fiction and Cinema

DBRL Next - February 7, 2014

Book cover for Monuments MenDid you ever wonder how priceless art objects survived World War II in devastated Europe? Frankly, I never did – not until I came across Robert Edsel’s book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.” Obviously, I wasn’t the only one struck by this subject. So was George Clooney, and as a result, a new movie, “The Monuments Men,” starring George Clooney (no surprise here :) ), Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon is coming to the big screen starting February 7. (The author, Robert Edsel, is also given a movie credit – at the end of the screenwriters list :) ).

So, what made this book worth turning into a movie? Lots of books (and movies) take place during WWII, right? Well, for one thing, the main characters are not soldiers, generals or suffering civilians, but middle-aged people from art-related backgrounds: architects, sculptors, museum curators, archivists and others. For another, these people, drawn from 13 nations (most of them from the U.S. and UK), were not assigned any military duties. Their tasks were first to advise on how to limit combat damage to the historic structures of northwest Europe (thus the name: the monuments men) and later to recover cultural treasures that had been looted by top Nazis, especially Hitler and Göring. This wasn’t an easy assignment by any means. As the Allied armies moved deeper inside Europe, the monuments men (there were women, too, but, apparently, only one appears in the movie :) ) moved onto the front lines, working fiercely and tirelessly, often at personal risk, to protect and restore art damaged by the ravages of war.

Book cover for The Rape of Europa by Lynn H. NicholasReaders who want to learn more about that period may consider checking out “The Rape of Europa” by Lynn Nicholas, too. This book covers largely the same territory, and its cast of characters includes Hitler, Göring, Marc Chagall and Gertrude Stein.

If straight history is not your thing, consider reading the novel “Shadowed by Grace: A Story of Monuments Men“ by Cara Putman. Here destruction, art and whodunit are combined into a war-time love story.

And last but not least, don’t miss Robert Edsel’s latest book: “Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis,” which is devoted to saving European artistic treasure in Italy.

Also, remember that you don’t have to wait for George Clooney to turn these books into movies. All you need to do to learn fascinating facts about WWII (or any other subject, for that matter) is check out library books :) .

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