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Lend Me Your Ears: Outstanding Audiobooks

Next Book Buzz - 3 hours 51 min ago

The best audiobooks provide something readers could not create on their own through reading the text from a page. Narrators create worlds with their voices, crafting performances that leave us sitting in our parked cars, hesitant to stop listening. For your next road trip, check out some of these books on CD or downloadable audio to make the miles fly by. Or, make exercise or housework more bearable by entertaining your ears with a good story. (Book descriptions courtesy of their publishers.)

Audiobook cover for All the Old KnivesAll the Old Knives” by Olen Steinhauer (read by Ari Fliakos and Juliana Francis Kelly)
Available on CD and downloadable audio
Nine years ago, terrorists hijacked a plane in Vienna. Somehow, a rescue attempt staged from the inside went terribly wrong and everyone on board was killed.Members of the CIA stationed in Vienna during that time were witness to this terrible tragedy, gathering intel from their sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground with a series of texts coming from one of their agents inside the plane. Had their agent been compromised, and how?

Dead Wake by Erik LarsonDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson (read by Scott Brick)
Available on CD and downloadable audio
This 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle. A dramatic narration brings the details of this tragedy to crisp light.

Book cover for The Knockoff by Lucy SykesThe Knockoff” by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza (read by Katherine Kellgren)
Available on CD
The story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app. Kellgren expertly captures both Imogen’s elegant tone and Eve’s more fast-paced millennial-speak.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” by Randall Munroe (read by Wil Wheaton)
Available on CD, downloadable audio and playaway
What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, and Wheaton’s humorous tone matches the content perfectly.

The post Lend Me Your Ears: Outstanding Audiobooks appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Lend Me Your Ears: Outstanding Audiobooks

DBRL Next - 3 hours 51 min ago

The best audiobooks provide something readers could not create on their own through reading the text from a page. Narrators create worlds with their voices, crafting performances that leave us sitting in our parked cars, hesitant to stop listening. For your next road trip, check out some of these books on CD or downloadable audio to make the miles fly by. Or, make exercise or housework more bearable by entertaining your ears with a good story. (Book descriptions courtesy of their publishers.)

Audiobook cover for All the Old KnivesAll the Old Knives” by Olen Steinhauer (read by Ari Fliakos and Juliana Francis Kelly)
Available on CD and downloadable audio
Nine years ago, terrorists hijacked a plane in Vienna. Somehow, a rescue attempt staged from the inside went terribly wrong and everyone on board was killed.Members of the CIA stationed in Vienna during that time were witness to this terrible tragedy, gathering intel from their sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground with a series of texts coming from one of their agents inside the plane. Had their agent been compromised, and how?

Dead Wake by Erik LarsonDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson (read by Scott Brick)
Available on CD and downloadable audio
This 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle. A dramatic narration brings the details of this tragedy to crisp light.

Book cover for The Knockoff by Lucy SykesThe Knockoff” by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza (read by Katherine Kellgren)
Available on CD
The story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app. Kellgren expertly captures both Imogen’s elegant tone and Eve’s more fast-paced millennial-speak.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” by Randall Munroe (read by Wil Wheaton)
Available on CD, downloadable audio and playaway
What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, and Wheaton’s humorous tone matches the content perfectly.

The post Lend Me Your Ears: Outstanding Audiobooks appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Reader Review: Live Right and Find Happiness

DBRL Next - June 30, 2016

live right and find happinessDave Barry! His newspaper columns were great, and his books are even better. Little life lessons, with that twist of humor only Barry can convey. “Live Right and Find Happiness” was more of a reflective collection, speaking on cultural differences, the World Cup tour in 2014, a trip to Russia and how times have changed in terms parenting styles. Of course, you have the random blurb letter to family, everyday observations, technology, and all packed with humor. A great, light read, with eye-opening words, humility and family.

Three words that describe this book: humorous, heartfelt, eye-opening

You might want to pick this book up if: you are looking for a fun read. Dave Barry’s books are always guaranteed to be a great read, all based on his own personal life experiences with aging, parenting, work, travel and pet ownership.

-Brittany

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Summer Cooking (or How to Torment Your Kids)

DBRL Next - June 29, 2016

Book cover for Love & LemonsThe extra downtime for our kids over the summer means that we, the parents, get to use them in the name of furthering their education. Every summer, we make them plan a menu for one night a week. They help with the shopping and estimate how much it will cost (even if we are still the ones paying the bill). And then – my favorite part – they cook and clean up afterwards! It’s pure bliss to have some of that responsibility of what to cook lifted off my shoulders, and they get to learn valuable skills. That’s how I rationalize it, anyway.

I recently brought home some new cookbooks – which were met with a few groans – but it wasn’t long before I was hearing, “Hey, this looks good!” I’m really looking forward to the crustless tomato-ricotta pie in “Gluten-Free: Easy & Delicious Recipes for Every Meal.” Fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and eggs from our backyard chickens should make it incredible! And the flourless chocolate hazelnut cake? Yum!

I haven’t heard any firm commitments yet to any of the recipes in “The Love & Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking,” but I think I love this cookbook. It’s very pretty and may end up having to be a purchase. Every recipe tells whether it is vegan or gluten-free, and most seem to be adaptable if needed. I’m not certain I’m quite ready to try the dark chocolate avocado mousse, but if the kids are willing to make it, I will be brave enough to eat it. I will be voting for the grilled peach salad with toasted pistachios or the cucumber, basil and watermelon salad!

Book cover for Endless Summer CookbookHow can you go wrong with a cookbook titled “Endless Summer Cookbook“? This is another stunningly beautiful cookbook. The fish tacos with creamy chipotle sauce and pico de gallo look wonderful! We never imagined that we would like fish tacos, but after trying some a few years ago, we love them. The hoisin ginger pork chops look great, too.

I also brought home “The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook: Remarkable Recipes from a Chicago Legend.” I really want to try the lemon cheesecake tart with blueberries, but the honey almond pistachio ricotta cheesecake looks wonderful, too! And now I’m really hungry.

I have been very impressed with what these kids have been able to make all by themselves. They have ventured into Korean, Indian, Chinese and Italian foods, as well as good old homemade barbecue. Some of my favorite summer recipes have been discovered this way! Not everything they have tried has been a keeper, but topping our list of favorites is the chilled berry soup from Mollie Katzen’s “Moosewood Cookbook.” My son has become the cheesecake chef of the family, even managing to alter recipes to fit his sister’s gluten-free diet. I think my personal favorite was the mandarin orange cheesecake from “The Cheesecake Bible,” but the kids would probably say that their favorite was the triple-chocolate cheesecake.

What a delicious summer! Please don’t let school start back up too soon!

The post Summer Cooking (or How to Torment Your Kids) appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Reader Review: Dead Man’s Folly

DBRL Next - June 28, 2016

dead mans follyI loved “Dead Man’s Folly!” Hercule Poirot is asked by his friend Ariadne Oliver to come visit her at Nasse House. She is planning a “murder hunt” for a garden fete, and she feels that there is something not quite right, but she can’t put her finger on it. In typical Agatha Christie fashion, a murder occurs, and Hercule Poirot sets out to find the killer! I loved this book. It is one of my favorite Poirot mysteries —I’ve read several. I have found a few to be boring, but not this one! I love the setting, plot, characters — everything really!

Three words that describe this book: gothic, absorbing, different

You might want to pick this book up if: you love Agatha Christie, especially if you love her little Belgian detective Hercule Poirot! He is my favorite character of all time!

-Anonymous

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Third Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

DBRL Next - June 28, 2016

TrophyCongratulations to Amy, a Southern Boone County Library patron, for winning our third 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.

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Couch to 5K: Books (and Other Resources)

DBRL Next - June 27, 2016

Book cover for Young Runners by Marc BloomThe popularity of the 5K running event is soaring these days. Nearly 8 million people competed in a 5K event during 2015 according to the official entity that keeps such statistics, Running USA.  That is a significant number of people pounding the pavement in pursuit of a personal running best. Probably the hardest thing about the process is actually getting started! Fortunately, there are many “couch to 5K” types of books to help.

My wife and I have two small children, ages 6 and 10, and we love running with them. I really enjoy it – an after-work two-miler with my kids is just what the doctor ordered. I get to spend time with my girls, and they get to stay fit and active. A great book about starting a running program for kids is titled: “Young Runners: The Complete Guide to Healthy Running for Kids From 5 to 18.” Some of the challenges facing young runners are age and growth specific injuries such as shin splints and knee pain. “Young Runners” outlines training programs so that kids can avoid these pitfalls, stay motivated and even run their first 5 or 10K.

Book cover for Train Like a MotherIn the midst of having kids and living a very busy life, my wife has run nearly a dozen 5K races and even a half marathon! A couple of books and other resources have really helped her stay motivated, including Kara Goucher’s excellent “Running for Women” and a subscription to Runner’s World. However, a number of books have recently been published that target the busy Mom runner specifically. “Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across any Finish Line – and not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity” by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea is one. Speaking of 5Ks, McDowell and Shea say the following:  “Many 5Ks cater to families with fun runs for younger kids and courses that older kids can tackle. You run, they run, and then . . . naptime for everyone in the afternoon.” Another recent entry in the canon is the book “See Mom Run: Every Mother’s Guide to Getting Fit and Running her First 5K” by Megan Searfoss.

Book cover for Runner's World Complete Book of RunningIf you want a good introduction to everything about running, try the “Runner’s World Complete Book of Running,” edited by Amby Burfoot. The most recent edition was published in 2009, and should be required reading for anyone starting a training regime.  In the chapter “Oprah Did it, So Can You,” Burfoot outlines how a personal trainer, some weight loss, and a lot of persistence actually sent Oprah Winfrey on her way to running a marathon in 1994. The book also has a lot of emphasis on choosing the right gear — mainly a pair of nice running shoes: “The great thing about running is that you only need one piece of equipment.” Choosing the right shoe can be a complicated and confusing affair with all the varieties out there to choose from, but Burfoot keeps the process simple and straightforward. To supplement this particular title, one might check out a suite of similar offerings, including “Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running” and “Runner’s World Complete Book of Beginning Running.”

Finally, for the beginning AND the more experienced runners who want to get a little bit more from their training programs, there is the near classic and well reviewed “Galloway’s 5K and 10K Running.” Jeff Galloway’s training programs are all over the internet, but the book gives the reader quite a bit more depth and explains theory when discussing running technique and his very popular “walk/run” approach to fitness. Also, please see Galloway’s frequently updated website for revised training programs and other fresh offerings: www.jeffgalloway.com.

I exhort you to get out and start running!  Your body, mind and even your family will be the better for it. Seek out some of these resources to get started, and you will be on your way.

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A Healthy Mind

DBRL Next - June 24, 2016

World Tai Chi Day, photo by Brian Robinson via FlickrAt one point in my life, when I was feeling unmoored, I came across the book “PMS, Perimenopause, and You,” by Lori Futterman. Now what does a healthy mind have to do with PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and perimenopause, you ask?  Well, included in this helpful book, which takes a holistic approach to this stage in a woman’s life, is a very good definition of what it means to be healthy. And I quote Futterman: “You are healthy if you are able to do the things you want to, have a strong sense of calm, and are able to face unforeseen events that may be stressful with resolve and resourcefulness. You may achieve inner peace through meditation, religion, reflection, study of philosophy, or visualization.”

I found this definition so illuminating that I copied it and reread it over the years, whenever I needed reminding. Notice she emphasizes the need for a contemplative or meditation practice as a means to gain inner calm and strength, claiming it will aid in the ability to live life from a steady, confident and centered place. With that assertion in mind, I want to alert you to a program being offered and resources available here at the library, which focus on the development and maintenance of mental well-being through meditation. Fortunately, there are many types of meditation “practice,” which means there is something for everyone, depending on life approach, personal preference and ability.

First up, the library is offering a program on Tai Chi, both at the Columbia and Callaway County library locations. Tai chi can be described as meditation in motion, and it is an ancient, slow-motion Chinese martial art. This body-mind practice is suitable for all ages and levels of physical ability, and it addresses many components of physical fitness (muscle strength, flexibility, balance, etc.), but one of its important aims is to foster a calm and tranquil mind. Tai chi can also be helpful for a host of medical conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and sleep problems, among others. Clearly tai chi has a lot to offer, and if you’d like to give it a try, please plan to attend one of the above mentioned programs.

Meditate, photo by Caleb Roenigk via FlickrLike tai chi, yoga can also be described as a form of meditation in motion. This practice of physical postures combined with conscious breathing originated in ancient India, and it aims to integrate body, mind and spirit. Historically its purpose was to move one toward attaining enlightenment, but even if this is not a “goal” for you, there are many benefits to be realized from a yoga practice. Physical benefits include increased muscle strength, flexibility and protection from injury. Mental benefits include increased mental clarity and calmness, a greater ability to focus and concentrate attention, and it can also aid in reducing anxiety and/or depression. Yoga is also suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical ability.

Sitting meditation, another ancient practice, can be undertaken with the aim of building inner strength and tranquility. There are numerous forms of meditation that employ different techniques, but for the same purpose — to train the mind to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment, and thereby become aware of the mind’s behavior and tendencies. Research has shown how meditation affects the brain and has uncovered many benefits, including improving the ability to focus and concentrate attention, improving memory, reducing stress, anxiety and depression, enhancing creativity and developing compassion. That is quite a lot to offer!

This pithy little book, “Start Here Now: an Open-hearted Guide to the Path and Practice of Meditation” by Susan Pivers, provides straightforward explanations and instructions that demystify meditation (in case you were mystified), making it very accessible to beginners.  There is a treasure trove of books here at the library, both in print and audio, with explanations and instructions on how to meditate. And there are a few organizations in our local area that offer group sitting opportunities and meditation instruction, for those interested in taking a class:  Show Me Dharma, Mindfulness Practice Center and Silent Mind-Open Heart.

“Even when in the midst of disturbance, the stillness of the mind can offer sanctuary.”
― Stephen Richards, The Ultimate Cosmic Ordering Meditation

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Reader Review: The Starter Wife

DBRL Next - June 23, 2016

the starter wifeThe Starter Wife” is about Gracie, a woman in a situation where she really doesn’t belong, fit in, or want to be. She tries with somewhat sincere effort to be a part of the Hollywood “Wife of” scene, and we readers get a peek with clarity, caring and pretty consistent humor! After a shocking text message, her life begins a journey to…she doesn’t know where! I liked Gracie and the narrative, which shared an interesting time in her life. This book is well written and moves with ease from page to page, and I really liked getting a look at the challenges and strife of a Hollywood wife’s life — it looks pretty, but it’s not.

Three words that describe this book: wife, life, Hollywood

You might want to pick this book up if: you like to read clever books, like to learn about different types of lives and, well, just pick it up cause it is good!!

-Pamela

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Blood Relations: Docs Featuring Families In Crisis

DBRL Next - June 22, 2016

tarnation imageFamilies can go into crisis mode when faced with stressful situations. How will family members deal with the situation and how will it transform their relationships with each other? Check out these docs that focus on families in a state of crisis.

tarnationTarnation” (2005)

Part documentary, part narrative fiction, part home movie, and part acid trip. Faced with the haunting remnants of his past, including a family legacy of mental illness, abuse and neglect, Jonathan Caouette returns home to aid in his schizophrenic mother’s recovery.

dear zacharyDear Zachary” (2008)

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne begins making a film for Zachary, son of his oldest friend who was murdered by Zachary’s mother. The film’s focus shifts to Zachary’s grandparents as they fight to win custody of Zachary from the woman who took their son’s life.

prodigal sonsProdigal Sons” (2010)

Returning home to Montana for her high school reunion, filmmaker Kimberly Reed (previously the school quarterback and now a transgender woman) hopes for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother. But along the way they face challenges no one could imagine.

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Reader Review: Lust & Wonder

DBRL Next - June 21, 2016

book cover for lust and wonderI really enjoy Augusten Burroughs, and I like hearing him read his own books. He manages a compelling mix of vulnerability and strength. Even when he screws up his life or makes choices he regrets later, he is able to examine the inner monologue and present it for the world to view. “Lust & Wonder” seems a good reflection on what I’d call regular adulting. He had a grown-up and mature relationship that wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t good, and he describes it in some detail. His reflections should have a universal tune to them for anyone reflecting on one’s own relationships. He describes his wild love for his dogs and the sadness of dividing custody as a relationship fails. He focuses on how his past continues to affect his present and highlights the moments when he tries to sort out whether feelings he’s having are appropriate to the situation or are really about a response to something that happened in his past. While I don’t have anything like the serious abuse and deep level addiction issues that Burroughs has, the analysis of whether a response is right for a situation applies even to someone without as much history.

Three words that describe this book: vulnerable, adult, engaging

You might want to pick this book up if: You’ve enjoyed other books by this author.
You want to hear an author read his own memoir. You are struggling with the fizzling of a long-term relationship.

-Anonymous

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Cosplay Costume Con on August 8

DBRLTeen - June 21, 2016

Cosplay Banner 1

Cosplay Costume Con
Monday, August 8 › 6-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

Dress up as your favorite character, be it superhero, anime, sci-fi or your own original persona. Photos and registration will begin at 6 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. by the runway show. We’ll award prizes for the best costumes and characterization in different age categories, so be ready to show off your cosplay game! All ages.

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

Originally published at Cosplay Costume Con on August 8.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Arthur Bradford

DBRL Next - June 20, 2016

Book cover for Turtle Face and Beyond by Arthur BradfordWhile I’ll recommend the work of a rascal if that rascal’s work is great enough, there are enough brilliant and kind writers out there that I’ve rarely had to resort to that. How do I know if they’re kind? The same way you find out if anyone is kind – you google them, show a picture of them to your neighbor’s hounds, and then carefully observe the hounds’ reactions. With this month’s recommendation, I needn’t confirm the internet’s verdict with a hound test. Arthur Bradford’s gentlemanly nature shows in the big-hearted way he renders his characters and because the good sir is dedicated to helping people. In addition to some film work and two incredible collections of short stories, he’s worked at the Texas School for the Blind, been a co-director for Camp Jabberwocky (a camp for people with disabilities), and he’s currently working in a juvenile detention center. He’s not your typical literary superstar who spends all his time eating figs, drinking brandy and bidding for antique typewriters on eBay.

Bradford writes without the sort of fanciful verbiage, flowery descriptions and unnecessary addenda that this immaculately groomed (wearing the casual cummerbund, because it’s Friday) gentleman so vigorously gravitates toward. His sentences are direct, and they’re hilarious. His characters make mistakes, sometimes constantly, but they’re not trying to hurt anyone, and they’re often trying to help someone.

Turtleface and Beyond” is his most recent collection of short stories, and it’s awesome. The titular Turtleface is an unfortunate young man who, after drunkenly deciding to dive from a cliff to impress his canoeing companions, dives face first into a turtle. Both he and the turtle are in bad shape, but Georgie (the soft-hearted narrator of the entire collection) decides to slap some duct tape on the turtle and nurse it back to health.

There’s a story about an under-dressed man travelling with friend to a wedding. They find a man ailing at the side of the road. He’s been bitten by a snake. He convinces Georgie to suck the poison from his leg. George reluctantly attempts it and ruins an outfit that was already insufficiently formal. There’s one where a reluctant Georgie is cajoled into assisting a boss’s decline into total depravity. There’s one called “The LSD and the Baby.”

When “The Gentleman Recommends” blog post series was first conceived, my primary intent was to highlight books that I like, but I also wanted to further the agenda of the gentleman. That agenda: constant politeness, regular charity, enough hat-tipping/doffing to cause calluses on the fingers you use to tip/doff your hat, always bowing when introduced to someone or when someone you know does something worthy of a bow, and regular snack breaks. I didn’t know that what I really wanted was to recommend a writer who had written a story called “The LSD and the Baby.”

If you like “Turtleface and Beyond,” support the gentlemen’s agenda and buy Bradford’s first collection, “Dogwalker.”

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The Gentleman Recommends: Arthur Bradford

Next Book Buzz - June 20, 2016

Book cover for Turtle Face and Beyond by Arthur BradfordWhile I’ll recommend the work of a rascal if that rascal’s work is great enough, there are enough brilliant and kind writers out there that I’ve rarely had to resort to that. How do I know if they’re kind? The same way you find out if anyone is kind – you google them, show a picture of them to your neighbor’s hounds, and then carefully observe the hounds’ reactions. With this month’s recommendation, I needn’t confirm the internet’s verdict with a hound test. Arthur Bradford’s gentlemanly nature shows in the big-hearted way he renders his characters and because the good sir is dedicated to helping people. In addition to some film work and two incredible collections of short stories, he’s worked at the Texas School for the Blind, been a co-director for Camp Jabberwocky (a camp for people with disabilities), and he’s currently working in a juvenile detention center. He’s not your typical literary superstar who spends all his time eating figs, drinking brandy and bidding for antique typewriters on eBay.

Bradford writes without the sort of fanciful verbiage, flowery descriptions and unnecessary addenda that this immaculately groomed (wearing the casual cummerbund, because it’s Friday) gentleman so vigorously gravitates toward. His sentences are direct, and they’re hilarious. His characters make mistakes, sometimes constantly, but they’re not trying to hurt anyone, and they’re often trying to help someone.

Turtleface and Beyond” is his most recent collection of short stories, and it’s awesome. The titular Turtleface is an unfortunate young man who, after drunkenly deciding to dive from a cliff to impress his canoeing companions, dives face first into a turtle. Both he and the turtle are in bad shape, but Georgie (the soft-hearted narrator of the entire collection) decides to slap some duct tape on the turtle and nurse it back to health.

There’s a story about an under-dressed man travelling with friend to a wedding. They find a man ailing at the side of the road. He’s been bitten by a snake. He convinces Georgie to suck the poison from his leg. George reluctantly attempts it and ruins an outfit that was already insufficiently formal. There’s one where a reluctant Georgie is cajoled into assisting a boss’s decline into total depravity. There’s one called “The LSD and the Baby.”

When “The Gentleman Recommends” blog post series was first conceived, my primary intent was to highlight books that I like, but I also wanted to further the agenda of the gentleman. That agenda: constant politeness, regular charity, enough hat-tipping/doffing to cause calluses on the fingers you use to tip/doff your hat, always bowing when introduced to someone or when someone you know does something worthy of a bow, and regular snack breaks. I didn’t know that what I really wanted was to recommend a writer who had written a story called “The LSD and the Baby.”

If you like “Turtleface and Beyond,” support the gentlemen’s agenda and buy Bradford’s first collection, “Dogwalker.”

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Arthur Bradford appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Second Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

DBRL Next - June 19, 2016

TrophyCongratulations to Teresa, a Columbia Public Library patron, for winning our second 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.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The July 2016 List

DBRL Next - June 17, 2016

Library Reads Logo

It’s hot and humid, and the LibraryReads recommendations list for July is dripping with twisty, suspenseful and sometimes genre-blending thrillers! Kidnapping, murder on a cruise ship, a mysterious death in an Amish community and a reality show gone seriously awry – there are so many good stories to stow in your beach bag. Here are the top 10 titles publishing next month that librarians across the country love.

Book cover for Dark Matter by Blake CrouchDark Matter” by Blake Crouch

“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.” – Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

Book cover for The Woman in Cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware

“An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat. Count on this being one of the hot reads this summer!” – Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

Book cover for The Last OneThe Last One” by Alexandra Oliva

“The Last One tells the story of twelve contestants who are sent to the wilderness in a Survivor-like reality show. But while they’re away, the world changes completely and what is real and what is not begins to blur. It’s post-apocalyptic literary fiction at it’s best. With a fast pace and a wry sense of humor, this is the kind of book that will appeal to readers of literary fiction and genre fiction alike. It points out the absurdity of reality television without feeling condescending. As the readers wake up to the realities of a new world, it becomes difficult to put down.” – Leah White, Ela Area Public Library, Lake Zurich, IL

Here is the rest of the July list for your holds-placing pleasure:

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The July 2016 List

Next Book Buzz - June 17, 2016

Library Reads Logo

It’s hot and humid, and the LibraryReads recommendations list for July is dripping with twisty, suspenseful and sometimes genre-blending thrillers! Kidnapping, murder on a cruise ship, a mysterious death in an Amish community and a reality show gone seriously awry – there are so many good stories to stow in your beach bag. Here are the top 10 titles publishing next month that librarians across the country love.

Book cover for Dark Matter by Blake CrouchDark Matter” by Blake Crouch

“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.” – Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY

Book cover for The Woman in Cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware

“An intruder in the middle of the night leaves Lo Blacklock feeling vulnerable. Trying to shake off her fears, she hopes her big break of covering the maiden voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the Aurora, will help. The first night of the voyage changes everything. What did she really see in the water and who was the woman in the cabin next door? The claustrophobic feeling of being on a ship and the twists and turns of who, and what, to believe keep you on the edge of your seat. Count on this being one of the hot reads this summer!” – Joseph Jones, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH

Book cover for The Last OneThe Last One” by Alexandra Oliva

“The Last One tells the story of twelve contestants who are sent to the wilderness in a Survivor-like reality show. But while they’re away, the world changes completely and what is real and what is not begins to blur. It’s post-apocalyptic literary fiction at it’s best. With a fast pace and a wry sense of humor, this is the kind of book that will appeal to readers of literary fiction and genre fiction alike. It points out the absurdity of reality television without feeling condescending. As the readers wake up to the realities of a new world, it becomes difficult to put down.” – Leah White, Ela Area Public Library, Lake Zurich, IL

Here is the rest of the July list for your holds-placing pleasure:

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

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Mega Gamer Eve on July 8

DBRLTeen - June 17, 2016

SentinelsDo you love games and gaming? Have you ever wondered how they were created? On July 8, the Columbia Public Library will welcome game developers Christopher Badell, Jay Sparks and others.

From 4:30-5:30 p.m. we’ll host a Q&A session with our game-creator guests. Then, from 6-9 p.m. there will be a special after-hours gaming night. We’ll have dozens of games like Sentinels of the Multiverse, Tao and Pandemic, but feel free to bring games you’d like to share, including Magic: The Gathering. Adults and children’s ages 10 and older.

Originally published at Mega Gamer Eve on July 8.

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Reader Review: Jane Steele

DBRL Next - June 16, 2016

jane steeleMore a “Jane Eyre” tribute than an adaptation, “Jane Steele” tells the story of a Victorian woman, Jane Steele, who is inspired by her own reading of “Jane Eyre” to write a memoir. Like Eyre, Steele is orphaned at a young age, sent by a cruel aunt to a bleak boarding school led by a tyrant, and then becomes governess to the impish ward of a brooding and mysterious man. Jane Steele, however, handles things in a much different way than her literary counterpoint, accumulating a body count along the way. There are multiple mysteries involved: Will Jane be able to claim her inheritance? What’s going on in the cellar? Why does her employer always wear gloves? What happened to the missing jewels? Will Jane be exposed as a murderess? There’s a lot going on, but the storyline is never confusing or jumbled. All of those questions eventually get answered in a satisfying way, and the reader is left feeling justice has been served all the way around. Jane Steele may be the only time a reader is left rooting for a heroine who identifies herself as a serial killer.

Three words that describe this book: gothic, absorbing, different

You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy a good gothic mystery or “Jane Eyre.”

-Katherine

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Everyone Deserves the Opportunity to Play

DBRL Next - June 15, 2016

Book cover for “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”– Mike Singletary, speaking of his career in football.

Isn’t this what we all want: the chance to participate in activities that enrich our lives? In the past, a physical or cognitive disability often meant spectator-only status when it came to sports, but that’s become less true with each passing decade. Check out Special Olympics champion gymnast, Chelsea Werner. Color me impressed; I never even learned to do a proper cartwheel.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver started Special Olympics in 1968, inspired by her sister, Rosemary Kennedy, who had cognitive disabilities and had been left out of many areas of life. For the past twenty years, Shriver’s son, Timothy, has served as chair of the organization. In his book “Fully Alive,” he speaks about the history of the group and his own personal experiences working with the athletes. Shriver finds motivation for his work in his faith, but there’s plenty of inspiration here for people of all belief systems.

Local athletes who are interested in participating in Special Olympics can contact Columbia Parks and Recreation or Special Olympics Missouri.

The 2005 documentary “Murderball” brought increased awareness to another group of athletes busy not sitting on the sidelines. The filmmakers followed the US quad (quadriplegia) Rugby team from training through competition in the 2004 Paralympics. The play is fast-paced and aggressive, and with specially designed wheelchairs, they manage to keep the contact aspect of the sport.

For a personal account of someone who refused to be stopped by his disability, check out John Maclean’s memoir “How Far Can You Go?” In 2013, Maclean realized his dream of walking again, 25 years after an accident that left him partially paralyzed. In the meantime, he competed as a wheelchair athlete in the Iron Man Triathlon, swam the English Channel, raced yachts and won a silver medal for rowing in the Paralympics.

As these athletes have shown us, inclusion isn’t an act of charity; it’s basic fairness. We all benefit when everyone has the opportunity to play.

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