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2015 Teen Book Tournament: Final Four Announced

Teen Book Buzz - March 19, 2015

2015 March Madness Finalist Banner

VOTE NOW through March 25 for the final two contending titles!

During the months of February and March, area young adults have eliminated 28 books to determine their top four favorite titles in the March Madness Teen Book Tournament. Below is a list of contenders chosen from these preliminary rounds of voting. If you are just joining us, here’s a recap of how you can participate for a chance to win cool prizes like free book sets or a Barnes & Noble gift  card.

How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:

Through a series of votes, we are narrowing the library’s list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. Prize winners will be announced on April 7 when we announce our book tournament champion.

  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: Voting complete for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Voting complete for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: VOTE NOW through March 25 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 26-April 1 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 7: The champion is announced!

All votes must be in by Wednesday, March 25 at 3 p.m. You may vote online at teens.dbrl.org or pick up a paper ballot at one of our three branch locations. Limit one ballot per person, per round.  Winning titles from this round of competition will be announced next Thursday, March 26.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Final Four
  1. The Maze Runner” by James Dashner
  2. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  3. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  4. Legend” by Marie Lu

Originally published at 2015 Teen Book Tournament: Final Four Announced.

Categories: Book Buzz

Reading on the Road: Recommended Audiobooks

Next Book Buzz - March 18, 2015

I’m not actually recommending that you read while driving. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. However, you can keep your ears occupied and make the time fly with an audiobook. If the approaching spring break (hooray!) means that a road trip is in your future, here are some audiobooks to keep you and your fellow passengers entertained.

Family friendly
These books are for a younger audience, but they are plenty entertaining for adults as well.

Book cover for The Mysterious Benedict SocietyThe Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart. Brainy orphans, an eccentric benefactor and a puzzle to solve – what’s not to love?

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy” by Jeanne Birdsall. While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother, in this smart and funny story.

Book cover for Peter and the StarcatchersPeter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry. Young adventurers will love this Peter Pan prequel, and I can’t make an audiobook list without including something narrated by the fantastic Jim Dale, the voice artist who also read the Harry Potter series.

A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. The grown-ups in the car will enjoy revisiting this story from their childhoods, and young listeners will be transported by the tale of Meg and Charles Wallace travelling through space and time to find their father, a physicist working for the government in secret, who has disappeared.

Book cover for Wonder by R.J. PalacioWonder” by R.J. Palacio. Listeners will fall in love with Auggie, a 5th grader entering school for the first time.  Born with extreme facial abnormalities, he has been home-schooled his entire life, making starting middle school an even more daunting prospect. At its conclusion, don’t be surprised if you and your car-mates end up having a discussion about kindness, overcoming obstacles and the acceptance of difference.

Adult (but not too adult)
These books are written for adults, but they have elements older children will enjoy and little in the way of language/themes you don’t want little ears to hear.

Book cover for Boys in the BoatThe Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown. This 2014 One Read selection is a Cinderella story of sorts that describes the journey of nine working class young men from the University of Washington as they row their way out of obscurity and into the gold-medal race at the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler’s Berlin.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. This off-beat (and very British) work of science fiction follows Arthur Dent, the last surviving person from Earth, and tour-guide writer Ford Prefect on their intergalactic journeys and extraterrestrial encounters. This most recent audiobook version is narrated by the very talented, very funny Stephen Fry.

Grownups only
These are crowd-pleasing audiobooks because of good writing, engaging storytelling and – most of all – terrific narration.

Book cover for Yes PleaseYes Please” by Amy Poehler. The “Parks and Rec” star dispenses life advice, cautionary tales, and plenty of behind-the-scenes looks at her life on the improv stage and as a member of the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” Guest appearances from Seth Meyers, Carol Burnett and even Poehler’s parents make listening to this book even more fun than reading it (which is already pretty fun). If our copies are all checked out, Tina Fey’s hilarious”Bossypants,” read by Fey herself, is a great second choice.

The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion. Narrator Dan O’Grady nails the voice of Australian Don Tillman, a socially challenged, possibly autistic, definitely brilliant geneticist as he uses logic to pursue love. A funny and smart romantic comedy.

Book cover for The End of the AffairThe End of the Affair” by Graham Greene. One online review said something like, “This is actor Colin Firth talking in your ear about love. Enough said.”

Any audiobooks you’ve enjoyed to make the miles fly? Let us know in the comments.

The post Reading on the Road: Recommended Audiobooks appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Reading on the Road: Recommended Audiobooks

DBRL Next - March 18, 2015

I’m not actually recommending that you read while driving. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. However, you can keep your ears occupied and make the time fly with an audiobook. If the approaching spring break (hooray!) means that a road trip is in your future, here are some audiobooks to keep you and your fellow passengers entertained.

Family friendly
These books are for a younger audience, but they are plenty entertaining for adults as well.

Book cover for The Mysterious Benedict SocietyThe Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart. Brainy orphans, an eccentric benefactor and a puzzle to solve – what’s not to love?

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy” by Jeanne Birdsall. While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother, in this smart and funny story.

Book cover for Peter and the StarcatchersPeter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry. Young adventurers will love this Peter Pan prequel, and I can’t make an audiobook list without including something narrated by the fantastic Jim Dale, the voice artist who also read the Harry Potter series.

A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. The grown-ups in the car will enjoy revisiting this story from their childhoods, and young listeners will be transported by the tale of Meg and Charles Wallace travelling through space and time to find their father, a physicist working for the government in secret, who has disappeared.

Book cover for Wonder by R.J. PalacioWonder” by R.J. Palacio. Listeners will fall in love with Auggie, a 5th grader entering school for the first time.  Born with extreme facial abnormalities, he has been home-schooled his entire life, making starting middle school an even more daunting prospect. At its conclusion, don’t be surprised if you and your car-mates end up having a discussion about kindness, overcoming obstacles and the acceptance of difference.

Adult (but not too adult)
These books are written for adults, but they have elements older children will enjoy and little in the way of language/themes you don’t want little ears to hear.

Book cover for Boys in the BoatThe Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown. This 2014 One Read selection is a Cinderella story of sorts that describes the journey of nine working class young men from the University of Washington as they row their way out of obscurity and into the gold-medal race at the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler’s Berlin.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. This off-beat (and very British) work of science fiction follows Arthur Dent, the last surviving person from Earth, and tour-guide writer Ford Prefect on their intergalactic journeys and extraterrestrial encounters. This most recent audiobook version is narrated by the very talented, very funny Stephen Fry.

Grownups only
These are crowd-pleasing audiobooks because of good writing, engaging storytelling and – most of all – terrific narration.

Book cover for Yes PleaseYes Please” by Amy Poehler. The “Parks and Rec” star dispenses life advice, cautionary tales, and plenty of behind-the-scenes looks at her life on the improv stage and as a member of the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” Guest appearances from Seth Meyers, Carol Burnett and even Poehler’s parents make listening to this book even more fun than reading it (which is already pretty fun). If our copies are all checked out, Tina Fey’s hilarious”Bossypants,” read by Fey herself, is a great second choice.

The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion. Narrator Dan O’Grady nails the voice of Australian Don Tillman, a socially challenged, possibly autistic, definitely brilliant geneticist as he uses logic to pursue love. A funny and smart romantic comedy.

Book cover for The End of the AffairThe End of the Affair” by Graham Greene. One online review said something like, “This is actor Colin Firth talking in your ear about love. Enough said.”

Any audiobooks you’ve enjoyed to make the miles fly? Let us know in the comments.

The post Reading on the Road: Recommended Audiobooks appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: More From DBRL...

The Gentleman Recommends: Sir Terry Pratchett

Next Book Buzz - March 16, 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett with two birds on his head - ImgurSir Terry Pratchett died on March 12, 2015. Prior to that he lived for 66 years. I’m not proud that it took his death to motivate me to recommend him. (It seems there is a clear formula to getting this gentleman’s recommendation: either author a book or three that I’ve read and loved in the last few months, or write dozens of books that I’ve loved at some point in my life and die.) Forgive me if I seem crass or irreverent, but the combination of grief and the tears it’s causing to ooze past my monocles and into my now watered-down brandy leave me shy of my customary humours. I think Sir Pratchett would have appreciated irreverence in the face of death.

I’ve been reading a lot of Sir Pratchett’s obituaries and tributes today, and I’m astounded each time at the reminder that he wrote over 70 books, both because that’s an astonishing amount of work from anyone that isn’t several centuries old (and even in that scenario involving some sort of immortal writing machine (or maybe a bookish vampire?) it would still be impressive) and because no one has specified the exact number. So, I scampered off to the Internet and counted, and if my counting hasn’t gotten too rusty, Sir Pratchett wrote 78 books. Only at snacking and lounging and referencing my fondness for snacking and lounging can I manage to be more prolific.

This era of constantly increasing celebrities brings about constantly increasing celebrity death, which causes the awkward situation of periodically grieving for someone you’ve never met. And while I can’t grieve Sir Pratchett the person, I can grieve the author and the absence of the 40 plus books he’d have written given a few more decades on earth, the man who combined hilarious/cutting/insightful satire, wordplay, remarkably imaginative world-building and immense compassion to create a stunning combo of quantity and quality fiction the likes of which I doubt the world, going forward, will ever see matched. Also, Sir Terry Pratchett was a knight, and while I’m sure there are others, I worry they won’t have the imagination needed to slay the more vicious dragons or keep the queen safe.

Sir Terry Pratchett taught me that you could write about wizards, dwarves, vampires, Igors, witches, zombies, politics, the grim reaper, war and the post office and be hilarious while having a great deal to say about ye old human condition. I wish I could apply the lesson half as well as it was taught.

I will close this post the way most of the articles about his death have closed: with a reprinting of the three tweets that came from his twitter account shortly after his death. It is helpful to know that among the hundreds of his characters was Death, who spoke in all caps and sometimes sarcastically, appears in nearly every book, is the star of a few, and occasionally takes a holiday from his grim duties.

“AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER”

“Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”

“The End.”

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Sir Terry Pratchett appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

The Gentleman Recommends: Sir Terry Pratchett

DBRL Next - March 16, 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett with two birds on his head - ImgurSir Terry Pratchett died on March 12, 2015. Prior to that he lived for 66 years. I’m not proud that it took his death to motivate me to recommend him. (It seems there is a clear formula to getting this gentleman’s recommendation: either author a book or three that I’ve read and loved in the last few months, or write dozens of books that I’ve loved at some point in my life and die.) Forgive me if I seem crass or irreverent, but the combination of grief and the tears it’s causing to ooze past my monocles and into my now watered-down brandy leave me shy of my customary humours. I think Sir Pratchett would have appreciated irreverence in the face of death.

I’ve been reading a lot of Sir Pratchett’s obituaries and tributes today, and I’m astounded each time at the reminder that he wrote over 70 books, both because that’s an astonishing amount of work from anyone that isn’t several centuries old (and even in that scenario involving some sort of immortal writing machine (or maybe a bookish vampire?) it would still be impressive) and because no one has specified the exact number. So, I scampered off to the Internet and counted, and if my counting hasn’t gotten too rusty, Sir Pratchett wrote 78 books. Only at snacking and lounging and referencing my fondness for snacking and lounging can I manage to be more prolific.

This era of constantly increasing celebrities brings about constantly increasing celebrity death, which causes the awkward situation of periodically grieving for someone you’ve never met. And while I can’t grieve Sir Pratchett the person, I can grieve the author and the absence of the 40 plus books he’d have written given a few more decades on earth, the man who combined hilarious/cutting/insightful satire, wordplay, remarkably imaginative world-building and immense compassion to create a stunning combo of quantity and quality fiction the likes of which I doubt the world, going forward, will ever see matched. Also, Sir Terry Pratchett was a knight, and while I’m sure there are others, I worry they won’t have the imagination needed to slay the more vicious dragons or keep the queen safe.

Sir Terry Pratchett taught me that you could write about wizards, dwarves, vampires, Igors, witches, zombies, politics, the grim reaper, war and the post office and be hilarious while having a great deal to say about ye old human condition. I wish I could apply the lesson half as well as it was taught.

I will close this post the way most of the articles about his death have closed: with a reprinting of the three tweets that came from his twitter account shortly after his death. It is helpful to know that among the hundreds of his characters was Death, who spoke in all caps and sometimes sarcastically, appears in nearly every book, is the star of a few, and occasionally takes a holiday from his grim duties.

“AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER”

“Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”

“The End.”

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Sir Terry Pratchett appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: More From DBRL...

Staff Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

DBRLTeen - March 16, 2015

CinderWhy I Checked it Out: I saw reviews of this title in a variety of different places, talking about how this book was a Cinderella remake, and a good one. I love a good fairy tale, so I went for it.

What It’s About: Set on a futuristic Earth, Cinder is a girl stuck with a horrible stepmother who doesn’t appreciate her, and two sisters who really can’t relate. They look down on Cinder because she isn’t normal-she’s a cyborg. Although her life feels like it can’t get any more complicated, the emperor’s son, Prince Kai, picks Cinder to fix his robot. As a talented mechanic, Cinder is excited to help, but helping the Prince means getting involved in a whirlwind of political intrigue, all while trying to hide the fact that she’s not completely human.

Why I Liked It: This is the first really unique Cinderella remake I’ve read. A sci-fi fairy tale mash-up? Cyborgs, robots, androids, spaceships and evil moon people? Yes, please. On top of that, Marissa Meyer is a talented writer. She balances the action in Cinder perfectly, so you can’t be bothered to put the book down. Her characters are enduring yet not overly dramatic, and all the while, she twists up your heart with a good old fashioned fairy tale love story. And the best part? There’s two more books in the series, and one more to arrive in late 2015.

Other Books in the Series:Cinder,” “Scarlet” and “Cress.” Meyer also came out with a short book called “Fairest,”which takes a  look inside the head of the series’ villain, Queen Levana.

Originally published at Staff Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Categories: More From DBRL...

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Podcasts

DBRL Next - March 13, 2015

Podcaster logoLate last year I noticed a new question cropping up at the library: “Can I listen to ‘Serial’ on your computers?” For those who haven’t heard of “Serial,” it’s a podcast that began last October and became a cultural phenomenon, gaining millions of listeners.

For those who aren’t sure what a podcast is, here’s an explanation from dictionary.com: “a digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer.”

No matter what your interest, someone’s created a podcast about it. I conducted a brief survey amongst my family and friends that yielded recommendations for dozens of titles and brought me a renewed appreciation for the diversity of my acquaintances. The list included humor, history, true crime, memoirs, relationships, dharma talks, cooking, music, literature, finance and several other topics.

Here are a few other things to know:

How much do podcasts cost and where does one find them?
Most podcasts are free, and there are many places to find them. Some of the more popular browsing sites are: iTunes (you need an account), NPR, Podcast Alley, and my favorite discovery – Stitcher.

How does one listen to a podcast?
Most podcasts can be listened to via streaming, with no need to download. And yes, you can listen on our library computers as long as you use earbuds or headphones. Please be aware of the length of the podcast compared to time limits on computer use. The advantage of downloading to a mobile device is that you can take it with you and listen even when you don’t have Internet access. Many podcasts offer subscriptions, through which the newest episode will automatically download for you as soon as it’s available.

Does the library offer resources related to podcasting?
So glad you asked!  Through Lynda.com you can find tutorials to help you download and listen, as well as lessons on producing your own podcast. We also offer an in-person class, “Downloading Made Easy,” in our Columbia building. The next session is April 22. Registration begins April 8. (Call 573-443-3161 to register.) For old-fashioned book learning about this new-fangled technology, check out “Content Rules, How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and more).”

For those who are curious, the top podcast recommendations from this blogger’s family and friends are:
Serial” – The first season focused on a 1999 murder and the subsequent investigation and trial.
The Moth – Storytelling
Welcome to Nightvale – Humor in the vein of the Addams family
Invisibilia – Explores “the intangible forces that shape human behavior…ideas, beliefs, emotions…”
Slate Audio Book Club – Book discussions
Hardcore History – History
Consequence of Sound’s Relevant Content – Pop culture, music and modern life

Happy listening!

 

photo credit: podcaster_logo via photopin (license)

The post Welcome to the Wonderful World of Podcasts appeared first on DBRL Next.

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2015 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced

DBRLTeen - March 12, 2015

2015 March Madness Finalist Banner

VOTE NOW through March 18 for the Final 4!

We’ve officially moved into the third round of our single elimination teen book tournament. So far, 24 books have been struck from the list to determine the Elite 8. Did Marissa Meyer make the cut with her book, “Cinder,” or did Marie Lu’s book,“Legend,” win? Who survived the last round: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green or “Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper?

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Maze Runner” by James Dashner
  3. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  4. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  5. If I Stay” by Gayle Forman
  6. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  7. City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare
  8. Legend” by Marie Lu
How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:

Through a series of votes, we are narrowing the library’s list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. By supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble! Prize winners will be announced on April 7 when we announce our book tournament champion.

  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: Voting complete for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: VOTE NOW through March 18 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 19-25 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 26-April 1 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 7: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite four titles by Wednesday, March 18 at 3 p.m. You may vote online at teens.dbrl.org or pick up a paper ballot at one of our three branch locations. Limit one ballot per person, per round.  The Final Four will be announced next Thursday, March 19.

Originally published at 2015 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced.

Categories: More From DBRL...

2015 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced

Teen Book Buzz - March 12, 2015

2015 March Madness Finalist Banner

VOTE NOW through March 18 for the Final 4!

We’ve officially moved into the third round of our single elimination teen book tournament. So far, 24 books have been struck from the list to determine the Elite 8. Did Marissa Meyer make the cut with her book, “Cinder,” or did Marie Lu’s book,“Legend,” win? Who survived the last round: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green or “Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper?

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Maze Runner” by James Dashner
  3. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  4. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  5. If I Stay” by Gayle Forman
  6. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  7. City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare
  8. Legend” by Marie Lu
How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:

Through a series of votes, we are narrowing the library’s list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. By supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble! Prize winners will be announced on April 7 when we announce our book tournament champion.

  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: Voting complete for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: VOTE NOW through March 18 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 19-25 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 26-April 1 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 7: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite four titles by Wednesday, March 18 at 3 p.m. You may vote online at teens.dbrl.org or pick up a paper ballot at one of our three branch locations. Limit one ballot per person, per round.  The Final Four will be announced next Thursday, March 19.

Originally published at 2015 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced.

Categories: Book Buzz

New DVD List: Life Itself & More

DBRL Next - March 11, 2015

life itself

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

life itselfLife Itself
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Playing last year at the Ragtag, this documentary film by acclaimed director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams“) and executive producers Martin Scorsese and Steven Zaillian recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful and transcendent.

game of thrones season 4Game of Thrones
Season 4
Website / Reviews
As season four begins, encouraged by the Red Wedding slaughter in the Riverlands that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact. But can they survive their own egos as well as new and ongoing threats from the south, north and east?

out of stepThe Pleasures of Being Out of Step
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Nat Hentoff is one of the enduring voices of the last 65 years, a writer who championed jazz as an art form and who also led the rise of ‘alternative’ journalism in America. This unique documentary wraps the themes of liberty, identity and free expression around a historical narrative that stretches from the Great Depression to the Patriot Act.

Other notable releases:

The post New DVD List: Life Itself & More appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Project Teen: “Insurgent”

DBRLTeen - March 10, 2015

Faction Symbol Banner

Project Teen is a quarterly program hosted by the Daniel Boone Regional Library. We invite young adults ages 12-18 to join us for crafts and snacks. For our next session, we will be celebrating the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s popular dystopian novel, “Insurgent,” with faction-related crafts and pizza! We have sessions planned for each of our three branch locations:

Callaway County
Public Library
Thursday, March 26
at 12:00 p.m.
No registration required. Columbia Public Library
Thursday, March 26
at 1:00 p.m.
Registration required.
To sign up, call
(573) 443-3161. Southern Boone County
Public Library
Tuesday, March 31
at 3:30 p.m.
No registration required.

Originally published at Project Teen: “Insurgent”.

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A Smart-aleck Sleuth in Ancient Rome

DBRL Next - March 9, 2015

Book cover for The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis(Review of the Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries, by Lindsey Davis)

If you grieve (as I do) at the end of a good mystery series, when the last mesmerizing page of the last book is turned, do I have a series for you! The Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries—a total of 20 novels, each a hefty 350-or-so pages—will delay that sad moment and keep you vastly entertained, possibly for the next decade.

Author Lindsey Davis has set her epic in first century AD Rome, where Falco, an informer (read “private detective”), plies his dangerous and not-very-lucrative trade. Falco is an enlightened rogue, occasionally employed by the Emperor Vespasian for cases no one else will take. One of the appeals of this series is Falco’s dry wit as he narrates his many adventures, both professional and personal (he also has an active love life and a large, drama-prone family.)

Book cover for Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey DavisAnother treat is the astounding amount of historically accurate detail crammed into every paragraph. You’ll read about Roman street vendor food (awful), the view from Falco’s seventh-floor Avantine tenement room (spectacular), first century urban firefighting (with fiber mats and brute strength), Roman bathing (with steam and olive oil) and countless other realities of daily Roman life. The effect is like time travel, or the most entertaining history course ever.

I’m not interested in the Roman Empire, and I rarely read historical fiction. Which makes it all the more remarkable that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed every single Falco novel. If you would like to do the same, here are the 15 titles available from DBRL. The five remaining titles* (which are not currently published in the US) are available through our interlibrary loan service.

Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries (in series order)

  1. The Silver Pigs
  2. Shadows in Bronze
  3. Venus in Copper
  4. The Iron Hand of Mars
  5. “Poseidon’s Gold”*
  6. “Last Act in Palmyra”*
  7. Time to Depart
  8. A Dying Light in Corduba
  9. Three Hands in the Fountain
  10. “Two for the Lions”*
  11. “One Virgin too Many”*
  12. “Ode to a Banker”*
  13. A Body in the Bathhouse
  14. The Jupiter Myth
  15. The Accusers
  16. Scandal Takes a Holiday
  17. See Delphi and Die
  18. Saturnalia
  19. Alexandria
  20. Nemesis

The post A Smart-aleck Sleuth in Ancient Rome appeared first on DBRL Next.

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A Smart-aleck Sleuth in Ancient Rome

Next Book Buzz - March 9, 2015

Book cover for The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis(Review of the Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries, by Lindsey Davis)

If you grieve (as I do) at the end of a good mystery series, when the last mesmerizing page of the last book is turned, do I have a series for you! The Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries—a total of 20 novels, each a hefty 350-or-so pages—will delay that sad moment and keep you vastly entertained, possibly for the next decade.

Author Lindsey Davis has set her epic in first century AD Rome, where Falco, an informer (read “private detective”), plies his dangerous and not-very-lucrative trade. Falco is an enlightened rogue, occasionally employed by the Emperor Vespasian for cases no one else will take. One of the appeals of this series is Falco’s dry wit as he narrates his many adventures, both professional and personal (he also has an active love life and a large, drama-prone family.)

Book cover for Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey DavisAnother treat is the astounding amount of historically accurate detail crammed into every paragraph. You’ll read about Roman street vendor food (awful), the view from Falco’s seventh-floor Avantine tenement room (spectacular), first century urban firefighting (with fiber mats and brute strength), Roman bathing (with steam and olive oil) and countless other realities of daily Roman life. The effect is like time travel, or the most entertaining history course ever.

I’m not interested in the Roman Empire, and I rarely read historical fiction. Which makes it all the more remarkable that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed every single Falco novel. If you would like to do the same, here are the 15 titles available from DBRL. The five remaining titles* (which are not currently published in the US) are available through our interlibrary loan service.

Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries (in series order)

  1. The Silver Pigs
  2. Shadows in Bronze
  3. Venus in Copper
  4. The Iron Hand of Mars
  5. “Poseidon’s Gold”*
  6. “Last Act in Palmyra”*
  7. Time to Depart
  8. A Dying Light in Corduba
  9. Three Hands in the Fountain
  10. “Two for the Lions”*
  11. “One Virgin too Many”*
  12. “Ode to a Banker”*
  13. A Body in the Bathhouse
  14. The Jupiter Myth
  15. The Accusers
  16. Scandal Takes a Holiday
  17. See Delphi and Die
  18. Saturnalia
  19. Alexandria
  20. Nemesis

The post A Smart-aleck Sleuth in Ancient Rome appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

March 31 Deadline for Bookmark Contest

DBRLTeen - March 8, 2015

Comic Book Bam 1Help us get ready for Summer Reading by designing an original bookmark based on the theme “Every Hero Has a Story.” Winning artwork from each library will be printed on bookmarks to be distributed late spring through summer.

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

Originally published at March 31 Deadline for Bookmark Contest.

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The Epigenetics Revolution: Free MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium

DBRL Next - March 6, 2015

Book cover for The Epigenetics RevolutionBiology is not necessarily destiny. The quickly evolving field of epigenetics is the branch of science that studies the regulation of genes and other genetic material, and recent research is raising many questions about nature versus nurture when it comes to disease and human behavior. (Very) simply stated, environmental factors – like stress, toxins and childhood trauma – can determine whether or not certain things programmed into a person’s genetic code get turned “on” or off. And extreme stress experienced by an individual can be so strong as to affect not only their genes but also the genes of their children.

A number of science writers in the last few years have published books trying to explain this complicated new field to the lay reader. One such book that terrified me personally is Annie Murphy Paul’s “Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives.” As a mother of young children, the fact that I could have been screwing them up in a number of unrealized ways while they were in the womb is unsettling to say the least. But this book raises important concerns about how we think about pregnancy and support expecting mothers and calls into question commonly held assumptions about which aspects of our health are biologically determined and which are influenced by environmental factors.

Paul is just one of the speakers at this year’s MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium, “The Epigenetics Revolution: Nature, Nurture and What Lies Ahead,” being held March 13-15. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. The symposium will explore what epigenetics means, discuss how epigenetic effects work and explore examples of how the environment can affect genetic expression in infants, children and adults. Several speakers will focus on the implications of epigenetics for human health and medicine, including the causes and treatments of diseases such as autism and cancer. See the full line-up of speakers and topics at the symposium’s website.

If you aren’t able to attend but want to learn more about this fascinating field, check out the very readable “Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance” by Richard C. Francis or Cary Nessa’s “The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance.”

The post The Epigenetics Revolution: Free MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Books for Dudes – Steelheart and Firefight

DBRLTeen - March 6, 2015

SteelheartWhat would you do with superpowers? Hopefully, you wouldn’t turn out like the superhumans, called Epics, in Brandon Sanderson’s new Reckoners series. “Steelheart” and “Firefight” are the first two titles, and these YA books examine the idea of superpowers in a very different way.

Ten years ago, a light appeared in the sky. Named Calamity, this event corresponded with numerous ordinary people gaining extraordinary abilities. These remarkable Epics soon showed themselves to not only be dominant, but also ruthless. Seemingly impervious to harm, Steelheart is among the most powerful.

Young David watches as somehow his father makes Steelheart bleed right before being killed by the all-powerful Epic. Years later, after Steelheart has completely taken over Chicago, David yearns to join the Reckoners, a secret group of humans bent on destroying the Epics’ existence. Every Reckoner has a weakness…but only David can figure out Steelheart’s.

FirefightThe next book, “Firefight,” also is titled after an Epic. I won’t spoil David’s connection to this character, but his motivations are different than his feelings of revenge toward Steelheart. While the first book takes place in what used to be Chicago, Firefight takes us to a decidedly different New York. Mostly underwater, and with graffiti that mysteriously glows at night, David and the Reckoners face even more mysteries and dangers than they did in Chicago. And the end features a neat surprise twist, which Sanderson seems to excel at in every book he writes.

The Reckoners series is planned to be a trilogy with “Calamity,” the final book, due sometime in 2016. The post-apocalyptic world of this series is really interesting. The rise of the Epics led to the downfall of government, and Epics have carved out slices of territory. The powers and weaknesses of each Epic are also well-constructed, and readers will be trying to figure out more than one Epic’s weakness while reading this enjoyable series.

Originally published at Books for Dudes – Steelheart and Firefight.

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Better Know a Genre: Cozy Mysteries

DBRL Next - March 4, 2015

Stack of books by Thomas Galvez via Flickr

It has been a while since I have helped readers to Better Know a Genre. What have I been doing instead of writing? Hibernating. But I’m back, and there are still a few weeks left until spring, so let us take these last days of winter to focus on the genre known as “cozy mysteries.”

Imagine the television show “Murder She Wrote” as a book. (Wait! You don’t have to imagine it.) Cozy mysteries, like all whodunits, begin with a crime. The crime usually takes place in a small town. Although the stories can contain murders or sexual activity, these are not explicitly described. There are not graphic depictions of violent crime. It is not usually the examination of forensic evidence from the crime scene that leads to the arrest of the perpetrator. Instead, there is a focus on solving the puzzle using knowledge of the town and its inhabitants.

The crime is often solved by a female amateur detective. The women tend to have a job that puts them into contact with the community, such as a teacher, author, librarian (hi!) or caterer. She might also have a hobby that serves as one of the themes of the book or series. Cooking and crafting are popular examples, and sometimes the books even contain recipes or patterns. She herself does not often work in law enforcement but will likely have unofficial help from someone on the police force. She is likable and engaging, not like the unfriendly Sherlock Holmes or the hard-drinking Philip Marlowe.

Also, cats. Lots of cats.

Check out some of these popular cozy mystery series from our collection!

Book cover for Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeCulinary cozies:

Tea Shop Mystery series, by Laura Child
Goldy Bear Mystery series, by Diane Mott Davidson
Hannah Swenson Mystery series, by Joanne Fluke
Faith Fairchild Mystery series, by Katherine Hall Page

Book cover for Crewel World by Monica FerrisCrafting cozies:

Needlecraft Mystery series, by Monica Ferris
Seaside Knitters Mystery series, by Sally Goldenbaum
Quilting Mystery series, by Terri Thayer

These are just two of many many many cozy mystery themes. What is your favorite series?

The post Better Know a Genre: Cozy Mysteries appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Better Know a Genre: Cozy Mysteries

Next Book Buzz - March 4, 2015

Stack of books by Thomas Galvez via Flickr

It has been a while since I have helped readers to Better Know a Genre. What have I been doing instead of writing? Hibernating. But I’m back, and there are still a few weeks left until spring, so let us take these last days of winter to focus on the genre known as “cozy mysteries.”

Imagine the television show “Murder She Wrote” as a book. (Wait! You don’t have to imagine it.) Cozy mysteries, like all whodunits, begin with a crime. The crime usually takes place in a small town. Although the stories can contain murders or sexual activity, these are not explicitly described. There are not graphic depictions of violent crime. It is not usually the examination of forensic evidence from the crime scene that leads to the arrest of the perpetrator. Instead, there is a focus on solving the puzzle using knowledge of the town and its inhabitants.

The crime is often solved by a female amateur detective. The women tend to have a job that puts them into contact with the community, such as a teacher, author, librarian (hi!) or caterer. She might also have a hobby that serves as one of the themes of the book or series. Cooking and crafting are popular examples, and sometimes the books even contain recipes or patterns. She herself does not often work in law enforcement but will likely have unofficial help from someone on the police force. She is likable and engaging, not like the unfriendly Sherlock Holmes or the hard-drinking Philip Marlowe.

Also, cats. Lots of cats.

Check out some of these popular cozy mystery series from our collection!

Book cover for Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeCulinary cozies:

Tea Shop Mystery series, by Laura Child
Goldy Bear Mystery series, by Diane Mott Davidson
Hannah Swenson Mystery series, by Joanne Fluke
Faith Fairchild Mystery series, by Katherine Hall Page

Book cover for Crewel World by Monica FerrisCrafting cozies:

Needlecraft Mystery series, by Monica Ferris
Seaside Knitters Mystery series, by Sally Goldenbaum
Quilting Mystery series, by Terri Thayer

These are just two of many many many cozy mystery themes. What is your favorite series?

The post Better Know a Genre: Cozy Mysteries appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

2015 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced

Teen Book Buzz - March 4, 2015

2015 March Madness Finalist Banner

VOTE NOW through March 11 for the Elite 8!

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

How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:
  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: VOTE NOW through March 11 for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Vote March 12-18 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 19-25 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 26-April 1 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 7: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite eight titles by Wednesday, March 18 at 3 p.m. The winners from this round of competition will be announced next Thursday, March 19.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Maze Runner” by James Dashner
  3. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  4. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  5. If I Stay” by Gayle Forman
  6. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  7. The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Cinder” by Marissa Meyer
  9. Legend” by Marie Lu
  10. City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare
  11. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs
  12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
  13. Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper
  14. The Raft” by S. A. Bodeen
  15. Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  16. Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater

Originally published at 2015 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced.

Categories: Book Buzz

2015 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced

DBRLTeen - March 4, 2015

2015 March Madness Finalist Banner

VOTE NOW through March 11 for the Elite 8!

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

How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:
  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: VOTE NOW through March 11 for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Vote March 12-18 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 19-25 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 26-April 1 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 7: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite eight titles by Wednesday, March 18 at 3 p.m. The winners from this round of competition will be announced next Thursday, March 19.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Maze Runner” by James Dashner
  3. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  4. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  5. If I Stay” by Gayle Forman
  6. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  7. The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Cinder” by Marissa Meyer
  9. Legend” by Marie Lu
  10. City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare
  11. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs
  12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
  13. Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper
  14. The Raft” by S. A. Bodeen
  15. Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  16. Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater

Originally published at 2015 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced.

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