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New DVD: “Reportero”

Center Aisle Cinema - April 30, 2014

reportero

We recently added “Reportero” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown last year on the PBS series POV. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?

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

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Support Your Local Critters

DBRL Next - April 30, 2014

Photo of deer by Bagsgroove via FlickrOn the heels of Earth Day at the end of April comes Garden for Wildlife Month, celebrated each May. Here is an opportunity to be a good steward of the planet by gardening in a way that nurtures the natural environment and the plants and animals that depend upon it. What do wildlife gardeners do? They create habitats that contain native plants and mimic a landscape that would have been there had development not occurred. They foster biodiversity by creating habitats that provide appropriate food, water and shelter to attract a wide range of animals, from tiny insects to deer. They typically utilize organic methods and conserve on water use (since native plants tend to need less water).

My family’s home in the city of Columbia has a backyard that butts up against 7 acres of private, forested land that includes a large pond. I love the quiet and privacy this affords us and the wildlife it supports. Because of these surroundings, we enjoy (without much effort) sightings of all kinds of critters. There are songbirds galore, which we further entice with feeders. We have resident barred owls, red-tailed hawks and once we had a wild turkey trot through. Beyond the bird category there are raccoons, opossums, rabbits, groundhogs, toads, tree frogs, garter snakes, box turtles, countless insects, etc., and we even have a resident herd of deer.

You can create a wildlife-friendly garden and still enjoy decent yields of flowers and vegetables. By observing the wildlife and their habits in your immediate area you can design a garden habitat that supports them and allows you to reap the edible and visual benefits of your toil in the soil. This is what I’ve been told in my recent readings on this topic, and I’m interested in testing this theory myself because…

I have been confounded by that herd of deer! If I didn’t want to flower and vegetable garden, I’d delight in seeing them amble through, but they have undermined my attempts, demoralizing me when my blood, sweat and dollar bills never pay off with any kind of harvest due to their ransacking. Looking into this particular deer “pest” problem further I’ve learned various ways to protect the plants from these marauders. The most surefire way to keep deer from munching out is to build a 9 foot-high fence. Since I don’t have the resources for that, I’ve decided to try the “coexist” method and will put in plants that deer are not much interested in (such as rhubarb and aromatic herbs). Of course, there are other animals and insects that can be problematic to gardeners (groundhogs, rabbits, aphids, etc.), and depending on the critter, different approaches are needed to deter them.

There are resources aplenty available here at DBRL to answer your questions about wildlife gardening, including how to design gardens that allow a peaceful coexistence between humans and other animals. With some planning and specific types of effort you can reap a harvest of flowers and veggies and enjoy seeing the critters that your garden invites and supports.

Photo credit: Photo by Bagsgroove via Flikr and used under a Creative Commons License.

The post Support Your Local Critters appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT and SAT Exams

DBRLTeen - April 30, 2014

Standardized TestThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT and SAT exams.

  • Registration for the June 14 ACT exam is due Friday, May 9. Sign-up online.
  • Registration for the June 7 SAT exam is due Friday, May 9. Sign-up online.

If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to SAT/ACT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).  If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call  (800) 324-4806.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Originally published at Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT and SAT Exams.

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New DVD: “The Punk Singer”

Center Aisle Cinema - April 28, 2014

thepunksinger

We recently added “The Punk Singer” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown earlier this year at Ragtag Cinema and currently has a rating of 83% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the “riot grrrl” movement of the 1990s.

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

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Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry

Next Book Buzz - April 28, 2014

Book cover for The Trouble With Poetry by Billy Collins“I don’t get poetry.”

Somewhere along our educational paths, some of us became convinced that poetry, by definition, must be hard, esoteric, incomprehensible. Others believe poetry is boring, the word conjuring up memories of a too-warm classroom and a lecture about syllables and iambic pentameter. If you believe you are not a poetry person, in honor of the last few days of National Poetry Month, I’m going to attempt to convince you otherwise.

Exhibit A: Billy Collins
Collins’ poetry is conversational, approachable and often gently humorous. He writes about love, loss, growing older, teenagers, camp lanyards, his kitchen and a whole host of other everyday topics, using elegant phrasing, surprising images and even wit to make what is common seem new.

Exhibit B: Mary Oliver
Oliver’s most recent collection of poems is all about the dogs she has owned. The verses in “Dog Songs” are unashamedly celebratory, as is much of her work. Nature is often the subject of her writing, and while not overtly religious, there is a quality of thanksgiving in her poems, an open wonder at the world and gratitude for her place in it. 

Exhibit C: Sharon Olds
There is a sharpness to Olds, and even a harshness at times, like she is shining a bright spotlight on her subjects. She writes fearlessly about death, sexuality, brutality and makes even the hardest truths beautiful through words and images.

What other poets would you recommend to reluctant poetry readers?

The post Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry

DBRL Next - April 28, 2014

Book cover for The Trouble With Poetry by Billy Collins“I don’t get poetry.”

Somewhere along our educational paths, some of us became convinced that poetry, by definition, must be hard, esoteric, incomprehensible. Others believe poetry is boring, the word conjuring up memories of a too-warm classroom and a lecture about syllables and iambic pentameter. If you believe you are not a poetry person, in honor of the last few days of National Poetry Month, I’m going to attempt to convince you otherwise.

Exhibit A: Billy Collins
Collins’ poetry is conversational, approachable and often gently humorous. He writes about love, loss, growing older, teenagers, camp lanyards, his kitchen and a whole host of other everyday topics, using elegant phrasing, surprising images and even wit to make what is common seem new.

Exhibit B: Mary Oliver
Oliver’s most recent collection of poems is all about the dogs she has owned. The verses in “Dog Songs” are unashamedly celebratory, as is much of her work. Nature is often the subject of her writing, and while not overtly religious, there is a quality of thanksgiving in her poems, an open wonder at the world and gratitude for her place in it. 

Exhibit C: Sharon Olds
There is a sharpness to Olds, and even a harshness at times, like she is shining a bright spotlight on her subjects. She writes fearlessly about death, sexuality, brutality and makes even the hardest truths beautiful through words and images.

What other poets would you recommend to reluctant poetry readers?

The post Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: Teen Game Night in Ashland

DBRLTeen - April 28, 2014

Super Mario BrosTeen Game Night
Friday, May 2  › 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Challenge your friends to a game on our Wii U console or to a board game tournament. We’ll have various games available as well as supplies for art projects. Refreshments provided. (Please enter through back door.)

Originally published at Program Preview: Teen Game Night in Ashland.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The May List

Next Book Buzz - April 25, 2014

Library Reads logoThe days are getting warmer and longer, and summer reading is on the horizon! Here is the monthly list from LibraryReads, highlighting forthcoming titles librarians across the country recommend, including family dramas, suspense, literary fiction, and a memoir. Get ready to pack your beach bag with some great new books.

Book cover for We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
“This brilliant and heartbreaking novel tells the story of a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Full of love, lies, secrets, no shortage of family dysfunction and a shocking twist that you won’t see coming. Though this book is written for teens, it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking for a fantastic read.”
- Susan Balla, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Book cover for All the Light We Cannot See All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
“Set during World War II Europe, this novel is sobering without being sentimental. The tension builds as the alternating, parallel stories of Werner and Marie-Laure unfold, and their paths cross. I highly recommend this beautiful and compelling story.”
- Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

Book cover for The Bees by Laline PaullThe Bees: A Novel
by Laline Paull
“This book is set entirely in a beehive, but the novel and its characters are so beautifully rendered that it could have been set anywhere. Societal codes and social mores combine with the ancient behavior rituals of bees, bringing forth a remarkable story that is sure to be a book club favorite.”
- Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

Here is the rest of the list, with links to the library’s catalog so you can place holds on these on-order books!

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

Categories: Book Buzz

Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The May List

DBRL Next - April 25, 2014

Library Reads logoThe days are getting warmer and longer, and summer reading is on the horizon! Here is the monthly list from LibraryReads, highlighting forthcoming titles librarians across the country recommend, including family dramas, suspense, literary fiction, and a memoir. Get ready to pack your beach bag with some great new books.

Book cover for We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
“This brilliant and heartbreaking novel tells the story of a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Full of love, lies, secrets, no shortage of family dysfunction and a shocking twist that you won’t see coming. Though this book is written for teens, it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking for a fantastic read.”
- Susan Balla, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Book cover for All the Light We Cannot See All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
“Set during World War II Europe, this novel is sobering without being sentimental. The tension builds as the alternating, parallel stories of Werner and Marie-Laure unfold, and their paths cross. I highly recommend this beautiful and compelling story.”
- Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

Book cover for The Bees by Laline PaullThe Bees: A Novel
by Laline Paull
“This book is set entirely in a beehive, but the novel and its characters are so beautifully rendered that it could have been set anywhere. Societal codes and social mores combine with the ancient behavior rituals of bees, bringing forth a remarkable story that is sure to be a book club favorite.”
- Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

Here is the rest of the list, with links to the library’s catalog so you can place holds on these on-order books!

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

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Free Teen Life Skills Class

DBRLTeen - April 25, 2014

Rainbow House will be hosting a weekly life skills class for teens every Tuesday in May and June. Classes will be held at the Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church in Columbia and begin at 6:00 p.m. Each session will cover a range of skills from balancing a checkbook to changing a flat tire. This class is free and open to any young adult ages 16-22. For more information, please contact Claire Slama at (573) 474-6600, ext. 3203.

In the meantime, the library has many helpful resources for young adults preparing to set out on their own. Below is just a sampling of the titles available for check-out. All you need is a library card!

Originally published at Free Teen Life Skills Class.

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Docs Around Town: Apr. 25 – May 1

Center Aisle Cinema - April 24, 2014

noplaceonearth

April 27: “A Girl Like Her” 2:00 p.m. at Columbia Public Library, free. (via)
April 27: No Place on Earth” 1:00 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)

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“The World Before Her” on May 21st

Center Aisle Cinema - April 23, 2014

worldbeforeher

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

The World Before Her” (60 min.) is a tale of two Indias. In one, Ruhi Singh is a small-town girl competing in Bombay to win the Miss India pageant. In the other India, Prachi Trivedi is the young, militant leader of a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, where she preaches violent resistance to Western culture. Moving between these divergent realities, this film by Nisha Pahuja creates a lively, provocative portrait of the world’s largest democracy at a critical transitional moment—and of two women who hope to shape its future. The film played at the Citizen Jane Film Festival in 2012. The screening is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.

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Questions from “Herman’s House”

Center Aisle Cinema - April 23, 2014

hermanshouse

Thanks to everyone who came to the “Herman’s House” showing at the Columbia Public Library. Here are some questions about the film that you can respond to in the comments section of this blog post:

  1. Is prolonged solitary confinement “cruel and unusual”? Why or why not?
  2. What did you learn from the film about the ways that art and/or architecture can be used to address social justice issues or inspire change?
  3. Do you think re-designing Wallace’s cell would have impact on his well-being, and if so, how? If not, what other factors might contribute to an inmate’s well-being?
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Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library

Teen Book Buzz - April 23, 2014

Hoopla- Stream free movies, music and audiobooksWith our new digital service, Hoopla, you can watch videos or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device for free. Hoopla allows us to add music, movies and TV to our digital offerings for the first time. Plus, you’ll never have to wait on any item through Hoopla because more than one person can access the same movie, album or audiobook at the same time.

Download the free Hoopla mobile app on your Android or iOS device to begin enjoying thousands of titles from major film studios, recording companies and publishers. Hoopla items can also stream to your computer through your Web browser.

  • You will be allowed to borrow 10 titles each month.
  • Movies & TV shows lend for 72 hours.
  • Music lends for 7 days.
  • Audiobooks lend for 21 days.
  • Content begins streaming immediately. You can also download most titles to devices for offline viewing or listening.
  • Once you borrow a title on one device it is automatically available via all devices with the Hoopla app or, on your computer, through your browser (Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 12+, Safari 5+, Chrome 19+).
  • View or listen to the borrowed content as often as you want during the check-out period.

To use this free service, you need to have a current Daniel Boone Regional Library card. Don’t have one? Learn more at www.dbrl.org/librarycard.

Originally published at Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library.

Categories: Book Buzz

Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library

DBRLTeen - April 23, 2014

Hoopla- Stream free movies, music and audiobooksWith our new digital service, Hoopla, you can watch videos or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device for free. Hoopla allows us to add music, movies and TV to our digital offerings for the first time. Plus, you’ll never have to wait on any item through Hoopla because more than one person can access the same movie, album or audiobook at the same time.

Download the free Hoopla mobile app on your Android or iOS device to begin enjoying thousands of titles from major film studios, recording companies and publishers. Hoopla items can also stream to your computer through your Web browser.

  • You will be allowed to borrow 10 titles each month.
  • Movies & TV shows lend for 72 hours.
  • Music lends for 7 days.
  • Audiobooks lend for 21 days.
  • Content begins streaming immediately. You can also download most titles to devices for offline viewing or listening.
  • Once you borrow a title on one device it is automatically available via all devices with the Hoopla app or, on your computer, through your browser (Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 12+, Safari 5+, Chrome 19+).
  • View or listen to the borrowed content as often as you want during the check-out period.

To use this free service, you need to have a current Daniel Boone Regional Library card. Don’t have one? Learn more at www.dbrl.org/librarycard.

Originally published at Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library.

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Being Puppy Prepared

DBRL Next - April 23, 2014

Photo of the author's dog, ZarraI’ve had family dogs, where the responsibility of training, walking and caring for the animal was shared among four people, but Zarra, my red heeler, is the first dog I can completely call my own.  She’s spastic, energetic and, as her name implies, bizarre. When I first adopted her, I thought my previous experience raising dogs would be enough to reign in her crazy, but after a few months her behavior immediately alerted me that I was very, horrifyingly, wrong.

I constantly struggle to stop her from violently shaking her leash in an excited fit, and although I love the sound of her beautiful voice, her infatuation with barking is infuriating.

On the bright side, she is wicked smart, has more personality than three dogs combined and is the perfect snuggle companion when she’s not attempting to thrust me from the bed with tiny outstretched legs.

All this hassle led me to a moment of brilliance where I thought, why, I work at a library, don’t I? We have a dog training collection, don’t we? Then why don’t I check myself out some much-needed books that will enlighten me on how to reign in my fiendish friend?

And that’s what I’m here to tell you, all of you pessimistic people out there thinking of getting yourself a puppy this summer, or even adopting a dog from Second Chance. Make sure you properly equip yourself to handle your rowdy pup, and be sure to do it while they are still malleable little innocent beings unlike my red furred friend.

 Okay, I want a dog. Where do I start?

Book cover for Choosing the Dog That's Right for YouChoosing the Dog That’s Right for You” by Sam Stall

“Choosing the Dog That’s Right for You” goes over every canine breed and their individual quirks. At first, the type of breed you’re thinking of adopting might not seem important past looks, but trust me, it’s very important. This book covers factors you probably weren’t even considering, like known health issues and activity needs. Stall covers everything you’ll need to know from the amount of time you’ll spend caring for a Yorkshire Terrier’s hair, to the awful watch-dog ability of the overly friendly Huskie, to the loud and overactive personality of the Jack Russell Terrier.

Okay, I got my dog, What now?

Book cover for Good Dog, the Easy way to Train Your DogGood Dog! The Easy Way to Train your Dog” by Sarah Whitehead

This is a quick and easy-to-use book packed full of useful pictures and one-page training guides. I flipped through it multiple times, using the images to remind myself of the step-by-step process of whatever training technique I was currently working on. The pictures are extremely helpful, and it covers a wide range of tricks from the simple sit to the complex rollover.

 I want more training!

Book cover for Love That Dog Training ProgramThe Love That Dog Training Program” by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz

Where “Good Dog!” is simple, “The Love That Dog Training Program” is detailed, thorough and complex. Sylvia-Stasiewicz sets up a day-by-day training schedule for you to follow over a five week-long course. Although I didn’t apply the Sylvia-Stasiewicz program, I do wish I’d had the opportunity when I first got Zarra. Instead, I found myself flipping through this book and using its troubleshooting section in an attempt to fix my dog’s behavioral problems while implementing its cookie sit and stay training techniques.

 More! More! More!

Columbia Public Library has over three shelves of books on dog training, and I highly recommend coming in and checking them out whether you have a troublesome pup on your hands or are thinking about getting yourself one.

Good luck! Be patient!

The post Being Puppy Prepared appeared first on DBRL Next.

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“A Girl Like Her” on April 27th

Center Aisle Cinema - April 21, 2014
agirllikeher Sunday, April 27 › 2-3:30 p.m. Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

Join us for a special showing of “A Girl Like Her” (48 min.) at Columbia Public Library. The film will be followed by a panel discussion including an adoptive parent, an adoptee, birth parents involved with an open and closed adoption and a social worker. Co-sponsored by the Adoption Triad Connection of Mid-Missouri.  Here’s a synopsis from the film webpage:

A GIRL LIKE HER reveals the hidden history of over a million young women who became pregnant in the 1950s and 60s and were banished to maternity homes to give birth, surrender their children, and return home alone. They were told to keep their secret, move on and forget. But, does a woman forget her child? The film combines footage from educational films and newsreels of the time period about dating, sex, “illegitimate” pregnancy, and adoption—that both reflected and shaped the public’s understanding of single pregnancy during that time—with the voices of these mothers as they speak today, with hindsight, about the long-term impact of surrender and silence on their lives.

This documentary written and directed by Ann Fessler, author of “The Girls Who Went Away.” While this film is not part of the monthly Center Aisle Cinema series, we’d still encourage you to attend.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Flann O’Brien

DBRL Next - April 21, 2014

Book cover for The Third Policeman by Flann O'BrienThe most important thing I can tell you about Flann O’Brien is: you should not read the introduction to “The Complete Novels” until after you’ve read the complete novels. Perhaps the introducer believed he was writing an afterword, or perhaps he believes he lives in a surreal utopia where everyone has read Flann O’Brien. Regardless, he drops spoilers like race cars during a bolt shortage, including a huge one that will change the way you read “The Third Policeman.” Fortunately, I long ago developed a suspicion of introductions and always save them for last, so it was with a self-satisfied smirk, wagged finger of admonishment and chest-puffed entreaty of “don’t be a monster that spoils stuff” that I greeted the introducer’s ghastly act of revealing the end of the “The Third Policeman,” where the reader should discover for themselves that [spoiler removed by editor].

Flann O’Brien, much like Batman or a rapper, has more than one name. His realest name is Brian O’Nolan, and, in addition to Flann, he also wrote as Myles na gCopaleen, which I presume is the result of several typos and an urge to be the most inscrutable superhero ever. Unlike my previous recommendations whose recommending came at least partially in the service of bribing them to be my friends, any relationship with O’Brien would be awkward and one-sided as the man died on April Fools’ Day in 1966. (Which, if one has to die, must be the best day to do so. Think of the incredulous responses when his friends and loved ones were notified!)

“The Third Policeman” begins with the narrator confessing to murder. From there it is a whirlwind consisting of a plot to obtain the deceased’s fortune; asides concerning the ludicrous theories of the philosopher de Selby (whom the narrator is obsessed with and had been planning to write a book on), such as his belief that night is an illusion caused by an accretion of black gases, that the earth is sausage-shaped and that with a large enough series of mirrors one is capable of seeing into the past; and absurd policemen whose fixations on bicycles, high-fallutin’ rhetoric and incomprehensible mathematics provide much of the fuel for this spectacular comedy.

There’s also some spectacular horror. In addition to murder, there is a conversation with a ghost, a journey into a surreal landscape where a police station looks two-dimensional, as if “it was painted on the sky,” an alliance with an army of one-legged men, some incomprehensible mathematics and a bicycle painted a color that drives anyone who sees it mad. There’s a chest of drawers so flawless that the only thing the policeman found worthy of putting in it was a smaller replica, which presented the same problem, which meant it must contain a smaller replica and so on until there’s a chest so small it can’t be spotted with a magnifying glass. This is a rare book that is creepy, hilarious and uncanny within the same sentence. Also, the ending is neat.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Flann O’Brien appeared first on DBRL Next.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Flann O’Brien

Next Book Buzz - April 21, 2014

Book cover for The Third Policeman by Flann O'BrienThe most important thing I can tell you about Flann O’Brien is: you should not read the introduction to “The Complete Novels” until after you’ve read the complete novels. Perhaps the introducer believed he was writing an afterword, or perhaps he believes he lives in a surreal utopia where everyone has read Flann O’Brien. Regardless, he drops spoilers like race cars during a bolt shortage, including a huge one that will change the way you read “The Third Policeman.” Fortunately, I long ago developed a suspicion of introductions and always save them for last, so it was with a self-satisfied smirk, wagged finger of admonishment and chest-puffed entreaty of “don’t be a monster that spoils stuff” that I greeted the introducer’s ghastly act of revealing the end of the “The Third Policeman,” where the reader should discover for themselves that [spoiler removed by editor].

Flann O’Brien, much like Batman or a rapper, has more than one name. His realest name is Brian O’Nolan, and, in addition to Flann, he also wrote as Myles na gCopaleen, which I presume is the result of several typos and an urge to be the most inscrutable superhero ever. Unlike my previous recommendations whose recommending came at least partially in the service of bribing them to be my friends, any relationship with O’Brien would be awkward and one-sided as the man died on April Fools’ Day in 1966. (Which, if one has to die, must be the best day to do so. Think of the incredulous responses when his friends and loved ones were notified!)

“The Third Policeman” begins with the narrator confessing to murder. From there it is a whirlwind consisting of a plot to obtain the deceased’s fortune; asides concerning the ludicrous theories of the philosopher de Selby (whom the narrator is obsessed with and had been planning to write a book on), such as his belief that night is an illusion caused by an accretion of black gases, that the earth is sausage-shaped and that with a large enough series of mirrors one is capable of seeing into the past; and absurd policemen whose fixations on bicycles, high-fallutin’ rhetoric and incomprehensible mathematics provide much of the fuel for this spectacular comedy.

There’s also some spectacular horror. In addition to murder, there is a conversation with a ghost, a journey into a surreal landscape where a police station looks two-dimensional, as if “it was painted on the sky,” an alliance with an army of one-legged men, some incomprehensible mathematics and a bicycle painted a color that drives anyone who sees it mad. There’s a chest of drawers so flawless that the only thing the policeman found worthy of putting in it was a smaller replica, which presented the same problem, which meant it must contain a smaller replica and so on until there’s a chest so small it can’t be spotted with a magnifying glass. This is a rare book that is creepy, hilarious and uncanny within the same sentence. Also, the ending is neat.

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Flann O’Brien appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Staff Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

DBRLTeen - April 21, 2014

The Moon and More by Sarah DessenEmaline has just graduated from high school and she is facing some very important decisions. Is it important to go to an Ivy League university, or is an in-state college acceptable? Does she want to be in a committed, long-term relationship, or is she looking for a summer fling? Does she want to continue to have contact with her biological father, or is it worth the emotional investment? Emaline is trying to find her way while dealing with two step-sisters, a half-brother, her mother, her grandmother, her adopted dad, her summer job and assorted friends.

Why I liked it: The characters are believable. Emaline’s family has its share of sibling rivalry, but also love and support. Emaline has to do some hard thinking about what is right for her, not just accepting what other people think she should do.

Three words to describe the book: Humorous, realistic, thought-provoking.

Other books by Sarah Dessen:What Happened to Goodbye,” “Along for the Ride,” “Lock and Key,” “Just Listen,” “The Truth About Forever” and “Keeping the Moon.”

Originally published at Staff Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen.

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