More From DBRL...
My absolute favorite DIY holiday gift to make is homemade lotion. I originally found the idea on Pinterest, but there are now countless blogs with slightly tweaked versions of this recipe. I have given my homemade lotion as a gift for the last two holiday seasons. My friends and family LOVE the lotion so much they request it throughout the year.
- Orange-scented essential oil
- Equal parts vitamin E cream, petroleum jelly, and your favorite unscented lotion.
- Electric Hand Mixer
- Large mixing bowl
- Small Mason jars
- Labels and ribbon to decorate the jars
I love the smell of oranges, but you can use another scent if you like. I have also found “equal parts” is really an estimation. No need to measure, you can just eyeball it.
Mix equal parts of vitamin E cream, petroleum jelly, and your favorite unscented lotion. Blend using electric hand mixer. Add water to the mix if it is too thick and then blend again.
Add several drops of essential oil. Then smell to see if the lotion is scented to your liking. If not, add more essential oil. Mix. Repeat. (I added a TON!)
Portion lotion out into small Mason jars. Add a personal touch with cute labels and ribbon.
Remember this holiday season: Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy Mason jars which is kinda the same thing . Happy crafting!
Originally published at Homemade Holiday Gifts: Hand Lotion.
Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2013 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year. Thanks to all who participated!
I finally can say I’ve read my first Agatha Christie mystery. From what I understand, “And Then There Were None” is a great one with which to start. The book moves very quickly and never has a dull moment. The first chapter or two requires a bit of perseverance as there are 10 characters to quickly get to know and keep straight. The basic premise of the book is that 10 people are invited to an island and left alone as one by one they are murdered. (Or commit suicide?) It quickly becomes clear that one in the group is indeed the murderer. Try as I might, I was not able to determine who the murderer was as I read the book. It is an extremely creative plot and one I’ve never encountered. Now, I’m tempted to read the book again, this time in search for clues given as the story progresses. The underlying themes of the book are guilt for one’s past crimes and the execution of justice. I’m glad I read it and look forward to my next Christie book. I’ve heard “Murder on the Orient Express” is another one worth the time.
Three words or phrases that describe this book: suspenseful, thought-provoking, page-turner.
You might want to pick this book up if: You love a fast-paced mystery that isn’t easily solved while reading.
So this book talks about love. It also talks about standing up to bullies and covers a good chunk of comic book lore. Oh yeah, and someone becomes the victim of a nice roundhouse kick that should bring applause. What type of book would cover all this? The answer is Rainbow Rowell’s delightful “Eleanor & Park,” which just won the top award on GoodReads.com’s list, “2013 Best Young Adult Fiction Books.”While the language is a little inappropriate for this blog’s younger readers, I give this book my highest possible recommendation to older teens and adults.
Park is like many other guys I’ve known in that he’s likable, but he’s not part of the “in” crowd. He’s half-Korean living in Nebraska, and he definitely stands out. And when an awkwardly dressed girl with crazy, bright red hair gets on the bus, he’s not exactly thrilled to share his seat with her. However, what starts as a bare toleration turns into an exchange of comics and 80s alternative mix-tapes, leading into an intense first love. And this isn’t the “they fell in love and lived happily ever after” kind of drama-free love. Instead, we get a much more honest, intense first love that grabs you even if you resist, that makes it hard to breathe or think, and that has almost as many downs as ups.
The ways Eleanor and Park connect, and the ways in which Rainbow Rowell ties that connection to 80s pop culture, is truly spectacular. For example, when discussing Star Wars, Eleanor states that she doesn’t want to be the typical Princess Leia to be rescued. From Park’s perspective, Rowell writes “You can be Han Solo…and I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you.” Amazing stuff, Ms. Rowell. Thank you. And comic lovers will appreciate the conversation in which Eleanor argues how sexist the X-Men are…classic nerdiness at its finest.
As I said, this book has some downs, too. Eleanor comes from a very poor family and has a difficult situation with her stepdad, and it’s pretty painful to read at times. She doesn’t want Park to know about this part of her life, leading into all sorts of conflicts. Much like many teenagers, both protagonists are also affected by bullying and head games at school. On the plus side, one conflict taught me what a jump reverse hook is (although if I tried it, I would probably just sprain something critical).
While some parts can be pretty depressing, this book was a very uplifting read for me. Please go out and immerse yourself in this highest possible recommendation. Also, enjoy the holiday season and have a great start to the new year. I’m going to go shake my presents to see if I can hear any Legos rattling around…
Originally published at Books for Dudes – Eleanor & Park.
We collected nominations for next year’s One Read book throughout November, and this month we are highlighting some of the titles your friends and neighbors suggested. We received one of our most heartfelt nominations for Camron Wright’s “The Rent Collector,” a novel set in Cambodia’s biggest municipal dump.
“This is the best book I have read all year!” begins our nominator. ”I have recommended this book to everyone I know. The setting: an enormous garbage dump in Cambodia. The people who actually live there and try to eke out a living from picking through the trash are real. The story itself is fictionalized. It is a gripping read that pulls you in to this unthinkable environment and makes you ponder many questions including hope, healing and redemption. As ‘the rent collector’ teaches Sang Ly to read, we are asked to give thought to what measures up enough to be called literature. I think that is an important topic to probe as well.”
For twenty-five years, my American in-laws lived in the state of Washington, in a small town that looked like the town of Twin Peaks from David Lynch’s TV series – minus the waterfalls. I visited them there only once, six months after we got married, for, soon after that, they moved to Columbia to live with us. Unfortunately, I didn’t see much of the state during my first visit – a week before our departure, my husband began exhibiting symptoms of what I first thought to be the flu (and so did his doctor), but what later was diagnosed as mononucleosis. For those who don’t know much about mono, it is often called the kissing disease, because you can get it by kissing someone with mono (this, I sincerely hope, was not the case with my husband), although it’s entirely possible to catch if through coughing or sneezing.
In any case, by the time we got to the Twin Cities, my husband was feverish, had trouble holding food down (hard to handle in an airport ), and had a killer headache. Not realizing what was happening, we continued our journey, with my husband feeling worse by the minute. When our plane finally landed in Seattle, it was clear that sightseeing in Seattle was no longer an option, so my father-in-law, who met us there, took us directly to Port Angeles. There I, still a new bride, spent a week worrying about the possibility of becoming a new widow, and my husband – who was so debilitated that he could not get up for meals – discussed with his father, a retired professor of physiology with an MD degree, how to calm me down.
Since then, the desire to visit Seattle stayed with me for years, so when we decided to visit Mt. Rainier National Park (see my previous post), I made sure that Seattle would not be missed either.
To get our bearings, we decided to make the Seattle Space Needle a “pivotal” point of our exploration – not only because the view was supposed to be great (which it was!), but also because I have a weakness for tall structures. Wherever I go, I make sure to climb every observation tower, for something about being high above ground deepens my breathing, raises me above my every-day problems and lets my imagination fly unencumbered.
For a while, we enjoyed the view of the city and its spectacular surroundings: Puget Sound, Lake Washington and other smaller lakes and rivers. Then we headed for a structure next to the Needle: Chihuly Garden And Glass Exhibition Hall.
Those of you who visited Dale Chihuly’s exhibit in the St. Louis Botanical Garden know how unusual his work is. And yet, Alice in Wonderland couldn’t have been more struck with what she saw than I was while exploring the rooms filled with glowing whimsical figures, flowers and other objects that didn’t seem to have any relation to the real world but that looked as beautiful as a dream (read my full report on the Chihuly Garden And Glass Exhibition Hall later).
On the other side of the Needle, we saw another unusual structure: Experience Music Project (designed by Frank Gehry), where one can visit the Jimi Hendrix room, play guitars, drums, and keyboards, experience what it’s like to be on stage and enjoy science-fiction exhibits dedicated to blockbuster sci-fi movies. Having done that, we got on the Central Link light rail and returned to our hotel.
Our next morning started at Starbucks. The number of Starbucks stores in Seattle is truly amazing. (This makes sense since the first Starbucks in the world opened here in 1971!) Then we looked for a city tour. If you want to take a Seattle bus tour, I recommend a Daffy Duck Tour (a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck is a must if you have kids with you). Not only will it take you around town and entertain you along the way (in our bus, the driver kept changing wigs, hats, and dramatized characters), but it will also plunge into Lake Union and give you an overview of the Portage Bay waterfront, including the boat house filmed in “Sleepless in Seattle.”
Whatever else you do afterwards, don’t forget to visit Pike Place Market, famous for its hustle and bustle, abundance of products and fish throwing – when somebody buys a fish, one fishmonger throws it from the front of the stall to the back, where another fishmonger wraps it up and, if you desire, packs it on dry ice, so you can take it with you on the plane home. Also, take the time to stroll along the waterfront – past a Ferris wheel, tourists, street musicians, eateries and ferries, arriving and departing – and in the evening, relax in one of the waterfront restaurants and watch the sun dive into the Puget Sound.
I could go on and on, but the size of this post doesn’t allow for a long description. Besides, there are guidebooks in the library that will help you plan your Seattle vacation much better. I’ll finish my post with a few tips:
Weather is an issue. As they say in Seattle, “The rain in Spain stays largely in Seattle,” so schedule your visit during summer months – July and August are your best bet.
Don’t buy tickets for the Space Needle, but have a leisurely lunch instead at a revolving restaurant atop the tower (make a reservation before leaving home). It does cost more, but you’ll enjoy the view much more, too.
On the other hand, if money is tight, instead of a boat ride, take a ferry across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island.
No matter what the season, bring a jacket and an umbrella .
All photographs used courtesy of the author.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a holiday gift for that special bookworm in your life, or you’re looking to get lost in the pages of a good book over the holiday break, here are some “best of” lists of recommended young adult titles.
The Young Adult Library Services Association produces several lists each year which encompass books from a wide assortment of genres:
- 2013 Teen Book Award Winners (Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey, and Printz award winners)
- 2013 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks
- 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
- 2013 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens
- 2013 Top Ten Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
- 2013 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
Be sure to check out these lists created by the publishing industry’s most renowned book reviewers, many of whom are librarians:
- Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Teen Books of 2013“
- Library Journal’s “YA Lit for Adults”
- NPR’s “100 Best-Ever Teen Novels“
- Publishers Weekly’s “Best Children’s Fiction of 2013“ (This list is a collection of highly-acclaimed children’s AND teen books.)
- School Library Journal’s “2013 Adult Books 4 Teens“
- GoodReads.com’s “2013 Best Young Adult Fiction Books“
With 2014 fast approaching, stay ahead of upcoming trends by subscribing to the library’s YA email newsletter. This monthly publication features reviews on the the most popular new releases in young adult fiction. Best of all, this newsletter is delivered straight to your inbox.
Originally published at Best Teen Books of 2013.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2014 One Read book! Nominations are now closed, but we will continue highlighting some of the suggested titles here throughout the month of December.
One area reader highly recommends Louise Erdrich’s “The Round House.” Our nominator states, “It’s a compelling story exploring issues that haven’t yet been discussed with previous One Read selections – Native American sovereignty law and history. It’s also a coming of age story and delves into family relationships and the nature of good and evil.” Written in the voice fourteen-year-old Joe Coutz, living on a reservation in North Dakota, this novel follows the teenager’s attempt to discover who brutally attacked his mother, a horrific event that plunges her into a deep depression and threatens to destroy his family.
See other readers’ nominations for One Read 2014.
This December library staff members are taking their book-recommending expertise to Facebook to provide personalized reading recommendations. On Friday, December 6, starting at 9:00 a.m., visit the library’s Facebook page. There you will see a post inviting you to let us know about two or three books or authors you’ve enjoyed. Post a comment naming those books, and we’ll suggest your next read.
Here are a few of the other great programs coming up this month. See our full listing of events for adults in our online program guide.
Monday, December 2 › 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Comet ISON promises to be a spectacular sight in the early part of December. Val Germann from the Central Missouri Astronomical Association will tell us more about comets and when and how to best see them.
Pillows of Hope: Your Story of Hope for the New Year
Tuesday, December 3 › 6:30-8 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library (Fulton), Friends Room
The Fulton State Hospital “Pillows of Hope” project provides an opportunity for adults to depict what they are hoping for and what gives them hope. Come discover more about the project with Peggy Reed-Lohmeyer, then illustrate your own pillowcase reflecting hope for the holidays and the new year. Please register by calling (573) 642-7261.
Writing Your Past Into Fiction
Saturday, December 7, 2013 › 10:30 a.m.-Noon
Columbia Public Library, Virginia G. Young Room
Author Carolyn Mulford explains how to draw on personal history to reveal the truth without reporting facts. This journalist and novelist used memories and research to write “The Feedsack Dress,” chosen by the Missouri Center for the Book as the state’s Great Read at the 2009 National Book Festival, as well as her most recent book “Show Me the Murder.” Please register by calling 573-443-3161.
Surf the Web Safely
Monday, December 9, 2013 › 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library (Fulton), Friends Room
Fearful of phishing? Skeptical about security? Puzzled by passwords? Soured by spam? Learn how to safeguard your online information. A representative from Socket will share information and answer your questions.
Make Your Life “Pinteresting”
Monday, December 9, 2013 › 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Training Center
Looking for ideas on organizing and decorating your home, planning an event, changing your hairstyle, doing a new craft or cooking a certain dish? For a visual prompt to inspire you, Pinterest and other social media sites are great resources. Learn how to use their virtual pinboards, smart lists, social-bookmarking and more. Basic Internet skills required. A Pinterest account recommended. Please register by calling 573-443-3161.
How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 › 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Virginia G. Young Room
Are you thinking of adding a pet to your family over the holiday season? Or maybe surprising someone with a a puppy or kitten? “Be Your Pet’s Best Friend: Choose Wisely, Care Deeply, and Plan Carefully” by well-known dog rescuer Barbara Levy covers all the issues to consider before you become a pet owner.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 › 6:30-8 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library (Fulton), Friends Room
Drop in to ask questions about researching your family history.
The post December Program Preview: Get Personalized Reading Recommendations Via Facebook appeared first on DBRL Next.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2014 One Read book! Nominations are now closed, but we will continue highlighting some of the suggested titles here at oneread.dbrl.org throughout the month of December. In January, our reading panel will meet to discuss all of the nominations and begin the process of narrowing down the list of finalists for a public vote in April.
Read about the nominated books we’ve highlighted so far.
Use shrinking plastic to make jewelry, a key chain or other special item for yourself or as a gift. This program is for students in grades 6-8. Looking for other homemade gift ideas? Join us at teens.dbrl.org next week as we highlight some of our staff member’s favorite crafts to share this holiday season.
Originally published at Program Preview: Shrinky Dinks Come to Ashland.
For me, Thanksgiving has always meant dinner with family and friends. When my husband was in the military, we couldn’t always visit our parents for the Thanksgiving feast, but we always spent it with other people either at our house or theirs. There is something comforting about sharing a meal and connecting with the other people gathered at the table, not just at the holidays but at any time of year.
In “Dinner With the Smileys” by Sarah Smiley, a military wife invited numerous people to take the place of her husband at the dinner table while he was deployed for a year. She invited different people each week and documented these dinners with photos and stories. She started out carefully planning everything but eventually realized mealtime didn’t have to be formal or elaborate. She and her children gained friendships, support and awareness of new concepts, activities and ideas from these experiences. The people who attended the dinners not only experienced a good meal but benefited from good company and conversation. A wonderful community support system was built.
I could relate to the dinner where Sarah’s oldest son was looking forward to asking questions and having a debate with one of their guests who had certain political views. He was excited about carrying on an adult conversation. Fortunately, his questions were welcomed by the adult, and both sides benefited from the conversation. When my sons were younger, they looked forward to being able to join in the adult conversations at Sunday dinners at my parents’ home. They enjoyed the talk while we ate, but they were so proud when they were old enough to contribute their thoughts to the discussions that took place after the children left the table to go play and the adults continued to sit at the table. They learned about current events and what their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles thought about different subjects. Sharing thoughts around the dinner table was fun as well as informative.
Get ideas for strengthening your own family’s ties through talk by picking up “Dinner With the Smileys” or one of these other books that discuss the importance of dinnertime conversation.
- “The Family Dinner” by Laurie David
- “The Secrets of Happy Families” by Bruce Feiler
- “Slow Family Living” by Bernadette Noll
- “French Kids Eat Everything” by Karen Le Billon
For more information about Sarah Smiley and her family, visit the website www.sarahsmiley.com
The post Bringing Back the Family Dinner: Books to Inspire Home Cooks and Conversation appeared first on DBRL Next.
When it comes to movies inspired by books, I tend to be something of a purist. I always try to read the book first, but considering the sheer volume of movies that are coming out this year based on books…well…I might have to pick and choose. Here are some of the titles to look for in the next few weeks!
Today, November 27th, “Philomena” opens nationwide. It is the true story, written by Martin Sixsmith, of an Irishwoman who became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952. After she was sent to a convent, the nuns took her baby and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decides to find him.
If you want something with a little more bang (and by bang, I mean explosions) for your buck, try “Homefront,” also opening on November 27th. Based on the novel by Chuck Logan, this film follows Nina, Phil and their daughter, Kit, after they relocate to New Mexico. The family is soon in harm’s way when a spat between Kit and a boy at her new school escalates into a vicious scenario of lawlessness and provocation.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” opens on December 6th. It is based on the book “The Mayor of MacDougal Street” by Dave Van Ronk. Van Ronk was one of the founding figures of the 1960s folk revival and offers a unique first-hand account by a major player in the social and musical history of the ’50s and ’60s. It features encounters with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt and Odetta.
You can also check out the soundtrack featuring artists like Oscar Issac, Mumford and Sons, Bob Dylan and The Punch Brothers.
The highlight of my December will definitely be when the second movie based on “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien comes out on the 13th. In “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Bilbo Baggins continues on his journey with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
On December 25th, the movie based on Jordan Belfort’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” opens. Belfort, who founded one of the first chop shop brokerage firms in 1987, was banned from the securities business for life by 1994, and he later went to jail for fraud and money-laundering. His book covers his success and how he and other insiders made large profits while public investors usually lost.
“Lone Survivor,” based on Markus Luttrell’s book of the same name, comes out nationwide on January 10th. Luttrell, The leader of a team of U.S. Navy SEALs sent to northern Afghanistan to capture a well-known al Qaeda leader, chronicles the events of the battle that killed his teammates and offers insight into the training of this elite group of warriors.
What book-inspired film are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!
The Daniel Boone Regional Library is accepting nominations for the 2014 One Read book through November 30. A local reader suggests that the community would enjoy discussing “My Beloved World” by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Our nominator explains, “She grew up poor and overcame many difficulties in her life. I recently read the book and not only enjoyed it but also was so inspired by her life story that I want to share it with friends and family. It’s a wonderful book and an American story.”
It seems readers in Oregon would agree. The Multnomah County Public Library has selected “My Beloved World” for its 2014 reading program, Everybody Reads. They describe Sotomayor’s biography as “a story of love, self-discovery and human triumph. Despite having only television characters for professional role models when she was a child, Sotomayor resolved to become a lawyer. That dream took her from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney’s office, private practice and appointment to the Federal District Court by the age of 40.”
Have a suggestion of your own? Let us know what you think our community should read in 2014 by filling out a suggestion form at any of our branches, the bookmobile or online at oneread.org.
Even though the library will be closed on Thursday, November 28 to honor the Thanksgiving holiday, there are still plenty of books and services you can access from our digital branch. All you need is an internet connection, an email address and a library card.
Download an eBook or audiobook.
Get the most popular teen titles on your iPod Touch, iPhone, Android, Nook, Kindle, or other device. Check out our Quick Start Guides or watch our online video tutorials to get started.
Share what you’re currently reading.
Take a photo of the book that you are currently reading and upload it to Instagram. If you tag the library (#dbrlteen), your photo will automatically appear on our teen blog.
Looking for a good book recommendation?
Check out these book reviews by our teen patrons for some candid book recommendations. You can reserve titles using our online at catalog.dbrl.org. We’ll notify you by mail or email once they’re ready to pick up!
Originally published at While the Library is Closed on Thursday….
All month we have been receiving your suggestions for our 2014 One Read title, and we’ll be highlighting some of these books here at oneread.org so you can see what other community members are reading and enjoying. All of these titles will be considered by our reading panel as they begin narrowing the list of suggestions in January.
First up is “The Maid’s Version” by Missouri author Daniel Woodrell. Set in the fictional West Table, Missouri, this novel tells the story of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations. Our nominator writes, “Aside from being well written by a Missouri-based author, the novel really puts the reader in the ‘rural Midwest,’ with each short chapter provoking thoughts of class divisions, economy, historic railroad towns, immigration, the effects of poverty and much more, while still keeping me engaged in solving the mystery of a devastating small town accident. It is also a short read, which means more individuals can read it, tell their neighbors to read it and be ready for the fun-filled month of events!”
There are just a few days remaining to send us your suggestions! Let us know what you think our community should read in 2014 by filling out a suggestion form at any of our branches, the bookmobile, or online at oneread.org by November 30.
I love lists, and I love books, so I adore this time of year. Get ready to add lots of titles to your to-be-read pile, because the web is already awash with “best of 2013″ book lists. The picks are a bit all over the board, with not a whole lot of overlap among the lists so far. Here’s a handful of the books appearing on more than one list (and descriptions from their publishers), as well as links to the full lists themselves. Happy reading!
“A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” by Anthony Marra
In a rural village in Chechnya, failed doctor Akhmed harbors the traumatized 8-year-old daughter of a father abducted by Russian forces and treats a series of wounded rebels and refugees while exploring the shared past that binds him to the child.
“The Good Lord Bird” by James McBride
Fleeing his violent master at the side of abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debate in mid-nineteenth-century Kansas Territory, Henry pretends to be a girl to hide his identity throughout the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. This historical fiction just won a National Book Award.
“The Bleeding Edge” by Thomas Pynchon
New York City, 2001. Fraud investigator Maxine Tarnow starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO and discovers there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left of the tech bubble.
“Tenth of December” by George Saunders
A collection of stories which includes “Home,” a wryly whimsical account of a soldier’s return from war; “Victory lap,” a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit. See our own Gentleman’s recommendation of this short story collection.
“Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief” by Lawrence Wright
Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists – both famous and less well known – and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative skills to uncover the inner workings of the Church of Scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally acknowledged) religion; its vast, secret campaign to infiltrate the U.S. government; its vindictive treatment of critics; its phenomenal wealth; and its dramatic efforts to grow and prevail after the death of Hubbard.
And now, the lists:
- Amazon.com’s Editor’s Picks for 2013 – Find titles for teens, children and adults, as well as their top picks in categories from art and photography to sports and outdoors.
- Kirkus Reviews: Best Books of 2013 - includes not only fiction and nonfiction for adults, but also lists books for kids and teens.
- Best Books 2013: Top Ten from Library Journal – Keeping it simple, the magazine’s editors provide a top 10 list that includes adult fiction (six titles) and nonfiction (four titles).
- Publisher’s Weekly: Best Books of 2013 - lists for everything from fiction and comics to a category called “lifestyle” (think cookbooks and parenting). Kids’ books are also represented.
What do you think was the best book of 2013? Let us know in the comments!
Congratulations to Rachel Byerly-Duke of Boone County! She is the lucky winner of DBRLTeen’s “Elemental” Book Giveaway. She will receive a free autographed copy of Antony John’s latest books, “Elemental” and “Firebrand.”
If you enjoy dystopian thrillers, be sure to check out our booklist of “Hunger Game Read-a-Likes.” Other related end-of-the-world titles for your consideration: ”Legend” by Marie Lu, ”Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld and ”Under the Never Sky” by Veronica Rossi. And, if you’d like to informed when registration begins for our next book giveaway, subscribe to our blog updates!
Originally published at Winner Announced in Elemental Book Giveaway.
Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. His presidency, though short, was one of the most influential of the past century. This coupled with his glamorous lifestyle and the tragic and mysterious circumstances of his death make his life and legacy a topic of endless interest. As one might expect, there is a glut of new titles being published this month, each one professing to reveal new insights into the life of our thirty-fifth President or definitively answer, once and for all, who was behind his murder. Here is a look at a select few that stand out.
“Five Days in November” by Clint Hill
The former Secret Service agent and author of last year’s “Mrs. Kennedy and Me” returns with an intimate look at the days leading up to and immediately following the President’s death.
“The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy” by Larry Sabato
Sabato explains just what makes Kennedy’s presidency so influential and how it has affected the decisions and policies of his successors.
“End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” by James L. Swanson
Swanson had success with “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer,” and here he uses a similar narrative style to relate the events surrounding the JFK assassination.
“If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History” by Jeff Greenfield
An interesting thought experiment focused on how things might have been different if Kennedy had not been killed in Dallas, including theories on the fate of LBJ, civil rights, the Vietnam War and Kennedy’s own personal life.
Do you wonder if it is safe to consume foods that have been genetically modified? Did you know that 50 million Americans are “food insecure” and don’t know where their next meal is coming from? Do you know what a “food desert” is and how it contributes to the obesity pandemic in this country? A clean and ample supply of food is vital to our well-being and it ought to be available to each of us.
The League of Women Voters is co-sponsoring a discussion of agricultural policies and issues, including genetically modified foods, corporate farming and food policy, and these sorts of questions will be addressed. Please join us for this event from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 21 in the Friends Room at the Columbia Public Library if you’d like to inform yourself more about these issues.
Thanking Day is upon us! That wondrous day when we don buckled hats and celebrate our freedom from, and subsequent dominion over, the turkey. We kill them by the millions and eat some of those, letting what isn’t consumed at the Thanking Day dinner rot over the course of days/weeks between sessions of picking at them like smug vultures whose smugness is leavened by the government-mandated shopping excursion just endured and all the getting-rammed-in-the-back-by-a-cart-full-of-big-screen-televisions-pushed-by-a-grandma-in-her-pajamas that that entails. After those beloved traditions, if there’s still time and one’s not too sleepy, people sometimes say thank you to concepts they enjoy. Your typical thanks are given for the obvious: family, suspenders, Kurt Vonnegut, food and our long ago victory on the horrific feather-drenched fields of the great turkey war. I, though, am most thankful for something altogether more tangible, besides suspenders: I’m thankful I’m not being hunted by a time-travelling serial killer. I’ve always said people don’t take enough time to reflect on and appreciate this facet of their existence.
As Lauren Beukes‘ unputdownable new novel makes abundantly clear, it would be terrible to be hunted by a time-travelling serial killer. Before I go further, I rescind my recommendation if you’re squeamish (guts get spilled, and the book is perpetually tense and intermittently gruesome). So for those that don’t care to be horrified in the process of reading a rip-roaring tale, I give you this for this month’s recommendation. Now, for those twisted folk thirsting for a horrifying yarn, I recommend “The Shining Girls.” The premise is ripped from the headlines: a monstrous lunatic named Harper finds a house that spits him into a different year between 1931 and 1993 every time he exits it to find a lady suitable for murder, though as is typical with these houses, inside it remains 1931. After murdering a girl he takes a souvenir (comb, Jackie Robinson rookie card, etc.) and leaves a previously acquired memento behind. Kirby, the heroine, first meets him as a young girl when the killer arrives to demonstrate his ability to pull the wings off of a bee. To her disappointment, the man tells her he’ll see her again “when she’s all grow up.” Though some reviews disagree, Beukes does a tremendous job investing us in each “shining girl” before brutally tearing them away from us via Harper’s murdery hands. I’ve also seen a complaint or two about Harper’s characterization (“He’s just a crazy murdering monster – where’s the humanity?” they wail), but as anyone with a couple of days work in the restaurant industry will attest, monsters exist. Regardless, does featuring a heartless, irredeemable monster remove all worth from “Jaws” or “Martha Stewart: Just Desserts“? In addition to all the murdering, Beukes uses one disturbing scene from his childhood to let us know Harper is simply an abomination rather than a human molded by cruelty into a purveyor of violence.
So, if chewing flesh and watching men concuss each other during their watered-down war games don’t sate your thirst for violence, or if you prefer to believe that you don’t have such a primal and distasteful thirst but do need a serious quenching in the thrilling read department, try “The Shining Girls.”