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Are you ready to celebrate your momma? Don’t worry, Mother’s Day isn’t for another month, but you can celebrate your earth mother on April 22! Jefferson City celebrates Earth Day 2014 on Friday, April 25, and Columbia will hold its downtown Earth Day celebration the following Sunday (April 27th). Until then, here are some books to get you in the Earth Day spirit.
Read a novel about our planet (fictional books):
- “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver. A story of a woman and her family living in modern-day Appalachia, which discusses the intersection of rural poverty and the environment. Kingsolver has written many other books regarding the environment, including an account of her family living solely off food they and their neighbors grew for an entire year!
- “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn. The novel begins with this newspaper advertisement: “TEACHER seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.” This philosophical work employs a monkey teacher and his human student to examine mythology’s effect on ethics and how it relates to sustainability.
- “Arctic Rising” by Tobias S. Buckell. In this futuristic tale, the arctic ice cap has almost completely melted, and militaries and corporations are racing to claim the newly exposed ocean oil.
Educate yourself on environmental issues (nonfiction books):
- “Mycelium Running” by Paul Staments. Learn about the mysterious world of mushrooms and how they can help save the world! Staments has discovered a way to use mushrooms’ microscopic mycelium to decompose toxic waste, reduce pathogens from agricultural watersheds, control insect populations and generally promote the health of our forests.
- “The Upcycle” by William McDonough. It’s rare to read a book that is optimistic about humanity’s future on earth, but according to this book we can save the health of our planet by taking a different approach to the way we live on it. Author William McDonough believes our ecological crisis is fundamentally a design problem and that we can (and must) create products that are designed to leave a positive impact on the environment instead of a negative or even a ‘zero impact.’
- “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert. Guess which species the title refers to? Yep, it’s us, womp womp. Earth has hosted five major extinctions over the past half a billion years, all of which caused the number of species on the planet to greatly diminish. “The Sixth Extinction” uses natural history and field reporting to chronicle the extinction unfolding before us.
- “Radical Homemakers” by Shannon Hayes. This book documents a new kind of homemaker: men and women who have chosen to return to their homes and families as an ecological and political act. These individuals seek to reclaim the role of a homemaker from corporations, capitalism and patriarchy in an attempt to find empowerment and fulfillment through nurturing their families and the environment.
Now get out there and do something! (books about gardening and green living):
- “Worms Eat My Garbage” by Mary Appelhof. Take composting to a whole new level by using worms to recycle your waste.
- “The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture” by Christopher Shein. Go beyond gardening and create your own sustainable food ecosystem!
- “The Backyard Homestead.” Whether you live in town or in the country, learn how to raise chickens, grow and preserve food, keep bees and much more! Be sure to check out this book or one of our many other books on the subject of homesteading.
- “Cooking Green” by Kate Heyhoe. Take steps to reduce your carbon footprint starting in the kitchen! This book discusses ways you can cook and eat that are healthier for both you and the planet.
- “The Naturally Green Home” by Karyn Siegel-Maier. Save money and the environment by learning how to use non-toxic substances to clean your house.
Happy Earth Day!
April 18: “Tim’s Vermeer” starts at Ragtag. (via)
April 23: “Elena” 4:00 p.m. at Tate Hall, Room 215, MU campus, free. (via)
April 23: “Herman’s House” 6:30 p.m. at Columbia Public Library, free. (via)
April 24: “Elena” 5:15 p.m. at Ragtag. (via)
It turns out that our predictions for the 2014 Gateway and Truman award winners were spot-on. Veronica Roth is the recipient of this year’s Gateway Readers Award for her book, “Divergent.” In a future Chicago, Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group. Runners-up for the Gateway Award were “Anna Dressed in Blood” by Kendare Blake and “Ashfall” by Mike Mullin.
Congratulations also goes to Marie Lu who is this year’s Truman Readers Award recipient for her book, “Legend.” In the dark future where North America has split into two warring nations, teenagers Day, a famous criminal, and June, a brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy. Richard Paul Evans was the second place award winner for “Michael Vey: the Prisoner of Cell 25,” while Wendelin Van Draanen received the third place honor for “The Running Dream.”
Originally published at 2014 Gateway & Truman Award Winners Announced.
We recently added “Muscle Shoals” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown at Forum 8 in March, and currently has a rating of 97% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. The library also has the film soundtrack on CD. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Rick Hall brought black and white together to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the ‘Muscle Shoals sound’ and the Swampers, the house band at FAME Studios that eventually left to start its own successful studio known as Muscle Shoals Sound.
This week we’re commemorating National Library Week. Many of us have a story about the role of libraries in our lives. Here is mine.
“Two books per visit per week,” said the unsmiling librarian as she handed me a library card. Neither the limits nor her demeanor surprised me, a 9-year-old Jewish girl growing up in Moscow in the 1950s — a city where everything was strictly regulated and rationed. I read the two books in two days and impatiently waited for the next visit.
I needed those visits. The books were filled with stories in which, no matter how grim things seemed, everything came out well in the end, rewarding honesty, bravery and wisdom — a striking contrast to my everyday experiences. I needed the security of the bookish world, with no worries about the future and no anti-Semitism, which followed me even to my library where, recorded below my age and address, appeared the label: Jewish.”
Thirty years later, a recent immigrant to the U.S. with a 13-year-old daughter, I stood in front of another librarian. This librarian was smiling.
“What did she say?” I asked my daughter, who already knew a little English and often served as my interpreter.
“She said, ‘Can I help you?’ “
“Ask if they have any books in Russian,” I requested.
“No, they don’t,” translated my daughter.
“Let’s go, then,” I said, disappointed.
The Midwestern town that became our home had greeted us with lush greenery enveloped in heat and humidity. Its look was startling to me — a small downtown, broad residential areas and numerous cars. Yet with few Russian speakers in town, it was a place where loneliness surrounded me with thick walls. Outside those walls, people were conversing, laughing and smiling. Inside, everything was quiet.
Meanwhile, life went on, demanding food and clothes, and, therefore, a job. “The library needs people to shelve books,” someone told me. The interview was short — the job didn’t require much English, just a knowledge of the alphabet. I started the next day.
Most of my new colleagues were young and carefree. They chatted with patrons and with one another, not paying much attention to me. Several older employees tried to break through the language barrier, but had little success.
Every day I handled hundreds of books whose meanings were hidden from me, mentally dividing them by size and color, as a child would. One day, while shelving, I found “English for Beginners” and began studying it on my own. Days became weeks, weeks became months, and gradually English letters started forming words I could recognize, words assembled into phrases, and — oh, miracle! — I was reading. It was a slow process, supported by dictionaries and accompanied by tears, but it was progress.
As my English improved, the library began to open up for me. The staff was friendly. There was no limit on how many books could be checked out. And nobody called me Jewish. Here I was just Russian.
After a while, I got promoted to the front desk — checking books in and out and answering simple questions.
“Today, I’ll get fired,” I thought to myself every morning. My vocabulary was still small, my comprehension limited, and my strong Russian accent amused the Midwestern patrons. Yet, many of them smiled at me, and I smiled back — first laboriously, and then, affected by the contagious amicability of the place, openly and sincerely.
I liked working in the library now. I liked its welcoming atmosphere and its air of learning.
“You should get a library degree,” my supervisor suggested.
A degree? In Moscow, people my age didn’t go back to school. Still, later that year, I filled out an application for the library science program at the local university. I had to look up the spelling of “science,” but I applied anyway. The next four years of my life were spent in two libraries — the public library where I worked and the university’s library, where I studied after work.
It’s now been 23 years since I arrived in America. My English has improved, and I no longer confuse “whales” with “Wales” and “tongue” with “tong.” I’ve learned that a stagecoach is not someone who coaches actors on a stage and that keeping people “posted” does not mean gluing stamps on their clothes. If someone “drops the ball,” I don’t look down to see where it hit the ground.
I am still with the same library. Every day I meet dozens of people, looking for a book to read, using computers or doing their homework. Sometimes, I spot new immigrants. They come from all over the world, so their looks vary, but the hesitant expression on their faces and their shy manners are similar. My heart goes out to them, for they are people like me, and I recognize the difficult road upon which they’ve embarked.
“They’ve come to the right place,” I think to myself. Then I smile and say, just as a librarian said to me a long time ago, “Can I help you?”
Tell us your own story!
Earth Day: Trash to Treasures
Tuesday, April 22 › 3:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Give a second life to unneeded items by turning them into useful objects or creative works of art. We’ll provide all materials and lots of suggestions on how to use them. Grades 6-8.
Recycled Craft Extravaganza
Wednesday, April 23 › 5:30-7 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Celebrate Earth Day by creating crafts from recyclable materials. All you need to bring is yourself and your crafting talents. All ages. Kids, please bring a parent.
The Art of Decoupage
Tuesday, April 29 › 3:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Come learn the art of decoupage. Using Mod Podge to paste down a collage of images, you can challenge your inner artist and take home a creation of your own making. Supplies provided. Ages 9-14. Registration begins Tuesday, April 15. To sign up, please call (573) 657-7375.
Originally published at April Art Extravaganza.
April elections aren’t just about school boards and city councils. Each year the Daniel Boone Regional Library asks area readers to help choose that year’s One Read book. One Read is a community-wide reading program that invites adults in Mid-Missouri to read the same book over the summer and then attend programs based on that book during the month of September.
Between now and May 2, cast your vote for either “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain or “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel Brown.
Learn more about these titles and cast your vote at oneread.org!
by Daniel Brown Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.
The One Read reading panel narrowed the list of more than 120 book suggestions for the 2014 program to two top contenders. Between now and May 2, cast your vote for either “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain or “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel Brown.“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain
Embedded journalists capture and widely broadcast a heroic firefight between U.S. soldiers and a group of insurgents in Iraq. This satire follows the surviving members of the Bravo Squad during their final stop in a two-week, Army-organized series of PR stunts – participation in the half-time show at a Dallas Cowboys football game. By turns bleak and darkly comic, the story examines the huge divide between the realities of war in Iraq and the perceptions of that war in America.
- Author’s Bio
- Publisher’s Page
- New York Times Book Review
- Washington Post Review
- Author Interview With NPR’s All Things Considered
An uplifting and fast-paced Cinderella story, this nonfiction work 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 story of poor, twice-orphaned Joe Rantz anchors this cinematic tale of passion and perseverance set against the struggles of the Great Depression and a looming second World War.
- Author’s Website
- Publisher’s Page
- The Guardian Review
- USA Today Review
- Author Interview With Powell’s Books
It happens every year. The daytime temperatures start to creep above 50 or 60 degrees, and I’m suddenly overspending at the local garden center, filling my cart with a ridiculous number of pansies, their cheerful, bright faces turned towards the sun. I don’t have a green thumb. Half of what I plant each year dies from neglect, mismanagement or simple bad luck, but I still can’t keep myself from digging hopefully in the dirt each spring.
For gardeners and gardener wannabes, the library has plenty of books, programs and online resources for inspiration and education.
For ideas in your inbox, sign up for our monthly home and garden newsletter. Each month you’ll receive a list of 10 recently published titles, and the list always includes some new gardening books like “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden” by Roy Diblik and “Plantiful” by Kristin Green.
Search our online program guide with the keyword “garden” and you’ll typically find one or two events scheduled for the coming months. At the Callaway County Public Library on April 17 at 6:30 p.m., you can learn about transplanting trees and seedlings (particularly helpful if your child brought home some sort of mystery tree for Arbor Day). And at 7:00 p.m. on May 28 at the Columbia Public Library, you can attend a garden and plant nutrition program to learn more about soil, compost and organic fertilizers.
If you want to investigate some local gardening resources, including educational opportunities and community organizations, check out our Sustainable Gardening and Farming subject guide, a collection of recommended links and online resources from our staff.
We recently added “Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’” to the DBRL collection. The film played last year on PBS and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:Unveils previously unseen performance footage and home movies taken by Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell while sourcing an extensive archive of photographs, drawings, family letters, and more to provide new insight into the musician’s personality and genius. Recently uncovered film footage of Hendrix at the 1968 Miami Pop Festival is among the previously unseen treasures featured.
Bookmarks are thought to have been used since at least the end of the medieval period, but one of the first references to their use involves the presentation of a silk bookmark to Queen Elizabeth I of England (circa 1584). People use all sorts of different things as bookmarks, everything from old receipts to love letters. Lauren, one of our librarians at the Columbia Public Library, said she attended a conference where four or five librarians admitted to having found bacon in a book! How do you save your place in a book? Let us know in the comments! (And please don’t put bacon in our books.)
I have been using leftover paint chips from a project as bookmarks. This color is “Radiant Orchid.” Currently reading: “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp.
Rob is using his car title at the moment. Currently reading: “The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.” (Editor’s note: This was a patron’s personal book. Using important documents as bookmarks in library books is not a good idea.)
This adorable handmade creature marks Angela’s page. Currently reading: “Every Day” by David Levithan.
Barb had lots of bookmarking to do. Luckily she had plenty of these tiny post-its! Currently reading: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.
Althea’s beautiful bookmark. Currently reading: “Adé” by Rebecca Walker.
Brandy loves sloths so much that one of her coworkers made her this bookmark.
Rosie the Riveter never stops working, even as a bookmark! Brian is using a gallery guide from a recent trip to Crystal Bridges American Art Museum as his bookmark. Currently reading: “The Upcycle” By William McDonough.
Hilary uses her pets as bookmarks! (Or maybe they use her?) Currently reading: “Adventures in Yarn Farming” by Barbara Parry.
Eric was using his Ha Ha Tonka concert ticket, until he found a postcard from Romania in this used textbook. Currently reading: “Interpersonal Process in Therapy” by Edward Teyber and Faith Holmes McClure.
The Warrior card from a Xultun tarot deck guards Kelsey’s spot in her book. Currently reading: “Perdido Street Station” by China Miéville.
Ida’s daughter made her this cross-stitched Hunger Games bookmark.
And here’s a box of long lost bookmarks in the Columbia Public Library’s Circulation Department.
So, what’s in your book?
We recently added “Let the Fire Burn” to the DBRL collection. The film played last year at various film festivals and currently has a rating of 97% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:A found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial Black Power group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosive onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated-and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes.
If Emily Dickinson never came out of her room, how does everyone know about her? The answer lies in the 1,775 poems the recluse in white left behind when she died in 1886. Only a few were published during her lifetime. But thanks to the efforts of her sister, Lavinia, the world came to know Emily and her verse posthumously.
From around the age of 30 on, Dickinson limited the physical range of her world to the confines of her Amherst, Massachusetts home and a wardrobe of white dresses. But she kept a connection to society through prolific correspondence with a number of people. Many of her letters included poems; more than 100 went to the editor of the Atlantic Monthly. But editors of the day were not ready for the ways in which her poems broke with convention.
Though she lived a largely intellectual life, her poetry shows richness, depth and a grounding in concrete realities. She wrote of death heralded not with trumpets but the buzzing of a fly. She describes a snake as “the narrow fellow in the grass” and the feeling you get when you see him as “zero at the bone.” Even hope took on a physical manifestation for her: “Hope is the thing with feathers…”
Dickinson packed acres of meaning into a few square inches of paper. Most of her poems are concise, yet speak profoundly about themes such as death, time, nature, love and immortality. Her work can be found in “Collected Poems” and in the library’s LitFINDER database.
To learn more about the poet’s life, try Gordon Lyndall’s book, “Lives Like Loaded Guns.” Lyndall explores the relationships and feuds among members of the Dickinson family. The conflicts carried on long after Dickinson’s death, with struggles for control over her work and even how the story of her life would be told. Lyndall takes his title from a Dickinson poem, one which allows Emily herself to have the last word:
“My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun —
In Corners — till a Day
The Owner passed — identified —
And carried Me away.”
Missouri’s history is rich with the contributions of immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and elsewhere. Today, as a destination for refugees and new groups of immigrants, Missouri has become home to people from Bosnia, Bhutan, Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, Mexico and other countries, contributing to and shaping Missouri’s economy, neighborhoods and families.
Explore the Missouri immigrant experience with these programs at the Columbia Public Library.
Faces and Places Photo Exhibit
April 5 – 25
Columbia Public Library
View an exhibit of photos about the Missouri immigrant experience on the first and second floor clay brick walls. The exhibit features historical images from archival collections and a selection of photos by contemporary photographers of immigrant communities in Missouri. The exhibit is sponsored by Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates with support from the Missouri Arts Council, the Missouri History Museum, the Missouri Humanities Council, the Puffin Foundation, the State Historical Society, the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission and Welcoming Missouri.
The Missouri Immigrant Experience Gallery Walk
Saturday, April 5 › 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Hear the story behind the photo exhibit with a gallery walk led by curator Danny Gonzalez of the Missouri Historical Society and some of the photographers who have told the stories of their immigrant communities through the images on display. After the walk, enjoy refreshments in the Friends Room and meet with some immigrants established and new.
“Welcome to Shelbyville” Film & Discussion
Wednesday, April 9 › 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
This documentary by Kim Snyder explores one community’s struggle to integrate newcomers from other countries into its rural culture, asking the question, who is American and exploring the idea of American identity. A panel discussion afterwards will include speakers from groups that help refugees and immigrants adjust to new lives here in Columbia. (Film is 50 min., rated PG.) See more at our films blog, Center Aisle Cinema.
The post Exploring the Missouri Immigrant Experience Through Photography and Film appeared first on DBRL Next.
Robison Wells, author of popular YA books “Variant” and “Feedback,” begins a new YA series with “Blackout.” This thriller starts with super-powered teens attacking Hoover Dam, and the action only gets bigger from there. These teen terrorist attacks are happening all over the U.S., and the devastation is pretty epic. (Hint: You don’t want to be a fictional character living in Chicago in this book.)
The terrorists, however, are not the only teens with powers. Teens all over the country randomly start exhibiting powers. Jack, a former student turned janitor at his old high school, is shocked to see his entire school rounded up by the government, just as his old friend Aubrey turns invisible and escapes. Jack and Aubrey go on the run to avoid the government and try to find out why Aubrey has powers, while another perspective follows the terrorists trying to pick more damaging targets. The government blames a virus–but if so, how was it transmitted, why is it only affecting teens, and why are so many of the teens terrorists? Wells provides an interesting take on powers, and he has a flair for unexpected betrayals and bad situations becoming much worse.
If you’re a fan of X-Men or any other superhero fiction, chances are you’ll enjoy this book. Wells sets himself apart from other superhero fiction with his unusual take on traditional powers. For instance, instead of invisibility, Aubrey actually has the power to just be unnoticed by people around her. A terrorist doesn’t have complete mind control, but he can add or change memories to get what he wants. The power descriptions were as entertaining as finding out what happens next…speaking of, read this book and then join me in waiting for its sequel!
Originally published at Books for Dudes – “Blackout”.
After two months of nail-biting competition, central Missouri teens have selected their March Madness Teen Book Tournament Champion. We began with a list of 32 finalists which included bestsellers such as “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver, “Legend” by Marie Lu, and many Gateway and Truman Award nominees. Many thanks to the teachers and school librarians who have supported this program, and to all the teens who have participated! And now, the 2014 Champion is….“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Stay tuned to teens.dbrl.org for our sneak peek at this year’s teen summer reading challenge, Spark a Reaction. Through this program, the library challenges young adults to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews, and do seven of our suggested activities. Complete the challenge, and you will be eligible to win some pretty awesome prizes. Stay informed by subscribing to our email updates!
Originally published at 2014 Teen Book Champion Is Chosen!.