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Docs Around Town: Mar. 14 – 20

Center Aisle Cinema - March 13, 2014


March 15: “Fly Fishing Film Tour” 1:30 p.m. at Ragtag. (via)
March 20:
 “The Punk Singer” 5:30 p.m. at Ragtag. (via)

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Upcoming Teen Contests

DBRLTeen - March 13, 2014
Painting StudentDesign a Bookmark Contest

Help us get ready for Summer Reading by designing an original bookmark based on the teen theme, “Spark a Reaction.” Winners’ artwork from each library will appear on bookmarks to be distributed late spring through summer. Please design two-dimensional artwork using crayons, markers or any other medium or create it on the computer. Photography is also acceptable, as long as it is your own! You can download an entry form, or pick one up at one of our three branch locations or bookmobile stops. Entry deadline is Monday, March 31. 

Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest

As part of National Poetry Month in April, we invite Callaway County youth to submit original poems with a chance to win an award and have your work displayed at the Callaway County Public Library, Central Bank and at Awards will be given in three age categories: 5-8, 9-12 and 13-18. You can download an entry form, or pick one up at the library or bookmobile. Entries are due April 14. An awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on May 1 at the Callaway County Public Library. Co-sponsored by the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program.

Doodle 4 Google Competition

Irish Google Doodle WinnerBefore there was an airplane, there were doodles of cool flying machines. And before there was a submarine, there were doodles of magical underwater sea explorers. Since the beginning of time, ideas big and small, practical and playful, have started out as doodles. And we’re ready for more. One talented young artist (grades K-12) will see his or her artwork on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school. Closing date for entries is next Thursday, March 20th. Visit to learn more.

Photo credits:
Painting Student by Southwest School of Art via Flickr. Used under creative commons license.
Ireland’s 2012 Doodle 4 Google winner, Patrick Horan. Courtesy of The Sociable.

Originally published at Upcoming Teen Contests.

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Our History in Food

DBRL Next - March 12, 2014

Book cover for The Complete Jello Recipe BookI am slightly obsessed with vintage cookbooks. I frequent the Friends of the Library book sales to see what old cookbooks they’ve acquired, so I was pretty excited when I stumbled across St. Louis Public Library’s online exhibit featuring culinary history in the area. To celebrate this theme, they’ve created a beautiful website showcasing several vintage cookbook covers and even scanned a few recipes from these books. You can also find vintage menus from historic St. Louis restaurants like Bevo Mill and the River Queen floating restaurant. If you’re inspired to learn more about the history of food, check out some of these books in DBRL’s collection.

Book cover for A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William SitwellA History of Food in 100 Recipes” by Willam Sitwell.
This historical book is formatted like a cookbook with each chapter beginning with a recipe, most of which you can attempt to cook at home. Each recipe moves the reader forward in time to tell the history of cooking (from a Western perspective). Starting with an Ancient Egyptian bread recipe from around 1950 BC, this book takes us through royalty, colonialism, the world wars, Rice Krispie Treats and up to more recent food history, including Julia Child, Jamie Oliver and contemporary modernist cuisine. “A History of Food in 100 Recipes” will give you a primer on historical recipes, as well as the history of important chefs in the US and England.

 A HistoryBreakfast: A History” by Heather Arndt Anderson.
Eggs, bacon and coffee may be the first things that come to mind when you hear breakfast, but the first meal of the day actually has a much more complex history. This book focuses on how breakfast in America (and England) has evolved and briefly mentions how breakfast is viewed in other cultures. Learn how Kellogg’s changed the way we think about this meal, why an “astronaut breakfast” consists of steak and eggs and how Poptarts came into existence.

Book cover for In Meat we Trust by Maureen OgleIn Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America” by Maureen Ogle.
Chances are that fast food hamburger on your table didn’t come from a nice loving family farm on the outskirts of town – the story of how it got to your table is much longer. “In Meat We Trust” is a straightforward look at cultural dynamics of meat in the US from the time of European settlement. In Europe in the 1700s, meat was a luxury which people ate about once a week on average. At the same time, the poorest US citizens were eating about 200 pounds a year! From ranches to feedlots to the current standoff between organic farming and factory farms, this book will get you up to speed on how meat has shaped American culture and how we’ve shaped the meat industry.

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” by Michael Pollan.
This book is not directly about the history of food, but rather breaks our culinary habits down to the basic elements we use to transform food: fire, water, air and earth. That being said, it does take us back to earlier ways (various groups of) humans prepared food. Instead of buying cheese or beer or bread, Pollan makes these items from scratch in an attempt to discover what these acts mean to society. “Cooked” is an interesting search through food history to reclaim our eating habits from corporations and to rediscover the sociological implications of preparing food.

Bon appétit!

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New DVD: “The Crash Reel”

Center Aisle Cinema - March 12, 2014


We recently added “The Crash Reel” to the DBRL collection. This film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2013, and currently has a rating of 96% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

The epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Kevin Pearce and Shaun White is documented in this exhilarating ride into the world of extreme snowboarding. With both practicing more and more breathtaking and dangerous tricks leading up to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, everything suddenly changes for Kevin when a horrific crash leaves him fighting for his life. When he recovers, all he wants to do is get on his snowboard again, even though medics and family fear it could kill him.

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

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2014 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced

DBRLTeen - March 11, 2014

We’ve officially moved into the third round of our single elimination teen book tournament. So far, 24 books have been struck from the list to determine the Elite 8. Did April Henry make the cut with her book, “Girl, Stolen,” or did James Dashner book, “The Maze Runner,” win? Who survived the last round: “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak or “The Eleventh Plague” by Jeff Hirsch?

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Holes” by Louis Sachar
  4. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  5. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  6. The Maze Runner” by James Dashne
  7. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  8. Legend” by Marie Lu
How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:

Through a series of votes, we are narrowing the library’s list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. By supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble! Prize winners will be announced on April 2 when we announce our book tournament champion.

  • Round 1: Voting complete for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: Voting complete for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: VOTE NOW through 17 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 18-24 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 25-31 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 2: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite four titles by Monday, March 17 at 5 p.m. You may vote online at or pick up a paper ballot at one of our three branch locations. Limit one ballot per person, per round.  The Final Four will be announced next Tuesday, March 18.

Originally published at 2014 Teen Book Tournament: Elite 8 Announced.

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New DVD: “Good Ol’ Freda”

Center Aisle Cinema - March 10, 2014


We recently added “Good Ol’ Freda” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 83% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big – the Beatles. Freda had faith in the Beatles from the beginning, and the Beatles had faith in her. As many people came in and out of the band’s circle, Freda remained a staple because of her unfaltering loyalty and dedication. As the Beatles’ devoted secretary and friend, Freda was there as history unfolded, witness to the evolution of the greatest band in history.

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

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What’s New and Local at Your Library: Biographies

DBRL Next - March 10, 2014

 Dale Carnegie and success in modern America a nineteenth-century lifeIn the past year, two University of Missouri professors have published biographies of influential men. Steven Watts explores how a Missouri farm boy came to launch the modern self-help movement in “Self-Help Messiah, Dale Carnegie and Success in Modern America.” And Jonathan Sperber takes a fresh look at a man who has inspired revolutions around the globe, in his book “Karl Marx, a Nineteenth Century Life.”

By Watts’ account, nothing in Dale Carnegie’s childhood indicated the path he’d take as an adult. Born to an impoverished farm couple in Maryville, Missouri in 1888, his childhood was filled with religious instruction and manual labor. Not until he went to college and became involved in theater did his charisma manifest. The speaking skills he developed  helped him in a series of sales jobs, which in turn provided him with insights into human motivation. Eventually he would lead a self-help empire. The franchise of leadership courses he began is still in business today, while his 1936 book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” remains a popular-selling title. Opinion over Carnegie’s methods has been divided. Where some see self-improvement and empowerment, others see manipulation and a promotion of personality over character. But nobody can deny he had a large hand in shaping the culture Americans know today.

To a more extreme degree, Karl Marx has also been both revered and reviled throughout the years, a fact that speaks to the level of his influence in the world. With Friedrich Engels, Marx co-authored “The Communist Manifesto.” Sperber places Marx in a historical context, examining what effect the French Revolution, for example, had on his work. But Sperber expands beyond the political lens and provides a view of many other aspects of Marx’s life, which began in 1818 in Trier, Germany. So we see not only a political firebrand, but also a son, husband and father, as well as a man with chronic money troubles.

Each biography shows a man who was a product of his time. As much as both men shaped the culture, the ability to do so came by virtue of having been born in the right epochs. Dale Carnegie, the man, could have lived any time, any place. Dale Carnegie, the phenomenon, could not have existed without the advent of mass communication. And had Karl Marx been born into a society of widespread peace and prosperity, the world would not have had Marxism, the political movement.

The post What’s New and Local at Your Library: Biographies appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Books To Celebrate Women’s History Month

DBRL Next - March 7, 2014

Book cover for Women in Missouri HistoryHave you ever heard of the Owens sisters? How about Lucile Bluford, a civil rights activist and well-respected editor and publisher of an important African-American newspaper? What about Phoebe Couzins, the first female US marshal, and one of the first female lawyers? It’s not surprising that you may not have heard of these women in history class, but they’re fascinating! In addition to being important female figures, these women all have something else in common: they’re all from Missouri!

As you (hopefully) know, March is Women’s History Month. This year’s theme celebrates women of character, courage and commitment, and list of 2014 honorees can be found here. Women across the world have had a powerful, but often over-looked, impact on human history, and that influence extends to women’s contributions in our own state.

Back to the Owens sisters, three trailblazers from St. Joseph, Missouri. These sisters all had highly successful careers, which was very uncommon for women in the US in the late 1800s. The work of Mary Alicia Owen, the oldest sister who had the most prominent career, is documented in the book “The Life of Folklorist, Mary Alicia Owens” by local author Greg Olson. Mary was the most famous female folklorist of her time, and her ethnographic writings documented Ozark Gypsies, Voodoo Priests and other local legends.

Book cover for Daring to Be DifferentLuella, the middle sister, was a geologist who wrote a book about Missouri caves, which was the only resource on the subject to exist for 50 years. The youngest, Juliette, was an artist who documented Missouri wildlife through painting and drawing. She also was a conservationist and animal rights activist in the early phases of this movement. Learn more about these sisters in the book “Daring to Be Different: Missouri’s Remarkable Owen Sisters.”

DBRL has more resources on the subject of  women’s history in Missouri, including online databases and books like “In Her Place: A Guide to St. Louis Women’s History” and “Women in Missouri History,” among others. The DBRL website will also direct you to more resources on  women’s history, including book lists of influential women, a list of upcoming local events that celebrate women’s history and other databases and resources on this subject. Happy Women’s History Month!

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Books for Dudes – “Spirit Animals”

DBRLTeen - March 7, 2014

“Spirit Animals” is book series in which one author guides the overall story, but each novel features a different popular children’s and/or YA author (much like “39 Clues”). Brandon Mull, author of “Fablehaven” and other popular fantasy books, oversees the whole series and wrote the first book, “Wild Born.”

spirit animals 1In “Wild Born,” we follow four kids who go through a bonding with spirit animals. While many people have spirit animals, these four particular characters are bonded specific reincarnated spirit animals of legend. However, as typical with many fantasy series, dark forces of old are gathering, threatening the entire world of Erdas.

spirit animals 2The second book, “Hunted,” was recently released and is written by popular YA author, Maggie Stiefvater. The story picks off almost right where the first novel lets off, and we get some excellent character study by Stiefvater as the world of Erdas is more deeply explored.

I found the diverse cast of characters appealing in these novels. A Chinese noble girl, a street rat, a shepherd, and a girl from an African tribe make up the four kids bonded to the great beasts of legend. I also enjoyed that every spirit animal bond is different. The authors get really inventive on how each bond is different. I won’t list any spoilers, but you don’t find out how every bond works in book 1.

If you like instant gratification (or as much as you can get in the world of publishing), you’ll enjoy that book 3 (“Blood Ties”) is coming out in March and book 4 (“Fire and Ice”) will be published in June. With each book being written by a separate author, the momentum of “Spirit Animals” won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Scholastic is also promoting this series with bonus material and a fun game online where you can create your own spirit animal and play in the world of Erdas yourself.

Originally published at Books for Dudes – “Spirit Animals”.

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Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates

DBRL Next - March 5, 2014

Photo of Eagle Bluffs by Svetlana GrobmanIt was a typical Missouri winter day – gray, cool and windy, with no recreational potential of any kind. It was also Sunday, but nothing special was going on in town, either.

“Let’s drive to Eagle Bluffs,” I said to my husband while we were eating our breakfast – I my usual cereal and he the leftovers from a dinner party we held the night before.

“Sure,” he said and immediately reached for his binoculars.

The thing is that my husband is a wildlife lover, and since Eagle Bluffs is a state conservation area about 10 miles away from us, it is one of the places he’s always ready to go. Over the years, I have come to like that area, too, although the first time my husband took me there, I was disappointed.

Photo of eagle's next at Eagle Bluffs Conservation AreaNot that I expected to see parrots or flamingos flittering around the Missouri wetlands, but with a name like “Eagle Bluffs” I surely counted on seeing eagles there! In reality, though, Eagle Bluffs is a series of ponds dug into a large open field, confined between impressive sandstone bluffs and the Missouri River, and it is visited mostly by Canada geese and a variety of ducks. Also, early in the spring, white pelicans make their festive appearance. As for eagles, after numerous visits to the area, we finally (!) stumbled on an eagle’s nest, hidden high in the tree that grows on a strip of land that is surrounded by ponds on all sides. Since then, we periodically check up on it, although it’s rare that we see its occupants.

I must admit, I love  seeing eagles. To me, a person who lived without any citizenship for five years (the Russians stripped me of theirs when I applied for an exit visa, and the Americans took their time to make sure that I’d be a solid citizen (just kidding!)), the bald eagle represents a new beginning. And, since I rarely see them, every time I do, it seems special. (In fact, my husband and I saw one calmly gliding over our neighborhood on the day of Obama’s first victory!)

Halfway to Eagle Bluffs, I began regretting my idea. First of all, we had recently had a snow storm, and the wetlands might still be frozen, in which case we wouldn’t see anything there. And even if we did get lucky, so what? While it’s true that my husband has nice binoculars (my present to him for his birthday) and I have a Canon SLR camera with me, I don’t have the right lenses for wildlife photography, so I cannot take good pictures of birds anyway.

“I really need better lenses,” I said to my husband, driving carefully along the curvy road. “My lenses are not sharp enough. You yourself say that my photos don’t look professional.”

“There could be other reasons for that beside lenses,” my husband mumbled, not taking his eyes off the road.

“Like what?” I said. “I’m doing as well as my lenses allow! And the camera, too. If I am to improve, I need a full-frame camera and L-series lenses!”

Of course, the truth is that I don’t have to “improve.” I’m not a professional photographer who must spend thousands of dollars on expensive equipment. Still, as obsessive as I am, I may one day do just that, so it’s important to prepare my husband for that possibility.

“I need telephoto lenses, too,” I started again when we turned off the local highway, but my husband interrupted me.

“The water is still frozen,” he said. “We won’t see much today.”

“Let’s see the eagle’s nest, then.” I said.

We parked the car and hung our equipment around our necks – he his binoculars and I my camera with its woefully insufficient lens – and walked toward the nest. It was still cool, and the sun seemed to be making up its mind about whether it should break through the clouds and light up the world underneath, or pull the clouds up, like a blanket, and take another nap.

The nest was in its usual place, hidden safely up in the big old tree. Yet it was empty.

“It must be too early in the season,” my husband said.

“It cannot be too early,” I said firmly. “This is their time for nesting.”

“I don’t see any signs of that,” he sighed. “Should we go back?”

“No, let’s walk around,” I said. For exercise. And we put up our jacket hoods, and pulled on our gloves.

We walked for about a mile, between the bluffs and a creek on one side and the ponds on the other. Yet we saw no birds. Not even obnoxiously honking Canada geese or scurrying around coots. Disappointed, we turned back. When we were passing the area with the nest, my husband said, “Too bad. No eagles this time.”

But, I seemed to notice some movement there.

“Are you sure the nest is empty?” I said. “Look through your binoculars.”

“It is,” he said, and at that moment, a white-headed bird landed on a branch by the nest – a bald eagle.

“Look!” I shouted, grabbing my camera and feverishly adjusting its settings. “An eagle!”

Eagle in flightWhether it was my excitement that spooked the bird or something else, the eagle took off. He made several circles high above our heads and vanished behind a strip of tall trees on the other side. Had we been there a minute later, we’d never have known that he was there at all.

“Oh, no!” I cried, pulling my husband by the sleeve – he was still pointing his binoculars in the direction of the bird. He put the binoculars down and said, “Should we drive home now?”

“Don’t you think he’ll come back?”

We walked around for another 30 minutes, but the eagle never returned. Feeling tired, we headed back to our car. Before I opened the passenger’s door, I glanced toward the bluffs on the other side, which, suddenly, erupted with a fuzzy, slowly moving cloud.

“What’s that?” I said, puzzled. And then it struck me. It wasn’t a cloud. It was … a huge flock of white-and-black birds!

“Pelicans!” I screamed. “Look, pelicans!”

Snow geese in flightThe birds flew higher and higher and soon they, too, disappeared behind the trees on the other side of the wetlands. We followed them – first driving as far as we could and then walking quietly to the pond where they landed. I was walking first, my camera at ready, and my husband followed me with his binoculars. We were still far away when the birds noticed us. First, they began stirring, then several of them took off, and later yet, others began following their example. Soon, the whole pond exploded with white and black colors, while the sky filled with flapping wings and the cry of birds.

Excited, I kept pressing the shutter.

“They are not pelicans,” I heard my husband say behind me.

“No? What are they?” I turned to him, immediately disappointed.

“They are snow geese.”

“Just geese?”

“Well, that’s not so bad,” my husband said. “We’ve never seen snow geese before.”

He was correct. It was the first time I saw snow geese, and although they were nothing like pelicans, they were beautiful in their own “geesey” way.

“You’re right,” I said, and we started walking.

The sun hid behind the cloud, seemingly for good, and the wind picked up, but, I no longer felt disappointed. True, we saw the eagle only briefly, and we didn’t see any pelicans. But, we saw something new, and, as Forest Gump put it, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

Eagle's nestP.S. While I was looking at my pictures at home, I suddenly noticed a white head peeking from the eagle’s nest. It wasn’t empty after all! I looked again. The head appeared small and fuzzy, but it was definitely an eagle. Can you spot it? It’s not very clear, is it? You see, I really need a better lens. :)

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New DVD: “Blood Brother”

Center Aisle Cinema - March 5, 2014

bloodbrotherWe recently added “Blood Brother” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown in January at  Forum 8 and currently has a rating of 87% from audiences at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist with no close family of his own. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay and devote his life to them. To the children, he becomes ‘Rocky Anna, ‘ or brother. The documentary features longtime friend Steve Hoover, as he traces Rocky’s story of working in the village of Tamil Nadu, India for five years. The film illustrates his commitment to the children and their families who face life-and-death situations on a daily basis.

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

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2014 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced

DBRLTeen - March 4, 2014

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

How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:
  • Round 1: Voting complete.
  • Round 2: VOTE NOW through March 10 for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Vote March 11-17 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 18-24 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 25-31 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 2: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite eight titles by Monday, March 10 at 5 p.m. The winners from this round of competition will be announced next Tuesday, March 11.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16
  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Holes” by Louis Sachar
  4. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  5. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  6. The Maze Runner” by James Dashner
  7. Gone” by Michael Grant
  8. Legend” by Marie Lu
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
  10. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  11. Girl, Stolen” by April Henry
  12. Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer
  13. The Eleventh Plague” by Jeff Hirsch
  14. Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper
  15. Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  16. Inheritance” by Christopher Paolini

Originally published at 2014 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced.

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New DVD: “Happy”

Center Aisle Cinema - March 3, 2014


We recently added “Happy” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 79% from audiences at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Happy takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

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

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Murder, With a Side of Pasta ‘ncasciata

DBRL Next - March 3, 2014

(Review of the Inspector Montalbano mystery series, by Andrea Camilleri)

Book cover for The Shape of Water by Andrea CamilleriSalvo Montalbano is the world-weary but always upstanding Chief Inspector for the police force of Vigata, a smallish (and imaginary) town in Sicily. He’s a sensitive, ethical guy who struggles with the endemic Sicilian political corruption, superiors who can’t be bothered and subordinates who are eager but sometimes inept. Also problematic are the many attractive women who find him molto interessante – causing no end of conflict with Livia, his volatile out-of-town girlfriend.

This sounds like a standard backdrop for a police procedural mystery, international or otherwise. But this series, and Montalbano, rise above the standard. For starters, this is one well-read cop, given to Italian literary and historical references. He’s also a passionate gourmet: a steaming plate of pasta ‘ncasciata will always take precedence over police business.

Montalbano introspects fiercely, and the reader gets to spend quality time inside his head, getting to know this often melancholy and obsessive, but ultimately likable, character. In fact, all of Camilleri’s characters are worth knowing, from Ingrid Sjostrom, the beautiful six-foot-tall Swedish race-car driver (and Montalbano’s greatest temptation) to the creepy, sex-obsessed Judge Tommaseo. Add some dark Sicilian atmosphere and consistently elegant plotting, and you have a series that is just plain delizioso.

(Important disclaimer: The first book, “The Shape of Water,” begins with a single, nearly incomprehensible paragraph that goes on for a full five pages. It was so obtuse that I almost gave up. Fortunately I didn’t, because after page five things got much clearer and a whole lot more interesting – and stayed that way for 15 more books.)

For an appetizer, here are the first four books of the Inspector Montalbano series at DBRL:

  1. The Shape of Water“  (2002)
  2. The Terra-cotta Dog“  (2002)
  3. The Snack Thief“  (2003)
  4. Voice of the Violin“  (2004)

For the complete list of 16 titles, see our book list in the library’s online catalog.

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Upcoming Author Events: Rebecca Skloot and Colson Whitehead

DBRL Next - February 28, 2014

Authors Rebecca Skloot and Colson Whitehead are making appearances in mid-Mo during the next two weeks. Mark your calendars for these free events!

Book cover for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot2011 marked the 10th anniversary of the library’s community-wide reading program, One Read, and that year we read and discussed the important work of narrative nonfiction, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. The closing program was a visit with David “Sonny” Lacks, Henrietta’s son, which proved inspiring for many in our community. Mr. Lacks was a charming guest and graciously accepted thanks from several people who waited in line to share with him their personal stories and to express gratitude for his mother’s contributions to science. Now our community has the opportunity to hear about Henrietta Lacks from the author’s perspective. Skloot will appear as part of the 10th Annual MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium on Monday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00) at Jesse Auditorium. Tickets to this event are free, but they are required for entry. You can pick them up at one of the following locations.

  • Missouri Theatre Box Office (203 S 9th St, Columbia, MO 65201)
  • MSA/GPC Box Office in the MU Student Center at the University of Missouri

Find more details at the University of Missouri’s website, and cross your fingers that the weather cooperates!

Book cover for Zone One by Colson WhiteheadWhy might I be worried about weather? Well, February’s snow-pocalypse forced the cancellation of another author’s – Colson Whitehead’s - visit to mid-Missouri, so we’re a little paranoid about the forecast. We were really looking forward to Whitehead’s talk, so we are pleased to announce that this event has been rescheduled! Whitehead is the author of the New York Times bestselling zombie survival tale “Zone One” and a forthcoming book about the 2011 World Series of Poker, titled “The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death.” He’ll be speaking on Thursday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus as part of the Department of English Creative Writing Visiting Writers Series.

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Docs Around Town: Feb. 28 – Mar. 6

Center Aisle Cinema - February 27, 2014


February 27-March 2: True False Film Fest in downtown Columbia. (via)
March 3
 “Muscle Shoals” 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. at  Forum 8. (via)
March 6:Bag It” 7:00 p.m. at MU Student Center, free. (via)

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Beating the Winter Blahs and Boosting Health With Beneficial Bacteria

DBRL Next - February 26, 2014

Photo of sauerkraut by JoePhoto via FlickrOkay, who out there is weary of this winter weather and being inside-bound and weighted down with layer upon layer to fend off the bitter cold?  I have been seriously stir-crazy and blue, too, so I went looking for some solution, some relief from the bleakness found within and without. I needed some way to figuratively “climb out of winter,” like the flower bulbs will do come springtime. I decided a new hobby would help keep me going until the first crocuses surface.

Here’s what I found to do:

Make sauerkraut!

I’d been hearing in the ambient noise surrounding me the past few years that fermented foods had health benefits, and I had a vague notion it had to do with dosing your gut with friendly bacteria. Fermented foods (miso, tempeh, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, kimchi and other cultured vegetables, cheese, beer, wine, etc.) are taste bud-pleasers with lots of flavor and zing and texture – that in and of itself is good thing.

And always looking to economize, I felt compelled to try making my own kraut, because unpasteurized (pasteurizing foods kills bacteria, including the friendly stuff) kraut is expensive – $7 for a quart jar! Since the ingredients are very cheap, just salt and cabbage, $7 seemed too dear a price to pay, especially if I wanted to eat it on a regular basis.

But what makes fermented foods so beneficial to your health? In the fermentation process microscopic bacteria and fungi produce alcohol, lactic and acetic acids, which naturally preserve the food, thereby retaining their nutrients. Fermentation also breaks the nutrients down into more easily digestible form, increases the bioavailability of minerals and creates new nutrients. In a nutshell, by eating fermented foods you essentially line your gut with healthy living cultures vital to breaking down food and assimilating its nutrients. “Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods” by Sandor Ellix Katz has a short and informative chapter, “Cultural Rehabilitation,” that nicely explains the health benefits of fermented foods. In my reading about this topic, I also discovered that research indicates that live bacteria in fermented foods improve the body’s “response-ability” to infection and inflammation.  Wow! That’s a lot of health benefits to claim.

I was thrilled to demystify this process, and it was SO easy. The results were scrumptious, and visually, the food was stunning. (Did you know that purple cabbage turns a bright, neon magenta when transformed into kraut?) There is an easy recipe in this book if you’d like to give kraut a crack.

So now I have a spot on my kitchen countertop permanently dedicated to small-batch jars of fermenting food. I’m not going to stop with kraut either. On to kimchi, kefir and kombucha!

Photo used under a creative commons license

The post Beating the Winter Blahs and Boosting Health With Beneficial Bacteria appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Previous Docs from 2014′s True/False Directors

Center Aisle Cinema - February 25, 2014


We’ve compiled a list of previous documentaries available at DBRL from the directors who are presenting films at the upcoming True/False Film Fest. Check out their old films before you attend the fest for their new films!

Robert Greene
True/False 2014 film: “Actress
Past film as director: “Katie with an i

Rachel Boynton
True/False 2014 film: “Big Men
Past film as director: “Our Brand is Crisis

Göran Hugo Olsson
True/False 2014 film: “Concerning Violence
Past film as director: “Black Power Mixtape

Victor Kossakovsky
True/False 2014 film: “Demonstration
Past film as director: “Vivan Las Antipodas

Ross Kauffman
True/False 2014 film: “E-Team
Past film as director: “Born into Brothels

Amir Bar-Lev
True/False 2014 films: “Happy Valley,” ”My Kid Could Paint That
Past films as director: “My Kid Could Paint That,” “The Tillman Story

Maxim Pozdorovkin
True/False 2014 film: “The Notorious Mr. Bout
Past film as director: “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Errol Morris
True/False 2014 film: “The Unknown Known
Past films as director: “Mr. Death,” “The Fog of War,” “The Thin Blue Line,” “Fast, Cheap & Out of Control,” “Vernon, Florida,” “Gates of Heaven,”  “Standard Operating Procedure,” “Tabloid

Jessica Oreck
True/False 2014 film: “The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga
Past film as director: “Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

To see more about the films showing at True False 2014, check out the list of films on the True/False website. Be sure to check out our True/False Film Fest films at DBRL to see lists of past True False films.

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New DVD: “Cutie and the Boxer”

Center Aisle Cinema - February 24, 2014


We recently added “Cutie and the Boxer” to the DBRL collection. This film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2013, and currently has a rating of 96% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

In New York City in 1969, nineteen-year-old art student Noriko fell in love with 41-year-old avant-garde artist Ushio Shinohara and put her career on hold to marry and support this rising star of the Manhattan art world. But 40 years later and still struggling, Ushio remains consumed with reinforcing his legacy via his ‘boxing’ paintings, while Noriko is now finding her own creative voice through a series of drawings.

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

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The March List

DBRL Next - February 24, 2014
Library Reads Logo

LibraryReads_banner1_MARCHLibraryReads is a monthly list of forthcoming books librarians across the country recommend. The March list is particularly awesome because local author Laura McHugh’s book (partly written at the Columbia Public Library) is the number one pick!

Book cover for The Weight of Blood by Laura McHughThe Weight of Blood
by Laura McHugh
“The Dane family has been keeping secrets in the Ozark town of Henbane for years. An outsider steals the heart of one of the Dane brothers, and the secrets threaten to unravel. When 16-year-old Lucy’s friend is found murdered after being missing for a year, Lucy begins to ask questions–the answers to which may destroy her family. Atmospheric and visceral, McHugh’s story is vividly and effectively told.”
- Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Book cover for The Accident by Chris PavoneThe Accident
by Chris Pavone
“Kudos to Pavone for coming through with another captivating international suspense novel. How ironic that I couldn’t put down a book about Isabel, a literary agent who stays up all night to finish an unsolicited manuscript that’s so explosive, some will kill to keep it from being published. During the 24 hours that Isabel is on the run, readers will be on the edge of their seats. Be prepared to lose some sleep!”
- Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Book cover for The Divorce Papers by Susan RiegerThe Divorce Papers
by Susan Rieger
“When Sophie, a loveable 29-year-old lawyer, gets roped into working on a divorce case, her life takes an unexpected turn. Though this gives her a new perspective on life, it also forces her to confront some unresolved childhood issues. Except for a few tearful, poignant moments, I had a smile on my face for the entire book. Engaging and humorous, this debut epistolary novel has become a favorite read.”
- Jennifer Asimakopoulos, Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien, IL

Here is the rest of the list for your browsing and hold-placing pleasure!

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