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Consecutively devouring ten books by the same author is not without its hazards. That such an undertaking insisted on itself proves it worthy, and surely being squarely in the grip of a master yarn-spinner is nothing to raise a fuss over. But might the immersion in such a distinct style cause a gentleman to subconsciously drift toward a foolish imitation unworthy of the inspiration? Might the constant brutality perpetrated by hill-folk not warp one’s perceptions until they find themselves cowering from anyone with a downhome drawl or countrified attire? Perhaps one would find themselves either desperately craving or spectacularly repulsed by squirrel meat.
Anyhow, at the risk of extending an unkindness to three, I’d venture that seven of Daniel Woodrell’s books are masterpieces. The three I’d omit from this designation make up “The Bayou Trilogy,” his first, third and fourth books. Focusing on the ex-boxer and current detective Rene Shade, these books are fun, fast reads and about as good of a character study as you’ll find filed in the crime section of a place that obsessively segregates their genres. They just don’t pack the wallop of his other works.
I’d judge his second book to pack a mighty punch. “Woe to Live On” is narrated by a Civil War rebel. Despite his allegiance and tendency to murder boys because “pups become hounds,” Woodrell, as great writers do, earns the reader’s empathy.
After completing “The Bayou Trilogy,” Woodrell began writing about the seedier, grislier aspects of his home, the Ozarks. “Give Us A Kiss: A Country Noir” is the blood and booze-soaked ride its subtitle implies. “Tomato Red” chronicles the hazards of vandalizing a golf course and a drifting, meth-dabbling lifestyle. “The Death of Sweet Mister” tells of a particularly troubled spell in a 12-year-old boy’s life, offers maybe my second favorite of Woodrell’s voices, and ends with a devastating sentence I’d like to talk about but for my aversion to goose-pimples. His most well-known book, “Winter’s Bone,” is such in large part because of the award-winning film adaptation. But I’d urge you to read it regardless of your familiarity with the movie. I reckon the dread conjured on its pages cannot be replicated by city-folk and their fancy lights and transparent plastics. “The Outlaw Album” is a collection of short, brutal stories.
His most recent book, the one with my favorite of his voices and the one that lead me down Woodrell’s backwater rabbit-hole, is “The Maid’s Version.” A fictionalized recounting of a real dance hall explosion in a small Missouri town, this novel attached me to characters in a matter of sentences before whisking them away and into pieces. If you’re the sort to deface books, there are sentences worthy of a highlighter. The perils of that act would be facing a dried-up highlighter and a thoroughly emphasized text.
Woodrell’s characters often behave downright ungentlemanly, what with the murder, spousal abuse, robberies and squirrel eating, but this grisliness is rendered in prose poetry so sharp you’ll have a gamy taste in your mouth, a hankering for mid-morning rum and a healthy suspicion of anyone from down Ozarks way. (I’ve read they’re apt to steal your prescriptions.)
The Southern Boone County Public Library will be hosting “Color Explosion” on Friday, August 1 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. Learn about the science of dyes and mixing and matching color while you create your own tie-dyed t-shirt. We’ll supply the shirts. All ages.
If you consider yourself crafty, you might check out these fun and artistic titles the next time you visit the library. They provide great inspiration for your next project.
- “ART2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling” by Tom Angleberger
- “Craft-a-day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects” by Sarah Goldschadt
- “You Are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make You Happy” by Abbey Hendrickson
- “Creative Creatures: Make-and-do Crafty Creatures for Kids” By Donna Wilson
- “Contemporary Dyecraft: Over 50 Tie-dye Projects for Scarves, Dresses, T-shirts and More” by Melanie Brummer
- “Cool Odds and Ends Projects: Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash into Treasure” by Pam Scheunemann
Originally published at Program Preview: Color Explosion.
Congratulations to Xander, a Columbia patron, for winning our sixth Adult Summer Reading prize drawing of the summer. He is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
You can still register for Adult Summer Reading at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online. Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning the prize drawings. We have two drawings left this summer, so keep your fingers crossed.
As you may already be aware, we have a lot of books here at the library. The number of books the library has on different niche subjects always amazes me. We have books on topics that I didn’t even know existed! For example, I recently discovered that we have a few books dedicated to naming one’s pets. Inspired by these books, as well as a recent post on the literary blog BookRiot, I decided to come up with some literary names for pets (with the help of some coworkers and friends). Here is the resulting list of book-inspired animal names. Feel free to steal them.
Literary names for dogs (Bonus game: if you don’t already know, guess which books these names came from. Click on the links to see the answers.)
- Rooster - Mattie, the protagonist of this book would also work, or even Portis, the author’s last name.
- Primrose - if I ever get a tiny terrier, I volunteer as tribute to use this name!
- Snowy - another good name for a (white) terrier.
- Oliver - a pet name with a literary Twist!
- Daisy - a classic pet name that could also be a reference to a classic book.
- Atticus, or, of course, Scout.
- Charley - for the French poodle.
- Hank - perfect for a cowdog!
Literary names for cats
- Crookshanks - Hermoine Granger’s cat, which is part Kneazle. (Kneazle wouldn’t be a bad name either.)
- Pete - an obvious one, but still pretty cute.
- Seuss or Hat, though that might get confusing.
- Jane - for classic book lovers.
- Dracula! I am definitely using this one if I ever get another cat.
- Langston - a great writer with a great name.
- Franny or Zooey.
- Ramona or Beezus.
Literary names for fish
- Coraline, but really, what Neil Gaiman character doesn’t make a good pet name? Shadow, Mazikeen, Thorn - if you’re a Gaiman fan, then you’ve got lots of options.
- Babel - just don’t try to stick it in your ear!
- Walden - you know, like the pond.
- Kilgore Trout - the disgruntled prolific science-fiction author.
- Dorian - for your Wilde little pet!
- Captain Ahab - or you could call it Ishmael.
Do you have a perfect literary pet name? Let us know in the comments!
If you think you’ve already got plenty of things to worry about, think again. The “worries” presented in this book will give you a whole new flock of ideas that never crossed your mind before. A compilation of mini-essays by scientists, professors, journalists and other great minds, this book poses the question, “what should we be worried about?” and shares answers – sometimes enlightening, sometimes nearly ridiculous.
The topics in this book cover everything - artificial intelligence, space exploration, technological innovation, human interactions, global warming, and the list goes on. Yet even those subjects which may seem dry and worn out are presented with a fresh perspective, and for every potential item of worry that one contributor may find especially concerning, it is often countered with an opposing opinion.
This broad array of opinions and ideas makes for a fascinating read, but overall, I think this book could have been about half the length. You can only cover the topic of worry and of why we should or shouldn’t be worried about this or that so many times before it starts to feel old and worn out. I enjoyed it, but I was ready to put it down quite a few pages before it was over.
Three words that describe this book: science, ideas, problems
You might want to pick this book up if: You like picking the brains of other great thinkers and stretching your mind with hypothetical situations, and if you don’t mind a bit of redundancy in thematic material.
Calling all Doctor Who fans! Jump in your TARDIS and visit the library circa 2014 to join us for games, trivia and activities based on the British science fiction TV series. A sonic screwdriver may be involved. Costumes optional.
Teens and adults can celebrate at the Southern Boone County Public Library on Tuesday, July 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fans of all ages, including children, are invited to celebrate at the Callaway County Public Library on Thursday, July 31 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Originally published at Program Preview: Doctor Who Celebration.
“My Way to Olympia” (60 min.) is an insightful and funny documentary about the Paralympics. Who better to cover the Paralympics, the international sporting event for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities, than Niko von Glasow, the world’s best-known disabled filmmaker? Even though the filmmaker dislikes sports and thinks the games are “a stupid idea,” von Glasgow serves as an endearing guide to London’s Paralympics competition. The screening is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.
It all started with “Titans of the Ice Age.” This past winter my son and I watched this Imax film at the St. Louis Science Center. It depicts life on earth approximately 14,000 years ago, when giant mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and other ferocious creatures roamed frozen North America. Though the reasons are still speculative, these and other megafauna were extinguished when this most recent ice age ended and the glaciers retreated. Toward the end of the film, the narrator ponders whether the megafauna of our present times (elephants, bison and tigers) will go the way of their ancient cousins due to human-induced climate change and habitat destruction.
This film set me to wondering about extinction and its causes, and since I lean toward worry about the state of our planet and whether it can sustain all of our human habits, I started rooting around for information. I discovered that extinctions have occurred many times over the course of the last four billion years, including five massive events. It brought me odd comfort to know that the causes of these massive die-offs couldn’t have been prevented and were caused by external forces (e.g., a meteorite hitting earth and intensive and prolonged volcanic activity). Amazingly, each time life was virtually wiped from the face of the earth, new and different forms were born and proliferated.
Now we are presented with the possibility of another mass extinction event. This time though, the cataclysmic force is not external but brought on by humankind’s extreme alteration of the planet. In her book, “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History,” Elizabeth Kolbert’s research tracks the disappearance of species millions of years ago. And she documents what is currently taking place – the loss of specific life forms, at alarming rates – by visiting research stations around the world and querying scientists who are carefully monitoring these vanishing animals.
In “The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It,” Fred Guterl addresses a number of circumstances that could lead to human demise, including superviruses and climate change. He explains how our success with technology brought us to this precipice, and how using technology will be our best chance of saving ourselves.
If you need a visual aid to demonstrate the profound human-induced planet change that has occurred, watch “Manufactured Landscapes,” a documentary on the art of Edward Burtynsky. His photographs are exquisitely beautiful compositions of devastation done to Mother Earth in the name of economic progress. His range covers oil fields and refineries, quarries, dam building, mounds of trash and so on. Although he makes a point not to politicize his work, leaving it up to the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions, to me the message is clear: humankind has and continues to drastically alter the earth in harmful and unsustainable ways.
If you’re less inclined to read about the earth’s mass extinctions you could learn about them by watching the television series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. In the second episode (“Some of the Things That Molecules Do”), he takes the viewer on a visit to the Halls of Extinction and explains the cause of the “Great Dying” (or “Permian Holocaust”) that occurred 251 million years ago. This was the whopper of the five mass extinctions with nine out of 10 animals being erased from the planet and was likely the result of massive and sustained (over thousands of years) volcanic activity in Siberia. This activity generated heat and toxic fumes so intense that the seas dried up and most land animals suffocated. Tyson covers a lot of material in this episode, and I was hoping for information on the other mass extinctions, but he alludes to these being covered in future episodes. I’ll have to check out the rest of the series over the course of the summer–the computer-generated graphics and animation are amazing! And I can peruse DBRL’s collection for other DVDs on extinction, and you can, too.
The post The Sixth Extinction: Are We Engineering Our Own Demise? appeared first on DBRL Next.
In a terrifying future world, Jimmy (“Snowman”) tells the story of the downfall of mankind and his part in that fall. I enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s narrative style and lush imagination. “Oryx and Crake” reads as a cautionary tale. The world she imagines could come to fruition if humanity stays the present course. Word of warning: this book contains significant profanity and adult themes. No children please!
Three words that describe this book: evocative cautionary tale
You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy post-apocalyptic imaginings and dark humor. Also, if you don’t mind some rather prolific profanity.
To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become icons, glorified by musicians who praise their fame and success. In this new constituency, they represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by money, drugs, and violence. The film is an explosive look at the drug cartels’ pop culture influence on both sides of the border as seen through the eyes of an LA narcocorrido singer and a Juarez crime scene investigator.
If you missed Laura McHugh’s author talk in June, you’ll have a chance to catch her at the Columbia Public Library on September 18, when she’ll be leading a book discussion of this year’s One Read selection, “The Boys in the Boat.” Her own book, “The Weight of Blood” is hyper-local, much of it having been written in the Quiet Reading Room at the Columbia Public Library. The novel centers around two cases of missing persons, a generation apart.
Lucy Dane’s mother disappeared when Lucy was a small child. Rumors about Lila Dane, a mysterious outsider who married a local, have swirled around the tiny Ozarks town of Henbane ever since. Years later, when Lucy is in high school, her friend Cheri vanishes, as well. Unlike Lila, Cheri turns up eventually – dead. In a small town where everyone seems to know everyone else’s business, nobody has answers for Lucy about what happened to either young woman. But she is determined to find out.
McHugh looks at parts of American life that many of us would be happy to ignore. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, both present and past. The tension builds as the two timelines draw together to reveal the scope of what has been, and still is, happening.
“Everyone Dies in the End” by Brian Katcher is equal parts dark and funny. Imagine if H.P. Lovecraft wrote a romantic comedy. This young adult novel relates what a student journalist finds when he digs too deep. And by deep, I mean think about undead creatures that dwell underground.
Sherman Andrews has goals, dreams, ambitions. And he packs them all along with him to the Missouri Scholars’ Academy the summer before his senior year of high school. There he becomes involved with an ace library assistant (the love interest) who helps him investigate a series of unsolved deaths and disappearances from the 1930s. There are obstacles, of course – threats from people who don’t want the truth uncovered, a source who might or might not be delusional, the occasional supernatural manifestation…
Both books contain a scare factor as the characters encounter evil in different forms, but both also have characters who stand up to the evil and shine a light into the darkness.
The post What’s New and Local at Your Library: Into the Dark Places appeared first on DBRL Next.
Congratulations to Kim from Hartsburg for winning our fifth Adult Summer Reading prize drawing of the summer. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online. Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning. We are half way through our prize drawings, so keep those reviews coming.
NOTE: This contest is now closed. Winners will be announced by October 10.
In 1936, the crew team from the University of Washington won Olympic gold. They shouldn’t have. They were certainly talented and determined enough to win, but the odds were stacked against them, with one team member sick, their boat given the worst lane assignment, and them missing the signal that started the gold-medal race. This year’s One Read selection, “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, follows members of this ragtag group of rowers as they struggle through the Great Depression, physical adversity, and personal tragedy to become one of the greatest crew teams in our nation’s history.
Taking inspiration from “The Boys in the Boat,” we invite you to tell a story about beating the odds in 250 words or less. The moment can be significant or subtle, but all stories must contain an element of the underdog, of someone unexpectedly prevailing, or of a character getting up one more time than he or she is knocked down.
Starting September 2, entries may be submitted using this form, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and winners will receive a $20 book store gift card.
Entries are due by September 23. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.Contest Rules Eligibility
- The contest is open to those 16 years of age and older.
- Participants must reside within the DBRL service area (Boone or Callaway County, Missouri).
- Entries will be accepted through Tuesday, September 23, 2014. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by that date.)
- One entry per individual.
- Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
- Submissions must be in English.
- Submissions must include writer’s name, age, address and email address or phone number for eligibility verification and contact purposes.
- Entries must be in text format and typed.
- Entries may be submitted through the online form or by mail (DBRL, ATTN: Lauren/One Read Writing Contest, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205), or dropped off at a DBRL location.
- Submissions must be original, unpublished works.
- Each participant must be the sole author and exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to his or her submission.
- DBRL’s publication and use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party.
- The submission must not contain any material that is inappropriate, indecent, profane, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
- The submission must not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
- The submission must not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created.
- The submission must not contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service of the sponsor or any third party.
- Entries will be evaluated and the winners chosen based on creativity, grammar and emotion evoked by the writing, as well as adherence to the guidelines outlined above.
- Two winners will be announced by October 10.
- Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website.
- Winners will be notified by phone or email and will each receive a $20 bookstore gift certificate.
Young Adult fantasy lovers rejoice. Another fun adventure awaits with a unique twist: India and Indian mythology. “Tiger’s Curse” is the first in a four book series, and each book is better than the next. I found “Tiger’s Curse” to be a treat with a few bumps – mostly due to the fact that this was the author’s first book. I felt the plot was a little shaky, getting protagonist Kelsey to India. But once she was there, the story unfolded smoothly and was rife with ancient quests, were-tigers, delicious foods and complex characters. Grab a lemon water and mango yogurt and enjoy the ride…er, read.
Three words that describe this book: Quest loving fun
You might want to pick this book up if: You like YA fantasy, mythology (especially Indian) and weres.
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has created a Tween Recommended Reads booklist, intended to engage and encourage reading among those ages 10 to 12-years-old. This list has some familiar award-winning titles such as “The False Prince” by Jennifer A. Nielsen as well as some new gems such as “The Lions of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine.
You can pick up a printed copy of this booklist at any of our three branches, or download one directly from the ALSC website. How many have you read? Do you have any personal favorites? Let us know in the comments below.
“Almost Home” by Joan Bauer
Sugar and her mother try to make a new start in Chicago, but with unanticipated struggles, they ﬁnd themselves homeless. Joined by a rescue dog named Shush, Sugar learns to make the most of her new life.
“Doll Bones” by Holly Black
Until recently, Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing an ongoing game with dolls and action ﬁgures. When Poppy takes the queen, an antique bone china doll, she is haunted in her dreams by the ghost of a girl. Can the friends stop the haunting?
“Drama” by Raina Telgemeier
Callie has Broadway dreams for her school’s production of “Moon over Mississippi.” Will the drama on and off the stage prevent the show from going on?
“Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” by Chris Grabenstein
Kyle and 11 other 12-year-olds win a contest to spend the night in the brand-new, high-tech library built by famous game maker Luigi Lemoncello. To be able to leave, they learn, they must ﬁnd a secret escape out of the library using only what’s in it.
“The False Prince” by Jennifer A. Nielsen
A devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition where treachery and deceit unfold, until ﬁnally, a truth is revealed that may prove more dangerous than all of the lies put together.
“Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms” by Lissa Evans
Great Uncle Tony disappeared 50 years ago, but 10-year-old Stuart picks up the trail as if it were yesterday, and he is soon on a quest to follow the clues to his great-uncle’s fantastic mechanical magic workshop.
“The Hypnotists” by Gordon Korman
Jackson Opus is a hypnotist who can make anyone bend to his whim. When Jax joins an elite group of hypnotists, he ﬁnds himself part of a conspiracy that has Jax wondering just whom he can trust.
“In a Glass Grimmly” by Adam Gidwitz
Princess Jill joins up with cousin Jack and a frog; they set off on a life-or-death quest to ﬁnd the “seeing glass,” encountering goblins, mermaids, and a monster. Gory, hilarious, smart, and lyrical.
“Jinx” by Sage Blackwood
A wizard’s apprentice sets off on a quest through the dangerous Urwald, a magical forest full of witches and were-creatures, and discovers he plays a key role in its survival.
“Keeper of the Lost Cities” by Shannon Messenger
Twelve-year-old supersmart Sophie learns that she is actually an elf. Thrust into unfamiliar elven society, she investigates her origins and the deadly ﬁres sweeping the human world.
“Liar and Spy” by Rebecca Stead
Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.
“The Lions of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine
In 1958 school integration was a political battle. Marlee is smart, but terriﬁed to say things aloud in public. Then she befriends—and talks (!) to—Lizzie, the new girl in her middle school. Lizzie abruptly leaves school. Why? Marlee wants her friend back.
“Odessa Again” by Dana Reinhardt
Odessa’s dad is remarrying, but shouldn’t that mean marrying her mother again? Stomping around her attic bedroom, she discovers a loophole that allows her to travel back hours in time. What would you do over if you could?
“The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate
Ivan is a gorilla who lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. When baby elephant Ruby arrives, Ivan realizes they deserve better than their miserable environment. How does a gorilla execute a plan to give Ruby and himself a better life?
“P. S. Be Eleven” by Rita Williams-Garcia
The world is changing like crazy in the 1960s. Delphine’s mother reminds her (by mail) not to grow up too fast, to remember to just be 11. But each adult in Delphine’s life has a different idea of what that means.
“The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoda Book” by Tom Angleberger
Can Sara’s advice, provided by an origami Wookiee, possibly replace Dwight and the all-knowing Origami Yoda at McQuarrie Middle School?
“Shadow on the Mountain” by Margi Preus
Inspired by a true story, this adventure set in Norway during World War II tells the story of a young boy who joins the Resistance, must learn whom to trust, and risks his life for the cause.
“The Spindlers” by Lauren Oliver
Accompanied by an eccentric, human-size rat, Liza embarks on a perilous quest through an underground realm to save her brother, Patrick, who has been stolen by the evilest of creatures—the spiderlike spindlers.
“Splendors and Glooms” by Laura Amy Schlitz
Orphans Lizzie Rose and Parsefall must save their friend Clara from a centuries-old curse that was put upon her by the devious puppeteer Gaspare Grisini.
“Starry River of the Sky” by Grace Lin
Rendi, a runaway, lands at a remote inn and reluctantly exchanges his labor for room and board. Only he hears the sky moaning and notices the moon is missing. When storyteller Madame Chang arrives, Rendi faces his problems, and helps solve the village’s problem.
“A Tangle of Knots” by Lisa Graff
Not everyone has a “Talent,” but orphaned Cady does; she knows what each person’s ideal cake is, and can bake it perfectly. Her special ability helps solve the interconnected mysteries of her past and present, but it also puts her in danger of losing her special “Talent.”
“Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage
In Tupelo Landing, the Colonel, who rescued and adopted Mo when she washed up during a hurricane as a baby, owns a café. But who is Mo’s real mom? All is well—until a neighbor turns up dead, and Mo’s best friend, Dale, is a suspect.
“The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp” by Kathi Appelt
Twelve-year-old Chap and Swamp Scouts (young raccoons) Bingo and J’miah must wake the ancient Sugar Man in order to save the swamp from a greedy land developer. But he might be really cranky.
“Wonder” by R. J. Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie, born with extreme facial abnormalities, transitions from homeschooling to ﬁfth grade at Beecher Prep. Can his classmates and others get past Auggie’s extraordinary face to see the great, normal kid he is?
Originally published at Tween Recommended Reads.
I thought Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings” was a little slow at the beginning. (This could be because I have read three other books about this same topic in the past year.) This book is based on actual people, but is a mostly fictional account of the lives of Sarah Grimké and her sister Angelina. It is a story of two sisters fighting to free slaves and for equal treatment of free slaves and women. Once I got into the book, I loved it. There is a lot of complexity to this book and a lot of symbolism also, which I love. It was very inspiring to read about Sarah wanting to figure out her place in life and follow her dreams, even though at times she thought about giving up and giving into what society thought she should be. I liked that this book was based on actual people even though the book was fictional. I did get very emotional at the end of Denmark’s part of the story, and it actually made me literally sick to my stomach. That was the first time I have felt a connection to a situation in a book where I had a reaction other than tears. I really felt for Handful and Denmark and the others in that moment and could feel the tension and the strength they had.
Three words that describe this book: inspiring, historical, educational
You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy historical fiction.
Did you know the human body contains enough carbon to fill 900 pencils? Neither did I until I read “The Human Body,” part of The World in Infographics series.
Blogs and discussion forums abound for grown-ups who read young adult novels. Emboldened by the example of those who are no longer embarrassed to embrace their enjoyment of literature aimed at teens, I now confess my enduring love for juvenile nonfiction, books intended for upper elementary and middle school kids.
Sometimes I’m so interested in a topic I want that 400-page, in-depth volume written for adults. Other times I’d prefer a quick and simple explanation. I’ve found the kids’ section at the library often provides what I need. I’ve checked out books about crafts, hamster care, astronomy, history and more.
Now I’ve found The World in Infographics series of books, which I read because they caught my eye rather than in a quest for specific information. They contain all sorts of cool factoids, accompanied by fun graphics. “The Human World” illustrates mandatory paid holidays per country through images of beach chairs. “Planet Earth” has a diagram of tectonic plates that held my interest for quite a while. Also, I hadn’t realized there were so many different kinds of volcanoes.
Maybe you’re curious about what those NASA types are really talking about when they mention quasars or nebulae, but you don’t want to feel like you’re studying for a degree in astrophysics. Or you want a quick brush-up on who Alexander the Great was and how he mattered in history without having to delve into the details of his military strategies. Or you just want to know what to feed your hamster. Speak to your librarian; juvenile non-fiction might be right for you.
Fans of bestselling author Greg Iles eagerly anticipated his current suspense novel “Natchez Burning.” Even before the book was released, reviewers lobbed it out there as a must-read. The book takes on racial history in the South. The protagonist is Penn Cage, a former prosecutor who becomes a novelist and Mayor of Natchez, Mississippi. The book leads with historical background about horrific murders that took place in the 1960s, which included two civil rights activists and a music store owner and their killers, the secret ultra-violent group known as the Double Eagles, a splinter group of the KKK.
Penn’s life intertwines with the cold case murders when his father, the beloved small town doctor, is accused of murdering his former nurse, Viola Turner. Viola worked for the doctor in the 60s and returned to Natchez when she was dying of cancer. Penn believes it’s the Double Eagles, not his father, who murdered Viola to keep her from revealing secrets from the past. Viola’s brother disappeared in the 60’s and Viola had been gang raped by the Double Eagles.
In his quest to vindicate his father, Penn finds the key to the past in Henry Sexton, a reporter for a small town weekly paper. Henry has been a one-man crusade to solve the cold case 1960s murders. While Penn relies on Henry’s investigation, Penn’s fiancé works for a competing daily newspaper and diligently pursues getting an upper hand on Henry’s story that could be another Pulitzer Prize for her. A dying Double Eagle member confirms Henry’s suspicions about the venomous organization. Penn wants to poke a stick into the rattlesnake den to see what came out. He finds it is impossible to know who to trust.
The book is projected to be the first in a trilogy. It is a suspenseful, traumatic and terrifying story. Brave investigative reporters seek the truth.
An amazing part of the background story is what happened in the author’s life. Isles was in a near fatal auto accident before the book was released.
Three words that describe this book: suspenseful, traumatic, terrifying
You might want to pick this book up if: You like brave investigative reporting, civil rights history, stories about good battling evil written in a suspenseful setting and are not afraid of an 800-page book!
Featuring stunning footage from seven winters in the Arctic, takes us through time into the world of the Inuit in the northern reaches of Canada. Connecting past, present and future is the Inuit’s unique relationship with the eider duck. Eider down, the warmest feather in the world, allows both Inuit and bird to survive harsh Arctic winters.