More From DBRL...
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, or a free autographed copy of “Legend” by Marie Lu!How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:
- Round 1: Voting complete.
- Round 2: VOTE NOW through March 11 for the Elite 8.
- Round 3: Vote March 12-18 for the Final 4.
- Round 4: Vote March 19-25 for the final two contending titles.
- Round 5: Vote March 26-April 1 for the book tournament champion.
- April 3: The champion is announced!
This year’s Sweet 16 leans heavily toward dystopian novels, but there is a good mix of fantasy, romance, and contemporary fiction. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite eight titles by Monday, March 11 at 5 p.m. The winners from this round of competition will be announced next Tuesday, March 12.March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16
- “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
- “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
- “Maze Runner” by James Dashner
- “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
- “Divergent” by Veronica Roth
- “Inheritance” by Christopher Paolini
- “Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater
- “Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer
- “Clockwork Prince” by Cassandra Clare
- “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore
- “Hate List” by Jennifer Brown
- “Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver
- “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
- “Heist Society” by Ally Carter
- “The Grimm Legacy” by Polly Shulman
- “Dark Life” by Kat Falls
We recently added “How to Survive A Plague” to the DBRL collection. This film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2012, and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
The story of the brave young men and women who successfully reversed the tide of an epidemic, demanded the attention of a fearful nation, and stopped AIDS from becoming a death sentence. This improbable group of activists bucked oppression and infiltrated government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry, helping to identify promising new medication and treatments and move them through trials and into drugstores in record time.
March is Women’s History Month, and this year we are honoring the generations of female scientists, mathematicians, and engineers whose passion for the advancement of human knowledge changed the way we understand the natural world. Whatever your gifts, the stories of these intrepid women are certain to make you appreciate living in a world that allows you to develop them in ways your great-grandmother might never have thought possible.
In my nerdier moments, I’ve often dreamed of hobnobbing with the great minds of the twentieth century, instigating feuds and ruffling feathers (“Pardon me, Lord Russell, but there appears to be a slight problem with your Principles of Mathematics…”). So I was excited to discover “I Died for Beauty: Dorothy Wrinch and the Cultures of Science,” the story of a woman who, in many ways, lived just that dream, studying at Cambridge and Oxford and making significant contributions to fields from philosophy to protein structure. Marjorie Senechal paints a compelling portrait of this fascinating and influential woman whose “life was her work, [and] her work her life.”
We’ve all heard of Marie Curie, the pioneering physicist whose research on radioactivity remains relevant to this day. What you may not have known was that Curie had two daughters, Eve and Irene, who followed in their mother’s iconoclastic footsteps. (Eve became a foreign correspondent and humanitarian, and Irene played an important role in the discovery of nuclear fission.) In “Marie Curie and Her Daughters,” Shelley Emling tells the story of this extraordinary family, especially Curie’s struggles against sexism and xenophobia and the aftereffects of her long-term exposure to radiation. Inspiring and moving, this book is sure to secure Curie’s place in your pantheon of personal heroes.
In “Sisters in Science: Conversations with Black Women Scientists about Race, Gender, and Their Passion for Science,” Diann Jordan, a scientist herself, interviews 18 prominent black women scientists to learn about their experiences. Some of the women include Shirley Ann Jackson, the first black woman to earn a doctorate in theoretical physics and the first black woman to head the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Lynda M. Jordan, who rose from a housing project outside of Boston to become a professor of chemistry; and Jennie R. Patrick, one of the first students to integrate her Alabama high school, who was the first black woman to earn a doctorate in chemical engineering in the United States.
Reading their stories, and those of the Curie family and Dorothy Wrinch, I was struck by how important it is to use our gifts and abilities in order to become who we were meant to be. Through hard work, the women in these books found their place in the scientific community and in the world. We would be much the worse if not for their courage and dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.
Read more about Women’s History Month and local events celebrating the achievements of women in science by visiting the library’s subject guide.
March brings the promise of spring. With this season approaching, you can start thinking about spring cleaning, which can be more than what you do for your house. You can also offer your body a spring cleaning with a detoxification regime. Take advantage of this month’s second floor table display near the reference desk at the Columbia Public Library for information on this topic. We’ll be featuring books on nutrition, including detoxification diets, herbal and home remedies. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor if you are considering using any of these alternative modalities.
There are many things you can do yourself at home to bolster your health, treat illness and prevent disease. Good health is the result of many factors, but an essential contributing one is diet. You can think about “food as medicine,” that what you eat is very important in creating and maintaining vibrant well-being. Since each of us has different dietary needs and preferences, there is no “one size fits all diet” for everyone. Fortunately, there is no shortage of options to investigate if you want to use food as a first line of defense in preventing illness. Paul Pitchford’s book “Healing with Whole Foods“ looks particularly interesting. His approach synthesizes Asian healing traditions with modern nutrition to offer treatment for disease.
An herbal or home remedy can be a useful first response when treating common maladies. I’ve said it before but I’ll repeat it here; my all-time favorite “cure” collected along my since-teen-hood herbal medicine path is garlic and onion broth* to help clear colds and sinus infections. My mother spent some time researching her line of the family tree and let me know that Dr. A. Q. Simmons – my great, great, great, great, great grandfather of Georgia – developed “Dr. A. Q. Simmons Vegetable Liver Medicine” back in 1840. This medicine was later patented by Simmon’s grandson, Miles Thedford, and sold as Thedford’s Black Draught. The main active herbal ingredient in this dark, syrupy elixir was senna, a powerful laxative, and so says my mother, “it will set you free.”
So it seems my interest in herbs as medicine goes back even farther; I’m channeling Dr. Simmons – he lives through me in the 21st century! Wishing you vibrant health and speedy recoveries from whatever may ail you.
*The Garlic & Onion Broth Cure (for colds and sinus infections):
Gently simmer in a covered pot, one half of a thickly sliced onion with 3 cloves of garlic in a quart of water for 30 minutes. Drink all of it over the course of the day. Repeat daily for as long as you have symptoms.
Help us get ready for Summer Reading by designing an original bookmark based on the teen theme, “Beneath the Surface.” Winners’ artwork from each library branch will appear on bookmarks to be distributed late spring through summer. Please design two-dimensional artwork, using crayons, markers or any other illustration tool or medium. Photography is also acceptable, as long as it is your own! Download an entry form or pick one up at your nearest library branch. Ages 12-18. Entry deadline is Saturday, March 30.
We recently added “Undefeated” to the DBRL collection. This academy award winning film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2012, and currently has a rating of 96% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
No hope. No future. Until a football season united a team and revealed the character that turned them into heroes. Undefeated is the inspiring and moving tale of three underprivileged student-athletes from inner-city Memphis and the volunteer coach, Bill Courtney, trying to help them beat the odds on and off the field.
Got the heat cranked up for the winter? Considering the whirlwind of inconsistent weather we’ve had this month, you may soon be turning on the air conditioning. Whether you are running the heat or AC, your electric bill might be more than you’d like. To save money, my roommate and I have bundled up inside and kept the heat off altogether. Just as we were considering cooking all of our food by way of bonfire on the balcony, we thought of something a little less primal. Our computers and television, as well as our portable video game systems, were taking up most of our electrical outlets. All of the energy that went into charging them alone must have been driving our bill through the roof. The alternative? Reading, of course!
Imagine the cost of keeping the lights on, plus the heat, plus the TV and the DVD player. Instead, how about just one or two lamps by the couch for some light reading? Or maybe a hot cup of tea from the kettle and a warm fuzzy blanket? My friend and I have been reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen out loud to each other. It’s a great social activity for the family or just when you have a night in. And it’s probably a little healthier than a big, buttery bag of popcorn and a rerun of Law & Order.
Also, did you know that being on devices before bed can make it harder to sleep? Staring at a screen, of any kind, causes neurons in your brain to go off, and they keep firing long after you’ve shut down. Reading a book 30 minutes before bed instead of texting can lead to healthier and easier sleep.
Here are some books the library carries on saving energy in your home and your body:
- “Consumer Guide To Home Energy Savings” by Jennifer Thorne Amann
- “The Fresh Energy Cook Book” by Natalia Rose
- “Raw Energy” by Stephanie L. Tourles
- “Sleep, It Does A Family Good” by Archibald D. Hart
Why you liked this book: I liked this book because it was kind of a break from a lot of YA fiction as in it wasn’t COMPLETELY centered around romance. Throughout the book Roger kind of holds back on his feelings. He acts very mysterious for about the first half of the book, but that added to the story. So did the tension between Amy, her mom, and her brother. I liked Amy a lot because she was very vulnerable which made her really awkward around Roger. At the end of the book, Roger and Amy… Ha, you thought I would actually tell you! That’s funny. I’m going to make you read the book. No question.
Three words that describe this book: amazing, romantic, and tense.
You might pick this book up if… you like a book that’s not completely centered around romance, or if you like road trips. Also, “Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour” is a Gateway Award Nominee. Be sure to check out the other titles on this list of must-reads.
We recently added “5 Broken Cameras” to the DBRL collection. The film won the Special Jury Award and the Audience Award at the 2011 IDFA, and currently has a rating of 94% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements. Shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, the footage was later turned into a galvanizing cinematic experience by co-directors Burnat and Davidi.
The lives of the rich and famous hold great fascination for us regular folks. Yes, I love to watch the movie stars on the red carpet and critique gowns and suits. When it comes to books, I sometimes take similar pleasure in learning about the lives of celebrities. However, I’m not looking for a gossipy tell-all or dishy memoir. (Real Housewife Brandi Glanville’s “Drinking and Tweeting” is not on my to-read list.) I lean toward fictional portraits of past greats – writers, artists, scientists – and the lives of people around them. Apparently I am not alone, as books like “The Aviator’s Wife” shoot up the bestseller lists. In this historical fiction, author Melanie Benjamin portrays Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of pilot Charles Lindbergh, who was also a talented pilot in her own right. Place a hold on this book, and then make your wait more enjoyable by picking up one of these other fictional works based on intriguing and extraordinary women in history.
“Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb” by Melanie Benjamin (2011)
Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Warren Bump, the nineteenth century little person and wife of Gen. Tom Thumb, tells her life story in this spirited fictionalized autobiography. Vinnie comes of age in the antebellum south before being invited to join the P. T. Barnum circus. This is an entertaining book, full of Americana and offering up plenty of behind-the-scenes looks at show business.
“Girl in a Blue Dress” by Gaynor Arnold (2008)
Subtitled, “A Novel Inspired by the Life and Marriage of Charles Dickens,” Arnold’s book begins with the widowed Dorthea reflecting on her marriage to and separation from author husband Alfred Gibson (read: Charles Dickens). ”From very early on in our marriage it seemed as though I could possess only what the world had left behind—the cuffs and coattails of his existence.” Told in a series of flashbacks, her tale explores motherhood, marriage and the effects of celebrity in Victorian England.
“Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan (2007)
The Frank of the title is Frank Lloyd Wright, who in 1904 designs a house for Edwin and Mamah Borthwick Cheney, an upstanding young couple in Oakpark, Illinois. The public is scandalized when Wright and Mamah then leave their families to live together in Europe. There Mamah is exposed to feminist ideas about the confining role of women and marriage, and Frank eventually convinces her to return with him to the US to tragic end. Flawed characters, romance, and discussions of feminism and architecture make this a compelling read.
“Marrying Mozart” by Stephanie Cowell (2004)
In this literary romance, the lives of the four Weber sisters are changed by the arrival of 21-year-old Wolfgang Mozart, a young man struggling to find his place in the eighteenth-century musical world. A richly textured portrayal of this passionate musician and the women who inspired his art and captured his heart.
“The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain (2011)
Hadley Richardson meets the brash “beautiful boy” Ernest Hemingway in 1920s Chicago, and after a brief courtship, they marry and take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband’s career. Details of Jazz Age Paris and elbow-rubbing with cultural icons like Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein make an entertaining backdrop, but the focus of this well-crafted tale is the sympathetic Hadley.
What are your favorite works of historical fiction based on the lives of famous (or infamous) people? Share with us in the comments!
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) publishes a list of the year’s best books, audiobooks, films and graphic novels for teens. The “Best of the Best” is a great place to start when looking for your next great book to read or movie to watch.
- Best Fiction for Young Adults
- Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
- Amazing Audiobooks
- Great Graphic Novels
- Fab Films
YALSA has also created the “Teen Book Finder” app available for iPhone or iPad so you can get book recommendations on-the-go!
Editor’s note: These cookbook reviews were submitted by library patrons during the 2012 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share the best of these reviews throughout the year. Many thanks to all of those who participated!
“Everyday Paleo” by Sarah Fragoso
This is a great cookbook if you are new to the Paleo diet. Very workable recipes are set out in an easy to follow format. Who knew you could make a gluten-free pizza crust from almonds! You might want to pick this book up if you are interested in learning more about the Paleo diet or you are looking for new, healthy, delicious recipes.
“Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” by Cheryl Day
I loved this cookbook! It has a vintage layout, and there are pictures of each item. Not to mention the pages are nice and heavy. I have tried many of the recipes, and they are great. Cheryl speaks to the readers in an honest and sincere way. You might want to pick this book up if you like to look at vintage kitchens, to read about someone’s rags-to-riches story and like the South.
- Terra S.
“The Kitchen Counter Cooking School” by Kathleen Flinn
It made me want to be a better cook. Because of this book, I am investigating the availability of local cooking classes. I am a baker but always thought cooking was too hard and time-consuming. After reading this book, I really think that with the right teacher, I could actually do it. You might want to pick this book up if you need inspiration to spend more productive time in the kitchen.
- Amy C.
Be sure to register online by Friday, March 8 if you plan to take the April 13 ACT exam. If you would like to know more about testing costs, locations, and resources to help you prepare, check out our online guide, SAT/ACT Prep. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular email reminders of upcoming SAT and ACT registration deadlines!
February 24: “Battle” 2:00 p.m. at Columbia Public Library, free. (via)
February 25: “The Invisible War” 5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Forum 8. (via)
February 25: “Only the Young” 7:30 p.m. at Ragtag. (via)
February 26: Neither/Nor Series starts at Ragtag. (via)
February 27-28: Based on a True Story: The Intersections of Documentary Film and Journalism conference at MU Reynolds Journalism Institute. Conference registration required. Screening of “The Invisible War” on February 27th with director Kirby Dick in attendance. (via)
February 28-March 3: True False Film Fest starts in downtown Columbia. (via)
February 28: “Soul Food Junkies” 7:00 pm at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, free. Filmmaker Byron Hurt in attendance. (via)
February 28: “The Trouble Begins At Eight: The Music of Rocket Kirchner” 7:30 p.m. at Columbia Public Library, free.
We recently added “Bully” to the DBRL collection. The film played at the True/False Film Festival in 2012, and currently has a rating of 86% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
This is a character-driven documentary following five kids and families over the course of a school year. Offering insight into different facets of America’s bullying crisis, the stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter, who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. Documentary provides an intimate and often shocking glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices.
If I were to pick the most famous, talked about, reinvented and loved fictional detective of all time, I’m sure anyone could guess who it would be: Sherlock Holmes. Good old Sherlock has been portrayed so many times over the years, from Basil Rathbone’s performance in the 1930s and 40s to today’s interpretation by the handsome, cold, calculating Benedict Cumberbatch. American producers have even thrown their own versions into the ring with television shows like “House M.D.” and the new series “Elementary.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the world can’t get enough of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s highly functioning sociopath turned consulting detective. And if you’re anything like me, you can’t either.
The library has in its collection fabulous books from the series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Titan Books has gathered some amazing authors to recreate classic Doyle characters in new missions, most you may recognize. “Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula,” “Sherlock Holmes and the Angel of the Opera” and “Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau” are well-written and stimulating crossovers for all Holmes fans alike!
But maybe Sherlock isn’t exactly your cup of tea? Perhaps you prefer the other side of the coin, and Moriarty is your very reason for putting up with that Sherlock sod and his sidekick Dr. John Watson. In this case, I highly recommend getting to know thief Arsène Lupin, created by Maurice LeBlanc. In 1907 Maurice invented Lupin as a counterpart to Sherlock Holmes. In fact, LeBlanc went so far as to write a crossover where Sherlock meets Lupin for the first time, but because of copyright issues LeBlanc was forced to change the detective’s name to “Herlock Sholmes.” Herlock shows up in a few more of Lupin’s adventures to act as an antagonist. DBRL carries “Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-thief” and “The Crystal-Stopper” (electronic text only) for your reading pleasure.
Why you liked this book: This book is amazing! Piper is a strong character because she is deaf and able to overcome all the problems that get thrown in her face. I love that there are all these references to American Sign Language which many people don’t seem to know about. I think that everyone needs to read this book!
Three words that describe this book: heartfelt, astounding, and beautiful.
You might pick this book up if… you liked “The Vinyl Princess” by Yvonne Prinz or “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” by Rachel Cohen and David Levithan. If you are looking for another great read, you should also check out the rest of this year’s Gateway Award nominees.
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!
True/False 2013 film: “Twenty Feet From Stardom”
Past films as director: “Troubadours,” “Respect Yourself,” “Muddy Waters,” “Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan,” “Iggy and the Stooges”
To see more about the films showing at True False 2013, check out the list of films on the True/False website or check out the the trailers for the festival on youtube. Be sure to check out our True/False Film Fest films at DBRL to see lists of past True False films.
On Wednesday, February 27, a rock and roll band called Menomena will be coming to Columbia to perform at Mojo’s. They are from Portland (the more Fred Armisen-y one), so, even if you aren’t a fan of their music, I encourage you to attend their show if only to display your CoMo pride by politely informing them at their merchandise booth before and/or after the show while you purchase many t-shirts and compact discs, that “Columbia is fancy, just look at what I’m wearing.” or “We too have trucks that drive around all full up of tacos and which exchange said tacos for money.” or “Heavens to Betsy man, our public library has a BLOG, do you hear me? A BLOG.” Your message will be clearer when scrawled on paper money that you then tuck courteously into their fashionable trousers.
Saying/writing these things will do more than make you a patron of the arts and ensure Menomena will be able to have breakfast the next day. (Growing rock bands need a good breakfast.) Obviously this discourse will make it clear that Columbia isn’t a town to be trifled with and that a critically acclaimed band can’t just waltz into town and play a sure-to-be outstanding show (seen ‘em be awesome twice, and I’m certain this will make thrice) without doing a neurotically thorough self-Googling to determine if any blog posts have been generated promoting their appearance and then becoming best friends with the author and giving him a free t-shirt and why not a cut of the merchandise revenue, maybe?
Menomena is touring as a five-piece because it takes upwards of ten hands to satisfy the mad ambition of these geniuses. But in the studio, it’s just Danny Seim and Justin Harris. (Prior to 2012 they were joined by Brent Knopf, but he left the band because only two people can comfortably fit on a tandem bicycle, and he wanted to focus on his other band, the also excellent “Ramona Falls.”) “How can it take five people on stage to do what only two do in the studio?” I ask furiously. People have attempted to explain to me that the duo uses modern recording “tricks” like computers, microphones and saxophones, and that this technological wizardry allows the band to simulate an entire roomful of people willing to play for absolutely no compensation or even the basic respect that one should afford their fellow humans.
You should check out their music, and then go to their show and buy a bunch of merchandise and remind them that you wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for that strange dude nervously milling about who seems to want to say something to the band and could probably use a kind word and maybe a modest slice of the profits from the show ’cause seriously you’re just going to spend it on food and guitars and maybe something like an exotic pet (though certainly not a haircut! HA HA).