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Top DBRL Next Posts from 2013

DBRL Next - January 3, 2014

Images from top blog posts of 2013We’ve had a great year of reviewing and recommending books, community events and library programs here at DBRL Next, and we thank you for your readership and contributing to our success. To ring in the New Year, here is a recap of our most popular posts from 2013. Read on for some great book recommendations from staff, patrons and around the Web.

  1. As part of this year’s Summer Reading program, we asked our readers to share books they had found personally groundbreaking. Read the comments at the end of this post to see the results.
  2. Celebrate strong women and check out these titles with not one damsel in distress.
  3. If you haven’t been following the recommendations of the library’s resident gentleman, you are missing out on some great books as well as some pretty hilarious writing from the gentleman himself. His profile of Lauren Beukes, thanks in part to a tweet from that author about his review, was his most-read piece this year.
  4. 2013 saw the launch of LibraryReads, a monthly top ten book list identifying those titles librarians nationwide identify as their favorites publishing that month. You, too, can read like a librarian!
  5. Read about the book one of our writers considers the most beautiful novel he has ever read.
  6. There are many reasons to pick up a book – to escape, to be entertained, to explore new topics, to expand our understanding of other people and places. Another popular post this year was this list of fiction for understanding mental illness.
  7. The crafting and upcycling craze of recent years continues, and we shared one librarian’s list of ideas for transforming your stacks of t-shirts into something new.
  8. It’s cold outside, but you can warm up by revisiting this list of recommended summer vacation reads.
  9. If your New Year’s resolutions include a radical reduction of your carbon footprint or a commitment to living with less, read this post about “living tiny.”
  10. Finally, at DBRL Next we enjoy digging up overlooked gems from the bottom shelves of nonfiction. Here are some bottom shelf books from the 600s that are sure to make your mouth water.

Happy New Year to all of our readers!

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Project Teen: Survival Bracelets

DBRLTeen - January 2, 2014

Survival BraceletsAnything can happen, so be prepared! Come to the library to make a survival bracelet from paracord which doubles as a long rope that could get you out of a jam. We’ll be hosting this program for ages 11 and older at the Callaway County Public Library on Wednesday, January 15 at 4:30 p.m. An encore presentation of this program will be held at the Southern Boone County Public Library on Tuesday, January 28 at 3:30 p.m. This session is for students in grades 6-8.

Originally published at Project Teen: Survival Bracelets.

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Suggested One Read: The Ghost Map

One Read - December 31, 2013

Book cover for The Ghost Map by Steven JohnsonIt feels strange to write “thrilling” and “cholera” in the same sentence, but “The Ghost Map” by science writer Steven Johnson is a thrilling historical account of a horrible cholera outbreak in Victorian London. The reader who nominated this title for One Read calls it a “fascinating” story about the early detection of communicable disease. At the center of this tale is Dr. John Snow who revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science and the modern world.

This work of nonfiction moves quickly, with the central characters working to solve this public health puzzle. The blending of history, science and medicine make this an engaging read.

See what other books your fellow readers have suggested for One Read 2014!


The post Suggested One Read: The Ghost Map appeared first on One READ.

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Back to Downton Abbey

DBRL Next - December 30, 2013

Book cover for Lady Catherine, the Earl, and The Real Downton AbbeyEverybody watches it, including Prince William and Kate Middleton. The royal couple, of course, has an advantage over us regular Americans (well, not just one, mind you :) ). They reside in Britain, where the fourth season of Downton Abbey was shown last year, while we are still waiting for its American opening on January 5. The series, which is one of the biggest hits PBS Masterpiece Theatre has had in recent years, won best mini-series at the Golden Globes in 2012, and it has been nominated for best drama television series in 2014. As for the publishing industry, it continues to reflect Downton Abbey’s glory, too.

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey,” by Fiona Carnarvon, tells the story of Catherine Wendell, the beautiful American woman who married the son of Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon (see another Fiona Carnarvon book, “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey”). The book also presents a history of Highclere Castle (the setting of the show), especially the period when, during World War II, the castle became a home for evacuee children from London and its expansive property a troop training ground.

Emma Rowleyl’s “Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey: The Official backstage Pass to the Set, the Actors and the Drama” depicts the inner workings of the show. The author describes the actors and the staff, the kitchen and the wardrobe, the make-up and the hair, and much more. The book is written in a conversational style, and it is supplied with multiple illustrations any fan of the show will enjoy.

Those who have been following the PBS Masterpiece series (both with and without the “Theatre”) should not miss “Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece and Mystery,” by Rebecca Eaton, an executive producer of the series for 25 years. Eaton’s book is a mix of interviews with writers, directors and other contributors to the show, as well as personal reminiscences about her life, history of the show and the actors who have been involved in it.

If, come January 5, you’ll be hosting a Downton Abbey viewing party, check out “While We Were Watching Downton Abbey” by Wendy Wax beforehand, so you’ll know what to expect from that experience :) .

And last but not least, don’t get upset if you miss one or two new episodes. Your library will receive the fourth season of the show at the end of January (the first three seasons are already in our collection). Also, remember, we have enough Masterpiece shows here to get you through the winter. Happy watching and reading!

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Most Popular Teen Blog Posts of 2013

DBRLTeen - December 30, 2013

Most Popular Blog Post CollageWe are only hours away from 2014 and I’d like to take this time to say THANK YOU  to all our blog followers. The library’s teen blog has had yet another successful year due to our patrons’ participation and readership. To commemorate this success, I’d like to provide a recap of this year’s most popular posts.

Far and away, our most popular resource on the teen blog is our guide to mobile apps for teens. This list features book apps, educational apps and game apps with young adult appeal. Some of our favorites include the photo editor “Color Splash” and the puzzle game “Machinarium.”

Blog visitors have appreciated our staff-curated booklists including “The United States of YA” as well as this years’ Gateway Award NomineesTruman Award Nominees and Teens’ Top Ten Nominees. We recently published our list of contenders in the  2014 March Madness Teen Book Tournament.

Our series, “Books for Dudes” also continues to be a hit among blog readers. Each month librarian Johnathan Shoff shares his top picks for guy readers such as “The Rithmatist” by  Brandon Sanderson and “Mouse Guard: Fall 1152“ by David Petersen.

The most read staff book reviews were of  ”Abandon” by Meg Cabot, ”My Most Excellent Year” by Steve Kluger and “Between the Lines” by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer. Similarly, our most popular teen book reviews were of “Ultraviolet” by R.J. Anderson and “Five Flavors of Dumb” by Antony John. If you’ve recently read a book that you loved (or loathed), please consider sharing your thoughts by submitting an online book review!

Undoubtedly, our talented teen patrons are the driving force behind our blog. It is no surprise then, that our most popular posts overall are related to the content created by these amazing young adults. Don’t take my word for it, though; review the creative artwork and stories submitted for our summer photo contestsix-word memoir writing contest and our bookmark contest.

Originally published at Most Popular Teen Blog Posts of 2013.

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