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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The July List

June 23, 2014

Library Reads LogoLooking for some hot new reads to take on your vacation later this summer? Look no further than the latest LibraryReads list. Here are the top 10 books librarians love that hit the shelves in July. Place your holds on these on-order titles now to have them in hand for your late summer getaway or your August staycation.

book cover for Landline by Rainbow RowellLandline
by Rainbow Rowell
“’Landline’ explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time – they are that moving. ‘Landline’ captured my heart.”
- Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

book cover for One Plus One by Jojo MoyesOne Plus One
by Jojo Moyes
“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than ‘Me Before You’ but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.”
- Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH

Book cover for The Black Hour by Lori Rader-DayThe Black Hour
by Lori Rader-Day
“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.”
- Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI

Here’s the rest of July’s best with links to our catalog for your hold-placing pleasure!

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Second Summer Reading Gift Card Winner Announced

June 22, 2014

TrophyCongratulations to Amanda B. of Hallsville for winning our second Adult Summer Reading prize drawing.  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.  There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.

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Reader Review: Unbroken

June 19, 2014

Book cover for UnbrokenUnbroken” is one of the best books I have read. It is serious and shows what a true survivor looks like – even before the T.V. show was popular. Louis Zamperini was a “delinquent” child who used his running talent to go to the Olympics in 1936, and then was a bomb dropper in a WWII plane over the Pacific when it crashed. He survived more days than anyone else on a raft, was captured by the Japanese, put in the worst POW camp for years and came out weighing 87 pounds and able to forgive his torturers. The movie based on this book comes out Christmas Eve.

Three words that describe this book: historical, POW, great!

You might want to pick this book up if: You like WWII history or had a grandfather or father in WWII.

-Terra

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The Science of Food

June 18, 2014

Book cover for In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” These words sum up the deceptively simple argument at the center of Michael Pollan’s book, “In Defense of Food.” When I first read this manifesto of sorts, I marveled that any of us needs to be told that we need to eat food, as opposed to non-food. What are we eating that’s not food? Plastic? Cardboard? But then I spotted a chunk of “processed cheese product” on the grocery store shelf, and suddenly it seemed that we do, in fact, need this reminder.

Interested in how science affects what you put on your plate? Join us in Ashland on June 24 or Columbia on June 25 for the program “Genetics and the Meat in Your Fridge,” presented as part of our Summer of Science.

Genetics and the Meat in Your Fridge
Tuesday, June 24 › 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
OR
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 › 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

Learn what genetics have to do with the price of meat. Join Ph.D. student Samenah Azarpajouh in exploring how researchers are using marker-assisted selection and other genetic techniques to raise healthier animals and, therefore, produce healthier and cheaper meat.

There are also plenty of books that explore how western diets have evolved and reflect the increasing concerns regarding where our food comes from and how it is produced. Some see science as an avenue for producing cheaper and more nutritious food for the world’s population. Others argue that we need to return to a diet of whole foods. See our catalog list, food and society, for more on this topic. Happy eating and reading!

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First 2014 Summer Reading Gift Card Winner Announced

June 17, 2014

TrophyCongratulations to Margaret M., a Columbia Public Library patron, for winning our first Adult Summer Reading prize drawing.  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.  There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Donna Tartt

June 16, 2014

Book cover for The Goldfinch by Donna TarttDonna Tartt writes so well that the Pulitzer people were compelled to award their prize to her novel, “The Goldfinch.” An extra-impressive feat considering it’s an award so prestigious that some years the committee finds none among the billions of novels published every year worthy of their kiss of automatic bestseller-dom. But rather than stumble further into a tirade outlining my feud with this cabal of critical killjoys and their silent and invisible but no doubt existent and reciprocated animosity, I’ll add my voice to the chorus of praise bellowing about Donna Tartt, thereby giving you the gumption to read her work that a million glowing reviews and Stephen King and the Pulitzer couldn’t.

“The Goldfinch” is narrated by a boy who, due to a museum bombing, loses his mother and gains a painting. He loves the painting but is tremendously dissatisfied by the trade. The novel follows him and his grief-swaddled existence through time spent in New York and Las Vegas, and eventually, climactically, Amsterdam. I found it to be the sort of rollicking, stay-up-later-than-normal read usually associated with books featuring more than one explosion, or at least aliens or a pandemic or a comically massive red dog, rather than a coming-of-age tale suffused with grief and concerns about hiding a painting.

Book cover for The Secret History by Donna TarttLike “The Goldfinch,” her first novel, “The Secret History,” is a finger-exhausting page-turner despite featuring little of the fanfare that typically propels those sorts of books. It does have some murder (on the first page even), and a horrifying and ancient ritual, but it’s mostly about ramifications, and it gallops along with a pace that surpasses its plot points. Her second novel, “The Little Friend,” is probably also great (though its reviews are less enthusiastic), but I must wait my turn to read it, and anyway it’s nice to save a little Tartt for the decade-long (and worth it) wait for her next book.

There has been some backlash against “The Goldfinch,” which tends to happen when something is popular and good, by critics that prefer their fiction to be non-fictional and mostly concern the ennui of professorships or lake houses or small, conventional dogs and to have plots revolving around getting old or being unhappy or, in certain ambitious cases, both. They dislike Tartt’s novel in part because of its “absurd” premise, what with its terrorist attack and orphaned child, things that fortunately are unrealistic and unheard of occurrences in the real world, outside of such “fantastical literature.” Though clearly I’m of the opinion that this is a great novel, it’s not that I’m unwilling to hear words against it. Rather, I find it absurd to be angry about its success and to believe it’s a “book for children” and somehow believe that reading it, because of its supposedly fanciful nature, will kill the public’s interest in literature. Which of course makes sense because what the public wants most are ultra-realistic examinations, scrubbed of even a hint of escapism, on what it’s like to be alive.

Anyway, Donna Tartt crafts her books carefully and with a passion that pays off for the reader. A book per decade is a wonderful rate when they’re this good.

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Reader Review: Mom & Me & Mom

June 13, 2014

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first review by a library patron we are posting as part of this year’s Adult Summer Reading program. Want to submit reviews of your own? Sign up and get started today!
Book cover for Mom and Me and Mom by Maya AngelouMom & Me & Mom” is a telling of the relationships that Maya Angelou had with her paternal grandmother and mother, as well as her role as a mother to her son.  It is a very touching story of the ability of a mother and daughter pair to reconcile after an early abandonment and the lessons the two women were able to impart to one another. Maya Angelou also touches on how her relationship with her paternal grandmother shaped her as a woman and as a mother to her only son. I gave this book only four of five stars because if you have read some of Maya Angelou’s other autobiographical novels, many of the stories will be very familiar, even if the details don’t quite match up.

Three words that describe this book: insightful, heartwarming, motherhood

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a deeper understanding of the woman Maya Angelou. This book also serves to give a new lens through which to view your own relationship with your mother and gives good anecdotes to inform how to be a powerful and influential mother.

-Anonymous

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Bookmarks, Round Two: Lost and Found

June 11, 2014

I had so much fun creating my last post about odd and interesting bookmarks that I decided to do another one! This time, in addition to seeing what other people use as bookmarks, I turned to the found bookmarks box in the Columbia Public Library’s circulation department. Here is what I found.

I don’t know what this bookmark’s original use was, but it sure is adorable!

Bookmark

Eeee!!! So is this one!

Hand drawn bookmark

Navigating your future: an interactive journey to personal and academic success.

3 - Navigating Your Future

A vintage and well-loved bookmark.

Vintage bookmark

A tarot card, explaining the horseshoe spread.

Photo of a tarot card

Hot dog, I like this bookmark!Hot dog bookmark

Stephanie, in the CPL Circulation Department, pulled all of these sticky notes out of a used book that she bought.

Post-it notes left behind in a used book

Elf, of the CPL Children’s Team, loves her pompom bunny bookmark.

Bunny bookmark

Lauren, a CPL Librarian, uses this eco-friendly item as a bookmark.

Leaf used as a bookmark

If you enjoy seeing what people leave behind in books, then you will probably love the book “Forgotten Bookmarks” by Michael Popek. The author works at a family used bookstore by day, where he finds most of these treasures. If you’re not sold on this book, check out the author’s website to get an idea of what treasures he finds in old books.

Do you use something interesting as to keep your place in a book? Send us a picture of it!

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