On a dark and stormy October night, a group of travelers find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere after their van breaks down. Fortunately, they realize they are just down the street from a library. The library surely has a phone they can use to call for help.
Entering the library, they are greeted by its librarian, who introduces herself as Elsie. She welcomes them to make themselves at home, but warns that with the stormy weather the power is out and phones aren’t working. A few lanterns throughout barely light the space. The dark library is spooky and Elsie seems nervous and on edge, but with the storm raging, the travelers decide it will be safer to stay. Continue reading “Escape the Haunted Library!”
Book I Listened To: “NOS4A2” by Joe Hill
Why I Checked It Out: I’ve listened to a couple of other books by Hill and enjoyed his storytelling — a blend of fantasy and suspense, with a touch of horror. I also recently listened to his book “The Fireman,” which was also narrated by Kate Mulgrew and I fell in love with the way she reads a story (more on that later!). Continue reading “Staff Book Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill”
The dog days of summer are upon us, and I can’t think of a better way to spend them than with a good book. Sometimes, though, finding that good read can feel next to impossible. We at the library are always happy to help you solve your “what-to-read-next blues,” and so we are especially excited to invite you to a special Book Buzz event this Saturday, July 15 at 1 p.m. in the Friends Room at the Columbia Public Library.
Stop by the Book Buzz for a number of ways you can discover your next great read: Continue reading “Book Buzz: Finding Your Next Great Read!”
Images and stories of refugees fleeing war-torn nations are haunting and have unfortunately become a fairly regular sight in our news. The journeys these displaced people find themselves on are perilous and traumatic and for some, even deadly. Once they manage to arrive in their sanctuary countries, settling into a place where the language and cultures are different can be tremendously challenging. Continue reading “Center Aisle Cinema and Discussion With Refugee and Immigration Services”
Book I Read: “Company of Liars” by Karen Maitland
Why I Checked It Out: I regularly read from a variety of genres and had a craving for something historical. I hadn’t visited the Middle Ages lately during my literary travels, so it seemed like I was due for a visit. The mix of religion and superstition that were such driving factors in people’s lives during that time period fascinates me, and I’m also intrigued by the day-to-day challenges people faced in a world that lacked the modern day conveniences I take for granted. In my search for a Medieval tale, I stumbled across Karen Maitland’s book, which was billed as a take on Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” It seemed like just the thing to cure my reading craving. Continue reading “Staff Book Review: Company of Liars by Karen Maitland”
It has been 100 years since his birth, but John F. Kennedy remains a popular historic figure. People are fascinated with his privileged upbringing and the complicated politics of his presidency. His abbreviated life continues to inspire books, televisions series and movies. If you’re interested in reading more about this man who managed to leave a lasting mark on this country despite his short life, the library offers a large selection of interesting titles.
Before he was president, Kennedy showed promise as a leader when PT 109, the torpedo boat he served on, was downed by a Japanese Destroyer in the South Pacific. The ship’s surviving crew was stranded on an island, and Kennedy risked his life several times, swimming miles through the ocean in search of both food and escape from the island. “PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy” by William Doyle explores how Kennedy’s experience shaped him from a spoiled, wealthy youth into his destiny as the inspirational war hero who beat the odds to win the presidency. Continue reading “Remembering Our Fellow American, John F. Kennedy”
Today, April 19, marks the anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War. The war was long, lasting over 8 years. Countless lives throughout the colonies were affected by those seemingly endless years of fighting as the new nation came into being. The Revolutionary War years were filled with drama, so it is not surprising how many fiction titles are set during that time. Here are some novels at the library that readers who enjoy historical fiction may want to explore:
“America’s First Daughter” by Stephanie Dray: we’ve heard stories about our Founding Fathers, but what about the rest of their families? Dray’s book offers a fictionalized look into the life of Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph. Patsy was close to her father and served as a stand-in First Lady to her widowed father. Dray’s book, which is based on letters and historical documents, follows Patsy’s journey from Monticello to Paris and ultimately to the White House, and offers insight into the personal sacrifices she made in order to help her father achieve the presidency. Continue reading “Revolutionary War Fiction”
In March of 1969 the literary world was changed forever by Mario Puzo’s book “The Godfather.” Gangster stories were not a completely new idea, but Puzo’s take on the story offered a glimpse at life on the inside of a New York City crime family. Readers were enthralled with the drama surrounding the legendary Don Vito Corleone and his sons. The book inspired what many would say is one of the greatest movies of all time, and its influence can be seen more recently in one of the most popular television series of all time. Here are a few mafia-related titles available at the library. Continue reading “Beyond The Godfather: Gangster Fiction at the Library”
Each year the National Women’s History Project chooses a theme for Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” Over the last century, women saw much change and progress in many areas of their lives, but especially in employment. As men went off to war and women pursued higher education, doors that were previously shut flew open. It was not an easy societal transition, and many women have had to fight for equality in their workplaces. The efforts of these 20th century revolutionaries ended up improving working conditions for everyone and demonstrated that woman can take on any type of job.
Many women entered the U.S. workforce during the 1960s, but they often obtained jobs that offered little or no advancement. In order to reach equality in the workplace with men, some women began turning to the judicial system for help. For example, Lynn Povich’s “The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace” tells the true story of a group of women who lead the first female class action lawsuit against their employer for discrimination in hiring and promotions based on gender. Povich examines the lawsuit and the various repercussions it had on the lives of the women involved. Continue reading “Literary Links: Women’s History in the Work World”
Book I Read: “The Wonder” by Emma Donoghue
Why I Checked It Out: The author already has one critically-acclaimed book under her belt (“Room”) so I was curious to see if she had created another. The story features a nurse who trained under Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War, so it promised to deliver a strong female protagonist, which is another factor that drew me to it. And lastly, it contained an element of mystery, which I figured would be sure to pull me in. Continue reading “Staff Book Review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue”