Debut Author Spotlight: December

Posted on Friday, December 29, 2017 by Katherine

Our list of debut authors is very short this month as December is a quiet time of year for publishing. But quality over quantity, right?

Last Suppers book coverThe Last Suppers” by Mandy Mikulencak

As the daughter of a murdered warden Ginny Polk is familiar with the harsh realities of prison life in the 1950s. Still, as an adult she chooses to return to the Greenmount State Penitentiary in Louisiana, where her father worked, as the prison cook. There she struggles to make peace with her past while serving prisoners on death row their last meals—along with a little compassion and human kindness.

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Debut Author Spotlight: November

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Katherine

Here are the authors making their debuts this November. It’s a pretty sparse crowd as we head toward the end of the year, but there are still some fantastic books waiting to be discovered. I’m especially excited about “The City of Brass” by S. A. Chakraborty.

City of Brass book coverThe City of Brass” by S. A. Chakraborty

Con artist Nahri uses her wits and sleight of hand to survive the streets of 18th century Cairo. She gets by, by performing palm readings and healings, but she doesn’t believe in magic — that is, until she accidentally summons a mysterious djinn. Together they journey to Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, where Nahri is drawn into a world of magic and politics that she doesn’t understand and learns secrets about her past that change everything.

 

The Library at the Edge of the World” by Felicity Hayes-McCoyLibrary at the Edge of the World book cover

Set in the villages of Ireland’s West Coast, librarian Hanna Casey returns to the rural town she grew up in to rebuild her life after discovering her husband in bed with another woman. Even as she works to become independent, she finds herself at the center of gossip and her library is threatened with closure. So Hanna begins a battle to save the library and her community, along the way forging relationships with the neighbors she had worked so hard to keep at a distance.

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Debut Author Spotlight: October

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 by Katherine

Here’s a look at some of the most exciting books being published by first-time authors in November.

The Last Mrs. Parrish” by Liv ConstantineThe Last Mrs. Parrish book cover

Philanthropist Daphne Parrish and her husband Jackson live a life of wealth and power — the life that invisible Amber Patterson craves. Her envy of Daphne drives her determination to manipulate her way into the life she deserves. Amber insinuates herself into the family’s life, befriending their daughters and becoming Daphne’s friend and confidante all the while growing closer to Jackson. But when a part of her past is revealed, her carefully constructed plan threatens to crumble around her.

 

Mr. Dickens and His Carol book coverMr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva

In this charming imagining of how Dickens came to write “A Christmas Story,” Charles Dickens is having a difficult Christmas: his latest novel isn’t selling and his publishers are demanding that he write a Christmas story to keep them from losing money. Dickens reluctantly sets out to write the story, but finds he has no idea where to begin. A late night walk during which he encounters an unlikely muse brings back his Christmas spirit and sparks the inspiration he needs to write the holiday classic.

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Debut Author Spotlight: September

Posted on Friday, September 8, 2017 by Katherine

As we head into fall why not check out one of these books by brand-new authors? There’s something here for every reader.

Good me Bad me book cover

Good Me Bad Me” by Ali Land

After Annie Thompson turns in her own mother — a serial killer who preys on children — to the police, she creates a new identity for herself as Milly. But despite her name change, Milly struggles to leave her old life behind. As her mother’s trial draws nearer Milly tries to be the good person she wants to be, but is tormented by the voice of her mother in her head, urging her to give in to her dark side.

 

A Secret History of Witches” by Louisa MorganSecret History of Witches book cover

The gift of magic has been passed down from mother to daughter for centuries, but when Grand-mère Ursule dies magic seems to die with her. Still, her family continues to recite the spells and rituals that once contained power in an effort to preserve their craft and in the hope that one day the magic will return. Following five generations of Ursule’s family — from Brittany in 1821 to London in the middle of World War II — “A Secret History of Witches chronicles the family’s struggles to recover magic and change the course of history.

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Debut Author Spotlight: August

Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017 by Katherine

Several new authors are making their debuts this August. These books are sure to be a hit, so place your holds now!

See What I Have Done” by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done book cover

On August 4, 1892 Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were found brutally murdered. Lizzie was tried for the crime and acquitted, but although her guilt was widely assumed, there remains the possibility that she was innocent.

Focusing on the immediate time before and after the crime, “See What I Have Done” takes us into the heads of Lizzie, her sister Emma, their maid Bridget and a mysterious stranger named Benjamin. The dysfunctional relationships that existed within the Borden family spawned violence and hatred, and any of them may have had motive for murder. Schmidt takes the facts of the Borden case and re-imagines the infamous murder, casting doubt on the long held assumption that Lizzie Borden “took an ax and gave her father forty whacks.”

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Poverty Simulation

Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017 by Katherine

“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”                   — Nelson Mandela

Are you interested in learning about the realities of poverty in our community?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5% or 43.1 million people, which is a decrease of only 1.2% since 2014. Missouri currently has an estimated poverty rate of 15.6% or approximately 943,000 people living in poverty (American Fact Finder). In Columbia, that number is estimated at a shocking 24.4%, meaning that more than 28,000 people in Columbia are living below the poverty line (American Fact Finder).

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Upcycled T-Shirt Crafts

Posted on Friday, July 7, 2017 by Katherine

What better way to show a little love for the environment — and for crafting — than by turning something old into something new! Drop by Monday, July 10 between 6:30 and 8:30 in the Friends Room of the Columbia Public Library, where we’ll be upcycling t-shirts into fun crafts.

Bring a t-shirt you’d like to re-purpose (or help yourself to one of ours) and I’ll show you how to turn it into a shopping bag. Learn how to make fabric yarn out of t-shirts and old sheets. Fabric yarn can be used for dozens of different crafts, but Monday night we’ll be using it to create headbands, infinity scarves and even rag rugs if you have the time!

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Debut Author Spotlight: June/July

Posted on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 by Katherine

Here’s a look at some of the most exciting books being published by first-time authors in June and July.

The Waking Land book cover

The Waking Land” by Callie Bates (June)

After her father’s failed rebellion against Caeris’s conquering kingdom of Eren, young Elanna is taken hostage to ensure her father abandons his treasonous plans. Raised by her father’s enemy, King Antoine, Elanna grows to love him and loses almost all connection to her family and her country. But when someone poisons the king and frames Elanna, she finds herself forced into an uneasy alliance with her father and reconnects with the nature magic she’s spent years repressing.

The Windfall” by Diksha Basu (June)The Windfall book cover

A modern Indian family discovers how difficult it can be to keep up with the Chopras. Anil Jha sells his company and moves his family to an upscale neighborhood and away from their cramped, but close-knit apartment complex in East Delhi. Soon Anil finds himself struggling to keep up appearances through increasingly extravagant purchases while his wife, Bindu, struggles to adapt to her luxurious new surroundings. Also affected by the Jhas’ upward mobility are their son, Rupak, who is studying for his MBA in America and a young widow from their former neighborhood. Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: June/July”

American Red Cross Blood Drive

Posted on Friday, June 9, 2017 by Katherine

As parAmerican Red Cross logot of summer reading this year, the Columbia Public Library will be hosting a blood drive on Thursday, June 15, from noon-4:00 pm. Please drop by or make an appointment by visitng www.redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Your donation could save up to three lives and it only takes about 45 minutes.

If you’re planning on donating, you must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent) and feel healthy the day of. Avoid aspirin for 48 hours before you donate. And remember to eat healthy: don’t skip any meals, and drink plenty of fluids that day.

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Debut Author Spotlight: May

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2017 by Katherine

There’s a lot of new talent coming to shelves near you this month! Check out these promising works by debut authors.

The Scribe of SienaScribe of Siena book cover” by Melodie Winawer

While going through her brother’s Tuscany estate after his death, neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato is drawn into her brother’s research about the Black Death. She discovers the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, an artist who was at the heart of a 700-year-old plot to destroy the city of Siena.

Confronted by an image of her own face in one of his paintings, Beatrice is pulled back in medieval Italy only a few months before the plague sweeps across the country. And when Beatrice meets and falls in love with Accorsi, she is forced to decide in which century she truly belongs.

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