The Gentleman Recommends: Joe Mungo Reed

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 by Chris

Like most gentlemen, I traverse the thoroughfares of my city via the most elegant means: the humble old-timey unicycle (or penny-farthing, if you prefer). (The modern one-wheel unicycle is a circus performer’s tool: fine for agitating depressed exotic animals, but certainly not an elegant way of traversing the boulevards between peer’s parlors and unicycle repair shops.) Sure, strong crosswinds and gawking motorists present hazards, but one large wheel, one ridiculously tiny wheel, two pedals, a steering apparatus, a medium-sized handheld bell, and, should you require luxury, a seat, are all one needs to travel in style and in possession of the higher moral ground. Armed with this obvious truth, it’s to be expected that I turn a skeptical eye on bicycles. Two wheels, sure, but making them the same size is downright ostentatious, and you do not need me to explain why. So gentleman rec-heads (what my fans refer to themselves as, I assume), may be surprised to find me recommending a book so tied to a device that replaced so many unicycles in the homes of undiscerning pedalists. But, first, look at that author’s name: Joe Mungo Reed. There are three names, two of them are mundane, and one of them is Mungo. It makes for a quailty name. It’s fun to say. Mungo.

We Begin out Ascent book coverAlso, the book is really good, even if, as this positive review points out, Joe Mungo Reed doesn’t always nail cycling parlance, and as my positive recommendation currently points out, he never pays tribute or even mentions a penny-farthing or old-timey unicycle despite there being, at times, dozens of cyclists in his scenes, at which point any one of them could organically say something like, “While I’m being sufficiently transported by this racing bicycle I am currently riding, I’d be remiss if I failed to pay tribute to the first excellent two-wheel vehicle, the penny-farthing, or, if you prefer (and I do), the humble old-timey unicycle. Now there was an apparatus upon which one could travel elegantly!” Clearly such dialogue would have enhanced the novel (and it’s up for grabs if Joe Mungo Reed is compelled to produce a sequel), but there is still much to recommend the book.

Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Joe Mungo Reed”

LibraryReads: September 2018

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2018 by Kat

Library Reads logoSeptember’s LibraryReads list is here! In this edition we have some heartwarming romance, historical fiction, satire, some suspense and even a cozy, bookish mystery. Take a look, and get ready to place holds on these librarian favorites for September:


Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating book coverJosh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren

“Hazel is the eccentric, exuberant friend who’ll make you fall in love with her, and she’s not interested in being ‘dateable.’ Josh is busy being a workaholic, trying to make a long distance relationship work, and not pursuing romance with anyone else. But when his sister’s best friend Hazel blows back into his life, he is powerless to resist her genuine joie de vivre. If you’re looking for your next perfect read after The Kiss Quotient, look no further! A lovely slow burn.”
~Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI Continue reading “LibraryReads: September 2018”

Nonfiction Roundup: September 2018

Posted on Monday, September 3, 2018 by Kirk

Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released this September. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.


Leadership book cover

Having researched and written about Presidents for decades, it is fair to say that Doris Kearns Goodwin knows what it takes to be a good leader. In “Leadership: In Turbulent Times,” she draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely — Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson — to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. A very good distillation of all things related to leadership.

Small Fry book coverLisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter of artist Chrisann Brennan and Apple founder Steve Jobs, relates her fascinating childhood in “Small Fry.” With a rapidly changing Silicon Valley as the background, this memoir takes a fascinating trip through the ’70s and ’80s and focuses on the authors complicated relationship with her father, one of the richest, most driven men in the world. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: September 2018”

Debut Author Spotlight: August 2018

Posted on Monday, August 27, 2018 by Katherine

Summer reading may be over, but don’t let that stop you from checking out these books by debut authors. Please visit our catalog for a complete list of titles.

Vox book coverVox” by Christina Dalcher

A governmental decree that women will now be limited to no more than 100 words per day is just the beginning. Fitted with wristbands that tally their words and provide shocks for overage, soon women aren’t allowed to have jobs and girls are not taught to read or write. More restrictions follow.

Dr. Jean McClellan was a highly recognized cognitive linguist before the government began restricting women’s rights. But when the President’s brother suffers an accident that impairs his brain’s speech functions, Jean is given back some of her freedom — and her voice — to work on a cure. And now that she has her voice back, Jean will stop at nothing to keep herself, her daughter and women everywhere from ever being silenced again.


How Are You Going to Save Yourself” by J.M. HolmesHow are you going to save yourself book cover

A coming of age tale for a group of young black men — Gio, Rolls, Rye and Dub — as they navigate being black in America. Gio recounts his friends’ highs and lows as they make their way into adulthood. There’s Gio, who has the best prospects as he attends Cornell. Then there’s Rolls, who pursues a career as a painter. Rye, failing to achieve his dreams of playing for the NFL, becomes a firefighter. And Dub moves around aimlessly as he tries to find his way.

This novel is an unflinchingly honest look at the realities of race, class and family in America.

Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: August 2018”

The Gentleman Recommends: Sergio de la Pava (again)

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 by Chris

Sometimes you read a book that’s so good you want to recommend it every month, or at least quarterly. (But then you reflect on the swarms of rabid library blog readers and their hunger for fresh recommendations and the quiet disappointment they would feel should the same recommendation with slightly different wording and a varying quantity of references to the recommender’s fondness for snacks and monocles be what greets them as they enthusiastically “ask Jeeves” to retrieve the latest recommendation from “that book recommending gentleman,” and the recommender realizes, variety, even when what varies pales in comparison, can be useful, particularly in diets and reading material, and so you do the noble thing, and recommend a different author, at least until the author of that astounding novel you want to constantly recommend writes another book deserving of the recommender’s unhinged enthusiasm.) “A Naked Singularity” the first novel by Sergio de la Pava is such a book. Fortunately, his third novel, “Lost Empress,” is similarly magnificent, and so now I can recommend it and him again.

Lost Empress Book coverDevoted DBRL blog readers will no doubt remember de la Pava’s bio, and thus how massively deserving he is of his talents and success, but I will deliver a brief version: he is a public defender in New York, and he writes big, brilliant novels when he’s not publicly defending people for a slim fraction of what he could make if he was privately defending corporations. Given that he is a public defender, it’s logical that the justice system plays a large role in his fiction, and it’s even more logical that he would enumerate on the horrifying injustice that dominates our justice system. What might not seem logical is how his enumerations on injustice could be simultaneously compelling, hilarious and heartbreaking. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Sergio de la Pava (again)”

Assigned Books You Hated (or Never Finished): Read Harder 2018

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2018 by Dana S

apple book plant fruit flower food red produce color still life painting education close up apples school macro photography knowledge flowering plant rose family still life photography computer wallpaper land plantSummer reading is coming to a close here at the library and back to school season is just around the corner. I find myself thinking back to my high school days and how this is the exact time where I’d be playing last-minute catch-up on those pesky books assigned for the new school year. Those books assigned back in May? Yeah, those will get read eventually — I’ve got fun reading to do first! This August, I find myself in the same predicament. I’ve already completed most of my most enjoyable or “easy” tasks for the Read Harder Challenge, and I’m beginning to tackle some of the more difficult ones. For obvious reasons, I’d been dreading task 24: An assigned book you hated or never finished. Rereading loathed literature feels like punishment, but at best, the task may help you gain a new appreciation for the book. So in the spirit of the season, here are some books people are commonly assigned in school, and may have hated or left unfinished. Note: This task is super subjective and not intended to offend anyone’s personal tastes!
Continue reading “Assigned Books You Hated (or Never Finished): Read Harder 2018”

Literary Links: Killers of the Flower Moon

Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2018 by Eric

Killers of the Flower Moon book coverMany different cultural and historical threads intersect in David Grann’s outstanding work of investigative history, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The rich combination of subjects, page-turning story and quality writing makes this book an excellent choice this year for One Read, Daniel Boone Regional Library’s community-wide reading program.

“Killers of the Flower Moon” is about a little-known chapter in American history when members of the Osage Nation ranked among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The discovery of oil beneath the Oklahoma land where they had been relocated led to immense wealth. But, by the 1920s, the tribe had suffered a series of mysterious deaths and outright murders that attracted the attention of a nascent FBI. Grann traces the course of the investigation and uncovers further information about this dark episode in American history. If you have already read and enjoyed Grann’s book, the following titles might interest you as well. Continue reading “Literary Links: Killers of the Flower Moon”

Reader Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2018 by patron reviewer

Children of Blood and Bone book coverChildren of Blood and Bone” is a stunning YA debut from Tomi Adayemi. The book takes readers into an alt-West Africa, where magic users have been repressed into near-extinction by a brutal monarch. Zélie Adebola might be her peoples’ last hope, but she’ll need the help of a princess-gone-rogue. Too bad the princess’s rogue brother is out for her blood.

This book flies by in a flurry of quick pacing and excellent world development. Despite being a fairly standard hero’s journey, complete with magical MacGuffins, the unique setting and well-developed characters keep it fresh. But be warned: this book is brutal. People die. Children die. There’s more than one torture scene. Every time our heroes take a breath, a new tragedy comes crashing down. And it ends on a cliffhanger — please come soon, book two!

Three words that describe this book: Brutal, diverse, gripping

You might want to pick this book up if: You’ve got a strong stomach and you want to support Black voices in YA.


August 2018 LibraryReads

Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by Kat

Library Reads logo

The heat gives us the perfect excuse to sit inside and read, and with these new titles, I can think of nothing else I’d rather be doing. August brings us sci-fi, crime fiction, magic and love, among other things. Check out this month’s LibraryReads: the top 10 books librarians across the country recommend.

Vox book coverVox
by Christina Dalcher

“In the future world depicted in ‘Vox,’ women are limited to speaking 100 words per day. Readers will want to shout every word in their heads, hoard every book in their libraries and second guess the words of every person in their lives. A captivating, timely book that explores women’s rights in a fast-paced, compelling story.”
~Jennifer Gaenzle, Fort Fairfield Public Library, Fort Fairfield, ME Continue reading “August 2018 LibraryReads”