Know Your Dystopias: Speculative Nonfiction

Posted on Monday, October 21, 2019 by Eric

The August 19, 2019 edition of “High Country News,” the award-winning magazine that has been reporting on the American West since 1970, reported the news for 2068. Conceding that “Global warming is a human-caused phenomenon that exceeds the human capacity for understanding” the editorial staff decided to try"Soonish" book cover an imaginative experiment and publish an issue of “speculative journalism.” For the issue, writers read research papers, interviewed scientists and used the projections of the Fourth National Climate Assessment as a starting point. Each piece imagines what the West would look like 50 years from the release of that climate assessment.

The cover story for the September 23, 2019 issue of “Time Magazine” dedicated to climate change is titled, “Hello From the Year 2050. We Avoided the Worst of Climate Change — But Everything Is Different.” In it, Bill McKibben writes a report from the future that suggests a path for hope, but not without significant loss and disruption.  Continue reading “Know Your Dystopias: Speculative Nonfiction”

Debut Author Spotlight: October 2019

Posted on Friday, October 18, 2019 by Katherine

Here are just a few of the books by debut authors that are being published this October. As our long-awaited fall weather moves in, these are best enjoyed curled up under a blanket with a hot beverage and the furry animal of your choice. For a longer list, don’t forget to visit our catalog.

Library of the Unwritten book coverThe Library of the Unwritten” by A. J. Hackwith

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing — a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell … and Earth. Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: October 2019”

Tree Affection

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by Ida

autumn trees and threatening cloudsI have five older siblings. Yet it wasn’t until I came along that my parents had to create specific rules around tree climbing and how high was too high. A line of trees stood along the border of our modest back yard. I loved to scramble up in their branches and gaze out on my surroundings. My love of trees never waned, though I haven’t climbed one lately. Here’s a book list for my fellow enthusiasts. Continue reading “Tree Affection”

The Gentleman Recommends: Brian Evenson

Posted on Monday, October 14, 2019 by Chris

As the nights get longer and colder, readers often crave books that remind them of the many terrors thriving in the dark. Such readers have likely read dozens of books about ghosts, draculas and biting corpses, but it’s possible they’ve never read about a detective who, after removing his hand to get out of a sticky situation, is essentially kidnapped by a cult composed of folk who love to lop of portions of their body. These practitioners of unnecessary amputations believe one becomes more holy with each part one removes, and while there’s debate about whether it’s fair to count the removal of two fingers as two amputations, their biggest problem, other than their shared psychosis and the damage it’s inflicted to their bodies, is a crime they need solved. So when they hear about the detective who performed his own amputation and cauterization, they’re convinced he’s the man for the job. Even for a book about a cult that cuts each other’s body parts off, there’s quite a few body parts getting sawed off, but there’s also a lot of dark, ultra-dry humor. If you need your reads not to unsettle your stomach and to answer the bulk of your questions, this book (“Last Days” by Brian Evenson) may not be for you. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Brian Evenson”

Bestsellers Through the Decades: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of DBRL

Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2019 by Dana S

black and white photo of Columbia Public Library, 1972

In 1959, several mid-Missouri library districts formed the Daniel Boone Regional Library (DBRL) system. Our early collection contained 51,839 printed books and 280,940 items were checked out annually. 60 years later, DBRL continues to serve Boone and Callaway Counties with libraries in Ashland, Columbia, Fulton and Holts Summit. The bookmobile visits other communities in the two-county area, and our Book Bike and Book Rover can often be seen at local events. Across these branches, the DBRL system now houses 403,871 printed books. Changing technology has brought new formats like eBooks and audiobooks. With this expansion of services, the number of annual check-outs has climbed to 2,318,218. To celebrate our anniversary, we’re highlighting some titles that have continued to fly off the shelves over the years. Continue reading “Bestsellers Through the Decades: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of DBRL”

The Notorious R.B.G.

Posted on Friday, October 11, 2019 by Alyssa

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a cultural icon, and it is easy to see why. RBG has pioneered the rights of women for the entirety of her impressive career. Also, if having a designated dissent collar isn’t iconic, I don’t know what is. First in her class at Cornell and Harvard (undergraduate and law school, respectively), Ginsburg faced discrimination and was constantly underestimated. Through her tenacity, intelligence, and work ethic, she worked her way up in the justice system, winning several victories for equality along the way. RBG is a fun figure to study, and luckily we have several materials about the esteemed Supreme Court Justice in our collection.  Continue reading “The Notorious R.B.G.”

Nonfiction Roundup: October 2019

Posted on Monday, October 7, 2019 by Liz

Welcome back to another post for our monthly nonfiction roundup! We have several exciting new titles coming out in October. Check our catalog for a more extensive list.

Top Picks

The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson
In the bestselling, prize-winning “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” Bill Bryson achieved the seemingly impossible by making the science of our world both understandable and entertaining to millions of people around the globe. Now he turns his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories, “The Body” is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. This book will have you marveling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: October 2019”

50th Anniversary: Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Posted on Friday, October 4, 2019 by Liz

Monty Python's Flying Circus

And now for something completely different.

October 5 marks the 50th anniversary of when the first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on television in 1969. Monty Python is a British surreal comedy group. The television show was conceived, written and performed by its members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Besides the television show, there were several well known movies made by the Monty Python group. To learn more about Monty Python check out the suggestions below. You can also find a more extensive list on our catalog. Continue reading “50th Anniversary: Monty Python’s Flying Circus”