June Crafternoon: Macramé Necklace with Beads

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 by cs

two macrame necklaces with colored beadsBeads can be used in so many creative ways: art collages, clay tiles and jewelry to name a few. Beads are inexpensive, easy to find and come in so many colors and styles. This month’s Crafternoon is going to incorporate large beads to create an interesting macramé necklace.  Macramé is really just a series of knots and patterns — anyone can do it. Join us on June 17 at 2 p.m. in the Friends Room at Columbia Public Library to create your own piece of artistic jewelry. All supplies are provided.  Please register soon as these classes fill quickly. See you on the 17th!

For more ideas on DIY macramé, check out these library resources and CreativeBug our database on arts and crafts activities. View tons of creative ideas with instructional videos that are added to monthly. You will need your library card and pin (your birthdate in MMDDYYYY format) to use this database.

Our July Crafternoon will be on a Monday night and is based on a craft dating from the 15th century. Look for further details in the program guide, on our website and on social media.

Nonfiction Roundup: June 2023

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2023 by Liz

Below I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in June. All of the mentioned titles are available to put on hold in our catalog and will also be made available via the library’s Overdrive website on the day of publication in eBook and downloadable audiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog.

Top Picks

Pageboy by Elliot Page book coverPageboy: A Memoir” by Elliot Page (Jun 6)
Full of intimate stories, from chasing down secret love affairs to battling body image and struggling with familial strife, “Pageboy” is a love letter to the power of being seen. With this evocative and lyrical debut, Oscar-nominated star Elliot Page captures the universal human experience of searching for ourselves and our place in this complicated world. “Can I kiss you?” It was two months before the world premiere of Juno, and Elliot Page was in his first-ever queer bar. The hot summer air hung heavy around him as he looked at her. And then it happened. In front of everyone. A previously unfathomable experience. Here he was on the precipice of discovering himself as a queer person, as a trans person. Getting closer to his desires, his dreams, himself, without the repression he’d carried for so long. But for Elliot, two steps forward had always come with one step back. With Juno’s massive success, Elliot became one of the world’s most beloved actors. His dreams were coming true, but the pressure to perform suffocated him. He was forced to play the part of the glossy young starlet, a role that made his skin crawl, on and off set. The career that had been an escape out of his reality and into a world of imagination was suddenly a nightmare. As he navigated criticism and abuse from some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, a past that snapped at his heels, and a society dead set on forcing him into a binary, Elliot often stayed silent, unsure of what to do. Until enough was enough.

The In-Between by Hadley Vlahos book coverThe In-Between: Unforgettable Encounters During Life’s Final Moments” by Hadley Vlahos R.N. (Jun 13)
Talking about death and dying is considered taboo in polite company, and even in the medical field. Our ideas about dying are confusing at best: Will our memories flash before our eyes? Regrets consume our thoughts? Does a bright light appear at the end of a tunnel? For most people, it will be a slower process, one eased with preparedness, good humor, and a bit of faith. At the forefront of changing attitudes around palliative care is hospice nurse Hadley Vlahos, who shows that end-of-life care can teach us just as much about how to live as it does about how we die. Vlahos was raised in a strict religious household, but began questioning her beliefs in high school after the sudden death of a friend. When she got pregnant at nineteen, she was shunned by her community and enrolled herself in nursing school to be able to support herself and her baby. But nursing soon became more than a job: when she focused on palliative care and hospice work, it became a calling. In “The In-Between,” Vlahos recounts the most impactful experiences she’s had with the people she’s worked with — from the woman who never once questioned her faith until she was close to death, to the older man seeing visions of his late daughter, to the young patient who laments that she spent too much of her short life worrying about what others thought of her — while also sharing her own fascinating journey. Written with profound insight, humility, and respect, “The In-Between” is a heartrending memoir that shows how caring for others can transform a life while also offering wisdom and comfort for those dealing with loss and providing inspiration for how to live now.

The Art Thief by Michael Finkle book coverThe Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession” by Michael Finkel (Jun 27)
For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than 200 heists over nearly eight years — in museums and cathedrals all over Europe — Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than 300 objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion. In “The Art Thief,” Michael Finkel brings us into Breitwieser’s strange and fascinating world. Unlike most thieves, Breitwieser never stole for money. Instead, he displayed all his treasures in a pair of secret rooms where he could admire them to his heart’s content. Possessed by remarkable athleticism and an innate ability to circumvent practically any security system, Breitwieser managed to pull off a breathtaking number of audacious thefts. Yet these strange talents bred a growing disregard for risk and an addict’s need to score, leading Breitwieser to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to stop — until one final act of hubris brought everything crashing down. This is a riveting story of art, crime, love, and an insatiable hunger to possess beauty at any cost.

More Notable Releases for June

New DVD List: All Quiet on the Western Front & More

Posted on Friday, June 2, 2023 by Decimal Diver

Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.

All Quiet on the Western Front DVD cover
Website / Reviews 
This 2022 dramatic film tells the gripping story of a young German soldier on the Western Front of World War I. Teenager Paul Bäumer and his friends voluntarily enlist in the German army, riding a wave of patriotic fervor that quickly dissipates once they face the brutal realities of life on the front. This academy award winning film from director Edward Berger is based on the 1929 novel of the same nameContinue reading “New DVD List: All Quiet on the Western Front & More”

Reader Review: This Place: 150 Years Retold

Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 by patron reviewer

This Place: 150 Retold book coverI read “This Place: 150 Years Retold” back in June, and it has stayed with me every day since. It is a graphic short story collection by and about the indigenous peoples of Canada. While their history and struggles are not the same as those who live in the US, it is still a powerful and, often, painful reminder of what indigenous people have had to go through for hundreds of years. The foreword mentions that people are always worrying about the apocalypse, while native communities are already living in one. I can honestly say this book and these stories changed my worldview for the better.

Three words that describe this book: Moving. Powerful. Educational.

You might want to pick this book up if: You want to learn more about native indigenous communities, are politically active and/or are interested in social movements.


This reader review was previously submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Reader Review: The Devil and the Dark Water

Posted on Monday, May 29, 2023 by patron reviewer

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton book coverThe Devil and the Dark Water” is a thoroughly satisfying mystery. Lots of moving parts but most of them come together in an exciting way by the conclusion. (There were, definitely, a few things that remained feeling unsettled or unresolved, but I can forgive that in a story this complex.) I also was often left confused by the characters/names or their roles on a ship. That many of these ended up meeting dark fates did eventually make it easier to track.

Regardless, there is wit and cunning aplenty here. As the tension mounts and our heroes seem to be facing almost insurmountable peril, I was left unable to conceive of a compelling way for the events to conclude. Fortunately, Turton is cleverer than I!

Three words that describe this book: Twisty, Intense, Mysterious

You might want to pick this book up if: you appreciate Sherlock-style crimes and deductive solutions.


This reader review was previously submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Women vs. The Void

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2023 by Karena

Literature’s contemplation of the banality of existence was once a male-dominated field… but not anymore! If you are interested in narratives of women wading through dread and anxiety, who seek meaning and intimacy in strange, desperate, and painfully human ways, you have a breadth of material to choose from. Here are four books I’ve enjoyed concerning that continued struggle: women vs. the void.

The New Me by Halle Butler book cover

Halle Butler is a terrifyingly talented writer of feel-bad fiction. I picked up “The New Me” after reading her first novel, “Jillian” (which, arguably, deserves a place on this list, but I chose the more redemptive of the two). This is the story of 30-year-old Millie, an unfulfilled temp worker living alone in Chicago. When she’s not shredding documents and answering phones, she’s hanging out with her awful friend Sarah, or watching “Forensic Files.” Frequently, she’s struck by a powerful feeling of optimism; an urge towards self-reinvention that inspires her to vacuum, or scream, or go online shopping for stylish outfits she will wear to the respectable full-time job she is sure she will have someday, if only life would show her a little kindness…

“I get socked in the chest, thinking about how things never change. How they’re on a slow-rolling slope downward, and you can think up a long list of things you’d rather do, but because of some kind of inertia, or hard facts about who you are and what life is, you always end up back where you started, sitting drunk on a hard, sticky chair with someone you hate.”

I rooted for Millie, I was repelled by Millie, and through it all I felt a real tenderness for this weary, hopeful soul (Thank you, Halle Butler. I await your next novel eagerly, and with dread). Continue reading “Women vs. The Void”

Art in the Park, Juneteenth & More Celebrations

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 by Sew Happy

Summer is unofficially here! We are swinging into the season and our communities are pulling together for a variety of different celebrations. These festivals often include art shows or vendor areas where artists get to display their artwork, like paintings, sculptures and photos. There are sometimes live performances as well. Our region hosts a number of art festivals and I’d like to introduce you to several of them, then also share a bit of resources we have regarding fine art.

Art in the Park, Columbia, Missouri — Columbia Art LeagueComing up on June 3-4 at Stephens Lake Park is Art in the Park, hosted by the Columbia Art League. Art in the Park, which originated in 1959, has become a cherished tradition and the largest fine arts festival in mid-Missouri. This annual event attracts talented artists from all corners of the United States, showcasing an impressive array of artistic mediums such as painting, drawing, photography, pottery, jewelry, fibers, sculpture, woodwork and glasswork. Continue reading “Art in the Park, Juneteenth & More Celebrations”

Reader Review: You

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2023 by patron reviewer

You by Caroline Kepnes book coverBoy sees girl. Boy likes girl. Boy stalks girl and conveniently works his way to being her ideal mate. A few snags/red flags show, and their relationship becomes toxic and fatal. I saw the Netflix series before reading the book it was based on, “You” by Caroline Kepnes, and kept saying to myself as I was reading, ‘Oh, the book’s version of this is better!’ As it should be.

Three words that describe this book: Bone-chilling. Sexy. Addicting.

You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoyed the show on Netflix.



This reader review was previously submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Reader Review: This Is Your Mind on Plants

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2023 by patron reviewer

This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan book coverThis Is Your Mind on Plants” tells the story of psychoactive drugs derived from plants through two approaches: research-based journalism/history and experiential memoir. It focuses on three chemicals (opium, caffeine and mescaline) and the plants that make them as a way of exploring the larger history and meaning of our use of plants medicinally, spiritually and recreationally.

I enjoyed author Michael Pollan’s sense of humor and ability to make complex ideas approachable. I also appreciated that he maintained a healthy skepticism towards all views of consciousness-changing drugs, suspicious of both those who exploit them and those who seek to totally prohibit their use.

The discussion of caffeine was particularly interesting because so few people conceptualize it as a psychoactive, habit-forming drug now, but it was incredibly controversial whenever it was introduced to a part of the world where it had not been known before. Pollan tied the specific history of coffee to wider subjects such as colonialism and industrialization, making compelling arguments that they were inextricably tied together.

The author narrates the audiobook version and does an excellent job of it, taking a straightforward, conversational tone that underscores the social and emotional realities present in the historical and scientific data.

Three words that describe this book: informative, thought-provoking, surprising

You might want to pick this book up if: you are interested in social history from the 1700s to the present day and the ways in which views of drugs have changed over time.



This reader review was previously submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Learn More About our Lifelong Learning Resources

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 by Sew Happy

It being Spring, I’m digging and planting in my small garden out front of my condo. Past owners’ work shows up in the hostas that I’ve just about killed off (I don’t like them), in the misshapen Rose of Sharon bushes, in the landscaping fabric laid down possibly a decade ago and which I am pulling out as it gets in my way. Each year I put down more mulch to try to fight back the weeds, yet we still only have about three inches of sort-of-good soil over the clay backfill and it’s amazing how quickly the mulch breaks back down into lifeless dust. I’ve only had a butterfly plant thrive out there, and that only because it is planted up against the composter. So I am learning how to better garden this year.

There is information about native plants that thrive and soil-building here at the library, in our books, and also in our online resources. I’ve also used our library for a deep dive into travel writing, something I want to try this Summer. There are some great classes on photography, both for my travel writing and also for how to get great images for selling vintage online, maybe on Etsy. Do you have that sort of curiosity, always exploring and learning? Personally, I think no one should ever stop investigating the things they love. This is known as lifelong learning and is a handy skill for an adult to develop.

An elderly Black man in a blue sweater using a digital tabletLifelong learning is broadly defined as the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Library folk are usually passionate about providing you, our patrons, with as many opportunities for learning as possible. We love to share new offerings with you! Come up to any public service desk and we will help you find the best resources for your quest.

Continue reading “Learn More About our Lifelong Learning Resources”