Helping Kids Understand Dementia

Posted on Friday, December 8, 2023 by Ida

I first heard of Alzheimer’s disease at age thirteen, when my father’s uncle moved in with my grandmother, next door to us. We quickly realized why he could no longer live alone. His diminishing memory meant he needed someone to remind him how to dress for the weather and when it was time to brush his teeth. If my grandmother needed to run errands, someone from my household would stay with her brother to keep him safe.

Many kids have relationships with grandparents or other adults who are experiencing some form of dementia. It can be a confusing situation for a child, wondering why the grownup they love can’t do the same things anymore or why they ask the same questions over and over. As with so many of life’s struggles, books can help. Continue reading “Helping Kids Understand Dementia”

Q&A With Kennon Sheldon, Author of “Freely Determined”

Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 by Decimal Diver

Kennon Sheldon and the cover of his book: Freely Determined

Kennon Sheldon is a Columbia, MO author whose latest book is “Freely Determined: What the New Psychology of the Self Teaches Us About How to Live.” In the book he argues the case for free will from a psychological perspective, and also draws on research into motivation and goal setting as a guide to how we might use our freedom wisely. Sheldon is professor of psychology at the University of Missouri. One of the founding researchers of positive psychology, he researches in the areas of well-being, motivation, self-determination theory, personality and positive psychology. He was kind enough to take the time to be interviewed via email.

Continue reading “Q&A With Kennon Sheldon, Author of “Freely Determined””

Nonfiction Roundup: December 2023

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2023 by Liz

Below I’m highlighting some of the last nonfiction books coming out this year in December. 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

The Lost Tomb by Douglas Preston book coverThe Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder” by Douglas Preston (Dec 5)
What’s it like to be the first to enter an Egyptian burial chamber that’s been sealed for thousands of years? Where might a blocked doorway or newly excavated corridor lead? And what might this stupendous tomb reveal about the most powerful pharaoh in Egyptian history? From the jungles of Honduras to macabre archaeological sites in the American Southwest, Douglas Preston’s journalistic explorations have taken him across the globe. He broke the story of an extraordinary mass grave of animals killed by the asteroid impact that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, he explored what lay hidden in the booby-trapped Money Pit on Oak Island, and he roamed the haunted hills of Italy in search of the Monster of Florence. When he hasn’t been co-authoring bestselling thrillers featuring FBI Agent Pendergast, Preston has been writing about some of the world’s strangest and most dramatic mysteries. “The Lost Tomb” brings together an astonishing and compelling collection of true stories about buried treasure, enigmatic murders, lost tombs, bizarre crimes, and other fascinating tales of the past and present. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: December 2023”

Leftovers? No Problem!

Posted on Friday, December 1, 2023 by Sew Happy

Holiday meals are supposed to leave foods in the refrigerator for other meals. Plentiful leftovers. In my family, it’s for grazing when you come back to the same meal later to have a bit more of something and another slice of pie. The next day is often sandwiches and sides and the third day is soup with anything else left being stuffed into freezer bags and stored until it gets freezer burned and is guiltily tossed.

Unfortunately, this is frequently the experience of my daily meals as well. I’m trying to do better. How about you? Would you like to come on an exploration of our collection to find some new favorite ways to serve those leftovers? Continue reading “Leftovers? No Problem!”

Happy Birthday Madeline L’Engle

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 by MaggieM

Book covers for several M. L'Engle books

Madeleine L’Engle Camp was born on November 29, 1918. She would be 105 today. You may know her name from her most famous book, “A Wrinkle in Time,” first published in 1962. The smart and awkward protagonist, Meg, was a beacon of hope for my adolescent self. It was not only okay to be smart and awkward, but that maybe smart, strange girls were just what the world needed to survive. Continue reading “Happy Birthday Madeline L’Engle”

Friendsgiving Baking

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2023 by Michael M

This year was my first Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving celebrated with friends, typically potluck style). I moved to Missouri at the end of 2022, right before the winter holidays, and it didn’t work out to visit family for Thanksgiving this year. Given how much I love to bake, and specifically love to overindulge in baking, I thought I would try a few new recipes this year from books at my local library!

Author’s note: I wrote the above section before actually doing any of the baking, and oh, I was so excited, so naïve. A generally accepted rule of thumb is not to try new things for Thanksgiving, and especially don’t try lots of new recipes in a single day. I broke both those rules, and suffered for it.

Cover of "All About Cookies" by Christina TosiOriginally, my goal was to make recipes out of at least two books, but as I figured out what I would have time for, I ended up deciding on three recipes out of Christina Tosi’s “All About Cookies,” which came recommended by a coworker. I made the Chipless Wonders, the Grasshopper Pie Bars and the Peanut Butter S’mores Bars. Continue reading “Friendsgiving Baking”

Songs for the In-Between III

Posted on Friday, November 24, 2023 by Karena

Here are the CDs that have been soundtracking my drives for the past couple of months — AKA the songs of my in-betweens. 🙂

Troye Sivan “Something to Give Each Other”

When to Listen: When longing and love, curiosity and chemistry, seem like arbitrary distinctions — whatever it is, isn’t it enough just to know how it flutters through the stomach, how it blankets the mind?  Troye Sivan "Something to Give Each Other" Album Cover

Feels Like: A release of tension, a softening of the gaze. A sudden bloom of new energy.

Favorite Lyrics: “I’m right on top of this groove / But, God, I wish it was you” (“What’s the Time Where You Are?”)

From the Artist: “You know, when you’re cuddled up to someone that you met a few hours prior and you’re really enjoying that moment, that’s not fake. It’s just different. And I got such joy and such a pleasure out of these quick encounters that can totally, totally fulfill you. So that’s ultimately where the album title came into it, was me realizing that everyone has something to offer each other, and something to give each other” (NPR). Continue reading “Songs for the In-Between III”

Read the Recipe! Local Author Flavor

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 by Jason Delpire

Okay, a bit of a confession: sometimes even library staff are unaware of the breadth of the library’s collection.

A few weeks ago (November 4, 2023), DBRL hosted a Local Authors Open House. (This is a fun program where we give space for local authors to gather, sell their books and talk to readers. We will absolutely be doing this again so keep your eye out for the next installment.) As I was walking around the authors’ tables, I saw one of the authors had a cookbook on display. Of course, I was interested so I made a note of it. Later, I checked the catalog and found we had a copy.

For A Time Such as This by Sarah Kohnle book cover

The book was “For Such A Time As This: Flavors and Recipes of My Honduras” by Sarah Kohnle with Heidy Gissela Lanza Baca. Local author writes a cookbook and the guy writing about cookbooks hasn’t written about it? Ugh. *facepalm*

So, to rectify this oversight, I checked the book out and will share my thoughts. I was pleasantly surprised.

First, the book is bilingual! Each section of text is in Spanish and English; from the personal stories to the recipes, I really enjoyed this aspect. The recipes, covering what I assume to be the co-author’s cooking repertoire of typical Honduran meals, are mostly clearly written with good instructions for making the items. Being that the book is written by a journalist, it understandably has a feel of a long interview with the recipes included for flavor. Some minor errors in the recipes are scattered, but overall it’s a pretty good book. The dishes are devoid of much restaurant fanciness which gives them a feel of attainability. In my opinion, it is this attainability that gives the book such charm.

My one real criticism of the book? Oddly, it’s as if there is sometimes too much text on the page while also too much wasted blank space. As good as this book is, I feel it could have been even better. The photos, though not flashy, are effective and perfect. Just good photos of good food. I wish there were even more pictures, as some items didn’t have visual representation. I also wish there was more textual explanation of the dishes.

Overall, this is a good cookbook about good food!

Winter Is Coming!

Posted on Monday, November 20, 2023 by MaggieM

A man hiking along a board walk through a forest with fall colors.
The overlook trail at Eagle Bluffs conservation area has beautiful fall foliage and the bare trees in the winter offer views you can’t get in the summer.

The daily temperatures have finally dropped and the leaves are turning and falling. Whether  you love it (that’s me) or hate it, fall is here and winter is on it’s way.

Here are some ideas to help you make the best of winter (and fall). Continue reading “Winter Is Coming!”

Reader Review: Bluebeard

Posted on Friday, November 17, 2023 by patron reviewer

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut book coverI read “Bluebeard” because Vonnegut is my daughter’s favorite author, this is her favorite of his, and I am working my way through her library. I was genuinely surprised at how very much I liked it.

Framed as an autobiography, writer Rabo Karabekian, apologizes to the reader: “I promised you an autobiography, but something went wrong in the kitchen…” He describes himself as a museum guard who answers questions from visitors coming to see his priceless collected art.

Circe Berman, a woman living near Karabekian instigates the story by saying “Tell me how your parents died.” He tells her and one thing leads to another. Soon enough she has moved in with him and his houseguest Paul Slazinger, a fellow artist. She is constantly asking him questions, disrespects his design choices and actively dislikes his modern art. She is a force to be reckoned with and the only place that is off-limits to her is the potato barn where Karabekian is storing some of his own work.

Karabekian’s story is one of a first generation American, child of immigrants, an artist’s apprentice, eventual artist himself, a soldier, failed husband and father, and eventual genius.

I can’t tell the tale as Vonnegut does, and why would I try, but the winding path leading to the eventual unveiling of Karabekian’s masterpiece was at turns funny, heartbreaking, and eventually breathtakingly beautiful. This is not something I expect from Vonnegut. I shed tears as I read the final pages, and so far this is by a mile my favorite of his.

Three words that describe this book: Funny, wry, satirical

You might want to pick this book up if: You like your humor to be on the serious side.


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