May 2017 LibraryReads: Books Librarians Love

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017 by Kat

LibraryReads logoApril showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but so far, all we’ve got is more rain. I’m not too upset about it though, because there are a ton of great books coming out this month. And nothing pairs better with a rainy day than a good book! This month’s LibraryReads list includes heartwarming reads, some psychological fiction and a couple of great science reads. Check out the full list of recommendations from librarians from across the country.

Eleanor Oliphant book coverEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of “A Man Called Ove” and “The Rosie Project” — this would make a great book club read.”
-Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC Continue reading “May 2017 LibraryReads: Books Librarians Love”

Literary Day Trips

Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by Ida

Huckleberry Finn book coverJohn Steinbeck said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.’”

That’s right; our state produced the father of American letters. And don’t think we don’t know it. Take a look at our state map: Mark Twain National Forest, Mark Twain State Park, Mark Twain Cave. Never mind that Samuel Clemens (Twain’s real name) moved away as an adult and did his writing in other locations; it’s obvious his Missouri boyhood influenced his career. A visit to the cavern now named after him leaves no doubt it was the setting for Tom Sawyer’s underground adventures. Continue reading “Literary Day Trips”

Nonfiction Roundup: May 2017

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 by Kirk

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


Theft by Finding book coverTheft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002” by David Sedaris

A collection of personal favorite entries from over forty years of keeping a diary reveal the bestselling author’s unique way of observing the world and the inspirations behind many of his best essays.



Astrophysics For People in a Hurry book coverAstrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson

The well-known astrophysicist provides a succinct guide to the universe, clearly explaining what we should know in order to be conversant in everything from quantum mechanics to the search for life on other planets.


Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: May 2017”

April Is National Card and Letter Writing Month

Posted on Friday, April 28, 2017 by Larkspur

When you check your mailbox for the day’s mail, how excited are you to find a few pieces of junk mail you never solicited? Probably not very. Add to that let-down feeling the worry about the unnecessary waste of paper. Sigh. By contrast, what do you feel when you pull a handwritten card or letter from your mailbox? A happy little thrill? Mm hmm, I thought so.

To the Letter book coverWith the advent of electronic communication we have experienced the decline of this happy little thrill in our lives. Handwritten cards and letters have been replaced with emails, text messages, live phone calls or voice mails, except, fortunately, around holidays and birthdays, when we still get to experience this dear form of communication as it comes through the snail mail. Continue reading “April Is National Card and Letter Writing Month”

The Aging Mind: Docs Featuring People With Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by Decimal Diver

Alive Inside film still

“It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases – one was Alzheimer’s and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer’s.” – Terry Pratchett

Having Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging both physically and psychologically. How can people deal with these challenges on them and their loved ones? Check out these docs to see how various people face the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alive Inside dvd coverAlive Inside” (2014)

This film chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. It’s a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Continue reading “The Aging Mind: Docs Featuring People With Alzheimer’s Disease”

Author Jim Butcher in Columbia

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017 by Dana

Photos of Jim Butcher, and book covers

Jim Butcher, a Missouri author most known for The Dresden Files, is coming to Columbia.

Hell’s bells.

Well, I know what I’m doing on April 28.

The Dresden Files is an urban fantasy series that features Harry Dresden, private detective and Chicago’s only consulting wizard. The books are a delightful mix of hard-boiled crime drama and fantasy. These are the gritty Chicago streets … there just happen to be reanimated dinosaurs, too. If you’re looking to get started, the first book is Storm Front. Continue reading “Author Jim Butcher in Columbia”

Salman Rushdie, Welcome to the Unbound Book Festival!

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 by Reading Addict

Salman Rushdie will be the keynote speaker for the Unbound Book Festival this year. He has won more awards and accolades than I can even begin to list including the Booker Prize for his second book, “Midnight’s Children.”

I have read several books by Rushdie and I have several more on my “to read” list, and while I have enjoyed them all, the book that really struck me was his autobiography, “Joseph Anton: A Memoir.” ”Joseph Anton” chronicles the aftermath and fallout from one of his novels.  Continue reading “Salman Rushdie, Welcome to the Unbound Book Festival!”

Revolutionary War Fiction

Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Anne

Today, April 19, marks the anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War. The war was long, lasting over 8 years. Countless lives throughout the colonies were affected by those seemingly endless years of fighting as the new nation came into being. The Revolutionary War years were filled with drama, so it is not surprising how many fiction titles are set during that time. Here are some novels at the library that readers who enjoy historical fiction may want to explore:

America’s First Daughter” by Stephanie Dray: we’ve heard America's First Daughter book coverstories about our Founding Fathers, but what about the rest of their families? Dray’s book offers a fictionalized look into the life of Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph. Patsy was close to her father and served as a stand-in First Lady to her widowed father. Dray’s book, which is based on letters and historical documents, follows Patsy’s journey from Monticello to Paris and ultimately to the White House, and offers insight into the personal sacrifices she made in order to help her father achieve the presidency. Continue reading “Revolutionary War Fiction”

The Gentleman Recommends: Tiffany McDaniel

Posted on Monday, April 17, 2017 by Chris

Now that we’re shaking off the shackles of winter and stepping into the significantly more comfortable zipties of spring, it’s a good idea to read a novel that will prepare us for the sun-scorched seatbelt buckles of summer. “The Summer That Melted Everything” by Tiffany McDaniel is exactly that novel. Partly because the word summer is in the title, but also because it is, as one might suspect, set during the titular summer, and McDaniel wields her immense powers of description with the dexterity and precision of an ice cream truck driver piloting his vehicle around swarms of children that desperately want ice cream on a hot summer day but lack the money one must exchange for it, and therefore, after the ice cream truck evades their attempts to topple it, must retreat to their homes, where, if they’re lucky, there is a freezer burned bag of peas that they can lick. (This novel is hot, and it makes you feel like you’re in the heat.)

The Summer That Melted Everything book cover

The Summer That Melted Everything” will remind readers that have read “To Kill A Mockingbird” of “To Kill A Mockingbird” (in a good way). McDaniel’s novel is narrated by Fielding Bliss, son of Autopsy Bliss, whose name is the perfect representation of the similarities and differences between Lee’s novel and McDaniel’s. Like Lee’s Atticus Finch, Autopsy Bliss is a noble lawyer and caring family man. Unlike Atticus, Autopsy places a letter in the local newspaper inviting the devil to visit their town. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Tiffany McDaniel”

Facebook Friday Archives- April 7, 2017

Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2017 by Kat

Each month, we host Facebook Friday Recommendations online. You can get personalized recommendations — all you need to do is find our Facebook Friday post and comment with two or three books or authors you like, and we’ll help you find your next great read! Here are the recommendations from April 2017. 

Tumbler post, purple

Request: I’ll go first! The last three books I read that I LOVED were “Americanah” by Chimamanda Adichie, “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett and “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett. I really like fiction that tells a complex story. I love to learn something new even when I read fiction. I’m trying to read lot of immigrant and refugee books right now. I just finished “Exit West” and loved the premise but the style wasn’t my favorite. Any good recommendations for me?
Recommendation: For books that focus on the immigrant experience, you might try “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” by Dinaw Mengestu, or the illustrated memoir “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui. And, since dynamic, multi-layered stories are your jam, be sure to check out “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith, “Another Brooklyn” by Jacqueline Woodson and “The Nix” by Nathan Hill. Continue reading “Facebook Friday Archives- April 7, 2017”