Nonfiction Roundup: November 2022

Posted on Monday, November 7, 2022 by Liz

Below I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in November. 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 Grimkes by Kerri Greenidge book coverThe Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family” by Kerri K. Grenidge (Nov 8)
Sarah and Angelina Grimke — the Grimke sisters — are revered figures in American history, famous for rejecting their privileged lives on a plantation in South Carolina to become firebrand activists in the North. Their antislavery pamphlets, among the most influential of the antebellum era, are still read today. Yet retellings of their epic story have long obscured their Black relatives. In “The Grimkes,” award-winning historian Kerri Greenidge presents a parallel narrative, indeed a long-overdue corrective, shifting the focus from the white abolitionist sisters to the Black Grimkes and deepening our understanding of the long struggle for racial and gender equality. That the Grimke sisters had Black relatives in the first place was a consequence of slavery’s most horrific reality. Sarah and Angelina’s older brother, Henry, was notoriously violent and sadistic, and one of the women he owned, Nancy Weston, bore him three sons: Archibald, Francis and John. While Greenidge follows the brothers’ trials and exploits in the North, where Archibald and Francis became prominent members of the post–Civil War Black elite, her narrative centers on the Black women of the family, from Weston to Francis’s wife, the brilliant intellectual and reformer Charlotte Forten, to Archibald’s daughter, Angelina Weld Grimke, who channeled the family’s past into groundbreaking modernist literature during the Harlem Renaissance. In a grand saga that spans the eighteenth century to the twentieth and stretches from Charleston to Philadelphia, Boston, and beyond, Greenidge reclaims the Black Grimkes as complex, often conflicted individuals shadowed by their origins. Most strikingly, she indicts the white Grimke sisters for their racial paternalism. They could envision the end of slavery, but they could not imagine Black equality: when their Black nephews did not adhere to the image of the kneeling and eternally grateful slave, they were cruel and relentlessly judgmental — an emblem of the limits of progressive white racial politics. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: November 2022”

Debut Author Spotlight: November 2022

Posted on Friday, November 4, 2022 by Katherine

Here are a few of the most notable adult fiction debuts for November. These titles have all received positive reviews in library journals. For a longer list, please visit our catalog.

We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman book coverWe All Want Impossible Things” by Catherine Newman

Edith and Ashley have been best friends for over 42 years. They’ve shared the mundane and the momentous together: trick or treating and binge drinking; “Gilligan’s Islandreruns and REM concerts; hickeys and heartbreak; surprise Scottish wakes; marriages, infertility and children. As Ash says, “Edi’s memory is like the backup hard drive for mine.”

But now the unthinkable has happened. Edi is dying of ovarian cancer and spending her last days at a hospice near Ash, who stumbles into heartbreak surrounded by her daughters, ex(ish) husband, dear friends, a poorly chosen lover (or two), and a rotating cast of beautifully, fleetingly human hospice characters.

As “The Fiddler on the Roofsoundtrack blasts all day long from the room next door, Edi and Ash reminisce, hold on, and try to let go. Meanwhile, Ash struggles with being an imperfect friend, wife and parent — with life, in other words, distilled to its heartbreaking, joyful and comedic essence.

For anyone who’s ever lost a friend or had one. Get ready to laugh through your tears.

Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: November 2022”

Q&A With Nick Francis Potter, Author of “Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine”

Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 by Dewey Decimal Diver

Nick Francis Potter is a Columbia, MO author whose latest book is “Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine.” The book is a collection of experimental graphic works and comics poetry. Potter teaches in the Digital Storytelling Program at the University of Missouri, and is the comics editor at Anomaly. He is the author of two other collections, “New Animals” (Sibito Press) and “Static Gifs” (Greying Ghost). Nick was kind enough to take the time to be interviewed via email.

Continue reading “Q&A With Nick Francis Potter, Author of “Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine””

Crafternoon Program: Journals and Strip Paper Painting

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2022 by cs

After surviving the heat and drought of this summer, the fall weather is welcoming. The cooler weather encourages more time spent outdoors: walking, group activities, taking pictures of the fall colors, sitting on your porch and moments of introspection. It is the perfect time to begin or continue journal writing. Join us in making a journal to celebrate National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This simple hand-bound journal can be used for beginning your first novel, writing important thoughts, remembering an activity or placing photos.  After making our journal, we will have supplies to decorate with strip paper painting. Check this list for more journal ideas.

Join us in the Friends Room of the Columbia Public Library from 2-4 p.m. on November 5. Space for this in-person program is limited, so please register.

Album Review: Snail Mail’s Lush

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2022 by Karena

Snail Mail by Lush album coverI. Going Somewhere

The first time I listened to Snail Mail’s 2018 album “Lush” was on a train to Chicago, newly heartbroken and on my way to see a dear friend. The sun was rising on a frigid November morning. I felt relieved to be tucked away, going somewhere.

I curled up against the window and hit “shuffle.” Track three, “Speaking Terms,” greeted me with a moody lead guitar and swept me up in its driving rhythm.

I was startled by Lindsey Jordan’s voice, youthful and piercing yet deeply world-weary.

“Leave things on speaking terms / And I’ll see you around,” she sang. I closed my eyes.

Some albums win you over with their expansive emotional and musical range. For me, “Lush” was not one of those albums.

Rather, listening to “Lush” feels like tuning into a singular, excruciating emotional frequency; like walking into a waterfall and letting the roaring wall of feeling crash through you. Heartbreak. Youth. Shame. And still, love. Over and over again, until your heart emerges a shiny pebble. Continue reading “Album Review: Snail Mail’s Lush”

Read The Recipe! Warning: Graphic Content

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 by Jason Delpire

"Death to the Sauce Jar" book coverThis month, I’d like to talk about one of the most original and imaginative cookbooks I have ever read, “Death To Jar Sauce.” The author is “Nat” of the YouTube channel, “Nat’s What I Reckon.” Nat is not a chef, but a person passionate about inspiring people to eat healthier and to eat better. From the introduction: “Nat is a comedian, rock musician, mental health advocate and award-winning, bestselling author. Already an online creator with a fan base in the hundreds of thousands for close to a decade, Nat’s What I Reckon rocketed to global prominence when he took the world by storm in early 2020 with his isolation cooking content.” I was exposed to Nat through his videos on Facebook and those 10-15 minutes of culinary chaos were a salve to my weary psyche during the pandemic shutdown. What struck me was his delivery; it reminded me of how cooks really talk when explaining recipes that didn’t require precision. Continue reading “Read The Recipe! Warning: Graphic Content”

Reader Review: How to Be Perfect

Posted on Monday, October 24, 2022 by patron reviewer

How to be Perfect by Michael Schur book coverIn “How to Be Perfect,” Michael Schur, the creator of the TV series “The Good Place,” explores several philosophical models for living an ethical life. You learn about Aristotle, Kant, Sartre, deontology, utilitarianism, existentialism, and my favorite, ubuntu (I am because we are). Philosophy can be a slog, and Shur makes it fun and funny with section headings like, “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” I liked this book because it shines a light on the value of trying to be a good person, and giving real thought about the best ways to go about that. The audiobook version is a real delight because Shur narrates, and there are cameos by all of the main stars of “The Good Place.”

Three words that describe this book: Thought-provoking, humorous, heartwarming

You might want to pick this book up if: You are a fan of “The Good Place” and want to learn something without it hurting too much.



This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2022. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Reader Review: Floaters

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2022 by patron reviewer

FloatersFloaters by Martine Espada book cover” is a poetry collection covering a wide range of topics, but especially focusing on Latinx and tenant rights movements and grief. I’ve long admired Martín Espada’s work, and this is certainly one of his best.

The most impressive thing to me is Espada’s emotional range, how often he makes the reader laugh out loud or feel almost physically sick with anger or despair — sometimes in the same poem. This range is reflected in his choice of subjects too, how he connects policies and social movements affecting millions to personal matters such as the death of his father or his enduring love for his wife. From the first poem in the book he works to tie together images of his personal, specific experience with stories of others’ lives and histories.

While the book often focuses on the worst of liferacism, exploitation, death — it maintains a sense of both beauty and humor, finding joy and meaning in the lives of the people it fights for or elegizes. The effect these poems have by the end is essential and frankly amazing: the compression of so many events and feelings into a slim volume of poems, a world of near-infinite wonder and sadness in such a small space.

Three words that describe this book: moving, beautiful, surprising

You might want to pick this book up if: you already love poetry OR you’re totally new to it and don’t know where to start! Martín Espada’s narrative style and focus on strong emotions and current events make his work easier to get into than some other poets’, while his imagery, line work, and impeccable word choice and sense of rhythm will impress those who read poetry day in and day out.



This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2022. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Let’s Tour Our Haunted Region!

Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 by Sew Happy

Let’s take a virtual tour of “reportedly” haunted locations in Callaway and Boone Counties; we have many of them between the two counties. And this being a library blog, I want to also encourage you to learn more about these locations. Come in and explore our collections when you finish scaring yourself silly! Continue reading “Let’s Tour Our Haunted Region!”

Fiber Art Kits

Posted on Monday, October 17, 2022 by Sew Happy

You already may know that you can check out a bag of books for your book group. Or a telescope for exploring the night sky. Here is another new type of kit, one I’m especially excited about. This Summer we are adding kits for people who would like to try knitting or crocheting for the first time, or who would like to return to the craft. Yes! I am so happy we are offering these physical kits. They live at Columbia Public Library and can be interlibrary loaned to any of the other regional branches.

These kits are made possible by the Verna Wulfekammer bequest. Continue reading “Fiber Art Kits”