After a stressful trip to the grocery store, which has become a maze of confusing one-way aisles, what do you do to unwind? You’ve sprayed down all your groceries with disinfectant, taken your shower and put on your sweats. Time to fire up the old streaming service, am I right? Now comes the question: do you binge or do you comfort watch? Binge watching relies upon that human impulse to learn what happens next — you’re following story arcs, investing in characters and on the edge of your seat.
When you comfort-view, the pressure is off — you know what to expect already. Comfort watching immerses you in nostalgia for a time in your life, or in the familiar tropes of a beloved genre. Me, I like some good old-fashioned comfort T.V. Lately, the genre I’ve been craving is goofy old B-grade movies. The kind of campy sci-fi that makes me laugh at the loosely constructed plots, the terrible special effects and the sheer lunacy behind the premise of the script. I find it comforting that grown adults spent good money producing these preposterous films. Continue reading “Getting Campy on Kanopy”
In the midst of a pandemic, feeling connected is so important now more than ever. That is especially true for people who are acting as caregivers to friends, family, or loved ones. The role of caregiver can often be stressful, challenging, and exhausting, both mentally and physically. Since the library is unable offer our regular group meeting spaces, the Alzheimer’s Association is providing a number of free virtual education programs for the month of July and beyond. Continue reading “Virtual Education with the Alzheimer’s Association”
Until I worked in a library, I thought Summer Reading was just a fun way to get kiddos to come to the library and read some good books over the summer. It brought back memories of staying up late reading “The Saddle Club” under the covers with a flashlight long past my bedtime. While Summer Reading is definitely fun, I had no idea how vital it is to the community.
Summer Reading is a fixture at public libraries (and has been since the late 19th century) for good reason: it helps combat the “summer slide.” The summer slide is a term for the tendency children have to lose reading and math levels over the summer because they are not in a classroom every day. The steepness of this slide also varies based on socioeconomic status, with children from lower income families being disproportionately affected. I cannot do justice to the research and statistics surrounding this issue, but this article from Reading Rocket does a great job explaining in more detail and offering further resources. Summer Reading exists to mitigate this loss by getting kids reading. Continue reading “Summer Reading – Not Just For Kids!”
Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 by patron reviewer
“Recipe for A Perfect Wife” is about a modern-day newlywed who finds herself in a new house that is actually old and has some stories she ends up unearthing and digging into. It’s two stories in one, from the past residents of the home, to the present, and woven together very nicely. Here is my review: I absolutely loved this creation! Absolute pure, dark genius! I mean it! Really, really fabulous. I think that’s what I said aloud, at least, as I closed the book after reading the final acknowledgements. I loved the recipes, and the quotes at the beginning of the chapters. The story of the past and the story of now and how they coexisted was spectacularly formed and woven, and it was funny, dreadfully awful, and inspiring all at the same time. How do you DO that? Why don’t more authors DO THAT?! I loved reading the little author’s recipe in the back, and seeing some of the other author names listed made me happy because I have their their books too. This book drew me in from the very beginning, never lost me for an instant, never disappointed me in any way, and was better than I had expected. I had read some snippet about this book from BookBub and put it on my Goodreads “to read” list and waited through the holiday, then the coronavirus (and we’re still kind of there, but at least now finally the library has curbside open and I could finally get this book), and it was worth the wait. I will read it again, or own it even. Loved it! It’s going to sit with me for a while, and I’m so glad.
Three words that describe this book: entertaining, haunting, beautiful
You might want to pick this book up if: You liked “Julie and Julia,” or if you want a blast from the past.
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.
But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.
Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.
Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 by Dewey Decimal Diver
Laura McHugh is a Columbia, MO author whose latest book is “The Wolf Wants In.” It’s a suspense novel set in a small town ravaged by the opioid crisis featuring a woman who confronts a dark secret about her brother’s shocking death. McHugh is the internationally bestselling author of “The Weight of Blood,” winner of an International Thriller Writers Award, and “Arrowood,” an International Thriller Writers Award finalist for best novel. I recently emailed some interview questions to her and she was kind enough to take time out of her schedule to write back some answers. Continue reading “Author Interview: Laura McHugh”
Rather than immerse myself in mythic, far-off lands, I preferred to keep my Summer Reading challenge close to home. Activities from this year’s program motivated me to explore the rich Black history in mid-Missouri. First embarking on the African-American Heritage Trail, I learned about local legends like Annie Fisher, the nationally-renowned “Biscuit Queen,” music venues like McKinney Hall that hosted jazz icons and the Sharp End Black business district, which was razed for urban renewal in the mid-twentieth century. Here you’ll find suggestions for completing the entire challenge while educating yourself about the fascinating heritage of Black folks in our city and state. Continue reading “Imagine Your Story: Legends of Local Black History”
I thought I had a very clever idea when COVID-19 started to show up in the news more and more, but before a confirmed case had reached America — I would write a “Know Your Dystopias” post about pandemic themed novels! Then it quickly came to America, spread all over, and things started shutting down. I considered my blog post and thought, “too soon?”
It depends on the person. Some people feel empowered exploring worst case scenarios. I watched “Contagion” for the first time a couple days before the library had to close. I thought it was a good time to see what that movie had to say. But it also isn’t unusual for me to spend time hunkered down in my bunker while soaking in a bathtub filled with hand sanitizer. In fact, I call that Wednesday. I realize that might be a new practice for some of you (Welcome to the club!). Continue reading “Know Your Dystopias: Pandemic!”
On April 11, 2011, I published my first ever DBRL blog post, “Resources for Writers at Your Library.” While many older articles are no longer in the archives, I’m an information hoarder and have maintained a spreadsheet listing the ones I’ve written. This post you’re reading right now? Number 100 for me. To mark the occasion, I’m focusing on books with 100 in the title.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, published in 1967, follows several generations of the Buendia family, living in the remote Colombian jungle town of Macondo, established by their patriarch. I read this book more than twenty years ago, yet there are images that remain fresh in my memory — the reaction of someone seeing ice for the first time, a scene with ants that still makes me shudder. Incorporating magical realism, ghosts and a lot of metaphor, the story interweaves much of the history of Colombia into the telling. No matter the remoteness of the family dwellings, they are unable to escape the encroachments of the railroad, a civil war, and United Fruit. Continue reading “One Hundred”