I have five older siblings. Yet it wasn’t until I came along that my parents had to create specific rules around tree climbing and how high was too high. A line of trees stood along the border of our modest back yard. I loved to scramble up in their branches and gaze out on my surroundings. My love of trees never waned, though I haven’t climbed one lately. Here’s a book list for my fellow enthusiasts. Continue reading “Tree Affection”
As the nights get longer and colder, readers often crave books that remind them of the many terrors thriving in the dark. Such readers have likely read dozens of books about ghosts, draculas and biting corpses, but it’s possible they’ve never read about a detective who, after removing his hand to get out of a sticky situation, is essentially kidnapped by a cult composed of folk who love to lop of portions of their body. These practitioners of unnecessary amputations believe one becomes more holy with each part one removes, and while there’s debate about whether it’s fair to count the removal of two fingers as two amputations, their biggest problem, other than their shared psychosis and the damage it’s inflicted to their bodies, is a crime they need solved. So when they hear about the detective who performed his own amputation and cauterization, they’re convinced he’s the man for the job. Even for a book about a cult that cuts each other’s body parts off, there’s quite a few body parts getting sawed off, but there’s also a lot of dark, ultra-dry humor. If you need your reads not to unsettle your stomach and to answer the bulk of your questions, this book (“Last Days” by Brian Evenson) may not be for you. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Brian Evenson”
In 1959, several mid-Missouri library districts formed the Daniel Boone Regional Library (DBRL) system. Our early collection contained 51,839 printed books and 280,940 items were checked out annually. 60 years later, DBRL continues to serve Boone and Callaway Counties with libraries in Ashland, Columbia, Fulton and Holts Summit. The bookmobile visits other communities in the two-county area, and our Book Bike and Book Rover can often be seen at local events. Across these branches, the DBRL system now houses 403,871 printed books. Changing technology has brought new formats like eBooks and audiobooks. With this expansion of services, the number of annual check-outs has climbed to 2,318,218. To celebrate our anniversary, we’re highlighting some titles that have continued to fly off the shelves over the years. Continue reading “Bestsellers Through the Decades: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of DBRL”
Welcome back to another post for our monthly nonfiction roundup! We have several exciting new titles coming out in October. Check our catalog for a more extensive list.
“The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson
In the bestselling, prize-winning “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” Bill Bryson achieved the seemingly impossible by making the science of our world both understandable and entertaining to millions of people around the globe. Now he turns his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories, “The Body” is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. This book will have you marveling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: October 2019”
The Read Harder Challenge, task #9 is for a book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads. What makes this task hard is that it’s a moving target. But I promise you, it’s easier than you might think to find a book that fits the task. Whether or not you have a Goodreads account, you can find qualifying books that you probably already have on a shelf or a to-read list somewhere and I will show you how to find them. Continue reading “Read Harder 2019: A Book With Fewer Than 100 Reviews on Goodreads”
Jill Orr lives in Columbia, MO, and is the author of the Riley Ellison Mystery Series. The series follows millennial Riley Ellison as she falls into the role of amateur sleuth while balancing her career and love life in the small town of Tuttle Corner, Virginia. The series started off with “The Good Byline,” followed by “The Bad Break,” and the third in the series, “The Ugly Truth,” was just released this summer. I recently emailed some questions to Jill about her books and she was kind enough to take time out of her schedule to write back some answers. Continue reading “Author Interview: Jill Orr”
Before embarking on task #5, I immediately thought of a few options waiting in my ever-expanding to-read shelf, and quickly I realized there’s no shortage of books to choose from. Given that those in journalism profession are storytellers and many write in some format, it is no surprise that journalist-authored books are everywhere, and are especially prevalent in the nonfiction genres. Thus, many books that fit this task focus on current events, engaging social issues and scandals. Alas, I can only highlight a few! Continue reading “Books by a Journalist or About Journalism: Read Harder 2019”
Years ago, before I’d donned the monocle and cane, my first post to this web-log was an endorsement of Karen Russell’s novel “Swamplandia!” Months later, officially in my capacity as a recommending gentleman, the monocle and cane still decorative rather than functional, I recommended her short story collections, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” and “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.” Years later, now in dire need of all manner of apparatuses to shore up my vision and ambulation, I again recommend Karen Russell’s work. I expect to be recommending her writing long after my mind is uploaded into the “Cloud” and my body is used to nourish whatever fauna survives the fires. But for now I’m still inarguably human, and so rather than cast ineffectual digital whispers into an electronic void, I’ll share my recommendation that you read “Orange World and Other Stories” on DBRL’s blog. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Karen Russell (Again)”
Here are a few of the most exciting books being published by first-time authors this September. For a longer list, please visit our catalog.
“Cold Storage” by David Koepp
When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository.
Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. Only Diaz knows how to stop it.
He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards — one an ex-con, the other a single mother. Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to quarantine this horror again. All they have is luck, fearlessness and a mordant sense of humor. Will that be enough to save all of humanity? Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: September 2019”
If you haven’t finished all of your 2019 Read Harder challenges, relax. There’s still a lot of year left. Task 24, a book of poetry published since 2014, is a quick and easy one to knock off the list. I read a lot of poetry, so I can recommend a few books I’ve enjoyed.
“Rangoli” by Pavana Reddy can be a double dipper for the challenge. It also counts as an #ownvoices book set in Oceania. Reddy makes compact use of language in this collection of interconnected poems. Some are micro-poems, only three or four lines. But each has its place in the whole. She reflects on immigration, race, and the struggle women face in being heard. Continue reading “Read Harder 2019: A Collection of Poetry Published Since 2014”