Reader Review: Pirate Women

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2022 by patron reviewer

Pirate Women book coverAhoy, mateys! Arrr ye ready for a voyage through history? Inspired by this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, I read “Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas.” Tis always been a pirate’s life for me, but I never before heard tales of ladies taking to the high seas. Thanks be to author Laura Sook Duncombe, for catchin’ me up on the stories of the many women who sailed beneath the jolly roger.

Spannin’ from the bronze age through the 21st century, Duncombe takes us on a voyage through the lives of dozens of women pirates. She also explores the cultural biases held by the landlubbers who recorded the stories of these pirate ladies. Like a well-honed cutlass, Duncombe cuts through the fog of historical revisionism and legend with a perfect mix of information sharin’ and storytelling.

I did find me self wondering about Duncombe’s definition of piracy. Her answer stirred something deep within the depths of me soul: “The heart of piracy is freedom.” Tis this sentiment that drove all the featured lassies as they sailed under a black flag, pillaging across the seven seas. Avast me, hearties! Pick up “Pirate Women” and set sail for the shores of knowledge. Tis time I shoved off. Fare thee well, mateys!

Three words that describe this book: Informative & entertaining

You might want to pick this book up if: You like reading the untold stories of women from history. Especially if those women happen to be pirates.



This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. Submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

Reader Review: A Curious Beginning

Posted on Friday, June 24, 2022 by patron reviewer

A curious beginning book coverSet in England in the late 19th Century, “A Curious Beginning” follows the unexpected journey of lepidopterist, independent woman and budding lady detective, Veronica Speedwell. While this is the first adventure on which we join her, she has traveled the world in search of butterflies and experienced what the world has to offer in ways uncommon for a woman of her time.

This book is a light, fun, spunky page-turner that chronicles her unlikely alliance with Stoker, a grumbly fellow natural historian who begrudgingly joins forces first as a “protector” and then as a partner. They run from police and other opponents with mysterious and dark intentions, ultimately uncovering the truth about Veronica’s identity as well as solving a murder mystery. This book was a delight to read and perfect for a summer reader looking to balance a smart, feminist story, with a light and lively tone!

Three words that describe this book: Light, spunky, smart

You might want to pick this book up if: You’re looking for a smart, fun, page-turning summer read!


This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. Submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

First Thursday Book Discussion: “Why Fish Don’t Exist” by LuLu Miller

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2022 by cs

Why Fish Don't Exist book coverJoin us online to discuss “Why Fish Don’t Exist” by Lulu Miller, an NPR science reporter on July 7 from noon to 1 p.m. Miller relates the life of influential taxonomist David Starr Jordan to struggles in her own life. Part biography, part memoir and part scientific adventure, this work of nonfiction is a wondrous fable about how to persevere in a world where chaos will always prevail. For similar books, try this list.

This discussion is geared toward adults. Please register for a Zoom link.

The Gentleman Recommends: Emily St. John Mandel (again)

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2022 by Chris

In the years since I first recommended Emily St. John Mandel’s work, her novel “Station Eleven” became the 2015 One Read for Daniel Boone Regional Library and later an acclaimed limited series on HBOMax. Was my recommendation the catalyst for these successes? I’m told the answer is no. Even if this library’s blog posts aren’t influencing television productions, perhaps an HBO executive would still like to arrange for some sort of gift basket to be sent our way. It would be a nice thing to do. In return, I offer a recommendation for adaptation into a future acclaimed limited series: “Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel.  Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Emily St. John Mandel (again)”

Q&A With Gladys Swan, Author of “Ceremony of Innocence”

Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 by Dewey Decimal Diver

Gladys Swan is a Columbia, MO author whose latest book is “Ceremony of Innocence.” The fictional book follows an American woman named Florrie as she faces many tribulations while living abroad in Copenhagen, Venice and Prague during the late 1980s. Swan is both a writer and a visual artist who has a background teaching literature and creative writing at many colleges, including Mizzou. She has published several novels and short story collections over the years including the Carnival Quintet series and a New Mexico trilogy. She currently has an art exhibit up at the Missouri River Regional Library until June 30, 2022. Gladys was kind enough to take the time to be interviewed via email. Continue reading “Q&A With Gladys Swan, Author of “Ceremony of Innocence””

Literary Links: One Read 2022 Finalists

Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2022 by Lauren

The Big Door Prize book coverIf you could trade two dollars and a little DNA to know your life’s true potential, would you do it? This year’s community-wide reading selection, “The Big Door Prize” by M.O. Walsh, explores this question and more. This offbeat and charming novel about small-town life, relationships and the power of dreams narrowly beat out the exuberant work of historical fiction “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride.

Before the public vote on the 2022 One Read title, a panel of community members considered a varied list of finalist books, from works of historical fiction to books exploring a range of marginalized identities. Continue reading “Literary Links: One Read 2022 Finalists”

Debut Author Spotlight: June 2022

Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 by Katherine

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

A Proposal They Can't Refuse book coverA Proposal They Can’t Refuse” by Natalie Caña

Kamilah Vega is desperate to convince her family to update their Puerto Rican restaurant and enter it into the Fall Foodie Tour. With the gentrification of their Chicago neighborhood, it’s the only way to save the place. The fly in her mofongo: her blackmailing abuelo says if she wants to change anything in his restaurant, she’ll have to marry the one man she can’t stand: his best friend’s grandson.

Liam Kane spent a decade working to turn his family’s distillery into a contender. But just as he and his grandfather are on the verge of winning a national competition, Granda hits him with a one-two punch: he has cancer and has his heart set on seeing Liam married before it’s too late. And Granda knows just the girl… Kamilah Vega.

If they refuse, their grandfathers will sell the building that houses both their businesses. With their futures on the line, Kamilah and Liam plan to outfox the devious duo, faking an engagement until they both get what they want. But soon, they find themselves tangled up in more than either of them bargained for.

Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: June 2022”

Nonfiction Roundup: June 2022

Posted on Monday, June 6, 2022 by Liz

Below I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in June. 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. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: June 2022”

First Thursday Book Discussion: Black History-Themed Picture Books

Posted on Monday, May 30, 2022 by cs

In this month’s virtual book discussion, we’ll depart from our usual format to discuss some picture books with Black history themes in honor of Juneteenth. Adults can find value in reading picture books, which provide an introduction to a subject and are often illustrated with beautiful artwork. This discussion will be held June 2 at 12 p.m. and is geared toward adults. Register for a Zoom link.

Here are the books to read for our discussion:

The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre” by Carole Boston Weatherford

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks” by Suzanne Slade

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott” by Dee Romito

Swish! The Slam-dunking, Alley-ooping, High-flying Harlem Globetrotters” by Suzanne Slade

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song” by Debbie Levy

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams” by Lesa Cline-Ransome