Reader Review: Hamnet

Posted on Monday, August 16, 2021 by patron reviewer

Hamnet book coverHamnet” is the fictionalized account of Shakespeare’s passionate relationship with his wife Agnes and an investigation of their grief over the loss of a son. The writing is simply gorgeous, and O’Farrell excels and creating intimate portraits and settings you can almost feel. An unforgettable interlude follows the path of a single plague-carrying flea from Alexandria to Stratford and shows the author’s incredible imagination and skill. An outstanding work of historical fiction.

Three words that describe this book: Lush, immersive, moving

You might want to pick this book up if: You love historical fiction, descriptive writing, and enjoy stories of noteworthy literary figures told through the eyes of “secondary” characters.



This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2021. We will continue to share these throughout the year. 

Authors and the Books They Love

Posted on Friday, August 13, 2021 by Lisa Stock

I love talking books. There’s something so magical about sharing a great story with someone; the excitement is palpable. And, sadly, I can not read everything, so journeying through a beloved world with a fellow reader is an excellent way to experience a novel I may never get to dive into personally. Here’s some recommendations of chances to do just that with some authors we all love. Continue reading “Authors and the Books They Love”

Reader Review: Handle With Care

Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2021 by patron reviewer

Handle with Care book coverHandle With Care” is about a family with a daughter that has severe medical needs, yet is the highlight of their lives. Her mother decides to sue for wrongful birth in order to win needed funds for present and future medical bills. Her lawsuit slowly tears the family apart though, making her question her decision. I love this book for its ability to tug at my heart as well as make me look deeply at my own opinions.

Three words that describe this book: Sad, engaging, tough

You might want to pick this book up if: You have read any Jodi Picoult before or decide you want a really good read but aren’t afraid to cry at times.



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. 

National Book Lovers Day

Posted on Monday, August 9, 2021 by Lisa Stock

book with heart shaped pages

The fourth word I ever said was “book.” I would ask to look at a book for bedtime (and then sleep with that book) long before I could read the words. Books are comfort in times of stress, knowledge in times of uncertainty, adventure when travel isn’t possible, friends in loneliness, treasured decor throughout houses, conversation impetus between strangers and so, so much more. I love how a book feels in my hand, the smell of the pages, the possibilities within the words. I know many of you feel the same way. So today, National Book Lovers Day, join me in a celebration of books. Continue reading “National Book Lovers Day”

One Read’s Furious Hours and the True Crime Renaissance

Posted on Sunday, August 8, 2021 by Seth

One of Furious Hours book covermy Saturday night pastimes is spending a couple of hours watching true-crime programs. A favorite is “Forensic Files II, (my wife calls it “How I Tried to Get Away With Life Insurance Fraud But Failed”) and modeled after the original shows from the 1990s. True-crime podcasts are literally everywhere; pick your flavor of the day on Spotify: “Crime Junkie” on Monday, “Killer Queens” on Tuesday. Still, the preponderance of media related to true-crime comes in book form. Every year an extensive array of smart, culturally relevant books in this genre are released, including the stunning One Read selection this year, Casey Cep’s “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee.” Contemporary crime writing at its finest, “Furious Hours” weaves many themes together into a seamless whole: the racism tragically embedded in our criminal justice system, America’s bizarre life insurance industry, the psychology of a murderer, voodoo religion and the fascinating legacy of Harper Lee. Continue reading “One Read’s Furious Hours and the True Crime Renaissance”

Horror-ific Monsters

Posted on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 by Abbey Rimel

For adults, the 2021 summer reading theme of Tails & Tales could hold many meanings. I’ve so far interpreted the theme through the lens of horror and those legends and myths from which our collective nightmares are made. My earlier post on folklore and horror focused on the “tales” portion of this summer’s theme. This time around, I’m bringing you the “tails,” the monsters that we fear when things go bump in the night, the sasquatch that lurks around your campground and the serpent that nips at your feet when you go for a summer swim. Maybe it’s just a snapping turtle or maybe it really is old Nessie? Whatever it is, those fears are very real, and they probably explain why tales of fantastic and frightening beasts will always be with us.

The following books explore this realm of myth, legend and cryptozoology. Continue reading “Horror-ific Monsters”

Reader Review: Nothing to See Here

Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 by patron reviewer

Nothing to See Here book coverIn the book “Nothing To See Here,” Madison gets caught with drugs at a prestigious boarding school, and Lillian takes the fall and ends up expelled. Madison goes on to marry a wealthy senator, but Lillian finds herself living in her mom’s attic and working at a local grocery store. The women stay in touch with occasional letters until Madison calls Lillian with a strange request. Following the death of her husband’s ex-wife, Madison must take in her two stepchildren. The kids have a weird quirk: they spontaneously combust when they are upset. Madison needs someone to care for the children over the summer as they look for a more permanent solution, and Lillian agrees to be their governess. I loved Lillian as the book’s protagonist and narrator because she was so honest and funny. If you don’t listen to the audiobook, you’re missing out; the narrator does such a great job capturing the humor and emotion in this book.

Three words that describe this book: Quirky, Funny, Sincere

You might want to pick this book up if: You’re looking for a quick read that will make you laugh.



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. 

Nonfiction Roundup: August 2021

Posted on Monday, August 2, 2021 by Liz

I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in August. 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 eAudiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: August 2021”

Q&A With Justin Hamm, Author of “The Inheritance”

Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 by Dewey Decimal Diver

justin hamm - the inheritanceJustin Hamm is a Mid-Missouri author whose latest book is “The Inheritance.” It’s a book of poetry and photographs that focus on various aspects of the Midwest. He’s published two other collections of poetry, “American Ephemeral,” and “Lessons in Ruin,” as well as a book of photographs titled “Midwestern.” Last year he also released a spoken word album featuring his poetry, “Federico Garcia Lorca Blues.” Originally from the flatlands of central Illinois, Hamm now lives in Mid-Missouri with his family and works as a Librarian in a small rural school district. I emailed some interview questions to him, and he was kind enough to take time to write back some answers. Continue reading “Q&A With Justin Hamm, Author of “The Inheritance””