Literary Links: Summer Reading

Posted on Sunday, May 14, 2017 by Kristy

This summer we challenge readers of all ages to “Build a Better World.” Our Summer Reading theme motivates us to build, tinker and engineer, and it encourages us to help our community and our environment. To celebrate this theme, I’ve compiled a list of books to inspire you and your family to construct better reading skills and demolish the summer brain drain!

Registration for Summer Reading begins on June 1.

For Ages 0-5
Good Night book coverConstruction is hard work! After a long day of building and play, it’s time for the vehicles in Sherri Duskey Rinker’sGoodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site” to tuck in for the night. Have fun rhyming while helping Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Bulldozer and the other construction companions finish their work and settle into sleep.

Have you ever messed up when creating a work of art? Don’t despair! Beautiful Oops book coverBeautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg will teach your how to turn your “oops!” into a “whoopee!” Did you rip your paper? Turn the tear into alligator chompers! Did you spill your paint? Make the blot a silly animal! Every mistake, if looked at positively, can create a beautiful new work of art. Continue reading “Literary Links: Summer Reading”

Infographics: Great Books for Folks Who Are Busy

Posted on Friday, May 12, 2017 by Melissa

I love to read, and gravitate toward heavier tomes (both in content and Flip Flop Fly Ball book coverlength). I tend to read quickly, so I need a book to be long so that I can marinate sufficiently into its world.  Since I have a had a child, however, those long books have gone unread in favor of articles and blog posts with titles like “The 10 Things Nobody Tells You about Swaddling” or “How to Pick the Best Sun Hat for 15-Month Old.”  Taking care of a baby or toddler means my attention always needs to be divided between him and whatever task I am attempting to complete. I need to concern myself with form over (or, in addition to) content. I usually use DBRL’s Overdrive app to check out short story and essay collections. Continue reading “Infographics: Great Books for Folks Who Are Busy”

May 2017 LibraryReads: Books Librarians Love

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017 by Kat

LibraryReads logoApril showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but so far, all we’ve got is more rain. I’m not too upset about it though, because there are a ton of great books coming out this month. And nothing pairs better with a rainy day than a good book! This month’s LibraryReads list includes heartwarming reads, some psychological fiction and a couple of great science reads. Check out the full list of recommendations from librarians from across the country.

Eleanor Oliphant book coverEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman

“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of “A Man Called Ove” and “The Rosie Project” — this would make a great book club read.”
-Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC Continue reading “May 2017 LibraryReads: Books Librarians Love”

Literary Day Trips

Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 by Ida

Huckleberry Finn book coverJohn Steinbeck said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.’”

That’s right; our state produced the father of American letters. And don’t think we don’t know it. Take a look at our state map: Mark Twain National Forest, Mark Twain State Park, Mark Twain Cave. Never mind that Samuel Clemens (Twain’s real name) moved away as an adult and did his writing in other locations; it’s obvious his Missouri boyhood influenced his career. A visit to the cavern now named after him leaves no doubt it was the setting for Tom Sawyer’s underground adventures. Continue reading “Literary Day Trips”

Nonfiction Roundup: May 2017

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 by Kirk

Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in April. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.


Theft by Finding book coverTheft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002” by David Sedaris

A collection of personal favorite entries from over forty years of keeping a diary reveal the bestselling author’s unique way of observing the world and the inspirations behind many of his best essays.



Astrophysics For People in a Hurry book coverAstrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson

The well-known astrophysicist provides a succinct guide to the universe, clearly explaining what we should know in order to be conversant in everything from quantum mechanics to the search for life on other planets.


Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: May 2017”

Revolutionary War Fiction

Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Anne

Today, April 19, marks the anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War. The war was long, lasting over 8 years. Countless lives throughout the colonies were affected by those seemingly endless years of fighting as the new nation came into being. The Revolutionary War years were filled with drama, so it is not surprising how many fiction titles are set during that time. Here are some novels at the library that readers who enjoy historical fiction may want to explore:

America’s First Daughter” by Stephanie Dray: we’ve heard America's First Daughter book coverstories about our Founding Fathers, but what about the rest of their families? Dray’s book offers a fictionalized look into the life of Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph. Patsy was close to her father and served as a stand-in First Lady to her widowed father. Dray’s book, which is based on letters and historical documents, follows Patsy’s journey from Monticello to Paris and ultimately to the White House, and offers insight into the personal sacrifices she made in order to help her father achieve the presidency. Continue reading “Revolutionary War Fiction”

The Gentleman Recommends: Tiffany McDaniel

Posted on Monday, April 17, 2017 by Chris

Now that we’re shaking off the shackles of winter and stepping into the significantly more comfortable zipties of spring, it’s a good idea to read a novel that will prepare us for the sun-scorched seatbelt buckles of summer. “The Summer That Melted Everything” by Tiffany McDaniel is exactly that novel. Partly because the word summer is in the title, but also because it is, as one might suspect, set during the titular summer, and McDaniel wields her immense powers of description with the dexterity and precision of an ice cream truck driver piloting his vehicle around swarms of children that desperately want ice cream on a hot summer day but lack the money one must exchange for it, and therefore, after the ice cream truck evades their attempts to topple it, must retreat to their homes, where, if they’re lucky, there is a freezer burned bag of peas that they can lick. (This novel is hot, and it makes you feel like you’re in the heat.)

The Summer That Melted Everything book cover

The Summer That Melted Everything” will remind readers that have read “To Kill A Mockingbird” of “To Kill A Mockingbird” (in a good way). McDaniel’s novel is narrated by Fielding Bliss, son of Autopsy Bliss, whose name is the perfect representation of the similarities and differences between Lee’s novel and McDaniel’s. Like Lee’s Atticus Finch, Autopsy Bliss is a noble lawyer and caring family man. Unlike Atticus, Autopsy places a letter in the local newspaper inviting the devil to visit their town. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Tiffany McDaniel”

Facebook Friday Archives- April 7, 2017

Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2017 by Kat

Each month, we host Facebook Friday Recommendations online. You can get personalized recommendations — all you need to do is find our Facebook Friday post and comment with two or three books or authors you like, and we’ll help you find your next great read! Here are the recommendations from April 2017. 

Tumbler post, purple

Request: I’ll go first! The last three books I read that I LOVED were “Americanah” by Chimamanda Adichie, “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett and “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett. I really like fiction that tells a complex story. I love to learn something new even when I read fiction. I’m trying to read lot of immigrant and refugee books right now. I just finished “Exit West” and loved the premise but the style wasn’t my favorite. Any good recommendations for me?
Recommendation: For books that focus on the immigrant experience, you might try “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” by Dinaw Mengestu, or the illustrated memoir “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui. And, since dynamic, multi-layered stories are your jam, be sure to check out “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith, “Another Brooklyn” by Jacqueline Woodson and “The Nix” by Nathan Hill. Continue reading “Facebook Friday Archives- April 7, 2017”

Debut Author Spotlight: April

Posted on Friday, April 14, 2017 by Katherine

Here’s a look at some of the most exciting books being published by first-time authors in April.

The Witchfinder’s SisterWitchfinder's Sister book cover” by Beth Underdown

50 years before the Salem Witch Trials, there was “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, responsible for the deaths of over 300 women who were hanged as witches. This is his sister’s story.

1645: when Alice Hopkins returns to the small town of Essex, England where she grew up, she discovers a town cowering in fear. Her brother, Matthew Hopkins, has made it his mission to hunt down and hang suspected witches. Horrified by the man her beloved brother has become, Alice digs deep into the dark secrets of her family’s past, searching for answers and a way to prevent her brother from killing more innocent women.

Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: April”

Popular Science Reads

Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Ida

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan

Let me take this opportunity to express appreciation for science writers who open the universe of incredible discoveries to the rest of us. For those of us who are fascinated by scientific discoveries, but have neither the training nor desire to get information from academic journals, popular science books fill a need. Several outstanding titles have been published in the last year. Here are a few:

Mask of the Sun book coverMask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses” is a timely work for Mid-Missourians who reside in this year’s total solar eclipse zone. The book opens, in fact, with a page showing the coverage of upcoming August 21 eclipse. Author John Dvorak provides explanations of the science aspects of eclipses and delves into the human history and beliefs surrounding these celestial events. This includes some significant changes in religious doctrine over the years. Continue reading “Popular Science Reads”