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In the Spotlight

Your Local Health Spot in 2017

At the turn of each new year, I try not to make resolutions. I avoid them. I really do. Instead, I think about the clean slate that a new year brings–the fresh opportunities to try something different, to improve in so many ways, or to take a look at life through a new lens without the strict confines of being resolved to do something. Observing, staying curious, and taking action to get outside of my day-to-day are how I try to greet the next 365. Read More..

The Sorry State We’re In

A few months ago I was invited to be a guest at the “sneak peek” of Harriet Lerner’s TEDxKC talk for her upcoming book Why Won’t You Apologize: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts. Lerner had made a huge impact in my life with her 1998 book The Mother Dance, so I was excited for the opportunity to see her discuss her work.

On Thursday, January 19th at 7pm,  Harriet will be speaking about her new book at LPL so all of Lawrence will get to bask in her warmth and insight, too! Read More..

Two New Books Reveal The Hidden Life of Trees

When you visit the library, do you have something of an agenda and head for a particular section, or are you more of a browser, embracing serendipity and wandering from one area to another?

When you go for a walk, do you aim for a certain place, or do you saunter until something piques your curiosity?

A fuller appreciation of most anything surely benefits from both approaches, and the authors of two wonderful new books about trees prove this to be true. Read More..

Books on our Radar for 2017

A new year means new books! Last year, we compiled a list of highly-anticipated titles in both fiction and non-fiction for adults. These were the hyped super-faves for the 2016 publishing world, and they were a lot of fun to write about. This year, however, we’ve decided to switch gears and focus on some upcoming titles that may be lesser-known, or by debut authors.

Put these books on your radar, and check back in with us as you read! Read More..

Studio Ghibli’s less celebrated master

When I think of the famous Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli, several things come to mind: fantastic worlds, brave young female protagonists, nuanced antagonists, and a certain giant gray bear-rabbit spirit named Totoro. I also think of a man named Hayao Miyazaki.

In large measure Hayao Miyazaki is synonymous with Studio Ghibli. Often referred to (somewhat clumsily) as the “Walt Disney of Japan,” he co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 along with three other men, and for the past 30 years he has elevated and expanded the boundaries of Japanese cinema to widespread international recognition. Read More..

Yuri!!! On Ice and the Wide World of Sports Anime

This October, the anime Yuri On Ice!!!, made its debut and has since taken the internet by storm. It begins with “a dime-a-dozen Japanese figure skater,” Katsuki Yuri, who struggles with  anxiety and self-confidence issues. Following a defeat at the Grand Prix Final and the eventual loss of his coach, he returns to his hometown of Hasetsu in Kyushu, Japan. Shortly thereafter, Yuri’s figure skating idol Viktor Nikiforov appears in Hasetsu to take Yuri on as his student.

One of the immediate appeal factors of Yuri On Ice!!!, without a doubt, is Yuri’s relatability as a person, such as with his family and his friends. Another factor is the realness and quality of the writing. To be honest, I have not been this entranced by a television show in some time; since they’ve wrapped their first season, here are some titles that share similar qualities to that of the history-making Yuri On Ice!!!   Read More..

Book Squad Podcast: 04 – Destiny of the Republic, end-of-year lists, and more!

Introducing Audio Reader’s new Book Podcast program, with the wonderful Book Squad librarians from Lawrence Public Library!

Once a month, the librarians are in, with their favorite recommendations in Two Book Minimum, a toe-to-toe discussion on a book or topic in She Said/She Said, as well as news from the book world, updates from Lawrence Public Library, Audio Reader programs and beyond. Read More..

Everyone’s Favorite TV Mom: Lauren Graham (aka, Lorelai Gilmore)

When I was in high school, my mom and I had a tradition of watching every marathon and every new episode of Gilmore Girls together, without fail. Growing up, all of my siblings had left the house once I was a teenager, and it was just my mom and I. We were pretty close, and related to the mother-daughter duo in Gilmore Girls (even though my mom hated Lorelai–which is pretty shameful, I know).

I thought this was unique to my mom and I, and it wasn’t until college that I encountered scores of people (women and men) who had this same tradition of sitting down every week with their mom to enjoy a show about a fast-talking pair of blue-eyed brunettes. Read More..

Angélique Kidjo, a Joyful & Empowering Advocate

Charismatic singer-songwriter and human rights advocate Angélique Kidjo is an energetic powerhouse. She creates world-renowned eclectic, genre-complex music and works diligently to empower others.

She has championed empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. In 2007 she co-founded the Batonga Foundation, which supports girls’ education in Africa and continues the legacy of advocacy of Kidjo’s own family.

I’m currently reading her book, Spirit rising: My Life, My Music, released in 2014. This memoir is full of inspiration, heartfelt revelry, and the humor of a fascinating, talented activist. She points out we are all descended from Africa and can join together to make positive changes where needed, but we also need to recognize that the African continent is diverse and not universally impoverished. Her words resonate, acting as a powerful salve-therapy against xenophobia. Read More..

Suss Out Your Truthiness

Two definitions:

Post-truth: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Truthiness: “Believing something that feels true, even if it isn’t supported by fact.”

Quick: conjure the zeitgeist with a single word. A decade ago, that word (according to Merriam-Webster) was “truthiness.” This year, the feeling of truthiness is back with a sequel:  citing a 2000% increase in its use during the year, Oxford Dictionaries has proclaimed “post-truth” to be the word that best reflects the spirit of the times. These two words are subtly different in meaning, but both point to a reliance on feeling rather than objective fact in decision-making. Read More..