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In the Spotlight

Lead-off Hits: Best Rookie Authors of 2016

Summertime is in full-swing, which means more time for some of our favorite things – baseball games, new books, and popsicles (which are officially their own food group from May to September.) While we can’t offer you any frozen treats, we can combine the other two to give you…

Lead-off Hits: The Best Rookie Authors of 2016

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Knisley Does It

As a reader, I usually don’t know where my next read is going to come from. It could be found in a magazine article, by listening to NPR, or from a person convincing me that I need to drop everything and read this book that will apparently change my life. This is the tale of my journey with author and artist Lucy Knisley (pronounced Nicely), who I discovered while researching food memoirs via the NoveList feature on the library website. Read More..

Shakespeare 400 at the Library

Perhaps you’re all up to date on #Shakespeare400, but I (and here I hang my librarian head) have only paid glancing attention to the worldwide celebration of the Bard’s “passing through nature to eternity.”

Thankfully, I’ll be given the chance to remedy my oversight when on Final Friday, July 29th at 6:00 PM, Lawrence Opera Theatre (LOT) will be showcasing their 7th season in the library auditorium. Luminous voices from LOT will be performing songs and arias from the coming season, which captures the words of William Shakespeare set to music. Read More..

Reading Under the Influence with James Patterson’s Bookshots

If Nike gave out shoe deals for authors, James Patterson would be the first to have a line of $120 premium sneakers. Literary tastes aside, there’s no denying that he’s running the popular fiction game right now, with scores of best-selling titles coming out every month.

How does he do it? I think it’s time to ask a daunting question, one that might have revelatory, world-changing consequences—is James Patterson actually a human being? Read More..

Republish or Perish

Back in 3rd grade, my best friend hipped me to the wonders of Bertrand Brinley’s novel The Mad Scientist’s Club, about a group of boys who float a mannequin over their town’s Founder’s Day celebration, construct a remote controlled “monster” in a local lake, and wreak further havoc with various other products of their tinkering.  Read More..

July 4th Burger Blues

The Fourth of July was a tough holiday for me. It’s not a lack of patriotism, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s the barbecues. You’d think I’d have gotten used to not eating meat after so long, but man. Just thinking about some nice grilled hamburgers gets me ready to abandon a decade’s worth of vegetarianism.

Some people stop eating meat because they don’t like the taste. I am not one of them. Every now and then I see a commercial on TV for Wendy’s or something and it gets my mouth watering. Wendy’s. Read More..

Reaching A Supernatural Crossroads

I first discovered Charlaine Harris’ acclaimed Southern Vampire Mysteries (aka the Sookie Stackhouse series) while in college.  At the time, I worked two jobs while finishing my bachelor’s degree, and I needed a vacation from the dense, academic drivel that consumed my evenings.

Following a recommendation from my mom, who is an avid mystery reader, I became immediately enraptured by Sookie’s paranormal world.  It served as the perfect escape from my never ending to-do lists, beckoning deadlines and helped me fall in love with recreational reading all over again. I not only devoured each of the books published at that point, but I also started my long-term relationship with the Urban Fantasy genre. Read More..

Three Graphic Novel Recommendations, Part 2

If you’ve ever taken a creative writing class, you’ve no doubt heard the writing workshop mantra: “Show, don’t tell.” Combine that with the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and you’ve got the sweet spot that graphic novels inhabit–a medium that can pair compelling narrative with evocative illustrations can convey nuances of emotion and experience unavailable to words alone. Read More..

Three Graphic Novel Recommendations (That Aren’t Saga)

I have a confession to make: I used to be one of those people who looked down their nose at graphic novels and comics and openly judged others for reading them. In frustration, I even said once, “It’s not really reading! It’s just a bunch of pictures!” (Yeah, I know. #cringeworthy).

Sorry, everyone, for my past-self being such a huge jerk. You will be happy to know that I have since cooled my jets when it comes to judging how, or what, others read. Reading is such a personal experience, and I am now a firm believer that any amount of reading is important, and it counts, even if it’s just the back of your cereal box in the morning. Read More..

Dispatches from a Newly Minted Book Club

While reading is often thought of as a solitary activity, book clubs and reading groups provide a bit of social camaraderie for certain book lovers. Read More..