http://www.lawrence.lib.ks.us
Back to Top

In the Spotlight

The Means of Escape: Two Books in Conversation

People react in a variety of ways when faced with hardship. Some people eat an entire box of ice cream by themselves or blow off steam at the rec center, and these are perfectly reasonable choices. These people, however, do not get books written about them.

Two recently-released titlesGoatmanand Welcome to Marwencolpresent two incredible stories about the boundaries of creativity and escapism. Each book offers a look into a world where the desire to get away from it all is extrapolated with macro-sized reactions. Read More..

Newbery Award Hopefuls

Last week I attended Kansas City Public Library’s Mock Newbery awards which basically looks like this: a bunch of librarians nerd out about a selection of books, then we vote on which one we believe is worthy of top honors. The criteria for the Newbery Award are just vague enough that a lot is left open to interpretation. For example, if a book contains illustrations, it is only to be considered if they detract from the book, not enhance it.

Therefore, it was a huge surprise last year when Last Stop on Market Street won top honors, when we (and many others) classify it as a picture book. Setting the rules and criteria aside, the Newbery was ultimately established to recognize excellence in Children’s Literature, and there have been some great picks over the years: The Giver, Holes, Flora & Ulysses. Even the list of Newbery Honor recipients (not even the winners!) is stacked with excellent books, like The War That Saved My Life, which was my pick for the Mock Newbery winner last year. Ultimately, if you pick up a book with that beautiful Newbery Award or Newbery Honor Award emblazoned on the cover, you are in for an excellent read. Here are three that I think were in close contention for this year’s Newbery Medal: Read More..

How to Keep Up with Image Comics’ Booming Worlds!

Image Comics, a popular indie comic publisher, is known for its creative license. Their vast range includes wonderfully different, wildly successful stories such as The Walking Dead and Saga. When you walk up into Astrokitty Comics @ Game Nut on Mass Street, you’ll find that the back side of their display shelves is a giant homage to Image’s dedication to diversity of content, rather than attempting to keep all storylines within the same relative universe, i.e. like Marvel and DC Comics. Read More..

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..