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In the Spotlight

Take Two Anne Tylers and Call Me in the Morning

I have a new mantra. Here it is: Welcome to your old age, Randi. Okay. So it’s more of a mantra phrase, but still, it’s the repetition that gives a mantra its calming mojo. I use it whenever I feel a twinge where I’ve not twinged before, whenever an injury doesn’t heal quite as quickly or neatly as it used to, and whenever there’s some change in my overall sense of myself—of the me I have grown used to over the years. Read More..

The Hour of Land Explores Shared Stories and Shared Space

They look pretty good for one hundred years old, don’t they? Happy Birthday to our National Parks! Well, this doesn’t date the ageless glory contained within the parks, but rather the National Park Service, established on August 25, 1916.

Even now, there are parks who have not had their stories fully told; how did I not know about a parade of massive earthen bears lining a section of the Mississippi River? Hundreds of these centuries-old earthworks quietly reside at Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa, one of the 412 units of the Park Service, and I have writer Terry Tempest Williams to thank for introducing me to them. Read More..

The Rules and The Exceptions

I’m a natural-born rule follower. If there’s a rule in place, it almost never occurs to me to ask why it’s there or whether it’s worth following; it’s a rule, so unless it’s a pile of ethical garbage, I’m probably going to follow it.

My preference for strong, clear guidelines in all things (Obligers, am I right?) even bleeds over into my reading habits. I’ll often set rules for myself about what I can and can’t read; it’s one of the reasons I’m so drawn to reading challenges, which lay out the rules in no uncertain terms: read books about these topics in this order. Ah, sweet, sweet order. Read More..

Adventure Parenting Lit

When you think of having kids, do you envision yourself as bold, daring, audacious, and full of adventure? Some of you may say yes, but for the rest of you– why not? Read More..

Lawrence Author Bryn Greenwood Debuts with Novel All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Lawrence’s own Bryn Greenwood comes from a long line of Kansans, a heritage that suffuses her Midwest-set debut, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. The novel follows the young life of Wavonna “Wavy” Quinn, daughter of an Oklahoma meth baron and an unstable, germophobe mother. Read More..

Read Harder Challenge Check In

We’re more than half way through the year – you haven’t forgotten about Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge have you? Many of us here at LPL have been plugging away at the 24 challenges, ever expanding our literary horizons. Here’s a look at some of my favorite challenges and reads so far: Read More..

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..