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In the Spotlight

A Multimedia Like, Try, Why!

In previous “If you like…” posts, we’ve stuck primarily with books and authors (with some movies sprinkled in). This time, however, Fisher from Readers’ Services takes the series even further, bringing us some great suggestions across multiple types of media.

If you’ve ever wondered what audio or visual materials might go well with your current reading obsession, this post is for you!

Check out some of his suggestions for relevant materials all over our collection. Got a question about your own latest read? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more multimedia Like-Try-Why’s in the future! Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Historical Mysteries with a Female Sleuth

If you enjoy well-written mysteries, set in a historical context, with women investigators then you may find a new favorite. These recommendations are for discerning readers who prefer to avoid explicit violence and brutal details. Each book highlighted here is the first title in the series. Find more information with this list in the catalog! Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Dystopian Stories

Tired of cold, rainy days? Be sure to count your blessings; at least you’re not a semi-slave to a ruthless general, fighting your high school friends for survival, or on the the run from a society that brands you a murderer because of the color of your skin. Those dark tales and more come from the following list of dystopias.  Read one and the new spring flowers will smell all the sweeter.

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Your Top 5: Reasons to Stop by LPL and Then Head Outside!

After another eventful Midwestern winter, April has finally arrived, and we at LPL are absolutely thrilled. Daffodils are blooming, temperatures are warming up, and downtown Lawrence is buzzing with activity.

This week we bring you our top 5 reasons to hit the library and then go outside!

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Why I’m Actively Avoiding Books by White Dudes

The folks at Book Riot have started a wonderful series this year on reading diversely, an issue very dear to my heart. For the past year, I have been striving to read – and request - more books by women of all backgrounds and by men who are not white. I’m essentially choosing to avoid the “dead white guy” as much as possible.

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Like, Try, Why: Neil Gaiman

These books offer up a dazzling (sometimes dizzying) display of wit and vivid imagination, through elegant, poignant storytelling. Mixing up a potion with equal portions of strange magic and suspenseful mystery, these authors combine the best of elements of horror, mythology, fantasy, sci-fi, and humor to masterfully weave highly inventive and darkly delightful narratives that you won’t soon forget.

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Six Degrees of Victor Frankenstein, or, How a Volcano Launched Science Fiction

You’ve probably heard that an Italian doctor is predicting the imminent re-attachment of severed heads to bodies. With the steady improvements in medical science and prosthetics technology, it’s not too surprising. Nor is it too surprising that there’s another Hollywood remake of Frankenstein in the works, this one told from the perspective of Igor — who didn’t even appear in Mary Shelley’s famous book. It is a little surprising that Igor will be played by the man forever to be known as a young wizard with a lightning bolt on his forehead.

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“There is no success like failure…”

“There is no success like failure, and failure is no success at all.” So sayeth Bob Dylan. What does it mean? Who knows?  But it does cause me to reflect on how subjective the concepts of success and failure are – especially when it comes to art.  And, to be honest, sometimes there is nothing more gratifying then a total cinematic train wreck.

But what about those projects that fall apart before they even come to fruition? I, for one, have always enjoyed stories of massive failures, abandoned projects, and total meltdowns. I know I’m not the only one as evidenced by a few recent books that have crossed my path like the mock Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure and  The Greatest Albums You’ll Never Hear. But the one that truly caught my attention was The Greatest Films You’ll Never See, which compiles tales of unfinished films. It seems that from as far back as Chaplin until the present day, every single director will end their career with at least one film that broke their heart. Read More..

Don’t Call it a Comeback: Mockingbird in 2015

Earlier this year, Harper Lee dropped a bomb on the literary world as we know it. Fifty-five years after debuting with To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee announced that its sister novel, Go Set a Watchman, will finally see the light of day. Mockingbird, with its innocent tale of growing up in hard times and learning a thing or two about what folk are like, cast a spell on readers. This summer, Watchman will continue our journey. We know little of its premise, but it will follow Scout and the Finch family—all grown up. Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Sue Monk Kidd

If you’re looking for lyrical, female-focused literary fiction, Sue Monk Kidd is a great go-to choice. Her most famous novel, The Secret Life of Bees, was later adapted into a film starring Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Dakota Fanning. I fell in love with this book in high school and have read it several times since. Her 2014 release, The Invention of Wings quickly became a favorite of mine for the year, and I wanted to put together a few suggestions for other fans of Sue Monk Kidd. Take a look below! Read More..