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In the Spotlight

Let’s Get Digital

I love browsing the stacks and serendipitously discovering a new book to read or movie to watch, or flipping through CDs browsing for music, but it isn’t an option for some people. Parents who bring kids to storytime don’t always have time to browse for their own reading material, and those who travel frequently or work odd hours may have more difficulty getting to the library to explore the collection within the library’s walls. Also, there’s those pesky fines you have to pay when you forget to return items on time (and believe me, librarians can rack up more just as many fines as anyone). Read More..

Gold Fame Citrus: A Dry Read

“Punting the prairie dog into the library was a mistake.”

Not exactly “Call me Ishmael,” but enough of a first sentence to intrigue this Kansas librarian. I had heard good things about the new book by up-and-coming author Claire Vaye Watkins and was eager to read it. Read More..

We Are the Ants: Coming of Age, Aliens, and the End of the World

“Your entire sense of self-worth is predicated upon your belief that you matter, that you matter to the universe.

But you don’t.

Because we are the ants.” Read More..

Prepare For the Worst—And Enjoy Every Moment of It!

Let’s say that a sudden accident has left you stranded and alone on a faraway planet (Does this scenario ring some bells? If not, come by the Library to check out a copy of this year’s Read Across Lawrence pick, Andy Weir’s The Martian). How on (off?) Earth are you going to get out of this predicament?

Between you and me, if you find yourself in this situation, you’re going to wish you had spent some time at the library, because it’s knowledge and know-how that can give you a fighting chance. Want to study up in case you find yourself involved in an interplanetary mishap? I’ve got a few reading suggestions to get you started! Read More..

The Hateful Eight and the Books You’ll Love

Influenced by The Thing, Clue, and Sergio Corbucci’s nihilistic spaghetti western The Great Silence, Quentin Tarantino’s new film The Hateful Eight takes place in post-Civil War Wyoming where eight sadistic strangers seek shelter at Minnie’s Haberdashery during a whiteout blizzard. Read More..

The Once and Future Read: T.H. White’s Classic in 2016

Last year, Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk was released to tremendous praise (our own Eli considered it his book of the year). It’s a true story that examines the intersections between isolation, solace, civilization, and wildness.

In an attempt to exorcise her own rage and desperation, a grieving Macdonald, long a practitioner of falconry, decides to train a ferocious young goshawk after her father’s sudden passing.

Having never trained this particular species before, she relies upon T.H. White’s The Goshawk as a manual of sorts. In a rave review for H is for Hawk, Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker describes the work as “one part grief memoir, one part guide to [goshawks], and one part biography of [author] T. H. White.”

Read More..

2016′s New Book Club Services

It’s Thursday, you’re counting down the hours until the workday is done, and you have book club tonight. Not only do you have book club, it’s YOUR TURN to host. You’ve got cheese dip to make, pinot to purchase, and you still don’t know what book to suggest to your group for next month. Under pressure, you google what’s big on Amazon right now and throw a metaphorical dart. (Besides, your club never seems to agree on a book, so you figure it really doesn’t really matter anyway.)

Convenient printable PDF of our new services.

Read More..

Star Wars: Legends of the Past

I am a Star Wars fan like my father before me. My bedroom walls aren’t plastered with the posters and my shelves aren’t lined with the action figures preserved in their original packaging, but I do enjoy the films. Who am I kidding? I love them. Oh, and I did go through a stage during my teen years in which I spent many late night hours reading the Expanded Universe novels.

Read More..

Reading Across the Galaxy with Adam Rex

Road trips don’t get much stranger than the one 11-year old Gratuity Tucci must make, accompanied by a soap-eating alien named J-Lo, in this year’s Read Across Lawrence for Kids title, The True Meaning of Smekday.  But author and illustrator Adam Rex, whose “divinely demented” sensibility has entertained children and adults alike for over a decade, rarely stays on the map.

Rex, who will join us via Skype on February 27th to crown a month of events we’ve put together with the help of KU Libraries and the Friends of the Library, recently answered a few questions about his book, free copies of which will be distributed (along with pizza, but not soap) to kids at the kickoff party on January 30th.  Read More..

Spark a Resolution with Kondo Spirit

In 2014, Marie Kondo, Japan’s decluttering wunderkind, published a little-known and unassuming book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. As a professional cleaning consultant, Kondo developed a technique called the KonMari Method (its’ title derived from her first and last name) and has since become an international bestselling author. Life-Changing Magic has gone on to sell more than 3 million copies, as well as being published and translated in over 30 countries; in 2015, Kondo was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

So, if you’re looking for some motivation for making those New Year’s resolutions a reality, you’re in luck, because Kondo has released an improved, illustrated edition titled Spark Joy. Read More..