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In the Spotlight

Like, Try, Why: Fantasy

Last week, we shared some suggested pairings for fans of urban fantasy, where the magical or supernatural elements exist in a world similar to that of our own. This week, we’ve got suggestions for epic fantasy!  Read More..

It’s Kind of a Miracle…

… that Miracleman, the lost Alan Moore gem from early in his career, ever saw print again. Tied up in lawsuits over the ownership of the work (both the Moore issues and the later stories by Neil Gaiman) for nearly twenty years, this post-modern—and decidedly adult– take on Britain’s Captain Marvel knockoff (it’s a long story – see here for as good a summation as anywhere), is finally seeing print from Marvel. Read More..


Like, Try, Why: Magical or Supernatural Stories

While fantasy is often thought of as high or epic, like wizards and orcs and elves and hobbits having an “epic” battle,  there’s a lot more variety within various subgenres. The largest fantasy sub-genre is urban fantasy, which has its own section in the fiction loop at Lawrence Public Library.

Urban fantasy is just that, a blend of the magic and the mundane, where the reader encounters the supernatural in a real-world (usually) urban setting. The line between fantasy and urban fantasy is not always black and white, and some readers will enjoy books from both.

While all fantasy titles have some element of magic or the supernatural, they can fall all over the map otherwise, with some highly literary titles and others that are just fast-paced fun. Some have heavy romance subplots, some are all action and adventure. It’s an eclectic genre worth dipping your toes into if you’ve never tried it! Whether a dedicated fan or an urban fantasy newbie, one of these titles might interest you.

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Fail Better

Curious George and I got off on the wrong foot.  One of my earliest memories is an epic tantrum I threw at age four when my parents returned home from a trip bearing the gift of a stuffed monkey, when what I really wanted was a G.I. Joe (and yes, I’m so old I mean the kind that was a foot tall).  These days, Curious is curious as ever, in large part due to 2008’s Will Ferrell-voiced feature film, and the PBS television reboot, which airs every morning in these parts around the time my own 2- and 4-year olds are doing their utmost not to get dressed, brush their teeth, eat breakfast, or any other of the morning requirements that distinguish humans from the lesser primates.

Like Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Transformers, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Curious George is riding a wave of resurgent popularity, as Gen X and Y parents introduce old favorites to their own kids.  But I suspect I’m not alone in my frequent disappointment with new versions of old shows, and in sometimes finding even the originals not quite as cool as they were when I was five. Read More..


Like, Try, Why: Books for Fans of BBC TV Shows

If you love watching BBC television shows, our latest like, try, why is for you! Whether your a fan of historical shows, sci-fi, or mysteries, there’s a book on here for you to check out. There’s a mix of memoirs, nonfiction, graphic novels, young adult fiction, and novels — something for everyone!  Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Science Fiction

Science fiction is a genre with many classic titles that have endured the test of time. But as new technologies emerge and culture changes, the genre continues to evolve. Here are some newer releases that are natural follow ups to classics, whether you are a die-hard fan or a new sci-fi reader.  Read More..

Local Talent: Lawrence Authors and Artists

We are certainly lucky to have such a wonderful creative community in Lawrence.  Here in the new library space, we see local musicians stopping by to record their songs, authors presenting their poetry, artists hanging new work.  Next time you’re in, I encourage you to check out something by a local author or artist.  Below are a few recommendations to get you started.

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Like Try Why: Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver is a novelist, essayist and poet. Her lyrical writing is character-centered, emphasizing social justice and environmental biodiversity with a strong sense of place. She has been recognized with many awards, including the National Humanities Medal and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work.

If you enjoy reading Kingsolver you may also appreciate these recent acclaimed books by like-minded authors. Read More..

Literature for Cheaters: The Best Ways Not to Read the World’s Greatest Books

Some of you may be old (or just plain hip) enough to remember the classic Twilight Zone episode ‘Time Enough at Last’ featuring the tragic tale of Henry Bemis, a bookish bank teller whose attempts to read were frequently interrupted by ‘a world full of tongue-clucks’ and ceaselessly sabotaged by the ‘unrelenting hands of the clock.’  When the world has collapsed into ruins and Henry is the only survivor, he plunders the debris of the local public library, stacking up his favorite books, miraculously still intact amidst the rubble. Relishing in his newfound freedom, Henry gleefully prepares for the ultimate literary indulgence, just before his eyeglasses slip from his hand and shatter into pieces in a twisted turn of fate. Read More..


Like Try Why: Inspirational Fiction

Inspirational fiction is one of our most popular genre categories at Lawrence Public Library. If you are looking to try out an inspirational novel for the first time, or are a dedicated fan looking for a new favorite, you’ll find a book on this list. Read More..