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In the Spotlight

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..

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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..

Mother Nature Is One Tough Mama

Either I have a knack for meeting a lot of garden folk in this town, or Lawrence is just full of people who like to grow green things. It’s starkly apparent during this time of year–when the cold and gray days have set in as winter’s home, and the talk of spring evokes a gleam in the eyes of knowing growers. No matter how you slice it, everywhere you look in our community people are aching for warmer climes, longer days, and an end to winter’s bleak and naked landscape. Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Books for Your Inner Child

Remember that book that hooked you as a kid? Those stories that turned you on to reading? Here are some suggested adult reads matched to those books you loved as a kid.  Read More..

The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness

Rebecca Solnit, though not widely known, is one of the country’s finest writers of non-fiction, in all its many guises. Twenty-nine essays, articles, and letters are included in her wonderful new book, plus book prefaces and text written to accompany art exhibits. The resulting constellation of stellar pieces connects the dots, in typical Solnit fashion, from Wall Street to the arid West, tsunamis to Thoreau, gold mining to oil drilling, gardening to Google, climate change to country music, landscapes to limits, and Haiti to hope. Read More..

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RUSSIA!

In a year filled with excellent new releases, I still find it easy to single out Gary Shteyngart’s hilarious memoir Little Failure as my absolute favorite. Shteyngart was born a sickly but good little Soviet boy in 1972, in what was then Leningrad, with a devotion to his country so strong that an early childhood foray into fiction writing finds him pairing a magical goose with no other than Vladimir Lenin himself. When a rare opportunity emerges for Soviet Jews to immigrate to the US as part of a diplomatic exchange for grain, his parents pack up the family settling in Queens, NY.  Upon arriving they decide that his given name of Igor should be replaced with the more American sounding name of Gary. But a new name, and a growing love for the US, isn’t enough for his class-mates, who inevitably see him as a “commie” from the feared “evil empire” seen in the movies. Read More..

Like Try Why: Graphic Novels

Whether you love graphic novels or are new to the format, we’re hear to help. This guide covers three different genres within graphic novels: superheroes, fantasy/sci-fi, and horror. If you’re looking to check out more 2014 releases in graphic novels, check out this list of Fisher’s favorites in the catalogRead More..

Like, Try, Why: Janet Evanovich Edition

If you love sassy and smart slapstick mysteries, chances are you’re a Janet Evanovich fan. If you’re looking to branch out and try some new authors or series, we’ve got some suggestions for you.  Read More..

Creep’n: An Excavation of Best-Selling Authors’ Goodreads Profiles

Admit it: you love stalking people on social media. It’s normal. It’s natural. Healthy, even. We all do it. There is absolutely nothing questionable in spending hours trawling through every bit of a person’s digital presence. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Popular book discussion website Goodreads has enticed a bevy of big-name authors to create their own profiles, through which they can rate books, leave comments, and add titles to their “to read” lists. Upon finding this wealth of mostly-random-and-trivial data, I sifted through each recognizable writer like a crazed ex-lover or a noir-era P.I. with one last chance to redeem himself.  Here are my findings: Read More..