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Happy Labor Day! The library will be closed on Sunday and Monday, September 6 and 7.

In the Spotlight

Scott Pilgrim: Once, Twice, Three Times Awesome (part 2)

Last month, Adam brought us a post on High Fidelity and its merits across multiple forms (book, movie, soundtrack). This time he’s back to talk about another triple hit.

It’s pretty much impossible to describe the Scott Pilgrim universe without using the word awesome in every other sentence. And, like Scott, I’m not great at restraining my enthusiasm when I find something truly awes–ahem…exciting, to talk about. For the sake of maintaining some semblance of literary integrity in this post, I’ll try to restrain myself, and not freak out…too much. Read More..

Blake’s Take on Centron Films

As anyone who watched Mad Men can attest, the commercials and advertising of past eras are fascinating reflections of our culture. Recently, while watching a few of the educational films created by Centron, I couldn’t help but make a similar connection. These films, regardless of their specific purpose — whether to warn against the perils of gossip or the inherent safety ricks of trick-or-treating — have a lot to say about the morals and etiquette of their era. In fact, they are so steeped in their time that it becomes easy to overlook the talented individuals who created and conceived them. Read More..

The Worst Beach Reads of All Time

Usually here at LPL we try to talk about the books we think you should read, but today I’m venturing into the other end of the pool: books you probably should not read. That said, do recall one of the first laws of robotics, I mean, library science: there’s a book for every reader and a reader for every book. Every book has a time, place, and circumstance in which it is a good book to read.

…At least that’s what I tell myself when I think about the time I consumed the comprehensive bibliography of Nicholas Sparks in a matter of weeks. I was dealing with some stuff, alright.

Now that it’s finally summer, people are laying siege to the Book Squad secret lair for a certain kind of book suggestion: beach reads. Read More..

Song to the Cicadas

Once every 17 years, the Brood IV Cicadas emerge for a short lived appearance before they disappear. Lawrence Magazine in collaboration with the Sound + Vision Studio invited the bands CS Luxem and Greenhouse Culture to write song celebrating this event. Check out the fantastic song they wrote in just one 3 hour sessions. The musical talent in this town constantly blows our minds. Read More..

Overview of Financial Wellness Clinics

Your expertly crafted plans to win the lottery, marry rich, or inherit millions of dollars have fallen through. What now? Lawrence Public Library, in partnership with Housing and Credit Counseling Services, offered a series of financial literacy workshops that provided basic money management and investing information to anyone in Lawrence interested in improving his or her money IQ.  The series of five workshops began April 7 and ended on June 2.

Read More..

Superhero Fiction for Grown Ups

If you visited the library over the weekend or yesterday, you might have noticed lots of superheroes wandering the stacks! This year, our summer reading theme is Every Hero Has a Story, so we’ve got lots of fun programs for kids and teens about superheroes, and of course, lots of superhero fiction for them to check out.

But what about adults?

Here are seven superhero novels written for grown ups! They run the gamut from fun and campy to more literary and thought-provoking. Read More..

High Fidelity: Once, Twice, Three Times Awesome (part 1)

Most of us breathe a sigh of relief when a film adaptation of a favorite book turns out to be actually pretty good. When an adaptation is more than actually pretty good, it’s cause for celebration. When the music for that movie is so good that the soundtrack stands as a terrific album in itself, it’s such a rare occasion that the fact that it’s happened at least twice warrants, in my humble opinion, writing about. Nick Hornby’s ‘High Fidelity’ and Brian O’Malley’s graphic novel series, ‘Scott Pilgrim,’ managed to succeed where so many other adaptations have come up short. Just how were they able pull off this miraculous convergence of all things awesome? Read on to find out!  This week I will be talking about High Fidelity, and will continue up with Scott Pilgrim in an upcoming post. Read More..

Multimedia Like, Try, Why: Part 2

Last month, Fisher from Readers’ Services brought us a special “Like, Try, Why” featuring not only books but movies and CDs from our catalog. This month, he shares another round of picks!

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Wild Brits? I say! Exploring the Global Wilderness

Feeling less cranky than usual, Ed Abbey, prickly prophet of the desert Southwest, once looked around and suggested this:

“Beyond the wall of the unreal city… there is another world waiting for you. It is the old true world of the deserts, the mountains, the forests, the islands, the shores, the open plains. Go there. Be there. Walk gently and quietly deep within it.”

Read More..

Talking Booker T. Jones with Brad Allen

Libraries have connected their communities with authors forever. It’s what we do. People love to hear beloved authors talk about their process, maybe read a chapter from a book. It’s fun stuff to see an author. As I sat at my desk one morning, I began to think about our lovely town of Lawrence, Kansas, and what other kinds of folk our community would be interested in seeing in person at the library. We’re a music town, and I thought perhaps people would get a kick out of hearing the stories of musicians. And thus, the 780s Series was born.

From a young age, I was always intrigued with learning the stories behind the music I loved. One of the earliest music books I read was The Love You Make, a biography on The Beatles (not the best one, but the only one I knew of as a kid). Since then, I’ve read dozens of books about rock, folk, jazz, blues, soul, and funk. My fascination with knowing the stories about music I loved led all the way to writing an oral history of a funk band as a Master’s thesis. I love the stories behind the music, and I am so excited to begin this new series bringing some of the best musicians around to Lawrence for us to hear their stories.

sliderI am so thrilled to have Booker T. Jones visit Lawrence, Kansas, for the inaugural event in our 780s Series. His life and his music stand at the convergence of pop, rock, and soul music from the 1960s and onward. Booker T. and the MG’s were one of the first integrated rock and soul bands in the United States and as the “house band” at Stax one of the greatest backing groups of the soul music era. You may know Booker T. and the MG’s from their own hit “Green Onions,” but they are the band that plays on hundreds of songs from the Stax/Volt catalog, including hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and many others.