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Geraldine Brooks is our 2016 Beach Author!

We are happy to announce Pulitzer prize winning author, Geraldine Brooks is our 2016 Beach author. Most will know her from her intricately researched works of fiction. However, Brooks is also a seasoned war reporter who covered conflicts for the Wall Street Journal in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Africa for the better part of two decades.

“We are delighted that Geraldine Brooks is coming to Lawrence,” said Brad Allen, library executive director. “She has so much to share with us about her career as a writer. Brooks has worked as a reporter in the Middle East, written three works of non-fiction, and five novels. Her books are huge favorites of local book clubs.”

Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for her novel March, which tells the story of the absent patriarch of the March family in Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Little Women. Her latest book, The Secret Chord, was released in the spring of 2015 to glowing reviews. It is a vivid and original story that reinterprets the life of King David, inspired by brief biblical references to the lost book of Nathan. It has been called her most ambitious novel yet.

Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband, author Tony Horwitz, their two sons, two dogs, three alpacas, and a mare named Valentine.

Brooks will be interviewed by Lawrence author and KU Assistant Professor of English Laura Moriarty. The program is free and open to the public and will take place Friday, October 7th at 7:30 pm at Liberty Hall. No tickets are required. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. A book signing follows the program and Raven Bookstore will sell copies of Brooks’ books.

 A gift to our community from the Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation, this special series brings a prominent author to Lawrence each year. The series debuted in 2014 with National Book Award winner James McBride. MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Karen Russell was the 2015 Beach Author.

Bryn Greenwood: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

TUE | Aug 9 | 7:30-9:00 PM | Lawrence Public Library Auditorium

Fourth generation Kansan and newly minted local author, Bryn Greenwood, will read from her debut novel All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Greenwood weaves a gritty tale about love and redemption that follows the young and stoic protagonist, Wavy, who embarks on a discomfiting romance with the only person she has ever trusted. Join us for the launch of Greenwood’s novel, which the Kirkus Review describes as “intelligent, honest, and unsentimental.” Book signing to follow. In partnership with the Raven Book Store.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Stewart Newlin

Video Game Wingding

To celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of Metroid’s original release, the we’re partnering with Game Nut to host a video game get-together celebrating the beloved series and its lasting influence.

On Saturday, July 30 from 1-3 PM in the Auditorium, come and play video games with us!

Lit Lounge Book Club

If you like to get lit…erary, this club’s for you: raise a pint and your bookish IQ at the same time! We’ll be at Decade Coffee Thursday, July 28 from 7-8:30 PM.

We meet the fourth Thursday each month at Decade to talk about what book(s) you’ve been reading and get some awesome recommendations for brand new titles! Kate‘s got details.

Celebrate the Bard with Music!

Opera enthusiasts and curious admirers—join us on Final Friday, July 29 from 6-7 PM in the Auditorium as the Lawrence Opera Theater (LOT) makes their Shakespeare 400 7th Summer Festival debut!

Join us for free musical treats, complimentary light snacks, and beverages.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, and LOT is celebrating the lasting legacy of the world’s greatest playwright. Five of LOT’s talented singers will present a varied program, featuring songs and arias from works based on the Bard’s words, characters, and plays.

It gets even better: We’ve created a corresponding reading and listening list inspired by Shakespeare’s works featured in the LOT’s Shakespeare 400 season!

See who’s going!

Featured peformers:

  • Antonio Tony Cruz
  • Alexandra Roth
  • Jen Stephenson
  • Jake Chris Walters
  • Jennifer Wilson
  • Hugo Vera
  • Erica Fox Zabusky
  • Pianist: Brian Woods

More information at Lawrence Opera Theater.

Community Torch Relay + Party!

On Wednesday, July 27, the Watkins Museum of History opens their new exhibit about Douglas County Olympians with the only way to begin an Olympics…with a torch relay!

At 10 AM, participants will gather at the Lawrence Public Library before sending off the first runner. The relay will make its way down Massachusetts Street before its dramatic finish at the Watkins at 11th and Mass, where we will “light” the torch of the new exhibit!

From 10:15 AM–12 PM, join us at the museum for a party with Olympic-themed games, crafts, and refreshments celebrating the exhibit and the athletic achievements of our area’s residents.

If being a torch-bearer sounds like fun, Watkins is looking for volunteers ages 6-adult to be part of their relay.Kids ages 6-15 must sign up with a parent or guardian. Contact Abby Magariel at the Watkins Museum for more information:, or call 841-4109.

torch_relay_flyer smaller


Bookworms & Waterbugs

Just to make sure we don’t melt before we head to the pool tomorrow (7/22), we’re having our wet-n-wild stories and songs in the AUDITORIUM at 10:30 AM and then we’re walking over to the pool for a free swim! Provided by Lawrence Public Library and Lawrence Parks & Recreation.

Exploratorium: Pet World Day

MON | Jul 25 | 2-3 PM | Ages 7-11 |  Auditorium

Pet World will join us with an amazing array of animals to learn about. We hope you can join us for this fuzzy finale to Exploratorium! Registration required. Call (785) 843-3833 or register in person at the Children’s Desk.


Quantum Camp for Kids

SAT | Jul 23 | 3:30-4:30 PM | Ages 7-11 | Library Auditorium

What is an electron anyway? Can tiny particles stay in touch without touching? Our special guest, Jenny Nielsen from KU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, will help your kids take off and soar with the information they need to build now for future success in easy but mind-blowing activities and games that explore the workings of our quantum universe. Please register at 785-843-3833 or at the Children’s Desk.

Fitness Fridays: POUND! with Parks + Rec

We’re wrapping up Fitness Fridays with drumsticks and Marianne Hoffman from Lawrence Parks and Recreation.

Meet us Friday, July 29 at 7 AM on the Library Lawn for a fun, full-body cardio session that combines cardio moves with strength training and drumming!

Offered In partnership with Body Boutique and Lawrence Parks and Recreation. Attendees will need to sign a release waiver before participating. In the event of inclement weather, we will need to cancel.