http://www.lawrence.lib.ks.us
Back to Top

Meredith Wiggins

The Stages of Finding a New Favorite Author

This post was inspired by my binge-reading of the collected works of Mohsin Hamid, my (new) favorite author currently writing. Read More..

Three on a Theme: Bookish Podcasts

LPL’s Book Squad Podcast just celebrated its eleventh episode, and let me tell you: it has been on fire lately.

Recent episodes feature discussions of classics like The Catcher in the Rye and Their Eyes Were Watching God, shout-outs to great events like the KU Black Love Symposium, and even a couple of recommendations from yours truly (still haven’t read Public Relations? Fix that now).

I could listen to people talk about books all day, and the explosion of book-themed podcasts makes that pretty darn possible. Whether you’re in the mood for book recommendations, author interviews, or deep-dives into book culture, there’s a podcast out there for you. I’ve collected a few of my favorites below. Read More..

My Bookish Bucket List

I’m fascinated by the concept of bucket lists. Few things fascinate me more than hearing what other people consider to be must-have life experiences, mostly because the range of “must-have” encompasses so much.

I have a general life bucket list (see the Northern Lights; go sky-diving; walk the Camino De Santiago), but I also keep a more specifically bookish bucket list, stocked with book-related experiences I’d like to have during my lifetime – everything from reading specific books to getting more bookish body art to attending conventions.

Recently, I got to put a checkmark next to a huge item on my bookish bucket list: visiting The Ripped Bodice, an all-romance novel bookstore located in L.A. I discovered the store via their excellent Twitter last year and had been sadly pining away from afar. (You know that whine-and-paw-at-the-ground thing that dogs do when they’re sad? That was me, every time someone posted photos of The Ripped Bodice.) Read More..

Into the Woods: A Different Take on Beach Reads

When I was growing up, “going on vacation” was synonymous with “going to the beach.” Every summer, my parents loaded me and my brothers in our beat-up Ford Aerostar – books and Barbies in tow for yours truly – and trekked seven hours straight south from our house in Alabama to a condo in Florida, where we’d spend a week splashing in the pool and building sandcastles with our grandparents and cousins.

I know how fortunate we were to have access to vacations like that.  But growing up, even as I loved visiting our favorite beach haunts, I was also frustrated that we never took trips elsewhere. If my parents had vacation time, we went to the beach. The end.

I would love to say that I handled that preference with generosity of both spirit and manner, but alas, I was a human child, so instead I complained about it endlessly. Even today, when summer rolls around and I get the chance to do some traveling, I’m unlikely to head toward a coast. (I’m also so pale that I basically reflect the sun back on itself, but that’s neither here nor there.)

The result: I have a somewhat fraught relationship with so-called “beach reads.” Read More..

Whoa, We’re Halfway There: Squad Goals Progress Post

If you’ve stopped by LPL in the past few months, you may have noticed that the Book Squad has set up monthly rotating displays featuring potential reads for the Squad Goals Reading Challenge, our inaugural reading challenge featuring a baker’s dozen of prompts designed to help you find great new books.

We announced the Squad Goals Challenge on the Spotlight Blog last December, and I wrote about what I planned to read then. Since 2017 is almost halfway gone (eek!) and Summer Reading is upon us, I wanted to check in and update you all on how my personal Squad Goals Challenge is going.

Spoiler alert: It’s been a mixed bag so far. Read More..

A Book by Its Cover

We’ve all heard the old adage to never judge a book by its cover. The only time I don’t think you should follow that advice is when it comes to actual books.

On a purely literal level, when we’re talking about judging actual books by their actual covers, let’s face it: it’s impossible not to. If I’m being honest, being drawn to an interesting cover is probably the number-one way that I find new books to try; I spend way too much time walking the shelves of the Fiction Loop not to be drawn in by intriguing covers.

So recently, I decided to test myself: I grabbed three books that simply looked interesting and settled down to read them without knowing anything whatsoever about the plot. And to make it extra interesting, I jotted down a guess at the plot pre-read – a guess based purely on the cover design. Read More..

Let’s Not Go Home Again: Protecting the Things You Love

I’ve always been the kind of person who nurtures small obsessions. Case in point: there was a time in middle school when I was not infrequently introduced to people as “Meredith, that girl who likes Buffy.”

It was an extremely fair introduction. I discovered Buffy, the Vampire Slayer in the fourth or fifth grade, and I rapidly became obsessed. When my local cable affiliate dropped the WB, I spent two years getting up in the wee hours to watch new episodes when they re-aired on Fox at 3:30 a.m. (This was a pre-DVR era.) I delayed my fourteenth birthday party by more than three months so that the “theme” of the party could be “let’s get a group of 25 people together and watch the first episode of season 7 live.” Read More..

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Introducing the Squad Goals Reading Challenge

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I love a reading challenge. Whether I’m searching for a book set in my home state or one with nonhuman characters, one with a color in the title or one that’s becoming a movie this year, if you give me a series of prompts and a checklist to mark off, I’m a happy woman.

In 2016, the Book Squad worked on Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, but in 2017, we’re trying something new. Read More..

The Best Books from the Worst Year

Let’s be honest, 2016 has been kind of a hot mess. Between so many celebrity deaths (David Bowie, Sharon Jones, Prince, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel… holy cow, SO MANY) and some, uh, general upheaval, most people are ready to write this one off as a loss.

But! As much as we’d like to say goodbye and good riddance to the year as a whole, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the very good things that came from 2016; this year has offered readers a wealth of fabulous new books. Debut authors and big-hitters alike have released incredible works in 2016, and the staff of LPL would like to share a few of our favorites. If you’re looking for great gifts for bibliophiles in your life, try one of these librarian-approved reads: Read More..

Total Boox: A Sampler’s Delight

After a recent flight reminded me of how terrible it is to travel with my circa-2011 laptop, I took the plunge and bought myself a basic tablet. As tablets go, it’s not particularly powerful, but 1) it doesn’t weigh upwards of 10 pounds and 2) the battery doesn’t fall out when I move it, so it’s a clear upgrade.

The biggest benefit of my newly acquired tablet? Much easier access to e-books.

I’ve particularly enjoyed exploring Total Boox, a service LPL offers that I hadn’t heard about before I started working here. Total Boox lets you check out as many e-books as you want and keep them for as long as you want – period. You can even check out whole shelves devoted to specific authors, topics, or genres. Just download to your device, and bam! They’re yours to read at whatever pace works for you. Read More..