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Summer Reading

What Would Alfred Read? A Failed Summer Reading Challenge

In the summer of 2011, I came up with the perfect challenge: read at least one title by each of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature since its first awarding in 1901 and blog about my thoughts and reflections. I had the best title for my blog too: What Would Alfred Read? (The Nobel Prize is named after its Swedish inventor, Alfred Nobel.) Read More..

A Hike Through History with Henry Fortunato

Avid walker and distinguished historian Henry Fortunato is back with two awesome events for exercising your mind—and body.

TALKA Hike Through History begins with a talk about the Burroughs Creek Trail Hike Through History exhibit that’s coming to the library in late June.

WALK—Then on Saturday, June 18 at 10 AM, Henry takes us for a 3.2 mile walk along the Burroughs Creek Trail and brings history to life on a lovely summer morning. We’ll meet at Hobbs’ Park, 702 E. 11th Street. Rain date: July 16. 

Henry Fortunato is the founder of Sunflower Republic, LLC and a visiting fellow at KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities. He is the award-winning former public affairs director of Kansas City Public Library. In 2014, Fortunato walked across the state of Kansas.

Check out this great list of related library resources that our Book Squad’s Shirley put together!


Sponsors—Dolph and Pam Simmons, The Health Spot (Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Public Library), Kansas Health Foundation, Watkins Museum of History, The Hall Center for the Humanities, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, Kansas Historical Society, and Sunflower Republic.

Dinner + Movie on the Lawn!

It’s the 30th anniversary of calling in sick!

On Friday, June 17 at 7:30 PM, bring a chair or blanket and your family and friends and join us on the Lawrence Library Lawn for dinner and the 30th anniversary of the 80s classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Local food and drink vendors will be on site for your dining and drinking needs, or grab dinner at your favorite Downtown spot beforehand and then head over for the movie. Bring a picnic if you like. Free popcorn and door prizes from some of your favorite Downtown businesses. Family friendly and lots of fun, but please leave your furry friends at home. Presented by Downtown Lawrence, Inc. and the Lawrence Public Library — See who’s going!

Schedule:

  • 7:30pm — Dinner & drinks available from local Downtown food vendors and live entertainment
  • Vendors — Drasko’s FOOD TRUCK ,The Purple Carrot Co-op, Torched Goodness, TCBY, and Juice Stop; Face painting by Aunt Nancy’s Face Art
  • Entertainment — Live music courtesy of Lawrence’s own The Beer Bellies!
  • 9:00pm — Movie starts!
  • Free popcorn from Downtown Lawrence, Inc. and door prizes!

**CLOSED CAPTIONED FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED.**

Thanks to event series partners and sponsors: Kansas Jayhawks, WOW Connect, MSM Systems, Essential Goods, Cottin’s Hardware & Rental, Standard Beverage Corporation, The Free State Brewing Co.

Exercise Your Mind and Body—From PiYo to POUND!

Every Friday this summer, we’re offering sampler classes from local Lawrence gyms and fitness centers.

Switch up your routine at the library, meet new friends, and perhaps connect with a new workout buddy! Click to see the full schedule.

Fitness Fridays schedule of events

Exercise Your Mind: Wealth vs. Wellth

Where do you place your wealth? That’s the question that author Jason Wachob poses in his new book, Wellth, which seeks to reframe all that you consider to be of lasting value and then turn it on its head. Founder and CEO of MindBodyGreen–a health and lifestyle blog–Wachob has written about this idea of choosing to see what’s important in life in terms other than money, specifically in terms of “abundance, happiness, purpose, health, and joy.”

His approach explores everything from one’s current job to what to eat; from being thankful to simply just remembering to breathe. All the while he stills champions each individual as unique, with a path and purpose like none other.

Remember when Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Rules, and In Defense of Food, first stunned the nutritional world with his uber-minimalist approach to healthy eating (“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”)? Wachob’s take on holistic, self-tailored, and mindfulness-based health is easily as groundbreaking. Instead of the typical, narrowly defined, healthy messaging we usually hear (low-fat-this, cardio-that, food journals, mini-meals, target heart rates, you get the picture), Wachob espouses a new message of wholeness, uniqueness, balance, and acceptance that culminates in a diverse and broadly applicable approach to wellness for every body.

That said, it’s worth mentioning that as I began reading his book, it became quite evident that he and I differ substantially in our world view. For example, he is a six-foot, seven-inch, New York fraternity-brother basketball star turned mega-start-up-blogger with a background in Wall Street. I’m a five-foot two librarian with a public health twist from Oregon who doesn’t know her NYSE from her S&P (yes, I had to look it up to get it right) and once lived happily on a communal llama farm.

The message here is that although Wellth is an anecdotal account of one man’s foray into health and wellness, his story hits a universal nerve that not only explodes the accepted concept of health, but also redefines our American paradigm of success. Taking the expectation of monetary gain as the measure of achievement and replacing it with measures of gratitude, laughter, and purpose is as meaningful as Pollan’s plea to reacquaint mainstream society with real, whole food as a basis of daily eating.

This summer at LPL, we’re pushing the boundaries of health and wellth by celebrating the theme of Summer Reading: “Exercise Your Mind.” We’re kicking off with Library Olympics, full of crafting, gaming and jubilation. We’re hobbiting trails to Rivendell by tracking miles walked, biked, or jogged. We’re gathering together to move our bodies in new and fun ways (yoga, functional fitness, tai chi, and more!) on the library lawn for Fitness Fridays. We’re hiking through history with legendary Kansas wanderer, Henry Fortunato. We’re launching a collection found nowhere else on earth (how very Lawrence!) to bring access to fitness resources to our city with the GYM Pass collection. We’ve got storywalks, Guinness world records, teen iron chef, local foods and urban agriculture, canoeing adventures, and so much more! Not to mention the honor of being host site to both the Lawrence Summer Food Program and Tuesday’s Farmer’s Market.

So Lawrence, where do you place your wealth? What about your wellth? Not sure yet what to make of this concept? Here are a few other reads to point you in the right direction:

May your summer be long, wellth read, and wellth lived. Cheers!

-Gwen Geiger Wolfe is an Information Services and Public Health Librarian at Lawrence Public Library.

Free Lunch for Kids + Teens

Mon-Fri | Jun 6-Aug 5 | 12-1 PM | Library Lawn

Through the Lawrence Summer Food Program, kids ages 1-18 can enjoy a FREE lunch, and adults can eat a healthy meal for $3.45. No lunch on July 4.

Sponsored by AmeriCorps/VISTA, Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, City of Lawrence Parks & Rec, K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County, Lawrence Public Schools Food Service Program, Just Food, Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence DG CO Health Deptartment, Lawrence Housing Authority, LiveWell Lawrence.

JULY Lunch Schedule (click image to enlarge)

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 7.45.32 PM

 

Get ready for the Library Games!

If you can’t get to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Games, you can participate in Library Games this Saturday for free!

We’ll be flexing our muscles and brains with all sorts of fun activities, like martial arts demos, golf putting tips, and cookie decorating (and eating)—even something called “smells of Lawrence past” (you heard that right!) The Book Squad will be out in force connecting you with new reads, and the dogs from Tail Wagging Readers will be here, too. There’s even going to be a solar telescope!

Eileen’s Colossal Cookies and Dillion’s will bring the treats, and the ever-popular Spinner returns for another round of “make Brad do whatever the arrow lands on.”

Come get your Summer party on with the Library! Fun for all ages is guaranteed.

Beach Reads 2016 Edition

Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to travel to new places and embark on a wondrous adventure (even if it’s only in your living room, curled up with a cool drink and a great book).  We’ve put together a list of some more eclectic beach reads to help you get a jumpstart on your Summer Reading goals.

So leave your highbrow, literary nonsense at the door and enjoy some of the best new releases in genre fiction – with a bonus memoir thrown in for good measure.

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Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood

Equal parts Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and Geek Love, Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet tells the story of Kitty, a young girl whose mother mysteriously vanishes during their trip to Coney Island in 1904.  Finding herself alone, Kitty stumbles upon Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet – a side show of human oddities who agree to help her locate her missing mother.  It has plenty of humor, intrigue, and an eccentric, Lovecraftian creepiness that lingers underneath this fascinating world.  H.P. Wood has crafted an amazing ensemble cast, so if character driven stories are your jam, this one is a must read.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Set in a hidden library connected to multiple parallel universes, The Invisible Library follows Irene, an immortal librarian sent on a quest to Victorian England to retrieve a rare manuscript while accompanied by her trainee Kai.  However, this isn’t your typical England, as there are all sorts of supernatural creatures and mechanical anachronisms.  The Invisible Library is a page turner that effortlessly blends elements of Doctor Who and Ghostbusters into an imaginative adventure that will make you wish you could join the hallowed ranks of the librarians.

The Fireman by Joe Hill

It all started with Draco Incendia Trychophyton: a plague that causes gold and black markings on the skin and develops into a fatal conflagration that sets the world’s populous ablaze.  And, there is no cure.  Here enters our Mary Poppins-esque heroine Harper Grayson, a school nurse who finds out she is both infected and pregnant.  Now, Harper just needs to survive until she can give birth to her child – hopefully infection free.  Both heart wrenching and intense, Joe Hill’s latest work provides an innovative portrait of the future with plenty of captivating, horror-infused weirdness.

Dr. Strange by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo

Kansas City writer Jason Aaron brings Doctor Strange to new, reality bending heights in this contemporary Marvel series.  The unknown Empirikul are set on purifying magic from every dimension, and it’s up to Dr. Strange, as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, to protect the planet and save magic itself.  Artist Chris Bachalo has done a spectacular job of visual worldbuilding with bold color selections and a meticulous attention to detail.  Be sure to give this a read before the upcoming Doctor Strange film starring Benedict Cumberbatch premieres this November.

 

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Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

Best-selling author Mary Kubica does it again in this fast-paced and twisted psychological thriller that will delight fans of both Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.  When Quinn’s friend and roommate Esther goes missing in downtown Chicago, she finds a mysterious letter in Esther’s personal possessions, which makes Quinn question everything she knew about her friend.  Meanwhile, a young man in a small Michigan harbor town is drawn to a beautiful and mysterious woman new to town, who isn’t all that she seems.  This book is a suspenseful thrill ride perfect for a summer afternoon!

In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

Widely known for her roles as Maritza Ramos on Orange is the New Black and Lina on Jane the Virgin, actress and activist Diane Guerrero has channeled her talent towards writing in this emotional and personal memoir of her experiences as the child of undocumented immigrants.  Guerrero’s biggest fear became a reality at the young age of fourteen, when her parents were deported while she was in school.  Guerrero’s own struggles bring to light the stories of countless children born in the US to undocumented immigrants and fosters a sense of humanity with the issues surrounding immigration.  It is a truly memorable read.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

When new girl Amanda Hardy meets Grant, Amanda can’t help but like him as they spend more and more time together.  However, as much as she wants to open up to him, Amanda is afraid to share all of her secrets—like how at her former school, she was known as Andrew.  If I Was Your Girl is a contemporary young adult novel about being true to yourself and finding acceptance, with a love story anyone can root for.  This book is particularly inclusive because not only is the main character a trans* woman, as well as the author, and the cover model!

A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal

A Front Page Affair is the first book in a brand new mystery series about a young journalist named Capability “Kitty” Weeks.  Set in 1915 New York just after the sinking of the Lusitania, Kitty would love nothing more than to report on stories other than fashion and society gossip.  However, her roles as a female journalist are limited…That is, until a man is murdered at a high society picnic on her beat! Determined to show what type of reporting she can really do, Kitty is thrown into a wartime conspiracy that threatens the stability of her country as well as her own privileged life.

-Fisher Adwell and Kimberly Lopez are Public Services Assistants at Lawrence Public Library

Summer Reading Starts May 26!

Summer Reading Starts May 26! Summer reading is for all ages. This year we’re exercising our minds with books + events on art, science, fitness, literature, and summer fun. We’ll take you all over town from May 26—Aug 19!

Everything you need to know is right here.

As always, we want you to read. A lot. And as always, reading gets you great prizes and a shot at awesome grand prizes. We’ve also partnered with some great community organizations to bring you more.

Summer Reading is a totally local, totally fun way to keep your brain engaged all summer long.

Walking to Rivendell

From May 26 – August 19, make walking, running, or biking part of every day, keep a record of how far you travel, and then map your distance on the map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Here’s how to participate:

1. Sign up! 
Fill out the online form at bit.ly/LPLrivendell giving us some basic info about yourself.

2. Record your travels. 
Use the paper log available at the library starting May 20th or an app of your choice to track how far you travel each day. We also have a small number of pedometers that will be given out at the library Welcome Desk starting Monday May 23rd.

3. Let us know how you’re doing.
You can send us an update here. Plus, every two weeks we’ll send out an email with information about your fellow travelers, suggested walks, and a simple form to send us an update on how far you’ve traveled. We’ll post this information on a giant map of Middle-earth in the library so you can check in to see how you and your fellow travelers are doing!

4. Once you’ve reached your goal distance, come to the library and collect your prize!
We’ll have you fill out another short online form to let us know you’ve finished.

5. Keep walking!

For all of the details, please check the library’s Walking to Rivendell website.
You can also follow along at the Walking to Rivendell Facebook Event page  and find riddles to solve, parks and trails to visit, and geocaching event info–all of which will earn you extra miles!

We can’t wait to see how far your furry feet can take you, and we do so hope to see you on our unexpected journey!