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A new book on Kansas LGBT pride

Kansas Day is almost here, and I’ve got an inspiring way to celebrate! A new book pays tribute to the Kansans who are advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights. In "[No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas][1]," author C.J. Janovy shares ... Continue reading

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Never trust a librarian carrying a dog book

[Sounder][1], [Old Yeller][2], [Old Dan, and Little Ann][3]: children’s literature is littered with corpses of dogs who died too young and made us cry harder than we wanted to. Luckily, our parents burst into tears, too, which helped distract us from our own sorrow, since they looked ... Continue reading

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What to read while you wait for Obama’s favorite book

While Barack Obama was president, he started an annual tradition of sharing his favorite books and music from the previous year, and he’s graciously kept with this tradition for 2017. At the top of his list this year? A new “dystopian” novel with some radical feminist themes ... Continue reading

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Read Across Lawrence 2018: the heartfelt middle-school story of “Wonder”

“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” -Auggie, "[Wonder][1]" Whenever I’m handed a book with the promise “This will make you cry,” I’m always a little skeptical. A montage of dogs seeing their ... Continue reading

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Nancy Pearl’s “Rule of 50” and the books I did not finish

It’s typically a rare case for me not to finish a book. At some point, I think I convinced myself that not finishing was giving up on an author or myself as a reader. But I have come to understand that neither of those is true at ... Continue reading

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December Look Play Listen Round Up

*Hi Lawrence! Look Play Listen is the library’s team of AV appreciators. Each month we’ll round up some of our favorite music, film/TV, and video game reviews from our staff and put them in one easy to read, easy to locate blog post.* Look ---- ["The Mind ... Continue reading

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Fact and fiction collide in “The Only Harmless Great Thing”

The stranger-than-fiction story of the women who painted radium dials during World War I got a proper exploration earlier this year in the nonfiction hit "[The Radium Girls][1]." Now the topic gets its due in the realm of fiction with Brooke Bolander’s "[The Only Harmless Great Thing][2]," ... Continue reading

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It’s time for the 2018 Squad Goals reading challenge

In 2017, the Lawrence Public Library's Book Squad introduced the Squad Goals Reading Challenge, a collection of 13 prompts designed to get you reading more widely. In 2018, by popular demand, we’re back with 13 new prompts that we hope will intrigue, delight and, yes, challenge you. ... Continue reading

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Library staffers share their best books of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, with all its turbulence—for better or worse—one thing remains constant: great books of all flavors. Staff from all across the library share their favorites; read on for LPL’s best books of 2017. **Shirley Braunlich, reader's services assistant:** "[The Turtle’s Beating Heart: ... Continue reading

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Cozy reads to get you through the endless night

It’s that time of year again! The ground is covered in leaves, the holiday lights are on, the heater is cranked all the way up and snow is imminent. You look outside one minute, and the sun is shining, and the world is like a gorgeously illustrated ... Continue reading

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Eight(ish) miraculous books

Taking place every year on the 25th of Kislev, Hanukkah commemorates the story of Jewish persecution at the hands of the Syrian despot Antiochus, who made observance of Judaism a capital offense, regularly slaughtered Jews and made it a point to desecrate the Temple. A man named ... Continue reading

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Female writers of the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe

The newest "Star Wars" movie is days away from release, and there’s an electricity in the air surrounding this excitement that I’m forced to refer to as the Force. With the new trilogy and Expanded Universe movies all abuzz, it’s become clear that women have taken a ... Continue reading

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“Manhattan Beach”: a mob drama for the rest of us

About a month ago I tweeted, with 100 percent sincerity, “I zone out as soon as a TV show description uses the words, ‘crime boss.’” Although in my tweet I was referring to a synopsis I had seen on Netflix, believe me when I say this is ... Continue reading

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November Look Play Listen Round Up

*Look Play Listen is the library’s team of AV appreciators. Each month we’ll round up some of our favorite music, film/TV, and video game reviews from our staff and put them in one easy-to-read, easy-to-locate blog post.* Look ---- "[Hunt for the Wilderpeople][1]" "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" ... Continue reading

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One Place, Many Voices: Local Authors Share Connections to Place

Writing by our local authors is rich and diverse in both mood and voice. My current focus is on such writing that provides a sense of place. This is an invitation to explore outside spaces with local authors in a series of events aptly titled Local Authors ... Continue reading

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Luaka Bop and the world’s psychedelic classics

Almost 30 years ago, David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) founded a record label “to turn people onto stuff [he] liked.” Because he’s David Byrne, and because he’s eminently cooler than you or me, the stuff he liked was Brazilian pop music. In January of ‘89, Byrne ... Continue reading

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From coal to Thoreau: the essays of “Practice Resurrection”

Not long ago I took a trip across the High Plains, and in addition to seeing more pronghorns and prairie dogs than I’ve ever seen, I also witnessed the landscape of Wyoming’s Thunder Basin for the first time. While much of it is drop-dead beautiful, one gets ... Continue reading

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Discover a made-up menagerie in children’s books

As an animal lover growing up in Kansas, I thought our annual grade school field trip to the University of Kansas Natural History Museum was always a high point. I adored the famous panorama of taxidermy, and the working, cutaway beehive, but what I looked forward to ... Continue reading

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Two books to celebrate the season of the witch

Magician, wizard, practitioner of magic, whatever you want to call that person, I'll bet some of the first examples that pop into your head are male: Harry Potter, Merlin, Gandalf. The greats of the fantasy genre are usually males with women in supporting roles. Women are the ... Continue reading

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Five-star young adult books published this year

Liked it, really liked it, it was amazing — if you’re a GoodReads user, you’ll recognize these as the three, four, and five star ratings on the site. I admit, I’m probably a little over-generous with my stars. Looking back at this year’s reads, I’ve given no ... Continue reading

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