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Four fall finds

Publishing, like everything, goes in cycles; spring and summer are prime time for book publications, and things tend to wane as the months get colder. However, every year there are gems that get released after the rush, and I want to highlight a few books that are ... Continue reading

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Scary and smart: “The Hole” is horror and more

I don’t typically read books out of the horror section, but then again, categorizing the sprawling bundle of thoughts that make up a novel into just one of a handful of neat genres is not an easy task. Of course, my latest impulse read—Hye-Young Pyun’s "[The Hole][1]"— ... Continue reading

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STEM isn’t just for him: an interview with Meghan McCarthy

One of the biggest stories in children’s publishing this year has been the success of books empowering young women. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s "[Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls][1]," a set of 100 brief biographies of unstoppable women, is among the highest circulating children’s books at ... Continue reading

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To-Be-Read: A Story of Shame & Neglect

I have a theory that everyone is shamefully hiding the stack of books they’ve neglected to read this year from the world. “It’s not my fault!” one might say, “Some were incredibly thoughtful gifts; some were found while innocently scouring the [Friends][1]’ collection; and some were impulse ... Continue reading

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Three on a Theme: Bookish Podcasts

The Lawrence Public Library’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][1]" and "[Their Eyes Were Watching God][2]," shout-outs to great events like the ... Continue reading

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5 books to read for LGBT History Month

In 1994, a group of teachers and community leaders in Missouri, led by high school teacher Rodney Wilson, sought to designate a month for the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history (per [http://lgbthistorymonth.com/background][1]). With endorsements from GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and other national organizations, ... Continue reading

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Look Play Listen roundup

*Hi Lawrence!* *Look Play Listen is the library’s brand new media team.* *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.* *Keep an eye out.* - - - - ... Continue reading

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Case Studies in Solitary Refinement

Although I am, in many ways, a Luddite at heart, I’ve become aware recently that I spend altogether too much time hopscotching across the internet, searching for news. I am also a news junkie, you see, and the interesting times we live in have had me riveted ... Continue reading

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There Can Only Be One: A Biography of Everyone’s Favorite Device

“Today we’re introducing three revolutionary products … The first is a wide-screen iPod with touch control. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough internet communications device.” It’s 2007, only ten years ago. On stage, Steve Jobs continues: “Are you getting it? ... Continue reading

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2017’s Best New Picture Books (So Far)

I’m lucky enough to do storytime here at the Lawrence Public Library, and while there are some challenging days of herding toddlers, it is a joy and a privilege to introduce children to literature and catch a small slice of their innocence and wonder. When we started ... Continue reading

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Renaissance Woman: Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston wrote during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, contributing novels and short stories, as well as literary anthropology. She was a bold woman surrounded by male peers and unparalleled in both talent and ideas. She died alone and impoverished, buried in an unmarked grave, ... Continue reading

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Peanuts, A Great American Novel After All

The DNA of four-panel funnies, well-respected graphic novels, and highfalutin literary novels might not be so different as they seem. Obviously, a strip like "Family Circus" isn’t even remotely in the same realm as, say, Toni Morrison, to be clear, but each tradition shares some surprising hallmarks ... Continue reading

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“Relatively Wild”— inspired intersections of ecological and social justice

I live within a mile of the Kansas River. In spite of the Bowersock Dam and other infrastructure, this is a good place to connect with wildness. Walking on the levee beside the river offers a chance to watch birds soaring and fishing — great blue herons ... Continue reading

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Doc Discussions

I’ll be honest, until this year I had never participated in a book club. In theory, they’re right up my alley. I work at a library. I’ve always worked in bookstores. Reading = good. Discussions = good. But joining a book club can be a little intimidating. ... Continue reading

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What are you reading? #SummerReading2017

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock rather than reading our phenomenal blog posts, I’m obligated to tell you that my colleague [Sarah Mathews][1] is a freaking rockstar. She reads things, she writes about them, she spreads generally wonderful vibes and every Sunday morning throughout ... Continue reading

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For Marvel’s consideration

We’ve now entered into what I’ve deemed the “weird phase” of Marvel. With the commercial and critical success of the previously unknown property "[Guardians of the Galaxy][1]," director James Gunn and co-writer Nicole Perlman have paved the way for indie creators to work on blockbuster titles while ... Continue reading

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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 ... Continue reading

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3 favorite books I’m dying to read again

Okay, so “dying” is quite an exaggeration, but sometimes hyperbolic language is necessary when you’re really really excited to crack open one of your favorites. Lately, more and more, I have been inspired to revisit some old friends of mine, rather than discovering new books. There is ... Continue reading

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YA Backlist: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Whatever happened to steampunk? According to some sources, this subgenre of science fiction that incorporates industrial steam-powered machinery from the 19th century in alternative histories was “over” in 2010. Others might say last year. In this YA Backlist post, I’m taking a look back at Scott Westerfeld's ... Continue reading

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Don’t forget the Bootleg Series

There’s no dearth of Bob Dylan’s music. Last year the septuagenarian, Nobel laureate, singing-songwriting extraordinaire released yet another LP. That brings him to a total of 37 studio albums, 58 singles, 11 live “albums” — some of which, such as the 32-disc "The 1966 Live Recordings," defy ... Continue reading

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