Staff blogs

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Summer Beach Reads 2017

Last year, [we put together a list][1] of some of our most anticipated summer releases to enjoy whether you’re vacationing in the Caribbean or in your own living room. This year, we have even more unconventional beach reads that will transport you to exotic locales and introduce ... Continue reading

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Local author’s new novel reimagines a classic

While taking literature classes through high school, many of us had to read canon staples from the likes of Dickens and Steinbeck, despite how jarring it can seem to approach something like "[Great Expectations][1]" when you’re fourteen years old. Emily Brontë’s "[Wuthering Heights][2]"— a title which my ... Continue reading

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Cookbooks for a vegan crash course

Deciding to eat a vegan diet is a lifestyle change that many people struggle with. It is often perceived to be “inconvenient” or somehow “unsatisfying,” and it does not need to be. Arguably, a nonvegan diet is far more inconvenient for animals, the planet and your health. ... Continue reading

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Infinite, unfathomable, nonstop: Rebecca Solnit’s imaginative cartography

Once upon a time, I stumbled across [a quiz that asked, “Where You At?”][1] Despite, or perhaps because of, its sloppy grammar, the question has stayed with me. My interest in natural and cultural history, and even my fascination with infrastructure, surely dates to this time, as ... Continue reading

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J. Robert Lennon’s “Broken River” could be his breakout novel

Each time J. Robert Lennon drops a new book, I think, "This is the one. This is the time the general public will discover J. Robert Lennon." Entertainment Weekly will give it an A+, Angelina Jolie will tweet about it or some such thing. Famed writer of ... Continue reading

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Filling in the gaps

As someone who works in the Children’s Department, I routinely feel bad for not knowing every book in our collection. We get so many new books each week, and between my obsession with romance and YA, there’s rarely a place for juvenile fiction in my "to be ... Continue reading

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Catching feelings at Book Club Speed Dating

Finding the right read for your book club can feel a little bit like dating sometimes. You go through a bunch of duds before finding the right fit. Sometimes your friends are helpful but other times… not so much (looking at you, Friend Who Tried Setting Me ... Continue reading

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“Birding While Black”: Author is lyrically rooted in place with diversity in mind

Being nearby to see a bird in flight can be a transcendent experience. The sensation of watching a bird flying overhead has inspired me to simulate my own flight, standing with my arms raised high. And this seems most powerful in a wide-open natural area like the ... Continue reading

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Royal reading

If you’re like me and are still in a post-"Downton Abbey" funk brought on by the gut-wrenching series finale, you may have heard about the recent ITV and PBS Masterpiece program "[Victoria][1]," based on the [bestselling novel by Daisy Goodwin][2], which appears in many ways to serve ... Continue reading

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Branding is everything, even in Westerns

No, we’re not actually talking about cattle today, unfortunately — or marketing, for that matter. In the library context, a brand is a personal mark a reader puts on the inside cover of a book. Normally I wouldn’t advocate defacing the collection in this way, but there’s ... Continue reading

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Five more questions with Kansas Poet Laureate Eric McHenry

The Lawrence Public Library has been a steadfast supporter of local writing talent, so much so that we’re curating a [local author section][1]. Given this, and April being National Poetry Month, it felt synergistic to check in with Eric McHenry, Poet Laureate of Kansas. In [2015][2], we ... Continue reading

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Audiobooks you should be listening to on Hoopla

Sure, that title has a clickbait quality to it, but I’m pretty serious and vocal about my love for all things Hoopla. I’ve sung its praises in the past (mostly because the graphic novel selection is pretty darn great), but only recently have I really delved into ... Continue reading

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Five books that have stayed with me

When I saw the [Lawrence Public Library Book Squad’s first Squad Goal][1] (Re-read a book you haven’t read in more than 5 years), I was excited for an excuse to pick up one of the books that have been sitting untouched on my shelf for longer than ... Continue reading

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Three titles chosen purely for their covers

We’ve all heard the old adage "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*, ... Continue reading

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An ordinary life

I first met Amy Krouse Rosenthal while scrolling through social media. I tucked away her article “[You May Want to Marry My Husband][1]” for later, not yet realizing there wasn’t a later to be had. In fact, many people first met Amy through that New York Times ... Continue reading

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“Don’t drive your Jet Ski in the dark”: The wisdom of DJ Khaled

If you listen to much Top 40 radio, you’re already familiar with [DJ Khaled][1]; even if you can’t quite connect his name to a particular song or face, there’s likely some liminal awareness. Just close your eyes and think of the times a moment of transition static ... Continue reading

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Fun reading romps to kick off spring

Spring has sprung, and when I get joyously happy about the weather, I generally want to grab a fun read that’s perfect for sun-lounging. Here are three books — in three different genres — that are ideal for a sunlit afternoon filled with adventure and fun times. ... Continue reading

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Embracing your inner unicorn, no matter what age with “Advanced Style”

After my most recent birthday, I discovered something new about my body: Occasionally when I squat down, my knees will give a little pop. That didn’t happen before. What’s also new are the little lines and crinkles underneath my eyes that definitely weren’t there before. I’ve always ... Continue reading

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Liquor and drugs: a venture into the writings of Irvine Welsh

"[Trainspotting][1]" was released in theaters in 1996, and I saw that movie approximately 72 times at Liberty Hall after it opened. (OK, it was probably closer to four times.) I was 20 years old at the time, and although I hadn’t exactly been sheltered in my upbringing, ... Continue reading

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Stories of our lives: “The Great Derangement” and “Splinterlands”

Ted Chiang’s "[Story of Your Life][1]," a short science fiction piece which I reviewed a few months ago, keeps infiltrating itself into my reading. Oddly, it reverberates most when I read nonfiction. "Story of Your Life" is so fascinating due to its subtle manipulation of time. You ... Continue reading

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