Staff blogs

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The best books of 2016

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, Eli Wiesel) and some, uh, general upheaval, most people are ready to write this one off as a loss. But! As much ... Continue reading

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YA backlist: “Reality Boy” by A.S. King

I’m not ashamed to admit young adult lit dominated my reading list this year. It’s partly because I get to order books for the library’s teen collection—but also because YA books are awesome. Yeah, awesome. Books for teens have gotten so much more diverse, so much more ... Continue reading

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Queer adventures in romance

Every year, I try to challenge myself to diversify my reading. Whether it’s exploring a new genre or delving into books written by authors of color, part of what I love most about reading is seeing the world from a new perspective or gaining a greater understanding ... Continue reading

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Too S.A.D. to read: when winter hits your shelf

As someone who has no kids and no television, I read a lot — during my lunch hour, after work with a beer, at a coffee shop, waiting in line. In fact, my boss and I have a segment on our podcast called “We can’t always be ... Continue reading

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A Reflection on Zadie Smith, 15 Years in the Making

[Nota Bene: What I have attempted below is most likely better left to academics and others better suited to pontificate upon Zadie Smith and "[White Teeth][1]," her critically-acclaimed debut novel, but oh well, here goes…] In celebration of Zadie Smith’s [December 1st visit to Lawrence][2] — thanks ... Continue reading

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A librarian’s search for meaning

> “He who has a why to live for can bear > almost any how.” -Friedrich Nietzsche Two days after the election, I was in New York for business, and I found myself roaming the streets of Brooklyn. Everywhere I went, people seemed to be trying to ... Continue reading

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The Books of Temporal Turn

The Spencer Museum of Art recently underwent a transformative renovation that lasted eighteen months and celebrated with a grand re-opening weekend in October. This reinvigoration was more than cosmetic; it was necessary. The museum upgraded nearly 30,000 square feet —further details can be found on [the museum's ... Continue reading

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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 it doesn’t weigh upwards of 10 pounds, and the battery doesn’t fall ... Continue reading

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Local food feeds the world

As we slide into the holiday season, beginning with our most thankful time of year, we naturally begin to think about food. As we sit down to generous plates and celebrate all we’re grateful for, it seems like a good time to give some thought to those ... Continue reading

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Fantastic Beasts at LPL

Just in case you haven’t been on the internet, seen a magazine/newspaper, or watched television in the last year, I’m here to inform you that there is in fact a new Harry Potter movie coming out. The screenplay is written by J.K. Rowling herself (unlike a certain ... Continue reading

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2016: Lawrence’s Space Odyssey

It’s been a very space centric year here at LPL. We’ve read "[The Martian][1]" for Read Across Lawrence, listened to [astronauts at Liberty Hall][2], and spoke with the [International Space Station via radio][3]! And we’re not done yet. For the past few weeks Information Services has been ... Continue reading

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Writing where you live: Diverse and literary Lawrence

Lawrence has a vibrant, diverse literary heritage. Read on to discover notable writers connected to Lawrence and learn about local author events. If you aspire to write and share your own writing, local opportunities are included as well. Whether you’re a reader or writer, there’s useful information ... Continue reading

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Stitching together “Frankenstein”

Happy haunting to all you Halloweeners out there, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the most famous year in the horror genre: 1816. It was certainly a horrible year for many people, for that was when the volcano Mount Tambora erupted, spewing tons of ash into ... Continue reading

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On liking trash: W. H. Auden’s five verdicts of “adult” reading

“Do you like that book? Is it good?” As a Reader’s Services Assistant, I hear these questions a lot. Sometimes the answer is a clear “yes” or “no.” Other times, not so much. I recently learned about poet W. H. Auden’s idea of the five stages of ... Continue reading

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“Story of Your Life” Makes the Alien Accessible

Has this ever happened to you? You’re at work, thinking about, say, Fermat’s theories, and an idea is sparked for an intriguing short story. But then you realize you really know nothing about the foundation of such a story, and it would take a long time to ... Continue reading

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Tiny houses, big magic

For the last decade-and-a-half, my husband and I have been DIYing our quirky old East Lawrence home. Every year, right around now, our inner squirrels kick in: With skies and temperatures lowering, it’s time to batten down the hatches and start seriously cozifying the nest. One year, ... Continue reading

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Squashing the back-to-school jitters

With a preschooler and kindergartner in the house these days, trips to and from school are a big part of my life. Like most of the experience of parenting, many of my preconceived worries about school have never materialized, but issues I didn’t expect at all have ... Continue reading

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Rising Star Nathan Hill to Speak at Lawrence Public Library

One of the perks (and there are many) of working at the library is the Advanced Readers Copy mini-library that we have in our staff room. Publishers send ARCs to libraries, book critics, the media, etc. in hopes that the works will be read, reviewed, and shared ... Continue reading

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Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a Reading Guide

Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first officially discussed as a construct in the late 1970s, but it wasn’t officially enacted until 1992 (the 500 year anniversary of Columbus’s fateful maiden voyage) in Northern California. The city of Berkeley declared October 12 of that year “Indigenous Peoples Day” in ... Continue reading

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Yep, That’s a Romance Novel: Three Recommendations for Not-Quite-Romance Readers

Romance is one of the most maligned genres out there. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve gotten the “you like to read *what*?” response when I’ve mentioned my love of romance novels. A few people have even followed it up with “But you ... Continue reading

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