What’s Next?

Welcome to DBRL Next, the library’s blog for adults! Here you’ll discover authors, programs, area events and learning resources. Visit often and find your next good book. Unravel the mysteries of new technologies. Read about upcoming films, lectures and computer classes. Participate in Adult Summer Reading. Find a volunteering opportunity, a new hobby and more. What’s next? Scroll down to find out!

The Gentleman Recommends: B.J. Novak

Book cover for One More Thing by B.J. NovakB.J. Novak has been somewhat active: from his humble beginnings as the cad Ryan Howard, subject of the hit hundred-hours-long documentary “The Office,” to the trials associated with choosing his favorite initials and legally changing his name to them in a futile attempt to exercise his awful reputation, to writing a collection of stories that are good enough to almost make one forget how mean he was to Kelly and Jim, to being recommended by this blog post. It’s enough to make me of a mind to recline with a nice pastry and a warmed washcloth.

Consisting of 64 pieces, the collection opens with the long-awaited sequel to “The Tortoise and the Hare,” which finally puts that pompous tortoise in its place and updates the original’s creaky old moral, and closes with “Discussion Questions,” which will be a nice jumping off point for your book club or master’s thesis. In between we get a man dealing with the fame associated with returning a sex robot because it fell in love with him. We finally learn the truth about Elvis Presley’s death (and a little about ourselves!). Nelson Mandela gets roasted by Comedy Central and its usual cast of ribald hacks. A boy wins a cereal box sweepstakes only to be ruled ineligible because it turns out his real father is Kellogg’s CEO. A woman goes on a blind date with a warlord. In “No One Goes to Heaven to See Dan Fogelberg,” a man reaches heaven and enjoys a series of concerts performed by history’s greatest musicians until backstage access at a Frank Sinatra show reveals a different side of his grandmother. One story is called “Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Missing Bicycle.”
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September Is Fall Hat Month – Time to Knit!

In the spirit of September, which if you didn’t know is Fall Hat Month, I’m going to share some of my favorite knitting books all about things that go on your head. So dig out some yarn and find a pair of matching knitting needles, because soon it’s going to be cold out, and you’ll want some fresh, fun hats to keep you warm.

Book cover for Hat HeadsMom, dad, brother, son, wife, daughter – it doesn’t matter. “Hat Heads” by Trond Anfinnsen  has something for everyone. There are many different hat designs to choose from in this book, so it’s hard to pick just one. I love the self-portrait page where Trond shows himself in all the different hats he’s made. My personal favorites are Hege’s hat and Silje’s hat. I love the contrast of colors in both these hats, and red happens to be my favorite color. Beware, you might end up checking this book out for a long time because you won’t be able to stop making hats!

Book cover for Knit Hats NowI know I like to have a variety of hats to pick from to wear with my winter jacket, and I’m sure many ladies are the same. “Knit Hats Now” features hats designed for women with a little fashionable twist to them. Don’t worry, “Knit Hats Now” has a level of difficulty category for each hat design, so if you’re like me and aren’t the most amazing knitter in the world, you can pick and choose from hats you know are within your capability to create. I love the texture of the Chocolate Dream hat, but my favorite is the first hat in the entire book, the Colors hat. I’ve already got some yarn set aside for this pattern.
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Jane Goodall: Champion of Chimps, Defender of the Earth, Rock Star

Book cover for Seeds of Hope by Jane GoodallJane Goodall is coming to town! In my circles, this is the biggest news since Bob Dylan did a show here ten years ago. Goodall will be speaking at Mizzou Arena on Wednesday, September 17. According to her website “She will…discuss the current threats facing the planet and her reasons for hope in these complex times.”

Goodall is best known for her studies of chimpanzees. She was 26 when Louis Leakey sent her to Tanzania to begin her research in 1960. Authorities in the area expressed resistance to the idea of a young woman traveling alone on this project, so her mother accompanied her for the first few months. Goodall made several new discoveries about chimps. The most remarkable was the fact that they create and use tools. She made it her mission to educate humanity about the fascinating creatures who are so similar to us in some ways, and in the process she became one of the most widely recognized scientists in the world. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute to “protect chimpanzees and their habitats.”

Over the years her focus has expanded to other animals, to plants and to the world environment as a whole, including her own species. Roots and Shoots is a youth-led program affiliated with the Jane Goodall Institute. It encourages young people to become involved in solving problems within their own communities.

If you can’t make it to the lecture, we have plenty of Goodall goodness here for you at the library. Check out some of the following materials:
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Remembering Joan Rivers

Book cover for I Hate Everyone by Joan RiversShe was sassy, opinionated, brash, self-deprecating, raunchy, offensive and funny. Joan Rivers passed away last week at the age of 81, and her death has left me thinking about both her signature brand of stand-up and the female comedians who have followed in her wake. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement, “My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.” Here are some books from Rivers and her cohort to help us fulfill that wish.

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy” by Yael Kohen.
This oral history presents more than 150 interviews from America’s most prominent comediennes (and the writers, producers, nightclub owners, and colleagues who revolved around them) to piece together the revolution that happened to (and by) women in American comedy. Kohen traces the careers and achievements of comediennes – including Rivers – and challenges opinions about why women cannot be effective comedic entertainers.

I Hate Everyone – Starting With Me” by Joan Rivers
Read this with a cocktail in hand. Rivers humorously lashes out at the people, places and things she loathes, including ugly children, dating rituals, First Ladies, funerals, hypocrites, overrated historical figures, Hollywood and lousy restaurants.

Enter Talking” by Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers describes her bitter and bizarre rise to stardom, from her earliest memories that she belonged onstage, through her independent struggle in Manhattan, to the evolution of her one-person show and the winning of public and critical acclaim.
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Reader Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2014 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

Book cover for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty SmithA Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is about life, family and resilience in the early 1900s (In Brooklyn). Despite the departure in time and location from my present existence, it resonated with me. Smith’s character development was rich and truthful. Characters were not portrayed as foes or heroines, just people. It’s nice to read something without an overt slant or agenda or predictable plot.

Three words that describe this book: genuine, rich, fulfilling

You might want to pick this book up if: you love people and how they interact. This is a story of resilience.

-Anonymous

Stan Lee Wants You to Get a Library Card

National Library Card Sign-up Month Poster featuring Stan LeeSeptember is the National Library Card Month (chaired this year by comic creator Stan Lee), and libraries across the country want you to know that one of the most important back-to-school supplies is a library card. It’s also the cheapest (i.e., free), and getting your hands on one doesn’t require fighting the hoards at a big box store.

Since this is a library blog, I’m preaching to the choir here. You, dear reader, already have a library card. (If you know someone who doesn’t, encourage them to apply for one in person or online.) But did you know the range of tools and materials you have access to with that card? Not only can you get books, but your library card is also your ticket for free access to:

Mr. Lee says it best: “The smartest card in my wallet? It’s a library card.”