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!
Congratulations to Margie M., a Callaway County Public Library patron, for winning our third Adult Summer Reading prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Well Read Books gift card.
All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online. Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning. There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.
Just in time for all of your summer road trips, on May 28 the Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the winners of its 2015 Audie Awards competition, honoring spoken word entertainment. The top prize – audiobook of the year – went to “Mandela: An Audio History” by Nelson Mandela and narrated by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Joe Richman. Here are some of the other award winners available for check-out from your library.
Distinguished Achievement in Production
Neil Gaiman’s full-cast production of “The Graveyard Book“
While this book for young readers was originally published in 2008, this new recording by a group of British all-stars brings Gaiman’s dark tale delightfully to life. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.
“Not My Father’s Son” by Alan Cumming (narrated by the author)
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.
“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (narrated by Zach Appelman)
Genealogical research is becoming more and more popular with our patrons – have you caught the bug? Here at DBRL Next, we will continue to share news and resources that might help you in your search of your family’s heritage, resources like the online databases Heritage Quest and Ancestry Library Edition. The coolest part about these two databases is that they are FREE if you have a current library card with us!
While Heritage Quest can be accessed wherever you are, Ancestry Library Edition can only be accessed at one of our three branch facilities (Columbia, Fulton, Ashland) due to licensing restrictions. Another tip you might not be aware of is that on the third floor of the Columbia Public Library is a computer set aside strictly for research using the library’s databases that you can access for more than an hour at a time.
In “What Alice Forgot,” Alice Love wakes up on the gym floor after falling off her bike in Spinning Class. She thinks she’s 29 and it’s 1998. But it’s not. It is 2008 and she is almost 40. She discovers she has three children, she and her husband are getting divorced, and her relationships with people she once loved have become strained. The book was funny, touching and thought-provoking. Alice wonders who this driven, grouchy, super-busy woman she’s become is, and she wonders how she got that way. Readers will definitely look at their own lives during this book, wondering if they are putting the important things first.
Two words that describe this book: funny, love story
You might want to pick this book up if: you want a light summer read that makes you laugh out loud but also think and reflect on your own life and where it now is.
The label “Great American Novel” is often applied to a book that captures something essential about American culture and its people, a story grounded in and informed by the American experience. Others use the term to identify a work as the best representative of the kind of literature being written in America during a particular time period. And of course, a great many other readers and critics dismiss the idea of any book being able to capture the diverse experiences and realities of all Americans. Whatever your opinion, this July 4th you can celebrate our nation’s independence with these books that – if the honorific were actually to be awarded – could be contenders for the title of Great American Novel.
“Freedom” by Johnathan Franzen
The Berglunds, the suburban family at the center of this book, appear perfect on the outside, but looks are deceiving. The story follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration. Their lives begin to unravel when their son moves in with aggressive Republican neighbors, green lawyer Walter takes a job in the coal industry and go-getter Patty becomes increasingly unstable and enraged. Desire, entitlement, marriage, family – Franzen plumbs these and many other weighty topics in this study of middle class American life.
“Gilead” by Marilyn Robinson
This lyrical and thoughtful novel takes the form of a letter from the dying Reverend John Ames to his son, revealing Ames’ deep reverence for his life, his work and this country. He chronicles three previous generations of his family, including a fiery abolitionist grandfather and pacifist father, both also men of faith. The story stretches back to the Civil War, reveals uncomfortable family secrets and examines the bond between fathers and sons.
“Pioneer Girl,” the seed book for the Little House Laura Ingalls Wilder books, is a much faster read than you think it will be, given the size of the book. Unless, of course, you’re a footnote reader, and then all bets are off. I read most (though not all) of the introductory material, but what I was really interested in were Laura’s words. The early parts were very familiar; the older she got, the more I realized I never read the later books in the series. I loved, loved, loved reading her story of Almanzo. Laura was quite the spitfire. Reading about the long winter, the tornadoes and the frankly scary situations she found herself in (a man leaning over her bed telling her to lie still?) added a huge amount of depth to my understanding of who this woman really was and what her life was like as a woman in pioneer days. About some things I wished she’d gone into a lot more detail; she alluded to things that were very tantalizing, but I suppose that’s too much to ask of someone who grew up in the 19th century.
Three words that describe this book: fascinating, historical, feminism
You might want to pick this book up if: You read Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child and would like to know what else she chose not to share.