Star Trek, Boldly Going for 50 Years

Book cover for Star Trek: The Official Guide to our UniverseI have a great story about this blog post. The same day I started work on it, I began de-cluttering at home, organizing the piles of books my family tends to amass. As I picked up an old paperback Star Trek novel, bought used, a newspaper clipping fell out. The headline read “Roddenberry Fills Heroic Void.” The article discussed a talk given in Jesse Auditorium by Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek television series. I could find no mention of the date or even the name of the newspaper, but with a bit of sleuthing through the library’s collection of University of Missouri yearbooks, I confirmed the event happened on February 17, 1976.

Among quotes from the talk, this one stood out: “Roddenberry predicted giant and efficient telecommunications systems will be available within 12 years that will make TV look primitive.” He was off by only three years, as the World Wide Web went public in 1991. Quite a visionary. His mid-sixties TV series featured communications devices that looked a lot like cell phones, information storage devices that looked a lot like iPads and a starship crew that looked a lot like the entire human race had learned to work together cooperatively.
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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The September 2016 List

The kids are back at school, and maybe that has some readers feeling overwhelmed by the orientations, sports practices, rehearsals and other related events suddenly filling up the family calendar. Or perhaps the back-to-school spirit has you ready to learn something new. Whether you want to read for escape or for self-improvement, this month’s LibraryReads list has you covered. Here are the 10 titles publishing in September that librarians across the country recommend.

Book cover for Leave Me by Gayle FormanLeave Me” by Gayle Forman

“Aren’t there days when you just want to leave it all behind? After a life threatening event, that’s exactly what Maribeth Klein does. Maribeth, wife, mom of 4-year old twins, and editor of a glossy magazine is told to rest. Sure! The choice she makes is not the one for most, but following Maribeth on this journey is compelling nonetheless. Fast paced narrative and terrific writing make this one hard to put down. Recommended!” – Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY
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Fall Program Preview: One Read and More

one-read-logo-newSeptember is almost here! The kids are back in school, and those vacations to the mountains or the lake (or just the hammock in the back yard) are now memories and fodder for the “what I did this summer” English class essays. Your calendars are likely filling up with fall events, and so are ours! At the library, September is One Read month, with four weeks of programs around a single book the community helps select. This year’s book is the memoir “Bettyville” by George Hodgman. You can see the full line-up of discussions, films, art events and more online. And here are other great programs for adults happening soon.

Danny SantosDanny Santos Concert
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 › 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Taking inspiration from his Chicano heritage, a musical legacy ranging from Hank Williams to the Beatles and his Texas-sized determination, singer-songwriter Danny Santos creates a unique mix of country and folk tinged with bluegrass and the blues. His songs illuminate the joys of true love, the woe of love lost and the weary longing of a heart still searching, and his style is heavily influenced by the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and other Texas singer-songwriters. When he’s not appearing solo, he also fronts the acoustic band Los Bluegrass Vatos. Adults and teens.
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Reader Review: Red Rising

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

red risingIn his debut novel (and the first in the Red Rising trilogy), Pierce Brown introduces a dystopian story that should appeal to readers who enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy. Teenaged Darrow lives in an under-earth colony on Mars that toils to make the surface livable for future inhabitants. Oppressive rule is all he’s known, but a dramatic turn of events soon forces Darrow to fight for a better life for his community. If that sounds a bit cliche, I suppose it’s because I didn’t find much new to keep my interest in this story. Other than the setting and the sex of the main character, it feels very much like “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Whereas that was the second book in a trilogy (with the benefit of the slow-build to revolutionary action and character development from the first book), this book seems to move the reader quickly down Darrow’s (stealth) revolutionary path. I found it difficult to feel empathy for the main character’s motivations without experiencing more of his world before he took steps toward revolution. I think I’m in the minority in not caring for this book, though, so if you like dystopian novels, give it a try!

Three words that describe this book: dystopian, quick-read, Hunger-Games-like

You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy dystopian novels with teenage protagonists, especially if you are a fan of the Hunger Games novels.


Against the Grain: Docs About Outlaws

wild and wonderful whites of west virginia 1

The rules of society are sometimes flaunted by criminals. Who are these people, and what makes them tick? Check out these documentaries that feature various outlaws.

wile and wonderful whites of west virginiaThe Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia” (2010)

A shocking and outlandish year-in-the-life documentary about the White Family of Boone County, West Virginia’s most notorious extended family. The film includes shoot-outs, robberies, gas-huffing, drug dealing and using, pill popping, murders and tap dancing.
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