Friday, May 4, 2012

Poems From the Post

In April we celebrated National Poetry Month with a poem mailbox!  Here are some of our favorites that you typed on the library typewriter and then dropped in the mail:

Night wind through spring leaves
Like a thousand tiny hands
Praised our existence.


Un poema no es m’as que una historia inconclusa...



I once met a catamoglomerate
I asked it if it would like to set.
I didn’t say sit because I wasn’t quite sure,
if it knew how to sit
so we set on the floor.


Short, sweet words on lines
Typing on this old machine
This is my haiku.


not for nothing
does the day end,
a sliding shadow with
that piercing of sky
with the budding end
of branch.


yo, i spit it and grip it intricately
going the oingo boingo lips my gee
folly follows fallow farmland
but I’ve expanded my mind-state
with this tabula rasa slate
I eat it off like some peanut-butter thai dish off a
Rasta’s culinary plate

shorn the sheep,

they said
but I wasn’t about to be on some
unbelievable right-said Fred


I decided I’d had enough
piety was my choice since chillin
in a diaper
snoozin’ in the buff

Some of these flocks don’t understand
they listen to they green lawn music
while I choose to exemplify some
  busy bruises

peaches and Nephalia Drownyards
  are all I need
    to seed
    and feed

I might jump and blind the eyes of the wicked
            like a holy steed

Thanks for being poets with us this April, Lawrence!  Haven’t had your fill of poetry yet?  There’s still time to head over to the Lawrence Arts Center and contribute to the “Community Epic Poem.”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Record of Covers

Even a cursory glance through the pages of For the love of vinyl : the album art of Hipgnosis, by studio co-founder Aubrey Powell, is sure to bring instant recognition for fans of 1970’s British rock. Together with Powell’s partner Storm Thorgerson, Hipgnosis designed seminal album covers for Pink Floyd , Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel and others, and this lavish oversize book recreates 60 of the best in better detail than your CD copies can provide. In addition to the reproductions, Storm and Po share entertaining anecdotes from the days of rock star (and record label) excess—find out what it was like to live with Syd Barrett, for one thing -- as well as get the inside scoop on their design decisions and techniques from the days before digital manipulation.

Many of our beautiful new items—like this title-- are simply too large for our new book displays and are shelved directly into our OVERSIZE shelves on the west wall of the adult section. Don’t forget to check them out the next time you’re checking out!

Dale - Tech Services

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mark Your Calendar: Library Program, Doomsday

On Thursday April 26, visiting professor Dr. Quetzil Castañeda will visit the library to show clips from his award-winning documentary film, Incidents of Travel in Chichen Itzá, and speak about the Maya 2012 calendar, including the 5,125 yr. long cycle and the end of a "world age."  I'm excited to hear his scholarly take on this end-of-the-world theory, and it's put me in a reflective mood about my own emergency preparedness.

I grew up in a family that lived and breathed the edict to “be prepared!”  My three brothers are Eagle Scouts.  We had a shelter custom-built in our basement to store a year’s worth of food for seven.  Yet it wasn’t until grad school that one of my professors finally put the fear of god in me.  “What are y'all going to eat during the next disaster?” she demanded as we covered the emergency preparedness segment of her Organizational Management syllabus.  “You sure can’t wait until afterwards to get prepared.”  Then she told us all to get guns.

Literally since that day, my husband and I have been on our path to emergency preparedness.  If you’re interested in making your own kit, I suggest checking out the Center for Disease Control (CDC), FEMA, and several religious organizations, many of which have great emergency preparedness resources.  There’s even an excellent US Army Survival Manual that’s been floating around the internet.  Any way you slice it, your survival kit should cover these seven essential categories:


3 day minimum supply of 1 purified gallon per day per person


3 day minimum supply of non-perishable high-energy food.  Longer term stores of rice, beans, freeze-dried fruits and veggies, seeds

first aid

bandages, antiseptic, antibiotics, ibuprofen, etc.


hand-crank radio / flashlight, camp-stove, matches, multi-tool, hatchet, utility knife, compass, whistle, generator, duct tape, etc. And sure, even a gun.

clothing / bedding / sanitation

sleeping bags, space blankets, toiletries, one change of clothes per person

important family documents

wills, deeds, insurance policies, birth / marriage / death certificates, photo identification, bank account numbers

special items

travel games, book of poems, very long novels (one per person)...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crazy Good

Last week while I was in line for coffee, I got asked if I was a psychopath.

This wasn’t because I look psychopathic (I hope), but because I was carrying a copy of Jon Ronson’s newest book, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, under my arm. It’s my favorite book of the moment, and the one I’m going to badger everyone I know to read.

I’ve been a huge fan of Jon Ronson’s since I first encountered his non-fiction book, The Men Who Stare at Goats, in a used book store in Burlington, VT, circa 2007. The Men Who Stare At Goats is loosely about U.S. Army officers who try to harness psychic energy in an attempt to disintegrate live goats, and since its publication in 2004, it’s been turned into a film starring George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges, and Ronson has been invited as a regular contributor to NPR’s This American Life.

Ronson’s forte is weird fringe journalism, wherein he investigates psychic and paranormal military ops, extraterrestrial theories, Roswell type stuff, and now, psychopathy. But the thing that makes him so much more than a run of the mill conspiracy theorist is his knack for serious journalistic endeavors: how did our psy-ops military culture lead up to Abu Graib? How foolproof is the rubric we use to label people psychopaths? And should we be more concerned about the psychopaths who are in prison, or the ones who are running the world’s biggest corporations?

From the Stockwell Strangler to former Sunbeam CEO Al Dunlap, Jon Ronson sets out on a quest to understand the nature of psychopathy and power. (According to the Bob Hare, creator of the Psychopathy Checklist Revised, at least 4% of our world leaders meet the minimum qualifications of psychopathy!) Ronson’s anecdotes are witty and revelatory, and will make you feel a little like you are able to identify the psychopaths in your own life. But at the heart of his investigation, Jon Ronson unveils his own unsettling hypothesis about our culture’s fascination with madness, and why we’re all sort-of comforted by those pill-popping personalities we see on reality TV.

And if nothing else, The Psychopath Test is a fabulous conversation starter. I suggest you take it with you next time you go for coffee. You might get asked if you’re a psychopath.

Rachel - Programs

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Age of Miracles or Mayhem?

The sun exploding, a meteorite crashing into the Earth's surface, a blast from a Death Star ray--these are relatively quick apocalyptic scenarios that would mean the end of human civilization as we know it. But what if it happened slowly--like the gradual slowing of the Earth's rotation? That's exactly what Karen Thompson Walker's upcoming debut novel, The Age of Miracles, imagines. In the year of the supposed prediction of the end of the world by the Mayan long count calendar, it's only fitting that we'd see more stories about the apocalypse. I think this one, however, will stand out.

Julia is a normal 12 year old girl. She goes to school, plays soccer, and has a secret crush on one of her classmates. This normalcy stops when she and her family awake one Saturday morning to find that something has happened to the Earth's rotation: it has begun to slow. As both daylight hours and nighttimes stretch to unimaginable lengths, the effect of gravity increases, birds begin to die off from a mysterious disease, and the people in Julia's life begin to change--and maybe not for the better. Struggling to understand herself anyway, Julia must adapt to these catastrophic changes in her already turbulent life.

Though Julia is the central character, Walker addresses issues beyond the adolescent coming of age story. How would our nation and the world react to the slowing of the Earth's rotation and the resulting discrepancy in our time keeping systems? Would we keep to clock time, or would we be like what Julia refers to as the "real-timers," who adapt their active and inactive schedules to that of the sun? How would governments respond to the damage caused to coastlines as tide levels increase, forcing beach side citizens to relocate? And how would humans acclimate as certain plants and animals begin to die off?

An engaging and powerful portrayal of a dystopian not-too-distant future, this novel is definitely going to be at the top of my favorite books of 2012. The Age of Miracles will be available June 26, 2012 from The Random House Publishing Group, but you can place a hold on the Lawrence Public Library's copy by clicking here.

-William, Reference

This blog post also appears on William's personal blog,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stamberg's Shortlist

Last week, the crantastic wonderful NPR broadcaster Susan Stamberg was in town to headline an event for the Library Foundation. When asked about her favorite storytellers, she responded that Studs Terkel, Joan Didion, John McPhee and Philip Roth are all on her shortlist.  The authors she noted are all hugely acclaimed and brilliant, of course, but something else they share is a keen ability to unearth and examine different facets of life in America - which is maybe not a surprising preference for a journalist.  So here's a few books from Susan Stamberg's favorites, each reporting on uniquely American experiences (if you find that you like them, maybe shoot a couple bucks to NPR during their next pledge drive as a thank you to S.S.):

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel - In this unique re-creation of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. The book is a mosaic of memories from those who were richest to those who were most destitute.  (Bowker)

My American Century by Studs Terkel - This book is a collection of Terkel's encounters over his long career as the nation's premier oral historian. Described by Terkel as a "jazz work," it is made up of material taken from the author's major books…   The packaging of Terkel's work in one volume makes for a convenient and accessible title that recognizes the human side of history.  (Library Journal)

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live by Joan Didion -  Joan Didion's incomparable and distinctive essays and journalism are admired for their acute, incisive observations and their spare, elegant style. Now the seven books of nonfiction that appeared between 1968 and 2003 have been brought together into one thrilling collection. (Bowker)

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion - The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains...the essential portrait of America-- particularly California--in the sixties. (Bowker)

Annals of the Former World by John McPhee– When John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with… this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction. (Bowker)

Silk Parachute by John McPhee - The world's complex mechanisms beguile us in this scintillating collection of essays, many from the New Yorker. McPhee is fascinated by all manner of intricate and subtle processes... The result is a narrative that is wryly humorous, raptly observant, luxuriating in idle curiosity.  (Publishers Weekly)

Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth -  Goodbye, Columbus is the story of Neil Klugman and pretty, spirited Brenda Patimkin, he of poor Newark, she of suburban Short Hills, who meet one summer break and dive into an affair that is as much about social class and suspicion as it is about love. The novella is accompanied by five short stories that range in tone from the iconoclastic to the astonishingly tender and that illuminate the subterranean conflicts between parents and children and friends and neighbors in the American Jewish diaspora.  (Bowker)

American Pastoral by Philip Roth- American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall - of a strong, confident master of social equilibrium overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. Seymour "Swede" Levov - a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, the prosperous inheritor of his father's Newark glove factory - comes of age in thriving, triumphant postwar America. But everything he loves is lost when the country begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s.  (Bowker)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The 1st Trimester

If you read my last post, you’ve started preparing for all the upcoming changes in your life and home.  But as your pregnancy progresses, you’re probably curious about the changes in your body.  Why do I feel so sick?  Will my baby be a boy or a girl?  Should I be eating certain foods?  If I listen to Mozart, will my baby be smarter?  Do chocolate lovers have sweeter babies?: the surprising science of pregnancy by Jena Pincott answers all these questions for you (okay, it doesn’t actually tell you if you’re going to have a boy or girl, but it does report on some cool patterns that might help you guess).

This fascinating book looks at pregnancy from all scientific angles with chapters on pregnancy symptoms, sex determination, how food affects the fetus, how pregnancy affects the father, what (if anything) we can predict about our babies, and the science of labor itself.  Pincott structures the book using questions she asked during her own pregnancy.  The personal details she offers about her own experience soften the sometimes quite technical scientific explanations and I appreciated hearing another woman’s (often humorous) experience.  The book is arranged in nice bite-sized pieces making it easy to read (in between your waves of nausea).  The table of contents lists every question asked, so you can duck into the book and read only what you’re curious about without having to wade through everything.  It’s the perfect book to dip into before bed.
I knew this book would be interesting, but I didn’t realize I’d be furiously scribbling down notes about what I should and shouldn’t do while pregnant.  Since Pincott reviews the most recent (as well as older) scientific studies (all of which she cites in case you want to dig further), there’s a wealth of what feels like “real” practical information.  But it turns out you don’t have to take notes; she compiles all the take-home lessons in the last chapter.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but:
  • Yes, you should eat chocolate.  You should also eat sardines.
  • If you are married to a billionaire, you’re more likely to have a boy.
  • Your Kentucky Fried Chicken habit might impact not just your child, but your grandchild too.
  • Those crazy, vivid nightmares you’re having?  They’re actually a good thing.
  • If you want your child to love Indian food (or brussels sprouts) as much as you do, get eating.
  • Guys, don’t worry, you too can breast feed.
If you are interested in knowing more about how experiences during fetal development influence a baby after birth (and the adult it becomes), try one of our other books too: Origins: how the nine months before birth shape the rest of our lives by Annie Murphy Paul.

-Rebecca, Reference

Friday, March 2, 2012

Puppies, a Coke and Thirteen Reasons Why

Not many books can make you realize how interconnected people are as viscerally as Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Clay Jensen, the narrator, returns home to discover a package on his front porch- he is excited about his find… but not for long. The package was sent to him by the now-deceased Hannah Baker, his ex-coworker and first love. Inside the cardboard box he finds seven cassette tapes documenting thirteen stories of the people Hannah blames for her death. But Clay was always friendly to Hannah, why is he on the tapes? Find out by reading this page-turner that brings us through Hannah’s tale in the course of a night. 
After reading this book, I feel like buying everyone a puppy and a Coke… so if you need a favor, you know who to look for!

Jenny C - Children's

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Six Month Old Leftovers

(In case you haven't already read it...)

Here’s the deceptively intriguing premise of Tom Perrotta’s 2011 hit, The Leftovers:  A Rapture-like event has left a gaping hole in the world’s population – maybe an eighth of all people have suddenly vanished (my guesstimate – I don’t think any numbers are offered).  There’s no pattern or demographic trend to be gleaned from those that have departed.  They run the gamut from newborn to active senior, evil-doer to Boy Scout.  The disappearances cannot be explained through logic or a prophesized grand exit.  Just poof.

Exciting, right?
The weeks and months immediately following such a cataclysmic event would assuredly be a riveting time of mass hysteria - plane crashes, explosions, governments toppling.  It would also be a time of harrowing life-saving efforts and historic acts of leadership (not to mention lots of caution-to-the-wind hooking up).  It would be the makings of an epic page-turner of a novel.  But that’s not what this book is about.
The Leftovers examines the calm after the storm, the new normal.  Perrotta (Election, Little Children) places his sixth novel in the small Northeastern town of Mapleton, which functions as a case study in the mass existential funk that settles over the left behind.  Many people are unable to continue their past trajectories when the normalcy of their previous existences is irreconcilable with the current set of circumstances. Some leave their families to join one of the myriad new cults.  Others withdraw into deep depressions or self-destructive behavior.  But most just get on with their lives, forming softball leagues and taking the SATs, doing their best to resolidify the bonds of family and community.  Ho-hum.

But was it aliens!?

The Leftovers’ lack of pizzazz is sort-of what gives it its character.  Perrotta depicts the resiliency of the human spirit by showing that regardless of the trauma, we’ll always bounce back to boring.

Ransom - Reference

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Bun in the Oven

I’m pregnant!  So, like any good librarian (or pregnant woman), the first thing I did was look for books to lead me through this new experience.  Of course the Library has lots of the standards, the books every woman refers too: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy, etc.  But I’ve already got the basics covered and was looking for something new and exciting.  I found some fascinating stuff, so over the next couple months, check the blog regularly for my pregnancy and parenting book posts.

The first book I grabbed off the shelf:  One year to an organized life with baby: from pregnancy to parenthood, the week-by-week guide to getting ready for baby and keeping your family organized.   This is a great book to get as soon as you know you’re pregnant because author and organizational guru, Regina Leeds, bases the weekly projects on your weekly progress.  She gives you easy tasks in the first trimester when you are likely feeling under the weather and saves the bigger stuff for later when your energy returns.  For instance, in week 10, Leeds assigns the creation of a baby album and recommends you put your sonogram pictures directly into it.  My initial thought was, “Really, isn’t it organizational overkill to start a photo album so early on?”  But it was one of the few tasks I could consider taking on as the nausea washed over me, so I did it.  Now, thanks to this book, I have a baby album (this from a woman who has yet to create her wedding album).

It’s overwhelming thinking about everything you have to do and consider when you’re pregnant.  The great thing about this book is you no longer have to worry about what to do when and how you will fit it all in; Leeds does that for you and all you have to do is follow her schedule and do what she tells you.  Perhaps this sounds weak and dependent, but I’m fine with being able to concentrate on the substance rather than the logistics of the tasks.  By the time the baby comes, I’ll have handled all the pregnancy related stuff (maternity clothes, birth plans, finances, nursery, child care), but also organized my filing system and closet (weeks 9 and 14), prepared my kitchen and cleaning supplies (week 20 and 23), made new friends and maintained old friendships (week 29+), and found ways to care for myself as well as my baby (week 40) among other things.  Once the baby comes, the tasks continue for another 20 weeks.  After that, you’re on your own, but by then, Leeds will have walked you through creating the systems that will keep you going.

Rebecca - Reference

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If you like The Hunger Games...

If you're a fan of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, you might enjoy some of these dystopian reads as well:
The City of Ember
by Jeanne DuPrau
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever!

The Giver
by Lois Lowery
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt
enjoys special status as the young clone of El
Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

by Scott Westerfeld
Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Don't let the cover fool you: this isn't a book about football.

When Joe Drape left his Kansas City home to work his way up as a sports journalist for The Dallas Morning News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and then The New York Times, he probably didn't imagine he'd one day return to the Midwest and fall in love with a 1.2 square mile rural farming community just shy of 1700 people.  At it's heart, Our Boys is a love story.

When Drape arrived in Smith Center in the fall of 2008, he counted himself an objective journalist.  He assured the head coach that a defeat wouldn't spoil the book he was planning to write about the Redmen, and might even "be better for the narrative of the book."  But by the time the playoffs were in full swing, he found himself fighting to keep his emotions in check, cheering for the Redmen as heartily as the football moms and dads.

Our Boys is the story of Smith Center, Kansas: a close-knit community that nurtures its boys, teaching them about teamwork, love, respect, and becoming men.  It's about Coach Barta's nearly new-age sayings and mantras; the father / son conflict between feisty running back Colt Rogers and his dad, coach Mike Rogers; senior Marshall McCall gradually easing into the shoes of team captain and leader.  It's also about Smith Center's Second Cup Cafe and the charming octogenarian society, the "As the Bladder Fills" club, and it's about the Tucker, Overmiller, and Roush families, all working hard to keep the tradition of Kansas family farms alive.

In Our Boys there is none of the harsh critique that can sometimes creep in when an outsider pens objective third-party nonfiction.  Instead, Drape has taken a page out of Coach Barta's book, and returned respect with respect, love with love.  The result is a beautiful, bestselling book that might just inspire you to be a little kinder to your neighbor.

And for you, football fans?  Don't worry -- Drape easily slides in play-by-plays of some of the Redmen's most exciting games, dissects the Redmen's fascinating winning strategy, and gives a complete glimpse into the "NASA lab" where Coach Barta and his colleagues analyze the reels from week to week,  converting even the most casual bystander into just a little bit of fan.  Trust me, I know.

Joe Drape flies in from New York to appear at Lawrence Public Library tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m., and will be speaking at libraries around the state as part of Kansas Reads 2012.

Rachel - Programs

Monday, February 6, 2012

Patron Review

Maggie’s Story: Teachings of a Cherokee Healer
by Pamela Dawes Tambornino

Maggie’s Story: Teachings of a Cherokee Healer offers a delightful collection of tales from Tambornino’s early years.  Based primarily on the author’s personal interactions with her Cherokee grandmother, these teachings inform and entertain the reader with humor and subtle sophistication.

Tambornino’s use of vivid imagery, everyday language and natural rhythm create a smooth narrative quality.  One could almost imagine sitting around a campfire or rocking chair to hear Tambornino read these stories to an audience of all ages and cultures.  In fact, that is what she did at a recent reading I attended at the Lawrence Public Library.

As expected, many of the stories focus on relationships with animals and plants.  In Strawberries / ANI, Tambornino retells a story of first man and first woman, and how the sun intervened to heal their relationship and teach them about cooperation.  In Mamma Skunk / DI LI, a young girl observes how respect for animals is good policy, while Noodling/Di Ga Lv Nv Hi and Reclaiming Grandma’s Chicken Eggs/ Ju We Tsi  relate the humorous results of doing things one’s own way.

There are a number of tales about healing, of course, plus numerous descriptions of culturally specific details. Examples include Trail of Tears, Beads, and Learning Cherokee.

In the end, it was difficult to pick a favorite.  Not only was I learning information about a culture and family, I was also relearning how to laugh.  And, I learned how to remember.

An added bonus to attending a live reading was meeting Ms. Tambornino.  I had already spoken to her hours after finishing Maggie’s Story.  Again, I found her warm and inviting.  Plus, she was open to writing a second collection of stories.

As a writer, I hope to be as prolific, generous and skillful as this talented Haskell professor in conveying the stories of my youth.  Let’s wish her the best in her endeavors as we anticipate another round of Pamela’s stories.

Stephanie Ann Barrows

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pretty City: Things to Look at While Stuck in Traffic

The question "what is art" can be quite simple or complex. When we think about art in cities, things get even murkier. Who is art for? Is it statues of long-gone military heroes? How does art enhance the public realm? Author and urbanologist Max Grinnell will talk about the role of public art in American cities, via illustrative materials from his travels at the Lawrence Public Library (February 20, 7 pm)

Mr. Grinnell has also been kind enough to put together a suggested reading list to help guide our exploration of urban aesthetics:

ed. by Steven Conn and Max Page 
This anthology of some of the nation’s best-loved writers, including Mark Twain, W. E. B. Du Bois, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Lewis Mumford, E. B. White, and John McPhee, contemplates the American way of building, and demonstrates how central the built environment has been to our definition of what it is to be American. 

by Mary L. Gray
Anyone who’s seen the gorgeous lunettes in the Auditorium Theater or the South Side's Wall of Respect knows that Chicago has a rich tradition of mural painting.  From post offices to libraries, fieldhouses to banks, and private clubs to street corners, Mary Gray chronicles the amazing works of artists who have sought to make public declarations in this most social of art forms.

by Michael Kammen
306.4709 KAMMEN M
In this lively narrative, award-winning author Michael Kammen presents an analysis of cutting-edge art and artists and their ability to both delight and provoke us. From Thomas Eakins’s 1875 masterpiece The Gross Clinic (considered “too big, bold, and gory” when first exhibited) to the bitter disputes about Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial, this is an eye-opening account of American art and the battles and controversies that it has ignited.

by Jerold S. Kayden
This “juicy little time bomb of a book” examines New York City's 39-year mixed experience with the production of more than 500 plazas, parks, and atriums located on private property yet by law accessible to and usable by the public.  Through words, photographs, scaled site plans and maps, Harvard University professor Jerold S. Kayden shows individuals where to discover New York City's hidden public spaces.

by Cindy Kelly
Before New York, Philadelphia, and even Washington D.C., the most impressive sculptural monuments in America were under construction in Baltimore.  As Cindy Kelly talks about how more than 250 sculptures were commissioned, constructed, and dedicated, the rich cultural, economic, and social history of the city unfolds, inviting us to see “the Monumental City” in a wholly fresh perspective.

by Anne Pasternak and Lucy Lippard
on order
For more than 30 years, Creative Time has been an avatar of public art in New York City, working to engage art and the environment, artists and the public.Creative Time: The Book shows how a single organization made it possible for thousands of artists to present awe-inspiring works that engage, taunt, seduce, enliven, and transform a city.

by Tom Wolfe
759.06 WOLFE T
“America's nerviest journalist” trains his satirical eye on Modern Art in this work.  Wolfe addresses the scope of Modern Art from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. This is Tom Wolfe “at his most clever, amusing, and irreverent.”

Max Grinnell is a writer, traveler, and explorer who has published extensively on urban environments, most often those in Chicago and Boston. As part of his professional experience, Max has worked with the Michael Sorkin Design Studio, the Newberry Library, Frommer’s Publications, AA Publishing, the Chicago Tribune, the city of Chicago’s Cultural Affairs Department, the Worldwide University Network, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Chicago. He has designed and taught courses on urban studies, community development, geography, planning and sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Boston University, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the University of Chicago. For more information on Max Grinnell, search his site:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Book Would You Read 10 Times?

Over on our Facebook page, we asked "If you had to read one book ten times, what would you pick?" We got so many great responses that we decided to share them here! Click on the titles to view them in our catalog and place a request if you like!

I think I have actually read Beauty by Robin McKinley that many times over the years, starting when I was ten. -Mari

The help. Best book ever! -Rene

I think I have read the Little House on the Prairie series that many times -- several times as a child, and now with each of my children. -Carrie

To Kill a Mockingbird and a few others come to mind as well -Heather

To Kill a Mockingbird, my favorite! -Darryl

I've done that - Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin. The first time I read it I was so unhappy to be almost finished when I was 20 pages from the end that I just flipped back to the first page and started right over again. -Sarah

China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston, Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, and I also agree with To Kill A Mockingbird -Sheryl

The Wizard of Oz. The plot has many layers to it. -Timothy

Killer Angels -Amanda

Goodnight Moon -Lawrence Habitat Restore

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy -Andy

Been there, done that. I have read 100 Years of Solitude 13 times. 4 times in english. -Christian

The Horse and His Boy by Clive Staples!! :) -Christina

Mary Stewart's The Hollow Hills -Jenn

Sarah Schulman's Girls and Visions and Everything -Moz

In Cold Blood, I believe I have already read it 10 times :) -María

Dune by Frank Herbert -Ryan

Little Women came to mind first. And I've read The Secret Garden every spring for decades. -Arwen

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is one that I like to reread. If I was stuck on a desert island, I would bring a long one: The Brothers Karamazov. -Jennifer

That's why I keep the ones I like around. -Colleen

Breakfast of Champions -Lee

Jane Eyre. BTW, I have already read it at least that and more! My fave. -Bronwyn

Blood & Chocolate. Already working in time #3. -Cleo

Complete Works of William Shakespeare!?! (Is that cheating?) -Danielle

Robinson Crusoe, or Nine Stories by JD Salinger -Chris Kramer

It's a Magical World
by Bill Watterson -Frank

Any Dr.Seuss book...I probably already have and it didn't bother me. -Squawk Box Marketing, Inc.