Books, eMedia & More Blog

"God's Jury" by Cullen Murphy

Mention of the Inquisition frequently brings up memories of Monty Python or Mel Brooks's singing portrayal of Torquemada in "History of the World." However, the real story, while arguably less entertaining, is much more fascinating. "God's Jury: The Inquisition and the making of the Modern World" By Cullen Murphy discusses the three separate operations of the Inquisition throughout history...

"My Ideal Bookshelf" by Jane Mount and Thessaly La Force

In "My Ideal Bookshelf," readers of every walk of life give us insight into what books would sit on their ideal bookshelf. Artist Jane Mount and Editor Thessaly La Force do a great job of making us see the titles on the shelves. Each page of the book is filled with hand drawn illustrations of book spines chosen by the contributors, which include Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Chabon, Alice Waters, James Patterson, Jennifer Egan and Dave Eggers among...

Many of us take a trip over the summer with family members or friends. Why not take a road trip with your book discussion group? A St. Louis County Library book discussion kit can take your book group on a journey and you never have to leave the city. The book kit has a copy of the book for each member plus a readers' guide in case you get lost along the way.

Here are a few "trips" that may be fun for you book group:

"Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral" by Kris Radish
Katherine Givens, a corporate attorney and divorced mother of one, finds her...

 

"Detroit: An American Autopsy" by Charlie LeDuff is a horrifying account of how one of the largest American cities of the 20th century has turned into a dysfunctional madhouse in the 21st. Do not read this book if you are depressed because you...

I picked up this book and replaced it on the shelf several times before I finally decided to give it a chance. I am so happy that I chose to read this particular book. "Up Jumps the Devil" chronicles Lucifer's existence since leaving Heaven and inhabiting Earth. He has been here since the dawn of creation, so he has seen and experienced all that humanity has endured.

The book mainly chronicles the Devil's interaction with three rock...

"What Now?" b y Ann Patchett

Graduation season means parties, tearful goodbyes, future plans, and speeches. Many graduates may not pay much attention to the content of their commencement address, but some speeches do attract notice. These days a graduation speech that is admired can be easily shared with a wide audience. Occasionally so much interest is generated that a speech is published in book form.

David Foster Wallace spoke to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon...

"Good-bye, Chunky Rice" by Craig Thompson is a bittersweet graphic novel of love and longing. The main character, Chunky Rice, leaves his love Dandel to find out where he belongs. Chunky is a shy turtle and Dandel is a mouse deer. They are sweetly drawn, and Craig Thompson communicates the piquancy of...

I try to peruse the New Releases (look for the books with the green dots) every week or so because that is where I usually find the interesting, lesser-known fiction. Another find for me is "Errantry" by Elizabeth Hand. The subtitle for this collection is "Strange Stories" and it is fitting. This collection of 10 stories is full of tidbits of weirdness.

The first story deals with the birth of flight in America and a...

"The Cherry Cola Book Club" by Ashton Lee

 

"The Cherry Cola Book Club" by Ashton Lee is a heartwarming story that is reminiscent of the Mitford series. The book opens with the town council of Cherico, Mississippi giving Maura Beth Mayhew, a young, enthusiastic librarian, an ultimatum. She must dramatically increase the library's circulation or it will be closed due to budget cuts.
 
Maura Beth enlists her small contingent of library regulars in a fun-...
"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson

Does your book group tend to get "stuck" in a certain country or time period or genre? If your group has, you know exactly what I mean. St. Louis County Library's Book Discussion Kit program has a wide selection of titles and can help you get out of your rut.

Here are a few titles that may help:
 
"Doc" by Mary Dora Russell
The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up...
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