Books, eMedia & More Blog

"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...
"Silken Prey" by John Sandford

"Silken Prey" by John Sandford enters the world of dirty politics. The book opens with an investigation into the disappearance of a political fixer. There are lots of questions about the disappearance but no real clues.

Meanwhile, Porter Smalls has a comfortable lead in his bid for reelection to the US Senate. His campaign is derailed when child pornography is found on his office computer. When he...

 

 

Don DeLillo has been chosen to receive the first Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. The award was established to honor a writer whose distinguished work offers a unique perspective on the American experience. The Library of Congress has previously awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards and Creative...

"Dead Ever After" by Charlaine Harris

It was with a tinge of sadness that I finished reading "Dead Ever After" by Charlaine Harris. It is her thirteenth book to feature Sookie Stackhouse. Readers will either love or hate the book depending on which supernatural being they were wishing Sookie would choose. Don't worry...I won't spoil the novel for you.

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Summer Reading Club

St. Louis County Library's popular summer reading clubs will kick-off early this year starting May 13 and running through August 3. The library offers clubs for all ages: babies, kids, teens and adults, with fun programs and great prizes for each age group. Participation is free, and as an added incentive, preschool children through those entering 12th grade will have their fines waived when they sign up for a summer reading club (some restrictions apply). Registration begins May 13; simply stop by any St. Louis County Library branch to sign-up. Click...

"The Bambino" by Nel Yomtov and illustrated by Tim Foley, is a graphic novel about that amazing summer of 1927 when Babe Ruth set out to beat his own homerun record.  The artist wisely chooses a limited palette for this book (grayish blue, beige, black and white), since the majority of images we have of the Babe are in grayscale. The colors help convey that the events described in the story happened a long time ago while evoking mental images of...

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