One great thing about living in St. Louis is the access to so much beautiful green space. From tidy urban parks covering one city block to huge conservation areas of over a thousand acres, the St. Louis area offers ample opportunities for outdoor enjoyment.
Many of these treasures are featured in the new book "St. Louis Parks" by NiNi Harris and Esley Hamilton. Produced by local publisher Reedy Press, the book features full color photographs, a brief history, and basic statistics on parks in the city and county.
NiNi Harris, who has written many books on St. Louis history and neighborhoods, wrote the descriptions of the parks in St. Louis City. Esley Hamilton, preservation historian for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation, provides the text for the county parks. Mark Abeln and Steve Tiemann are responsible for the outstanding photography.
"Carte Blanche" continues the James Bond legacy with quick wit and fast women. Author Jeffrey Deaver follows the path Ian Fleming started years ago, sending James Bond to risk his life and save the world, not missing a chance to romance ladies along the way. Similar to Fleming's style, fast-paced with concrete prose, the story starts with a train derailment in the Balkans, moves to London temporarily and ends in South Africa. Deaver's blog reveals the author as a young man was a fan of the Bond series. He was thrilled when Fleming's estate gave him the chance to continue the spy's exploits after Deaver won the Crime Writers' Association's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for his novel "Garden of Beasts." Though "Carte Blanche" has a contemporary setting and even touches on the global need to recycle, many of the classic Bondisms remain. The CDbook is narrated by Toby Stephens.
You may have heard that St. Louisan Hikaru Nakamura won his third U.S. Chess Championship title this week. Since 2009 the competition has been hosted by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. If this news has inspired you to learn how to play chess, improve your skills, or read about some of the game's great players, St. Louis County Library has plenty to offer.
In the midst of all the summer blockbuster superhero movies, "Chronicle" may just slip under your radar. I can assure you that it is not to be missed if you are a fan, obsessed or casual, of the superhero and/or sci-fi genre.
The movie centers around three characters: loner Andrew, his cousin Matt, and a fellow student and popular football star, Steve. The three bond after they encounter a mysterious object underground that gives them telekinetic powers. The movie is an origin story unlike any other, it deals with serious consequences and the fun three teenagers can have when they are suddenly granted superpowers.
The 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking rekindled my captivation with the tragedy. I watched a lot of the TV specials, and read one book: "Titanic, First Accounts" edited with an introduction by Tim Maltin. The book brings together the recollections of those who survived the sinking of the Titanic. The material has been excerpted from previous works including newspaper articles, books, interviews, and testimony from the official inquiries made by the U.S. Senate and the British government. A significant portion of the book was written by Archibald Gracie, whose writing style is very readable. His experience was harrowing, to say the least and well worth the read.
Summer reading clubs aren't just for kids! The library offers an Adult Reading Club too, which means the whole family can read together this summer.
The Adult Reading Club kicks-off on May 29 with an outer space theme: "Step Into New Worlds." Reading logs with lots of great sci-fi reading suggestions will be given to participants at sign-up. Individuals who complete the club will be entered into a drawing to win gift cards from Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and the St. Louis Bread Company. Other prizes include Mary Engelbreit tote bags, signed first editions of popular books, and tickets from the St. Louis Cardinals and Wehrenberg Theaters.
Registration begins May 29. Stop by your local branch to sign-up, then pick up a reading log at and get started!
--Jennifer M., Headquarters
Teens at the Jamestown Bluffs branch created poetry for National Poetry Month in April. At a "poetry station" they shared their words, rhymes and thoughts. Here are some of the fabulous words they left behind:
Come darkness, Come light
Thou both mark day and night, life and death
Here and now.
Life may only seem and
Look as a dream. But you
Have the faith to know
It's all real. Go for any and
Everything in life!
Are just meant
Never too far
---Anna H., Jamestown Bluffs
I would be remiss in not mentioning the passing of Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys who died on May 4 of throat cancer at the age of 47. The Beast Boys were a band I knew since the release of "License to Ill" in 1987, but I wasn't into rap, so I discounted the value of the music they made. It wasn't until the mid-1990s that I actually started listening to their music and I quickly regretted not taking them seriously from the beginning. I guess it was easy to dismiss them since their first hit was titled "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" They struck me as college goofs who had nothing of value to say.