Shelf Life

Luaka Bop and the world's psychedelic classics

Lawrence Public Library Staff

Almost 30 years ago, David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) founded a record label “to turn people onto stuff [he] liked.” Because he’s David Byrne, and because he’s eminently cooler than you or me, the stuff he liked was Brazilian pop music. In January of ‘89, Byrne released his first ...

From coal to Thoreau: the essays of "Practice Resurrection"

Lawrence Public Library Staff

Not long ago I took a trip across the High Plains, and in addition to seeing more pronghorns and prairie dogs than I’ve ever seen, I also witnessed the landscape of Wyoming’s Thunder Basin for the first time. While much of it is drop-dead beautiful, one gets the feeling that ...

Discover a made-up menagerie in children's books

Lawrence Public Library Staff

As an animal lover growing up in Kansas, I thought our annual grade school field trip to the University of Kansas Natural History Museum was always a high point. I adored the famous panorama of taxidermy, and the working, cutaway beehive, but what I looked forward to most was the ...

Two books to celebrate the season of the witch

Lawrence Public Library Staff

Magician, wizard, practitioner of magic, whatever you want to call that person, I'll bet some of the first examples that pop into your head are male: Harry Potter, Merlin, Gandalf. The greats of the fantasy genre are usually males with women in supporting roles. Women are the wife, the jealous ...

Five-star young adult books published this year

Lawrence Public Library Staff

Liked it, really liked it, it was amazing — if you’re a GoodReads user, you’ll recognize these as the three, four, and five star ratings on the site. I admit, I’m probably a little over-generous with my stars. Looking back at this year’s reads, I’ve given no less than three ...

"The Man from the Train": a midwest murder case for the history books

Lawrence Public Library Staff

Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James' nonfiction "[The Man from the Train][1]" opens with the brutal murder of 8 people in the quiet town of Villisca, Iowa during the summer of 1912. The murders rocked the tiny town and fed the newly burgeoning press scene with half-truths and speculation. Though ...

October Look Play Listen Round Up

Lawrence Public Library Staff

*Look Play Listen is the Lawrence Public Library’s team of audio and video appreciators.* *Each month we’ll round up some of our favorite music, film/TV, and video game reviews from our staff and put them in one easy-to-read, easy-to-locate blog post.* Look ---- http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2017/oct/23/320151/ "[The Last Kingdom][1]" (Season 2) Sure, ...

Four fall finds

Lawrence Public Library Staff

Publishing, like everything, goes in cycles; spring and summer are prime time for book publications, and things tend to wane as the months get colder. However, every year there are gems that get released after the rush, and I want to highlight a few books that are yet to come ...

Scary and smart: "The Hole" is horror and more

Lawrence Public Library Staff

I don’t typically read books out of the horror section, but then again, categorizing the sprawling bundle of thoughts that make up a novel into just one of a handful of neat genres is not an easy task. Of course, my latest impulse read—Hye-Young Pyun’s "[The Hole][1]"— is a far ...

STEM isn’t just for him: an interview with Meghan McCarthy

Lawrence Public Library Staff

One of the biggest stories in children’s publishing this year has been the success of books empowering young women. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s "[Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls][1]," a set of 100 brief biographies of unstoppable women, is among the highest circulating children’s books at the library this ...

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