Shelf Life

Author J. Drew Lanham talks Kansas ahead of his visit to Lawrence

I’m not the only one who views J. Drew Lanham as a superhero of advocacy for the natural world — especially for greater participation among people of color as well as increased celebration of birds! Lawrence Public Library is partnering with community organizations for Lanham’s visit — ...

Verse novels to help you celebrate national poetry month

Like many people, I spent a fair amount of time in my teenage years writing poetry. Some of it was quite good (I even won some state-wide awards for it!), but most of it was pretty average. Eventually I stopped feeling the urge to write, and gradually poetry went from being a daily part of my ...

Making illustration look like a cinch: a few questions with Chris Monroe

Of all the picture books I’ve read to my kids, Chris Monroe’s have been some of the most fun, so I was pleased to hear a new Netflix streaming series based on her "[Monkey with a Tool Belt][1]" books is in the works. Monroe’s versatility rivals that of her plucky primate protagonist, ...

The library isn’t just for books anymore —Nintendo edition

When I think of the Lawrence Public Library, I think video games. Some people won’t like that, but I can’t help it. At the library, we have a killer game collection. And it just got killer-er with the addition of Nintendo Switch games. Nintendo’s little system that could is off to a ...

Distinguished “black birdwatcher” J. Drew Lanham to speak in Lawrence

The Lawrence Public Library is proud to announce that J. Drew Lanham is coming to speak in Lawrence on May 24. Lanham connects storytelling, wit and land ethics to advocate for greater participation in the natural world — especially among people of color. His presentation, "Range-Mapping: ...

Getting hygge

Late in 2016 I came across an article touting hygge, pronounced “hoo-gah”, as the newest happiness trend that could help everyone make sense of a tough year. After reading about the candle-lit, warm-blanket, fuzzy-socked Danish tradition of getting cozy, I deemed myself a hygge natural and ...

What am I waiting for? Books on my to-read shelf

I have been a terrible reader lately, and it is all because of the vile temptress of Netflix. For literal years, I’ve prided myself on being that pretentious person: not watching television, certainly not owning a television (goodness, no), not using the letters “T” and “V” in the ...

Choose kind at your library

February and March are Read Across Lawrence months at the Lawrence Public Library. The goal is to get everyone in the community on the same page by reading the same book at the same time. This year, we tried a grand experiment: one book for all ages. "[Wonder][1]" by RJ Palacio was the ...

Choose kind at your library

February and March are Read Across Lawrence months at the Lawrence Public Library. The goal is to get everyone in the community on the same page by reading the same book at the same time. This year, we tried a grand experiment: one book for all ages. "[Wonder][1]" by RJ Palacio was the ...

Another year, another Newbery Medal winner

[The American Library Association's Youth Media Awards][1] season is a heady time for librarians in youth services. We’re all trying to figure out what the best book will be while waging our own mental campaigns for our favorites by thinking very compelling arguments at the selection ...

TV killed the literary star

The sophomore season of Donald Glover’s cult-favorite TV show "[Atlanta][1]" kicked off yesterday, continuing the story of Earnest “Earn” Marks and his struggle to make money (and sense) in an often absurd world. It’s likely one of Glover’s lesser-known works among his renaissance-man ...

The Anglophile’s guide to historical fiction

There is nothing that brings me such unbridled joy as a richly written, atmospheric historical fiction novel. I have never been one to wish for times past, because I am a modern lady who enjoys modern amenities such as public works systems, vaccinations and air conditioning units. However, ...

What are we having for dinner?

Being a reader almost inevitably means forging relationships (at least in our own minds) with favorite authors. Once upon a time, as a nine-year-old hardcore "[Little House on the Prairie][1]" fan, I was devastated when at last it dawned on me that I would never, ever meet Laura Ingalls Wilder ...

Fancasting my favorite rom-com reads

Like many people, I love a good romantic comedy. I’m always in the mood for a meet-cute, a tale-of-friends-to-lovers, a happily-ever-after (or at least for now). Luckily, as a reader of romance, I usually have a stack of rom-coms sitting on my bedside table. The only downside to my rom-com ...

World music mixtape

Since last November’s [Luaka Bop][1] spotlight, I’ve disgracefully neglected my world music search. Hoping to make up for lost time, I asked my coworkers to share some of their favorite albums from our world music collection. Here are their responses: Dom La Nena’s "[Ela][2]" is a ...

An erratic start to 2018

One month into 2018 and I find myself in a very erratic reading mode, so much so that I couldn't settle on trying to feature one book in depth, so I thought I’d take you, dear reader, on a stroll through some books I’m really enjoying — but haven’t finished yet! I challenged myself to ...

Deep thoughts

Thanks to the discovery of a book called “[Deep][1],” while it was below zero here in Kansas, I was immersed below sea level in a warm and magical aquatic world where the rules of life are tweaked and a different language is spoken. Hundreds of feet down and more, they speak of ...

A new book on Kansas LGBT pride

Kansas Day is almost here, and I’ve got an inspiring way to celebrate! A new book pays tribute to the Kansans who are advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights. In "[No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas][1]," author C.J. Janovy shares the recent ...

Never trust a librarian carrying a dog book

[Sounder][1], [Old Yeller][2], [Old Dan, and Little Ann][3]: children’s literature is littered with corpses of dogs who died too young and made us cry harder than we wanted to. Luckily, our parents burst into tears, too, which helped distract us from our own sorrow, since they looked so weird ...

What to read while you wait for Obama’s favorite book

While Barack Obama was president, he started an annual tradition of sharing his favorite books and music from the previous year, and he’s graciously kept with this tradition for 2017. At the top of his list this year? A new “dystopian” novel with some radical feminist themes called "[The ...