Shelf Life

Read Across Lawrence 2018: the heartfelt middle-school story of Wonder

“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” -Auggie, "[Wonder][1]" Whenever I’m handed a book with the promise “This will make you cry,” I’m always a little skeptical. A montage of dogs seeing their owners ...

December Look Play Listen Round Up

*Hi Lawrence! Look Play Listen is the library’s team of AV 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 ---- ["The Mind of a Chef" Season ...

It’s time for the 2018 Squad Goals reading challenge

In 2017, the Lawrence Public Library's Book Squad introduced the Squad Goals Reading Challenge, a collection of 13 prompts designed to get you reading more widely. In 2018, by popular demand, we’re back with 13 new prompts that we hope will intrigue, delight and, yes, challenge you. ...

Library staffers share their best books of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, with all its turbulence—for better or worse—one thing remains constant: great books of all flavors. Staff from all across the library share their favorites; read on for LPL’s best books of 2017. **Shirley Braunlich, reader's services assistant:** "[The ...

Cozy reads to get you through the endless night

It’s that time of year again! The ground is covered in leaves, the holiday lights are on, the heater is cranked all the way up and snow is imminent. You look outside one minute, and the sun is shining, and the world is like a gorgeously illustrated picture book, and then one minute later you ...

Eight(ish) miraculous books

Taking place every year on the 25th of Kislev, Hanukkah commemorates the story of Jewish persecution at the hands of the Syrian despot Antiochus, who made observance of Judaism a capital offense, regularly slaughtered Jews and made it a point to desecrate the Temple. A man named Mattathias ...

November Look Play Listen Round Up

*Look Play Listen is the library’s team of AV 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 ---- "[Hunt for the Wilderpeople][1]" "Hunt for the ...

One Place, Many Voices: Local Authors Share Connections to Place

Writing by our local authors is rich and diverse in both mood and voice. My current focus is on such writing that provides a sense of place. This is an invitation to explore outside spaces with local authors in a series of events aptly titled Local Authors Outside. I also want to encourage ...

Luaka Bop and the world’s psychedelic classics

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 ...

Discover a made-up menagerie in children’s books

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 chance to ...

Two books to celebrate the season of the witch

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

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 stars ...

October Look Play Listen Round Up

*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 ---- "[The Last ...

Four fall finds

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 for the end of ...

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

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 ...

To-Be-Read: A Story of Shame & Neglect

I have a theory that everyone is shamefully hiding the stack of books they’ve neglected to read this year from the world. “It’s not my fault!” one might say, “Some were incredibly thoughtful gifts; some were found while innocently scouring the [Friends][1]’ collection; and some ...

Three on a Theme: Bookish Podcasts

The Lawrence Public Library’s "Book Squad Podcast" just celebrated its eleventh episode, and let me tell you: it has been on fire lately. Recent episodes feature discussions of classics like "[The Catcher in the Rye][1]" and "[Their Eyes Were Watching God][2]," shout-outs to great events ...

5 books to read for LGBT History Month

In 1994, a group of teachers and community leaders in Missouri, led by high school teacher Rodney Wilson, sought to designate a month for the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history (per [http://lgbthistorymonth.com/background][1]). With endorsements from GLAAD, the Human Rights ...

Look Play Listen roundup

*Hi Lawrence!* *Look Play Listen is the library’s brand new media team.* *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.* *Keep an eye out.* - - - - - - - - ...

Case Studies in Solitary Refinement

Although I am, in many ways, a Luddite at heart, I’ve become aware recently that I spend altogether too much time hopscotching across the internet, searching for news. I am also a news junkie, you see, and the interesting times we live in have had me riveted to my screen. However, I’ve ...