Our blog about books, authors and reading

2010 Bram Stoker Award Winners

Dark MatterThe Horror Writers Association works to "raise the profile of the horror genre in the publishing industry and among readers in general." In an effort to support their mission, The Horror Writers Association every year awards prizes for the best in the horror genre.
Last week the Bram Stoker Award Winners were announced.
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Young Adult Fiction Debate - How Dark is Too Dark?

Part Time IndianSeveral weeks ago, a contributor for the Wall Street Journal wrote an article entitled Darkness Too Visible. The author's complaint was that contemporary YA literature, aimed at the broad range of 12-18 year-olds is inappropriate for it's heavy inclusion of "explicit abuse, violence and depravity".

Then the internet blew up. Several interesting responses have come from NPR, one from pop culture expert Linda Holmes, and another interview with a YA librarian, YA authors, and the original author of the WSJ article.
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Freedom

FreedomIf you listen to politicians and talking heads speak, you'll instantly recognize that "freedom" is a particularly powerful buzz word in American culture. Franzen achieved notoriety for a famous run-in with Oprah about his book The Corrections being included in her book club. He complained that this might scare men away from reading his book, so Oprah withdrew the nomination. In another bizarre twist, last fall a fan stole the author's eyeglasses and offered them for ransom. In this mega-novel of 562 pages, Franzen tackles the theme of what constitutes freedom in our closest relationships. He writes about a family, the Berglunds, who helped transform an old St. Paul neighborhood into a thriving community.
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Adult Summer Reading!

StretchStretch Your Mind. Stretch Your Body. Stretch Your World.

Why let the kids and teens have all the fun with summer reading programs? Read more »

Teen Summer Reading!

World in Your HandsIt's summer and that means Summer Reading at public libraries around the country - MCPL included! Teens in Monroe County have the opportunity to participate in The World in Your Hands, this summer's Reading Program from June 1 - August 17.
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Michael Koryta Author Event

The RidgeDon't miss your chance to see local mystery and suspense author, Michael Koryta at Barnes and Noble next week to promote his newest book - The Ridge. He will be there on Monday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. Full event details available on the Barnes and Noble website, and also from Michael's personal blog too.
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2011 Lambda Literary Awards

WildthornThe 2011 Lambda Literary Awards were announced last week for excellence in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans literature available in the United States.

A sample of winning titles published in 2010 that MCPL owns include:

TRANSGENDER -- Fiction
Holding Still for As Long As Possible, by Zoe Whittall
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June's Books Plus Discussion

FreedomGraduation, students leaving town, the planning of summer trips and picnics, yes it's that time of year again. If only the weather would comply. On June 5th, Jane Layman will lead our next Books Plus discussion about Jonathan Franzen's latest novel Freedom. This well-reviewed novel features Patty and Walter Berglund, pioneers of old St. Paul. Walter is an environmental lawyer concerned about the fate of warblers, and Patty is an ex-sports player, perhaps a little too competitive with her parenting.
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Into the Storm

ImageTuscaloosa, St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri? Do these names ring a bell? Unfortunately, they've been ground zero for a few of this season's most serious tornadoes. While checking the new shelf, I came across Reed Timmer's new book about his odyssey from a geeky 19 year-old college student to the most famous "storm chaser" around.
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How Bad Are Bananas?

ImageIt seems common knowledge that riding your bike to work is a low carbon activity. What you might not know if that if you fuel your bike ride with air-freighted off season asparagus, then your carbon footprint increases dramatically and you'd be better off commuting buy Hummer. The art and science of taking into account many aspects of what constitutes a carbon footprint has often been ignored.
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