Our blog about books, authors and reading

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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Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys

RichardsonI am deep in the middle of Adam Hochschild's new book, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 about the anti-war movement before and during World War I (and is thus far excellent). And I recently slogged through British historian Antony Beevor's 500+ page D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, which was a bit too detailed, but very fair in representing Allied incompetence and portrayed some of the major players, including Montgomery, Eisenhower and Patton in a new light for me. Can you tell I was a history major? Standing out so far in this recent WWI/WWII kick was Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys: An American Woman in WWII by Indiana University history professor, James H. Madison.
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The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

Saturday Big Tent Wedding PartyWedding planning, ghost vans that mysteriously disappear into the veldt, a perfect pair of heels for a wedding, what's not to like about Alexander McCall Smith's latest in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series? If life has you feeling blue, this is the perfect book to lighten your mood and take you away from your problems. Botswana, is that far enough? A country where they measure wealth in cattle rather than dollars, and people still have the time to chat in a tree's shade.
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