KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire, the new sequel to Code name Verity, picks up a year after Elizabeth Wein's previous novel left off. It's August 1944 and Rose Justice grew up in Pennsylvania flying planes from a young age.

Book Reviews

Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey

Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey

Unlike the other biographies we’ve looked at this year (Roper’s Life of More, Cavendish’s Life of Cardinal Wolsey, and Boswell’s Life of Johnson), Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians is a work marked by distance seen through the fresh eyes of a new generation.

Program Notes: Rhapsody in Blue (1945)

Rhapsody in Blue movie poster

Rhapsody in Blue, the 1945 biopic on the life of composer George Gershwin, is lightweight drama. But when it comes to Gershwin’s music, it's very serious indeed – a superb celebration of musical genius.

“The Greatest Display of Skill, Nerve, and Daring”

Old Elm Ridge Race Track, ca 1915

September 17, 1922: Averaging 107 miles per hour, racecar driver Tommy Milton wins the inaugural race at the Kansas City Speedway, also known as "the Old Board Track" at 95th and Troost.

Library Life

Staff Reading Picks for September

Redshirts by John Scalzi

September is upon us and fall is fast approaching, even if it doesn't feel like it outside. And being September, it means that we are overdue for another Staff Picks blog!

Program Notes: The Red Violin (1998)

The Red Violin movie poster

The Red Violin is an epic yarn, a bit of fiction inspired by real events and personalities, the 300-year story of a musical instrument described by one character as “The single most perfect acoustic machine I have ever seen.”

Local History

Elmer, A.L., and Me (Part 2)

John F. Stacey (from the M. Christine Schwartz Collection)

Dr. John Horner concludes his search for the identities of the two artists who created the portraits on display in the Guerrillas in Our Midst exhibit from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections.

Book Reviews

Sister Queens by Julia Fox

Sister Queens

One woman as queen had several children. Her sister only gave birth to a living daughter. Both lived sad lives. Katherine of Aragon and her sister Joanna (Juana) found themselves at the mercy of others.

Program Notes: The Great Waltz (1938)

The Great Waltz movie poster

The Great Waltz is terrible history. But if you’re a lover of classical music – heck, even if you aren’t – it’s a pretty stupendous experience, a prime example of a vintage MGM musical with melodies that will be swirling around in your head for days after a viewing.

Muffin Man

Fred Wolferman

September 13, 1870: Fred Wolferman, who will lead the family Kansas City grocery store to a successful purveyor of luxury food goods (especially Wolferman's English muffins), is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Local History

Elmer, A.L., and Me (Part 1)

Portrait of Alexander Franklin (Frank) James

Dr. John Horner delves into a search for the identities of the two artists who created the portraits on display in the Guerrillas in Our Midst exhibit from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections.

Book Reviews

The Returned by Jason Mott

The Returned

What would you do if suddenly one of your loved ones who had died 10, 20 or even 50 years ago stood at your door alive and well? That’s the premise of The Returned, the debut novel by Jason Mott.

Wilkins Rising

Roy O. Wilkins

August 30, 1901: Roy O. Wilkins, who will spend eight years as reporter and editor of the Kansas City Call before moving on to lead the NAACP, is born in St. Louis, Missouri.

Local History

New Website: Civil War on the Western Border

Civil War on the Western Border

The Kansas City area has a rich Civil War history. And now there’s a new way to discover and research the legacy of the Kansas-Missouri Border War.

Program Notes: The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

The Outlaw Josey Wales movie poster

Guys who love The Outlaw Josey Wales really, really LOVE IT. There are fans who think Clint Eastwood’s oater is not only one of the best Westerns ever, but that it is one of the best films ever. Say what? More on that later.