KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is one of the most famous autobiographies in English, certainly in America. Benjamin Franklin was not only a prominent figure in the US War of Independence, but also one of the most accomplished men of his day, well versed in several fields, and a self-made man to boot (call Central Casting – we have ourselves a Renaissance American).

Program Notes: North Face (2008)

North Face movie poster

North Face is an outdoor adventure based on real-life events. By turns hauntingly beautiful and flat-out terrifying, it puts us in the middle of the action as few films do, and the struggle of two young men becomes our own.

Hotel Horror

Hyatt  Regency Hotel

July 17, 1981: One hundred fourteen people die as two skywalks collapse at the Hyatt Regency Hotel during a tea dance.

Book Reviews

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

It is summer and that means Farmer’s Markets and more glorious produce than I almost know what to do with. At this time of year, there is a tried and tested book that I turn to make the most of all of the delicious things I bring home.

Program Notes: Vertical Limit (2000)

Vertical Limit movie poster

Vertical Limit is a lot like an amusement park thrill ride. When it comes to the gut-twisting fear of dangling off a 1,000-foot precipice while a mile-wide avalanche of snow comes roaring at you down a Himalayan slope, it delivers.

The Greatest Pitcher Ever

Satchel Paige

July 7, 1906: Satchel Paige, who will win fame as a pitcher for the Kansas City Monarchs and be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, is born in Mobile, Alabama.

Library Life

Staff Reading Picks for July

It's time again for our Kansas City Public Library Staff Picks! Employees here at the Library have given us some of their favorite reads for the month, whether it be a new book coming out or an old favorite they've recently rediscovered.

Book Reviews

Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline

In Lisa Scottoline’s new novel, Don’t Go, Mike Scanlon is an Army surgeon only a month away from finishing a dangerous tour in Afghanistan. Even this close to the end of his deployment, he worries about the toll his absence is taking on his young wife, Chloe, their infant daughter, Emily, and about their future if he doesn’t come home alive.

Program Notes: The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator movie poster

Martin Scorsese’s three-hour epic The Aviator – about the middle years of airman-industrialist-moviemaker-mental case Howard Hughes – is so ambitious, so daringly executed, and so entertaining that it's hard to wrap one's head around it.

"The Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City"

Louis Curtiss Studio, 1989

July 1, 1865: Louis Curtiss, whose innovative architecture and flamboyant lifestyle will make a lasting imprint on Kansas City after his 1887 arrival, is born in Belleville, Ontario.

Book Reviews

The Year Without Summer by William Klingamen

The Year Without Summer

Summer is meant to be hot with ample growing time for crops. What would a season be like if this did not happen? 1816 proved that such an event could happen.

Book Reviews

The Heroines by Eileen Favorite

The Heroines

Anyone interested in novels that like to mess with classic literature should pick up The Heroines by Eileen Favorite.

This fanciful debut novel is full of literary humor poked liberally at the dramatic, tragic, soap-operatic heroines of the classics.

Strangers in a Strange Land

Corps of Discovery sculpture in Case Park

June 26, 1804: Lewis and Clark arrive in the area that will become Kansas City and camp for three days on their expedition to explore the recently purchased Louisiana Territory.

Program Notes: Primal Fear (1996)

Primal Fear movie poster

"Gotcha" movies only work if you don't see the big reveal coming. The "gotcha" at the end of Primal Fear? I've never met anyone who wasn't completely suckered in by this thriller and by Edward Norton's hair-raising performance in his first major movie.

Program Notes: Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Witness for the Prosecution movie poster

Witness for the Prosecution could be called the granddaddy of the “gotcha” movie. Audiences were stunned and delighted by the last-act revelation that gave the story its oomph.