First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare is on display through June 28th, 2016, on the 5th floor of the Central Library.

When is the last time you found yourself befuddled and commented, "It’s all Greek to me?" Do certain tasks leave you believing they will take "forever and a day?" Many phrases in our common vernacular are credited to William Shakespeare and would arguably be lost to our phraseology if not for the First Folio.

Shakespeare can seem completely boring. Huge words and convoluted plots make it easy to feel overwhelmed. How many people have sat through the Shakespeare unit in high school waiting it out until something better follows? However, Shakespeare is actually funny, engaging, intriguing. His plays can draw up your amusement, adoration, and anger.

Andrea Mays in The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger's Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare's First Folio examines Folger and his mania.

Wormhole

Apparently, one of the big trends in new young adult books coming out is time travel. That pesky fourth dimension that has us trapped right now isn’t going to stop authors. Imaginations aren’t bound by reality. So, characters hurtle though time and face the different triumphs and challenges of another era.

Front Lines by Michael Grant

publication date: 2016
pages: 544
ISBN: 978-0-06-234215-7

In this alternate history, Michael Grant asked: how different would World War II have been if women were allowed, and even drafted, on the front lines? The answer, at least according to Grant, was not very different at all.

Front Lines followed Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman as they joined the fight against the Axis powers in 1943. Grant crafted these three characters to show the different experiences those serving in the armed forces would have encountered.

Rio was a young woman from an idyllic small town in California who signed up in response to the death of her sister. She underwent basic training and was sent to the front lines because of her proficiency in shooting.

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy is featured as May's FYI Book Group selection.

Mark van Doren's Shakespeare is a sensitive, enthusiastic, and insightful collection of short essays on Shakespeare's plays and his poetry first published in 1939.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

publication date: 2016
pages: 451
ISBN: 978-1-4814-4963-2

If you were given the chance to either destroy the world, or to save it, what would you do? For some of us, there might be an effortless answer to that question. In We Are the Ants, that wasn’t the case for unhappy high school student Henry Denton. For him, the world was full of bullies and miserable people. So, when he was offered the chance to press the button that stopped the end of the world, he needed to think about it. In his words (and the first words of the book): Life is bullshit.

The quirk in the book, and what made it different from other books about a teen with an angsty life was that, for Henry, the end of the world wasn’t just some hypothetical event. Instead, as we discover very early on in the book, Henry was literally given the choice to save the world by the aliens who had been periodically abducting him:

reBOUND

Podcast fans talk about their favorite radio shows with the same enthusiasm readers talk about their favorite books. The Library and KCUR 89.3 FM recently smashed the two formats together into one event, reBOUND.

News broke Friday that author Harper Lee had died peacefully in her sleep at age 89. The author of To Kill a Mockingbird was one of the greats of American literature.

As dramatic pieces, the works of Shakespeare are best experienced in performance, not the page. Here are just a few productions of Hamlet on film, available for checkout from the Library.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor is the kind of novel you get when non-Western storytelling traditions and sensibilities use the quintessentially Western cultural tools and structures of Science Fiction.

Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, Photo by Paul Andrews

The Library's Deputy Director of Strategic Initatives Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner will take over as executive director of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City's historic 18th & Vine District.

Shakespeare's plays Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II, and Henry V—often called the Henriad—deal with the rise of Henry Bolingbroke, his rocky reign as king, and the better fortune of his son, Henry V.

As the year comes to a close, our librarians wanted to share their favorite books, movies, television series, and music that either came out in the past year, or that we just discovered in 2015.

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