Zombiemania!

Bob Butler and the Kansas City Public Library offer you this how-to video for surviving a zombie apocalypse!

Gigabit City

10.3.11 – As patrons browsed the shelves and logged in to the public computers at the Central Library, elsewhere in the building, a cadre of community-minded business professionals discussed how information moving at light speed could change life in Kansas City.

Dawn of the Dead movie poster

The best zombie movie of all time? For my money it’s Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead (2004). It nails the nexus of horror and humor that marks the greatest zombie movies.

Crossing Oceans Gina Holmes

Going home means different things to different people. For some, it is an expectation of warm, exciting conversations and laughter with families and loved ones. For others, returning home conjures up painful memories of broken relationships and unexpected loss.

In Crossing Oceans by novelist Gina Holmes, the protagonist, Jenny (short for Genevieve Lucas) returns to her quaint hometown in North Carolina with her five-year-old daughter, Isabella. She is about to face her stern and detached father, Jacob Lucas; her ailing grandmother, Peggy; and the man she both loves and hates, Isabella’s father, David Preston.

After Jenny left home, David married the love of his life, Lindsey. David and Lindsey dream of a blissful future together. Jenny dreads telling David about their daughter. What will David react to the news after years of Jenny’s disappearance? Unknown to anyone, Jenny harbors a secret bigger than having an illegitimate child—a terminal disease that is spreading through her body. She is told that she has only months to live.

Denying herself any chance of a new love, Jenny meets an old friend, Craig, who rents her father’s home. Craig has deep affection for Jenny, but her impassiveness to him is transparent.

Going Blind movie poster

In Going Blind (2010) former network TV news producer and documentarist Joseph Lovett aims his camera at sightless or visually challenged New Yorkers. The idea is to show us how individuals cope with blindness.

"Tom Dreams" illus. by True Williams, from the 1876 1st. ed.

Although I have never caught a real murderer or found a real stash of gold, in many ways, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer reminds me of my own childhood. (I’ve been a pirate, and I’ve come back from the dead...)

Being the eldest of four, I was often the mastermind trying to see the adventure through to the end when I myself was secretly tired of it. And, being a sister, I feel jealousy deeply and I am a master instigator. Put like this, I wouldn’t like to claim these traits as an adult, but deep inside I know they are still there.

One thing that strikes me about this chapter of Tom’s life is the way that the world around him mirrors the world within him. The mood at the pirate camp had gone between high and low quite rapidly, with only the secret to balance it out in the end. Relations between Tom and Becky switch from hot to cold without a moment’s notice.

Then there is the see-saw between Tom and Aunt Polly: with Tom not thinking of the consequences of his mischief until they are too late and then being truly penitent, and Aunt Polly switching between stern and loving in the same breath.

Night of the Living Dead movie poster

George Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead (1968) isn’t the best zombie movie ever. Just the most important.

The wait is over. Kindle e-books are now available at the Kansas City Public Library. Users of the Amazon Kindle e-reader and mobile or web-based Kindle apps now have their choice of more than 2,000 titles, all free with a Library card.

Meek's Cutoff movie poster

Set in the 1840s, Meek’s Cutoff follows a tiny wagon train winding its way westward toward the lush Pacific Northwest. In the hands of minimalist filmmaker Kelly Reichart the usual elements of the classic oater are either not present or subverted into something entirely new.

This week we are featuring three teen book reviews by Tamara, age 16, from the Waldo Branch Library.

Review for Danger Overseas by Carolyn Keene

Danger Overseas is a Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mystery. Frank, Joe, and Nancy reunite in Rome to solve a case involving a theft from an archeological dig and a girl with a missing memory. They soon find themselves involved in a web of terrorism, kidnapping, and deception.

Julie Robinson

Julie Robinson remembers the first thing Irene H. Ruiz ever said to her: "How long will you stay at my library?" Robinson's answer: "Until they tell me I'm going somewhere else." Now, eight years later, Robinson has built a reputation for her branch as a unifying force in the community it serves.

Okay, I get it. Vampires are sexy. Smart. Tormented. No wonder they’re now a staple of chick lit. But when it comes to the dead arising and going forth to do mayhem, give me a flesh-chomping zombie horde any day.

Family Vegetarian Cooking book cover

Whether you’re adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, making an oath to eat healthier, or are just looking for some delicious new recipes to try, Family Vegetarian Cooking from Good Housekeeping is exactly the cookbook you’ve been looking for.

To begin with, don’t let the word “vegetarian” turn you off from this great new addition to the Library’s culinary collection. Of the 225 recipes offered in this book, there are literally dozens of dishes, like the Spinach and Potato Gratin or Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Blueberry Sauce, that even non-vegetarians will devour.

Almost all of the recipes use every-day, inexpensive ingredients that can be found easily in any grocery store (with the exception of a few items – like Gruyere cheese), and each dish includes the total time to complete, serving size, and most importantly, nutrition information.

While Family Vegetarian Cooking is not a beginning cookbook, most of it can still be used by someone with even minimal cooking experience because of the easy-to-follow instructions. And although this is not a microwave cookbook, occasional recipes, including the Creamy Parmesan Twice-Baked Potatoes, explain how they can be completely prepared in the microwave.

Wily reptile man Serengeti Steve brought his scaly friends to the Library for Summer Reading.

When the Library declared it would reach 16,000 kids and teens through this year's Summer Reading program, it quickly became an all-hands-on-deck proposition. Reaching more readers than ever would require advocacy at all the branches, with staff promoting it from the front desk to the childrens' areas and beyond.

It would also take the biggest Summer Reading Outreach campaign to date, with a team of librarians led by Outreach Manager Carrie McDonald conducting reading programs at 20 non-Library locations in hopes of signing up 2,500 kids.

It would be nothing less than Building a Community of Readers from the ground up. And when the numbers were tallied a few weeks ago, the Library found that it had built an even bigger community than it planned.

According to Children's and Youth Services, 20,770 children and 4,724 teens participated in Summer Reading through reading, program attendance, or both, for a total of 25,494. (Last year's total was approximately 15,000, according to Youth Services.)

"The results more than met any of our expectations," says Helma Hawkins, director of Children's Services. "We definitely brought in kids we hadn't reached before thanks to the Outreach program, and we also reached new children inside the Library."

The Duke

John Wayne may have played more memorable characters and uttered more quoteworthy lines than any other actor in American film. For today’s quiz, match the movie title with the Duke’s character and a line of dialogue he spoke in that film. Pilgrim.

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