KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

14 Books on Celebrating the Holidays Artfully

Winter Solstice

From time immemorial, humans have eased the encroaching darkness of winter with gatherings and celebrations involving light, food, and sacred rituals. Holidays and traditions vary from culture to culture, but often these traditions involve recipes, crafts, and decorations for the home.

Program Notes: The Lovely Bones (2009)

The Lovely Bones movie poster

It’s not difficult to see why Alice Sebold’s novel The Lovely Bones – about a murdered 14-year-old girl who from the hereafter observes the activities of both her family members and her killer – attracted visionary director Peter Jackson.

Butler Talks About: Beyond This Vale of Tears

Bob Butler discusses the films in the Beyond This Vale of Tears series, showing on Mondays and Saturdays all through December at the Kansas City Public Library.

Program Notes: Hereafter (2010)

Hereafter movie poster

Director Clint Eastwood and writer Peter Morgan knew they couldn't prove or disprove life after death. So their film Hereafter became a meditation on the human desire to understand what happens when we die.

Featured Authors

Justice Stephen Breyer Has Good Constitution

Justice Stephen Breyer

This past Thursday at the Plaza Branch, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer stood before a crowd of nearly 700 people and made a strong case for civic literacy in the face of cynicism.

Book Reviews

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key cover

As French police force their way into her family’s Paris apartment, a frightened 10-year-old Sarah desperately locks her little brother, Michel, in the secret bedroom cupboard and shoves the key deep into her pocket. 

Guess the Movie!

Movies posters are iconic images that frequently make their way into popular consciousness right along with the movie itself. Can you guess the movie from the poster?

Program Notes: What Dreams May Come (1998)

What Dreams May Come movie poster

What Dreams May Come centers on the afterlife experience of Christy Nielsen (Robin Williams), a pediatrician who descends to the underworld to retrieve his beloved.

Library Life

Children’s Author Derrick Barnes Joins Library Outreach Staff

Derrick Barnes photo

In just three years, talented and industrious Kansas City author Derrick Barnes has published eight books through youth publishing giant Scholastic. But when his fourth son was born, Barnes needed extra income to pay the bills.

New on DVD: Larry Crowne (2011)

Larry Crowne movie poster

How much do we love Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts? Enough that we'll stick with Larry Crowne, a romantic comedy so slight that it’s hardly even there.

Program Notes: Between Two Worlds (1944)

Between Two Worlds movie poster

Meet Sutton Vane, great-granddaddy of the afterlife drama. His play, Outward Bound, set the template for many of the films featured in the Library’s current film series, "Beyond this Vale of Tears: Hollywood visits the Afterlife."

Warped - Teen Book Review

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Tessa Brody lives with her father above their bookstore. When her father decides he need more books for their bookstore they go to an auction where they buy four boxes of books and one extra. Inside that box were a tapestry and a book with the words TEXO VITA on it. Tessa convinced her father to let her keep the tapestry and the book so she hung the tapestry in her bedroom wall.

The tapestry had a unicorn running in a forest with a scratch on its cheek that was bloody on it. When Tessa touched the unicorns bloody cheek she had some sort of vision or something and she saw a girl that looked just like her running in a forest and a handsome man named William de Chaucy looking for her.

Yes, Tessa had a past life and she felt like she knew the unicorn in the tapestry some how. And since she first touched the tapestry she kept having these weird dreams where this guy William de Chaucy got changed into a unicorn by an old lady named Gray Lily and she put him in her tapestry.

Book Reviews

Classic Review: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women book cover Penguin

Your classics reviewer got to this book in a rather roundabout way. I made the decision to review this title after I had bought my Nook this past January. But first, I had watched two film productions of Little Women (one with Katherine Hepburn, the other with June Allyson as Jo) on TCM.

Learn Something

Five Novel Ways to Use the KC Library Mobile App

KC Library app screen

Since launching the Kansas City Public Library mobile app a couple of months ago, we’ve been hearing stories of how people are using the app in interesting ways. This doesn’t surprise us. Library patrons, after all, are the smartest people on the planet.

Guess the Movie!

Movies posters are iconic images that frequently make their way into popular consciousness right along with the movie itself. Can you guess the movie from the poster?

Kansas City Public Library Beta