KC Public Library Blog

Off-the-Wall Preview: Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York screens free on the Rooftop Terrace, Friday, September 16, at 8:45 p.m.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a synecdoche as a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part...

Keep that in mind while watching Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York (2008).

Book Reviews

Classic Review: Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

One of my favorite quotes is: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That statement from Faulkner’s 1951 novel, Requiem for a Nun, could be said of all of Faulkner’s writing, and for Absalom, Absalom! (1936) especially.

Movie Quiz: Stage Names

Nowadays it’s OK for movie stars to embrace the names their parents gave them. But back in Hollywood’s heyday actors were given a full makeover by the studio publicity departments, a process that often entailed replacing their unpronounceable or funny-sounding (or just boring) names with snazzy new movie-star monikers.

Local History

Know Your KC History: Campy Campaneris Joins the 9-in-9 Club

On September 8, 1965, the Kansas City Times started its 98th year of publication. The biggest story that morning was how Hurricane Betsy was pounding Florida. The storm was over 600 miles across, had hit Miami Beach with 81 m.p.h. winds, and crashed 20 foot waves near Fort Lauderdale, wreaking damage to roads, homes, and businesses.

Book Reviews

Big Read Recap: Tom Sawyer, Chs. V-VIII

Oh, Tom Sawyer! Rascal, liar, ladies-boy, wicked heathen … be still my heart. I can still remember my very first encounter with Tom – from my much loved collection of Great Illustrated Classics (my first personal library, maybe?).

Program Notes: Goodbye Solo (2009)

Goodbye Solo movie poster

In this era of anti-immigration rhetoric, it’s sometimes useful to consider what a newcomer to the U.S. brings to the table — namely a sense of enthusiasm and hope.

Coming Up

Coming Up at the Library: September & Beyond

Dear Fellow Library Enthusiast,
It’s that time again. Fall is upon us, which means your Library is about to embark on another season of presenting, if I may be so bold, an extensive schedule of simply extraordinary public programs.

New On the DVD Shelves: Hanna (2011)

Hanna movie poster

Among the higher profile DVD arrivals on the Library’s shelves this month is Hanna, the fourth movie by British director Joe Wright.

Book Reviews

Sworn to Protect by DiAnn Mills

Having lived in the midwest for more than 10 years, I haven’t given much thought to our country’s borders or the people who reside near them. DiAnn Mills’ new suspense fiction, Sworn to Protect, gives an interesting look into the southernmost areas of the U.S. and the profession that works to keep the borders safe.

Featured Authors

Guns and Green Spaces: Frederick Law Olmsted's Impact on Kansas City

In his new book, Genius of Place, biographer Justin Martin says that Frederick Law Olmsted “may well be the most important American historical figure that the average person knows least about.”

Program Notes: Under the Same Moon (2007)

Under the Same Moon movie poster

A hard-nosed critic can find plenty to pick apart in Patricia Riggen’s Under the Same Moon (2007).

That is, if he can suppress his desperate need to blubber like a girly-man.

Library Life

Meet the Fed

Hoenig and Kemper

The grandson of Iowa farmers, Thomas Hoenig began working at the age of 9. Now, at 65, he is about to retire after 20 years as the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where he was the longest-serving leader in Fed history.

Book Reviews

Big Read Recap: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Chs. I-IV

Bring on the blood oaths, the pirates' island, the foul play, mischief, buried treasure, Becky Thatcher, Huckleberry Finn, and Injun Joe. Bring on The Big Read!

Program Notes: America America (1963)

America America movie poster

Most films about the immigrant experience begin with the protagonist’s arrival in a new land. America America, though, ends with a shot of the Statue of Liberty as its hero sails into New York Harbor. It’s the physical and emotional journey he takes to get there that interested filmmaker Elia Kazan.

Film Series Introduction: I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door

Statue of Liberty - photo credit Pepijn Schmitz

Unless you're a full-blooded Native American, you're an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants.

You could even say that the journey to the New World is built into our DNA.

The experiences of our forefathers in coming to this country — and the struggles of today's immigrant — is the subject of The Golden Door film series playing in September at the Kansas City Public Library's Central Library.