It wasn’t an easy task, but the dedicated and determined readers taking part in the Waldo Library’s Jewish American Literature book group, Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of Jewish Imagination took on the award winning novel, The Puttermesser Papers by respected essayist and literary critic, Cynthia Ozick.

Michael Knight and Allen Wier, Southern novelists, joined moderator Steve Paul for the December talk in the Library’s Writers at Work series on December 4, 2008 at the Central Library. Check out the work of these authors or discover more Southern fiction at the Library.

Books by Michael Knight & Allen Wier

The Holiday Season book jacket

The Holiday Season
By Michael Knight
Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, "The Holiday Season" and its companion piece, "Love at the End of the Year" are tender ruminations on the nature of family, the power of love, and a particularly complicated time of year.

Goodnight, Nobody
By Michael Knight
This luminous collection of stories astutely explores rediscovered love, reconciliation, and peace amid the trials of everyday life. In each story, characters are surprised by their mettle even as they recognize their fallibility; they are convinced of the power of love, family, and trust even as they experience the danger of obsession, anger, and simple accident.

Forget the 10k and the bronze statue. What these authors really want is for people to read their books.

 An American Family book jacket

Well, last night, they all got their wish. The National Book Awards were bestowed at a ceremony hosted by playwright Eric Bogosian. The nonfiction winner, Annette Gordon-Reed, received a pretty nice birthday present when she became the first African-American woman to win the award for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.

Peter (or should I say “repeater”) Matthiessen took home an NBA prize for the second time in his career for his novel Shadow Country. In 1991 he won the nonfiction prize for The Snow Leopard. That’s a nice matched set for his mantel.

November marks the beginning of scholarship application season with National Scholarship Month. Get a jump on finding the best scholarships and colleges with these books.

Scholarship guides

 The Real-World Guide to Getting Cash for College book jacket

Get started with Scholarships 101: The Real-World Guide to Getting Cash for College by Kimberly Stezala. This book is written for all students and their parents with steps for them to follow starting in the student’s freshman year. It contains tips on finding the best scholarships based on the student’s profile, information on creating a successful application, sample essays, and more.

The College Board, a not-for-profit organization, covers more than just scholarships in Getting Financial Aid 2009. It includes a “financial aid picture” for 3,000 colleges and schools while providing advice on the FAFSA form and more.

Physician, historian, and ethicist Robert Martensen discusses his book, A Life Worth Living: A Doctor’s Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era, on November 20, 2008 at the Plaza Branch. Read Dr. Martensen’s book or check out some others in the Library written by physicians about illness, the end of life, or their thoughts on medicine.

Illness & end of life | Doctors’ reflections

Illness & end of life

A Life Worth Living book jacket

A Life Worth Living: A Doctor's Reflections On Illness In a High-Tech Era
By Robert Martensen
Martensen, a physician, historian, and ethicist, draws on decades of experience with patients and friends to explore the life cycle of serious illness, from diagnosis to end of life.

Book designer and author Chip Kidd explored The Secret History of Batman in Japan on November 19, 2008 at the Plaza Branch. Check out Kidd’s works, the world of Batman, or the art of the book cover in these books.

By Chip Kidd | Batman | Book cover art

Written, Designed, or Edited By Chip Kidd

 The Secret History of Batman in Japan book jacket

Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan
By Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear, and Saul Ferris
The two hottest genres in comics gleefully collide head-on, as the most beloved American superhero gets the coolest Japanese manga makeover ever.

Celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month in November with some fiction by acclaimed American Indian authors.

Ceremony book jacket

In Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, a young World War II veteran returns to the Laguna Pueblo reservation where he feels estranged and alienated. Tayo, the veteran, searches for meaning and resolution to the despair he feels and learns of the value of ceremony in life.

James Welch’s novel Fools Crow depicts the Lone Eaters clan of the Blackfeet Indians in the time after the Civil War. Slowly, the Napikwan, white people, encroach upon these people and their way of life.

From the River's Edge by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn follows a trial in the 1960s over stolen cattle. Sioux John Tatekeya presses charges against a white man and the trial comes to represent a greater loss representative of their history.

On November 11, 2008 at the Plaza Branch, Jill Tietjen discussed her book, Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. Read more about women in American history in these books at the Library.

U.S. Women’s History | Biographies | Kansas City Women

U.S. Women’s History

 A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America book jacket

Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America
By Charlotte S. Waisman & Jill S. Tietjen
This one-of-a-kind illustrated timeline highlights the awesome, varied, and often unrecognized contributions of American women since the 1500s. The result is a captivating look at champions that will resonate with women and men alike.

Tuesday night the local AAUW met at the Waldo Community Library for their monthly book discussion. In keeping with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's current exhibit, Art in the Age of Steam, this month's selection was Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland.

To mark Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, The Kansas City Public Library is hosting two events. On November 13, 2008, Joe Markley discussed the invention process from conception and production. On November 15, the Library hosted a forum on social entrepreneurship and problem solving on the community level. Discover some of the many books available on these topics for both adults and teens.

Entrepreneurship | Inventions | Social entrepreneurship | For teens

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift discussed the next big political question with Executive Director Crosby Kemper III: After the Election, What Comes Next? on November 10 at the Plaza Branch. Read some of Clift’s books or explore nonfiction about U.S. presidential campaigns and elections.

Books by Eleanor Clift | Presidential Campaigns & Elections

Books by Eleanor Clift

Two Weeks of Life book jacket

Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death & Politics
By Eleanor Clift
Newsweek contributing editor Clift tackles one of the most important--and divisive--issues facing the nation: how Americans deal, or fail to deal, with dying. Clift provides a very personal narrative as she alternates between the much-publicized death of Terri Schiavo and that of her own husband.

Noted Russia scholar Marshall Goldman discussed his bookPetrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia – on November 9, 2008 at the Plaza Branch. Learn more about Russia and Vladimir Putin in these books at the Library.

Books by Marshall Goldman | Russian Foreign Relations | Vladimir Putin

Books by Marshall Goldman

 Putin, Power, and the New Russia book jacket

Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia
By Marshall I. Goldman
Based on extensive research, including several interviews with Vladimir Putin, this revealing book chronicles Russia's dramatic reemergence on the world stage, illuminating the key reason for its rebirth: the use of its ever-expanding energy wealth to reassert its traditional great power ambitions. In his deft, informative narrative, Marshall Goldman traces how this has come to be, and how Russia is using its oil-based power as a lever in world politics.

Witches and Halloween go hand-in-hand. Pick up one of these witchy novels for a good read this week.

The Witches of Eastwick book jacket

Selected by Time magazine as one of the five best books of the year, The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike follows three divorced witches who live in New England. A new man moves to their small town and seduces them all.

For some chick lit, try Girl's Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky where librarian Jane finds some magic books and starts experimenting with spells. Soon, she’s irresistible to men and working more magic in this humorous novel.

Owens women have been witches for centuries in the book, Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Now, two sisters raised by their aunts experience love and tragedy against a backdrop of magic.

The Kansas City Public Library and Metro Sports are partnering for the theatrical premiere of the feature-length documentary, Border War on November 3 at the Plaza Branch. This documentary, produced by Metro Sports, examines the history of the athletic rivalry between the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas. Read about other sports rivalries or KU and MU athletics in these books at the Library.

Sports Rivalries | KU & MU Athletics

Sports Rivalries

Emperors and Idiots book jacket

Emperors and Idiots: The Hundred-Year Rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox, From the Very Beginning to the End of the Curse
By Mike Vaccaro
With incredible energy and access, leading sports columnist Mike Vaccaro chronicles the history of the greatest rivalry in sports – between the Yankees and the Red Sox – and the two stunning American League Championship Series that define a century of baseball.

October is National Bake and Decorate Month. Take part in the celebration by checking out a book with delicious recipes and how-to details on cake decorating, or read a novel inspired by baking.

Baking

 From My Home to Yours book jacket

Start with the James Beard Foundation Book Award winner, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. This book has over 300 recipes perfect for home baking, including breakfast sweets, cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, and spoon desserts.

For more delicious recipes, check out The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress-Free Strategies for Busy People by Abigail Johnson Dodge. From breads and cookies to pies and cakes, this resource is aimed at those short on time. The cookbook moves from the simplest recipes to those that will take more time, making it easy to find just the right recipe.

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