KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

Silk Parachute by John McPhee

John McPhee is 80 years old, has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and has written 28 books. Mr. McPhee has written about Arthur Ashe, Bill Bradley, oranges, Alaska, human-powered flight, a cattle-brands inspector and several books on geology. While factual in nature, his work has the power to draw the reader into the world of each essay’s topic like a good novel.

Learn Something

Four Books on Being a Successful Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs know hard work, long hours, and difficult times. Every year, the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City salutes the Top 10 Small Businesses for their contributions to the well-being of our community.

Book Reviews

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131 AD) was a mathematician and philosopher at a time and place where such were highly valued fields of endeavor. His work on algebra was a pioneering effort in the discipline. Outside of Persia (modern-day Iran), Khayyam is known primarily as the author of the Rubaiyat.

Library Life

Video: Alvin Sykes Uses the Library to Right the Wrongs of the Past

With enough time, effort, and research you really can change history. Just ask Alvin Sykes. Over the past several years, Sykes has built a reputation as a champion of the forgotten victims of racial violence, helping to bring about the re-opening of two Civil Rights cold cases. As Brad Stephens of KCTV5 reports, Sykes did most of that work within the walls of the Kansas City Public Library.

Book Reviews

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

From the outset, The Road is a post-apocalyptic tale focusing on a man and his son’s quest for survival following a horrific disaster that has destroyed civilization. However, beyond these facts, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what to make of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Local History

Exhibit Celebrates 100 Years of Iconic KC Landscape Designs

Most Kansas Citians have admired Hare & Hare’s work at one time or another. After all, the landscape architectural firm, now known as Ochsner Hare & Hare, just celebrated its 100th anniversary – a century spent reshaping and beautifying the area’s most iconic landscapes, such as the Country Club Plaza, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Liberty Memorial, Loose Park, Sunset Hill, and Mission Hills among them.

Featured Authors

Joe Louis: The Brown Bomber in KC

Joe Louis and Natie Brown

When Joe Louis fought in Kansas City on February 17, 1937, Boss Tom Pendergast was in power, jazz was jumping downtown, and black athletes were decades from being accepted as equal to their white counterparts. In fact, some historians believe that Louis' only local fight, against Jewish-American boxer Natie Brown at Municipal Auditorium, was the first interracial sporting event in Missouri history.

Rango- Teen Movie Review

Rango

Mystery, romance, suspense, animated talking chameleons. Yes it is true. Recently I saw one of the most oddly, yet satisfying animated films since last summer. Mix in some beautiful colors and the tongue and cheek references to other movies; Rango is well worth the ticket price.

Rango tells the story of a chameleon (Johnny Depp) who lives a simple life in his tank, until one fateful day, his life changes in an instant when he is accidently lost in the Mojave Desert. Being the house pet he is, he finds it hard to cope with the new surroundings for five whole minuets. Making his journey to wherever the next place could be, a group of owl mariachi players, narrate the story of the desert journey.

Book Reviews

Room by Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It’s where he was born, where he eats and sleeps, and where he plays for hours every day with his beloved Ma. To Ma, Room is an 11-by-11 square-foot prison where she has been confined and sexually abused for the last seven years.

Featured Authors

Video: Interview with Local Artist Anne Pearce

Art is subjective. Yet when viewing a work, most of us are quick to formulate opinions that are either positive or negative, for or against. But how often do we stop ourselves in the midst of our own judgment and take time to consider the artist’s own point of view? How often do we try to climb inside their head and ask, “What is it they are trying to say with this piece?”

Book Reviews

Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

Many of us may dream about one day waking up, putting on a disguise, and completely walking away from life as we’ve known it. But take a quick second and consider the situation: could you actually do it? Could you throw on a wig and walk out the door without looking back? This is what Holly Hogan does in Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd.

Library Life

2011: A Winter Reading Odyssey

Jasper Fforde

As the 2011 Adult Winter Reading program came to a close, the Kansas City Public Library found its collective cup neither full, nor empty. It was gone altogether. By the time best-selling author Jasper Fforde brought the yearly program to a smashing finish before a crowd of 190 in Truman Forum at the Plaza Branch on Thursday, March 17, the 750 custom bistro mugs that the Library had been giving away as awards were all but vanished.

Library Life

Real Men Read

Derrick Barnes is aiming for a new audience with his latest book.

Derrick Barnes knows how to get guys to read. On a recent mid-February night, the lights of the midtown cityscape glimmered through the windows in the northwest corner of the Kansas City Public Library's Plaza Branch as Barnes, a local author, read for a small gathering of parents, teachers, librarians, and teens.

Book Reviews

The Seven Best Recent Adrenaline Thrillers

Libraries have started grouping thrillers, action/adventure novels, and suspense together under one umbrella that we like to call “Adrenaline.” What do all these books share? The ability to get your blood pumping and to literally stop you from putting them down.

Learn Something

Crafty Reads: How to Get Started on Your Music Hobby at the Library

Clavinova

For this month’s Crafty Reads (a KC Unbound Blog series for people looking to take up new crafts and hobbies) we’ll be exploring the Kansas City Public Library’s resources for music performance and musical instruments. I’m pleased to report we have a good selection of materials!