KC Public Library Blog

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Old School Related Reading

Old School

The Libraries of Greater Kansas City have joined The Big Read to celebrate the Tobias Wolff novel Old School through a series of talks and workshops, movie screenings, book groups, a public discussion with Wolff, and a regular radio broadcast. This book is a modern classic about an ambitious but insecure teenager attending an elite prep school in the early 1960s who competes in a writing contest in which the prize is a personal meeting with a visiting famous author – Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway.

So, go Old School and read this novel, check out a few of the authors featured in this work, pick up a novel with a prep school theme, or read some more work by Tobias Wolff.

Happy Birthday, Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams

Wish American playwright Tennessee Williams a happy birthday this week. Born on March 26, 1911, Williams spent much of his youth in Missouri and went on to win two Pultizer Prizes and four New York Drama Critics’ Circle awards for his plays.

The Mother and Child Rebellion

Cindi, Jennifer and Briana discuss The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty

Six readers gathered at the Plaza Library on Sunday, March 22 to discuss the second novel from local author, Laura Moriarty, The Rest of Her Life. Comments and perceptions focused on the realistic and sympathetic, but not always likeable, characters.

Tibetan Buddhism

At the end of March 2009, Buddhist monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India will construct a sand mandala at the Central Library. This month also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising that sent the Dalai Lama into exile. Learn more about Tibetan Buddhism, sand mandalas, and the Dalai Lama in these books.

Bonnie & Clyde

Even today, Depression-era outlaws Bonnie and Clyde have a notorious reputation. Get the real story on these two celebrity criminals.

Graphology: Handwriting Analysis

Learn all about the practice of graphology, or handwriting analysis, in these books that explain what it is and how it works or check out a few novels where graphology plays a part in the plot.

Sticky Reads

Some stories have heroic characters who always try to do the right thing. They rescue kittens, put out fires, stop bullies (nicely), and still have time eat a nutritional lunch, save the planet from a runaway comet, and raise a million dollars for charity.

None of these books are like that.

But even a literary pig sometimes needs a good chuckle while wallowing in his favorite mud puddle. So I found stories with gross-out plots, silly titles, and characters whose names cannot be spell-checked.

Yours with snorts,

S. Will Burr signature

Quilt Lit

Has the quilting inspiration hit you in time for National Quilting Day on March 21? If sewing quilts isn’t your thing, pick up one of these “quilt lit” novels that feature the quilting craft.

Historical Fiction about Ireland

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! Delve into the turbulent history of Ireland through these historical novels.

Books into Film: My Top 10

Many books get made into movies, including the recent Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire (Q & A by Vikas Swarup) and Oscar nominee The Reader (The Reader by Bernard Schlink). So, I started thinking about my favorite books that have been adapted into film. Here are my top 10 (in alphabetical order).

Beware the Ides of March

This month we’re taking it back, way back to the Classical age, and shining a spotlight on our main man Gaius Julius Caesar (100BC-44BC) Dictator of Rome, Pro-Consul before that.

Food Writing

Americans love food (well, doesn’t everyone?). If you like to read about food, check out these food writing anthologies or books about Clementine Paddleford, a food writer raised in Kansas who achieved international renown.

The Art of Writing Poetry

Read all about the art of writing poetry from those who do it. This book list includes selections in which poets discuss their craft, handbooks on how to write poetry, as well as some poetry by C.D. Wright.

Leonardo da Vinci

Dig into the life of the great artist, Leonardo da Vinci, with these books or enjoy a few novels with da Vinci at the center.

Mardi Gras Mystery

With “Fat Tuesday” on the calendar this week, Mardi Gras and mysteries partner up in these books.