KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

Book Review: Texts From Bennett by Mac Lethal

Texts From Bennett by Mac Lethal

As the library’s humorous 2014 Adult Winter Reading Program draws to a close, here’s one last comical book to add to your reading list - Texts From Bennett by Mac Lethal.

Secrets of Chambers

Annie Chambers

March 24, 1935: Annie Chambers, who owned a 25-room house of prostitution in Kansas City, dies at the age of 92.

Program Notes: Union Pacific (1939)

Union Pacific movie poster

Cecil B. DeMille didn’t do anything halfway. Consider the hoopla orchestrated for the premiere of his 1939 film Union Pacific, a big Western about the race to complete the first trans-continental railroad.

Book Review: The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman

The Matchbox Diary

A small object can bring back a flood of memory. In Paul Fleischman’s latest picture book, The Matchbox Diary, a little girl discovers an age-old cigar box filled with a collection of matchboxes. Each matchbox that she opens holds a memento of her great-grandfather.

Herstory

Enjoy these teen reads for Women's History Month.

Historical Teen Fiction:

A Man of Many Parts

Lafayette Tillman

March 15, 1858: Lafayette Tillman, who will go on to become a veteran of the Spanish-American War and one of Kansas City's first African American police officers, is born in Evansville, Indiana.

Program Notes: Jesse James (1939)

Jesse James movie poster

You don’t watch the Tyrone Power/Henry Fonda version of Jesse James for an accurate history lesson. Back in 1939, though, audiences were all about a romantic Jesse James, and this Henry King-directed Western delivered.

Library Life

Kush Sharma Wins Memorable Jackson County Bee

Kush Sharma (at left) and Sophia Hoffman (right)

After 95 rounds and nearly six hours of competition, Kush Sharma emerged Saturday as champion of the Jackson County Spelling Bee at the Kansas City Public Library.

Coming Up

Pronouncer, Like Spellers, Must Be Perfect

Bernie Norcott-Mahany (at right) at the Jackson County Spelling Bee

Saturday may not be quite what Bernie Norcott-Mahany imagined when he said yes three years ago to serving as the pronouncer for the Jackson County Spelling Bee.

Katz in the Cradle

Isaac Katz

March 8, 1879: Isaac Katz, who, along with his brother Mike, will found the Katz Drug Co. in Kansas City, is born in western Ukraine.

Book Reviews

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I figured the cover of a book couldn't be so deceiving. Laura and Carrie seem to be having a grand time in the snow. The publisher obviously didn't want to give a sense of how hard the long winter of 1880-1881 really was.

Program Notes: Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Drums Along the Mohawk movie poster

Drums Along the Mohawk often gets overlooked among John Ford's films. Which is a real shame, since it’s a strong effort that dovetails seamlessly with Ford’s recurring theme of what it means to be an American.

Learn Something

Hidden Gems of Hoopla: The Candidate

The Candidate

I’m not sure whether to be depressed or comforted by the Oscar-winning 1972 Robert Redford film The Candidate. This depiction of a California race for a U.S. Senate seat suggests that when it comes to politics, very little changes.

Book Reviews

The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett

The Glass Key

From what I hear, The Glass Key was Dashiell Hammett’s personal favorite among the books he wrote. That said, it is something of an outlier.

Library Life

The Bee Goes into OT!

An extraordinary Jackson County Spelling Bee — down to two students who’ve survived 66 championship rounds — will resume Saturday, March 8, at the Library.