KC Public Library Blog

E-Book Reading

Do you read books on your computer? How about an iPhone or a dedicated e-book reader like the Kindle? According to The New York Times, e-book use is on the rise.

The Food We Eat

Where does our food come from? How does the global food system impact us? These books examine the food industry, as well as how and what we eat.

Books by Mark Twain

Celebrate the life and work of Mark Twain by reading some of his novels, stories, travel writing, or autobiographical works.

Iranian Memoirs

This recommended reading list includes memoirs by Iranian women that depict the turbulent history and rich culture of their country and the people who live there.

John Updike Dies at 76

John Updike

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, John Updike, died January 27, 2009, at age 76. Read about his life and work in The New York Times or the Washington Post.

Abraham Lincoln: Life & Legacy

Celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of America’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, with these books examining his life and legacy, from his leadership skills to his rhetoric to his personal relationships.

Spooky Stories by Neil Gaiman

Do you like spooky stories?

Neil Gaiman is one of the spookiest writers around, although he also writes funny stories for kids and grown-ups.

I just finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.The main character is a boy who escapes, as a toddler, from the evil man Jack who kills his family. Nobody Owens is adopted by ghosts in the graveyard. He grows up among the tombstones and crypts. "Bod" has special cemetary privileges, such seeing in the dark. He learns magical things, such as willing himself to be almost invisible. One of his tutors is a werewolf. Bod learns how to fight ghouls and cope with the strange creature called the Sleer. When he tries to deal with flesh-and-blood bullies at a nearby school, however, he discovers that good intentions can lead to unexpected problems.

But the man Jack is on his trail--one day, Bod must confront the man who stalks him still.

What are your favorite spooky tales?

Yours with snorts,

S. Will Burr signature

The Global Economy

This reading list includes books that discuss our global economy from different perspectives.

Women in Art & Comics

Read up on women in art and comics in these books about prominent African American women artists and women cartoonists or check out one of their memoirs written in graphic novel form.

200 Years with Edgar Allan Poe

“Once upon a midnight dreary…” So begins “The Raven,” one of the spookiest poems by a master of the macabre and mysteries – Edgar Allan Poe. Born on January 19, 1809, this influential 19th century author of works such as the “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” celebrates his 200th birthday this week.

Art in Missouri

Explore the art of the Show-Me State in these books that showcase Missouri’s art and its artists.

Memoirs: Fact or Fiction?

Over the past week, another (in this case, not yet published) memoir made the headlines for fabricating content. The release of the Holocaust memoir Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived was canceled by its publisher after the author Herman Rosenblat admitted he made up part of the story. A children’s book came out last fall based on his story (Angel Girl by Laurie Friedman) and its publisher is offering refunds to those who return their copy.

Crimes of the Century

Sensational crimes, notorious criminal cases – these books and films depict some of the most famous “crimes of the century.” Check out one of these works in conjunction with the talk at the Library with Howard Blum, author of American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century.

Urban Education: Books to Read

Explore books about urban education and the charter school movement in this related reading list for a series of presentations on What Works in Urban Education, co-hosted by Tom Bloch and Kansas City’s University Academy.

Kansas City Mob

Dig into the dirty past with a few books (and films) about the mob collected to complement the Missouri Valley Speakers Series on January 18, 2009 where Bill Ouseley presented the real story of combating and prosecuting organized crime in Kansas City. Ouseley is author of Open City: True Story of the KC Crime Family, 1900-1950.