KC Unbound

The novels in these series mix up the genres with a blend of fantasy and mystery.

Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
Meet Harry Dresden, a professional wizard and investigator with a consulting practice in modern-day Chicago. Dresden’s profession offers him little money, lots of mockery, the suspicion of his magical colleagues, and plenty of danger.

Pick up a book by award-winning author Sandra Cisneros or discover a novel that you might like if you enjoy Cisneros’ work in this recommended book list. Cisneros visits the Library on April 16, 2009, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of her classic The House on Mango Street

Books by Sandra Cisneros
If you like Sandra Cisneros, try one of these novels…

Books by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street book jacket

The House on Mango Street
By Sandra Cisneros
In a series of vignettes stunning for their eloquence, this is the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago with all its hard realities of life. She captures her thoughts and emotions in poems and stories in order to rise above the hopelessness and create a space for herself.

Amelia Earhart

Get to know the pioneering aviatrix Amelia Earhart in these books about her life and career or pick up a novel centered on her mysterious disappearance.

Biographies | Books by Amelia Earhart | Amelia Earhart in fiction

Biographies

Amelia Earhart: A Biography
By Doris L. Rich
She died mysteriously before she was forty. Yet in the last decade of her life Amelia Earhart soared from obscurity to fame as the best-known female aviator in the world. Rich's exhaustively researched biography downplays the "What Happened to Amelia Earhart?" myth by disclosing who Earhart really was – a woman of three centuries, born in the 19th, pioneering in the 20th, and advocating ideals and dreams relevant to the 21st.

New Orleans, Photo by Jan Kronsell

These ten nonfiction books explore the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and examine recent concepts in urban planning.

New Orleans | Urban planning

New Orleans

What is a City?: Rethinking the Urban after Hurricane Katrina
Edited by Phil Steinberg and Rob Shields
Dr. Jacob Wagner contributed to this collection of articles that examines the question, “What is a city?” Authors include urban planners, architects, policymakers, and geographers across many disciplines.

Learn all about Sacagawea (sometimes spelled Sacajawea), the Shoshone woman who accompanied Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their famous expedition, or Lewis and Clark in these books at the library.

Sacagawea | Lewis & Clark | The Lewis & Clark Trail

Sacagawea

Veterans and their families write about their experiences with the military, especially in Iraq, in these books at the Library.

Recent military memoirs

Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Frontlines of National Security
By General Richard Myers with Malcolm McConnell
General Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2001-2005, sets the record straight about the planning and execution of the Iraq War, and offers new ideas for tightening America's national security.

American Soldier
By Tommy Franks with Malcom McConnell
General Franks retraces his journey from a boyhood in Oklahoma and Texas through his heroic tour of duty as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Central Command.

Check out some of the poetry, prose, and plays written by Langston Hughes, the Missouri-born writer who became a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, or learn more about his life and work in these books at the library.

His work

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
By Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes's poetry launched a revolution among black writers in America. The poems in this volume were chosen by Hughes shortly before his death in 1967 and encompass work from his entire career.

Modern Dance, Photo by Kevin Eddy

Renowned dancer and choreographer Karole Armitage will talk about her career at the Library in April. Learn more about modern dance and its dancers, watch this dance form on film, or check out a few movies choreographed by Armitage.

Modern dance | Modern dance on film | Movies choreographed by Karole Armitage

Spartacus, a Roman gladiator and slave, led a slave uprising against Rome in 73 B.C. Learn more about his dramatic history or explore the world of gladiators in these books at the library.

Spartacus | Gladiators | Books by Barry Strauss

Spartacus

The Spartacus War (nonfiction)
By Barry Strauss
From an esteemed historian of the ancient world and popular guest on The History Channel comes the true story of the gladiator Spartacus, who led a slave rebellion that rocked and nearly destroyed the Roman Republic.

Spartacus (feature film, 1960)
A gladiator slave leads a revolt in decadent Rome in this film directed by Stanley Kubrick that won four Academy Awards.

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.

The Authors in Old School | Prep School Novels | Books by Tobias Wolff

Related:
Program:  The Big Read in Kansas City, April – May 2009

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.

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.

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.

Sand Mandalas | Tibetan Buddhism | The Dalai Lama

Related:
Event: Buddhist monks construct a sand mandala, Mar. 29 – Apr. 4

Film series: Back in the World: Monks Amid Society, March 2009

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

Bonnie & Clyde | Books by Jeff Guinn

Bonnie & Clyde

The Lives and Times of Bonnie and Clyde
By E.R. Milner
Relying on primary sources (oral history interviews, personal memoirs, newspaper articles, official records, diaries, and letters), E. R. Milner cuts through myth and legend to create this startling portrait of the real Bonnie and Clyde. Although the mythology surrounding Bonnie and Clyde is charged with drama and fascination, Milner reveals the truth behind the bloody legend, carefully gleaning materials from obscure locally published accounts, previously untapped court records, and archived but unpublished oral history accounts from some sixty victims, neighbors, relatives, and police who were involved in the exploits of the infamous duo.

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.

Graphology

Edgar Allan Poe Analyzes Handwriting: A Chapter on Autobiography
By Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe's classic work of graphology includes as much literary criticism as it does handwriting analysis. It also serves as an overview of the major literary figures of his time - some still well-known, many forgotten.

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