Library Blog

Book Reviews

Read Locally: 5 Novels Every Kansas Citian Should Check Out

Kansas City and its surrounding lands have inspired – and starred in – some fine fiction. Some of the authors in this roundup of locally grown novels disguise their native habitat, while others name it outright. Still other authors call KC home and drop their characters in foreign lands or challenging moral situations.

Featured Authors

Batmen: ‘Right off the Bat’ and 10 Other Smashing Stick-and-Ball Reads

Screwballs or doosras? Pitchers or bowlers? Hot dogs and beer or cucumber sandwiches and tea? The strangely parallel worlds of baseball and cricket needn’t be mutually exclusive.

Book Reviews

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Dust off your spurs, slap on your chaps and saddle up your favorite reading chair to enjoy Patrick deWitt’s gritty and darkly amusing new western, The Sisters Brothers.

Learn Something

Video: How to Download E-books for Your Smartphone or Tablet PC

Whether you’ve got a Xoom tablet, Droid phone, or one of those myriad gadgets that begin with a lowercase “i,” downloading Library e-books onto your device is easy. All you need is the OverDrive Media Console app and, of course, a free Kansas City Public Library Card and PIN.

Local History

Know Your KC History: The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sanborn Map

Fires, a hazard of the industrial revolution, often caused uninsured property owners to suffer great financial loss. To protect against such calamity, fire insurance companies sprang up all over the U.S.  Policy writers, however, could not always inspect properties in person. In 1866, D. A. Sanborn, an enterprising surveyor in Massachusetts, began creating specialized maps to help under-writers evaluate the risks.