Readers Scene

Watergate by Thomas Mallon book cover

Non Fiction is good when it comes to facts. Fiction is most effective when it comes to feelings. These truths come up frequently in Watergate, Thomas Mallon’s novel about the political scandal that brought down a president.

The Mormon War book cover

Missouri’s so-called Mormon War was fought in 1838. But in a sense it’s still being fought today. Just ask Brandon G. Kinney, who will discuss his book The Mormon War: Zion and the Missouri Extermination Order of 1838 on Sunday, June 24.

Dan Rather

You’ve seen him on CBS and HDNet. Soon, you’ll see him live at the Library – and on YouTube. On June 20, 2012, the Library's public conversation with legendary anchorman Dan Rather will be livestreamed to viewers around the world at

The stream begins at 6:30 p.m. CST, as Rather joins Library Director Crosby Kemper III for a discussion of his new book, Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News before an expected capacity crowd in Kirk Hall at the Central Library. (RSVP and come early to attend.)

It should be a lively discussion. The 80-year-old newsman’s tell-all memoir has been drawing attention for his lambasting of his former employer, CBS News, whom he’s accused of folding under corporate pressure and exhibiting an “absence of executive backbone” during crucial investigations, such as Abu Ghraib. Check out Lloyd Grove’s great coverage of the book in The Daily Beast.

Masters of Command book cover

The basic questions of war haven't changed since antiquity, according to Barry Strauss. He'll examine the lessons that ancient military leaders continue to teach us in Masters of Command on Friday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m.

Ghost of the Ozarks book cover

“I’m a country guy and always will be,” explains author Brooks Blevins. “Being an Ozarker means being able to get away from everything and be out in the country.” It also meant a career studying the region of his birth and its inhabitants.

When the Sirens Were Silent: How the Warning System Failed a Community

It takes some serious moxie to claim @USWeatherExpert as your Twitter handle, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Mike Smith. As the founder and CEO of WeatherData, Smith makes it his business to warn people about extreme weather, and, in doing so, saving lives.

Every Last Secret book cover

For Kansas City author Linda Rodriguez, the distance between literary writing like poetry and popular writing like mystery fiction is no further than the width of her desk.

For Colored Girls... cover

It’s not a musical, exactly, but Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf is a hugely musical experience. Shange described her play as a “choreopoem.”

The Option of Urbanism book cover

Live by the automobile. Die by the automobile. That’s Christopher Leinberger’s mantra. He has become convinced that the means by which we get around determines what our cities look like.

Photo by Michael McClure for <em>The Pitch</em>. Used by permission.

To kick off the Library’s Titanic Weekend of events April 13-15, 2012, observing the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, Kansas City rock and roll lifesavers Howard Iceberg & the Titanics are playing a free concert on the Rooftop Terrace at Central.

Thomas Hart Benton: A Life - Justin Wolff

“I’m interested in art that speaks to the public, that takes on the political life of its moment,” says Justin Wolff, author of a new book about the life of the great Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton.

Whitney Terrell basketball

Alert readers will know that as part of the Library’s Booketology tournament of books, we’re holding a drawing for a basketball signed by acclaimed Kansas City novelist Whitney Terrell.

J. C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

During the winter months Paul Benson holes up in his conservation studio atop the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. But beginning in April he packs up his tools and heads out to the fresh air and sunshine. It’s fountain-fixing time.

Attica Locke

After several years of struggling to get her screenplays produced, Attica Locke decided it was time to go solo. She wrote a novel about something with which she was intimately familiar. And in her first attempt, she has a winner.

John Tibbetts

As the creator of both Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) has given educator, critic, and author John Tibbetts countless hours of reading pleasure.