Library Life

Staff Reading Picks for September

September is upon us and fall is fast approaching, even if it doesn't feel like it outside. And being September, it means that we are overdue for another Staff Picks blog!

We have a little bit of everything with our picks this time around — Award-winning Science Fiction, True Crime, Modern Classics, and even Picture Books for our younger readers out there. These titles were all enjoyed by our staff, so why not give one a try?

Have you read something else lately you'd like to recommend to others? Feel free to add your own picks in the comments below!

 
 

True Grit by Charles Portis

We'd be remiss if we didn't include True Grit in our list of Staff Picks this month. Why? Because it's the focus of our Big Read campaign this September & October! This iconic 1968 Western novel tells the story of 14-year-old Mattie Ross as she seeks retribution for the murder of her father with the assistance of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf. Join the rest of Kansas City in reading this novel and discover why it is considered a modern classic.
 

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi

“I read Redshirts when it came out last year, but given that it just won the Hugo, I figure it’s appropriate. A lot of people think that it won simply because it was so popular – but I believe it won because it truly was the best Science Fiction novel of the year (being popular doesn’t automatically mean that isn’t also an amazing book!) Yes, it's hysterically funny! Yes, it's astoundingly clever and brilliantly satirical! It's all kinds of laudable comedic things! But it amazed me because it's also much more than that. It's very, very smart, genuinely thoughtful, and thought-provoking. It's a no-kidding, real Big Idea story (that's also hilarious satire). I suspect I'm going to re-read this book many more times over the years, and it will always delight!” - John, Digital Branch
 

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

“Brautigan's book—a perennial bestseller of the hippie era—manages to weave together a novel (well, sort of) from seemingly-unrelated chapters, all incorporating the phrase ‘Trout Fishing in America’ in very different ways. Unfolding both in Brautigan’s childhood and in his adult life in mid-60s San Francisco, this ‘cult’ hit is worth another look.” - Bob, Public Affairs.

 
 

Good Kings Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum

“A group of teenagers fall in and out of love with each other, rebel against their elders, and make plans for their adult lives. Except these teens don’t live with their parents, they live in an institution for juveniles with disabilities. An honest, heartwarming, and humorous look at one of society’s most well-hidden groups.”
- Kaite, Reader's Services
 
 

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

“Journalist Robert Kolker delves into to the serial murders of of several online prostitutes on Long Island—murders that have yet to be solved. An engrossing narrative, this true-crime book ultimately highlights that even with all the changes that the Internet has brought to the underground world of prostitution, increased safety is not among them, and that victims from this industry still suffer from a lack of attention from investigators.” - Liesl, Public Affairs
 

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan

A laid-off tech worker takes a graveyard-shift job at an old bookstore, only to discover that there are secrets hidden in its tomes.

“Interesting and thought provoking but still enjoyable. I especially liked the ending. It reminded me of the conclusion of The Rule of Four: disarming for the simple, true human emotion.” – Jill, Customer Service
 

Little Chicken's Big Day by Katie & Jerry Davis

“Like many parents, Big Chicken is ALWAYS telling Little Chicken what to do. Like many kids, Little Chicken forgets to pay attention sometimes. Little Chicken's day out with his mama takes a scary turn in this sweet, simple picture book that's perfect for the preschool set.” - Melissa, Children's Associate, Plaza Branch

 
 

About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

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August Staff Reading Picks

We may have been busy with our Summer Reading Program the past few months, but your Library staff still found time to do their own reading!

Here are just a few books chosen by our staff. Whether they are new releases, old favorites, or just something unique that we have come across, it caught the attention of the employees here at the Kansas City Public Library, and we want you to be as excited about reading as we are!

For August, we have a little of everything for our selections including classic Hollywood nostalgia, children's fantasy, murderous gunslingers, and pirates in love. Enjoy!

Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

“Owen Wedgwood, the Caesar of Sauces, has been kidnapped by Mad Hannah Mabbot, she-pirate Captain of the Flying Rose. As long as Owen keep Hannah plied with an exquisite meal every Sunday, she will not kill him. A delicious tale of love and piracy on the high seas.” – Kaite, Reader's Services



The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

"In The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr, readers meet the teenage protagonist, Lucy, who was once a musical child-prodigy. Her younger brother, Gus, is still practicing to be competition-ready. In following her complex family dynamics, her friendships, and her crushes, readers come to care about the characters. As Lucy is beginning to define herself outside of her young musician persona, she has an opportunity to discover if, despite her leaving the pressure-filled life of the constant pursuit of perfection, she wants to return to the piano. Even people who do not read music can appreciate this book. They will leave thinking about the seemingly-real people in it and asking themselves, 'What do I love?'" – Anna, Library Outreach

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

"A new-wave western about two heartless hired killers laying waste to just about anyone or anything that crosses their paths. This story tells of how Charlie and Eli Sisters get mixed up in the gold rush with an unscrupulous money-man named 'The Commodore,' and how one of the Brothers decides that maybe their murderous ways might not be the most productive way to live out their days. Funny, violent, sad and sometimes surprising, The Sisters Brothers was a fun and interesting read." – David, Interlibrary Loan

Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s by Valeria Belletti

"A young Valeria Belletti moved to New York to Hollywood in the 1920s becoming Samuel Goldwyn's personal secretary. Her real-life letters reveal the inner workings of the silent and Golden eras of cinema, with humor and unvarnished insight.”
Liesl, Public Affairs


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

"A dozen 12-year-old students have been invited to a lock in at Alexandriaville's new public library. This is not your typical library because it has been designed by Luigo Lemoncello - the world's most famous game maker. This library has game rooms, holograms, a dome with 10 huge video screens, and a secret exit. The students have 24 hours to solve several mysteries and find the secret exit. If you liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mysterious Benedict Society, or The Potato Chip Puzzles, you're sure to like this." – Ron, Plaza Children's Librarian

Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lasser

"25 years after his high school graduation, David moves back to a home everyone else has fled, Detroit. David is looking for escape from the death of his son and the divorce that quickly followed. The double murder of his high school sweetheart and her brother makes David wonder if he can truly go home again, especially if home is Detroit.” – Kaite, Reader's Services



About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

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Summer Reading Program: Zoo to You Events!

Hey kids! This summer you can get up close and personal with creatures like the barred tiger salamander (the state amphibian of Kansas) and the sugar glider (a tiny Australian marsupial related to the opossum).

In June and July curators and docents from the Kansas City Zoo are visiting branches of the Kansas City Public Library to make free presentations.

Children will learn about exotic animals from experts and get a chance to hold an ostrich egg and rub their fingers over the pelts of several animals.


[video:http://youtu.be/30Gk9YjxwYw]


Here's the list of upcoming Zoo to You events at the Library:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
10:00 a.m. at the Southeast Branch

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
10:00 a.m. at the Westport Branch

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
11:00 a.m. at the Trails West Branch

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
2:00 p.m. at the Sugar Creek Branch

Monday, July 15, 2013
6:00 p.m. at the Lucile H. Bluford Branch

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
10:00 a.m. at Central Library

About the Author

Robert W. Butler is a lifelong Kansas City area resident, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star; he now writes a movie-themed blog at butlerscinemascene.com. He joined the Library's Public Affairs team in 2012.

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Amazing Response for Sandra Day O’Connor at the Library!

Over the last 6+ years, the Kansas City Public Library has sought to transform the way the people of greater Kansas City use libraries to stay informed about current events and learn more about landmark moments in history with an aggressive schedule of programs featuring scholars, authors, and public figures made possible in large part due to a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The response has been overwhelmingly positive with more than 14,000 people subscribing to the Library’s monthly print calendar of events and some 13,000 receiving weekly email updates.

On Monday, June 3, 2013, the Library (along with our partners at the Truman Library Institute and the Federal Court Historical Society) hosted retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor for a discussion of her new book Out of Order. The Library received nearly 1,400 RSVPs, declaring the free admission event a “sell out” two weeks before her appearance. Close to 1,000 people actually attended the event, filling the Central Library in downtown Kansas City with 500 people in the live viewing area and another 400+ in closed-circuit viewing areas in two mezzanines, an exhibit gallery, and the Grand Reading Room.

Central staff responded to this unprecedented turnout. Members of the Public Affairs and Facilities departments, joined by a dozen librarians, ensured that the process went smoothly and Library officials received rave reviews about the event and outstanding public service provided by those working the event.



Lining up to enter the Central Library - Photo courtesy of Mark McDonald.

The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, O’Connor has learned firsthand the inner workings, history, evolution, and influence of the nation’s highest court.

The retired justice—who at 83 exhibits an energy level that keeps even her protective escort of U.S. Marshals busy—shared those insights in a presentation that combined personal insight with some big laughs.



The line wrapped around the Central Library - Photo courtesy of Amanda Graor.


Crowds waited outside before the event - Photo courtesy of Mark McDonald.

Out of Order sheds light on the 200 years of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution we know today. From the early days of circuit-riding—when justices traveled thousands of miles each year on horseback to hear cases—to the changes in civil rights ushered in by Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall, O'Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the Court's past.

Born to a ranch family near El Paso, Texas, Sandra Day O'Connor grew up on the Lazy B cattle ranch near Duncan, Arizona. She received her B.A. and law degree from Stanford University. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, she took her seat as the first female justice in 1981. O'Connor retired from the Supreme Court in on January 31, 2006.



Library Director Crosby Kemper III introduced Sandra Day O'Connor - Photo courtesy of Mark McDonald.


Sandra Day O'Connor speaking at the Central Library - Photo courtesy of Mark McDonald.




Kirk Hall was filled to capacity for Justice O'Connor's talk, as were several overflow rooms within the Library - Photos courtesy of Mark McDonald.

Justice O’Connor was the biggest headliner at the Library this week, but hardly the only one. On Tuesday (June 4, 2013), the Library hosted Steve Coll for a discussion of his new book Private Empire; and on Wednesday (June 5, 2013), Cynthia Kierner discussed the life and legacy of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph. More than 250 people attended Coll’s talk and another 300 were on hand for Kierner’s presentation.



View more photos from this event on our Flickr page.

Want to know about other programming at the Kansas City Public Library? Check out our future events on kclibrary.org, and sign up for our weekly emails so you can always stay on top of what is happening at the Library!



About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

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Revisiting America's Music: Pat Nichols

Lawrence bluesman Pat Nichols made some new fans this spring when he kicked off the Library’s ambitious America’s Music series at the Plaza Branch.

It was blues night, and Nichols began the evening by serenading patrons at the pre-event reception. Later he wowed the crowd with a display of picking on the National steel guitar.

Now Nichols has released a CD of performances, Blues from the Delta and Beyond, that was recorded earlier this year at producer Mike West’s recording studio in a former garage in Lawrence.

“Normally when you cut a record you pick the songs in advance and work on them during recording until you have them just right,” Nichols said.

“We did it differently. It was a lot like the early blues recordings in the 1920s and ‘30s where the producer would have these bluesmen perform a song two or three times and, later on, the record company would pick one version to release.”

Nichols said that over an 11-hour recording session he played a big chunk of his repertoire with virtually no advance planning.

“If a first take was good, we kept it and moved on to something else,” he said. “If by the third take it wasn’t making the grade, we’d try a different song. The idea was for my producer to pick out the very best cuts. Some of the songs that ended up on the CD were those I’d have chosen ahead of time to put on CD. Others weren’t.”


[video:http://youtu.be/ROZOjOQXOTc]

Songs on Blues from the Delta… range from the traditional (“St. James Infirmary Blues,” “Walking Blues”) and a Willie Dixon classic (“Little Red Rooster”) to three tunes penned by California-based bluesman Kenny Sultan.

And Nichols contributes three of his originals: “Kansas City Blues,” “Boogie Woogie Dance,” and “Bad Luck With Women,” the latter an amusing lament about a guy whose romantic choices are always wrong:

Well that woman I got is mean as can be

I got a house full of children don’t look like me

Bad Luck, yeah, that’s bad luck

I got bad luck with women, happens all the time.

Nichols says the CD soon will be available through Amazon.com and iTunes. If you can’t wait, contact him at kingbee@sunflower.com. And you can check out patnicholsblues.com or Pat Nichols Country Blues on Facebook.

About the Author

Robert W. Butler is a lifelong Kansas City area resident, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star; he now writes a movie-themed blog at butlerscinemascene.com. He joined the Library's Public Affairs team in 2012.

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Preserving Kansas City Women’s History

As part of Preservation Week, we are highlighting one of the recent projects here at the Kansas City Public Library: the preservation of the Athenaeum Collection.

The collection, donated to the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections in July, 2012 by the Kansas City Athenaeum Board of Directors, includes the minutes, membership records, building blueprints, and photographs from the archives of this historic women’s organization.

The Athenaeum is the oldest active Kansas City women's club, founded in 1894. The history of the Athenaeum is closely tied with that of Kansas City, as its members campaigned for the betterment of our community. Over the years, the Athenaeum has been instrumental in advocating for women’s suffrage, juvenile court reforms, child labor laws, and educational reform.

The first Athenaeum president, Mary Harmon Weeks, was a leader in the public kindergarten movement and started the first Parent Teacher Association in Missouri. And Phoebe Jane Ess, a charter member and later president of the Athenaeum, guided the local women’s suffrage movement, also organizing the Susan B. Anthony Civic Club. Both of these organizations moved Jackson County toward becoming one of the first counties in Missouri to adopt women’s suffrage.

Today the Athenaeum is still active with philanthropy supporting Missouri Girls Town which it helped found, and has even started allowing membership by men in recent years.

Though the Athenaeum’s clubhouse at 900 East Linwood Boulevard is an historic structure built in 1913-1914 and nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the environmental conditions inside the building were detrimental to its historical collection, necessitating its removal to preserve the records for future generations.

The Athenaeum Collection, now occupying a full shelving unit within the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library, follows the organization from its founding in 1894 up through 2012, and includes the correspondence, newsletters, minutes, and other memorabilia.

Included as well are the annual albums compiled by the members, which contain everything from photographs and pressed flowers to membership and financial records, providing great insight into the daily lives and activities of the club members.

The Kansas City Public Library was awarded a Missouri Historical Records Grant in December 2012 to help preserve this collection. The funds are being used primarily for rehousing the records in new enclosures and better storage materials. This will allow the collection to be more stable long-term and safer for public access and future digitization.

Archivist Lucinda Adams is working with special collections librarian Kate Hill and project director Eli Paul, arranging and describing the collection, as well as adding the Athenaeum Collection to the MVSC’s online catalog. Currently the Athenaeum Collection is open only to Athenaeum members. The general public may have access once it is stabilized and cataloged. The estimated completion date of the preservation project is November 2014.

About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

Kansas City Public Library on Facebook    Kansas City Public Library on Twitter    Kansas City Public Library on YouTube    Follow KCLibrary on Pinterest    KC Unbound RSS feed

The 2013 Pulitzer Prizes: Can We Pick ’Em or What?

The Pulitzer committee just announced the 2013 prize winners and finalists, and we are happy to say that their numbers include authors who have made recent appearances at the Kansas City Public Library. Two of this year’s seven Pulitzer Prize winners in 2013 Pulitzer Prizes for Letters, Drama and Music – plus one of the finalists – gave public lectures at the Library this past year.

These programs are part of our ongoing program to build a community of readers by bringing the best contemporary authors to Kansas City to speak about their books, thanks in part to generous funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.



Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master’s Son and winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, appeared at the Library last April as part of the Writer’s at Work series organized by Kansas City novelist Whitney Terrell. The Orphan Master’s Son is an unforgettable tale about one man’s journey from his childhood in an orphanage up through the labyrinthine political ranks of North Korea. You can hear the audio of his discussion with Terrell here.

Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War and winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for History, also appeared at the Library in the fall. Logevall’s book offers a detailed examination of the political and military entanglements of both France and the United States in Vietnam. Watch the C-SPAN broadcast of the talk Logevall gave at the Central Library.

And David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, came to our Central Library in December. His biography about Joseph P. Kennedy paints a vivid portrait of a truly complicated figure, a man who shaped the lives of his sons and American politics. Watch a video of Nasaw’s talk at the Central Library.



With this quality of programming, make sure that you check out what else we have planned here at the Kansas City Public Library. You never know what award-winning author may be coming, and it’s all absolutely free.


About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

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Booketology 2013: Harry Potter Takes the Championship!

It's hard to believe that it's already the end of Booketology. Our second annual Booketology tournament started with 64 literary characters from eight genres, each fighting for the title of Booketology Champion. Hundreds of you voted for your favorite characters.

There were some amazing upsets: Princess Buttercup defeating Batman before finally falling in the Final 4, and Marie Curie beating out Martin Luther King Jr. for Biography champ! There were also some narrow, heartrending contests, such as when Harry Potter defeated Elizabeth Bennet by only two votes!

Yesterday, it all came down to two: Harry Potter and Huck Finn. Though there was great enthusiasm for our legendary Missourian, but in the end Harry Potter was victorious, beating Mark Twain's young rebel by 13 votes.

Congratulations, Mr. Potter! You have proven that J.K. Rowling's stories have a unique place in the hearts of readers.

Now, we've announced the Literary Character Champion, but what about our drawing? We randomly selected one Grand Prize winner, and four runner-up winners.

Congratulations to Katya Blair! You are the Booketology Grand Prize Winner. You will receive four gift certificates to the College Basketball Experience (redeemable for four adult admission tickets), and eight books, one for each of our Elite 8 winning characters!

And congratulations as well to our runners-up: Claudia Franks, Glen Miles, Becky McKee, and Jessica Kendall! You all win a copy of one of our Final 4 winning books!

Check out the final bracket:

 Click for Larger Image

Click the image above for the larger, printable version (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

So did you all enjoy this year's Booketology Tournament? Have some suggestions for us about next year? Let your voices be heard: Sound off in the comments, or shoot us an email. Let us know what you thought, and keep on reading!

Booketology is part of Building a Community of Readers, a campaign to transform our community by promoting a lifelong love of reading!

About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

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Celebrate Libraries – National Library Week

In celebration of National Library Week, we have compiled a list of books for all ages that highlight the value of libraries, librarians, and library workers.

 

Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library
by Don Borchert

Don Borchert writes an unvarnished and entertaining account of his time working in a suburban L.A. public library system. Libraries are no longer the ivory towers full of dusty tomes and shushing ladies that people still expect, and Borchert provides a unique perspective on the role of the modern library and librarian.

 

The Night Bookmobile
by Audrey Niffenegger

It may at first glance have the look of an illustrated children’s book, but Audrey Niffennegger’s graphic novel is a darkly beautiful fairy tale aimed at adults. A woman named Alexandra wanders the streets of Chicago late one night after a fight with her boyfriend, stumbling across an all-night bookmobile. But why does it seem to have every book she has ever read, even her diary?

 

Libraries
by Candida Höfer, foreword by Umberto Eco

Photographer Candida Höfer tackles the World’s most beautiful and unique library spaces, creating visuals that speak for themselves. This collection also includes an introduction by noted Italian author and philosopher Umberto Eco.

 

The Library Card
by Jerry Spinelli

Newberry Award winner Jerry Spinelli has written four separate tales, each centering around a young character whose life is altered by the mysterious appearance of a magical library card. This book is intended for ages 8 and up.

 

The Boy who was Raised by Librarians
by Carla D. Morris

A heartwarming picture book about a boy named Melvin, who “grows up” in his local library under the watchful eyes of his favorite librarians. Author Carla Morris is a children’s librarian at the Provo City Library in Utah.


About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

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Booketology Championship

And then there were two: The Booketology Championship has come down to a battle between two iconic literary figures: Huckleberry Finn and Harry Potter!

Elizabeth Bennet fought hard, even leading the competition until Sunday, but in the end she fell to The Boy who Lived by only two votes. Janeites, you can be proud of your heroine.

And Princess Buttercup was the Cinderella story of Booketology! The Wichita State of literary characters made it to the Final Four, but in the end she was no match for Huck Finn, losing by 34 votes.

Vote now in the Booketology Championship!

The voting will be open for one day only, April 8!
You will be able to cast your vote until midnight tonight. Tomorrow, April 9, at noon we will announce our the Booketology Champion as well as the winners of our drawing.

Thank you to everyone who has participated! You have made our second annual Booketology competition a success! The final match up of Booketology now rests with you. Vote today to choose which literary character will take the title of Booketology Champion!

And don't forget that you can still enter the drawing for the Booketology Grand Prize Pack , which includes four tickets to the College Basketball Experience and copies of our winners' books! There will also be four runner-up prizes this year. See the Rules below for more details!

The Rules:

  • The tournament begins Thursday, March 21, with six rounds of online voting to determine the reigning Booketology Literary Character Champion! The champion and drawing winners will be announced on our KC Unbound blog on Tuesday, April 9.
  • When each new round begins, the voting form will be available by 12 p.m. that day.
  • You can only vote once per round, but anyone can participate!
  • Participants who enter their name and email address in the Booketology voting form to be entered in a drawing for one (1) Booketology Grand Prize Pack and four (4) Runner-up Prizes!

    Booketology Grand Prize Pack includes:
    Four gift certificates to the College Basketball Experience! (redeemable for four adult admission tickets), and:
    Copies of our "Elite 8" winning characters’ books! (eight books total)

    The Runner-up participants will each win one book from our "Final 4" winners!


 Click for Larger Image

Click the image above for the larger, printable version and play along at home! (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

Booketology is part of Building a Community of Readers, a campaign to transform our community by promoting a lifelong love of reading!

About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

Kansas City Public Library on Facebook  Kansas City Public Library on Twitter  Kansas City Public Library on YouTube  KC Unbound RSS feed

Booketology: The Final Four

It was an amazing Elite 8 round for Booketology! Jane Marple fell to Huck Finn in the battle between Mystery and Classics. In an upset, Princess Buttercup defeated Batman! Jane Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet proved that you don’t have to be a revolutionary to be a champion, easily defeating the Hunger Games tribute Katniss Everdeen. And it was the ultimate showdown between science and magic, and magic won by a landslide! Harry Potter took the round against Marie Curie, with a 70 vote margin.

It’s come down to our final four characters:
Huck Finn challenges Princess Buttercup!
Elizabeth Bennet matches wits against Harry Potter
!

Vote in the Booketology Final 4!


 Click for Larger Image

Click the image above for the larger, printable version and play along at home! (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

The voting will be open April 4 – 7! We will announce the two winners who will go on to our championship round on April 8, with voting only open for one day!

And don't forget that you can also enter our drawing for the Booketology Grand Prize Pack , which includes four tickets to the College Basketball Experience and copies of our winners' books! See the Rules below for more details!

The Rules:

  • The tournament begins Thursday, March 21, with six rounds of online voting to determine the reigning Booketology Literary Character Champion! The champion and drawing winners will be announced on our KC Unbound blog on Tuesday, April 9.
  • When each new round begins, the voting form will be available by 12 p.m. that day.
  • You can only vote once per round, but anyone can participate!
  • Participants who enter their name and email address in the Booketology voting form to be entered in a drawing for one (1) Booketology Grand Prize Pack and four (4) Runner-up Prizes!

    Booketology Grand Prize Pack includes:
    Four gift certificates to the College Basketball Experience! (redeemable for four adult admission tickets), and:
    Copies of our "Elite 8" winning characters’ books! (eight books total)

    The Runner-up participants will each win one book from our "Final 4" winners!

Booketology is part of Building a Community of Readers, a campaign to transform our community by promoting a lifelong love of reading!

About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

Kansas City Public Library on Facebook  Kansas City Public Library on Twitter  Kansas City Public Library on YouTube  KC Unbound RSS feed

Booketology: Sweet 16 Winners & Elite 8 Announcement

It's all down to the Elite 8! Our victors have won in their genres, now they face off against each other! It's Romance vs. Sci-Fi when Elizabeth Bennet battles Katniss Everdeen! Classics winner Huck Finn challenges top sleuth Jane Marple! Princess Buttercup has to defend her title against Batman! And Biography champ Marie Curie takes on Harry Potter!

Vote in the Elite 8 round here and be entered in to the drawing for four tickets to the College Basketball Experience and copies of our winners' books!

Voting for the Elite 8 will be open from April 1 through April 3. Curious how your picks did? Scroll down for the Sweet 16 results.


 Click for Larger Image

Click the image above for the larger, printable version and play along at home! (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

Classics champion Huck Finn crushed Captain Ahab with a margin of over 50 votes!

In mystery, Tom Ripley never stood a chance against Jane Marple. Agatha Christie's crafty spinster won with twice the votes.

In a surprise Biography upset, Marie Curie beat Martin Luther King, Jr. by five votes!

Princess Buttercup proved that having a hit show isn't everything, beating Tyrion Lannister for the top Fantasy character. Better luck next time, Tyrion. On the bright side, at least HBO let you keep your nose.

And it was incredibly close in Graphic Novels, with the Dark Knight Batman defeating Wonder Woman by only one vote!

Wit prevailed in Romance, with Elizabeth Bennet destroying Daisy Buchanan.

The young upstart Katniss Everdeen narrowly defeated Science Fiction legend HAL 9000.

And in Kids Classics victor Harry Potter threw Alice down a rabbit hole, winning by over 20 votes.

Vote in the Elite 8 Here!

Just learned about Booketology? Did all your favorites already lose? No worries - anyone can still vote! And you still have a chance for the Booketology Grand Prize Pack in our drawing!

The Rules:

  • The tournament begins Thursday, March 21, with six rounds of online voting to determine the reigning Booketology Literary Character Champion! The champion and drawing winners will be announced on our KC Unbound blog on Tuesday, April 9.
  • When each new round begins, the voting form will be available by 12 p.m. that day.
  • You can only vote once per round, but anyone can participate!
  • Participants who enter their name and email address in the Booketology voting form to be entered in a drawing for one (1) Booketology Grand Prize Pack and four (4) Runner-up Prizes!

    Booketology Grand Prize Pack includes:
    Four gift certificates to the College Basketball Experience! (redeemable for four adult admission tickets), and:
    Copies of our "Elite 8" winning characters’ books! (eight books total)

    The Runner-up participants will each win one book from our "Final 4" winners!

Booketology is part of Building a Community of Readers, a campaign to transform our community by promoting a lifelong love of reading!

About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

Kansas City Public Library on Facebook  Kansas City Public Library on Twitter  Kansas City Public Library on YouTube  KC Unbound RSS feed

Booketology – Round 3 Bracket and Round 2 Results!

Round 2 results have been tallied, and we have entered our Sweet 16 round! The characters are now fighting for top of their genre, and for the honor of having their book become part of our Booketology Grand Prize! Did your picks survive?

There were some hard-fought victories. Lewis Carroll's Alice barely squeaked past Willy Wonka in a contentious battle, and Captain Ahab defeated Anna Karenina by only two votes! Others crushed their competition, The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan easily beat Lady Brett Ashley, and Katniss Everdeen garnered over twice the number of votes as Rick Deckard. Read more below for the complete results.

Vote in the Sweet 16 now! This round will be open from March 28 through March 31.


 Click for Larger Image

Click the image above for the larger, printable version and play along at home! (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

Classics
Captain Ahab narrowly beat Anna Karenina, while Huck Finn demolished Celie by 70 votes. Can the Captain now outwit Mark Twain's young protagonist?

Mystery
The Mystery competition comes down to Tom Ripley against Jane Marple, after these two quickly defeated Alex Cross and Easy Rawlins in Round 2.

Science Fiction
It's HAL 9000 vs. Katniss Everdeen for the Sci-Fi champion. Our condolences to Phileas Fogg and Rick Deckard fans.

Fantasy
In the end, neither Harry Dresden nor Smaug could withstand the onslaught from their challengers. Now, Tyrion Lannister takes on Princess Buttercup for the title of greatest Fantasy character!

Graphic Novels
Adamantium claws were no match for a cave full of crime-fighting gadgets! Batman handily defeated Wolverine. And the Amazons reign supreme: Wonder Woman defeated Neil Gaiman's Morpheus.

Romance
Elizabeth Bennet destroyed Scarlett O'Hara, while Daisy Buchanan took Lady Brett Ashley down!

Biography
It all comes down to Marie Curie against Martin Luther King, Jr. in the battle of the biographies!

Kids Classics
And finally, for children's literature is a battle royale between Harry Potter and Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

Vote in the Sweet 16 Here!

Just learned about Booketology? Did all your favorites already lose? No worries - anyone can still vote! And you still have a chance for our Booketology Grand Prize Pack in our drawing!

The Rules:

  • The tournament begins Thursday, March 21, with six rounds of online voting to determine the reigning Booketology Literary Character Champion! The champion and drawing winners will be announced on our KC Unbound blog on Tuesday, April 9.
  • When each new round begins, the voting form will be available by 12 p.m. that day.
  • You can only vote once per round, but anyone can participate!
  • Participants who enter their name and email address in the Booketology voting form to be entered in a drawing for one (1) Booketology Grand Prize Pack and four (4) Runner-up Prizes!

    Booketology Grand Prize Pack includes:
    Four gift certificates to the College Basketball Experience! (redeemable for four adult admission tickets), and:
    Copies of our "Elite 8" winning characters’ books! (eight books total)

    The Runner-up participants will each win one book from our "Final 4" winners!

Booketology is part of Building a Community of Readers, a campaign to transform our community by promoting a lifelong love of reading!

About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

Kansas City Public Library on Facebook  Kansas City Public Library on Twitter  Kansas City Public Library on YouTube  KC Unbound RSS feed

Booketology: Round 1 Winners & Round 2 Announced!

Thank you everyone for an amazing Round 1 of Booketology! Are you ready for Round 2? Check the updated bracket to see if your choices made it to the second round, and vote now! Round 2 will be open from Monday, March 25 through Wednesday, March 27!

This round brings some epic match-ups: Scarlett O’Hara vs. Elizabeth Bennet! Alice in Wonderland vs. Willy Wonka! Princess Buttercup vs. Smaug! Decide who wins in Round 2!


 Click for Larger Image

Click the image above for the larger, printable version and play along at home! (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

Did your favorites survive the first round of voting? Some outcomes were crushing defeats, such as when Scarlet O’Hara sent Amber St. Clare packing by a margin of 7-to-1, while others won by the narrowest of margins, like Easy Rawlins’ three vote victory over Stephanie Plum!

Round 1 Highlights:

Fantasy
Tyrion Lannister destroyed Thomas Covenant with nearly 75% of the vote, and Smaug killed The Last Unicorn by over 100 votes.

Graphic Novels
Wonder Woman narrowly defeated Spider-Man with 13 more votes, and in the end, Rorschach didn’t stand a chance against the Dream Lord himself, Morpheus!

Classics
Captain Ahab took down Queeg, while Huck Finn destroyed Holden Caulfield by over 90 votes.

Mystery
Emily Polifax never stood a chance against Jane Marple, who won the vote by 3-to-1, and Tom Ripley murdered Kathleen Mallory by over 100 votes.

Science Fiction
There was no middle ground in Sci-Fi, with all winners taking huge leads. Congrats, HAL 9000, Phileas Fogg, Rick Deckard and Katniss Everdeen! Sorry, John Carter… you did as well as your movie, unfortunately.

Romance
Elizabeth Bennet took a sizable lead over Jane Eyre, while Lady Brett Ashley won over Countess Olenska with only 10 votes.

Biography
Marie Curie beat Stephen Hawking, and Maya Angelou never stood a chance against Martin Luther King, Jr., losing by over 50 votes.

Kids Classics
Willy Wonka defeated Dr. Dolittle by over 110 votes, and though Harriet the Spy put up an amazing fight, she just couldn’t surpass Harry Potter.

Vote in Round 2 Here!

Did you miss Round 1? Did all your favorites already lose? No worries - anyone can still vote! And you still have a chance for our Booketology Grand Prize Pack in our drawing!

The Rules:

  • The tournament begins Thursday, March 21, with six rounds of online voting to determine the reigning Booketology Literary Character Champion! The champion and drawing winners will be announced on our KC Unbound blog on Tuesday, April 9.
  • When each new round begins, the voting form will be available by 12 p.m. that day.
  • You can only vote once per round, but anyone can participate!
  • Participants who enter their name and email address in the Booketology voting form to be entered in a drawing for one (1) Booketology Grand Prize Pack and four (4) Runner-up Prizes!

    Booketology Grand Prize Pack includes:
    Four gift certificates to the College Basketball Experience! (redeemable for four adult admission tickets), and:
    Copies of our "Elite 8" winning characters’ books! (eight books total)

    The Runner-up participants will each win one book from our "Final 4" winners!



Booketology is part of Building a Community of Readers, a campaign to transform our community by promoting a lifelong love of reading!


About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

Kansas City Public Library on Facebook  Kansas City Public Library on Twitter  Kansas City Public Library on YouTube  KC Unbound RSS feed

Booketology: The Legend Continues!

With March Madness arrives an equally important event, Booketology, the Kansas City Public Library’s annual tournament! Last year, books fought to the bitter end. It was genre against genre, literary masterpiece vs. best seller. In the end, To Kill a Mockingbird took the championship. This year, your favorite characters are getting in on the action. Voting is closed, find out the winner here!

We have selected eight genres, and in each, eight literary characters. You decide who wins it all. From Thursday, March 21 through April 8, you can vote for your favorite champion.

Booketology Championship
See the Results Here!

You’ll also be entered into a drawing for tickets to the College Basketball Experience as well as copies of our "Elite 8" characters’ books! More information is in The Rules below.


 Click for Larger Image

Click the image above for the larger, printable version and play along at home! (choose File>Print Preview to scale the bracket to fit on one page when printing)

Not sure who a character is? Click their names below to find out!

Classics

It’s Captain vs. Captain when Ahab takes on Queeg. Which bitterly disappointed wife will win, when Madame Bovary is pitted against Anna Karenina? The young rebels face off: Huck Finn battles Holden Caulfield! And a heart-wrenching decision must be made when Miss Jane Pittman takes on The Color Purple’s Celie!

Fantasy

Round 1 pits the magician Harry Dresden against the witch Granny Weatherwax! Halfman Tyrion Lannister battles against the leper Thomas Covenant (though both are far more awesome than their titles suggest). Morgaine from Mists of Avalon squares off against The Princess Bride’s Princess Buttercup, and The Last Unicorn fights The Hobbit’s Smaug!

Graphic Novels

It’s an epic match-up! Superman takes on Batman! Rick Grimes puts his zombie-killing skills to the test against The X-Men’s Wolverine! It’s the Lasso of Truth vs. web-shooters when Wonder Woman challenges Spider-Man, and the Endless take on the Minutemen, when Morpheus fights Rorschach!

Mystery

Hard-boiled takes on spunky charm, when Easy Rawlins faces Stephanie Plum! Amoral protagonists on opposite sides of the law clash: Tom Ripley matches wits against Kathleen Mallory! Which veteran detective will win, when Harry Bosch battles Alex Cross? And the two ladies that prove you’re never too old for some sleuthing spar! Jane Marple challenges Emily Pollifax!

Science Fiction

Honor Harrington puts her tactical skills to the test against the Blade Runner himself, Rick Deckard! It’s rock ‘em, sock ‘em robot time when R. Daneel Olivaw takes on HAL 9000! And let’s not forget the teenagers: It’s a game for their very survival when Katniss Everdeen takes on Ender Wiggin! Finally, the kings of late 19th and early 20th century Science Fiction face off, when Phileas Fogg goes up against John Carter!

Romance

Romantic characters square off! Scarlett O’Hara tries to blow away her competition, Amber St. Clare! It’s Glib vs. Glum, when Elizabeth Bennet takes on Jane Eyre! The free spirits try to outdo each other, when Countess Olenska challenges Lady Brett Ashley! And will the Second Mrs. de Winter live up to expectations when she takes on Daisy Buchanan?

Biography

Sometimes an historical figure’s literary presence takes on a life of its own: It’s the battle of the biographies! Royals Queen Victoria and Catherine the Great duke it out! Whose scientific contributions will reign supreme, when Stephen Hawking challenges Marie Curie? Both have struggled for Civil Rights, now they take on each other! Decide who is more eloquent when Martin Luther King, Jr. debates Maya Angelou! And it’s Secretary of State vs. Secretary of State: Madeleine Albright wars with Condoleezza Rice!

Kids Classics

Who says kids can’t get in on the action? Charlotte’s Web Wilbur tries to take a bite out of The Very Hungry Caterpillar! Who will win, when Harry Potter challenges the unrelenting Harriet the Spy to a duel? Will it be a Wonderland for Alice when she takes on the fearless school girl Madeline? And the quirky geniuses compete when Willy Wonka battles Dr. Dolittle!

The Rules:


  • The tournament begins Thursday, March 21, with six rounds of online voting to determine the reigning Booketology Literary Character Champion! The champion and drawing winners will be announced on our KC Unbound blog on Tuesday, April 9.
  • When each new round begins, the voting form will be available by 12 p.m. that day.
  • You can only vote once per round, but anyone can participate!
  • Participants who enter their name and email address in the Booketology voting form to be entered in a drawing for one (1) Booketology Grand Prize Pack and four (4) Runner-up Prizes!

    Booketology Grand Prize Pack includes:
    Four gift certificates to the College Basketball Experience! (redeemable for four adult admission tickets), and:
    Copies of our "Elite 8" winning characters’ books! (eight books total)

    The Runner-up participants will each win one book from our "Final 4" winners!



Booketology is part of Building a Community of Readers, a campaign to transform our community by promoting a lifelong love of reading!


About the Author

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library.

Kansas City Public Library on Facebook  Kansas City Public Library on Twitter  Kansas City Public Library on YouTube  KC Unbound RSS feed

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