Book Reviews

Tower by Nigel Jones

It has stood as a landmark for over nine hundred years. It has held infamous prisoners and royalty. Millions flock to it every year. The Tower of London has served many functions during its long life.

Nigel Jones in Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London details the story of this famous structure. William the Conqueror who became King of England in 1066 started this fortress in 1078 with the central White Tower. For several centuries successive monarchs expanded on the design building ever stronger fortifications. It also served as a Royal Palace until the time of the Tudors. The complex consisted of the middle White Tower with many smaller towers around the perimeter.

From its earliest days, the Tower began to be used as a prison especially for political prisoners. Rival claimants to the throne found themselves behind its walls. Over time, its reputation struck fear in anyone who entered under guard. Many who disagreed or angered a monarch were sent to the Tower. Even monarchs and their family members faced imprisonment in the structure.

Objects Of My Affection by Jill Smolinski

What happens when you combine a professional organizer with a messy personal life, an eccentric artist who considers hoarding a full-time job, and a huge secret that one of them is trying to keep from the other? You get Jill Smolinski’s newest novel, Objects of My Affection.

In this amusing and sometimes frustrating story about deciding what is valuable and what to let go, Lucy Bloom’s life is a disaster. She naively thought that when she published her first book, Things Are Not People, that she would become a best-selling author and her phone would be ringing off the hook with clients wanting her to organize their lives from A to Z.

Instead, her book tanks, her boyfriend dumps her, she loses her job, and worst of all, she sells her home to pay for her teenage son’s drug rehab bill and is left with nowhere to live.

Words in Air

In his poem, "To Sir Henry Wotton," John Donne observes: "Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls, For thus, friends absent speak. This ease controls The tediousness of my life; but for these I could ideate nothing which could please…" This is a sentiment Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell would heartily endorse.

Sunset Limited

We are starting a regular blog post here at the Kansas City Public Library: Staff Picks! Every month our staff will list their reading selections. It could be a new release, an old favorite, or just something unique that they have come across.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Earlier this year, the final book came out of a series that I have been reading most of my adult life. Its author never lived to see the final books published. The Wheel of Time is a master work and is a treatment of the Epic in prose form for the modern age.