2016 Library Challenge: An Author You’ve Never Read Before (Brooks Blevins)

Ghost of the Ozarks

We’ve been talking about the upcoming Books in Bloom Festival the past couple of weeks. As part of my preparation for attending, I started reading a book that will be the subject of one of the featured talks–Brooks Blevins’s Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South.

This books tells the strange story of Connie Francis, a drifter who was murdered in Stone County, Arkansas, in the spring of 1929 by several local men. That anecdote in and of itself doesn’t really stand out in the annals of true crime, but the fact that several months later Francis testified at his own murder trial does. (No, you didn’t read that wrong. The murder victim testified at his killers’ trial.)

Intrigued?

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Guest Blogger: Tiffany Newton’s The Here and Now review

The Here and Now

[We’re continuing our guest blogger posts, courtesy of our friends from the Green Forest Public Library. This one is from Green Forest’s director, Tiffany Newton. She also wrote about Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore a few weeks ago.]

“You can’t even look up tomorrow [on Google].  Who says the Internet is boundless?” (pg 129)

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares is a Young Adult book with some romance, science fiction, and dystopian themes.  It was published in 2014, but it’s only been checked out from the Carroll and Madison County libraries less than 12 times. However, it’s a quick read that you won’t regret.

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Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne is a hardworking, tough talking housekeeper for an elderly woman on an island just off the coast of Maine. She’s been accused of killing her employer by shoving her down the stairs, and Dolores has her work cut out for her, explaining why she is, in fact, innocent of that crime, though she readily admits she did murder her husband thirty years earlier. Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne is the protagonist’s chapterless confession of what drove her to murder her husband and also an explanation for why she didn’t murder her employer, Vera, despite having several good reasons for doing so.

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Guest Blogger–Tiffany Newton

[Usually blog posts are written by Shirley, Berryville’s library services associate, but today we have a special treat–a guest review written by Tiffany Newton, the director of the Green Forest Public Library. She’s reviewing Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore for us!]

March--Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

“Walking the stacks in a library, dragging your fingers across the spines — it’s hard not to feel the presence of sleeping spirits.”–Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

Do you love books? Quests with wizards, rogues, and warriors? Do you love code-breaking? What about ancient conspiracies? Living Forever? Modern Technology? 3D Printing? Rock Climbing? Computer Animation? Late nights spent reading your favorite childhood novel? Audio Books? Knitting?

What do all those things have in common? Well, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan takes all those amazing things and mixes them into one page-turner.

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Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s

One thing that has consistently surprised me in the past few years is how much I have enjoyed a lot of young adult fiction (YA). I didn’t actually read a lot in that genre when I was the target age in my teens. However, I’ve found a lot of engaging, thought-provoking books  in this category. Despite whatever associations you may have with the term “young adult literature,” YA definitely isn’t just for adolescents anymore.

On that note, I’ve had a couple of different people recommend this YA book to me–my coworker Mary-Esther and library patron Mynette–and I was not disappointed when I recently read it.

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Rennie Airth’s River of Darkness (1999)

 

River of Darkness

Recently, the Berryville Library purchased Rennie Airth’s John Madden mystery series. The first book in the series, River of Darkness, is set in 1920s England, when the specter of World War I still permeated the country’s psyche and Freudian psychological theories were still new and just starting to gain traction. In the novel, Scotland Yard Inspector John Madden is summoned to assist with the investigation of a shocking crime in a pastoral English village. Here, a local family has been brutally slaughtered, and the details simply do not add up for Madden. Several of his colleagues suspect the crime is the result of a robbery gone very wrong, but Madden thinks too many clues suggest that the murders were the killer’s (or killers’) focus.

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