Old Favorites: Ambrose Bierce

I was going to substitute this feature with something else about the Great American Read, but then I realized that Ambrose Bierce’s birthday was this coming Sunday and, well, I just had to pen an ode to one of my favorite writers, AKA Bitter Bierce, The Diabolical Bierce, The Wickedest Man in San Francisco, The Rascal with the Sorrel Hair, The Laughing Devil, and (last but not least) The Devil’s Lexicographer. (I think I hit all the high points and included all the nicknames.)

Now, these nicknames make Bierce seem like evil incarnate, but he wasn’t. Honest!

He was just really, really, really, really grouchy, even by 19th century standards. And according to biographers, he was a crotchety, eccentric kid, so maybe when he entered this world on June 24, 1842, in rural Ohio, he was already destined to be one of the world’s best known literary misanthropes. (Though certain life events certainly did help him along that path.)

If you know of Bierce, it is likely because his two most famous works: his delightfully mean Devil’s Dictionary and his haunting, surreal Civil War short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” These are both great, but there’s a lot more to Bierce than meets the eye. . . .

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Discussion Thread: Fantasy Worlds

fantasy world

I feel like asking someone what their favorite fantasy world is is a loaded question. Oh I don ‘t doubt that people do have their favorite fictional worlds, but I really don’t think that anyone, when it comes right down to it, would want to live in these worlds.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Set in Your Hometown

Since the library’s theme this month is “Home is where the heart is,” we thought it seemed logical to cover the “Read a book set in your hometown” challenge now.

For the purposes of this challenge, we’re letting people define hometown however they want to–whether it’s the town they were born, the town they were raised, the town they’ve lived the longest, etc. And since this, of course, varies for every person, we thought we’d highlight books in our collection with a Carroll County setting.

Even if you’re not participating in the challenge–or if your hometown isn’t in Carroll County–you can still enjoy these books. (And, while we’re on that subject, if your hometown isn’t in Carroll County and you’re stumped trying to find a book to meet this requirement, just contact the library. We’ll help you find something that will work!)

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2016 Library Book Challenge: A Book with Antonyms in the Title

Happy National Opposites Day! Yes, it’s a holiday.

One of the reasons we thought the 2016 Book Challenge would be fun and, well, challenging is finding books to match the categories. As I was looking through the different requirements, one that initially stumped me was “Read a book with antonyms in the title.” I know antonyms are words that mean the opposite of each other, but the only book I could think of that worked was Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

However, I knew there had to be other books out there that also met the requirement. So, in honor of National Opposite Day, here are several other titles that feature antonyms.

As always, if one of the books interests you, just click on the cover. You’ll be linked to our online catalog. Search for the title, and you can read more about it and even request it.

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