2016 Library Challenge: A Memoir

Are you a fan of memoirs? They’re one of the categories on the reading challenge we’re doing this year, and one thing I’ve noticed from working in the library is people tend to either really enjoy reading them or they don’t. Personally, I like a good memoir, but I must confess, it’s not usually something I think to pick up on my own. I shared my own book for this challenge last week, but in researching selections for this post, I also found a wide range of memoirs that, hopefully, will appeal to readers who enjoy the genre and read widely in it and those who don’t. If you’re interested in learning more about any of the books mentioned below, please follow the link to our online catalog.

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Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia

One of the prompts for the 2016 Library Challenge is to read a memoir. To that end, I’m reviewing the book I read for this challenge—Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia, which chronicles Powell’s year-long project of cooking every single recipe in Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My boss Julie recommended the book to me, and I’m glad she did. (Thanks, Julie!) I had vaguely heard of Powell’s project—due to the buzz surrounding the blog Powell initially recounted her culinary adventures on—and upon reading the book, I realized that several years ago, I actually had read and enjoyed an excerpt of her chapter on cooking (and murdering) lobsters.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book You Can Read Quickly

As summer rolls around, we all, maybe, hopefully, have a little more time for reading. But if you’re looking for a quick read to enjoy between all of your summer plans–or if you need one to fulfill the library challenge requirement–consider reading one of the following books, all of which are well under 200 pages long and, in most cases, are barely 130 pages in length.)

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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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Books in Bloom Preview–Book Talks

Here at the Berryville Library we’re looking forward to the 11th annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival on May 15th. You’ll get to mingle with famous authors and fellow book lovers. To prepare for Books in Bloom, we’ll be running teasers about the authors who will be giving talks.  We also have works by all of this year’s Books in Bloom authors on display at the library. Read them now–meet them on the 15th!

Ever wanted to get behind the scenes of a book . . . or perhaps more like inside the mind of its author as they were writing it?  How did they come up with that idea?  What motivated them to keep writing that story? From the posted schedule, it looks like you’ll have your chance at this year’s Books in Blooms!

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book by a Female Author

Tomorrow, March 8th, is International Woman’s Day, and we decided to celebrate by blogging about the challenge that asks you to read a book written by a female author.

Of course, we’ve already covered a lot of great female authors over the past couple of months, including but certainly not limited to Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Daphne Du Maurier, Barbara Kingsolver, and Margaret Atwood.

But I thought I’d use this blog post to be more reflective than usual and chat about some of my favorite female authors, though this list certainly doesn’t include all of them. As always, if you are interested in reading any of the books mentioned, just follow this link to our catalog.

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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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