Paulette Jiles’s News of the World

news-of-the-world

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd has a mission that he did not ask for nor one that he wishes, though he readily admits the necessity of his journey. A news reader who makes his living traveling between rough frontier towns in the tension-filled midst of Reconstruction-era Texas, he is asked to return a 10-year-old girl to her family. The child, Johanna, was captured by Kiowa years earlier and seems to have no memory of her former life or native language. She just wants to return to her adopted tribe and keeps trying to run away every chance she gets. As the two travel hundreds of miles together through a land beset by raiding parties and criminals, complications ensue.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: Rugged Romance

“Of course, women don’t like Westerns.”

This statement from a stranger probably triggered one of my more embarrassing social interactions in college.

I don’t know about wherever you went to school, but at my undergraduate college, it wasn’t unusual to find yourself at a cafeteria table of mostly strangers. The following incident was relatively early in my college career, before I realized the importance of coordinating meal schedules with friends and arriving early so that I could avoid the awkwardness of small chat with strangers.

But on this particular day, I didn’t know any better and had found myself in this situation and, as an introvert, I responded by developing a laser-like focus on my plate and ignoring everyone else at the table. I was jarred out of this protective social cocoon when I overheard someone confidently proclaim that “Of course, women don’t like Westerns.”

Now, as a woman who happens to immensely enjoy Westerns–indeed, some of my favorite books, movies, and television shows are Westerns–that broad generalization really infuriated me. And without giving it much further thought or even clarifying context or anything else, I immediately blurted out an unintentionally very confrontational, “Well, I like Westerns!”

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2016 Library Challenge: A Pulitzer Prize Winner

Let’s be real. For many, the Pulitzer Prize is not a reading turn-on.

And I understand why. If contemporary literary fiction isn’t your thing, ploughing through some of the past winners may seem like real work.

But I like literary fiction and think many prize-winning books make for a good read, even if you aren’t living in an ivory tower. If nothing else, they always give you plenty to think about!

Don’t forget that Pulitzers are also awarded for nonfiction, history, and biography.

Ready to take the plunge? Here’s a few prize winners that may just draw you in…

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book with Magic

Magic — yay or nay?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in a library, it’s that people tend to have very strong feelings one way or another on whether they like books with magic or just fantasy in general. Even with our tween book club, for which the average age is ten, most of our members already have pretty firm opinions on the subject, with some really enjoying escaping into another world entirely and others strongly preferring that their fiction is rooted in realism.

If you’re in the first group, you probably won’t have any problem finding a book for this challenge. But if you’re in the latter and are still stumped for something to read or if you just are looking for something to read in general and don’t mind a walk on the fantastical side, here are some suggestions for you!

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Books in Bloom Preview–Author Tips

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!

Do you like to write in your spare time? Have you ever dreamed of making your living as an author? If so, you’ll really enjoy attending the Books in Blooms talks where writers will be discussing the creative and business side of their craft.

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