Category Archives: Books & Reading

“This Blessed Earth” Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 29, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm
Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

People across Nebraska are encouraged to read the work of a fourth-generation Nebraskan —and then talk about it with their friends and neighbors. This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017) by Ted Genoways is the joint 2019 One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa Reads selection.

This Blessed Earth asks the question, is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Far from an isolated refuge beyond the reach of global events, the family farm is increasingly at the crossroads of emerging technologies and international detente. Ted Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day.

For forty years, Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation farm. But as he prepares to hand off the operation to his daughter Meghan and her husband Kyle, their entire way of life is under siege. Confronted by rising corporate ownership, encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies, small farmers are often caught in the middle and fighting just to preserve their way of life. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, This Blessed Earth is both a history of American agriculture and a portrait of one family’s struggle to hold on to their legacy.

Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be available after January 1, 2019 at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

2019 will mark the fifteenth year of the One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting.

One Book One Nebraska is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. The Nebraska Center for the Book brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at and supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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Friday Reads: Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

Who knew Tom Hanks was an author? Even though his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, my introduction came through his book entitled Uncommon Type: Some Stories – a collection of seventeen short stories written (and read in the audio form) by Tom Hanks. This review is specific to the audio version and each short story revealed itself to me as a brief movie performed by Hanks. Tom’s narrative is visual and I saw characters and entire sets because his voice is so closely associated to the medium of film. Interestingly, when one of his stories intersected with subject matter Hanks had previously portrayed in a movie (space travel for example), I could not help but think of that particular corresponding movie and this was not an interrupter, but an enhancement. This book was enjoyable if only for the sake of having Tom’s voice in my ear. Just like listening to Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Tina Fey, or Carol Burnett read their own work, it is the quality, comfort, and familiarity of the voice that adds pleasure to the text.

Some stories were more enjoyable than others were and the ones that I really enjoyed have stayed with me. Hank’s first story is about two best friends from elementary school who turn their life-long friendship into a romance against their friend’s advice. The second is about a WWII veteran who makes an annual Christmas Eve call to his friend who saved his life in battle on Christmas Eve not so many years ago. Another story is about a newly divorced  woman with clairvoyant skills who moves with her three children to Green Street. The acceptance she feels from her new neighbors helps her embrace her new life. I am typically not very excited about a collection of short stories, but I very much enjoyed my time with these.

Hanks, Tom. Uncommon Type: Some Stories. New York: Knopf. 2017

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#BookFaceFriday “The Book of Lies”

Toil and Trouble we’re seeing #BookFace double!

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble, we saved the creepiest cover for our Halloween BookFaceFriday! “The Book of Lies” by Teri Terry (Clarion Books, 2017) practically jumped off the shelves as this week’s choice. Suspense, menace, mystery, witchcraft, family secrets, and mistaken identity, are interwoven in this page-turner that will grab and thrill teen readers.

“With elements of gothic literature (and a few references to Wuthering Heights), this story could serve as a bridge to gothic classics. Thriller readers may simply enjoy the creepy mystery.” —Kirkus

This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems. Public and school library staff are also welcome to stop by and select some titles for their library collections. Contact Sally Snyder for more information.

We recruited our office red heads for this week’s spooky #BookFace, Christa Porter, our Library Development Director and Lisa Kelly, NLC’s Information Services Director!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “A Line In the Dark”

Eat your heart out with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

With Halloween right around the corner we just loved the cover of this teen thriller! “A Line In the Dark” by Malinda Lo (Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2017) is the perfect choice to get your blood pumping. Love, loyalty and murder make this dark physiological thriller one you just can’t put down.

This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems.

“A twisty, dark psychological thriller that will leave you guessing till the very end.”—Teen Vogue

This week’s #BookFace model is one mother you don’t want to mess with. She’s also our Information Services Librarian, Aimee Scoville Owen!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: Rabbit & Robot, by Andrew Smith

I’m a huge fan of Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle, so I’ve been anxiously anticipating his latest release, Rabbit & Robot. It arrived in my mailbox on Tuesday, September 25 (its release date), and I finished it this past weekend. Like Grasshopper Jungle, Rabbit & Robot is apocalyptic and darkly humorous; its plot unfolds in a similarly absurd fashion, and the social commentary is unmistakable.

Rabbit & Robot is set in the future, at a time when regular people work as either bonks (soldiers) or coders. v.4 cogs, humanlike robots programmed by the coders, perform all other tasks that people “no longer wanted to waste their time doing” (57), including performing surgery, building roads, and caring for children.

As foreshadowed by one of the book’s epigraphs (“Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines” – Erich Fromm), schools are the primary mechanism for turning regular people’s children into bonks or coders. To facilitate this process, students receive carefully calibrated doses of Woz, a drug designed to help them learn. The ubiquitous and addictive Rabbit & Robot television program, “which was all about getting kids to embrace their inner bonks and coders” (33), reinforces this learning.

The book’s narrator, sixteen-year-old Cager Messer, and his best friend, Billy Hinman, are not regular kids: Cager’s father, the fifth richest man in America, owns a line of lunar cruise ships and is the creator of the Rabbit & Robot television show; and Billy’s father, the richest man in the world, owns the company that manufactures the world’s supply of cogs. Cager and Billy do not attend school and have never watched Rabbit & Robot. Billy has never taken Woz, but Cager, in his own words, is “pretty much an out-of-control addict” (24). The addiction is so bad, in fact, that Billy and Cager’s caretaker, Rowan, transport him to his father’s newest cruise ship, the Tennessee – “as big as a Midwestern city, staffed by hundreds of v.4 cogs” (28) – to detox.

This act of intervention is the story’s precipitating event; me recounting the many zany and surreal events that follow won’t adequately convey what the book is actually about though. For that, we must turn to a handful of passages in which Cager directly addresses the reader. This first occurs on page one, before it’s even clear who is speaking. The as-yet-unnamed narrator asks a question, and offers an explanation:

Are you a person, or are you some kind of cog?
Either way, I feel a compelling obligation to tell you what it meant to be a human, at least as far as I can describe it accurately. (1)

The difference between people and cogs is a thread that runs throughout the story. From the start, Cager struggles against the empathy he feels for v.4 cogs, which not only look and act like human beings, but are also beginning to exhibit human emotions. He tries to short-circuit this impulse by telling himself cogs are no different from egg beaters or coffee grinders, but it doesn’t work. As the story progresses, Cager becomes increasingly unwilling to treat cogs as inanimate objects. And after a particularly traumatic, paradigm-shifting revelation, Cager begins wrestling with concepts like what it means to call someone he’s close to a thing, and how doing so makes this someone “something other than us” (403).

In a late chapter, titled “Are You One of Us?” Cager again addresses his reader:

And maybe that’s the whole point, after all – that every one of us who ever existed spent all those limited days over the thousands of centuries we were here just trying to figure out what it meant to be us. The mousetrap trigger is this precise point: Pour the word “us” into the coding of a human, and we immediately discount as inferior or useless all the not-us things in the universe. (404-405)

To summarize, then, on the surface this is a book in which a lot of weird and wacky stuff happens; in the end, though, it winds up being about what it means to be human, and the ludicrousness of some of the fine distinctions we make between ourselves (us) and others (not-us).

Smith, Andrew. Rabbit & Robot. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018.

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#BookFaceFriday “Open Your Eyes”

This #BookFaceFriday is a real nail biter!

#BookFace this week is a new kind of thriller. Open Your Eyes” by Paula Daly (Dreamscape Media, LLC, 2018) is a new audiobook available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 12,407 audiobooks and 24,143 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this brand new title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“An evenly paced thriller; Daly delivers just enough clues and twists, a little bit at a time, to keep the reader guessing . . . [Open Your Eyes is] A satisfyingly original thriller.”Kirkus Reviews

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is our State Documents Staff Assistant, Bonnie Henzel.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available at Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 

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Celebrate Nebraska’s 2018 Book Award Winners at December 1st Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 10, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2018 Book Award Winners at December 1st Celebration 

Celebrate Nebraska’s 2018 Book Award winners with author readings and an awards presentation ceremony at the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1 at the History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North, in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2018 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors, designers and illustrators of books with a Nebraska connection published in 2017. And the winners are:

Children’s Picture Book: Simpson’s Sheep Just Want to Sleep by Bruce Arant. Publisher: Peter Pauper Press, Inc.

Chapter Book: George and the Stolen Sunny Spot by Kristin Bauer Ganoung. Publisher: Prairieland Press

Young Adult: The November Girl by Lydia Kang. Publisher: Entangled Teen

Cover/Design/Illustration: Nebraska’s First College: Shaping the Future Since 1867 by Dan Sullivan. Design by Christine Zueck-Watkins. Publisher: Peru State College Foundation

Fiction: World, Chase Me Down: A Novel by Andrew Hilleman. Publisher: Penguin Books

Fiction Honor: Kings of Broken Things by Theodore Wheeler. Publisher: Little A

Fiction Short Story Honor: One With Bird: And Other Stories by Douglas K. German. Publisher: iUniverse

Nonfiction Biography: The Weight of the Weather: Regarding the poetry of Ted Kooser edited by Mark Sanders. Publisher: Stephen F. Austin State University Press

Nonfiction Culture: The Sex Effect: Baring Our Complicated Relationship with Sex by Ross Benes. Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

Nonfiction History: Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History by Richard Edwards, Jacob K. Friefeld, and Rebecca S. Wingo. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Immigration Story: Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide by Channy Chhi Laux. Publisher: Archway Publishing

Nonfiction Memoir: What is Gone by Amy Knox Brown. Publisher: Texas Tech University Press

Nonfiction Reference: Atlas of Nebraska by J. Clark Archer, Richard Edwards, Leslie M. Howard, Fred M. Shelley, Donald A. Wilhite, and David J. Wishart. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Sesquicentennial: 150@150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial by Jeff Barnes. Publisher: The Donning Company Publishers

Poetry: Rock Tree Bird by Twyla M. Hansen. Publisher: The Backwaters Press

Poetry Honor: Blind Girl Grunt: The Selected Blues Lyrics and Other Poems by Constance Merritt. Publisher: Headmistress Press

Poetry Anthology: Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology 1867-2017 edited by Daniel Simon. Publisher: Stephen F. Austin State University Press

The Celebration of Nebraska Books, free and open to the public, will also honor winners of the 2018 Jane Geske and Mildred Bennett awards. The Mildred Bennett Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual heritage that enriches our lives and molds our world. The Jane Geske Award is presented to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska.

The 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry (The Backwaters Press) edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell will be featured in a keynote presentation at 2:45 p.m.

The Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m.—just prior to the 2:30-6:30 p.m. Celebration. An awards reception honoring the winning authors, book signings, and introduction of the 2019 One Book One Nebraska/All Iowa Reads book choice will conclude the festivities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, with support from History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for One Book One Nebraska. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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#BookFaceFriday “Promoting Great Reads”

You don’t want to miss this #BookFaceFriday!

#BookFace is all about Teen Reads this week with. Promoting Great Reads to Improve Teen Reading: Core Connections with Booktalks and More” by Lucy Schall (Libraries Unlimited, 2015). This title is part of our Library Science Collection, it provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs! You can check this out yourself by searching the Online Catalog,

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Sally Snyder, our Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services! Sally will be presenting ‘Popular Teen Novels: New Books They Need to Read’ at #neblib2018, Saturday, Oct 6th at 9:00 am. Don’t miss it! #2018books4teens (Sponsored by the School, Children, and Young People’s Section) Learn about qualities to look for in books teens are reading, and the titles Nebraska teens are seeking at their libraries. The presenters will discuss new books that are popular with teens in their communities and describe the qualities these titles possess that make them good choices for many libraries. #BookFaceFriday #TeenBooks #Read

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 

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Friday Reads – The Last Cruise: A Novel by Kate Christensen

Kate Christensen’s The Last Cruise is not a memoir, travel guide or cruise promotion. It is a novel rich with a range of disparate, colorful and conflicted characters. The 400 some travelers are on an ocean voyage destined for unexpected and challenging adventure. While dissimilar, the book reminded me of Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools, a book I read many years ago before taking a first cruise. The Last Cruise might be better likened to the Titanic, and throw in the Love Boat, too. There are elements of all with personal crises, conflict, satire, romance, and bits of comedy.

The cruise ship is the Queen Isabella, a 1950s elegant and vintage ocean liner. The voyage is the ship’s last and intended to be followed by a trip to the scrapyard. Guests board the ship at Long Beach, California, for a two-week cruise to Hawaii and back. A retro theme is planned in recognition of the ship’s origins and fate. Passengers expect to enjoy the experiences of mid-20th century luxury cruising with fine dining, cocktails, string quartets, and jazz. Central to the story is Christine Thorne. Thorne, a former journalist, joins the voyage as an escape from her Maine farm home. She meets aboard ship with her long-time friend, a journalist seeking her own escape. The story evolves with the mix of passengers, crew (notably food service workers), and musicians. Before long, the voyage is disrupted by personal conflict and ship mechanics.

The book title has a double meaning, if not more than double. The multiple meanings are revealed early and more surprisingly in the final pages. I’m curious to know how many cruise ship libraries have this book on their shelves. I hope they do.

Kate Christensen’s fourth novel, The Great Man, won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. She has also written two food themed books, Blue Plate Special and How to Cook a Moose. The latter won the 2016 Maine Literary Award for Memoir. Food elements are also prominent in The Last Cruise.

Kate Christensen. The Last Cruise: A Novel. (New York: Doubleday) 2018.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for September, 2018.  Included are reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies: Nebraska State Treasurer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln,  Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, Nebraska Office of Probation Administration, Nebraska Supreme Court, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

All items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972, a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian, or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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National Book Award 2018 Longlist for Young People’s Literature

The National Book Award organization recently announced their longlists for the selected categories of literature. Here are the ten books on their longlist for young people. The winners will be announced on November 14, 2018.Some I have read and some I haven’t even seen yet. Time to go to the library! You can challenge the young people in your community to vote on the title they think will win and display the local winner in your library. Or, you can ask them to vote for their favorite title in the Teens’ Top Ten event by October 13!

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Friday Reads: Dopefiend

For a little while, I have been thinking of reviewing an urban fiction book for Friday Reads. Not that I am an avid urban fiction reader, because I am not. But rather this is a specific genre of fiction that no one has ever reviewed on FR. Urban fiction, for me at least, is very difficult to read, but I finally made it through one to write about it here. First, a basic definition of urban fiction. Sometimes called “hood books” or “the good books”, urban fiction often tells stories of inner cities, typically graphic in nature and tackling issues of poverty, abuses (drug, domestic, and others), crime, hustling, and street life. A number of urban fiction books have been written by authors while in prison. The challenge here is that for me some urban fiction is just plain unreadable. I tried numerous books and did not get very far into them before giving up. Some examples: True to the Game series (didn’t make it to chapter 2), The Thug Series of books (I tried a few, including Every Thug Needs a Lady, Honor Thy Thug, and Justify My Thug), and the Girls From Da Hood series (I thought they must be decent because there are 13 of them – unfortunately in my opinion they weren’t readable). About to give up, I finally decided to try Donald Goines’ classic Dopefiend, published in 1971. While I made it through, I cannot say I would recommend it overall. However, it might serve a purpose in a scared straight sort of fashion, maybe to high school or college aged students.

Dopefiend tells the story of a group of addicts in an inner city (Detroit) in a raw and graphic manner. The story mostly follows the decline of the main character Terry, spiraling downward into the depths of her addiction. Most of the story is disturbing, following not only Terry but also the side characters Teddy, Minnie, Porky, Snake, and Dirty Red. The story involves numerous crimes to support their habits, lies and ruined relationships, exploitative drug dealers, and prostitution. For me it was reminiscent of parts of Requiem for a Dream (both movie and book). While the depiction in Requiem for a Dream consists of mostly white characters, the characters in Dopefiend are overwhelmingly African American. Dopefiend is uncomfortable on many levels. I will say that after trying to read contemporary urban fiction, which often glamorizes the life of the hustler, Goines paints an entirely darker and realistic picture in the opposite direction.

Goines, Donald (1971). Dopefiend: The Desperate Rage and Suffering of a Hardcore Junkie. Holloway House

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#BookFaceFriday “Fahrenheit 451”

This #BookFaceFriday is burning down the house!

This week’s #BookFace was an easy choice because it’s #BannedBooksWeek, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury (Random House, 1953), set in a future where printed books are banned and actively destroyed, it’s become a hallmark for Banned Books Week. Ironically, it’s also been banned and challenged itself, as recently as 2006. This classic novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, reserve it for your book club to read and discuss today!

“Brilliant . . . Startling and ingenious . . . Mr. Bradbury’s account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating.” —Orville Prescott, The New York Times

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Gabe Kramer, our Talking Book & Braille Service Audio Production Studio Manager!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 

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Friday Reads: Interview with the Vampire

On last week’s NCompass Live, we talked about book to film adaptations. Is the book always better than the film? Can the film be as good as the book? You may be surprised to hear the answer can be yes!

One of my personal favorite book to movie adaptations is Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice. I first read the novel when I was a teenager and loved it. I was immediately hooked on Anne Rice. There is an amazing depth to her story writing. The history of the characters and the worlds she creates makes you want more. I’ve read and enjoyed many of her novels since then, but being my first, the Vampire stories remain my favorites.

When they first announced that they were making a movie of Interview with the Vampire, I was at first very excited. Then, when they announced that Tom Cruise would star as Lestat, like Anne Rice herself, I became very concerned. He was definitely NOT what I pictured Lestat to be. But, despite my reservations, I tend to be open minded when it comes to movies or TV shows being made of any of my favorite stories, so I tried to be optimistic.

Then I saw the film, and all my fears were put to rest. It was perfect! It was exactly how I had pictured it in my mind when I read the book. Louis, Lestat, and especially Claudia had stepped out of my head and onto the screen. In my opinion, Interview with the Vampire is definitely one example where the movie is just as good as the book.

So, if you’ve only read the book I highly recommend checking out the movie. And vice versa. If you’ve seen and enjoyed the movie, I think you will also enjoy the book.

And if you decide, like me, that you want even more of Anne Rice’s stories on the screen, you’re in luck! The Vampire Chronicles, the ongoing series of Rice’s books about her vampires, is being developed into a TV series. Anne Rice and her son, Christopher (also a best-selling author) are executive producing the series, which will air on Hulu. Naturally, I have high hopes for the show. I can’t wait to see how it looks when the author herself is involved with the production.

Want to watch our NLC Staff discuss book to film adaptations? Check out the archived recording of NCompass Live: Book vs. Movie: The Ultimate Showdown!

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#BookFaceFriday “Night Road”

This #BookFace is a long and winding road!

This week’s #BookFaceFriday is Night Road” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press, 2011). Hannah is a New York Times bestselling author, who is known for her beautifully written stories. This novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and would be the perfect next read for your book club!

Night Road is one special book that can transform the lives of readers by influencing how they think about certain important life issues. The reader becomes a first-hand witness to the pitfalls of parenthood, mortality, heartbreak, guilt, life choices, grief, forgiveness, and much more. In short, the entire range of human emotions are explored in this…hopeful book about the triumphant power of the human spirit in the process of forgiveness.” ―New York Journal of Books

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Holly Atterbury, our new Talking Book & Braille Service Library Readers Advisor! Holly is originally from the East Coast (New Jersey) but she’s spent the majority of her life here in Lincoln. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Literature out in Chadron, NE – a place she dearly misses. Holly is a writer at heart, who hopes to have a book of her own on a library shelf someday (fingers crossed). And, to connect to the book title – a fun fact is you’ll never see her driving along a night road, as she absolutely cannot see in the dark! Welcome Holly!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 

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Friday Reads: Short Story Binge

The Booklist Reader recently had a blog post about short stories that have been turned into feature films, leading with the announcement of a new film adaptation of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. My first thought was that it would be difficult to create a full-length movie out of such a  short story, but the more I sat with it, the more it made sense. After all, most movies based on books have to trim the story considerably to fit within the allotted time. With a short story, you can capture the entire plot, or even expand as needed, playing with pacing and visual and sound effects.

The list of short stories and their corresponding big screen treatment inspired me to pick up a few of the suggested titles, so I’ve been having my own “short-story-athon” this past month. Here are some of the collections I chose from Booklist Reader’s list that I would recommend for anyone looking for a break from 300+ page novels:

Stories Of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. A collection of science fiction and fantasy tales, the title story was the basis for the 2016 movie Arrival.

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro. The title story was adapted into Hateship Loveship with Kristen Wiig of SNL fame and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Short Cuts by Raymond Carver. Robert Altman adapted this collection for the screen, and he writes the introduction.

The Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes. Tales of suburban life and how you never know what is happening behind closed doors. The movie didn’t get rave reviews, but don’t let that dissuade you from reading it.

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. My library didn’t have the collection that this story is in (Close Range, one of three collections she wrote set in Wyoming), but I was able to listen to just Brokeback Mountain as an audio download during my commute one day. The movie stays very true to the story, and is a great example of why short stories make good films.

Love movies based on books? (Or hate ’em?). If you missed our recent NCompass Live discussion on the topic, you can catch it in the archives: Book Vs Movie: The Ultimate Showdown!

Chiang, Ted. Stories Of Your Life and Others. 2014. Audio.
Munro, Alice. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. 2001. Print.
Carver, Raymond. Short Cuts. 1993. Print.
Homes, A.M. The Safety Of Objects. 1990. Print.
Proulx, Annie. Brokeback Mountain. 2005. Audio.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Last Farmer: An American Memoir”

Old McDonald has nothing on this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

"The Last Farmer" BookFace Photo

The Last Farmer: An American Memoir” by Howard Kohn (Bison Books, 2004) is a great read, even if you’re just a farm kid at heart. This memoir is based on Howard Kohn’s father, his last few seasons working the farm that they both were raised on. Kohn, a former editor at Rolling Stone, digs into the gritty details of his father’s story and the only way of life he ever knew. As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the Bison Books, and imprint of University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

“A stunning portrait. . . . Kohn went looking for one story—his father’s—only to find his own.”—Chicago Tribune

This week’s #BookFace model is Three Rivers Library System Director, Eric Jones!!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Free Materials for Nebraska Libraries to Support Great American Read Programming

The Great American Read is the new PBS eight-part television competition and nationwide campaign to discover America’s favorite novel. Everyone can vote for their favorite from a list of 100 novels chosen in a national survey. NET Television is offering Nebraska resources for programming to help community members participate in the Great American Read. Nebraska libraries are invited to request posters and bookmarks (and possibly a local screening) from Marthaellen Florence, Director, Community Engagement, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications – NET, mflorenc@netad.unl.edu, 402-470-6603.

See http://netnebraska.org/greatread or Facebook.com/netNebraska for more information about the program broadcasts on NET. The series is hosted by Meredith Vieira and features conversations with authors, celebrities, and book lovers. The programs are scheduled for the next six weeks, leading up to the last day of voting (October 18, 2018) and announcement of America’s favorite read (October 23, 3018).

Schedule

“Launch Special” (Premiered Tuesday, May 22, 2018) – WATCH NOW

“Fall Kick-off” (Premieres Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7:00 p.m. ct)
“Who Am I?” (Premieres Tuesday, September 18, 2018  7:00 p.m. ct)
“Heroes” (Premieres Tuesday, September 25, 2018  7:00 p.m. ct)
“Villains and Monsters” (Premieres Tuesday, October 2, 2018 7:00 p.m. ct)
“What We Do For Love” (Premieres Tuesday, October 9, 2018  7:00 p.m. ct)
“Other Worlds” (Premieres Tuesday, October 16, 2018  7:00 p.m. ct)
“Grand Finale” (Premieres Tuesday, October 23, 2018  7:00 p.m. ct)

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service helps Nebraska librarians serve library customers who can’t use regular print, and all but four of the Great American Read titles are available in the talking book format through this service. For more information, see http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/nlcblog/?s=great+american+read. To help serve book clubs that want to read a title from this list, the Nebraska Library Commission Book Club Kit collection contains 59 of the 100 selections. To serve your library customers, search at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/ or contact Lisa Kelly, Information Services Director, 402-471-4015 for the list of Great American Read titles available in Book Club Kits.

For more information, see the recording of the Sept. 5, 2018 NCompass Live Great American Read broadcast at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/calendar/eventshow.asp?ProgID=17615 

#GreatReadPBS

 

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Friday Reads: How We Roll by Natasha Friend

I borrowed How We Roll from the library as I enjoy this author’s work and had not seen her newest book until I ran across it on their “New Books” shelf.

Quinn (high school freshman) and her family have moved from Colorado to Massachusetts for a new school for her younger brother, Julius, who is on the autism spectrum. This is good for Quinn, too. She has lost all of her hair to alopecia and a fresh start is great since Colorado is where her friends backed away from her and then there was a sexual harassment episode that wouldn’t go away. Now, in Gulls Head, Mass. She will wear a wig and no one will know about her alopecia. Instead she worries the wig will fall off or move, and it itches like crazy.

At her new school she makes friends and learns a bit about Nick who is in a wheelchair and not friendly in study hall.  He has his reasons for being rude.

Good friends are worth gold, and Quinn has found them at her new school, though she is afraid to trust them at first. Helping her brother can be tough, but he is only being himself.  Now a potential new friend for her, Nick has his own issues but also begins to show a considerate side.

As SLJ mentions, readers of The Running Dream or The Fault in Our Stars will likely pick this one up.

And please accept my deep apologies for posting this very late “Friday Reads!”

Friend, Natasha. How We Roll, 2018. Print.

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NCompass Live: Book vs. Movie: The Ultimate Showdown!

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Book vs. Movie: The Ultimate Showdown!’, on Wednesday, September 12, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

It’s the never-ending battle. Which was better – the book or the movie? Or the TV show? NLC staff will debate this hot button issue and discuss if we thought the book or the screen adaptation was better (it can happen!). Join us as we try to answer the age-old question – Is the book always better than the movie?

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Sept. 19 – Get a Youth Grant for Excellence!
  • Sept. 26 – 2018 Continuing Education/Training and Internship Grants
  • Oct. 3 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE – ENJOY NLA/NSLA!
  • Oct. 24 – Strategies for Identifying Fake News
  • Oct. 31 – Teaching Digital Literacy in Your Library

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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