Tuesday, January 20, 2015

[Author Obit] Robert Stone 1937 - 2015

Author Robert Stone passed away January 13, 2015. His debut novel, A Hall of Mirrors was published in 1967. Stone won the National Book Award in 1974 for his second novel Dog Soldiers (biography.com). 

More about Robert Stone's career:

Author Robert Stone, Known for 'Dog Soldiers,' Dies at 77 - National Public Radio

Robert Stone, Novelist of the Vietnam Era and Beyond, Dies at 77 - New York Times

Search the catalog for Robert Stone's works


Friday, January 16, 2015

[Book Review] David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell


Phillip reviews DAVID AND GOLIATH: UNDERDOGS, MISFITS, AND THE ART OF BATTLING GIANTS by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown and Company, 2013)
If you enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s previous books, The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, you will enjoy David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and The Art of Battling Giants.  It is just as interesting, thought-provoking and engrossing.
David and Goliath deals with Gladwell’s exploration of the nature of the underdog and how many people faced with what would seem insurmountable challenges find ways to overcome them.  One of Gladwell’s main points is that someone who is perceived to be the underdog may not be the underdog at all.
Gladwell offers his analysis of the classic underdog story, that of David and Goliath from the Bible.  Gladwell offers a compelling case as to why it was David who had the advantage over Goliath and that it was really a foregone conclusion that David would defeat Goliath.
He explores the cases of people who have dyslexia, the brain disorder that prevents a person from being able to read at all or only with great difficulty.   Not really being able to read should have kept David Boies from even going to law school, much less being able to practice law, but Boies is now one of the most famous trial lawyers in the world.  His way of overcoming his dyslexia was to develop extraordinary listening skills, and Gladwell also tells how other dyslexics overcame their challenges to become great successes.
Gladwell also talks of how Dr. Martin Luther King and his team faced an entrenched segregated society in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, when they fought for the civil rights of Black people there. King and his team were up against Eugene “Bull” O’Connor, the powerful Public Safety Commissioner who had the will and power to block any attempts to end segregation in Birmingham.  King faced what seemed overwhelming odds but in the end he and his team, using creative and unorthodox strategies, were able to strike a blow for the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham.
Gladwell offers other fascinating accounts of people who faced other, different kinds of challenges, who seemingly should have failed in life but did not.  Gladwell offers the reasons why they did not fail and instead prevailed.
A truly fascinating book and one which many readers I am certain could not put down.
Philip Williams, Cordova Library

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015



All locations of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center will be closed Monday, January 19, 2015 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Customers have the option of reserving or renewing books by going to www.memphislibrary.org or calling 452-2047. The Library’s website also offers several resources customers can use anytime—24 hours a day—seven days a week.   E-books and downloadable audio books, magazines, and music can be checked-out for free; online databases contain searchable newspaper and magazine articles, reference books and more; and blogs and newsletters on everything from fiction bestsellers to travel can be read on the web.

Friday, January 09, 2015

[News and Notes] January 9, 2015

PopSugar's 2015 Reading Challenge

Let's wrap up the first full week of 2015 with News and Notes.

Do you like reading challenges? Want to add more variety to your reading choices this year? A library staff member suggests PopSugar's 2015 Reading Challenge 

Also from the web:

50 Books to Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions from Flavorwire

The 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time from Time magazine, because YA books aren't just enjoyed by teens. 

Folklore author Robert Sans Souci passed away at the age of 86 years old. He was the author of a number of picture books for children, including The Talking Eggs: a Folktale from the American South and other works (library catalog). Learn more details about his fascinating life from School Library Journal's Obituary

Other author deaths we missed:
15 Powerful Quotes by Writers We Lost in 2014 - Buzzfeed 
The Writers We Lost in 2014 - L.A. Times

Search the library catalog for books featured in these news stories.   

Monday, January 05, 2015

[Great Quotes] Reading Advice for 2015

Read unapologetically.

Read publicly.
Read privately.
Read anthologies.
Read short stories.
Read constantly.
Read occasionally.
Read quickly.
Read slowly.
Read history.
Read erotica.
Read middle grade.
Read psychological.
Read classics.
Read fantasy.
Read queer.
Read straight.
Read the good.
Read the bad.

And never apologize for what and how you read.

-from beckisbookshelf Tumblr


Tuesday, December 30, 2014


All branches of the Memphis Public Library will be closed on New Years Day (Thursday), January 1, 2015

Please visit www.memphislibrary.org for holds, renewals and to download materials.

Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

[Book Review] Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

"What's Your Flavor" is a series of reader's advisory sessions where library staff learn the distinctive qualities of fiction and non-fiction genres. After each session they are tasked with selecting a book to read and review. 

Reader’s Advisory: Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Review

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Young Adult

Linda reviews STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson (Delacorte Press, 2013)
It’s been ten years since Calamity, a meteor event that caused normal people to develop superhuman abilities. It’s been ten years since David watched Steelheart kill his father with his own gun.  Now 18 years old, David is ready to seek his revenge on Steelheart and wants to join a group of rebels called the Reckoners.  

David has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the Epics over the years and filled several notebooks with what he’s learned.  He knows their names, their abilities, and how they can be defeated.  He’s ranked them according to their invincibility, calling those with no known weakness High Epics. Steelheart is thought to be a High Epic, but David has seen him bleed before and is determined to see him bleed again.  

The characters are fun - smart and quirky – and the witty dialogue moves the plot easily and quickly.  The world building is great.  I would call it a dystopian/comic book mash-up, with lots of action and a nail-biting ending that will leave you wanting the next one to see what happens to these great characters.
Linda Wong, Bartlett Public Library

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Monday, December 22, 2014

[Book Review] The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh


Andrea reviews THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD by Laura McHugh (Spiegel & Grau, 2014 )
This is a most grisly tale set in the backwoods of the Ozark Mountains. Even though 17-year-old Lucy Dane has grown up in the tiny town of Henbane, Missouri, members of the small town still treat her as an outsider.

When Lucy was just an infant, her young mother, Lila, disappeared without a trace, leaving her father, Carl, to raise her.  Now a generation later, Lucy’s friend, Cheri, has vanished--just as Lila did. Townspeople have their suspicions, but why are they pointing fingers at Carl and his brother, Crete? Especially frustrated since there were no answers about Lila’s disappearance, Lucy incorporates her two friends, Daniel and Bess, to help her to solve Cheri’s murder.

Alternating mainly between Lucy and Lila’s voices, Ms. McHugh’s debut novel is one of foreboding and fright. Everyone is suspect in both crimes when really the answer is almost obvious.

If readers are looking for a thriller that will make their hair stand up on end, I definitely recommend The Weight of Blood.

Andrea, Poplar-White Station Library

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