Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Visit memphislibrary.org to request materials and to browse our online collection of e-books, e-audio books, magazines, and more.  


Friday, February 03, 2017

[Book Review] The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Readers' Advisory Genre Spotlight 

Gay and Lesbian Fiction/LGBT Fiction

Syma reviews THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker (Harcourt,1982)

Celie and her sister, Nellie, were raised by their mother and the man they discovered later to be their stepfather in rural Georgia.

Even though younger, prettier Nellie was the sister “Mister” desired, she was not allowed to marry him. Instead, Celie was expected to marry “Mister.”

This, of course, caused a separation between the sisters. While Celie was married to Mister, she endured rape, abuse, and slavery while raising his four children from his previous marriage. To make matters worse, Mister disrespected Celie and their marriage even more by allowing his true love, Suge Avery, to move into his house. Even though Mister was over heels in love with Suge, she and Celie began their own secret, sexual relationship.

While Suge and Celie’s love and understanding for one another grew, their relationship helped both gain independence away from Mister. Sensing this, Mister wanted to redeem himself so he contacted the Department of Immigration. Through this rare act of kindness, Celie and Nellie were finally reunited.

Knowing how much adversity the sisters had to endure, this novel is a true tear jerker.

Syma C., Staff

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

[Library Events and Programs] FREE Writing Workshop at Central Libray

By: Marcey Wright, public relations supervisor

Got a writing assignment or want to become a better writer? Don’t panic. “Compose Yourself” is a free writing workshop series hosted every Wednesday beginning February 1 – April 5, 2017 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Ave., L-56). Hosted in partnership with the University of Memphis Center for Writing and Communication, these classes cover a range of topics from Grammar 101 and Using Style in Writing to Being Aware of Audience and even How to Write an Apology. 

Each session will be taught by University of Memphis staff and contributors. No registration is required.

Click to view course descriptions and schedule 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

[Book Review] As I Descended by Robin Talley

Fiction/Horror/Young Adult

Allison reviews AS I DESCENDED by Robin Talley (HarperTeen, 2016)

Maria and Lily are roommates at Acheron, an exclusive private school on the grounds of an old Southern plantation. They’re also head over heels in love with each other, even though they’re keeping their relationship under wraps. Both girls want to continue their relationship in college, but the only way they can do so is if Maria wins the coveted Kingsley Prize - a scholarship that will let her attend the college of her choice at no cost.
Maria is second in the class, and Delilah, ranked number one, is just slightly better than Maria in every way possible: more popularity, more extracurriculars, better grades. Even with all the extra credit in the world, Maria’s GPA won’t top Delilah’s.
So the girls have to get rid of Delilah. And they know no bounds.
Lily buys an old wooden Ouija board off eBay and holds a seance with Maria, whose belief in spirits was instilled by her Hispanic nanny. The girls use the board to open the door to the spirit world - then forget to close it.

This twisted retelling of Macbeth is delightfully creepy and unsettling. The atmosphere the story creates is dark and spooky, and the suspense builds while the reader wonders what havoc the spirits will wreak on campus next. The history of the slave plantation on which the school is built adds depth to the story.
Allison R., Staff member

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Thursday, January 05, 2017

[Book Review] El Deafo by Cece Bell

Library staff members attend Reader’s Advisory classes throughout the year to learn the characteristics of different book genres. By developing their reader’s advisory skills, library staff help customers find books they may like to read.

After each session, participants select a book from that genre to read and profile. Take a look at the Reader’s Advisory Annotations posted on Memphis Reads to discover what you can read next. 

Non Fiction/Memoir/Graphic Novel

Allison reviews EL DEAFO by Cece Bell (Amulet Books, 2014)

El Deafo is a graphic novel memoir by Cece Bell. Using bright illustrations, Bell tells the story of the illness that caused her to lose her hearing at a young age, and how she coped with being different from everyone else. Bell used her bulky hearing aid, also known as her Phonic Ear, to transform into her superhero alter ego, El Deafo! She deals with learning to use a complicated hearing aid, as well as how this visible disability isolates her from her classmates.

Bell uses the graphic novel format to her advantage; the illustrations move the action along and really make her autobiography enticing. The panels read left to right, top to bottom, so it’s a great book to serve as an introduction to graphic novels. The book’s target audience is ages 8-12, but everyone can relate to the story of adaptation and acceptance.

Allison R., Staff member

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Visit memphislibrary.org to request materials and to browse our online collection of e-books, e-audio books, magazines, and more.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

[Author Obit] Richard Adams 1920 - 2016

Richard Adams, British author best known for his 1972 novel, Watership Down, passed away at the age of 96 on December 24, 2016. 

Requiescat in Pace - The Official website of Watership Down

Obituaries from the web:

Watership Down author Richard Adams dies aged 96 - BBC 

"Watership Down" author dies - CNN

Richard Adams, Whose Novel 'Watership Down' Became a Phenomenon, dies at 96 -  The New York Times 

Suggested title from the library catalog: 

The Day Gone By: an autobiography by Richard Adams 

Search the library catalog to revisit or discover more books by Richard Adams

*Adams photo credit: "The novelist Richard Adams in 1974. Credit Tom Smith/Daily Express/Hulton Archive, via Getty Images"

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

[Book Review] The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen

Susan reviews THE UGLY DUCKLING by Iris Johansen (Bantam Books, 1996)
The Ugly Duckling is a Cinderella story with a twist.
Nell Calder is plain, ordinary, and the wife of a financier with a lovely daughter named Jill. On the night of an elegant party for Richard, her husband, hosted to advance his career, the unthinkable happens. Nell thinks she is hearing firecrackers, but they are gunshots. Nell is attacked and thrown over the balcony. She wakes to a shattered face and a dead husband and child. She should not be alive, but with a reconstructed and beautiful face along with anonymity, she is plotting her revenge.   
Enter Nicholas Tanek, who helps Nell despite her wanting and moving on revenge on her own. His keeping her identity a secret and her reluctantly accepting his help move the plot forward.  Tanek was at the party; he believes he could have prevented the deaths of Richard and Jill, but what all he knows he keeps close and slowly reveals to Nell and the reader why he was involved at all. For Nell, her new-found physical beauty is but a means to an end. She toughens physically and mentally to face the murderer.
Nell Calder really never was plain and ordinary; she is a woman of exceptional inner strength.
Susan B., Library staff

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