Thursday, October 20, 2016

[Library Events and Programs] Great Conversations November 1, 2016 at Central Library

By: Marcey Wright, public relations supervisor

The Great Conversations Series will continue on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Central Library (Room L-56), as customers discuss the controversial topic of biotechnology with Professor Kim Gerecke, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology and Director of the Neuroscience Program at Rhodes College. Using advanced pharmaceutical, bioelectronics, and genetic technologies, people may be able to boost human mental and physical capabilities in the coming decades, along with curing diseases. Gerecke will pose ethical questions to Library customers about life in a bioengineered society.

Great Conversations
Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life in the Bioengineered Society
Prof. Kim Gerecke

November 1, 2015
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Meeting room L-56
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
3030 Poplar Avenue

Call 901 - 415 - 2734 for more information. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

[Library Events and Programs] Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale October 21-22

Friends of the Library Fall 2016 Book Sale
Friday, Oct. 21 & Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library 
3030 Poplar Ave.

Preview sale for Friends of the Library members
Friday, Oct. 21, 2016
8 a.m. – 10 a.m.


Thursday, October 06, 2016

[Book Review] If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Fiction/Young Adult

Allison reviews IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo (Flatiron books, 2016)
Amanda moves from her mom’s place in Atlanta to live with her dad in Lambertville, Tennessee. Who would willingly move from a big city to a small town, especially before their senior year of high school?
Someone hiding a secret.
Amanda was born Andrew, and transitioning into a girl wasn’t an easy situation, even in a big city. Amanda just wants a fresh start before she can leave for college and be whoever she wants, with no traumatic past.
Then Amanda meets Grant, and feels emotions she didn’t think she’d feel. She wants to share herself--all of herself--with him… but should she?
This book is an interesting crash course in transgender issues.

Allison Renner, Cordova Branch Library

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Friday, September 30, 2016

[Library Events and Programs] A Discussion of Salvage the Bones at Central Library October 4, 2016

By: Marcey Wright, public relations supervisor 

Great Conversations are happening at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Ave.)! 

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Memphis & Shelby County Room (4th floor), Professor Ernest Gibson III will take Library customers on a journey through the pages of award-winning book, Salvage the Bones. Gibson, Ph.D. works as an assistant professor in the English Department of Rhodes College.

This program, which is free and open to the public, will introduce readers to bestselling author Jesmyn Ward through her book, Salvage the Bones – the featured book for this year’s Memphis Reads program. Salvage the Bones is the gripping tale of a struggling family “displaced” by poverty, broken relationships, and their own misfortune in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.

Click for full details about the Great Conversations Series.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

[News and Notes] Memphis Reads 2016 Finale Events

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward is the 2016 selection for Memphis Reads, "the city's largest book club." (Library page)

Visit for more information. 
Memphis Reads 2016 Finale events:

Jesmyn Ward Talk and Book Signing
September 28, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Christian Brothers University Theater
650 East Parkway South

Jesmyn Ward in Conversation
September 29, 2016
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Rhodes College
Bryan Campus Life Center
2000 North Parkway


Monday, September 26, 2016

[News and Notes] Banned Books Week 2016

2016  Banned Books Week is September 25 - October 1

Celebrate the freedom to read by checking out and reading all books, especially banned books, from your local library. 

The American Library Association's Banned Books Week webpage  explains the history of banned and challenged books through the years with a variety of lists to browse. 

Also visit created by the Banned Books Week Coalition. 

The top ten most challenged books of 2015 include:
1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).

3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.

4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).

5.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).

6. The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint.

7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).

8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.

10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

[Book Review] Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Fiction/Coming of Age

Andrea reviews SWEETBITTER by Stephanie Danler (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016).

I have to admit I was thrilled when I got my hands on this bestseller. Pardon the pun but I devoured the tell-all memoir, Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain that was published a few years back. Now, Ms. Danler has spun her own story about the underbelly of New York’s finest restaurants.
Tess is a young 22-year-old who has come to New York City with no real sense of direction or guidance in her life. It seemed logical for her to work in a restaurant since she had been a coffee barista in her past. She lands a job as a backwaiter in one of the most elite restaurants. Although her job is not to wait on the customers (or “guests,” as the “Owner” corrects her) she is responsible for cleaning off the tables, filling water glasses, and taking the food to the tables. While Tess is at the restaurant, she becomes enamored with Jake and Simone, the bartender and head server respectively. The two are quite a bit older than Tess but they go between mentoring her, being down right mean to her, sleeping with her, and messing with her head. Tess cannot figure out Jake and Simone’s dynamic, but the more she tries the more of a downward spiral she takes.
I enjoyed this tale of restaurant workers because I waited tables for ten years before I worked at the library. Restaurants always have some kind of drama and energy.  It’s a pulsating rhythm you only identify with if you have worked in the industry in any capacity. This was also a great story of infatuation, power, and desire and how quickly it can escalate in the wrong direction.

Andrea Bledsoe-King, Cordova Library

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Monday, September 19, 2016

[Book Review] Tall Tail by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown


Susan reviews TALL TAIL: A MRS. MURPHY MYSTERY by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown (Bantam Books, 2016)

Anyone who has pets knows that they “talk.” Sometimes, we humans just do not understand, but when it comes to murder, paying very close attention to our furry companions can be lifesaving.  

Rita Mae Brown, a distinguished Southern writer, began writing the “Mrs. Murphy” mysteries more than twenty years ago in “collaboration” with Sneaky Pie, a rescued tiger cat. Mrs. Murphy, a tabby cat; Pewter, a portly, grey cat; and Tee Tucker, a loyal corgi, help their mom Mary Minor Haristeen solve murders in and around a small town in Virginia. The other characters are well-detailed, and reading the latest mystery feels like a visit with old friends.

In the latest installment, Barbara Leader, a nurse to former Governor Sam Holloway, appears to have a heart attack, but she has been murdered. A family secret links her murder to the murder of a Francisco Selisse in 1784. Selisse was a brutal slave owner, and Brown moves the reader between the present day and the past to unravel the truth.
Susan Berry, Parkway Village

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