Reading Room Blog

05/28/2013 - 3:30am
Manhattan Projects Volume 1: Science Bad by Jonathan Hickman

I thought that Manhattan Projects was weird, and then the main characters stuck a cybernetic spike into Franklin Roosevelt's head, creating the world's first artificial intelligence.

Woe to anyone hoping that Jonathan Hickman's comic book series would be an accurate retelling of the construction of the atomic bomb. Sure, it gets mentioned from time to time.

The real driving force of Hickman's story, which ended up on many top comics lists last year, is the idea that the atomic bomb is just one of the hideous creations that super-geniuses Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, and Richard Feynman were working on. The other stuff... it ain't pretty.

03/19/2013 - 3:31am
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

What was it that defined the 1960s and made it one of the most important decades of the 20th century?  This question is often asked, even by those who lived through its tumultuous events. Many classic novels portrayed and influenced the counterculture of the 1960s, including Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  Another classic novel indelibly linked the culture of the 1960s was The Crying of Lot 49, one of Thomas Pynchon’s earliest works.  Supposedly the story of a woman seeking to sort out the estate of her dead boyfriend’s will, The Crying of Lot 49 is a kaleidoscopic narrative that ventures through centuries-spanning conspiracies, bizarre characters, and an American rock band desperately pretending to be part of the British Invasion.  One of Pynchon’s earliest and shortest novels, The Crying of Lot 49 is a surreal whirlwind of 1960s literature.

03/12/2013 - 3:31am
Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel

Sailor Twain is a graphic novel that is heavy on the novel half of that term. The book draws from the romantic authors of the nineteenth century, from the sirens of the Odyssey, and from the emotional and carnal explorations of modernist literature.

On a riverboat churning through the Hudson, we meet two very different men. One is the serious, contemplative Captain Twain. The other is the more freewheeling boat owner Lafayette. They are about to become ravaged by the same obsession: mermaids.

01/09/2013 - 2:50pm
project gutenberg logo

"Powered by ideas, ideals, and by idealism." This is one of the first few lines in the mission statement of Project Gutenberg, a Web site stating that it is the first—and largest—single collection of free eBooks. Another tidbit worth mentioning is the fact that it is completely run by volunteers, and there are no dues or membership requirements. While they do gladly accept donations and new volunteers, the site makes its main goal clear: “...provide as many eBooks in as many formats as possible for the entire world to read in as many languages as possible.”

04/16/2014 - 5:24pm
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Meets the second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the 3rd floor conference room

Current Selection:

04/01/2014 - 3:11pm
The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty

Rediscover the timeless, treasured delights of the classics. Read, savor, and engage in lively discourse with our newest Book Group. Meets the 3rd Monday of every month, 7-8 p.m. For more information, please call the Adult Research Desk at 372-1144 ext. 232.

Current Selection:

04/04/2014 - 3:17pm
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Meets the first Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm.

Current Selection:

May 1Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali's story tells how a bright little girl evolved out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken, pioneering freedom fighter. 

04/01/2014 - 3:22pm
Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

Join other readers to talk about books. The group meets the fourth Tuesday of the month from 7-9 pm.

Current Selection:

04/01/2014 - 3:27pm
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

Meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7pm

Current Selection:

01/02/2013 - 9:42am
How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman

Have you ever wanted to become a writer and brave the strange and confusing world of trying to sell your work to the publishing industry? Do you feel you might need a refresher course in creating a marketable thriller or romance novel?  If you are curious about improving your writing technique to make your work more compelling, concise, or appealing to publishers, you may benefit from How Not to Write a Novel, a writing guide from Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman.  This guide is a compilation of examples of common writing mistakes that can make novels confusing, boring, or unappealing to read.  Humorous and well-organized, this book is both a great educational resource and a good comedic read.