Reading Room Blog

12/07/2009 - 11:55am

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I love the way the following poem by Susie Patlove opens, with the little rooster trying to “be what he feels he must be.” This poet lives in Massachusetts, in a community called Windy Hill, which must be a very good place for chickens, too.

Poor Patriarch

12/04/2009 - 2:24pm

Detective fiction remains a major field in popular literature both for authors and readers.Many new trends and subgenres have emerged in literary detective fiction during the last twenty years, both redefining and broadening the genre.Some of the currently popular subgenres are historical fiction, fiction featuring minority characters, and detective fiction set outside of traditional locations.In fact, detective fiction has become such a diverse genre of literature that it appears to be splitting into several distinct genres, each with its own style and method of gripping readers’ attention.

11/24/2009 - 10:50am

One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself.

07/02/2010 - 10:38am

One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself. 

11/23/2009 - 2:17pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Love predated the invention of language, but love poetry got its start as soon as we had words through which to express our feelings. Here’s a lovely example of a contemporary poem of love and longing by George Bilgere, who lives in Ohio.

Night Flight

11/23/2009 - 1:39pm

Though as a librarian I'm constantly reading new books and other materials, I, like most people, have those books to which I turn time and again.  I know exactly how they're going to end, I know most of the plot details, and I feel I have a close, personal connection with the protagonists.  Some of these I have read to the point that the cover has torn away, but I keep them anyway. Why?  Because I love them dearly.  

Most of my favorite novels are science fiction or cyberpunk.  Probably my favorite of all these books is Accelerando by Charles Stross, in which the transition of mankind from biological lifeform to almost purely informational and back again is deeply influenced by three generations of the same family across several centuries.  Its follow-up, Glasshouse, is set in the same universe, but rather than focusing on the future of humanity, this book sets its main characters in a far-future simulation of what twentieth century life was like; its extrapolation of modern life as viewed by our long-removed descendents is endlessly fascinating. 

11/20/2009 - 4:45pm

The second movie in the Twilight saga, New Moon, hits theaters this Friday, November 20.

Check out this movie review in the Washington Post.

Join Edward, Bella, and Jacob in READing a good book! Check out all things Twilight, or maybe something from our Books With Bite book list.

For more young adult titles check out our Fang Fiction or Werewolves Among Us book list.

05/06/2010 - 11:33am

The 2009 National Book Awards have been announced. The winners are:

Fiction

Winner: Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

Finalists: Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
Marcel Theroux, Far North

11/20/2009 - 2:43pm

Library staff recently shared what they are reading. Pick up one of these today and you may find a new favorite read!

Fiction:

Water Lily Cross: An English Garden Mystery by Anthony Eglin

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

11/20/2009 - 1:46pm

In the many literary magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, detective fiction was extremely popular, and numerous subgenres emerged. One of the most prolific was the Asian detective story, which was first popularized by Earl Derr Biggers through the Charlie Chan character. The portrayals of Asian characters in the various Asian detective stories have become a major source of controversy today, preventing the works from enduring the decades as readily as the earlier Holmes and Dupin stories.

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