Books Blog

"Steampunk is What Happens When Goths Discover Brown" -Jess Nevins

steampunk

Welcome, welcome, welcome ladies and gentlemen to the weird and wonderful world of steampunk. What is steampunk you ask? Why, it is many things, but let's call it an aesthetic sensibility. Gears, corsets, dirigibles, and don't forget your goggles. There is steampunk music, fashion, art, and of course books!

Steampunk has its roots in the scientific romances of the mid-19th century but really took flight (steam powered of course!) in the 1980s and most recently in the aught-aughts. A group of writers (Jeter, Blaylock, Powers) working in southern California would meet up at their local watering hole and realized they were all writing similar works, as a joke they called it "Steampunk".

East of Denver Author Gregory Hill Visits Ross-Cherry Creek

East of Denver

Colorado author Gregory Hill joins the Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series lineup at the Ross-Cherry Creek Branch on Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Hill's novel, East of Denver, won the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is a Colorado Book Award finalist in the Literary Fiction category, and was named "one of the year's best crime novels" by Booklist. East of Denver combines going home, family, misfit friends, a plane, a farm, humor, and a bank robbery to create a unique reading experience.

The Best in Mystery--Edgar and Agatha Winners

The Expats

The winners of both the Edgar Awards and the Agatha Awards were recently announced, so if you're looking to add a bit of mystery to your summer reading, look no further!

The Edgars, named after Edgar Allan Poe, honor the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television. The Agathas, named after Agatha Christie, honor the "traditional" mystery as exemplified by Christie's works. This is the award for you if you're looking for mysteries with no explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or gore. No "hard boiled" mysteries here. Check out these lists, and maybe discover a new favorite mystery author!

The Edgar winners:

Meet Jennifer Kincheloe: Denver's Semi-Finalist for Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award

A well-crafted first line in a novel has a big job.  Whether it's mysterious, romantic, enigmatic, funny or atmospheric, it must grab and entice the reader.  

In the case of local writer Jennifer Kincheloe's debut novel, "The Secret Life of Anna Blanc," the opening words bring you into a very special world: "Anna Blanc wore a six-inch hairpiece made from the tresses of a yak."  

I Want My Mummy!

Mummies

As a youth nearly everyone goes through an Egyptology phase, right?

Well, mine never really went away, though it did morph into something a bit different. No longer intrigued by pictographic writing, or ceremonies dedicated to sun gods, now I'm just fascinated with human fruit leathers, people pickled in bogs, or dehydrated on steppes, MUMMIES! There is a touring exhibition going around the US right now called Mummies of the World. Currently the exhibition is in Salt Lake City, UT until the end of May and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it comes to Denver!

Icarus Fell. But First He Flew.

The Rotunda of Apollo, Louvre Museum

The Greek myth of Icarus, who tried to escape from Crete by flying on wings made of feathers and wax, is often used as an example of hubris and failed ambition. Icarus is warned by his father not to fly too close to the sun. He disregards this and the wings collapse and he falls back to earth. But the lesson from this myth might be about taking chances and following your heart in spite of the risks.

I started thinking about the story a lot while I was in Paris last December. I thought perhaps I'd seen a painting of Icarus in one of my museum visits -- and somehow it had crept into my waking dreams. Then I went through my photos of the trip and found this image (top photo), from a ceiling in the Louvre museum. It depicts Icarus at the moment of his fall. But the part of the story I started to ponder most was his flight before the fall.

Author! Author!

Animal Mineral Radical

Fresh City Life My Branch presents 4 upcoming author events that you won't want to miss!

All events are free and open to the public. Authors will have their books available to sell and sign!

Brothers and Sisters: They Are What They Read

A good friend of mine recently complained to me that her two children were fighting constantly. She did not know why it was happening, but she wanted it to stop. She was desperate for help. My first question for her was: What are they reading?

If you think that was a silly question, read on. In the child development book Nutureshock, authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman devote an entire chapter to sibling relationships – and directly tie the way brothers and sisters treat each other to the books they read and the media they consume.

Early Literacy: More than Just Books!

Lukas holding his train drawing.

One of the best parts of being a children's librarian is building relationships with kids and families. Watching kids grow and learn over the years is simply the best!

I first met Lukas when he was a wiggly 2-year-old and a regular at my toddler storytime. He's now a  5-year-old preschooler, so I don’t see him as much as I used to. A few weeks ago Lukas came to the library with his mom, Marta, on his spring break. During our craft activity after storytime, I was catching-up with Marta and learned Lukas now loves to draw.

Do You Read Cli Fi?

Solar

Did you hear this NPR story on what they call an emerging new genre in fiction---Cli Fi, or fiction around issues of climate change?

Meeting at some point between science fiction, apocalyptic fiction, thriller, and contemporary fiction, these books take some of today's predictions and warnings about climate change and extrapolate. With Earth Day and the weather on many people's minds these days, it might be time to try one of these reads. They range from thought-provoking to thrilling!

The Odds Against Tomorrow, Nathaniel Rich

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