Books Blog

Lilian Jackson Braun 1913-2011

Popular mystery writer, Lilian Jackson Braun passed away earlier this week in South Carolina at the age of 97. Her "The Cat Who ..." series began in 1966 with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards and includes 29 mystery novels and at least 2 short story collections.

The most recent books in the series included:

City Tales: NYC

new york noir

Let's visit the city that never sleeps. 

There are thousands of books that feature the Big Apple. Let's take a look at some of the more unique aspects of NYC.

The Little Big Book of New York
I love this little book and I learn something new about NYC every time I flip through these pages. It's got poetry, song lyrics, essays, short stories, recipes and all sorts of fun legends and facts. Want to enjoy a tasty knish with your Long Island Iced Tea? This book's got you covered.

One Wild and Crazy Guy

Steve Martin

Don't you just love it when you stumble upon a book that you really want to take your time to read? Slowly and mindfully placing yourself in the right frame of mind and chair as you peel each page open with indulgence.

An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin's latest novel, is just that book. Tucked in its pages are color copies of both fine and contemporary art that accompany the story of the central character, Lacey Yeager, a young and ambitious woman who craves to make a name for herself in the art world.  Similar to his previous book, Shopgirl, Martin develops a female character navigating her way towards what she feels is most important.

Looking for a Little Romance?

Work of Heart

The Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series presents romance novelist Cindi Myers on Saturday, June 11, 2 p.m. at Schlessman.

Cindi Myers believes in love at first sight, good chocolate, cold champagne, that people who don't like animals can't be trusted, and that God obviously has a sense of humor. She is the author of over 40 novels. Her latest is Work of Heart. Others include:

No Regrets

Rock My World

Going on vacation with Slash

Slash

This year I'm skipping the traditional beach read and taking some rock 'n' roll with me instead.

These stories will surely make any vacation debauchery seem tame in comparison. So if you find yourself cringing after a night of too many margaritas, take solace in knowing that the boys of Mötley Crüe have you beat by a mile. Seriously.

Sporting PRIDE

White baseball hat with PRIDE decal.

If you're a sports fan, chances are good you've heard some trash-talk at sporting events.  Athletes are now bringing their A-game to promote tolerance.

The San Francisco Giants have made sports history with their contribution to Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth with the promise that their futures will be brighter. The National Basketball Association along with its partners has promoted Think B4 You Speak during the NBA finals.

Oversized Treasures

Emily Dickinson's Herbarium. Houghton Library, Harvard University

Books, like plants, come in varied shapes and sizes. An "oversize" book requires more shelving space to insure easy access and browsing.

The Central Library's oversize collection located on the second level features many treasures including a facsimile of Emily Dickinson's Herbarium. A popular activity during the Victorian age, Dickinson notes her own work on a herbarium at age 14. Her love of flowers and their symbolic imagery is reflected in much of her poetry throughout her life.

Colorado Authors Series Presents: Michael Sabbeth

The Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series presents Michael Sabbeth on Sunday, June 5 at 2:00 p.m at Schlessman.

Mr. Sabbeth is a practicing lawyer who has taught classes on moral reasoning in Denver area public and private schools for twenty years. His book, The Good, the Bad, and the Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values, is a guide for parents and for other people working with children on how to talk with children about ethics and values and how to teach moral reasoning. Books will be available for sale.

The Epic Novel

infinite jest

Summer is supposed to be a time of long sunny days and carefree fun. Why in the world would anyone want to bog themselves down with a thousand-plus page novel? A valid question for sure, but I don't think I'm alone in taking on an epic novel this summer.

My poison of choice, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, a polarizing brick of a book full of nonsequential chapters, more characters than you can count, and 100 pages of fictional footnotes.

Cotton Mill Girls

Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls

Browsing the new biography section at the Central Library led me to discover a collection of personal histories of women living and working in Southern mill towns, a surprising link to my own family history.

My great grandmother Zella was a child employee for the  Eureka Cotton Mill in Tennessee.  She was nearly 102 years old by the time I discovered this fact.  Zella wasn't tall enough to reach her work so she was hoisted on boxes and tied in place, making sure she wouldn't fall into the dangerous equipment.  Job safety being what it was, some of her friends weren't as fortunate.  She wouldn't say much about this experience other than she and her family had been grateful for the work.

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