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Posts Tagged Books & Reading


indexU4IF9XSTA genre that deserves attention (and is a natural favorite of book lovers) is the bibliomystery.
Bibliomysteries are a genre of mystery novels which have books as the central theme of the plot. They may be have manuscripts, libraries, publishing houses, booksellers, or writers occupy a prominent role.
One of the very best bibliomysteries is Booked to Die by John Dunning (1992). Booked to Die is Dunning’s first novel in his “Bookman” series, and it’s a minor classic, especially if you’re a fan of the bibliomystery genre or a book collector. It’s the story of a Denver cop-turned-rare book dealer Cliff Janeway, and it will teach you a lot about the book trade while taking you on a mystery thrill-ride at the same time. Dunning is himself a rare book dealer, which makes the story even more authentic. (more…)

Posted in: Adult Services

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Enter to win our Oz Trivia Contest!

To celebrate L. Frank Baum’s Birthday, MPL is sponsoring an Oz Trivia contest. The winner will receive passes to the Oz Museum and a gift certificate for food from Friendship House (yum!), both in Wamego. Stop by the Baum display near the Information Desk for an entry form and see how much you know about the merry, merry Land of Oz!!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, For Teens, library services, News

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Book Your Summer

Man sitting on park bench, reading.Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

For me, the fast-approaching summer calls up childhood memories of lounging on my jungle gym, drinking gallons of sweet, sticky lemonade, and devouring book after book. I’ve since traded the jungle gym for a porch swing and lemonade for iced coffee, but voracious reading has remained a constant. Being a big reader poses a serious threat–running out of reading material. In the age of computer recommendations, you can always turn to Amazon or GoodReads to get ideas, but in my experience, those selections can be impersonal and inaccurate. My preference is always to ask my coworkers for their reading suggestions. It’s a perk of working at a library…and it’s a perk that you can take advantage of, too.

As summer approaches, keep in mind the many services that Manhattan Public Library offers to help you find the perfect books for your summer reading. We can help you stay stocked up on reading material–and you’ll hardly have to lift a finger.

Personalized Reading Lists: You may have noticed the super-helpful booklists located by the Information Desk at MPL. These lists are full of reading suggestions, and we take great care to update them regularly to reflect the newest and the best books in our collections. Perhaps you would like something crafted more to your own unique tastes, though. That’s where our personalized reading lists come in handy. Fill out a short survey telling us all about your reading likes and dislikes and within 10 days, you’ll get a completely customized list of at least 10 books for your enjoyment.

Book Reviews: If you are more the type to browse for yourself, our brand-new book review website is up and running at BookTALK is the (virtual) place to go in Manhattan for the lowdown on the newest bestsellers, as well as books you may never have heard of. All BookTALK reviews are written by MPL staff themselves, and you won’t find a more passionate, in-the-know group of readers than librarians. We cover every genre and all age groups on BookTALK, making it much easier for you to find a book for yourself AND for kiddos. We don’t just do reviews, either! We cover book awards, create fun and quirky book lists, and just generally share our love of reading. A must-visit site for anyone of the bookish persuasion!

But wait (as they say)! There’s more! On BookTALK, you can find more than just reviews, awards, and lists. It’s also a portal to many of our other reading resources. You’ll find our personalized reading list survey and links to children’s book resources and NoveList (a book review database). You’ll also find our new subscribable email book lists. For maximum convenience, select the genres and subjects that you are interested in and every month or two, depending on your choice, you’ll get a brand-new list of books in the library’s collection. Bonus points: Just click on the title of the book in the list, and you’ll be whisked away to our catalog to place your requests!

Get Social: Enjoy sharing your reading on social media? So do we. You’ll find all sorts of cool stuff on our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. We share library events, book news, awards, reviews, literary fun facts, and more. To find out what’s going on at MPL and to get reading advice without setting your smartphone or tablet to the side, find us online.

Of course, if you want to beat the heat AND find a book to read, Manhattan Public Library staff can always provide in-person, on-site help finding a book. In fact, there is really nothing we love more than being asked for reading suggestions. Just stop by the Information Desk or the Reference Desk and tell us what you’re in the mood for. You’ll be just a few questions away from an armful of great reads.

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, Mercury Column, News

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Award-Winning Fiction of All Kinds!

Susan Withee, Adult Services Department Manager

Hands down, the most popular books with adults in public libraries are what we in the biz call “genre fiction” – mysteries, romances, westerns, science fiction, and so on.  And every spring and summer, various national writers’ organizations hold their conventions and give out awards for the best books written in those different fiction genres during the past year.  For enthusiastic readers, the nominated books and authors can be an instant reading list of the newest and “best of the best,” and checking into that group’s online archive of prize-winners and nominees from previous years can keep you reading happily for a good long time.  Here are just a sample of this year’s nominees. (more…)

Posted in: Adult Services, Mercury Column, News

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Understanding thankfulness

It’s the season to talk about and celebrate thankfulness, but how can we help instill a grateful attitude in our young children when our culture often promotes self satisfaction and instant gratification?  The Zero to Three website is an excellent resource for knowledge and advice.  Their article on Raising a Thankful Child has some good tips, such as not giving a child too many gifts at birthday parties and holidays, and helping others within your community to encourage empathy and giving with hands on experiences.  Reading books about the topic can help children understand the concept of thankfulness beyond the usual prompting they get from parents to have good manners (“And what do we say when someone gives us something? That’s right, thank you.”)  Some from our collection that I like are The Most Thankful Thing by Lisa McCourt, The Thankful Book by Todd Parr, and Thank You, World by Alice McGinty.  Some books to spark discussion about gratefulness or generosity include A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams, Stone Soup (multiple authors), The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, A Castle on Viola Street by DyAnne DiSalvo, or All the World by Elizabeth Scanlon. 




Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein

Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein

Squirrels are all around our city this time of year, and you might have even heard one scold you from a tree! Ol’ Mama Squirrel tells the story of one very protective squirrel mama. She always makes sure her squirrel babies are safe from dangerous predators, though sometimes she gets carried away and scolds kites and airplanes. This funny story is wonderful to read aloud to preschoolers and early elementary students.

-Reviewed by Laura

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five by Valorie Fisher

Cover image of everything I need to know before I'm five by Valerie Fisher

“Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five” is the ultimate concept book. It has it all–the alphabet, counting, shapes, colors, opposites, seasons and weather. With bright colors and fun photography, Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five is engaging and educational. There is no narrative, it is just pure concept and imagery. This is not a book to be read cover to cover. It is a book to be browsed, and talked through, concept by concept. When I read the book with my 4 year-old niece, she enjoyed the numbers and opposites but did not have the patience to read the entire book in one sitting.

Whether your child is learning these concepts for the first time or reinforcing their knowledge, this book is a great way to explore concepts together.

Reviewed by Grace


Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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Love that Baby! by Kathryn Lasky

Cover image of Love that Baby by Kathryn Lasky.

Cover image of Love that Baby by Kathryn Lasky

Love that Baby! is a fun and informative book that explains what babies are like. From the way they look and what they eat to the reasons they cry and the noises they make Love that Baby helps kids know what to expect from new babies. It has fun ideas for how a child can help to make a baby stop crying, like looking a mirror or singing to the baby. It has games to make a baby laugh such as Peekaboo and This Little Piggy. On the whole Love that Baby is a great way to teach a child about babies and get them excited about a new sibling.

Reviewed by Grace

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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The Way I Feel Books by Cornelia Maude Spelman

Cover image of When I Miss You by Cornelia Spelman Identifying and describing emotions can be hard even for grown-ups, but for a child without necessary vocabulary it can be really difficult. The Way-I-Feel books by Cornelia Maude Spelman feature small animals who describe their emotions and the way that it effects their behavior. In each story the character also tells the reader how they manage that particular emotion. The Way-I-Feel books have clear, simple prose that will help a child understand it is okay to feel sad, scared or to miss someone, but will also help children see there are ways to cope with unpleasant feelings.

The Way I Feel Books:

When I Feel Good About Myself

When I Feel Sad

When I Feel Scared

When I Feel Jealous

Reviewed by Grace

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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First Facts: Community Helpers at Work

Cover Image of A Day in the Life of a Police Officer


The First Facts: Community Helpers at Work series is a great way to introduce early readers to community helpers. Each books follows a community helper through their day with a clock in the corner of each page-spread to show the time of day that they do each task.  These books are easy to read with a paragraph of large text per page, but give a thorough overview of what community helpers do all day.


Series includes:

A Day in the Life of a Veterinarian

A Day in the Life of a Teacher

A Day in the Life of a Farmer

A Day in the Life of a Police Officer

A Day in the Life of a Firefighter

A Day in the Life of a Dentist

A Day in the Life of a Child Care Worker

A Day in the Life of a Construction Worker

A Day in the Life of a Doctor

A Day in the Life of a Librarian



Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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