Jacksonville Public Library Blog

Staff Picks Book Review - Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes

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One of my earliest memories of the Medusa comes from the 1981 classic stop-motion animation Clash of The Titans. A serpentine monster that kills indiscriminately, the Medusa of these earlier versions is without voice or childhood. An established author in the classics, Natalie Haynes gives a voice to Medusa and allows the reader to decide if the young gorgon really deserves the label of "monster"

Staff Picks Book Review - Sometimes People Die by Simon Stephenson

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As Dr. Sudbury tells the junior doctors in her hospital, "a hospital is a dangerous place to be". This message is driven home by the unnamed narrator in Sometimes People Die. A Scotsman by birth, the young doctor has joined the staff of St. Luke's Hospital. A former opioid addict who used his role as a health care provider to fuel his addiction, the young protagonist opens up about the life of a doctor, particularly an overworked one in London's east end. Late nights, the pressure of career advancement, the deaths of patients and loved ones, and the stress of a job with the ever-present mantra to "do no harm" come through wonderfully in the narrator's candid dialogue with the reader.

Fourth of July Books for Kids

Books to Celebrate July 4

How does your family celebrate our nation's independence? Maybe you wake up early on the Fourth of July to bake that all-American apple pie? Or do you spend the whole morning preparing for that big barbeque in the backyard or picnic in the park? Of course, there are also parades and fireworks and all sorts of fun traditions! The Library has books (for all ages) that reflect the grand diversity and the rich tapestry that make our country and our community here in Jacksonville so great. We've highlighted a few of those books (for young readers) here!

Staff Picks Genre Study – Quick and Easy Cooking

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With the introduction of the TV dinner in 1954 and the popularization of the microwave oven in American households twenty years later, the terms “quick” and “easy” are as much a part of the American diet as hamburgers and hotdogs. Even when something comes out of the traditional oven rather than the microwave, it is often a premade casserole prepared by the industrious Mrs. Stouffer.

Jax Stacks Book Recommendations: A Book by a 2023 Lit Chat Author

Jax Stacks Reading Challenge 2023

Welcome to a new month of the 2023 Jax Stacks Reading Challenge! We are going to give you suggestions for each* category in the challenge every month so that you always have a great library book waiting for you when you need it. Plus, you can share what you're reading with other Jax Stacks readers at our monthly Jax Stacks Reading Challenge Book Club. Note: Our July meeting takes place at the Southeast Regional Library!

Staff Picks Book Review - Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams

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Rarely does a reader get the pleasure of experiencing a character such as Ruth Macallister. The driving force behind New York's Hudson Modeling Agency, Ruth is as confident, sarcastic, and stubborn as any man she might encounter in her Cold War era world. 

Adult Programs this July: Authors, Book Clubs, History Chats and More!

Adult Programs

We are really excited to bring a different kind of Writer’s Lab to the Library this month – a three-hour workshop on creating a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with a Wizards of the Coast employee! We also have great summery Lit Chats, gardening workshops for everyone, and 16 book clubs to check out. And, of course, the Jax Stacks Reading Challenge continues (with new prizes up for grabs)!

Staff Picks Book Review - The World of OZ in Popular Culture

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Few images from film and books are as easily recognizable as the yellow brick road or the Emerald City. Few characters resonate so universally as the wizard behind the curtain, the cowardly lion, or the witless scarecrow. It all goes back to the nearly unparalleled imagination of one man who wanted to create a gentler fairy story than the scary ones he had read.

Staff Book Review - Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World by Irene Moreu Vallejo

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If I had a dollar for every time a library customer told me how much they love books, I would be a wealthy man. Those living now don't realize how privileged they are to be alive in an era with books and a population with the literacy level we have achieved. In her title Papyrus: The Invention of Books in the Ancient World, international author Irene Moreu Valleho demonstrates how the book itself was instrumental in the advancement of mankind.


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