DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


Apr 9 2010

Favorite Fictional Characters

by Amanda L

I recently read a blog post about favorite fictional characters. It started me thinking, what is my favorite character of all time.  I must admit, it is Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie series. (I’m sure the television series and Melissa Gilbert’s way that she portrayed the character influenced me.)

I found an article that was written for NPR several years ago that lists the 100 best characters since 1900.  Here are their top 5:

1. Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

2.  Holden Caufield  from The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

3. Humbert Humbert from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

4.  Leopold Bloom from Ulysses by James Joyce

5. Rabbit Angstrom from Rabbit Run by John Updike

Laura Ingalls Wilder did not even make the list of top 100, but I still hold her as my favorite character. What is yours?


Dec 11 2008

The Strongest Link

by Jimmy L

The linked short story collection is a literary form that has largely flown under the radar.  We know what a novel is, and we know what a short story is too.  So what is this “linked short story” thing?  Well, it’s sort of a middle ground between the two.  A linked short story collection tells a big-picture story, but does it through a collection of short stories.  These stories may have similar characters or locations, but each one can stand on its own and be read as a short story as well.  The best of both worlds?  You decide.  Here are a few linked short story collections the library owns:

Have you read any books in this genre?  If so, please share in the comments section.

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Sep 29 2008

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

by Nolan R

What do Their Eyes were Watching God, As I Lay Dying, A Farewell to Arms, The Bluest Eye, Slaughterhouse Five, Invisible Man, The Color Purple, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Call of the Wild all have in common? They’re all on a list of classic literature?  Best novels of the 20th century?  Books you struggled to finish in English class?  Possibly.  But one thing they do have in common is the fact that they have all been challenged or even banned from some libraries and schools.

This week is Banned Books Week, and we’d like to take some time to explain the history of Banned Books Week, give a few examples, and talk about some of our favorite “banned” books.

Why celebrate it?  Banned Books Week, first recognized in 1982, is observed during the last week of September. According to the American Library Association website, “Banned Books Week emphasizes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.”

Have books really been banned?  Most “banned” books are actually “challenged” books, which means that someone made a complaint about them.  A challenge is a request to remove a book from a library or school; a banned book is a book that is actually removed due to a challenge.  Generally, most challenged books are not ultimately banned.

Who challenges books?  Lots of people, for lots of reasons, although parents are generally listed as the top challengers.  Those challenging books have good intentions–they usually want to protect someone from something that conflicts with their beliefs.

Want to learn more?  Check out the BBW or ALA, or befriend BBW on Facebook or MySpace.  Don’t forget to check back here throughout the week for more information on banned and challenged books.

What’s my favorite banned book?  There are a lot of good titles on the lists, but one of my favorites is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.


Nov 21 2007

Remembering Deep Roots

by Heather O

Native American literature has transformed from the realm of oral storytelling to a unique blend of modern literature that never forgets its traditions. Below is a selected list of contemporary Native American Literature for Adults within the DeKalb County Public Library system and in no order:

N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa): House Made of Dawn -winner of 1969 Pulitzer Prize
James Welch (Blackfoot-Gros Venture): Fools Crow
Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe): The Trickster of Liberty: Tribal Heirs to a Wild Baronage
Linda Hogan (Chicaksaw) Mean Spirit
Joy Harjo (Muskogee-Creek): A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales
Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna Pueblo): Voice of the Turtle -collection
Michael Dorris: A Yellow Raft in Blue Water
Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo): Gardens in the Dunes, Ceremony -currently only availible in audio
Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo): Men on the Moon: Collected Short Stories
Louise Erdrich (Anishinaabe): Master Butchers Singing Club, The Painted Drum
Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene): The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and even a Young Adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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