Information, Answers & Reviews

Exit West

Several books use the concept of a magical door to provide characters entry into other worlds, or to better places in this one. Exit West, a timely novel about refugees by Man Booker Prize winner Mohsin Hamid, employs this device—but because of the power of his plotting and beauty of his prose, it's highly believable.

The novel begins when a young man, Saeed, meets Nadia in an adult evening class in an unnamed country at some point in the near future. Civil war wracks the country; terrorists and militants roam the streets.

Language Learning Your Way

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PHOTO: JOOMLATOOLS

Learning a language for the first time, or brushing up on one you already know—the Library has all you need to make your journey as easy as possible. We offer a variety of resources, including books, audiobooks, apps, and in-person classes, to meet the needs of different learning styles (including for people learning English, through VITAL, the Library's adult education unit). 

Limestone Month Activities

Sample from Victor Oolitic Stone CompanyDid you know that the Empire State Building is built with limestone from Monroe County?  The Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Circle in Indianapolis, the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, Tribune Tower in Chicago, the Lincoln Memorial in D.C., and a host of other buildings and statues, including our own Library Bears—all use limestone from local quarries.  You can travel all over the country to see some of these amazing creations—or you can stay right here in Monroe County, and enjoy a perfectly awe-inspiring view of beautifully crafted stonework.

Hillbilly Elegy

Many in the media and politics keep trying to figure out why our new President attracts so many Rust Belt and Appalachian voters. This memoir of a young man’s coming of age in both regions may offer some insight.

At only thirty-one, J.D. Vance admits he's way too young to have penned a memoir. He hasn’t done anything extraordinary (though he did graduate from Yale Law School, a major accomplishment for a kid from a single-parent home in a working-class town in Ohio, where many did not finish high school).

Vance writes most vividly of Jackson, his dirt-poor but beautiful ancestral home in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. He also describes his people: a great-grandmother who once killed someone, and his own Mamaw who often threatens to do the same to her husband when he comes home drunk. In fact, J.D. relates, one night he saves his Pawpaw after Mamaw poured gasoline over him and lights a match.

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