Banned Books Week 2018


Celebrate your freedom to read! Banned Books Week, which falls on September 23-29 this year, aims to bring attention to the problem of censorship. Each year hundreds of books are challenged in schools, bookstores and libraries for a wide variety of reasons. Last year alone, 416 books were either challenged or banned.

Censorship is a slippery slope. Once someone succeeds in having one book banned, for any reason, other people can argue for the banning of more books until we completely lose our freedom of unrestricted access to information.

Below are the five most challenged books of 2017, all of which can be borrowed from the JMRL catalog. For more information on Banned Books Week, visit

1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing 13 cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier – Designing sets for her middle school’s play, Callie tries to overcome limited carpentry skills, low ticket sales and squabbling crew members only to find her efforts further complicated by the arrival of two cute brothers. Continue reading

Books for Know-It-Alls

The Know-It-All series is perfect for readers who are on a quest to learn as much as possible about a particular subject in a short amount of time. Each book dissects its topic into the 50 most significant ideas at its heart and explains them in 300 words and a picture. If one of these topics interests you, you can check out the Know-It-All guide from your local library:

Know-It-All Anthropology edited by Simon Underdown – Examines the roots of our common humanity, the diversity of cultures and world-views, the organization of social relations and practices, and future directions of the study of humankind.

Know-It-All Biology edited by Nick Battey & Mark Fellowes – Tackles the vital science of life, dissecting the major theories of our ecosystems and ourselves.

Know-It-All Chemistry edited by Nivaldo Tro – Brings the science of matter out of the lab and boils it down to its essential elements.

Know-It-All Classical Music edited by Dr. Joanne Cormac – A guide to understanding the creative journey taken by classical music from the Middle Ages to the modern era.

Know-It-All Energy edited by Brian Clegg – Explores energy in all its forms, from the nuclear fusion reactor at the heart of the sun to the elusive dark energy which makes up most of the content of the universe.

Know-It-All Fashion edited by Rebecca Arnold – Provides an engrossing crash course of the modern fashion industry, from haute couture to high street, from catwalk to street style, and from glossy magazine to online blog. Continue reading

Books on Embroidery

Embroidery Books - Blog Post Header

Embroidery allows you to add personality to many different objects around the home or in the closet. Whether you’re just getting started with embroidery or trying to hone your stitching skills, these books are available from the library to give you tips and inspiration:

Hoop Dreams: Modern Hand Embroidery by Cristin Morgan – Outlines the basics of 10 classic embroidery stitches and then teaches readers how to use them to create 20 beautiful and practical projects for hoops, for the home, and to wear.

Embroider Your Life by Nathalie Mornu – With 150 motifs designed by popular embroidery artists selected from Instagram and Etsy, learn the simplest embroidery stitches and techniques, and see the creative ways the motifs can be used to personalize a variety of items.

Modern Cross Stitch by Hannah Sturrock – Shares over 30 contemporary patterns for decorating and adding a personal touch to clothing, gifts, toys, furniture, and more.

Simply Stitched with Appliqué by Yumiko Higuchi – Learn how to use felt, cotton, and linen to create beautifully layered designs (inspired by nature) full of texture and contrast, then embellish with just a handful of basic embroidery stitches.

Boho Embroidery by Nichole Vogelsinger – Teaches readers how to create 16 embroidery stitches, followed by bohemian-style designs and projects that range from small and simple to collaged and complex.

The Mr. X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch by Jamie Chalmers – Shows the basics of how to cross stitch using simple step-by-step instructions and then introduces more than 20 projects to make with urban flavors and the introduction of different materials such as glow-in-the-dark threads and stitching on metal.

Stitch Camp: 18 Crafty Projects for Kids & Tweens by Nicole Blum – Provides step-by-step instructions for completing six textile crafts, offering three projects for each task, including an art pillow, phone sweater, cord-slung backpack, and beaded key fob or necklace.