Books Blog

Creator of Encyclopedia Brown Dies

Donald Sobol

All summer long, my son has been on an Encyclopedia Brown kick – reading every book about the boy detective that the library owns.  The stories about the clever kid who solves mysteries with his brains are interesting and fun, and my son loves to read them out loud – and challenge me to figure things out before Encyclopedia does.  I never do.  And so it was with great sadness that we heard that Donald Sobol, the author of this beloved series, died this week at 87.

According to the New York Times obituary, Mr. Sobol wrote 28 Encyclopedia Brown books through the years, the last one just before he died.  Fortunately, we can look forward to reading Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme this October.


With summer in full swing, many folks are taking family road trips and vacations, or looking for new ways to keep out-of-school children occupied and engaged at home. One great solution is to check out some awesome audiobooks from your local DPL branch!

This alternative format is a big hit for keeping kids occupied during long trips or on hot summer days, as well as helping kids who may not be completely comfortable with reading independently to enjoy the experience of books. While it may seem somewhat counterintuitive, audiobooks actually promote children’s  literacy. They do this by modeling correct pronunciation and fluent reading, expanding vocabulary, offering children with differing abilities and learning styles the opportunity to get engaged with books, and, most importantly, improving children’s listening skills.

Yes, Chef?

Yes, Chef

One of the summer's hottest memoirs is Marcus Samuelsson's Yes, Chef. If you want another culinary memoir to read while you're waiting for this highly acclaimed book, check out some of these other tales of cooking education & life in the kitchen.

Life, On the Line, Grant Achatz

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School, Kathleen Flinn

Out of the Frying Pan: A Chef's Memoir of Hot Kitchens, Single Motherhood, and the Family Meal, Gillian Clark

Authors Series: Laurie Wagner Buyer & WC Jameson, Sunday!

Colorado Treasure Tales

The Fresh City Life My Branch Authors Series presents husband and wife authors Laurie Wagner Buyer and W.C. Jameson on Sunday, July 15 at 2 p.m. at the Schlessman Family Branch.

Buyer & Jameson will talk about their books about the west! Jameson's latest book is the adventure memoir Treasure Hunter: Caches, Curses, and Deadly Confrontations. Buyer is the author of 6 collections of poetry, the novel Side Canyons, and two memoirs, Spring's Edge: A Ranch Wife's Chronicles, and When I Came West.

Get Groovy with Pete the Cat

Book jacket of Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Calling all Pete the Cat fans! Put on your white shoes and head over to the Green Valley Ranch Branch on Monday, July 9 at 10:30 am to meet Eric Litwin, author of the Pete the Cat picture books.

Sing and dance along with Mr. Eric as he plays guitar and harmonica and shares his musical stories. While fun for all ages, Mr. Eric is a sure-fire hit with the preschool set.

A former classroom teacher, Mr. Eric has performed at Lincoln Center and at schools and libraries across the country. He is the winner of a Parents Choice Award and currently has two books on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Get in the mood for Mr. Eric's visit by checking out these titles:

Are you dreaming of white?

Blood and Ice by Robert Masello

Are you dreaming of snow? Wishing that winter was a bit closer? Here are a couple thrillers sure to chill you to the bone!

  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • A family of off-season caretakers get snowed-in, but does the danger come from without or within? Chill out with this classic King novel.

    A group of Antarctic explorers discover something unexpected in the ice but will any of them survive to tell the tale?

DPL staff item reviews are here

Looking for that next great read, flick, or band? Look no further! DPL staff is now sharing their expertise and experience with book, movie, and music reviews. Head over to to get our informed staff's opinions on what to read next - or what not to read.

Once you get to the Reviews starting page, there are a number of ways you can find great reviews. We recommend starting by browsing by type of material - look for the most recent reviews, highest DPL-rated items, and most discussed - or browse by genre. If you're looking for something more specific, try a keyword search on the left side of the page.

Write to Win!

Review books on the Summer of Reading website from Friday, June 22 through Monday, July 30 and you could have a chance to win prizes including an iPod Shuffle!

Here are some questions to think about when writing your book review:

The Plot & Characters
Is the story exciting and believable? Is it a story you can get involved in? Are the people in the story believable? Are you interested in finding out about them? Can you picture the characters in your mind?

Is it a Good Read?
Once you’ve read the beginning, does it make you want to read more? How do the characters talk to each other? Does it seem real?

What it Looks Like?

Two “Big C’s”: Cancer and Communes. Great Summer Reading. I’m Not Kidding.

the fault in our stars

I’m reading this great book. It’s so hilarious that I’m literally snorting with laughter.
What’s it about?
(long, uncomfortable silence)

It’s also touching, and tragic, so keep the tissues handy.
I’m talking about The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It's about two teens dealing with various aspects of cancer. As with most of his books, I’m totally smitten. The banter between characters is very highbrow. I don’t know any teenagers who really talk like Green’s characters, but he’s a skilled writer and his characters are enchanting and well-developed. This is a must-read for adults and older teens.

Recommended Summer Reads

Shadow and Bone cover

All signed up for Summer of Reading but aren't sure what to read to earn those prizes? Check out these hot recently published titles that are sure to make those hours of summer reading fly by!

  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - Two friends, orphaned by war, join the battle against flesh-eating monsters. This book is gripping and hard to put down!
  • A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan - Full of romance and suspense, this book features mathematical eighteen year old genius, Digit, who is recruited by the FBI to foil a terrorist plot.
Syndicate content