Book Hunters

Book Hunters in Brief #82: Pluto!

Pluto was my favorite planet even before it was demoted to a planetoid by some heartless poindexter with an ax to grind. I mean, the ninth planet always seemed like my kind of place: cold and dark, with very little in the way of tourism and telemarketing. The fact that it is by all accounts completely devoid of Kardashians is, for me, just icing on that little ball of ice. Pluto's downgrade just solidified my affections. It's not often a person like me can relate to a heavenly body of any sort, but when Pluto was kicked off the team because it was too small, too slow, and not good-looking enough. I, like a lot of people, knew exactly how it felt.

Book Hunters in Brief #80: Historical Fiction for the 4th of July

This being Houston, Texas, it's been hot since about Valentine's Day, but for me it's not really summer until the fireworks go up on the Fourth of July. That's when "It's too dang hot" becomes an acceptable excuse for avoiding any number of unpleasant chores, and doing any at all besides sipping tall cool drinks, your feet resting on a 20,000 BTU AC while you methodically work down through a big stack of books is not only ill-advised--it's very nearly insane.

Book Hunters in Brief #79: Harry Potter's First Publication Anniversary

A lot of us grew up with Harry Potter--literally. That was part J.K. Rowling's genius; her character's aged in a fairly good facsimile of real time right along with her target audience. Another part of her genius was not just the originality and charm of the world she imagined, but it's completeness. We stepped into the world of Harry Potter and it was both strange and oddly familiar--much like the world we live in--only more full of possibilities, more morally well-defined, more fun.

Book Hunters in Brief #76: Superheroes for Super Summer Reading!

The sun is out (for a change) and school is almost out. So, here at HCPL, our minds turn to Summer Reading 2015. We have programs for babies, kids, teens and adults, along with fun events at all our branches, cool incentives and drawings for some hot prizes for everyone who reaches the reading goals.

Book Hunters in Brief #74: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

This week, the Book Hunters want to celebrate the contributions to American culture made by people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. And there are plenty. Consider this: were it not for Asian Americans, this land of capitalism with a capital "C" would have no tycoons. Then, consider this: our Marines wouldn't be gung ho. And this: we would have no cousins living out in the boondocks. And finally consider this: without the contributions of Asian Americans, we wouldn't even have that most American of vegetables: ketchup.

Book Hunters in Brief #73: Mother's Day

Mothers. If we all weren't born with one, someone would have had to invent them. Who else would have put up with your terrible twos and your even terrible-er teens? Who else would remind you to put on your helmet every single, solitary time you got on your bike, so that on the one occasion you really needed it, you had it on? Who else would have read Honey Bunny Funnybunny to you every night for a month and a half when you were three without complaint?

Book Hunters in Brief #71: Jazz Appreciation Month

From the 1920s well into the 1950s, the soundtrack of life in this country was jazz in various forms, and why not? The American Century needed its distinctly American music, and jazz is just that. Its deepest and strongest roots may be in Africa, but it was the intertwining of those roots with European traditions that made jazz what it is. It is the music of the "Melting Pot." For every Armstrong and Ellington there was a Beiderbecke and Goodman. To say jazz is "as American as Apple Pie" is to undersell its American-ness. It could not have come to be anywhere else.

Book Hunters in Brief #70: National Library Week

This year, National Library Week's theme is "Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library," Now, let's face it, most of these National [Insert noun here] Weeks overstate by half the importance of the thing they celebrate--yes, oatmeal is an important part of a balanced breakfast, but the fact is that you could replace it with any number of cereal grains and life would go on, more or less, unchanged. That is not the case with our nation's public libraries.

Book Hunters in Brief #69: Dome, Sweet Dome

Sure, maybe it's not the "8th Wonder of the World" anymore. Heck, it might not even crack the top 20. But for many years, it was a very visible symbol of Houston's innovative, space-age aspirations. It is a part of our history, and it is worth celebrating. So raise a plastic cup of Dome Foam and dig into some of these dome-related titles.

Book Hunters in Brief #69: Dome, Sweet Dome

Sure, maybe it's not the "8th Wonder of the World" anymore. Heck, it might not even crack the top 20. But for many years, it was a very visible symbol of Houston's innovative, space-age aspirations. It is a part of our history, and it is worth celebrating. So raise a plastic cup of Dome Foam and dig into some of these dome-related titles.

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