Library Happenings

Dani Buehler
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Why doesn’t Wonder Woman win the Oscar? 

In movie land, it seems there are the cultured, witty, artistic films that tackle the big social issues of our day, the award winners, and then there are the good movies…ha ha (I couldn’t resist). No, but seriously, there are the blockbuster movies that everyone sees and loves, and then award season comes around and they are nowhere to be seen. Instead, we hear praise for movies we may have never heard of before. To be fair, the winners are usually tremendous films, and I am not trying to detract from their worth. I am merely trying to recognize the often-overlooked merit in popular art.

The same tendency to omit the mainstream can also be seen in literature. We have the awarded books, with prizes like Pulitzer and Man Booker in adult land, and the likes of Newbery and Caldecott in kid land. Again, these are usually great books, but are often not the most sought after or read titles. 

The reason this quandary is rolling around in my head is because of an interaction with a patron I recently had (and it’s award season). This patron divulged they were looking for a “good” book. And by good, they meant not another wild fantasy book (the genre they loved), but a book that had “substance.” To which I responded, “But fantasy books are good books.” Even if the social issues addressed are wrapped up in dragon scales or magical machines, it doesn’t deter from a book’s substance. 

The equation “popular equals rubbish” cannot be supported. If a book makes you think, encourages empathy, presents a new idea, or shows you how to love, how could it ever be anything but good. Just like Wonder Woman speaks to our shared experience as she seeks out justice with her Lasso of Truth (don’t we all wish we had one of those these days), “Harry Potter” resonates within our cultural psyche and shows us how to care for each other and stand for the good.

In honor of the good, the bad and the books we can’t get enough of, I humbly offer up this list of fantastic fantasy, superlative suspense and alluring affairs to be awarded “The Good Bad” books. Beginning with “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki: This narrative plays with time and focuses on those individuals who reside just outside of the time we all agree upon. “The Jumbies” by Tracey Baptiste is a romping juvenile suspense full of Caribbean folklore and thrilling characters. The “Akata Witch” series by Nnedi Okorafor is full of fantasy few have yet to experience. Okorafor’s protagonist is an albino teen girl in West Africa, where the belief these individuals possess powers persists. Using this cultural reality, Okorafor creates a fantastic modern myth. The “Magnus Chase” series not only explores Celtic mythology, but also offers a voice often under-represented in literature, a homeless protagonist. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo -- now all I can say about this little nugget of gold is to think of it as “Ocean’s Eleven” meets “Game of Thrones”…oh yeah, it’s that good.


New Youth titles

“Floaty” by John Himmelman; “Kate Who Tamed the Wind” by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon; “Jenny’s Winter Walk” by Gisele Shardlow; “Pass the Ball, Mo” by David Adler; “Dog Man and Cat Kid” by Dav Pilkey; “I’m Just No Good at Rhyming” by Chris Harris; “Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos” by Monica Brown; “Language of Thorns” by Leigh Bardugo; “Warrior Genius” by Michael Dante DiMartino; “Traitor to the Throne” by Alwyn Hamilton; and “Thunderhead” by Neal Shusterman.


Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, March 15, at 2 p.m. in the Library upstairs meeting room. Meetings are open to the public.


Public meeting

Let’s look forward to the Library’s future together. The Library Board of Trustees and Director KellyAnne Terry will host a public meeting on Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room. This public meeting provides the community an opportunity to review the 2017 Patron Survey results and participate in the strategic planning process.


Save the date

The Library is excited to announce the annual Author Dinner will feature Mark Sullivan on Wednesday, May 16, at the Elk’s Club. Sullivan is a thriller and historical fiction writer residing in southwest Montana. This event begins at 5 p.m. with a social hour and silent auction. A catered dinner is served at 6 p.m. and Mark Sullivan will speak at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available in April at the Library or from Trustee members. Save the date for the Library’s annual author dinner and social event of the year.


VHS collection

Come get your free VHS movie. The Library is currently discarding the VHS collection. Designated VHSes are free on a first come basis. Drop by the front desk and inquire.


Library hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday – Friday and Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. We are closed Sunday and Monday. Contact us by phone at 538-5212, or e-mail “Like” us on Facebook to keep current on our happenings. Our card catalog may be viewed on our webpage,, as well as the Montana Memory Project and Montana Library2Go to access our downloadable audio books and eBooks.


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