Books and Beyond

Welcome to Books and Beyond -- the Des Moines Public Library’s new blog for adults! Here you’ll find details about library events and other happenings around Des Moines. We’ll also keep you updated on the library’s newest technology, resources and services. Check in regularly for book, movie and music information, to get a book recommendation, including Blurbs from the Backlist, or to read the latest news on libraries, authors, books and beyond!

Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

Cover of "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt

Winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award for journalism and arts in the U.S., were announced today. Named for newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, the awards began in 1917 and are announced every April. Winners of 21 awards are chosen by the Pulitzer Prize board and announced by the President of Columbia University. Winners of 20 of the categories receive $10,000 and a certificate.

After Gone Girl

Cover of He's Gone by Deb Caletti

Have you ever finished a book so quickly that you wish you could go back and read it (minus the spoilers) again? That's how I felt when I read Gone Girl. I read it so fast and liked it so much, I just wanted to read it again. So what did I do? Well, first I read everything else that Gillian Flynn wrote. That took up another few days, and then I had to start looking for new authors and read-alikes. That's when the library comes in handy!

A Year of Reading Sharon

Bookmark for "A Year of Reading Sharon"

If you’ve visited one of the Des Moines Public Library locations recently, you may have seen a bookmark for “A Year of Reading Sharon.” The story behind this bookmark is lovely — it celebrates friendship, love and a passion for reading. In December 2012, just two months after being diagnosed with cancer, Sharon Kurns passed away. Sharon was an avid reader — she enjoyed just about any genre and read a variety of formats, including books, audiobooks and E-books.

Winter Reading Wrap-Up

Cover of "The Impossible Knife of Memory"

The Winter Reading Program is complete! I wish the end of the program also meant the end of winter, but sadly, it doesn’t. However, I hear we may have some warm weather soon, so hopefully the of winter is near. We had some great reviews and were thrilled that you wanted to share your reading with us. I posted the first week’s reviews a few weeks ago and now I have the rest of the submitted reviews to share with you. Enjoy and thanks to everyone who participated!

Winter Reading Program: Week 5 Winner

Cover image of "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte

Another week of winter, another blizzard, another perfect time to curl up with a good book! We’ve finished Week 5 of the Winter Reading Program, which means there is only ONE week left to participate. I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there who have spent at least a little time this winter with a good book — so tell us about it by submitting a review! All reviews must be submitted by 12 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28 to be eligible to win. Here is this week’s winning review:

Winter Reading Program: Week 4 Winner

Book cover for "A Game of Thrones" by George R. R. Martin

I woke up to snow falling two mornings this week! If this hasn't been the perfect winter to stay home and read, I don't know what is. I hear we may have some warmer weather next week, but there are still two more weeks to participate in the Winter Reading Program. Keep reading and keep sending us your reviews! Thanks to everyone who has participated so far! Here is this week's winner:

Winter Reading Program: Week 3 Winner

Cover image for "Object Lessons: The Paris Review presents the Art of the Short Story"

We’re halfway through the Winter Reading Program! After three weeks, we’ve had some great reviews and recommendations. This week has been a doozy — lots of snow, cold temperatures and no promise of a reprieve anytime soon.  That means it’s the perfect time to stay in and curl up with a good book. Week 4 started today at noon and goes until next Friday — plenty of time to read and review. Enjoy!

Here is this week's winning review:


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