Kelly Strom

Kelly Strom

Kelly Strom | New details about the lasting effects of The Troubles

The brilliant nonfiction book "Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland," by Patrick Radden Keefe, begins with a description of the John J. Burns Library on the campus of Boston College, stating "With its stone spire and stained glass, it looks very much like a church."

Kelly Strom | You can't trust anyone in these thrillers

With the popularity of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" in 2012, tales of unreliable narrators and domestic subterfuge have been running rampant through the publishing world. And I, for one, have been reading as many as I can get my hands on.

Kelly Strom | A Big Read invitation

In cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Spurlock Museum and several other local agencies, the Champaign Public Library has been participating in culturing programming with The Big Read.

A national program, The Big Read chooses a title, then invites community members from all over to read the book, discuss it and join in various affiliated activities and events.

Kelly Strom | Grisham's latest book once again shows he's a master storyteller

In a state that is considered one of the poorest and least educated states in the country, Mississippi has produced an impressive array of Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as those honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nobel Prize and the National Book Award.

Kelly Strom | Hidden identities keep readers entertained

It's been shown in history — and literature — that, at times, certain people are just not who their friends think they are. In fact, some of the best books from recent times pivot on the fact that any number of people carry hidden identities. The quest becomes figuring it all out before disaster strikes.

Kelly Strom | Join a book club in 2019

A new year and a new purpose! Besides the usual efforts to lose weight, abolish bad habits or travel more, try joining a book club.

There are lots of independent book clubs in the Champaign area, including two here at our library for adults.

Kelly Strom | How to bake sweet treats for the holidays

"Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy" — Mary Berry

A well-known writer of over 70 cookbooks and a co-host of the "Great British Bake-Off," Mary Berry knows of what she speaks. To me, running your hands through a flour mixture, or kneading dough, is akin to planting a garden.

Kelly Strom | Family dinner parties can get tense

Well, you've made it through another Thanksgiving. Hopefully the food was delicious and the company was enjoyable. I have a co-worker at the library who stated that he was going to try to cook his 25-pound turkey in the crockpot. I can't imagine how that turned out! Besides Thanksgiving, we have family dinner parties for a number of occasions.

Kelly Strom | Books look at varied moods of the holidays

It's the time of year that is filled with the juxtaposition of love and hate. We love all of the holiday food but hate the extra poundage. We love buying gifts for others but hate the commercialism. We love seeing loved ones but hate the stress that comes with it.

I have pulled two books that address some of these things but in different ways.

Kelly Strom | Ease your way into frightening reads

There is only so much that people can tolerate. Are you frightened of the children's "Goosebumps" books, or can you make it up to Edgar Allan Poe? Is Ray Bradbury enough for you, or do you crave the horrors of Dathan Auerbach and Ramsey Campbell? We all have our limits of discomfort.