Kelly Strom

Kelly Strom

Kelly Strom | It's the time of the year for beach reads

I read a lot of books, and I do look forward to the summertime when I get to indulge in some stereotypical "beach reads." Before going away on vacation last week, I took the opportunity to pick up some books with irresistible titles. Fortunately for me, they turned out to be delightfully sweet and funny.

Kelly Strom | Books offer home-project ideas

It seems I wait all winter for the weather to be nice enough to work outside. Besides the hours I spend gardening, I also enjoy making things and upcycling items for the indoors and out. We have many new books at the library with ideas and instructions to create your own masterpiece.

Kelly Strom | Gentle Reads for a sweet summer day

There is a genre of fiction books called Gentle Reads which may be of interest to some of our customers.

Kelly Strom | The mystery of the Romanovs

In Russia in March of 1917, citizens and soldiers were staging protests and razing royal properties. Fearing a grand-scale Russian revolution, Tsar Nicholas II agreed to abdicate his throne to settle the crowds and bring peace back to the country.

That plan didn't work out, as the tsar, his wife and five children were exiled and kept hidden, under house arrest for more than a year.

Kelly Strom | Great book covers many important life lessons

Starting off with a compelling story of Greer Kadetsky, the only child of former hippies, "The Female Persuasion" by Meg Wolitzer has a lot more to say than the story of Greer's upbringing and march to adulthood.

Kelly Strom | Anniversaries to remember

This Memorial Day weekend, do more than have a barbeque and watch the Indy 500. Take some time to reflect on the sacrifices that others have made to ensure that you live in a free country. This year provides us with a number of anniversaries of important events that have influenced our world today. There have been a number of books released in the last year that mark these occasions.

Kelly Strom | Fantastic reads have unusual formats

I find it refreshing to occasionally read a book with a somewhat unusual structure, cadence or premise. I admire the authors who can mold this idea into an engaging storyline. In the past, I've mentioned "Love, Rosie" by Cecelia Ahern as an example of this, as the whole book is made up of letters between two lifelong friends.

Kelly Strom | Stories about sisters and secrets

My sister is moving to Champaign this weekend. As exciting as that is, it prompted me to read some books about sisters — but with a suspenseful twist. Because sisters know how to keep secrets.

"Sometimes I Lie" by Alice Feeney has a compelling start: "My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I'm in a coma.

Kelly Strom | Stories with fictional librarians

We've just ended another fantastic National Library Week here in Champaign. We've had an author visit, musical performances, radio broadcasts, displays, story times and a painting party. Thank you to everyone in the community who helped us celebrate the values of libraries.

Kelly Strom | The dark and the light

The books discussed today are very different. They do have one thing in common, in that they both feature themes of the very ends of the spectrum of darkness and light in society.