Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

'Lolita,' One of the Most Influential Books of My Life

In this photograph, My Nguyen attempts to reinterpret the famed Kubrick film poster of Lolita in a contemporary office setting, while still conforming to Mies van der Rohe's architectural vision of restrained beauty and maximum simplicity. The key word here is "attempt." / Photograph by Kathryn Sigler.In an effort, gentle reader, to have something to discuss with my junior year high school crush, I did something any shy, but sensible bibliophilic 16 year-old would do:  I mimicked his reading habits. First, there were the war-torn stories of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which he toted in a clear plastic backpack. Next, it was Yusef Komonyakaa’s brilliant Dien Cai Dau, which made me crazy, too — over Komonyakaa that is. (“Dien cai dau” means "crazy in the head" in Vietnamese). And while these two works have significantly influenced the way I appreciate literature, it wasn’t until I saw my crush reading Vladamir Nabokov’s Lolita that my (puppy) love for him was eventually replaced by my (very real, very long-lasting) love for Nabokov.No book has moved me in simultaneous states of obstreperous laughter, deep sympathy, and utter revulsion as masterfully as Lolita. The writing is unarguably good—beautiful, even. The subject matter is profoundly repulsive. Indeed, it is the perverse central theme of the book that makes Plato’s indictment against poetry quite relevant: Stripped of its airs, Lolita, peppered with fancy-pants literary allusions, is nothing more than a book about a pathetic murderer and his bizarre penchant for a 12-year-old girl.

Business, Science and Tech On the Move

Changes are afoot in the Business, Science and Technology Division (Room 107).Starting July 17, adult non-fiction books and other materials, including those found in Room 107, will permanently move to the second floor, to rooms 207 and 220. The moving process will take roughly 3-4 weeks, so pardon our dust and the inconvenience while we move!

Remembering Nora Ephron

Film tribute planned for August

On June 26, 2012, readers and filmgoers everywhere lost a sparkling talent with the passing of Nora Ephron.  Her

Room-inations: The Bedroom

This is the second post in a three-part series about rooms around the house. You can read the first post, on bathrooms, here.

E-Reader Show & Tell

Thinking of buying a Kindle, but not sure which one to get? Received a Nook as a gift and not sure how to use it? Don't know the difference between an iPad and an iPod?  Are you wondering how to go about downloading books, movies, and music from the library? Help is on the way. 

Brown Bag Book Share

Starting this fall, booklovers will have a place downtown to get together and talk about books over lunch: The DC Public Library.  Readers will be able to bring their lunches, talk about their monthly reading and discover what other readers love and hate and why.  Members will share opinions about their favorites and compare notes on the hottest new titl

Super Heroics

Heroism and its Discontents

The spate of recent and upcoming superhero movies tends only to show the more successful heroes and crimefighters; your Batmans, Spider-Mans, Avengers... But what about those second- or third-tier superheroes?How about taking a look at the junior varsity superhero squad?

James & Dolley Madison's War

On June 19, 1812, President James Madison issued a proclamation to the public, declaring the United States was at war with Great Britain. The previous day, he had sent a message to Congress asking for a declaration of war.  The war would define his presidency and the new nation.

Celebrate Black Music Month with Poetry

Poet Fred Joiner Shares Musical Words

Local poet and artist Fred Joiner will choose poems from the Black Studies collection that are inspired by Black music and share some of his own music-inspired poetry.

July's Goodreads Group: Short Stories

Have you been meaning to join a book group, but can never find the time to make it to meetings? Are you an avid social media user as well as an avid reader? Do you just want to read some good books and discuss them with others?

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