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September marks the 100th birthday of influential African-American author Richard Wright. Born on September 4, 1908, Wright revolutionized the literary landscape with his depictions of African American culture, paving the way for future writers.

What is mud, anyway? Mud can be wet soil, but the best, squishiest, ozziest mud puddles are wet clay. Clay is made of minerals (rocks are made of minerals, too).

I love mud. It's a sunscreen so I don't burn my nose or tail. Mosquitoes can't bite me. But best of all, mud can be made into mud pies, mud cupcakes, and mud strudel. I can make mud paintings and mud sculptures. People make houses and buildings out of mud. Adobe bricks are made of sand, clay, sticks, and straw. The bricks dry and harden in the sun. In ancient times, large temples and even whole cities were made from mud bricks.

A whole town is too much for a pig--but I'd really like a mud igloo someday.

Yours with snorts,
S. Will Burr signature

Saddle up for Kansas City’s American Royal, running from September through November. On September 16, 2008 at the Plaza Branch, Dr. Jim Hoy gave a presentation inspired in part by Western novelist Louis L’Amour’s legacy entitled American Icon: The Enduring Appeal of the Cowboy. Check out a few books by Jim Hoy, enjoy a few classic cowboy novels, or discover a recent award-winning Western.

Books by Jim Hoy | Cowboys | Award-winning Westerns

Books by Dr. Jim Hoy

Flint Hills Cowboys book jacket

Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales From the Tallgrass Prairie

By Jim Hoy
This 2007 Kansas Notable Book tells the story of exemplary cowboys from the rugged hills. These stories run from the late 19th through the mid-20th century and they are told by a scholar who is one of them.

Dr. Dale Herspring discussed his book Rumsfeld's Wars: The Arrogance of Power at the Central Library on September 11, 2008. Learn more about the man who served as the U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2001-06 under President George W. Bush or read a book about recent or current U.S. foreign relations.

Books by Dale Herspring | Donald Rumsfeld | Recent U.S. Foreign Relations

Books by Dale Herspring

book jacket

Rumsfeld's Wars: The Arrogance of Power
By Dale Herspring
Dale Herspring, a political conservative and lifelong Republican, offers a nonpartisan assessment of Rumsfeld's impact on the U.S. military establishment from 2001 to 2006, focusing especially on the Iraq War – from the decision to invade through the development and execution of operational strategy and the enormous failures associated with the postwar reconstruction of Iraq.

On September 9, 2008 at the Central Library, Steven Pinker discussed his book The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. Check out other books by this two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize or a few books that explore the philosophy of language.

Books by Steven Pinker | Philosophy of Language

Books by Steven Pinker

book jacket

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
By Steven Pinker
Bestselling author Pinker marries two of the subjects he knows best: language and human nature. The result is a fascinating look at how words explain human nature.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
By Steven Pinker
Widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on language and the workings of the mind, Pulitzer Prize finalist Pinker has undertaken an ambitious and controversial work – a reexamination of the concept of human nature.

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