Category Archives: Content

Page to Screen: Halloween Edition

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

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If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives are filled with bad luck and misery. This makes many of their adventures very unfortunate indeed.

 

Circque du Freak by Darren Shan

 
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Young Darren Shan goes to a freak show with his friend one night and makes a decision that night which will change his life forever, dragging him unwillingly into the dark world of the Cirque du Freak.

Horns by Joe Hill

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(NOT FAMILY FRIENDLY)

Ignatius Perrish woke up with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples that make everyone tell him their darkest secrets, whether they want to or not.

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Librarians Recommend: N0S4A2

Katie Recommends: N0S4A2 by Joe Hill

images.duckduckgo.com.jpg Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. Manx and his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith who likes to transport children to the astonishing — and terrifying–“Christmasland.” That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Come for the characters, stay for the plot; Hill is not afraid to write flawed, yet compelling characters and woo boy does Vic have flaws. But then, so does Lou, the geeky, overweight biker who finds Vic by the side of the road and takes her to safety. Or Maggie, the baddass, stuttering librarian who helps Vic find her son. And Wayne, of course, who has inherited his mother’s survival instincts and world class stubbornness, good traits to have when you’ve been kidnapped by… whatever Manx is.

Each character feels like someone you could meet around town, which is what makes Hill’s horror work so well. You get so dang attached to these people. Couple this with Hill’s subtle, down-to-earth writing style and you have a book that’s hard to forget. Five years after reading I can still hear the visceral sounds the text conjured for a struggle in the book, in which Wayne watches Manx and Vic brawl. That snap literally made me gasp in surprise.

This book has a lot going on; it spans pretty much Vic’s whole life, with chapters from the point of view of every character listed above, and then some. Everything interweaves so tightly, though, that it never feels bloated, repetitive, or overwrought. Complex though the narrative is, Hill somehow manages to make it simple to follow from start to finish and beyond.

This book is a great gateway into horror books (it was one of my very first forays into the genre), and if you’re already a fan, there are all manner of Easter Eggs from Hill’s other work, as well as references to locales like Pennywise’s Circus and Shawshank Prison. If you’re looking for a book to get you into the Halloween Spirit, look no further than N0S4A2. It certainly won’t disappoint.

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Spooky Books to Read!!!

It’s time to break out the spooky reads! You may think we’re all happy, bubbly stories here at RML, but you’d be surprised what darkness lurks in our stacks…

(Click on the covers for book summaries, etc)

For the littlest ones:

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For beginning readers:

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For the young adult audience:

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For the adults out there:

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And as a bonus:

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Hey, maybe one of these could be a recommendation for All Hallow’s Read?

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Review Roundup: Since We Fell

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Since we Fell by Dennis Lehane

Rachel Childs is a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths.

The New York Times says:

Rachel works extremely well as the focus of the book. Lehane has always written wrenching female characters into his stories, and he has no trouble giving center stage to one.

Booklist says:

A lot of thrillers boast twisty plots, but Lehane plies his corkscrew on more than the story line. The mood and pace of the novel change directions, too, jumping from thoughtful character study to full-on suspense thriller, like a car careening down San Francisco’s Lombard Street, cautiously at one moment, hell-bent at another. But this narrative vehicle never veers out of control, and when Lehane hits the afterburners in the last 50 pages, he produces one of crime fiction’s most exciting and well-orchestrated finales—rife with dramatic tension and buttressed by rich psychological interplay between the characters.

The Boston Globe says:

Hollywood will love it — there is much to admire and filmmakers are not bound by the book when it comes to creating atmosphere. Some readers, however, especially fans, may feel different

So, what did you think? Is this book worth reading? Are you excited for the movie? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

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Audiobook Recommendations

Narrators either make or break an audiobook. If you’ve only ever had bad luck with audio, try some of these readers to get you out of that rut:

Robin Miles
Listening to Miles is like listening to a full cast recording – every character has a different accent, a different tone of voice. Her reading is so rich that it can be hard to turn her audiobooks off.

Some of the books she narrates:

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Will Patton
Not every guy can read female characters in a way that sounds realistic, but Patton can definitely pull it off, even for characters singing nonsense songs. He’s got a surprisingly varied catalog of works, too, so there’s something for anyone trying to get into the genre.

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Jim Dale
The man best known for bringing the Harry Potter books to audio, Jim Dale is one of the titans of YA audiobooks. While he might not be as versitile as the above readers, he has a lovely voice, and his style feels very much like story hour at your local library or school If you’re a YA addict, or are just looking for some lighter, more action-packed books to add to your day, give his work a try.

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All of the books listed are available through the Green Mountain Library Consortium. Each book cover above is linked to its download page.  Just sign in under the Russell Memorial Library with your FULL card number to borrow the audiobooks, (if they haven’t already been checked out by someone else):

Russell Library Number: XXX
FULL Library Card Number (for use online): 2v6td000000XXX

For more details on why you have two different library card numbers, see our Audio and E-Books tab.

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Librarians Recommend: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Debbie Recommends: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

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Arthur Pepper comes from the same kind of world as Harold Fry and the Man from Ove; every day he wears his grey slacks and mustard sweater vest and waters his fern. Everything’s fine until he discovers a gold charm bracelet as he’s going through his wife’s things a year after his death and it leads him on a journey to discover the story behind each charm.

Such a comforting book with a sweet story that’s just so nice and hopeful. I liked that this crotchety old man was finally coming out of his shell after so long mourning, and how the bracelet charms made him view his wife in such a different light because of what he learned from them. I like stories where older characters aren’t just crotchety up until they die, but where they can still grow and change and learn–this book is such a wonderful example of that.

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Page to Screen

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

In Theatres: November 17th

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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Why yes, that is Oprah on the cover.

Henrietta Lacks, as HeLa, is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death.

This is the story of her, her family, and the cells that changed modern medicine as we know it.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive.

The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

This is their story.

In theaters: Now!

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