Category Archives: Content

Librarians Recommend: The Glass Castle

Debbie Recommends The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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A tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

What was your favorite part?

When the reader comes to grips with the severity of the poverty that these children live in. When the kids find an abandoned house that’s filled with canned goods they are so excited because they think they’ll get food. They open them all and find they’ve all gone bad and they’re so disappointed. They learn how to forage things like crab apples, black berries, and pawpaws. The poverty they grew up in was just astounding.

Who was your favorite character?

The narrator was my favorite character because she found a way to move beyond what her childhood was and had an incredible amount of fortitude and strength to overcome

Who would you recommend this book to?

Nonfiction readers who like to know about other peoples’ lives and anyone who wants to read it before you see the movie.

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Genre Feature: Trilogies

Lots of book trilogies get turned into films these days, especially from old YA books. You may have heard of The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner or the Divergent Series, but do you know any of these non-YA trilogies we have here at the library?

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Book Review: The Witch Boy

The Witch Boy

By Molly Ostertag

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Review by: Anonymous

Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fantasy

What was your favorite part of this book?

I really liked the villain’s true back story. It was nice to see a bad guy in a kids book that wasn’t just generic bad guy #4, but who actually had a reason for taking kids and making them like him. His arc tied in really nicely with the main character as well, and his story was properly sympathetic. I hope we get more time with him in future books.

How was the art? What do you think it added to the story?

The art was gorgeous. The strange characters they used for the witches’ language were so cool, and I loved the characters’ costumes. I think Ostertag’s art really added to the whimsical nature of the book, without making it too superfluous or too scary.

Who would you recommend it to?

I would recommend this to any fan of graphic novels, especially people who like Lumberjanes or Princeless. It would also be a really good read for any kids learning about LGBT culture, since the book has such a powerful message about enforced gender roles woven subtly into its narrative.

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Meet RML: Finding Books

Our library is small, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find the books you’re looking for.

Say there’s a book you really want to try. Maybe someone told you how good Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice is and you want to find yourself a hard copy of the book. How would you go about finding it?

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Genre Feature: Long-running Series

YA series are usually clearly numbered on the spines – just look at the Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid series–but adult book series are rarely so clearly numbered. Here are a couple of the most popular adult book series currently camouflaged around our library shelves.

Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher Series

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After leaving the US Army as a major in its military police at age 36, Reacher roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations.

Each book in the series is a self-contained story, and the plot of each book relies very little on the prior books in the series.

 

 

 

Jacqueline Winspear‘s Maisie Dobbs Series

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In 1929 London, former servant Maisie Dobbs starts her own business as a psychologist and investigator in this unique and gripping historical mystery series.

 

Best to read these in order. Don’t worry – we have them all.

 

 

Louise Penny‘s Chief Inspector Gamache Series

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Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets–and facing a few of his own ghosts.

These whodunnits are perfectly fine as stand alones, if you don’t want to read the whole series. Heads up, though, that many of our regular library patrons are absolutely addicted to this series.

 

 

 

Laurie R. King‘s Marry Russell and Sherlock Holmes Series

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It is 1915, and Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees, when he meets fifteen-year-old Mary Russell—gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, with an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, 20th century Miss Russell proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective.

These can be read out of order, but do build on each other so are better in order.

 

 

Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire Series

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Sheriff Walt Longmire deals with the murders and mysteries that crop up in Wyoming’s Absaroka County.

This series is now also a TV show available on Netflix.

 

 

 

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Librarians Recommend: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Katie recommends The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

This lovely exploration of childhood through the eyes of an adult has an almost surreal tone, like a long remembered dream. Gaiman’s beautiful prose, perfected over longer novels like American Gods and Anansi Boys, presents this short, tight narrative so fluidly that you might not notice how quickly everything reads until it’s done. Lettie’s family is just the right kind of unusual to make you question whether this book is really fantasy, and the narrator’s reactions to the Hempstock family’s care is just the sweetest.

A recommendation for anyone who enjoys British literature, modern-ish depictions of witches, or literary explorations of what it means to be a child.

Did I mention that Gaiman is very, very talented at reading his own books?

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Reading Challenges for 2018

Welcome to the New Year! ‘Tis the season to set your New Years’ Resolutions. Why not make one of them about books? The internet is full of Reading Challenges, from simple to insanely complex, all aiming to motivate people to read more throughout the year. Here are some of the most unusual and interesting challenges currently floating around the interwebs:

PopSugar’s 2018 Challenge gives a checklist of random prompts that can apply to many genres such as “a book by two authors” or “Nordic noir,” encouraging readers to check off as many books as they can.

The Cozy Mystery Challenge is, of course, focused around mystery books, providing prompts for different sub-genres (such as “animal related,” “paranormal,” and “historical”) that readers are encouraged to include.

Roll-Your-Own-Reading Challenge: is a huge database of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci fi, horror, etc) reading challenges based on anything from award winning books to free choice to reading through an author’s entire body of work.

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge: Read one book for each letter of the Alphabet (the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title).

Diverse Reading Challenge: Set yourself a number of diverse (i.e. non white male authored) titles to read and use some of the resources here to read outside of your comfort zone.

Goodreads Annual Reading Challenge: If you make yourself a Goodreads account, you can set yourself a number of books you want to read by the end of the year. The website helps you track what you’ve read for the year and even gives you a lovely summary of what you read at the end of each year.

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A sample of part of the yearly Goodreads summary.

 

None of these tickles your fancy? There are even more challenges available on Pinterest or Tumblr. Or, better yet, you could craft your own. Consider teaming up with a friend and making prompts for each other, or even just creating a list of prompts you want to use to motivate yourself to read more. There’s no such thing as a bad Reading Challenge.

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