Librarians Recommend: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

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

movie.jpg

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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Content

Page to Screen

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

images.duckduckgo.com   MV5BNTA2MTU1NTkxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk4MjE0MjI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,648,1000_AL_.jpg

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

images.duckduckgo.com.jpg  MV5BNTA2MTU1NTkxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk4MjE0MjI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,648,1000_AL_.jpg

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

images.duckduckgo.com.jpg   MV5BNTA2MTU1NTkxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk4MjE0MjI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,648,1000_AL_.jpg

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Content

Genre Feature: Verse Novels

Did you know that there are entire novels written in poetic verse? Like so many poems, they tend read quick but carry quite the emotional punch.

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

51Cwey5xhsL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

“So, I have to know,” he says, “what are you?”
But just because he has to know doesn’t mean I have to tell him anything.

It’s 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.

Written by a Middlebury College Alumn!

 

 

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

book.jpg

And I know now that all the time I was trying to get
out of the dust,
the fact is,
what I am,
I am because of the dust.
And what I am is good enough.
Even for me.

Billie Jo is just a fourteen year old farm girl trying to survive unspeakable loss while living in the dust bowl during the Great Depression.

Hesse currently lives in Vermont!

 

 

 

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

c5d19c013a5014e5cdac3d127b4d9c29.jpg

Even the silence 
has a story to tell you. 
Just listen. Listen.

Growing up both in her Grandparents’ South Carolina and her mother’s New York City, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. This is the true story of how she grew up in limbo between the two places, and how she discovered she wanted to be a writer no matter how hard it was for her to read.

 

 

 

 

Love that Dog / Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech

pic.png

Sometimes
when you are trying 
not to think about something
it keeps popping back in your head
you can’t help it
you think about it
and 
think about it
and 
think about it
until your brain
feels like
a squashed pea.

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments — and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say.

Especially about the dog he loves that isn’t with him anymore. And that stupid cat his parents got him afterwards.

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

movie.jpgYou ever laughed so hard
nobody in the world could hurt you for a minute,
no matter what they tried to do to you? 

Fourteen-year-old LaVaughn is determined to go to college–she just needs the money to get there.

When she answers a babysitting ad, LaVaughn meets Jolly, a seventeen-year-old single mother with two kids by different fathers. As she helps Jolly make lemonade out of the lemons her life has given her, LaVaughn learns some lessons outside the classroom.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content

Review Roundup – Knife Creek

Knife Creek by Paul Doiron

c5d19c013a5014e5cdac3d127b4d9c29.jpg

When Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is tasked with shooting invasive feral hogs that are tearing up the forest in his district, he makes a horrific discovery—a dead baby buried in a shallow grave. 

Even more disturbing: evidence suggests the infant was the child of a young woman who was presumed to have died four years earlier after she disappeared from a group rafting trip. 

As Bowditch assists the reopened investigation, he begins to suspect that some of his neighbors aren’t who they seem to be. When violence strikes close to home, he realizes that his unknown enemies will stop at nothing to keep their terrible secrets. 

Read the first chapter here.

therealbookspy writes:

After starting off with a bang when he first introduced readers to Mike Bowditch in 2010’s The Poacher’s Son, Doiron has consistently put out top-notch mystery novels, and Knife Creek is one of his strongest entries yet.

The Press Herald adds that:

“Knife Creek” is a gripping, well-plotted tale. His characters are vibrant and unforgettable, and the climatic scene is completely unexpected. Doiron has reached a new level in his craft, putting him, without a doubt, among the best crime writers working today.

While Criminal Element raves:

Doiron has an ability to draw you in to the story with an atmospheric prose and well-rounded characters who work well together. Retribution and justice is eventually served, and to more people than expect it. You won’t see the ending looming in this fine and well-balanced thriller.

Seems that the critics agree. As it is this book keeps flying in and out of the library.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this book? Feel free to discuss in the comments section below. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Content

Internet Homes for Booklovers

Ever wonder where people of the internet go to hear about all the new books coming out? Here are some of the places around the internet built by and for booklovers:

pic.png

Goodreads is a huge social database of books that link outward to authors, reviews, interviews, quotes, publication information, etc for books and authors. Members of Goodreads (like Facebook, it is a free service) can keep track of the books they read and even swap reviews of their favorite titles. The website even offers a yearly challenge, allowing readers to set themselves a goal of so many books to read in a year, and keep track their progress.

With added access to authors and actual blog-style articles published about any number of books, Goodreads is a good well-rounded database of book related information.

See also: Worlds Without End aka Goodreads for SF, Fantasy, and Horror nerds

pic.png

Posting on anything and everything to do with books, Book Riot publishes videos, articles, podcasts, and pretty much any other format of media you can think of. They tend toward a liberal, internet saavy new adult audience, but also include articles for teachers, librarians, and other authority figures trying to get kids into reading.

Try some:
Getting through Brutal Books (Video)
Read or Dead: the mystery and thriller podcast (Podcast)
Supporting Public Libraries Through the Trump Presidency (Article)

 

pic.png

 

If you like to read about reading, this is a spectacular place to find free book-related listicles, essays on authors and writing, short stories and poems from up-and-coming authors, and lots of pieces examining literature over time and themes. If you are an academic at heart, or just really like analyzing works of writing, this is absolutely the place for you.

Try some:
11 Worst Weddings in Literature
 Living without a Mind’s Eye
Agatha Christie’s Sassy Nature

 

And for fun, try glancing through some of these simple, but fun sites:

CoverSpy – where a team of book nerds hits the subways, streets, parks & bars to find out what New Yorkers are reading now, then posts their finds to this tumblr. An wide and varied collection of books and descriptions of the people who were caught reading them.

WhichBook – pick what kind of book you’re in the mood for, and this site will give you some recommendations.

BookNotes – where you can read about, and sometimes listen to, the music authors listened to when they wrote each of their books

Leave a comment

Filed under Content

Librarians Recommend: A Man Called Ove

Dawn Recommends: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

c5d19c013a5014e5cdac3d127b4d9c29.jpg

Written by Fredrik Backman and translated by Henning Koch

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

I absolutely loved this book and how we got to follow this old, curmudgeon of a man who just made you wonder why anyone would put up with him, from completely unlikeable to someone you could understand and even sympathize with. It was such a lovely read.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content

Review Round Up – Six of Crows

c5d19c013a5014e5cdac3d127b4d9c29.jpg

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Watch the book trailer here.

#1 New York Times Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
New York Times Notable Book of 2015

Yeah, we’re a little late to the party on this one, but it’s in the library now, and one of our librarians will not stop pushing it everyone’s faces. Is it really as good as she claims, though?

NPR praises the skill with which Bardugo crafts her heist, expounding upon her cleverly handled characters and impressive world building, but comments that her characters seem a bit too mature for their 17 years, with one of them sounding more like a 50-year-old hardened criminal than a teenager.

Disability in Kidlit praises depictions of PTSD and physical disability in the book, while noting the lack of time spent with the queer characters and queer romances in comparison to their straight counterparts.

In her BookTube review, gingerreadslainey praises how well-rounded the book is, giving the character and world and plot equal weight and development, and drawing on real world research extensively to craft a world so real that it made her want to jump in and join it.

Entertainment Weekly generally enjoyed the page-turning qualities of the story, but struggled to get through the first chapter of exposition and into the story itself.

What do you think? Ready to grab our copy of this book (and its sequel) and give it a go? Think it sounds too low-brow for you? Tell us in the comments below.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content