Behind the Scenes: Book Recommendation Resources

Posted on Friday, December 9, 2016 by Kat

One of my favorite things is pairing someone up with a great book. Sure, I do it while working at the library, but I do it a lot when I hang out with friends and family, too. Because everyone is different, it can sometimes be a challenge. Some folks stick to one genre, while others are into the overall tone of stories — or other factors entirely. At the risk of no one needing me anymore, I thought I’d share some of the websites I use to make book matches (and find my own next read).

NoveList Plus LogoDon’t you hate it when you learn about a book only to find out it’s incredibly popular so there is a wait list to get it from the library? One of the great things about NoveList Plus (a book database you have access to with your library card) is that it provides read-alikes. You could look up that really popular book you placed on hold and see some similar books to read while you wait. Another cool thing about these read-alikes is that they are often hand-picked, and a real, living person explains why a particular book is recommended — no algorithms here! The read-alikes are located on the right side of the page when you’re looking at the detailed view of the book.  Continue reading “Behind the Scenes: Book Recommendation Resources”

WWII Fiction for Fans of All the Light We Cannot See

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 by Katherine

Today, December 7, marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the entrance of the United States into World War II. With the popularity of “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr there has been an surge of interest in fiction about WWII. So, in memory of Pearl Harbor and all the lives lost during WWII, here are some books that deal with the horror and hope, and the fear and courage found in wartime.

The German Girl” by Armando Lucas Correa

Berlin, Germany 1939. Nazi flags and emblems are draping the streets, and Berlin is becoming a dangerous place for Hannah Rosenthal and her family. Their home and possessions are taken away from them, but an escape route is offered via the SS St. Louis, an ocean liner that will carry fleeing Jews from Germany to Cuba. Even as they leave Berlin behind and begin to feel safe, tensions and rumors from Cuba once again cast a shadow of dread. Decades later, Anna Rosen receives a package from her unknown great-aunt Hannah that sends her and her mother on a quest to uncover their family’s past.

Continue reading “WWII Fiction for Fans of All the Light We Cannot See”

Nonfiction Roundup: December 2016

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2016 by Kirk

Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in December. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.

TOP PICKS:

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis book coverThe Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis

Perennial best-seller Lewis takes an in-depth look at the partnership between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two Nobel Prize winning psychologists, whose work transformed our understanding of human thinking and decision making. Kahneman wrote the highly popular “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: December 2016”

Reader Review: The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook

Posted on Friday, December 2, 2016 by patron reviewer

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

Nerdy Nummies Cookbook book coverRosanna Pansino has a very successful YouTube channel called “Nerdy Nummies,” where she bakes treats inspired by her favorite TV shows, videos games and other “nerdy” topics. “The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook” starts with a handful of basic recipes that she uses to create all of her treats. After giving you the basic foundation of recipes, tools and decorating supplies you will need, the author divides her cookbook by topic: Math & Science, Space, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Gaming, Tech & Web and Geeky Treats. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook”

Book Clubs: The Community They Create and Resources to Start Your Own

Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by cs

Last night, our monthly book club met, andphoto of open book once again, it was full of fun, energy, discussion and lots of laughter. Each month I come away with such a sense of gratitude for being a part of this group, and I wish everyone could have this experience. You see, our book club is completely made up of individuals that live in our neighborhood, and that unique element takes the connection between us to a whole different level. Before our meeting begins, women can be seen walking through the neighborhood on their way to the home of whomever is hosting the current month’s discussion, with their dish to share. As we arrive, there is fun discussion of neighborhood happenings, family news and updates on remodeling projects. (And yes, we even discuss the book.) I like to think this is what neighborhoods used to be like, before the onslaught of technology, transience and shifting school boundaries. Or maybe what it was like when women got together to work on a quilt or to do the canning for the winter. It is more than a book club; it provides a sense of community that was certainly missing for me. Continue reading “Book Clubs: The Community They Create and Resources to Start Your Own”

Exploring Winston Churchill in Fiction

Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016 by Anne

“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” — Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill is a historical figure who certainly was larger than life. The impact his life made on the last century is far-reaching. Churchill managed to capture much of this through his own writings, and there are numerous fascinating biographies that explore his long life, as well. The nonfiction connected to Churchill’s life is quite fascinating and can provide hours of good reading. For people who are more drawn to fiction, though, it’s worth noting that his life and role in history have inspired quite a few tales of fiction. Here are few of those books which you can check out from the library:

Winton's War book coverIf you tend to generally stick with nonfiction, you may want to try “Winston’s War: A Novel of Conspiracy” by Michael Dobbs. This book is truly historical fiction — telling the story of real events from a fictional perspective. Churchill, an outcast from the British government during the 1930s, warned of the impending troubles of Hitler’s Nazi regime. Dobbs’ book offers a fictionalized look at how various figures in England during that time, including Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, King George VI, US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy and the BBC’s Guy Burgess, responded to Churchill’s warnings. Dobbs’ story is ultimately fiction, but it offers a lot of insight into why the real events played out the way they did. Continue reading “Exploring Winston Churchill in Fiction”

Reader Review: How to Start a Fire

Posted on Friday, November 25, 2016 by patron reviewer

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

How to start a fire book cover

How to Start a Fire” follows three women who meet in college and continue their sometimes difficult friendship over the course of many years. The women have very different personalities but are tied together by a chance meeting which occurred during their college years. I liked the fact the book followed the women throughout their lives and showed their struggles and triumphs. Main portions of the book are slowly revealed through flashbacks with the book coming together at the end. As the book moved through various time periods it was sometimes slightly difficult to follow. Continue reading “Reader Review: How to Start a Fire”

Shot by Shot: Docs Featuring a Film Within a Film

Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 by Dewey Decimal Diver

Becoming Bulletproof film stillCreating films often leads to a flurry of activity and decision making that is itself interesting to capture on film. Check out these documentaries that capture films being made.

Becoming Bullet Proof CoverBecoming Bulletproof” (2016)

A diverse group of disabled people from across the U.S. take on leading roles in a Western filmed on vintage Hollywood locations. This film within a film immerses us in a dynamic, inclusive world of discipline and play, raising questions about why we so rarely see real disabled actors on the big screen.

Continue reading “Shot by Shot: Docs Featuring a Film Within a Film”

2016 National Book Award Winners

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2016 by Katherine

Awarded by the National Book Foundation every year since its establishment in 1950, the National Book Award winners for 2016 were announced November 16 during a ceremony hosted by Emmy Award-winner Larry Wilmore.

Fiction

Book cover: The Underground RailroadThe Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

In a twist on the Underground Railroad of history, escaping slaves in Whitehead’s novel travel on an actual train which runs underground, carrying them north. Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, joins with fellow slave Caesar in a desperate bid for freedom as they travel on the Underground Railroad. Whitehead offers readers a close look at the cruelty and horror of slavery.

Continue reading “2016 National Book Award Winners”

Literary Links: Heartwarming Reads

Posted on Friday, November 18, 2016 by Kat

It’s been a tough election season. No matter who you ended up supporting, I’m sure you are glad that we have four whole years before the next presidential election cycle. I know I’m exhausted from all the negativity, and I am looking forward to getting lost in something more comforting. Here are some cozy, feel-good books to cleanse your palate.

book cover: A Robot in the GardenImagine looking out into your yard and seeing a robot. This is the opening of “A Robot in the Garden” (Doubleday, 2015) by Deborah Install. Ben is good at failing, so when he sees a slightly broken little robot named Tang, he decides he’s going to try to fix him, and not fail for once. Alas, when he brings Tang home, Ben’s wife Amy deems it the last straw, and leaves. So he can add marriage to the list of things at which he fails. Ben and Tang set out together to get Tang fixed, and in the process Ben gets a little “fixed” too. This book is a funny, insightful look at humanity and coming into one’s own. And while Ben’s transformation is heartwarming, adorable Tang is the real star of this story. Continue reading “Literary Links: Heartwarming Reads”