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Book giving

Not sure what gifts to give this holiday season? We've got you covered. This week and next, be on the lookout for book recommendations for every type of reader.

Yesterday, we shared some of the best new fiction books for adult readers, and today we have a few more to suggest.

For your fiction reader who:

 

Loves an engrossing, heart wrenching story of survival-

12.13 The Great AloneTHE GREAT ALONE
By Kristin Hannah 
(2018)

At the age of 13, Lenora’s unconventional parents move the family to an isolated homestead in Alaska. They are ill prepared to weather the long, cold winter but are able to lean on their new community and their own endurance to build a new life for themselves.

 

Needs a new version of a classic fairy tell-

12.13 Spinning SilverSPINNING SILVER
By Naomi Novik 
(2018)

This is a fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairtale. Miryem, the daughter of a moneylender attracts the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood. Quickly she learns that words have power, and the fate of a kingdom lies in her golden touch.

 

Enjoys a story that can change your perspective-

12.14 UnshelteredUNSHELTERED
By Barbara Kingsolver 
(2018)

How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, and still end up destitute? This question is asked as the novel shifts between two stories tied together by a piece of land and the need for a roof to shelter from the storms. 

 

Loves a heartwarming stories of the fragility and wonder of life-

12.14 Virgil WanderVIRGIL WANDER
by Leif Enger 

This is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart.

 

Misses THE HIGHLANDER and loves the thought of living forever-

12.14 How to Stop TimeHOW TO STOP TIME
By Matt Haig 

Tom may look like an average 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. What does a man who can live forever learn in life?  To carefully guard his identity and his heart. This is a wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself and the inevitability of change.

 

Needs a little proper romance-

12.14 Promises and PrimrosesPROMISES & PRIMROSES
By Josi S. Kilpack 

When Elliott undertakes a ‘marriage campaign’ to see his wayward nieces and nephews securely married, he has no idea it will lead to a reunion with his own lost love.

 

Book giving

Nothing makes me happier than giving someone the absolute perfect gift. I don’t manage it all the time, but it is something I take pride in. Whenever I’m asked for gift giving tips, I always say the same thing. It takes time. It can seldom be achieved last minute. You have to pay attention to what people say and do all the time and then pick up on the little clues that tell you what they need that they don’t even know they need. Then, and this is very important, you have to write it down somewhere so that you remember what it is when a gift giving holiday or event presents itself.

Basically, being a great gift giver is hard work! Unfortunately, we don’t always have that kind of time to spend and, without fail, Christmas just tends to sneak up on us so that here we are, just a few weeks from the big day, and we have no idea what to get all those amazing people on our lists. They deserve the best! We want to give them the best!  But what is that best thing?

It’s a book! Obviously! But which book can sometimes be the kicker. So, I’ve put together a Librarian’s Guide to Book Giving this holiday! I hope it helps!!

For your fiction reader who:

 

Watched A QUIET PLACE in the theater 4 times-

12.13 The Woman in the WindowTHE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
By A.J. Finn 
(2018)

Anna Fox lives alone, drinks too much, and likes spying on her neighbors. Then one day she thinks she sees something horrible happen in the house next door and her sanity comes under scrutiny to the point that she questions her own memory. Who is really in danger?

 
 

Loves to read about manly men living in the woods-

12.13 BearskinBEARSKIN
By James McLaughlin 
(2018)

Rice has a new job protecting the Virginian Appalachia. It’s lonely, hard work but when he finds the carcass of a bear killed on his territory he begins a dangerous search for the poachers.

 
 

Loves mythology-

12.13 CirceCIRCE
By Madeline Miller 
(2018)

This lovely novel follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings.

 
 

Loves historical fiction involving doomed romances-

12.13 Love RuinLOVE & RUIN
By Paula McLain 
(2018)

This is the story of the passionate, stormy marriage between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, a fiercely independent and ambitious young war correspondent. 

 
 

Enjoys a creepy little mystery with an endearing protagonist-

12.13 The Death of Mrs. WestawayTHE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY
By Ruth Ware 

Hal is in desperate need of money, and when a strange letter arrives telling her she has inherited a substantial fortune, she decides to take advantage of the executor’s mistake. Unfortunately, lying was never her strength and she quickly finds herself in far over her head.

 
 

Likes politically charged adventures (co-authored by former U.S. Presidents)-

12.13 The President is MissingTHE PRESIDENT IS MISSING
By James Patterson & Bill Clinton
(2018)

How can a U.S. President be kidnapped from the most guarded residence in the world? This is a thriller that confronts the darkest threats that face the world, with the highest stakes conceivable.Loves an engrossing, heart wrenching story of survival-

 

Christmas Read Alouds

It's almost Christmas break and kids will be spending more time with their families. This is a great time to snuggle around the fireplace and read a novel aloud together. Or maybe you are going on a road trip and want a Christmas themed book to listen to in the car.  Here are some of my favorite feel good family Christmas novels.   

12.11 The VanderbeeksTHE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141ST STREET
By Karina Yan Glaser
(2017)

The Vanderbeeker family includes two parents, four kids and three pets.  They have lived in the same brownstone in Harlem as long as any of the kids can remember.  One day, right before Christmas, their landlord and upstairs neighbor decides he is not going to renew their lease. The kids are horrified at the thought of having to move, so they start a campaign to convince reclusive old Mr. Biederman that he really does not want to make them leave. The antics of the kids are funny and each child has an individual and endearing personality.  It has great parent/child relationships, and all the protagonists are trying to do what is right 

 

12.11 A Season of GiftsA SEASON OF GIFTS
By Richard Peck
(2009)

Grandma Dowdel, the star of the Newbery winner, A Year Down Yonder, returns in this heart warming Christmas book.  It is 1958 and a new preacher and his family has moved into town.  When their son, Bob, is attacked by bullies and tied, naked to Grandma Dowdel’s privy, Grandma Dowdel decides to take the family into her care using her own brand of unconventional love. 

 

12.11 A Boy Called ChristmasA BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS
By Matt Haig
(2016)

Nicholas lives with his father, Joel, who is a woodcutter in Finland. They are poor, but Nicolas is relatively happy and enjoys spending time in the forest with his dad. When Joel goes away with some strange men and doesn’t return, Nicholas goes on a grand quest to find him. This is an origin story about how Nicolas becomes Father Christmas. The story is definitely told from a British point of view. Nicolas becomes Father Christmas, not the more American Santa Claus, but even American readers will enjoy the many references to Christmas traditions. 

 

12.11 The Best Christmas Pageant EverTHE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
By Barbara Robinson
(1988)

The Herdman’s are the worst family in town.  They are dirty, uneducated, and wild.  When they find out that the Sunday School offers snacks, they volunteer to be in the church’s Christmas pageant. As the crazy kids take over the production, the long-suffering director and her family marvel to see how they are transformed by the Christmas story.  This one is an older book that is becoming a classic worthy of being re-read to each new generation.

 

Book Disaster 628

I know we don’t even like to think of it, but sometimes when you check out a library book, disaster strikes. 

I remember when it happened for me; I was in graduate school, and had to do a book review of a new title in my field. I wasn’t particularly enjoying the book, and left it on the back of the couch while I went to take a shower. Apparently, I was sending out some serious, “I don’t like this book,” vibes, because when I came back downstairs I discovered that my new, adorable, naughty puppy had ripped the back cover to shreds. This was frustrating because not only did I have to pay for the book, BUT I DIDN’T EVEN LIKE IT! Proof positive that adorable puppies can ruin your life. 

We know that accidents happen: your toddler got too excited to turn the page; you did not anticipate the sauce splatter from your spaghetti dinner; your relaxing bath was interrupted by a spider and the book fell into the tub during the mighty struggle. 

So you damaged a library book: now what? I talked with our circulation and book repair department to help you navigate those troubled waters as gracefully as possible. 

Q: Actually, let’s get this one out of the way first: what if I notice that a book has damage that I didn’t cause? How can I avoid being charged for it? 

A: If you notice an item is damaged, the best thing to do is to bring it in and talk to the clerks in the circulation department. Show them the damage, and explain that it was like that when you checked it out. If you aren’t able to come in, place a sticky note near the damage in the book (but sticking out so it’s noticeable) with a note that says the book was damaged before you checked it out. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to just turn it back in via the book drop without saying anything; if our clerks notice damage when they’re checking the book back in, they will see who checked it out last and hold that person responsible. 

Q: Okay, I admit it. The damage is my fault. What now?

A: Bring the damaged item to the Circulation Desk and we will go over the damage with you. If we determine that the book is no longer fit for circulation, you will be charged for its replacement. Once you have paid for the item, it is up to you if you keep the book or give it back to us. If you give it back to us, we will discard it and it will be placed in our Used Book Store.

Q: How do you determine the fee for the book?  

A: The fee for the book is based on the list price for the book when it was purchased. 

Q: I’m going to be honest: sometimes that seems like a lot. Can’t I just buy an identical copy and donate it instead of paying the replacement fee?  

A: Nope, because we need to make sure it really is an identical copy. The replacement fee also covers the staff time of locating, ordering, and processing the book for our collection. 

Q: Why do you keep circulating books that you know are damaged? I’m sick of getting blamed for damage that other people cause!  

A: If the damage is minimal, sometimes the book can still be used. Circulating gently damaged books is a way for us to keep costs down so we can buy more new books instead of paying a lot of money to replace old ones. Again, if you notice damage, please either bring it to the desk or put a note where the damage is and we will make sure you’re not charged for it. 

So the overriding message from our conversation is this: if you notice book damage, whether or not you caused it, please talk to us! We’re here to help. 

Also, keep your books away from puppies. They’re the worst.

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