Hopefully as you read this you're getting ready to head to our Harry Potter Movie Marathon! We're celebrating Harry Potter this week, and as you'll see, we found out that he's a pretty big part of our collection. 

Harry Potter 01

(because I hope you're wondering: the 400s (language and dictionaries) are the only Dewey Decimal category without a book that references Harry Potter in at least a chapter title; looks like you'd better get started on that Parseltounge dictionary). 

As librarians, we're pretty committed to the idea that the right book at the right time can change your life. So, every time we read Harry Potter, we can't help but think that things might have gone differently for Professor Snape if maybe he'd just read the right books. 

Here are five suggestions that may have changed the course of our favorite villian-not-villian, Severus Snape. 

1HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE 
by Dale Carnegie
(1936)

As you read the Harry Potter books, it's really clear that Snape could use some good friends. One of America's best-selling self-help books could surely help him learn how to be friendlier (we're sure these techniques work on muggles, though we've never tested them on wizards).  

 

2RAPUNZEL, RAPUNZEL, WASH YOUR HAIR 
by Steve Smallman
(2015)

Sometimes the lessons we teach our kids are the most helpful; in this picture book, many princes try to climb Rapunzel's hair, only to find that it's too slippery. Luckily, a hairdresser comes to her rescue and teaches her proper hair hygiene. If Rapunzel can get rid of greasy hair, we're confident Snape can too. 

 

3THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 
by Gaston Leroux
(1910)

Perhaps Snape should have spent some time with this classic tale of unrequited love; he may have behaved differently. It doesn't end well for the Phantom either. 

 

4KNOCK 'EM DEAD COVER LETTERS 
by Martin Yate
(2012)

Maybe if Snape had turned in a better cover letter to Dumbledore he would have locked down that Defense Against the Dark Arts position years ago! 

 

5THE COLOR OF STYLE 
by Daid Zyla
(2010)

The subtitle of this book reads: "a fashion expert helps you find colors that attract love, enhance your power, restore your energy, make a lasting impression, and show the world who you really are." Snape, throw off the black, and show your true colors! 

 

While writing this post, we couldn't help but be a little sad thinking about Alan Rickman's recent passing; come and see his masterful performance as Snape (could they have picked a better actor?!?) tomorrow at our Harry Potter Movie Marathon. We'll start screening the first film at 9:30 AM. 

best books 15 adults

Fifty seems like such a huge number but when I looked through my list of books read last year, whittling it down was brutal! There were so many amazing titles published in 2015 and I was able to read a whole bunch of them thanks to my recent attempts to limit my television time….possibly a case of trading one vice for another?

Hopefully we will have a lot of people attend our “Best Books of 2015” event next week as we share our favorites.  With this post, I decided to give you my top five 2015 books that did not make it to my list of 20 I get to share at the program.  These books were very enjoyable and just barely missed the cut.

Secret ChordTHE SECRET CHORD
By Geraldine Brooks

As with all Brooks’ novels, this is a richly detailed piece of historical fiction which presents a unique twist on events or people already familiar.  THE SECRET CHORD tells of King David’s rise to power and subsequent fall from grace.  While I enjoyed the novel, I did not love it as much as I have some of the author’s previous works such as YEAR OF WONDERS and PEOPLE OF THE BOOK (which I recommend frequently).

 

 

 

Other DaughterTHE OTHER DAUGHTER
By Lauren Willig

Another favorite author of mine, Willig writes mainly historical romances.  Her PINK CARNATION series first caught my attention years ago.  However, she also writes stand-alone novels that I look forward to reading.  They are light and fast-paced with fun, relatable characters. THE OTHER DAUGHTER tells the story of Rachel Woodley, the illegitimate daughter of an English Earl, and her attempts to confront her father with his abandonment of her and her mother.

 

 

 

Precious OneTHE PRECIOUS ONE
By Marisa De los Santos

THE PRECIOUS ONE is also a book about a daughter looking to come to terms with her father’s abandonment.  Taisy hasn’t been in contact with her father in over a decade, so when he calls her and asks for her help in writing his memoir she reluctantly agrees.  The story is told with alternating narratives between Taisy and Willow, Taisy’s teenaged half-sister who seems to have all the love and attention Taisy’s father was never able to give her.  A great novel about family and forgiveness. 

 

 

 

NeurotribesNEUROTRIBES: THE LEGACY OF AUTISM AND THE FUTURE OF NEURODIVERSITY  
By Steve Silberman

This is a groundbreaking book about the history and future of autism.  What I really admired about this book was the author’s ability to present the science and history of the topic in a very personal and conversational manner.  He tells of people and their stories which made it a riveting read.

 

 

 

 

Natural Born HeroesNATURAL BORN HEROES: HOW A DARING BAND OF MISFITS MASTERED THE LOST SECRETS OF STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE  
By Christopher McDougall

McDougall is best known for writing BORN TO RUN which seemed to start an entire movement of barefoot running.  In this new book he searches other areas of history to find the secrets to history’s greatest heroes and athletes.  With a bit of World War II history, a fascinating look at the island of Crete, and inspirational stories of amazing physical abilities, this is a great choice for armchair athletes like me.

Please join us next week for even more recommendations from 2015! Plus, there will be cupcakes. Come for the books, stay for the cupcakes. 

best books 15 kids

It's possible you've picked up a bit of a theme this week--in preparation for our Best Books of 2015 event next week, we're teasing some of our librarian's favorite books that came out last year. Next week you can come and hear us talk about our favorite books in a variety of categories: here's a small taste of what you'll find: 

waitingBest Picture Books
WAITING
by Kevin Henkes

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?

 

balletcatBest Easy Readers
BALLET CAT: THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET 
by Bob Shea

While Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to decide what to play, they each share an important secret.

 

 

 

littlerobotBest Comics
LITTLE ROBOT 
by Ben Hatke

When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!

 

fishtreeBest Fiction
FISH IN A TREE
by Lynda Mully Hunt

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

 

trickyvicBest Nonfiction
TRICKY VIC: THE IMPOSSIBLY TRUE STORY OF THE MAN WHO SOLD THE EIFFEL TOWER 
by Greg Pizzoli

Recounts the life of Victor Lustig, an international con man who had swindled thousands of people, including Al Capone, and was best known for "selling" the Eiffel Tower.

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