Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you.
This time around: time limits and tempests.
Two stories run parallel in this novel of heartbreak and hope. Mara has five days left before she plans to kill herself before her Huntington’s Disease becomes more than she can bare. Scott has five days left as guardian to an 8-year-old foster son whose mother is being released from prison and plans to take custody. This book chronicles the five days that each has left with the ones they love.
A lonely old man is planning to kill himself now that his wife is gone and he finds he has little to live for. But the annoying new neighbors, old estranged friends, and a stray cat all interject themselves into his life and, unintentionally, find ways to foil his suicidal plans. While it sounds depressing, it is actually very funny and heartwarming.
Leo Gursky is a lonely old man who survived the holocaust but is now nearing the end of his life and worries that no one will notice when he is gone. Alma Singer is a fourteen-year-old trying to help her mother fight loneliness and depression. An obscure novel helps to bring these two strangers together where they may find salvation and peace.
Daniel Sempere is the son of a bookstore owner during the 1950s in Barcelona. He discovers an obscure novel, and begins a quest to uncover the many mysteries surrounding the book and its author. Zafon vibrantly creates a dark and mysterious Barcelona with a magical world lurking beneath the surface.
Sookie Stackhouse has a telepathic gift. But as a small-town waitress in Louisiana, her gift really only gets in the way. In this 7th book in the series, Sookie gets entangled in vampire politics which are especially dangerous since the local vampire queen has been weakened by the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Harris presents a supernatural South where magic lurks beneath the surface.
An investigative journalist delves into what happened at New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina. Inadequate planning left doctors and nurses without power, leadership, or a way to getting patients and personnel to safety. Over the five days they survived in the aftermath of the storm, life and death decisions had to be made. The fallout from those decisions eventually caused several of the staff involved to be charged with second-degree murder.
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.
(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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.