6 Degrees

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    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.So, with no further ado, we bring you 6 Degrees of Reading, Princesses and Animals (picture books).

    FALLING FOR RAPUNZEL
    by Leah Wilcox; illustrated by Lydia Monks
    (2003)

    Upon hearing a prince’s call, princess Rapunzel throws out what she thinks the prince is asking for—but from clothes to maids, Rapunzel tosses the wrong items out, much to the prince’s chagrin. 

    PETE THE CAT AND HIS FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS
    by Eric Litwin; illustrated by James Dean
    (2012)

    As Pete the Cat goes about his day, he deals with a constant problem with his clothes—his buttons keep falling off! Can Pete the Cat still keep a smile even while counting and losing his buttons?

    CHA CHA CHIMPS
    by Julia Durango; illustrated by Eleanor Taylor
    (2006)

    Ten little chimps sneak off to dance the cha-cha, and one by one, readers count down as various chimps get distracted by other types of dancing—until Mama Chimp comes to find her wayward children and send them all off to bed.      

    WIGGLE
    by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Scott Menchin
    (2005)

    Told in rhyme, this book features a dog who shows little readers how to dance or wiggle before falling asleep.

    SILLY DOGGY!
    by Adam Stower
    (2012)

    A young girl named Lily finds a bear in her garden and assumes it is a dog. The mistaken identity causes loads of mishaps and comedy as she discovers what really makes a “silly doggy.”

    THE PRINCESS AND THE PIG
    by Jonathan Emmett; illustrated by Poly Bernatene
    (2011)

    When a baby princess and a baby pig are accidentally swapped, the pig is raised as a princess and the princess is raised on a farm. Can the princess, pig and the rest of the kingdom ever figure out this case of mistaken identity

  • 6 Books for Boys 01

    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. 

    Here are six classic books that boys love to read!

    DEAD END IN NORVELT
    by Jack Gantos
    (2011)

    Unfortunately for Jack Gantos, at any sign of trouble or stress he instantly gets a nose bleed. Since there’s no money to fix his nose, Jack just has to deal with being different. A series of events and an overprotective mother leave Jack grounded from everything except helping the old lady next door—a professional obituary writer. But this depressing start to summer soon takes off with a bang in this wacky coming of age story.  

    PAPERBOY
    by Vince Vawter
    (2013)

    Victor Vollmer has long accepted he’s a little different. His stutter makes talking a huge chore, but he has his tricks and can make it through most days without too much trouble. When summer comes, however, his best friend asks Victor to take over his paper route for a month. It seems like a simple way to make a little extra money and help out a friend, but Victor is in for both a heart-warming and terrifying lesson in human nature and his own self-worth.  

    SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS
    by Wilson Rawls
    (1967)

    Jay’s twin sister is a cripple, but the family is too poor to do anything about it. One summer Jay discovers that a family of escaped circus monkeys has taken residence down by the river. With the help of his grandfather, Jay plans to capture the monkeys and claim the reward—making his family rich. Humorous and heartfelt moments abound in this slightly fantastical story.  

    BY THE GREAT HORN SPOON
    by Sid Fleischman
    (1963)

    Jack and his butler, Praiseworthy, seek to restore the family’s lost riches in the California gold rush. Two gentlemen couldn’t be further out of their element from the moment they set foot on the steamer ship headed west from Boston. This rip-roaring bit of historical fiction features its fair share of interesting factoids and tall tales.  

    THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
    by Mark Twain
    (1884)

    Twain, the king of tall tales, hits a home run in this classic story of roughing it down the Mississippi river. Huck and the escaped slave Jim find themselves meeting a panoramic jumble of the good, the bad, and the ugly in this surprisingly thoughtful look at the way people treat each other. 

    LITTLE BRITCHES: FATHER AND I WERE RANCHERS
    by Ralph Moody
    (1950)

    When he is 8-yrs-old, Ralph Moody’s family moves from New Hampshire to rough it on a cattle ranch in Colorado, a place where the wild west wasn’t that long ago. Ralph, nicknamed “little britches,” comes of age in this true story about giving your all, being a man, and enjoying the little things while you have them.

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    So there are a lot of bunny picture books. Even better there are A LOT of GOOD bunny picture books. There are so many that I can play the 6 Degrees of Reading game just with bunny picture books! So, not only will I tell you how all these books are connected…but just keep in mind that all these books have BUNNIES in them as well. 

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    LION VS. RABBIT LION VS. RABBIT
    by Alex Latimer
    (2013)

    Lion is a bully. He is mean to all the other animals. One day the animals have decided that they have had enough! So they put out an ad to hopefully find someone who will teach lion a lesson. In comes Rabbit. Lion doesn’t think Rabbit is any match for him, so Lion let’s Rabbit decide what the contest will be. If Rabbit wins, Lion will need to be nice. Only Lion’s plan isn’t going so well for Lion. He loses. Then he loses again. Finally he admits defeat to Rabbit and promises to be nice. All the other animals are happy. And while they thank Rabbit for all his hard work they realize that their perception of Rabbit was wrong—for there were really LOTS of Rabbits (not just one Rabbit). And the group effort is what saved the day.

    DUCK! RABBIT!
    By Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
    (2009)

    An illustration causes a lot of commotion in this book. Two unseen narrators have conflicting opinions as to whether what they see is a duck or a rabbit. Therefore readers must determine which perception is correct—is the illustration really a duck or a rabbit? With bold black lines and white space readers really will have no other clues as to what the illustration could be and therefore must use their imagination.

    LITTLE WHITE RABBIT
    by Kevin Henkes
    (2011)

    A little white rabbit hops along through fields. While hopping along the little white rabbit uses his imagination to think about what life would be like if he was green like the grass or as tall as the fir trees. Each moment of moving through the field sparks another thought as to what life could be like. However, when the little white rabbit notices a cat he hurries and hops back to his family where he feels safe and loved.

    BETTY BUNNY LOVES CHOCOLATE CAKE
    by Michael B. Kaplan, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch
    (2011)

    Betty Bunny is very sure about a lot of things—and she has no qualms about telling her family her opinions. One day when Betty’s mom introduces her to chocolate cake Betty is SURE that she WILL NOT like eating that strange thing. After a lot of cajoling and coaxing Betty tries the cake—and discovers that she LOVES it (enough that she wants to marry the chocolate cake). Eventually Betty learns lots of other lessons about chocolate cake (such as she shouldn’t put it in her pocket). But the biggest lesson she learns (maybe, she still is really opinionated) is that she might need to try other food that her mom suggests that she should try.

    HANDS OFF MY HONEY!
    by Jane Chapman, illustrated by Tim Warnes
    (2013)

    A great big scary bear stomps into a hollow and yells, “I have a great big jar of delicious honey! And it is ALL mine!” Then Bear sits down to slurp the sweet, sticky food. A mouse, two rabbit brothers, and a mole decide that they want some of the sweet stuff and start to sneak toward Bear to see if they can nip some. With a surprising (and happy) ending, readers will laugh at the conclusion and may want to play their own sort of “bear game.” Seriously, little kiddos will want to read this book again and again.

    THE TERRIBLE PLOP
    by Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Andrew Joyner
    (2009)

    A group of little bunnies are eating cake by a lake when all of the sudden they hear a terrible noise! The scared little creatures hightail it though the forest where they alert other animals (anything from elephants to kangaroos) why they are running for their lives. Just as they are all about to get away a big bear asks what is going on. When he declares that there couldn’t be anything that is bigger and scarier than him he bullies the smallest little rabbit to show him the horrible creature. The scared little bunny takes Bear back to the spot where they heard the horrid noise—and once again they hear it. Only this time the bear runs for his life while the little bunny realizes that he really shouldn’t be afraid of a “silly old plop.”               

  • cats and kissing 01

    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. Today's iteration takes a romp through young adult fiction, adult nonfiction, and romance to bring you some of our favorite things: cats and kissing. 

    THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH
    by Ali Benjamin

    (2015)

    Suzy Swanson is a teenage girl trying to make sense of a new school and new peers, but that's been hard to do ever since the death of her best friend, Franny. Suzy is also a budding scientist, and when she learns about the Irukandji Jellyfish she develops a new hypothesis about what really happened to her friend.

    CAT SENSE: HOW THE NEW FELINE SCIENCE CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER FRIEND TO YOUR PET
    by John Bradshaw 
    (2013)

    Scientist John Bradshaw explains how cats evolved from lone predators to domestic companions with the hope that people will understand their cats better and provide a more harmonious environment for them. 

    DEWEY: THE SMALL-TOWN LIBRARY CAT WHO TOUCHED THE WORLD
    by Vicki Myron
    (2008)

    Dewey Readmore Books, a cat, was found one morning in the Spencer, Iowa library. Dewey was adopted by librarian, Vicki Myron who was his caring owner for the next 19 years. Dewey changed Vicki's life and touched the lives of many more. 

    TROUBLE WHEN YOU WALKED IN
    by Kieran Kramer
    (2015) 

    Cissie Rogers is a librarian in a small town in North Carolina. When Mayor, Boone Braddock puts the library's future in peril, Cissie decides to take matters into her own hands by running for mayor herself. What Cissie doesn't count on is a developing relationship with her opponent. 

    THE PORTABLE VEBLEN
    by Elizabeth McKenzie
    (2016)

    A young couple in a developing relationship discover how complex love can be as they encounter everything from dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive heiress, to an encounter with a very charismatic squirrel.   

    KISSING IN AMERICA
    by Margo Rabb
    (2015)

    Two teenage girls, Eva and Annie, discover how complex love can be as they journey across the country to find Will— the boy Ava thinks is her soul mate.

     

     

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    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 week: Chaos and Comedy! 

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    THE DISASTER DIARIES
    by Sam Sheridan
    (2013)

    There are a variety of ways that the world could be thrown into chaos and Sheridan has researched and acquired a variety of skills to help him survive almost any potential apocalypse. His lively and hilarious style while still presenting disastrous scenarios is a wonderful mix.

    LIFE AS WE KNEW IT
    by Susan Beth Pfeffer
    (2006)

    A young woman takes charge of her life and her family’s lives as survival becomes increasingly difficult after the world is thrown into chaos when the moon is knocked out of its orbit.

    LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD
    by Sheryl Sandberg
    (2013)

    Sandberg is a woman who has taken charge of her life and encourages others to do so by following their ambitions. She tells it like it is and strives to be an inspiration to women everywhere.

    BOSSYPANTS
    by Tina Fey
    (2011)

    Best known for her work on 30 Rock and SNL, Fey relates her life story in her own comedic way. She tries to emphasize that she’s just like the rest of us, while being a role model and an inspiration to all women.

    IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME
    by Mindy Kaling
    (2011)

    Mindy is an Emmy-nominated, comedy writer and actress, and uses this book to relate her life story in her own comedic way.

    SERIOUSLY, I'M KIDDING
    by Ellen DeGeneres
    (2011)

    Ellen has become one of the most popular daytime TV hosts, having won 31 Emmys. Her lively, hilarious, and upbeat style is engaging and enjoyable.

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    dinos and moose

    ELOISE AND THE DINOSAUR MUSEUM
    (2007)
    By Lisa McClatchy

    Precocious Eloise’s boring tutor takes her to the dinosaur museum, but she’s determined to have an exciting time.

     

    FANCY NANCY HAIR DOS AND DON’TS
    By Jane O’Connor
    (2011)

    Nancy, a precocious little girl, has picture day at school, and she needs the perfect look. She realizes that her hair-do will be critical for such an important day, so she sets out to curl, style, and trim until it’s flawless.

    MOOSESTACHE
    By Margie Palatini
    (1997)

    Mr. Moose has more mustache than he can control. It causes all sorts of problems until the day he meets Ms. Moose, a lady with luscious locks to rival his facial hair.

    TOO MANY MOOSE
    By Lisa M. Bakos
    (2016)

    Martha wants a pet, so she orders a moose. When her new pet arrives, they have such a marvelous time together that she throws caution to the wind and begins ordering moose after moose.

    WHAT PET SHOULD I GET
    By Dr. Seuss
    (2015)

    Even though a little boy and his sister want every pet in the pet store, they get to choose only one. Told in Dr. Seuss's characteristic rhyming style.  

    DINOSAURS LOVE UNDERPANTS
    By Claire Freedman
    (2008)

    Do you really know why dinosaurs are extinct? Rhyming text reveals it was because of the Mighty Underpants War.

     

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    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 week's recommendations work their way through dragons, fancy shoes, and dancing with abandon. 

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    DEALING WITH DRAGONS
    by Patricia C. Wrede
    (1992)

    Cimorene is a princess, but not your typical princess. She is bored with everything that is expected of her and every time she tries to learn something interesting like fencing or magic, her parents put a stop to it and tell her that it is “not proper”. Soon she runs away and encounters some fearsome dragons. She refuses to be rescued by the princes that come for her and instead chooses to stay with the dragons. They finally provide the family and adventure she was seeking

    DRAGON SLIPPERS
    by Jessica Day George
    (2007)

    Creel’s aunt sends her to a dragon’s in the hope that she will meet and marry the knight that comes to save her. Creel refuses to be rescued and instead talks her own way out of the situation. She sets out to create her own future but doesn’t realize that she possesses a pair of slippers that have power beyond her understanding.

    ENTWINED
    by Heather Dixon
    (2011)

    Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters love to dance but when their mother dies they must endure a year of mourning, which includes no dancing. It is more than they can bear. Soon they discover a magic passage that leads to nights of enchanted dancing. Their dance slippers become tattered and worn as what was once fun changes into something more sinister.  

    WILDWOOD DANCING
    by Juliet Marillier
    (2007)

    Jenna and her five sisters live an idyllic life in the Transylvanian woods. Only the sisters know of a hidden passage that leads to nights enchanted dancing with the fey creatures of the Other Kingdom every time there is a full moon. Everything starts to change when their father gets sick and their controlling cousin Cezar comes to watch over them. It is up to Jena to save everything she loves.

    SHADOWFELL
    by Juliet Marillier
    (2012)

    Also by Juliet Marillier, SHADOWFELL is the story of Neryn who develops her magical ability as she embarks on a dangerous quest to find a secret rebel group with the hopes of overthrowing the evil king who wants to rid the kingdom of magic.

    THE HERO AND THE CROWN
    by Robin McKinley
    (1984)

    Aerin does not really fit in and many doubt her ability to inherit the birthright owed her as the daughter of the king. She embarks on a dangerous quest that brings her into close contact with some fearsome dragons and she is able to discover her own strength along the way.

     

  • friendships and fighting evil

    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. 

    So, with no further ado, we bring you 6 Degrees of Reading: Friendship and Fighting Evil (in Juvenile Fiction).  

    THE CURSE OF THE BOGGIN
    by D. J. MacHale
    (2016)

    Marcus, an orphan, starts having random supernatural experiences.  As he tries to figure out what is going on, he finds out that his birth parents left him a large brass key that opens the door to a magical library.  In the library are histories of supernatural experiences, some of which are still being written. Marcus finds himself battling terrors to discover the truth about the library and himself.  

    LOST IN A BOOK
    by Jennifer Donnelly
    (2017)

    This take on the classic Beauty and the Beast offers well-known characters intriguing new challenges. Soon after Belle arrives at the Beast’s castle she discovers a magical book in the library that takes her to the wonderful land of Nevermore. She knows it isn’t a real world, but the Countess of the world promises it could be real if she gives up her life with the Beast.  

    THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL
    by Shannon & Dean Hale
    (2017)

    You may not recognize Squirrel Girl immediately, but she is a well-known character to avid Marvel fans. Doreen was born with a squirrel tail and the ability to talk with squirrels.  Her parents urge her to keep her tail hidden (so that other kids don't feel bad that they don't have one), but when Doreen moves to another state and another middle school. As the new kid in school, Doreen finds it hard to both make friends and keep her amazing Squirrel Girl abilities a secret.  

    SAVE ME A SEAT
    by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan
    (2016)

    In India, Ravi was the top student and the best at cricket.   But now, as the new kid in a new school, he finds himself stuck in a remedial class. At his old school Ravi would have never associated with a kid like Joe, who is big and awkward and has a learning disability.  But now the two find themselves stuck in class together, finding unlikely friendship as they become victims of the same bully. This is a great tale of multiracial friendship without borders.  

    MURDER IS BAD MANNERS
    by Robin Stevens
    (2015)

    Hazel Wong is from Hong Kong and has come to boarding school in England.  She is befriended by one of the most popular girls in her grade, Daisy Wells, and they form a secret detective agency.  All too soon they have their first grisly case.  

    THE MARK OF THE PLAGUE
    by Kevin Sands
    (2016)

    Christopher is living in his old master's workshop while plague rages through London.   One day he hears about a strange "prophet" who is going around town foretelling who will get the plague next.  The young sleuth begins to wonder who and what the "Prophet" really is and what connection he might have to Christopher’s old master. In an attempt to save lives, Christopher and his friend Tom risk their lives to battle the forces of evil.

  • 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. So, with no further ado, we bring you 6 Degrees of Reading: Games and Globalization. 

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    THAT’S NOT ENGLISH: BRITISHISMS, AMERICANISMS, AND WHAT OUR ENGLISH SAYS ABOUT US
    by Erin Moore  
    (2015)

    American by birth, author Erin Moore, now living in London with her Anglo-American husband, uses wit and humor to explore the historical and cultural differences of English language usage between Americans and British. Through several themed chapters on topics ranging from snacking habits to raising children, Moore explores the etymology of words on both sides of the pond and what these differences say about us.

    GLOBISH: HOW THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BECAME THE WORLD’S LANGUAGE
    by Robert McCrum
    (2010)

    Robert McCrum discusses how English language usage has spread from Great Britain to everywhere on earth as he takes readers on a whirlwind tour of British and American history and their mark on the world up through modern times where people in Asia are racing to learn the English. In the 1980s, there was a fear that the English language would degenerate into a vast number of dialects. However, with the modern globalization of the world, English has not only avoided this fate, but grown to become the language of choice around the globe.

    HOW SOCCER EXPLAINS THE WORLD: THE UNLIKELY THEORY OF GLOBALIZATION
    by Franklin Foer  
    (2004)

    Using soccer to show differences and commonalities, Foer reveals how the globalization of the world is simultaneously making everywhere more alike and more different as people seek to define themselves through their love of soccer. By examining the game, he focuses on understanding how international forces affect politics and life around the globe. Showing how in some places sport and competition can be used as a method to keep hatred, racism, or religious tolerance alive and in other places it is used as a modernizing force (such as in Iran where women forced police to allow them into a men’s-only stadium to celebrate a win for their national team).

    THE MONOPOLISTS: OBSESSION, FURY, AND THE SCANDAL BEHIND THE WORLD'S FAVORITE BOARD GAME
    by Mary Pilon
    (2015)

    Sport and competition have always resulted in high stakes. Look no further than Mary Pilon’s revealing book into the turbulent history of the Monopoly board game. Pilon reveals the Monopoly's interesting origins including the lost female originator of the game,  the Parker Brothers' attempts to blockade the development of other similar games, and the competitive rivalry between Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley. This is an interesting read about the origins of a beloved board game, the folk history surrounding it, and the corporate greed that made it into the iconic game it is today.

    WORD FREAK: HEARTBREAK, TRIUMPH, GENIUS, AND OBSESSION IN THE WORLD OF COMPETITIVE SCRABBLE PLAYERS
    by Stefan Fatsis
    (2001)

    WORD FREAK looks into the world of extreme competitive Scrabble. What began for author Stefan Fatsis as a curious look at the sport for a journal article quickly turned into an obsession for the board game that converted him from a “living room player” into actually competing along with the world’s best players. The book humorously portrays the irreverent crowd that competes at this level and mixes in historical facts about the board game. Fatsis also explains how players must be able to memorize words well above what one would use in normal language usage. This is a provocative look at the world of games and the way the mind works with words.

    THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN: A TALE OF MURDER, INSANITY, AND THE MAKING OF THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    by Simon Winchester
    (1998)

    The fascinating look into how a madman and murderer submitted over ten thousand definitions of words for the first Oxford English Dictionary. Genius Dr. W.C. Minor was diagnosed with schizophrenia after his experiences in the American Civil War. After traveling to London where he killed a man and was sent to an insane asylum, Minor came across a leaflet asking for volunteers to help compile a history of the English language. Minor wrote to the editor and offered his services while remaining vague about his circumstances. Author Simon Winchester not only chronicles this interesting man but also the momentous effort it took to build the Oxford English Dictionary as a way to help document the etymology of words in the English language.

  • hip hop and history 01

    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 week, history and hip hop collide, and it's electric! (see what I did there?)

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON
    by Ron Chernow
    (2004)

    The book the hit Broadway musical was based on. Until recently Alexander Hamilton was not as well esteemed and avidly written about like the other gifted men of his time. However, Chernow makes the case that Hamilton should be considered one of the most important Founding Fathers arguing that without his financial brilliance and creation of public finance, the United States might not have survived beyond the first few years.

    HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION
    by Lin-Manuel Miranda
    (2016)

    This book takes readers behind the scenes of the new Broadway hit musical based on the life of Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. Mixing a variety of musical styles including hip-hop, pop, R&B, and musical theater, the story gives insight into Hamilton's life, the Revolutionary war, and the early American time period.

    YOUR FAVORITE BAND IS KILLING ME: WHAT POP MUSIC RIVALRIES REVEAL ABOUT THE MEANING OF LIFE
    by Steven Hyden
    (2016)

    At some point, we've all argued why we prefer one band over another from their lyrics to antics off the stage. Author Steven Hyden uses 19 different band rivalries from the famous Beatles/Rolling Stones competition to hip-hop artists, Biggie vs. Tupac and what deeper truths we can learn from these rivalries.

    BIRDMEN: THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, GLENN CURTISS, AND THE BATTLE TO CONTROL THE SKIES
    by Lawrence Goldstone
    (2014)

    An interesting exploration of the rivalry between the Wright brothers and Glenn Hammond Curtiss to be the first to invent a machine capable of sustained flight. Goldstone takes readers through their design innovations, false starts, and dreams of the ultimate prize which was finally captured by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

    TESLA: INVENTOR OF THE ELECTRICAL AGE
    by W. Bernard Carlson
    (2013)

    When you think of inventions using electricity, Thomas Edison is more widely known than the eccentric Nicola Tesla. In his book, however, author W. Bernard Carlson, sheds light on the Tesla, his inventions, and his many successes and failures. This book looks at the what, how, and why he was motivated to invent.

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: AN AMERICAN LIFE
    by Walter Isaacson
    (2004)

    This book traces the life of one of America's great Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a man of a variety of interests many of which have been woven into our American heritage. From his early days as a printer to scientist, inventor, and politician, Benjamin Franklin was one of the most accomplished men of his age. The book even covers his interest in the power of electricity and his experimentation done with lightning to determine if they were the same.

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    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 week we're turning to picture books to make our way from a duck with an identity crises, through misbehaving objects and pets, and back again! 

    Identity Crisis and Correspondence 01

    DUDDLE PUCK: THE PUDDLE DUCK
    by Karma Wilson
    (2015)

    Duddle Puck, the puddle duck, is one farm animal who seems to be experiencing an identity crisis . Although he doesn’t seem to mind the fact that he never quacks, the rest of the farm is bothered by his clucks, oinks, honks, and neighs. Will Duddle Puck ever quack?

    RED: A CRAYON’S STORY
    by Michael Hall
    (2015)

    It says “Red” on his label, but every time Red tries to color, it comes out blue. He tries his best but he just can’t do it and everyone notices. Red is having an identity crisis and wants to act like the other crayons . However, perhaps he needs to learn how to just be himself.

    THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT
    by Drew Daywalt
    (2013)

    Duncan’s crayons are writing him to let him know that they cannot keep working under the current conditions and are, therefore, quitting. Through their letters , they explain their hilarious demands to him and Duncan learns more about his trusty friends. 

    DEAR MRS. LARUE: LETTERS FROM OBEDIENCE SCHOOL
    by Mark Teague
    (2002)

    Ike has been sent to obedience school and he is not happy about it. Through a series of letters to his owner, he makes his feelings about the situation clear. He eventually runs away from school and lives on the lamb but in the end makes his way home under exciting circumstances.

    THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME
    Jennifer LaRue Huget
    (2013)

    A young boy explains everything you need to know if you want to run away. The boy himself runs away but his memories of home aided by his imagination are making him have second thoughts.

    Bonus connection: Two LaRues! 

    NOT A STICK
    by Antoinette Portis
    (2007)

    A stick is not a stick. When you use your imagination, a stick can be anything. In fact, this little pig is not just a simple farm animal —it can be an artist or a weightlifter or whatever the pig chooses to be. 

     

  • Six Degrees 01

    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.

    We're celebrating Shakespeare this week (it's his birthday, after all!), and you might surprised with how easy it was to connect him to some of our favorite stars of THE OFFICE. 

    FATES AND FURIES
    by Lauren Groff
    (2015)  

    This novel is a portrait of a marriage with the various secrets and deceptions of the husband and wife unfolding as the story progresses. The first half focuses on the husband, Lotto, a struggling actor who achieves considerable success writing plays instead. The second half focuses on Matilde as she grapples with tragic loss and her own dark past.

    THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR
    by Arthur Phillips  
    (2011)  

    Arthur and his sister Dana are presented with a play, purportedly written by William Shakespeare, by their dying father, still serving prison time for fraud. Their father’s dying wish is for his children to publish this never before seen work.

    WILL IN THE WORLD: HOW SHAKESPEARE BECAME SHAKESPEARE
    by Stephen Greenblatt
    (2004)

    This book explores the rise of William Shakespeare from his humble background to become the most famous and influential English playwright in the world. The author paints this portrait within the context of the Elizabethan world in which he grew up and which shaped his theatrical works.  

    BORN WITH TEETH 
    by Kate Mulgrew  
    (2015)

    Starting with her upbringing in Iowa, Kate Mulgrew tells her story of moving to New York to study theater, getting her first television role in the soap opera RYAN’S HOPE and later, her most famous role as Captain Janeway in STAR TREK: VOYAGER. However, she places more emphasis on her personal life, relationship challenges and her attempts to reconnect with the daughter she gave up for adoption.

    IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT BUT ME? (AND OTHER CONCERNS) 
    by Mindy Kaling
    (2011)

    Mindy Kaling, television writer and actor best known for her work in THE OFFICE, offers an array of humorous observations about her work, family, relationship challenges and her struggles with body image issues.

    ONE MORE THING: STORIES AND OTHER STORIES 
    by B.J. Novak
    (2014)  

    Well known for his writing and acting in the television series THE OFFICE, this is a collection of short stories varied and brilliant. The titular story is about a young boy who wins a sweepstakes contest only to discover that collecting the winning may prove more harmful than good for him and his family.

  • 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.

    So, with no further ado, we bring you 6 Degrees of Reading, Abusive Sisters and Spinsters edition.

    PERSUASION
    by Jane Austen
    (1818)

    Eight years earlier, Anne Elliot’s friends and family convinced her to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth.  Now 27 years old and considered a spinster, Anne divides her time between her father and sisters, all of whom use and abuse her.  When Anne is reunited with Captain Wentworth, she feels the full weight of her regret.

    THE HIDING PLACE
    by Corrie ten Boom
    (1984)

    Corrie Ten Boom never expected to be a political prisoner; the youngest daughter in a large, religious family, she lived an uneventful life.  Corrie, a self-described spinster, worked in her father’s watch repair shop and helped around the house.  During the Nazi invasion, however, she and her family leave their peaceful lives behind, joining the Dutch Resistance and housing runaway Jews.

    AUDREY HEPBURN: AN ELEGANT SPIRIT
    by Sean Hepburn Ferrer
    (2005)

    Written by her oldest son, Sean, this biography follows Audrey from her boarding school days in London, through her teen years spent carrying messages and performing fundraising ballets for the Dutch Resistance during World War II, and into her early adulthood as an aspiring actress.  Ferrer understandably focuses in particular on Hepburn’s later experiences not only as a movie star but as a loving mother of two sons and on her extensive work with UNICEF.

    SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE
    by Lauren Graham
    (2014) 

    When I saw that Lauren Graham, known for her roles on Gilmore Girls and Parenthood (two of my favorite shows), had published a book, I knew I had to read it.  Someday, Someday, Maybe follows young, aspiring actress Franny Banks, named after a character in her deceased mother’s favorite book, as she tries to establish her career in New York.

    ROSE DAUGHTER 
    by Robin McKinley
    (1997)

    Robin Mckinley earned widespread acclaim for her first Beauty and the Beast retelling, Beauty, and her Newberry Award Winning fantasy novel, The Hero and the Crown.  Fewer readers are familiar with this second fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, however.  Beauty, whose mother died years before, lives with her merchant father and sisters.  After losing all their money, the family moves to Rose Cottage, where Beauty discovers a deep love for roses and gardening.  Her father sets off to remake his fortune, but he ends up making a terrible bargain with a beast within a hidden castle.

    ELLA ENCHANTED
    by Gail Carson Levine
    (1997)

    In this fairytale retelling, Ella of Frell lives with a terrible curse of obedience placed on her in childhood.  As she befriends elves, conquers ogres, outsmarts the stepmother and stepsisters who use and abuse her, and falls in love, Ella never loses her spunk or her determination to break the curse.

  • spies and secrets 01

    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. Today's iteration features young adult fiction titles and some of our favorite things: finishing school, spies, servants, and secrets. 

    ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE
    by Gail Carriger
    (2013)

    In an alternate England of 1851, spirited and clever fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where lessons include dance, dress, and etiquette alongside espionage, poisoning, hand-to-hand fighting, and deceit. Not only does Sophronia excel at her lessons, but she also manages to solve a mystery—and fall in love—during her first year.

    LEVIATHAN
    by Scott Westerfeld
    (2009)

    In an alternate 1914 WWI Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, fleeing the Russian Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn, who disguised herself as a boy to join the British Air Service and is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.

    A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS
    by Eva Ibbotson
    (1981) 

    Young Russian countess Anna must flee to England after the Russian Revolution. She hides her identity and becomes a servant for an important family. But will she be able to suppress her attraction to Rupert, the dashing Earl of Westerholme?

    MAID OF SECRETS
    by Jennifer McGowan
    (2013)

    In 1559 England, Meg, an orphaned thief, is pressed to become a servant for the Maids of Honor, Queen Elizabeth I's secret all-female guard, but her loyalty is tested when she falls in love with a Spanish courtier who may be a threat.

    PALACE OF SPIES
    by Sarah Zettel          
    (2013)

    In 1716 London, an orphaned sixteen-year-old girl from a good family impersonates a lady-in-waiting only to discover that the real girl was murdered, the court harbors a nest of spies, and the handsome young artist who is helping her solve the mystery might be a spy himself.

    GRAVE MERCY
    by R.L. LaFevers
    (2012)

    In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Brittany, seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where lessons include espionage, poisoning, hand-to-hand fighting, and deceit. When the convent sends her to Brittany’s court to protect its young princess, Ismae discovers the court harbors a nest of murderers and spies. It will take all of Ismae’s skills and charms to keep the young princess—and herself—alive.

  • time and tempests 01 

    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. 

    FIVE DAYS LEFT
    by Julie Lawson Timmer
    (2014)

    Two stories run parallel in this novel of heartbreak and hope.  Mara has five daysleft 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 MAN CALLED OVE
    by Fredrik Backman
    (2014)

    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.

    THE HISTORY OF LOVE
    by Nicole Krauss
    (2005)

    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.

    THE SHADOW OF THE WIND
    by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    (2004)

    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.

    ALL TOGETHER DEAD (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood #7)
    by Charlaine Harris
    (2007)

    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.

    FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL: LIFE AND DEATH IN A STORM-RAVAGED HOSPITALF
    by Sheri Fink
    (2013)

    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.