Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
04/17/2014 - 3:01am
She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain by Jonathan Emmet and Deborah Allwright

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain takes the popular folk song to new heights of silliness. A serenading cactus begins our tune, inviting us to sing along. The "She" in question is a pint-sized cowgirl whose legend grows with the song.

We start normally enough, but when we find out that the six white horses she'll be driving are named "Misty, Moonbeam, Milkshake, Stardust, Silvermane, and Snowflake," we find ourselves riding off the beaten path into hilariously imaginative scenarios involving jelly-juggling and rooftop-dancing.

04/16/2014 - 3:01am
Oregon Hill, by Howard Owen

Welcome to Oregon Hill, a hardscrabble neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, where people may move away but they never really leave. Willie Black, a 49-year-old crime reporter with the only major newspaper in town, is such a one.

Willie is an old-time journalist, maybe a relic, who watches the decline of the traditional press with many a rueful sigh and stubbed-out cigarette. He’s seen a lot in his years, but the gruesome murder of a pretty, young girl found by the South Anna River does manage to unnerve him and kindles within a fire to find out the truth—a truth that doubles back and leads home to Oregon Hill.

04/15/2014 - 3:01am
The Humans by Matt Haig

Sometimes it takes an alien to tell us humans how to live.

The Vonnadorians are advanced beings who come to our messy, wet planet and think we, The Humans, are inferior. They believe we are not ready for more technological progress so they eliminate Professor Andrew Martin, who has made a breakthrough in mathematics which would change the course of humanity’s future. Naturally, they replace him with an alien look-alike who is ill-prepared for his mission to erase any knowledge of the Cambridge professor’s work--and to destroy anyone who knows about it.

04/14/2014 - 3:01am
Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

Troy Billings is about to kill himself. At 296 pounds, he's tired of being a joke. Every aspect of his life, the way he looks, moves, even the way he breathes, has become a punchline for his peers. If Troy had his way, Fat Kid Rules the World would be a pretty short read. Thank goodness Curt MacCrea enters the picture.

04/11/2014 - 1:59pm
 
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.
 
The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva: "A former Mossad agent, now an art restorer, is tapped to help thwart a Palestinian plot to halt peace talks by assassinating Yasir Arafat. " (Library Journal)
 
If you liked The Kill Artist, you may also like these titles:
 
 
The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson
John Wells is the only CIA agent to ever penetrate al Qaeda. While living in the mountains of Pakistan, he became a Muslim, convinced of the decadence and shallowness of the United States. 
 
 
 
 
One Rough Man by Brad Taylor
They call it the Taskforce. Their existence is as essential as it is illegal. Commissioned at the highest level of the U.S. government, protected from the prying eyes of Congress and the media. Built around the top operators from across the clandestine, intelligence, and special forces landscape and designed to operate outside the bounds of U.S. law. 
 
04/10/2014 - 3:01am
Moonday by Adam Rex

Like a lost puppy, the moon follows a family home one night. Soon an entire town is affected by the celestial visitor. They all have just received their first Moonday.

At first, it is very exciting. When the moon shrinks enough to fit in the backyard, our protagonist hops onto it and explores. But things grow peculiar. Morning never arrives and everyone is feeling extra sleepy. Soon the backyard is flooded with a high tide and howling dogs!