Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Tue, 09/20/2016 - 12:23am
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

After graduating with honors from Emory University, Christopher Johnson McCandless left his suburban home in Annandale, Virginia, behind to pursue an odyssey to the Stampede Trail in Alaska.

McCandless gave up his $25,000 college grant to charity and began traveling across the Western United States. To the disappointment of his family back home, he ceased all communication with them and abandoned his 1982 Datsun after a flash flood somewhere in the Midwest.

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 8:59am
The Squire's Tale by Gerald Morris

Gawain of Orkney doesn't need a squire. He's yet to make it to King Arthur's court to be knighted, and, if he does need a squire later, he has a few brothers in the hinterlands who will do. For his part, Terence is perfectly happy taking care of his foster father, the hermit Trevisant. He is a kind boy and an excellent cook, though granted a bit confused at present. Just recently the trees had started talking to him.

Trevisant, however, has other ideas. After a shared pot of excellent stewed rabbit, the hermit tells the pair that they are destined to achieve great things together. Terence tells Gawain that it must be so, since Trevisant has the gift to see the future as if it were the past.

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 4:05pm
From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! by Felicia S. Chernesky

On a beautiful day in autumn, a mother and daughter go apple picking and learn all about making delicious apple cider.

Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Fuji apples—you name it, the Cider Mill Farm has it! After picking, they move toward the mill, where scarecrows and pumpkins lead the way. Clean the apples (and don't forget to check for worms!), then watch as every apple does its part. Twist and press and squish and mash those apples to make apple mush!—then see the cider splish and splash.

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 12:18am
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs. Perhaps it’s not a fascinating name, but it –is- the name of a fascinating woman. Born to a poor but loving family, thirteen-year-old Maisie goes into service in a grand London house. How very fortunate for her that it is the home of a clever and bored lady bountiful.

Tue, 09/13/2016 - 12:18am
Cover to Irena’s Children: A True Story of Courage by Tilar J. Mazzeo

History is complicated, and people’s lives are even more so. In the short biography and video clip that Facebook has to share, Irena Sendler is presented as a Catholic woman who saved approximately 2,500 Jewish children. That is true, as far as it goes. Irene was certainly a courageous woman, and she came from Catholic roots and was devoted to the Church during her later years. But there is more to her story. Real heroes often lead complicated lives, as readers of Tilar J. Mazzeo’s Irena’s Children will discover.

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 9:20am
A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories by Robin McKinley

From the moment she was born, the black-haired girl with the sad eyes never made a sound. When she was a child, her parents discovered that her true talent lay with quickening the mending of bones and quieting fevers. The local healer Jolin noticed as well, and, as she had no daughter to teach, she took Lily as her apprentice.

That was going well enough until Lily met a mage-marked stranger who brought the hope of a cure—and perhaps of happiness for them both. But what would be the cost?

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