Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Wed, 10/19/2016 - 12:42am
Blind Sight: A Detective Mallory Novel by Carol O'Connell

Detective Kathy Mallory has another intriguing case on her hands.

In Carol O’Connell’s new novel Blind Sight, a cloistered nun is found dead on the mayor of New York City’s lawn, along with three other unlinked bodies. The pattern is the same for all of the victims except for the nun: loners and shut-ins. The real mystery lies behind why Sister Michael was chosen for a bitter and horrifying end.

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 12:41am
Cover to The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

Before reading The Book That Matters Most and seeing the list its book club picked, think about the book that matters most to you. I asked several friends and the members of my book group. The books they came up with were also Ann Hood’s choices.

At the beginning of the novel, Ava is lonely and angry. Her do-gooder husband has left her for a yarn bomber, for goodness sakes! She makes huge yarn objects to make political and social statements. Her children, Will and Maggie, are living abroad. Her daughter is a lost soul and trying to find herself in Paris.

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 11:21am
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Orphaned Kit Tyler had found life with her rich grandfather in Barbados to be wonderful. But her grandfather’s death revealed that their life of tropical splendor was nothing more than an illusion. In debt and desperate, the 17-year-old had very few options.

Running away from an arranged marriage to a much older man, she and her many trunks of expensive clothes board the Dolphin on a voyage to Wethersfield, a Puritan village in Connecticut. She goes to meet her Aunt Rachel, her Uncle Matthew and their daughters—the only relatives she has.

While traveling, she catches the eye of John, a kind, poor student on his way to Wethersfield, and Nat, the captain’s son, who teases Kit about her aristocratic upbringing. She truly enjoys being at sea, but even before she steps foot on the New England shore, she is accused of being a witch by yet another passenger heading to Wethersfield.

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 12:38am
If you like The Shining by Stephen King

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 other book matches here.

The Shining by Stephen King
Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote--and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old. (catalog summary)

If you like Stephen King, read some of his other popular horror novels:


Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget. (catalog summary)



Cujo By Stephen King
It happens innocently enough, but doesn't it always. A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave--and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind. (catalog summary)


Thu, 10/13/2016 - 8:24am
Stick Dog by Tom Watson

Look, not everyone can be a great artist, okay? The narrator of Stick Dog certainly isn’t, and he’s sick of hearing about it. So he’ll make you a deal. You don’t comment on the art, and in exchange you’ll get story about five rectangular canine friends on a quest for the Holy Grail of picnic foods: hamburgers.

Stick Dog—accompanied by his friends Mutt, Stripes, Poo-Poo, and Karen—is determined to get some of the delicious-smelling hamburgers being grilled in the park away from the picnickers and into empty doggy stomachs.

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 11:22am
Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer

If your idea of a great day or weekend trip is more about the lay of the land than condition of the asphalt, you will enjoy looking through the Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer. This is one of those big, old-school map books of many pages. Unlike navigating exclusively with GPS, which doles out your instructions bit by relevant bit, the Atlas and Gazetteer gives you the bigger picture to ponder.