Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
09/13/2011 - 3:31am

Attention all dog lovers: Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, by Ted Kerasote, is a must-read book about a dog and his human companion. This non-fiction tale takes the reader to the banks of the San Juan River where Ted, the author, finds Merle, a ten-month-old pup living on his own. Ted, who had been looking for a dog but never really felt connected to any of the dogs he had met, finds it impossible to leave this dog. Merle seems to also be looking for a companion and doesn't want to leave Ted's side either.

Merle and Ted strike up a relationship that any dog owner can understand. They share their lives together, all the while learning from each other. Merle teaches Ted how to navigate in nature and techniques for hunting, while Ted teaches about the ways of the human world. In actuality, Merle teaches Ted more about obedience and other dog behaviors than Ted teaches him. Ted uses his knowledge of Merle to translate dog behavior to human language. It's a fantastic relationship between dog and human.

09/12/2011 - 3:30am
Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of her family's SUV. She is sick and her stepmother has gone into the pharmacy to pick up her medicine.  She left the engine running because she was only going to be a minute. Griffin is in the parking lot of the shopping center looking for packages in cars that he can steal.  He sees the SUV with the engine running and he steals it. Cheyenne is still asleep in the back seat. She wakes up to find that she is in her car and it is being stolen. Griffin has no idea that Cheyenne is in the back. Oh yes, and one more thing....Cheyenne is blind in Girl, Stolen by April Henry.

09/09/2011 - 3:41pm

The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America will be commemorated this year, prompting us to remember and reflect upon the terrible events of that day. The library has a variety of  books and videos about various aspects of the tragedy, from memoir to probing political exposé. Browse the Nine Eleven book list.

09/09/2011 - 10:59am
If You Like A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton

This readalike is in response to a patron'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.

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton: "Pen /Hemingway Award-winning novelist Jane Hamilton follows up her first success,The Book Of Ruth, with this spectacularly haunting drama about a rural American family and a disastrous event that forever changes their lives."

If you want an emotional tear-jerker like "A Map of the World" by Jane Hamilton,  here are some titles sure to make you weep:

"The Bridges of Madison County" by Robert James Waller
An almost legendary story of love that endures - through time and distance.

 

 

 

"A Death in the Family" by James Agee
Jay Follet goes to see his dying father, who turns out to not be dying. On the way home, Jay is killed in a car accident. This story shifts in time as it tells the stories of various family members.

 

 

09/08/2011 - 3:31am
Weaver's Daughter by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Weaver’s Daughter, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, is a great story for mothers and daughters to share together!

Every fall Lizzy gets sick…very sick and no one knows why.  Each year it gets worse and worse.  It’s 1791, and doctors are expensive and hard to come by, and her family does not know what to do.  Lizzy just knows that she won’t be able to get better when it happens again this year.  What did families do back then when their children were sick?  They didn’t know about asthma and allergies.

09/07/2011 - 3:30am
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt

Not all stand-up comedians can translate their live energy and timing into textual representation. For Patton Oswalt, however, the transition from stage to page feels effortless and strangely appropriate. In Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, Oswalt treats us to an engaging romp through a motley assortment of his personal experiences, pop-culture obsessions, and comedic experiments. Oswalt introduces the book with a very appropriate confession: “Comedy and terror and autobiography and comics and literature – they’re all the same thing. To me.” And, for once, he isn’t joking.

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is extremely eclectic, which makes it difficult to relegate to a singular category.  There are sections that lean towards the autobiography/memoir side of the spectrum. But there are also humor pieces and miscellaneous experiments, such as an illustrated chapter that feels like a slightly zanier, compressed version of Dylan Dog. There is also an epic poem dedicated to Ulvaak, the last character Oswalt played in Dungeons and Dragons. While the sheer variety of Zombie’s vignettes might seem overwhelming, the book is actually compulsively readable. I found myself eagerly turning the pages, wondering what Oswalt’s fevered brain would churn out next.