Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
02/28/2011 - 4:31am
The Vinyl Princess

There was once a time when you couldn’t fit every song that ever existed into a small metal box and put it in your pocket. I know that might sound horrible, but it’s true. Before iPods, CDs, and cassettes, there was vinyl. Back then, you could run your fingers along the grooves of a recording and actually feel the music that would soon be blasting through your speakers. I’m not necessarily saying it was better…just different.

The Vinyl Princess, by Yvonne Prinz, is a love letter to that outdated media of yesteryear, which certain groups of people will always swear by. Sixteen-year-old Allie is one of those devout few. Not only does she love vinyl, she knows a heckuva lot about the bands that are on it. It’s no wonder that she has the perfect job of working at her favorite record store this summer.
02/25/2011 - 9:09am
Books by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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.

Sherrilyn Kenyon writes urban fantasy books, such as the popular Dark-Hunters series: "The Dark-Hunters are immortal warriors pledged to the Greek goddess Artemis and dedicated to defending mankind against Daimons (vampires) and other assorted enemies including a couple of rogue gods and goddesses." (Wikipedia)

If you like books by Sherrilyn Kenyon, you might also like these titles and authors.
 

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Having fallen for a human boy, a beautiful teenage werewolf must battle both her packmates and the fear of the townspeople to decide where she belongs and with whom. (Catalog Description)  Part of the young adult collection.

 

 
 

Dancing with the Devil by Keri Arthur
"Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there's nothing left to surprise her. All that changes the night she follows teenager Monica Trevgard into the shadows-and becomes a pawn caught in a war between two very different men. One fills her mind with his madness, the other pushes his way into her life-and her heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be, but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in a man who could easily destroy her.

Michael Kelly has come to Lyndhurst determined to end the war between himself and another brother of the night. For 300 years he has existed in life's shadows, gradually learning to control the life from death cravings of a vampire. Nikki not only breaches his formidable barriers with her psychic abilities, but makes Michael believe he may finally have found a woman strong enough to walk by his side and ease the loneliness in his heart. But will his love be enough to protect her from a madman hell-bent on revenge? Or will it drive her into his enemy's deadly trap?

Only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both. But the secrets they keep from each other might prove to be the greatest threat of all. "(Book Description)
 

02/24/2011 - 10:18am
The Chiru of High Tibet by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

This book is another example of why I love reading children's books.  The Chiru of High Tibet by Jaqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Linda Wingerter, introduced me to an animal I knew nothing about--the chiru.  Chiru are unique animals resembling antelopes, but related to wild goats and sheep.  Their wool is special also and is considered to be the finest in the world. It is called shahtoosh, the king of wools. In order for this wool to be used, the animal has to be killed. 

A man named George B. Schaller was very worried about the chiru and its existence.  He was afraid that if something was not done to protect them, they would become extinct.  So Schaller decided to do something.  He wanted to protect the chiru from the hunters.  In order to do that, he had to find the secret place where the female chirus gave birth.  After several attempts to locate this elusive spot failed, four mountain climbers offered to help Schaller.

They set out on the journey with no trucks and no camels or donkeys that would need feeding.  They pulled their supplies in wheeled carts across the plains of Tibet.  When you read this book you will find out how their journey went and how the chiru situation was resolved. 

02/23/2011 - 4:31am
The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton

Australian author Kate Morton has made a study of Gothic fiction, and her book, The Distant Hours, is a "Gothic Delight." Her writing, a mixture of Gothic, romance and mystery genres, plus her addition of original fairy tales, has sold millions of novels all over the world.

"The ancient walls sing the distant hours..." at Milderhurst Castle in Kent, home of the literary Blythe family. Only the decaying castle--and the careful reader--know all the secrets hidden within its walls and moat. Kate Morton carefully paces her novel--you don't want to miss a page or you will miss out on the clues to piece together the secrets.

02/22/2011 - 12:19pm
How the Garcial Girls Lost Their Accents

In a reverse chronological sequence of events, Julia Alvarez takes her readers through the immigration experience of the four Garcia sisters: Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Leaving behind a life of privilege surrounded by their large extended family, the four girls move with their Papi and Mami to New York City, and begin the long, never-ending process of assimilating into American culture. The story is as much a coming of age tale as it is a feminist, Latino perspective on American culture, beautifully conveyed with a sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary here and there.

The sisters are adults at the beginning of the book, and going back in time, the reader experiences their divorces, marriages, college years, teenage angst and confusion, and efforts to learn English while attending American public schools. Their father’s involvement in a plot against the dictator, the subsequent investigations by the authorities, and the escape with the help of friends and family are all experienced by the reader alongside Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia. Alvarez did a good job of keeping me hooked. The why’s and the how’s unfold further and further the closer the reader gets to the end of the book--which is actually the beginning of the story. 
02/22/2011 - 12:36pm
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

In 2008, Nya, a young woman who lives in Sudan, walks two hours one way to get water for her family.  She does this twice a day.  She does not have shoes.  In her book A Long Walk to Water,  Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park, introduces us to Nya.  She also introduces us to Salva, a young man living in Sudan in 1985.

Their stories are told in alternating tales.  Salva is a young student in Sudan in 1985.  His country has been going through a civil war for decades.  One day while Salva is at school, a group of rebels attack his village.  The teacher tells all the students to run away to escape the attack by the rebels.  Salva does as instructed but soon finds himself alone and far from his home.  He certainly does not feel safe.  He is lost and disoriented.  He meets up with a group of refugees who are leaving Sudan and heading to Kenya.  Salva joins the group though they are reluctant to accept him because he is a child and may become a burden.    Salva walks with them, hoping to find safety in Kenya and hoping to be reunited with his family.