Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Wed, 04/06/2016 - 3:45am
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King

A chance encounter with the legendary Sherlock Holmes alters the life trajectory of fifteen-year-old Mary Russell. In The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R. King, Mary literally bumps into Holmes while roaming the hills near her cottage. After the initial awkward run-in, the two are immediately drawn to each other’s insatiable curiosity and superior intellect. As both of Mary’s parents died in a horrific accident, her friendship with Holmes is a welcome respite from her days with a cold, disapproving aunt.

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 3:45am
My Brilliant Friend: Childhood, Adolescence by Elena Ferrante

I started listing adjectives to describe My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante: visceral; violent; passionate. This is the first in a series of four Neapolitan Novels by an elusive Italian author who writes under a pseudonym. Elena and Lila’s friendship is full of envy and love as they claw their way out childhood into adolescence in a poverty-stricken quarter of Naples in the 1950s.

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 3:42am
Frankencrayon by Michael Hall

If the crayons can’t stop the scribble monster, then this picture book might be cancelled!

Wait.

How can a picture book be cancelled?

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 7:46am
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

Her sister’s young twins came to Luce after a hard patch. Which is to say, having their mother meet her end most violently at the hands of their stepfather. They were odd children, quiet to the point of not speaking and not looking people in the eye. Ever. They had some disturbing habits, too, which spoke of far more having been done to their small selves than they would fess to. Not that they were fessing to anything, encased as they were in their eerie, shared silence. In Charles Frazier’s Nightwoods, their eccentric Aunt Luce and the North Carolina mountain she calls home promise nothing to them, yet they do provide a haven—for a while.

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 3:35am
Code Name Verity

Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity starts with something different and unexpected, a story’s protagonist, or hero, not being very heroic. Our protagonist, a young female British spy, is being held hostage in an aristocratic hotel in Nazi-occupied France. While other spies would withstand any amount of torture in order to protect their friends, family, and country, Code Name Verity’s protagonist, whose name and identity are a secret, begins by making a deal with the Gestapo. She will give them anything and everything they want to know, including writing the story of how she arrived in Nazi-occupied France, and, in return, they will feed her, clothe her, stop torturing her, and they will not kill her—for now.

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 9:28am
The Only Child by Guojing

In The Only Child, a girl leaves home without telling her parents, hoping to visit her grandma. She soon finds herself lost, alone, and afraid in the woods. When she comes across a mighty stag, her fortunes turn as a magical adventure begins.

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