Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:53pm
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures

For the better part of the 20th century, the card catalog stood as a gateway to the wonders of the library. In The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures, the Library of Congress celebrates the importance of the card catalog throughout library history.

The card catalog is seen as one of the most versatile and durable organizational scheme developed throughout history. It is the map to go to if you want to navigate your way through the vast wilderness of books. Although the beginnings of the card catalog started off slowly, it now covers every subject, from ancient to modern history, in libraries around the world. Peter Devereaux, writer-editor for the Library of Congress, notes that the catalog is a "tangible example of humanity's effort to establish and preserve the possibility of order."

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:53pm
Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Cata Cordova experiences insomnia. Not just any insomnia, but insomnia from P.T.S.D. The incident that began it all is still fresh in her mind.

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:55pm
The Adventures of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Novel

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 the book matches here.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Novel by Dav Pilkey
When George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking that he is the superhero Captain Underpants, he leads them to the lair of the nefarious Dr. Diaper, where they must defeat his evil robot henchmen. (catalog summary)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is an upcoming 2017 American family film based on the children's novel. The film is being produced by DreamWorks Animation and Scholastic Entertainment with animation production provided by Mikros Image. It is being directed by David Soren, written by Nicholas Stoller, and stars the voices of Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele and Kristen Schaal. The film is scheduled to be released on June 2, 2017, in 3D and 2D in the United States. See the HD trailer below

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:55pm
Cover to Soldier Song: A True Story of the Civil War

Two armies faced each other in winter camps across the Rappahannock River. The fighting in December had gone very badly for the Union as they tried to take the Confederate position at Marye’s Heights. Friends and sometimes family had been killed, and the Southern town of Fredericksburg was largely left in ruins.

For months, these two enemy armies went about their business on opposite sides of the river. During those long days and nights, they weren’t firing cannons anymore, but they were sending out volleys of music to lift their soldiers’ spirits. Each side had its patriotic songs. Often they had the same tune but different words, and each side would sing and cheer their own bands.

On those winter nights, they might close with a special tune. One that everyone sang the same words to: “Home, Sweet Home.”

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:55pm
Cover to The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

When Philip and his brother Francis were small boys, their knightly father and beloved mother were slain in front of them. The enemy soldiers were about to do likewise to the children, when a monk from the neighboring priory intervened, promising God’s wrath would descend on the soldiers should they continue their slaughter of innocents. The soldiers stood down.

For such was the power of the Church in the 12th century that even bloody-minded men-at-arms would take heed of a religious man’s words.

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 1:55pm
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

Life in small town Nevada, Iowa, in the late 1990s has never promised much. Everything is pretty much a stone's throw away from the residents' houses, including the popular Video Hut. Although a brand-spanking-new Hollywood Video nearby is threatening Video Hut's profits, it seems to still have its regular flow of customers. A job at the Video Hut is good enough for 22-year-old Jeremy, who lives with his father, an independent contractor. Both work endless hours to avoid painful thoughts of Mom, who died six years before in a car accident.

But, things are not what they seem in Nevada, Iowa. Not at all.

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