Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Mon, 05/29/2017 - 2:48am
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.

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 2:46am
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

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 2:46am
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.”

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 2:45am
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.

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 2:44am
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.

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 2:40am
If You’re Waiting for the Twin Peaks Revival

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.

Twin Peaks (1990-1991) - It is happening again.
Twin Peaks is an American television serial mystery-drama created by Mark Frost (The Equalizer) and David Lynch (Blue Velvet) that premiered on April 8, Kyle MacLachlan and Sherilyn Fenn1990, on ABC. The series was renewed for a second season that aired until June 10, 1991. It follows an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. The show's unsettling tone and supernatural elements are consistent with horror films, but its campy, melodramatic portrayal of quirky characters engaged in dubious activities draws on American soap operas. Like much of Lynch's work, it is distinguished by offbeat humor and surrealism.¹

Twin Peaks is often regarded as one of the greatest television dramas in the 1990s. It's cult following over the years has made the show even bigger. Unfortunately in 1991, the show recieved declining ratings due to the prolonged idendity of the killer and ABC insisted that it be revealed. Ratings did not improve and the show was cancelled. A full length feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was released in 1992, that serves as both a prequel and epilogue to the series. In 2014, the television network Showtime announced that the series would return for one season, scheduled to premiere on May 21, 2017. The miniseries is written by Lynch and Frost, as well as directed by Lynch. Many original cast members, including Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Cooper and Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer, are returning. To watch the cast talking about making the show again 25 years later, watch the trailer at the bottom of the book recommendations.

Offical Twin Peaks Revival Page on Showtime

If you're looking forward to the revival of Twin Peaks as much as I am, you may want to read books similar to the eerie and surreal tone of the series. Here are a few suggestions:

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