Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Mon, 12/14/2015 - 2:50am
The Badger Knight by Kathryn Erskine

Twelve-year-old Adrian is too small and sickly to be a warrior. What's more, he is an albino. Due to his pale skin and white hair, some villagers think that he is a demon. The other kids call him Badger when he puts dirt under his eyes to fight the intense glare of the sun. If everything goes according to Adrian's new plan, though, people will soon be calling him The Badger Knight.

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 1:59pm
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

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 Marian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: "Leaving behind a world on the brink of destruction, man came to the Red Planet and found the Martians waiting, dreamlike. Seeking the promise of a new beginning, man brought with him his oldest fears and his deepest desires. Man conquered Mars-- and in that instant, Mars conquered him. The strange new world, with its ancient, dying race and vast red-gold deserts, cast a spell on him, settled into his dreams, and changed him forever." (Book summary)

 

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

Without warning, giant silver ships from deep space appear in the skies above every major city on Earth. Manned by the Overlords, in fifty years, they eliminate ignorance, disease, and poverty. Then this golden age ends--and then the age of Mankind begins....  (catalog description)

Dangerous Visions by Harlan Ellison

Anthologies seldom make history, but Dangerous Visions is a grand exception. Harlan Ellison's 1967 collection of science fiction stories set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards - not surprising with a contributors list that reads like a who's who of 20th-century SF  (catalog description)

Thu, 12/10/2015 - 2:48am
William & the Missing Masterpiece

“The Mona Cheese is missing, and debonair cat-detective William is on the case!”

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 2:47am
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
After her guardian’s burial, Veronica Speedwell returns to her cottage only to find an intruder in the process of ransacking her belongings. Never one to shy away from danger, Speedwell grabs a nearby sword and gives chase. She is quickly overpowered by the intruder and dragged to a waiting carriage. As luck would have it, a gun-toting gentleman fires his pistol at the offending thug, resulting in Veronica’s hasty release.

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 1:38pm
If you like Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

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.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann: A rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. A radical young Irish monk struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gathers in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. A 38-year-old grandmother turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth. Weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann's allegory comes alive in the voices of the city's people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the "artistic crime of the century"--a mysterious tightrope walker dancing between the Twin Towers.

If you enjoyed Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann for the writing, the family story and the setting, you may enjoy these titles:

American Rust by Philipp Meyer
Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever.-catalog summary

 

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. (catalog description)

 

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