Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Tue, 07/21/2015 - 10:05am
The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams

A life-threatening health condition led Dee Williams, author of The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir, to make some unorthodox life decisions. In seeking the traditional American dream of being a homeowner, she buys a house—one with great potential, but in need of extensive TLC. Dee, a farm girl, is not intimidated by hard work, and gradually she transforms her fixer-upper into charming digs, complete with a lavish garden. Between maintaining her abode and traveling for her job as a state hazardous waste inspector, she has no time to simply luxuriate in little day-to-day pleasures. It’s not until she is diagnosed with heart failure in her early forties that she realizes how vital it is to change her priorities. She is no longer content to be a slave to house and yard work.

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:21pm
Before Versailles by Karleen Koen

Karleen Koen’s Before Versailles is a splendidly rich story of romantic intrigue set in the early days of the Sun King’s rule. Louis XIV is a very young and handsome king. Newly-married to a virtuous if plain Spanish princess, he is determined to be true to his vows, but the ladies at court have other ideas—particularly his brother’s wife.

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 1:35pm
If you like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic that has been translated into more than 40 languages. 

If you like To Kill a Mockingbird, you may also like the following titles:

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man. 

Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas
When University of Michigan sophomore Celeste Tyree travels to Mississippi to volunteer her efforts in Freedom Summer, she's assigned to help register voters in the small town of Pineyville, a place best known for a notorious lynching that occurred only a few years earlier. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Celeste befriends several members of the community, but there are also those who are threatened by her and the change that her presence in the South represents. 

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 12:35pm
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

Boy + Bot are two very different friends who share the same love of discovery. Boy encounters the robot in the woods while collecting pinecones and asks to play. "Affirmative!" the robot answers.

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 1:40am
Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

Welcome to Keyhouse: an unlikely New England mansion in Lovecraft, Massachusetts that opens doors to transformations that no one would ever expect—especially the new owners, the mourning Locke family. After their father Rendell is murdered in California, the grieving Mrs. Locke moves herself and her three school-aged children—Tyler, Kinsey, and young Bode—across the country to live with distant family.

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 1:39am
Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue

You will find wisdom and comfort in this sweet, funny, and smart story. Counselor Maggie Brennan specializes in helping her patients in a special type of loss: the anguish of the loss of a four-legged friend. Her insight into the loss of this special bond moves her grieving patients who are often embarrassed and confused about the emotional turmoil caused by the loss of their pets: loss is loss and love is love. Her patients are not “Dog Crazy” but “Dog Normal.”