Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
05/26/2014 - 3:01am
Avengers Academy: Arcade Death Game

Poor Arcade just can’t catch a break. The Marvel Comics villain, known more for his arrogance and his overly-contrived, easily-escapable “traps” has had enough of heroes thwarting his schemes and embarrassing him. In order to regain his prestige in the hierarchy of villains, he must successfully assassinate a superhero, but whom should he choose? He decides on the inexperienced yet powerful young superheroes of the Avengers Academy, a training camp for the next generation of Avengers. Arcade Death Game details his attempt to kill the young recruits of the group with his intricate traps and deadly machines. It is a tightly-paced thriller with appealing heroes and some well-drawn artwork.

05/22/2014 - 12:23pm
29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy by Lemony Snicket

As Lemony Snicket gets further from the series that brought him notoriety, he finds himself exploring terra icognita, or unknown territory. He finds new ways to craft stories, experimenting with what children's books are capable of. 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy is a fascinating if challenging example of these efforts. The book follows two children as they investigate the mysteries of a peculiar business. They obsessively list what they have learned from their research, casing the joint like bank robbers.

1. We are very curious about the Swinster Pharmacy. We travelled all the way from the next town to find out what it sells.

05/21/2014 - 3:00am
Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Partie

Beautiful in its design and content, Ashley English’s Handmade Gatherings offers splendid ideas for entertaining year-round and to intrigue all ages. She includes not only delicious recipes for earthy yet traditional foods, but she also finds crafty ways to feature the glories of each season.

05/20/2014 - 3:00am
Alena by Rachel Pastan

She had no idea when she accepted the curator position at the Nauk—an innovative Cape Cod gallery dedicated to emerging artists—that a dead woman would thwart her at every turn. 

05/19/2014 - 3:00am
Prisoners in the Palace

They very nearly had to pry Liza out of the expensive London hotel. Surrounded by mementoes of her loving but tragically deceased family, the pretty, young girl had gone from a promising future to ruin. There was no money to even pay the hotel bill, and she had to sweet-talk the harrumphing manager into giving her cash for a hansom cab to follow up her only hope for sustaining herself—a job as a lady’s maid to Princess Victoria. But she could not know that very soon she and the princess would become Prisoners in the Palace.

05/16/2014 - 2:18pm
The Loch by Steve Alten

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 Loch by Steve Alten: Something hungry is in the loch . . and it's not the gentle Nessie of Scottish lore! Marine biologist Zach Wallace, fresh from a near drowning in the Sargasso Sea during an expedition in search of the elusive giant squid, returns to his Scottish birthplace when his estranged father is accused of murder. Unfortunately for Zach's father, Angus, his entire defense hinges on his claim that something in Loch Ness killed his business partner when he fell into the water after Angus punched him. But the trial soon becomes a media circus when more people go missing and half-eaten body parts are discovered along the shore. Zach must contend with rival scientists, interfering thrill seekers, and even a rogue remnant of the Knights Templar in his search for what is really lurking in Loch Ness.

If you enjoyed this novel, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

Cujo by Stephen King

Left to fend for herself by her workaholic husband, Donna Trenton takes her ailing Pinto to Joe Camber's garage for repairs. Once there, Donna must lock herself and her son, Tad, in her sweltering car, for the Cambers' once-friendly Saint Bernard, Cujo, has now turned into a monstrous and rabid killer.