John Gaines

08/29/2016 - 4:04pm
If you like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

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.

 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver 
Follows the author's family's efforts to live on locally- and home-grown foods, an endeavor through which they learned lighthearted truths about food production and the connection between health and diet. (catalog summary)
 

If you enjoyed this book, you may also like the following titles:


Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor by Suzanne McMinn
Craving a life that would connect her to the earth and her family roots, McMinn packed up her three kids, left her husband and her sterile suburban existence behind, and moved to rural West Virginia. Amid the rough landscape and beauty of this rural mountain country, she pursues a natural lifestyle filled with chickens, goats, sheep--and no pizza delivery. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on A Scrappy Six-acre Homestead by Jenna Woginrich
Author Jenna Woginrich is mistress of her one-woman farm and is well known for her essays on the mud and mess, the beautiful and tragic, the grime and passion that accompany homesteading. In Cold Antler Farm, her fifth book, she draws our attention to the flow and cycle not of the calendar year, but of the ancient agricultural year: holidays, celebrations, seasonal touchstones, and astronomical events that mark sacred turning points in the seasons. (catalog summary)
 

 

09/22/2016 - 11:25am
If you like Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

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.

 

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
"Something Borrowed" tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiance. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. "Something Borrowed" is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend. (catalog summary)
 

If you liked Something Borrowed, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

 



All I Ever Wanted
by Katrina Mills
Bastian Harris desires the serenity of small town life in Staunton. Even with women signing up for his shooting courses and emphasizing their desires for a different kind of target practice, he keeps his nose down and his gun in his holster. When Kinsley Bailey walks into his shop to sell her deceased father's antique gun collection, Bastian might have to reconsider his tranquil life and take up arms for the one woman he could not forget. (catalog summary)

 


 



The Art of Not Breathing
by Sarah Alexander
Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. When cute, mysterious Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea. (catalog summary)
 

 

08/29/2016 - 10:28am
If you like The Passage by Justin Cronin

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 other book matches here.

The Passage by Justin Cronin
A human-created virus has infected humankind, mutating most into superstrong, near-immortal vampiric creatures. The "virals"--also called "jumpers"--and "dracs" (after Dracula, of course)--can leap 20 feet through the air at a bound and split a human (or a horse, or a cow) in half with their bare hands. A small band of men and women embark on a cross-country trek, looking for a way to protect the few remaining uninfected humans from extinction. With them travels an enigmatic prepubescent girl who talks to the virals with her mind and seems to have been born 100 years before. (Library Journal)

The other two books in The Passage trilogy:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like the intensity and terror of The Passage trilogy, check out these intriguing titles:

 

 


Cell by Stephen King
Civilization doesn't end with a bang or a whimper. It ends with a call on your cell phone. What happens on the afternoon of October 1 came to be known as the Pulse, a signal sent though every operating cell phone that turns its user into something...well, something less than human. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/01/2016 - 11:09am
If you like Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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 other book matches here.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true? (catalog summary)

If you like Life of Pi, you may enjoy the following titles:

 

Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey--named Beatrice and Virgil--and the epic journey they undertake together. (catalog summary)


 

 

The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Set on the South Island beaches of New Zealand, a harsh environment, the novel chronicles the complicated relationships between three emotional outcasts of mixed European and Maori heritage. Kerewin Holmes is a painter and a loner, convinced that "to care for anything is to invite disaster." Her isolation is disrupted one day when a six-year-old mute boy, Simon, breaks into her house. The sole survivor of a mysterious shipwreck, Simon has been adopted by a widower Maori factory worker, Joe Gillayley, who is both tender and horribly brutal toward the boy. Through shifting points of view, the novel reveals each character's thoughts and feelings as they struggle with the desire to connect and the fear of attachment. (catalog summary)

07/28/2016 - 11:06am
If you like Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
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.

 

Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
Walter Huff, an Insurance agent, falls for the married Phyllis Nirdlinger, who consults him about accident insurance for her husband. In spite of his instinctual decency, Walter is seduced into helping the femme fatale kill her husband for the insurance money. (Wikipedia)

If you like Double Indemnity by Cain, then you might enjoy these other titles as well:

 

 

The Asphalt Jungle by W.R. Burnett
Told in short, richly atmospheric chapters, the novel details the planning and execution of a major jewel heist. The robbery is devised by Doc Reimenschneider, a master criminal who has just been released from prison and will require the involvement of a number of people--including the muscle and itinerant hood named Dix, an overgrown country boy, and the fence, a successful but sleazy lawyer named Alonzo Emmerich. The cast of characters will ultimately be the scheme's very downfall in an atmosphere rife with suspicion and double-crossing. (catalog summary)

 


 


 

Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
Moose Malloy, a six-foot-five giant just out of prison, gets detective Philip Marlowe involved in his seemingly hopeless search for Velma, his missing girlfriend. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

07/28/2016 - 11:12am
If you like The Martian by Andy Weir...

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 Martian by Andy Weir
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? (from publisher)

If you liked The Martian, you may like these titles:

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold (Book One in the Artemis Awakening series)
The distant world Artemis is a pleasure planet created out of bare rock by a technologically advanced human empire that provided its richest citizens with a veritable Eden to play in. All tech was concealed, and the animals (and the humans brought to live there) were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay. But the Empire was shattered in a horrific war; centuries later, humanity has lost much of their advanced technology, and Artemis is a fable told to children. Until young archaeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints that send him on a quest to find the lost world. Stranded on Artemis after crashing his ship, he encounters the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow. His journey with her will lead Dane to discover the planet's secrets...and perhaps provide a key to give unimagined power back to mankind. (from publisher)

07/28/2016 - 11:14am
If you like Jennifer McMahon novels...

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.

A few of Jennifer McMahon novels:

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon
Ten years ago, five students went into the Vermont woods to live and breathe their art in a cabin by a lake; only four came back. The survivors--Tess, Henry, Winnie, and Spencer--have tried to forget that summer, but they are forced to confront it by a mysterious postcard that quotes Suz, the missing member and charismatic ringleader. Spencer kills himself, an act that sets in motion an investigation that will test Tess and Henry's rocky marriage and endanger their nine-year-old daughter, Emma. McMahon builds the suspense well, using several creepy fake-outs as she muddies the waters with a private detective, a mysterious art patron, and most potent of all, Emma's imaginary friend, Danner. But is Danner imaginary? A sign of mental imbalance? Or is she something more--ghostly? (Library Journal)




Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
Before she disappeared twelve year old Lisa told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen. Her little brother, Sam, has grown up to be a levelheaded man who is still convinced that Lisa was abducted by a predator. When his girlfriend, Phoebe, receives a phone call from a frightened woman claiming to be Lisa, the two are seriously spooked and set out to discover the truth. (catalog description)


 

 


The One I left Behind by Jennifer McMahon
Reggie, a successful architect who left her hometown and the horrific memories of a long ago summer behind, gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive--a call that forces Reggie to confront the ghosts of her past and find the serial killer known as Neptune before he kills again. (catalog description)



 



The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon
Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever. Now adults, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds--revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come. (catalog description)
 



The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
In West Hall, Vermont, some secrets never die.... In 1908 Sara Harrison Shea was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. When Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. Ruthie is not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost... but she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself....(catalog description)

 

If you like Jennifer McMahon's novels, then you might like the following books:




Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
Ned Constantine and his family abandon hectic New York for a tranquil New England village where they unknowingly become part of the secret Harvest Home ritual. (catalog description)
 

 


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)

08/28/2015 - 3:09pm
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

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.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: "The mother of an incarcerated teenager who murdered seven of his fellow high school students tells of his upbringing and her own shortcomings in a series of letters to her estranged husband."

If you liked We Need to Talk About Kevin, you may  enjoy the following titles:

Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern
A young girl has been murdered and the only witness is a child who cannot tell what he saw In the woods of a small town, Adam, a nine-year-old autistic boy, is discovered hiding near to the body of his classmate. They both wandered off from the school playground several hours earlier, and now the police are relying on Adam as the only witness to an appalling crime. But he can’t tell the police what he saw —or what he heard. Barely verbal on the best of days, Adam has retreated into a silent world that Cara, his mother, knows only too well.With her community in shock and her son unable to help with the police investigation, Cara tries to decode the puzzling events. (catalog description)

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor's beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover's charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna's willful twin sister Kainene.(catalog description)

07/01/2014 - 3:00am
Thud! by Terry Pratchett

How can a man maintain stability and order in a city where volatile race relations are about to boil over? In Thud! an installment of Terry Pratchett’s long-running Discworld series, Commander Vimes of the City Watch must deal with the erupting tensions between trolls and dwarves following the unexplained death of Hamcrusher, a high-ranking dwarf. Like most of Pratchett’s entries in this series, the humor in Thud! is self-contained and does not require knowledge of prior novels. It offers a mixture of satire of fantasy tropes with real-world issues and conflicts. Reliant on verbal humor and character development, the book is a good choice for fans of British genre satire such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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