Shelf Life Blog

01/18/2017 - 12:09am
Cover to The Book of Spice: From Anise to Zedoary

If you like a good cooking show—and a good story—dive into John O’Connell’s The Book of Spice for a lot of kitchen knowledge, delivered with an English accent. From his first try at tandoori chicken at a family picnic, Mr. O’Connell was hooked on the beautiful differences spices could make.

As seasoned cooks know, spice is very nice, and there are certainly more of them available now, both online and in the supermarket. Indeed, there are so many herbs, spices, and blends that it’s a daunting proposition to select one to try out. Surely it would be better if you understood not only their uses but also their fascinating histories.

01/17/2017 - 12:09am
Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year

Whether you're confined to comforting abyss of your home or out in the chill when winter weather strikes, you're always thinking: stay warm. With Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year, you'll discover an array of soup recipes: from warming vegetable soups, to light soups—warm or chilled, author and cook Betty Rosbottom has your dinner menu covered.

01/16/2017 - 12:08am
Cover to Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey

Why didn’t Cinderella’s father protect her from the “wicked” stepmother? And surely the prince wasn’t the first handsome boy she laid eyes on! Besides all that, do wishes magically happen? In Cameron Dokey’s Before Midnight, a reworking of the Cinderella story, all of these questions are wonderfully explored.

Cendrillon’s (Cinderella’s) father and mother had a legendary love. When her mother died just hours after she was born, Etienne de Brabant took it . . . badly. He cursed his late wife’s garden, swore that he never wanted to see their baby daughter, and took off for a divided court, leaving behind another baby—a boy whose identity he did not reveal.

01/13/2017 - 10:43am
Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Real-life Stories by Real Teens

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.
 

Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul: Real-life Stories by Real Teens
Teenagers write honestly and poignantly about the issues they face and how they overcame them with strength and insight. Delving into the corners of their souls, these poems and personal experiences reveal special moments—a first kiss, the loss of a friend, a chance meeting, or that connection with a special teacher, grandparent, or even a pet. (catalog summary)
 


1 Year, 100 Pounds: My Journey to A Better, Happier Life
by Whitney Holcombe
At age fourteen, Whitney Holcombe stepped onto her bathroom scale and a number glared up at her: 230. That number controlled her life until one day she went for a walk that changed everything. A little bit memoir and a whole lot of advice, "1 Year, 100 Pounds" follows Whitney s journey to battle obesity, negative self-image, and peer ridicule. Through following a healthy diet and exercise routine, Whitney shed the pounds without pills, trainers, or surgery. And along the way, she discovered the confidence to love her body. (catalog summary)

 




Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up: Stories About Growing Up, Meeting Challenges, and Learning From Life
Collects anecdotes from teenagers about friendship, peer pressure, self-acceptance, family life, relationships, and overcoming obstacles. (catalog summary)

 

 

01/12/2017 - 12:05am
Pond by Jim LaMarche

It all begins in late winter when Matt finds a bubbling stream in an abandoned “pit” in the woods. From there, three friends, Matt, Pablo, and Katie, clear debris and build a dam, creating a large pond. Winter leads to spring, in which the children spend time building a boat to row on the pond. In summer, their lazy days are filled with climbing trees, discovering rocks, and enjoying the freedom of childhood. When winter rolls around again, the pond freezes over and all the neighborhood children have a place to skate. To read Pond, by Jim LaMarche, is to experience creativity, exploration, and the payoff of hard work. Each picture is a snapshot of the children enjoying nature through the seasons, all through the lens of the pond.

01/11/2017 - 12:04am
In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper is considered to be one of the most talented realist painters in American art history. He is widely known for his haunting oil paintings of modern American life and urban architecture. He was also a watercolorist and printmaker. His works are inspiring not only to other artists, but authors as well. In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper is a perfect example of how his paintings tell a story.

01/10/2017 - 12:04am
Cover to The Book That Matters Most

In The Book That Matters Most, Ava, a French professor at the local university, is blindsided when her husband announces he’s rekindled the flame with a lover of long ago. Yes, his job often dominated their free time, and, yes, their daughter had created stress by following a rocky path of drugs and unhealthy relationships, but Ava felt these obstacles were surmountable. She had been content in her marriage.

The shock and subsequent embarrassment of the betrayal prompts Ava to sequester herself. For years, her close friend Cate had unsuccessfully tried to recruit her to join the library’s book club. When another opening becomes available, Ava views the club as a quiet avenue to venture back into the world.

01/09/2017 - 12:03am
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

What would you do to survive in wartime? What would you sacrifice? Whom would you sacrifice? Three refugees—all teens—are on the losing side of World War II. They are struggling through the German-Prussian countryside, heading for the same destination—a German evacuation camp of civilians and wounded soldiers on the Baltic Sea. They're hoping for some kind of safety from the Russians who, coming from one direction, will kill them and the Allied Forces, coming from another direction, who could do the same. But they are not even safe from their own countrymen, because all three also have secrets. Ones they are desperate to protect. Ones that could mean they are left behind in the snow by the others to die if they are not killed by the bombs first.

01/06/2017 - 12:01am
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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.
 

Thank you for requesting a book match! You said that you were looking for a book like The Secret Garden. If you like that book you may also like these similar titles and authors.
 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A ten-year-old orphan comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors where she discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden. (catalog summary)




Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her. (catalog summary)


 




Ballet Shoes
by Noel Streatfeild
Relates the fortunes of three adopted sisters who take dancing and stage training, one to become an actress, the second a ballerina, and the third an aviatrix. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/05/2017 - 12:00am
Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly

When you think about the Space Race, what comes to mind? Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind? John Glenn orbiting the Earth? Maybe even the Russian satellite, Sputnik. Whatever you think of, it’s probably not World War II and racial discrimination. That’s where Margot Lee Shetterly starts the story, though, in Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space. This is the Young Readers’ Edition of her bestselling adult book, which has been adapted into a movie and is CRRL’s Rappahannock Read for 2017.

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