Shelf Life Blog

08/24/2016 - 12:04am
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

Forty-seven-year-old Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, move to Littleton, Colorado. Both get excellent jobs in their respective fields: Caelum as a high school English teacher and Maureen as a nurse. Their great opportunities are at a high school named Columbine.

08/23/2016 - 12:03am
Cover to Land of Herrings and Persimmons: People and Places of Upper Stafford County, Virginia

Every year brings a lot of newcomers to the northern Stafford area. At first glance, they may see its many stores, wide roads, and convenient subdivisions. That’s modern Stafford, bedroom community to D.C. and Quantico Marine Corps Base. But Stafford County has a significant place in history, too.

Well-known local historian Jerrilynn Eby’s Land of Herrings and Persimmons is a tremendous volume that chronicles the county’s farming and industrial past, place by place, including Stafford County communities that were enveloped and lost when Quantico was established.

08/23/2016 - 3:32pm
Cover to Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones

In the Kingdom of Dalemark, three kings have died without an heir. The kingdom has been in chaos for generations as earl after earl vies for the throne. Bloody battles have only produced a stalemate, and now the free North and the repressive South tensely await their next war.

Enter the family of Clennen the Singer. As licensed entertainers, they travel undisturbed from the North to the South, passing news and singing songs of old battles. Clennen's children—fiery Brida, bookish Dagner, and day-dreaming Moril—travel with their parents in a cheerfully painted pink and gold cart. They may argue, as families will, but they all agree how much they detest the snobby boy Kialan who has paid to accompany them.

08/19/2016 - 9:21am
If you like The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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 Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. (catalog summary)

 

If you like the biographical fiction of The Paris Wife, you should check out these titles as well:

 

 

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold she has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. (catalog summary)
 


 

 

 

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, where their love for the same woman drives them apart. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/23/2016 - 3:35pm
Cover to Simple Gifts: A Shaker Hymn

Rich, beautiful drawings from Christopher Raschka invite young children into a vividly natural world in Simple Gifts: A Shaker Hymn.

08/17/2016 - 2:59am
Cover to Mr. Churchill's Secretary

The old house Maggie inherited from her English grandmother was a testament to bygone days of glory. Maggie only meant to come to London to sell it, but with the housing market down and war raging in Europe—and most definitely threatening England—Maggie decided to keep it and fill it with her twentysomething friends.

Sarah is a dancer. “Chuck” is that tough yet tender rarity for the 1940s—a woman doctor. Paige is an old classmate from Wellesley, a Southern belle. Then there are the boy-crazy twins who live for the theatre.

08/16/2016 - 2:58am
This Calls for a Drink: The Best Wines & Beers to Pair with Every Situation by Diane McMartin

What wine goes with your life? What beer should you choose to enjoy the Sunday game with? Or what will you drink when your beloved family invades your house for the holidays? What if you were on a blind date? What about an outdoor concert? Or binge-watching Netflix? 

08/15/2016 - 2:11am
Cover to An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Scholars were once known for their prestigious universities and vast libraries—until the Martials conquered them five hundred years ago. The oppressed scholar people live in constant fear of starvation, raids, imprisonment, slavery and death, but that hasn’t stopped some from resisting and rising up.

08/12/2016 - 2:09am
If you like the TV series Stranger Things

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.

Stranger Things is an American science fiction/horror Web television series created by the Duffer Brothers (Wayward Pines). The plot follows the disappearance of a young boy. A telekinetic girl helps his friends in their search, while the boy's older brother and the town police chief start their own investigations. The show is set in 1980s Indiana and is a nod to 80s pop culture, channeling the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King, and George Lucas.

The show was released on Netflix July 15, 2016. It received positive reviews for its characterization, pacing, atmosphere, acting, soundtrack, directing, writing, and homages to 1980s genre films. (Wikipedia

Once you've finished binge-watching Stranger Things, here are a few books involving 80s nostalgia and horrifying mysteries to keep the adventure going.

 


Boy's Life by Robert McCammon
The lake's depths claim a car and a corpse. Cory and his father begin searching for the truth of this death. Cory's life explodes into a kaleidoscope of clues and puzzles. As he searches for a killer, he learns more about the meaning of life and death. (Catalog summary)




 

 

 

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Detective Gabriella Versado investigates after disturbing displays that fuse the bodies of murder victims with those of animals are uncovered in abandoned Detroit buildings. (Catalog summary)



 

08/11/2016 - 2:08am
Art Workshops for Children by Hervé Tullet

If you’ve despaired of teaching high-energy young ones to learn to love art because it’s such a quiet, seated activity—and they just can’tTullet’s Art Workshops for Children is the book for you.

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