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Shelf Life Blog

11/24/2015 - 2:38am
Joy for Beginners

In Erica Bauermeister's Joy for Beginners, a group of friends gather to celebrate Kate’s triumph over cancer. A gift from her friends challenges Kate to do something she has feared her entire life. She, in turn, challenges each of them to do something they need to do to find joy.

11/20/2015 - 2:36am
If you like The Pianist
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.

The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45 by Władysław Szpilman: A Jewish pianist's real-life account of survival in World War II Warsaw.

If you like The Pianist, you may also like the following titles:


11/19/2015 - 2:35am
Goodnight Already! by Jory John & Benji Davies

In Goodnight Already, Bear prepares for a long sleep, but his coffee-guzzling neighbor Duck knocks on the door. It appears that this quacker is more of a night owl. Duck tries to convince the exhausted bear to take part in all sorts of activities.

As fun as making smoothies and starting a band might be, perhaps Duck should have called ahead. Our berobed bear is growing grumpier by the second as Duck lists all of the ingredients he will need to borrow in order to bake cookies.

11/18/2015 - 12:08pm
Fast Food, Good Food by Andrew Weil, MD

If you’ve wanted to turn your diet around to something healthier and cook at home more often, Dr. Weil has written a cookbook that may interest you. As a basis for Fast Food, Good Food, he uses the Mediterranean Diet and then adds in some Asian flavors.

11/12/2015 - 2:30am
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

When mom discovers the living room dripping with every imaginable color, she quickly determines the culprit and hides the art supplies. Her son exclaims, "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!" Easier said than done.

One cannot simply quit creativity. Our protagonist reclaims his tools of expression. This time though, he is going to be the canvas. Things are about to get messy!

11/10/2015 - 2:29am
A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Sara Thomas is brilliant, lovely, and socially awkward. She knows a committed relationship won’t work out for her in the long-term. They never do. So, Sara isn’t looking for romance when she takes a job decrypting an old manuscript. Yet that is what she finds in Susanna Kearsley’s A Desperate Fortune.

11/06/2015 - 10:55am
Where Bear? by Sophy Henn

When a bear cub outgrows his best friend's house, the boy thinks that it is time to find a new home for his friend. He only has one question, "Where Bear?"

The pair start on a home hunt of all the usual places where bears hang out. This includes zoos, caves, the circus, and even toy stores. Wherever they go, bear declares, "No."

11/04/2015 - 2:24am
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

May 1893: The opening of the Chicago’s World Fair. The overall purpose of the celebration was to recognize the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World in 1492. Designed by a group of talented architects, the fair attracted over 27 million people from 46 different countries, constructed over 200 new (but temporary) buildings featuring neoclassical architecture, along with large water pools and lagoons. The exposition became an emerging symbol of American Exceptionalism.

It also became a hunting ground for one of the first documented American serial killers, Doctor Henry Howard Holmes, better known as H.H. Holmes.

11/02/2015 - 9:46am
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper

Hannah is very happy to be moving to London. It’s 1665, and for a young yet just-grown-up girl, it is surely the center of all that is fascinating and bold. She’s to join her sister, Sarah, At the Sign of the Sugar Plum, where she will help craft delicious confections for gentry and commoners alike. Hannah knows she will be working hard to establish the business, and that suits the red-haired young woman perfectly. Indeed, everything suits her down to the ground, including the handsome apothecary’s apprentice.

But there are rumors that the plague is has struck London again this summer. It’s just a few people at first, and the King’s court is still in town, so nobody minds it too much. Then the disease spreads wildly, until thousands each week die in agony. Hannah and Sarah are both frightened, but leaving London and their business would mean giving up their dreams.

10/29/2015 - 8:48am
 Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean

Popular children’s author James Dean brings back his loveable and rocking cat Pete to celebrate a delightful Halloween in his new book, Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins! Using the popular children’s song “Five Little Pumpkins,” Dean takes Pete and his adoring fans on one purrrfect adaptation of the classic rhyme. Will Pete and the galloping gourds make it in time for Trick-or-Treating? Read to find out!


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