Shelf Life Blog

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.

08/10/2016 - 2:07am
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

"In Satanic occultism, that which is good is bad. And that which is bad is good." —The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults

This is the story about friendship and a demonic possession.

08/09/2016 - 2:06am
Cover to The Mangle Street Murders

M.R.C. Kasasian’s The Mangle Street Murders begins a murder-by-gaslight series which may appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, or Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler.

“It’s a pity you’re not prettier,” or words to that effect seem to follow March Middleton everywhere she goes. She is alone in the world after her surgeon-father’s death, her mother having died at her birth. With no marriage prospects and frankly no desire for wedlock, apparently penniless March accepts an old family friend’s invitation to be his ward. After all, London must be more interesting than the placid English countryside.

08/08/2016 - 10:02am
Harry Potter & the Cursed Child (Parts 1 & 2) by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

It was always difficult being Harry Potter.

From living with the dreaded Dursleys to deadly encounters with monstrous beings (including The Dark Lord Voldermort), Harry Potter, "the Boy Who Lived,” has faced unpredictable and thrilling moments over his school years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.

08/05/2016 - 2:04am
If you like The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

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 Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Having quit his job, Toru Okada is enjoying a pleasant stint as a "house husband," listening to music and arranging the dry cleaning and doing the cooking—until his cat goes missing, his wife becomes distant and begins acting strangely, and he starts meeting enigmatic people with fantastic life stories. They involve him in a world of psychics, shared dreams, out-of-body experiences, and shaman-like powers and tell him stories from Japan's war in Manchuria, about espionage on the border with Mongolia, the Battle of Nomonhan, the killing of the animals in Hsin-ching's zoo, and the fate of Japanese prisoners-of-war in the Soviet camps in Siberia. (Catalog summary)

If you like The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, you may enjoy the following titles:

 

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
A vast, intricate novel that weaves six narratives and spans from 1984 to the 2030s about a secret war between a cult of soul-decanters and a small group of vigilantes called the Night Shift who try to take them down. An up-all-night story that fluently mixes the supernatural, sci-fi, horror, social satire, and heartbreaking realism. (Catalog summary)

 

 

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter's teachings—his Bible is their "book of strange new things." But Peter is rattled when Bea's letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter. Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us. (Catalog summary)

08/10/2016 - 9:17am
Pete the Cat's Got Class by James Dean

Pete the Cat loves math. He loves how all the numbers work together! When Pete discovers his friend Tom is struggling to understand math, he decides that helping would be fun!

“I hate math,” says Tom.
“You don’t hate math,” Pete tells Tom. “You just don’t love it yet.”

08/03/2016 - 9:43am
Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War

Pamela J. Toler’s Heroines of Mercy Street is the true history behind the popular PBS series set in occupied Alexandria, Virginia, during the Civil War. Caveat here: I did read the book before watching a single episode. I found Toler’s narrative to be engaging and an excellent window to the time. With wildly varying levels of training (many, such as Louisa May Alcott, had only nursed family patients while another trained with celebrated British nurse Florence Nightingale), they all had a sense of duty and enthusiasm for the job that did not wane as the war ground on—though it did exhaust them and occasionally kill them.

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