Shelf Life Blog
Catherine Beddall’s words and photographs make The Magic of Gingerbread a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. While a classic house trimmed with favorite old-fashioned candies is a fine project, there are also designs for a birdhouse, an ice cream parlor, a toy chest, a robot, a garden cottage and more.
I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream...
In Fates and Furies, first you meet the couple, Lotto and Mathilde, on their beach honeymoon. They seem a golden couple, but then the story unfolds from Lotto’s perspective in “Fates” and then Mathilde’s side in part two, “Furies.” Both characters are seriously flawed. This portrait of a marriage is like a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy. Lauren Groff even includes a Greek chorus by commenting about the characters within brackets.
The novel is full of strong and powerful women who take the threads of their lives and others’ into their own hands. How much does fate affect our destinies? How much do the female spirits of vengeance and justice, the angry ones, the Furies, change our paths?
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 selections on short stories for teens (multiple genres):
The Anatomy of Curiosity
In an unassuming corner of Brooklyn, a young woman learns to be ladylike, to love context, and to speak her mind from a very curious sort of tutor. In a faraway land convulsed by war, a young soldier hears the desert's curious hum as he disarms bombs with the person he doesn't know how to love. In a place so shriveled by drought that any drowning is a curiosity, a young writer tries again and again to tread water beneath the surface of a vast and unusual sea. Three new stories complete with commentary on the creative process from three acclaimed young adult authors working at the height of their powers. (catalog summary)
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell The Tales
A collection of stories based on illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. (catalog summary)
The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories
An anthology of darkly paranormal stories, with comments by the authors on their writing process. (catalog summary)
There are very few words in Joyce Sidman’s and Beth Krommes’ Before Morning, but more aren’t really needed. The story is simple, and the pictures work with the carefully chosen words to give all the emotional details about what is going on. A girl is sad one evening at bedtime because her mother, an airline pilot, is leaving very soon for work. While the rest of the family sleeps, a heavy snow blankets the town, making it so the planes are grounded. Mom comes home, and the family has a wonderful snow day together.
It is an uncomplicated plot, but there is much more to the story. The textured shapes of the scratchboard illustrations give a feeling of closeness and interconnectivity in each illustration. Before the snow, the people on the city sidewalks and on the streets in cars and on bikes are busy-busy. After the snowfall, everyone, including the squirrels in the trees, has slowed down and become playful as a holiday feeling settles over all.
"April is the cruelest month, breeding. Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing." - T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
A soup cleanse is a modern alternative for expelling antioxidants from your body. In Nicole Centeno’s Soup Cleanse Cookbook: Embrace a Better Body and a Healthier You With the Weekly Soup Plan, you can establish a meal plan yourself with delicious and nutritious soup recipes that are all plant-based.
When Horn's war party found the girl, she was hidden in the corner of the cave, undressed, and past comforting by the wolves who raised her. They had been slaughtered by the Lawspeaker's band or else run off, howling their rage and loneliness. A foundling, surely, filthy, perhaps seven or eight summers old. Horn, the Lawspeaker, growled that she should not join the Storn tribe. A worthless child . . . another mouth to feed in starving times.
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.
If you like history and listening to it, here are a few highly recommended audiobooks set in World War II:
All Clear by Connie Willis
After three Oxford historians travel back in time to the year 1940, historical records indicate that at least one of them affected the past and changed the outcome of World War II. (catalog summary)
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris and is blind by age six. Her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo on the coast. In Germany, Werner grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, which wins him a place with the Hitler Youth. Werner travels throughout Europe, and finally to Saint-Malo, where his meets Marie Laure. Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. (catalog summary)
Atonement by Ian McEwan
In the summer of 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis wildly misinterprets the relationship between her sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, childhood friends home from Cambridge. So when her young cousin is assaulted, Briony gives in to her hyperactive imagination and blames the atrocity on Robbie. It is a terrible decision that alters lives and fills Briony with an everlasting sense of guilt. (catalog summary)
In Angie Sage’s world of Magyk, when the seventh son of a seventh son is born to the humble wizard Silas Heap, of course, the new father takes it on himself to fetch healthful herbs from the local wise woman outside the city wall. They’ve only the one room for all the family to share, but it’s a happy place, and the new addition is welcome.
When Silas discovers another newborn child with violet eyes well-wrapped but abandoned in the snow, his heart opens even wider. He knows there will be room for this tiny girl. He is surprised when Marcia, the new ExtraOrdinary Wizard, appears and hurriedly tells him they must treat the child as if she were born to them. A matter of great secrecy. As he rushes home, he is passed by the midwife, carrying another small bundle—his son—wrapped in bandages and wailing that his newborn son Septimus is dead.