Shelf Life Blog

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
If you like American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident. Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible. He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever he the same . . .American Gods on Starz

American Gods is now a television series on the Starz network, based on the novel of the same name. The television series was developed by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Heroes, Gotham). Gaiman serves as an executive producer along with Fuller, Green, Craig Cegielski, Stefanie Berk, and Thom Beers. The series focuses on Shadow Moon, who meets a strange man named Mr. Wednesday after being released from prison. However, he soon finds himself a part of a large-scale conflict between the Old Gods and the New Gods, who grow stronger each day. The first episode premiered on the Starz network and through their streaming application on April 30, 2017. In May 2017, the series was renewed for a second season.

The central premise of the novel is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them (a type of thoughtform.) Immigrants to the United States brought with them spirits and gods. The power of these mythological beings has diminished as people's beliefs waned. New gods have arisen, reflecting the American obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and drugs, among other things.¹

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are the best of friends. The best of friends any leftover could ask for.

But their neighbor, Miss Brie, tells them that the syrup is almost all gone! "A single drop's left! Just a drop!"

10/02/2017 - 1:49pm
Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie

Pete the Cat is learning a new dance—the COOL CAT boogie! Pete knows he can dance, but once his friends come along show them their dance moves, Pete thinks his moves are bad. 

"Dancing is like magic!" Pete says. "When I hear a groovy beat, I'm full of happy in my feet! I won't give up! I love to dance. Let me give it one more chance."

Pete repeats this mantra every time he feels like giving up. Eventually, Wise Old Owl tells Pete, "It doesn't matter how you move, as long as you are being you!"

10/02/2017 - 1:49pm
Cover to The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Li Lan, a lovely but unassuming girl from a scholarly family fallen on hard times, is rather taken aback when her father casually asks her one night if she would like to become a ghost bride.

Her nursemaid is furious. Even suggesting such a thing is unlucky, although Li Lan would be living with a rich family, and it’s probable that all of her family’s debts would be taken care of.

Ghost brides were an old tradition brought to Malaya (colonial Malaysia) from China, where a young man who had died might still be given the precious gift of a wife to honor his memory.

But who is Li Lan's ghost groom? The only son of a wealthy family who was odious in his manner and appearance, whining and fat. He saw Li Lan just once when he was alive, but so entranced was he by her beauty that he is still pressuring his family to make a match. Yes, still. He thinks he has everything she might want in the land of the dead, and he isn’t giving up, although Li Lan is equally determined to resist him—especially after she meets a young man who she believes suits her far better and is very much alive.

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
Cover to The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City

In Carole Lexa Schaefer’s The Children’s Garden, there are so many things to see—and do! It’s the children who are watering, weeding, and scattering seeds. They are also the ones who enjoy the many vegetables and herbs. Brightly colored illustrations, by Pierr Morgan, are cheerful and relatable.

Young readers and listeners may be inspired to start their own gardens, whether on a windowsill, in the backyard, or by taking part in a community garden. Gardening teaches children how nature works and to value their own work in the world. Gardening also allows them to enjoy the literal fruit of their labors and is a great way to spend more time outdoors.

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
If you like The Mist by Stephen King

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.

The Mist by Stephen King
The morning after a violent thunderstorm, a thick unnatural mist quickly spreads across the small town of Bridgton, Maine, reducing visibility to near-zero and concealing numerous species of bizarre creatures which viciously attack anyone and anything that ventures out into the open. (catalog summary)

The Mist is being adapted by the American cable network, Spike TV, who has ordered 10 hour-long episodes of the series which will premiere on June 22nd. The cast includes Morgan Spector, Frances Conroy, Alyssa Sutherland, Gus Birney, Dan Butler, and Luke Cosgrove. Magic Rock Productions, founded by Michael Mahoney in 1998, has a successful history of productions including the limited series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles on the Lifetime network, and Bag of Bones, another King adaptation starring Pierce Brosnan.¹

If you're looking for more bizarre titles similar to the novella, The Mist, check these suggestions out.

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
A Big Surprise for Little Card

Every card has a special job—at least, in this house of cards.

Wide Card is a postcard, traveling to faraway places. Round Card is a price tag. Tiny Card is a raffle ticket. Giant Card is a folder for important office work.

But what can Little Card and Long Card be? They know they must be something important. When their letters finally arrive in the mail and reveal their special places in the world . . . Little Card is a birthday card! How exciting! He loves birthdays. And he loves birthday school!

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
The Nix by Nathan Hill

I love big books. I cannot lie. I love tomes big enough to use like doorstops which contain a truly satisfying, finished story. You can sink into a comfy chair or couch and know you will have hours of reading enjoyment. The Nix is one of those tales.

Nathan Hill has Dickensian characters, stylistic antics, and a sprawling plot that manages to tie up every loose end. This novel is a genealogical dig into Professor Samuel Andreson-Anderson’s past, a coming-of-age story, a story of unrequited love, and a satire of America. With the humor and a journey through American pop culture, Nathan Hill sends Samuel and the reader on a quest.

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

The rural British town of Beckford is surrounded by water. No one can turn anywhere in town and not face the twisting river that snakes through its center. The river is dotted with high cliffs that lead down to what's called a drowning pool. Many unfortunate women have lost their lives there, either falling from the enormous, rocky cliffs, jumping on their own, or worse. The pool is even reported to have housed multiple witch drownings in the 17th century.

10/02/2017 - 1:50pm
Cover to And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner, illustrated by Jaime Kim

It’s time to “throw on flip-flops and breathe the sweet air.” Time for lemonade stands and “hide-and-seek until the darkness wins.” A Fourth of July parade, an ice cream truck, a trip to a silver lake—there’s so much to enjoy in Tom Brenner’s new book, And Then Comes Summer.

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