Shelf Life Blog
Druthers whisks us to the rainiest of days, where a young girl is bored beyond belief. Her father asks her, "If you had your druthers, what would you do?" The girl has never heard of the term before. Her father explains that druthers are what you would rather do if you could do anything at all.
In a matter of seconds, the girl and her father imagine all sorts of exciting adventures. The pair visit the zoo, ride ponies in the Old West, and sail a fearsome pirate ship to the island of dinosaurs!
When stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari was offered a book deal, he opted against writing the typical humorous memoir. Instead Ansari, best known as Tom Haverford on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, penned Modern Romance, an entertaining look at how relationships and dating have changed over the past few decades.
“Lovecraft. His tales are just fiction...right?”
Daniel Carter used to be a homicide detective. That is, until his previous case—an intense hunt for a serial killer that ended in strange and belittling tragedy. Now, he’s a private investigator, trying to get his once simple life back on track. Forgetting what happened is not so simple, however, and Carter struggles to regain his natural ability for helping others.
And strangeness. Well, let’s just say, it’s not entirely done with him yet.
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
Youngest of several sisters and one boy-genius brother, Minnie is excited to have her Texas cousin Willie Faye come live with them. Willie Faye’s parents have died, and their farm is gone with the dust storms, so this dandelion puff of a girl is going to find a place with the Swift family in Kathryn Lasky’s Christmas After All.
He: likes foxhunting on his fine stallion Mephistopheles, whiskey & soda, but above all else, cricket. His form is handsome and athletic. His mind uncluttered with much in the way of philosophy or common sense.
She: enjoys fashion, researching/knowing everything, and breaking men’s hearts. Well, she doesn’t really like it. Simply an occupational hazard when one is such a beautiful breath-sapper. But what this to-the-manor-born brother and sister like most is solving murders. To catch the “coffinators” is their aim.
Twelve-year-old Adrian is too small and sickly to be a warrior. What's more, he is an albino. Due to his pale skin and white hair, some villagers think that he is a demon. The other kids call him Badger when he puts dirt under his eyes to fight the intense glare of the sun. If everything goes according to Adrian's new plan, though, people will soon be calling him The Badger Knight.
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The Marian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: "Leaving behind a world on the brink of destruction, man came to the Red Planet and found the Martians waiting, dreamlike. Seeking the promise of a new beginning, man brought with him his oldest fears and his deepest desires. Man conquered Mars-- and in that instant, Mars conquered him. The strange new world, with its ancient, dying race and vast red-gold deserts, cast a spell on him, settled into his dreams, and changed him forever." (Book summary)
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
Without warning, giant silver ships from deep space appear in the skies above every major city on Earth. Manned by the Overlords, in fifty years, they eliminate ignorance, disease, and poverty. Then this golden age ends--and then the age of Mankind begins.... (catalog description)
Dangerous Visions by Harlan Ellison
Anthologies seldom make history, but Dangerous Visions is a grand exception. Harlan Ellison's 1967 collection of science fiction stories set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards - not surprising with a contributors list that reads like a who's who of 20th-century SF (catalog description)
“The Mona Cheese is missing, and debonair cat-detective William is on the case!”
“You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.” -- Sydney, Saint Anything