Shelf Life Blog
The old house Maggie inherited from her English grandmother was a testament to bygone days of glory. Maggie only meant to come to London to sell it, but with the housing market down and war raging in Europe—and most definitely threatening England—Maggie decided to keep it and fill it with her twentysomething friends.
Sarah is a dancer. “Chuck” is that tough yet tender rarity for the 1940s—a woman doctor. Paige is an old classmate from Wellesley, a Southern belle. Then there are the boy-crazy twins who live for the theatre.
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?
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.
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’t—Tullet’s Art Workshops for Children is the book for you.
"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.
“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.
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.
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)
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.”
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.