Shelf Life Blog

09/01/2016 - 12:10am
Cover to Quiet in the Garden

In Aliki’s Quiet in the Garden, a young boy settles down in what he thinks is a quiet garden—and yet, when he is quiet, too, and listens, he hears the animals all around him. He sees what they are doing, from the robin to the fish to the worm to the rabbit.

In their company, he experiences the simple joys of the natural world. With pleasant repetition cumulating in a feast for all, the garden may not be exactly quiet, but it is a most amazing, nurturing place.

08/31/2016 - 12:09am
Cover to Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Both the parents and children are having a summer of love and discovery in Modern Lovers. It is a recipe for drama and comedy when parents are going through midlife crises while adolescents are pushing boundaries with teenaged angst. With Brooklyn as the setting, Emma Straub captures time’s passing for her characters as they move from adolescence to adulthood and question what it really means to grow up.

08/30/2016 - 12:08am
Cover to The Circle Unbroken: Civil War Letters of the Knox Family of Fredericksburg

In antebellum Fredericksburg, the Knox family was rather well-off and respected by their community. The family home at 1200 Princess Anne Street, now the Kenmore Inn, was nigh unto their house of worship at St. George’s Episcopal Church. They ran a successful business and had a pleasant life filled with many luxuries.

Yet by the time the Civil War was over, sons Robert and James Knox had experienced the dire consequences of battle from trench to prison camp. The rest of the family, forced to evacuate the Fredericksburg several times, learned to live as refugees and take care of themselves as well as the people they met.

08/29/2016 - 12:07am

Abi Tamper leads a very restricted life as a maid in the Greaves household. It’s the 1850s, so there’s lots for a hired girl to do around a mansion in London, and next to none of it is enjoyable.

08/26/2016 - 9:20am
If you like the Steampunk genre

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.

According to UrbanDictionary.com, "Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes."

If you like the Steampunk genre, then you might be interested in the following titles:

The Affinity Bridge: A Newbury and Hobbes Investigation by George Mann
Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes, agents of Queen Victoria, battle both physical and supernatural enemies of the crown. They are called in to investigate the wreckage of a crashed airship and its missing automaton pilot while dealing with a zombie plague in the slums of the capital and attempting to solve a string of strangulations credited to a mysterious glowing policeman. (catalog summary)

 

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Inventor Leviticus Blue creates a machine that accidentally decimates Seattle's banking district and uncovers a vein of Blight Gas that turns everyone who breathes it into the living dead. Sixteen years later Briar, Blue's widow, lives in the poor neighborhood outside the wall that's been built around the uninhabitable city. Life is tough with a ruined reputation, but she and her teenage son Ezekiel are surviving--until Zeke impetuously decides that he must reclaim his father's name from the clutches of history. (catalog summary)

 


 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Book #1 of the Luner Chronicles)
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story. (catalog summary)

 

08/25/2016 - 12:05am
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

"We've come because of the baby," she said. "We've come to help."

The Nest appeared soon after Steve's baby brother came home from the hospital, hanging from the eaves of the roof. Steve did not know exactly what was wrong with his new sibling, but he overheard his parents use words like "poor prognosis" and "degenerative." It was not long until Steve saw the wasps in his yard . . . and in his dreams.

08/24/2016 - 12:04am
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

Forty-seven-year-old Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, move to Littleton, Colorado. Both get excellent jobs in their respective fields: Caelum as a high school English teacher and Maureen as a nurse. Their great opportunities are at a high school named Columbine.

08/23/2016 - 12:03am
Cover to Land of Herrings and Persimmons: People and Places of Upper Stafford County, Virginia

Every year brings a lot of newcomers to the northern Stafford area. At first glance, they may see its many stores, wide roads, and convenient subdivisions. That’s modern Stafford, bedroom community to D.C. and Quantico Marine Corps Base. But Stafford County has a significant place in history, too.

Well-known local historian Jerrilynn Eby’s Land of Herrings and Persimmons is a tremendous volume that chronicles the county’s farming and industrial past, place by place, including Stafford County communities that were enveloped and lost when Quantico was established.

08/23/2016 - 3:32pm
Cover to Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones

In the Kingdom of Dalemark, three kings have died without an heir. The kingdom has been in chaos for generations as earl after earl vies for the throne. Bloody battles have only produced a stalemate, and now the free North and the repressive South tensely await their next war.

Enter the family of Clennen the Singer. As licensed entertainers, they travel undisturbed from the North to the South, passing news and singing songs of old battles. Clennen's children—fiery Brida, bookish Dagner, and day-dreaming Moril—travel with their parents in a cheerfully painted pink and gold cart. They may argue, as families will, but they all agree how much they detest the snobby boy Kialan who has paid to accompany them.

08/19/2016 - 9:21am
If you like The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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 Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. (catalog summary)

 

If you like the biographical fiction of The Paris Wife, you should check out these titles as well:

 

 

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold she has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. (catalog summary)
 


 

 

 

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, where their love for the same woman drives them apart. (catalog summary)

 

 

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