Shelf Life Blog

Avengers Academy: Arcade Death Game

Avengers Academy: Arcade Death Game

Poor Arcade just can’t catch a break. The Marvel Comics villain, known more for his arrogance and his overly-contrived, easily-escapable “traps” has had enough of heroes thwarting his schemes and embarrassing him. In order to regain his prestige in the hierarchy of villains, he must successfully assassinate a superhero, but whom should he choose? He decides on the inexperienced yet powerful young superheroes of the Avengers Academy, a training camp for the next generation of Avengers. Arcade Death Game details his attempt to kill the young recruits of the group with his intricate traps and deadly machines. It is a tightly-paced thriller with appealing heroes and some well-drawn artwork.

29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy by Lemony Snicket and Illustrated by Lisa Brown

29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy by Lemony Snicket

As Lemony Snicket gets further from the series that brought him notoriety, he finds himself exploring terra icognita, or unknown territory. He finds new ways to craft stories, experimenting with what children's books are capable of. 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy is a fascinating if challenging example of these efforts. The book follows two children as they investigate the mysteries of a peculiar business. They obsessively list what they have learned from their research, casing the joint like bank robbers.

1. We are very curious about the Swinster Pharmacy. We travelled all the way from the next town to find out what it sells.

Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties by Ashley English

Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Partie

Beautiful in its design and content, Ashley English’s Handmade Gatherings offers splendid ideas for entertaining year-round and to intrigue all ages. She includes not only delicious recipes for earthy yet traditional foods, but she also finds crafty ways to feature the glories of each season.

Alena by Rachel Pastan

Alena by Rachel Pastan

She had no idea when she accepted the curator position at the Nauk—an innovative Cape Cod gallery dedicated to emerging artists—that a dead woman would thwart her at every turn. 

Prisoners in the Palace: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance by Michaela MacColl

Prisoners in the Palace

They very nearly had to pry Liza out of the expensive London hotel. Surrounded by mementoes of her loving but tragically deceased family, the pretty, young girl had gone from a promising future to ruin. There was no money to even pay the hotel bill, and she had to sweet-talk the harrumphing manager into giving her cash for a hansom cab to follow up her only hope for sustaining herself—a job as a lady’s maid to Princess Victoria. But she could not know that very soon she and the princess would become Prisoners in the Palace.

If you like The Loch by Steve Alten

The Loch by Steve Alten

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 Loch by Steve Alten: Something hungry is in the loch . . and it's not the gentle Nessie of Scottish lore! Marine biologist Zach Wallace, fresh from a near drowning in the Sargasso Sea during an expedition in search of the elusive giant squid, returns to his Scottish birthplace when his estranged father is accused of murder. Unfortunately for Zach's father, Angus, his entire defense hinges on his claim that something in Loch Ness killed his business partner when he fell into the water after Angus punched him. But the trial soon becomes a media circus when more people go missing and half-eaten body parts are discovered along the shore. Zach must contend with rival scientists, interfering thrill seekers, and even a rogue remnant of the Knights Templar in his search for what is really lurking in Loch Ness.

If you enjoyed this novel, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

Cujo by Stephen King

Left to fend for herself by her workaholic husband, Donna Trenton takes her ailing Pinto to Joe Camber's garage for repairs. Once there, Donna must lock herself and her son, Tad, in her sweltering car, for the Cambers' once-friendly Saint Bernard, Cujo, has now turned into a monstrous and rabid killer. 

 

Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor

Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor

"Stepping in a rhythm to a Kurtis Blow. 
Who needs to think when your feet just go?"

                                                Tom Tom Club - The Genius of Love

Ed Piskor cannot rap or dance. He is no good with turntables or sampling. What Piskor can do is draw, which is why Hip Hop Family Tree is such an important testament to honoring the innovators and pioneers of the culture.

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

It happened again. The walls shook very hard and the singing bowls sounded on their own—as a warning or a meditation? Small earthquakes were normal in this part of Japan, but Lucy Jarrett never could get used to them. She had come to live in the village with her love Yoshi a few years ago. They had fallen for each other during a monsoon in another country, two very different people determined to make a private country of their own.

But things are changing now. Lucy can not find a job in her field of hydrology, and Yoshi is preoccupied with his corporate work. He looks at her closely one day and says she seems to be a very lonely person… and she realizes that she is.

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

When I Was the Greatest is Jason Reynolds' first novel, but his voice is already fully-formed. He guides us through the life of Ali, a teenager living in Brooklyn, the non-Cosby part. Ali's mom complains about white gentrification raising the price of rent, but Ali does not fully follow.

I don't really get that. I mean, if I'm in a restaurant, and I order some food, and a white person walks in, all of a sudden I have to pay more for my meal? Makes no sense, but that's what she says.

If you like Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Perfume by Patrick Süskind

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.

Perfume by Patrick Suskind: Set in 18th-century France, Perfume relates the fascinating and horrifying tale of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a person as gifted as he was abominable. Born without a smell of his own but endowed with an extraordinary sense of smell, Grenouille becomes obsessed with procuring the perfect scent that will make him fully human. With brilliant narrative skill Susskind exposes the dark underside of the society through which Grenouille moves and explores the disquieting inner universe of this singularly possessed man. 

If you enjoyed this title, here are some other novels you may enjoy:

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront. 
 



  The Collector by John Fowles A butterfly collector wins a lottery and, thus, acquires a remote cottage where he imprisons a young woman. (worldcat.org)