Shelf Life Blog

01/16/2015 - 2:19am
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

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.

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry: "A portrait of India featuring four characters. Two are tailors who are forcibly sterilized, one is a student who emigrates, and the fourth is a widowed seamstress who decides to hang on." (Book description).  

Animal’s People by Indra Sinha
Ever since That Night, the residents of Khaufpur have lived a perilous existence. Their world is poisoned. Nobody has received compensation or help for the chemical leak, least of all Animal, as he is known, whose spine twisted at a young age, leaving him to walk on all fours. (catalog description)

A Breath of Fresh Air by Amulya Malladi
In December of 1984 in Bhopal, India, Anjali survives a catastrophic gas leak but her marriage to her army officer husband does not. Years later, she is remarried with an ill son when her first husband suddenly reappears in her life. She is forced to reconcile her roles of wife, ex-wife, working woman, and mother. (catalog description)

07/23/2015 - 12:26pm
Telephone by Mac Barnett

Birds of a feather may flock together in Telephone, by Mac Barnett, but that does not mean they understand each other. Taking place on an actual telephone wire, the story begins with Peter the pigeon's mother asking a friend to tell him to fly home for dinner. Anyone who has played a game of telephone before will know what happens next.

07/22/2015 - 12:46pm
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

Set in small fishing village in Haiti, Claire of the Sea Light weaves its net of interlocked stories from loss, love, and hope.

Like most small towns, Ville Rose has wealthy people who believe themselves to be important and others who just scrape by, barely making a living.  Nozias the fisherman loves his little daughter Claire Limyè Lanmè – Claire of the Sea Light. But they are so very poor and his job is so dangerous that he worries what will happen to her if one day he does not return.

01/13/2015 - 8:32am
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville

The Final Silence starts with a locked door.

Middle-aged Rea Carlisle, daughter of a prominent Northern Ireland politician, has inherited her Uncle Raymond’s unusual house after his suicide. It takes little time to deal with her uncle’s few possessions, and every room (besides one) has been sorted and cleaned. The remaining locked door leads to what seems to have been Uncle Raymond’s upstairs office, and Rea can’t figure out why it’s sealed off. Once she pries open the door, she immediately realizes the answer to that daunting question.

07/22/2015 - 12:50pm
Ink by Amanda Sun

Like martial arts, magic, and high school heartbreak? Amanda Sun’s Ink has got you covered.

It’s not easy moving to Japan, and Katie Greene was having an especially rotten day. She forgot to change from her school slippers—again! and ended up barging into a huge break-up scene between moody, gorgeous kendo captain Yuu Tomohiro and his leggy, book-smart girlfriend of the glittery nails.

07/22/2015 - 12:51pm
Winter Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow

Looking for a book to share on a frosty day? Virginia Brimhall Snow’s Winter Walk is a lovely and informative stroll through nature’s quiet season. Grammy leads the children to all sorts of interesting discoveries. “Why is this tree green, Grammy, when others are brown?”

From the perspective of learning, this book is just right for young ones, and its design allows different ages to enjoy it. The figures of the people are only sketched, almost fading into the white backdrop as they make snow angels, fill a bird feeder, and have a snowball fight. But the images of what they notice and talk about are incredibly vivid: a cardinal, a snowshoe hare, a chickadee, a fox… and a gleaming icicle.

01/06/2015 - 2:14am
The Voices by F.R. Tallis

British author F.R. Tallis has always been fascinated with electronic voice phenomena, also known as EVPs. Through these recordings, it is believed that one can pick up otherwise unheard spirit voices, a method long popular yet controversial with paranormal researchers. Sometimes EVPs seem to pick up vital information on the subjects’ past, revealing disturbing events that could have led to their demises. At other times, the recordings have proven to be completely useless and false. The fascination continues, however, as Tallis says on his website, “A ghost that has been objectified by technology is altogether more convincing and subsequently a great deal more frightening.”

In Tallis’ recent novel, The Voices, Christopher Norton, his wife Laura, and their young daughter Faye move into a beautiful Victorian house in London during the stifling summer of 1976. Norton discovers that the size and location of the home is perfect for his career as a film score writer. He finally has the opportunity to build his own sound recording studio. But as the hot summer nights wear on, Laura begins to hear slight knocking sounds on Faye’s baby monitor. Then come the mysterious, unearthly voices that crackle through the speakers.

07/22/2015 - 12:55pm
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Cat Winters’ In the Shadow of Blackbirds is a supernatural romance set in the real and not-too-distant past when people were dying by the millions from the flu epidemic. Everybody hopes to connect with their dead loved ones, and con artist “psychics” are lined up, ready to serve.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black didn’t believe in such nonsense. When a “spirit photographer” uses her image with that of ghost who seems to be kneeling at her feet, she is outraged—until the ghost of her dead sweetheart comes to visit her.

01/05/2015 - 10:17am
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Here's a recent Book Match for Veronica Roth's Divergent. Want your own book match? Request one now!

Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. Followed by ...

Insurgent by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth
As war surges in the dystopian society around her, sixteen-year-old Divergent Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

If you enjoy the dystopic setting, female main character and romantic aspects of these novels, here are some other titles you may enjoy: 

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
A fast-paced dystopian novel about a midwife who willingly turns over her quota of infants, until the night one agonized mother objects. In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia's mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia's choice is now simple: enter the worldof the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

Breathe by Sarah Crossan
In a barren land, a shimmering glass dome houses the survivors of the Switch, the period when oxygen levels plunged and the green world withered. A state lottery meant a lucky few won safety, while the rest suffocated in the thin air. And now Alina, Quinn, and Bea--an unlikely trio, each with their own agendas, their own longings and fears--walk straight into the heart of danger. With two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, they leave the dome. What will happen on the third day? 

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that his father has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all. 

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever. And I've always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie. 

 

Feed by M. T. Anderson
Feed
 by M. T. Anderson
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.
 

Girl in the Arena
Girl in the Arena: A Novel Containing Intense Prolonged Sequences of Disaster and Peril
 by Lise Haines
In Massachusetts, eighteen-year-old Lyn, who has grown up in the public eye as the daughter of seven gladiators, wants nothing less than to follow her mother's path, but her only way of avoiding marriage to the warrior who killed her last stepfather may be to face him in the arena.

  Graceling by Kristin CashoreGraceling by Kristin Cashore
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king. 

 

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