Shelf Life Blog

12/10/2014 - 1:23pm
The Garden of Evening Mists by Twan Eng Tan

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 Garden of Evening Mists by Twan Eng Tan: "After having endured the miseries of a Japanese internment camp during WWII, 28-year-old Yun Ling Teoh makes her way in 1951 to the only Japanese garden in her native Malaya in a bid to convince its caretaker, Nakamura Aritomo, the former gardener for the Emperor of Japan, to establish a commemorative plot for her sister who died in the camp." (Library Journal Review)

If you liked The Garden of Evening Mists, you may also like these books:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld. (catalog description)

 

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Wang Lang, a simple peasant farmer, takes as a wife a battered slave girl who becomes an indomitable, loyal woman. Working the land together, they prosper and increase their holdings, yet Wang eventually betrays his family and neglects the earth he had worshipped. (catalog description)

 

07/23/2015 - 12:21pm
It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle

We begin our sweet, pleasant tale in the jungle. Monkeys swing on vines. All is well, until a closer look shows that one of those tails does not belong to a primate. It's a Tiger!

David LaRochelle's book urgently orders readers to escape. We scurry into a cave where it is dark and shadowy. One of those shadows just happens to look like....A TIGER! Run!

11/19/2014 - 8:45am
Windigo Island: A Novel by William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger has yet again captured his mystery readers by storm in his thirteenth installment of the Cork O’Connor series, Windigo Island. In the middle of a large and dangerous electrical storm, the body of a young Ojibwe girl washes up on the shores of Lake Superior, Minnesota, bruised and severely abused.

07/22/2015 - 1:13pm
The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Ellen Brown

Fried chicken. Cornbread. Sunday morning bacon. Apple Brown Betty. All of these delicious, home-cooked foods traditionally come out of a cast-iron skillet. At my house, we have three or four of them that have been passed down through generations. While Ellen Brown’s New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook has takes on these basic things, it opens a wider range of flavors and techniques from around the country and around the world.

12/10/2014 - 3:34pm
The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron

In Bobbie Pyron’s The Dogs of Winter, five-year-old Ivan doesn’t know where his mother went. Maybe she traveled to the City to find work. She had lost her job at the bakery, so they hadn’t had anything good to eat for a long time, and the house had no heat. The bad man who lived with them just said she was gone. Forever.

07/23/2015 - 12:20pm
The Big Elephant in the Room by Lane Smith

When one friend starts to ask another about The Big Elephant in the Room, it quickly turns into a laundry list of minor wrong-doings. Perhaps the "big elephant" is how he scarfed down all the crunchy-nut ice cream. Maybe it is the fact that he still has that video game that he borrowed ages ago.

11/12/2014 - 6:14am
The Next Life Might Be Kinder by Howard Norman

The Next Life Might Be Kinder, by Howard Norman, has one of those great first lines:  “After my wife, Elizabeth Church, was murdered by the bellman Alphonse Padgett in the Essex Hotel, she did not leave me.”

11/11/2014 - 7:34am
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

For his first published novel, cartoonist and writer Edgar Cantero has given the world an exquisite and mysterious work of speculative fiction in The Supernatural Enhancements. The narrator, a twenty-something European man who only goes by A. Wells, inherits the Axton House, an old plantation mansion in Point Bless, Virginia, after he learns of a second cousin, (“twice removed”) who has recently committed suicide by jumping out of a window. To A.’s surprise, the suicide follows a familiar pattern in the Wells family tree: the same age, the same time of the year, and the same method of suicide…and the worst of it is, A. is getting especially close to falling in with the same death pattern himself.

07/23/2015 - 12:20pm
Journey by Aaron Becker

Journey is Aaron Becker's first picture book, and what a debut! Using his artistic prowess rather than text, Becker delivers a blockbuster fantasy adventure worthy of the multiplex, with sweeping landscapes, amazing sets, and glorious detail.

07/23/2015 - 12:20pm
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

Nuclear reactors have ruptured in the Midwest, spreading radiation sickness and crippling civilization as we know it. Roving marauders now plague the land. Your mission is to survive and travel to a safe stronghold in what used to be Kansas. Welcome to Trace Italian, a game invented by Sean Phillips.

Wolf in White Van is a haunting portrayal of how we carry the scars of adolescence with us for the rest of our lives, be they emotional or physical. Ever since the accident involving his father's rifle, Sean's facial disfigurement has pushed him into isolation. Seeing him shocks people, and he knows this.

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