Shelf Life Blog

09/04/2014 - 3:00am
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

All aboard the greatest train known to man! The Boundless is many miles long—with 947 cars. It houses 6,495 passengers, a movie theater, a circus troupe, a captured Sasquatch, and young artist Will Everett.

09/02/2014 - 11:37am
The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher

What really happened when genius businessman Sir Owain Lancaster decided he could conquer the Amazon? In the 1800s, it was not so unusual for British gentlemen to take on this kind of task—to prove the superiority of man over the elements and increase our scientific knowledge. In Sir Owain’s case, the natural elements won. Or, perhaps they were horrifically supernatural, as Sir Owain claims. Stephen Gallagher’s Bedlam Detective is determined to find out the truth.

08/29/2014 - 10:08pm
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

This readalike is in response to a patron'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.

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson: "Katie Wilkinson has found the perfect man at last but one day, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read. The diary is written by a woman named Suzanne and is addressed to her new baby boy, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about the joy he has brought her. As Katie reads this moving story, she realizes that the man she's fallen in love with is Suzanne's husband, Nicholas' father. She reads on, filled with terror and hope as she struggles to understand what happened and whether her new love can survive." (Book summary)

If you like relationship stories with strong, complex emotional impact, you may like these titles:

The amateur marriage: a novel by Anne Tyler
Tyler's ambitious sixteenth novel explores a weighty topic, the erosion of a marriage, over an unusually long period of time, 1941 to the present. Once again, you'll enjoy Tyler's trademark light yet insightful touch. The ill-fated couple at the story's center, Michael and Pauline, are as familiar as relatives-just "two good people who are bad for each other," as Tyler puts it. The point of view in the book's 10 chapters shifts from one family member to another, allowing sympathy for all.


The annunciation by Ellen Gilchrist
Follows the desires of Amanda McCarney: an unwed mother on a Mississippi Delta plantation at age fourteen, a wealthy New Orleans matron into her early forties, and now a divorced poetry student living in a university community in the Ozarks. When Amanda finds herself infatuated with an intense young musician, what at first appears to be a sexual intrigue becomes a grand and impossible passion that unfolds with striking parallels to the life of the eighteenth-century French poetess whose work she is translating. (Book description, amazon.com)

08/28/2014 - 3:00am
The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin

The Ice Dragon visits young Adara every winter near her birthday. The beast offers a chilly magnificence like no other creature. Adara does not fear the creature though, for she has felt the cold many times before.

A lonely child, Adara lost her mother in the rigors of her birth. Her father loves his daughter but struggles to connect with her, finding her too somber and a cruel memory of his wife's passing. It is this loneliness that forces Adara to embrace the winter. After meeting the ice dragon, they begin to ride in secret.

08/27/2014 - 9:00am
Moon Handbook: Virginia, Including Washington DC

Whether you’re a newcomer or a born-here, fall weekends are the perfect time to explore this beautiful, charming state. Short road trips can take you from the mountains to the beach and lots of points in between. Grab Michaela Gaaserud’s Moon Handbook for Virginia, Including Washington DC to find the perfect destination for you.

08/26/2014 - 3:00am
Patchwork Loves Embroidery by Gail Pan

In Patchwork Loves Embroidery, Australian designer Gail Pan enjoys putting thread to fabric, and these 15 whimsical designs combine her love of both embroidery and quilting. The designs in this book make for happy stitching!

08/21/2014 - 3:00am
Me Want Pet by Tammi Sauer

"Me Want Pet!" Cave Boy grunts to his family. Sure, he has rocks, sticks, and a club, but all of those possessions pale in comparison to companionship!

Cave Boy starts looking everywhere for potential pets, and he finds some strong contenders. A woolly mammoth follows him home one day, but he's too big to comfortably fit in the cave with everyone else!

08/19/2014 - 8:59am
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Grave Sight, by Charlaine Harris, is an unusual and inventive twist on the classic genre of whodunit mysteries. The story follows Harper Connelly, a woman who has developed a unique ability after being struck by lightning as a child. Now, no matter where the bodies are, how old they are, or how well they are hidden, Harper can find them—and see how they died.

08/18/2014 - 3:00am
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die wakes up and has no idea who she is. Two men stand over her in a ransacked cabin, one instructing the other to "Take her out and finish her off."

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