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The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

The Gardener

High-school junior Mason suffered severe facial scarring from a dog attack as a child. People tend to avoid the intimidating six feet three, 230-pound football player. But Mason’s gruff exterior hides a character that is a smart, quiet hero in S.A. Bodeen’s latest bestseller, The Gardener.

Having grown up never knowing his father – except for a DVD of the faceless man reading a children’s book – Mason longs for answers. When he plays the video for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works, the inexplicable happens–a beautiful girl wakes up. Mason learns that the teens are part of a hideous experiment designed to create autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. The discovery sparks Mason’s heroism, sending him and Laila on the run for their lives as they try to learn who the mastermind behind the gruesome plan is.

If you like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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. 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a "simple, yet eloquent parable [that] celebrates the richness of the human spirit. A young Spanish shepherd seeking his destiny travels to Egypt where he learns many lessons, particularly from a wise old alchemist. The real alchemy here, however, is the transmuting of youthful idealism into mature wisdom. The blending of conventional ideas with an exotic setting makes old truths seem new again. This shepherd takes the advice Hamlet did not heed, learning to trust his heart and commune with it as a treasured friend. " (School Library Journal)

If you like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, you may also like these titles:
 

All Over the Map by Laura Fraser.
In following up An Italian Affair, Fraser takes a closer look at her own wanderlust and examines the positive and negative effects it has had on her life, particularly over the past 10 years. For example, the author finds a glorious waterfall in Samoa. "The water is so clear light blue it's possible to see all the way to the bottom, and the bottom is a long way down. I dive in for a swim. this is why I love to travel." But she questions the notion of having it all, or having it all at once, and worries that her desire to explore and her professional success have come at the expense of stability and family. She challenges the ideals of happiness and home she had previously held, adding a layer of depth to a memoir that will excite travelers of the world and the armchair alike. (From Publishers Weekly)
 

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his 'meaningless' life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: 'Why was I here?' (Catalog description)

Lad, a Dog by Albert Terhune

Lad, A Dog

“He was a big and incredibly powerful collie, with a massive coat of burnished mahogany-and-snow and with absurdly small forepaws (which he spent at least an hour a day in washing) and with deep-set dark eyes that seemed to have a soul behind them. So much for the outer dog. For the inner: he had a heart that did not know the meaning of fear or disloyalty or of meanness.” – Albert Terhune

Think of a famous collie dog, and you’ll probably imagine clever Lassie or maybe motherly Fly from the movie/book Babe. But before these smart collies became known everywhere, there was a real-life dog named Lad who was as famous as either of them. He lived almost one hundred years ago, yet his adventures still make for good reading today.
 

Classics in the Afternoon: High Noon

High Noon

Come to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library as we present the the classic Western film High Noon at the England Run Branch on Thursday, January 13th at 2:00 pm. 

A lawman (Gary Cooper) stands alone to defend a town of cowardly citizens against a gang of revenge-seeking criminals. The odds are against the marshall, who stands to lose not only the town but also the love of his life (Grace Kelly).

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty

When Smithy Ide was a teenager, his beloved older sister Bethany was diagnosed with schizophrenia and began running away in Ron McLarty's The Memory of Running. Smithy would ride his bike all over town to find her and bring her home. He always found her, until one day, she stayed lost. 

 Now, at 40, Smithy is a loser. He’s fat. He has a crap job – quality control in a Rhode Island factory that makes cheap plastic action figures. He eats junk food and smokes too much and drinks himself into oblivion every night. 

CRRL Presents: Doris Buffett, the Sunshine Lady Lights Up Our Community

CRRL Presents: Doris Buffett, the Sunshine Lady Lights Up Our Community

This interview airs beginning  January 12.
Doris Buffett’s spirit, humility, and humor make her a delightful person to visit. Her energy, passion, and enthusiasm for philanthropy make her an esteemed citizen of our community who brings hope and help to those in need. Her Sunshine Lady Foundation continues to affect and improve the lives of others. Debby Klein talks to Doris Buffett, at home in Fredericksburg.

Find out more about CRRL Presents.

Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook by Nicholas Thomas

Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook by Nicholas Thomas

As my cotton-gloved hands examined the woven fabric, I felt the thrill of encountering a link to the age of discovery. Over a hundred years old and probably unseen and untouched for decades, this artifact of the Cook Islands was being carefully prepared by us technicians to be moved to the Smithsonian Institution’s storage facility. Some twenty years later, Professor Nicholas Thomas’ Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James A. Cook has given me much better perspective on these pieces of the past.

Most Popular Book Matches

Have you ever loved a book so much that you wanted to find other books just like it? The reference staff receives requests daily from patrons in person at the reference desk and also online from our popular book match service.  Many of these book matches are archived online, and they are now easy to browse and search in our revamped book match section. The first view you will see are the most popular books matches, which you can filter by age group and search by title or author.

You can also see a list of book titles, or browse the most recent responses for adults, teens or kids. If you don't see your favorite book listed, request your own book match!

Useful Links for Virginia Taxes

Tax links

Aside from the federal taxes, residents also have to pay state taxes. Below are a few useful links that will help you prepare your Virginia state tax return.

Virginia Department of Taxation : Find forms and instructions for individuals and businesses.

Virginia Tax Rate Schedule and Tax Table : Taxes at a glance

Tax Table Calculator : Use this calculator to compute your Virginia tax amount based on your taxable income.

2010 Resident 760 : Resident Individual Income Tax Booklet

New eAudiobooks: Janauary 2011

How the Best Leaders Lead by Brian Tracy

For January we've added 30 adult titles, 24 of which are are available in MP3 format (suitable for iPods, iPhones, iPads, etc.). We also received 7 new children's/young adult titles (4 available in MP3). Check out our most recent additions!

Browse our newest downloadable audiobooks in the library catalog,  or go directly to the NetLibrary web site (free account needed) or Media Center (install required) to download. If you don't have a NetLibrary account, follow these simple instructions to create one.

New eAudiobooks for January 2011