Reading Room Blog

02/10/2017 - 10:19am
If you like Legion (X-Men)

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.

David Charles Haller (better known by his nickname Legion) is a fictional character appearing in the X-Men series from Marvel Comics. Legion is Dan Stevens as David Hallerthe mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Holocaust survivor, Gabrielle Haller. Legion takes the role of an antihero and has a severe mental illness, DID or Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as MPD, Multiple Personalities Disorder), with each of his personas (over 50) controlling one of his many, and sometimes dangerous, superpowers. His ability to absorb a person's psyche, allows Legion to create alternate personalities, and manifest their superhuman abilities when they are dominant including: telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, time travel, and reality warping.

The television network, FX, has developed a TV series with writer Noah Hawley (Fargo, Before the Fall) surronding the complex life (or lives) of Legion. Dan Stevens stars as David Haller; Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Bill Irwin are also set to star. Hawley wanted to show Haller as an "unreliable narrator", including mixing 1960s design with modern-day elements, and filming the series through the title character's distorted view of reality.¹ Legion premiered at the Pacific Design Center on January 26, 2017, ahead of its FX debut on February 8. It is set to run over eight episodes for its first season. This is the first television series to take on the X-Men franchise. Check out the trailer for Legion below the book recommendations.

Like Legion? Check out these other book and movie titles, some involving superheroes, and some involving pyschological disorders. *note: Because Legion is considered an adult TV series, all of these are adult titles. Not all Marvel movies we have in our catalog are listed. To see more X-Men comics for adults, go here.
 

02/10/2017 - 10:32am
5 Hot New Titles for February

Looking for a new read? Check out these five popular and brand-new adult titles that have hit the shelves this month. To see more fresh titles, check out our recent arrivals page.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin, and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor's hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman—difficult with his beard and huge appetite—to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir—the most sagacious of gods—is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people. Through Gaiman's deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again. (catalog summary)

02/08/2017 - 12:30am
Cover to My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

The haunted newlyweds in Rebecca. The vile and violent act of nature unleashed in The Birds. Deadly family secrets at the Jamaica Inn. British novelist Daphne Du Maurier was the queen of romantic suspense. She knew perfectly well how to portray a broken person who felt helpless in a desperate situation—someone who might have had a happy life were it not for the encroachment of nightmarish scenarios created by the wicked. Every so often, a movie director will rediscover her work and bring a tale of inner torment to the screen. In July 2017, Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel will enter theaters once more.

01/31/2017 - 11:44am
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

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 Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island. (catalog summary)

If you like epistolary fiction (letter writing) like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, check out these other titles as well.
 

The Antagonist



The Antagonist by Lynn Coady (General Fiction)
A man of enormous size and strength, Gordon Rankin, Jr., has been plagued with misfortune his entire life, which culminates in an old, trusted college friend publishing a novel that borrows freely from the traumatic events of Rank's own life. (catalog summary)

 


 

Dear Committee Members
Dear Committee Members
by Julie Schumacher (Humor, General Fiction)
Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the Midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters; his writing career is in the doldrums; his life is a tale of woe. In a series of letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, he creates small masterpieces of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. (catalog summary)

 

01/30/2017 - 9:59am
CRRL My Librarian: Novel Histories

Who doesn’t love a good story? While history books abound, a great way to learn about another time period is to pick up a novel set in the past. Good historical fiction not only tells a compelling story but also focuses on the people, events, and details of daily life in that time period. Any novel or short story that takes place in the past, usually more than 50 years before the author wrote it, is considered historical fiction. A selection of historical fiction novels that are well-told and evocative of their time periods are on these two lists: History in Fiction and Novel History.

02/08/2017 - 9:29am
If you like James Patterson's BookShots


BookShots by James Patterson: "Life moves fast—books should too." 

BookShots are paperbacks developed by notable author James Patterson that are 150 words or less. They are also cheap—five dollars, no more, no less. Not only do the BookShots feature Patterson's famous characters like Alex Cross and Michael Bennett, but they also feature other genres Patterson is known for as well. You can read on any electronic device as well.

Featured below are the BookShots we have, divided in genre form. All summaries are from JamesPatterson.com/bookshots
 


Steamy Romances

$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal



$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal Will you marry me for $10,000,000?
I am a creative, open-minded businessman with limited time and desire to play the field. This is a serious proposal. A mysterious billboard intrigues three single women in LA. But who is this Mr. Right? And is he the perfect match for the lucky winner?

 

 

02/02/2017 - 12:20pm
Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis

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 other book matches here.

Looking for that perfect love story for Valentine's Day? From humorous, complicated love, to urban fantasy, check out these newly aquired romance titles in our catalog. Includes eBooks and print books.
 

Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis
Unwilling to commit to a career woman who loves him but unable to stand her dating anyone else, a man who has forfeited his job in law enforcement sabotages her dates before realizing that he must prove himself. (catalog summary)

Alaska Skies

Alaska Skies
by Debbie Macomber

Location: north of the Arctic Circle. Population: 150 (mostly men!). But the three O'Halloran brothers, who run a bush-plane charter service called Midnight Sons, are heading a campaign to bring women to town. Features the short stories, Brides for Brothers and The Marriage Risk. (catalog summary)


 

Arizona Heat
Arizona Heat
by Linda Lael Miller

After years spent trying to remember her past, Mojo Sheepshanks just wants to put it behind her. She's finally got the life she always wanted—sisters she loves, a career that keeps her on her toes and Tucker Darroch, the handsome cop who's stuck by her against all odds. But for the people around her, moving on is hard to do. Tucker can't seem to let go of his past, while Mojo's sister Greer is being blackmailed for secrets in hers. And Mojo's stuck in the middle again. Meanwhile, danger is stalking the citizens of Cave Creek, Arizona, Mojo's adopted home. And even as she and Tucker work to keep everyone safe, Mojo will discover that there are mysteries in Cave Creek that someone is willing to protect at any cost. (catalog summary)
 

02/21/2017 - 1:17pm
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

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 Bad Beginning (Book One in A Series of Unfortunate Events) 
This series chronicles the unfortunate lives of the Baudelaire children: Violet, 14; Klaus, The Bad Beginning 12; and the infant, Sunny. In Bad Beginning, their parents and possessions perish in a fire, and the orphans must use their talents to survive as their lives move from one disastrous event to another. Surrounded by dim-witted though well-meaning adults, the Baudelaires find themselves in the care of their evil relative, Count Olaf, a disreputable actor whose main concern is getting his hands on the children's fortune. (Library Journal)

In January 2017, the movie and television Internet streaming channel Netflix released A Series of Unfortunate Events, an eight-episode series, developed by Mark Hudis and Barry Sonnenfeld. It stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, Malina Weissman as Violet Baudelaire, Louis Hynes as Klaus Baudelaire, K. Todd Freeman as Mr. Poe, and Presley Smith as Sunny Baudelaire. The first season follows the first four books in the series: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, and The Miserable Mill. The next season will continue with book five, The Austere Academy

01/18/2017 - 12:09am
Cover to The Book of Spice: From Anise to Zedoary

If you like a good cooking show—and a good story—dive into John O’Connell’s The Book of Spice for a lot of kitchen knowledge, delivered with an English accent. From his first try at tandoori chicken at a family picnic, Mr. O’Connell was hooked on the beautiful differences spices could make.

As seasoned cooks know, spice is very nice, and there are certainly more of them available now, both online and in the supermarket. Indeed, there are so many herbs, spices, and blends that it’s a daunting proposition to select one to try out. Surely it would be better if you understood not only their uses but also their fascinating histories.

02/22/2017 - 12:52pm
Our Stories: A Panel Discussion Inspired by Hidden Figures

As fascinating and inspirational as we find the trials and triumphs of the African American women mathematicians profiled in our Rappahannock Reads selection, Hidden Figures, there are many, many such stories that our own friends and neighbors can tell us. We’ve invited some of those friends and neighbors to join us on Thursday, February 23, 7:00, at Headquarters Library for a lively panel discussion and to share with us their stories that parallel, in ways both large and small, those of the women of Hidden Figures. The stories may describe our past, but they will illuminate our present day and inform our future. Our panel members include: Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, Daisy Howard-Douglas, Dorothy Jackson, Johnny Johnson, Sandra and Donald Manigault, Cynthia Montague, Xavier Richardson, and Frank White.  Our moderator will be DeShawn Robinson-Chew.

Come to the library, and join the discussion. We’ll even serve refreshments! Read more about the panel members below.

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