Reading Room Blog

05/11/2016 - 3:42pm
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Jenna's mother vanished ten years ago without a trace. In Jody Picoult's latest novel Leaving Time, the precocious 13-year-old is on a mission to crack the mystery and locate her missing parent. Her father Thomas, now committed to a mental institution, can barely recognize his daughter, let alone assist her in her quest. Instead, Jenna solicits the help of Virgil, a washed-up private investigator—one of two former cops who actually worked her mother’s case—and Serenity—a once famous psychic, now fallen from grace.

06/24/2015 - 11:35am
Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Obsessive fans: any well-known author’s worst nightmare. Especially when they begin sending emails or letters, begging for another continuation of their favorite book series. But what happens when a captivated fan takes things too far?

07/22/2015 - 12:19pm
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Eduardo and Ciro watched their beautiful, bereft mother leave them behind, not looking back once. Surely, they were now orphans. Abandoned to be raised at a nunnery in the Italian Alps, they would grow into good if very different young men with only one hope—to see their mother again.

07/28/2016 - 9:20am
If you like The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

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 Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of the lives entwined in the building of the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known--and a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother. (catalog summary)
 
If you like Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, try these other historical-fiction tales of the medieval world.
 
 
 
Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell
A fugitive English forester and mercenary defender saves young novitiate Melisande and, defending himself from a vengeance-seeking rapist priest and Melisande's father, finds himself slogging his way to Agincourt as an archer in King Henry V's army. (catalog summary)
 

 
 
Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
It is the winter of 1537 and England is divided into those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the King and the newly established Church of England. Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar-general, crusades against the old Church with savage new laws, rigged trials, and a vast network of informers. Queen Anne Boleyn has been beheaded and monasteries are being dissolved-their treasures pillaged and their lands eyed greedily by courtiers and country gentry. But having put down one people's rebellion, Cromwell fears another might topple the realm. So, when one of his commissioners is murdered in the monastery at Scarnsea on the south coast of England, he enlists his fellow reformer, Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer renowned as "the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England," to head the inquiry. When Shardlake and his young clerk and protégé, Mark Poer, arrive at Scarnsea, the two are greeted with thinly veiled hostility and suspicion as their investigation quickly uncovers evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason. While the community of brothers is revealed to be far less pious than they would seem, Shardlake himself is shocked to discover truths about Cromwell that undermine his own beliefs and threaten to cost him his faith, and even his life. But when a novice is poisoned and a year-old corpse dredged up from a nearby pond, Shardlake must act quickly to prevent the killer from murdering again. (catalog summary)
 
07/21/2015 - 10:05am
The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams

A life-threatening health condition led Dee Williams, author of The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir, to make some unorthodox life decisions. In seeking the traditional American dream of being a homeowner, she buys a house—one with great potential, but in need of extensive TLC. Dee, a farm girl, is not intimidated by hard work, and gradually she transforms her fixer-upper into charming digs, complete with a lavish garden. Between maintaining her abode and traveling for her job as a state hazardous waste inspector, she has no time to simply luxuriate in little day-to-day pleasures. It’s not until she is diagnosed with heart failure in her early forties that she realizes how vital it is to change her priorities. She is no longer content to be a slave to house and yard work.

05/28/2015 - 12:01pm
Cover to Snow Crash

Science fiction offers a rich history and has gone through many changes since its birth almost 200 years ago. The genre is so much more than mere aliens, robots, and time travel. It allows us to address complex issues in an accessible way.

05/26/2015 - 4:24pm
Ripped from the Headlines: Timely Fiction for Teens

Confession time: I am news junkie. Obsessed to the core with headlines, bylines, and editorials, I love starting my morning with a hot cup of coffee, a good podcast, and the online editions of my favorite papers.

05/26/2015 - 1:39am
Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue

You will find wisdom and comfort in this sweet, funny, and smart story. Counselor Maggie Brennan specializes in helping her patients in a special type of loss: the anguish of the loss of a four-legged friend. Her insight into the loss of this special bond moves her grieving patients who are often embarrassed and confused about the emotional turmoil caused by the loss of their pets: loss is loss and love is love. Her patients are not “Dog Crazy” but “Dog Normal.”

06/04/2015 - 1:43pm
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe
With the release of the recent Avengers movie, superhero comics are more prominent than ever, particularly the characters created by Marvel Comics. But the world of comics can be a complicated and confusing one, and the average fan may find it difficult to catch up. Luckily, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe, makes it easy to brush up on comics knowledge in an entertaining way. The book contains everything the uninitiated will need to get up to speed, as well as some firsthand accounts that may still be unfamiliar to longtime fans.

06/04/2015 - 1:53pm
The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary loves like a tiger and a hurricane in The Precious One. Years ago, her family suffered “the combustion” as they call it, separation not being a strong enough word. Her father Wilson traded his old family for a new, improved one: Caro the glass artist and the precious daughter Willow. He also destroys Taisy’s relationship with her childhood sweetheart Ben.

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