Reading Room Blog

10/02/2017 - 1:42pm
If You Like The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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.

08/09/2017 - 12:45am
Celebrate All Things Solar at the Library

If you’re interested in the solar eclipse that’s happening on August 21, then the library is the hot place to be. While we won’t see a total eclipse in our area, it still promises to be a unique event and a spectacular opportunity to learn more about our sun, moon, and everything astronomical. Central Rappahannock Regional Library not only has books and articles to enlighten the community on heavenly physics, but we will also host solar celebrations and safe solar viewing parties at many of the branches.

10/02/2017 - 1:42pm
The Shadow Land: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova

In 2008, a young woman from the Blue Ridge Mountains, who loves poetry and literature, arrives in Bulgaria. She’s been hired to teach English but has a month to explore on her own. Jet-lagged, at the wrong hotel and in need of rest and a shower, it’s not surprising Alexandra makes a terrible mistake while simply trying to help a family with their luggage. It’s not the first awful mistake she’s made, either.

In the late 1930s, a 20-something violin virtuoso, who has everything in the world to look forward to, slips back to his Bulgarian hometown on the eve of World War II. When the conflict is over, Stoyan Lazarov has very good reason to believe his talent will grant him fame. So what if he has to play second chair for now in a provincial orchestra? He has the love of his life, brilliant talent and enough patience. But musical genius though he may be, he has not factored in the crushing power of the political police.

In 2008, Alexandra’s and Stoyan’s paths will cross, and their separate, shameful secrets will be laid bare. Elizabeth Kostova’s The Shadow Land is at once a historical mystery and a modern thriller. There is true bravery and true love in this page-turner that spans decades, even as it illuminates an ancient country’s marvels and sorrows.

10/02/2017 - 1:42pm
Stitches from the Garden by Kathy Schmitz

Kathy Schmitz does not believe in idle hands, as shown by her stitchery projects in Stitches from the Garden. She has clear instructions for 14 projects, including pillows, a bag, sachets, a pincushion, a journal cover, and a wrist bracelet. There are also instructions for the stitches used in each creation.

With romantic colors, she creates the colors, textures and shapes of nature. Birds perch, bees buzz, cherries hang from a tree, and lavender’s lacy shape all adorn her embroidery. Her table runner pattern has a garden full of flowers and insects stitched around the edge. Her artist’s eye captures the joys of a country garden with fabric and thread.

10/09/2017 - 9:28pm
Jamie Ford

Fredericksburg Branch, Tuesday, October 10, 7:00–8:30

Join us as we hear bestselling author Jamie Ford discuss his work. His novels include Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Songs of Willow Frost, and his new Love and Other Consolation Prizes. A question & answer session and book signing will follow. Copies of Love and Other Consolation Prizes will be sold for cash or check payment. Refreshments served. Sponsored by UMW Libraries. 

About the Author:

Jamie Ford has worked themes from his Asian-American heritage into his books. Ford may not sound like an Asian name, but it was adopted by Jamie Ford's great-grandfather, Min Chung, who emigrated from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco in 1865. Taking the European name William Ford, Min Chung became a miner in Nevada. 

Min Chung/William Ford's great-grandson Jamie Ford earned a degree in design from the Art Institute of Seattle and also attended Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts. He worked in advertising, first as an art director and later as a copywriter. On his own, he submitted short stories to writing contests and small literary venues and spent many of his vacations at writing conferences. In an interview on WordLily, Jamie explained that he began writing about Asian-American characters after his father died when he found he wanted to reconnect with his Chinese heritage.

Mr. Ford grew up in Oregon as well as in Washington State, a setting he would revisit in his works. Jamie Ford's first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times' bestseller list, winning many awards, while it received much praise from both general readers and professional reviewers.

Mr. Ford shares some thoughts about his history, inspiration, and personal recommendations in our Guest Picks column. 

10/02/2017 - 1:44pm
If you like The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

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.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (Book #1 of The Dark Tower series)
The story centers upon Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, who has been chasing after his adversary, "the man in black," for many years. The novel follows Roland's trek through a vast desert and beyond in search of the man in black. Roland meets several people along his journey, including a boy named Jake Chambers who travels with him part of the way. (Wikipedia)

10/02/2017 - 1:44pm
Cover to A Perilous Undertaking

When promising artist Artemisia is found with a slit throat, her married lover is sentenced to be executed for the murder. But Lady Sundridge is convinced that Miles Ramsforth, patron of the arts, is innocent of killing his comely protégé—who also happened to be pregnant with his first child. On the advice of a shadowy figure, Lady Sundridge enlists the expertise of amateur sleuths Veronica Speedwell and her partner Revelstoke “Stoker” Templeton-Vane.

The pressure’s on for the detectives as the execution is scheduled in seven days. The biggest problem hinges on the existence of any number of suspects who had good reason to frame Ramsforth for the violent crime. And, to introduce several more intriguing wrinkles, Lady Sundridge is not who she claims to be. When their lives are threatened, Veronica and Stoker are certain they’re getting closer to solving the case.

A Perilous Undertaking, by Virginia’s own Deanna Raybourn, is the second in the Veronica Speedwell series. If you haven’t already read the first book, I would definitely recommend starting with A Curious Beginning. Despite the book’s setting of late 1800s England, Veronica is quite the modern woman. She travels the world solo, capturing exotic butterflies to sell to any number of wealthy collectors.

10/02/2017 - 1:44pm
Cover to National Geographic's Night Sky of North America

Take a look at this pocket guide from National Geographic before you go out for a gaze on a cloudless evening. Night Sky of North America is the perfect book to bring along with you anywhere a lack of light pollution permits you to see the stars, the planets, and more.

10/02/2017 - 1:44pm
If you like The Strain series by Guillermo del Toro

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 Strain by Guillermo del Toro
Abraham Setrakian, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust, joins forces with CDC specialist Eph Goodweather to battle a vampiric virus that has infected New York in this first installment in a thrilling trilogy about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. (catalog summary)

The other two books in the trilogy include . . .The Fall (#2) and The Night Eternal (#3).

The FallThe Night Eternal


The Strain TV Show 

The Strain is an American horror drama television series that premiered on FX on July 13, 2014. It was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Carlton Cuse serves as executive producer and showrunner. Del Toro and Hogan wrote the pilot episode, "Night Zero", which del Toro directed. A thirteen-episode first season was ordered on November 19, 2013. On August 6, 2014, FX renewed The Strain for a 13-episode second season which premiered on July 12, 2015. [In] 2015, FX renewed The Strain for a 10-episode third season which premiered on August 28, 2016. FX renewed the series for a fourth and final season, which is scheduled to premiere on July 16, 2017.¹
 

07/27/2017 - 3:26pm
If you like The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare

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.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Book #1 in the Mortal Instruments series)
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster. (catalog summary)

If you like City of Bones, read the rest of The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare . . .

City of AshesCity of GlassCity of Fallen AngelsCity of Lost Souls

City of Heavenly Fire

 Here are some other books similar to the fantasy adventure of The Mortal Instrument series . . .

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