Reading Room Blog

08/05/2016 - 10:22am
If you like Creepy Classics

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.

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
 "We will each write a story," poet Lord Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal. The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror -- one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. (catalog summary)

Here are other creeptastic classics you must get your claws on, and read:

 

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
Howard Philips Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the 1920s, discarding ghosts and witches, and instead envisioning mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe. S. T. Joshi, Lovecraft's preeminent interpreter, presents a selection of the master's fiction, from the early tales of nightmares and madness such as "The Outsider" to the overpowering cosmic terror of "The Call of Cthulhu." (catalog summary)


 

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker's classic vampire story has haunted and disturbed the modern imagination for a hundred years. Set in Transylvania, London, and Whitby, it pits the sinister but seductive Count Dracula against a team of Vampire-hunters armed only with typewriters, phonographs, and syringes. Vividly presented in the form of diaries and letters, the narrative blends ancient superstitions with modern technologies, and pulsates with obsessive fears of foreignness and sexuality. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/03/2016 - 1:18pm
If you like The Thinking Woman's Guide of Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

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 Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
Only magic will set Nora Fischer free in an alternate fairy tale world that offers anything but 'happily ever after.' Illiterate women roam this world gone wrong, and men's spells hold the world in submission. When a mysterious magician teaches Nora the magic she needs to survive, a sudden doorway back to her world suddenly looks like one she may not want to go through. (catalog summary)

If you like Barker's fantasy fiction, you may enjoy these other magical titles:

 

City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
A music student working in Prague cataloging Beethoven's manuscripts discovers clues that her deceased mentor may not have committed suicide and becomes involved with a time-travel drug, a 400-year-old dwarf, a handsome Prince and a powerful U.S. senator. (catalog summary)




 

 


Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Sexy bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan prowls the dark streets of Cincinnati, keeping tabs on the vampires and other creatures of the supernatural who prey on the city's innocent and vulnerable inhabitants.

 


 

08/02/2016 - 2:14pm
If you like A Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent

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.

A Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent
Called upon to lead his ships into a reckless but essential attack on Napoleon's fleet, Rear Admiral Richard Bolitho is torn between duty and his desire to return to the woman he loves. (catalog summary)

 

If you like Alexander Kent, here are a few more titles involving the Napoleonic Period on the High Seas:

 

The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian
Jack Aubrey, commander of the best-armed frigate in the Royal Navy, leaves the Dutch East Indies to return to England in a dispatch vessel, but the outbreak of the War of 1812 delays his journey and draws him into bloody battle. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

 

Guernseyman by C. Northcote Parkinson
Richard Delancey, inadvertently embroiled in Liverpool labor riots, sidesteps punishment by "volunteering" for the Navy. Ranked as a midshipman, he is no sooner aboard than his ship sails for the port of New York. But when the events of the American Revolution and the ongoing hostilities between England and France send him back across the sea, Delancey finds himself instrumental in defending the Isle of Jersey and, later, the Rock of Gibraltar. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/02/2016 - 10:50am
If you like Nancy Drew

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 Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
Nancy Drew solves her first mystery when the accidental rescue of a little girl who lives with her two great-aunts leads on an adventurous search for a missing will. (catalog summary)

 

If you like the Nancy Drew mysteries, these titles might peak your interest too:


The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer
Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

 

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI? (catalog summary)

 


 

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams
Like her idol Sherlock Holmes, eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill uses her intellect to solve a murder case in her home town of Echo Falls. (catalog summary)


 

08/02/2016 - 2:16pm
If you like The Babysitter's Club

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.

Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin (Book #1 in Baby-Sitters Club series)
Kristy and her friends all love taking care of kids, so starting a club is clearly a fantastic idea! They'll have fun and make money--but no one counted on prank calls, wild toddlers, and out-of-control pets. The BSC is proving to be hard work, but as long as they stick together, Kristy is sure they can make it great! (catalog summary)
 

If you enjoy the Baby-Sitters Club series, then these titles might peak your interest as well:

 

 

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt
When Mr. Green, a stingy widower with three children he cannot be bothered with, decides to find a nanny for his children, he winds up hiring a glamorous ex-circus pig who knows nothing about children but a lot about chocolate. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

Amelia's Guide to Babysitting by Marissa Moss
Amelia and her friend start a babysitting business. (catalog summary)
 

 

08/02/2016 - 9:18am

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 Host by Stephanie Meyer 
The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves--Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love. (catalog summary)

If you like The Host, you might enjoy these other titles as well:

 

The Awakening by Kelly Armstrong
Fifteen-year-old necromancer Chloe, having escaped from Lyle House with Derek, Simon, and Rae, finds herself imprisoned in a laboratory run by a sinister organization determined to control her and her supernatural friends. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

 

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia 
In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

08/03/2016 - 9:43am
Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War

Pamela J. Toler’s Heroines of Mercy Street is the true history behind the popular PBS series set in occupied Alexandria, Virginia, during the Civil War. Caveat here: I did read the book before watching a single episode. I found Toler’s narrative to be engaging and an excellent window to the time. With wildly varying levels of training (many, such as Louisa May Alcott, had only nursed family patients while another trained with celebrated British nurse Florence Nightingale), they all had a sense of duty and enthusiasm for the job that did not wane as the war ground on—though it did exhaust them and occasionally kill them.

08/02/2016 - 8:48am
If you like Sting by Sandra Brown

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.

Sting by Sandra Brown
When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. Shaw gives off a dangerous vibe that makes men wary and inspires women to sit up and take notice. None feel that undercurrent more strongly than savvy businesswoman Jordie, who doesn't belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is...and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her. (catalog summary)

If you like books by Sandra Brown, you may enjoy these titles as well:

 

300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson
Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. The seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But behind the crumbling facades of Moorish buildings Faro has a seedy underbelly, its economy compromised by corruption and wartime spoils. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a child's kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago. (catalog summary)
 

 

Darkest Journey by Heather Graham
Charlene "Charlie" Moreau is back in St. Francisville, Louisiana, to work on a movie. One night, she stumbles across the body of a Civil War reenactor, the second murdered in two days. Charlie is shocked to learn that her father--a guide on the Journey, a historic paddle wheeler that's sponsoring the reenactment--is a suspect. Meanwhile, Ethan Delaney, new to the FBI's Krewe of Hunters, is brought in on the case. He and Charlie have a history of their own, dating back to when he rescued her from a graveyard--led there by a Confederate ghost! (catalog summary)

 

08/02/2016 - 8:46am
If you like Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

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.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
When wealthy, seemingly perfect Brittany and Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, develop a relationship after Alex discovers that Brittany is not exactly who she seems to be, they must face the disapproval of their schoolmates--and others. (catalog summary)

If you like Perfect Chemistry, you may enjoy these titles as well:

 

 

Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Madson Morgan
After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt. (catalog summary)



 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more. (catalog summary)



 

08/01/2016 - 11:09am
If you like Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true? (catalog summary)

If you like Life of Pi, you may enjoy the following titles:

 

Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey--named Beatrice and Virgil--and the epic journey they undertake together. (catalog summary)


 

 

The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Set on the South Island beaches of New Zealand, a harsh environment, the novel chronicles the complicated relationships between three emotional outcasts of mixed European and Maori heritage. Kerewin Holmes is a painter and a loner, convinced that "to care for anything is to invite disaster." Her isolation is disrupted one day when a six-year-old mute boy, Simon, breaks into her house. The sole survivor of a mysterious shipwreck, Simon has been adopted by a widower Maori factory worker, Joe Gillayley, who is both tender and horribly brutal toward the boy. Through shifting points of view, the novel reveals each character's thoughts and feelings as they struggle with the desire to connect and the fear of attachment. (catalog summary)

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