Books and Reading
A loving relative (or maybe it was you, yourself!) was good to you this holiday season and now you want to fill up your Kindle or Sony Reader with books. Or you are looking for even more to do with your iPod Touch. Try these sites for free eBooks:
Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah was in New York studying to be a doctor when the September 11th attacks took place. When he returned to his native Kenya in 2002, he told the story of what happened to his unbelieving Maasai friends and family.
“Buildings so tall they can touch the sky? Fires so hot they can melt iron? Smoke and dust so thick they can block out the sun?” Appalled, the villagers wanted to do something for these poor Americans. For the Maasai herders, cows are life, so they decided to donate a herd of fourteen cows to America, in a ceremony that brought tears to the eyes of the American ambassador.
Scott Westerfield, author of the popular Uglies series, is back with an amazing new novel in the steampunk tradition. Leviathan features an alternate 1914 Europe, where countries are classified as "Clankers," devoted to mechanical machinery, or "Darwinists," who genetically engineer animals to perform most of society's tasks.
The youngest people on your holiday giving list would appreciate a copy of Chris Gall’s “Dinotrux,” a proven hit with little boys (and girls, too, I’m sure). According to Gall, many millions of years ago, dinotrux ruled the earth. Part dinosaur and part truck, creatures like Semisaur and Garbageadon terrorized the cave men for millennia, until finally rusting away. The trucks we see today are merely their tame descendants.
Thursday, January 14, 4:00 - 5:00
Drop in for a lively book chat and
a sneak peek at some new books.
Find out more about Porter Lit Bistro meetings.
Monday, January 18, 3:30 - 5:00
Drop by our teen café for our newest
books and writers’ talk. Grades
7–12. Please sign up.
Two kinds of young readers are hard to buy books for: the reader who reads everything, and the reader who reads nothing. For the first kind of reader, finding out what the child has read lately can help avoid the disappointment of a second or third copy of a book that the recipient has already read. For the second type of reader, try informational books.
Nonfiction appeals to kids who don’t read much, because these books tend to have strong visual elements and often allow readers to jump around in the text depending on what interests them most. Believing firmly that you can’t make kids read but have to meet them where they are, I suggest the following stellar nonfiction for reluctant readers on your list.
This year, why not shop locally for your holiday presents? Jabberwocky Children’s Books, an independent children’s bookstore that has graced downtown Fredericksburg for over twenty years, has a wide selection and knowledgeable staff. Like most bookstores, they will special order any book they don’t have in stock.
While you’re shopping locally, look for books by local authors. We are lucky to have a talented group of writers and illustrators for children in this area, many of whom I have come to know over the years. Here are just a few suggestions.
Detective fiction remains a major field in popular literature both for authors and readers.Many new trends and subgenres have emerged in literary detective fiction during the last twenty years, both redefining and broadening the genre.Some of the currently popular subgenres are historical fiction, fiction featuring minority characters, and detective fiction set outside of traditional locations.In fact, detective fiction has become such a diverse genre of literature that it appears to be splitting into several distinct genres, each with its own style and method of gripping readers’ attention.
One of the sub-genres that defined classic American crime and detective movies was film noir, a style that was pervasive in detective films of the 1940s and 1950s. Film noir arose during the post-World War II period in the United States as a generation that fought in one of the most brutal conflicts the world had ever seen returned home to a changed America where jobs were scarce and the national mood seemed darker and more cynical than during the war itself.
Though as a librarian I'm constantly reading new books and other materials, I, like most people, have those books to which I turn time and again. I know exactly how they're going to end, I know most of the plot details, and I feel I have a close, personal connection with the protagonists. Some of these I have read to the point that the cover has torn away, but I keep them anyway. Why? Because I love them dearly.
Most of my favorite novels are science fiction or cyberpunk. Probably my favorite of all these books is Accelerando by Charles Stross, in which the transition of mankind from biological lifeform to almost purely informational and back again is deeply influenced by three generations of the same family across several centuries. Its follow-up, Glasshouse, is set in the same universe, but rather than focusing on the future of humanity, this book sets its main characters in a far-future simulation of what twentieth century life was like; its extrapolation of modern life as viewed by our long-removed descendents is endlessly fascinating.