Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity starts with something different and unexpected, a story’s protagonist, or hero, not being very heroic. Our protagonist, a young female British spy, is being held hostage in an aristocratic hotel in Nazi-occupied France. While other spies would withstand any amount of torture in order to protect their friends, family, and country, Code Name Verity’s protagonist, whose name and identity are a secret, begins by making a deal with the Gestapo. She will give them anything and everything they want to know, including writing the story of how she arrived in Nazi-occupied France, and, in return, they will feed her, clothe her, stop torturing her, and they will not kill her—for now.
Quentin Coldwater is used to being the smartest person in the room. Some would even call him a genius. Even in the world of elite private schools, Quentin is bored out of his mind, finding his only escape in the fictional world of Fillory. Fillory is a fantasy realm existing in a series of books from his childhood, books which years later still resonate with him as a young adult. Quentin’s ho-hum existence is interrupted and forever changed when he is spontaneously transported to Brakebills University, a school for people like Quentin who have the potential to perform magic, real magic.
Even after four years of working at CRRL and growing up as an all-around library brat, I still hadn’t known that CRRL works with the Rappahannock Juvenile Center, also known as the RJC. Then I learned about Wini Ashooh, the librarian for this service, and the wonderful things she is doing with the youth there. During my interview with the fast-talking Boston native, I discovered that Wini’s work is certainly a library service that deserves as much recognition as it can receive.
Next up in our Spotlight on Local Authors series is poet and novelist Ginny Tata-Phillips. Tata-Phillips owns a bird and basset hound plantation where she writes full-time, working on books that benefit animal rescue organizations.
Our area is in no short supply of historical sites, restaurants, shops, and, of course, wonderful local authors. In the interest of getting our resident writers the attention and recognition that they deserve, CRRL is doing a series of profiles to spotlight the lives and works of our own local authors, beginning with Mr. Warren Rochelle.
CRRL accommodates customers who otherwise couldn’t get access to their library materials through Assistive Services, Interlibrary Loan, and our work with the Rappahannock Juvenile Center, through the Lobby Stops program, which is coordinated by Jenny McGee. I sat down with Jenny to learn more about the Lobby Stops.
Grave Sight, by Charlaine Harris, is an unusual and inventive twist on the classic genre of whodunit mysteries. The story follows Harper Connelly, a woman who has developed a unique ability after being struck by lightning as a child. Now, no matter where the bodies are, how old they are, or how well they are hidden, Harper can find them—and see how they died.
The Interlibrary Loan or ILL library staff are some of our unsung heroes. While library visitors get to meet and interact with the friendly people at Customer Service and Research, there are also people working behind the scenes to get you your materials from other libraries outside our system, as well as lending CRRL materials to libraries all over the country. Through the years, the Interlibrary Loan department has gone above and beyond simply getting customers hard-to-find materials. They have also helped students ready their dissertations and writers research topics for their books.
Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 follows the story of Vic McQueen, or "The Brat" as her father affectionately calls her, who happens to be a special little girl. While some children are fast readers, and others are good at a sport from a young age, Vic has the talent for finding lost things. Whether it’s a bracelet, a doll, or a missing photo, she can just hop on her bike, and her magic “covered bridge” takes her wherever it is that she needs to go. At first she takes her little trips to escape her volatile home life. However, over the course of her adventures, Vic soon discovers that she isn't the only person with such a talent—and not everyone with these abilities is nice.
Being a fan of the horror genre can be frustrating--living in a world filled with bad Hollywood remakes of great classics and series more focused on torture and gore then actually scaring anyone. So, when I picked up Ghost Road Blues, by Jonathan Maberry, I hoped it would give me that old school horror fix I’d been craving since my childhood and young adulthood spent watching the horror films of the seventies and eighties, and let’s just say I was not disappointed.
Ghost Road Blues is a story that takes place in the small town of Pine Deep, Pennsylvania, which just so happens to have the biggest Halloween celebration in the country. However, things weren’t always this commercial and light in the town which also happens to have a dark past, a serial murderer who ravaged the town before getting brought to justice, in a six-feet-under kind of way. As the festivities roll in for this year’s Halloween, their past is coming back to haunt them, and not all the monsters walking around town are working at the haunted hayride. Now, the citizens of Pine Deep have to work together to stop those trying to resurrect an ancient evil who will finish what he started thirty years ago.