Author Archives: David

Celebrating Stephen King!

The world of horror would not s-lotbe the same without the one-and-only writer Stephen King. He, of course, is best known for such cult classics as Salem’s Lot, The Stand and The Shining. The author of some 57 novels—including eight under the pseudonym Richard Bachman—Stephen is also the author of 17 novellas, eight works of non-fiction, and 11 short story collections. He has written screenplays, anthe-standd dozens of movies and made-for-TV mini-series have been based on his work.

In addition to being a phenomenally prolific author himself, several of his family members are popular authors in their own right. Stephen King’s wife is writer Tabitha King, author of Pearl, The Book of Reuben and One on One. King’s sons are writers the-shiningJoe Hill and Owen King. Joe Hill writes horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction including the book Horns. Owen King is known for writing short stories. He also co-wrote Intro to Alien Invasion with Mark Jude Poirier and Sleeping Beauties with his father which will be released in 2017.

Not sure where to start with all these reading options? Here are some titles our staff have particularly enjoyed: Cujo, Salem’s Lot and The Stand (all by Stephen King) and NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.

Novel Ideas May 2016

Novel Ideas book group met for the third time in May. Novel Ideas is the newest book group at St. Charles Public Library where participants are encouraged to share with the group titles and authors they are currently reading and enjoying. Our goal is that you walk away with your next great read!

Here is a sampling of new book ideas shared at the May meeting:

In the Name of Gucci by Patricia GucciGucci

The gripping family drama–and never-before-told love story–surrounding the rise and fall of the late Aldo Gucci, the man who is responsible for making the Italian fashion label the powerhouse it is today, told by his daughter, Patricia Gucci.


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevinfikry

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.


Pretty Baby by Mary Kubicapretty

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.


The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flaggstation

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her three daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle.  Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a shocking secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into
question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family and her future.

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiffcleopatra

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Though her life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.


Novel Ideas will be held on the 4th Wednesday of every other month from 10:00-11:15 a.m.  Please drop in and discover your next great read!

2016 Novel Ideas Meeting Dates:

  • July 27
  • September 28

Novel Ideas March 2016

Novel Ideas book group met for the second time in March. Novel Ideas is the newest book group at St. Charles Public Library where participants are encouraged to share with the group titles and authors they are currently reading and enjoying. Our goal is that you walk away with your next great read!

We shared several new books at Novel Ideas. Find a sampling below:

betty white

If You Ask Me by Betty White

Drawing from a lifetime of lessons learned, seven-time Emmy winner Betty White’s wit and wisdom take center stage as she tackles topics like friendship, romantic love, aging, television, fans, love for animals, and the brave new world of celebrity.


The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smiththe woman

Business is slow at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, so slow in fact that for the first time in her estimable career Precious Ramotswe has reluctantly agreed to take a holiday. The promise of a week of uninterrupted peace is short-lived, however, when she meets a young boy named Samuel, a troublemaker who is himself in some trouble. Once she learns more about Samuel’s sad story, Mma Ramotswe feels compelled to step in and help him find his way out of a bad situation.  (Note: this is the latest in a long-running series that begins with The No. 1 Ladies‘ Detective Agency.)

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernanatomic

Kiernan traces the story of the unsung World War II workers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the 
Manhattan Project’s secret cities.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin storied life

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

2016 Novel Ideas dates are: May 27, July 27, and September 28 from 10:00-11:15 a.m. in the Bisbee Conference Room. We hope you can join us!

Novel Ideas Book Picks

Thanks to those who attended the inaugural Novel Ideas Book Group on January 27! We had a great time chatting about titles and authors we have read, including:

Tim Gun: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating and Making It Work! by Tim GunnTim Gunn 371.102 GUN

Tim Gunn, America’s favorite reality TV cohost,  takes us on a journey through life lessons and uses his own personal experiences, from the classroom to the therapist’s office, to illustrate larger concepts. Each chapter ends with a “life assignment, ” where Tim challenges you to apply the lessons you’ve learned in practical mentoring or teaching situations. Extra fun in audio as it is read by the author!

Rogue Lawyer by John Grishamrogue lawyer (FIC GRISHAM)

Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar and a small fridge.  He believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he, Sebastian, has to cheat to secure one.

The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American’s Epic Journey to Win the Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel Brownboys in the boat 797.123 BRO

Daniel James Brown’s book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans.

*patron particularly enjoyed the YA version (J 797.123 BRO), which is a bit shorter and has more pictures!

Girl At War by Sara NovicGirl at War (FIC NOVIC)

Although the primary setting of this debut novel is Croatia’s 1991 civil war, the fact that the narrator, Ana,  is a 10-year-old girl gives it an entirely different feel. Later, as Ana escapes to America and grows up, her tangled feelings about the war and the meaning of things such as family, friendship, loyalty, and where she will ever feel truly “home” make it an insightful and absorbing read.

Novel Ideas will be held on the 4th Wednesday of every other month from 10:00-11:15 a.m.  Please drop in and discover your next great read!

2016 Novel Ideas Meeting Dates:

  • March 23
  • May 25
  • July 27
  • September 28

2015 New Holiday Books

Tis the season for the holidays – which of course in the literary world means your favorite authors are releasing their famous holiday books! Interested in curling up with a good holiday book this December? Some of the 2015 newly-released holiday books are found below. Also, check out this Holiday Romance book list compiled by your very own Reader Services department!


Winter Strollwinter stoll by Elin Hilderbrand

“While preparing for Christmas at the Winter Street Inn, Kelley Quinn and his family find the holiday season thrown into chaos when three of their exes show up.”


The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul EvansThe Mistletoe Inn

“The New York Times bestselling ‘King of Christmas Fiction’ presents a romantic new holiday story about two romance        writers who are  searching for the kind of love that, so far, they have only written about.”


A Christmas Escape by Anne PerryA Christmas Escape

“For countless readers, Christmastime means delicious new holiday mystery from New York Time bestselling author  Anne Perry. A Christmas Escape, her thirteenth novel to the season, transports us to the Mediterranean island of Stromboli for an unconventional Yuletide adventure–and an unforgettable volcanic encounter.”


Wishes for Christmas by Fern Michaelswishes for christmas

“With the holidays approaching Sisterhood member Maggie Spitzer wants to bring joy to a teacher from her past, while Toots and the Godmothers investigate a mystery surrounding a designer at an exclusive Charleston firm.”


Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomberdashing though the snow

“Ashley Davison desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: every flight is full, and there’s only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.”

Remembering Author Jackie Collins

Bestselling author Jackie Collins died on Saturday, September 19 after a six-and-a-half-year battle with breast cancer. Even at age 77 and after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, Jackie Collins was not showing signs of slowing down – still making numerous appearances each year as well as writing books. Jackie Collins’ novels are most known for depicting the glitz, glamour, and scandals of the rich, famous, and infamous. Jackie Collins sold more than 500 million copies of her books in more than 40 countries and has had over 30 New York Times bestsellers to date.

The St. Charles Public Library Library owns many of Jackie Collins’ books. Please click here for a complete list.





Find below a sampling of articles that depict the life, death, and legendary status of Jackie Collins as well as her impact on fiction writing.

Author Jackie Collins Remembered For Impact on Steamy Fiction – NPR

Jackie Collins Remembered: Family, Friends and Fans Mourn the Beloved Author – TODAY

Jackie Collins’ Surprising Thoughts on Death and Belief in Reincarnation: ‘It’s a Very Peaceful Way of Living’ – People





Summer at the Shore

Here are a few new 2015 releases if you are stuck at home this summer and dream of going on vacation to the shore.

summer1The Summer’s End

by Mary Alice Monroe


summer2Summer at the Shore

by V. K. Sykes



summer3The Summer of Good Intentions

by Wendy Francis


summer4The Guest Cottage

by Nancy Thayer


summer5Suddenly One Summer

by Julie James






Summer 2015 Grilling & BBQ Cookbooks

Grilling outside and barbecuing  is a favorite pastime for many Americans during the warm summer months. Here are some recently released cookbooks to make you the grill master of your neighborhood.

GrillingGrilling: Mouthwatering Recipes for Unbeatable Barbecue

by Good Housekeeping Institute



Summer Cooking

Summer Cooking: Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Picnics, Patios, Grilling and More

by Chicago Tribune



The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces: 225 Extraordinary Sauces, Rubs, Marinades, Mops, Bastes, Pastes, and Salsas, for Smoke-Cooking and Grilling 

by Cheryl Alters Jamison


BBQ2Secrets to Smoking on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and Other Smokers : An Independent Guide with Master Recipes from a BBQ Champion

by Bill Gillespie


BBQ3Grill It, Braise it, Broil It, and 9 Other Easy Techniques for Making Healthy Meals

by American Heart Association



Ultimate BoBBQ4ok of BBQ

by Ashley Strickland Freeman



vegetarian grillingVegetarian Grilling : 60 Recipes for a Meatless Summer

by Karen Schulz

Summer 2015 Gardening Books

Ever wonder how to plan a hardy vegetable greenhouse garden or grow beautiful rose bushes? Then look no further as the St. Charles Public Library has the newest and hottest gardening titles to help you improve your skills. So, grab your favorite trowel, gardening gloves, and wide-brimmed hat and get ready to get your hands in the soil! 

Fine Gardening Grow Healthier & Easier Gardens: 698 Gardening Tips and Techniques


Learn the easy and efficient way on how to water, plant, prune, compost, and so much more!



The New Southern Living Garden Book : The Ultimate Guide to Gardening : 2,000 Full-Color Photos, 500 Garden Ideas, 8,000 Flowers, Vegetables, Trees and More


Discover the essentials of growing Southern gardens and develop skills to identify the South’s best plants.



 Water G

Transform an ordinary backyard garden into pure garden magic! This books details how to select, group, and cultivate plants required in the making of water gardens.


Greenhouse Vegetable Gardening: Expert Advice on How to Grow Vegetables, Herbs, and Other Plants


Discover the basics on what to consider when buying, laying the foundations for, and decorating your greenhouse — as well as how to plan and use one. Soon after you’ll be ready to explore the many types of vegetables and flowering plants that thrive in greenhouses.

Practical Rose Gardening: How to Place, Plant, and Grow More than Fifty Easy-Care Varieties

Rose Bush


This practical how-to guide will show you the basics of successfully growing healthy and beautiful rose bushes.


Prefer your gardening to be purely fictional? Enjoy this list of stories that take place in and around the garden, created by your very own Reader Services team!

150-Year-Old Newspaper Articles of Mark Twain Discovered

Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) is one of the most celebrated authors of American literature, penning works such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Roughing It (1872), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court   (1889). These classic novels have become standard repertoire for students in middle and high school.

Huckleberry    Tom Sawyer    Roughing It    Yankee

Recently, some of Mark Twain’s 150-year-old newspapers articles have been uncovered by scholars at the University of California (Berkley). In 1865 and 1866, Twain wrote for the Territorial Enterprise newspaper of Virginia City, Nevada, where he was paid $100 a month for his labor. At the Territorial Enterprise, Twain wrote a six-day-a-week, two thousand word column about life in San Francisco. These letters were written early in his career when he was 29.

An additional document suggests that Mark Twain had tackled the idea of suicide. At the time of the letter being written, Twain faced extreme debt, frustration at his lack of career advancement, and struggle to find his writing identity. Fortunately for the literary community, Mark Twain developed his talents and went on to become one of the fathers of American Literature.

For more information about these recently uncovered letters by Mark Twain, please view the articles below.

Letter by Mark Twain Suggests He Once Contemplated SuicideTime

Lost Mark Twain Stories Recovered by UC Berkeley ScholarsLos Angeles Times

Mark Twain’s Suicidal Thoughts Revealed in Rare 150-year-old LettersNational Post