Author Archives: Marlise

Patron Picks

Books your friends and neighbors have been talking about!

unwantedUnwanted by Kristina Ohlsson (FIC OHLSSON)

This very good mystery set in Sweden is the first in a new series being translated into English. Would especially suggest if you like the author Jo Nesbo.

 

Peter De Vries is a name you may not be familiar with, vale-of-laughterbut this author (born in Chicago) writes satire that is side-splitting funny and has a great perspective. Several of his titles are available as eBooks in Hoopla – give one a try!

 

Adapt: How Humans Are Tapping Into Nature’s Secrets to Design adaptand Build a Better Future by Amina Khan (620 KHA)

I picked up the book because it was on display and the cover looked cool, and it was full of interesting information about how humans can tap into nature’s secrets to design and build a better future.

Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead (381.141 WOO)shopping-seduction-selfridge

If you are enjoying the PBS miniseries then you should check out this entertaining biography about the man who inspired it!

And speaking of miniseries, a patron said she laughed through every episode of the British comedy, Mrs. Brown’s Boys – featuring a mom who loves to meddle in the lives of her six children.

News for Readers of Romance

Many readers were shocked at Harlequin’s recent announcement that they will stop publishing several “categories” of romance.  For those who want to more information,  please check out this informative post from Novelist.  I think it is also helpful that they explain how to find certain types of romance using specific searches in the Novelist Plus database.

What is Novelist, you ask? The Library subscribes to this database to provide patrons with even more reading recommendations for both fiction and nonfiction, for all ages and including audiobooks!  It’s also handy for series information and book discussions. If you haven’t played with it lately, you just need to sign in with your library card and PIN (from home) or ask Reader Services staff to give you a demonstration the next time you’re in the library!novelist

Patron Picks

Some of the books (and more!) patrons have said are so good, others need to know about them:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias: 101 Stories of Caregiving, Coping and Compassion:  (616.831 CHI)

Patron who was just diagnosed with dementia said she read it in bed and her husband couldn’t watch her read it because she would start crying, and her daughters didn’t want her to read it because it made her cry. However, she felt she needed to and it helped her so much to learn what she will be going through. Learning how others have gone through dementia and strategies for coping, “was a tremendous help.”

Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond by Jay simply-saidSullivan (658.45 SUL)

Sophisticated yet simple book on communicating better with everyone. Author has a good writing style and says things in a new way – really great!

 

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev (306.0947 POM)

nothing-is-trueWith Putin and Russia in the daily news, this is a fascinating and highly-recommended read.

 

 

The Art of Beatrix Potter by Emily Zach (823.912 POT)

art-of-beatrix-potterA patron who was teaching a unit on Beatrix Potter said that, unlike so many that only give part of her story, this book had it all and is “wonderful!” (Note: some might also enjoy the fictional mystery series, “The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter” starting with The Tale of Hill Top Farm.)

 

And finally, if you are looking for something new to listen to, a patron says the podcast EconTalk is excellent. Hosted by Russ Roberts, it is billed as an “economics podcast for daily life.”

 

Patron Picks

Looking for a new book to try? Some of your fellow patrons have taken time to stop by Reader Services and share about how much they enjoyed these titles:

What Angels Fear by C. S. Harriswhat-angels-fear

This is the first in a long series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, son of an earl who becomes a sleuth when he finds himself the prime suspect in a horrible murder.  Set against the backdrop of 1811 London society, this well-researched historical fiction does have some violence, but is also filled with suspense, mystery and a bit of romance.

The Jealous Kind by James Lee Burkejealouskind

Burke’s writing is always great and this coming-of-age story set in Texas during the 1950s is not to be missed.

 

Forty Autumns: A Family’s Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner  943.1552 WILfortyautumns

Readers of history will enjoy this page-turning memoir about generations of a German family torn apart during the Cold War. “It really helped me better understand my own family’s experience regarding the Berlin Wall and a divided Germany.”

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval N. Harari 909 HARsapiens

“What a fascinating, provoking look at where humans have come from and where we are heading – in a very nice way, the author points out we are all filthy murderers!”

When You Need a Bit of Whimsy

theyallsawacatLooking for something cheery and charming to read? Try my new go-to remedy: picture books! Now, I realize that some people have ample exposure to picture books thanks to children, or grandchildren or perhaps even your occupation. But some of us don’t cross paths with picture books as often and yet when I do, I usually find myself engrossed in the story AND the art. I also often find myself reading them aloud to enjoy the wonderful sensitsabooke of rhythm and wordplay.  They cover the gamut from whimsical to serious, but all will add a little inspiration into your day!

Not sure where to start? I know my colleagues in Youth Services would be happy to give suggestions in person, or you could look at their list of recommended picture books by topic. You could also take a look at the list of Caldecottiwantmyhatback
Medal Award winners and honor books
.  (Oh, and the three titles pictured in this post are ones I have enjoyed and would suggest.)

Unconvinced that picture books are the way to go? Take a look at this sweet video created in honor of November being Picture Book Month.

 

Already a hardcore picture book aficionado? Then perhaps you should be planning a trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (although it IS in Massachusetts, so pack snacks!)

Scary, But Not TOO Scary

For obvious reasons, this is the time of year readers who might not normally read horror find themselves ready to try out a frightening book.  That said, there are still those (like me) who don’t mind trying something a little scary – but we definitely can’t handle anything too dark or violent!

When I was getting my Library Degree (shout out to the MLIS program at Dominican University!) I took a “Readers Advisory” class that included a section on horror. I was SO worried about what I would have to read, but happily my instructor suggested a great book that she called “horror light.” I ended up really enjoying it, and since then I’ve passed it along as a suggestion to many others.

neverwhereThe book is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he is plunged through the cracks of reality into a malevolent world of shadows and darkness “under” the city.

It’s dark and atmospheric and creepy without being something that made me stay up all night with the lights on! In fact, several years ago I learned BBC Radio 4 had turned it into a radio play and made an effort to listen to the live broadcast online. (Note: sadly it isn’t currently available to listen to for free, but you can check out the cast and some clips on the BBC Radio website).

haunting-of-hill-houseLooking for another “horror light” idea?  Then I would also suggest trying the classic tale The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  Not all modern day readers feel it is scary in the least, but I loved the slowly building creep factor and the many questions I simply could not answer as to who or what was truly haunted. By the way, if you would rather watch the story, make sure to get the 1963 film adaptation starring Julie Harris, titled The Haunting. (The 1999 movie is said to be truly terrible by anyone who has tried it!)

If you have a title suggestion for “horror light” please share it!

Patron Picks

Looking for a new book to try? Here are three titles our patrons have enjoyed – so much so that they stopped by the Reader Services Desk to tell me about it!

If you enjoyartifacts mysteries filled with interesting details, Artifacts by Mary Anna Evans is the first in a “fascinating” series featuring an archeologist.

When it came out in 2003, Booklist said, “Evans introduces a strong female sleuth in this extremely promising debut, and she makes excellent use of her archaeological subject matter, weaving past and present together in a multilayered, compelling plot.”  Readers must agree as last year the ninth title in the series was published!

soundrelsMany people are familiar with the Star Wars movies, but did you know there’s an entire universe (heh) of books that have been written, too? A patron says Scoundrels adds “a new twist to the story we know” about Han Solo,  Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.

For those who really know their Star Wars timeline, this takes place during the Rebellion Era (five years within the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope).

 

sonic-windIf you’re looking for some interesting nonfiction, take a look at Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth. The patron who told me about this said he wasn’t sure he would like it, but a friend recommended it and he couldn’t put it down!

Publisher’s Weekly said, “Adventure writer Ryan rescues the brilliant, obsessive John Paul Stapp (1911-1999) from obscurity with this lively biography.”

Road Trip!

It’s that time of year when folks are traveling. Even if your summer doesn’t involve getting behind the wheel, we have a list of books to give you that Willie Nelson, “on the road again” feeling!

MotherRoad  HelenandTroy  LongestRoad   BlueHighways

Beach Reads

No matter what your definition is of a “beach read,” we have you covered with these titles picked by Library staff!

“Something Light and/or Funny”

Canyoukeepasecret   LifeandTimesofthunderboltOpeningbelle   FuriouslyHappy

“Trashy Good Fun”

Showdown   LastNightatChateau

“Fascinating Nonfiction”

stiff  BorntoRun

“Something Compelling & Intense”

whatsheknew     IamPilgrim

“Something Different”

11-22-63      Futuristicviolence

Award News for Mystery Lovers

In case you missed it, the Edgar Allan Poe Awards were announced last week and I am always fascinated by the nominee and winner lists as they often serve up hidden gems (in fact, two of the three pictured below are currently on the shelf!).  Click the link above to see the entire list.

Let Me Die  Sympathizer  Long and Faraway Gone

WalterMosleyIt’s also nice to see that Walter Mosley was awarded the Grand Master, the highest honor the Mystery Writers of America bestows, one that recognizes a lifetime of achievement and an impressive quality of work. Mosley, a prolific writer, is perhaps best known for his crime series featuring Easy Rawlins. The first in the series is The Devil in a Blue Dress.