Born on the same day Amanda and Leo have celebrated their first ten birthdays together. After a falling out at their 10th birthday party they are celebrating their 11th birthday separately. Amanda’s first solo birthday is miserable; she can’t wait for it to be over. But when she wakes up the next morning she finds herself re-living her birthday again that day and for several days to follow. Amanda and Leo soon realize that they are both reliving their birthdays and have to find a way to break the cycle. (pw)
11 Birthdays by Wendy MassPublication Date: 2009. 267 pages.A Ball for Daisy by Chris RaschkaIllustrated by Chris RaschkaPublication Date: 2011. Grades PreK - 2.
A wordless picture book about all the fun a dog can have with her ball. Adorable! (kd)A Whole Lot of Lucky by Danette HaworthPublication Date: 2012. 288 pages. Grades 3-7.
Twelve year old Hailee is excited when her family wins the lottery, no more thrift store or garage sale clothes or bicycles. But things don’t exactly change the way she thought they would and her “List of Things I Need” may have to wait. (pw)City Dog, Country Frog by Mo WillemsIllustrated by Jon J. MuthPublication Date: 2010. Grades PreK - 3.
This is a story about the cycle of friendship between City Dog and Country Frog. Each season, City Dog returns to the country to play city and country games with Country Frog. (pw)Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace FlemingIllustrated by G. Brian KarasPublication Date: 2010. Grades PreK - 3.
Candace Fleming presents an original tale of Jack, a poor boy, who wants to impress a princess at her birthday party. Not having money to buy her a gift, he decides to bake a cake. However, as he proceeds to the party with the cake, he encounters birds, a troll, bears, and a royal guard, leaving him with nothing when he finally gets to see the princess. Just by being himself though, Jack is able to give the princess a great gift in the end. Read this story to find out just what it is! (jw)Edward's Eyes by Patricia MacLachlanPublication Date: 2007. 116 pages. Grades 4-8.
The first time Jake holds his new brother, he is mesmerized by Edward's blue eyes and knows that he is extraordinary. Edward's ability to throw a perfect knuckleball at the age of eight proves that he is indeed something special. After Edward dies suddenly in a biking accident, Jake lashes out at his parents for donating Edward's corneas. (pw)Every Thing On It by Shel SilversteinIllustrated by Shel SilversteinPublication Date: 2011. 194 pages. All Ages.
This collection of previously unreleased poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein is a great addition to his older works. Just as much fun as his poems and drawings from A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends, readers young and old will enjoy this book through and through. (jw)Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne CollinsSeries: Underland Chronicles, Book 1Publication Date: 2003. 311 pages. Grades 5-7.
Gregor, the Overlander is written by the same author as The Hunger Games and will keep you on the edge of your seat, asking for more. There are five books in this series and plenty of characters, battles, excitement, and romance to keep you reading. (lc)Ivy's Ever After by Dawn LairamorePublication Date: 2010. 311 pages. Grades 4-6.
Fourteen-year-old Ivy, an unconventional princess, joins forces with Elridge, a smaller than usual dragon who can’t breathe fire, to find her long lost fairy godmother and save both of their fates as well as the entire Kingdom of Ardendale. Tween readers will love this fractured fairytale full of action, suspense and humor. A second book, Ivy and the Meanstalk, continues their adventures. (tm)Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob RaczkaIllustrated by Nancy DonigerPublication Date: 2011. 43 pages. Grades 2 & Up.
Poetry has never been so much fun! The poems in this book are made from only the letters from a single word. Once you see this new form of picture puzzle poetry, you’ll want to try it out for yourself! (jw)Liar & Spy by Rebecca SteadPublication Date: 2012. 180 pages. Grades 5-7.
In New York City, seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building. But, there's more going on than you might think - who is the liar and who is the spy? (jw)On My Way to the Bath by Sarah MaizesIllustrated by Michael ParaskevasPublication Date: 2012. Ages 3-6.
To avoid taking a bath, Livi prolongs her trip to the tub by imagining herself on all sorts of exciting adventures as a snake, a rock star, a jungle cat and more! Colorful, lively illustrations add to the fun. Will Livi make it into the tub before her mom counts to 10? Read this book to find out. (tm)Perfect Square by Michael HallIllustrated by Michael HallPublication Date: 2011. Grades PreK - 1.
A perfect square that is perfectly happy is torn into pieces, punched with holes, crumpled, and otherwise changed but finds in each transformation that it can be something new, and just as happy. A great concept book for colors and days of the week. (jw)Powerless by Matthew CodyPublication Date: 2009. 279 pages. Grades 5-8.
Soon after moving to Noble's Green, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Daniel learns that his new friends have super powers that they will lose when they turn thirteen, unless he can use his own super power - his brain - to protect them. A great read for fans of superhero books. Winner of the 2012 Rebecca Caudill Award! (jw)Press Here by Hervé TulletIllustrated by Hervé TulletPublication Date: 2011. Grades PreK - 2.
This book is a reading adventure. Follow the author’s instructions and get interactive with the colored dots that change, move, and multiply as you read. Silly fun!!! (kp)Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tim AnglebergerIllustrated by Tim AnglebergerSeries: Origami Yoda, Book 3Publication Date: 2012. 190 pages. Grades 3 & Up.
In the third book of the Origami Yoda series, Dwight is attending a private school after being suspended from McQuarrie Middle School. Tommy and the other students at McQuarrie feel lost without Dwight and Origami Yoda. Sara gets a gift from Dwight - a paper fortune-teller in the form of Chewbacca and an origami Han Foldo to interpret the Fortune Wookiee’s predictions. At the private school Dwight is acting normal, not like himself at all. Tommy and friends write another case file as they try to figure out how to get their friend crazy Dwight back. (pw)The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe StonePublication Date: 2011. 300 pages. Grades 4-7.
During World War II, eleven-year-old Felicity is sent from London to Bottlebay, Maine, to live with her grandmother, aunt, uncle, and a reclusive boy who helps her decode mysterious letters that contain the truth about her missing parents. (kd)The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom AnglebergerIllustrated by Tom AnglebergerSeries: Origami Yoda, Book 1Publication Date: 2010. 141 pages. Grades 4-6.
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda. A fun and funny read! (jw)The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen CroninIllustrated by Kevin CornellSeries: J.J. Tully Mysteries, Book 1Publication Date: 2011. 119 pages. Grades 2-4.
This is a hilarious new mystery series from popular children’s author Doreen Cronin. While trying to relax on the farm, retired search-and-rescue dog, J.J. Tully, is coaxed out of retirement by Moosh the hen to help find her two missing chicks. This mystery, which will keep you laughing and guessing right up to the end, would be a great read-aloud and make a great choice especially for reluctant readers. Readers will look forward to more cases for J.J. Tully to solve. (tm)Z is for Moose by Kelly BinghamIllustrated by Paul O. ZelinskyPublication Date: 2012. Grades PreK - 2.
Moose, terribly eager to play his part in the alphabet book his friend Zebra is putting together, then awfully disappointed when his letter passes, behaves rather badly until Zebra finds a spot for him. Laugh-out-loud fun! (kd)
12 Angry MenPublication Date: 1957.
An exciting and fascinating story of a 1950's jury in deliberation. (Perry)
What Patrons Have to Say
"EXCELLENT!"2001: A Space OdysseyPublication Date: 2007.
An epic journey of mind and body, 2001 is one of the most scientifically accurate and beautiful science fiction films ever made. (John & Perry)BellePublication Date: 2014.
If you like Jane Austen and costume dramas, you'll love this movie about a little-known figure in history. Loosely based on the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the daughter of a British nobleman and an African slave, it tells the story of Dido's struggle to fit in with the high society of late 1700's Britain. (Kristi)BerniePublication Date: 2012.
Another Ebertfest gem. Based on true events, the story follows affable everyman Bernie Tiede, town mortician, who befriends unpleasant wealthy widow Marjorie and is soon handling her finances and her social life. Nothing could go wrong here... A fantastic trio of leading actors includes Jack Black as Bernie, Shirley McLaine as Marjorie, and Matthew McConaughey as the DA. Stranger than fiction, darkly humorous and surprisingly thought-provoking. Rated PG-13 for some violence and strong language. (Mari)BrickPublication Date: 2006.
A unique and compelling story following a noir-esque detective plot in a high school setting. (Jeremy)Brooklyn Nine-NinePublication Date: 2013.
This delightful, character-driven cop comedy kicks off when Captain Ray Holt takes over Brooklyn's 99th precinct, which includes Detective Jake Peralta, a talented but carefree detective who's used to doing whatever he wants; Detective Amy Santiago, Jake's over-achieving and competitive partner; Detective Rosa Diaz, a tough and kept-to-herself coworker; Detective Charles Boyle, Jake's best friend who also has crush on Rosa; Detective Sergeant Terry Jeffords, who was recently taken off the field due to anxiety after the birth of his twin girls; and Gina Linetti, the precinct's sarcastic administrator. (Steffanie)BurlesquePublication Date: 2011.
Burlesque is a quick paced movie that has good songs and great choreography! (Shelby)Castle in the SkyPublication Date: 1986.
A girl held captive escapes from a blimp by falling out of it, and an orphaned boy watches as her unconscious body slowly floats to the ground with her magical necklace. And that's just the beginning. This was Miyazaki's first film with Studio Ghibli, and it's just as impressive as all of the others. Whether you watch it in English or it's original language (Japanese) with subtitles, it is particularly charming with it's characters and dialogue. If you're concerned at all, it's Disney sanctioned, meaning they're the ones who distributed it. Try it. (Alec)Cosmos: A Spacetime OdysseyPublication Date: 2014.
A worthy continuation of the classic Carl Sagan series, this one is hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and follows the ship of the imagination further into the depths of the universe. (Jeremy)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Excellent! Everyone should see this."Das BootPublication Date: 2004.
This film by master director Wolfgang Petersen follows the crew of a German submarine as they struggle for survival in WWII. Most of the crew are good men with whom you sympathize, and the aura of terrifying claustrophobia will stay with you long after the film is over. (Jared)Departures (Okuribito)Publication Date: 2009.
A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. Japanese with English subtitles, winner of 2009 Best Foreign Film Oscar. I saw this movie at Ebertfest, and laughed, cried, and joined the standing ovation at the end. A beautiful film about life, death, and grief. (Mari)Drop Dead GorgeousPublication Date: 2006.
This is NOT a family movie, nor is it at all 'PC', but it makes me laugh and laugh. A wickedly colorful, twisted black comedy, Drop Dead Gorgeous probes the heart of a small Minnesota town where a teen beauty pageant has unleashed a fury of very unladylike behavior. Good cast includes a very young Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst, Allison Janney, Ellen Barkin, and Kirstie Alley. Also has a super soundtrack. (Mari)Frozen RiverPublication Date: 2009.
Another film I saw at Ebertfest, and it was a stunner. It is the story of Ray Eddy, an upstate New York trailer mom who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. Fantastic performances by Melissa Leo and Misty Upham (who tragically died a few weeks ago). Rated R for language. (Mari)Major CrimesPublication Date: 2013.
A spin-off of "The Closer" featuring most of that show's characters. Crime drama set in Los Angeles, featuring the LAPD Major Crimes unit. Wonderful cast with good chemistry, along with good writing that alternates between comedic and very serious. (Mari)Moonrise KingdomPublication Date: 2012.
A romantic comedy adventure! (John)My Week with MarilynPublication Date: 2012.
This movie stars Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark, an employee who befriends Marilyn on the set of her film "The Prince and the Showgirl". The film ambiguously portrays many of the issues that Marilyn faced during this time, leaving it up to the audience to form an opinion about the famous actress and her public persona. (Laura)Pokemon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes BackPublication Date: 2000.
For a children's movie about little creatures, it has surprisingly deep themes of being different and the value of life. (Alec)Robin Hood: Men in TightsPublication Date: 1993.
This movie is fantastic if you're in the mood for silly humor. The story of Robin Hood is portrayed hysterically by Mel Brooks and is a classic comedy in my opinion. My siblings and I watched this movie when it came out in the 90's, and we STILL quote it and laugh about it continuously. (Amy)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Good laughs for a winter's night."SherlockPublication Date: 2010.
A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London. (Kristen)SnowpiercerPublication Date: 2014.
This science fiction action movie stars Chris Evans as the leader of the tail section rebels. On Snowpiercer, the train that travels a now frozen Earth, the oppressed must fight their way to the front of the train and overthrow their mysterious leader. This movie is a thrilling depiction of philosophical dilemmas in the frighteningly realistic dystopian world. (Amy & Laura)Still AlicePublication Date: 2015.
"Still Alice" is a movie about a linguistics professor who had a rare case of early onset Alzheimer disease. It shows her progression and how drastically her life changed. The movie also depicted how her children and husband deal with her disease. Excellent acting and excellent story line. A must see. (Brenda)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Very emotional, but good."The DoublePublication Date: 2014.
MISSED CONNECTION: YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH MY DOPPELGANGER? We can just skip all of the "He has my face!!" blah, blah, blah formalities. No one does "Zooey Deschanel as depressed archivist" quite like you. And no one rocks an existential life crisis like me. Simon James. Not James Simon. It's easy to tell us apart because I am the one staring at you through a telescope late at night. And you thought I was an astronomer, girl! In conclusion, Simon James. Not James Simon. Let's make this work. XOXO (Holli)The Grand SeductionPublication Date: 2014.
A quirky movie about a small, traditional fishing village in Canada trying to survive in the modern day world. This movie has beautiful scenes of Newfoundland and an upbeat soundtrack. (Shelby)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Liked it a lot. Fun to watch."The Life Aquatic with Steve ZissouPublication Date: 2004.
Intense Casio soundtrack accompanied by wild adventure. (John)The Spectacular NowPublication Date: 2014.
A rarity — a 'teen' movie that is thought-provoking, and does not involve fantasy, dystopia or the supernatural. Brilliant acting by Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller as the star-crossed couple. Rated R for language, alcohol use, some sexuality. (Mari)Wait Until DarkPublication Date: 1967.
Susy (Audrey Hepburn) is a young woman who has been recently blinded and is learning to live in darkness; Roat (Alan Arkin) is a psychopath who believes that Susy's apartment holds something that he wants. This tautly wound thriller builds to an unforgettable final confrontation. (Jared)
FictionA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled FosseiniPublication Date: 2007.
In his New York Times Bestseller, Hosseini beautifully weaves together an exquisite tale of love, friendship, and identity set in Afghanistan in the span of fifty turbulent years. The story follows two very different women, born a generation apart, on their own separate journey, until one fateful day alters their course and their lives unexpectedly become intertwined. (Zohra)American Elsewhere by Robert BennettPublication Date: 2013.
After a couple years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother's home in Wink, New Mexico, an idyllic town that no one has heard of and can't be located on any map. The more Mona learns more about her mother's past, the more she understands that nothing in Wink is what it seems, not even the residents. (Steffanie)Angelmaker by Nick HarkawayPublication Date: 1999.
Gangster noir meets absurdist comedy as the forces of good square off against the forces of evil, and only an unassuming clockwork repairman and an octogenarian former superspy can save the world from a South Asian dictator intent on activating a doomsday device from the 1950s. (Steffanie)Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate RacculiaPublication Date: 2014.
A combo of Agatha Christie, The Shining, and Glee (before it went off the rails). Wonderful characters, an appreciation of the splendor AND over-the-top divaness of uber-talented teen musicians, plus a creepy old hotel setting featuring — dun dun DUN — Room 712, site of both a murder-suicide in 1982 and the present-day disappearance of one the the teen musicians. It is both dark/bleak and hilarious/witty. The author had to have been a band geek in her younger days, because she gets it. (Mari)Beloved by Toni MorrisonPublication Date: 1988.
Beloved evokes the horror of slavery and the scars it has left on our national psyche better than any nonfiction history could hope to. It should be essential reading for every American with a conscience. (Jared)Blue Labyrinth by Douglas PrestonPublication Date: 2014.
This book is the latest in the Pendergast series. A long-buried family secret resurfaces after Pendergast finds the corpse of his most dangerous enemy laying on his doorstep. Also available in Audio. (Katrina)Burial Rites by Hannah KentPublication Date: 2013.
Set in the bleak landscape of Iceland during the poverty-stricken early 1800s, this is the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. She's just been sentenced to death for her role in the killing of two men and sent to an isolated farm to await her execution. The family she lives with is appalled to be housing a condemned murderer, but slowly, they and the young priest chosen as her spiritual guardian discover that there's much more to Agnes' crime than what the official account claims. Based on the true story of the last person to be executed in Iceland, this atmospheric and haunting debut novel may soon be a movie featuring Jennifer Lawrence. (Kristi)
What Patrons Have to Say
"A good read. Interesting, tragic story. Some lovely, descriptive passages."Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli BrownPublication Date: 2013.
Set in 1819, the book follows Owen Wedgwood, a renowned chef who has been kidnapped by the infamous pirate, Captain Hannah Mabbot, who spares his life on the condition that he make her an exquisite meal every Sunday without fail. While he tries to make do with the meager ingredients on her ship and covertly plan his escape, he is forced to accompany Mabbot and her crew as they evade the obsessed inventor-turned-privateer sent to hunt them down while they in turn attempt to track a fellow pirate with mysterious connections to Mabbot. (Steffanie)Ella Minnow Pea by Mark DunnPublication Date: 2001.
On a small island named for the creator of the phrase "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" letters start falling off a statue built in tribute. The town elders decide this means the letters that fall off can no longer by used. A young girl is the only voice of reason. (Jennifer)Good Omens by Gaiman & PratchettPublication Date: 2007.
In this apocalyptic comedy, the world is all set to end next Saturday just before dinner in accordance with the Divine Plan (as well as the prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch). While the armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everyone is trying to figure out who misplaced the Antichrist, a fussy angel and a fast-living demon who have lived on Earth since The Beginning and have become quite attached to their lifestyles do everything in their power to keep things just the way they are. (Steffanie)I Capture the Castle by Dodie SmithPublication Date: 1999.
"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink". One of my favorite opening lines to one of my favorite books. Teenage Cassandra writes in her diary about the adventures of her neighbors and family as they deal with "genteel poverty" and living in a falling-down castle in 1930s England. (Kristi)If You Were Here by Jen LancasterPublication Date: 2011.
Follows a couple through the terrifying -but hilarious- process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs. (Jennifer)Outlander by Diana GabaldonPublication Date: 2014.
Claire Randall is celebrating the end of the war with her husband, Frank, with a holiday in Scotland. One day while left alone she visits some standing stones near where they are staying. Upon touching one of the stones she is thrown back two hundred years where she finds danger, intrigue, and passion. Available in audio and has now been made into a tv series. (Katrina)Possession by A.S. ByattPublication Date: 1990.
Possession is a Booker Prize winner that follows two British literary scholars as they piece together the secret love affair between two influential (fictional) Victorian poets, all while struggling with their own complicated feelings for each other. Byatt's ability to create the poetry of these two vastly different poets and to weave these poems into a vast and sophisticated tapestry of texts that explores humanity's fundamental hunger for knowledge is nothing short of genius. (Jared)Pure by Julianna BaggottPublication Date: 2012.
Survivors from a series of widespread detonations across the United States end up in two vastly different scenarios. A select group of individuals invited to live in "The Dome" remain unaffected from the horrific damage the detonations caused. This society is called Pure; the dome inhabitants are forced to undergo mandatory genetic reprogramming. Those outside of the Dome become fused with nearby objects, animals. landscapes, etc depending upon how the detonations transformed them. They exist in a dystopic nightmare where individuals are taken at age 16 to either become killers or targets. "Pure," the introductory novel to this post-apocalyptic series, tells the story of two teens--one Pure, one not--who help each other escape from their current situations. (Holli)Room by Emma DonoghuePublication Date: 2010.
Room is a tour-de-force, narrated by five-year-old Jack, who has never stepped outside the 11-foot-square room in which his mother has been held since she was kidnapped at the age of nineteen. In order to protect his fragile psyche, Jack's mother has taught him that Room is all that exists in the world. (Jared)Tara Road by Maeve BinchyPublication Date: 1998.
Two women -- one American, the other Irish -- trade houses for the summer and the resulting change of scenery and large cast of characters help them remake their lives. (Jennifer)The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott FitzgeraldPublication Date: 2011.
You're probably familiar with Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". In this lesser known work, Fitzgerald explores themes similar to those in Gatsby, such as love, loss, and the passing of time. The novel tells the story of Anthony Patch, a socialite and presumptive heir to a fortune, his relationship with his wife, Gloria, and their growing disillusionment with the Jazz Age society. (Laura)The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodPublication Date: 1998.
The scariest thing about Atwood's dystopian fantasy, first published in 1985, is how prophetic it seems. Thought-provoking, discussion-worthy, and frankly terrifying as I observe today's world. (Mari)The Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldPublication Date: 2009.
The tragic and horrifying circumstances surrounding the death of young Susie Salmon still haunt the family and friends she left behind. Can Susie, still present in spirit, guide her loved ones to the clues they need to piece together her murder? Is it right for her to do so, or are some secrets better left undiscovered? (Laura & Amy)The Once & Future King by T.H. WhitePublication Date: 1958.
From the raw material of Arthurian legend, White weaves a tapestry that is at once imbued with the hues of all of the passions of essential human experience, while also stretching to illustrate and comprehend the universe of humane morality. By turns funny, heartwarming, and achingly tragic, this novel is a modern masterpiece. (Jared)The Road by Cormac McCarthyPublication Date: 2006.
In a dangerous, depleted, post-apocalyptic America, a father and son journey toward the east coast. McCarthy's style is unique - but don't let that stall you - the writing is reflective of the journey; the prose is enticing and breathtaking. (Tamar)The Snow Child by Eowyn IveyPublication Date: 2012.
I'm not sure if I even liked this book, and I know that I hated the ending. And yet, I couldn't put it down and read it in a day. The book is beautifully written and the descriptions of Alaska, the hard work of the homesteaders, nature, snow, were exquisite. Ah, but that pesky Snow Child... I don't know what was real and what was not, and I'm not sure that it matters. I cried several times reading it, not because of any particular sad event, but just the overwhelming sense of despair that the author evoked. She is really very talented. This would be a great book group selection. (Mari)Warm Bodies by Isaac MarionPublication Date: 2011.
Warm Bodies redefines the classic zombie story by humanizing the monsters and offering a glimpse into their side of the familiar dystopian nightmare. When a zombie and a human make an unlikely connection, they set something in motion that sparks a variety of questions: How much of their humanity have the zombies retained? And if any, is it possible to bring them back to life? (Laura)White Fire by Preston & ChildPublication Date: 2013.
A stand-alone novel in the Agent Pendergast series, this novel has all the elements of a good detective thriller and will appeal especially to Sherlock Holmes fans. (Jeremy)
Science Fiction & FantasyBlindsight by Peter WattsPublication Date: 2006.
A philosophical rumination on the nature of consciousness, Blindsight is a hard sci-fi take on first contact with extraterrestrial life and how it could go wrong. Also, space-vampires. (Jeremy & Perry)Green Rider by Kristin BritainPublication Date: 2014.
In the brilliantly created country of Sacoridia, Karigan G'ladeon finds herself escaping from the confines of school to forge her own path, but when she comes across a king's messenger dying in the road, she feels honor-bound to deliver his message for him. This is just the beginning to a story which will flutter, break, and stop your heart cold. (Amy & Shelby)Leviathan Wakes by James CoreyPublication Date: 2011.
Humanity has colonized much of the solar system, but remains divided and in conflict. Two ordinary men find themselves caught in a conspiracy dangerous enough to end life as we know it. (Perry)Sebastian by Anne BishopPublication Date: 2006.
A sensuous story of love, magic, and family; this book gives the reader a deep look into a universe that has no limits. (Amy)Station Eleven by Emily MandelPublication Date: 2011.
This is so not my typical reading fare - and apparently, this is not a "typical" post-apocalypse science fiction novel either. But I was fascinated. The story takes place after a flu epidemic that kills 90% of the world's population, and follows the Traveling Symphony, a group of musicians and actors who travel in a horse-drawn caravan performing music and Shakespeare plays "because survival is insufficient." Very well-written (finalist for National Book Award), and I found it, of all things, somewhat hopeful. (Mari)The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne BishopPublication Date: 2003.
This series is not for the squeamish reader; it presents a world rife with gruesome dominance over the male population and the dominion of the magical order called the Blood. Three men, a father and his two estranged sons, conjure their dreams into existence through a young girl, the strongest Queen the Blood have ever known. She must cleanse the Blood of the taint it has developed, but as young as she is, her innocence prevents her from seeing beyond the dreamers' sometimes vicious exteriors to trust them enough to help her. (Amy)The Cloud Roads by Martha WellsPublication Date: 2011.
Moon has spent his life trying to blend in among the other races that inhabit his world while hiding what he really is--a shapeshifter capable of transforming into a dragon. When he meets another shapeshifter who claims to know Moon's true heritage, Moon follows him home and finds himself drawn into the politics and infighting of a community like he never imagined. Wells' worldbuilding is so detailed and the character so real you'll forget they're not even human... (Kristi)The Martian by Andy WeirPublication Date: 2014.
If you were the kind of kid who loved Hatchet or My Side of the Mountain when you were growing up, this book will definitely scratch that survival story itch. Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded alone on Mars after dust storms lead the rest of his crew to conduct an emergency evacuation. They don't know he's still alive down on the surface--and he won't be for long, if he can't put his best engineering know-how to work to figure out how to stretch his supplies and signal his crew. A film version starring Matt Damon is also available. (Kristi)
InspirationalDistant Echoes by Colleen CoblePublication Date: 2005.
When a tourist catamaran explodes off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Kaia and her trained dolphin, Nani, rush to aid the search and rescue effort. After hours of searching, an exhausted Kaia is pulled from the water by Lieutenant Commander Jesse Matthews of the U.S. Navy. The first in the Aloha Reef Series. (Stacey)Full Disclosure by Dee HendersonPublication Date: 2012.
A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter FBI agent Paul Falcon is tracking. Midwest homicide investigator Ann Silver has his attention when she passes the case to him. Is he prepared for both the case's and her secrets? A story of crime and redemption! (Stacey)Still Life by Louise PennyPublication Date: 2012.
The first book in the Inspector Gamache series. Penny is a clever writer who has created interesting characters and intriguing, thought-provoking plots. Start from the beginning, and binge-read the whole series - NPL owns them all! (Laura)Undetected by Dee HendersonPublication Date: 2014.
Researcher Gina Gray is on the verge of a breakthrough in sonar technology, and what she's told Navy Commander Mark Bishop is only the beginning. (Stacey)
MysteryIn the Woods by Tana FrenchPublication Date: 2007.
First in the "Dublin Murder Squad" series, an extraordinarily well-written and interesting series. When a twelve year old girl is found murdered at an archaeological dig, Detective Ryan and Maddox are on the case. But what does this case have to do with a similar case twenty years earlier, a case that saw an adolescent Ryan as the only survivor? (Mari)The Likeness by Tana FrenchPublication Date: 2013.
Detective Cassie Maddox goes undercover as Lexie Madison, a young murder victim who also happens to be Cassie's doppelganger. In order to solve the murder, Cassie must dig deeper into Lexie's mysterious life, and what she finds is likely to shock everyone involved. (Laura)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamine Alire SaenzPublication Date: 2014.
Aristotle is angry. With a brother in prison and parents who refuse to talk about what happened, he thinks he's got a right to be. But when Ari meets cheerful and curious Dante at the swimming pool one hot summer day, it sparks the kind of friendship that will change both their lives and last a lifetime. Saenz is a poet and it shows in this book's language as he paints a picture of two boys growing to maturity together in 1980s El Paso. (Kristi)Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinPublication Date: 2013.
A young British spy is captured during World War II. Through her "confession" to her German captors, we learn of her past, her friendship with pilot Maddie, and how she ended up crashing behind enemy lines. (Kristi)Elsewhere by Gabrielle ZevinPublication Date: 2007.
In this new take on life after death, teenager Liz navigates through Elswehere, the afterlife where everyone ages backward so that they may be born again. When everything seems to be the opposite of what it should be, can Liz enjoy what is left of her life before her time runs out? (Laura)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Very interesting. Kept my attention — favorite book so far this summer!"
"Very innovative concept. Will read other books by her."Fangirl by Rainbow RowellPublication Date: 2013.
Cath is basically a professional fangirl. Also known by her screenname, Magicath, she's a Big Name in the online world of fanfiction, where for years she's been writing an epic based on the popular children's fantasy series about a young wizard called Simon Snow. Now 19 and heading off to college while dealing with an overabundance of family drama, Cath realizes her online fame and talent may not have prepared her for braving the real world. Managing to be both hilarious and moving at the same time, this is a great choice for the socially awkward young adult in all of us. (Kristi)Graceling by Kristen CashorePublication Date: 2008.
Graceling is the first book of a short series. This book is a great, quick read for anyone who enjoys novels about dangerous journeys, love, and magical realms. (Shelby)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Enjoyed the characters. Good story."
"Great book! I have put both sequels on hold. Read this book in two days! Thanks, Shelby!"Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesPublication Date: 2008.
I've been a passionate admirer of Miyazaki's beautiful stories and animation since I was a child. Howl's moving castle is a magical home powered by a fire demon who is mastered by the mysterious wizard, Howl. Sophie, a plain hat maker, becomes cursed by a witch, and is transformed into an old woman, who comes upon Howl's castle and lets herself in... (Tamar)Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaPublication Date: 2010.
Abandoned by her mother years ago on the Jellicoe Road, Taylor is now a senior and leader of the boarders at her school for wards of the state. Leading her classmates in a clash against the townies—the regular high school students—and the cadets—the local military school—she runs into Jonah, the boy she thought she'd never see again. Meanwhile, her sort-of foster mother Hannah has disappeared, leaving behind a manuscript about five kids that seems to be connected to the mystery of Taylor's mother. This Printz Award-winning young adult novel is a lyrical tale of self-discovery, loss, and forgiveness that will draw you in immediately. (Kristi)Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliPublication Date: 2015.
Not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, Simon is blackmailed into playing wingman for Martin, or his secrets--and worse, the secrets of Blue, the anonymous classmate he's been emailing--will be revealed to the whole school.The best word I can think of to describe this book is "adorable". Simon is a great character, warm and loving and silly and hilarious, and I loved being in his head. (Kristi)The Book Thief by Markus ZusakPublication Date: 2007.
A beautiful story about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany who learns of the joys of reading. (Shelby)The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienPublication Date: 2007.
It's a classic novel of adventure written in a world that is filled with life, thanks to Tolkien's masterful use of detail. It's also a children's book, so you don't have to worry about overly-complex themes. (Alec)The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak by Brian KatcherPublication Date: 2015.
Ana and Zak, two teenagers with very little in common, come to understand each other better after they are forced to work together to find Ana's little brother after he gives them the slip and runs away to a sci-fi convention. This fast-reading young adult novel is both funny and charming and should especially appeal to geeks-at-heart. (Julia)The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternPublication Date: 2011.
This novel draws you in to the carefully crafted world of The Night Circus: a mysterious and magical spectacle that appears and disappears without trace or explanation. The elusive shadow of the circus hints at a darker purpose, one that will affect the lives of not only its performers, but its patrons as well. (Laura)The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehPublication Date: 2015.
This young adult novel is a spellbinding tale inspired by 1001 Nights and blends mystery, romance and a little magic. Complete with vast world-building and lush details, this book is a delight for the senses. (Julia)This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila SalesPublication Date: 2015.
Elise is used to being on the outside looking in, the butt of every joke. When a last-ditch effort to gain popularity fails spectacularly, she's ready to give it all up. Then she stumbles upon an underground music club, which brings with it new friends and a new passion: learning how to DJ. Elise is a great character, thoughtful and funny, and this novel about developing your own identity and experiencing the power of music will have you cheering by the end. (Kristi)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Enjoyed! It was interesting."
Bossypants by Tina FeyPublication Date: 2011.
Tina Fey, known for her comedy on SNL and her NBC show 30 Rock, authors this memoir. Fey is honest, compelling, and of course, rather amusing. Her writing is easy, but not simple. She writes about her youth, growing up in Chicago, her launch into comedy, and balancing motherhood with a hit television show. (Tamar)Brazil's Dance with the Devil by Dave ZirinPublication Date: 2014.
This book is a very interesting read for any sports fan! This book takes a look at Brazil's history and how the sport of soccer has influenced it and how soccer has been influenced by the country. (Shelby)Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline WoodsonPublication Date: 2014.
If you think you don't like poetry, give this book a try. Woodson tells the story of her family and childhood in lyrical free verse that pulls you right into the scenes from her life. (Julia)Fiddler in the Subway by Gene WeingartenPublication Date: 2010.
Usually in a book of essays, there are a couple that are just 'meh' or uninteresting, but I enjoyed every one of these, and went back to re-read a couple of them immediately. My favorites were "Ghost of the Hardy Boys," "Fatal Distraction" (horrifying - if I were a parent, I would have nightmares after reading it), "Fear Itself," "The Great Zucchini," and the title piece. (Mari)Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermidPublication Date: 2014.
Val McDermid started out as a journalist, which is obvious as this book is both well-researched and well-written. It is fascinating stuff - sometimes gruesome, but fascinating. Certainly shows how utterly ridiculous most crime shows are in their depictions. Great for mystery readers. (Mari)Going Clear by Lawrence WrightPublication Date: 2013.
An in-depth history and analysis of the Church of Scientology, its founder, and its leadership. (Perry)Poking a Dead Frog by Mike SacksPublication Date: 2014.
A collection of interviews and short segments of information from numerous comedy writers, from Terry Jones to the great Mel Brooks, all full of wonderful insight and advice/tips, even if they aren't tips per se. The author does a phenomenal job of digging in to their minds with his questions to get some rather detailed information. (Alec)So You've Been Publicly Shamed by John RonsonPublication Date: 2015.
With equal parts wry humor and shocked dismay, Ronson delivers a must-read exposé of our culture's newly rediscovered fascination with ruining the lives of strangers. Every user of social media should be required to read this book before they sign up for an account. (Jared)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Jon Ronson's writing is so charming, so entertaining and strange, I would follow him anywhere, including a maximum security prison."The 34-Ton Bat by Steve RushinPublication Date: 2014.
I love Steve Rushin's writing (except, oddly, I did not like his fiction book The Pint Man). He is one of the many brilliant Sports Illustrated essayists/writers. Now he is back to his strength -- non-fiction writing, meticulously researched and hilariously written. Warning, if you do not like baseball, you will probably not like this, despite the excellence of the writing. Me, well, I like baseball, and I liked this! (Mari)The Best of the Best American Poetry by David LehmanPublication Date: 2013.
April was National Poetry Month, and you can celebrate with "the best of the best poems, selected by former Poet Laureate of the US Robert Pinsky, from 25 years of the Best American Poetry series. There's something for everyone in here! (Kathleen)The First Muslim by Lesley HazletonPublication Date: 2013.
Hazleton beautifully narrates the life of one of the most misunderstood figures in Western history. Eye-opening and profoundly analytical, a must for modern members of the global community. (Zohra)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Mixed feelings — learned a lot."The Future of the Mind by Michio KakuPublication Date: 2014.
A look at how scientific and technological advances might impact the nature of mind in the very near future. (Jeremy)The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill BrysonPublication Date: 2007.
In this interesting history of the English language, Bryson explores the fascinating eccentricities that inform the way we speak and write today. Covering fun topics like swearing and wordplay, as well as histories of where words come from, Bryson breathes life into what could otherwise be a boring topic. If you've ever wanted to learn more about the function of language, this book is a great start. (Laura)The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree DrummondPublication Date: 2009.
This cookbook is filled with delicious recipes for hearty dishes. Pictures come with each stage so even beginning cooks will know what the food should look like. Easy, humorous, and fun! (Stacey)The Seven Good Years by Etgar KeretPublication Date: 2015.
A beautiful, touching memoir as a compilation of short stories. Humorous, brief, and touching scenes of life book ended by two life changing events for Keret. (John)The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah VowellPublication Date: 2008.
If you thought no one could write a clever and engaging page-turner about the Puritan founders of Boston... well, you were wrong. (Jared)The Worst Hard Time by Timothy EganPublication Date: 2006.
Egan follows several families through the boom years of the 1920s, when everyone was moving to the southern plains to farm, through the economic crash and years of drought that led to the Dust Bowl, one of the worst ecological disasters the United States has ever seen... (Kristi)Wear No Evil by Greta EaganPublication Date: 2014.
Wear No Evil guides you toward creating a sustainable wardrobe. The business model of fast fashion, encouraging "fast-paced consumption in response to constantly changing styles," has led to today's cheaply made and quickly discarded clothing, taking a toll on the world's resources. Eagan offers 16 criteria for evaluating clothing's sustainability and how to help your wardrobe become more environmentally friendly. (Kathy)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Good reference book."
Hawkeye Vol. 1 by Fraction & AjaPublication Date: 2013.
What does Hawkeye, AKA Clint Barton, do in his off hours? Mostly, he's accidentally buying an apartment building in Bed-Stuy, adopting an adorable pizza-loving dog, and, oh yeah, trying not to get himself or others killed by tracksuit-wearing Russian mafia slumlords. With fellow Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, Clint's in way over his head but he's not giving up. Great storytelling from Fraction with perfectly matched art by Aja. (Kristi)Hyperbole and a Half by Allie BroshPublication Date: 2013.
Allie Brosh writes the popular blog 'Hyperbole and a Half,' and this is a collection of her favorite web comics and a few new ones. I love the blog, and this is every bit as hilarious. In addition, her musings on depression are brilliant, as she cuts through the crap and tells what it can be like. (Mari)Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro WatsukiPublication Date: 2008.
This series has characters, plots, and a setting that I found myself drawn into. Being fascinated by eastern culture, this series provided an entertaining look at the values of both the setting's time and the author's take on Japanese values. (Alec)
What Patrons Have to Say
"Entrancing art — waiting for a bit more character chemistry."