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Archive for September, 2014

Staff Pick: A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans

Joyce Staff Picks photoIf you love nature and the outdoors then A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans was written for you! It tells the incredible story of a black wolf who forgoes the life of the pack and seeks out contact with humans and their dogs near Juneau. It’s a moving, bittersweet read!

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 30, 2014 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Joyce, Staff Picks

Movies and TV: Wrinkles

Wrinkles DVD coverEmilio is facing a harsh reality. A distinguished former bank manager, he didn’t foresee a time when the trappings of age and illness would transform him into a burden on his family. The one saving grace to his placement in an elder care facility is that he shares a room with the roguish Miguel, a new friend who refuses to accept that growing older has anything to do with growing up. Wrinkles, a tender and unblinking look at late-stage life, dabs humor amidst the adjustment to new routine. Martin Sheen nimbly leads the English language cast, and traditional hand-drawn animation balances safe distance with childlike charm. Bette Davis once said that “old age ain’t no place for sissies,” and Wrinkles keeps the twinkle in that truth.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on September 29, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV

National Book Award Longlists

Every fall the National Book Award is given in celebration of some of the best American literature. This month the longlists featuring ten finalists for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature were announced. The lists will be shortened to five finalists Wednesday, October 15 in anticipation of the final announcement Wednesday, November 19.

Check the books out and see if you can determine which ones will be the winners!

Fiction Longlist:

Cover of Station Eleven Cover of Redeployment Cover of An Unnecessary Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Redeployment by Phil Klay
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Cover of All the Light We Cannot SeeCover of OrfeoCover of Thunderstruck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Orfeo by Richard Powers
Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken

See what other fiction titles made the list.

Nonfiction Longlist:

Cover of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Cover of Age of Ambition Cover of Heathen School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos
The Heathen School by John Demos

See what other nonfiction titles made the list.

Young People’s Literature Longlist:

Cover of The Impossible Knife of Memory Cover of 100 Sideways Miles Cover of Girls Like Us

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

See what other young people’s titles made the list.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 26, 2014 Categories: Awards, Books, Nonfiction

Fiction: Feed by Mira Grant

Cover of FeedSet twenty years after the zombie apocalypse, Mira Grant introduces readers to a carefully constructed America in which zombies are a part of everyday life. Due to a lack of trust for traditional media, journalism has shifted to rely on guerrilla blog teams such as George, her brother Shaun, and their friend Buffy to provide information. The trio risks their own lives to successfully deliver news and entertainment to the world, and as a result they are chosen to follow Senator Paul Ryman as he begins a bumpy race for presidency. They quickly learn everything is not what it seems, and the constant threat of zombies doesn’t make anything easier. More of a thoughtful political thriller than an action-packed zombie novel, George and her team will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth. Feed is the first book in the Newsflash trilogy.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 25, 2014 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Book Discussion Questions: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

SPOILER WARNING:
These book discussion questions are
highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

Cover of What Alice ForgotTitle: What Alice Forgot
Author: Liane Moriarty
Page Count: 487 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction, Women’s lives and relationships
Tone: Reflective, Humorous

 

1. Did reading What Alice Forgot lift your spirits up or bring them down?

2. Does the title represent the book well? Were you surprised the book wasn’t just about Alice?

3. Were you aware the book was set in Australia? Does it matter where it takes place?

4. How did Alice change in her 30s? Were they good changes, bad, or some of both?

5. Elisabeth acts as a primary tour guide of Alice’s life. How important is it for at least one person to have a good handle on what’s going on with you at any given moment?

6.What does Frannie have in common with Elisabeth and Alice?

7. How has Alice’s relationship with her mom growing up affected Alice’s role as a mother?

8. How is contemporary motherhood portrayed?

9. What does this book say about the effect having children and/or trying to conceive has on a marriage?

10. How are children portrayed in this book?

11. How have Alice’s relationships changed as she has gotten older? Do you think the changes in her relationships are natural?

12. Nick and Alice speculate they got married too young, do you agree or disagree?

13. Why was Alice drawn to Gina? In what ways was Gina a good friend and in what ways was she a poor choice?

14. Do you find it believable that Alice could be so strongly influenced by one friend?

15. If you could meet Alice at age 29, what advice would you tell her?

16. Why do you think the author chose the ages of 29 and 39?

17. What does Frannie’s story add to the book? Does it feel essential to the construction of novel?

18. What do you think about how Elisabeth is portrayed; did you enjoy reading her “homework”?

19. What type of balance ends up happening between Alice at age 29 and Alice at age 39?

20. In Elisabeth’s last piece of homework to Dr. Hodges (pg. 443), she supposes he and his wife might be “struggling with the problem of when is the right time to give up” – she offers a complicated answer. “We should have given up years ago” but also she “would go through it all again… Yes. Absolutely. Of course I would.” What do you think of this perspective? Is it realistic?

21. Do you like how the book ended? Do you like the glimpse into future of characters’ lives in the epilogue?

22. Has reading this book changed the way you think about anything?

23. What can a young person learn from reading What Alice Forgot? How about an older person?

 

Other Resources
Lit Lovers’ book discussion questions
Author to author interview with Liane Moriarty
Real Simple interview with Liane Moriarty
What Alice Forgot book club hosting ideas

 

If you liked What Alice Forgot, try…
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

Cover of Remember Me?Cover of Range of MotionVocer of Before I Go to Sleep

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 24, 2014 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Books

Staff Pick: Lost States by Michael J. Trinklein

Larry D. staff picks photoA short and fun read, Michael J. Trinklein describes unsuccessful proposals for new states in Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It. For each “state,” there is one page of easy, often witty, fact-filled narrative followed by a map illustrating what the state would have looked like. This is great for trivia and history buffs looking for some off-beat aspects of American history.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 23, 2014 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Audiobook: Crashed by Timothy Hallinan

Crashed audiobook coverImagine you are a less-than-legit businessperson and you need someone who is smart, resourceful, and willing to operate outside the law to investigate some internal sabotage. You’ll also need to ensure that this individual can be controlled. What do you do? If you are Trey Annunziato, you set up one of the best career burglars in an interrupted robbery of a dangerously “connected” family and then blackmail him into helping you keep your new adult movie venture on schedule. Crashed is the first of Timothy Hallinan’s Junior Bender series, and Peter Berkrot’s reading brings every wisecracking, dangerous moment to life. As Junior tries to keep worse trouble for himself at bay, he develops a soft spot for the former child star he’s supposed to be pushing into a questionable career choice. Donald Westlake fans will enjoy the schemes, and listeners will no doubt want to hear more of Bender’s voice.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on September 22, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every Friday the Library will bring you short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste

New: Historical Fiction Books

Cover of The King's CurseCover of Song of the Shank Cover of O, Africa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory
Song of the Shank by Jeffery Renard Allen
O, Africa! by Andrew Lewis Conn

Cover of The Paying GuestsCover of The MiniaturistCover of Euphoria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Euphoria by Lily King

New: Romance Books

Cover of Heroes Are My WeaknessCover of The Red BikiniCover of Long Hot Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The Red Bikini by Lauren Christopher
Long, Hot Texas Summer by Carolyn Brown

Cover of The Maiden of IrelandCover of Love LettersCover of Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Maiden of Ireland by Susan Wiggs
Love Letters by Debbie Macomber
Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogby Mary Jane Hathaway

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 19, 2014 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance

Music: The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Cover of The Goat Rodeo SessionsBest listened to outside or going on adventures, world class musicians Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Chris Thile (mandolin), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Edgar Meyer (bass), and guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan blend genres to create The Goat Rodeo Sessions. With its fresh sweeping strings, this bluegrass/classical quartet will make any room feel expansive. The album is as diverse as its musicians, featuring upbeat tracks like “Quarter Chicken Dark,” haunting melodies in “Franz and the Eagle,” and quick intricate pieces showing off the individuals’ technical abilities, such as in “Where’s My Bow.” While the artists come alive in the album a one-night-only live concert, The Goat Rodeo Sessions Live, is also available to check out.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 18, 2014 Categories: Music

Staff Pick: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

Marta Main PictureTen years into serving time for her mother’s murder, famous party girl Janie Jenkins is released from jail on a technicality. Everyone in Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little thinks Janie is guilty. They might be right. Janie can’t remember how she ended up next to her mother’s body covered in blood…

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on September 16, 2014 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Picks by Marta, Staff Picks