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Staff Pick: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Cathleen_2014A sure cure for winter glums is an energetic Broadway cast recording, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical strikes all the right chords: irresistible oldies, show-biz success story, and a dazzling Tony Award-winning performance by lead actress Jessie Mueller. Turn the grey into “One Fine Day” with a remarkable life in song.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 13, 2015 Categories: Music, Picks by Cathleen, Staff Picks

Fiction: Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh

Stealing Adda book coverAdda Sinclair is a successful romance novelist known for her skill with male characters. If only that insight translated into real life! Her husband left her for her arch-rival, a pretty-boy cover model is more interested than she is, and the attractive publisher with plans to brand her books for male readers keeps her off-balance. What’s a girl with writer’s block and too little romance in her personal life to do? In Stealing Adda, it will take a public scandal, multiple misunderstandings, and a spiritual awakening to illuminate what’s most important. Author Tamara Leigh has created a funny and relatable heroine who comes to realize that roadblocks in life might serve a higher purpose and that perhaps she has it in her to write her own happily ever after.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 12, 2015 Categories: Books, Humor, Romance

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every other 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 Faint Promise of Rain Cover of The Empty Throne Cover of The May Bride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faint Promise of Rain by Anjali Mitter Duva
The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell
The May Bride by Suzannah Dunn

Cover of The LodgerCover of The Ambassadors Cover of Vanessa and Her Sister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lodger by Louisa Treger
The Ambassadors by George Lerner
Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar

New: Romance Books

Cover of The Kraken KingCover of Only Enchanting Cover of Caged in Winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kraken King by Meljean Brook
Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh
Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh

Cover of Rogue SpyCover of The Wishing SeasonCover of In the Cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne
The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter
In the Cards by Jamie Beck

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 9, 2015 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance

Fiction: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

The Silent WifeJodi is a therapist in a long-term committed relationship with Todd even though Todd is a serial cheater. While not a particularly traditional relationship, as long as they don’t talk about how unfaithful he is, their relationship works. “Men aren’t perfect, ” Jodi tells herself, and life continues to go on: Jodi immerses herself in her own routines, Todd immerses himself in other women, and everything is okay.

Except everything is not okay.

At the beginning of the book Jodi admits she is going to kill Todd. And she does. Alternating between Todd and Jodi as unreliable narrators, A.S.A. Harrison details the slow decent of a woman reaching her snapping point in The Silent Wife.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 8, 2015 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Staff Pick: The Beatles Anthology

Picture of ColleenThe Beatles Anthology is a must-watch for any Beatles fan.  Filled with interviews and rare live performances, this is a comprehensive collection of the history of The Beatles.  Be prepared to binge watch: once you start, you won’t want to stop!

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 6, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV, Music, Picks by Colleen, Staff Picks

Audiobook: Joyland by Stephen King

Joyland audiobook coverStephen King can spin tales like few others.  He may be known for horror, but keep in mind he is also responsible for more emotive works such as The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, and Stand by Me.  In Joyland, a college student takes seasonal work with an amusement park and sets aside heartbreak to grow a friendship with a frail boy and his overprotective young mother.  Lighthearted adventures at the park are offset by rumors of a vicious murder that once happened on one of the rides. Those with an appetite for the unexplained will still be satisfied, but there is an underlying sweetness as well.  Narrator Michael Kelly wisely gives a soft-spoken, earnest reading that juggles the wonder of coming into one’s own with a carnival ride of great storytelling.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 5, 2015 Categories: Audiobooks, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Nonfiction: Challenge Yourself in the New Year

While the new year has already begun, it is not too late to try living this year a little differently! Tara Bannon Williamson shares books in which the author commits his or herself to accomplish a certain thing for a year. Check out some of the books she mentions below!

 

Cover of Up for Renewak Cover of Halfway to Heaven Cover of The Know It All

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up for Renewal by Cathy Alter
Halfway to Heaven
by Mark Obmascik
The Know-It-All by A. J. Jacobs

Reading the OED  Living Oprahhelping Me Help Myself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading the OED by Ammon Shea
Living Oprah
by Robyn Okrant
Helping Me Help Myself
by Beth Lisick

Cover of Not Buying ItCover of Plenty Cover of My Jesus Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Buying It by Judith Levine
Plenty
by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon
My Jesus Year
by Benyamin Cohen

Cover of Candy GirlCover of Animal, Vegetable, MiracleCover of Give it Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candy Girl by Diablo Cody
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
by Barbara Kingsolver
Give It Up!
by Mary Carlomagno

 

Interested in finding more yearly challenges or book reading challenges? Stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk on the second floor and speak with a Readers’ Advisor to help you find something that will suit your reading tastes and goals.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 2, 2015 Categories: Books, Nonfiction

Fiction: Reunion by Hannah Pittard

Cover of Reunion

Kate is thousands of dollars in debt, her husband found out she cheated on him, her career as a screenwriter is failing, and her father has just committed suicide. Now she is being pushed into a miserable few days as she and her older brother and sister return to Atlanta to face the house, multiple ex-wives, and stepchildren their father has left behind. Reunion is a quirky intimate look at family with all of its dysfunction told from the eyes of Kate, an endearing yet at times cringe-worthy narrator. Hannah Pittard has integrated humor and heart as Kate hits her rock bottom, sinks a little further, and tries to figure out her way back up again.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 1, 2015 Categories: Books

Book Discussion Questions: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Cover of The Light Between OceansTitle: The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman
Page Count:  345 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Tone:  Haunting, Melancholy

Excerpted summary from publisher:

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

 

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

1. Who was wronged in the book? Whose story would you say this is?

2. Are any of the characters “bad?” If so, who? What makes a person warrant the description “bad?”

3. How would you describe Tom? Why does he enjoy his lightkeeper duties?

4. Why does Isabel want to marry Tom? Why does he agree? What are his hesitations?

5. Did you find Tom and Isabel’s courtship convincing? Do you understand their attraction to one another and their decision to marry?

6. What are some of the signs and hints of Isabel’s manipulative nature early on in the book?

7. Which character were you rooting for more than the others?

8. Was there a character you identified with more? If so, did this change as you read the book?

9. Was there any one character that frustrated you more than others?

10. How does Tom’s quietness play a role in the story? What about Isabel’s quietness?

11. Are Tom and Isabel a mystery to each other?

12. As the reader, are Tom and Isabel mysteries to you as well? Do you feel you know Tom better or Isabel better?

13. How does Tom’s experience in the war affect his relationship with Isabel, being a lightkeeper, and response to the baby arriving?

14. Do you think the pregnancy and childbirth losses they went through affect the right or wrong of keeping the baby? Does knowing what they went through affect your judgment of their choices?

15. Tom and Isabel live a solitary life. How would their response to baby arriving been different if they weren’t isolated on island? How would their marriage have been different?

16. How did you respond to the focus on various characters in town in Part 3? Do you like the variety or is the book better when focused on Tom and Isabel?

17. What does it mean to be an “outsider” and how does that affect one’s perception?

Other Resources

An interview with M.L. Stedman
The Light Between Oceans Reading Group Guide
One Book One City Resources
Lit Lovers’ Discussion Questions
Reflection on a Light Between Oceans book discussion

If you liked The Light Between Oceans, try...

Cover of The OrchardistCover of The Lightkeeper's WifeCover of Latitudes of Melt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
The Lightkeeper’s Wife by Karen Viggers
Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark

 

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on December 31, 2014 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Books, Historical Fiction

Staff Pick: The Woman in White

IPicture of Joycen the mood for a Gothic mystery complete with murder, deception and greed? Watch The Woman in White, the story of two half-sisters who battle the constraints of the times and the power of men in their lives to protect, teach, ensnare and do away with them!

 

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on December 30, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Joyce, Staff Picks