Month: December 2012

Check It Out Blog

Finding Life and Love in a Leper Colony

Moloka'i book coverRachel is seven years old when the first rose-colored spot appears on her body. It devastates Rachel’s family. It’s leprosy. It’s 1891. There is no cure, yet. The highly contagious child is separated from her loved ones and sent away to Kalaupapa, a leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i. In her youth, Rachel’s symptoms are mild, which means she is given the opportunity of time. Time to grow up. Time to build a new family around her, and most importantly, time to meet Kenji, the man she will marry. Moloka’i, Alan Brennart’s debut novel, is the story of how Rachel focuses on hope, not despair and lives her life as fully as possible, even while surrounded by death.

Curiosity and Finding Your Place in the World

It is almost a cliché, these days, for rappers to be business moguls. Puffy did it. Jay Z did it. 50, too…but Pharrell Williams is not your average rapper gone business mogul. He’s changed the game. He has done everything from fronting bands to producing bands to designing clothes, jewelry, shoes, and toys – all before he was 40. Pharrell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been is his collaborative memoir of ambitions and inspirations.

LISTS: Holiday Music for Everyone

A Very She and Him Christmas album coverDid you know that Zooey Deschanel – the wide-eyed actress from The New Girl – has a holiday album? So does Johnny Cash, Sufjan Stevens, Lady Antebellum, Justin Bieber, and Stevie Wonder. Don’t leave your holiday spirit up to the radio! Find new and traditional music at the Library.

Click here for classic Christmas music.

Click here if you want a more country Christmas.

Try here for pop stars singing holiday tunes.

Finally, If you’re in the mood for the obscure, click here for quirky holiday music.

The Hitherto Unknown Story of Krampus, The Christmas Demon

Krampus book coverJesse’s woman left him, his music is going nowhere, and he can’t afford to buy Christmas presents for his daughter. One night, Jesse sees Santa get attacked by what appear to be demons. After the scuffle and take-off of the sleigh, Jesse hears a scream from the sky, and then Santa’s bottomless sack falls to the Earth. Jesse is suddenly able to give his daughter as many presents as he wants…but what if the sack wasn’t Santa’s to begin with? Turns out that Santa stole his magic from Krampus, the beast of Germanic folklore who punishes naughty children. Jesse gets caught in the middle of a war between Santa and Krampus in Brom’s dark holiday fantasy, Krampus: The Yule Lord.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus book coverMary Jane of Research Services recommends The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern:

It just appears. It opens at dusk, closes at dawn – the Night Circus. Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, written as a National Novel Writing Month project, tells the tale of Celia and Marco who are manipulated and trained by their respective magical guardians to become great magicians and battle to see who is better. At first they don’t know who their opponent will be or where they’ll play. Eventually, they realize that the circus is the public venue for their competition. Marco and Celia’s lives slowly become enmeshed in a dance of love, joy, deceit, heartbreak, and magic. In the competition, only one can be left standing.  Who will it be?

627 Miles Between Friends

Harold Fry isn’t unhappy, but he isn’t happy either. He is…retired. His life is quiet. He never talks to his son. His wife, Maureen, is bored and constantly irritated with him. One day, Harold receives a letter from Queenie – a friend he hasn’t seen in 20 years. She is dying. You can find out how Harold took the news by reading Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

LISTS: Uplifting Holiday Books

Wishin and Hopin' book coverSanta’s favorite season is in full swing with lights, candy canes, garland, and super sales every which way you look. But who wants to shop all of December? If you need downtime away from the maddening crowds – where it is just you, your couch, and a good book – the Library is ready to hand you the perfect holiday read.

For feel good holiday reads, click here.

For some snow meltingly hot, holiday romances, click here.

For true stories of war during the holidays, click here.

Still haven’t found the book that will break your Scrooge-streak? Stop by the Fiction/AV desk for suggestions!

Water Divers who Want Belly Rubs

Underwater Dogs book coverImagine the pattering of paws against wet cement, a whoosh of air, and a dog – say a shiny, black Labrador – leaping into a pool of water after her favorite tennis ball. Then comes the splash of her belly against the blue. Her face submerges. Her jaws grasp at the ball in an aquatic dance of determination. This is when Seth Casteel would take a picture, when his canine subject was at her most joyfully dynamic. Dog lovers beware, you are bound to fall in love with the exuberant photography of Casteel in his first coffee table book of over 80 paddling, leaping, water-loving portraits, Underwater Dogs.