Friday, August 12, 2011

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Perhaps you have heard of the new TV series on HBO or have seen multiple copies being grabbed off the shelves of some book stores. Either way George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones is getting more attention after being published 15 years ago. A friend recommended it to me shortly before the TV show started earlier this year and I am pleased he did. What is truly wonderful about the novel is that Martin writes such an intriguing and exciting story that the idea of the book being label "fantasy" is sometimes forgotten while you lose yourself in the pages being introduced to unique and compelling characters. That being said, there is good reason why the television depiction is on HBO with some content of the book being beyond the PG-13 rating. But if you can get past the size of the book then Game of Thrones is worth a try.

Nick, Youth Services

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (eBook)

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (eBook)


I loved Bel Canto by Ann Patchett so I was so eager to read her new book. I was not disappointed! Patchett is a great story teller. The main character of the book, Marina Singh, travels to the Amazon jungle and I could hear the insects and feel the oppressive heat of the Jungle as I read. Dr. Singh travels to the Amazon to find out what happen to a fellow Doctor working for the same Drug company as she does. She meets many interesting characters, some from a native tribe that the Scientists live among. She creates a particularly strong bond with a young deaf Native boy who helps her navigate the Jungle and in one very stressful experience with a snake Marina saves the boy's life. I had a hard time putting this one down!

Jan K., Youth Services

James May’s Toy Stories BBC America (Check local listings)

James May’s Toy Stories BBC America (Check local listings)

This is a wonderful show with James May (of Top Gear fame) on BBC America. Since I don’t have cable at my house, I saw this series via ITunes. James May is frequently referred to as “Captain Slow” on Top Gear. He tends to be a little old fashioned, and to him, newer is not always better.  In this series he embarks on some ludicrously ambitious adventures and feats of engineering using classic toys.

Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson by Bronwyn Mills

Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson by Bronwyn Mills


I spent last weekend at Jackson's Mills, a state facility built on Stonewall Jackson's home so I decided to read about him. This book has great photographs and all the information about Jackson's youth. He was basically an orphan at age 11 and more or less educated himself before getting into West Point. He was an excellent soldier and many believe that the war might have come out differently if he had not been killed in an accident by his own soldiers. Fun reading about him when I had just seen his grandfather's grave and the land they owned.

Sue N.,Youth Services

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (DVD)

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (DVD)


This is about the SWEETEST movie I have watched!! Just a LOVELY story, and the young chap who plays the lead OH MY! Be still my heart!! What a kind, enchanting, character inside and out.

Marilyn, Circulation

Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin (audiobook)

Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin (audiobook)


I listened to 7 out of 10 disks of this book on a trip last week. It was written by an author who has autism and is about insight into animal feelings and emotions. Fascinating authenticated studies and information about the best life for animals and what we should be doing for them. There are sections on dogs, cats, horses, cattle and pigs. My animal lover daughter found it much more interesting than I did but it was worth while listening to.

Sue N., Youth Services

Living with Kids and Dogs... Without Losing Your Mind by Colleen Pelar, CPDT


Great book to read before getting a dog for your family because of the sound advice the author/dog trainer suggests ensuring a good relationship between the dog and family. However, if you already have a dog in the family and are experiencing some issues with “Fido” and your kids this book has great information and positive training tips to implement that are useful and easy.

Kate, Youth Services

Gilread & Home by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead & Home by Marilynne Robinson

These two books are set in the same place, Gilead, Iowa, at the same time, 1956, about the same events and people but narrated by two different characters. I found that fascinating! The first, Gilead, is narrated by preacher John Ames who in his seventies. He is writing to his young seven year old son about his life and family because he fears his life is coming to an end. It is written in a journal type style with no chapters.

The second is Home written by the daughter of preacher John Ames's best friend. Her name is Glory and she has arrived "home" to Gilead to take care of her ailing father, also a preacher. She writes of the return of her brother Jack (John Ames Boughton) the black sheep of the family. These books might be considered slow, there is not much of a plot to them, but the characters are interesting and fully developed and their relationship to each other makes the books a great read. I enjoyed them both, I would read Gilead first and then continue to Home for a new perspective.

Jan K., Youth Services

The Right Words at the Right Time Volume 2: Your Turn! by Marlo Thomas and new Friends.

The Right Words at the Right Time Volume 2: Your Turn! by Marlo Thomas and new Friends.


A collection of stories written by everyday people on how one word or phrase made a major impact on their lives. I love the book and it has some great quotes that I will always remember that can change my life. The power of words!

Kate, Youth Services

Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury

Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury


I read this book because it takes place in Hilo, Hawaii and the volcanoes area where I've been. In 1976 an earthquake caused a tsunami and a group of Boy Scouts were caught in it as they were camping in a remote area. The book is fiction but based on a true event. It was exciting and I learned a lot about scouting, camping and hiking and the lava and volcano areas of the big island of Hawaii. This would be good for anyone from grades 4 and up, including adults.

Sue N., Youth Services

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Skin I'm In by Sharron G. Flake

The Skin I'm In by Sharron G. Flake
This book is a must read for anyone of any age (well, 5th grade and up). All of us have been teased for being "different" at one point in our lives. This book brings home the message of struggle with security and self- assurance. The story takes place in an inner city school. Seventh-grader Maleeka Madison is constantly being teased by her classmates for being "too black" , "too smart" and her unstylish clothes. She is forced into friendships with a clique of troubled girls who use her for completing homework for them. They "accept" her into their group but Maleeka is forced to do things she does not want to do, like skipping class and smoking. A new teach named Miss Saunders who appears to be rich and self-assured, comes in to Maleeka's school and gives a lot of attention to Maleeka. Attention Maleeka does not want. Miss Saunders has a white birthmark across her black skin, and is prone to getting into kids' faces about both their behavior and their academic potential. This different looking teacher tries to convey a message to Maleeka that she should be proud of who she is and encourages her in her school work. This story examines the importance being true to who you are and difficulties a person has to endure to accomplish this. The reality is that social standing is the most important thing to many young people. When you do not have it, your life can be very difficult. Anyone who reads this book will appreciate the honesty of Maleeka's situation. The message is so powerful and in the end, uplifting.
Barb C, Youth Services

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Ellen Gleeson sees her adopted son's face on a "Have you seen this child?" postcard. As an investigative journalist, she can't let it go, she has to find out if her son is the boy that was kidnapped. It is an emotional story, about doing what is right for your child even if it means you may have to let that child go. There was nothing predictable about the plot and the characters were well written. An emotional, but very good read.

Cindy A. Circulation

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

 What do you know and remember? How does that shape your present and choices you make in your relationships? Delia knows who she is until she finds out her father kidnapped her. The story is told by the four main characters which makes it more interesting as you see events from varied perspectives. It is a compelling read. What would you do for your child? What wouldn't you do?

Cindy A. Circulation

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

A children's librarian sort of kidnaps a 10 year old patron who runs away from home and hides overnight in the library. They travel all over New England before he is returned home. It was fun for me to read because of all the references to kids' books and book characters. It is quite involved, including some Mafia references and a church group hoping to cure gays and lesbians. Hmmm. A good book.

Sue N.,Youth Services

Proof by Dick Francis

Proof by Dick Francis
Wine merchant and young widower Tony Beach has expertly catered his latest society soiree, but the fun's over when a team of hit men crash the party...literally. The event leaves Tony with a bitter aftertaste of suspicion--and sets off a story that's an intoxicating blend of deception, intrigue, and murder. Tony finds himself caught in the middle of a terrifying mystery that begins with counterfeit wine, diluted whiskey and truck hijackers and continues on to murder – involving papier-mâché! It’s a pretty horrific way to go.

Diane, Administration

Tears of the Black Tiger (DVD)

Tears of the Black Tiger (DVD)

HA! HA! HA! (Diabolical laughter!) Gunslinger cowboys (in a modern setting)! Revenge killing! Killing for killing's sake?! A police lieutenant sworn to get the evil Black Tiger. The forbidden love between the governor's daughter and the handsome Black Tiger, who by chance fell in with the gang of gunslinger cowboys--and seems to have found his calling. He's a darn good shot and has no qualms about killing. (Yes, there's lots of spurting blood.) And then the complication . . . the arranged marriage of the lieutenant and governor's daughter.  Now guess which country this movie was made in. That'd be Thailand!

Doris M., Reference