Library Staff Recommended Reading Summer 2015

Recommended Reading Archive

Small victories : spotting improbable moments of grace

Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott

Essays about faith, family, and community are included in this, Anne’s latest book, written with her trademark sense of humor, and infused with insight and wisdom. 

In this work Anne writes about forgiveness, restoration, gratitude, and transformation, and how focusing on love even in the most hopeless situations can provide the hope and light so desperately needed. This is a great read when you only have a few moments to devote to reading, and/or when you need a smile or quick pick-me-up.  Enjoy!                                                             


~Lori Kuban~

The princess in black

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale. (Grades 1-3)

Princess Magnolia is not a typical princess.  She may look as sweet as sugar sipping her hot chocolate with Duchess Wigtower, but she has a secret.  When the monster alarm goes off, Magnolia changes into the Princess in Black, the amazing masked monster fighter.  She is smart, she is strong and she is not afraid.  But the real question is:  can she keep her secret a secret?  This is a new series for younger readers by award-winning author, Shannon Hale.


~Sue Daniels~

The big sleep ; Farewell, my lovely ; The high window

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Long considered one of the finest examples of hard-boiled detective fiction and a benchmark for how mystery stories would be written for the next 70+ years, The Big Sleep received perhaps its ultimate commendation when Time Magazine named it one of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. With The Big Sleep, Chandler’s approach is fairly straightforward: the plot is easy to follow, the characters are what one would expect from 1930’s California noir, and book employs several other classic mystery devices. Where The Big Sleep really shines is in the flow of the language and the rich detail Chandler fills his characters and settings with, making it an exceptional and delightful book to read in any season. The Big Sleep was Chandler’s first work and the first of six novels featuring Detective Phillip Marlowe. It was also the basis for a 1946 film adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

~Noah Weckwerth~

Mr. Turner

Mr. Turner – (DVD)

This DVD depicts the last 25 years of the life of the great artist J.M.W. Turner.  This is a beautifully filmed movie, documenting the unorthodox and somewhat controversial life of this brilliant painter. Turner never married, but had 2 daughters with one of his long term lovers. He also had  a  40 year relationship with his housekeeper, and also with a twice widowed woman with whom he lived during the last years of his life. The movie follows Turner on his travels, his unorthodox painting methods (such as strapping himself to the mast of a ship so that he could paint a snowstorm),   his associations with the Royal Academy of Arts, and his interactions with the aristocracy of his times.  Also highlighted is the strong relationship between Turner and his father, and the profound grief Turner suffered at his father's passing. Timothy Spall is excellent in the starring role.

~Milly Strawn~


Pride and prejudice

NOTE: We have a new collection of Blu-Ray DVDs (patrons will need a Blu-Ray player to play these DVDs)

Pride and Prejudice (Blu-Ray)

This Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice, originally produced as a 1995 mini-series, has been remastered. It was fun to watch Jane Austen’s story of the Bennet sisters in restored color. Bonus featurettes: Lasting Impressions; An impromptu walkabout with Adrian Lukis and Lucy Briers; Turning point; Uncovering the technical restoration process.                                                                                                                                                                                                           

~Paulette Brooks~

Red notice : a true story of high finance, murder, and one man's fight for justice

Red Notice:  a true story of high finance, murder, and one man's fight for justice by Bill Browder

When the USSR dissolved in 1991, the rapid privatization of eastern European economies resulted in a new world of investment opportunities. Bill Browder, as CEO of Hermitage Financial, jumped at the chance to lead his company into new markets. Little did he know that he would ruffle a few feathers, exposing both Russian corruption and human rights violations in the process. Fast paced and chilling.                                   

~Nancy Arevalo~


Landline by Rainbow Rowell

In Rainbow Rowell’s fourth book—her second for adults—she dives into the uncomfortable waters of an unhappy marriage.  After meeting at the offices of their college humor magazine, Georgie and Neal fall hard for one another, getting married soon after graduation and building a life in southern California.  For as long as she can remember, Georgie, a talented writer, has known exactly what she wants.  In contrast, Neal, a failed oceanography student, seems to dislike everything and everyone but her.  As the years pass, Georgie becomes increasingly successful writing for television sitcoms, while Neal opts to be a stay-at-home dad to their two young girls.  But Georgie’s continued dedication to her career at the expense of family soon strains the relationship to its breaking point when she chooses to remain in California, working on a new pilot, as Neal and the girls travel to Nebraska for Christmas.  Unable to reach Neal from her cell, Georgie begins calling his mother’s house on her own childhood landline, quickly discovering she is speaking to 22-year-old, 1998 Neal.  Is this a chance for her to change the future by changing the past?  Rowell combines magical realism, timely flashbacks, and the current challenges of childrearing and marriage in this unexpected romance of falling in love all over again.                                                                                                                                                              

~ Abby Landers ~

Three stories you can read to your cat

Carl's afternoon in the park

When Three Stories You Can Read to Your Cat by Sara Swan Miller came across the Circulation desk the other day, I was reminded of our friend Dexter the Therapy Cat,  who will be back to our library this Fall when the *Read to Whiskers & Rover program resumes. 

I decided to read to my own cat, Riley, who is otherwise content to sleep the summer away.   He agreed that “The Rainy Day” reminded him of the month of June, and we both laughed a lot at “The Good Day” because the cat in the story spent a whole day getting in trouble around the house while the owner was out (ouch, a bit too familiar).  I’m hoping that he learned thing or two from “The Yummy Bug” because it's his job to point out any insect foolish enough to cross our threshold.  

Carl’s afternoon in the park, written and illustrated by Alexandra Day, is the classic “Carl, watch the baby while I…..” story, this one taking place in a lovely park with a carousel, flower garden, balloon man, and Children’s Zoo.  While Mom has tea with a friend, large Rottweiler Carl is assigned to “take care of the baby and the puppy.” Young children as well as adults will quickly catch on to the absurdity of the tale, which from this  point takes place entirely without words until the final page.  Gorgeously illustrated, with heartwarming vignettes and improbable yet somehow believable situations, you’ll wish that you could spend the afternoon in the park with Carl!                                        

~Shannon McKeown~

“Staff Recommends” Compiled by Paulette Brooks


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