Library Staff Recommended Reading December 2014

Recommended Reading Archive

Jane and the twelve days of Christmas : being a Jane Austen mystery

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron

The 12th installment in the "Being a Jane Austen Mystery" series arrives just in time for the Christmas season. Jane, her sister, Cassandra, and their mother are spending Christmas with Jane's brother, James and his family when they are invited to celebrate at the local estate. When one of the other guests winds up dead under mysterious circumstances, it is up to Jane to help sort it out with the help of visiting artist, Raphael West. Mr. West turns out to be more than just an artist, but is he there to help Jane, or is he working against her?                                                                                                                                                               

~Sue Daniels~

My true love gave to me : twelve holiday stories

My True Love Gave to Me: 12 holiday stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

The holiday stories in this anthology are written by some of the most popular young adult writers today. Authors include Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Holly Black, Laini Taylor and others. Recommended for high school and up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

~Sue Daniels~

Christmas in Connecticut

Christmas in Connecticut (DVD)

It seems that with most contemporary holiday movies, filmmakers appear to be drunk on the season, bombarding viewers with a sensory overload of Christmas sounds, images, and paraphernalia. Gone are the days of the subtle holiday movie, rich in story, humor, and emotion, with the just right amount of Christmas overtones. For those looking for an old-fashioned holiday movie experience, Christmas in Connecticut delivers entertainment in droves.

In her immensely popular magazine column, Elizabeth Lane offers housekeeping tips and scrumptious recipes from her farm in Connecticut, where she tends to her husband and newborn baby. The only problem is that the public image of Elizabeth Lane is a fake. She has no husband, no baby, and no cooking skills to speak of. But when her boss invites himself and a recently returned war hero to her ‘farm’ for Christmas, Elizabeth must scramble to devise the perfect happy family setting or risk losing her job and her reputation. Colorful characters and uproarious dilemmas thicken the plot in this madcap chain of events, culminating with a more than rewarding conclusion. Christmas in Connecticut is a true delight.                                       

~Noah Weckwerth~

Shooting at the stars : the Christmas truce of 1914

Shooting at the Stars: the Christmas truce of 1914 by John Hendrix

Much has been written about the unofficial truce between the Allied army and the German army on Christmas Eve, 1914, but here it is in picture book format. This fictionalized account includes some historical background about the war and what is known about this event. Recommended for age 8 and up.


~Sue Daniels~ 

Wait for signs : twelve Longmire stories

Wait for Signs by Craig Johnson

Walt Longmire, sheriff of fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, takes the reader on twelve short story adventures in this new volume. The author's previous eleven award-winning novels in the Walt Longmire series launched two successful seasons of the A & E television series, "Longmire." Fans of the sheriff will enjoy visiting Walt's world in these stories, or, the book would be a good introduction for readers new to the series.       

~Nancy Arevalo ~ 


In the company of Sherlock Holmes : stories inspired by the Holmes canon

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: stories inspired by the Holmes canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger

Very unique and engaging collection with well-known authors writing short stories in honor of Sherlock Holmes. It is wonderful to read all the different styles with twists on original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales. From modern day recreations to a Facebook type narrative to a story written from the point of view of a horse as examples, the Sherlock aficionado will appreciate the whispers of the great detective on every page.                                                                 

~Paulette Brooks~


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This is a book about Auggie, a 10 year old boy who has a horribly deformed face. He is about to enter the public school system for the first time in his life - up until now he has been home schooled. Not only does he have to deal with being the new kid in school, but he has to endure the shame and solitude of a child who stands out because of his looks. But as he interacts with the kids at his school, and the new people he meets because of this new experience in his life, we find out that each and every one of them has a human frailty that they must overcome. Told in the voices of each of his new acquaintances, we get insight into their personal thoughts and fears. A wonderful story with a powerful message about what it's like to be a person with a handicap, and the basic human desires of friendship, acceptance, and love.                                                                                                 

~Milly Strawn~

The assassination of Margaret Thatcher : stories

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel (Short stories)

Occupying a well-deserved spot on many year-end, best books lists, Hilary Mantel’s collection of ten short stories is a thoroughly thought-provoking read. Mantel, already well known for her bestselling, award-winning titles Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, expertly tackles the often difficult form of short prose.  Her stories touch on a wide range of topics including cultural adaptation, marriage, infidelity, poverty, and loss.  Though brief—the longest piece is 40 pages—the stories vacillate between amusing, eerie, gloomy, and maddening, leaving the reader with much to digest upon each completion.  This title is well-suited for the holiday season’s bustle.  A reader can easily down a story in twenty minutes, mull over the contents while opening gifts or sipping egg nog, and return for more during pauses in the festivities.                                                             

~Abby Landers~

As you wish : inconceivable tales from the making of The Princess Bride

The princess bride

As You Wish: Inconceivable tales from the making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

It has been over 25 years since a relatively unknown actor, Cary Elwes, was cast to play the lead role of Westley (aka the Man in Black) opposite to Robin Wright as Princess Buttercup. The book is a delightful compilation of memories from the stellar cast as well as directors and producers, with unique photos and behind-the-scene reminisces by Elwes. Reading this only made me want to settle in to watch again, with new insights, one of my family’s favorite films and start quoting lines such as the famous, “As You Wish.” Put both the movie and book on your must see / read list!                                           

~Paulette Brooks~

“Staff Recommends” Compiled by Paulette Brooks


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