Monday, February 3, 2020
One of our categories for the Bradford Challenge 2020 is, “A Book that might make you cry.” Here are some books from the past year that might do just that. If you have any suggestions, please join our Facebook or Goodreads group and tell us what to read!
What I Carry by Jennifer Longo – This is a Young Adult novel. A powerful and touching story about a girl about to age out of the foster care system. What a beautiful cover as well as a beautiful story.
When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald – The main character, Zelda, has a disability and lives with her older brother, who is a gang member. She is interested in just a few things, including Vikings, and her mission is to be legendary. For fans of The Silver Linings Playbook and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes – This is a middle grade book by the award winning author, Henkes. If you enjoy reading children’s literature and want a tearjerker, this may be the one. Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her class, but her father—a cranky and stubborn English professor—has decided Florida is too much adventure. Now Amelia is stuck at home until Amelia meets Casey at her neighborhood art studio. Amelia has never been friends with a boy before, and the experience is both fraught and thrilling. When Casey claims to see the spirit of Amelia’s mother (who died ten years before), the pair embarks on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her.
All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D Taylor – The saga of the Logan family–made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry–concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story. Cassie Logan, is a young woman now, searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately, in the 60s, home to Mississippi to participate in voter registration.
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – A young boy is the lone survivor of an airplane crash. Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri – Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo—until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home.
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout – The sequel to the very popular Olive Kitteridge. It was named one of the best books of the year by Time, Vogue, NPR, and many more.
Akin by Emma Donoghue – Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room an international bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy, born two generations apart, who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together. “What begins as a larky story of unlikely male bonding turns into an off-center but far richer novel about the unheralded, imperfect heroism of two women.” —New York Times
Happy Reading and don’t forget to join Bradford Challenge 2020!
Monday, January 6, 2020
It’s a new year and we have a new challenge for you! Named “Bradford Challenge 2020”, we are encouraging everyone to join our Facebook and/or Goodreads groups by that name. If you stay away from social media and prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, that’s ok too! Pick up a print calendar at the front desk at the library and keep track that way. Basically, there are 48 category options, and we are challenging you to pick 12, which will have you reading 12 different types of books this year. There are a lot of options, so it shouldn’t be hard to find enough books! But, in case you like recommendations, I will try to do some of that here on the blog.
Today, new books that the library owns, that will fill the category of A Memoir!
Even if you aren’t into reading challenges, but are into memoirs (usually me!), here are some that look very interesting to start us off this year.
Click on the title or cover to place a hold on any of these books.
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow – Want to learn more about the #MeToo movement from a behind-the-scenes investigator? Here it is. Both a first-person journalist’s account and a spy thriller.
Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong – Wong is a hilarious, sometimes shocking, stand-up comedian. This is her own story of her early adulthood and career and what she (eventually) wants her daughters to know.
Me by Elton John – The first and only official autobiography of the star.
The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe – The Way I Heard It presents thirty-five mysteries “for the curious mind with a short attention span.” Every one is a trueish tale about someone you know, filled with facts that you don’t. Movie stars, presidents, bloody do-gooders, and villains. A memoir full of surprising revelations, sharp observations, and intimate, behind-the-scenes moments drawn from Mike’s own remarkable life and career.
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur – On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me.
Adrienne instantly became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband’s closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life—and her mother—on her own terms.
Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews – I am looking forward to reading this one, since I really enjoyed her first memoir, Home. This one picks up where the other one left off and covers the years that she made the movies Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.
Do You Mind if I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti – Gary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time, and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious, and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life.
Long Way Home by Cameron Douglas – Cameron Douglas is born into wealth, privilege, and comfort. His parents are glamorous jet-setters, his father a superstar, his mother a beautiful socialite, his grandfather a legend. On the surface, his life seems golden. But by the age of thirty, he has taken a hellish dive: he’s become a drug addict, a thief, and–after a DEA drug bust–a convicted drug dealer sentenced to five years in prison, with another five years added to his sentence while incarcerated. Eventually he will spend two years in solitary, where he manages, nonetheless, to hold fast to the brutal ethos of prison survival . . . until: he begins to reverse his savage transformation, to understand the psychological turmoil that has tormented him for years, and to prepare for what will be a profoundly challenging, but eventually deeply satisfying and successful, reentry into society at large.
Well, that will hopefully get us started in our reading challenge this year. Don’t forget to join our groups or pick up a calendar when you come in to pick up your holds!
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
December is here! A chill is in the air and Christmas books are on the shelves. The holiday will be here before we know it and I, for one, need to read something Christmas-y to help me get into the holiday spirit. Here I will share some Christmas/winter books new for this year. Click on the title or cover to place a hold on one of these books! (descriptions from Amazon)
Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan -In her comfy cottage nestled in the Derbyshire hills, Rosie Hopkins has good reason to feel a warm blush in her cheeks. With Christmas weeks away, the holiday is being ushered in with England’s first glorious snowfall of the season. Her boyfriend Stephen is starting his new job as a teacher in the village school.
But when a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the close-knit town, plans for a cozy Christmas are suddenly in danger of melting away. It’s going to take Rosie’s indomitable spirit, the embrace of family and friends, and the resilient good will of a community to turn it all around and make this a holiday to be thankful for.
The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White -Melanie Trenholm should be anticipating Christmas with nothing but joy—after all, it’s only the second Christmas she and her husband, Jack, will celebrate with their twin toddlers. But the ongoing excavation of the centuries-old cistern in the garden of her historic Tradd Street home has been a huge millstone, both financially and aesthetically. Local students are thrilled by the possibility of unearthing more Colonial-era artifacts at the cistern, but Melanie is concerned by the ghosts connected to it that have suddenly invaded her life and her house—and at least one of them is definitely not filled with holiday cheer….
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber -As the holiday season begins, Laurel McCullough could use some good news. She and her husband, Zach, have been praying for a baby that seems more and more like an impossible dream, and they’ve had to move in with her beloved grandmother, Helen, who’s having trouble taking care of herself. But when Laurel contacts a local home-care organization for help, there are no caregivers available.
Then Mrs. Miracle appears at the door. No stranger to lending a helping hand to a family in need, Mrs. Miracle reveals herself to be nothing short of a godsend. Helen’s even convinced she’s an angel!
The 19th Christmas by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro -As the holidays approach, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women’s Murder Club have much to celebrate. Crime is down. The medical examiner’s office is quiet. Even the courts are showing some Christmas spirit. And the news cycle is so slow that journalist Cindy Thomas is on assignment to tell a story about the true meaning of the season for San Francisco.
Then a fearsome criminal known only as “Loman” seizes control of the headlines. Solving crimes never happens on schedule, but as this criminal mastermind unleashes credible threats by the hour, the month of December is upended for the Women’s Murder Club. Avoiding tragedy is the only holiday miracle they seek.
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella -’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness—even if that only means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.
But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?
Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw -From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic, where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.
Be careful of the dark, dark wood…
Dasher by Matt Tavares -Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.
A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace Lin -A heartwarming and tender picture book introducing readers to their first snow, from award-winning, bestselling author-illustrator Grace Lin.
When it was quiet, Little Snow grinned and then jumped, jumped, jumped!
Merry Christmas and Happy Winter Reading!
Monday, November 4, 2019
It’s the month of gratitude! Let’s examine some things to be thankful for while we check out some new library books.
First up is a book about being thankful and “doing the impossible” – cutting out the complaining. If this book can give me any tips to take home, I will be full of gratitude.
Speaking of being grateful for good self-help titles, here is one to help with anxiety. Dr. King is a psychologist and stand-up comedian. I am always ready for some calming advice, and it’s even better when it’s humorous.
How about being thankful for saving time in the kitchen? I am grateful for my electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and the cookbooks at the library that are just for the Instant Pot. Here is a new one coming to the library:
I’m grateful to the strong historical women that have come before. We have two new books in this category that look interesting.
If you were a fan of the book, The Notorious RBG, by this author, then here is the next one for you. Illustrated and informative, learn all about Harriet Tubman, the inspiring abolitionist.
Not only am I grateful for Disney and their animated movies, as a parent and a fan, I am also interested to learn about how it all got put together. If you are interested in learning more about women’s silent roles in historical achievements, there are a lot of people doing this research and writing about it. Try Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, or The Radium Girls by Kate Moore to learn about women’s work in more serious industries.
And a few about some standout guys as well. I think a lot of us are thankful to at least one of these men for their art and work ethic. Our lives have been touched by them: the excitement of the National Football League, Mr. Fred Rogers and his loving persona, Stan Lee and his Marvel Universe, and the beloved music of Johnny Cash.
Looks like I am grateful specifically for non-fiction books, but there are many new fiction choices at the library as well. Click to place holds on any of these books. Browse through other new items here.
And Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday, September 30, 2019
October – it’s both spooky season and cozy season! Here are some new books that might be interesting to you when deciding what to read this month. (descriptions from Amazon or Goodreads)
The long awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, a modern classic and now a TV show. Learn more about the women of Gilead.
“A chilling invitation no Atwood fan can resist . . . The Testaments reminds us of the power of truth in the face of evil.”
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, (siblings) Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage.
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
“Many worlds, vanishing doors, mind-cracking magic: I clung to each page, searching for answers. This is one of the most unique works of fiction I’ve ever read!”―Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
Famed American actress Demi Moore at last tells her own story in a surprisingly intimate and emotionally charged memoir.
An enchanting, comic love letter to sibling rivalry and the English language.
The Grammarians are Laurel and Daphne Wolfe, identical, inseparable redheaded twins who share an obsession with words. They speak a secret “twin” tongue of their own as toddlers; as adults making their way in 1980s Manhattan, their verbal infatuation continues, but this love, which has always bound them together, begins instead to push them apart.
Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know.
Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response?
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay –
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.
Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.
These twenty-nine stories, including all new works from New York Times bestselling authors Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay, span from the traditional to the eclectic, from the mainstream to the literary, from pure fantasy to the bizarrely supernatural.
Whether you’re reading alone under the covers with a flashlight, or around a campfire with a circle of friends, there’s something here to please—and spook—everyone.
Happy October Reading!
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
The 2019 Kansas Notable Books have been chosen. The library will have them all here for you to check out (or put on hold), in part because of a grant from the State Library that helps us purchase them. There are a wide variety of books that are awarded, and there are 15 winners this year. This post will highlight a few of the winners, but if you are interested in learning more, you can go to https://kslib.info/1361/2019-Notable-Books to read about the rest of the winners and more about the award itself.
Click on the book covers or titles to place holds on any of these books!
American Heart by Laura Moriarty – This is the first Young Adult book by Moriarty, the author of The Chaperone. She has written several well-received adult novels, and lives in Lawrence. American Heart is set in a near-future United States in which Muslim-Americans are kept in detainment camps. Her main characters set out for Canada to save one young Muslim from this fate.
Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World by Louis Galambos – A short biography of the 34th president of the United States. Described as “engaging and fast-paced,” this book is written by the long-time editor of the Eisenhower papers.
A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America’s Schools by Rachel Devlin – Devlin, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University, highlights the bravery of young black girls who were instrumental in the desegregation of America’s public schools.
No Small Potatoes: Junius G Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas by Tonya Bolden/illustrated by Don Tate – Bolden is a highly awarded children’s nonfiction author. No Small Potatoes is a picture book about a man who was born a slave and became “The Potato King of the World.”
The Saint of Wolves and Butchers by Alex Grecian – Grecian is the author of the Scotland Yard Murder Squad series, and has won the Kansas Notable Award multiple times. This is a contemporary thriller about a Kansas State Trooper.
Buried in the Suburbs by Jamie Lynn Heller – Heller is a poet and high school teacher from Shawnee Mission. She has won multiple awards for her work.
Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh – Smarsh was born and raised by Kansas farmers. Her memoir was a National Book Award finalist and a NY Times Bestseller.
Monday, June 10, 2019
Summer Reading has begun here at the library. If you haven’t yet, kids and adults can sign up for the program at the library. Teens and adults can check out reading material and enter to win various prizes. Summer is often a time to find something entertaining or exciting to read and to just relax and enjoy it. Here are a few suggestions that I have seen recommended to read this summer by those who get their hands on advanced copies. These people have already read the summer stuff and they know what is out there. Click on the cover or title to place a hold and enjoy your summer of reading!
(descriptions from amazon.com)
The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.
But they quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day.
India, 1922: A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur’s royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic hunting accident. The royal ladies are in a dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer’s counsel is required. However, the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s only female lawyer.
Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince’s future, but she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace’s deadly curse?
For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.
Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
A captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II—while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hôtel Ritz in Paris—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue.
“A fiery tour de force… I could not put this book down. It truly was terrifying and unutterably beautiful.” –Alison Borden, The Denver Post
From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip–a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence.
Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.
Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts.
As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.
Abbi Hope Goldstein is like every other teenager, with a few smallish exceptions: her famous alter ego, Baby Hope, is the subject of internet memes, she has asthma, and sometimes people spontaneously burst into tears when they recognize her. Abbi has lived almost her entire life in the shadow of the terrorist attacks of September 11. On that fateful day, she was captured in what became an iconic photograph: in the picture, Abbi (aka “Baby Hope”) wears a birthday crown and grasps a red balloon; just behind her, the South Tower of the World Trade Center is collapsing.
Now, fifteen years later, Abbi is desperate for anonymity and decides to spend the summer before her seventeenth birthday incognito as a counselor at Knights Day Camp two towns away. She’s psyched for eight weeks in the company of four-year-olds, none of whom have ever heard of Baby Hope.
Too bad Noah Stern, whose own world was irrevocably shattered on that terrible day, has a similar summer plan. Noah believes his meeting Baby Hope is fate. Abbi is sure it’s a disaster. Soon, though, the two team up to ask difficult questions about the history behind the Baby Hope photo. But is either of them ready to hear the answers?
Happy Summer Reading!!
Friday, April 5, 2019
Spring is here!
Spring is a time of new beginnings, Easter celebrations, and spring cleaning. In addition, April is National Poetry Month. In the spirit of spring, we have some new titles to bring to your attention and help inspire you to bring your goals to life.
The popular author of The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies turns her attention to clutter-clearing. This is a short volume with tips to help you make your space organized and calm.
Aarssen is a professional organizer who has developed four “Clutterbug” personality types that teach you to work with your natural tendencies to tidy and organize your home in a personalized way for you and your loved ones.
Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah, “Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible.”
The only fiction option on this list, Hope on the Inside is another heartwarming selection from the popular Bostwick. A novel about a woman in middle age who, through circumstances that get out of her control, ends up teaching crafts at a women’s prison. The relationships she makes with those women help her with her perspective on life.
Richard Rohr is a top Christian theologian who has mentored numerous other Christian writers of today. Here he discusses Jesus and what it meant to be the Christ. Good timing for the Lenten and Easter season.
Taylor is not afraid to explore faiths beyond Christianity to learn more about faith and worship.
This fits the bill for a poetry book and a Christian-inspired choice. The experience of Joan of Arc, the famous Christian martyr, in verse form.
Jason Reynolds is one of childrens’ and YA literature’s most respected authors right now. Here is a poem based on a graduation speech that he gave. Reynolds is committed to showing representation of diverse experiences in his work and has been winning awards doing it.
Happy reading in April!