I just read one of the best autobiography's! From someone who reads mostly fiction this is saying a lot... 😉The astronaut Scott Kelly described his experiences living in space for a year. I remember being glued to to the TV in 2015 whenever Scott Kelly came on. From Spacewalks and experiments to the emotional disasters of the Columbia and Challenger shuttles, Scott Kelly really kept me at the edge of my seat. One of my favorite lines in the book was, " I just experienced being trolled, in space, by the second man on the moon, while also engaging in a twitter conversation with the president." That made me laugh! Scott Kelly is a charming guy and a good writer. He is a hero along with all our astronauts. I highly highly highly recommend reading this book!!!
This book is a great read for adults!
Monday, November 13, 2017
Monday, October 30, 2017
In our semi-annual book talk program, Chapter One, Popular Materials Librarian Kathy recommended the following titles:
Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave (2017)
When revelations about her true identity come to light, culinary star Sunshine Mackenzie loses everything and returns to her childhood home in Montauk where she strives to reinvent herself. FIC
Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille (2017)
Throwback Title. The publication of a book--claiming to document the facts about a massacre of civilians that occurred in a French hospital outside Hue in 1968 under the command of American Lieutenant Ben Tyson--upends Tyson's suburban life and rocky marriage. FIC
My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood (2017)
Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She's the strong one. The one who escaped Herne Bay and their father. Her sister Sally didn't. Instead, she drinks. But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. What secret has Kate stumbled upon? FIC
The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (2017)
Hot Summer Read 2017. Ignoring the troubling behavior of an eccentric crime writer with whom she has worked for years, editor Susan Ryeland is dismayed when a subplot hidden in the author's latest manuscript reveals a real-world murder. MYS
Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki (2017)
Hot Summer Read 2017. Hiring a live-in nanny to attend her family's needs while she attempts to finish writing her book, Lady begins questioning the young woman's agenda when the latter instantly connects with the family and begins acting in suspicious ways. FIC
The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor (2017)
Nearly two decades after surviving a shark attack in the Gulf of Mexico, a world-traveling marine biologist and respected "shark whisperer" harbors private insecurities that compel her to return to her Florida coast home to explore old and new relationships. You may recognize the name. Ann is the daughter of celebrated author Sue Monk Kidd. FIC
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
This has to be one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to in a while! I had preconceived notions of who Trevor Noah was since he slipped into hosting The Daily Show so easily – he must have been well-connected, he must have been funny his whole life, he must have had a privileged life; I was not prepared for how sobering and traumatic his early years truly were until reading this book. Noah spins a masterful tale of growing up in South Africa during and after Apartheid. He has a beautiful command of at least 4 different languages and a range of accents that transported me to the gritty streets of Alexandra or the lush, suburban community of Soweto. In his first chapter he hooks you with news that “My mother was shot in the head” upping the stakes for what you are about to read and setting up the rest of the book to spill out in raw, funny, and foreboding narrative. If you enjoy getting gut punched with unexpected trials and tribulations this is the book for you. From music piracy to arson, stealing cars to jail, sleeping on cots to eating worms for food, and themes of poverty, racism, religion, and pop culture – this book has it all and then some. This is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend skipping the print and going directly for the audiobook. Recommended for adult audiences.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
In our semi-annual book talk program, Chapter One, Adult Non-Fiction Librarian Kate recommended the following titles:
Would Everyone Please Stop by Jenny Allen (2017)
A writer and performer whose essays and articles have appeared for years in many magazines, reporting from the potholes midway through life’s journey, presents a hilarious collection of writings on day-to-day, and not-so-day-to-day life as she tries to make sense of the baffling and annoying world around her. 814.6A
Churchill and Orwell: the Fight for Freedom by Thomas Ricks (2017)
A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, with a focus on the pivotal years from the mid-1930s through the 1940s, when their farsighted vision and inspired action in the face of the threat of fascism and communism helped preserve democracy for the world. 941.08409R, CD
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (2017)
Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives. A lush tale infused with clear-eyed compassion, this novel will inspire reflection, discussion and an overwhelming desire to drink rare Chinese tea. FIC, LT, CD, Overdrive
The Birdwatcher by William Shaw (2017)
When a fellow birdwatcher is found murdered in his remote home, Police Sergeant William South, who may have murdered a man when he was a child in Northern Ireland, finds his world turned upside down. FIC
City of Masks by S.D. Sykes (2017)
Delayed in mid-14th-century Venice while preparing to embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Lord Somershill stays at the house of an English merchant before the murder of a man at a carnival draws him into an investigation that exposes dangerous personal secrets. FIC
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (2017)
In the wake of a woman's horrifying discovery of human remains along a scenic tidal estuary, the members of a once-inseparable clique from a second-rate boarding school near the English Channel reflect on their participation in a dangerous game of deception that contributed to the death of a teacher. FIC, LT, CD, Overdrive
In our semi-annual book talk program, Chapter One, Popular Materials Librarian Meghan recommended the following titles:
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson (2015)
An account of the Siege of Leningrad reveals the role played by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his Leningrad Symphony in rallying and commemorating their fellow citizens. By the National Book Award-winning author of Feed. JBIO
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman (2017)
Frowned upon by conservative fellow PTA members for her past as a single parent, Jen reluctantly agrees to become class mom during her youngest child's kindergarten year, a role that is challenged by parent drama, hypersensitive allergies, and a former flame. FIC
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Graham (2017)
Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 976.6004G, CD, Overdrive
The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent (2017)
Wrongly targeted for her husband's shattering murder, Fran Hall struggles with isolation and paranoia while their claustrophobic community is increasingly unraveled by dark secrets. MYS, Overdrive
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay (2017)
In 1880s New York, Beatrice, unaware of her spiritual gifts, applies for a job at a teashop for female occultists run by Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair and with their help, she faces down the dark forces lurking in the city. FIC
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (2017)
Trapped in a closed zoo after witnessing a life-shattering event, a woman and her four-year-old son navigate the zoo's hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits to stay ahead of a dangerous adversary who tests their survival and the limits of the mother-child bond. FIC
Barkskins by Annie Proulx (2017)
In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Their lives take different paths, and Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years. FIC
Monday, August 28, 2017
Looking for something to read? My favorite titles of the year so far are August Snow and Behind Her Eyes.
August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones is a classic private eye story that takes place in Detroit and is written by a Detroiter. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is a psychological thriller, ala Girl on the Train, with a big twist at the end. It has it’s very own hashtag on social media: #wtfthatending!
Both titles are recommended for adult audiences.
For other adult reading recommendations, join librarians Kate, Meghan and myself at CHAPTER ONE on Wednesday, September 13 at 7 pm in the Main Library Auditorium. We will discuss a curated list of twenty plus titles, both fiction and non-fiction, and print and audio. We will also give a sneak preview of upcoming hot reads for Fall! Register here.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
This book is not for everyone, but I found it to be the best book I have read so far this year. The writing was beautiful, and the story and characters were touching and disturbing at the same time. This would be a great book for book clubs to read, as it would make for a great discussion. I recommend this book for adult readers.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Takeover by Lisa Black is the first book in a series featuring Theresa MacLean in a tense hostage situation. Like the author, Theresa is a forensic scientist. She is swept up in the drama when her fiancé becomes a hostage in a takeover at the Federal Reserve Bank related to a recent murder investigation. Hostage negotiations take place from the public library across the street from the Federal Reserve. The thriller features several plot turns with an unexpected twist at the end. Set in the sweltering Cleveland summer heat, this is a quick mystery read for adults.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
For anyone who has ever had a hard time making friends, dealt with cliques, or struggled through friendships, this graphic novel memoir is for you. Shannon Hale shares her experience with elementary friendships, from feeling like the odd one out, to those moments of high anxiety, to making friends who accept you as you are. I highly recommend picking this one up, no matter what your age is.
P.S. I even gave this one to my mom to read!
Friday, July 14, 2017
If you’re looking for a quick, easy thriller to read this summer, I recommend “The Good Widow” by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.
Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.
For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.
Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…
This one definitely kept me reading! It’s not an overly complicated book (perfect as a beach read) but the suspense and Hawaiian setting were solid.
Recommended for older teens and adults. Also recommended for fans of Joy Fielding, Jennifer Weiner, and Nicci French.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Looking for the next suspenseful, psychological fiction to add to your reading list? Check out I Found You by Lisa Jewell. Sometimes reading a multiple character storyline can get tedious, but Lisa Jewell develops the characters and their stories in an intriguing and balanced way.
We start with a single mom, Alice, that comes across a man near her home who has lost his memory. His memory of everything; from his name, to his likes and dislikes, to why he ended up on the beach in front of Alice’s home. So she decides to welcome him into her chaotic life and home, then tries to help him recover and rediscover his life.
There is also a young newlywed, Lily, in a suburb of London that has reported her husband missing. Her husband has disappeared somewhere between leaving work and getting home, but she does not feel the police are not working quickly enough to help her find him. She is alone, new to the country and anxious to find her devoted husband.
And then, we get to go back to 1993 where a family of four is vacationing in Alice’s town when they meet an eager young man, that is not quite trusted by everyone in the family.
It is clear that something terrible happened in 1993, but it’s interesting to try to figure out how the memory-less man and Lily’s husband are connected, both to each other and the story in 1993. If you enjoyed Paula Hawkins Girl on the Train, give this one a try.
Recommended for Adults.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
This gothic-style tale combines an old, rambling English manor house, an eccentric family, and dark secrets into one intriguingly twisted tale…
Lorna is determined to be married within the grand, ivy-covered walls of Pencraw Hall, known as Black Rabbit Hall among the locals. But as she’s drawn deeper into the overgrown grounds, half-buried memories of her mother begin to surface and Lorna soon finds herself ensnared within the manor’s labyrinthine history, overcome with an insatiable need for answers about her own past and that of the once-happy family whose memory still haunts the estate.
An atmospheric and intriguing tale, this would be a good read for fans of Susanna Kearsley, Daphne du Maurier, or Kate Morton.
Recommended for older teens and adults.
Annie's Ghosts takes place in Detroit as the author attempts to track down the long-lost aunt he never knew he had. I found this an interesting nonfiction story, not only for the familiarity of the areas discussed in the book, but also the topic of physically or mentally challenged people and how they were handled in early 20th century. In addition, the book also dealt with information about World War II and the exodus of Jewish citizens from Eastern Europe.
If you liked this book and want to discuss it, it will be the subject of the Wine and Proses book discussion on August 1 at Filipo Marc Winery. Register to attend to discuss the book with us!
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Okay, I'll be the first to admit it- we're all growing tired of the 'chosen teenager takes down an oppressive, dysfunctional social hierarchy in a dystopian future', so I began reading 'Red Rising' with more than a few grains of salt. However, this trilogy is less like 'The Hunger Games' or 'Divergent', and reads more like 'Ender's Game' or a Sci-Fi version of Game of Thrones (if it only focused on Jon Snow). There's a reason this book is in the Science Fiction part of our library and not the Young Adult section, and that's because this series is very, very heavy. I'm glad I gave it a chance, because through the first half of 'Red Rising' I scoffed at how predictable it was. The main character, Darrow, is a red, the lowest in a color-based society, where he works as a miner on Mars. Through a series of events, he's turned into a gold, the rulers of the color caste system, where an underground organization uses him for their own purposes (to have all colors treated as equals) using Darrow as their golden proxy. This is where I rolled my eyes and shook my head, dreading another Hunger Games. Luckily, the rest of 'Red Rising' played out much differently than anticipated, and by the time 'Golden Son' rolls around, Darrow isn't even a teenager anymore. By the time I finished 'Golden Son' I could hardly wait to read 'Morningstar', and I finished it in 2 days. All in all, if you like the Ender series, and you can get past the first half of 'Red Rising', chances are you will love this trilogy.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017
It's summer! Now that the weather is getting warmer, here are some great ideas of things to do with your baby, toddler, or preschooler!
50 Fantastic Things to Do with Babies by Sally Featherstone
· Let Them Play: An Early Learning (un)Curriculum by Jeff Johnson
· Wiggle, Giggle and Shake: 200 Ways to Move andLearn by Rae Pica
· Preschoolers & Kindergarteners Moving andLearning by Rae Pica
· Let’s Play and Learn Together: Fill Your Baby’sDay with Creative Activities that are Fun and Enhance Development by Roni Leiderman
· 303 Preschooler-Approved Exercises and ActiveGames by Kimberly Wechsler
· Children’s Creative Play: How Simple Dolls andToys Help Your Child Develop by Karin Neuschutz
· Baby Smarts: Games for Playing and Learning by Jackie Silberg
Friday, March 31, 2017
My best friend and I are horror movie addicts, and we've watched everything from The Blair Witch Project to The Collector to REPO: The Genetic Opera to The Greenskeeper. Anyone who watches a lot of horror movies knows that they can range from cheesy to okay to amazing, and anywhere in between. This movie was at the latter end of the spectrum. There's not a whole lot of ideas that haven't been seen before in horror movies- evil creature comes through a ouija board, mentally ill child kills everybody, a demonic cult lies beneath an innocent-looking town- or, of course, a monster can only exist in the shadows, so you're safe until the lights go out. What makes this movie good is that instead of going down the same path that other horror films have already gone, Lights Out takes a new spin, and is genuinely scary. I won't ruin anything for you, but if you like scary movies, or even if you just want your blood to rush without blood and gore flying everywhere, this is a good, terrifying horror movie for you.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Law of Attraction is a combination legal thriller and romance with compelling characters. Author and former federal prosecutor Allison Leotta, originally from Michigan, uses her legal background to craft the first of her Anna Curtis novels. Anna’s first case brings back disturbing memories of her childhood, also bringing to light the complex cycle of domestic violence. What follows is a fast-faced whodunit with surprising twists and turns, leaving room for new legal battles and relationships for Anna in the series. This title was well-received by the North Branch mystery book discussion group. Recommended for adults.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Master historian, David McCullough, tells the story of the generations of American artists, writers, and doctors who traveled to Paris between 1830 and 1900. What they learned in Paris helped to shape America from art to inventions to written works to medicine. Learn about people such as Samuel F.B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. What you learn may surprise you. McCullough brings each of the many men and women artists, inventors, writers, and doctors to life and demonstrates truly how amazing they were. Our very own Detroit Institute of Arts own some of the works of Mary Cassatt, James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Alexander Healy and more mentioned in the book. It is well worth the visit to explore. Enjoyed by our South Branch book club, an informative read.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Book: Fire on the Horizon by John Konrad
New DVD: Deepwater Horizon
Both the book and the movie share subject matter of the disaster aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. I highly recommend reading the book first, and then check out the movie (both of which are available at CMPL). I forgot how the book moved me until I saw the movie, and bonus if you like Mark Wahlburg!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Have you been invited to a baby shower? Do you need to bring a book? We've got some great options for you to buy for your family's newest addition!
Thursday, February 2, 2017
If 80s nostalgia is calling to you, you will love this movie! One of the best independent films to come out of 2016, “Sing Street” is a coming of age movie that blends Irish scrappiness with rock music in a joyous melody of angst, passion, unrequited love, and escapism. We watch as one young man – intent on impressing a young woman – invents a band and spins up a hype cycle complete with costumes and music videos. You can’t help tapping your feet to the original song, “Drive it Like You Stole It” and rooting for the band to make it big. Watch out for the ending, the irrepressible hope sneaks up on you (with a tear or two) but more like a wind in your sail and less of a knock-you-off-your-feet!
Monday, January 23, 2017
Looking for a hot read on a cold night? We've got you covered! Here are some great books to pick up in print and even audio and eBook this winter. We've even included with the call number:
Bear and the nightingale by Katherine Arden SF ARDEN
Behind closed doors by B.A. Paris FIC PARIS
Chemist by Stephenie Meyer FIC MEYER
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett FIC PATCHETT
Couple next door by Shari Lapena FIC LAPENA
Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch FIC KOCH
Fall guy by James Lasdun FIC LASDUN
Fractured by Catherine McKenzie FIC MCKENZIE
Girl before by J.P. Delaney FIC DELANEY
Guineveres by Sarah Domet FIC DOMET
Her every fear by Peter Swanson FIC SWANSON
History of wolves by Emily Fridlund FIC FRIDLUND
Hopefuls by Jennifer Close FIC CLOSE
Jerusalem by Alan Moore FIC MOORE
Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman FIC BACKMAN
Moonglow by Michael Chabon MYS CHABON
Motion of puppets by Keith Donohue FIC DONOHUE
Mothers by Brit Bennett FIC BENNETT
News of the world by Paulette Jiles FIC JILES
Perfect girl by Gilly MacMillan FIC MACMILLAN
Stranded by Bracken MacLeod FIC MCLEOD
Today will be different by Maria Semple FIC SEMPLE
Underground railroad by Colson Whitehead FIC WHITEHEAD
We are unprepared by Meg Little Reilly FIC REILLY
Book of joy: lasting happiness in a changing world by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Thank you for being late by Thomas Friedman 303.483 F
Shoe dog by Phil Knight 338.76887 K
Perfect horse: the daring U.S. mission to rescue the priceless stallions kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts 940.5421 L
Lost city of the monkey god by Douglas Preston 972.85 P
American dreamer by Tommy Hilfiger BIO HILFIGER
Born to run by Bruce Springsteen BIO SPRINGSTEEN
Good vibrations: my life as a Beach Boy by Mike Love BIO LOVE
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance BIO VANCE
Love warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton BIO MELTON
Magnolia story by Chip Gaines BIO GAINES
Princess diarist by Carrie Fisher BIO FISHER
Scrappy little nobody by Anna Kendrick BIO KENDRICK
Settle for more by Megyn Kelly BIO KELLY
Talking as fast as I can by Lauren Graham BIO GRAHAM
They’re playing our song: a memoir by Carole Bayer Sager BIO SAGER