Friday, December 21, 2018

Kira recommends 'Spyro: Reignited Trilogy'















Some of us remember when the first Spyro game, aptly titled 'Spyro the Dragon' was released for the PlayStation (as in the PlayStation 1) back in the late 90's. It was quickly followed by two more Playstation platformers, 'Ripto's Rage' and 'Year of the Dragon'. After that, a whole slew of Spyro games, from Gameboy to Gamecube games were released, to the more recent 'The Legend of Spyro' trilogy and the Skylanders game with its collectable figures. The most recent addition to the Spyro collection is the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, which is a remastered collection of the original 3 Spyro games for the PlayStation 4 and XBox One. For those who have been fans since the first game debuted on the original PlayStation, for those who came somewhere in the middle, for those who only know Spyro from Skylanders, or even those who have never played a Spyro game but want to play something new and fun, the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is a treat for gamers of all ages. It's a fun platformer that's fairly easy to pick up, even if you've never played Spyro before. Upon opening the game, you have the choice to play Spyro the Dragon, Spyro: Ripto's Rage, or Spyro: Year of the Dragon. You can play them in any order, and it is not necessary to complete the last game(s) in order to continue. However, if you are the type of person who needs to 100% (or 120%) every game you play and collect every trophy, then be warned-  this game has been called 'the Dark Souls of Spyro games', as certain achievements can be trying.  The remaster offers updated graphics and voices, smooth animation, and an incredible game experience.





Natalie recommends "Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: and Other Lessons in Life



This book was a very good read about Michaal Caine's life and his lead up to to this point in his life.  I also enjoyed the little words of advice in each chapter.  This is and adult autobiography and is available in regular and large print.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Kate recommends "Houseplants for a Healthy Home"



If you enjoy houseplants, but you’re not sure how to select and care for them, check out Houseplants for a Healthy Home. This short, accessible book has all the information you need to start a collection of beautiful plants that may provide health benefits. Some plants are thought to remove airborne toxins common in household cleaning products, while the leaves and flowers of others may have additional positive effects on one’s wellbeing.

The fifty plants included in the book range from succulents to orchids. They are all easy to grow and none require specialized equipment. The brief introduction explains the materials needed to grow plants, including fertilizers that will help to ensure success. It also contains ten simple guidelines that pertain to all houseplants. Listings for the individual plants include basic information about the plant’s appearance, size, possible health benefits, as well as growing instructions. Lovely illustrations of each plant provide even more incentive to start your indoor gardening project!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Uma recommends "How Luck Happens"


“How Luck Happens” by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh reveals the idea that random incidents that happen in our lives are not by mere luck, but rather that there is a bit of science behind them. The book uncovers a captivating subject in a reachable and an enjoyable style. After reading this book, I was able to relate to circumstances in my own life that seemed like coincidences at the time; however, in hindsight became clear that a kind of systematic science drove those incidents.
Would you like to read and  find out how to use the science of luck to transform work, love and life?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Celia recommends "Sister BFFs"


If I were to write a graphic novel about my relationship with my sister, it would be surprisingly similar to Sister BFFs by Philippa Rice. The petty fights mixed with unconditional love are delightfully captured as the sisters navigate job interviews, dating, chores, social media, trial subscription boxes, and other struggles of underemployed twentysomethings still living at home. If you’re looking for a short, funny read and especially if you have a younger sister, this graphic novel is for you.

This title is particularly recommended for new adults.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Phil recommends "The Kelloggs: The battling brothers of Battle Creek"


Michigan history buffs will love this story of two extraordinary brothers - John Harvey Kellogg, health guru and founder of the Battle Creek Sanitarium and William Keith Kellogg, founder of the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.  John Harvey’s sanitarium was legendary, with clients such as Mary Todd Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Booker T. Washington, Dale Carnegie, Henry Ford, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  William Keith’s cereal company became a household name and influenced how Americans started their mornings.  The Kellogg brothers’ animosity toward each other was as epic as their accomplishments.

I particularly enjoyed this book because I was born and raised in Battle Creek and my grandpa used to work for Kellogg’s and the Sanitarium – he carried Eleanor Roosevelt’s luggage! 

This book is appropriate for adults.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Gretchen recommends "The Traveling Feast"

Rick Bass takes readers on a wide-ranging road trip to meet his literary and artistic heroes including the late Peter Matthiessen, Barry Lopez, David Sedaris and Terry Tempest Williams among others.  He wants to explore and impart their wisdom with upcoming writers, and cook these luminaries a seasonal, local and organic meal, fueling his company in body and spirit.  Like his early work, Oil Notes, written in his twenties when he was a geologist, this is an introspective read.  At a painful turning point in midlife, Bass is now taking stock and  moving forward.   Part memoir, part culinary travelogue, The Traveling Feast is frequently humorous and often poignant.  Simply put, the writing is beautiful.  This adult book is the perfect read for a winter's day, best appreciated at a leisurely pace.




Friday, November 2, 2018

Connie recommends "The Girl Who Wrote in Silk"

​Inspired by true events, a heartwarming story you're sure to enjoy!



Recommended for adults or young adults.




Monday, October 29, 2018

Lynn recommends "The Best We Could Do"


“The Best We Could Do” is an illustrated memoir by Thi Bui.  In it, Bui documents the story of her family’s escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970's, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves after all the horrors they endured.  It is appropriate for adults and young adults.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Connie recommends Favorites















Educated by Tara Westover is an amazing and inspiring story of survival and the ability to move forward in spite of insurmountable obstacles.  Recommended for adults.






Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Pence is by a local librarian.  Her debut book is cleverly written and quite funny!  I especially enjoyed the audio book, as the narrator had the same persona as Annie herself. Recommended for teens or adults.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Celia recommends "Her Favorites"

   

Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin                    
A collection of sharp, poignant essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our obsession with dead women. 305.4097 B

Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
After a spectacular failure at an exclusive event in Chicago, event planner Margot Cary takes a job in Lake Sackett, Georgia. Organizing wakes and fishing trips isn’t exactly her thing, but she starts feeling more at home when she catches the eye of the elementary school principal Kyle Archer. An offer for a big-city job means Margot must decide between her career, and a possible new love. FIC HARPER

The Garden Party by Grace Dane Mazur
The two very different families of an engaged couple meet for a prenuptial dinner in the garden of the groom’s parents’ home in Brookline, Massachusetts. FIC MAZUR

Circe by Madeline Miller
Born into the house of Helios, god of the sun, Circe lacks the power of those around her and prefers human companions. Then she discovers she has the gift of witchcraft and is soon banished to a desert island, where she encounters famed figures in Greek mythology. FIC MILLER

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Mosfegh
A novel about a young woman’s efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes. FIC MOSFEGH


Friday, October 5, 2018

Kira recommends "Don't Make Me Pull Over!"



For some of us, road trips were an essential part of our childhood. For others, they were a fad that was quickly fading, with only two or three road trips in our lifetimes. For the youngest, they're legends of a by-gone era, lost to affordable airfare. In the book Don't Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip by Richard Ratay, you're packed into the back of a 70's station wagon to explore what once was in the days of family road trips. From an introduction to the birth of American roads to the creation of the highways that still exist today, from the shift from mom-and-pop food stands and roadside attractions to the omnipresent McDonald's and Starbucks, and everything else a family road trip might entail, this book covers it all. If you miss the days of road trips, or even if you've never been on one and simply wanted to know what all the fuss is about, this is a good read, rich with American history.



Monday, October 1, 2018

Meghan recommends "Her Favorites"

In our semi-annual book talk program, Chapter One, Popular Materials Librarian Meghan recommended the following titles:


The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn
Lucy and Owen, a progressive New York couple with an autistic son, move to a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb and immerse themselves in the local community. Their bond is tested by an invitation to become an open-marriage couple. FIC DUNN

Little Comfort by Edwin Hill
Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. Usually, she’s hired to find long-ago prom dates or to reunite adopted children and birth parents. Her new case is finding the handsome and charismatic Sam Blaine. MYS HILL

The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos
An ex-offender must choose between the man who got him out and the woman who showed him another path. September Hot Read. FIC PELECANOS

An unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. 353.48 S

Sadie by Courtney Summers
Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie, who runs away from her isolated small Colorado town to find her younger sister's killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie's disappearance. YA SUMMERS

Monday, September 24, 2018

Gretchen recommends "Prep-Ahead Breakfasts & Lunches"


Trying to save time now that the kids are back to school?  This prep-ahead cookbook gives easy recipes for breakfasts, quick breads, lunches, one bowl wonders, soups, sandwiches, and desserts. These 75 recipes save time and money; they can be stored and/or frozen and reheated.  Recipes include how to batch cook quinoa, spaghetti squash, and cauliflower rice.  Made-from-scratch seasonings like taco seasoning mix are also included. My fall faves include pumpkin quinoa muffins and carrot soup with lentils.  The peanut butter chocolate chip blender pancakes would be a hit with kids for a weekend post-slumber party breakfast.  No nutritional values are provided in this cookbook, however, if time is more important than calories, this might be the cookbook for your family! 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Erica recommends "Unbury Carol"






Ready to try something new? Take a traditional Western, with good versus evil, a long journey, and a strong sense of place.  Add in Josh Malerman's background as a horror writer. Season with domestic suspense and just a bit of romance and you have this wild adventure, Unbury Carol.  Carol Evers is a mostly ordinary woman who frequently falls into coma-like trances that mimic death. The only two people who know the truth are Carol's husband Dwight, and her former boyfriend, the outlaw James Moxie.  When Carol falls into another trance, one man will race to bury her alive, and the other will race to save her life.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Phil recommends "A $500 House in Detroit"





"A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City​" by Drew Philp is a fascinating true story of a young college grad who, with no job and very little money, purchases an abandoned Queen Anne home in Detroit with the intent of restoring it.  This is no small task given that the home lacks windows, doors, heat, water, electricity, and a working roof.  The comeback of Detroit has been much publicized but Philp's modest contribution to the cause is an interesting part of the larger story.  His steadfast determination in the face of rampant poverty, crime, racial tensions - and monumental home improvement challenges - is inspiring.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ann recommends "The Girl Who Drank the Moon"


The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is the 2017 Newbery Award for Children’s Literature. It is a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy/adventure story with thought-provoking themes. This book was featured at one of our Extreme Readers Book Club, a book club for 10-12 year-olds. Many who attended described it as not only a good book, but a great book, and all said they would definitely recommend it to their friends.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Kathy recommends "Forgotten Country"

From the book jacket: “Catherine Chung’s unforgettable debut is a work of enormous talent and heart. A riveting, brutal portrait of  two sisters in crisis, the book examines the unspoken complexities of familial love and forgiveness, loyalty and betrayal, and renders an indelible haunting image of Korea.” This was a wonderful story. The sisters are trying to finish their educations, heal old family wounds, be a help to their mother while the father is in the final stages of cancer all while returning to Korea after being raised in the US.  They have all the problems of feeling like they fit in the United States and then in Korea as well.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Kara recommends "Every Note Played"

The latest novel from Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice, deals with the heavy topic of ALS.  I found it to be a great read for adult book clubs, as it lends itself to very good discussion.  I listened to the audiobook version and especially enjoyed that there were separate narrators for each of the main characters, Richard and Karina.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Celia recommends "My Year of Rest and Relaxation"


This is an odd and captivating book. The unnamed main character of My Year of Rest and Relaxation decides to spend a year in a drug-induced hibernation. She finds a psychiatrist who’s irresponsible with the prescription pad and sets about collecting a supply of mostly made up medications to keep her sleeping as long as possible. The plot, though necessarily slow paced due to the subdued nature of the narrator, is enriched with flashbacks of the strange and complex characters who have influenced her life and led to her making this decision. At times funny, at times dark, and overall filled with plenty of surprising moments, this book is an experience you won’t forget.

Recommended for adults.




Monday, July 30, 2018

Annie recommends "Veggie Garden Remix"


Both this book and “Grow something different to eat” by Matthew Biggs are full of interesting ideas to shake up your traditional vegetable garden.  It’s too late for this summer, but over the winter you can plan your new garden.  If you’re tired of the same old tomatoes, peppers & zucchini, try hosta shoots, ground cherries or kiwiberries.  Maybe you’ll find a new favorite!


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Kathy recommends "A Gathering of Old Men"

This is definitely a picture of race relations in the South. Full of many quirky characters who stick together when they are called upon to stand up for one of their own.  You can get bogged down in the dialog at times. But despite that I found this a very entertaining read.

Recommended age range: Adult

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jeannie recommends "Bob"


By Wendy Mass
A touching story of friendship. This is a juvenile fiction book, but as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed it. Would be great to read with your kids!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Anne recommends "Half of a Yellow Sun"

Filled with characters that you truly care about, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel is set in the 1960’s before and during the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War.  The author paints for us a vivid picture of real life in Nigeria during this tragic time by putting us into the everyday lives of a select group of relatable characters.  We follow such diverse people as a college professor, a wealthy businesswoman, a writer, and a houseboy, and we see how one by one they get pulled into the inevitable effects of war. Informative, but above all, deeply moving, Half of a Yellow Sun will stay with you for a long time.

This title is recommended for adults.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Meghan recommends "The Woman in the Window"




Anna Fox spends her day drinking wine, watching old movies, and spying on her neighbors. But when she sees something she shouldn't, Anna's world begins to crumble.”

This hot winter read has been hot all summer too! If you’re a fan of twisty thrillers, unreliable narrators, and perfect families that aren’t so perfect after all, then this book is for you. Read it, then join us at Bar Louie on Monday, August 20 at 7pm to discuss The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Kate recommends "Star of the North"

Star of the North by D.B. John is a page-turning thriller about an American woman’s audacious plan to find her twin sister in North Korea, who had been presumed dead after disappearing from a South Korean beach twelve years earlier.  When she finds evidence that her sister may have been abducted and imprisoned in North Korea, she must find a way to confirm her suspicions and get her sister back by joining the CIA as an intelligence analyst.  Connected to her mission are the stories of a top North Korean government official whose newfound knowledge of his parental lineage may ruin his life, and a farm worker turned businesswoman who uses the contents of a humanitarian aid balloon to run an illegal side business. 

Though this is a work of fiction, it was inspired by the author’s observations on his own trip to North Korea in 2012 and provides a glimpse of what life may be like for different types of people in that country.  And though it has a fast-moving and suspenseful plot, it is just as much filled with fascinating human stories.

An excellent read for adults.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Join us to Discuss "The Great Alone"

 

Join us for “Books On Tap” at Bar Louie Partridge Creek on July 16 at 7pm, as we discuss “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah, the new book from the author of the “The Nightingale.”

 

“A tour de force. There are many great things about this book…It will thrill her fans with its combination of Greek tragedy, Romeo and Juliet-like coming of age story and domestic potboiler. She recreates in magical detail the lives of Alaska’s homesteaders… and is just as specific and authentic in her depiction of the spiritual wounds of post-Vietnam America.”–KIRKUS (STARRED REVIEW)

 

“Reliably alluring…The Great Alone is packed with rapturous descriptions of Alaskan scenery… Hannah remembers and summons an undeveloped wilderness, describing a gloriously pristine region in the days before cruise ships discovered it.”–THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

“Featuring a rich cast of characters and elevated by the riveting portrayal of homesteading in Alaska in the 1970s, this is a compassionate story of a family.”–PEOPLE, Book of the Week

 

 

We also own the book in Large Print, as an Audio CD and Playaway, or a download through Overdrive!

 

Registration for Books on Tap begins July 2thRegister here.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Karen recommends "Between Shades of Gray"




Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys is based on accounts of the survivors of the Russian occupation of the Baltic countries during Stalin's ruthless government.  Michigan-born author, Ruta Sepetys was compelled to tell this story as her family members were Lithuanian deportees and survivors.  The Soviets generated lists of those considered anti-Soviet, including "doctors, lawyers, teachers, military servicemen, writers, business owners, musicians, artists, and even librarians…"

This historical fiction narrative is a story told through 15 year old Lina whose family was awakened during the night and forced to travel, seemingly endlessly by train, to their first labor camp in Siberia to pick beets; then, a few years later they were forced to travel again on another long train journey to a fishing camp further north in Siberia. Lina, an aspiring artist, used her creative talents to document the story, obtain favors from the NKVD, and try to contact her father who had been sent to a Soviet prison.  Through Lina, the reader gets to know her mother, her brother, and other deportees in the camps as well as NVKD officers. The reader learns of Lithuanian Christmas traditions, foods, and the homes they left behind, as well as communal living in a jurta. Lina's spirit weaves through the fabric of Soviet brutality with wisdom and bravery.    

Even though this was Ms. Sepetys' first novel, it has been honored with numerous awards and translated into more than 27 languages. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Meghan recommends "Fahrenheit 451"


Join us for our first “Books On Tap” event at Bar Louie Partridge Creek on June 18 at 7pm.  Read (or re-read) and discuss Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This classic dystopian science fiction novel was first published in 1953, but is still relevant today.

Registration for Books on Tap begins June 4th. Register here.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Miss Lynn recommends "Full Cicada Moon"


This novel in verse is beautifully written; it is perfect for ages 8-12 but will be enjoyed by all who read it.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Meghan recommends "Prudence Wants a Pet"



I may be an adult services librarian, but I am also a parent. And while I love my kid, I don’t always love his book choices. (“Really, kiddo? Paw Patrol AGAIN?”) So I was delighted when he recently picked out “Prudence Wants a Pet”. Prudence wants a pet very much. She wants a pet so much, she showers affection and playtime on a variety of inanimate objects. But none is quite the same as a pet. Luckily for Prudence, her persistence pays off.

Both the story and illustrations were charming fun, and it was great to take a break from some of his other favorites for a book we both enjoyed!

This picture book is appropriate for children of all ages.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Uma recommends "How To Talk To Absolutely Anyone"




“How to Talk to Absolutely Anyone” is a practical book for anyone who wants to strengthen their communication skills. The author Mark Rhodes explains it in an easy to understand language by providing simple learning strategies. He presents several ways and methods to build confidence for having a powerful conversation with anyone. He clearly expresses how to approach anyone in any situation with absolute self-assurance. The ability to have a conversation without any fear and anxiety is an art and an important tool to succeed in life. Healthy personal relationships, successful business transactions, professional growth can all be achieved through powerful communication skills. This book reiterates how to build healthy relationships and professional growth by avoiding common pitfalls and communication mistakes. The author has also provided several easy and helpful practical exercises to win over fears and anxieties to talk to anyone. Overall, this book helps to build strategies for having positive conversations at work place, home or in any environment and build self-confidence to “Talk your way to the Top”.

Recommended for Adults.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Annie recommends "Killers of the Flower Moon"


An eye-opening expose of the horrors that befell the Osage tribe of Oklahoma.   This three-part story starts with the murders of the Osage then leads into the involvement of the FBI during the early days of the Bureau.  In the last part, the author relates his story in writing the book, as well as updates of some of the members of the tribe.  In the 1870’s the Osage tribe was forced from their land into what is now northeast Oklahoma, on what was thought to be un-useable land.  The Osage wisely negotiated headrights to the land, which gave them the rights to any underground mineral/gas/oil discoveries.  The big surprise came when oil was discovered and they became wealthier than anyone could imagine.  And, in a tale as old as time, greed corrupts and local whites felt wronged that the Osage had money and they didn’t.  This is a sad and important chapter in our history that is probably not known outside of northeast Oklahoma.  A compelling read for lovers of history and true crime stories.

Recommended for adults.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Kathy Recommends "Good Karma Hospital"


Heartbroken and disillusioned, junior doctor Ruby Walker ditches her life in the UK for a fresh start, but when she arrives at the Good Karma Hospital, nothing is quite what she expected.  After the initial culture shock, Ruby learns to deal with the hospital’s demanding schedule and eccentric inhabitants. As she adjusts to the challenges of her new role in rural India, Ruby begins to realize that the rundown medical outpost may be just what she needed all along.

Season 2 is airing presently on Acorn TV.

If you like stories about taking chances and fresh starts or stories set in interesting locations, you will enjoy The Good Karma Hospital.   The Huffington Post (UK) calls it “the prime-time love child of Call the Midwife and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Recommended for Adults.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kathy Recommends "The Flight Attendant"



A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man - and no idea what happened. Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She's a binge drinker, her job with the airline makes it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police - she's a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home - Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it's too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?

Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant is a stay up all night thriller not to be missed!

Recommended for Adults.