Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Natalie Recommends A Dance with Dragons

Finally got to the most recent book (as of this recommendation).   Following up after A Storm of Swords, this book does bring back characters who were otherwise absent in Feast of Crows (Jon, Danaerys, Bron and Tyrion) and fills in the gaps after a Storm of Swords as well as continuing on from A Feast of Crows.  It has quite a bit of action, a solid story, and of course, dragons.

This is primarily for adult audiences.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Meghan recommends Audie Award honorees

Did you know that there’s a special award to honor high-quality audiobooks? The Audie Award “seeks the very best in spoken-word entertainment, selecting winners worthy of what is known as the ‘Oscar’ of audiobooks, displaying excellence in narration, production, and content” (Booklist, 2020).  Last week’s ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of the Audies, given out by the Audio Publishers Association. You can find a list of honored audiobooks from our collection here.

The top honor, Audiobook of the Year, went to The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff, which we have in both CD and downloadable versions (CloudLibrary). The  New York Times Book Review said of this audio, “The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 is a book exquisitely suited to audio format, a detailed cataloging of hundreds of personal stories, read by actors and culled from 5,000 oral histories conducted and archived around the country.”

One of my recent favorite listens is also on this list, Daisy Jones and the Six, which was nominated in the Best Multi-Voiced Performance category. It is a novel, but the structure is also an oral-history style, a behind-the-music documentary of a fictional band. It features a star-studded cast, including Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber, and many veteran audiobook narrators such as Ari Fliakos, January LaVoy, Robinne Lee and Julia Whelan. The book’s structure was well-suited to audio format, and the multiple narrators brought their characters to life so well, I had to remind myself that it wasn’t about a real band!

Whether you listen to audiobooks all the time, or you’ve been waiting for the right book for your first listen, you’re sure to find something great on the list of Audie Award honorees!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Natalie recommends "A Feast for Crows"


The fourth book in the Fire and Ice series and a good read at that. Picking up after the events of A Storm of Swords, this story, like it's predecessors, follows several characters. This time, however, we have some new faces and this is the first book where Jon, Tyrion, and Daenerys, are not characters whose perspective we get to see from. However, unlike some (i.e. Ned, Cateylyn, and Robb), they will show up in the next book.  the new faces include Aeron Greyjoy (the Prophet/Drowned Man),  Asha Greyjoy (the Kraken's Daughter), Victarion Greyjoy (The Iron Captain/Reaver), Aero Hotah (the Captain of the Guards),  Arys Oakheart (The Soiled Knight), and Arianne Martell (The Queenmaker/Princess in the ​Tower). Arya and Sansa also go through an alias/name change to Cat of the Canals and Alayne respectively on account of Arya's training and Sansa being in hiding after the conclusion of A Storm of Swords.  

It's a bit of a change up, but it's not a bad one. Personally, Brienne, Arya, and Jamie's are my favorite parts. Cersei's was interesting too. It may be lacking with some of the characters you've come to like, but I would still recommend reading this book. It also covers season 4 as well as 5 and 6. This is for Adult audiences.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Natalie recommends "A Storm of Swords"

This is the third book in George R.R. Martin's acclaimed series Of Fire an Ice.  This one is longer than the previous to.  Not only in terms of action and story, but pages as well.  This is the longest book thus far, if not the longest book in the series.  That shouldn't detour you from reading this, however, as it is still pretty enjoyable.  And much like the previous two books, we get to see differing perspectives from different characters, including Jamie, Daenarys, Tyrion, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Catelyn, and Davos.  We get to see Brienne and Jamie get closer to Casterly Rock, what becomes of Sansa around the time of Joffrey's wedding, and Daenerys building up and army with her three dragons having grown more just to name a few things.

If you're wondering , and have seen the show, the book does outline all of season 3 of the show, part of the fourth, and the remaining possible sprinkled into the fifth.  This is a great book if you're looking for some good fantasy and is primarily for adult audiences.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Phil recommends "The Cold Dish" by Craig Johnson

North Branch’s Mystery Book Discussion selection for February is The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson, the first in the Walt Longmire Mystery series.  The popular Netflix series Longmire is based on these books.  Walt Longmire is the snarky but loveable sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County in Wyoming and is on the verge of retirement.  As you might expect, things don’t go as planned and he soon finds himself in charge of a murder investigation.  The victim is one of a group of four young men charged with a heinous crime - but let off easy - two years earlier and it appears that the lives of the remaining three boys are at risk.  Johnson populates his story with memorable characters, writes with humor and vivid detail, and his love for the American west and Wyoming shines through.  Fans of Clint Eastwood films would particularly enjoy this book and series.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Ann recommends "The Crossover" by Kwame Alexander

This book is written in verse and is a story about 2 twin teens and their passion for basketball which they share with their father. The teens are accomplished players on their middle school basketball team. Their father was also a very talented basketball player in his youth. He was all set to go pro, but an injury put a stop to those aspirations. However, he shares his love and knowledge of the game by coaching his sons and giving them “basketball rules”. Each rule is a tip to help make them a better player, but are also life lessons to help them navigate complex family relationships, as well as, the joys and tragedies of life.

Appropriate for upper elementary school age children, grades 4-6.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Kate recommends "Love Poems for People with Children"

Love Poems for People with Children

These short, funny poems explore the joys of family life and the challenges of keeping romance alive while raising children. Many parents will relate to author John Kenney’s topics, from flying with a baby to the grocery demands of a 26-year-old who seems to have no intention of ever leaving the family home.

This book is best for adults, as alcohol, marijuana, sex and disgusting baby diapers are all mentioned at some point.

Family Vacation

This is relaxing
I think to myself
on the first day of our vacation
as I hide
in the men’s room
of a Roy Rogers
at a rest stop
just off bumper-to-bumper I-95
while the kids
continue fighting
with tennis racquets
in the back seat.
And only five more hours to go.
I don’t want to leave this place
I whisper aloud.
Neither do I
says the man in the next stall.