National Library Week - April 13 - 19
Staff recommendations for the best of what to read, listen to and view in our collection.
Check our Catalog for: The Help
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is first and foremost a fascinating study of people living in the South just before the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that put an end to segregation of Blacks and Whites in the United States. This well written novel gives you the story from a variety of points of view and this contributes to the well paced tension throughout the 451 pages. Skeeter grows up in Missippippi when well to do white families hired black women to help with housecleaning and the raising of children. She comes back from college to find that her best friends are all married, starting their own families and continuing the tradition of hired help. Skeeter's own family maid is gone and her Mother refuses to tell her the truth of her leaving. Powerful and soon to be a movie.
Check our catalog for: Triangle: The fire that changed America.
Since it is 100 years since this dramatic fire I wanted to learn more about its history and conclusion. This is a good source for that and gives you a good amount of information on why such a catastrophe could occur. There isn't much sensationalism about the fire itself, but does give the facts and shows what the historical period was like. I enjoyed reading it, although it was a little dry at times. And it shows the political makeup of New York at the time while bringing up some of the up and comers, like Franklin D. Roosevelt. Plus the trial is really interesting.
Check our catalog for: The Fixer Upper also available in large print and downloadable audio
Dempsey Jo Killebrew is basically fired from her public relations job in Washington D.C. due to her big shot boss (who she thought was looking out for her) being caught in a politcal scandal. Running out of money and with nowhere else to turn, she takes her dad's suggestion to work on fixing up his old, run-down family home in Guthrie, Georgia. And a lot of work it turns out to be! Trials and tribulations, satisfying manual labor, romance, and even some revenge ensue. I saw this on a couple "best popular fiction of 2009" lists. If you like Jennifer Crusie, you'll like this book. I downloaded the digital audio book from Download Destination
and listened to it on my MP3 player.
Check the catalog for: The Devotion of Suspect X
Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.
Check the catalog for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson is the supurb third and most likely last book we are to see from the author who so unfortunately passed away from a heart attack at the age of 50. According to biographical sources, he left about 3/4s of a fourth Millenium Series novel left unpublished on his computer at the time of his death. The third novel in this series pulls together many of the threads of the two previous books. Lisbeth spends much of the book recovering in the hospital, trying to avoid Blumkvist, and awaiting trial for crimes committed. Larsson takes no shortcuts and for that I was grateful. I liked that you experience this story from a variety of points of view-from the staff at Millenium, the motorcycle gang, the secret police and their invisible unit known as The Section. This is a long book, but the author maintaines the tension for 599 pages and if you liked the first two novels, you will not be disappointed.
Check our Catalog for: The Power of Less
The Power of Less is a quick read filled with a lot of useful suggestions on how to make more of your life by doing less. Unlike many books that promote complicated organizational systems, Leo Babauta outlines a series of simple but powerful methods to streamline your work and your life. While many will find some of the suggestions challenging, like only checking e-mail once or twice a day, there's good ideas for anyone looking to bring more order and focus into lives filled with distractions and demands. The author also maintains the blog ZenHabits where you can find more about the ideas outlined in this book.
Check our catalog for: Animal Vegetable Miracle
Animal Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver is the kind of book that will be enjoyed by readers who love cooking and gardening. The author invites you into her family's decision to move from dry as a bone Arizona to Virginia to live on the land and eat only locally raised foods. This is a lovingly crafted memoir that educates and entertains the reader on the pros and cons of agribusiness. I think this could easily be used as a high school or college textbook.
Check our catalog for: The Postcard Killers
This murder mystery revolves around murders in various locations in Europe announced to specific reporters with a postcard. An American detective, whose daughter was one of the victims, doggedly pursues the clues. Some of the murder scene descriptions are grizzly but the mystery and suspense made it worth the read.
Review by: Chris Hurt, Library Aide, Technical Services
Check our catalog for: The Scarecrow Read more
Check our catalog for: The Girl Who Played With Fire (book), Large Print, Audio CD.
The second book in Larsson's Millenium Trilogy takes a bit of time to build tension but once the author sets up the elements, this book cannot be put down. Lisbeth Salender and Mikael Blomkvist are again the main characters but they don't make contact until the very end of the story when tangled plot ends collide. The police are hunting for Lisbeth who has been accused of going on a killing rampage. The press tries and convicts her based on her old psychological profile. Tension and pacing deliver a well planned story while her past comes alive and the mystery around her mental state begins to unravel. Lisbeth refuses Mikael's attempts to help as she takes on the fight for her identity and life.