Shelf Life Blog

12/22/2016 - 2:52am
Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf by Greg Wolfe

Shmelf is one of Santa's new elves, and his job is to check the "naughty or nice" list twice before Christmas Eve. He notices that there are quite a few children on the list who have been good but are not receiving gifts under the tree.

12/21/2016 - 2:51am
Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

Lin-Manuel Miranda worked for six years to do the book, music, and lyrics for his hip-hop musical Hamilton. The musical explores the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean, who came to America and helped found our country’s financial system and, of course, was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr. The musical has won the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy, and 10 Tony awards. I love all 23,000 words of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton. The songs become earworms as they just make you replay them.

If you don’t have enough Hamilton $10 bills to get a pricey ticket to the Broadway production or time to wait in line for the cheaper Broadway lottery tickets for the play, check out the music CDs at the library from the original Broadway cast, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s backstage pass in Hamilton: The Revolution; and the book it is based on, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton.

12/27/2016 - 11:01am
The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart

True confession: I loved the television shows Thirtysomething and Parenthood, and I’d classify The New Neighbor, by Leah Stewart, as a book similarly driven by well-developed characters. So, if your cup of tea is action-packed novels over touchy-feely, spill-your-guts literature, then I’d strongly advise you to move on to another blog post!

Jennifer Young has recently moved with her young son into the house next to Margaret Riley. Although the two abodes are separated by a pond, each woman can see the other from her own back porch. At the age of ninety, Margaret is not as spry as she once was, and, over the years, her prickly personality has alienated any number of potential friends. But she’s lonely and finds herself insatiably curious about her new neighbor.

12/19/2016 - 2:50am
Five Nights At Freddy's: The Silver Eyes

"During the day it's a place of joy...but you're not here during the day." - Tagline from the video game trailer, Five Nights At Freddy's

12/16/2016 - 2:47am
If you like Holiday Horror

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Looking for a spooky, but festive, good time? Check out these book titles with frightening Christmas themes.
 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. (catalog summary)
 


Daniel Plainway, Or, The Holiday Haunting of the Moosepath League
by Van Reid
Daniel Plainway, the third novel in this charming series, is Van Reid's best tale yet. In this wonderfully written adventure, Reid introduces Daniel Plainway, a good-hearted country lawyer who sets off on an odyssey that changes his life and the lives of an orphaned child, a big-hearted ballplayer, and an extraordinary woman whom he meets along the way. Filled with lighthearted comedy and touching drama and populated by a rich panoply of memorable characters, Daniel Plainway is a delightful example of magnificent, old-fashioned storytelling that will have readers of all ages enthralled, amused, and curled up in their favorite reading chairs. (catalog summary)



The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge
by Charles C. Lovett
A sequel to "A Christmas Carol" set twenty years after Scrooge's famous reformation finds him teaming up with a returning cast of ghosts to help the restless spirit of Jacob Marley make amends to victimized associates in order to find peace. (catalog summary)

 

12/15/2016 - 2:47am
Rules of the House by Mac Barnett

"ALWAYS follow the rules." How many times have you heard that command? Do you always follow them, or are you a risky rulebreaker?

In Mac Barnett's Rules of the House, Ian always follows the rules. "No shoes or food in the bedroom." "Dark and white clothing must be seperated." "Always pack a toothbrush!" 

"Rules are meant to be followed," Ian likes to say.

12/13/2016 - 2:46am
Cover to Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk—A Visual Guide by Josh Katz

It’s said England and America are two nations separated by a common language. Aye or yeah, it may be more pronounced on the other side of the pond, but Americans certainly have their regional dialects, too. In 2013, Josh Katz was curious about which words and phrases were used where and how the same words might be pronounced differently in different places. So, he did a survey.

This project could have been really dry, but Mr. Katz has a gift for language, and some of his results spread on the Internet like wildfire or bushfire or a forest fire…. Well, you get the idea. The results are laid out attractively with maps and commentary in his Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk.

12/12/2016 - 2:45am
Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Disease has been eliminated. Crime and poverty have been eliminated. Natural disasters have been eliminated.

Overall, death has been eliminated.

This is all thanks to a self-aware digital cloud called The Thunderhead, whose totalitarian rule has turned the future Earth into a Utopia.

Everyone can turn back their ages, to any age above 21. So, a 32-year-old you meet, might be a 105-year-old human. Everyone is now guaranteed immortality. Well, almost everyone.

12/09/2016 - 11:39am
If you like Christmas Mysteries

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Looking for some chills and thrills this holiday season? Check out these holiday mystery titles.

Away in a Manger by Rhys Bowen
It's Christmastime in 1905 New York City, and for once, Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to the approaching holidays. She has a family of her own now: she and Daniel have a baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie is living with them as their ward. As Molly and the children listen to carolers in the street, they hear a lovely voice, the voice of an angel, and see a beggar girl huddled in a doorway, singing "Away in a Manger." Bridie is touched by the girl's ragged clothes and wants to help her out if they can. They give her a quarter, only to watch a bigger boy take it from her. But Molly discovers the boy is the girl's older brother. They've come from England and their mother has disappeared, and they're living with an aunt who mistreats them terribly. Molly quickly realizes that these children are not the usual city waifs. They are well-spoken and clearly used to better things. So who are they? And what's happened to their mother? As Molly looks for a way to help the children and for the answers to these questions, she gets drawn into an investigation that will take her up to the highest levels of New York society. (catalog summary)



The Body in the Sleigh
 by Katherine Hall Page
The Fairchild family is spending the Christmas holidays on idyllic Sanpere Island in Maine while the Reverend Thomas Fairchild recuperates from surgery. His wife, Faith, is rejoicing in the rare, holiday family-time together—but Faith's high spirits are dampened when she discovers the body of a young woman on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas morning, she learns of an abandoned, newborn baby boy who was left in a nearby dairy barn along with a note and $50,000 cash! (catalog summary)


 


Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop: 'tis the Season to Be Deadly : Stories of Mistletoe and Mayhem From 17 Masters of Suspense

Each year, for the past seventeen years, Otto Penzler, owner of the legendary Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, has commissioned an original story by a leading mystery writer. The requirements were that it be a mystery/ crime/suspense story, that it be set during the Christmas season, and that at least some of the action must take place in The Mysterious Bookshop. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present. Now, all of these stories have been collected in one volume—Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop. Some of the tales are humorous, others suspenseful, and still others mystifying. This charming one-of-a-kind collection is a perfect Christmas gift, appropriate for all ages and tastes.Contributors include: Mary Higgins Clark, Ed McBain, Anne Perry, S. J. Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, Donald E. Westlake and more. (catalog summary)

 

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