Shelf Life Blog

07/03/2015 - 4:15pm
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

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 the book matches here.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver: Follows the author's family's efforts to live on locally- and home-grown foods, an endeavor through which they learned lighthearted truths about food production and the connection between health and diet.

If you enjoyed this book, you may also like the following titles:

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
Single, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. (catalog description)


In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Humans used to know how to eat well but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." (catalog description)

07/23/2015 - 12:37pm
Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Uni the Unicorn has a flowing mane, shiny hooves, and sparkly eyes. She can make wishes come true like all her other unicorn friends. Only one thing sets Uni apart from all the others. She believes that little girls are real.

07/23/2015 - 12:37pm
The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

The Midnight Library is a curious little building. A young librarian and her three assistant owls work there all night to provide books and services for the town's animals. Two-legged or four, pawed or winged, all walks of life are welcome. This can lead to some minor issues, such as when squirrels start playing music in the quiet reading room!

06/24/2015 - 11:35am
Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Obsessive fans: any well-known author’s worst nightmare. Especially when they begin sending emails or letters, begging for another continuation of their favorite book series. But what happens when a captivated fan takes things too far?

06/22/2015 - 8:44pm
I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy

If you’re at a loss for something to read post-Gone Girl, plan to put I Love You More at the top of your list. In Jennifer Murphy’s latest novel, smooth operator Oliver Lane has somehow managed to marry 3 different women and create a separate family with each. Because his job “requires” copious travel AND because Oliver is an attentive husband, none of the wives initially suspect that anything is awry. But when wife #2, Jewels, uncovers her husband’s transgressions, she makes it her main mission to notify wife #1, Diana—and wife #3, Bert.

06/19/2015 - 5:09pm
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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 the book matches here.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden: "Presented as the memoirs of a celebrated Japanese geisha, Golden's first novel follows a poor youngster from her humble origins in a rural fishing village to her later years spent in luxurious surroundings in New York City's Waldorf-Astoria. In 1929, nine-year-old Sayuri is sold to an okiya in Kyoto by her desperate father, where she is slated to be trained as a geisha. The intensive courses require her to learn how to dance, play a musical instrument, gracefully wear the heavy, layered costumes, apply elaborate makeup, and, most especially, beguile powerful men. Initially stymied by the jealous, vindictive Hatsumomo, the okiya's top earner, Sayuri is eventually taken under the wing of one of Hatsumomo's chief rivals, Mameha. She proves to be such an astute businesswoman that her campaign to make Sayuri a success results in Sayuri's setting a new record when two wealthy men get into a bidding war over who will be the one to claim her virginity. "

If you like Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, you may likese these selections: 

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
Set in an imaginary, ancient Japanese society dominated by warring clans, Across the Nightingale Floor is a story of a boy who is suddenly plucked from his life in a remote and peaceful village to find himself a pawn in a political scheme, filled with treacherous warlords, rivalry-and the intensity of first love. This is the first in a trilogy.

The binding chair, or, A visit from the Foot Emancipation Society : a novel by Kathryn Harrison
In poised and elegant prose, Kathryn Harrison weaves a stunning story of women, travel, and flight; of love, revenge, and fear; of the search for home and the need to escape it. Set in alluring Shanghai at the turn of the century, The Binding Chair intertwines the destinies of a Chinese woman determined to forget her past and a Western girl focused on the promises of the future. (


07/23/2015 - 12:37pm
Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea and Lane Smith

Drywater Gulch is about to get gobsmacked by Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads. The Toad brothers are a lying, stealing, chili-insulting trio who have set their sights on the sleepy desert town. Thankfully, a hero is on his way...on the back of a tortoise.

07/22/2015 - 12:19pm
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Eduardo and Ciro watched their beautiful, bereft mother leave them behind, not looking back once. Surely, they were now orphans. Abandoned to be raised at a nunnery in the Italian Alps, they would grow into good if very different young men with only one hope—to see their mother again.

06/16/2015 - 1:53am
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

Chip and Emily Linton decide to buy an old, mysterious Victorian house in the middle of White Mountain country, in upstate New Hampshire. The move isn’t exactly what they want—they would rather stay in the homey suburbs of Pennsylvania due to their two young, twin daughters, Garnett and Hailey.

However, Chip is the pilot who had no other choice but to try to land his 70-passenger 747 with double-engine failure on the crest of Lake Champlain. Unlike the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” event, Chip’s rescue plan does not go as he had planned. Thirty-nine passengers aboard died in the crash, including three children under the age of ten. Due to the massive trauma Chip has faced since that fateful August day, the Lintons decide to take their isolation elsewhere, starting afresh in the tiny mountain village.

06/12/2015 - 3:11pm
If you like Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

 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 the book matches here.

"A spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known... of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect-a man divided in his soul... of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame... and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother." (Book summary)
If you like Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, try these other historical-fiction tales of the medieval world.
Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell
"Vividly re-creating the pageantry and violence of the 1400s, Cornwell takes readers into the heart of the soldiering class in this intimate retelling of the Battle of Agincourt. With a brisk pace and a brilliant evocation of everyday life, he details the brutality of war and the lives of the men who fought." (Booklist Online)

"Irving Stone's classic biographical novel in which both the artist and the man are brought to life in full. A masterpiece in its own right, this novel offers a compelling portrait of Michelangelo's dangerous, impassioned loves, and the God-driven fury from which he wrested the greatest art the world has ever known." (From the publisher)


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