Shelf Life Blog
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.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann: A rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. A radical young Irish monk struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gathers in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. A 38-year-old grandmother turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth. Weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann's allegory comes alive in the voices of the city's people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the "artistic crime of the century"--a mysterious tightrope walker dancing between the Twin Towers.
If you enjoyed Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann for the writing, the family story and the setting, you may enjoy these titles:
American Rust by Philipp Meyer
Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever.-catalog summary
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. (catalog description)
"I Will Chomp You!" growls a pointy-toothed beast. Either stop turning the pages of the book he lives inside of, or else there will be dire consequences. His teeth may be jagged and sharp, but he seems more chump than chomp.
Accuracy is thankfully not one of our monster's strengths. Every CHOMP attempt ends up just missing us. Whew!
“Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country”
If you care for your Austen/Regency romances with a difference—but not necessarily zombies, Sorcery and Cecelia might be your cup of tea.
What if the world’s greatest villains had children? In the popular Disney Channel movie Descendants, that question is answered.
Meet Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay—four best friends living on the Isle of the Lost, where they and their evil parents have been banished since good has conquered evil in the classic children’s tales.
Memories of special holiday cooking can be life-long treasures. You’ll find many choices in Sharon Bowers’ Sweet Christmas. It’s a collection of tried and true Christmas classics to make for and with your family and friends.
Having grown up in the South, the author naturally includes a number of Southern specialties: Divinity (don’t try it on a humid day); Pecan Pralines; and Pamelas—orange peel that has been cooked, lightly sugared, and perhaps given a dip of good quality chocolate.
In Erica Bauermeister's Joy for Beginners, a group of friends gather to celebrate Kate’s triumph over cancer. A gift from her friends challenges Kate to do something she has feared her entire life. She, in turn, challenges each of them to do something they need to do to find joy.
The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45 by Władysław Szpilman: A Jewish pianist's real-life account of survival in World War II Warsaw.
If you like The Pianist, you may also like the following titles:
In Goodnight Already, Bear prepares for a long sleep, but his coffee-guzzling neighbor Duck knocks on the door. It appears that this quacker is more of a night owl. Duck tries to convince the exhausted bear to take part in all sorts of activities.
As fun as making smoothies and starting a band might be, perhaps Duck should have called ahead. Our berobed bear is growing grumpier by the second as Duck lists all of the ingredients he will need to borrow in order to bake cookies.
If you’ve wanted to turn your diet around to something healthier and cook at home more often, Dr. Weil has written a cookbook that may interest you. As a basis for Fast Food, Good Food, he uses the Mediterranean Diet and then adds in some Asian flavors.