Shelf Life Blog

02/15/2017 - 8:47am
Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves

Johnny Truant is an L.A. tattoo artist looking for a new apartment. His friend says an elderly blind man who lived in his apartment complex recently passed away. Traunt figures it wouldn't hurt to check out the apartment. Inside, Traunt discovers the man, Zampanò, has been meticulously studying a documentary film, The Navidson Record, about photojournalist Will Navidson. When Traunt goes to look up the documentary, there isn't a record of the film ever being made.

So begins Traunt's descent into the madness of Zampanò. 

02/15/2017 - 3:09pm
Cover to Take Me with You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

August, a science teacher on break for the summer, is making a pilgrimage to Yellowstone to honor his 19-year-old son Phillip who was killed in an auto accident. The excursion had originally been planned as a father/son “trip of a lifetime.” When the RV breaks down and the repair promises to be costly, August resigns himself to the fact that he won’t have enough money to reach his destination or scatter Phillip’s ashes in the park.

02/10/2017 - 10:19am
If you like Legion (X-Men)

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.

David Charles Haller (better known by his nickname Legion) is a fictional character appearing in the X-Men series from Marvel Comics. Legion is Dan Stevens as David Hallerthe mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Holocaust survivor, Gabrielle Haller. Legion takes the role of an antihero and has a severe mental illness, DID or Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as MPD, Multiple Personalities Disorder), with each of his personas (over 50) controlling one of his many, and sometimes dangerous, superpowers. His ability to absorb a person's psyche, allows Legion to create alternate personalities, and manifest their superhuman abilities when they are dominant including: telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, time travel, and reality warping.

The television network, FX, has developed a TV series with writer Noah Hawley (Fargo, Before the Fall) surronding the complex life (or lives) of Legion. Dan Stevens stars as David Haller; Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Bill Irwin are also set to star. Hawley wanted to show Haller as an "unreliable narrator", including mixing 1960s design with modern-day elements, and filming the series through the title character's distorted view of reality.¹ Legion premiered at the Pacific Design Center on January 26, 2017, ahead of its FX debut on February 8. It is set to run over eight episodes for its first season. This is the first television series to take on the X-Men franchise. Check out the trailer for Legion below the book recommendations.

Like Legion? Check out these other book and movie titles, some involving superheroes, and some involving pyschological disorders. *note: Because Legion is considered an adult TV series, all of these are adult titles. Not all Marvel movies we have in our catalog are listed. To see more X-Men comics for adults, go here.
 

02/09/2017 - 12:31am
Cover to A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent

James was a slave in Virginia when the American Revolution began. Wanting to earn his freedom while helping the new country, he volunteered for the Revolutionary Army, with the promise of his freedom at the war’s end—if the Americans were victorious.

He was assigned to work for the young and brilliant French commander who was helping George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette had a special job for James. He wanted him to become a spy. James agreed and appeared at a British camp in tattered clothes, asking for work. The British, discovering how clever James was, asked him to spy for them!

02/08/2017 - 12:30am
Cover to My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

The haunted newlyweds in Rebecca. The vile and violent act of nature unleashed in The Birds. Deadly family secrets at the Jamaica Inn. British novelist Daphne Du Maurier was the queen of romantic suspense. She knew perfectly well how to portray a broken person who felt helpless in a desperate situation—someone who might have had a happy life were it not for the encroachment of nightmarish scenarios created by the wicked. Every so often, a movie director will rediscover her work and bring a tale of inner torment to the screen. In July 2017, Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel will enter theaters once more.

02/07/2017 - 8:20am
Wax by Gina Damico

Poppy Palladino is a 17-year-old aspiring actress. As the head of her high school's theatrical, Poppy is ambitious and serious about her future. So ambitious she takes on challenge of a talent show to show off her skills. But tragedy strikes Poppy's perfect life when she falls on stage and splits her head open. It wouldn't have been too embarrassing if it wasn't on national television.

02/06/2017 - 12:28am
The Body in the Woods by April Henry

If you stumbled across a body in the woods, would you be horrified like Alexis, electrified like Ruby, or panicked like Nick?

In April Henry’s The Body in the Woods, high school students Alexis, Ruby, and Nick’s first official Search and Rescue (SAR) for the Portland County Sheriff’s Office did not go as planned, to say the least. They were assigned to find an autistic man in Forest Park, but found a young woman’s body instead. Realizing that she was very recently murdered, the three students reached the conclusion that one of the many park visitors they conversed with on the trail could be the killer.

02/02/2017 - 12:25am
Cover to I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery

Poems by Cynthia Grady with illustrations by Michele Wood

Cynthia Grady and illustrator Michele Wood have crafted a book to share with children where each poem, together with its picture, is a thoughtful illumination of some aspect of slaves’ experiences.

02/01/2017 - 9:08am
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

The main character in Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything, Madeline, lives in a bubble. Literally. Her house has an airlock and the very rare individuals allowed to enter must go through a decontamination process. Direct contact with anything can be potentially life-threatening, and Madeline has lived this way as long as she can remember. It’s all she knows. She has been comfortable with and understood this life. Until now. Because, when a cute boy named Olly moves in next door, she finds herself wanting more.

01/31/2017 - 12:24am
Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved

The 2017 Mildred L. Batchelder Award winner Cry, Heart, But Never Break, is a wonderful story that can help your child understand what death is and why, and why it happens in a creative but wise way. 

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