Shelf Life Blog

07/21/2015 - 10:05am
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Actor Arthur Leander has experienced a number of peaks and valleys in his lengthy Hollywood career. As he prepares to take the stage as King Lear in what will be his final performance, he’s hardly at the top of his game. Hard living and a separation from his only son have taken their toll, and Arthur succumbs to a heart attack as the audience watches. Kirsten, a young child also in the production, is traumatized by Arthur’s death and will remember this day far into the future.

07/21/2015 - 10:05am
The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams

A life-threatening health condition led Dee Williams, author of The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir, to make some unorthodox life decisions. In seeking the traditional American dream of being a homeowner, she buys a house—one with great potential, but in need of extensive TLC. Dee, a farm girl, is not intimidated by hard work, and gradually she transforms her fixer-upper into charming digs, complete with a lavish garden. Between maintaining her abode and traveling for her job as a state hazardous waste inspector, she has no time to simply luxuriate in little day-to-day pleasures. It’s not until she is diagnosed with heart failure in her early forties that she realizes how vital it is to change her priorities. She is no longer content to be a slave to house and yard work.

07/22/2015 - 12:21pm
Before Versailles by Karleen Koen

Karleen Koen’s Before Versailles is a splendidly rich story of romantic intrigue set in the early days of the Sun King’s rule. Louis XIV is a very young and handsome king. Newly-married to a virtuous if plain Spanish princess, he is determined to be true to his vows, but the ladies at court have other ideas—particularly his brother’s wife.

05/29/2015 - 1:35pm
If you like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This readalike is in response to a patron'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

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic that has been translated into more than 40 languages. 

If you like To Kill a Mockingbird, you may also like the following titles:

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man. 

Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas
When University of Michigan sophomore Celeste Tyree travels to Mississippi to volunteer her efforts in Freedom Summer, she's assigned to help register voters in the small town of Pineyville, a place best known for a notorious lynching that occurred only a few years earlier. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Celeste befriends several members of the community, but there are also those who are threatened by her and the change that her presence in the South represents. 

07/23/2015 - 12:35pm
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

Boy + Bot are two very different friends who share the same love of discovery. Boy encounters the robot in the woods while collecting pinecones and asks to play. "Affirmative!" the robot answers.

05/27/2015 - 1:40am
Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

Welcome to Keyhouse: an unlikely New England mansion in Lovecraft, Massachusetts that opens doors to transformations that no one would ever expect—especially the new owners, the mourning Locke family. After their father Rendell is murdered in California, the grieving Mrs. Locke moves herself and her three school-aged children—Tyler, Kinsey, and young Bode—across the country to live with distant family.

05/26/2015 - 1:39am
Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue

You will find wisdom and comfort in this sweet, funny, and smart story. Counselor Maggie Brennan specializes in helping her patients in a special type of loss: the anguish of the loss of a four-legged friend. Her insight into the loss of this special bond moves her grieving patients who are often embarrassed and confused about the emotional turmoil caused by the loss of their pets: loss is loss and love is love. Her patients are not “Dog Crazy” but “Dog Normal.”

05/22/2015 - 8:51am
If you like The Firm by John Grisham

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.

The Firm by John Grisham: "When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought that he and his beautiful wife, Abby, were on their way. The firm leased him a BMW, paid off his school loans, arranged a mortgage, and hired the McDeeres a decorator. Mitch should have remembered what his brother Ray--doing fifteen years in a Tennessee jail--already knew: You never get nothing for nothing. Now the FBI has the lowdown on Mitch's firm and needs his help. Mitch is caught between a rock and a hard place, with no choice--if he wants to live." (Book Description)

If you liked The Firm, you may also enjoy these titles:

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she's got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes.  (catalog description)

Conflict of Interest by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
Nancy Taylor Rosenberg is one of the most recognized names in the thriller genre. Her latest offering, Conflict of Interest, is a masterpiece of suspensea complex and profound novel featuring a veteran female district attorney attempting to reconstruct her shattered personal life when she is suddenly plunged into a moral, legal, and emotional nightmare. (catalog description)

07/23/2015 - 12:35pm
The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland

"In the Jingle Jangle Jungle on a cold and rainy day, four little friends found a perfect place to play." 

A zebra, a lion, a moose, and a sheep find shelter in a cave, but maybe they should have first asked The Very Cranky Bear. He chases the quartet out into the storm with a "ROAR!"

06/04/2015 - 1:43pm
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe
With the release of the recent Avengers movie, superhero comics are more prominent than ever, particularly the characters created by Marvel Comics. But the world of comics can be a complicated and confusing one, and the average fan may find it difficult to catch up. Luckily, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe, makes it easy to brush up on comics knowledge in an entertaining way. The book contains everything the uninitiated will need to get up to speed, as well as some firsthand accounts that may still be unfamiliar to longtime fans.


Subscribe to Shelf Life Blog