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Biographies & Memoirs

05/16/2018 - 9:38am
Cover to The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir

A small boy found a jersey with a lightning bolt on the front hanging in the basement rafters. With this jersey, he was transformed into The Thunderbolt Kid. Like other superheroes, The Thunderbolt Kid could leap tall buildings with a single bound and do other daring deeds that kept the World Safe For Democracy. But The Thunderbolt Kid could also vanquish idiots with a single blazing thought.

Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the century (1951), in the middle of the country (Des Moines, Iowa), in the middle of the Baby Boomers. But before he was The Thunderbolt Kid, Bill Bryson was – a paperboy.

Bryson has also written many seriously funny travel memoirs. A Walk in the Woods is a personal favorite, but all of his works are enjoyable. In a Sunburned Country has Bryson traveling to Australia, a country that “has more things that will kill you than anywhere else,” and I’m a Stranger Here Myself, where Bryson returns to America after living in Europe for 20 years.

04/17/2018 - 10:29am
2018 Pulitzer Prize Winners

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced April 16. The winners include Less: A Novel, by Andrew Sean Greer (fiction); Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser (biography); Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (poetry); DAMN., by Kendrick Lamar (music); Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, by James Forman Jr. (general nonfiction); and The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis (history).

04/12/2018 - 1:21pm
5 for May

The month of May is filled with suspense! Here are five popular adult titles that are hitting the shelves during the month of May. To find more new titles, check out the booklist New May 2018 Books You'll Want to Read and our New Titles page.

04/04/2018 - 11:24am
Big Library Read: Flat Broke with Two Goats

From April 2-16, OverDrive's Big Library Read is back with the eBook and eAudio formats of Flat Broke With Two Goats, by Jennifer McGaha.

Suburban Chic to Backwoods Barnyard

When Jennifer discovered that she and her husband owed back taxes—a lot of back taxes—her world changed. Now desperate to save money, they gave up their beloved suburban home and moved their family to a 100-year-old cabin in a North Carolina holler. Soon enough, Jennifer’s life began to more closely resemble her Appalachian ancestors than her upper-middle-class upbringing. But what started as a last-ditch effort to settle debts became a journey that revealed both the joys and challenges of living close to the land.

Easy Reading

During the Big Library Read, the digital version and audiobook will be available to all library customers to download for free, with no need to be on a waitlist. Flat Broke With Two Goats can be read on major computers and devices. Like all of our eBooks and eAudios, it will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, so there will not be any late fees. 

Making It Social

Author and university professor Jennifer McGaha loves reading and libraries, and she's written a friendly letter of introduction for Big Library Read participants. Want to share your thoughts on the novel? During the Big Read event, you can discuss the book online at Overdrive's site, and here are some questions to get you started. You could also use the questions to spark a discussion with your friends.

Intrigued? Check out the preview below.

03/15/2018 - 2:27pm
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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 Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

If you liked The Kite Runner, you might enjoy these other titles.

03/01/2018 - 11:49am
If You Like 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
The "memoirs" of one of Japan's most celebrated geishas describes how, as a little girl in 1929, she is sold into slavery; her efforts to learn the arts of the geisha; the impact of World War II; and her struggle to reinvent herself to win the man she loves.

05/25/2018 - 9:14am
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

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 that perfect book on serial murderers—but in non-fiction format? Check out these book titles. 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 

01/30/2018 - 8:13am
Cover to The Princess Diarist

Did you keep a diary as a teenager? I did, and I remember it being an absolute roller coaster between exhilaration and despair. And glitter ink. Lots and lots of glitter ink! Luckily, my teenage diary did not survive to the 21st century. Carrie Fisher’s did, though. In 1976, she was just turning 19 and cast as Princess Leia in a low-budget movie called Star Wars. Her notebooks from that time—on and off-set—not only reveal a teenager with a crush on her co-star but an almost anthropological look back at a time long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Her teenage thoughts are even more poignant after her unexpected death last December.

This review was published in Sightlines, CRRL's Assistive Services newsletter.

01/12/2018 - 10:06am
5 Hot New Titles for February

Here are five popular adult titles that have hit the shelves for the month of February. To find more new titles, check out the booklist New February 2018 Books You'll Want to Read and our recent arrivals page.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, is an intense portrait of human frailty and resilience. 

Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed. For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates, and the family begins to fracture. Soon, the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in 18 hours of the night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. (catalog summary)
 

12/18/2017 - 11:53am
2018 Great Lives Lecture Series

The William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series returns to the University of Mary Washington in 2018 with a fabulous lineup. The popular lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall and are free and open to the public. For more information about each lecture and presenter, see the full schedule here.

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