Reading Room Blog

01/20/2017 - 10:44am
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

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 Bad Beginning (Book One in A Series of Unfortunate Events): This series chronicles the unfortunate lives of the Baudelaire children: Violet, 14; Klaus, 12; and the infant, Sunny. In Bad Beginning, their parents and possessions perish in a fire, and the orphans must use their talents to survive as their lives move from one disastrous event to another. Surrounded by dim-witted though well-meaning adults, the Baudelaires find themselves in the care of their evil relative, Count Olaf, a disreputable actor whose main concern is getting his hands on the children's fortune. (Library Journal)

In January 2017, the movie and television internet streaming channel Netflix, released A Series of Unfortunate Events, an eight episode series developed by Mark Hudis and Barry Sonnenfeld. It stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, Malina Weissman as Violet Baudelaire, Louis Hynes as Klaus Baudelaire, K. Todd Freeman as Mr. Poe, and Presley Smith as Sunny Baudelaire. The first season follows the first four books in the series: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, and The Miserable Mill. The next season will continue with book five, The Austere Academy

01/18/2017 - 11:54am
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship. (catalog summary)

If you like A Man Called Ove, check out these other similar titles:
 


An Available Man
by Hilma Wolitzer
When sixty-two-year-old science teacher Edward Schuyler is widowed, he finds himself ambushed by female attention. Edward receives phone calls from widows seeking love, or at least lunch, while well-meaning friends try to set him up at dinner parties. Even an attractive married neighbor offers herself to him. The problem is that Edward doesn't feel available. He's still mourning his beloved wife, Bee, and prefers solitude and the familiar routine of work, gardening, and bird-watching. But then his stepchildren surprise him by placing a personal ad in The New York Review of Books on his behalf. (catalog summary)


 



Britt-Marie Was Here
by Fredrik Backman
Britt-Marie is a socially awkward, fussy busybody who is used to being organized. When she walks out on her cheating husband and gets a job as caretaker of the dilapidated recreation center in Borg, she is woefully unprepared for the changes. But as she takes on the task of leading the supremely untalented children's soccer team to victory, she just might find a place she belongs. (catalog summary)

 

01/18/2017 - 12:09am
Cover to The Book of Spice: From Anise to Zedoary

If you like a good cooking show—and a good story—dive into John O’Connell’s The Book of Spice for a lot of kitchen knowledge, delivered with an English accent. From his first try at tandoori chicken at a family picnic, Mr. O’Connell was hooked on the beautiful differences spices could make.

As seasoned cooks know, spice is very nice, and there are certainly more of them available now, both online and in the supermarket. Indeed, there are so many herbs, spices, and blends that it’s a daunting proposition to select one to try out. Surely it would be better if you understood not only their uses but also their fascinating histories.

01/18/2017 - 10:06am
If you like James Patterson's BookShots


BookShots by James Patterson: "Life moves fast—books should too." 

BookShots are paperbacks developed by notable author James Patterson that are 150 words or less. They are also cheap—five dollars, no more, no less. Not only do the BookShots feature Patterson's famous characters like Alex Cross and Michael Bennett, but they also feature other genres Patterson is known for as well. You can read on any electronic device as well.

Featured below are the BookShots we have, divided in genre form. All summaries are from JamesPatterson.com/bookshots
 


Steamy Romances



$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal Will you marry me for $10,000,000?
I am a creative, open-minded businessman with limited time and desire to play the field. This is a serious proposal. A mysterious billboard intrigues three single women in LA. But who is this Mr. Right? And is he the perfect match for the lucky winner?

 

 

01/12/2017 - 11:56am
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

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.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black "West Computing" group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. (catalog summary)
 

Have you read our Rappahannock Read, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly? If you have and you're looking for more titles like Hidden Figures, check these out! These selections include: history of the Space Race and women's achievements in science and other fields of STEM.

 

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel
As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons. Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a secret. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. Many became next-door neighbors and helped to raise each other's children by day, while going to glam parties at night. As their celebrity rose—and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives—they continued to rally together, and the wives have now been friends for more than fifty years. (catalog summary)


 

01/10/2017 - 12:04am
Cover to The Book That Matters Most

In The Book That Matters Most, Ava, a French professor at the local university, is blindsided when her husband announces he’s rekindled the flame with a lover of long ago. Yes, his job often dominated their free time, and, yes, their daughter had created stress by following a rocky path of drugs and unhealthy relationships, but Ava felt these obstacles were surmountable. She had been content in her marriage.

The shock and subsequent embarrassment of the betrayal prompts Ava to sequester herself. For years, her close friend Cate had unsuccessfully tried to recruit her to join the library’s book club. When another opening becomes available, Ava views the club as a quiet avenue to venture back into the world.

01/05/2017 - 3:19pm
The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding

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.
 

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
As Thaniel, a wych-hunter, and Cathaline, his friend and mentor, try to rid the alleys of London's Old Quarter of the terrible creatures that infest them, their lives become entwined with that of a woman who may be either mad or possessed. (catalog summary)
 

Looking for a spooky historical fiction? Look no further and check out these titles:

 

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
In post-World War I England, eleven-year-old Triss nearly drowns in a millpond known as "The Grimmer" and emerges with memory gaps, aware that something's terribly wrong, and to try to set things right, she must meet a twisted architect who has designs on her family. (catalog summary)


 



The Cure for Dreaming
by Cat Winters
In Portland, Oregon, in 1900, seventeen-year-old Olivia Mead, a suffragist, is hypnotized by the intriguing young Henri Reverie, who's paid by her father to make her more docile and womanly but who, instead, gives her the ability to see people's true natures, while she secretly continues fighting for women's rights. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/05/2017 - 1:20pm
Firmament by Tim Bowler

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.

Firmament by Tim Bowler
While struggling to cope with the death of his father, a gifted musician, fourteen-year-old Luke must deal with a dangerous bully, a lonely old woman, a blind young girl, his mother's romantic involvement, and his own musical talent. (catalog summary)
 

If you're looking for other titles involving music, check out some of these!

 


Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
High school senior Leo Caraway, a conservative Republican, learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend. (catalog summary)

 

 



Four Seasons by Jane Breskin Zalben
Over the course of a year, thirteen-year-old Allegra Katz, a student at the demanding Julliard School and the daughter of two musicians, tries to decide whether she wants to continue to pursue a career as a concert pianist or to do something else with her life. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/05/2017 - 11:52am
The Nobodies Album: A Novel by Carolyn Parkhurst

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.

The Nobodies Album: A Novel by Carolyn Parkhurst
On her way to deliver the manuscript to her editor, bestselling novelist Octavia Frost reads a news crawl in Times Square and learns that her rock-star son, Milo, has been arrested for murder. Though she and Milo haven't spoken in years—an estrangement stemming from their tragic past—she drops everything to go to him. (catalog summary)
 


The Boy on the Bus: A Novel
by Deborah Schupack
One afternoon, Vermont housewife Meg discovers that the boy on the school bus outside her door is almost, but not quite, her eight-year-old son, Charlie. Meg's panic recalls her aloof, restless husband from his job in Canada and her bratty, rebellious teenage daughter from boarding school, but neither they nor the local sheriff nor the family doctor can verify Charlie's authenticity. Unlike the old, asthmatic Charlie, who was both an emotional anchor and a ball-and-chain to Meg, the new Charlie is more mature, robust and adventurous, threatening to follow his father and sister out of the house, untether Meg from her caretaker role and force her to confront her own thwarted ambitions. (Publisher's Weekly)
 

 



Every Last One: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife of a doctor. Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount. And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed, Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence. (catalog summary)

 

 

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