Category Archives: Staff

What we’re reading – July 2016

What We're ReadingCheck out the list below of the books we’re reading here at the library.  Click the highlighted titles for a link to our catalog listing to reserve your copy.

Fans of audiobooks know that the reader matters. For J. Ryan Stradal’s novel Kitchens of the great Midwest, readers Amy Ryan and Michael Stuhlbarg raise the book from good to great! Stradal introduces Eva Thorvald, and her culinary journey from adolescent foodie to star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club. Eva’s story is told through the family, friends, and the wide variety of ingredients that have been a part of her life–from Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros. Image ofKitchens of the Great Midwest by StradalReaders Ryan and Stuhlbarg fully embrace the accents of the Midwest, creating a good story—wonderfully told. —  Janice

 

Pax by Sara  Pennypacker is a great childrens chapter book. Peter rescued a defenseless fox kit whom he named Pax.  The boy and Pax bonded and became inseparable. Then Peter’s father enlisted in the Military and Peter was forced to release Pax out into the woods far from home. Peter ‘s father dropped Peter off at his grandfather’s house to reside. Image of item Peter sneaks off to find his beloved pet, Pax.  Meanwhile, Pax is learning how to survive in wild. —  Lisa

 

 

 

 

 

Me Before You by Jojo MoyesMe before you by Jojo Moyes

Check out this modern classic in preparation for the upcoming movie. The story follows the unconventional love story of Will Traynor, former business whiz kid and London socialite, and his caregiver, Louisa. After suffering an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Will begins contemplating suicide. Is Louisa’s love and determination to see him live enough to change Will’s mind?

After You Jo Jo Moyes After youby Jojo Moyes —  The sequel to Me Before You picks up approximately 18 months after the end of the last book. This book follows Louisa as she tries to live the life Will challenged her to live, plan her future, and find peace with after the heartbreaking conclusion of Me Before You.  –Jennifer

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

Leave a Comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Authors, Books, Staff, What we're reading

Meet our pages

The library would grind to a halt without our two pages, Geraldine and Lucas.  These two put the books on our shelves, check in the materials that you’ve returned, and keep our collections neat and in order.  You probably haven’t met them when you’ve come up to the desk, since they’re often in the stacks shelving books.  That’s why we wanted to give you a chance to meet them on this blog, and tell you about the fantastic work they both do.

geraldine

Geraldine has worked as a page at the library for two years.  She is also a student at Skagit Valley College, where she is majoring in dental hygiene.  When she isn’t working or studying, she enjoys listening to music, drawing, hanging out with friends, and reading suspense (Stephen King is one of her favorites).  She likes working at the library because she finds everyone here — staff and patrons — very friendly and helpful.

 

lucas

 

Lucas is a junior at Burlington-Edison High School.  He is the library’s newest employee — he started as a page in July.  When he’s not at the library, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and being with his family.  Lucas describes himself as a huge Star Wars geek, so if you need to know anything about the Star Wars universe, Lucas can probably help you out.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

Leave a Comment

Filed under Staff

Overdue fees: be shameless.

Here’s a funny article about a book returned to the New York Public Library… 55 years overdue.  It was returned anonymously, which started me thinking about one of my pet peeves.

Why do some people have this weird shame around overdue books?   So often people approach the desk with this hangdog look on their faces.  “I think I have some overdue fines,” they mutter, a little embarrassed.

Well, stuff happens.  Bringing a library book back a couple of days late, on the scale of things that fill our lives?  It just can’t rate that high.
I think it bothers me because it harkens back to those days when (some) libraries were bastions of sternness and judgment… which can’t have been good for anyone’s reading life.
So listen, friends: overdue fines are just little reminders that the library wants its stuff back for someone else to use.   It doesn’t say anything about you except that, like everyone else in this culture, you’ve got too much on your plate.

55 years late?  Well, that might be a different story….

cb

—Mary Beth

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

Leave a Comment

Filed under Books, BPL services, Libraries, Staff

To shush or not to shush

Salon.com recently posted an interesting article highlighting an issue all libraries face:  preserve a space of silence in this mad world, or welcome people and children with all their voices, laughs, and digital bells and whistles?

In a recent study asking people to rate what’s most important about libraries, respondents rated “quiet study spaces” just one percentage point below “free internet access.”  That’s a surprising piece of data to me.

At our library, we try to do both: provide quiet study rooms and computer lab, and allow people to be more relaxed in the main part of the library (as long as they aren’t disturbing others).

So what do you think?   Is it more important to be welcoming and allow talking, working together, reading stories aloud, etc., or to be more strict about keeping the library quiet?  To shush or not to shush: tell us what you think in the comments, below.

–Mary Beth

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

2 Comments

Filed under Libraries, Staff

What we’re reading

From an unconventional cookbook to an updated classic—and lots in between—here’s what the Burlington Library staff is reading:

Karen: An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler is a meditation on cooking and eating that weaves philosophy and instruction into approachable lessons on feeding ourselves well. Tamar explains what cooks in the world’s great kitchens know: that the best meals rely on the ends of the meals that came before them–we can start cooking from wherever we are, with whatever we have.

Maggie: The 10th Anniversary Edition of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The intriguing premise of Gaiman’s tale is that the gods of European yore, who came to North America with their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new indigenous deities: “gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon.” They all walk around disguised as ordinary people, which causes no end of trouble for 32-year-old protagonist Shadow Moon, who must reevaluate his own deeply held beliefs in order to determine his crucial role in the final showdown.

Rachel: I am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, is number four in the series featuring eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce—a young sleuth with a passion for chemistry. When a film crew arrives at the de Luces’ decaying English estate to shoot a movie starring the famed actress Phyllis Wyvern, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers to watch her perform. But nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film.

Mary Beth: Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry is another story of Port William, the community whose life Berry has told over the course of a half dozen novels. Jayber is lately returned to the town, and his status as barber and bachelor places him simultaneously at its center and on its margins. A born observer, he hears much, watches carefully, and spends 50 years learning the community’s citizens—then tenderly tells their stories.

Sarah: Every Day by David Levithan is the story of A, teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life—with no warning about who or where it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment on, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Janet: Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae is the first book in the Home Crafting Mysteries series. Set in the Pacific Northwest, each book in the series features an activity like soap making, food preservation, spinning, cheese making, or mead making. In this first installment, we’re introduced to amateur sleuth Sophie Mae Reynolds, who works hard; likes single-malt Scotch; and lives with her best friend, her best friend’s ten-year-old daughter, and a snarky old Corgi.

Janice: The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey updates Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, changing the setting to Scotland and the Orkneys during the 1950s and ’60s, but taking care to retain the elements of this classic story that so resonate with readers: a resourceful orphan makes her way in an uncaring world and not only endures but also triumphs.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

Leave a Comment

Filed under Books, Libraries, Staff, What we're reading

It had a blue cover…

Not being able to remember the title of a book you love or need is a peculiar pain that we see often in the library.  “Ohhhhhhh,” they grimace.  “It was about this big… the cover was blue!”  Riiiiiiiight.

Sometimes we can coax enough details out of a person to guess the title, and have the great satisfaction of seeing their face clear as they say with relief, “That’s it!  You got it!”   That’s a lot of fun.

It doesn’t always work that way, though.  This must be a universal problem, because the New York Public Library blog has featured a number of online resources with which to tackle a knotty “what was the title” dilemma.   Take a look… but always remember to try your local librarian first!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

Leave a Comment

Filed under Books, Internet, Reading, Staff

What we’re reading (and watching)

Over the next several weeks I’m going to share What We’re Reading (and Watching), books, audiobooks, and even DVD recommendations from the library staff.

Mary Beth raved about A Small Act, a new DVD in our collection. This documentary illustrates the  truly interconnected world in which we live, and is a testament to the powerful, rippling effects that one single action can generate. Watch this trailer to see what it’s all about.

Eileen recommended the DVD series, Lark Rise to Candleford for anyone who is suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal. This BBC series is an adaptation of Flora Thompson’s memoir of her Oxfordshire childhood, set in the small hamlet of Lark Rise and the wealthier neighbouring market town, Candleford, at the end of the 19th Century. Here’s a link to the BBC website for more info. Thompson’s memoir is also in the library’s collection.

Keep reading–and watching,

~Janice

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

Leave a Comment

Filed under Books, Staff, What we're reading

What we’re reading

We had our monthly staff meeting this morning, so it’s time once again for a “what we’re reading” post.

Sarah:  In Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake, Theseus Cassio Lowood–the son of a white witch and a ghost killer–has inherited his father’s knife, and his talent for dispatching vengeful spirits. Now Theseus and his mother travel around helping restless spirits that need help moving on. This Teen novel blends horror and romance in an exciting and witty gothic ghost story.

Eileen: The outside boy, a novel by Jeanine Cummins, tells the story of young Christy Hurley, a Pavee gypsy traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. But when Christy’s grandfather dies, his father decides to settle down temporarily in a town where Christy and his cousin can attend mass and receive proper schooling–but they are still treated as outsiders.

Nallely: Lucky: a memoir by Alice Sebold. Sebold was raped as a college freshman, but the police said she was “lucky.” At least she wasn’t murdered and dismembered like the girl before her. Here Sebold details the aftermath–posttraumatic stress syndrome, heroin addiction, and, finally, some measure of understanding. Sebold is also the author of the best-selling book The lovely bones.

Janice: In The language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Victoria Jones has grown up in a string of bad foster homes, except for the one year she spent with Elizabeth, a vineyard owner who taught her the meaning of flowers. The novel alternates between Victoria’s brief time with Elizabeth and her unsteady attempt to face life as an adult, weaving the two narratives together using the Victorian language of flowers–a language that ultimately helps shape Victoria’s future as she grapples with her painful past.

MaryBeth: The information diet: a case for conscious consumption by Clay A. Johnson has plenty of thought provoking ideas and concepts to ruminate over, suggesting that we are being overrun by information options and increasingly need all the help we can get to get our time back under control.

Janet: In The cinnamon roll murder by Joanne Fluke, Lake Eden’s spring jazz festival is off to a rocky start when the headliner act’s tour bus overturns–killing a musician.  Series sleuth Hannah Swenson thinks there’s something suspicious about the accident. This title is #15 in the series, and as always, there are tasty recipes included.

Maggie: The scorpio races by Maggie Stiefvater is inspired by Manx, Irish, and Scottish legends of beautiful but deadly fairy horses that emerge from the sea each autumn. In this year’s Scorpio Race, Kate and Sean are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff–with more than just their lives at stake should they lose. This book appeals to lovers of fantasy, horse stories, romance, and action-adventure alike.

Lisa: The death cure by James Dashner–the conclusion to The Maze Runner trilogy–finally addresses the truth behind WICKED–the organization that basically subjects teen “lab rats” to torture and slaughter in order to map their brains for a cure to a worldwide virus that is turning people into psychopathic lunatics. Described as “gruesome” and “heart pounding to the very last moment,” this series may be a good choice for fans of The Hunger Games trilogy.

What are you reading?

Karen: In The tower, the zoo, and the tortoise by Julia Stuart, a Beefeater, his wife, and their tortoise live in the Tower of London–a fortress that is as full of intrigue as ever. Passion, desperation, and romantic shenanigans abound in this story of love, loss, and a one-hundred-eighty-one-year-old pet.

Rachel: Deadly daggers by Joyce and Jim Lavene is the third title in the Renaissance Faire Mystery series featuring Jessie Morton, a USC doctoral candidate who studies medieval crafts every summer at Columbia, South Carolina’s Renaissance Faire Village. Jessie’s latest apprenticeship is in service to Daisy, the master swordsmith. But when a professional dueler–and Daisy’s former flame–is murdered, it’s up to Jessie to keep a sharp eye out for the killer.

So that’s an account of what’s on our nightstand, beside our most comfortable chair, or ready to go out the door along with our lunchbag. Relpy and let us know what you’re reading.
~
Janice

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Reading, Staff, What we're reading

What we’re reading

We ended our monthly staff meeting on Tuesday with a round of book sharing, so it’s time for another “what we’re reading” post.

Rachel: Snake dreamer by Priscilla Galloway revisits the Greek myth of Medusa, the Gorgon with the head of snakes, in a page-turning, occasionally convoluted, contemporary fantasy.
Mary Beth: British nobleman John Grey and highland heartthrob Jamie Fraser share equal time in The Scottish prisoner by Diana Gabaldon, the third installment in the Lord John series.
Karen: Man in the woods by Scott Spencer. A man, a woman, a child, and an unforgettable dog combine forces in this gripping and surprising psychological thriller. Provenance: how a con man and a forger rewrote the history of modern art by Laney Salisbury reads like a well-plotted thriller, but is the true account of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate cons in the history of art forgery. (Both on order.)
Maggie: The forever war by Joe W. Haldeman–one of the most influential war novels of our time–tells the timeless story of war, in this case a science-fictional conflict between humanity and the alien Taurans.
Lisa: Dead end in Norvelt by Jack Gantos melds the entirely true and the wildly fictional in a story about a kid whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he’s “grounded for life” by his feuding parents; the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year’s best contribution to children’s literature and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction!
Eileen: The brothers K by David James Duncan is a complex tapestry of family tensions, baseball, politics and religion, by turns hilariously funny and agonizingly sad.
Janet: The deception at Lyme: or, the peril of Persuasion by Carrie Bebris–the sixth entry in the delightful mystery series featuring the beloved Darcy duo from Pride and Prejudice–embroils the couple in two mysteries involving characters from Austen’s last novel, Persuasion.
Sarah: Daughter of smoke & bone by Laini Taylor. A Prague art student who was raised by demons, 17-year-old Karou has many questions about her past in this romantic, action-filled fantasy.
Janice: The postmistress by Sarah Blake weaves together the story of three very different women–loosely tied to each other–and takes readers back and forth between small town America and war-torn Europe in 1940.

So that’s an account of what’s on our nightstand, beside our most comfortable chair, or ready to go out the door along with our lunchbag. Reply and let us know what you’re reading.

Janice

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Reading, Staff

What we’re reading

At our monthly staff meeting yesterday morning I asked each staff member to share “what they’re reading” right now– here’s the list. You can see, we’re a pretty varied bunch, as far as our literary tastes go. Hopefully this variety will give you an idea for your next good read.

Sarah Lunde: The girl of fire and thorns by Rae Carson. This first book in a medieval fantasy trilogy follows the adventures of 16-year-old Princess Elisa.

Angelica Ascencio: There’s something about Christmas by Debbie Macomber. A small-town Washington news reporter learns to love fruitcake in this take on A Christmas Carol.

Karen Prasse: The shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains by Nicholas G. Carr. As the Internet causes us to become ever more adept at scanning and skimming, are we losing our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection?

Lisa Anderson: Halt’s peril by John Flanagan. Book number nine in the Ranger’s Apprentice series finds Halt, Will, and Horace back on the trail of the same vicious, thieving outlaws.

Cherí Torrence: Stardust by Neil Gaiman. A charming fairy tale in the tradition of The princess bride and The neverending story.

Rachel Gage: Thereby hangs a tale: a Chet and Bernie mystery by Spencer Quinn. Number two in the mystery series narrated by Chet, a 100-pound crime-fighting canine.

Janet Royer: Wesley the owl: the remarkable story of an owl and his girl by Stacey O’Brien. Biologist and owl expert O’Brien chronicles her rescue of an abandoned baby barn owl–and their astonishing and unprecedented 19-year life together.

Mary Beth Conlee: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. A timely portrait that pulls no punches, and gives insight into a man whose contradictions were in many ways his greatest strength.

Janice Burwash: The discovery of witches by Deborah E. Harkness. witches, vampires, and demons outnumber humans at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, where witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont: Harry Potter + Twilight for grown-ups. Number two in the series is set to come out in July.

Maggie Buckholz: Blood Red Road by Moira Young. In a distant future, when eighteen-year-old Lugh is kidnapped, his twin sister Saba trails him across bleak Sandsea. A possible “read-alike” for fans of The hunger games. (On order for our Teen collection.)

Eileen Barnes: The river why by David James Duncan. First published more than two decades ago, this classic has become on of the most widely read fiction titles about fly-fishing. (Not in our collection, but available from several of our “reciprocal borrowing” partners.)

So there you have it, we’re reading a mix of fiction, non-fiction, children’s, Teen, and adult titles. What are you reading?

~Janice

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
rss

Leave a Comment

Filed under Books, Reading, Staff, What we're reading