Click on the book covers below for more information on the book!
Check 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.
Karen: Too High & Too Steep – Reshaping Seattle’s Topography by David B. Williams. If you’ve been following the Big Bertha rotary tunneling machine story in Seattle you might be interested in some of the historical changes Seattle has made to make the hills and tideflats of Elliot Bay more habitable for commerce.
Millissa : The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King – This is the new title in King’s series that began with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. The series tells Sherlock Holmes story after he retires to the countryside and pairs up with his young, inquisitive neighbor Mary Russell. The two have been through a lot in the series. In this book, they untangle Mrs. Hudson’s past and solve one of Holmes’ earlier cases.
Janice: Being mortal: medicine and what matters in the end by Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande is a surgeon, Harvard Medical School professor, public health researcher, and has been named one of the world’s hundred most influential thinkers. In the face of our inevitable end-of-life choices, Gawande offers compassionate answers to questions about what makes life worth living.
Janice: The secret wisdom of the earth by Christopher Scotton
Set in the coal country of Appalachia, Scotton has written a novel of both human cruelty and human compassion. This is character driven story, which will bring to mind Harper Lee’s classic novel, To kill a mocking bird—and in my opinion that’s not a bad thing.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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?