Sunday, May 1, 2016

May's In the Queue


It's time to relax and enjoy this beautiful weather (Ok, I know it is probably raining now, but beautiful weather is just around the corner). In either case there is no better time than to enjoy a fantastic new novel. Listed below are some titles you won't want to miss! 

Fiction

Boar Island  by Nevada Barr
Boar Island is a brilliant intertwining of past and present, of victims and killers, in a compelling novel that only Nevada Barr can write.

Larose by Louise Erdrich
LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling new novel from one of America's literary masters.

The Fireman: A Novel by Joe Hill
In Hill's supernatural thriller the world is infected with a virus which causes people to combust. The Fireman strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman who has learned to control the fire within himself and uses it as a shield to protect the hunted and as weapon to avenge the wronged. 

All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank
This sensational novel follows the travels of one couple through their tumultuous summer.

Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica
Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
This debut novel is a nonstop thriller. Jenna Gray moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays repeatedly in her mind. Desperate to heal from the loss of her child and her painful past, while the police search for clues but keep hitting dead ends.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Patrick Phaedra
A lovable widower embarks on a curiously charming and poignant life changing adventure when he finds his deceased wife's charm bracelet. He never knew his wife owned a charm bracelet and the charms are from across the globe.  He decides to visit each destination and as he does he learns things he never knew about his beloved wife.

New Books by Best Selling Authors

Tom Clancy Duty and Honor by Grant Blackwood
The Cavendon Luck by Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand
End of Watch: A Novel by Stephen King
The House of Secrets by Brad Meltzer
The Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
Beyond the Ice Limit by Douglas J. Preston
The Apartment: A Novel by Danielle Steel
The Island House by Nancy Thayer


Non-Fiction

The View From the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman
An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics--from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories.

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
Sebastian Junger takes a critical look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the many challenges today's returning veterans face in modern society.

Paul McCartney: The Life by Phillip Norman
This is the first definitive account of Paul's often troubles partnership with John Lennon, his personal trauma after the Beatles' breakup, and his subsequent struggle to get back to the top with wings--which nearly got him murdered in Africa and brought him nine days in a Tokyo jail.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Comic Book Story of Beer


The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution

It is nice when a title so accurately portrays the contents of a book and the Comic Book Story of Beer does exactly that. Similar to history books on salt, pepper, money, houses, and even cod fish the team of  Hennessey, Smith, McConnell, and Orzechowski explore the history of the world through the lens of beer. From how beer and the development of agriculture are interlinked to the types of beers that were developed as major historical events occurred. As history progresses the reader also picks up the origin and meaning of terms like gravity and laagering in addition to learning the basics of many different styles of beer. The history is told with a unique and engaging voice with excellent supporting and dynamic artwork.


The proliferation of craft beers, especially in Dayton Ohio, is so chock full of terms and varieties that can be off-putting to the casually curious and hard-core examiners alike. Even if you do not want to read the full history of beer, it is interesting to just flip to your preferred style and read about its details and history. Now, this information could be put in a very dry chart, but each style is delivered in a unique chart (with food pairing recommendations) and an accompanying origin story.

In all, this is an excellent non-fiction graphic novel, both for its content and for the artwork. Definitely for fans of comics or those who like a good pint, or both! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Great "New Adult" Fiction Novels


If you enjoy reading new adult (NA) fiction you have to try these novels. New Adult fiction features protagonists who are between the ages of 18 and 30. The novels explore young adults firsts which may include moving out, going to college, their first romance or joining the military. No matter which situation is being explored there is usually a romance tied in.

Note some NA fiction novels are very explicit. Not all NA novels are filled with sexually explicit scenes but several are. I encourage readers to think of New Adult Fiction as adult novels with strong crossover appeal for older young adults. 

NA Fantasy

Cursed by Jennifer Armentrout
This is a paranormal mystery, romance and suspense filled New Adult fiction novel. Ember Williams has the touch of death. After her father is killed in a car accident her sister, Olivia brings Ember back to life. When life begins to spin out of control Olivia and Ember are coerced into moving to a new town, new school and new home. 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow is a commoner until she finds latent magic within her. It leads her into the dangerous territory--the King's Palace. Here she must learn to trust a prince, but which one will she choose.

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Magic, adventure mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother's throne, learn to be a ruler and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress who is determined to destroy her.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara Maas
When Huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature demands retribution. He takes Feyre to Faery where she learns her abductor is one of the ancient fae. As her hostility transforms to caring Feyre finds an ancient evil shadow, and if she cannot stop it Tamlin, her abductor and his world are doomed forever. 

NA Romance

Confess by Colleen Hoover
Auburn Reed fell in love at 15. Her boyfriend died after a long illness and his family sent her away not believing she truly loved him. However she has living proof of their love and she'll do anything to hold onto it.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy
This is a refreshing, romantic hilarious story of unexpected love. Hannah needs to make her crush jealous. Garrett needs to raise his GPA. He gets a tutor and she gets a date, until an unexpected kiss makes Garrett think of forever. Now he has to convince Hannah. 

Deep by Kylie Scott
Readers who enjoy whirlwind romances with plenty of sex and laugh out loud humor will love this contemporary romance.

Capture by Rachel Van Dyken
Losing your ability to speak at seventeen is not fair.  Dani's new normal is being a mute, who lives on the inside and is unable to actually communicate verbally with others.  After the accident she also lost all her high school friends. Life is good just lonely, until Lincoln Green hires her. He's gorgeous, completely unavailable and unobtainable. But that doesn't stop her from wondering...if things were different..would he want her?

If you would like to find more NA fiction novels visit Washington-Centerville Public Library and check out our New Adult Fiction Booklist.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Poets of World War I--Volume I


Last month the library highlighted our Graphic Novel collection and staff was encouraged to try a new or interesting comic to broaden our reading skills. I came across some historical titles about World War One and read several.  These really opened my eyes to a world-wide conflict that I wasn't very familiar with and also introduced me to a new kind of graphic novel (new to me at least).  One book takes poems from WWI poets and has different comic authors and artists interpret these poems in their own way.  I was hooked!  So, I started reading everything I could get my hands on about World War One poets and this is what I came up with.  The following are graphic novels about WWI and WWI poetry so check them out.  If you are interested further, then read the biographies of some well known poets that follow.  


Charley's War: 2 June 1916-1 August 1916--Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun

The Harlem Hellfighters--Max Brooks and Caanan White


Snoopy vs the Red Baron--Charles M. Schulz

Next month we will highlight books about the poets and their poetry.


Vera Brittain, 1893-1970--born in Newcastle under Lyme, England she served as a nurse in England, France, and Malta.  Her Testament of Youth is one of the outstanding biographies of the War.  She was a pacifist and feminist and lectured prolifically in Britain, Canada, and the United States.



Rupert C. Brooke, 1887-1915--was a Georgian poet born at Rugby, England.  He joined the Navy and died of blood poisoning after a mosquito bite, on his way to Gallipoli.  He is buried on the Greek Island of Skyros.



Eleanor Farjeon, 1881-1965--she was born in London and was a well known author of children's stories.  She was close friends with Helen and Edward Thomas.  Her poem Now That You, Too is about saying goodbye to Edward for the last time.



Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, 1878-1962--a Georgian poet, he is associated with the War but never served abroad.  His poems are told from the viewpoint of ordinary soldiers and their experiences.  He was also a playwright.



Robert Von Ranke Graves, 1895-1985--born in London, his mother was German.  He was friends with Sassoon, Nichols, and Owen and enlisted at age 19.  He was invalided out of the front with major lung injuries and shell shock.  He was an Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1961-1966.



Julian Grenfell, 1888-1915--born in London, he joined the Army in 1910.  His poem Into Battle is said to be the most anthologized of WWI.  He died of shrapnel wounds and his poem and death notice were published one day apart.



Ivor Gurney, 1890-1937--born in Gloucester, England, he was a poet and composer before the War.  He volunteered and was gassed, wounded and returned to Britain.  He suffered from mental illness but continued to write poetry even after he was committed.  He died of tuberculosis at age 47.



Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928--born at Higher-Bockhampton, England, he is best known as a classical novelist.  His war poems had a profound influence on other war poets such as Sassoon.  He was a staunch supporter of the War until it was over.


Rudyard and Jack Kipling
Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936--born in Bombay, this Nobel Prize winner is best known for his children's literature.  He favored re-armament before the War but was devastated when his only son Jack, was killed in the Battle of the Loos, in September 1915.















Sunday, April 10, 2016

Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind


The first time I read Supernatural:Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind by Graham Hancock, my mind was sufficiently blown by the theories he put forth. That was several years ago. I decided to dust off my copy and read it again, and yep, you guessed it: mind blown all over again. This is an amazing book, and even if you don’t believe a word of it, I guarantee it'll make your head spin. Heck, you might even find yourself questioning the very nature of reality. 
Hancock begins by stating that even though humans had achieved “full anatomical modernity” by 196,000 years ago, they displayed no evidence of symbolic thought until 100,000 years ago. What caused this symbolic revolution? What caused “humans with identical brains, looks, and genes to ours” to exist in a symbolic and artistic vacuum for roughly 100,000 years before rather quickly becoming “innovative and artistic, symbolic and cultured, religious and self-aware?” Hancock’s theory? In a nutshell: hallucinations. Specifically, “the first notions of the existence of supernatural realms and beings, the first ‘religious’ ideas about them, the first art representing them, and the first mythologies concerning them, were all derived from the experiences of hallucinating shamans.” Interesting theory, and one with which growing numbers of scholars around the world concur, but Hancock takes the theory further. What if the hallucinations our ancestors experienced weren’t just “silly illusions” of nonexistent places and beings, but were in fact visions of other dimensions that were, and are, every bit as real as the material world around them? Hancock’s investigations take him into the mysterious world of shamanism and put him on the path to meet these ancient teachers of mankind face-to-face.  
Supernatural is a trip (pun definitely intended) in and of itself! The information Hancock reveals through his extensive research is simply fascinating as biology, anthropology, folklore, and more converge to create a provocative page-turner unlike anything you’ve probably ever read before. Hancock’s ideas are certainly persuasive, but are they believable? I’ve been reading him for a while, so I’m a fan, but I’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions.  

Friday, April 1, 2016

Thor: The Goddess of Thunder

One hangover from the month of March! During March, we encouraged everyone to check out our graphic novel collection. We have titles for kids, teens, and adults—something for everyone. To do our part, Fine Print writers reviewed their favorites all through March. We hope you enjoy our selections and come see more of what your Library has to offer.
You might have noticed a fascinating shift in the comic world. The male-centric paradigm of classic superheroes is shifting. We've had female characters redrawn and rewritten into less busty, more realistic women. One example is Batgirl #35, which introduces the revamp of Barbara Gordon into a hipper, yellow Doc Marten wearing heroine--definitely worth checking out. The attempt to reduce some of the oversexualization of female characters and invite a bit more gender equality has been a theme with major comic publishers over the past few years. I've always been a fan of comics even with the stereotypes, throbbing muscles, and giant busts, but this is a welcome change.
I recently reviewed Thor: The Goddess of Thunder. The Thor we know, now known as Odinson, has found himself unworthy of wielding Mjolnir, the mystical hammer. In his stead, a mysterious woman, picks up the hammer and becomes Thor. Writer, Jason Aaron, gave several interviews prior to the release of the comic to explain the concept of Thor and how a woman could step into these shoes. We aren't to look at Thor as suddenly being transformed into a woman, but instead, this new female character has embodied the powers of Thor. Several characters in the past have also wielded Thor's hammer, but a detailed story of a woman assuming these powers is a new concept. Aaron wanted to make it clear that this is a new Thor, not a female version of the old guy.
If you are looking for a strong female character, Thor is your lady. She doesn't embody the male stereotypes that many worried would just be saddled on a female character. She enjoys the power, she connects with other women, and she's likeable. She is our feminist superhero--well, one of them. You might also want to read up on Captain Marvel who is equally as cool, in my opinion.
If you're looking for some other feminist comic reads, checkout this reading list for ideas. Chances our, these gems are in our Graphic Novel Collection just waiting for you to check them out.


April's In the Queue


Look for some great new beginnings in this month's In the Queue!

Fiction

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley
This is a fast paced debut novel. Sid convinces her sister to reconnect through old-fashioned letters instead of social media. Both sisters tell intimate details about their lives and when their private correspondence finds its way onto the internet and goes viral, all their secrets are exposed.

The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan
Donovan's delightful debut explores the plight of two strangers brought together by an unusual proposition. If they spend 2 hours a week together for a year, they will each receive $500,000.
This dramatic sequel to the Kitchen House combines a fast-paced rescue mission and a journey towards self-acceptance for James Burton. If you read the Kitchen House you'll know this is Belle's son.

The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King
Sherlock Holmes is back, but is Mary Russell? When the novel opens, the shabby carpet of 221 B Baker Street is drenched in blood--and no one knows the fate of Mary Russell.

Best of My Love by Susan Mallery
Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend--a  male friend to convince herself that men can be trusted. Aidan Mitchell agrees to try Shelby's boy/girl experiment after he realizes he is the town's one night Casanova. Their friendship is put to the test when the Fool's Gold rumor mill heats up.

Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick
Calista operates an exclusive matchmaking service for nobles in Victorian London when she is stalked by a dangerously obsessed individual she turns to a reclusive author for help. 


Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen's beloved tale. Sittenfeld tackles gender, class, courtship, and family, and shows why she is a beloved author.

Best Sellers
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
The Emperor's Revenge by Clive Cussler
Night Shift by Charlaine Harris
Troublemaker by Linda Howard
Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
Fast and Loose by Fern Michaels
15th Affair by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Nonfiction
This book both sounds the alarm on our worldwide sleep crisis and provides a detailed road map to the great sleep awakening that can help transform our lives, our communities, and our world.
McBride's surprising journey illuminates not only our understanding of this immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated soul genius but the ways in which our cultural heritage has been shaped by James Brown's legacy.
Dream Home is a comprehensive source, covering the ins and outs of buying, selling, and renovating a house with hundreds of full-color photos throughout.