Sunday, July 24, 2016

Naomi Novak’s Temeraire series

Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series

The historical ‘what if?’  has long been one of the more fascinating questions : Victor Milan look at what if dinosaurs were still around in the 14th century, Marie Brennan looks at what if dragons were a part of nature, Eric Flint looks at what if a 21st century West Virginia mining town was dropped it into 1632 Germany. These types of fiction let the writer mix their imaginations with (hopefully) well researched fact.

Naomi Novik looks at the Napoleonic wars if dragons were not only used, but were intelligent, speaking creatures. We follow Captain William Laurence of the HMS Reliant as he is forced from the Navy due to circumstances. While capturing a French frigate, he finds himself bound for life to Temeraire, an exceptionally intelligent dragon, and thus committed to a lifetime service in the Aviator’s Corps. The story follows the intrepid duo through battles, politicking, storms, revolts, and plague all throughout the world as they try to thwart the forces of Napoleon.

Naturally, this is primarily an adventure series, but it is obvious that Novik's imagination is only equaled by her research into the time period. Little details really bring the world together and provide and excellent backdrop for the story. Also, while it would be easy to simply write a long string of battles with dragons, the Temeraire series also brings in politics, cultural differences, class differences, philosophy, and many other fascinating elements that serve to add depth to both the characters and the story. 

The audio versions of the Temeraire series are read by Simon Vance and are most excellent to listen to during the day. Vance does an admirable job giving life to so many characters from so many different countries.

I would highly recommend both the audio and the print version for anyone that is a fan of ‘what ifs’, dragons, Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander, and Horatio Hornblower.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Audiobooks You Will Love!

I have been converted. I admit I am now an audiobook lover. It was not always like that and usually, I still prefer a 'good old fashioned book' in my hands to an e-book or an audiobook, but lately I have found fantastic narrators who make listening an auditory pleasure. I especially enjoy listening to multi-voiced audiobooks.  

So if you love listening to a great are sure to enjoy these books. If you have never listened to an audiobook give it a try.   For added incentive here are a few activities you can do while listening to a book: exercise, cook, bake, garden, write thank-you cards or even housework. Just think you can get work done while hearing a fantastic book! Life doesn't get much better than that, well if you were listening to a book, while sitting on the beach...that would be heaven. I can see it now.  The sun, the waves and a beautiful story.. pure unadulterated bliss.

Audie Award Winners That I LOVE! 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (multi-voiced edition) 
2015 Audie Award Winner: Multi-Voiced Performance and 
2015 Winner Distinguished Achievement in Production

I've listened to both the multi-voiced edition and the one read by Neil Gaiman himself. I enjoyed them both, but the multi-voiced version is fantastic! 
Nobody "Bod" Owens is an orphan and is adopted and raised by ghosts in the graveyard where he crawled to safety after his parents were murdered. This is an enchanting tale that you won't want to stop listening too. 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
2016 Audie Award Winner: Multi-Voiced Performance

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents, including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews and more...Illuminae is the first book in a heart stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth and the courage of everyday heroes. Beautifully voiced.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle Read by Simon Vance
2014 Audie Award Winner: Classics

Classic Sherlock Holmes made exceptional by an amazing narrator.

Mandela: An Audio History available on Hoopla (translation this book is always available, there's no waiting to listen)
2015 Audie Award Winner: Audiobook of the Year 

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr  
2015 Audie Award Winner: Fiction

The Boys In the Boat by Daniel James Brown
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
The Postmistress by Sara Blake
The Roundhouse by Louise Erdich

If you have an audiobook that you love.....PLEASE do not keep us in suspense. Please tell us (or at least me) what it is... I promise I'll give it a try.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Listen Up! Some Great Audio Books for Adults and Teens

This month the library is highlighting our Audio collection--and what a collection it is.  Books on CD, books on Playaway, and digital audios--the choices are endless.  I listen to a lot of audio books and I have discovered that some of my favorite titles are from the Young Adult section.  I discovered the Harry Potter series, devoured the Hunger Games trilogy and enjoyed many others.  The following list contains just a few of my absolute favorites.  So try one or two or all eight and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi--Printz Award Winner--In a Gulf Coast shanty town 100 years in the future, where grounded tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota—and hopefully live to see another day. But when he discovers a clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life.
The companion novel is The Drowned Cities.

Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn by Catherine Friend--Golden Crown Literary Award Winner--This is a hilarious tale of Catherine and Melissa’s trials of getting back to the land.” It is also a coming-of (middle)-age story of a woman trying to cross the divide between who she is and who she wants to be, and the story of a couple who say goodbye city life” and learn more than they ever bargained for about love, land, and yes, sheep sex.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon--Rita Award Winner--The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles and suddenly she is in a Scotland torn by war in the year 1743.  Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two conflicting lives. Followed by Dragonfly in Amber and six others and they are all read by the fantastic Davina Porter.

The Middle of Somewhere by Clifford Henderson--Foreword Reviews' 2009 INDIEFAB Book of the Year--Start with one independent, urban lesbian who cashes out her life in San Francisco for a second-hand travel trailer and sets off to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in search of a new life.  Add to this a broken-down ’66 T-bird, a bunch of small-town Texas Baptists, a ton of fried food, and a church scandal and what you get is Eadie T. Pratt’s road trip gone awry.  Funny with great characters!

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck--Newbery Honor Book--What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice--two city slickers from Chicago--make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town?  They help Grandma to trespass, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry--all in one day.  And there's more--much more--as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma's, each one funnier and more surprising than the year before. Richard Peck has created a memorable world filled with characters who, like Grandma herself, are larger than life and twice as entertaining.  
Followed by A Year Down Yonder (Newbery Medal Winner) and A Season of Gifts.  These are great for the whole family!!!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein--Edgar Award Winner and Printz Honor Book--In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.  Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.  
The companion novel is Rose Under Fire (Golden Kite Award Honor Book and Audie Award Finalist) and it is just as wonderful if not better.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld--Aurealis Award Winner and Locus Award Winner--In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.  With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever. 
Followed by Behemoth and Goliath and all are read by the superb Alan Cumming!

Blood Red Road by Moira Young--Costa Children's Book Award Winner--Scavenging from landfills to survive in her post-apocalyptic world, Saba embarks on a quest to rescue her abducted twin brother. What Saba learns is that she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent and that she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil and a gang of girl revolutionaries, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.  
Followed by Rebel Heart and Raging Star and all are read by the wonderful Heather Lind.

Also, anything written by Jon Katz, Bill Bryson, or Terry Brooks are fantastic too!   
Please let me know your favorite audio or narrator!  I am always looking for new books!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July's In the Queue

Don't let summer woes get you down. Instead enjoy a great adventure from July's Get In The Queue!

The Light of Paris by Elizabeth Brown
Feeling panicked by her empty life and marriage to a controlling and critical husband, misfit Madeline discovers a revealing journal written by her grandmother during a romantic, literary and rebellious summer in Jazz Age Paris. This inspires Madeline to have a rebellious summer of her own.

Here Comes The Sun by Nicole Y. Dennis- Benn
In this radiant, highly anticipated debut, a cast of unforgettable women battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village.

The One Man by Andrew Gross
When A World War II physics professor with information vital to Allied forces is sent to a Nazi concentration camp, intelligence officer Nathan Blum is sent undercover to infiltrate Auschwitz and bring the professor to safety.

Make Me Love You by Johanna Lindsey
Lindsey delivers a sparkling, passionate tale of an earl's daughter who must convince a mysterious viscount to marry her and end his vendetta against her brother.

Daughters Of The Bride by Susan Mallery
With joy, love and a little trepidation Courtney, Sienna and Mallory invite you to the most emotional wedding of the year,...their mother's.

The Last One: A Novel by Alexandria Olivia
In Alexandria Olivia's thrilling psychological suspense debut, survival is the name of the game, as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself--one woman's mind and body are pushed to the limit.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Assigned to review an exclusive North Sea luxury cruise, travel journalist Lo Blacklock witnesses a woman being thrown overboard and is baffled when all the passengers remain unruffled and accounted for, a nightmare that unravels as Lo struggles to convince everyone on board that what she saw was real. 

New Books By Best Selling Authors

Sting by Sandra Brown
The Jealous Kind by James Lee Burke
Killer Look by Linda Fairstein
Deadly Fate by Heather Graham
Night and Day by Iris Johansen
Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber
Tuly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Bullseye by James Patterson
White Bone by Ridley Pearson
First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny


We're Still Right--And They're Still Wrong by James Carville
The prominent liberal campaign strategist argues that Democratic policies enacted by the Clinton administration and continued by President Obama have effectively sustained and salvaged the United State's economic well-being.

Freedom: My Book of Firsts by Jaycee Lee Dugard
This raw and inspiring book reminds readers that there is life after tragedy. Jaycee uses her own life story to show how each person holds the key to personal happiness, how to find it, and how to hold onto it.

I've Got Sand In All The Wrong Places by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
Lisa and Francesca are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen

The Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hard-core lady-types is, at first glance just a typical summer camp. However, our intrepid crew of the Roanoke cabin: Jo, April, Molly, Mal, & Ripley cannot seem to do anything remotely mundane. They have encounters with three-eyed wolves, raptors, a bear lady, mythological sampling rivalry, deadly puzzles,  and much more.

Stevenson does some excellent work with the writing, keeping the action coming, the puns hilarious, and the references odd all while constructing an energetic story with some great characters. Similarly, Allen nails the artwork, allowing each character’s personality to come through but still adding some wonderful exaggerations that beautifully support Stevenson’s writing.
In short, Lumberjanes is an Eisner Award winning riot of fun and craziness. 

Pretty much anyone that has ever gone to a summer camp or gone on crazy adventure with friend can relate to the shenanigans that the Lumberjanes get up to. Currently, the library has the first three volumes with the fourth on the way. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Great LGBT Books for Young Adults!

The month of June is LGBT Pride month which is a world wide celebration asserting that LGBT people should be proud of who they are and embraces diversity and the acceptance of all people.  It is especially poignant this year after the horrible shooting in Orlando. No matter who we are--we all deserve to be loved and to be safe from hate and violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the city of Orlando and all those affected by this senseless act.

Below are some of the best LGBT books for teens.  While entertaining, these books can also provide reassurance that you are not alone and reinforce that it’s okay to be different - -because we all are in our own individual way.

Fat Angie--e. E. Charlton-Trujillo
Angie is broken but hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain away. Having failed to kill herself, she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC--a girl who is 199% wow! A girl who never sees her as "Fat Angie" and who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. This is an appealing, darkly comic, anti-romantic romance.

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children--Kirstin Cronn-Mills
My birth name is Elizabeth, but I’m a guy. Gabe. My parents think I’ve gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I’m right. I’ve been a boy my whole life.  When you think about it, I’m like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side―not heard as often, but just as good.  It’s time to let my B side play.

If You Could Be Mine--Sara Farizan
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love--they could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed. So they carry on in secret. Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution but is saving their love worth sacrificing her true self?

George--Alex Ginio
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.  George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. 

None of the Above--I. W. Gregoria
Kristin Lattimer is homecoming queen, a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and is madly in love with her boyfriend. But then a visit to the doctor reveals that Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."  Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question.

The Porcupine of Truth--Bill Konigsberg
Carson is resigned to spending his summer in Montana, helping his mom take care of his dying father. Then he meets Aisha, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family and Pastor John, who's long, held a secret about Carson's missing grandfather. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson's dad and restore his fragmented family.

Two Boys Kissing--David Levithan
A 2014 Stonewall Honor Book:  Based on true events—two seventeen-year-olds are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. As the pair becomes increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived, they also become a focal point in the lives of other teens dealing with questions of love, identity, and belonging.

Not Otherwise Specified--Hannah Moskowitz
Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels that seem so important to everyone else in her small town.  Not gay enough for her ex-clique, not tiny and white enough for ballet, and not sick enough to look anorexic. Etta doesn’t fit anywhere—until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe--
Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Orphan Queen

What would you do if you were a six year old child, your homeland is invaded and your parents murdered? You are a princess and most of the nobility has been decimated. Do you seek revenge?  How can you? You are a child. 

This is Princess Wilhelmina's story, ten years have passed and now it is time to reclaim her throne and unite her people. She and several other noble children have hidden in plain sight, as refugees in the Indigo Kingdom's refugee camps. 

The Indigo Kingdom has banned the use of magic, even the use of a little magic to save yourself from discovery could cost you your life.  Princess Wilhelmina has magic; and tries her best not to use it, but sometimes it's difficult when your loved ones are in danger. 

The Orphan Queen written by Jodi Meadows is an epic fantasy filled with adventure, intrigue and betrayal. This story grabs you and keeps you turning pages and then when your done reading the first won't be able to wait to get the next book in the series, The Mirror King so you can learn what happens next. Readers who enjoyed Graceling or The Queen of the Tearling will love this story.