Librarians Read: We Regret to Inform You

It’s college acceptance day at Mischa’s elite school in Washington DC and everyone’s’ phones keep pinging with updates. Mischa’s first reply comes from Princeton, no. Then Harvard, no. Then her state school, no. Even her safety school just a short drive from her house, no. Mischa’s test scores were excellent, her transcript was near-perfect but now her future is falling apart and quickly. I really appreciated this teen book which dives right into college admission stress, with some side notes of parental expectations, relationships, computer hacking and entitlement. The high school characters all had plenty of zing and the plot moved quickly towards a solid conclusion with plenty of unexpected twists. Relevant.

Librarians Read: Giant Squid

Giant Squid is a wonderful and information-filled picture book by the award winning book creators Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann who we are delighted to welcome to AAS on September 24-26. Eric’s dark but vivid paintings capture the world of the deep sea with drama and mystery and Candace’s poetic text bring a whole additional layer of enjoyment to this work. I hope that the duo explore more books that similarly embrace their skills in art, information and language use. This is a real beauty from our PB section. (Picture Books)

Librarians Read: Ash Princess

Looking for a good new YA fantasy novel? I really enjoyed this story of a hostage princess slowly finding her identity as a queen. Many of the plot points were predictable but regardless it absolutely kept my attention and I stayed up late to read more of Theodosia’s story.

There are so many gems in the Secondary Fantasy section. Ask any library staff member to show you the way.

Librarians Read: Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries book 2)

I loved this short and wonderful sci-fi book about security bot Eden’s search for answers to a tragedy from the past. The analysis of human nature is on point and the futurist view of the world is fascinating.

We also have book 1 in this series and other fabulous titles in the growing Science Fiction section. Ask any library staff member to show you the right location.

Librarians Read: Some Great Historical Literature

 

Are you fan of beautifully written historical books? The library has quite a few to choose from. Two new ones that I’ve enjoyed reading recently are Fruit of the Drunken Tree and The Great Believers. The first takes place in Bogota, Colombia during the Escobar years. It is narrated by a young girl from a privileged family, Chula and the fourteen-year-old cleaning lady that works for the family, Petrona. Chula’s life is largely a smooth one where she lives in a nice home in a guarded compound and attends a good school. Still that can’t protect the family from all outside events and the reader worries for Chula as she experiences many threats to her safety. Petrona is equally and perhaps even more frighteningly trapped by the situation in the country. Guerillas forced her family away from their farm and they now live in a slum in Bogota, Petrona at 14 has become the sole breadwinner for her family, her brothers are pulled away by drugs and rebels, her boyfriend is connected to dangerous criminals and she is torn between the expectations of her workplace and her home. Both characters are compelling narrators as we follow their lives to see if they will swept up in a terrible situation or survive.

The Great Believers ties together the art scene in 1920s France after the devastation of the Great War, 1980s Chicago just as the AIDS epidemic is removing a generation of gay men, and modern day Paris where a character from the previous sections is trying to repair her relationship with her estranged daughter. Yale Tishman’s story line from the mid-80s was the heart of the book for me but in Fiona’s sections in modern day Paris the reader gets to experience the fallout of the PTSD that the characters experienced as they lived through a time of great love, loss and blame. This book was a heart-breaker in many ways but there were also many clever and funny moments as our sharp-eyed protagonists examine the events and especially the people around them. It’s a beauty.

Librarians Read: Demon Dentist

I enjoyed Demon Dentist on Overdrive as an audiobook, and it was quite funny.

The dentist in this boy’s small town is gone, and a new dentist, Ms. Root, has taken over.  However, kids keep putting teeth under their pillows and finding super disturbing things.

This boy is forced by his dad’s nurse and helper to go to the dentist… and then all of his teeth are being counted in her bin!

Find Walliams in realistic fiction and words and pics, appropriate for all MG kids.

Librarians Read: The Cheerleaders

I read The Cheerleaders in record time, flying through this quick little thriller.

Five Cheerleaders in a small town die within a month, so the younger sister of one of them is suspicious of what happened and what could have been.

She encounters a stepdad cop, a drug dealer, a shy dancer, and many secrets on her paths to discovery.

Found in Thrillers next to the other Kara Thomas, Little Monsters.

Librarians Read: The Hollow Under the Tree

If you are looking for a good children’s early chapter book with the feel of a classic then I recommend the Hollow Under the Tree. Sadie is a plucky young character that many readers will love. The story is predictable but many find that reassuring in early chapter books.

This book and many other endearing and humorous titles can be found in our J Fic section (juvenile fiction). Ask any staff member to show you the location.

Librarians Read: The Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

Minimalist Baker‘s everyday cooking : 101 entirely plant-based, mostly gluten-free, easy and delicious recipes was suggested by a teacher and if you are looking for some new healthy meal options then you should certainly take a look. My favorite was a remix of a traditional Persian recipe – Chickpea Fesenjan. So yummy! The author also posts wonderful recipes online. Our family favorite is Butternut Squash Banana Bread.

The cooking section of the library is a popular one. Just ask any staff member the way to Dewey number 641.5

 

 

 

Podcast Special: Crazy/Genius and Gonads

As you know, in addition to reading, many of us enjoy listening to podcasts and here are two that I would like to recommend. First of all “Gonads” by Radiolab is an excellent series about human biology and identity. Radiolab always seems to make first class, professionally edited podcasts. Check out the full list of their offerings online.

Another great science (and more) podcast is Crazy/Genius which is produced by The Atlantic. Each program addresses a very current question in technology or culture. Some of my favorites were: Should We Dim the Skies to Save the World? and Should We Break Up Amazon? Excellent 20 minute discussions with experts reveal both sides of the issues.