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Archive for Category: Books
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Seconds, a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O`Malley

   Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 - by: Christine Sharbrough, Head of Reader Services & Circulation

secondsOk, I've been on a binge of graphic novels this past month. But, that's because there are so MANY that are SO GOOD!! This one has to be my reigning favorite (outside of the Marvel and DC Universes that is). It tells the story of a rather prickly restaurant owner and chef, Katie. The restaurant, Seconds, is doing a brisk business and Katie wants to open an additional restaurant across town.  The location is in a less desirable area but the building has historic charm.  Life is good.

After a series of mishaps and accidents at the restaurant, her life is starting to seem not so good. One night after work, she falls asleep wishing she could reverse all the bad that has happened.  Waking in the night she finds a mysterious girl crouching on her dresser. (Stay with me here) As the girl slowly disappears from view, Katie finds a small notebook and a red mushroom left behind.

Within the notebook is a recipe for a do-over, a second chance to make things right. All Katie has to do is write down her mistake in the notebook, eat the mushroom, and things will go back to the way they were. Katie, a type-A personality, cannot be happy with making things the way they were however.  She succeeds in finding the source of the red mushrooms and begins redoing her entire life over and over to disastrous results.

With chibi-like characters, bright coloration, and unusual framing for a comic, it is a delight to the eyes yet remains a cautionary tale. How many second chances can you have without your life becoming unrecognizable as your own? The answer lies within.

   Posted in Books, Graphic Novels, Reading Room | No Comments »




Season for Suspense

   Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by: Jessica Fitzpatrick

What better way to spend a snowy afternoon than with a really great page-turner. Here a few suggestions to help eat up those hours indoors:

The Girl On The TrainThe Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins: TGOTT is being heavily marketed as the next Gone Girl – it’s even been  optioned for film by Dreamworks. This fast-paced thriller follows Rachel, a thirty something Brit whose life is descending into shambles, due to being jilted by her husband and a developing drinking problem. After a few devastating misjudgments, Rachel finds herself embroiled in a mysterious disappearance rife with timeline gaps and unexpected suspects. As with Gone Girl, the book relies on the accounts of different characters to tell the full story, those accounts are mostly unreliable, and the plot of the novel is full of twists that catch the reader off-guard.

 

 

HerHer by Harriet Lane: Set in London, and full of sharp social and psychological insight, the narrative unfolds from the alternating perspectives of Nina and Emma, two thirty-something women whose lives have led them down very different paths. On the surface, Nina is a trendy artist and Emma is a harried mother of two. Nina knows Emma somehow, but Emma shows no indication that she knows Nina when they meet. What is the connection between these women, and why does Nina suddenly take such an interest in Emma? Motivations are revealed and the result will not disappoint.

 

 

The Kind Worth KillingAnother title to watch out for is called The Kind Worth Killing, by Chelmsford native, author Peter Swanson. His first book, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, is a gripping mystery that takes place in Boston and the North Shore, and was hailed as one of the best first novels of 2014 by the Washington Post. His latest, a re-imagining of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, begins on an overnight flight from Boston to London, where two strangers form a dark bond over a plot to commit murder. Nelson DeMille calls it “an extraordinarily well-written tale of deceit and revenge told by a very gifted writer…The twists are not just in the plot; they are also in the heads of the plotters.”

 

 

   Posted in Books | No Comments »




People of the Book, a Novel Conversations Selection for February.

   Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 - by: Christine Sharbrough, Head of Reader Services & Circulation

peoplebookThis book has been on my nightstand for a long time and I finally had the time to read it. Stitched into a series of vignettes, the story follows the life of a 500 year-old illuminated Haggadah. Hanna Heath, a book conservator tasked with the job of ensuring the stability of the book, travels from her home in Australia to Sarajevo, Bosnia where the book is under heavy guard. Upon taking the book apart to restitch and fix small holes in the binding and seams, she finds evidence of where the book has been throughout its 500-year history. The story alternates between the present (in this case 1996) and the past. The story of the Haggadah is told in reverse chronology - moving steadily backwards, ending with the creation of the drawings that become the Haggadah.

Not only a story of a book as the title would suggest, but in many ways a history of the Jewish struggle to exist in a world that found reason after reason to make that as difficult as possible. For a student of history as I am, I found more questions than answers that have led me onto more history books about the history of the Jewish people.

If you have never seen an illuminated Haggadah take a look. They are absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea until now that they existed.

Bottom line: I am told that it is a tough book to read because of the alternating plot lines. I didn't have the same sensation perhaps because I listened to it. Try it and see and then come join us at the main library on February 6th, 2015 at Noon to discuss.

NB:  I checked this book out of the Chelmsford Public Library.  I received no compensation from this review.

   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »




Get Personalized Reading Recommendations from Library Staff

   Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

bookOur Readers Advisory librarians would love to help you find your next great read!

Stop by the Readers Advisory Desk in the library (across from the main desk) to get suggestions for what to read next. If you can't make it into the library, use our online Reading Recommendations Form to give us some information about your reading tastes, and we'll provide you with a list of books we think you'll enjoy.

If you prefer the self-serve approach, our Reading Room webpage has several reading lists and other tools to discover new titles and authors.

Please contact Christine Sharbrough, Head of Readers Services, at csharbrough@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x210, if you have any questions about these tools or books in general.

   Posted in Books, Library Information, Resources | No Comments »




New Resource for Parents to Improve Early Literacy

   Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

kids blog thumbnailIn addition to the Fizz Boom Read Summer Reading program, the Library's Childrens Room also has resources for parents to work on the literacy skills of their storytime-age kids.

Check out the new Early Literacy resource, maintained by the Childrens Room staff. It has sections for:

  • Books from Storytime - Want to know the title of a book you saw in storytime? Or just want some great suggestions to read to your kids? It's all here! Staff post the titles from each storytime, so you can look them up or browse for ideas. Use the links under the "Storytime Picks" section to find age-appropriate titles for your kids
  • Get Your Child Ready To Read - tips for using the 5 simple practice areas for developing early literacy skills: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, Playing
  • 1000 Books Before Kindergarten - "Children need to hear 1000 stories before they can begin to learn to read. Or the same story a thousand times!" ~ Mem Fox. Download reading logs to track your progress!

The resource is in blog format, and is updated on different schedules - storytime titles are posted shortly after the storytime ends, and there are also Weekly Tips on developing early literacy skills.

For more information, contact the Childrens Room at mfoley@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x4.

   Posted in Books, Childrens, Resources | No Comments »




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