Monday, November 21, 2011

Samuels Says - "Which books give you that holiday spirit?"

This month for our display, we asked the staff: "Which books give you that holiday spirit?" Here are our picks—we'd love to hear yours too! 

The Homecoming: a novel about Spencer’s Mountain by Earl Hamner (F Ham)
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, illustrated by P. S. Lynch (JF Hen)
Christmas with Southern Living (394.2 Chr)
Snowy Night with a Stranger by Jane Feather (Paperback Romance F)
A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas (F Kle)
A Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco (EF Pol)
Home for the Holidays by Johanna Lindsey
The Nutcracker – American Ballet Theatre and Mikhail Baryshnikov production
(Vid / DVD 792.8 Nut)

Joan 1:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (JF Dic)
Christmas Jars and Christmas Jars Reunion by Jason Wright (F Wri)
The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans (F Eva)
The Christmas Books by Charles Dickens (F Dic)
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (F Hen)
Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark (F Cla)
One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn (F Bun)
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg (F Fla)
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (F Gri)
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci (F Bal)

Country Living: Merry and Bright: 301 Festive Ideas for Celebrating Christmas from the editors of Country Living (745.594 Cou) “I really like this one”
The Golden Book of Desserts by Carla Bardi and Rachel Lane (641.8 Gol)
Christmas with Southern Living-2008 and up (394.2 Chr)
Everything Christmas by David Borden (394.26 Bor)
Simple Pleasures for the Holidays by Susannah Seton (394.26 Set)
Seriously Simple Holidays by Diane Rossen Worthington (641.568 Wor)
Swedish Christmas Crafts by Helene S. Lundberg (745.594 Lun)
American Christmas edited by Chuck Williams (641.5686 Ame)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (F Dic)
White Christmas (DVD and Vid F Whi)
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (F Gri)
Six Geese a-Slaying by Donna Andrews (F And)
Christmas Gifts That Always Fit by James W. Moore (F Moo)
A Blue and Gray Christmas by Joan Medlicott (F Med)
A Chesapeake Christmas by Sheryl Woods (F Woo)
Hot Flash Holidays by Nancy Thayer (F Tha)
Seven Stars of Christmas by Claudia Martin (JS Mar)

Joan 2: I like when the story just happens to take place during a holiday!
Enchanted, Inc. series by Shanna Swendson (F Swe)
Till the Cows Come Home, the Stella Crown series by Judy Clemens (F Cle)
Embrace Me by Lisa Samson (F Sam)
Shakespeare’s Christmas by Charlaine Harris (F Har)
Home in Time for Christmas by Heather Graham (F Gra)
The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank (F Fra)
The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts (F Rob)
Without a Backward Glance by Kate Veitch (F Vei)
The Last Noel by Michael Malone (F Mal)
Silver Bells by Luanne Rice (F Ric)
The Christmas Wish by Richard Siddoway (F Sid)
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern (F Ahe)
The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire (F Mag)
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (F Bro)
Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith (F Smi)

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (F Gri)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (YAF Row) Yule Ball!!
Ice by Linda Howard (F How)
Not Enough Beds! by Lisa Bullard (E Bul)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (E Seu)
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (E Bri)
     + The Snowman (JF DVD Sno), the 1982 animated version!
The Snowman by Jo Nesbø (F Nes)
Chocolat by Joanne Harris (F Har)
Shakespeare’s Christmas by Charlaine Harris (F Har)
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman (YAF Pul)
Miracle on 34th Street (DVD F Mir)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (JF Dic)
Snow Angel by Jean Marzollo (E Mar)
Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury by Jan Brett (E Bre)
Sam the Snowman by Susan Winget (E Win)

Christmas in the Adirondacks by William H. H. Murray (F Cassette Mur)
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (818.5402 Sed)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (F Alb)
Christmas with Southern Living (394.2 Chr)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (F Dic)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (E Seu)
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (J 811 Moo)
Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann (JF Hof)
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (E All)
The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman (E Til)

`Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (E Moo)
Dashing Through the Snow by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark (F Cla)
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci (F Bal)
Any Martha Stewart holiday book!
Any current magazine!
Listen to some music on our Holiday CDs! (781.723)

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo (E Dic)
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (F Hen)
It’s a Wonderful Life (DVD F Its)
Miracle on 34th Street (DVD F Mir)
The Santa Clause (DVD F San)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (JF DVD Cha)

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry (E Bar)
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (JF Tay) “A great way to learn about Hanukah!”
The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett (J 784.4 Twe)
The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Gennedy Spirin (J 784.6 Twe)
Silent Night, Holy Night: a Song for the World by Werner Thuswaldner (J 784.6 Thu)
Cats and Carols by Lesley Anne Ivory (J 784.6 Ivo)
Good King Wenceslas by J. M. Neale (J 782.28 Nea)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Fred Coots (J 782.42 Coo)
Holiday cooking and baking books
Holiday decorating and craft books
Christmas music books in 782s

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (F Hen)
A Foxfire Christmas by Eliot Wiggington (394.2 Fox)
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (F Pra)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (JF Dic)
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie (F Chr)
The Penny Whistle Christmas Party Book by Meredith Brokaw (793.21 Bro)
The Flying Latke by Arthur Yorinks (E Yor)
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (YAF Pra)
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder (JF Wil)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (F Dic)
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (JF Bur)

DVDs :
The Santa Clause 1 and 2, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, A Christmas Wish, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Christmas Child: a story of coming home, A Christmas Story, The Red Shoes, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Polar Express.

Christmas CDs:
Look for CD 781.723

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What should YOU read next?

A few weeks ago, a patron came to the reference desk and told me that she had just finished all seven books in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. (That's quite an accomplishment—we're talking thousands and thousands of pages!) The eighth in the series has an anticipated publication date of sometime in 2012, but that's just too long to wait for a good book to read! That's why she asked me my all-time favorite question: "What should I read next?"

It can take a few minutes to find a book or two when you ask the reference staff for a recommendation, and probably some trial and error too. But our goal is for you to leave with another book that you're excited to read. In this patron's case, she left with two! She also inspired me to prepare an entire list of read-alikes for the next Outlander fan looking for a good read. (See our last post.)

The point of this little anecdote is to make sure you know that we want to help you—yes, you— find your next favorite book.The next time you're in the library and looking for a good book to read, ask for assistance at the reference desk. Give us a few minutes, and we'll send you home with something new to try. If you prefer, you can give me a few weeks, and I'll create an entire annotated reading list like I did for the Outlander reader.

Please come ask us for reading recommendations! We're waiting for you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Read-alike Guides - Outlander

 If you liked Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, you might enjoy one of these books:

Devil Water by Anya Seton
Seton wrote several thick books with elements of appeal for Outlander fans—though no one book has everything. They are nicely paced, involving stories woven through with solid historic detail and attention to character. Here, Jenny, the daughter of the last Englishman beheaded for supporting the pretender James Stuart in the Jacobite Rebellion, goes to Virginia.

Into the Wilderness by Sarah Donati
Donati regards Gabaldon as her mentor; her work also has solid history, evocative settings, love between "outsiders," and strong characterization. In the first book of her saga, Elizabeth leaves England to teach in New York. When she meets Nathaniel, a white man raised as a member of the Mohawk tribe, their love causes a scandal that leads them to flee into the woods and into danger.

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
For early historical romance, try the classic Ivanhoe. At the time of the Norman Conquest, Ivanhoe returns from the Crusades to claim his inheritance and the love of Rowena. He becomes involved in the struggle between Richard Coeur de Lion and his Norman brother John. The gripping narrative is structured by a series of conflicts: Saxon versus Norman, Christian versus Jew, and men versus women.

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
Abandoned by her lover after a quarrel, Dougless Montgomery is stranded in rural England. The sudden appearance of Nicholas Stafford—a knight who died in 1564—begins a passionate affair that eventually takes Dougless back to the 16th century. Also try Legend, in which an antique wedding dress leads to 1873 Colorado.

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Sold into indentured servitude at the exotic Night Court as a child, Phèdre nó Delaunay faces a difficult choice between honor and duty as she deals with a world of conspiracy and betrayal. Adventure, action, romance, and steamy sex figure prominently in this sprawling, intricately plotted fantasy series.

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
John Grey, who befriends Jamie Fraser at Adsmuir prison in Voyager, has his own series set in the Outlander world. Here, upon his return from Scottish exile in 1757, Lord John pursues a traitor through London and across the seas, an endeavor that is complicated by a delicate family affair and his memories of the Jacobite Rising.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Readers who enjoy Gabaldon’s detailed stories of everyday lives during extraordinary historical times should try this modern classic. Set in 12th century England, this epic of kings and peasants follows the lives, loves, dreams, and heartbreaks of Kingsbridge during the construction of a magnificent cathedral.

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
Set against the backdrop of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Quicksilver tells the intertwining tales of three unforgettable main characters as they traverse a landscape populated by mad alchemists, Barbary pirates, and bawdy courtiers, as well as historical figures including Ben Franklin, William of Orange, Louis XIV, and many others.

The Skystone by Jack Whyte
A retired centurion and his former commander conquer enemies and establish an independent community in Britain, while also providing a possible origin for one of the greatest artifacts of Arthurian myth—Excalibur. "From the building blocks of history and the mortar of reality, Jack Whyte has built Arthur's world and showed us the bone beneath the flesh of legend," Gabaldon has written of this series.

Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
In this beloved time travel romance, ancient language translator Grace St. John finds a document that gives the location of a treasure that Niall of Scotland brought home as Guardian of the Treasure for the Knights Templar in the 14th century. She is transported to his time to protect the relics, including the Holy Grail. Niall is one sexy Scot in a class with Jamie Fraser!

Timeline by Michael Crichton
When elderly Yale history prof Edward Johnston travels back to his beloved 15th century and gets stuck, his assistants follow to the rescue. Crichton invests his story with terrific period detail, castles, sword-play, jousts, sudden death, bold knights-in-armor, and seductive ladies-in-waiting. There's also strong suspense as he cuts between past and present, where the time-travel machinery has broken. Will the heroes survive and make it back?

Time and Again by Jack Finney
Simon Morley, a young Manhattan illustrator, is selected by a secret government agency—presumably to test Einstein's theory that the past actually co-exists with the present—and finds himself transported to the year 1882 under hypnosis. There, he falls in love and refuses to change records for the government agency controlling his experiment. Written with style and elegance, this novel is boldly visionary yet romantic.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
For a much different twist on time travel romance, try the story of Henry and Clare Detamble. Henry’s Chrono-Displacement Disorder forces him to travel against his will, causing him to visit Clare as a little girl and later as an aged widow and explain "how it feels to be living outside of the time constraints most humans are subject to." This novel is a beautiful, heartbreaking, timeless love story.