Thursday, February 28, 2008

Libraries are Reading, #3

What book are you reading right now?

Stacey R: Extras, by Scott Westerfeld, Paint It Black, by Janet Fitch (ebook), and The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory (Y FIC W - EPL, FIC FITCH - WCV, and PBK-CONTEMPORARY (G) – SBL)

Kathy F: Good Family, by Terry Gamble (F GAMBLE - TPL)

Tricia GW: The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova (FIC KOSTOVA - ARM)

Wanda: The Kitchen Boy, by Robert Alexander (FIC ALEXANDER - MTC)

Pat G: A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry (F MIS – LEN)

Stephanie L: Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens (YA FIC DICKENS – WAM)

Margaret H: The Race, by Richard North Patterson, Breaking Back, by James Blake, and A Three Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas (FIC PATTERSON – WCV, B BLAKE – SHL, and B THOMAS – MPL)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #4

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

Our relationships with other people can be tricky, surprising, unexpected, and challenging. The following books explore our connections with our fellow human beings in ways that will entertain as well as enlighten readers.

Practice of Deceit by Elizabeth Benedict
Eric Lavender is a therapist and confirmed bachelor. After meeting single mom and divorce lawyer Colleen Golden he finds himself completely smitten. He marries and embraces family life quickly finding out things are a bit more complicated and sinister than he ever imagined.
Fic Benedict WCV

Walking Home by Gloria Goldreich
Rochelle Weiss’s life is turned upside down when she learns both of her parents are dying of cancer. In her efforts to care for them, she eventually loses her job and many of her friends. Ultimately she discovers a great deal about herself and her values.
Fic Goldreich WAM

Suspicion by Barbara Rogan
Mystery novelist Emma Roth has mixed feelings about her familuy’s move from New York City to a rather isolated country home. One there the family learns the former owner is rumored to have killed her husband.
Fic Rogan WAM

Coming Back to Me by Caroline Leavitt
Gary and Molly find their marriage tested when the birth of their long awaited first baby leaves Molly with a life threatening medical condition.
Fic Leavitt WAM WDB

The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
A man and a woman manage to sustain a deep and passionate relationship over the course of many years, even though they have only met three times.
Fic Shreve WAM WDB WMB

The Distance from Normandy by Jonathan Hull
A young man having problems at school and with his single mother goes to spend some time at his grandfather’s home. They come to understand and appreciate one another in ways they never imagined.
Fic Hull WAM WDB

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Study Rooms at the Warren Civic Center Library

If you've visited the year-old Warren Civic Center Library, you've probably seen the three study rooms that flank the left side of the library, often with people in them. If you'd like to use these rooms, just let us know!

* The rooms, daily, are on a first-come, first-serve basis. If one is empty, go right in!
* You can reserve the rooms, but it must be at least a day in advance.
* Rooms must be vacated by 15 minutes to close.
* You can get wireless in the rooms.
* Use of the rooms is free.

The rooms are as follows:

Louisa May Alcott: Seats 2-3, one table attached to the wall.
Edgar Allan Poe: Seats 2-3, one table attached to the wall.
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Seats 4-6 comfortably, one table in the middle, four chairs.
Mark Twain: Seats up to 16, one large conference table and chairs. (This is for nonprofit-group use only, and MUST be reserved in advance.)

Please call 586-574-4564 for more details.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #3

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

Three local writers share their experiences and views on loss and grief.

Courtney’s Legacy: A Father's Journey - George Cantor
155.937 C WMB
In this shattering story about unexpected loss, local newspaper celebrity, George Cantor describes his daughter’s tragic and accidental death at the University of Michigan.

Grieving: a Love Story - Ruth Coughlin
155.937 C WCV
Formerly a book editor at the Detroit Free Press, she offers readers a toughing and heartfelt narrative detailing her husband’s struggle with a terminal illness. Ruth goes on to explain her experiences and difficulties as a new widow. Her husband was Detroit Judge and mystery writer William Coughlin.

The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade - Thomas Lynch
Bio Lynch WAM
Milford, Michigan funeral director Thomas Lynch gives us a wide variety of interesting and unique insights into death and the traditional funeral experience. He has written other books related to the subject of dying such as Bodies in Motion and at Rest: On Metaphor and Morality 133.8 L and Still Life in Milford: Poems 811.54 L.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Libraries are Reading, #2

What was your favorite book as a child?

Stacey R: The Rotten Ralph books, by Jack Gantos. (RE GANTOS, WDB)

Margaret H: Jean & Jonnie by Beverly Cleary, and the Nancy Drew Series (YA PBK CLEARY, RSV and J MYS KEENE, SHL)

Stephanie H: The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein (E SILV, WCV)

Nathan: Pickle Things, by Marc Brown (he writes the Arthur books) (EASY BRO, CHE)

Pat G: Heidi, by Johanna Spyri (JFIC SPYRI, ARM)

Tricia GW: A Rocket in My Pocket, by Carl Withers & Susanne Soba (J 398 W, SHL)

Kathy F: The Boxcar Children series, by Gertrude Chandler Warner (JUV PBK BCM, WCV)

Stay tuned for more recommendations from the library staff!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Usual Suspects

Anyone who enjoys reading mystery novels knows many authors write book after book featuring the same characters. Often the personal life of the main character changes and develops with each title.

Many regular readers of the genre prefer to read the books in correct order. This is so simple if you’re a fan of Sue Grafton who we alphabetically follow along. A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, and so on. If you know how to count you can easily identify Janet Evanovich’s series One for the Money, Two for Dough, as she counts her way up the best seller list with New Jersey bounty hunter bond enforcement agent Stephanie Plum. (Fearless Fourteen is due out in June!)

Unfortunately, many other popular mystery writers aren’t so fan friendly. Even more confusing is the fact that many authors write more than one series.

If you are considering starting a new series and would like to know which book is first or in what order to read the series, let us know. We’ll be happy to answer your request.

Susan Wittig Albert – Attorney China Bayles leaves her big city career to run a cozy little herb shop in west Texas.
Thyme of Death (1992)
Witches’ Bane (1993)
Hangman’s Root (1994)
Rosemary Remembered (1995)
Rueful Death (1996)
Love Lies Bleeding (1997)
Chile Death (1998)
Lavender Lies (1999)
Mistletoe Man (2000)
Bloodroot (2001)
Indigo Dying (2003)
Dilly of a Death (2004)
Deadman’s Bones (2005)
Bleeding Hearts (2006)
Spanish Dagger (2007)
Nightshade (2008)

Diane Mott Davidson – Ms. Mott created the character of Colorado’s culinary sleuth Goldy Bear Schultz. In addition to entertaining mysteries the books contain actual recipes.
Catering to Nobody (1990)
Dying for Chocolate (1992)
Cereal Murders (1993)
The Last Suppers (1994)
Killer Pancake (1995)
The Main Corpse (1996)
The Grilling Season (1997)
Prime Cut (1998)
Tough Cookie (2000)
Sticks and Scones (2001)
Chopping Spree (2002)
Double Shot ( 2004)
Dark Tort (2006)
Sweet Revenge (2007)

Kathy Reichs - Temperance "Tempe" Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the city of Quebec, leaves behind a divorce to solve crimes based on the bones left behind. These books inspired the hit Fox television show "Bones," starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz (of "Angel" fame), now in its fourth season. (Yes! We carry the DVDs, too!)
Deja Dead (1997)
Death Du Jour (1999)
Deadly Decisions (2000)
Fatal Voyage (2001)
Grave Secrets (2002)
Bare Bones (2003)
Monday Mourning (2004)
Cross Bones (2005)
Break No Bones (2006)
Bones to Ashes (2007)
Devil Bones (Due August 2008)

Jeff Lindsay - The Dexter books were once described to me as being about "an ethical serial killer." There are only three books, so far, but the HBO show has been called back for a second season, and author Lindsay is ready for more.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter (June 2005)
Dearly Devoted Dexter (July 2005)
Dexter in the Dark (2007)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Who Doesn't Love Cats or Dogs...

Or, "What to Read After You've Read Marley & Me"

250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You - Ingrid Newkirk
636.8 N SHL
Newkirk is the founder of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the advice offered here is firm and to the point. She doesn’t mince words on what she considers the loving and humane treatment of our feline companions. The book is written from a cat’s perspective and even if you think you know everything there is to know about cats and their care, I can guarantee this slim book will give you a lot to think about.

The Autobiography of Foudini M. Cat - Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
Fiction Schaeffer SBL, TPL
This is the delightful and entertaining story of a wise old housecat named Foudini and his human family. His tale is told in a series of sentimental as well as heart wrenching reminisces to a young kitten named Grace. One of the most charming aspects of this book is that it can be read and enjoyed by anyone from an 8 year old niece to an 85 year old grandmother.

A Dog Year: 12 Months, Four Dogs, and Me - Jon Katz
636.70974 K MCL
Several years ago Katz switched from writing mysteries to writing about his experiences with dogs and hasn’t looked back since. This is the first in a loosely related series about his trials and tribulations with raising a border collie named Devon. Completely content with his two aging Labs, Katz gets talked into taking on a Border collie named Devon. This is a dog that seems to have so many behavior problems that only someone with the patience and temperament of St Francis could find anything lovable in his personality. From the moment Devon arrives the chaos ensues. The dedication in the book pretty much sums it up “to my wife who loves dogs, but not this much”!
Other titles followed:
The New Work of Dogs
Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm
Katz on Dogs: A Commonsense Guide to Training and Living with Dogs

A Good Dog: The Story of Orson Who Changed My Life
The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with 16 sheep, 3 dogs, 2 donkeys, and Me

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs - Caroline Knapp
636.7 CLL
Ms. Knapp gives us her story and views on trying to stay sober with the help of a canine companion. Unusual and ultimately satisfying.

What the Dogs Have Taught Me and Other Amazing Things I've Learned - Merrill Markoe
814.54 M WAM
Markoe, famous in the entertainment industry for creating David Letterman's bit "Stupid Pet Tricks" (which later spawned "Stupid Human Tricks"), steps away to write short, easy-to-read, hard-to-put-down essays about life lessons. What the Dogs Have Taught Me begins with her telling of following her dogs around for a day, and what she imagines they would say if they could talk. I was laughing out loud, and reading snippets of it to anyone who would listen.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #2

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
Welcome to the second installment of our bi-weekly book recommendations column! This time, we're focusing on great nonfiction books!
Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding our Families by Mary Pipher
306.85907 P WAM
Mary Pipher is well- known for her best selling book Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (2005). In this book she turns her attention to why family life in our culture seems so fragmented and difficult. Pipher offers insights and suggestions on why families feel so rushed and stressed these days. She discusses the impact of television viewing, work schedules, and leisure activities on our daily lives. She delves into some practical solutions and offers up some innovative suggestions on using our time and technology to enhance and enrich our lives and our family life.

Firehouse by David Halberstam
974.71 H WCV
Amid the hundreds of titles that were published in the wake of September 11th, this is one that definitely stand out as particularly engrossing, well written, and true to the times and events. It is a slim but no less extremely poignant and powerful story that graphically details the enormous loss that one particular fire station in Manhattan suffered on that fateful day.

Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies by Mark C. Carnes
791.4365 P WAM
For someone who loves movies and enjoys history, this book is a treasure. It describes over fifty historical films including Gone with the Wind, A Man for All Seasons, Bonnie and Clyde, and All the President’s Men. It then tells us what Hollywood and history have in common. It offers up additional titles for background reading in the spirit of the Library of Congress’s Read More About It program of several years ago. It’s a real gem. Unfortunately, it was published in 1995 and I can only hope there is an updated edition in the works very soon.

Cliff Walk: A Memoir of a Job Lost and a Life Found by Don Snyder
Bio Snyder SBL
If you ever feel like you're losing your appreciation for your chosen career path or are suffering the despondent feelings due to an unexpected job loss, this book might offer some solace and maybe even inspiration. Mr. Snyder’s biographical account of his carefree years as a college professor, how he lost that golden job, and his desperate struggles to find another is quite an eye opener. He doesn’t spare himself or his readers. His honest look back at his own arrogance and ignorance and his final realization of just how important work is to all of us is thought provoking and provocative.