Friday, October 31, 2008


The Warren Public Libraries would like to wish all of our patrons a very

*Please remember the Libraries will be closed on Tuesday, November 4th, for Election Day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Outside of a Dog: The Spooky Edition

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

Halloween is just around the corner, and we’d be remiss without suggesting a few spooky stories to put you in the mood.

Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco
The Rolfes rent a summer home that sounds too good to be true. Soon they discover themselves caught up in a web of unimaginable menace and terror.
Fic Marasco

Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton
Published in 1998, this is the 7th novel in the featuring Anita Blake vampire hunter. Hamilton’s immensely popular series, now numbering 16 books, continues to intrigue and fascinate readers. In this novel, Anita is dealing with leaving one boyfriend, the werewolf pack Alpha Richard, and turning to another, Jean-Claude the Master Vampire of St. Louis; not to mention combating a possible psychic firestarter.
Fic Hamilton

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
A vampire book that's not at all like any vampire book you've ever read (we promise!) It's a story within a story within a story, generations of families and friends haunted by the search for Vlad Dracul. The dramatized version on CD is really a fright!
BKD Fic Kostova

Fic Kostova

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
We’ve all seen or not seen the Academy Award nominated movie. You really have to read the book to truly appreciate how truly frightening the printed word can be.
Fic Harris

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Regarded as the most frightening and disturbing of King's many horror novels (and that's saying something!), Pet Sematary has lasted the test of time will give you chills. The story of a family who moves from Illinois to Maine, and finds local pets being raised from the dead is a sure scare at Halloween, or any time.
Fic King

Coma by Robin Cook
This is the book that is credited with introducing the medicine gone awry genre. A young female medical student uncovers a shocking crime at her hospital.
Fic Cook

Crooked Tree by Robert C. Wilson
An engrossing tale that combines Indian legend and supernatural terror in a Northern Michigan setting. First published in 1980, it was recently reissued in paperback.
Fic Wilson

Superstitious by R.L. Stine
After zipping through all of Fear Street and Goosebumps when I was 12, I dug up R.L. Stine’s only adult offering to date. Truly chilling for those young and old, Superstitious is about a college girl’s affair with a folklore professor – who might just be scarier than the superstitions he teaches her.
Fic Stine

For our younger readers looking for a scare, try R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps or Fear Street, Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, or Morgan Burke’s Party Room trilogy.

Readers: What is your favorite scary book?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You'll want to Host this book!

Today's Book: The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

The Plot: In this new science fiction offering, the Earth has been invaded by beings from another planet. To the invaders, it appears as though they have been successful. They have taken a chaotic planet filled with emotional and often violent inhabitants, and created a peaceful, organized community. And this isn't the first time! They've conquered other planets with the same satisfying results. In order to achieve success, the invaders surgically introduce "souls" into people and take over their bodies. Usually the soul of the human is overcome and eventually disappears. But Melanie Stryder doesn't allow the invading soul called Wanderer to take over her body. She fights to regain control and the peace-loving and gentle Wanderer must learn to fight back. But Wanderer becomes so overwhelmed by Melanie's memories of her love for her family and for Jared, a fellow resistor, that she yields to Melanie's wishes to find her family and friends. Then the excitement really begins!

Why You'll Love It: Two people living in the same body - weird! Invaders that are peace-loving, kind, friendly, and only come to improve our chaotic, emotional, and sometimes violent ways - hey the invaders sound like good guys! A huge, many-roomed dark cave with tiny natural skylights enhanced with mirrors to create light inside - cool and inventive. People wrestling with fascinating questions about what makes a person who they are (is the greater good always preference to what is good for an individual? Can altruism ever be evil?) -- Interesting!

Who Should Read It: Science fiction fans, fiction readers, and young adult readers will love this book. (Stephenie Meyer also writes the Twilight series, so if you like her style of writing - and you're waiting eagerly for Midnight Sun to be published! - try this book.)

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

Thanks to KF for this review!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Author Profile: Meg Cabot

Famous for the Young Adult bestsellers "The Princess Diaries," now numbering 13 titles, Meg Cabot has been writing both adult and teen books for years. She has a great sense of the places she writes about (usually New York, sometimes Michigan), and a sense of humor and style that is unusual and fun.

The Boy Series [The Boy Next Door (2002), Boy Meets Girl (2004), Every Boy’s Got One (2005)]
Each book of The Boy Series is based on a different character in New York City, usually a girl somehow involved with or related to the workers at the fictional New York Journal magazine. Every story is unique, and interspersed with e-mails, receipts, and other items, making them easy and engrossing to read - much like talking with an old friend, or looking at a scrapbook.
The Boy Next Door Fic Cabot ROG UPL / Audio Cabot SCS
Boy Meets Girl YA Fic Cabot CHE WAM TPL
Every Boy's Got One Fic Cabot ROG RSV

The Heather Wells Mysteries [Size 12 is Not Fat (2005), Size 14 is Not Fat Either (2006), Big Boned (2007)]
Heather Wells used to be a rock star on the mall tour (think Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, in the 80’s). Engaged to the lead singer of a boy band, and ready to write her own songs and make it big, Heather’s life is changed when her father is sent to prison and her mom runs off with her money. She works for the fictional New York College, and somehow is always involved in the newest murder on campus.
Size 12 Is Not Fat YA Fic Cabot WAM WDB WCV HPW
Size 14 Is Not Fat Either Fic Cabot WDB ROG FRA
Big Boned YA Fic Cabot WCV HPW / Fic Cabot MPL MCL SCS

The Queen of Babble Series [Queen of Babble (2007), Queen of Babble in the Big City (2008), Queen of Babble Gets Hitched (2008)]
Lizzie Nichols, fashion expert extraordinaire, and resident big mouth, is off to England to meet her long-distance boyfriend Andy. The only problem is, after the big graduation party (and a dozen or more travel book-lights), Lizzie finds that she never graduated. What happens next to our loquacious leading lady? Read to find out!
Queen of Babble Fic Cabot WCV MCL ARM / BCD Fic Cabot TPL
Queen of Babble in the Big City Fic Cabot ARM CHE UPL / ACD Fic Cabot CHE / EAudio WCV
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched Fic Cabot ARM WAM WDB / BCD Fic Cabot MPL TPL

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #23

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

Selected this week are some older fiction selections that we happily classify as forgotten treasures. All were on best seller lists many years ago but definitely still qualify as a good read.

Defects of the Heart by Barbara Gordon

Jessica Lenhart is a prize-winning television executive. She becomes deeply involved in producing a show that deals with a new drug recently approved by the FDA. This drug is supposed to be useful in preventing miscarriages; instead, her own findings lead her to believe the drug may be causing birth defects.
This novel was published in 1983.

Fic Gordon MTC

Tender Mercies by Rosellen Brown

Don and Laura Courser have lived contentedly with their two children in a small New England town. On vacation, a terrible accident occurs. Laura is swimming near a motor boat when Don accidentally guns the motor of the boat and the propeller blade severs her spinal cord. How this family deals with the unexpected tragedy makes this a compelling and thought-provoking story.

This novel was published in 1978.


Love and Glory by Jeane Westin

This is a fictionalized account of four remarkable women who were part of the original group of Women's Army Corps officer candidates in 1942. Although each woman was distinctly different in personality and came from a variety of backgrounds they managed to form life-long friendships.

This novel was published in 1985.

Fic Westin SHL

Four Days by Gloria Goldreich

A middle-aged woman spends four days in a hospital deciding on whether or not to go through with an abortion. Although written over 25 years ago, the story still has a remarkable moral relevance to a question that is still being hotly debated today.

This novel was published in 1980.

Fic Goldreich MTC

Thursday, October 09, 2008

License to...

With the new James Bond movie, “Quantum of Solace” due in theaters next month, why not look into other books and movies featuring the well-known spy:

Casino Royale: The movie released in 2006 with newcomer Daniel Craig taking over where Pierce Brosnan left off, is very different from the original story, written in 1953 by Bond scribe Ian Fleming. The movie that came out in 1967 was a parody only loosely based on the original book.

1967 Parody: DVD Arts Casino TPL
2006 Movie: DVD C22 ($1 for 2 days) WCV
Original 1953 Story: Fic Fleming WAM (book includes “From Russia, With Love,” “Live and Let Die,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Dr. No,” and “Goldfinger.”)

Dr. No: The first Bond film, and the first starring Sean Connery as the legendary James Bond, was actually the sixth book Ian Fleming wrote.

Original 1958 Story: Fic EPL
1962 Movie: VHS Fic D RSV/ DVD Action-Adventure D ROG

You Only Live Twice: The last (consecutive) film that Sean Connery portrayed the lethal leading man in, the book was written well before the movie, too.

Original 1964 Story: Classic F Fleming TPL
Audiobook: (as part of “The Best of Bond, James Bond”) CD Soundtrack J SBL
1967 Movie: VC Y 30, CL FRA/ DVD Action-Adventure Y ROG

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Often called the best non-Connery Bond film, actor George Lazenby only played the role once.

Original 1963 Story: Mys Fleming WDB
Audiobook: BKC Fic Fleming RSV
1969 Movie: DVD On MTC

The Living Daylights: One of the last movies to be based on Ian Fleming’s original work (none of the Pierce Brosnan movies were!), it starred Timothy Dalton in one of two shots at the secret agent.

Original 1965 Story: M Fic SCS (In an edition with “Octopussy”)
1987 Movie: DVD Bond CHE

* Note: Other libraries also have various editions of the movies on DVD and VHS, but some are not holdable.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

This book's not hard to love!

Today’s Book: Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger

The Plot:
John, a teenager who prefers to keep to himself, starts writing a 'zine (self-made and self-published magazine) to work through issues brought on by his divorced parents, his best friend joining the Drama Club and leaving him behind, and his first love - with Marisol, a fellow 'zine writer who also happens to be a lesbian.

Why you'll love it: The story of first love from an outsider isn't a first in the YA genre - far from it - but Wittlinger's story interspersed with pieces from John's 'zine make it easy and engrossing to read, and helps bring to mind the early days of your first big teenage crush.

Who Will/Should Read it?: Wittlinger is mostly a YA author - most recently famous for the controversial "Sandpiper" - but it was recommended to me by an English professor in college. Also, if you love it, Wittlinger has just released a companion book entitled "Love and Lies: Marisol's Story."

Hard Love
YA Fic Wittlinger WCV WDB EPL

Love & Lies: Marisol's Story