Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Horror Pick of the Week: Fifty Year Sword

The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Danielewski
One Halloween night, at a party held at an East Texas ranch house, a local seamstress named Chintana finds herself thrown into the role of chaperone for five rambunctious orphans. Not surprisingly, the children's energies prove barely containable, even with promises of cake and a storyteller. The storyteller, however, is not what anyone expects. Looking and cloaked in dark, he entertains the orphans with a tale twisted out of vengeance and violence. He does not come empty-handed, either. At their feet he sets a long, narrow box sealed with five latches. "I am a bad man with a very black heart," he warns them. And it was only that badness and blackness which forced me to seek out what I have carried now for many years and brought this night for you. An unsettling thing to say to anyone, especially to children. But as Chintana soon discover, this is just the beginning. Her concerns only mount as the storyteller offers more and more menacing details about what consequences lie hidden within that long, narrow box. To make matters worse, the orphans one by one, lean forward and lift the latches...

Teen Pick of the Week: Tilt

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins
Witnessing the fallout from the poor choices their parents make and the lies adults tell themselves, three teens are clinging to the last remnants of the secure and familiar world in which they've grown up. But the ground is shifting. What was once clear is now confused. Everything is tilting. Mikayla is sure she's found the love her parents seem to have lost, but is suddenly weighing nearly impossible choices in the wake of dashed expectations. Shane has come out, unwilling to lie anymore about who he is, but finds himself struggling to keep it all under control in the face of first love and a horrific loss. Harley, a good girl just seeking new experiences, never expects to hurtle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

Read a great teen book recently? Want to recommend it as Teen Pick of the Week? Email me!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Family Secrets

The Summer House by Marcia Willett
Matt has always felt that there was something missing in his life. His mother kept all his childhood memories in a small inlaid wooden box, along with many photos of Matt as a child. But something about these photos has always puzzled Matt. Why doesn't he remember those clothes? The toys? And where, in the photos, is his sister Imogen? Meanwhile, Imogen is living with her husband and their baby in a rented cottage. Ever since she was a child, she has loved the Summer House, a charming cottage on the grounds of a beautiful and ancient house in Exmoor. When she has a chance to buy, but her husband refuses to move, Imogen begins to question the seemingly picturesque life she has built for herself. Eventually, the Summer House provides the key to the strange and tragic secret that has affected everyone involved.

You Are the Love of My Life by Susan Richards Shreve
It is 1973 and the scandal of Watergate is on everyone's lips. Lucy Painter, children's book writer and single mother of two, is leaving New York and the married father of her children to return to the house in the tightly knit Washington, DC, neighborhood where she grew up and where she discovered her father's suicide. Lucy hopes for a fresh start, but her life is full of secrets: her children know nothing of the circumstances surrounding her father's death or the identity of their own father. And as new neighbors enter their insular lives, the safety and stability of her family are in jeopardy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: Nevermore

Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure by James Patterson
In the beginning, there was Maximum Ride. A girl. A fighter. A leader. A superhuman with a mission to save the world. She's gone to the ends of the earth seeking her destiny. And now the end isn't near... It's Here.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

Read a great teen book recently? Want to recommend it as Teen Pick of the Week? Email me!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Art & Books

One for the Books by Joe Queenan
Since Gutenberg first began moving type around five centuries ago, the book--one of the great achievements of human culture--has been subjected to any number of indignities, from being banned to being burned to being turned into a breathtaking quantity of unspeakably appalling movies. It has managed to survive all of these, only to find itself at the dawn of the twenty-first century facing the most radical challenge to its existence from the digital tsunami that has already left the tattered remains of the music business in its wake. As bookstores disappear and readers, apparently, along with them, alarmed bibliophiles everywhere can't help but wonder: Whither the book?

The Lost Battles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Artistic Duel that Defined the Renaissance by Jonathan Jones
This is the galvanizing story of a sixteenth-century clash of titans, the two greatest minds of the Renaissance, working side by side in the same room in a fierce competition: the master Leonardo da Vinci, commissioned by the Florentine Republic to paint a narrative fresco depicting a famous military victory on a wall of the newly built Great Council Hall in the Palazzo Vecchio, and his implacable young rival, the thirty-year-old Michelangelo.

The Art of the Epigraph: How Great Books Begin by Rosemary Ahern
For many book lovers, there is no more pleasing start to a book than a well-chosen epitaph. These intriguing quotations, sayings, and snippets of songs and poems do more than set the tone for the experience ahead: the epigraph informs us about the author's sensibility. Are we in the hands of a literalist or a wit? A cynic or a romantic? A writer of great ambition or a miniaturist? The epigraph hints at hidden stories and frequently comes with one of its own.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teen Pick of the Week: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is a story about what it's like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school, the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Click on the title to place it on hold at the Ventress Memorial Library!

Read a great teen book recently? Want to recommend it as Teen Pick of the Week? Email me!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fiction Pick of the Week: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
Book Two of the All Souls trilogy plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies and subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night. The mission is to locate a witch to tutor Diana and to find traces of Ashmole 782, but as the net of Matthew's past tightens around them they embark on a very different journey, one that takes them into the heart of the fifteen-hundred-year-old vampire's shadowed history and secrets. For Matthew Clairmont, time travel is no simple matter; nor is Diana's search for the key to understanding her legacy.

Read the first in the series, if you haven't already:  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness