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WPL’s Blog


This Week’s Best Seller Lists — November 9, 2014

Here are the best seller lists for the week of November 9, 2014.

What Are We Reading? November 4, 2014

Welcome to a special Election Day “What Are We Reading”!

  • Jeanette:
    • “We finished watching the Northern Exposure TV Series - found the last season to be a little silly - stretching for story lines after Rob Morrow aka Dr. Joel Fleischman left. Actually there were a few long boring episodes before he finally left too! Got tired of his kvetching and whining!”
    • The Beekeeper’s Apprentice [sound recording] / Laurie R. King
      “Really liked this book - I listened to it on CD’s - I got to disc #11 and the murderer was getting ready to strike - put in the final disc only to find it wouldn’t play because there was a crack in it! Talk about suspense…Couldn’t wait to get a replacement so I could finish it. So many adaptations about Sherlock Holmes between books, movies and television, it was fun to look at it how his “apprentice” coped with him. Looking forward to more of the Mary Russell mysteries.”
    • Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin “Really Liked this book. I didn’t realize that Alice “from” Wonderland was based on a real girl! This was a Fascinating Read! I may have to read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll one of these days.”
    • Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos “Interesting but a little weird. Story about three siblings who grew up grieving about their mother’s disappearance when they were children.”
    • The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin “Excellent book by someone who really knows the meaning of the word “Spectrum” she experienced many of them.”
    • The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida “Another good book about autism - a memoir by a 13 year old boy with autism. He answers a lot of questions.”
    • The Farm by Tom Rob Smith “Started reading this then realized I had the wrong book - I meant to request
      My Gentle Barn : Creating a Sanctuary where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope by Ellie Laks. Couldn’t get into the story family problems etc etc…so gave up on The Farm and will wait for My Gentle Barn.”

    “I read or at least started to read 3 books with the word ‘Other’ in the title - Don’t think I’ll look for others!”

    • The Other by David Guterson “Didn’t get too far into this one - maybe another time. John William Barry from a wealthy Seattle family, drops out of college and moves into the woods to disappear. He enlists the help of Neils Countryman from Ireland, who shared the love of the outdoors with John to help.”
    • The Other Story by Tatiana de Rosnay (author of Sarah’s Key “This was the story about a young man who found secrets about his past that lead to changes in his life.
      Didn’t finish this one either.”
    • The Other Typist: a Novel by Suzanne Rindell “Liked the old time references to typing pools and old manual typewriters - brought back memories. The story set in the 1920’s is about a typist for the NY City Police Department - who is influenced by another typing pool member into the world of speakeasies etc after work.”
  • Virginia:
    • Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: a Year with the Criminally Insane by Stephen Seager. “This is a very interesting book written by a psychiatrist working at Napa State mental hospital in California. The constant violence is not surprising but the fact that medical professionals endure and thrive in this atmosphere is very impressive. Dr. Seager chronicles his nail-biting rookie year at a hospital for criminals judged too insane to stand trial for their horrific crimes as he uneasily comes to care about mass murderers.”

    • Time Has Come by Jim Bakker. “As a Pre-Trib believer I was initially disappointed that this excellent book of bible prophecy is Post-Trib. Jim Bakker (of Jim & Tammy Bakker fame) explains his reasons for turning away from PreTribulation beliefs. I was interested in his reasoning but ultimately found it unconvincing. The book is very informative in translating various aspects of Revelation from the Greek. I’m waiting to read the library’s commentaries David Jeremiah’s Agents of the Apocalypse & Mark Hitchcock’s Blood Moons Rising“.
    • The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman & his son Jesse. “This is a totally weird book & very difficult to categorize. Kellerman (who has written many thrillers featuring Dr. Alex Delaware) has struck out in a different direction. The book is part thriller & part supernatural with an alcoholic LA police detective who is chosen to solve a peculiar murder of a serial killer because he is Jewish. The crime scene has a Hebrew word for ‘Justice’ left behind with a severed head. The chapters alternate with a tale of ancient biblical times set in Genesis which develops into a supernatural story of vengeance & revenge. The interesting thing is that these 2 stories seem to have nothing to do with one another yet by the conclusion vengeance of biblical proportions shows up in modern day LA. Well written, it features Kellerman’s spare narration & sly sense of humor.”
  • Laura: “I’m currently reading Lucky Us by Amy Bloom. I was a great fan of her book, Away. I enjoy her brand of historical fiction. I’m also reading Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton, a romance featuring a straight laced librarian as one third of a love triangle. It’s absurd and a little blush inducing but fun. I’m listening to the album Men of Steel: 50 Great Superhero Themes courtesy of the library’s Hoopla subscription.”
  • Maureen:
    • The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan “It’s the 1950s and times are tight for the Ryan family with ten kids , the Mom helps to keep poverty at bay by entering contests and winning all types of prizes. She won everything from candy bars, appliances, shopping sprees and cars to a cash prize that enabled her to put a down payment on a house just as they were being evicted from their two bedroom rental house .Evelyn Ryan had great spirit and a phenomenal sense of humor which she passed on to her kids. Terry Ryan has written a wonderful tribute to her Mother, a woman who was determined to do what ever it took to keep her family afloat and to do it in a positive upbeat way. This is Non-Fiction that reads like Fiction and will stay with you long after you close the book.”
    • The Dark Winter by David Mark “A new British crime series introduces us to Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy, originally from the Scottish Highlands now residing in the bleak port city town of Hull in Yorkshire. McAvoy is a gentle giant who is on the Crime squad when a teenage girl is savagely murdered in Hull’s most historic church, and it is Aector who discovers that the girl and subsequent victims were all survivors of previous fatal tragedies. It is a fast paced novel with well developed characters and now I’m moving on to #2 Original Skin.”
    • The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell “It is a well written story with great character development.The Bird family grew up in in a picture perfect home in the idyllic Cotswolds in England, with their mother, Lorelei and father, Colin. Easter Egg hunts were a tradition and as time moved on, Lorelei seems unable to let go of even the tiniest trinket that belonged to her children and as a result her home becomes a prison filled with stuff she has hoarded over the years. After her death her adult children are left with the task of cleaning out their childhood home and unraveling the mystery of why their Mother became such a hoarder. It is a creative storyline with unconventional characters that compel you to finish reading to see how they all turned out.”
    • Currently reading The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny “I’ve just started it but as expected Penny writes about complex characters dealing with complex emotional issues in the most perfect village in the world. Oh to live in Three Pines and have a café au lait sitting by the fire in the Bistro…doesn’t get any better than that!”
    • Just finished listening to The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman (Digital download) “Two sisters, Gwen, widowed, and Margot , divorced, join forces and become roommates in Margot’s luxurious Greenwich Village apartment, that she can no longer afford thanks to Bernie Madoff. They take in a third roommate, the affable Anthony who likes to bake cupcakes and has lost his job with Lehman Brothers. Basically it is a story about starting over and figuring out life in the 21st Century. It is really enjoyable because of the humor and characters. A nice light read.”
  • Nancy D.: Nancy has just finished The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue and Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom.
  • Todd: Todd is listening to Lagwagon’s new album Hang via the Library’s account to Freegal and is reading Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. He also watched the movie Witching and Bitching. “It’s very strange Spanish film that has a great mix of horror and comedy.”
  • Pat A:
    • “Just finished Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer (recommended by our co-worker, Anne). It is the story of a woman who has Huntington’s disease and her decision to give herself five days when her disease progresses to a certain point, and a man who has a foster child who needs to be returned in five days. Great characters.”
    • “I am now reading The Fault In Our Stars. A simple touching story of two teenagers struggling with disease. I wanted to read it before seeing the movie.”
  • Janice: “I read The Complete Gone With the Wind Trivia Book, by Pauline Bartel. The highest-grossing film of all time (adjusted for inflation) has inspired this 2nd edition of a fun book packed with everything “Windies” have to know. Just one example: Arguably the most famous dress in film history is the green velvet “drapery dress” Mammy fashioned for Scarlet out of her mother Ellen’s portiers. It was intended to work magic on Rhett so Scarlett could get the $300 in tax money for Tara. The scene spawned an iconic parody by Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman with the line “I saw it in a window, and I just couldn’t resist it.” In 2009 Carol and designer Bob Mackie donated the costume to the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.”

New Library Director!

The Trustees of the Waltham Public Library are pleased to announce that Kelly Linehan has agreed to be the new Library Director at the Waltham Public Library.

Here are a few of the talents she’ll be bringing with her:
• Bachelor’s degree in Theater & English Lit from Regis;
• MLS from Simmons;
• Grew up in Waltham and was a Student Page here WPL;
• Has been working full-time in Cambridge for 10 years, most recently as Manager of Public Services for 5 Cambridge libraries, supervising branch staff;
• Previously also worked in Winchester & Watertown public libraries;
• Certified in Mental Health First Aid;
• Very proficient with technology, marketing and social media;
• One of 40 librarians selected from a national pool to participate in ALA’s Leading the Future, a 4-day immersive leadership development program;

Please stop in and meet her during an Open House on Wednesday, December 10th 3-7pm in the Lecture Hall at the Library, 735 Main Street.

Election 2014

Election Day is near! On November 4, 2014, registered voters will have the opportunity to vote for a new Governor. Voters will also be choosing people for other state offices, people to represent them at the United States House of Representatives, and on a series of ballot referendums. Here is some information to help you navigate on Election Day:

Where Do I Vote? | Candidates | Ballot Questions | Televised Debates

Where Do I Vote?

The Candidates
(note - all names are listed in the order they’re listed on the ballot)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor

Attorney General

Secretary of State (of the Commonwealth)



Governor’s Councillor (Third District)

Senator in General Court (Third Middlesex District)

Representative in General Court (Ninth Middlesex District)

Representative in General Court (Tenth Middlesex District)

District Attorney

Register of Probate

Representative in U.S. Congress

Senator in U.S. Congress

Ballot Questions
There are four statewide ballot questions on this year’s ballot. There are booklets in both English and Spanish with details about each question located in our Community Information Room on the first floor. The Secretary of the Commonwealth site also has
information about each ballot question.

  • Question 1
    Eliminating Gas Tax Indexing
    “This proposed law would eliminate the requirement that the state’s gasoline tax, which was 24 cents per gallon as of September 2013, (1) be adjusted every year by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index over the preceding year, but (2) not be adjusted below 21.5 cents per gallon.”
    A Yes Vote would eliminate the requirement that the state’s gas tax be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.
    A No Vote would make no change in the laws regarding the gas tax.
  • Question 2
    Expanding the Beverage Container Deposit Law
    “This proposed law would expand the state’s beverage container deposit law, also known as the Bottle Bill, to require deposits on containers for all non-alcoholic non-carbonated drinks in liquid form intended for human consumption, except beverages primarily derived from dairy products, infant formula, and FDA approved medicines. The proposed law would not cover containers made of paper-based biodegradable material and aseptic multi-material packages such as juice boxes or pouches.
    The proposed law would require the state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) to adjust the container deposit amount every five years to reflect (to the nearest whole cent) changes in the consumer price index, but the value could not be set below five cents.
    The proposed law would increase the minimum handling fee that beverage distributors must pay dealers for each properly returned empty beverage container, which was 2¼ cents as of September 2013, to 3½ cents. It would also increase the minimum handling fee that bottlers must pay distributors and dealers for each properly returned empty reusable beverage container, which was 1 cent as of September 2013, to 3½ cents. The Secretary of EEA would review the fee amounts every five years and make appropriate adjustments to reflect changes in the consumer price index as well as changes in the costs incurred by redemption centers. The proposed law defines a redemption center as any business whose primary purpose is the redemption of beverage containers and that is not ancillary to any other business.
    The proposed law would direct the Secretary of EEA to issue regulations allowing small dealers to seek exemptions from accepting empty deposit containers. The proposed law would define small dealer as any person or business, including the operator of a vending machine, who sells beverages in beverage containers to consumers, with a contiguous retail space of 3,000 square feet or less, excluding office and stock room space; and fewer than four locations under the same ownership in the Commonwealth. The proposed law would require that the regulations consider at least the health, safety, and convenience of the public, including the distribution of dealers and redemption centers by population or by distance or both.
    The proposed law would set up a state Clean Environment Fund to receive certain unclaimed container deposits. The Fund would be used, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature, to support programs such as the proper management of solid waste, water resource protection, parkland, urban forestry, air quality and climate protection.
    The proposed law would allow a dealer, distributor, redemption center or bottler to refuse to accept any beverage container that is not marked as being refundable in Massachusetts.”

    A Yes Vote would expand the state’s beverage container deposit law to require deposits on containers for all non-alcoholic, non-carbonated drinks with certain exceptions, increase the associated handling fees, and make other changes to the law.
    A No Vote would make no change in the laws regarding beverage container deposits.
  • Question 3
    Expanding Prohibitions on Gaming
    “This proposed law would (1) prohibit the Massachusetts Gaming Commission from issuing any license for a casino or other gaming establishment with table games and slot machines, or any license for a gaming establishment with slot machines; (2) prohibit any such casino or slots gaming under any such licenses that the Commission might have issued before the proposed law took effect; and (3) prohibit wagering on the simulcasting of live greyhound races.
    The proposed law would change the definition of “illegal gaming” under Massachusetts law to include wagering on the simulcasting of live greyhound races, as well as table games and slot machines at Commission-licensed casinos, and slot machines at other Commission-licensed gaming establishments. This would make those types of gaming subject to existing state laws providing criminal penalties for, or otherwise regulating or prohibiting, activities involving illegal gaming.
    The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.”

    A Yes Vote would prohibit casinos, any gaming establishment with slot machines, and wagering on simulcast greyhound races..
    A No Vote would make no change in the current laws regarding gaming.
  • Question 4
    Earned Sick Time for Employees
    “This proposed law would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions.
    Employees who work for employers having eleven or more employees could earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, while employees working for smaller employers could earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.
    An employee could use earned sick time if required to miss work in order (1) to care for a physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition affecting the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; (2) to attend routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; or (3) to address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s dependent child. Employees would earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, and would begin accruing those hours on the date of hire or on July 1, 2015, whichever is later. Employees could begin to use earned sick time on the 90th day after hire.
    The proposed law would cover both private and public employers, except that employees of a particular city or town would be covered only if, as required by the state constitution, the proposed law were made applicable by local or state legislative vote or by appropriation of sufficient funds to pay for the benefit. Earned paid sick time would be compensated at the same hourly rate paid to the employee when the sick time is used.
    Employees could carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year, but could not use more than 40 hours in a calendar year. Employers would not have to pay employees for unused sick time at the end of their employment. If an employee missed work for a reason eligible for earned sick time, but agreed with the employer to work the same number of hours or shifts in the same or next pay period, the employee would not have to use earned sick time for the missed time, and the employer would not have to pay for that missed time. Employers would be prohibited from requiring such an employee to work additional hours to make up for missed time, or to find a replacement employee.
    Employers could require certification of the need for sick time if an employee used sick time for more than 24 consecutively scheduled work hours. Employers could not delay the taking of or payment for earned sick time because they have not received the certification. Employees would have to make a good faith effort to notify the employer in advance if the need for earned sick time is foreseeable.
    Employers would be prohibited from interfering with or retaliating based on an employee’s exercise of earned sick time rights, and from retaliating based on an employee’s support of another employee’s exercise of such rights.
    The proposed law would not override employers’ obligations under any contract or benefit plan with more generous provisions than those in the proposed law. Employers that have their own policies providing as much paid time off, usable for the same purposes and under the same conditions, as the proposed law would not be required to provide additional paid sick time.
    The Attorney General would enforce the proposed law, using the same enforcement procedures applicable to other state wage laws, and employees could file suits in court to enforce their earned sick time rights. The Attorney General would have to prepare a multilingual notice regarding the right to earned sick time, and employers would be required to post the notice in a conspicuous location and to provide a copy to employees. The state Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Attorney General, would develop a multilingual outreach program to inform the public of the availability of earned sick time.
    The proposed law would take effect on July 1, 2015, and states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.”

    A Yes Vote would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions.
    A No Vote would make no change in the laws regarding earned sick time.

Gubernatorial Debates

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — October 26, 2014

Here are the best seller lists for the week of October 26, 2014.

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — October 19, 2014

Here are the best seller lists for the week of October 19, 2014.

What Are We Reading? October 1, 2014

What books have we read? What music have we checked out or downloaded? What have we watched?

  • Libby: “(Re)Watching on DVD: Moneyball and Trouble with the Curve, my personal solace for the Red Sox being in last place.”
  • Nancy W.: “I’m currently reading The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee“.
  • Laura: “I’m currently reading Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe, a non-fiction narrative about three women in the National Guard who were deployed to both Afghanistan an Iraq. It really touches on what it’s like to be female in the military as well as both the horror and boredom associated with deployment, and the feeling of not quite fitting in upon arriving home. This is a great read for anyone interested in gender studies, the military, or who wants a better understanding of what’s going on in the world. I’ve also recently read the intense and exceptionally detailed memoir/graphic novel Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Going from the sublime to the ridiculous, I read the parody graphic novels, Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown, which imagines an alternate universe in which Darth Vader raises Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. The results are both funny and heartwarming.”
  • Janice: Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion by Derek Hough. “Those who are DWTS fans (or Dancing With the Stars, for the uninitiated) will recognize Derek Hough as one of the series’ favorite pro dancers. His new book takes us from his first dance lessons at age 11 through his years in England, where he was mentored by the parents of fellow pro Mark Ballas. This book is actually a very inspirational and uplifting guide to getting the most out of your own talents and learning from your challenges.”
  • Paula: “I recently finished 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany by Steven Pressman. Eleanor and Gilbert Kraus from Philadelphia set in motion a very dangerous plan to travel inside Nazi Germany, rescue 50 Jewish children and travel back with them to the United States. This is an amazing story!”
  • Maureen:
    • “Just finished listening to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (digital download). This amazing story takes place in Nazi Germany late 1930s-1940s. Liesel Meminger is living in a foster home where her foster father teaches her to read and opens a wonderful world to her despite the extremely meager existence they are experiencing. Death is the Narrator and it is mesmerizing, Liesel “steals” her books from the Mayor’s wife, who turns a blind eye to the stealing even leaving particular books for Liesel. Liesel reads these books to herself,her family,a Jewish boy,(they are hiding in the basement) and to neighbors when sharing the time together in the bomb shelter. Through her experiences Liesel comes to know the true meaning of what makes us all family. A truly wonderful story, one that will stay with you for a long time.”
    • “Currently reading Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof. A quirky cast of characters makes this debut novel a true delight. A small college town inhabited by some really quirky characters where a small orphan boy, Henry, drops into their midst and changes their lives. It beautifully written with some humorous as well as somber moments.”
    • “Just finished reading Vertigo 42 by Martha Grimes. The latest Richard Jury mystery,( your typical English Pub mystery) involving 2 past murders and 2 present murders that seem to be connected. It is up to Jury and his zany friends to once again put the puzzles pieces together and solve the mysteries.”
    • North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo is another debut novel set in and around Boston filled with mystery and intrique. It starts out as a murder mystery and turns into something much more sinister and compelling. The main character is Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred confident woman of Russian descent who doesn’t shy away from confrontation. She is sharp witted and gutsy determined to find the truth and risk her life in the process. A great read and my thanks to Pat O. for the recommendation!”
  • Louise: “Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects is aptly named. Camille Preaker works for a second rate newspaper in Chicago. Hoping to boost her lackluster career, she reluctantly accepts an assignment in the town where she was raised. Camille has to try and investigate a series of brutal murders. She also has to try and stay sane while staying in her mother’s outwardly perfect, inwardly tension filled home. This novel will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.” Louise is also currently listening to The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.
  • Virginia:
    • “If it’s September it must be time for the new Jack Reacher thriller from Lee Child. This one is called Personal. It is a quick & fairly satisfying read as Jack hunts down an assassin in London for the U.S. Army. Despite the well-honed suspense & sudden bursts of violence, the recent books are no longer edge-of-your-seat, can’t-put-it-down stories like the author’s earlier thrillers. A fun read anyhow.”
    • Fatal Conceit by Robert K. Tanenbaum. Over the years I’ve read many of this author’s continuing series about ‘Butch Karp, N.Y. District Attorney’. I’ve always enjoyed the twists & turns and the memorable characters. But this time? Not so much. I was really disappointed to find that this conservative author has gone off the political deep end with his hatred of the Left & the Obama administration. The thriller is spoiled with some despicable characters representing the whole Democratic party. So sad to see this series ruined by the writer’s politics.”
    • The Price of Silence : a Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness by Liza Long (non-fiction). One in every five American children will suffer from some sort of mental illness during childhood. Long tells the true story of her son as they battle to get an accurate diagnosis & appropriate treatment for the boy’s condition. The book covers many aspects of childhood mental disorders including the stigma & self-stigma visited on mothers, to blame them for their child’s disorder. Insurance companies do everything they can to avoid helping the situation until many parents are forced to turn their children over to the state so they will qualify for affordable care.. It is a sad reality in this well-written & researched book.”
    • “I also enjoyed reading two YA comics. Yes, it’s true, I am a comic book fan. I read Nightwing : Old Friends, New Enemies about the career of Batman’s sidekick Robin after he got too old to continue as a juvenile action hero. I also read Guardians of the Galaxy as the costumed heroes encounter new universes & a slew of super villains. The Young Adult area has a fine collection of Marvel & DC trade paperback comic books & I really enjoy them.”

Adult Summer Reading

I am happy to announce that the drawing for the Adult Summer Reading winners happened on Wednesday, August 27th. We had twenty grand prize winners and we issued thirty free ice cream cone coupons for Lizzies. We had one hundred and twelve entries! Thank you to our participants who helped make this a success.

I want to thank the Friends of the Waltham Public Library and Lizzie’s Ice Cream for their generous contributions to the effort.

Prizes included gift certificates to More Than Words , Gourmet Pottery, and Cafe On The Common.

Here are some of the books that our adult summer readers enjoyed along with their reviews:

First, the entries that were submitted online: I asked our readers to rate these titles in beach chairs. One beach chair would be the lowest review and then five beach chairs would be the highest.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Our reader gave this 3 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: The novel is engaging for young adults and adults alike, especially if you have a strong background about the 1980s. However, I am not much of a video gamer so a lot of the references were lost on me. Additionally, I thought the ending did not send a strong message for readers.

The Hunger Games-Mockingjay by Suaznne Collins
Our reader gave this 4 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: While I did not feel that this was the strongest of the three in the Hunger Games trilogy, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Suzanne Collins is a terrific author and I was so pleased to see the path that Katniss, Gale and Peeta took. I would highly recommend this book to others!

I Shall Be Near You: A Novel by Erin Lindsay McCabe
Our reader gave this 3 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: This novel chronicles a woman who follows her husband into battle during the Civil War. I thought it was well written, but dragged on at times.

Track of the Cat: by Nevada Barr
Our reader gave this 3 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: Murder in a national park in the Southwest

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
Our reader gave this 5 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: Great story! Starts off with delivery of mysterious suitcase. Story told by two different characters living 50 years apart. Romance, sex, heartbreak, science, intrigue, and history. Violet and Vivian are great characters!

Belle Cora by Philip Margulues
Our reader gave this 4 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: The story of Anabella Godwin, also known as Belle Cora, and the events that shaped her life. The story explains events that led her to choose to become a madame, and why she ultimately chose to stay in this profession. Even though some may question the morality of her career choice, she certainly represented a strong, independent, opinionated woman in an era when women were not expected to be any of these things.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Our reader gave this 4 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: Very interesting style and fun read. Written in the form of letters sent between residents of a small island country where letters of the alphabet are being banned from use after they fall off an important historical sign that displays a short saying using all of the letters in the alphabet. As more letters continue to fall from the sign, the citizens of the island try to get the banning edicts revoked and communicate with less and less words and letters available to them. As the book is written in the form of messages between residents, the writing of the novel reflects the writing of the citizens and letters banned from use by the residents are also gone from the narrative.

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater
Our reader gave this 4 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: This sequel to Maggie’s Lament shifts focus to the main character’s best friend who is trying to go about living his life after discovering that he’s been living in a world full of dangerous fairies his whole life.

In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Our reader gave this 5 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: This book takes a snapshot view of the rise of Hitler’s power by looking at the experiences of the American ambassador to Germany and his family, beginning in 1933. Rife with intrigue, the reader gets a look at the power struggle going on not only in American political circles, but in Hitler’s organization circles as well. This is a painless way to learn history. We not only learn how pivotal events effect one particular family, but what is going on in the world as well.

Off Course by Michelle Huneven
Our reader gave this 5 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: I’ve read all of Michelle Huneven’s books and really enjoyed them.

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller
Our reader gave this 4 out of 5 beach chairs
The book summary/review: Unique take on the classic coming of age novel. Jess and her family set out on a road trip leading up the Rapture. This story is told with humor and sympathy. A fresh book from a new author.

Here are some of the highlights from our entries submitted in person:

A Soft Place To Land by Susan Rebecca White
The book summary/review: A beautiful story of the complicated love between two sisters. After the parents’ death they are separated. It’s fun and the ending is sad.

Backwards by Todd Mitchell
The book summary/review: There’s this kid who is trapped inside a dead body and then realizes that the person’s life is going backwards leading up to the suicide. He needs to learn how to find himself before we can repair this kid’s life.

Three Girls and Their Brother by Theresa Rebeck
The book summary/review: An expose of how a mother uses her family to create her own celebrity and ends up pretty much dstorying the children’s lives. They in turn learn how to mend the who sad nastiness and become family again.

Heading Out To Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
The book summary/review: A story of a doomed love affair that ends in the worst way.

The Scent of Jasmine Jude Deveraux
The book summary/review: A naive young woman becomes involved with an escaped “murderer” falls in love with him and helps him clear up the mystery of who the real betrayers are.

His Until Midnight by Nikki Logan
The book summary/review: Quick easy read. Totally unbelievable but fun.

Cross My Heart by James Patterson
The book summary/review: Best and most tense story in the Alex Cross series! Plenty of twists and turns! Fast read…didn’t want to put down!

Seize the Storm by Michael Cadnum
The book summary/review: A rich family finds a pile of cash on board an abandoned yacht which was owned by bad dealers. They then become involved in an illegal transaction which leads into one man being killed by a shark.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
The book summary/review: Despite the sex part, the book showed what the youths think about, and taught not to see us too much, but enjoy being ourselves. (and be smart).

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson
The book summary/review: Lisbeth Salander is accused of murdering Mikael Blankin’s 2 friends, Mia Johanssen and Dag Schenssary, who were going to expose the sex traffickng in Sweden. This is a really awesome thriller!

Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Phillip Sendker
The book summary/review: Easy read, thought provoking love story! Must read!

Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
A romantic novel. Good book!

Walking In Circles Before Lying Down by Merrill Markoe
The book summary/review: “Humorous.” A “talking dog” has more common sense than the protagonist. LA, West Coast, crazies, doggie daycaare, young romance. Doggy knows best! A refreshing diversion.

Third Class Superhero by Charles Yu
The book summary/review: A collection of various of scenarios per chapter that describes one of the character’s tales that is the same as the book’s tale. All of these scenarios depict the reality of the utmost realistic human potential to be a superhero, how it is a very hard job to make a lasting probabilities, choices of possibilities, taking risks, chances in order to develop as a person and going beyond their own boundaries to make a powerful impact to the best of your ability, all while trying to find your true sense of self/identity. Awesome book!

Kiss And Tell by Fern Michaels
The book summary/review: Another great, Fern Michaels, Sisterhood, Revenge novel!

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan
The book summary/review: Good story about the closing of a restaurant. The author captures working class people. Interesting book.

The Light In the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian
The book summary/review: Really good book. Murder mystery. Suspenseful to the very end!

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Great book. Love story-what else. Easy reading with a twist to a happy ending.

Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham
The book summary/review: First person novel. Narration of literary life. Celebration of deceased novelist and long held secrets. Great book!

How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
The book summary/review: Set in a science fictional universe, Charles Yu attempts to search for his dad after a long time of disappearance. As he finds out, he must make the choice of either living in the time loop for fear of safety and taking risks or to live in the present moment where his former past self (earlier in the book) shoots his present self (later becomes new self). It’s all based on what he chooses to do rather than be determined to live by it. Interesting, fascinating book. Awesome!

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith
The book summary/review: Wonderful, light summer reading. The further adventures of Precious Ramotswe of the #1 Ladies’ Detective agency.

That Perfect Someone by Johanna Lindsey
The book summary/review: Thinking she is finally rid of the person she was contracted to wed as a child, the heroine finds herself falling for a man turned Pirate who is in love with one of her own friends. The plot twists and turns in the usual “Mallory” series the author continues to capture the reader’s delight. An easy, fun read for the beach.

The Drifter by Susan Wiggs
The book summary/review: Wonderful, typical Wiggs! Emotion packed, mystery and suspense. Goodness reigns over evil. Romance between two people hurt when young by parents careless with their own.

Five Fold Happiness: Chinese Concepts of Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness and Wealth by Vivien Sung
The book summary/review: Various of cultural Chinese things and how they came to be via folklore/legend/myths. Also, association with the symbolic item to attain luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness or wealth can be anything that is similarly, identically pronounced as said.

Temptation Ridge by Robin Carr
The book summary/review: Finding love in a small town

Weekends With Daisy by Sharron Kahn Luttrell Excellent. True Story. Training of a service dog by outside family on weekends and a prison inmate Monday through Friday.

Beach Lane by Sheryl Woods
A must read! Friendship turns to love against past insecurities. A terrifying health situation arises; one that proves their love against tough odds including past relationships. What seems insurmountable takes the love to the TOP.

The Deed by Lynsay Sands The story of a naive but “modern” thinking woman who takes control of her life once her first husband dies. She visits the king asking for a new one and gets more than she bargains for. She avoids the sinister cousin trying to usurp her position.

Arm Candy by Jill KargmanA good description of life style in New York; two different modes. One privileged wealthy, the other, creative artistic. Although I’m glad to have finished the book it would not be the kind I would choose again. The characters lived narcissistic and selfish ways of life. The ending redeemed the protagonists humanity for me.

Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark Great legal read!

Todd Strauss, Technology Librarian, presents prize to Gita Patel

Laura Bernheim, Head Reference Librarian, presents prize to Angie Emberley.

Todd Strauss, Technology Librarian, presents prize to Beverly Shea

Eva Lin, library page, presents prize to Afiya Webb

Todd Strauss, Technology Librarian, presents prize to Roberta Factor

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — September 14, 2014

Here are the best seller lists for the week of September 14, 2014.

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — September 7, 2014

Here are the best seller lists for the week of September 7, 2014:

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